Deadly Place

Posted: July 18, 2011 in History Stuff, Travel Stuff
Tags: , , ,

I visited two museums off the tourist track in Florence, Italy: The Museum of Serial Killers and the House of Horrors near my hostel.  I was the only tourist in both.  The museum of Serial Killers had a warning outside saying the sensitive should not enter.  My morbid curiousity took over.  I walked through the ominous looking curtain to find Bluebeard staring back at me.

Gilles De Rais (1404) was a French noble believed to have inspired the Bluebeard legend due to the blue tones in his shiny moustache.  He is the first known serial killer.  He carried out his sick murderous crimes during the 100 year war and fought alongside Joan of Arc.  He was made the Marshall of France for his efforts and retreated to his castle to draw in his victims.  They were mostly young boys who were attracted to the castle with the promise of servant work.  He sometimes sent his servants out to lure them in.  He abused and tortured 50 known victims but presumed victims range from 200-800.  He then hung and burned his victims in the cellar of his castle.  They were not discovered for so long due to the loyalty of his servants and his social standing in France.  When captured, he described with coldness and conceit how he could not control his murderous urges.  He was not the only one.

“I had always known that I would kill, the fantasies were too strong, lasting for too long and were too elaborate for me to ignore”  E. Kemper (1948).

Charles Manson

  The Serial Killer Museum boasts that Criminology began in Italy in 1876.  It has exhibits on Jack the Ripper, John Wayne Gacy, Albert Fish, the Monster of Rostov, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Ed Gein and an English speaking audio to match.  I moved on to the next exhibit.  Jack the Ripper.  He had his back to me and his bloodied victim Mary lay motionless on the floor.  I sat down to have a listen to the audio.  A spooky voice announced his modus operandi i.e. his way of doing the deed.  Strangulation.  Followed by gutting with the precision of a surgeon.  I was busy taking notes.  Then, I looked up.  He was wearing his signature dark black cloak and top hat.  I half expected his head to slowly start to turn around and look at me.  Murderously.  I was getting a bit freaked out.  Maybe I was a bit sensitive… I longed for someone else to enter the basement museum.  Then, a woman came along and started taking some photos.  Phew… Good Idea.  Ted Bundy was next…

Ted Bundy

  I listened to each one and wondered why there is such a fascination with serial killers.  Is it so we can try to recognise one and escape their clutches?  They lurk among us.  I read an article about how some University students thought it would be interesting to get inside the mind of a killer and sent a letter to the “Happy Face Killer” in prison.  He agreed to the interview and they phoned him in class.  He charmed the class.  He told a joke and they laughed.  That’s what freaked me out the most.  The class thought he was nice & friendly.  His victims know the truth.  The House of Horrors was next…

Hands Off

  1. THis sounds like my type of day…great post..ELiza Keating

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