Accompanied by Livia Ussaro, the boys' guidance counselor (Nieves "Susan Scott" Navarro), Lamberti looks up adult acquaintances of the boys in search of clues to the ultimate responsibility for the crime. It becomes clear that some of the kids were involved in international smuggling, but the boys remain a wall of silence. Lamberti and Ussaro hope to get answers by separating one of the boys, Carolino Marassi (Marzio Margine) and softening him up with tender treatment. They buy him new clothes and treat him to big dinners. Carolino seems to respond to this TLC but takes advantage of an errand to run away -- straight to the mystery person the Commissario has been after all along.
After a violent showdown with a malevolent mentor, we see the crime again -- having gotten a taste of it at the very start of the picture -- through Carolino's delirious flashback, in which he is almost as much a victim as the doomed teacher.
As much a juvenile-delinquent film as a procedural, Naked Violence raises old questions about the causes of delinquency, hoping to give them new urgency by magnifying the scale of the crime. For Lamberti, the case becomes an almost obsessive quest to pin down the personal responsibility for the evil; for him, why must boil down to who. Capponi's intensity holds the episodic first half of the picture together, while Margine's performance as Carolino shapes the second half. Despite the decent acting, the film often feels hamfisted, particularly whenever Silvano Spadaccino's overblown fanfare blasts out as each kid steps in for his first interrogation. This isn't an action picture like Milano Caliber 9 or Di Leo's related crime films, and the only time the director really shows off is during Carolino's climactic, horrific flashback. Otherwise it's a more modest movie, apart from the retroactive (if not immediate) campiness of the ultimate villain. The revelation of this rather ludicrous figure undercuts much of the horror the film aims at. The crime seems more unsettling if it remains ultimately motiveless and unfathomable, while the discovery and defeat of a master villain offers more reassurance than audiences got from Di Leo's bleak crime films. The filmmakers may have intended reassurance rather than horror, but the effect is still inferior to what Di Leo would achieve later, though Naked Violence remains a gradually compelling experience for patient viewers.