Ravenna Court Records

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Ravenna Court Records

Postby EricRJones » 29 Aug 2007, 20:55

I have an article from the 8 January 1875 Milwaukee Daily Sentinel that quotes an item from British Pall Mall Gazette (text below). It basically indicates that a Biancani from Ravenna was sentenced to hard labor for certain nafarious activities.

I'm descended from Ravenna Biancanis, so I'd like to find out more about this trial. Is it possible to order court records from the archives? Are there any model letters I might use as a starting place in requesting a record?

The Pall Mall Gazette of Dec. 19 says: "We have already noticed the condemnation of sixteen men belonging to a band of assassins which infested Ravenna for several years, and it would appear from the evidence given at the trial that the sentence of hard labor for a varying term of years is by no means out of proportion to their offenses. The series of crimes for which they stood accused extended over a period of seven years and they committed at least thirteen murders. The band, consisting at first of twelve members, but eventually thirty, assumed the title of the Mutual Help Society, and as such was enabled to meet with scarcely any attempt at secresy [sic]. A witness asserted that their meetings were devoted to the work of drawing up proscription lists and writing anonymous letters which contained the most terrible threats. Whenever it was intended to assassinate some one a member pasted on the wall of his house a sheet of paper with the words 'A room to let.' The box in which their daggers and other weapons were kept was known to the initiated as the 'box of pens'. The chief promoted of the this society was a man called Ferri, who died of the wounds he received at the battle of Mentana, and next in importance to him were Pascucci and Biancani, the latter of whom, in his capacity of secretary of the society, announced the holding of a meeting by informing members, 'This evening masters will receive a warning'. The most important evidence which enabled the police to track out the assassins was furnished by the Syndie of Ravenna, though their researches were materially assisted by the confessions made by Pesta a member of the bank, who turned King's evidence. The arrest of these criminals, which was effected nearly two years ago, has inspired the inhabitants of Ravenna with a sense of security to which they had long been strangers, and it is hoped that the recent assassination of Count Aldini at Cesena may lead to the discovery of the band which has been committing similar crimes in Upper Romagna."

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