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Man 'confesses to the murder of Italian prostitute' who was crucified after being raped and tortured

There were fears that the murder could have marked the return of "The Monster of Florence" who killed 16 people between 1968 and 1985

A man who was arrested after a prostitute was found brutally raped, murdered and then crucified in the Italian city of Florence has reportedly confessed to the crime.

Ricardo Viti, a 55-year-old plumber who was taken into custody on Thursday, has confessed to the murder and is currently being held by police, according to The Times.

Viti allegedly told the police: "I'm finished. Nobody can save me now."

The victim, Andrea Cristina Zamfir, was found on Monday, stripped naked and pinned up against a metal barrier in a style reminiscent to that of a crucifixion.

Following the discovery of the 26-year-old’s body, police engaged in a massive manhunt across Florence to try and track down the perpetrator.

Viti was subsequently arrested and questioned bypolice, during which time the confession is said to have occurred.

Reacting to the alleged confession, Florence police chief Raffaele Micillo said: "We got the beast. He is definitely responsible for the act and probably for other similar occurrences."

When her body was found on Monday, many of Florence’s residents believed it could have marked the return of Il Mostro, the serial killer that author Thomas Harris based his character Hannibal Lecture on.

Between the years of 1968 to 1985 Il Mostro or “The Monster of Florence”, murdered sixteen people in and around the city.

Focusing particularly on young couples, Il Mostro’s reign of terror lasted nearly two decades and saw police launch wide scale investigations to try and track down the murderer.

Four different men were charged and convicted of the crimes but many feel that the true perpetrator was never caught.