ROME: Police in Italy are hunting for a multiple murderer dubbed “Johnny the Gypsy” after he absconded during a day release, Italian media reported Saturday. Giuseppe Mastini, 57, was sentenced to life in jail in 1989 after a notorious criminal career of murder, kidnapping and robbery in which he “terrorized Rome” for almost 15 years, La Repubblica daily said. He had escaped from prison twice in the past and absconded during a previous day release, it said. The killer, whose life has inspired a song and film about him, had been serving time in Fossano prison in northern Italy but had been on day release for the last eight months to allow him to work. Police launched the manhunt when he failed to return to jail at nightfall, the Corriere della Sera said. Nicknamed “Johnny the Gypsy” because he was born into an itinerant family, Mastini killed his first victim in 1975 when a robbery went wrong. He was 15 years old at the time. He was accused of having played a role in the murder of celebrated Italian poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who had been killed two months earlier. Mastini has always denied any involvement.