The Sunday story. Marriage or Death: Vincenza's Bloody Wedding

This is a story that could have been made into a movie.

The Sunday story. Marriage or Death: Vincenza's Bloody Wedding

This is a story that could have been made into a movie. Sophia Loren would have given Vincenza her face, and Marcello Mastroianni would play her fiance Pino. Luchino Visconti, according to legend, took his camera from Palermo's south to Paris to take it to a French working class town. He transformed love into hatred over time, and turned passion into cold revenge. The music of Nino Rocca would have taken the viewer to the final image, clearly shot under the relentless Sicilian sunlight.

It's actually a story that ended... at Grenoble. The Dauphine Libere front page headline reads: "The bloody Sicilian marriage of Pino and Vincenza".

The press reported that the great trial was about to begin on September 30, 1959. It was to be attended "by all of Sicily from Grenoble". Three men and one woman would be found in the box containing the accused. They would be surrounded by the most prominent names in the legal community, including Me Floriot, the tenor at the bar. The central question of all the debates is: How did we get to Pino Tardanico's murder?

The court would have to answer the question within two days. A story that started three years ago, 1800 km from Isere is a case that will be referred to the court in two days.

September 1956 in Sicily. Two young men smile in Caltanisetta province, the heart of the island. Pino Tardanico (22 years old) and Vincenza Geraci (17 year old) celebrate their engagement. They are close friends. The fiancee comes from Sommatino, while her lover is from Riesi. We celebrate the union between our neighbors and have already organized the future marriage. The only thing left is to resolve a few questions about the installation of the couple.

However, the material level is where a particular detail becomes stuck: the bride’s dowry. Pino needs the money immediately. The Geraci clan prefers that Vincenza has the ring.

Pino becomes impatient as the discussions drag on and the tone increases. He ends up ending up breaking up. A single life is better that a married one. Pino would prefer to live in better circumstances. The arid land of Sicily didn't necessarily provide food for its people in those 1950s. At the opposite end of Italy, you can cross the Alps to find France, which is still searching for arms to rebuild its country. Pino also has Damiano Sambito, her sister, who lives in Grenoble. Grenoble is where masons are sought and where it seems they get paid well.

It has been decided that it will be exiled with other compatriots. Pino, Salvatore Amato and other Sambito brothers, as well as Filippo Geraci, the Vincenza-born Filippo Geraci, were all exiled together to Isere in 1957.

Vincent? Vincent? Although Pino and I did not marry, we remain in the same clan. Some embers still burn under the ashes.

Vincenza and Pino meet again, see each others again, and even manage to move together. They both moved in with Damiano Sambito, Pino's sister in Poisat.

Is this the beginning of your happiness? This is without judging the characters of the lovers. Vincenza urges Pino to marry her. The young man refuses to marry her each time. The time passes between conflicts and reconciliations... until one event changes everything: the young woman becomes pregnant.

It is not a question of being a single mom and making a sham about the family. Pino cannot procrastinate any longer, he must marry Vincenza. He begs her, but he becomes annoyed and raises his hand occasionally. We split again... but we reunited in February 1958.

"You're Sicilian and you know what to do."

The Geraci clan is not patient. Pino is not only prone to woo other young women in his community, but also he slips away. We are no longer talking about love as much as we used to, but about hatred, and in the Sicilian microcosm, the idea of revenge is starting to take root. We buy a revolver for 9000 Francs. Filippo tells his sister, "You're Sicilian. You know what to do if Pino loses again."

This atmosphere was the setting for Wednesday, March 19, 1958 when everything changed.

A student was driving his classmate home at night when, as he turned the headlights on his car, a long, rectangular shape appeared in the middle the road. It is rue Leon-Jouhaux. He stops his car, and he discovers that a man lies down on the road, his head covered in bullets.

The police are alerted to the fact that the victim had her wallet with her. Pino Tardanico is the victim. His murderer(s) also left behind his papers and his money.

Neighbors? They confirmed hearing gunshots at a quarter of a percent when they were questioned. All stayed home and were careful not to look out on the street.

We also begin the neighborhood survey on Thursday, March 20, to study some materials elements. Pino Tardanico was struck by seven bullets that were fired at close range. Three 8mm caliber bullets were recovered, as well as another 11 caliber bullet.

We are also interested to know the background of the victim. The investigators were amazed to learn that the victim was going to marry the mason two days later.

Finally, the paternal dispensation has arrived

The mayor was certain that the young couple would pass. The paternal dispensation, which allowed Vincenza to wed despite her 19-years of age, arrived via post that morning and was displayed at the town hall.

Pino, along with Vincenza, left the party at 11:30 p.m. because all his relatives are formal.

The police had already taken the time to learn that Pino does not want to marry. The police even found out that Pino had accepted a job in the La Mure coal mines. The police then reach Vincenza's extended family. The extended family.

The gun beneath the pillow

Tardanico, who was from Vincenza, had violently hung with the Pelliteri siblings in November 1957. They are paid a visit by the police. One of the officers surprises them by finding him still lying on his back, with a gun hidden under his pillow. It was visible to have been used in recent times and has been examined by ballistic teams. False lead: The weapon is not compatible with the bullets at the crime scene.

Therefore, we refocus our investigation on the suspects in the murder. We are still silent in the Geraci clan. The law of silence is the habit.

Vincenza is then interrogated. The 19-year old is then questioned. The young fiancee is encouraged to speak during interrogation. She eventually confesses.

Pino and she noticed two men following her when she returned to the party with Pino. The young fiancee admits that she recognized two family members. "One of them threw himself onto Pino and fired his weapon at point blank range. "The other one threw me in the ditch." Who? Vincenza hesitates and then gives up: The Sambito brothers.

The young woman is taken to the site of the tragedy. Vincenza retells the story to police, repeating the same gestures that she made on the night of the murder. These actually discover traces of her movements as she fled through the wasteland after the murder. They also find out that Vincenza kept one secret: Filippo, her brother, was present at the time of the events.

It is now time for Commissioner Mignon's men to make arrests.

Domenico Sambito (25), was taken into custody at Salvatore Amato's home, where he is currently living with his brother. Rosario Sambito (29), is also present. Filippo Geraci, fourth arrested, completes the list.

Although the Sambito brothers dispute this, it becomes increasingly clear that there is a murder plot.

Vincenza explained that St. Joseph's Day went as planned. Everyone enjoyed the day together: the Geraci clan, Salvatore Amato, Salvatore Amato, and the Sambito brothers. The mood was not happy until the very end.

You can't have too many slaps

Pino attempted to make good on his promise to marry by trying to return to the Geraci for the third time. He announced in passing that he was going to La Mure. Vincenza exploded into anger and reminded him that everything was in order. Pino then grabbed Vincenza and slapped him, before closing the door. Each member of the clan got the impression that he was getting it on his cheek after this slap. Vincenza has placed her revolver on top.

The clansmen took matters into their own hands. They joined Pino, and offered to spend the evening at Salvatore Amato. Calmed, Vincenza came in her turn.

We parted shortly after midnight. Filippo Geraci, Filippo's fiancee, wanted to leave him. Domenico Sambito would tell him, "Come with me or you will eat all the earth."

Filippo was soon reunited with Salvatore Domenico, Rosario and Domenico, his sister and her fiancée.

Filippo explains that "we joined Vincenza, Pino shortly before crossing over the road to Poisat", during Filippo's interrogation. "While Pino was shocked to see us all gathered together," Domenico ran at him and fired his weapon at close range. Rosario removed Vincenza from the scene and warned him to "Watch out for you if your talk." The young woman fell into a ditch and also injures her hand and knee.

Domenico would have told Filippo and Salvatore, along with Vincenza, to proceed. He would have stayed behind with his brother, as it was time to hide the weapons.

But was Filippo telling the truth? The investigation is advanced when the men are confronted. The Sambito brothers speak in Sicilian and address the other men with the following: "Since your have spoken, we will chop off your head."

Another confrontation will bring them out of their silence a bit, this one with Damiano, Pino's brother and married to Antoinette, their sister. Rosario and Domenico explain the location of their weapons after half-heartedly admitting to the crime.

We return to the field in the middle of the night with our projectors in hand. It is the rue Alfred-de-Musset side that we find our two pistols, one still loaded, in a copse.

Domenico let go at 1:30 AM. "It was me who unloaded the first blast." He claims Pino Tardanico taunted Domenico and put his hand into his pocket as though he were going to pull out his gun. Ten bullets were still fired. Seventeen reached Pino. For shooting with the 73 pistol,? Doubt persists.

The elements are enough for the five protagonists of the crime to be brought before Rouyer, the examining magistrate. Domenico Rosario, Salvatore Salvatore Filippo, Vincenza and Filippo are all charged with the crime. Vincenza is being held for non-denunciation.

The case was set to go to trial on September 30, 1959. Vincenza had given birth in prison to a boy while she was still at trial. He was named Pino after her father. His godfather, a prison guard who also served as a supervisor for his godmother, was baptized. Others knit layette from the hands of condemned women.

The court will try to determine the motive and role of each for two days. Rosario is not at the dock. Rosario was released from the dock and has been dismissed, his investigation revealing that he was 20m behind the facts.

We listen to different stories in front of a large audience. Two interpreters were needed because the defendants do not speak French well. Even these can sometimes struggle to translate when the Sicilian patois is more important than Italian.

"He went with other people"

Vincenza says, "Yes, I loved him. My head was full Pino." The president of the court wonders why he had already ended their engagement in Sicily. "Because he wasn't given 50,000 lire." What is the famous dowry? Vincenza says it was a sum that "to buy a bike" rather than a large amount.

Why didn't he marry her after she became pregnant? The scorned fiancee said that he was "going with others." The fiancee had a weapon... I never planned to kill him. To defend my life I had this revolver He wanted me to be the boss, and he beat me."

Vincenza calmly explains, and she doesn't even cry. She continues to be adamant until she is free from these hinges. He deserved to die and be slapped! She screams in front the stunned room. She will not say anything more: "I saw nothing, and I ran away."

There are many witnesses who can explain Pino's cowardice and dishonorable actions. Only one person remembers Pino being the victim of the crime. His sister Antoinette goes to court to get justice for her brother. It's a timid request, so she withdrew as part of a civil party. Antoinette Pino's sister, but she is also the spouse of a Sambito brother...

The men involved in the trial are the best to talk about it, and it is their lawyers. Me Floriot is the one who defends Salvatore and Domenico. He pleads that "We won't seek in the sometimes violent Sicilian customs, the soul of this familial drama." "It exists in simple beings, possibly in a pure state. It is only a horrible and tragic conclusion to an abject love story."

We also discuss their problems.

The family of Domenico, the son who was lost among 14 siblings and brothers at 10 years of age. Filippo, who is completely illiterate but still works as a caregiver for his five children. The last child was born three days after Filippo's incarceration. He noted that many had a good reputation prior to the tragedy. "Wouldn't you have thought otherwise!" Salvatore Amato exclaims.

An old man is silently crying in the room. Without telling anyone, he traveled 1,800km to separate himself from his daughter. Vincenza's father still awaits. Is Vincenza's father still waiting?

The verdict is delivered shortly thereafter. Vincenza is able to throw herself in her father's arms and receive a three year suspended sentence. Filippo, Filippo's brother, was sentenced to three-years imprisonment. Salvatore Amato and Domenico Sambito were sentenced to five years each.

The jurors ruled that Pino's death was the result of an angry fit and disregarded any premeditation.

The contents of the file

Crash at Paris-Saigon: Curse of the Constellation

Alcove secrets, murder in Geneva, and the Jaccoud Case

Marriage or Death: Vincenza's Bloody Wedding

Annemasse arrest of Al Capone's rich lieutenant

The Kennedy Curse: JFK's Sister Killed herself in Ardeche