Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A tragic accident . . . or something worse?

The Daily Mail reports on a Sicilian wedding that went tragically wrong.

A wedding photographer was accidentally shot dead after he asked the happy couple to pose with guns as part of the big day celebrations, Italian police have revealed.

. . .

Palermo police spokesman Colonel Teo Luzi said: 'From what we have been able to establish the photographer had asked the parents of the bride and groom if they had any guns to use as props in a picture and one went off hitting him in the head killing him.

'He was only there as a favour for the wedding photographer who had been originally been booked but had to pull out as he was ill. The bride and groom were distraught and the wedding was immediately cancelled.

'The prosecutor is looking at bringing charges against the groom's parents as this is where the death took place but we need to examine the ballistics report first as the bride's parents also brought a weapon.'

He added: 'The firearms were legally held but in the interests of safety they should all be kept safe and not be handled by people who are not used to them and have no experience.

'What we are trying to establish is if the gun went off as it was being handled by the photographer or if it went off as it was handed to him but no-one is being very talkative.'

In southern Italy and especially Sicily it is common for guns to be fired at family events or festivals as part of the celebrations and in the past this has led to numerous deaths and injuries especially around New Year.

There's more at the link.

OK, I have three questions.

1. This is Sicily, a land renowned for criminal gangs and blood feuds. How sure are we that this was an accident?

2. The original photographer pulled out at the last minute and arranged for a substitute. How sure are we that he didn't have some warning that it might not be a good idea to show up?

3. If 'no-one is being very talkative' about a pure accident, why not? What's there to keep quiet about? This sounds suspicious on the face of it.

One wonders whether the original photographer might have upset someone, or taken a picture that might identify some crime boss, and was targeted as a result. Hearing of this, he might have decided that discretion was the better part of photography, and asked the deceased to take his place, assuming that if he wasn't there, no harm would come to anyone. On the other hand, someone told to 'take care of the photographer' might not know that the person he targeted wasn't the photographer in question.

This stinks to high heaven, if you ask me.



LL said...

It sounds like a script for Godfather IV.

Shrimp said...

Well, if their legal system is anything like ours (and I don't suspect it is) keeping quiet is just common sense. Make the state bring a case, don't give them anything they don't already have.

If this happened in rural Kentucky or the backwoods of Tennessee, the story would be totally believable as told. I don't know if Sicily is the same, but everybody has their "backwards backwoods cousins" story, and maybe Sicily is to Italy what West Virginia is to the US.