Valentine's Day is supposed to be a day of love, care and affection. A day to celebrate the relationship held between you and your partner. Whether that's with a meal at a swanky restaurant, or just curling up together on the sofa to watch your favorite horror movie.
Whilst I fully understand those who do not wish to participate in the day, either because they're single or on political grounds (i.e. think it's a bit dumb), this gruesome Valentine's tale takes it a whole lot further.
It involves violence, prostitution, and murder, and is far more disturbing than the plot of any horror flick.
The Valentine's Day Serial Killer
The disturbing true story of the Valentine's Day serial killer begins in a small and picturesque coastal town in Savona, western Italy.
On one fateful night in 1981, local man Bartolomeo Gagliano embarked on a murderous killing spree. He set out for the town's red light district and then brutally murdered a 29-year-old prostitute, smashing her head with a rock.
He was quickly arrested but later was deemed 'mentally incapable' of committing the crime. He was sentenced to eight years in a criminal asylum.
But just a few years later, Gagliano and a fellow inmate, Francesco Sedda, broke out of the asylum eager to continue the bloody massacres.
Less than a month after escaping, with Valentine's Day once again looming, the two convicts killed a Uruguayan transsexual, Nahir Fernandez Rodriguez, in cold blood. Firing shots repeatedly through her mouth.
Three days later on Valentine 's Day 1989, the pair shot dead shot dead Francesco Panizzi, a drug addicted transvestite. By this point it was too much of a coincidence, the press nicknamed Gagliano the "Valentine's Monster."
After a lengthy investigation, he was arrested and detained at another psychiatric asylum.
When giving evidence in court, the "Valentine's Monster" reportedly tried to justify his actions by saying he only targeted individuals who "spread the HIV virus."
Scarily, Gagliano managed to escape again in the summer of 2013. He was visiting his elderly mother, on day leave for good behavior, when he gave the authorities the slip. His escape sparked a worldwide manhunt before he was eventually caught in the city of Menton, in the south of France. He was in possession of a firearm.
Happy Valentine's, everyone!