The legend of Il Sonnambulo first arose in the late 1600’s, with a series of horrific murders by a “veiled, sleepwalking, figure.” In 1873, Albert Drummond-Sykes first documented the killer in his book Of Human Detritus. The self-professed anthropologist described a “refined, silent gentleman, replete with top hat and cane, who stalked sleeping Venetian infants in the night.” Sykes named the infamous killer after the fretful whisperings of Venetian mothers: Il Sonnambulo, “The Sleepwalker.”
An almost mythological killer, Il Sonnambulo sits in the same pantheon as the Loch Ness Monster, Dracula and Jack the Ripper. Terrorising Europe for generations, he is said to traipse the vicinity of crimes as though ‘sleepwalking’, piercing the night with the blood chilling three-tap rhythm of his cane.
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