Leonarda Cianciulli: The Soap-Maker of Correggio
Having lost several children to childhood illnesses, Leonarda Cianciulli was very protective of her surviving children and was willing to do anything to protect them. So, when the deeply superstitious Leonarda was warned by a fortune teller that all her children would die at a young age, the forty-six-year-old shopkeeper determined that the best way to keep her son alive was to offer human sacrifices in exchange for Giuseppe’s safety. Ove the course of a year, Leonarda murdered three local women and disposed of their bodies with caustic chemicals, using any remaining biological evidence in the creation of soaps, candles, cookies, and cakes, which she shared with others in her community.
Thank you to the lovely David White, of Bring Me the Axe podcast, for research assistance :)
Baltimore Sun. 1946. "Rendered her friends to wax, she says." Baltimore Sun, April 28: 3.
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