Search continues for fugitive serial killer

Police call Bartolomeo Gagliano 'very dangerous'

(ANSA) - Rome, December 19 - The search continued Thursday for a fugitive serial killer who took advantage of a good behavior leave from prison to take flight in Genoa. Police have called Bartolomeo Gagliano, 55, ''very dangerous''. Gagliano was convicted of three murders and an attempted murder in the 1980s. The victims were two prostitutes and a transsexual. Another prostitute was seriously injured in an attack by him. Gagliano has served years in a criminal psychiatric hospital. His criminal past includes robberies, extortion, narcotics and arms possession, and fleeing psychiatric hospitals, authorities said. Gagliano at dawn on Tuesday threatened a baker at gunpoint to drive him to Genoa, where he was supposed to turn himself back to prison authorities after a leave on good behavior. Instead he disappeared. The baker said he was unable to recognize Gagliano from police photos, and commented on his captor's good manners. ''With me he was a gentleman. He behaved well. During the trip he always kept his pistol in his pocket,'' the baker said. Prostitutes in the region are on the alert, and have organized defense measures in a number of locations. A man resembling Gagliano on Wednesday night was seen in the emergency room in the town of Lavagna, but police found it was not him after examining footage taken by video surveillance cameras.