Sixteen people were killed and a further 58 were wounded when a bomb exploded in the Piazza Fontana, Milan, on December 12, 1969. Three other bombs were detonated on the same day; one in Mila and two in Rome. Fortunately, thee bobs caused no further deaths.
Initially, the bombs were blamed on anarchists. Giuseppe Pinelli, a railway worker, was one of the main suspects. It was reported that he killed himself by jumping from the roof of the police station where he was being held. Officially, his death was labeled as a suicide but the leftists were insistent that he was actually murdered by a policeman called Luigi Calabresi. Three years after the death of Pinelli, someone shot Calabresi while he was on his way to work.
While the far left accused the far right, the far right blamed the far left. As a result of the accusations flying around, there was a series of terrorist attacks from the extremist groups of both the left and the right. A terror campaign called ‘The Strategy of Tension’ was launched by Ordine Nuovo, a neo-fascist group. The purpose of this was alleged to intimidate the general public into the acceptance of a planned overthrow of the Italian government.
The terrorist activities of Ordine Nuovo continued for a further five years with them targeting train stations. However, they initially denied their involvement in these bombings. Instead, they laid the blame on Communist groups, such as the Red Brigades.
Finally, the authorities became suspicious of their activities and three members of the group were arrested in 1972. However, all three were acquitted in 1985. A further trial took place in 1999 and this led to three other members being accused of the bombings. These members were also acquitted in 2004. Therefore, this is an Italian mystery that remains unsolved.