Italian prosecutors said a Muslim suspect, of Moroccan origin, Said Machaouat, 27, has confessed to murdering a 33-year-old Italian man Stefano Leo in Turin in February. The suspect said he killed Leo because he looked happy.
The Times (h/t Maurice) Machaouat was quoted as telling prosecutors Ciro Santoriello and Enzo Bucarelli that “I wanted to kill a lad like me, to take away all his prospects, his children, his friends and relatives”.
Said Machaouat, 27, a Moroccan-born Italian citizen, said that he chose Stefano Leo, 34, because he looked “happy and serene”. He walked up behind Mr Leo and cut his throat from behind. He gave himself up after police tracked him for weeks following the murder on February 23 on a busy path by the Po river.
Paolo Borgna, the magistrate who interrogated Machaouat, said that he was horrified by the motive. “I made him repeat it twice because it didn’t seem possible,” he said. “I still have shivers down my spine.”
The victim was a law graduate who had lived in Australia and was known by friends as a positive, upbeat person.
Machaouat said that Mr Leo appeared to him the cheerful antithesis of his own depressed state. He felt he did not deserve to live. “The victim had to be Italian, young, about the same age as me, the type who knows everyone he went to school with, who worries about his parents,” he said. “I wanted someone whose death would resonate, not an old person no one would talk about.”