The accusations. The suspicions. The devastating impact. This is the true story of the Devils of the Bassa Modenese—the most notorious Satanic Panic investigation in the history of Italy.
In 1997 a six-year-old boy questioned by authorities relayed disturbing stories of abuse. The more he talked, the more people were implicated in his shocking revelations. And he was only the first child to come forward.
Within a year, fifteen more children with similar tales were transferred out of the Bassa region of Italy to protected locations. Their parents were accused of belonging to a satanic sect that performed sex rituals under the aegis of beloved local priest Don Giorgio Govoni. With each child’s confession, the network of monsters grew. Families were torn apart. Lives were forever destroyed—and some ended—as allegations of kidnapping, torture, sacrifice, and murder escalated beyond comprehension.
But what was really happening in the Bassa Modenese?
In this gripping account of the Satanic Panic of the 1990s, investigative journalist Pablo Trincia returns to the scene of the crimes to find the answer. And the truth he uncovers is as terrifying as the lies.
“A difficult read but an eye-opening story best suited for die-hard true-crime fans.” —Kirkus Reviews
“In this harrowing account…Trincia lets the facts speak for themselves. True crime fans won’t want to miss this engrossing tale of mass hysteria and a massive failure of the Italian court system.” —Publishers Weekly
Pablo Trincia has worked as an award-winning correspondent and writer for print media, TV, and the web. In 2017, he and his colleague Alessia Rafanelli wrote the podcast Veleno, a highly acclaimed investigative audio series released in eight episodes on LaRepubblica.it. The investigation reopened the case of the Devils of the Bassa Modenese, one of the darkest and most controversial cases the Italian legal system has tackled in recent years.