Mario Spezi released

Last Saturday morning, the Italian journalist who most recently had co-written a book with Douglas Preston on the Monster of Florence was unexpectedly released from jail. He’d been arrested early last month, accused of “sidetracking the investigation into the mutilation deaths” of 16 people between 1968 and 1985 that led to one of the most expensive, most notorious criminal cases in Italian history.

In an email statement, Preston explained the situation: “[On Saturday morning], unexpectedly, an independent three-judge panel annulled the imprisonment of the Italian journalist Mario Spezi and ordered his immediate release. He was set free unconditionally, not even under house arrest. The judges clearly did not think very highly of the evidence–or rather the lack thereof–that Judge Mignini and Chief Inspector Giuttari had presented against Spezi. While Spezi’s legal problems are far from over, at least he is finally out of the grim Capanne Prison.

My friends in Italy tell me that the enormous publicity surrounding the case, in Italy and in America, was an important reason why the panel took the unusual step of overruling a fellow judge and annulling Mignini’s order of imprisonment.”

“Something very ancient was

broadcasted, a false offense based on the tale of two

slanderers, like in the Inquisition,” Spezi said to the press upon his release yesterday. His wife, Miriam, added: “Twenty-three days in prison. Today

is the end of a nightmare.” Hopefully, that will end up being true, and a shameful event has finally been put to rest, at least in part.