Rome residents fear that there is a serial killer like ‘Jack the Ripper’ walking around: three prostitutes killed close to each other

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Three prostitutes murdered within half a mile. With the same knife. Italian police fear they are dealing with a serial killer. Extra police must prevent Rome’s ‘Jack the Ripper’ from striking again.

Thierry Goeman

Patrols in the Prati neighborhood have been stepped up and the police are calling on sex workers to take good care of each other. It is feared that the killer who struck Thursday evening would make more victims. It is now certain that it was the same perpetrator each time. The autopsies show that the three sex workers were killed with the same knife and that they had similar injuries to the abdominal area. The police did not give further details, but say that the perpetrator has lashed out several times.

The first body, of a Chinese woman, was found Thursday afternoon by a neighbor coming home from work. She lay naked on the landing of her apartment. The police suspect that the perpetrator was a customer and that she tried to flee.

When the officers entered the flat where she received her clients, they found a second body there. Also a woman of Chinese origin, and she too was stabbed in the abdomen. “Everyone knew that they received customers there, it was often a coming and going of men here until late at night,” said a neighbor.

Their identities have not yet been officially confirmed, but they are said to be a 25-year-old and a 42-year-old who came to Europe with false promises and were forced into prostitution here.

Camera images

While the investigation in their flat on Via Augusto Riboty was still in progress, the police received a new call. Half a mile away, on Via Durazzo, a third murder had been discovered. With the same weapon, as it turned out later. And again the perpetrator planted the knife several times in the abdomen of his victim.

Marta Castano Torres, a 65-year-old Colombian, shared her apartment with her sister and prostituted herself to support her daughter. That sister, a trans woman, also received men there and discovered the drama.

The police hope to be able to identify the perpetrator quickly on the basis of camera images, among other things. There are quite a few surveillance cameras in the area, but many prostitutes apparently also film their customers with a hidden camera. Those images could now contain crucial information.

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