Italian police on Tuesday recaptured the killer known as “Johnny the Gypsy” after he broke out of prison for a rendezvous with his lover.
Giuseppe Mastini, 60, was captured in a farmhouse in Sardinia after escaping on day release from prison in the city of Sassari.
Mastini, who was jailed for life in 1989 after a long criminal career of murder and robbery, had previously made seven escape attempts.
When Italian police recaptured him on Tuesday, he reportedly said: “You always escape for love.”
However, his long-time companion Giovanna Truzzi was not with him when he was arrested. In 2017, police found her with him after a separate escape, in violation of the terms of her own house arrest for credit card theft.
Police are not certain whether the pair met this time.
On Tuesday afternoon officials stopped Ms Truzzi for questioning as she attempted to board a ferry off Sardinia.
Born in the northern city of Bergamo in 1960, Mastini moved to Rome with his family of Roma travellers and started working in their fun-fair.
He soon began stealing cars, earning the moniker of “Johnny the Gypsy” among local gangs. Mastini was only 15 years old when he killed his first victim during a failed robbery attempt in 1975.
Since then, he has been convicted of carrying out two homicides, a kidnapping, and 25 robberies. Mastini and Truzzi had met in Rome when they were teenagers, but were then separated by their families, who opposed their relationship.
Mastini has also been accused of having played a role in the murder of famous Italian writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, but he always denied any involvement.