Convicted serial killer hijacks car, slips police

Bartolomeo Gagliano, 55, 'very dangerous'

(ANSA) - Genoa, December 18 - A convicted serial killer hijacked a civilian car at gunpoint on Wednesday and was on the loose after a temporary release. Bartolomeo Gagliano, 55, who was convicted for the murders of two prostitutes and a man plus an attempted murder between 1981 and 1989, was detained at Genoa's Marassi jail. Police said Gagliano, who is considered "very dangerous", forced a driver to stop at gunpoint at dawn Wednesday in Savona, in the northwestern Liguria region, and asked him to drive him to Genoa. He then forced the man, who works at a local bakery, out of the car and disappeared. The man said Gagliano had three bags with him. Gagliano had already escaped from a criminal psychiatric hospital in Montelupo Fiorentino near Florence in 1989. He has also been convicted for robbery, drugs and weapons possession, aggression and extortion. He had been granted a permit to leave jail to visit his mother in Savona, a reward for his good conduct over the past three years, prison authorities said.