Let out from Genoa prison on pass to visit mom, serial killer hijacks car, at large; hunt on - InfoNews

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Let out from Genoa prison on pass to visit mom, serial killer hijacks car, at large; hunt on

An undated photo showing Bartolomeo Gagliano, a convicted serial killer who was allowed to leave a Genoa prison on a two-day, good-behavior pass to see his elderly mother but failed to return. Police Italy has launched a manhunt for Gagliano, who is reportedly armed and "dangerous." Authorities said while Gagliano was allowed out Tuesday to visit his mother in Savona he forced a baker at gunpoint to start driving him away. He then forced the driver out of the car and drove off. There are fears he might have driven across the nearby border into France. Gagliano was convicted of fatally stoning one prostitute and wounding another in 1981, and after escaping from a criminal asylum, killing two others in 1989. He has escaped six times in all. (AP Photo/Tano Pecoraro)
December 19, 2013 - 2:33 PM

ROME - Italian police on Thursday conducted a manhunt for a serial killer who was allowed to leave a Genoa prison on a two-day, good-behaviour pass to see his elderly mother but failed to return.

Bartolomeo Gagliano is armed and "dangerous," Genoa police official Fausto Lamparelli said. He urged people who think they might have spotted Gagliano to quickly call police.

There are fears that the fugitive might have driven across the nearby border into France.

Courts held Gagliano, now 55, responsible for the fatal stoning of one prostitute and the wounding of another in 1981, but ruled him mentally incapable of understanding the crime and ordered him to an asylum for the criminally insane, according to authorities. After escaping in 1989 from the asylum, he killed, along with another man, a female transsexual and a male transvestite, and was again sent to a criminal asylum for psychiatric treatment, authorities quoted in Italian news reports said.

Gagliano being granted a good behaviour pass despite a record of escapes and violence sparked an outcry in Italy. Justice Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri was scheduled to brief the Chamber of Deputies on the case Friday morning.

"We can make the best laws in the world, but if we have magistrates and prison directors who make such big mistakes, no law can stand up to that," lawmaker Marco Di Lello said.

Genoa's Marassi Prison director, Salvatore Mazzeo, insisted in several Italian TV interviews that Galgiano had been sent to his prison in 2006 for a robbery conviction. A justice ministry penitentiary administration official, Luigi Pagano, told Radio 24 that Gagliano had been due for release in about a year.

Authorities said while Gagliano was allowed out earlier this week on a two-day pass to visit his mother in Savona, on the Ligurian coast, he forced a bakery worker at gunpoint to start driving him away. He later ordered the driver out of the car and drove off himself.

Corriere della Sera quoted the baker, whom it didn't identify, as saying that Gagliano told him he had spent long periods in prison and at a certain point "suddenly ordered me to stop, said he had enough of prison, and he was getting away."

Genoa newspaper Il Secolo XIX quoted magistrate Daniela Verrina, who signed off on the pass, as saying that prison reports about Gagliano indicated "no psychopathological signs."

The paper reported that Gagliano had received another good behaviour pass earlier this year which let him on condition he be accompanied by the prison chaplain and another one that let him visit the mother, and that both times Gagliano returned to prison.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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