In twenty years, more than 480 children have died in Italy at the hands of their parents: six out of ten children are committed by the mother, while male children are the prevalent victims of both mothers and murderous fathers. And the crime, already unbearable and apparently inexplicable, becomes even more atrocious if it is the mother who kills who has the indissoluble bond par excellence with her children, as in the tragedy of Medea. From the murder of Cogne to that of these hours in Mascalucia in the Catanese area, the common thread that binds the children are mental and relational health problems.

There were hundreds, but the case that shocked the country was that of Cogne, where in January 2002 the lifeless body of 3-year-old Samuele Lorenzi was found with deep head wounds in his parents’ bed. The mother, Annamaria Franzoni, called for help and asked the neighbors for help. The murder weapon, perhaps a billhook, was never found. Despite the final sentence, Franzoni has always denied infanticide.

In May 2002 in Valfurva, Loretta Zen killed little Vittoria, aged 8 months, after putting her in the drum of the washing machine and starting the washing. It was her father, once he returned home with his other 11-year-old daughter, to find out. In Vieste (Foggia) in July 2004 Giuseppina Di Bitonto suffocated her children, aged 2 and 4, by covering their mouths with adhesive tape. She then she committed suicide in the same way.

A five-year-old boy in Casatenovo (Lecco) in 2005 drowned in the bath tub at his home. Her mother, Mery Patrizio, said that thieves had entered her house attacking her and her son Mirko, left alone, had slipped into the water. Two weeks later she confessed to the crime.

On 8 September 2005 in Merano a four-year-old boy was stabbed to death by his mother while he was having breakfast with bread and jam. The 39-year-old woman will attempt suicide by throwing herself from a second floor window of the police station during interrogation.

On 20 July 2009 in Parabiago, in the province of Milan, another mother kills her 4-year-old son, strangling him with an electric cable. The 36-year-old woman suffered from depression and was being treated in a psychosocial center in the area. To find the child, dying, are the grandmother and the aunt of the child. The mother is found watching over the body of the child in a state of shock.

On February 19, 2010 in Venice a 47-year-old woman kills her son, a six-year-old boy, suffocating him in his bed. She then she kills herself by hanging herself. Discovering her bodies is her husband.

In August 2011 in Feniglia (Grosseto) Laura Pettenello killed Federico, aged 16 months, throwing him into the sea during a trip on a pedal boat. Initially it was thought of an accident and only later in her PC did the investigators discover that the woman had continually typed the words ‘infanticide’ or ‘how to kill a child’.

On 25 October 2013 in the province of Lecco, in Abbadia Lariana, a woman kills her three-year-old son, the first of her two children, raging several times on the child’s body.

On 6 March 2013 in Calabria a 43-year-old mother kills her 11-year-old son with a pair of scissors. The woman let the boy out of school before the end of the lessons, she took him to a mountain area and then she slaughtered him. She then she tries, unsuccessfully, to take her own life.

In Santa Croce Camerina (Ragusa), in 2014 Loris Stival was found in a gully, 4 kilometers from the school he attended. His mother Veronica Panarello had reported his disappearance a few hours earlier. Sentenced to life imprisonment, after a series of false accusations also launched against her father-in-law, Panarella – who had strangled the little victim with plastic ties – admitted the crime only some time later.

There were also many murderous fathers, in this case often out of jealousy or family feuds. Among the most heinous cases, that of ’94: Tullio Brigida – later sentenced to life imprisonment – killed his three children aged 13, 8 and 2 in Civitavecchia to take revenge on the wife who had left him. The three children died in their father’s car, while they slept on the seats: Bridget connected the passenger compartment of her car to the engine exhaust, via a rubber hose, saturating the air with carbon monoxide. The bodies had been buried and upon their discovery the man tried to justify himself by saying that his three children had died from a malfunction of a stove.

Even if there is no database on the phenomenon of figlicides, in 2019 EURES – an economic and social research company – provided its report according to which from 2002 to 2019 there were 473 figlicides, a figure to which in the last three years they add at least another dozen murders of this type. Among the causes are the conflict between parents, which can also madly lead to the suppression of the bond between the spouses through the death of a child, to the non-acceptance of the role of parent. Not only. Often – according to a thesis of criminology on infanticides – whoever kills does so because he cannot bear the child in himself.

It has already happened that a mother, in the eyes of all loving and caring, kills her child.

The most striking case occurs on January 30, 2002. Little Samuele Lorenzi is massacred in a small house in Montroz in Cogne. Rescuers, called by his mother, Annamaria Franzoni, find him agonizing with very serious head injuries. Samuele died shortly after, while being transported to the hospital. The mother is accused of the murder that she will always deny. You will be found guilty with a final sentence by the Court of Cassation.

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