Manicure suspected of kidnapping Silvio Santos writes book about weapon used in crime: ‘It seems fate’

If the kidnapping of Patrícia Abravanel, who spent seven days in captivity in August 2001, and soon after, Silvio Santos, the father, who was taken hostage by the same criminal, looks like a Hollywood movie, the life of manicurist Josiene Santos Batista, and how it was related to this crime, would give a Mexican soap opera. She is writing her memoirs and intends to turn them into a book, whose title is too good not to be on a shelf: “Silvio Santos in the sight of my 38”.

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20 years ago, when the kidnapping took place, Josiene was accused of being the sixth bandit of the group led by Fernando Dutra Pinto, the mentor of the kidnapping of Dono do Baú’s daughter number 4. All because a 38 Taurus revolver, with a refrigerated long barrel, it was in the kidnapper’s possession when he returned to the presenter’s house. And for sin’s sake, the weapon was in Josiene’s name.

Josiene Santos is writing a book about a weapon that was involved in Silvio Santos' kidnapping
Josiene Santos is writing a book about a weapon that was involved in Silvio Santos’ kidnapping Photo: Jairo Malta/ Personal Archive

“When I saw my gun and my face on television being searched for, I felt something in my legs, my blood came down. I thought: ‘I’m screwed’”, recalls the manicurist.

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Josiene has a past that would condemn her if it weren’t for the statute of limitations for crimes committed in her youth. In other words, she already had the “dirty record”. She and her husband, Gilvan Santa Rita, lived in the Capão Redondo region, on the outskirts of São Paulo, one of the most violent places in the world in the 1990s. He worked as a postman and she ran a cafeteria at a school. Concerned for the safety of his wife, then a minor at the time, Gilvan bought him a gun, and since at that time anyone could have a bearing, Josiene became the owner of the 38 that had Silvio Santos in her sights for seven and a half hours.

Josiene Santos won a gun that aimed at Silvio Santos, her husband, Gilvan Santa Rita
Josiene Santos won a gun that aimed at Silvio Santos, her husband, Gilvan Santa Rita Photo: personal archive

“In 1995, I was arrested after a robbery. And my gun was seized by the police and remained in the 25th DP. Then I went to the prison and managed to escape by sawing a fence. Sumi, right? I was a fugitive, I went to live in another neighborhood where no one knew me and I rebuilt my life, albeit half hidden”, she narrates.

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In fact, Josiene looked like a small fish to the police, as no one tried to recapture her. Life that goes on until Patricia was kidnapped and the police in Barueri, in Greater São Paulo, discovered that Fernando Dutra Pinto was staying in a flat in Alphaville. Once there, three police officers tried to arrest him, but in an exchange of fire, the criminal would have killed two and wounded a third. And that’s how Josiene’s gun appeared.

Josiene Santos is writing a book about a weapon that was involved in Silvio Santos' kidnapping
Josiene Santos is writing a book about a weapon that was involved in Silvio Santos’ kidnapping Photo: reproduction/youtube

“The revolver was with one of the officers who worked in the 25th at the time they caught me and when he was shot Fernando took the revolver and took it with him. I used to think that a weapon was either destroyed or I don’t know, it went to someone, took it from the person’s name. But I was with this policeman there”, she argues, who today also doesn’t know if the “tresoitão” (as she calls it) is running around: “Wow, now I’m crazy. If someone is with him, he commits a crime and I will be accused again…”.

Reginaldo Nardi, a police officer who, according to Josiene, had his gun and was wounded by Fernando
Reginaldo Nardi, a police officer who, according to Josiene, had his gun and was wounded by Fernando Foto: Diário Popular/Eliaria Andrade

The luck of Josiene, who started to be wanted for a crime she didn’t commit, was that her mother worked in the house of a journalist, who decided to investigate the case and managed to exonerate her. As the weapon could not have been in the possession of a civil police officer, the case was hushed up and no one went after Josiene, who, it is worth remembering, was a fugitive from justice.

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“Nobody looked for me. But my life has been hell since the day they put my face on television. I spent almost 20 years in hiding, afraid of being killed, I don’t know. My neighbors, who didn’t even know me, gave an interview saying I was a bandit. I messed up back there, I know. Thing of young people going the wrong way. But I never hurt anyone. Today I redeemed myself, I do my housework and manicure and I already have a ID after 26 years”, she justifies.

Josiene Santos managed to have RG 26 years after being arrested
Josiene Santos managed to have ID 26 years after being arrested Photo: personal archive

The idea for the book came from a conversation with his nephew, writer and journalist. And the need to expose other coincidences that Josiene calls fate. “Did you know that when I was a child I was crazy about Silvio? I went on school excursions to every ‘Sunday in the Park’ he performed. I must have been around 11 years old, and I was very close to Silvio. Then, so many years later, this happens. It can only be fate”, she concludes, recalling that program in which the presenter sometimes asked if a child wanted to exchange a television for a shuttlecock.