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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Italian mobster earns degree after writing 170 pg thesis confessing to three unsolved murders

He graduated magnum cum laude.

An incarcerated Italian mobster is being hailed as a “brilliant” honor student after writing a 170-page thesis paper based on his life of crime — in which he confessed to three unsolved murders.

Catello Romano, 33, earned a sociology degree with the dissertation while serving a life sentence at the Calabrian prison of Catanzaro.

He was convicted in the 2009 murder of a Naples councilman and other crimes, according to El País, a Spanish newspaper.

“My name is Catello Romano. I am 33 years old, and I have been in prison for almost half my life, 14 consecutive years,” the thesis began, according to the outlet. 

“I have committed horrendous crimes and have been convicted of several Camorra murders. What follows is my criminal history.”

The gangster-turned-undergraduate said his first murder victims were rising rival mobster Carmine D’Antuono, and Federico Donnarumma — a man who was only rubbed out because he was conversing with D’Antuono at the time of the assassination.

The 2008 double murder was “the most violent, traumatic and irreparable event” of Romano’s life and left a “hole” in his “soul,” the honor student mafioso wrote.

He also copped to the previously unsolved slaying of rival mafioso Nunzio Mascolo the same year.

“Although I cannot prove it, I am sure that he did nothing wrong to deserve death,” the repentant killer lamented.

The thesis recounts Romano’s non-criminal family history as the prisoner reflected on what made him gravitate to “the allure of crime.”

“I have intimately known misery, and the negative influence it can have, since my childhood,” he wrote, arguing that the mafia is an attractive family “institution” for people who grew up on the margins of society.

“With them, I built my new alternative identity as a tough guy, as a mask with which to hide my inability to accept my fragility as a teenager and as a way of surviving in a violent and extreme world,” he wrote.

For Romano, violence became “a language and a way of claiming respect and social recognition” — something, he admitted, he was not proud of.

The paper ultimately sought to understand “the criminal phenomenon” and contribute “to its possible prevention.”

“I am convinced that words are important and this autoethnographic text aims to change the world around us,” he wrote, according to El Pais.

Romano’s admission to three unprosecuted killings, however, has now drawn the attention of prosecutors — who are weighing reopening the cases and led to him being transferred to a maximum-security prison in Padua, the outler reported.

Meanwhile, Catanzaro University professor and sociologist Charlie Barnao, who was Romano’s thesis advisor described the mobster as a “brilliant student, who has gotten very good grades throughout his course of study.”

“He has recounted in detail circumstances that will have consequences; he was very determined to expose that in his thesis,” the professor, who has taught Sociology of Survival to the imprisoned for five years, said.

“He has put his life in order once and for all and organized the episodes of his life to analyze them through a sociological research method, which has also had a kind of therapeutic function.”

Romano worked with the state after admitting to killing Castellammare di Stabia councilman councilman Luigi Tommasino for “meddling in too many things that did not concern him” in 2009.

His cooperation with the government was short-lived, however, after he escaped from custody, according to the outlet.



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