May 10, 2005
Authorities may reopen murder investigation of poet, filmmaker Pasolini . . .
by Dennis Johnson
The investigation into the murder of poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini may be reopened after the man convicted of the 1975 murder has recanted his story. According to an Agence France Presse wire story, Pino Pelosi, who served nine years for the slaying, told Italian television that he was innocent but had been forced to take the fall in the case. However, he said, “today I am no longer afraid. Those who threatened me and threatened my family must be old or dead now.” At the time of Pasolini’s murder on Ostia beach, Pelosi was a 17-year-old who confessed to the crime. He now says he was with Pasolini on the beach “when three men appeared and beat Pasolini to death.” As the story details, “The killing of the militantly anti-fascist artist was officially explained as a homosexual encounter gone wrong, but suspicions have persisted that Pasolini was killed in an assassination plot by right-wingers eager to silence him.” In the days before his murder, the AFP reports, “Pasolini had received threats from the far right for his last film, Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, about the final period of Italy’s fascist rulers in 1943-45.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him at @mobylives