1 Who are you?
My name is Francesco Amicone. I am a writer and a journalist. Since January 2017, I’ve been looking into the Monster of Florence case. My enquiry was published between May 19, 2018, on the website of the magazine Tempi and May 29, 2018 in the newspaper Il Giornale.
2 What have you discovered?
Zodiac and the Monster are two “nick-names” of the same person.
3 The smartest criminal of the history, discovered by an “anonymous” journalist?
The direct connession between celebrity and intelligence is as yet unknown. By the way, the Zodiac Killer and the Monster of Florence cases are the most well documented criminal cases of the history of crime. Thanks to blogger, forums and people who writes on the them and their crimes it’s possible for all to obtain the informations needed to start a good investigation. In this case, “luckily” the murderer chose to be also a witness.
4 How did you start to think to a link between Zodiac and the Monster?
If you go to Florence and ask people about the Monster, many of the older citizens don’t answer you. What happened on the lover’s lane around the city thirty years ago casted a shadow that arrives to the present days. People of Florence don’t like to talk about what happened in the ’80s. It’s not so easy as I say, but what I did it was a research of a “dark heart” wich belongs to a human, old and free mass murder.
The link between Zodiac and the Monster was born just by switching mentally from a suggestion to an hypothesis. The more striking thing of them is that they were both very attracted by celebrity. Not only. For example, they liked to terrify the population of the countries where they killed with a sort of propaganda of themeselves. One did it with words, the other one with actions. Besides they are quite similar in a lot of ways.
During the investigations in the early ’90 FBI hypotized that the Monster might have stopped to kill temporarily in some years for job or a change in his life. It’s possible that Zodiac “disappeared” for similar reasons. An “american” killer could explain all the anomalies of the Monster case. He could have left the United States in the summer of ’74. With a couple of flights he could arrive from San Francisco to Rome in two days, at the time. Gradually, this hypotesis became less fantastic and more realistic. It explain, for example, why the disappearance of the killer in the USA before the summer of 1974 was followed few months after by the Monster’s first official apparition in Borgo San Lorenzo on 14th September 1974.
When I saw on the Monster’s letter to the prosecutor Silvia Della Monica the “italian” serial killer had divided a word with a line and misspelled it exactly in the same way he’d did it Zodiac, I started to think that they could be really the same person.
Then I found the name of Joe Bevilacqua.
5 Who is Joe Bevilacqua?
Giuseppe Bevilacqua, called Joe or Joseph, is the former superintendent of the American Military Cemetery of Florence. He was born in Totowa, New Jersey, United States of America, on December 20, 1935. He has a big stomach and 12’’ of shoes. When he was young was 5.7’’ height, 198 lb weight, with black crew cut hair, which became salt and pepper in the 80’s.
Bevilacqua is a former US military, with a twenty-year career in the US Army. In the late 60s and early 70s, Bevilacqua was an agent of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Military Police, for wich he worked several years inside and outside the United States. Bevilacqua know very well Tuscany and California and he is also a Vietnam veteran. At the time of the murders of Zodiac, official and unofficial, Bevilacqua was in the same places of the killer.
In 1974 Bevilacqua retired from the army and joined the American Monuments Battle Commission. On 1st July “was reported for duty” in the American Military Cemetery of Florence. Here he began the training for cemetery superintendents.
Bevilacqua lived in the American Cemetery of Florence between 1974 and 1989, in the same years of the Monster murders. Later he became the director of AMBC South Europe and moved to Rome.
Bevilacqua actually lives in a town near Florence.
6 Why did Bevilacqua become so interesting for you?
According to FBI, the killer might have tried to contact detectives in some way. And, for example, becoming a witness would be very intriguing for a man who wanted to be always in the limelight. It would be the highest joke of a criminal to the Police. Zodiac, a prosecution witness at his own trial. He made fool of all. It would be the highest point of his vanity.
Bevilacqua tried in all the ways to testify in the Monster trial, even if he was protected by a diplomatic immunity. Commonly strangers don’t want get involved with italian justice. So, why did he want to become a witness? To be usefull? Maybe. Or maybe not.
Anyway, Bevilacqua was able to partecipate to the Monster trial. The superintendent of the American Cemetery of Florence testified on 6th June 1994 against the suspect Pietro Pacciani. Listening to his testimony (italian language), I was able to discover he lived close to the last official crime of the serial killer (300 meters far away), in the american cemetery in Falciani, placed not far of Florence, in the country side.
It was Bevilacqua himself who said he should be the first person to be heard by the Carabinieri after the crime in Via degli Scopeti on 6-8th September 1985. He was right. Not only because he was probably the only resident who lived within 1,000 ft of the crime scene. Bevilacqua was at home, in the night of the crime, and he had seen the victims two times in their last days, not in passing. “The girl wore a black bikini” he remembered at the trial.
Moreover, Bevilacqua was wrong about the day when he heard on the radio the report of the crime: “I heard the news on the radio on Monday morning, the day after the crime. My dogs had barked all the night” he said in the trial. But it was “impossible”, because the news of the crime was not yet public on the morning of 9th September.
Finally, Bevilacqua arrived in Florence in the summer 1974, like Zodiac had should be, if it was also the Monster. So, when I discovered that the 408 cipher of Zodiac and on My name – letter too could contains Bevilacqua’s name and his identity (Joe and Giuseppe) and that he was born on 20 december (possible birthday of Zodiac) I began to think: “Ok, I shall meet him”.
7 When did you meet Bevilacqua for the first time?
I met Bevilacqua for the first time in May 2017, when I was already working full-time on the Monster case by four months. I must say that he had already understood why I had called him. Later I though he liked to play a sort of game with me. During the summer, I investigated Bevilacqua (in the while I also became his biographer) until he admitted his responsibilities.
8 Did Bevilacqua admit to being Zodiac and the Monster of Florence both?
Bevilacqua admitted his responsability indirectly but clearly during a phone conversation on September 11, 2017. I had called him and said immediately: “It was found your name on the letters of Zodiac”. I showed him that one of the cipher was “cracked” just following his suggestions he had given me few weeks before.
Bevilacqua, scared, told me that his colleagues at CID (whose names he mentioned) “knew” that there is his identity in the correspondence of the Zodiac Killer.
“You must hand you over to the Police” I told him.
“Do you know how many years ago it happened?”
“Why did you not give yourself over?”
He replied: “For the others, not to get them in trouble”.
“Yes.” He was shocked.
Then I pleased him to go to the Police again. “What have I to take to the Police? The gun?” he asked me. He was sad, hopeless and he wanted to follow my indications. Later he talked with a lawyer and changed idea.
9 Why don’t you publish the registration of the Bevilacqua’s admissions?
Personally I didn’t record the conversation. A record of the interception of the call is not in my possession.
10 Is Bevilacqua under investigation in Italy?
On 1st March 2018 I made a complaint about Bevilacqua. In Italy there is the obligation to investigate in case of a formal charge.
11 Did the detectives in charge of the Monster case believe you?
I was summoned twice by the Florence Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2018. On 16th April I met the detectives who led the investigations. On 19th June I was questioned by the Ros of Florence in Perugia. I met elses detectives of one other Prosecutor’s Office on 6th September, but they asked me to not talk about the meeting. They just do their job.
12 Did you notify the american Police about Bevilacqua?
Yes, I did it, even if for Zodiac it would apply the death penalty and consequentially Italian authorities would deny his extradition, if americans will ask it. I personally informed the american authorities in charge of the Zodiac case months before my enquiry was published.
The Vallejo Police was informed also by person (not me).
13 Who is “Ulysses, Nero, the American”?
Ulysses is a nickname of the real Monster of Florence, according to Mario Vanni.
Vanni was a postman, the alleged helper of the farmer Pietro Pacciani in the monster’s murders. He was condemned in 1998, but nowdays few persons think that Vanni and Pacciani were “the Monster”. By the way, they maybe knew something on him.
On June 30, 2003, Vanni was speaking in prison with a friend. The conversation was intercepted. Vanni confessed to his friend that the real serial killer was not Pacciani but an American who called himself “Ulysses”. Vanni calle Ulysses also “Nero” (black). He said Pacciani had met Ulysses in the wood. In this occasion, Ulysses told Pacciani he was the mass murder. This is the first and the last time that Vanni said something about the monster’s identity. When detectives asked him to talk about Ulysses, Vanni refused to. He was scared, maybe, like Pacciani.
15 Someone says Ulysses was a fashion designer gay named Mario Robert Parker (who died for AIDS in the summer of 1996).
Why had Pacciani to be scared of a dead man? “Someone” should be Gabriella Ghiribelli, dubbed by the Italian detective “Gamma”, like the third letter of the greek alphabet. Gamma was considered completely unreliable by all specialists of the case, including the former General Attorney of Florence. Gamma didn’t indicate Parker – as someonelse has written – but one other man not identified. The Police questioned Gamma and later just gave the name Ulysses to the only african-american man who appeared in the list of suspects. That happened because it was not clear the meaning of the word “Nero” used by Vanni. It might mean a black-skin man, for example. But Parker’s mother denied his son was called “Ulysses” and Vanni didn’t confirm. If the detectives opened their greek vocabulary on the word “nero”, they would find this word in greek means “water”.
16 Does “nero” mean “water”?
The pronunciation of the Italian word “nero” is the same as the word that in Greek means “water”, that is one part of the Bevilacqua’s lastname (“bevi l’acqua” means “drink the water”).
17 Vanni at some point of the conversation said Ulysses was “a negro”.
At the beginning of the conversation Vanni talked about “Nero” not like it was the skin’s colour of Ulysses, but a name. Only later, after the insistence of his friend, Vanni changed the italian word that means “black” in “negro”, mostly a sign that he didn’t know what this term refered to. But “black” may be a lot of things. For example, there is not only the word “water” in greek, that could explain why the Monster might adopt the nickname “Nero”. There is also a famous italian actor called Nero (Franco) who was famous for his western movies, like Django. It’s known that Zodiac was a reader of comics with western star like Tim Holt as main character. And Nero played also in the 1966 movie: “Bible: in the beginning…” (the same sentence quoted in the stamp used by Zodiac in 1970). Finally, Nero may be also the translation of Black, a possible nickname that someone with the unpronounceable italian surname Bevilacqua might have used when he was in the USA.
18 Why would “Ulysses, Nero, the American” be Bevilacqua?
When, in a meeting at Bevilacqua’s home, I read out loud this conversation, Bevilacqua said with rage: “I think that someone will kill Vanni”. And, then, the former CID agent’s home was located 300 meters below the crime scene of the last Monster’s double murder, it was on american territory, on the edge of the wood of Scopeti, a place where – Bevilacqua himself stated – he had met Pacciani more than one time (read for example La Repubblica, June 7, 1994).
19 Does exist any correlation between Ulysses and Zodiac?
In the “My name is” cipher of April 20, 1970, Zodiac put two letters, K and M. In the “Bevilacqua’s solution” comes out the name of an actor who played Ulysses in an Italian tv show in 1968, Bekim Fehmiu. Ulysses is also the letterary descendant of Phlebas, a character of The Waste Land of T.S. Eliot whose verses was quoted by Zodiac and by an anonymous Monster of Florence both. Movies and readings cheat out him.
20 Some criminologist has said Zodiac can’t be the Monster.
I am a journalist not a psychologist. Facts don’t say the Monster can’t be Zodiac, but the opposite. Facts are killing method, shot method, typology of victims, murder zones etc. All of those things said the Monster and Zodiac are quite similar also in theory.
Facts don’t say Zodiac sent letters and the Monster not. Facts say only that they send letters both, doing the same mistakes. Facts don’t even say the Monster killed only couples in the Florence’s province with a .22 LR gun: those are investigative simplifications, at best.
The only difference between the two interpretations of the same killer seems to be the mutilations of the female’s victim bodies. But Zodiac announced he’d do it since 29th november 1966, in the “confession letter”, where he wrote: “I shall cut off her female parts and deposit them to the whole city to see”. And nobody knows if Zodiac didn’t mutilate his victims never found, like Donna Lass, for example.
21 Don’t you think Bevilacqua is a mythomaniac?
A former CID agent named Joe Bevilacqua put his finger on the only key ever found in 50 years for cracking the Zodiac Killer’s name, wich nobody has decrypted before a journalist asked him for an help, and the solution that comes out is: “My name is Joe Bevilacqua”. It’s also a matter of probabilities.
Joe Bevilacqua’s profile correspond to the Zodiac identikit also. He has a physical charateristic that all the survived witnesses noted: a big stomach. He wears shoes 12’’ long. When he was young he was 5.7’’ height, 198 lb weight, with black crew cut hair, which became salt and pepper in the 80’s.
22 “The solution of the Zodiac cipher makes no sense, you can find the names of the whole humanity!”
Just words. Six months are gone since I’ve pubblished the solution. Nobody following the same logical method (as “grotesque” as human) has been able to find the name of anybody else on the letter of Zodiac of April 20, 1970. Even if it happened, it would need explain also why in the same letter Zodiac used the word “cid” instead of “kid”, like the former CID agent Bevilacqua has already done.
By the way, there is not one, but a lot of solutions of the “rebuses” of Zodiac that indicate Joe Bevilacqua as the author of the letters. Other examples: the theme of the whole correspondence of Zodiac is the “death by water” ; the nickname and the symbol of Zodiac are the same of a diver watch; his final explicit signature is a quote of a drowning… There are few doubts that the surname of Zodiac can be “drinkthewater” regardless of the ciphers solutions. It’s not the same for all other suspects.
23 The “birthday call”. Someone says Zodiac didn’t call the attorney Melvin Belli and telling his domestic it was his birthday – according to the San Francisco Police Department. And if it happened, it was not on December 20th, Joe Bevilacqua’s date of birth.
At the end of December 1969, someone who said he was Zodiac made a phone call to the house of the attorney Melvin Belli. The real killer had been recently sent a letter to the lawyer asking for his help. “I am drowning”, he had been written. At the phone, Zodiac didn’t find the lawyer, but his house keeper: “Belli is traveling to Europe” she said. The interlocutor stated: “I can’t wait, it’s my birthday”.
The date of the phone call of “Zodiac” was never published by SFPD, that informed the FBI only on 14th January 1970.
Data: A) until the end of December only the real Zodiac knew he had mailed a letter addressed to Belli; B) on 20th December, according to the Chronicle journalist, Paul Avery, Belli was in flight to Europe; C) on 20th December of the previous year Zodiac had killed a couple in Vallejo; D) on 5th January FBI agents wrote to SFPD they’d screen later the suspects with similar dates of birth sent by SFPD since the previous 29th December.
Question: when did Zodiac make a phone call to Belli’s house?
I note that probably the real Zodiac made a phone call to Belli’s house (point A) between 20th and 29th december (points B, C, D). I deduct so that if Zodiac didn’t lie and he had to kill someone because it was his birthday, Zodiac was probably born on 20th December, the date of the 1968 double murder, the same date of birth of Bevilacqua.
24 Someone says: “Bevilacqua can’t be Zodiac because the “Red Phantom – letter” was sent in July 1974, when Bevilacqua was already in Florence”.
The “Red Phantom – letter” is not attributed to Zodiac. Furthermore, it’s not possible to state that the letter was sent on the same day of the postmark or that Bevilacqua was already in Florence on 1st july, even if is officially indicated by the Annual report of the ABMC published in 1976.
25 According to your solution, the 18 final symbols of the 408 cipher contain the name “Bevilacqua Giuseppe”. Bevilacqua, however, says that his name is not Giuseppe but Joe. And it appears “Joseph” in some documents of the ABMC.
It’s not a matter. In other documents of the agency Joseph is called “Joe”. They are the english translation of Giuseppe and his diminutive. When “Joe” went to testify in 1994 or signed a formal document in 2017 used the name Giuseppe. But if you ask him, his name is Joe, not Giuseppe. That explains why in the end of the 408 cipher, according to the Harden’s solution, Zodiac said he didn’t put his name while in the letter he wrote he had put his “identity” in the cipher. The solution of the apparent contraditiction is that: for Zodiac his name is not the same name contained in his identity. In fact, Bevilacqua’s identity is “Bevilacqua Giuseppe”, but his name (for him) is Joe. In fact, in the My name is – letter Bevilacqua put Joe and not Giuseppe.
26 Did Bevilacqua really tell you that Heavenly Valley is the place where he would hide the body of Donna Lass, if he had been the Zodiac Killer?
Bevilacqua demonstrated me his knowledge of the Lake Tahoe areas, where he was in 1970 – according to him –. On my question about Donna Lass, he made a circle around Heavenly Valley, saying that he would take the body of the victim there, because it means “paradise“.
The sentence of the stamp affixed by Zodiac on the card “dedicated” to the murder of Donna Lass contains the first words of the Bible: “In the beginning God…“. The sentence continues: “created the Heavens“.
27 In what era did Bevilacqua fight in Vietnam?
According to his stories, Bevilacqua fought in Vietnam between 1967 and 1968 in the 25th infantry division.
28 Someone says that in a picture Bevilacqua wears a Navy uniform.
Someone talks about the ABMC uniform.
29 “You don’t know much about the Monster case, because you once wronged the name of a witness on Facebook”.
The former prosecutor in charge of the Monster case, Paolo Canessa, in a trial, during the deposition of the expert Giovanni Iadevito, said a wrong date of a crime several times. So?
30 “Bevilacqua doesn’t know the Monster case because, according to your story, he mispelled the surname of a suspect”.
Bevilacqua nicknamed a man Raggianti instead of Vigilanti. The storpiatura of surnames is simply the result of his sarcasm. Like when he wrote “Averly” instead of Avery. Like when he says “Orphy” instead of “Ophy”.
31 What is Ophy?
She is Ophelia, the Bevilacqua’s bulldog. It is also the diminutive of the most famous female name on track with the killer’s obsession. The death by water.