If Jason’s father Ateo (Arthur) Frandi had been reported and convicted for sexually abusing his sister and his step children, (and possibly others) would Dagmar Pytlickova have been murdered?
Source for article below: The Christchurch Press 31 May 2012 & Herald Sun 30 May 2012
Waimate police were looking for Jason Frandi the day before his body and that of a Czech hitchhiker tourist were found. Frandi had earlier been informed by a member of the public that a sexual allegation had been made against him and police were worried about what action he might take.
The bodies of Frandi, 43, and Dagmar Pytlickova, a 31-year-old woman from the Czech Republic, were found in a rugged forest area near Waimate, on New Zealand’s South Island last Sunday. It’s alleged that Frandi raped Pylickova before cutting her throat.
It’s also alleged that Frandi had admitted 12 years earlier that he planned to rape a young woman and then kill himself. This is a pretty chilling scenario considering what happened at the weekend.
Frandi was jailed for three and a half years in 2000 for abducting a 19-year-old Oamaru woman, with the intent of having sex with her. Media reports at the time said the woman was pushing her bicycle down the street when Frandi forced her into his vehicle. Police praised a bystander who heard her screams and tried to intervene, grabbing the door handle then taking the registration number of the car as it sped off. Despite his previous convictions, police weren’t keeping a specific eye on Frandi.
Pytlickova, also known as Dasha, arrived in New Zealand in January and had been working at a Cromwell-area vineyard until recently, police said yesterday. They said she left Cromwell on Saturday and was hitchhiking to the Timaru area when she was picked up by Frandi somewhere between Omarama and Kurow. His car was found parked among some trees near Waimate yesterday, and the hitchhiker’s back pack was found inside the car.
Police believe the pair walked from the car to the spot where their bodies were found by charity event riders, about 3km away. Empty alcoholic drink bottles were scattered around the scene. Pytlickova’s mobile was turned off at 6.40pm. Autopsies were conducted yesterday in Christchurch.
Frandi was known around the community as a man with a troubled past. “I know he could be violent when he was drinking,” resident Annette Dungey, who had known him for many years, said. “I know that because he told me himself.”
See my essay My Right To Write My Memoir – is it right to expose inter-family abuse?
I found the above news item particularly disturbing in view of that fact that Jason Frandi was a member of my maternal extended family. I wrote a book ‘Whatever Happened To Ishtar?; A Passionate Quest To Find Answers For Generations Of Defeated Mothers’ (published 2010) after interviewing descendents from the Lebanese and Italian branches of my family tree, and perusing myriad documents. In this post about Jason Frandi’s background, I am concentrating on the Italian branch. During research for ‘Ishtar?’ I discovered an Italian family history of abandonment, and sexual and physical abuse.
There were many reasons why I wrote ‘Ishtar?’ and although I started writing to exorcise past demons, among them to understand why my own mother, Doreen Frandi, abandoned me when I was an infant, it quickly developed into a far-reaching saga. See Letters to Anne Frandi-Coory
Jason Frandi (43) was the son of Ateo (Arthur) Frandi, b. Wellington, 8 April 1934. When I interviewed Arthur’s immediate family for my book, they told me that Arthur sexually assaulted his younger sister in their family home when he was a teenager. The only reason the abuse stopped was because Arthur was caught abusing his sister by another brother. Consequently, no other family members knew of the abuse, and it was never reported to police. Following the failure of Arthur’s first marriage to Jason’s mother, Arthur married a woman who had four children from a previous relationship. The marriage broke up when his wife discovered he was a paedophile who had been molesting her children. I have carefully contemplated this section of the Frandi family history and I wonder whether the rape and murder of an innocent tourist, Dagmar Pytlickova, by Jason Frandi in May 2012 could have been prevented if his father had been brought to justice many years ago. It appears that Arthur was an abuser from a young age, and there is the possibility that there are many more of his victims out there who are yet to come forward. It is also possible that Arthur sexually abused his own children, including Jason.
The Frandi family history seems to have taken a wrong turn when Jason’s ancestors, my great grandparents, Annunziata and Aristodemo Frandi fled Italy in 1875 and settled in the barren and wind-swept Okuru Settlement on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. I can’t know for absolute certainty, but according to the Frandi family, their life in Italy was privileged until the aftermath of the Garibaldi uprising and Risorgimento (Unification). The environment at Okuru was harsh with no medical facilities, no schools and a lack of food supplies. After persevering at a subsistence level for almost four years the family was moved to Wellington in the North Island, at the cost of the NZ government. The three children Annunziata and Aristodemo brought with them from Italy were the stalwarts of the family, but later born siblings seemed to have been hewn from a different mould. During my research, I uncovered another paedophile within the family’s ranks, and I write about that extensively in my book.
My grandfather Alfredo Frandi was the youngest son of Annunziata and Aristodemo, and Arthur’s grandfather Francesco was their oldest son. Francesco had three sons including William who was Arthur’s father. I interviewed William’s middle son extensively, (Arthur was his oldest son) as well as his wife who told me that her husband had a violent ‘Frandi’ temper which terrified her and her children at times. He also had a severe speech impediment which he himself put down to very poor communication and his deep fear of speaking when he was a child.
This is a small window into the extended family my mother was born into; she witnessed horrendous violence toward her own mother at the hands of her father, Alfredo. The question is, how much family violence is due to environment and how much is genetic? William Frandi was abandoned by his mother when he was a toddler and he never really overcame his deprived childhood . She ran off with another man and later moved to Tasmania, and he never saw her again. He had a large extended family who did what they could for William, his two brothers and sister, but the damage was done. All four adult siblings were considered either ‘strange’ or ‘intellectually slow’. All had very troubled and unsettled early lives. According to William’s family, he was a man of very few words and barely spoke to his sons at all. He moved to Waimate soon after his marriage to escape the gossip about his mother. William was too timid to approach a girl in person so he put an advertisement in the local paper, and eventually married a woman from England.
After writing ‘Ishtar?’ I came to the conclusion that perhaps one of the best things that ever happened to me was that I was placed in an orphanage at ten months old, as traumatic as that turned out to be. In my case, I hope it is nurture over nature.