- Giovanni Barreca confessed to murdering his wife and two sons at their home
An Italian bricklayer may have forced his 17-year-old daughter to watch as he slaughtered his wife and two sons in a bid to rid their home of ‘demons’, investigators have claimed.
Giovanni Barreca, 54, confessed to murdering his wife Antonella Salamone, 40, and their sons Kevin, 15, and Emanuel, five, at their house in Altavilla Milicia, near Palermo.
A couple, who have been dubbed ‘religious fanatics’ by locals and are believed to be friends of Barreca, has since been accused of acting as his accomplices in the killings.
Massimo Carandente and Sabrina Fina were arrested after Barreca called the Carabinieri on Saturday night following the killings.
The children are said to have been strangled, with one of the boys found in chains. Police discovered their bodies inside the family home, ANSA reports, while their mother’s charred remains were located buried in the garden.
Pictures from the scene shows police tape across the road in front of the family home, as well as cops gathered outside a number of police vehicles.
Giovanni Barreca, 54, confessed to murdering his wife, 40-year-old Antonella Salamone
The killings may have taken place over days, with initial examinations of the bodies suggesting that the boys were murdered on Friday while their mother was killed several days earlier.
The only family member who was spared was Barreca’s daughter, who was found in her bedroom and is said to be in a state of shock.
Police are looking into whether the teenager was drugged and forced to watch the massacre, La Stampa reports, and have been speaking to the girl.
‘He wanted to free us from the devil,’ she reportedly told investigators. ‘My father was convinced that the house was haunted by the devil.’
Police have described the testimony as ‘interesting’ as they work to ascertain whether the killings were part of a sickening exorcism ritual.
Barreca told prosecutors that he has wanted to free the victims of ‘demons’ and he is alleged to have been encouraged by Carandente and Fina.
The trio met during a prayer meeting at an evangelical church, which they had since moved away from.
Barreca told prosecutors that he has wanted to free the victims of ‘demons’ and he is alleged to have been encouraged by Carandente and Fina
Carandente’s Facebook profile is awash with religious slogans such as ‘Satan uses corrupt pastors’ and ‘When the people pray, the devil trembles’.
An arrest order for Carandente and Fina was issued yesterday and police managed to track them down using Barreca’s phone and locals’ testimony.
The couple, both from Palermo, were taken to the prosecutor’s office and are facing multiple murder charges.
As the Carabinieri continues to probe the killings, video from the scene shows police tape across the road in front of the family home, as well as cops gathered outside a number of police vehicles.