Pantani. Which parts?
With a new investigation into the death of Marco Pantani moving ahead, the case has taken yet another unexpected turn.
Italian officials are considering an exhumation of the famous Italian climber but can’t decide what part or parts of Pantani to dig up.
Doctor Franco Tagliaro at the University of Verona in in charge of the decisions surrounding the possible exhumation. Pantani’s death was officially classified as a cocaine overdose but there are some who believe Pantani was murdered by several men who forced him to drink a lethal does of the drug.
Tagliaro is apparently considering several options that range from a few tissue samples to Pantani’s nose and throat and perhaps his whole head along with other assorted parts and portions.
“It’s complicated and we have to be scientific,” said Mario Fibberilli, an assistant to Tagliaro who is spearheading the exhumation efforts. “If we’re digging him up, we might as well get everything we need. Sure, it’s gonna smell horrible but that’s the reality. At least Pantani was a small guy.”
In fact, Fibberelli says that they are also considering taking both of Pantani’s feet and perhaps a hand, too. “We want to see the condition of his feet — are they flat, how high are his arches? These thing may prove useful. Maybe we grab a few chunks of his intestinal track, too. It’s hard to know what we might need. We might need to take a ‘grab-bag’ approach,” said Fibberelli.
Working from the theory that Pantani was engaged in a violent struggle with his assailants, FIbberelli also wants a hand. “Right on left — doesn’t matter really — we just want to see if there is any bruising around the knuckles. If he was in a fight, there would be signs. Maybe an eyeball, too. There may be latent images still remaining on the retinal plate.”
There are a number of reports from the official autopsy and several slides containing body tissue but for Fibberilli that may not be of interest. “Really, that stuff is over ten years old and I don’t want to dig thru that dusty stuff. It’s a lot cooler to dig up Marco, bring some sharp tools and get some exciting new samples.”
Paolo Giovagnoli, Rimini’s head prosecutor in charge of the new inquiry, is unsure what steps to take on Fibberelli’s request. “He’s kind of a nutball and there is so much sensationalist press on this case,” said Giovagnoli. “I have have to keep him under control. I think he watched too much of those bizarre American medical examiner shows.”
The country’s top sports newspaper, La Gazzetta dello Sport has gone as far as saying that there is now a “concrete theory” for exhumation. That is all the information that Fibberelli needs to press his case for an exhumation.
“We really gotta dig this guy up. I’d love to get some photos, too,” said Fibberelli. “What does his bald head look like now? Is his facial expression frozen in an ironic smile or a grimace? That could be very revealing. We’ll just gave to see.”