ALL ROME TREMBLED by Melton S. Davis


Email this review


Here is an explicit examination of the Montesi case (in 1954 the body of a girl- of no particular distinction- was found on a beach) which led to one of the longest postmortems on record in which every phase of postwar life in Italy was exposed to an unkindly scrutiny. If her murder, never fully explained, was only incidental to what became the crime of the century- much that was suspect and scandalous in all areas- the government, the Church, the law, the movies, and the many political parties, was fully exposed. Wilma, Montesi, a good girl of recently wealthier lower-middle class family, was soon to marry a policeman. With her death, she was rumored to have been seen with a Mr. X, later identified as the Sicilian Ugo Montagna by his former mistress, Anna Maria Caglio. Anna Maria's testimony revealed the many areas in which Montagna operated as a promoter- from perversion, prostitution, drug addiction, to larger financial speculations covered by the corruption which touched many segments of society from ""streetwalkers to diplomats, from country sacristans to many members of the Pope's entourage, from the poorest... to the nation's highest officials"". So that after the many shocking revelations from this Pandora's box died down, the case led to many changes and showed for the first time the participation of the Italian people in the conduct of what had been hitherto left to those in power, unquestioned and untouchable. ... An interesting inquiry, and some of the notable to notorious names which figure may help attract an American audience.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1957
Publisher: Putnam