Strage in Genzano di Lucania

The stage has been set for the feast of the town Maddona

The town tradition for our Maddona af Maria Santtissima delle Grazie runs for three days every year, is has been so for a very long time and it will continue for a long time to come, this is how we would like to remember out native town.
The town tradition for our Maddona af Maria Santtissima delle Grazie runs for three days every year, is has been so for a very long time and it will continue for a long time to come, this is how we would like to remember out native town. | Source

My heart cries in pain

Dear readers our hearts cry in pain when we hear this terrible news that happen in the town we come from. We would like to think about the town we came from as a peaceful town, perhaps we have been wrong to think about that this way, because there has been this nut that has upset everything and at Christmas eve killed a few people, what a shock it has been, because we believe that Genzano the town I have come from is a rather religious town, as most of the towns of Southern Italy are; therefore we as emigrant would like to remember all those happy things that happen there, especially those religious events that the entire population seems to take part, I believe that those emigrant that for one reason and another have left their native town, they would like to remember their town’s happy events and not this tragedy that has shocked just about everybody.

So, while I am editing this article, I have come to the conclusion that we would like to show our readers one thing or two to see what we mean when we say that Genzano is a religious town, because the most important events are religious, there is very little else that would get the entire population of the town interested in a single event; one of this is Christmas of course, the other one for the people of Genzano is this feast of the Madonna that is celebrated for three days every year.

Here under I would like to show some photos if I can of this very popular feast for two reasons; one would be that it would lessen the shock of the bad news that follows and the other is that we are not so bad in this town, and that we the people that left this town would like to remember our town when there is a feast end everybody is happy. Then we will talk about this tragedy of course and some other tragedy that has happened later on.

This is the Madonna statue that we take around Genzano town.

This statue of the Madonna is a beautiful statue that replace the real icon of Maria Santtissima delle Grazie. You see the real icon Madonna is a relic that is kept in the church wall high above the high alter, it is rare that this icon is taken out.
This statue of the Madonna is a beautiful statue that replace the real icon of Maria Santtissima delle Grazie. You see the real icon Madonna is a relic that is kept in the church wall high above the high alter, it is rare that this icon is taken out. | Source
This is a parade playing music around town, this will go on for for a few days before the three days feast starts; usually the feast starts on Saturday and ends at midnight on Monday.  This is how we would like to remember the town we came from.
This is a parade playing music around town, this will go on for for a few days before the three days feast starts; usually the feast starts on Saturday and ends at midnight on Monday. This is how we would like to remember the town we came from. | Source

Genzano crime scene

Genzano murder scene, as you can see people are kept away from the scene, in the background.
Genzano murder scene, as you can see people are kept away from the scene, in the background.

Massacre in the town I came from

Massacre (=Strage) in Genzano di Lucania

This year 2011 in Genzano di Lucania there won’t be any joy for Christmas, no matter which way you look at it, it does not look good. Christmas is supposed to be a peaceful and happy family gathering, and everybody should cherish the company of their friends and close relatives; but this year in Genzano di Lucania this will not happen, and if some people will be able to put aside what has just happened in Genzano will be a small minority.

When such terrible things happen just at Christmas Eve one should be forgiven to thing that there is no God, otherwise why God let this horrible things happen one may ask for good reasons?

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Here are some links that show how the local media reported this crime, they are of course written in Italian as this is the native language of the place.

Potenza: strage di Genzano, condanna dalla famiglia dell'omicida

Famiglia sterminata in Lucania, oggi l'autopsia. L'omicida in ...‎‎

A meno di 24 ore dalla tragedia che il 24 dicembre ha sconvolto Genzano di Lucania dove Ettore Bruscella ha quasi annientato una famiglia.


This is another crime photo

The murdered people owned and worked in a laundry, this laundry somehow annoyed the murder and this seems the reason for his crazy act.
The murdered people owned and worked in a laundry, this laundry somehow annoyed the murder and this seems the reason for his crazy act.

What has happened

Listen! My heart cries to hear this horrible news; you see this is the town that I came from and I have always thought that nothing violent would ever happen it this friendly town where everybody knows everybody, so to thinking of murdering people in this town is impossible, but that was/is until today, because today has happened something so horrendous that has changed everything, as a triple murder has happened, and it has happened just on Christmas Eve, so what sort of Christmas will the inhabitant of Genzano have this Christmas?

I am afraid to say, but this Christmas will be a very said one for most Genzanesi, just to think that one of their own has killed three people, it is incomprehensible one can only think and say that the killer has lost his mind, what else can it be?

The killer is 77 years old that means that he is an old man and he should have known better but he didn’t. I have to say that I have talked to the killer a couple of times when I were in Genzano about thirty years ago and he seemed all right then, but when I think about it I have always known that he was a man that would easily turn to violence; So what sort of man is he one may ask?

He is a skinny man of average height very alert and sensitive, he was/is lame I don’t know exactly why or what happened to him when he was young, but somehow I know that he was usually restless even when he was a kid, and as the story goes he peeked up one of those unexploded petard too soon after it fell, but the petard exploded and so he was wounded and became lame. He happened to do that because he belongs to a family that are specialized in firework, and that is why he happened to be there when that unexploded petard fell. Notwithstanding this incident he continued to work at the family fireworks factory and this is what he has mostly done all his life, except perhaps when he migrated to Australia for a few years in the seventies, this is how I can describe this heartless killer, Ettore Bruscella.

You see I have migrated to Australia from this Genzano town when I was young, and I am still in Australia today, therefore we are wondering today to which family the victim belong, there are too many Menchise families in this town, so we wonder whether we can be related to them, there are no description on the Italian news for us old Italians to understand that, you see we would like to see written the names of the parents of the victims, so that we could recall who they are, or a given name that some families have, or perhaps even where they lived or their farm possessions, just to give us a better idea who they are. So we who are away from our native town are left wondering about this fact of life.

Anyhow I am going to publish what I have written already, and by doing that I will be informing my countryman what has happened, and I also hope that some of my countryman will let us know a few more details about this terrible event, so that we may learn the facts as they are.

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Who are they?

Who are the victim’s relatives we wonder?

(I would like to edit and add this discussion to my hub)

As I have already said above, for lack of more detailed information, at this stage we don’t know exactly who the victims are, even though we know their names, we don’t know to which family they belong, they could even be some of our relatives who know. For us that have been away from our native town of Genzano for 50 years or more, it is near impossible to figure out who the victims are, just by using what we have learned from the Italian news, but we would like to know anyhow, so, I and my wife who is also from Genzano have tried to assume to which family the victims could belong, so at the moment we have assumed that the victims may indeed be some distant relatives, I am saying distant as they may fall in that category when we start thinking that we are not related anymore because the link is too far back.

Although I am a Menchise I believe that they are not related to me because of this name, But they could be related to me in a different way. For instance I assume that the victims could be related to me in this way on my mother side, starting from me and working my way back I can see; me, my mother, my grandma and my grandma parents Ceruzzi, from here I could go forward to the present generation of the victims. So, from my grandma parents Ceruzzi who had a large extended family including my great uncle Leonardo who had I believe a son Gerardo who once was vice mayor in the town of Genzano in the fifties and a daughter Marietta who married a Menchise and had a family including Leonardo Menchise who is the husband and father of the victims, this is what we believe they are. I wonder how close we are to the truth.

Here I have to say again that this is only an assumption, or a discussion if you like to call it, that we have had in order to find out who they are?

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Where is Genzano

Our next story is about another murder in this very quiet town of Southern Italy that happened about six months after the story above. The following map that we have downloaded from Google is to show that Genzano di Lucania is far from the sea, and the question here is how and why some refugees from Africa ended up in Genzano, and murdered this 75 years old woman.

This is where is Genzano di Lucania is

Italian police called Carabinieri

The Carabinieri are part of the Italian police force, in the photo they are dressed up like when they go in a parade
The Carabinieri are part of the Italian police force, in the photo they are dressed up like when they go in a parade

One more shock

One more shock

What we have written about above took place in December 2011 and that was really shocking, but for Genzano di Lucania that quiet town in Southern Italy the trouble are not yet over, as there is another murder in June 2012.

An old lady aged 75 was found dead from one of her relatives, who was wondering why she did not return to Rome, when she had rung them and said that she was returning, anyhow this person went in her house and found her dead.

This is what was reported from the Italian and local media, unfortunately these reports are written in Italian, anyhow these are the links: ( quanto scrive La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno)

(Update (28/06/2012) - È stato fermato dai carabinieri) Stopped by the Carabinieri (Carabinieri is the old way the police were called when there was the monarchy in Italy, today the monarchy is gone but the name remains for this type of police force.)

Anyhow, the police have stopped this Tunisian, who is the prime suspect and he was living near the house of said old lady murdered and he was about to move or run away from Genzano. Check the link below:

Genzano di Lucania: fermato un tunisino per l'omicidio di ...

The reasons for this murder are not yet known, but this is another horrible murder, as she was raped and violently beaten causing death, perhaps it was a robbery gone wrong for a start, but who knows?

At this point of time one should question some other reason why this has happened, since the murder is this Tunisian that broke free from the prison during the civil war in Tunisia and Libya. One should really ask whether it is wise to allow all these refugees freedom on the Italian soil, and whether they should be restricted. Until the authorities make sure that they are real refugees that the war has forced them to flee their country of origin.

Anyhow, this is all for the time being, until something else comes up about, Genzano di Lucania murderous happenings.

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Comments 9 comments

Louis Menchise 4 years ago

I think the maiden name of the mother that was killed was Di Palma. I may be wrong. My aunt knew the shooter better than the victims.


CANIO Muscillo 4 years ago

My dad is there now he will be able to tell you all you need. Zio Franco baptized the boy that was killed


F-Menchise profile image

F-Menchise 4 years ago from Brisbane Australia Author

Thank you Canio, I am sure that your dad will tell us everything when he comes home. But to tell you the truth I feel sorry for him, since he went there to participate at your cousin wedding, and he found this disaster.


F-Menchise profile image

F-Menchise 4 years ago from Brisbane Australia Author

Hi Louis Menchise, thanks for your comment. Today I can add to the story that Maria Antonia Di Palma is related to Tonna la carbonara, they were called with that name because their relatives used to make carbony (coals in English) and sold them to the public, they used to live up the hill from the fountain Cavallina. I am going to write more about this later on. If you would like to know more about Genzano story there are more links in my face book account and I am going to invite you as a friend, so that then you can read all what I have written about Genzano.


Matt 4 years ago

Iam living in Toronto, the victims were my first cousins, I visited Genzano for the last 2 years and stayed with them.This summer they were going to visit me. This was a terrible crime , they were hunted down and shoot like animals in the street, the shooter has no regard for human life and should spead the rest of his life in prison.I wish him a very long life of pain and suffering. He took Ninetta's 55yrs, Maria Donnata 31yrs, Matteo 27 yrs MAY THEY REST IN PEACE, Ettero may he live long and suffer, and my he Rot in hell for etterinty


F-Menchise profile image

F-Menchise 4 years ago from Brisbane Australia Author

Dear Matt, I am sorry to hear that this tragedy has touched you so closely and I can find no words to express how I feel for the pains that you are suffering right now. I wish that somehow God helps you and all those close to the victims to overcome your suffering.

PS. I hope to hear from you again somehow, if you don't want to say who you are on this hub pages you can reach me at this email address; frankmenchise@yahoo.com

May God bless you and those near you in this time of sorrow.


Carmel Modica 4 years ago

Hello Frank, this is the first I am leaving a comment on a website such as this but I was compelled to tell you how fascinating I found your article especially as I knew the killer and his family when they were in Australia. They were family friends for a while, I was only young around 7 or 8 yrs old at the time but I get an eerie feeling about that man when I reflect back. It's amazing how some people can leave a lasting negative impression on you. His wife was lovely and sweet and my sister was good friends with his daughter Gianna, she was a nice girl too. My sister who is 5 yrs older helped refresh my memory.

I was blown away at the news of this story, it seems surreal when it's someone you have known before and then the fact that it happened in the little unknown town of Genzano. So hard to believe that such a horrible thing could happen in your parent's hometown, a lovely little village which brings back so many fond memories for me, I was there 6 months when I was 8 and then one whole year at 10.

My mother is also a Menchise but I don't think related, had no idea Menchise was such a common name.

It's so nice to communicate with someone who has a connection to your own family roots(Genzano di Lucania)

Thanks so much.


F-Menchise profile image

F-Menchise 4 years ago from Brisbane Australia Author

Hello Carmel, thank you for leaving a comment on my hub, I wish I could have replied to your comment sooner, but it has not been possible, anyhow, for me it has been a long time here in Australia and to remember most of the Genzano families has become hard, but talking to my wife who is also a Genzanese, I/we are guessing that you might be related to another Francesco Menchise (said Francesc/o accitella) if you are say hello to him for me since we share the same name and we were born in the same year. And remind him that when we went to Bari for the selection in the army our name became mixed up and he ended up where I should have ended up. Anyhow during our lives strange things can sometimes happen. Thanks again for taking the time and comment on my hub. Ciao for now Carmel


Carmel Modica 4 years ago

OMG!! Yes Franco Menchise lives in Adelaide and he is my mother's first cousin. How co-incidental born the same year and very funny regarding the military mix-up. If I see him I will pass on your messages. Bye

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