Undertaker 'paid killer nurse for tip-offs'
Published 20/05/2010 | 05:00
An Italian nurse has been arrested on suspicion of murdering seven pensioners at a care home and profiting by tipping off funeral parlours.
Angelo Stazzi (65) is suspected of killing at least seven people by injecting them with overdoses of insulin. Detectives believe he would murder patients in his care and then recommend the use of certain funeral parlours to their families, receiving a "commission" from the undertakers.
Mr Stazzi has been in jail since October last year, when he was arrested on suspicion of killing a nurse with whom he was having a relationship.
Maria Teresa Dell'Unto (58) disappeared in 2001, but the case remained unsolved for eight years. His former lover's remains were found buried in Mr Stazzi's garden.
He had been under suspicion for some time and police wiretapped his phones.
The evidence also led police to suspect that Mr Stazzi may have been responsible for the premature deaths of seven patients at the care home in the town of Tivoli, outside Rome, between 2007 and 2009.
When police searched his home last month, they reportedly found syringes, needles and insulin.
The alleged victims, five women and two men, were in their 70s and 80s. Several suffered from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
Mr Stazzi's lawyers denied that he had anything to do with the deaths. "Our client is neither a murderer nor, least of all, a serial killer," said Cristiano Pazienti.
"Stazzi in no way bears the profile of a serial killer. We have read with dismay what has been written about him in recent days."
The media has already called Mr Stazzi "the Angel of Death". (© Daily Telegraph, London)