Friday, December 09, 2011


In September I reported that Daniela Zuccoli, the widow of Italian TV presenter Mike Bongiorno [26.5.1924 - 8.9.2009] was, on the advice of the police, to appear on the television programme Chi l'ha visto?  ["Who Has Seen Him / Her?"] in an attempt to find her husband's body. This brave  decision did not lead to the hoped-for result but it now seems increasingly likely that the body will be restored to the family within the next few days:
In a crime so sick as to be utterly incomprehensible, Mike Bongiorno's coffin and body were stolen from the Dagnente Cemetery in Arona [Piedmont] on the night of 24th - 25th January this year.  The distressed family received several ransom demands and there were even some arrests but these did not provide the police with the information they needed.
Then, yesterday afternoon, events took a dramatic turn when a man walking his dog near a church in Vittuone [Milan Province] found a coffin behind a ceramics factory on the outskirts of the Parco Sud.  Police were alerted and later Mike Bongiorno's two eldest sons were able to identify the coffin - which still bears its plaque -  as their father's.  Forensic tests are still being carried out on the body but the family are optimistic.  Police believe that the coffin had lain where it was found for only a short time as it was in an area which is popular with joggers and dog walkers.  Latest reports say that the coffin had not been opened during the interval between its disappearance and yesterday.
Mike Bongiorno was born to Italian-American parents in New York City but emigrated to Italy as a young man.  He fought with the Italian partisans during World War 11 and went on to become Italy's most famous and popular TV presenter ever. His ancestors were Sicilian and the small towns of Campofelice di Fitalia and Mezzojuso in Palermo Province both claimed to be their birthplace.  In 2007, when Bongiorno stated on television that his ancestors were definitely from Mezzojuso, the inhabitants of Campofelice di Fitalia took offence and declared him persona non grata. [However, it turns out that both towns have a legitimate claim as Campofelice di Fitalia was, when Bongiorno's paternal grandfather emigrated to the USA, a district of Mezzojuso.]
Here we are all thinking of Mike Bongiorno's family, who have suffered double bereavement, and hoping that they will be able to obtain closure this Christmas.


Julia said...

That's just a terrible crime, I can't imagine :(

Rosaria Williams said...

What a sad state of affairs.

LindyLouMac said...

Thank goodness!

Patricia said...

Sometimes it is a challenge to understand the minds and hearts of fellow humans! Sometimes it is impossible!!

Anonymous said...

What a sad story indeed. My heart goes out to that poor family. is nothing sacred!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, Julia. Yes, horrific and senseless. It certainly is, Rosaria. I echo that, LindyLouMac. It is indeed, Patricia. Herllo, PH. I don't understand how someone can knowingly inflict that degree of pain on someone else. Incomprehensible.


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