As someone whom loves true crime I had to read this book on “the eight year manhunt that captured Australia”, The Stoccos!
I hadn’t actually heard much about Mark and Gino Stocco until the arrest on October 28, 2015 and those arrest pictures popped up everywhere, Gino with his black eye and Mark with the blood covered hoodie.
This book starts off with Gino’s parents immigrating to Australia and has some back history of Italian immigration. Egidia and Pietro (also known as Peter) immigrated to Australia and had 4 children Gino was the second born.
Gino married Connie and had two children a daughter and a son, that son would be Mark. Mark was a smart son and was particularly good with numbers and was enrolled at university before his downward spiral into crime with his father.
What started Gino’s decline and his decision to take his son down with him? Although a few earlier charges of stealing Gino’s main issue seemed to be an anti authority personality and the break down of his marriage to Connie. Although in later interviews Gino stated he wasn’t depressed however stated the divorce left him with extreme sadness.
What I found really interesting about Gino and Mark is how motivated they are with everything they do. After the divorce Gino and Mark travelled to Taree and purchased a yacht, the Kiwarrack. In 2003 they set sail, along the way stealing identities, breaking into a yacht club and Mark at one point came across Connie in a car pack and stole the contents of her handbag. These crimes left Gino in prison for 4 months and Mark for 2.
This distaste for authority lead them to farms across QLD, NSW and Victoria where they earned there keep by doing work for a place to stay. Ask any of the owners of these farms what The Stoccos were like and they say they were extremely hard working, kind polite just a little odd.
Anytime Gino and Mark were asked to leave a place for one reason or another they felt this wasn’t very fair as they’d worked hard and built so much from scratch. This generally lead to The Stoccos coming back to a property at a later date to steal or destroy property.
What about the murder of Rosario Cimone? The only murder the men commited. Rosario was a criminal himself, charged with what I would consider harsher crimes. A Calabrian mafia member, Rosario and the stoccos met when Rosario was minding and tending to a marijuana crop. The Stoccos saw this farm at Pinevale the safest haven away from police. After a threat to have Gino and Mark thrown off the property Rosario was shot and his body dumped.
On October 28, 2015 The Stoccos 8 years on the run came to an end. The police located the pair at Pinevale and swooped in. In later interviews Gino and Mark said they knew there time had come to an end, they were exhausted from running.
The pair were both sentenced to life in prison with Gino been in his 80’s when his release is due and Mark in his 60’s.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book as it gave me a closer look at The Stoccos and I became somewhat attached to them. I can relate to the “black sheep”, “outcast” mentality that they felt throughout life.
5 out of 5 stars!