These days the story of Elisa claps has become one of the most egregious cases in our country. Elisa, 16 years old, a promising student with dreams of becoming a doctor, disappeared from her town of Potenza on September 12, 1993. She had an appointment with her murderer, Danilo Restivo, a strange, sociopathic boy who harassed women by cutting off strands of their hair. They were scheduled to meet on September 12th at the Church of the Holy Trinity, the current location Elisha’s grave for 17 years.
The Claps case, as told in the three-part Rai 1 drama “Per Elisa,” could have been resolved in 2010 48 hours. Instead, 17 years passed and the young woman’s body was only accidentally found on March 17, 2010 by some workers who were repairing the attic. After the terrible discovery, the church remained closed all these years. But last Sunday, that November 5, 2023, The first Mass was celebrated: In recent years there has been no admission of responsibility from those who denied the Claps family the right to the truth. There is so much outrage and anger about this reopening, especially now that Elisa’s story has become known throughout Italy. A case that seems like the fruit of a good crime writer’s imagination is instead as true as the pain that the girl’s family had to endure. Nevertheless, I said at the beginning, the murderer was immediately identified.
Elisa had an appointment with Restivo at church and the girl only left the church in a coffin 17 years later. Elisa’s family immediately told investigators Restivo’s morbid attentions He had pointed out to Elisha his contradictions, his wounds on his hand, and the strange things he had done. But nothing. Don Mimì, the priest of this church, said he did not know Restivo or Elisa. Nevertheless, he was photographed smiling at the birthday party by Restivo, who knew his way around this place of worship. In fact, the investigators initially assumed that the deportation was voluntary. Case closed.
He likes Restivo; he moved here as a free man England and he killed again, Heather Barnert, a 48-year-old seamstress and mother of two children, the same children they found in a pool of blood in the bathroom of their apartment. The hand belonged to the same murderer as Elisha, and her locks had also been cut off. But the verdict came too late for Restivo: first in England in 2011 and then in Italy in 2014. The discovery of Elisa’s body was crucial for the turning point in both cases.
This story, like many other crime news cases, is reminiscent, to paraphrase the journalist’s book Albina Perripublished Mursia, with the title Imperfect crimesthat there are no perfect crimes. There are happy murderers and happy coincidences, there are mistakes, delays in the investigation, but in the end the villain of the story, even the smartest one who thinks he got away scot-free, is caught at the exact moment he doesn’t. I almost don’t expect it anymore. That’s how it was with Restivo, a very experienced killer banal. Evil is sometimes so banal… And to come back to the book I’ve been reading in the last few days: How can we forget it? Massimo Bossettithe murderer of Yara Gambirasio, the most difficult story to solve and yet the Trace of DNA The traces left on the girl’s panties allowed investigators to get to him, the illegitimate son of a father he had never seen.
Albina Perri’s book shows us how difficult the lives of murderers are, especially today with new investigative tools. It’s almost impossible not to leave a trace. He left it Giuseppe Piccolomo, the murderer of the severed hands; he left him Manuel Winstonthe murderer of the Countess, Alberico Filo Della Torre, left him Father GrazianoWhen he killed Guerrina Piscaglia, everyone encountered trivial errors in each of the eleven stories told in this book, full of details for each case told, warning the killers and bringing them back down to earth a little. At some point they will be caught. Even if they continue to declare themselves innocent.
But those who remain to return to the Claps case need answers and will not settle for half-truths. Elisa Claps’ story won’t be over yet Restivo’s accomplices they are not exposed. And you certainly can’t turn the church the other way and pretend it’s a place of prayer like the others. The grave of a 16-year-old girl for 17 years, with even longer silences and omissions.