Sunday, August 14, 2016

Yiya Murano, Serial Killer – Argentina, 1979


Wikipedia: María de las Mercedes Bernardina Bolla Aponte de Murano (Corrientes, May 20, 1930), better known as Yiya Murano (the poisoner of Monserrat) is an Argentinian killer and swindler. Convicted of three murders, she was imprisoned for sixteen years. Her case is one of the most famous in the history of Argentina, with many repercussions and has remained of interest over the years.

On March 24, 1979, Carmen Zulema del Giorgio de Venturini, Murano’s cousin, suffered a fall and died on the stairs of a building on Hipólito Yrigoyen Street, where she lived. Doctors diagnosed it as a cardiac arrest. Zulema’s daughter, Diana María Venturini, found that a promissory note worth 20 million Argentine peso ley was missing from her mother’s belongings. The building’s doorman said that while de Venturini suffered inside, Murano went to visit her carrying a mysterious packet (which was later discovered to be masas finas, a type of dessert common in Argentina), and casually asked for a copy of her cousin’s apartment’s keys, justifying her intrusion saying “I need her notebook to warn her relatives.” She went into her cousin’s apartment and left quickly with papers and a jar in her hand. She complained loudly: “My God, it’s my third friend to die in a short time”. During the autopsy, examiners discovered cyanide in the body. Investigators discovered poison in the jar mentioned by the doorman.

It was then discovered that Nilda Gamba, Yiya’s neighbour, had died February 10, 1979.

A few days after the death of Nilda, on February 19, 1979, a heart attack had killed Lelia Chicha Formisano de Ayala, another of Yiya’s friends. Murano owed money to both women and both bodies showed signs of cyanide poisoning. The poison was camouflaged in the masas finas.

On April 27, 1979 the police arrested Murano at her home on Mexico Street. In 1980, she was found unconscious in the prison, Penal de Ezeiza, where she was being held; later, they removed a tumor from her head. In July 1982, the sentencing judge, Ángel Mercardo, acquitted her of all charges and she was released.

In 1985, during the trial of the generals of the civil-military dictatorship that has governed Argentina from 1976 to 1983, Yiya had been almost forgotten, until she was convicted. She insisted she was innocent: “I never invited anyone to eat”, were her words.

A reduction of her sentence by the law of “two for one”, she was released from prison after 16 years. It was learned that she sent the judges who released her a box of chocolates as a token of her appreciation.

The Argentinian writer, Marisa Grinstein, included her in her book Mujeres Asesinas , appropriately entitled “Yiya Murano, friend” and in 2006 the television program Mujeres Asesinas - on Canal 13 -, in a fictionalized episode, recreated in the case with Yiya played by Nacha Guervara (1940-). At the end of the episode, the real Yiya Murano proclaims her innocence, providing evidence in her defense.

In the second season of Mujeres Asesinas, the Mexican adaptation of the series, there is an episode recreating the case entitled “Tita Garza, swindler”, played by Patricia Reyes Spindola. In recent years she has resided in the La Boca neighbourhood and currently lives in a nursing home for seniors and at times gives television interviews when there is renewed interest in the case.

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Feb. 10, 1979 – Nilda Gamba, Yiya’s neighbour, had died.
Feb. 19, 1979 – Lelia Chicha Formisano. The poison was camouflaged in the masas finas (pastries).
Apr. 27, 1979 – the police arrested Murano at her home on Mexico Street.
1980 – YM was found unconscious in the prison, Penal de Ezeiza, where she was being held; later, they removed a tumor from her head.
Jul. 1982 – sentencing judge, Ángel Mercardo, acquitted her of all charges and she was released.
Jun. 28, 1985 – convicted of three (?) murders. Sentenced to (? years); served 16 years.
2001 – released from prison after 16 years.
2008 – “In 2008 a complaint against Yiya was again returned, this time denounced by her stepdaughter, who says he wanted to poison her stepmother with a bowl of buttered noodles. Story not verified.

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