|Peppino de Rossi
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Peppino de Rossi was an Italian nobleman and confident trickster, one of the operators of the putative "Red-Headed League".
Peppino de Rossi was the third son of the de Rossi family, an aristocratic family from Naples, Italy. As a youth, he met Fabien de Rousseau at an elite boarding school for aristocrats, the two quickly bonding over their shared hair color and their resentment for being singled out for it. Peppino deeply respects the "capo", as he calls Fabien, devotedly following him and assisting in his criminal schemes.
A Red-Haired Scam in London
Main Article: Twisted Karma and His Last Bow
In the scheme where he crossed paths with Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the pair drew up a plan to defraud red-headed Londoners: they put out newspaper advertisements announcing a four-pound weekly stipend would be granted to the one chosen to be inducted into the "The Red-Headed League", a fraternal organization for those with red hair. Over a thousand red-haired men arrived at Lime Park for the membership interviews on October 31st; Fabien and Peppino gave them all perfunctory interviews, took their names and addresses, and collected their five-shilling application fees, raking in hundreds of pounds. Peppino was in charge of securing their safe transport out of England with the loot, but he accidentally purchased boat tickets to France for November 1st instead of October 31st. When Daley Vigil appeared at Lime Park, loudly claiming to be Inspector Gregson to help him establish an alibi while he engaged in another investigation, de Rousseau was forced to imprison him and confiscate his official identification so that the pair could safely escape the next day. However, their plans were foiled by Herlock Sholmes, who turned them in to the police the following morning.
Some time prior to the scheme, Peppino had gotten cold feet and tried to flee from Fabien, but Fabien swiftly retrieved him by fastening a collar around his neck and dragging him back. This left a noticeable bruise around Peppino's throat, identical to the one received by Vigil after he tried escaping from de Rousseau's captivity.
Testifying in Court
Peppino de Rossi was called to testify alongside de Rousseau in the secret trial of Barok van Zieks for Detective Gregson's murder. At first, they denied any connection with Gregson, but de Rossi eventually admitted that there was a detective there, much to the chagrin of de Rousseau. Peppino also testified about how the detective attempted and failed to escape, showing the court the bruise he received after being detained in the same method, and how he saw "Gossip" near Lime Park handing over a large sum of bank notes to a property agent. These clues were enough to expose Gossip's true identity as Vigil, as well as reveal Gregson's alibi scheme.
Soon after Gregson's true killer was exposed, de Rossi said that once he was out of prison, he would go into business with de Rousseau and Vigil and get rich by selling spaghetti.
- According the artbook, de Rossi's green outfit was chosen to represent the colors of the flag of his nationality.
- His Japanese surname "d'Ogicco" comes from dojikko (ドジッ子), "clumsy child."
- His English surname "de Rossi" is an Italian surname meaning "red", referencing his hair color and status as a member of the Red-Headed League.
- In addition to providing a Sherlock Holmes allusion, his Red-Headed League is likely a reference to a Red Herring, a literary term used to describe an intentionally misleading clue in a mystery.
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