Gennaro Abbatemaggio, the first "repentant" of the Camorra

by Federico D'Addato

The figure of the collaborator of justice it is essential for investigations into criminal organizations, thus speaking of the first trial for camorra it is necessary to mention Gennaro Abbatemaggio, the first repented.

To contextualize the story it is good to start from the beginning of the process that then led to the testimony of Abbatemaggio: the process I cook.

The Cuocolo case and the trial

On 6 June 1906 on the Cupa Calastro beach in Greek's tower the body of Gennaro I cook, basist of the camorra, with approx 40 stab wounds.

On the same day Maria Cutinelli, Cuocolo's wife and business partner, was found dead naked on the bed in their home Naples.

The case is entrusted to the Preccint which due to lack of evidence does not continue with the investigation.

Again, it is necessary to take a step back.

There camorra, as also reported by the legal acts of the time, is an organization present in the southern fabric not since the Unification of Italy, but for about two centuries earlier, obviously with various names and facets.

In the case of the early 1900s, the "Beautiful Company"Had exponents who quietly frequented the cultural salons where there were often representatives of industry and the nobility.

It is in one of these lounges that Enrico Alfani, said "Erricone“, The chief operative of the underworld in those years, tries to seduce the wife of the Duke of Aosta who resided in Capodimonte.

Driven therefore by the aristocracy and to put an end to the gossip and above all to the growth of the Camorra phenomenon in the city, the Duke of Aosta entrusts the reopening of the investigations to the carabinieri.

One of the most important protagonists of the story is precisely the captain Fabroni, which started operation “I Cossacks"With the sole purpose of tracking down the criminals.

The "Fabroni method"Was the subject of debate among the public guaranteeing opinion of the time, which found among its major exponents the figure of Matilde Serao, wife of Edoardo Scarfoglio founder de The morning.

The trial took place in Viterbo for "legitimate suspicion“, That is the impossibility of having the certainty about the regularity of the procedure if this had taken place in Naples.

Gennaro Abbatemaggio, the first "repentant" of the Camorra
The Cuocolo spouses, from their murder the first maxi trial in the Camorra started

The role of Gennaro Abbatemaggio

Gennaro Abbatemaggio was the coachman of the Camorra, a character of little consequence in the criminal context despite some testimonies bearing his own vanity, which pushed him to define himself "Camorra“, As if it were a quality.

Abbatemaggio decided during the years of the trial of collaborate with justice and with Captain Fabroni providing testimony regarding the trial, being pushed according to him by the will of redeem himself before leaving with his partner to start a new life away from the dynamics of "Beautiful Company“.

The versions however provided by the coachman They do not match, in fact, if at first he attributed the blame for the murder to these criminals as Gennaro I cook he was responsible for having had him arrested and brought to Lampedusa Luigi Arena (his accomplice in some thefts), in a second case he conferred the role of principal to Giovanni Rapi, manager of a clandestine gambling den that competed with Cuocolo on the market of receiving stolen goods.

Until May 9th 1927 Gennaro Abbatemaggio declared to a lawyer:

“However belated, but always timely, I feel the conscientious duty to make the following declaration so that a state of affairs which constitutes the most serious judicial error in the judicial records of the world is not prolonged. I say that the convicts of the Cuocolo trial are innocent. "

Denying therefore all its versions mentioned above.

The life of Gennaro Abbatemaggio

From the few evidence that we have about the life of Gennaro Abbatemaggio it can be reconstructed that: he was born in Naples in 1854 and who has lived on thefts both before and during his experience as coachman of the Camorra.

They attest numerous arrests against him and served a sentence even at the end of the Cuocolo trial but managed to go out and leave voluntarily with the "Arditi" in Great War, with whom he became sergeant and when he returned he found that his mate had it betrayed with the policeman charged with protecting him from a possible settlement of the accounts of crime.

After attempting suicide he joined the fascism opening a new chapter of his life, also done this by murders e looting.


Alfonso .Paolella, The origins of the Camorra. The honored society between history and literature up to the Cuocolo trial, Naples, Tullio Pironti, 2008

Dickie J., Honored Society, Rome-Bari, Editori Laterza, 2012

Legitimate suspicion

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