Beasts of Satan
The Beasts of Satan were a satanic cult in Italy in the late 1990's to early 2000's. They made news around the world when members were tried and found guilty of three murders.
The Murder of Chiara Marino and Fabio Tollis
In January 1998, the first murders occurred in a wooded area northwest of Milan, Italy. A 19-year-old woman, Chiara Marino, and her 16-year-old boyfriend, Fabio Tollis, were ritually stabbed as part of a satanic sacrifice. The couple had been out drinking and listening to music in an area of town frequented by heavy metal enthusiasts. When they didn't return home that night, their families and local law enforcement began to look for them. It was later discovered that three of their friends - Andrea Volpe, Nicola Sapone, and Mario Maccione - killed the pair, buried their bodies, and then danced on their graves.
The Murder of Mariangela Pezzotta
In January 2004, 27-year-old Mariangela Pezzotta was buried alive near Somma Lombardo, a town in the province of Varese, Lomadry in northern Italy. Pezzotta knew more about the Beasts of Satan, and the Marino and Tollis murders, than Volpe was comfortable with, so he invited her to dinner, shot her, and then upon discovering that she was still alive, tried to hide her in a greenhouse on the property. Upon trying to get rid of Pezzotta's car by submersing it in a nearby lake, Volpe, high on cocaine and heroin, crashed it, and was taken into police custody.
Interrogation and Trial
The police interrogation of Volpe led to an investigation of Pezzotta's murder. At that time, Fabio's father, Michele Tollis, presented the findings of his own investigation, which led to the discovery of his son's and girlfriend's bodies.
In February 2005, Volpe was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Pietro Guerrieri and Mario Maccione received lighter sentences for their roles in the murders. The leader of the Beasts of Satan, Nicola Sapone, suspected of orchestrating the murders, received a life sentence. Four others in the group received sentences of 24 to 26 years.
Law enforcement investigated whether the Beasts of Satan had connections to other satanic groups in Italy, but results were inconclusive. Also in the wake of the murders, the Roman Catholic Church offered seminars on demon possession and exorcism for priests. Heavy metal music with satanic lyrics was also criticized for the alleged role it played in the Beasts of Satan.
Italian 'Beasts of Satan' jailed BBC News February 22, 2005
Italy police seek 'Satan squad' Mark Duff BBC News December 11, 2006