ITALY: Blood on the Cobblestones

Antonio Pallante was no workaday, hireling killer; he belonged to the fevered race of political assassins who act alone. In solitude, Antonio Pallante nursed an obsession. The target of his hatred and his plans was suave, astute Palmiro Togliatti, boss of Italy's Communist Party.

A swarthy, black-haired law student of 25, Antonio Pallante lived in Catania in Sicily, an ancient hotbed of violence. Communism, he decided, was the enemy of Italy, and Togliatti was the head and heart of Italian Communism. "I could not bear the thought that he, an Italian, attended...