An Italian serial ki*ller was born in 1894. Leonarda Cianciulli’s life was never perfect, and little is known about her childhood, but it is documented that she attempted suicide twice as a teen and then married a man her parents strongly opposed. Leonarda, in fact, believed that her marriage to an office cleric was cursed due to her parents’ strong desire for their union. Leonarda married in the 1930s and operated a small shop in Corregio, Italy. You might be wondering what the shop sold. The solution is soap.
Leonarda’s life was clearly far from perfect in the 1930s. Leonarda was suffering enormous losses in addition to a small jail sentence for fraud, her home being destroyed in an earthquake, and an endless battle with her parents. Leonarda had been pregnant a total of 17 times, but she had three miscarriages and ten children died at a young age. Leonarda, like any responsible parent, was overly protective of her children and became dangerously superstitious.
Leonarda had always been interested in palm reading, tarot cards, and fortune telling, and her interest only grew after the de*ath of her children. She went to a fortune teller, who predicted that her remaining four children would also die young. The fortuneteller advised her that the only way to keep her children from dying young was to make a human sacrifice.
However, Leonarda did not immediately follow the fortuneteller’s advice. Leonarda decided she had no choice but to follow the fortuneteller’s advice after her son announced his intention to join the military in 1939. Leonarda had lured three women into her soap shop and murdered them between 1939 and 1940. She k*illed each of the women with an ax and then boiled their bodies in caustic soda.
Leonarda had duped each of the women into coming into her shop by claiming she could assist them in finding whatever they were looking for. For example, the first victim was looking for a husband, and Leonarda assured her that she could find one for her. Leonarda laced wine with drugs and administered it to all three of her victims, making ax murder easier for herself.
Someone said the third victim went into the soap shop and never returned. Leonarda was arrested that day after the police arrived to investigate the report. Leonarda’s trial took place in 1946, and she not only confessed to everything, but she also detailed how she cooked and turned her victims into soap and desserts. Here is a brief excerpt from her remarks about 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.”
Isn’t it creepy? Observers at her trial noted that she appeared unfazed and emotionless when explaining what had occurred. She admitted not only k*illing three innocent women, but also eating them and giving the human soap to neighbors.
She was obviously found guilty of her crimes and sentenced to 30 years in prison for her heinous actions. She was also sentenced to three years in a criminally insane asylum, where she died as a result of a medical condition. The pot in which Leonarda cooked her victims can still be found in the Criminological Museum in Rome.