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Mystery murder shocks the city of Palermo

In Altavilla Milicia, near Palermo, a 54-year-old man killed his wife and two children aged 5 and 16 and then turned himself into the Carabinieri. He saved his eldest daughter, aged 17, who was found in a state of shock: 'They performed an exorcism,' she recounts. "I wanted to free them from demons," the man said. His acquaintances described him as a very religious person. There might be possibly part of sects or religious fanaticism groups. The sect trail is currently one of the investigators' hypotheses. A couple has also been arrested. They might have pushed the man to the act. The woman's body was burnt before a summary burial in the garden.

In addition to Barreca, the two people were arrested yesterday by the Carabinieri on charges of participating in the murder of the man's wife and two children, Sabrina Fina and Massimo Carandente, two religious fanatics. As for the 54-year-old bricklayer who confessed to the murders, the charges are multiple murder and suppression of a corpse. The couple from Palermo allegedly met Barreca during prayer meetings in an evangelical church. 

The relationship between the two arrested men and the man allegedly fuelled the mystical obsession of the bricklayer, who is also a religious fanatic. It was the two Palermitans who allegedly instigated him to kill his family members - Angela Salamone and her two sons, aged 16 and 5, Kevin and Emanuel - to rid the house of demonic presences and then materially participate in the murders. The only survivor of the massacre was Barreca's 17-year-old daughter, who is now in the care of the town.

What exactly happened?

On the night between Saturday and Sunday, it was the bricklayer who called the Carabinieri. "I have killed my family. Come and get me,' he said on the phone. In the man's house in Altavilla Milicia, the military found the bodies of the children, probably strangled. One was tied to a chain. In another room, in shock, was the survivor in a state of confusion. The remains of the third victim were found burnt and buried a short distance from the house. 

According to initial findings - but the autopsy will give more precise answers - the wife was murdered days ago, and the children on Friday. Barreca and the survivor would, therefore, have spent days with the corpses in the house. The Carabinieri arrived at the couple accused of complicity in the murders through the analysis of the mason's mobile phones and testimonies. 

Barreca and his wife, married since 2007, had lived for years in Novara and had returned to Sicily five years ago. The family's economic condition was not good, so much so that the municipality had found the victims small jobs to help them. The woman was followed by social workers who never had, however, the suspicion of violence in the family.

Barreca, taken to the barracks, adds details to the telephone confession. 'There was the devil in the house,' he says. The investigation proceeded, and it turned out that the man. He is a religious fanatic who had attended the evangelical church and then distanced himself from it. He had a real obsession with the devil. The carabinieri suspects that he killed to rid his family of demonic presences and that a couple from Palermo were also involved in the murders, who may have pushed the mason to commit the brutal act. 

It is also confirmed by the words of the surviving daughter. 'They performed an exorcism to drive out the devil,' the girl told Carabinieri. She accused her father and the couple of friends who frequented Barreca for religious reasons. Arrests were ordered for all three in the evening. The dynamics and motive of the massacre are still to be clarified, although it seems that the driving force behind Barreca's murder was religious obsession. 


Autopsies will tell how the three victims got killed. It may confirm the hypothesis that the boys were strangled with chains. It is also yet to be understood why the murderer's 17-year-old daughter, apparently Barreca's favourite, was spared. The girl, who allegedly recounted her father's religious delusions, appeared lacking in lucidity when the Carabinieri arrived, a circumstance that led to the hypothesis that she had been drugged. Now, on the orders of the Juvenile Prosecutor's Office, she has been taken to a foster home.

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