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A Note Written With A Fp By A Real Hero


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#1 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 15:42

Giovanni Falcone (1939-1992) was an Italian prosecutor who, together with his colleague Paolo Borsellino, dedicated his life to the fight against organized crime. Their work demonstrated to the world that far from being the glamorous, charismatic, fedora-wearing, Tommy Gun-wielding figures portrayed by Hollywood, mafia bosses are actually hugely powerful criminals who managed to gain almost complete control over the administration and economics of whole regions in Italy, from the North to the South, infiltrating politics up to the highest levels of Italy's political system, using assassinations, threats and corruptions to colonize the system from within. The work of people like Falcone and Borsellino resulted in huge blows to the Sicilian mafia, many of whose members were tried and condemned in the so-called "mega-trial" of 1986-1992. Nobody had ever done or has ever done as much as they did in the fight against organized crime.

 

However, both Falcone and Borsellino ultimately lost their lives in the fight against this "cancer of Italian society". Falcone was murdered by mafia on May 23, 1992: he was driving on the highway to Palermo when a massive explosion killed him, his wife Francesca Morvillo and the three men of his security detail, Antonio Montinaro, Rocco Dicillo and Vito Schifani. Paolo Borsellino was murdered on July 19 of the same year in an explosion that killed also five members of the Italian police: Agostino Catalano, Emanuela Loi, Vincenzo Li Muli, Walter Eddie Cosina and Claudio Traina.

 

Today, Falcone, Borsellino and the others who died fighting against mafia in those years are considered national heroes in Italy, and for people like me, who grew up in the 1990s and used to hear tragic stories about mafia on TV all the time when we were kids (I was 6 when Falcone and Borsellino were killed), people like them are symbols of the ultimate determination to fix what is wrong with our deeply troubled society.

 

Recently, Italian newspaper La Repubblica managed to get hold of one of Falcone's confidential notes from his investigations. In the notes, he wrote down the deposition of a mafia member who choose to collaborate with the authorities and explained some of the connections between mafia and influential politicians (see if you can spot the name of a very famous Italian Prime Minister, no less!). The note is, of course, written with a fountain pen :) Here it is for you to enjoy, in the neat, quick, practical and efficient handwriting of Mr Falcone:  

 

http://www.repubblic...falcone1one.jpg

 

Falcone was, in fact, an avid fountain pen collector. His colleagues recall that despite conducting a reclusive life due to security reasons, he endeavoured to try to find some time to visit a well-supplied pen shop in Palermo once in a while, taking time to test nibs and choose the latest arrivals. He would visit the shop right after closure time, giving a few minutes notice to the owner by phone. Police would block the street and secure access to the shop to give the prosecutor the possibility to access it for a quick visit. Falcone used to write a lot with FPs, as another prosecutor, Giuseppe Ayala, recalled a few years later. After Falcone was murdered, his sisters Anna and Rita gave one of his pens to his colleague and friend Paolo Borsellino as a present, to commemorate his fallen colleague. Borsellino was profoundly moved by the gesture, knowing how much fountain pens meant for Giovanni Falcone. Little did he know that less than two months later he would share Falcone's same, tragic destiny :(      



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#2 pararis

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 15:59

Thanks for a good story about a genuine hero. I despise the glorification of organized crime -- "Sopranos" (bleep), for instance. Reality is, they're nothing but despicable bullies harming good people.

 

And I do recognize the PM name! Fascinating.



#3 inkstainedruth

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 16:34

Fascinating story!  Thanks for posting.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#4 TassoBarbasso

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Posted 21 December 2017 - 16:42

Thanks for a good story about a genuine hero. I despise the glorification of organized crime -- "Sopranos" (bleep), for instance. Reality is, they're nothing but despicable bullies harming good people.

 

And I do recognize the PM name! Fascinating.

 

Indeed. For us Italians, mafia has no glamour: it's been holding back our development and our economy for decades, long decades full of blood and violence. As someone once wrote, "Mafia grants as a privilege what citizens should theoretically get as a right": if you live in mafia-infested regions, instead of getting access to state bureaucracy, transparent administration, healthcare, good education, economic opportunities, freedom to set up your own business and pursue your happyiness, you need to beg mafia organizations to have access to all the things that should be yours by right :(

 

A friend of mine is a case in point: he was a dentist in a small village in Southern Italy (he's since retired). He set up his small dentist activity, for which he had studied many years. His parents had made significant sacrifices to send him to a good university in the North. Studying medicine and living in a city in the North in the 1970s was very expensive, for a family of small farmers from the South, but they held on and tightened their belts until their son graduated, hoping to give him a better future. When he returned home, he opened his dentistry. Less then a year later, a mafia guy showed up and told him that unless he paid a percentage of his profits to the local mafia boss, he could forget about being a successful dentist. He refused to give in: the number of patients suddenly decreased, until he was left with a few, daring ones who kept going to his clinic. He and his family made a less-than-average living throughout his whole professional life. By comparison, dentists in my province (which is mostly mafia-free) live excellent lifestyles. A family's sacrifices went down the drain because some mafia guys wanted to profit off someone else's labour. In a way, they create a form of modern-day slavery. Many families have it even worse, of course.  








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