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CRIME

Child killer confesses to Lombardy priest

A chaplain in northern Italy has received a letter from an apparent child killer, just days after an anonymous confession was found in the church visitors' book.

Child killer confesses to Lombardy priest
The letter was signed 'Mario'. Photo: Dwayne Bent/Flickr

Father Antonio Citterio found the letter under the doormat at the Salvini di Rho chapel hospital, Corriere della Sera reported.

“I wrote the message in the church book,” the author of the letter wrote.

The letter was signed ‘Mario’, although additional details have not been revealed by the investigators, Corriere said.

‘Mario’ followed up the letter drop with a phone call to the hospital reception desk.

“Hello, I’m called Mario, I’m sick with cancer. I’m the author of the message in the church about Yara. I wanted to know if the chaplain has received my letter,” he said.

The caller was referring to a message recently found in the visitor book of the same church, confessing to the 2010 unsolved murder of a 13-year-old girl in the region.

The unsigned note in the visitor's book said: “Tell the police of Bergamo that the killer of Yara Gambirasio was here. May God forgive me.”

Despite taking over 14,000 DNA samples, police have been unable to find the child’s murderer.

Gambirasio went missing in November 2010 after leaving a gym in Brembate, a village in Lombardy.

Her body was found 10km away three months later, with multiple stab wounds and a head injury.

Earlier this year DNA evidence found on the girl’s clothes led investigators to exhume the body of truck driver Giuseppe Guerinoni who died a decade ago, La Stampa said.

DNA evidence suggests that the murderer could be Guerinoni’s illegitimate son, although police have been unable to trace him.

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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