The Siani Case:

On the evening of 23 September 1985, Giancarlo Siani was killed in his Citroen Mehari in a private side road off Piazza Leonardo al Vomero in Naples, while approaching his apartment. Only half an hour earlier he had left the editorial office of the Italian newspaper "Il Mattino", where he worked as a stringer but not yet as a full-time journalist. According to what he had told his friends, his job was to be made official in a few days time. His dream of permanent employment was destroyed by a gang of killers.

They had been awaiting his return home for a couple of hours, noticed by passers by, but sure of their impunity. To pinpont the motive for this crime, the first lead followed was in connection with his job as a reporter. But this was a mistake. His hottest reports and social commitment against decay in the Torre Annunziata area, for which he was local correspondent for "Il Mattino", were examined. Through his inquests for the paper, he was the first to sense a possible connection between the police and the camorra, the name given to organised crime in the Neapolitan area.

He wanted to write a story on voting in each electoral consistency at Torre Annunziata but his editor at the time said that these matters were best dealt by the magistrates rather than by a journalist. The second lead followed by the police, was still linked to Siani’s profession, but this time it had a sexual background. This "investigative degenaration" appeared when the then Attorney General, Aldo Vessia, took charge of the case, accusing the Public Prosecutor’s office of lying down on the job. When Vessia realised that the people arrested so far were innocent, in order to defend his allegations, he decided to fly to America to question two young women as witnesses, accusing them of being high-class prostitutes and even threatening them.

The two women, both of American nationality, refused to answer these accusations appealing to the fifth amendment of the American Constitution. When Guglielmo Palmieri, the investigating magistrate, found out what was happening in America, he too decided to go there himself to have a better understanding of the women’s refusal to cooperate. Back in Italy, Palmieri, managed to stop this extraordinary mistake in justice, releasing the accused, who had been arrested in the meantime, and taking to court the Attorney General, who subsequently was accused by the CSM (High Court of Justice). The third lead to be followed was found in 1993 when a reporter for "Il Mattino", who had taken the place of Giancarlo Siani after his death, learned that Salvatore Migliorino, affiliated with the camorra clan of Torre Annunziata, headed by Valentino Gionta, was revealing important information that would lead to the motive of the Siani killing and to the identification of the instigators and killers.

Two years later, the first arrests took place: on 10 October 1995, several persons were arrested from Torre Annunziata and Marano. Among them were the killers og Giancarlo Siani. So now we return to the professional motive. On 10 June 1985, three months before he was killed, Siani had revealed in an article, that the arrest of Valentino Gionta, boss of the camorra in Torre Annunziata, had been decided by Lorenzo Nuvoletta, head of the camorra in Marano, a very powerful man because affiliated with the winning mafia family headed by Totò Riina. Nuvoletta decided to have Gionta arrested to keep quiet the men of another rival clan headed by Antonio Bardellino. This fight between clans had been described in detail by Siani, specifying that Gionta’s arrest had taken place a few metres away from Lorenzo Nuvoletta’s estate, where earlier a meeting had taken place between all the heads of camorra clans affiliated with the Sicilian-Neapolitan mafia, headed by Nuvoletta, who was Riina’s plenipotentiary in the Campania. Such an action by Siani, describing how Nuvoletta had betrayed one of his allies, although corresponding to the truth, looked like treason.

For this reason Riina – and it’s not known whether he knew of Nuvoletta’s strategy – decided that, in the eyes of the world, this behaviour had to be punished in an exemplary way. Nuvoletta passed the message on to Gionta, in jail, that what Siani had written wasn’t true and then following Riina’s orders, asked permission to his ally in jail, through Gabriele Donnarumma, Gionta’s brother-in-law, to eliminate the journalist. Gionta made it clear that he wasn’t happy about this, especially in his territory, as it would attract the police in the area making all other illegal dealings impossible in Torre Annunziata. But the decision had been taken and Gionta had to comply with orders from above. Not even the political figures linked to the camorra were particularly bothered: Siani had been stepping on their toes too many times and, all in all, it would be a liberation for them. Siani operated on his own: at the newspaper were he worked, were without references ha had to go through a long apprenticeship before hoping to be given a work contract.

He was a loner in the city where he worked, known as a troublemaker by everyone, because of his battles against crime and kickback scandals. Friends and supporters of his work showed up only for his funeral, on 25 September 1985, in the parish of Buonconsiglio: it was even attended by Minister of Internal Affairs of the time, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.