Giuseppe Mastini, 60, nicknamed ‘Johnny the Gypsy’, benefited from a temporary release from a maximum-security prison in Sardinia on September 6 and did not return to his cell.
The fugitive was found on an estate near Sassari, in the northwest of the island, police said. Officers searched dozens of homes in the area and found Mastini hiding in a sheepfold next to a blacksmith shop.
Mastini had dyed his hair platinum blonde in an attempt to disguise himself. “We always escape for love,” he told police officers who found him, even though his partner was not in the sheepfold with him. The blacksmith was arrested on the charge of hiding a known fugitive.
Giuseppe Mastini surrounded by agents in 1995.
Ⓒ ANP / HH
Originally from Bergamo in northern Italy, Mastini moved to Rome with his family in the 1970s and committed his first murder at the age of 11, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. He was also named in the investigation into the unsolved murder of filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in 1975.
Mastini first escaped from prison in 1987. He was on the run for two years. During that time he committed robberies, murdered a police officer and took a young girl hostage.
Caught and imprisoned, he was temporarily released again in 2014, after which he fled. In June 2017, he escaped from a prison in Northern Italy using the same method. This year’s breakaway was his seventh.