Thursday, September 22, 2011

Clothida Cravana, Italian Serial Killer - 1923


FULL TEXT: London, April 23. – A message from Rome states that the trial of Clothida Cravana, who is charged with poisoning her son, daughter, and husband, is causing a sensation, partly owing to the beauty of the accused, who is a well-known woman in Turin.

Since her arrest she has lost three stone in weight, but she defended herself during the opening days of the trial with the utmost vigour. She declared that her accusers were acting under the impulse of a vendetta, and that her father-in-law, who is the principal witness for the Crown, had made immoral advances, which she had repulsed.

The trial is expected to last a fortnight. The evidence shows that the three victims died of poisoning by corrosive sublimate. When the first child died in March, 1916, the magistrate decided that there was no case for the jury. No official inquiry was held when the daughter died in similar circumstances in 1917, but the aged father-in-law, with unwearying persistence, induced the police to order post-mortem examinations and try the accused.

[A cable message from London on April l8 stated that Clothida Cravana had been accused of poisoning her son, daughter, and husband. The woman, it was stated, had frequently sent poison to her husband during the war, when be was in hospital at the front. Before her arrest she had been living a life of dissipation on 900,000 francs, inherited from her alleged victims.]

[“Poison Trial. – An Italian Sensation.” The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Apr. 24, 1923, p. 9]

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