Giacomo D’Angelo

At dawn on May 5th, 1903, the 29-year-old Sicilian sailor Giacomo D'Angelo was found dying in his cell in Regina Coeli prison in Rome, Italy, after having being immobilized for over two days with a straightjacket. His death was the occasion for a strong press campaign and popular mobilization conducted by socialists, republicans, radicals and anarchists, opposing violence against prisoners.

Private life
Giacomo D'Angelo was born on August 20
th, 1874 in Castellammare del Golfo (province of Trapani, Sicily) to Epifanio and Antonina Curatolo, in their home in via Re Federico. He had two brothers, Salvatore and Leonardo (nicknamed Nardo), sailors like him and like their father Epifanio, who later was a wine merchant, and three sisters, Rosa (nicknamed Rosina), Giuseppina (nicknamed Beppina) and Francesca, this latter was single. Despite being a resident of Castellammare, at the time of the events that caused his death Giacomo lived with his parents and his sister Francesca in Rome, in Trastevere district in via dei Vascellari, 41, on the first floor, and was celibate. The socialist newspaper Avanti! published a portrait of him and described him as of medium height, burly, brown-haired with mustache. Il Messaggero added that the sailor had a nice face. According to the register of the Regina Coeli prison, Giacomo had black hair, an oval face, with a mole on his face as a distinguishing mark, correct nose and mouth, round chin, weight 68 kg; he was destitute and Catholic.
Giacomo had enlisted in the Navy, being discharged on February 10
th, 1899.

The sailing
The two-masted schooner Rosalia Emilia Galante, 20.70 meters (69 ft) long with a tonnage of 50 tons, owned by Pietro Galante, usually hauled wine from Sicily to Rome, bringing back calcium carbide for acetylene lighting from Rome to Gallipoli. The ship raised anchor on April 19
th, 1903 with a cargo of wine from Gallipoli, a port in the province of Lecce, having aboard the captain Antonio Oliva, 34, also from Castellammare del Golfo, the boatswain Giuseppe Gioia, three crewmen, including Giuseppe Oliva, aged 17, and Giacomo D'Angelo, and a ship's boy. Between D'Angelo and the boatswain, distant relatives, there was some rancour, and the latter had recently been sentenced by Reggio Calabria port commander to pay a ten liras fine for slapping Giacomo, who had offered to pay the fine, just to make peace. D'Angelo was on board the Rosalia from early December 1902.
The ship docked on April 27
th in Rome, in the river port of Ripa Grande, then on the 28th she set sail again going down the Tiber to Fiumicino where she moored on April 29th.

The capture
Giacomo disembarked, and went immediately to Rome, but, upon returning on board, Captain Oliva, who still knew him from childhood, informed him of his layoff, motivated by the alleged frequent drunkenness, and announced that he had hired another sailor. It should be noted that during the trial Oliva said that when D'Angelo was not drunk he worked well, and in any case he drank from time to time. Following violent discussions with Oliva, apparently with further beatings suffered by Giacomo, the captain appealed to the port authority and D'Angelo was taken to the carabinieri police station of Fiumicino, and then released, lacking any charges against him.
During the day Giacomo came back to the ship and argued again with the captain, claiming that by contract he could only be fired upon returning to Castellammare, he was again arrested by the carabinieri, to whom Oliva falsely denounced him as an anarchist, he spent the night in the security cell, and the following day, April 30
th, he was transferred to Rome.
During the transfer to Rome, according to Il Messaggero of May 9
th, D'Angelo, once he understood that he was bound for prison, said to the police brigadier Ignazio Romenati, who was escorting him: "After they beat me, they also send me to prison", explaining that he was beaten by "those over there in Fiumicino".
D'Angelo had a clean record, but when he was presented at 11:30 to a police commissioner at the central police station, this had him detained and taken to the Regina Cœli prison for a misunderstanding about his identity and his criminal record: actually, a person with his same name, unrelated, seven years younger, had been tried for theft in 1897.
D'Angelo arrived in Regina Coeli at 12:20 PM on April 30
th, at the disposal of the police headquarters, and in the prison register there is an account of a provision of May 3rd to make him available to the Carabinieri for his repatriation to Castellammare del Golfo, and as a reason for the arrest "measure" is reported. During the trial for his death, the head of the guard Giovan Battista Arrighini declared that D'Angelo was in Regina Coeli "for public security measures".
On the same days, the official visits of Emperor Wilhelm II of Prussia and king Edward VII of the United Kingdom were underway in Rome, as well as the May 1
st Labor Day celebrations, and the three events, as usually happened in these cases, generated arbitrary arrests of opponents, seen as potential demonstrators and protesters.

The death
D'Angelo was held in prison without any charge, and reacted to the unfair detention by going into a rage and breaking a window pane in a communal cell, perhaps attempting to draw attention. He was then locked up alone in cell 29, located under the infirmary. In the night between 2
nd and 3rd May, an underchief guard, «in order to prevent the prisoner from causing harm to himself», had him locked up in a special cell, number 119, in the "mentally disturbed" ward, where he had the straitjacket and short irons applied, which blocked his feet. The undersecretary of the Interior Ronchetti, answering a question to the Chamber, said that "because of his rage, and because of his disjointed speech, it was believed that he was almost delirious".
According to the reconstruction of the court of Rome, quoted by Da Passano: "the shirt was put on him by guard Landi, who claims to have blocked his arms with two strips of cloth tied respectively to the side bars of the cot and to have applied to the feet of the patient two leather knee-high shoes, also secured to the cot bars with strings. Later guard Sopranzi, who has direct surveillance during the day on the middle row, replaced the leather knee-high shoes with a cloth band, and a similar band was applied at the knees and secured like the others to the cot side bars. During the investigation it was also mentioned the existence of a band that would have surrounded D'Angelo's chest and whose ends would have been tied to the upper bar of the cot. This was constantly denied by guards Sopranzi and Orlando, by doctor Ponzi, and it was also denied in their first deposition by the inmates Albani and Mattei, who frequented the cell n. 29 on day 3
rd, the existence of that band was then instead affirmed by them in the continuation of the investigation and in the public hearing".
D'Angelo was thus immobilized for more than two days, during which he was visited twice by the prison doctor Ponzi, who, again according to the reconstruction of the court of Rome, quoted by Da Passano: "found the straitjacket correctly applied, wrote his approval on the register intended for this purpose by director Kustermann and asked guard Sopranzi for information on the state of the patient (…), who assured him that D'Angelo had eaten. He gave no special prescriptions, but recommended surveillance".
On the last night, that between 4
th and 5th May, D'Angelo screamed for hours, among other things he shouted to let him go back on board, and according to inmate Mattei he also shouted "Don't kill me, let me go" (Il Messaggero, 13 November 1903). Giacomo tried to wiggle out, so much so that he even raised the cot fixed to the wall, but then the screams faded away and stopped altogether. At 6:30 am on May 5th, guard Sopranzi and inmate Albani entered the cell for the morning cleaning, and found D'Angelo dying, at 7:15; Dr. Persichetti was called, but despite the rescue, the sailor died at 7:30 in the prison infirmary.
Giacomo was buried on May 6
th in the Rome's cemetery of Campo Verano in the new ward at the end of the cemetery, section 13, row 17, pair 8, but was later transferred to the communal ossuary.

The straightjacket
In 1894 a chronicler described the straightjacket applied permanently in French prisons to Sante Caserio, the Milanese anarchist who killed the French president of the Republic Marie François Sadi Carnot, before being guillotined: "a wide leather belt tightens his waist, and from the middle of the belt an upper strap begins, a kind of noose, which forces the head to tilt forward. On the two hips two very short bracelets protrude from the belt, which force the hands against the thighs. Finally, the upper shoulder strap is extended by a strap that reaches the instep"

The murder comes to the surface
For four days the news of D'Angelo's death was not disclosed, but on May 9
th «Il Messaggero» and on May 10th «Il Giornale d’Italia» and «Avanti!» published very harsh articles, in which they reported the death, denouncing the responsibilities of the jailers. In particular, the Socialist newspaper headlined from the beginning "A new Frezzi case? The strangled prisoner in Regina Cœli", referring to the case of Romeo Frezzi, the socialist carpenter from Jesi who was killed on May 2nd, 1897 in the Rome's prison of San Michele a Ripa (see my page about him). The socialist newspaper published some bruising cartoons by Gabriele Galantara about the murder (on May 12th, May 13th and May 18th, signed with the anagram "Rata Langa") and heavily attacked the Minister of the Interior Giovanni Giolitti, both for the long-standing question of arbitrary arrests, both for violence against prisoners, and in particular on the use of the straitjacket. A strong criticism concerned the attempts to bury the investigation to cover direct responsibility in the episode.


The family
Giacomo's father, Epifanio, aged fifty-seven, was on board at the time of his son's death, bound for Cagliari for a load of wine, while his mother Antonina, who on April 28
th had accompanied Giacomo to embark in Ripa Grande, on May 1st had accidentally bumped into Captain Oliva at Ripa Grande. Asked for news of her son, Oliva replied haughtily: "he wanted at all costs to remain forcefully on my ship, so I had him arrested". After days of searching in the police stations and at the police headquarter, the woman had heard that her son was in Regina Coeli. Antonina waited in that prison from 8:00 AM of May 5th (half an hour after the death of her son), until 4:00 PM, to be received by someone, until they told her that Giacomo was seriously ill, due to a brain hemorrhage and that therefore she could not visit him. Finally they told her that her son was dead, and hearing the news Antonina had a nervous breakdown, such as to make it seem that she had lost her reason (Il Messaggero, 10 and 11 May 1903).
The prosecutor Agostino Squarcetti also questioned Antonina, to ask her for detailed information on the health of her son. During the interrogation, Giacomo's clothes, the sheets of his bed and the straitjacket lay on a table. At first Antonina did not identify this latter garment, but once she understood what it was, thanks to her son Leonardo, she expressed all her disgust and horror, while she clung against her breast and kissed Giacomo's personal clothes
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 11 May 1903).
Giacomo's parents took part in the trial, where they were questioned as witnesses, brothers and sisters of the sailor were also present in the courtroom.

Early inquiries
Prison doctors filed a complaint about this sudden death with no apparent justification. The king's prosecutor's office opened an investigation, entrusted to prosecutor Agostino Squarcetti, who carried out an inspection on the body and ordered its transport to the mortuary of Campo Verano cemetery, where doctors Amante and Impallomeni carried out the autopsy, verifying the death by asphyxiation, and noting that D'Angelo had a healthy and very robust constitution and that "the deceased had not taken any food for several days". The corpse had a long bruise on the front of the neck, an indication of strangulation asphyxia, and other bruises on the arms and legs and in various parts of the body, not a cause of death, but a sign of previous beatings.
On May 16
th, attorney Squarcetti, with the five medical experts and the clerk of the court, ordered the exhumation of the corpse from burial to take it to the dissection room, where they remained until the afternoon (Il Giornale d'Italia, 17 May 1903).
The prison doctor, Pietro Ponzi, in an interview with «Il Messaggero», said he did not believe in a death of hunger, but hypothesized a death «for cerebral congestion» following beating on the ship
(Il Messaggero, 11 May 1903). («Avanti!» commented sarcastically: «Frezzi's aneurysm!», alluding to the first of the false justifications given by the police headquarters for the murder in prison of Romeo Frezzi).
Dr. Ponzi washed his hand explaining that he had given instructions on D'Angelo's nutrition and surveillance, but that he could not be sure that his orders had been carried out, and in any case he admitted frequent use of the straitjacket, which from September to the beginning May had been used two hundred times.
Attorney Squarcetti, together with the clerk of the court Lucchesi and the experts Amante and Impallomeni went to Regina Coeli prison, where they asked the inmate Ettore Albani wear a straitjacket. Albani was similar in build to D'Angelo, and reported that he could perform lateral motions and bend his body, but in doing so the neck edge of the waistcoat rose up the neck, tightening it and risking strangulation. Albani declared a sensation of discomfort, a weight on the abdomen of the upper limbs and a sensation of heat and pressure of the body, and in particular on the neck, tolerable for a short time, but perhaps not for a long time
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 13 May 1903, 11 November 1903).
The prison doctor Dr. Ponzi was questioned several times by both attorney Squarcetti and cavalier Cardosa, and in the report sent to the judicial authority he declared that D'Angelo's death was due to frication produced by the strips of the straitjacket
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 11 May 1903).

The annoyed mafioso
According to «Il Messaggero», after the first night of detention of Giacomo D'Angelo, his cell neighbor, the former member of parliament Raffaele Palizzolo, one of the first parliamentarians convicted of mafia (but later acquitted in the Supreme Court), and in particular as instigator of the assassination of Marquis Emanuele Notarbartolo di San Giovanni, had complained to the guard Stanislao Davidde that he had not been able to rest due to D'Angelo's laments. The guard would have replied with a wink: "You are right, honorable; but the fault lies with that dumbass of my colleague who occasionally lets himself be persuaded to give him water. With a wet throat, of course he screams. But I am not such a dumbass; starting from today I won't give him to drink anymore and tonight, with a dry throat, no way for him to scream. Don't worry, honorable, you will sleep peacefully"
(Da Passano).
The member of parliament Palizzolo was cited as a witness in defense of Davidde's defense, but he made it known that he could not go to Rome
(Il Messaggero, 10 November 1903), being on trial in Florence at the same time as the D'Angelo trial. In his testimony, collected by letter rogatory on November 20th, Palazzolo substantially confirmed the facts (Il Giornale d'Italia, 21 November 1903).
It seems that on D'Angelo's last night a guard, annoyed by the yells of the sailor «who hadn't eaten for three days», further tightened the straps of his straitjacket and then fell asleep; according to «Il Messaggero» of 15
th and 16th May, the same guard also put a wet rag in his mouth to prevent him from screaming.
According to «Il Giornale d’Italia», one of the guardians put a gag on D'Angelo to prevent him from screaming, but since Giacomo was still making sounds, the gag was pushed into his mouth, suffocating him
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 14 May 1903). The same newspaper, the following day, so describes the gag: "This horrible torture instrument is applied to the mouth of the prisoners, when they appear agitated and emit continuous shouts; it is made by a large band of grayish canvas at the ends of which two laces are placed. In the center of the band, that is in the point that is in contact with the mouth, there is a sort of cloth swab, which enters the mouth itself and suffocates any cry. The band furthermore has an opening for the nose and another perpendicular cord that is pulled on the forehead and is tied back to the inmate's neck with the other two laces" (Il Giornale d'Italia, 15 May 1903).

Administrative inquiries
In addition to the investigation opened by the prosecutor, two administrative inquiries were also opened, one ordered by the Minister of the Interior Giovanni Giolitti and entrusted personally to Cavalier Alessandro Cardosa, director of the prison administration department and former director of the Carceri Nuove Prisons in Rome, which led to arrest for disciplinary reasons of three prison guards and three sub-chiefs of Regina Coeli. The other investigation was ordered by the general directorate of prisons.
The accountant Attilio Mazzotti and the bookkeeper Alfredo Cardoni, in charge of the surveillance shift in the last two days of D'Angelo's life, were transferred respectively to Alghero and Paliano jails
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 15 May 1903). The director of Regina Cœli, Enrico Kustermann, in office for four years after having been in Volterra and Civitavecchia, was transferred to Catania, arousing protests from the Sicilian press, which considered it outrageous that Sicily was the destination of a transfer for punishment. The socialists also protested, recalling the humane treatment practiced by Kustermann in the Volterra prison to Giuseppe de Felice Giuffrida, leader of the Sicilian Fasci riot (Avanti!, 12 May 1903), and considered his presence indispensable for the investigations. Il Messaggero defined Kustermann as "honest, good, but weak, who had the very serious wrong of letting himself be dragged by the environment and allowing, tolerating that the prison discipline, already very rigid in itself, was made more cruel and was left to sub-chiefs and guardians of capriciously increasing its harshness; while, on the other hand, the discipline was relaxed in the relations towards the sub-chiefs and the guardians who used to go for a walk, or to sleep, in the hours in which they had to be on guard and watch, especially on the so-called "mentally disturbed", many of whom were not disturbed at all" (Il Messaggero, 14 May 1903).
Kustermann was temporarily replaced by cavalier Vitolo, coming from Gaeta jail, and previously Deputy Director of Regina Coeli jail
(Il Giornale d'Italia, 12 May 1903), and after few days by cavalier Giuseppe Auger, previously in Lucca and then in Oneglia (Il Giornale d'Italia, 16 May 1903).
Avanti! published on the front page an interview by Italo Carlo Falbo with Enrico Morselli, in which «the distinguished psychiatrist and alienist», while not pronouncing himself on the specific episode and admitting the use of the straitjacket (but only «in extreme cases», under the complete responsibility of the doctor and if properly and appropriately applied), states that «one can be rightly rigorous, without turning into real torturers».

The protest
From the beginning both Avanti! and Il Messaggero defined the case as the new Frezzi affair and on Avanti! on May 15
th a comment appeared on the fight of the Bulgarians for their liberation from Turkish domination, in which the Turkish torturers were compared to those of Regina Coeli.
A Commission against arbitrary arrests was created
(Il Messaggero, 14 May 1903), and the Rome section of the Republican Party called a large popular demonstration, as had already happened in the Frezzi case, which took place on May 21st, with a concentration at 3:30 PM in Campo dei Fiori "against the unqualifiable infamies that are consumed with impunity in the impenetrable silence of our prisons", with the intention of not wanting to "restrict the protest to the 4 or 5 torturers who assassinated Giacomo D'Angelo but broaden it to the barbarism of the systems".
The demonstration poster read: "Citizens, another mysterious death has come to cast a sinister light into the gloomy and silent darkness of our prison environment: it is a frightening symptom, a sudden revelation of a hidden and dense series of pains and tears.
A young, innocent existence was broken off, a man was turned off, because the silent isolation of the cell and the torturing thought of unjustified detention had stirred his poor brain. Moral anguish was calmed and overcome with a straitjacket and a gag.
Let you prove that the heart of Rome has pulses of pity and sympathy for those who suffered pains and torments during three days, like those who killed Giacomo D'Angelo. Let you prove that human life is sacred to you, and must be protected not only from the nocturnal and rare aggressions of thugs, but also from the articles of regulations more suitable for governing menageries than for disciplining multitudes of men. Let you prove how that personal freedom is the common heritage of all citizens, and does not suffer restrictions to the detriment of those which are inflamed by heterodox political ideals"
The demonstration was joined by the Chamber of Labor and dozens of workers' leagues, the Democratic Union, radicals, socialists, republicans and anarchists.
A biography with a portrait of Giacomo D'Angelo was on sale in the square, itinerant florists were selling bouquets of red carnations, and leaflets from various organizations were distributed. The demonstration passed without flags and without music, in silence, only with wreaths of fresh flowers of the various movements, and their local articulations, including a three-meter high, one of the Roman Socialist Union, studded with red flowers. The Socialists wore a red carnation in their buttonhole. 50,000 people took part according to «Avanti!», 15-16,000 according to «Il Messaggero», among them Giacomo's father, Epifanio, his brother Salvatore and several members of Parliament.
The demonstration, controlled by almost 2,700 carabinieri and policemen, reached piazza Guglielmo Pepe, where Libero Merlino spoke for the anarchists, and other speakers were the republican member of parliament Italo Pozzato, the lawyer Ernesto Orrei for the radicals, Enrico Ferri for the socialists and the anarchist Pietro Calcagno "repeatedly buried in Regina Cœli arbitrarily". The march ended at Verano cemetery «to lay flowers on the grave of Giacomo D'Angelo».
A commemoration of D'Angelo was also held in Castellammare del Golfo, organized by the socialists, with the lawyer Gaspare Nicotri. Other protests «against the prison system and against the murder of the sailor D'Angelo» were organized by the local branches of the Socialist Party, from Galluzzo (hamlet of Florence) to Bologna, from Rome to Tivoli, from Livorno to Certaldo, from Florence to Genoa, from Naples to Sanremo, to Vittoria.
In dealing with the story of Giacomo D'Angelo, Avanti! of May 16
th brought to light other deaths in prison, the one that occurred in the second half of April in the Abbadia prison in Sulmona, Abruzzo, of the inmate Giovanni Disancarlo, also killed by the straitjacket, and the one that occurred in Ancona in early August 1901, in Santa Palazia prison, of the porter Ezio Pierani.

The Parliament
The parliamentary debate began a few days after the disclosure of the news on D'Angelo's death. In the May 16
th session, the undersecretary of the interior Scipione Ronchetti (Minister Giolitti did not appear) answered the questions of the socialist members of parliament Filippo Turati and Leonida Bissolati. Turati replied by openly accusing the prison managers of kidnapping, since D'Angelo was detained without being accused of any crime, and of violence against the prisoners. A parliamentary inquiry followed by the republican members of parliament Salvatore Barzilai and Ettore Socci, presented by MP Socci as Barzilai in the meantime had become civil defendant for the D'Angelo family, and those of the conservative Felice Santini, and of the socialist Alfredo Bertesi, on the death of Giacomo D'Angelo. The government refused to institute a parliamentary inquiry into prisons, requested by various deputies, especially socialists, and did not consider it urgent to abolish the use of the straitjacket in prisons.
Turati again commented on March 18
th, 1904 in the Chamber of Deputies: "from time to time, some bloody case, the episode of a Frezzi, or a D'Angelo, opens a breach, projects a sinister ray into the darkness of the issue of the dead in our Country. Then public opinion rises for a moment, some members of Parliament ask questions, the Minister of the Interior replies that he will arrange it, and the graves are hermetically sealed again until some new tragedy unseals them" .

The trial
On 7
th November, before the sixth section of the Court of Rome at the Court of Assizes, at the oratorio dei Filippini, in Piazza della Chiesa Nuova the trial began against the doctor Pietro Ponzi, the former director Enrico Kustermann, head guard Giovan Battista Arrighini, sub-chiefs Ettore Mazzocca and Pietro Angelelli, and guards Marsilio Cervellini, Stanislao Davidde, Zeffirino Sopranzi, Emanuele Morales and Leonardo Orlando, accused of manslaughter.
The president was Giuseppe Bianchi, the judges were Bonello and Formica, substitute judge Lawyer Ciavola, public prosecutor Francesco Puija, clerk of the court Marcello Ferrari.
Doctor Ponzi, during his interrogation, said that he found D'Angelo "in normal conditions, like the other inmates to whom the straitjacket was applied", he added that he visited him twice, on May 3
rd and 4th, and that he did not detect signs of illness (Il Messaggero, 10 November 1903).
Former director Kustermann, Dr. Ponzi and various guards explained that only inmates on whom the straitjacket had been imposed as punishment were untied for meals and to use the toilet, while those that were tied as "agitated", like D'Angelo, were never released. D'Angelo had to wear a waistcoate with the arms folded over the abdomen, laterally secured with straps to the cot bars to prevent it from moving. The straitjacket applied to the punished had buckles on the back and allowed them to stand up
(Da Passano).
The prosecutor Puija in his indictment asked for acquittal for not having committed the crime for Kustermann, Arrighini, Angelelli, Morales, Marzocca and Orlando, acquittal for unproven crime for Davidde, one year of detention and one thousand liras fine for Dr. Ponzi and guard Sopranzi, since D'Angelo's death was due to the application of the straitjacket, the lack of medical care and the lack of assistance
(Da Passano).
On 1
st December the court issued the sentence, acquitting the defendants «for the non-existence of the crime ascribed to them»: according to the court, the same legal opinion, characterized by doubts and uncertainties, maintains that D'Angelo must have been suffering from acute delirium, «a cerebro-psychopathy (...) determined on a background of nervous weakness, presumably congenital, and made even more susceptible by the action of alcohol, by the setbacks recently suffered by D'Angelo». The immediate cause of death must be identified in the «collapse as natural and normal outcome of acute delirium,» «in a therefore natural event», while the other presumed unintentional concurrent causes (the straitjacket, fasting, hygienic conditions, lack of assistance) could however have caused a damage and therefore be punished as unintentional personal injury, but the examination of the individual specific responsibilities of the accused leads to exclude this hypothesis as well (Da Passano).
The socialist newspaper Avanti! at the time of the trial practically stopped covering the D'Angelo affair, limiting itself to publishing a few daily update lines, together with other judicial chronicles, under the heading "Among the inner workings of ... justice"
(Da Passano).
The «Rivista di discipline carcerarie» ("Journal of prison learnings"), a direct expression of Alessandro Doria, the almighty director general of prisons and a right-hand man of Giolitti, published the text of the acquittal, commenting with great satisfaction what he judged a victory for the prison staff, unjustly accused, which however never in the past had they committed the crime of homicide (sic), not even unintentional, since "the staff themselves also lack the ability to commit a crime"
(Da Passano).
The «Rivista penale» ("Criminal Journal") instead commented bitterly that the D'Angelo case had ended in nothing like the Frezzi case, with the only difference that it had reached the trial rather than concluded it in the preliminary investigation, and that the only culprit was the "medievality of the rules"
(Da Passano)..
Il Messaggero of December 3
rd commented that for the judges it was fate for D'Angelo to die and so it happened, therefore it was possible to pass over all the evidence and testimonies and the overturning of the opinions of the experts. The newspaper reports that Giacomo's father, having heard the sentence, put his hands to his face exclaiming "My poor son!". The old sailor could now only "hide his excruciating pain among the waves of the Ocean, instead of appearing before the judges to ask for revenge for the death of his son".
Royal decree no. 484 of November 14
th, 1903 abolished the straitjacket and other means of restraint except the seat belt, which however continued to be used, sometimes with other names.

Giacomo D'Angelo died while he was in the custody of the police, as had happened in 1895 to the anarchist worker Costantino Quaglieri (see my page on him), in 1897 to the socialist carpenter Romeo Frezzi (see my page on him), in 1901 to the regicidal anarchist weaver Gaetano Bresci (see my page on him), and as it will happen in 1930 to the young Calabrian communist Rocco Pugliese (see my page on him), and to the anarchist railwayman Giuseppe Pinelli, thrown from a window of the Milan police headquarters on December 16
th, 1969.

Giacomo D'Angelo was not a political militant, so no political groups or party headquarters were named after him.
In 2005, Professor Mario Da Passano (1946-2005), dean of the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Sassari, published «Il Delitto di Regina Cœli», republished in May 2012 by Il Maestrale.

ANSALDO Giovanni (2010) Gli anarchici della Belle Époque. Le Lettere, Firenze. p. 49
AdS - Archivio di Stato di Roma - succursale di via Galla Placidia - Fondo "Carceri giudiziarie di Roma (1870-1920)".
BADON Cristina (2018) Gli anarchici romani nella crisi di fine XIX secolo: una storia da riscoprire. Storia e Futuro, Issue 48, December 2018.
CAMERA DEI DEPUTATI (1903) Atti Parlamentari - Legislatura XXI — 2a Sessione — Discussioni — CXCVI Session of 16 May 1903
CAMERA DEI DEPUTATI (1904) Atti Parlamentari - Legislatura XXI — 2a Sessione — Discussioni — CCCXI -2nd Session of Friday 18 March 1904, p. 11821,
DA PASSANO Mario (2005) Il «delitto di Regina Cœli». Diritto e Storia, n.4 - In memoriam - Da Passano
GIBSON Mary (2019) Italian Prisons in the Age of Positivism, 1861-1914. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
REGISTRO ITALIANO per la classificazione dei bastimenti - Libro Registro 1902. Stabilimento Tipografico e Litografico di Pietro Pellas fu L. - Genoa, 1st January, 1902.
TURATI Filippo (1904) I cimiteri dei vivi (Per la riforma carceraria), 6. – Una morte senza responsabili. Roma.

Websites visited:
Digital Library of the Italian Senate of the Republic (Avanti!) - link
Digital collection of journals of the National Central Library of Rome (Il Messaggero, Il Giornale d'Italia) link
Digital collection of journals of the Pontifical Gregorian University (L'Osservatore Romano) no more available

Personal communications :
AMA - cimiteri capitolini

page created on: December 16th, 2021 and last updated on: January 13th, 2022