A HUMAN TIGER.
An Infuriated Soldier Kills Eleven Comrades. The castle of Pizzofalione, on the hill overlooking the lovely shore of Santa Lucia, in Naples, has been the scene of a remarlcabia tragedy. The castle is a military bar* rack, Ailed with infantry. The tortuous road down to the sco is bordered by cabins inhabited by the families of veterans. The tragedy occurred on the night of Easter Sunday, about 9 o'clock. A knot of Piedmontese and Lombardy soldiers began" to chaff a Calabrese corporal, jeering at his country, mimicking his patrols, and tantalising him in every way. A sergeant interfered and drove the soldiers to bed. An hour afterwards one Salvatoro Misdea, a Calabrian soldier of the Nineteenth Infantry, stole quietly from bed, took his gun and a hundred rounds of cartridges, and stationed himself at tho door of the barrack. He piled the cartridges on a bench, levelled Ins musket, and, kneeling down, began to fire upon every Piedmontese and Lombard soldier in sight. The first shot brought down the sergeant who had stopped the warfare of words. He fired as rapidly as possible, every shot either killing or wounding a comrade. The sleeping regiment was aroused. As fast as the soldiers sprang from their beds they were shot down. The regiment was* panic-stricken. The graduates, who rushed for the door, and tried to corral the. human tiger, were shot dead. The remainder of the Boldiers sought shelter in their rooms. Misdea then entered the rooms one after the other, killing and wounding all but the Calabrese. From the windows of each room he would shoot down the soldieis_ outside. In one room half a dozen soldiers had crowded under their beds. They caught the infuriated man by the legs as ho entered and pulled him to the floor. Although he fought like a tiger, his gun was taken from him and his hands tied behind him. He bit and scratched all who came near him, and he was finally gagged. Meantime the barrack was filled with terror. Affrighted soldiers sprang from the windows, breaking legs and arms, and the place echoed with the cries of the wounded. Smoke filled every room. The walls were furrowed by butjeta, and blood was everywhere seen. Si&inen were killed outright and five were mortally wounded. They were all natives of Lombardy and Piedmont, and of good families. The Calabrian was neither drunk nor crazy. He recognised his countrymen while shooting, shouting: "Don't be afraid. You are Calabrese. I'll not shoot you. Seeing a young conscript quaking with fear, he cried: "Keep quiet. You're only a conscript. I won't hurt you." In all he fired nearly sixty rounds of cartridges. When arrested he snarled like a tiger, and kept it up the whole night. 6e» Mazzacapo questioned him before he was imprisoned. He replied that he knew what he was about, but that he could not bear to hear the Piedmontese and Lombards make fun of tho Calabrese.
Before joining the regiment Misdea was~ a brigand. He has often boasted of his deadly exploits to his comrades. He frequently said that he hated mankind, and that he loved no one —not even his mother. He is twenty-one years old, red-headed, and has high cheek bones. He was sent to the prison at Castel del Nuovo. The hospital of La Trinißta is filled with his victims. Thousands attended the funerals of thoso who were slain outright.
Permanent link to this item
A HUMAN TIGER., Auckland Star, Volume XXVI, Issue 4426, 19 July 1884
A HUMAN TIGER. Auckland Star, Volume XXVI, Issue 4426, 19 July 1884
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Auckland Star. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence . This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Auckland Libraries.