nicolas volpe

The Beasts of Satan

The Beasts of Satan (Italian: Bestie di Satana) were a group of Italian young satanists, who killed 4-18 people from January 17, 1998 to January 24, 2004.

The nightmare began with the death of a 19-year-old girl called Chiara Marino and his boyfriend Fabio Tollis, a 16-year-old heavy metal musician. They had spent a normal night with their friends Andrea Volpe, Nicola Sapone and Mario Maccione, drinking, talking about Satan and listening to metal music. When they were returning home Volpe, Sapone and Maccione stabbed them to death; then they danced on their graves listening to death metal and shouting: “ Now you’re both zombies! Try to get out of this hole, if you dare!“.

When the police officers interrogated the group about Chiara and Fabio, they said that the couple had run away for a love affair but Fabio’s father, Michele Tollis, didn’t accept the explanation and he began his own investigation. He discovered quickly that his son and their friends had become involved in Satanism and parties with drugs and alcohol, and their passion for metal music.

After the murder of Chiara and Fabio the Beasts decided to induce Andrea Bontade (a member of the group) to suicide because he was guilty of cowardice: they drugged him with a drink with pills and he died in a terrible car accident.

The last victim was Volpe’s prior girlfriend, called Mariangela Pezzotta: she was shot and buried when she was still alive in a greenhouse.

The police arrested Elisabetta Ballarin (the man’s actual fiancée) and the rest of the group: they killed Elisabetta because she knew too much about the murders of Chiara, Fabio and Andrea’s suicide. Probably the Beasts killed other 14 people, but their corpses have never been found.

On February 22, 2005 Andrea Volpe and Pietro Guerrieri were sentenced  to 30 and 16 years imprisonment respectively. Volpe was also found guilty of the 2004 slaying of Pezzotta. Mario Maccione, had also confessed to the murders, but was cleared due to his secondary role in the crimes. Five more members of the group went to trial in June 2005 and were sentenced to long prison terms in 2006. Nicola Sapone, the leader, received a life sentence; Paolo Leoni, Marco Zampollo, Eros Monterosso and Elisabetta Ballarin, received sentences between 24 and 26 years for their role in the three murders.

The case became very popular and discuss in Italy and a long sequence of debates about metal music and Satanism began. A lot of newspapers accused the trash metal band Slayer of instigation to kill; the murderers often listened to Slayer’s songs, especially Kill Again. The guitarist Jeff Hannemann rejected the charges: in an interview to Metal Hammer Italia he said that it was “really stupid”.