Sunday, October 31, 2010

Report #1 On Perugia: I Meet A Very Decent Brave Man

Posted by SomeAlibi


I walk the journey to the cottage from where Meredith and Sophie parted ways at the Via Del Lupo. Time from there to the cottage is 5 minutes at a leisurely pace. I video the journey for proof.

As I finish, I decide to walk up Via Scortici with the wall of the basketball court to my left, just to prove to myself that it isn’t what sane people would normally do (they go round the basketball court on the stairs of the Via Della Pergola which is why Amanda saw Rudy, practising on the basketball court, daily).

Managing not to get spread against the wall by a slowly passing car which honks at me for my patent stupidity, I come to the bottom corner of Piazza Grimana by the news-stand. The entrance to Corso Garibaldi, Raffaele’s road, is five metres away.

I turn round to look at the entrance to Piazza Grimana and see the figure of a man on crutches with shoulder-length white grey hair poking out from the bottom of a striped bobble hat walking away from me and towards the steps. Is it? I cross quickly and go round the top of the basketball court, along the pavement of Via Pinturicchio trying to look down to see if I can identify him. If it’s who I think it is, I haven’t been able to find him in previous days.

The man is dressed in a white and blue ski jacket and moves purposefully, even with the crutches. He goes to the steps of Via Della Pergola and heads down towards the cottage. But then he does a right and disappears into Via Melo which is half way down the steps and leads to an area of public garden. I go down after him, down the steps, and turn into Via Melo too. I try to take a picture but inadvertently engage video mode. That has to go quickly – I need to catch him.

I walk past a woman and then overtake him. As I do, I look back at him naturally as if just with a friendly passing nod. I allow my ‘spontaneous’ surprise to stop me.

“Mr Curatolo?” I say, in my best very English sounding Italian. He looks at me in a friendly way. His eyes are bright, unbothered, looking straight at me. He furrows his eyebrows minutely at me.

“Curatolo” he says with a pronunciation which is different from mine but in ways in which I’d never be able to explain. “Yes, I’m Curatolo” he says in Italian.

His voice is soft, clear, his diction precise, also unbothered, and he looks at me calmly.

I smile at him and nod, mostly to myself. I size him up for a couple of seconds. I reach out to shake his hand which he does so unhesitatingly, taking if from the crutch at his side. As I draw close to him, I hate myself for doing it, but I use an old trick a policeman taught me and breath in deeply through mouth and nose. It looks like a normal inhalation, which of course it is, but I’m smelling him. There isn’t the slightest wiff of alcohol or smoke about him, not from today or last night, completely corroborating the precision of his speech.

My spoken Italian, worse than my understood, will now let me down but I will try in Italian and English combined. He replies only in Italian.

“Thank you,” I say, shaking his hand, “Meredith Kercher; what you saw – so important.” I point to my eyes as I do so.

“Ah, Meredith Kercher,” he replies, understanding my action and nods. “Are you a friend?” he asks.

Well that’s a complex one. “Yes, in a way”, I reply, waggling my hand from side to side in the universal language of ‘kind of’.

“Ah, I see. That is a good thing,” he replies.

“Thank you,” I say again, patting my chest with the flat of my hand. “Many people say thank you. Many people.”

He nods.

“It is my pleasure,” he says in that calm voice again. Then he shrugs with those crutches of his but in a very measured way. “I saw what I saw” he says simply.

I look him straight in the eyes throughout the whole conversation. He doesn’t once break eye contact back – never - and I particularly note it when he says those final words. I look at him some more and I nod again.

“I know you did,” I say.

But this time I really do know it, with certainty. And since Raffaele and Amanda never said they went to the basketball court on the previous night and did what Curatolo saw them doing, I know when he saw them too.

“For you, sir,” I say and give him a twenty euro note to help him through today.

I ask if I might possibly take a quick picture, just to prove it happened, and he graciously says yes. I take a single one and then I shake his hand once more. I pat him on the back and smile a last time.

And then I say a final thank you and goodbye. I haven’t got the Italian to talk to him further but more than that, I want him to know that sometimes people say thank you and mean it without wanting anything else.

I walk off back towards Piazza Grimana and out into a little sunshine on an otherwise grey day as the bells start to chime out one o’clock.

Seeing the three disco buses last night after 11pm helped, about what happened that night in the square. But this meeting helped me more. I’ve dealt with more liars than most people have had hot breakfasts: I know the deeply credible ones, the squirming ones, I know the lies of drug addicts and thieves and other types more innumerable than I care to mention. He’s none of these things whatsoever. He is calm, measured, collected and together, softly spoken; a man with dignity even if he is down on his luck.

Curatolo saw what he saw, and now, as I start walking with a smile on my face, I know he did too.


Posted by SomeAlibi on 10/31/10 at 05:36 PM in Evidence & witnessesOther witnessesThe wider contextsPerugia context


Comments

Hi S-A. I am not surprised you found Mr Curatolo a warm honest compelling witness. He came across that way in court too, and the reporters all rate him very highly. 

Posted by Peter Quennell on 10/31/10 at 07:07 PM | #

Hi SomeAlibi,

Thank you for writing such a brilliant piece.

Judge Micheli, Judge Cristiani and Judge Massei all found Antonio Curatolo to be a credible and reliable witness. Giulia Bongiorno tried her best to trip him up, but she couldn’t because he was telling the truth.

Posted by The Machine on 10/31/10 at 07:44 PM | #

@SomeAlibi,

I very much doubt that Anne Bremner would’ve been able to pass that old trick used by policemen or if you would’ve been able to corroborate the precision of her speech.

Antonio Curatolo on the street appears better dressed than the Knox and Mellas clans ever did in the Italian courtroom.

I also bet that unlike Steve Moore, Curatolo is even wearing socks and shoes!

Posted by True North on 10/31/10 at 09:34 PM | #

How strange. Mr Curatolo looks somewhat like the homeless man over here in Heidelberg. He too has a beard and a woolen cap and is a constant fixture at the old market place with his radio playing all the time. The homeless are very interesting in a way. And I suppose Heidelberg and Perugia are very much alike.

Posted by aethelred23 on 10/31/10 at 11:27 PM | #

By Storm Roberts (Innai)

Thank you.

Thank you, indeed, Mr. Curatolo.

You saw what you saw, yes, but you also had the courage to stand up and do the right thing: you told the world what you saw. 

Simply, honestly and respectfully with only one reward - the knowledge that you had played your part in setting the truth free.

The world needs more people like Mr. Curatolo.

Posted by Nolongeramember on 11/01/10 at 05:27 AM | #

Thank you Some Alibi for sharing your emotional meeting with Mr Curatolo with all of us.

Your inimitable excellence in the use of words made me feel that I was privileged enough to be standing right behind you on Via Melo.

Mr Curatolo always has my warmest regards and deepest respect for his willingness to come forward with information helping Italian Authorities to unanimously convict the brutal murderers of Meredith Kercher.

Mr Curatolo continues to pay the price still to this very day for his act of good citizenship.

The increasingly desperate FOAKer element continues their elitist,xenophobic ineloquent,ignorant, discriminatory slurs against Mr Curatolo even as we speak.

They do so in their pitifully partisan, lonely websites, juvenile like Facebook twaddles, as well as many of the internet polluting comments sections they invade en masse after every informational article about the unanimously convicted murderess, Amanda Knox.

They do so as time permits while they continue to shamelessly toss rose petals and palm fronds in the path of their latest icon idol, the self-disgraced Parliamentarian, Girlanda.

May Meredith Kercher Rest Forever in Peace, and may her grieving Family receive only the respect and solitude they deserve.

Posted by bahia ben on 11/01/10 at 10:47 AM | #

What a lovely read, Some Alibi. Thank you. Mr. Curatolo had no reason to lie. Being outdoors so much, he must witness many of the comings and goings. His remark, I saw what I saw, simply says it all.

Posted by capealadin on 11/01/10 at 01:01 PM | #

I also want to thank Some Alibi, and thank you for telling Mr. Curatolo the universe wants to thank him for telling what he saw.

Most homeless people are very reliable in their words they have no reason to lie.

This reading was so very lovely if I may borrow your words capealadin . And the picture was remarkable

Posted by jasmine1998 on 11/01/10 at 09:44 PM | #

Thank you, SomeAlibi. Grazie, Mr. Curatolo.

Posted by Earthling on 11/02/10 at 12:16 AM | #

11/7/10

I really enjoyed this beautifully written account. It made the reader feel completely present at the scene. Dear Toto, an honest, humble man with decent instincts. Thank you, SomeAlibi, for the courage to reach out to Curatolo face to face despite the delicacy of issues.

Posted by Hopeful on 11/06/10 at 11:04 AM | #

Lovely read SomeAlibi! Your writing is so eloquent…

Posted by tigger34 on 11/07/10 at 08:54 AM | #

This was a beautiful and touching post. Its great to see this man - it certainly adds to his credibility. He is dressed well and is aware of his surroundings. A picture can speak a thousand words. Thank you!

Posted by Giselle on 11/08/10 at 09:13 AM | #

R.I.P. Antonio Curatolo. Your words still stand.

Posted by Earthling on 08/13/12 at 03:26 AM | #

Amen.

Posted by Helder Licht on 08/13/12 at 02:13 PM | #


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