King of the Mountains

Dan Possumato

9/11/20231 min read

In 1897, a young Calabrian peasant named Giuseppe Musolino was sentenced to 21 years of hard labor for a crime he did not commit. However, defying all odds, he orchestrated a daring escape and embarked on a relentless pursuit of those responsible for his wrongful conviction, exacting a chilling and deadly retribution.

Evading capture for nearly three years, he cunningly outmaneuvered a vast manhunt consisting of hundreds of local and regional police, the Carabinieri, and even an Italian Army regiment. His exploits transformed him into a beloved Robin Hood figure among the inhabitants of the Mezzogiorno, the impoverished southern region of Italy. However, to the authorities, he was a cold-blooded murderer who had to be stopped.

Eventually apprehended, the Ministry of Justice relocated his trial 600 miles to the north, from Reggio di Calabria to Lucca, due to its belief that no jury in the south would convict him. The trial captured the attention of newspapers around the world. When Giuseppe Musolino passed away in 1956, half a century after his capture, TIME magazine aptly remarked, "Few adventurers, past or present, have become so legendary in so short a time."