How did John know Mrs. Pignati died in Paul Zindel's The Pigman? What papers did he find?

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The answer to this question can be found in the closing paragraphs of chapter 7 and the beginning paragraphs of chapter 8. Chapter 7 sees John and Lorraine at Mr. Pignati's house in the evening, and Mr. Pignati is quite happy to see the two teenagers. He tells John and Lorraine to make themselves at home, and he lets the two kids explore his house. Lorraine finds a picture of Mr. Pignati's wife as a young girl in a confirmation dress. John continues snooping around the house, and he probably oversteps his bounds by going through drawers. In one drawer he finds a pamphlet from a funeral home. Next, he finds a bill from the funeral home and Conchetta's social security card. This confirms to John that Mrs. Pignati is not in California. She is dead, and chapter 8 begins with John telling Lorraine.

"His wife’s dead!” John whispered.
“What?”
“I just found her funeral bill.”

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While snooping around the stranger's home, John finds a statement, or bill, from the funeral home entitled "Authorization of Services" (66). The statement gives The Silver Lake company permission to direct services for one "Conchetta Pignati" and is signed at the bottom by Mr. Angelo Pignati. It's a most surprising find because Mr. Pignati had just been telling the teenagers that his wife was on vacation in California and that she'd been there a long time.  The finding of the funeral statement after such a discussion seems to make Mr. Pignati an even more desperate and depressed character for whom the reader can sympathize. The question at this point in the book is how the kids are going to use this information later.  It's one thing to prank call people. It's another to actually go to their home and take money from them for a bogus charity; but it's even worse to acquire personal information about a victim who is too desperate to notice or care that he's being duped.

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