EntertainmentCelebritiesFrancisco Pérez Abellán: When the 'black chronicle' became brilliant

Francisco Pérez Abellán: When the 'black chronicle' became brilliant

I met him at the end of the seventies in the memorable reddish wood bar of the Bocaccio in Madrid, where many reporters from the Madrid media ended the day. Of course, before its editors at the end of the 80s got involved in a media-ideological war, which caused a blackout in the relations between journalists from different newspapers.That Paco Pérez Abellán with whom I exchanged my first words almost forty years ago Since then he maintained the same combative spirit, always giving prestige and enriching the profession, until the last days of his existence. Paco was a critical, independent, stubborn, irreducible, supportive, generous journalist and, above all, a great lover of his profession, to which he gave his life. Pérez Abellán died at the age of 64 at the epicenter of the Christmas festivities, hence his death has gone unnoticed by many of his readers and followers. Until his last breath, Paco was an irreducible and indebted journalist. He always said what he thought, like when one of those Bocaccio nights he shouted at the then Minister of Public Works and Urban Planning of UCD for the accident of a school bus in Zamora in 1979 in which 45 children had died, when they returned from a trip organized by your college. “The fault lies with the minister,” Paco shouted among a group of journalists, “for not repairing a road in a sorry state. All for a few whore pesetas ”. And that recrimination reached the ears of the minister who, of course, picked up the phone and made his condemnatory calls. Paco was an excellent information professional in all his facets:reporter in newspapers and magazines, investigative journalist, radio and television collaborator, university professor, writer, criminologist … But, above all, he was the maximum exponent of the black chronicle in Spanish journalism, both from the pages of Pueblo and from the sections of Local and Events of Diario 16, of which he was also his boss. Likewise, he was one of the creators of the television program Tribunal TV and the author of some thirty books, of which he would put in the first place “Morral, the murdered criminal” and “Spanish Dictionary of murderers”, which he wrote halfway with his son Francisco Pérez Caballero.Pérez Abellán added shine to the journalistic crime report. He was, without “possibly” the best of his kind, although it would be unfair not to mention other professionals such as Juan Madrid, Carlos Aguilera, Manuel Marlasca or Jesús Duva. I’m sure I forget some more. Of course, I dedicate a special mention to Margarita Landi and Pedro Costa Musté, who worked for many years in the Interviú magazine. Regarding other works by Paco, I would also highlight their excellent research on the assassination in 1870 of former president Juan Prim, which he reflected in the book “Kill Prim.” Paco achieved something unthinkable: he exhumed the body of the Catalan military man from the tombstone of the Reus cemetery in order to prove with the help of forensics that Prim had been strangled in the Buenavista Palace, after surviving an attack on the Calle del Turco in Madrid . The historical investigation of Pérez Abellán confirmed the thesis that the murder was the result of a conspiracy led by leading men of state, including General Serrano. Paco also managed to recover and restore Prim’s summary that remained abandoned in one of the warehouses of power. judicial.With the help of the dean of the Madrid Courts, Judge José Luis González Armengol, he bound and microfilmed all its pages, except some that had been torn off and, of course, had disappeared. Paco culminated his long journalistic and academic career with an excellent doctoral thesis entitled “Serial murderer in Pascual Duarte”, on the character of the work of Camilo José Cela, of which I was fortunate to be a member of the examining board at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). He could have defended her at the Camilo José Cela University (UCJC), where he was head of the Criminology department and thus benefited from special treatment, as other professors took advantage of – including President Pedro Sánchez with his fake thesis – but Pérez Abellán chose by the Faculty of Information Sciences of the UCM. Likewise, he was assigned one of the most demanding thesis directors in the area of Journalism, Professor Wenceslao Castañares, who helped him develop a high-level investigation. Castañares, unfortunately, also left us in 2018. Paco, finally, obtained the highest grade – excellent cum laude unanimously by the court – proving that he was a person who reached his goals with effort and intelligence and without cheating. Paco and his death took me by surprise. A great loss for a profession that more than ever needs journalists of its stature: honest and of race. Indispensable to counteract predators in the media and to show, in the classrooms, the straight path to future generations. Pérez Abellán put into practice one of Baudelaire’s maxims every day: “To work, it is enough to be convinced of a Thing: that working is less boring than having fun ”.And he was an indefatigable professional, always opening horizons and without giving up for what he believed in. Rest in peace.