Roberto Succo


Roberto Succo

A.K.A.: "The Killer of Eyes of Ice"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Parricide - Rape - Considered Public Enemy number one by France, Italy and Switzerland
Number of victims: 7
Date of murders: 1981 / 1987 - 1988
Date of arrest: February 28, 1988
Date of birth: April 3, 1962
Victims profile: His parents Nazario and Marisa Succo / André Castillo, 38 (policeman) / France Vu-Dinh, 30 / Michel Astoul, 26 / Claudine Duchosal, 40 / Michel Morandin, 35 (policeman)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife / Shooting
Location: Italy / France
Status: Sentenced to 10 years in a psychiatric prison in Reggio Emilia. Escaped from the psychiatric hospital on May 15, 1986. Committed suicide by suffocating himself with a plastic bag in his cell on May 23, 1988

Accused of murdering three policemen and three civilians in France, Robert Succo was apprehended by Italian authorities in the spring of 1988. Confined at Vincenza, he was examined by psychiatrists who diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic and a danger to society.

In May, a judge found Succo incapable of comprehending the charges or participating in his own defense, thus paving the way for committal to an asylum. Before the next logical step could be taken, Succo played his hole card, suffocating himself with a plastic bag on the night of May 23, 1988. His death was ruled a suicide.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans

Roberto Succo

He left a trail of inexplicable murders, rapes, muggings and burglaries in his wake, along with the inconsolable families of his victims. Like a lone wolf blending invisibly into the landscape, he had the police investigators racking their brains with nothing to connect the crimes until finally, in January 1988 in Toulon, he shot and killed a police officer in cold blood.

In the course of a full-scale, month-long manhunt that reached into Switzerland, he was declared public enemy number one. Although his description was circulated nation-wide, he could not be found. Each time the police came, he gave them the slip. They finally caught up with him in northern Italy, near his family home.

When I began my inquiries in Toulon, Roberto Succo had just been arrested. A girl who loved him in Savoy had given a name to the unknown fugitive with the many faces and false identities. It was discovered that he had killed his mother and father. That knowledge alone should have deterred me from going any further.

When the news of his tragic death was announced in May 1988, although I knew that those who murder their own family often come to such an end, I could not bring myself to accept the bleak fact of his insanity. I could not believe that a young man with an almost peaceful life could at the same time shatter the lives of the unfortunates who crossed his path, yelling “I’ll kill you!” at the least provocation and then cold-bloodedly executing them. There had to be an explanation for so much violence, so many motiveless murders and so much grief and pain.

Brandishing catchwords like “serial killer” and “maniac” is one way of shielding ourselves from the idea of the extreme madness that possessed Roberto Succo. But there is another, more perilous way of trying to come to grips with tragedy.

Roberto Succo, also known as Roberto Zucco, (April 3, 1962 – May 23, 1988) was born in Venice, Italy. He was a serial killer who murdered several people in Europe in 1987 and 1988.


Succo committed his first known murders on April 9, 1981 when he fatally stabbed his mother and strangled his father, a Police officer; they had refused to lend him their car. He then escaped, hiding his parents' bodies in the bathtub covered in water and lime to delay the discovery of the murders, and taking away his father's service pistol. After Succo was caught, he was judged mentally ill and he was sentenced to 10 years in a psychiatric prison in Reggio Emilia. While in the facility, he studied and earned a degree in political science.

On May 15, 1986, after serving five years of his sentence, Succo escaped from the psychiatric hospital. He evaded police and left the country to travel to France by rail. In the next few years, Succo committed numerous crimes ranging from burglary to rape to murder; in France, he raped and killed two teenage girls, murdered a physician, and two Police officers who were about to capture him.

He kidnapped, hijacked, and terrorized people across at least four European countries. He was considered Public Enemy number one by France, Italy and Switzerland.

On February 28, 1988, he was caught in his hometown of Mestre (on the Italian mainland across from Venice and within the Venetian region known as the Veneto ). On March 1, 1988, during the course of an escape attempt he fell off the roof of the prison in which he was detained. He committed suicide in his cell on May 23, 1988.


In 1988, Bernard-Marie Koltès wrote a play based on Succo's life and his crimes. In 2001, Pascale Froment wrote the book Roberto Succo about the murderer's life. The book was the basis for the movie Roberto Succo, directed by Cédric Kahn.

Kahn's movie tells the story of Roberto Succo's life without judging his actions. This neutral point of view was criticized by the French police, who thought the heroic description of Succo in the film was shameful.

Italian Serial Killer Roberto Succo: "I Am a Killer. I Kill People."

May 20, 2009

Mestre, Italy, is a mere six miles away from Venice and has been called Venice's "dormitory town" as a large percentage of the people who work in Venice choose to commute the easy six miles twice a day while living in Mestre. It is a working class town and noteworthy things hardly ever happen there. But the killing spree that Roberto Succo engaged in, starting with the murder of his parents in Mestre, must, unfortunately, be classed as noteworthy.

Roberto Succo has the unfortunate distinction of having been Public Enemy Number 1 in France, Italy and the Swiss Confederation. His murderous career began in April 1981 when, while still in high school, he fatally stabbed his mother, stabbed and then strangled his father and then placed their bodies in their bathtub and tried to hide them by covering them with water and lime. Later, he would give his reasons for these horrendous crimes as his parents' being too overbearing and not wanting to lend him their car.

After he killed his parents, he took the car that he had so coveted, his father's Alfa Romeo Alfasud, but he did not have it for long as the police caught up with him only two days later. After being declared insane, he was sentenced to ten years in the psychiatric prison at Reggio Emilia. He quickly became bored with the monotony of prison life and decided to finish high school and then to obtain a degree in political science.

He escaped from the prison in May 1986 after being temporarily released to write an examination, and went to France where he began a killing spree that spread across Europe. No one was safe and his crimes ranged across at least four countries as he hijacked, assaulted and killed people without regard for age, gender or occupation.

It was, ironically, in his home town of Mestre that authorities finally caught up with him and he was arrested for a second time in February 1988. During his initial interrogation by the police, he was asked for details of his profession and he answered simply: "I am a killer. I kill people.". Not one to let life pass him by, he escaped again during March 1988 but was also caught again after he fell off the prison roof while staging a spectacle for the press. He broke three ribs and his shoulder in this attempt to gain publicity for his plight; he had hoped that he would, once again, be declared insane and sentenced to more time in the psychiatric hospital. When this did not work, he opted for a more permanent type of escape and committed suicide during May 1988 by gassing himself in his cell.

A serial killer qualified for a degree in political science? It does make you think, doesn't it?

SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE: PC-nonspecific

MO: Paranoid schizophrenic slayer of three policemen and three civilians.

DISPOSITION: Suicide in Italian jail, May 23, 1988.

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo with his parents.

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo escape attemp

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo

Roberto Succo