Novi Ligure murder
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Susanna Cassini, a 42-year (15 September 1959)-old accountant, and her 11-year-old son Gianluca (27 November 1989) were both stabbed multiple times in their home while their husband and father Francesco De Nardo (45-year-old manager at the Pernigotti chocolate factory) escaped death because he was playing football with some friends.
The daughter of the family, Erika, originally claimed the murder was committed by foreign workers in an attempted robbery, and a young Albanian was detained for a short time. The testimonies of the 16-year-old daughter and her 17-year-old boyfriend were however full of contradictions. Both were subsequently tried for the murders, convicted and sentenced to 16 and 14 years in prison.
In response to the claim of the daughter that immigrants had murdered her brother and mother, newspapers demanded a crackdown on illegal immigrants, and the Northern League held anti-immigrant demonstrations.
Following early media reports on the murders, members of the public created a website in support of the daughter. The website was later shut down by the Italian justice ministry.
Italian politicians reflected uncomfortably on the anti-immigrant frenzy the case had generated. Piero Fassino, then Minister of Justice, declared: "I believe that someone should beg the pardon of immigrants. The degree of incivility we have seen in this country in the last 48 hours should make us all reflect."
Francesco De Nardo still resides in the house where his wife and son were killed. Francesco De Nardo made weekly phone calls to his daughter in prison. Susanna Cassini's mother stated that she has forgiven her granddaughter and just hopes to see her again and help her as much as possible.
The daughter was released from prison in December 2011, her accomplice was released in October 2010.