The 1994 trial of Pacciani made international headlines helped by the fact that it was televised. It attracted the attention of author Thomas Harris, who sat through much of the trial. But despite the grisly criminal past of Pacciani fitting perfectly, little of the evidence did. It was mainly circumstantial. He protested his innocence but was convicted of seven double murders and was given 16 life sentences. Two years later, his conviction was overturned on appeal. But the police were now convinced he was part of a ritualistic slaying gang and just before his release, Mario Vanni and Giancarlo Lotti, were arrested.
Pacciani’s reprieve was, however, quite literally, short lived. In December 1996, his retrial was ordered but he died two years later, aged 73. Despite his old age, many suspected he was silenced before he could name names. The combination of drugs found in his system supported this theory.
His conspirators, Vanni and Lotti were convicted of participating in five of the double slayings and remain in jail to this day.