The concern over ritualised satanic killings is usually misplaced and the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of the motivation of some murders. However the Beast of Satan killings were interpreted as validating Italian society’s concern over satanism in the early 2000′s.
In 1998 a young teenage couple were brutally murdered by their friends, all of whom were involved in the black metal music scene in Italy at the time. The crime would later be described as a drug fuelled satanic rite, where the young couple were stabbed to death. The father of one of the victim’s was convinced that the disappearance of his son had some connection to his involvement in the black metal scene, and he would conduct a personal investigation into his disappearance that would stretch out for another six years. The murderers were Andrea Volpe, Nicola Sapone and Mario Maccione - all members of the black metal band ‘Beast of Satan’.
They would not be apprehended by the authorities however until the committed their third murder six years later. The victim this time was Mariangela Pezzotta, a 27 year old who was the ex-girlfriend of Volpe. She was shot in the throat, hit several times with a shovel and then buried alive. This was not an alleged ritualistic killing, but instead an attempt to silence someone who knew too much about the bands past. Volpe, and his fiancé at the time, attempted to move the body to hide the evidence, but were apprehended when the car they were using to transport the corpse crashed.
The group are also thought to have played a part in the death of their drummer, who completed suicide, however authorities were never able to conclusively link the other members to his death.
It’s worth noting that the first murders committed by members of the band was carried out while they were heavily under the influence of drugs, and the later murder was motivated solely by self-preservation. Despite this the authorities viewed the crimes and the link to death metal, as proof of a network of satanic sects across Italy, and attempted to set up a special satanist task force in the wake of the Beast of Satan trial.