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.
This page, including text, map and photos is © copyright to author Anne Frandi-Coory and must not be copied in any shape or form.
Please see following posts for more information, on the triumphs & tragedies of the Frandi family:
Aristodemo and Annunziata, with their three Italian born children, left Livorno on the Toscano Coast, Italy on the 15 December 1875 in the SS Gutenberg and arrived in Wellington on 23rd March 1876. The family eventually docked at Jackson Bay, Westland, New Zealand in 1877, and travelled on foot, crossing two rivers, to begin a new life at the settlement at Okuru. The promise of 10 acres of free land to grow grapes and other crops came to nothing; the land was a barren swamp then, and still is today. There were no doctors, no school; hunger was common among families. Letters from the settlers to a Westland newspaper paint a graphic picture of the hardships of, not only the Italian families, but those of other nationalities as well. The settlement was a complete failure.
As we came into Okuru 2003, there before us was an awesome sight: a vast desolate sandy swamp, where the Frandi family lived for three years. An emotional confrontation. Trees still fighting for survival, bowing low before the Great Coastal Wind. How could Duncan McFarlane, New Zealand Government agent ever believe grapes and vegetables could be harvested in such a god forsaken place.
Above: Bush cemetery near Jackson Bay where the settlers’ babies and children are buried (Photo afcoory 2003)
The Graveyard in the Bush – a section of a poem by Dinnie Nolan, descendent of another Okuru settler:
The place is a wayback countryside,
Just after the golden rush,
The scene is a little graveyard, a clearing in the bush,
I attended on those solemn days, then a little child I’d be,
But outlines of those happenings, they still come back to me.
It was sad to view bereaved ones, but the sympathy was kind,
And it left a great impression on my little childish mind.
Each time a soul departed the settlers felt they must
Assemble there, one and all, at that graveyard in the bush.
The widower, he’s standing there, his little babe’s at home,
It shall never now know its mother’s care, for the mother she has gone.
With grief he’s quite distracted, I heard him cry and rave,
I saw stout men lay hands on him and drag him from the grave.
Another time a mother, she had lost a loving son,
The rest had gone and left her, he was then the only one.
I don’t like to tell the story, it might make you sad and fret,
But the passing at the graveside, I shall never more forget.
Many more were buried there in those pioneering days,
I recall the lovely f lowers that f lourished near the graves.
All enclosed with wooden railings as neat as it could be,
Seemed like a little paradise in its plain simplicity.
I returned there long years after, I was then an aged man,
The place was quite deserted, all settlement was gone.
There in my seclusion old memories on me rushed,
And my first impulse it was to seek that graveyard in the bush.
I feel that I should tell you what I gazed upon,
The tangled scrub, it towered above, and the clearing all was gone.
And those crude wooden crosses which as a child I’d seen,
Were buried ’neath that tangled mass, and oblivion reigned supreme.
I tried to force an entrance to locate the place,
But blackberry it barred the way, and tore my hands and face.
I sat there sad and lonely, and I could not help ref lect,
Is this remembrance after life, is this what we might expect.
When our span of life has ended, our voice forever hushed,
Will we lapse into oblivion in some graveyard in the bush?
We visited this lonely graveyard in 2003, where souls have finally found peace. Dappled light sneaked through the overgrown foliage, where I felt I could lie down upon the dried leaves and rest comfortably. Such quietness and solitude! Graves of stone circles, wrought iron rails, headstones, wooden engraved crosses, stacks of stones, many wooden markers rotting away…
A selection of inscriptions read:
Murdoch McPherson, died 1884 aged one year.
Janet Smith, died 1899 aged 56 years.
In memory of James Heveldt, born 4 July 1881 died 31 July 1901.
Dear Lynn & Stephen Grego
I do hope you buy my book ‘Whatever Happened To Ishtar?; A Passionate Quest to Find Answers For Generations of Defeated Mothers‘, which was published last year and which is available from online book sites such as Booktopia, Amazon and Book Depository. In the book, I have written about our Italian relatives the Gregos and Raphaela’s family (Mansi) going back centuries. I have visited the Mansi Palace in Lucca and the Exquisite Mansi villa and gardens in the outskirts of Florence. The Mansi genealogist at the palace confirmed that Raphaela did descend from this wealthy German Mansi family, who were silk merchants. We believe the Florentine branch of the Mansi family moved to Italy from Germany, around the 16th century. Raphaela’s rape by a Catholic priest in Rome changed her life forever. She was 13 or 14 at the time and eventually gave birth to a daughter in London after being sent there in disgrace by her family. It seems nothing has changed with the Catholic Church; I assume that particular priest continued to rape and abuse children until he died!
During my interview with members of the Grego family in 1994 in Watford, I was given many stories about Steve’s grandparents, and my great-grandparents, Filippo & Raphaela, which I am sure he will love to read, although not all of them are pleasant. However, we do have a joint and rich Italian heritage to be proud of.
I am about to post more photos on the ‘Italian Connections‘ section of my blog.
If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know
In our shared family history
Years of corruption in the mafia-controlled refuse dumps, political inefficiency and a lack of modern incinerators, together with a growing population and low levels of recycling have left Naples blighted by piles of rubbish. Such a beautiful city, one of my favourites in Italy. If only all the rubbish, along with corrupt politicians, could be swept up with huge front end loaders and dumped into a bottomless canyon somewhere!
Politicians, including Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, have repeatedly promised to tackle the problem but have never delivered. Berlusconi was too busy having Bunga Bunga parties with escort girls! And now he is too busy fighting accusations of corruption in law courts.
Now that Naples is one of the key cities up for grabs when Italians begin to vote on Sunday and Monday, Berlusconi is keen to tackle the problem. The army has been brought in to rid the city of its rubbish. We shall see.
Pope Benedict XVI has the audacity to say that Catholics made a fundamental contribution to creating a united Italy and a national identity, in a message marking the country’s 150th birthday. Benedict says Christianity helped forge a national identity that resisted political fragmentation on the Italian peninsula, and foreign domination. He says the church’s contribution came through education, literature and the arts in general, listing such personalities as Michelangelo, Caravaggio and Bernini, whose works were often commissioned for religious purposes. Is the pope trying to publicise a dwindling Christianity in this age of free thinking and science?
Benedict is speaking utter BS. Artists were stymied and never allowed to paint what they pleased in case it offended the Catholic Church. Many artists lived a life of subsistence because of this and it is well documented how the Catholic clergy, including extremely wealthy popes and cardinals, enforced their sexual proclivities on young artists. The 19th Century Pope did all he could to quash any attempts at the unification of Italy. It would mean that the papal states would shrink to the City of Rome and finally to Vatican City. Giusseppe Garibaldi led the Risorgimento; he and his followers hated the Catholic Church (Papal Rome) because so often they were betrayed by nuns, priests and cardinals. It was Garibaldi and those politicians who supported his quest for unification, who finally forced Austria, papal sycophants, and France, out of Italy. Garibaldi’s heartbreak was that Nice, his birthplace, was ceded to France in 1861 by politicians, as part of the deal that they leave the peninsula.
It is such a joke that this pope could come out and say it was through Catholic education and literature that Italy was united. The truth is, only ‘the list’ of books approved by the Church were available for the general populace to read. Most literature that made its way to Italy was burned or hidden in heavily fortified libraries only accessible to Monks and Cardinals. See previous post Vatican Library. As for resisting political fragmentation; the only reason they exiled or brutalised any political opposition was because the Church did not want to lose the corrupted power base they possessed. The Church was fully funded and supported by the Spanish, French and Austrians.
If any group can be held responsible for seeding the Risorgimento (resurgence) it was the people of Italy themselves; mostly peasant farmers, some elitists, and mercenaries who fought with Garibaldi in South America. Peasant farmers, led by Garibaldi, almost singlehandedly drove foreign power out of Sicily, and this was the catalyst that began the unstoppable unification of the peninsula. The Roman Catholic Church opposed unification simply because it would mean the end of the vice grip they held over Italy. Read Garibaldi by Jasper Ridley, it is very enlightening and I would hazard a guess that it is not one of the Vatican’s favourite books.
Thousands of Italian women are protesting in the streets at Silvio Berlusconi’s sexual antics. Banners read: “Berlusconi illuminate us – set yourself on fire!” “We are neither virgins nor whores” “You old pig! Take your hands off her!”
I would have thought even Berlusconi would have shown more self-control and discretion in light of the paedophile priests scandal going on within the Catholic Church. Berlusconi’s latest scandal involves a 17-year-old prostitute, ‘Ruby’ to whom he gave almost $10,000, a diamond necklace and a new car. He says he was helping out a friend’s grand-daughter who was having financial difficulties. Why? Weren’t the other politicians paying her enough? The friend whose grand-daughter Ruby was supposed to be? None other than that Pharoah himself, Mr Hosni Mubarak. It so happens Ruby is nothing of the sort. It gets worse. Not only did Berlusconi pay the girl for her services, but he rang the police station himself, when he heard that Ruby was being held in prison for theft. He told the police to let her go. He says he did this to prevent a diplomatic incident! When has Berlusconi ever been concerned about diplomacy. We know the man has always acted as a buffoon on the world stage.
I find it interesting that these two elderly men have jet black hair – nary a grey hair between them (Berlusconi was almost bald not that long ago. Not sure about Mubarak). Saddam Hussein, I noticed, also had jet black hair when he was a tyrant and flaunting himself via his state controlled media. When he was found hiding in an underground bunker, he was completely grey. The thing I don’t get is that these fascists don’t think they are ever going to die! Reminds me of the powerful heads of most giant corporations and banks who caused the latest GFC.
The orgies held at Berlusconi’s home are legendary. You would think that a 74-year-old man would have better things to do with his life given that he can’t have too many years left. He must spend a fortune on Viagra pills. He has five children and I wonder what damage all this has done to them. It seems that his gluttonous life has finally caught up with him and the people of Italy want him out! Berlusconi controls Italian media and it reflects his gaudy, debauched appetites. Berlusconi is emulating the very worst of the Roman Emperors; believes he has power over judges, he owns Italy’s media, Cinema and owns a large stake in Associazione Calcio Milan or A C Milan.
Pope Benedict has suggested that politicians should take the example of St Joan of Arc and die for their faith. I nearly died laughing when I read that. To top that off, it may be that Joan was mistaken for another woman!
Article below By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz:
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is notorious for the fact that he flouts elementary democratic principles and unscrupulously uses his power to defend his own personal interests.
On a number of occasions he has modified laws in order that both he and his relatives could evade legal proceedings and to keep control of his media empire. He has used his influence over both private and public television channels in order to suppress criticism, and to agitate against those judges who are investigating big business corruption and criminality. His authoritarian behaviour has now reached a new pinnacle with his amendment of election law six months before parliamentary elections are due in order to prevent the looming victory of the opposition.
Berlusconi’s total abuse of the right to vote follows an international trend: Five years ago, George W. Bush stole the US election without achieving a real majority, and in Germany, leading politicians are about to form a grand coalition following neo-liberal policies, openly ignoring the wishes of the electorate.
It is fitting that female judges will hear Berlusconi’s trial. Italy is a country in which misogyny reigns supreme. Tobias Jones, the author of ‘The Dark Heart of Italy‘, dubbed Italy as “the land that feminism forgot,” ranked 74th out of 134 countries in a World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, behind Malawi and Kazakhstan. With the exception of Malta, Italy has the lowest ratio of working women in the European Union, 46 per cent.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday scraped through a crucial confidence vote in parliament, overcoming one of the most serious crises in his 16-year political career.
( See my post Is Berlusconi…….
Poor Italy – Corrupt government – Corrupt Vatican. A bit like FIFA – MONEY TALKS??!!)
Berlusconi won with a razor-thin majority, as 314 politicians voted in his favour with 311 against and two abstentions in the 630-seat Chamber of Deputies lower house.
His government earlier won a comfortable majority in the Senate.
Tens of thousands of anti-Berlusconi protesters meanwhile marched through Italy’s biggest cities. Some of the protesters in Rome set off smoke flares, hurled bottles and threw firecrackers, while police fired tear gas.
“Summing up what’s wrong with Berlusconi would be a very long list! But basically he hasn’t managed to cope with the economic crisis,” said Andrea, a school pupil taking part in the protest in Rome.
Silvia, a teacher, said: “I don’t see a future for young people.”
The vote followed heated debates in both chambers of parliament and a fight broke out between some supporters and opponents of the prime minister in the tense minutes before the announcement of the result in the lower house.
Berlusconi earlier voiced confidence in a victorious outcome as he arrived in parliament and said he “absolutely excluded” his resignation, demanded by former allies from his centre-right coalition who rebelled against him.
Berlusconi first launched himself onto a corruption-ridden political scene with an election win in 1994. He has since gone on two more elections in 2001 and 2008, brushing off a series of sex and graft scandals along the way.
The government’s current mandate is set to run out in 2013 but some analysts have argued that Italy will now still have to hold early parliamentary elections because the government’s narrow majority could paralyse parliament.
“This is a country that is tired and wants change,” the leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, Pier Luigi Bersani, said ahead of the vote.
Antonio Di Pietro, a former anti-corruption judge and leader of the Italy of Values party, said Berlusconi’s “papier-mache empire” was finished.
“Go to the Bahamas! This is what awaits you: giving yourself up to the judiciary or fleeing,” Di Pietro shouted at Berlusconi.
But Fabrizio Cicchitto, the leader of Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party in the lower house, said: “Berlusconi’s story is not over.”
The confidence vote followed a bitter split within the ruling coalition after the rebellion earlier this year of Berlusconi’s once-loyal ally Gianfranco Fini, the speaker of parliament, along with around 40 politicians.
Berlusconi had appealed to Fini’s supporters on Monday, calling on them to show “responsibility” and saying: “We must unite for the good of Italy.”
He asked his former partners not to “betray the mandate from our voters.”
The 74-year-old also argued that a vote of no-confidence would be damaging for Italy given the current turbulence on eurozone financial markets.
He warned against the “political folly” of ousting him at such a time. “Berlusconi: The Day of Truth,” read a headline in La Repubblica, while Corriere Della Sera said the government was “on the razor’s edge.”
“Parliament will today probably finalise the collapse of the structure of centre-right coalitions for 16 years – the alliance between Silvio Berlusconi and Gianfranco Fini,” Corriere della Sera said in an editorial.
La Repubblica criticised Berlusconi’s attempt to rally his former allies from the centre-right, saying: “It’s a little prayer to try and survive another bit with the illusion of still having a government, a majority.”
‘This sort of sadness has always prevailed among intelligent Italians, but most of them, to evade suicide or madness, have taken to every known means of escape…a passion for women, for food…above all, for fine sounding words’. – Ignazio Silone from the Dark Heart of Italy.
Berlusconi has been Italy’s (bel paese; beautiful country) Prime Minister for seven out of the last ten years.
I have travelled to Italy many times over the past two decades; I love the people, the country, and would have loved to have lived there for a couple of years if I had been given the opportunity. It goes without saying that their literature, poets and authors have always grabbed my undivided attention. But the natives I spoke to say it is a difficult and harsh country to live in if you are not wealthy and don’t have powerful connections. From what I have read, it has always been this way.
Berlusconi and his fellow politicians are about to pass new laws curtailing the Italian press from reporting sensitive issues like what the men in government, and in other institutions such as banking, get up to in their private lives. Berlusconi tells ‘his people’ that the new rules are necessary to protect citizens’ privacy. “In Italy, we are all spied upon,” he said recently in the law’s defense. The press are on strike.
The prime minister speaks from experience. Last year, wiretap transcripts were published revealing that he was hosting select parties where young women, including call girls, were the star attraction. Another intercept revealed how he had asked a manager of public television “about girls,” to help “raise the boss’s morale.” The incidents were reported to have led to his divorce from his second wife because she asked him to apologise to her for his behaviour, and put him at odds with the Catholic Church. He informed the press that his wife had no right to insult him in public.
The following piece taken from an article by Alessandro Speciale — Special to GlobalPost Published: June 29, 2010 06:49 ET in European article:
On July 29, Berlusconi ousted Fini — the charismatic, current speaker of the Lower Chamber of the Italian parliament — from his People of Freedom party, accusing the party co-founder of being “totally incompatible” with its principles. He also contended that Fini was waging a shadow “political opposition” within his own party, trying to administer a “slow death” to it.
He had reason to be worried: 33 lawmakers from the lower house of parliament and 10 from the Senate abandoned the People of Freedom upon Fini’s departure, leaving Berlusconi five votes short of a majority in the lower house and with a wafer-thin majority of two votes in the upper house.Fini has pledged support for Berlusconi on an ad hoc basis, vowing to fight fiercely against proposals that are “unfair or damaging to the wider interest.”
Sounds similar to the political stalemate here in Australia…
See Posts… Berlusconi Lives For Another Day