Shock at spate of murders, vicious attacks on women

Pozzuoli woman 'extremely critical' after being set alight

(ANSA) - Rome, February 2 - Italy is in shock at the latest spate of murders and vicious attacks on women by their partners - a phenomenon known here as 'femicide'.
    Two women have been murdered and a third is fighting for her life in a burns unit.
    Police on Tuesday detained a man on suspicion of strangling his former partner at her home in Misterbianco near the Sicilian city of Catania on Sunday night, allegedly after a row over the management of their young son. Luana Finocchiaro, aged 41 and a mother of three, was found dead in her apartment by her mother on Monday evening.
    Vincenzo di Mauro, 37, is being held in prison custody and denies all involvement in the murder. He already has a 11-year conviction for murdering a neighbour in 2000, in a crime allegedly sparked by jealousy.
    He also spent a few days under house arrest in 2012 for allegedly injuring Finocchiaro but was released after the woman withdrew the charges. The couple's four-year-old son is thought to have been at home asleep at the time of the murder, before being taken by his father to his paternal grandparents' home. Also on Tuesday, a woman was said to be in an "extremely critical" condition at the burns unit at Naples' Cardarelli Hospital after she was set on fire by her partner after a row at Pozzuoli on Monday. Carla Ilenia Caiazzo, 38, has a "50% chance of surviving', burns consultant Gennaro Savoia said.
    The woman was in her 34th week of pregnancy and doctors at the hospital decided to bring forward the birth. On Tuesday doctors said the premature baby was in good condition. The man, 40-year-old Paolo Pietropaolo, was arrested at Formia, between Naples and Rome, where he had a car accident after fleeing the scene of the incident.
    He has a record for drugs offences, police said.
    He is due to appear before a preliminary investigations judge on Wednesday to have his arrest confirmed and he could face charges of attempted murder with premeditation as an aggravating circumstance. The incident took place in the street in front of the couple's home.
    After Pietropaolo fled, a neighbour rescued the woman, dousing the flames.
    Separately on Tuesday, it emerged that a man died in a car crash late Monday night after stabbing his wife to death in Brescia following a row.
    Paolo Piraccini, 56, reportedly called his brother in law around 10.30 pm local time to say he had murdered Marinella Pellegrini, also 56, and that he was now going to kill himself.
    He then allegedly got into his car and drove the wrong way onto the A4 motorway, hitting a lorry.
    He died instantly in the crash.
    Police subsequently found the woman with her throat cut on the kitchen floor.
    The couple lived in a luxurious apartment in the Brescia 2 neighborhood and had no children.
    Piraccini owned a take-away pizza joint and relatives say he had been depressed due to health problems.