Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Sad Case Of Sonia Marra #4: And Finally The Story Of Sonia’s Still-Unresolved Case In Pictures

Posted by Peter Quennell

Our final post on the Sonia Marra case for now. Click on all for larger images.

Above: Sonia lived in the relatively new and modern Montemorcino area of Perugia at the bottom of the hill below the old town about two kilometers from the town center.

Five minutes walk to the south of her area are the railway station and central police station. Ten minutes to the north is the computer-science department Sollecito attended.

Above: Sonia lived at center-left of this map. Sollecito and Guede lived near top-center. Meredith and Knox lived at center-right, north of the parking facility shown in light blue.

The main University of Perugia campus is at top-center and top-left here, in that steep hillside area in between where Sonia lived and where Sollecito lived.

Above: Looking up at the north of the old city from Sonia’s area down on the flat. Most of the buildings at the top of the shot are part of the University of Perugia.

Above: Again, looking up at north old Perugia. We dont know where Sonia studied - the medical faculty is a long way off, to the north-east of the old town.

Above: These are steps leading down from the university area which, if Sonia walked to and from that area, she would almost certainly have used.

Above: The quiet and elegant neighborhood at the bottom of those stairs, which is about five minutes walk from where Sonia lived.

Above: This is one or two blocks away in the same area. The rents for apartments here are lower than in the old town of Perugia.

Above: Another street in the same area; although there are plenty of cars, most people would enter and exit this quiet area from the south.

Above: This is claimed to be the apartment building where Sonia was living, though the two flags (one of them the EU flag) have us puzzled. 

Above: This is the same apartment building, now from the side, showing at top left what is said to be the apartment from which Sonia disappeared.

Above: This and the shot below show what is said to be the one (rather small) window of Sonia’s apartment that actually had a view, of sorts.

Above: This is another view of the window, with the rolling wooden shutters outside the glass windows found on most modern buildings in Italy.

Above:Two of the Carabinieri officers who were active on the case - all disappearances in Italy are handled by Italy’s national police. 

Above: One of the Perugia offices of the national Carabinieri police from which investigations into missing people are conducted.

Above: Another of the Perugia offices of the national Carabinieri police from which investigations into Sonia’s case took place.

Above: The prosecutors’ office in old Perugia which became involved in the case when it first looked like it might be one of murder.

Above: Another shot of the prosecutors’ office - we believe this is where Mr Mignini can be found, though he is not active on Sonia’s case. 

Above: Another shot of Sonia; her sister Anna said she did not like to be photographed though in many shots she looks nice and appealing.

Above: A shot of Sonia and her mother Lucia who has traveled to Perugia from Specchia several times to help focus attention on her missing daughter.

Above: this is another shot of Sonia’s mother Lucia who is seen here at a special meeting on Sonia of the town council of Perugia.

Above: This is a shot of Sonia’s sister Anna Marra who has now lived in Perugia for three years, she is seen here in a Rome TV studio.

Above: this is another shot of Anna, seen here arranging sacramental candles in front of posters of Sonia and another missing person.

Above: This is said to be one of Sonia’s two brothers; Sonia had two older brothers and this is said to be Giacomo, the second.

Above: This is the catholic cathedral in Sonia’s hometown of Specchia at the very south-east of Italy 4-5 hours drive from Perugia.

Above: This is an aerial image of the coastline - Specchia is a couple of kilometers inland from from these beaches and the many holiday homes.

Above: This is another aerial image of the coastline - it is one arrival area for illegal immigrants who make it across by open boat from north Africa.

Above: This is the lawyer in Perugia who handles legal matters for the Marra family - they pay all of their own legal costs as far as we know.

Above: This is Umberto Bindella who was arrested for murder and last week released; Sonia claimed she loved him, he denied they had had an affair.

Above: Another shot of Umberto Bindella, Sonia’s probable lover, released last week but apparently still suspected, seen here together with his mother.

Above: This is the priest Father Stefano Ciacca who lived and worked at the Cante di Montevecchio and apparently was very friendly with Sonia.

Above: More than three years ago Father Ciacca was arrested for mailing a package of cocaine to himself from Colombia in south America. 

Above: Father Ciacca was sentenced to several years in prison, it is theorized that Sonia might have known something about the drug deal.

That is the reason why Sonia’s sister Anna keeps ringing the Cante di Montevecchio doorbell - only to encounter a complete wall of silence.

Above: This is prisoner Michele Mariucci being interviewed in prison by a TV reporter from a Rome TV network about Father Ciacca and Sonia.

Above: Michele Mariucci has admitted traveling with Father Ciacca to Colombia to mail back cocaine worth several hundred thousand dollars.

The cocaine was mailed to a false name in Perugia and Father Ciacca turned up to collect it, very shortly before Sonia Marra disappeared.

The police knew the package contained cocaine because dogs had identified it when the aircraft carrying it was unloaded at Rome airport. 

Above: This is the Rome TV studio from which the weekly missing-persons program “Chi l’ha visto?” (“Who has seen him/her?”) originates.

Above: This is one of the presenters of the widely-watched missing-persons program; she is seen here interviewing Anna Marra about Sonia.

Above: this is one of the posters with Sonia’s image and an appeal for help which Anna has been taping up for three years around Perugia.

Above: Another of the posters of Sonia, now faded so that the image is not recognizable; about 2000 people are presently missing in Italy.

Above: Some of the 2000 missing are seen here on the “Chi l’ha visto?” website; Sonia’s image can be at the bottom center here. 

Above: Click on Sonia’s image on the “Chi l’ha visto?” website page and this page for her case opens up with some details and four TV videos.

Above: The town council of Perugia held a special session on Sonia last year to keep attention on her and other persons missing.

Above: Another shot of the Perugia town council meeting which Sonia’s mother attended; Italy is nothing if not a caring country.

Above: Sonia is seen here in a video walking through a crowd; this video and some others were shown several times nationally.

Above: Sonia in her bedroom with what was said to be her stuffed cuddly creature and a shot of herself when she was younger.

These four posts on TJMK on Sonia’s case are the only English-language reports to have appeared about her anywhere.

Rest in peace, Sonia. We guess you, too, are never coming back. And may the Marra family of Specchia also arrive at some peace.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/13/10 at 12:47 AM in Other legal processesItalian related


Today Monday the Italian media are reporting that the prosecutor is appealing against the release of the probable lover Umberto Bindella for insufficient evidence, and he could soon find himself back inside.

Bindella had claimed a week ago that there was no big affair with Sonia, that he had an alibi for the afternoon and evening in question, and that the pregnancy possibility related to a boyfriend he claimed Sonia had back in Specchia. 

Neither the prosecutor nor Sonia’s persistent sister Anna believe his stories hang together, and that there is strong evidence of a failing affair between them - Sonia had emailed about it.

There is occasional chat on Sonia’s Italian Facebook about alternative explanations of her disappearance. One is that Sonia might have signed herself into one of the local monasteries - there are many monasteries in central Italy with rooms to spare and vows of secrecy or silence, and one or two disappeared people have taken this route in the past.

On Facebook, this didnt really fly. Bindella still seems the main possibility Italians would put money on. His attempts to distance himself from Sonia seem to have include a cold and contemptuous tone which hinted he might perhaps be capable of violence.

Umberto Bindella is an Italian civil servant - he normally works for the forest service - but he has been on suspension for some time.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/15/10 at 07:36 PM | #

The family of Sonia Marra continues to seek the truth about her disappearance.  This is a translation of an article about their appearance on the TV programme “DOMENICA 5” in Umbria Journal


By Luana Pioppi

14/02/2010 at 9.32 PM

( PERUGIA - “We want to know the truth.  My appeal is directed to those all people who know [something] and who don’t talk, [asking] them to be courageous and to free us from this situation.” 

This is the sad appeal launched by Pietro Marra, the brother of Sonia Marra (the student from Lecce who disappeared from Perugia on the night between the 16th and 17th November, 2006), this afternoon during his appearance on “Domenica 5”, the Mediaset programme conducted by Barbara d’Urso.

The girl’s family members, parents Lucia and Donato and brother Piero, were linked into the broadcast from home, while the young woman’s sister, Anna, was in the studio. Anna has been living in Perugia for more than three years, in order to follow the investigations on the spot.

“I hope that they find my daughter” Donato said when called on to speak by d’Urso “and that she will come home.  I only sent her to Perugia to study and I am still waiting for her.”

“We didn’t suspect anything” Signora Lucia affirms “we felt that she was calm.  But then she disappeared, we looked for her everywhere with no result.” 

Anna, on the other hand,  went back over several stages of Sonia’s story, from her disappearance to the release from prison of Umberto Bindella, the thirty-one year-old public servant from Marsciano who was suspected of murder, concealment of a body and theft of the victim’s mobile phone. 

After 20 days in prison, the man was released in recent days because of lack of proof and insufficient evidence. 

“I appeal to Bindella”  Anna then said “to contact me if he has something to say to me; he knows where to find me, I tried to find him immediately after my sister’s disappearance, but I’m not doing that [now] because at the first appointment he gave me he showed up with his father and then took me to his lawyer.”

Posted by Tiziano on 02/16/10 at 02:46 AM | #

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Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Meredith’s Perugia #22: Salento In South-Eastern Italy - Where Sonia Came From

Or to previous entry The Sad Case Of Sonia Marra #3: The High Standard The Italian Media Have Maintained Throughout