Leonarda Cianciulli

Leonarda Cianciulli was born in 1893 at Montella in Italy. When she was just a child she attempted to take away her life in two incidents and she was known to be very disturbed.  She had at least 17 counts of pregnancies but three of them died due to miscarriage and another 10 passed away during their youth.  In 1939, Cianciulli’s eldest son named Giuseppe joined the military; it was in preparation of the Italian forces to the impending World War 2.  Somehow she believed that to guarantee the safety of her son, a human sacrifice is needed.  She then devised a plan to kill three middle-aged women.  She invited the three women over and after making sure that they are comfortable, she hacked them to death using an axe and dismembered their bodies into 9 pieces.  She also placed their blood in a bowl.

In a memorial by Leonarda Cianciulli entitled “An Embittered Soul’s Confession” she relayed what happens after that:   

“I threw the pieces into a pot, added seven kilos of caustic soda, which I had bought to make soap, and stirred the whole mixture until the pieces dissolved in a thick, dark mush that I poured into several buckets and emptied in a nearby septic tank. As for the blood in the basin, I waited until it had coagulated, dried it in the oven, ground it and mixed it with flour, sugar, chocolate, milk and eggs, as well as a bit of margarine, kneading all the ingredients together. I made lots of crunchy tea cakes and served them to the ladies who came to visit, though Giuseppe and I also ate them.” 
Leonarda Cianciulli also described the process she did to her third victim:

“She ended up in the pot, like the other two…her flesh was fat and white, when it had melted I added a bottle of cologne, and after a long time on the boil I was able to make some most acceptable creamy soap. I gave bars to neighbors and acquaintances. The cakes, too, were better, that woman was really sweet.”


And since she is known for turning her victims into soap and food, she was given the moniker “Soap-Maker of Correggio”.  A neighbour of Leonarda Cianciulli aroused a suspicion on her and contacted the police.  She was apprehended by the authorities wherein she confessed about the crime that she committed.  She was found guilty and sentenced for 3 years inside the mental asylum and 30 years inside the prison.  She died due to a cerebral palsy on the 15th of October, 1970.

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