Monthly Archives: June 2006

The Monster of Florence

After that first meeting at Caffè Ricchi, Mario Spezi and I became friends. He often talked about the case, and I began to share his frustration at its unsatisfying conclusion. I cannot remember exactly when my curiosity became more than idle speculation, but by the spring of 2001, Spezi and I had agreed to write something together—a collaboration that would eventually take the form of a book. But first, I needed a crash course from the “Monstrologer.”

A couple of days a week I would shove my laptop into a backpack and bicycle the six miles from our home to Spezi’s. The last kilometer was a bear, almost straight uphill through groves of knotted olive trees. I would find him in the dining room, thick with smoke, with papers and photographs scattered about the table. Myriam, Spezi’s wife, would check in on us every now and then and bring

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