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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 17:31 GMT
Italian 'Beasts of Satan' jailed
Pietro Guerrieri
Pietro Guerrieri has been sentenced to 16 years in jail
The Italian mastermind of three gruesome "satanic" murders has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

A second member of the cult involved in the murders received a 16-year term, while a third man was acquitted.

The killings, which shocked Italy, were carried out by a heavy metal band calling itself the Beasts of Satan.

The three victims were a woman shot and then buried alive in 2004 and a teenage couple, who were murdered six years earlier.

Andrea Volpe, the leader of the heavy metal group and the main culprit in the murders, has been handed down a longer prison sentence than expected.

His prosecutors had asked for 20 years on the grounds that had cooperated with investigators and shown remorse.

Pietro Guerrieri is to serve the 16-year term.

Buried alive

"Today justice rewarded me", said Michele Tollis, the father of Fabio, who was only 16 when he was killed and buried along with his 19-year-old girlfriend Chiara in a forest not far from Milan.

But Chiara's mother, Lina Marino, was outraged at the punishment, which she considered too lenient.

"They are murderers. It's not fair," she said.

The 1998 murders were carried out as part of drug fuelled rituals involving sex and heavy metal music.

The couple, themselves members of the heavy metal band, were killed in woods northeast of Milan and then buried next to each other.

Volpe was also found guilty of the 2004 murder of his own girlfriend, 27-year-old Mariangela Pezzotta, who was shot and buried alive in a forest.

It was the discovery of her body that helped investigators solve the 1998 case.

A third defendant was acquitted at the end of the fast-track trial on Tuesday, but five more members of the cult are due to go to trial in June.




SEE ALSO:
German Satanists jailed
31 Jan 02 |  Europe


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