Letter #5 (or, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone)


I’ve read your email very carefully. I’ll try to add to the themes we’ve touched.

I was back in Naples for the holidays. It has been traumatic to say the least. Well maybe “traumatic” is a bit of an exaggeration, but I can say that it has been disappointing.

When you come back home after a long trip, or after a period of time when your home was away, your perspective shifts. You see things in a different light.

And what I’ve seen has been a dreadful and diffuse “flatness”. Maybe my judgement has been clouded by a feeling of superiority, might it be deserved or presumed; in a subconscious way, I look at the people and feel, “I had the courage to go, to try! You didn’t!”.

I know. A feeling of superiority without justification. Because it wasn’t really courage from my side. It was having no choice.

And it’s when you have no choice that fear disappears, and mutates into survival instinct.

My thoughts are just an exercise in wandering. Flatness, I said. Almost a physical feeling, derived from the fact that, in the six months I’ve been away (which I know, it’s not that much really), nothing changed. My friends are still the same; they hang out with the same people, in the same places, and then complain about it. I suspend judgement here, as Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, because “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone”.

But I’m back in Rome now. I’ve to say goodbye to my Master, my house. And a pretty girl I was dating. We met by chance and we stuck together for a while, because it’s too painful to be alone.

She’s not bright or tender. Her beauty is in her simplicity and the curves of her body, her blonde hair, her warm lips. I’ve fallen for the carnal pleasures – without feeling any remorse.

But even if shallow, she smiles and brings the sunshine everywhere she goes, and that light helped me survive.

I wanted to ask you about Dublin, about Ireland. I recently spoke with a friend, a writer himself, who lived 4 months in Dublin, working there in a travel agency. He’s a very smart guy, with an opinion on everything, and with a very open mind. But he didn’t have nice words for Dublin, or Ireland. He said that the landscape is amazing, regardless of the horrible weather, which is very close to be unbearable. But he said Ireland is a very backward country. Religion is everywhere, on a cultural level. Infrastructures are non existent. Irish people are closed and bigot. I would really like to know if his story has some resemblance of truth, or at least of your version of truth, or if his judgement seems exceedingly negative to you.



Regarding Erika De Nardo I cannot pronounce myself. Especially on her psychological conditions. I’m not a psychiatrist nor a doctor in any way, and I only spent a handful of minutes with her. But I did read a lot on her, so I have a strong opinion.

Massimo Picozzi, psychiatrist and criminologist, has been one of the 12 psychiatrists that were tasked with creating a complete psychological profile of the two lovebirds responsible for the Novi Ligure massacre. He postulates that the only fundamental episode in Erika’s life, that can justify her murder craziness, is the following one: during her childhood years (of course) she was getting progressively emotionally attached to her mother, Susy Cassini – as all kids would do. But Susy was herself in the grieving process for the death of her father (Erika’s grandfather), which lead her to depression, with consequential detachment from her own child.

Erika has since then been growing up, paraphrasing Picozzi, “like an empty shell”. That could potentially explain her “lack of feelings, and indifference towards her parents”, and why she bonded so deeply with Omar, her boyfriend, which was suffering from “Dependant personality disorder”. Picozzi goes on in saying that the two teenagers wouldn’t have been able to perform such task if left to their own devices; but their communion of psychosis gave each other the push to go on with the nefarious act.

Picozzi also doesn’t believe that Erika has undergone a redemption. And I agree with him.

She was a totally normal girl to my eyes, even funny and charming. She welcomed me in a friendly manner, and when questioned on trivial things, her exposition was flawless. I was actually expecting a troubled girl, or at least, a shy one. I thought the heft of the guilt would still be hanging over her mind. But no! Nothingness itself!

Is that the monsters hide inside everyone of us, and for that reason we don’t recognise them when we walk past?

I have to say that for a brief moment, I thought to have caught a glimpse of something in her eyes – a weird light seeping through – but I blame Dario Argento’s movies that I saw since I was a kid.

In the email I sent her, I indirectly said that I understood who she was. I told her I was interested in philosophy, like herself (during her jail years, she graduated in Philosophy magna cum laude) and that I just wanted to start a correspondence.

I discovered that she didn’t just block me on FB, but she canceled her profile entirely. So I was probably the first external one to discover her profile: I won’t hide that this feat is a balsam for my ego!

But, I’ll stop here! I’ll look forward to our next letter.


5 thoughts on “Letter #5 (or, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone)

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