Partisan ‘who killed Mussolini’ dies in Brescia

An ex-partisan who famously claimed to have killed fascist dictator Benito Mussolini has died at his home in Brescia, aged 94.

Partisan 'who killed Mussolini' dies in Brescia
Bruno Giovanni Lonati, an ex-partisan who claimed to have killed Benito Mussolini, has died in Brescia. Photo:Vituzzu

Bruno Giovanni Lonati made the sensational claims in a memoir published in 1994, revealing how he and the British secret serviceman, Robert Maccaroni, killed Benito Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Patacci.

According to Lonati, he and Maccaroni were acting on orders from the English government to kill Mussolini and destroy compromising letters that existed between him and Winston Churchill, La Repubblica reported.

Lonati stated that he had killed both Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci in a small street in Bonzanigo di Mezzegra, near lake Como, at 11am on April 28th 1945.

Publication of Lonati's memoir entitled 'That April 28th. Mussolini and Claretta: the truth' caused a stir in Italy.

The book challenged the official version of events, which held that Mussolini and his mistress were killed by communists Walter Audisio, Michele Moretti and Aldo Campredi.

In the book, Lonati explained that following the killing he had been sworn to secrecy for 50 years and had been forced to wait until 1994 to reveal the truth.

Lonati's version of events has been supported by several historians, although definitive proof of his story is lacking.

The bodies of Mussolini and Petacci were taken to Milan and left in a suburban square, where they were hung upside down above a service station on Piazzale Loreto.

After the war Lonati moved to Turin, where he worked as a manager at the Fiat factory. In 1980, he moved to Bari to open a metalwork's before returning to Brescia, where he wrote and published his memoir.