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Wolfgang Abel
Born 1959 (1959)
Düsseldorf West Germany
Charge(s) serial killer
Penalty 27 years imprisonment
Mario Furlan
Charge(s) serial killer
Penalty 27 years imprisonment

Wolfgang Abel and Mario Furlan were arrested for a series of murders in Italy between 1977 and 1984. They claimed innocence, saying they were scapegoats for a police force that could not find the real criminals.


The crimes

At each of these crime scenes was a leaflet, written in Italian, headed with the name 'Ludwig' over a Nazi eagle and swastika. Each had a slogan, such as "We are the last of the Nazis" and "Death comes to those who betray the true god"[1], and explained the reason for each murder. According to the leaflets the victims were chosen because they were "sub-human"; being homosexual, prostitutes, drug addicts; and needed to be eliminated.

Abel and Furlan's criminal career together began in August 1977, when they burned a Gypsy drug addict alive.

  • In Padua they stabbed a casino worker to death. This was followed shortly by the beating and stabbing of a homosexual waiter in Venice who died from his thirty-four knife wounds.
  • In Vicenza they axed a prostitute and crushed the skulls of two priests with a hammer.
  • They burned a sleeping hitch-hiker to death in Verona.
  • In Trento a homosexual priest was killed with a nail hammered in his forehead, followed by a chisel with a wooden cross on it.
  • On March 3, 1984, in Mantua Abel and Furlan, dressed in Pierrot costumes, were caught dousing the carpet and furniture in a crowded discotheque with gasoline.

Trial and after

Despite being arrested in March 1984, their trial did not begin until December 1986, the intervening time spent in jail. The trial lasted until January 1987 when they were found guilty of 10 out of 27 counts of murder, and in February they were sentenced to 30 years in prison. However, in the appeal procedures both men were released on bail.

Abel moved to Mestrino and Furlan to Casale Scodosia. Furlan fled the country. He was captured in May 1995 living in Crete under a false name and was returned to Italy. In the meantime the appeals court in Venice had sentenced both him and Abel to 27 years in prison. In prison Furan attempted suicide.

In April 2008 Furan appealed to be released into the care of social workers.[2] This was refused, but arrangements were made for his release. He was released in January 2009.


  1. ^ Lane, Brian; Wilfred Gregg (1992,1995). The Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers. New York City: Berkley Book. p. 28. ISBN 0-42515-213-8.  
  2. ^ Il Messaggero, 23 April 2008 (in Italian)


  • Lane, Brian; Wilfred Gregg (1992,1995). The Encyclopedia Of Serial Killers. New York City: Berkley Book. pp. 27–29. ISBN 0-42515-213-8.  

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