The family homicides are an Achilles heel of many Prosecutors’ Offices which investigate them as if they were mafia murders

Over thirty years of criminal investigations conducted by my Italian Private Detective Agency Octopus have taught me maximal prudence in the absence of the corpse.

Over thirty years of criminal investigations conducted by my Italian Private Detective Agency Octopus have taught me maximal prudence in the absence of the corpse.

Benno Neumair is suspected of killing his parents. And until now nothing strange: disappearance of the Neumair spouses resembles very much a family murder.

The son of Laura and Peter Neumair was imprisoned in Bolzano expecting the investigative results and also this step is pretty predictable: if it was him that killed the parents (and that is what he later confessed and what was the result of the investigation), the free young Benno could sidetrack the investigation. Although, taking into account the technological resources available nowadays to the investigators and the apparent lack of shrewdness of the suspect, I would personally opt for a period of strict surveillance on the loose, since I consider it more productive.

The family homicides are much more difficult to uncover as compared with all other murders and often the investigators forget the two main struggles that would result in accurate investigations and meticulous collection of evidence in an absolute radio silence:

  • The DNA is just a pawn in the game, because, apart from some very particular cases, places, victims and suspects are contaminated before the crime takes place.
  • The murderer of a family member is mentally disturbed or has feelings of blame for the committed homicide. In both cases, it is particularly difficult to be able to break him in the interview room or to count on the “magical moment of the handcuffs” of the Magdalenian memory. And, almost always, the media limelight only worsens this lack of collaboration.

As a simple owner of the Italian Private Detective Agency, I wish I was wrong, but the beginning of the investigations of Benno Neumair did not give much hope: a search at the house of Benno’s girlfriend, without communicating her rights in the presence of a lawyer and/or a person she trusts. Then constant leaks from Public Prosecutor’s Office which kept the journalists on a leash, throwing them like bones details of disarming futility, for example audio messages in which Benno’s mother was complaining about her son (if I had heard the audio of my mother regarding me at that age, I would probably still be serving a life sentence).

The Italian Investigation Agency Octopus has been often involved in the defensive criminal investigations on behalf of suspected family murders, who later turned out to be innocent. And the case of the killed spouses from Bolzano was very similar to these nasty stories that I and the detectives from my Italian Private Detective Agency have experienced first-hand: the poor Filippo Pappalardi accused of having killed both his children and of having cut up their little bodies, according to the delusional accusation hypothesis, while the bodies of kids were lying in an abandoned house, where they accidently died while they were playing. A less famous defendant, accused of having killed his father, only on the basis of the presence of his wallet, which, as we managed to demonstrate, was completely unrelated to the crime scene.

I can go further, but it would serve no purpose, because it seems that many investigators and judges are not capable of learning from their mistakes. Suffice it to say that many other cases (which were not investigated by my Italian Investigation Agency Octopus), like Sandro Vecchiarelli and Massimo Barili who were accused for years for homicide of their friend Chiara Bariffi who ended up in Lake Como behind the wheel of their own off-road vehicle and, more recently, the nasty case of the murder of poor Gianna del Gaudio, who had her throat cut in her own house in Seriate, with her husband targeted as the only accused, but later on acquitted.

The investigators are often compared to hounds in order to underline their perseverance in the investigations, but the tenacious investigations have to be also balanced and reasonable, otherwise they transform themselves into unjust persecution.

Recently the forensic scientific investigations have made leaps and bounds, but this cannot create an illusion that they can substitute the criminal investigations. Every time the investigators do their job badly, they tend to produce technical and scientific expertises and superexpertises, which, instead of clarifying doubts, only multiply them.