Pier Attilio Trivulzio, an 83-year-old retired Milanese journalist, was found dead after seven months in an apartment in the S.Agabio district of Novara.
The death, according to the first investigations, occurred from natural causes.
The firefighters entered the house in Corso Trieste, in the east of the city, and discovered the lifeless, now mummified body.
The staff of the police station and the coroner were also on site.
In the Piedmontese city Trivulzio had no relatives or friends.
Instead, he was well known in Lombardy. Trivulzio had collaborated as a freelancer with newspapers such as L'Espresso, La Notte, Il Giorno, ANSA, the Brianza weekly Il Cittadino.
Colleagues remember 'Pat' as a lonely knight perpetually hungry for scoop: tireless, energetic, determined, sometimes not very careful in managing uncomfortable or hot materials.
The dark corners of the years of lead and (in more recent times) the 'Ndrangheta had been his hunting grounds.
His other great passion was motor racing, which had earned him the affectionate nickname of 'Pistone' among journalists.
He had had a past as a driver and at the Monza racetrack - from which he sent his correspondence to ANSA at the time when they worked with radio operators - he was practically at home.
In 2000 he joined the rally champion Luciano Dal Ben in the battle to save the two banked curves from demolition, writing articles and press releases that made his petition go viral.
Acquaintances say that his free-lance activity, despite the amount of services he managed to produce and get published, practically condemned him to a chronic shortage of money.
In Novara, after so much precariousness, he had found a roof and a refuge, but he had had to leave his friendships in Lombardy.
And there were many who wondered if he had ended up with him.