Born in Mamoiada, Sardinia, Damiano Murtas is the eldest of nine children. At the age of seventeen he left his homeland in search of a job which would allow him to help his mother, a housewife, and his father, a shepherd, in the upkeep of their family. In Germany, he found work as a gardener for the Schmidt family, owners of the well-known German Pharmaceutical company. A couple of years later, Damiano foiled an attempt to rob his employers, killing two of the four criminals who had entered the Schmidt home with their own weapons during a bloody struggle. The other two fled, but were arrested soon after. Unfortunately, the investigations also led to Damiano going to trial, accused by the surviving criminals of having killed their accomplices in cold blood after having disarmed them. Despite the heartfelt defence provided by Fredmark Schmidt, he was sentenced to six years in prison. He was not helped by his
resolute silence throughout the trial, broken only once, when he said, in Sardinian, 'battìtemi sos àteros, chi fachìmus còntu ùnicu' (namely 'bring me the other two, so I'll finish the job'), which was fortunately not understood by the judges. Today he lives in his hometown where, thanks to a generous donation from Schmidt family, he runs a dairy company which provides work for his family, as well as many of his fellow citizens.