The crime we are about to witness happened in the year 1860, a time when convicts who were sentenced to prison, were sentenced to a life of hardship and were given little scraps of food- barely enough for them to survive. Reformation as we understand it today, was non-existent in those days, as the maxim was to make the prisoner suffer for the damage he had caused towards innocent human beings.
Anġlu Farrugia, who was a very strong man, was very lazy, and did not want to earn a decent living by working in the fields like the other farmers. Instead, you could always see him studying his prey and hiding behind a typical Maltese rubble wall. When the owner of the field was not present to guard his land, he would fill his sack with every type of vegetable or fruit he could find, and then would barter it for a hen or any other object that he needed at the time.
One day, Ġużeppi Barbara who was a very hardworking farmer, spotted Anġlu stealing fruit from his field. Obviously, he was not happy when he saw the culprit putting his produce in a sack, and started to shout at him. Anġlu, who was not at all afraid of his opponent, started to threaten him, but Ġużeppi started to throw some stones at him, and for the time being, Anġlu ran away.
Unfortunately, Barbara started to boast with other fellow farmers that the robber had fled like a terrified rabbit and Anġlu returned to have a “chat” with Barbara. In a few instants, they started to fight and roll on the ground and Barbara was stabbed with a small knife. Anġlu was sent to prison for 20 years because of this crime and also spent some time in solitary confinement for his rebellious tendencies. However, he was lucky enough, to have received an amnesty and was in a short while, a free man again.
Once a murderer, always a murderer, as the saying goes, and Farrugia was once again in trouble, as he started to rob the neighbourhood of Ħal Għaxaq. The local farmers started to find empty fields and they soon started to complain with the policeman named Serafino Zammit, who was in charge to go around the fields to see what was going on.
On a particular hot day, while doing his rounds, he spotted Farrugia stealing from the fields that were in his vicinity. “Stop!” he shouted. But Farrugia ran as far as his legs could carry him and hid. When Serafino caught up with him, Farrugia had a baton in his hand and started to threaten the policeman. “Come with me to the police station”, Serafino shouted. “I am not coming anywhere!, said Farrugia. To cut a long story short, Serafino wanted to put an end to all the thefts and kept insisting, however Farrugia did not waste any time and he killed again! He smashed Serafino’s head open with the wooden baton he had in his hands, and his determination not to revisit the prison of Corradino became only wishful thinking, as the hand of justice sentenced him to death on the 12th June 1860.
Farrugia was a huge peril to society, as he had become a recidivist i.e. a person who repeats his previous crime. Therefore, it was better for everybody if he was removed from the face of the earth, and that is exactly what happened.