Criminal activities in Cassino and the surrounding area between 8 April and 6 October 1821

Then Gargano ordered all those held captive from Castelnuovo to gather dry wood, and they did, and about 11pm they built a bonfire. Then Gargano ordered Gizzi shot and right away this was done by Giuseppe Pesce and Antonio Panetta.  Having killed Gizzi the body was then thrown on the bonfire and burned.

We often think of our ancestors lives as being so full of the daily labours of being a ‘contadino’ that we overlook the fact that they may also have been involved in criminal activities either as an aggressor or a victim .

The following 145 persons are listed in the Criminal Court of the Terra di Lavoro between April and October 1821. The crimes range from murder,theft, rape and plunder. There are about 200 pages describing the crimes.

Of those listed Fulvio di Nallo and Giuseppe di Murro were condemned to death. Domenico Pipari, Antonio Gizzi and Benedetto Varrecchia were killed by their companions! Nine others were killed by the police, four were given amnesty, seven were ‘saved’ presumably from their injuries, the rest were tried for their crimes.

This was the time of the “briganti” and one of the Governments methods of dealing with them was to give amnesty to any brigand who killed one of the members of the band. The Head of the band received amnesty only if he killed three of his men. If one of the bandits killed his leader he was fully pardoned! (No honour among thieves in those times!)

The death penalty was normal for armed robbery for any member of a band of at least three persons even if only one was armed.

The towns of origin of the criminals are:- Itri, San Giuseppe (di Picinisco), Picinisco, Agnone (Villa Latina), Villa (Santa Lucia), Viticuso, S. Biagio (Saracinisco), Caspoli, Fornelli, Atina, Vallerotonda, San Michele (Casale di San Germano), Sant’Ambrogio, Colli, Piedimonte San Germano, Cervaro, Castelluccio, and Fontana (Liri).

If you believe any of these criminals or their victims belong in your family tree we can provide you with the details of their crimes, suitably translated into English of course.

When you are perusing the list bear in mind the year is 1821 and take into account your ancestors age. Details of their age and the name of their father is contained in the document.

Their victims were many. Their crimes were attempted murder, theft of coats, shoes, beehives and the slaughter of animals, torture, armed robbery and kidnap.

The following persons were Murdered

Don Domenico Panetta di Agnone, Mariano Fallone, Mariano Staffieri, Pasquale Tedeschi, Antonio Gizzi,, Crescenzo Pedale, Francesco Sacco, Benedetto Aceti, Giovanni Antonio de Santis, Rocco D’Aguanno, Antonio Martone, Domenico Mattia, Vincenzo Mattia,

Attempted murder of

Leonardo d’Amico, Mariano Staffieri. Vittorio Ferdinando

The following women were raped

D. Leopolda Capocci, Maria Capocci, Caterina Matassa, Antonia Morelli, Rosalia Velardo, D. Teodora Persia,

Theft of beehives of:-

D. Silvio Crescenzi, Francesco Tamburrini, Angiola di Paolo, Marco Capogrossi,

Theft of Coats, shoes and animals of:-

Giambattista Diodato, Pietroantonio, Carmine and Domenico de Luca, Gaetano Coja, Agostino Gizzi, Diamante Capaldi, Giuseppe Rossi, theft of coats and shoes

Giuseppe Faccenda, Giacomo Bucci, Valenzio Ferri, D. Luigi Zezza , D. Marcellino Corio, Barone Angelone, D. Giovanni Petrolino had their animals killed

The following persons suffered armed robbery, torture, sequestration and violence

Anselmo Iorio, Gabriele Bastone, Cosimo Iorio, Vincenzo di Marco and Teodora Persia, Michele de Lise, Francesco di Leo, Pasquale di Santo, Emiddio Amodei, Vincezo Bernardo adnd Domenico Amodei, Gabriele Bastone, Domenico Rossi and Gennaro Coja, D. Alessandro del Prete, Fortunato Valente, D, Michele de Petrillis, Andreanna Glittoni, Antonio de Petrillis and Pasquale Teolis, Giambattista and Pietro Belmonte, Giovanni and Antonio Vecchione, D. Biagio Abbatecola, Alessandro Simeone, Don Gaetano Tomas, Pasquale Capaldi, Ferdinando and Daniele Ferri,  Fulgenzio Arcari, Tommaso and Salvadore Iannetta, Diamante and Giovanni Capaldi, Raffaele and Diamante Iaconelli, Fiore and Angelo Colarusso and Anna Zezima, Domenico and Pasquale Capaldi, Antonio Sinacone Giovanni Sebastiano, Michele Morelli, Pasquale Mollicone, Giovanni Stricca and Loreta Mollicone, Andrea Brusco, Domenico Mazzegna, Antonio Buccello, Valerio Serrone, Vincenzo Alicandro and Pietro Pagnano, Isadore Bove, Sigori Dragonetti di Atina, Raffaele Volante, Onorio and Cosmo Salvadore, D. Geremia and Partrizio Petrucelli and Giovanni Cocco, D. Giacomo Ricci , Giuseppe and Paolo di Mascio, Stefano Volante, Domenico Capaldi and Vincenzo Pacitto, Antonio and Pietro Testa and Domenico Rossi, Cesare Silvestri, Pietro Tommasone and Giuseppe Miniscalchi, Carmine Capaldi, Domenico and Giovannantonio Tamburrino AND Secondino d’Elia, Pasquale Capaldi and Michelangelo Ferri, Giuseppe Tartaglione, Giuseppe De Meo, Nicolangelo Grossi, Domenico Romano and Domenicoantonio Vacca, Silvestro Serra, Domenica Capaldi, D. Marcellino Coiro and Ferdinando Ferri, Domenicoantonio and Raffaele Suroli, Filippo Coletti, Alessandro Irano, Andrea Canale, Filippo and Giuseppe Visocchi, Pasquale Agatella and Antonio Secondino, Tommaso and Lorenzo Rea, and Michele and Carlo de Arcangelis, Carmine Latessa, Bernardo di Martino, Antonio Rea, Domenicoantonio Mele, Benedetto Pecchia and Saverio Gargano, Luigi Capaldi, Biase and Francesco Porcelli and Giuseppe Valvona, Antonio Galardo, Mattia Pompa, Francesco and Antonio di Marco, Francesco Capaldi, Mariangiola Pelosi, Clemente and Diamante Capaldi and Mattia de Felice, Domenico Corsi, Francesco Coppola,

The Consultore di Montecassino D. Giovanni Manzillo

Benedetto Varecchia (victim and criminal)


  1. Hi Ann. My third great grandfather from picinisco born in 1825 was Carlo Benemino Crolla who was a member of the brigante. Have a record of this. A little like Robin Hood of modern times. Stole from the rich to feed the poor.


  2. Very interesting also heartbreaking to read the lists. I found 2 with my family surname. (Francesco) SACCO murdered and (Isadore) BOVE. suffered armed robbery, torture, sequestration or violence. Is there a fee to see the translated details in English.


    • Hi Margaret, To translate the passages where your ancestors are named there is a fee of 25 Euro a page. It looks like there are about 4 pages for the two ancestors you mentioned. If you would like us to do this please contact me at


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