David Rossi, the mother: “Enough: my son didn’t kill himself”

John Terzi

We re-propose “Interviews with the protagonists” by Giovanni Terzi. Here the interview with David Rossi’s mother, Mrs. Vittoria Ricci Rossi

“Between this moon and the stars / my thoughts scream the silence / which surrounds them like a suffocated noise… / Imperceptible wingbeat / slips between a sharp and a subtle lament / The euthanasia of a breath that dies… / submerged, Diluted overwhelmed / by the intrusiveness of nothingness …”.

So he wrote in a poem over a drawn watercolor David Rossi at twenty-five, in 1986. On March 6 of this year, nine years will have passed since that evening in which the head of communications of the Monte dei Paschi bank was found and left in agony for forty minutes on the ground, in the alley Rocca Salimbeni, in Siena. Nine years where the only watchword was “suicide”.

Today, in the light of the findings of the Parliamentary commission of inquirymany inaccuracies and superficialities in how the investigations were conducted are evidently manifesting themselves.

But in these nine years we have repeatedly faced the procedural fact and the examinations and contradictions that were gradually emerging. In these nine years one person had never spoken: David Rossi’s mother, Mrs Victoria Ricci Rossiwho closed in her recollections and in her dignified silence, preferred to remain reserved and not express herself.

Today, however, we are at an important stage in the legal case, in which it is necessary to make it clear that David Rossi did not commit suicide. From this point of view, poetry is a sweet and important demonstration of it.

«I start by saying that my son has always been a person who loved life and would never have done such a thing. But what strikes me most is that David always wrote, and it’s unthinkable that before such a gesture he didn’t leave something with his style and his prose.’

So begins to tell Vittoria Ricci Rossi, the mother of David, in remembering the figure of her son.

“For nine years our only request has always been that of the truth and we want to be positive hoping that, sooner or later, it will arrive”.

Don’t you believe, Signora Vittoria, in suicide?

“He committed suicide? Impossible! Because he would never have done it, least of all in the workplace. Besides, he would have written a novel before doing so.’

A mother’s knowledge of her child is always unique and absolute, but this time it coincides with what Giuseppe Mussari, former president of Monte dei Paschi, declared a few days ago in the Commission: «The farewell notes found in the trash can? No, it wasn’t the expression of the David I knew. And they don’t match up at all. It wasn’t his style.”

And again Giuseppe Mussari, always speaking of David Rossi in the Commission, has outlined a concise but decisive profile. «David Rossi was a brother, a friend. I had him hired because he was the best at his job. I never confided anything to him, but if there was a need for a friend, he was there». Always Mussari to the crucial question of the Commission, or whether the death of David Rossi is to be classified as suicide, replied: “I don’t think so.”

Mrs. Vittoria, do you think your son took his own life?

“I categorically rule it out.”

And how is she now?

“If I have to tell you the truth, I haven’t gotten used to it yet; I still can’t figure out what happened is real.”

Signora Vittoria is in her home in Siena, full of memories of a son who passed away too soon, and she tells me what young David’s personality was: «He has always been a cheerful and smiling boy, with a wonderful character devoted to calmness and peace. Since he was a child, David showed us that he was so sensitive and attached to his family, and for this reason he always wanted to be with us: with his uncles, grandparents, parents and siblings, and to do this when he was very young he made complaints about not going to the asylum”.

Vittoria, your house is full of drawings by David. Were writing and drawing your son’s passion?

«Since he was a child he had his own small desk where he drew and wrote continuously: pencils, felt-tip pens and watercolors were always at hand, ready to allow him to invent something beautiful».

What did your son do as a boy, besides writing and drawing?

«I remember that as a child, for carnival, he dressed as a Northerner, sometimes as an Indian and also as a Southerner. He was creative in everything he did. At a certain point in Siena he developed a passion for the contrada of the “Lupa”, while his father and I were from an opposing contrada. David always frequented the places in the district and was an active part together with his brothers; everyone knew him and listened to him».

David was a young consensus organizer and soon founded a newspaper as well.

«He was twelve when he made the newspaper of Colleverde, the neighborhood where we lived; as a boy he had also organized a sort of parody of the palio, made with the “donkeys”, where four districts had a real competition and instead of horses there were donkeys”.

You organized a literary prize in David’s memory.

«We did it to remember not only a son, but to let people know who David really was; her creativity and his generosity, as well as the will to live that he expressed at all times. We have called it a literary prize even though in reality anyone under the age of twenty-five can register with a literary work, a poem or even a drawing. David loved young people, and I’m sure he’s happy with this initiative »

Do you have confidence in the parliamentary commission of inquiry?

“Yes, very much, and I’ve already said it, even though I’m afraid in my heart.”

Fear of what?

“There are some people who insist that this is suicide, and I don’t understand why. We are a beautiful family, I know my children well. And then I heard it just before the fact…».

And what did he tell her?

“He had to come and eat with me because his wife was ill. She had a serene voice and she had made an appointment for me shortly thereafter ».

Vittoria is a strong, leathery woman, with a frail and frail physique; she waits for that truth about the death of her son which hasn’t arrived for nine years, but which she still strenuously wants to believe.

David Rossi, the mother: “Enough: my son didn’t kill himself”