‘Murder in Matera’ review: Helene Stapinski investigates a murder in her 19th century Italian family

May 29, 2017 446

BY: Peter M. Gianotti

There’s an expression that weaves its way through Helene Stapinski’s union of crime story and family memoir: Leave the dead in peace. She doesn’t.“Murder in Matera: A True Story of Passion, Family, and Forgiveness in Southern Italy” starts as an inquiry that takes Stapinski from Jersey City, New Jersey, to the city of Bernalda, on the instep of the Italian boot, in the region of Basilicata.

Stapinski, a journalist and author of “Five-Fingered Discount: A Crooked Family History,” seeks the true story of her great-great-grandmother Vita, an ironic name for someone whose handed-down tale identified her as a murderess. “She took a life and ran. Maybe she shot. Maybe she stabbed. No one was sure,” Stapinski writes. “In the end, she got hers. Boy, did she get hers.”

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SOURCE: http://www.newsday.com

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