1st May 1862
The crime of the century took place in the Genoese via Aurea.
A year before Jesse James started his career as a bank robber in the West, and a little earlier of the celebration of Garibaldi’s expedition of the Thousand, a crime discombobulated Genoa.
In broad daylight, six armed men bursted into Parodi Bank and stole 800.000 liras… something like 4 million dollars!
Everyone in Italy was speaking about it!
No one seemed to know who was responsible for such audacious robbery. Surprisingly the police came up with some clues quite soon.
We can’t say if it were the initials embroidered on a handkerchief found on the crime scene or the generous reward that loosened the Bolognese prefect’s tongue, however it became clear that the robbery’s dynamic was typical of the Ceneri gang.
What are we talking about? No big deal, it was just the most important and infamous among the Emilian gangs. They were known for being responsible for countless crimes, robberies and “excellent” murders.
Few days later the gang tried a border run by boat, but they failed and were chased by the authorities. Sadly just a part of the loot was retrieved. We may just imagine how sad the banker Parodi was…
In the meanwhile the inquiries went on, and the authorities discovered that the gang was working for some Garibaldian who wanted to self-finance their adventure. That’s the reason why a Garibaldian helped Pietro Ceneri to avoid his punishment.
After all, would it really be the story of the worst Italian gang of the time without an escape? A daring getaway by steamer took place in Genoa! That’s how the dark beauty of the well known outlaw disappeared from the Italian record forever. Or at least, it could have been so…
Some years later in Chile
10th November 1881
Thirty years before Butch Cassidy ends his career as robber in an isoleted Village in the Bolivian Andes,
The Chilean police intervened during a robbery. They killed one of the outlaws and arrested the other. Can you guess his identity? He said that he was Italiana, and his name was Pietro Ceneri! The Chilean police send him back to Genoa were he met his fate, ending his career in a Genoese prison. A satirist of the time wrote “the time in which we live could be called “the Age of robbers”.