«Andrea was a friend of mine, we had asked the managers of the casino to grant us the same destination, we would have gone to live together with Nino in the house of Thornaby-on-Tees, in the county of North Yorkshire, the same one where the double murder took place . Then they decided in another way, nothing more came of it, they separated us and we lost touch. I wonder what would have happened if I had been there with them too.’ To tell the story, visibly excited, is one of the boys who attended the croupier course in 2019 with Nino Calabrò, the 26-year-old from Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto killed in England together with Francesca Di Dio, his 20-year-old girlfriend, who had gone to find him in the apartment where the 21-year-old Andrea Cardinale from Palermo also lived, accused of being the author of the double homicide.
Yesterday the alleged killer appeared via video link in front of Teesside Crown Court: dark hair, beard and gray prison overalls, during the brief hearing he spoke only to confirm his name. The judge, who did not reveal any details about what happened, in addition to confirming that the defendant was in custody, adjourned the trial to January 23, specifying that next time «Cardinal will appear in the courtroom with his legal representatives ».
Before arriving in England, the young man had spent part of his adolescence in Zanano di Sarezzo, in Valtrompia, a fraction of Brescia, while in nearby Gardone he had graduated from the Carlo Beretta high school of applied sciences three years ago. Passionate about rugby, having completed his studies, Cardinale returned to live in the city and then left again for Thornaby. And today the 15 colleagues with whom he had shared the croupier course describe him “as a strange guy, perhaps with some family problems, but we would never, ever have believed that he could perform such a gesture”.
After the news of the double murder of Nino and Francesca, massacred with hammer blows or perhaps with a baseball bat, doubts creep in especially in those who have known Andrea more closely. Like Calabrò’s classmate who, on occasion, even hosted the Cardinal at his house, during one of the breaks from lessons: «I don’t know if it was he who committed those two atrocious crimes – he explains -. You could see that he felt angry, but many have this attitude, especially if they have difficulty. He confided in me that he had problems, but who doesn’t? In retrospect, though, there were two alarm bells. The first was the way he talked about girls, he cursed them, called them tr …, in short, he considered them as sexual objects. Di Nino, on the other hand, said that he was not very intelligent, but I thought it was just the behavior of an immature boy. I can’t give myself peace, maybe I could have said or done something more. Nino was a nice person, optimistic, always with a smile on his face, someone who played down every situation: I am very sorry for him».
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