The child killer: the first serial killer was from Incisa

Whoever tells you a “horror story” always statesbeforehand that it is a true story and that it is something that has happened to someone they know. The story of  Carlinol’Ammazzabambini really is atrue story. The murderer was from Incisa and so were his victims -  Children from Incisa. This is neither a ghoststory nor a story about knights without heads or dames in ethereal robes. Thisis a story about poverty, about life in the village 140 years ago when inIncisa there were about 3000 inhabitants.

Between 1873 and 1875four children from Incisa just disappeared. Luigi Bonechi, 4years-old who disappeared on March 18, 1873. Then, on February 2, 1875 ArturoDegl’Innocenti, also 4-years old disappeared. From August 25, 1875 FortunatoPaladini, 9 years-old was not to be found again and the day after AngioloMartelli, 7 years-old disappeared. In those times children played in the streetsand swam in the river Arno. Already at the ageof 4 or 5, children left the house at dawn and returned after midnight.Accidents happened and the mortality rate was high. But everyone knewevery- one and if something happened it was surely because of a gypsy, astranger.

When on August 29, 1875 thelittle girl Giulia Monsecchi could hear the screams of a child coming from theshop of Carlino Grandi in “via Petrarca” in front of the Municipality, no onereally understood what was going on. Some people ran to the shop and they saved   

Amerigo Turchi, 9 years old. Carlino manages to run upstairs to his house and lockhimself inside.

 People made a horriblediscovery. The little Amerigo had been forced to lie down in a small pit whichhad been dug in the earth at the very back of Carlino’s shop. After the earthhad been removed, they discovered one little body after an other. The fourchildren who had disappeared had died there, strangled in a shop in thecentre of Incisa, where they then had been buried in a shoddy way.

Only the arrival of thepolice on horse-back saved Carlino from being lynched by the furious crowd ofIncisa. From that day Carlino, was called “the child killer”. Yet anothernickname. It was all these various nicknames, that people had given to Carlino,that triggered these brutal murders. They called him “Baldhead”, “ deformeddwarf”

or “Twenty-one fingers”because he had a malformed foot with 6 toes.

After always being pickedupon and humiliated as an “idiot and imbecile”, this short, bald, twenty-four year old individual had been brought toexasperation. Also because he saw himself as a very intelligent, smart and wiseperson. He devoured books and even planned to write one himself, about a“person who had killed thirteen people and by doing so had done theright thing and was even given a prize for it”. He was an egocentric person,Carlino, and the inhabitants of Incisa said that he was born deformed and nastybecause his father, while his mother was pregnant with him, had kept a skullon the table and this had “given him bad blood”.

Carlino spent twenty yearsin prison. When he got out, in October 1895, just the thought of himcoming back to Incisa caused half a revolution. What were they going to do thenwith Carlino the Child killer, who in prison had written hundreds ofpages, including the “Novel about Carlo Grandi from Incisa” who was against the“crooks” from Incisa. He had made a monument of himself out of bread crumbswhich he then buried.    

No one wanted him. Seeingfor sure he was a mad man, he ended up in the mental home of San Salvi. Thestory of the Child killer from Incisa ended in October 1911, whenCarlino died at the age of 59 years old. Many years before Pacciani and hispic-nic friends, before Jack the ripper (London1888) and so one of the first serial killers was Carlino Grandi. The bald dwarffrom Incisa.