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Death by pasta: Italian woman, 80, ‘is murdered by her great-niece by force-feeding her spaghetti in bid to claim her £400,000 inheritance’


The great-niece of an 80-year-old Italian woman has been arrested on suspicion of murder, accused of force-feeding her spaghetti in a bid to claim her £400,000 inheritance, according to a report. 

The woman is alleged to have killed Maria Basso by feeding her the dish after taking her out for lunch, despite the fact that she was only able to eat ‘baby food’, so that it would look she had died of natural causes, Corriere della Sera reports.

The great-niece of the victim was arrested by the Carabinieri and take to the Aci Castello station in Sicily with the support of soldiers.

Basso, who did not have any children and stayed in the Giovanna Maria Bonomo retirement home, had worked abroad for a long time before taking a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She had also served in Tehran, Iran, where she had fled after the Khomeini revolution, an uprising that resulted in the toppling of the monarchy in 1979, and then in America and Australia.

The woman is alleged to have killed Maria Basso by feeding her the dish after taking her out for lunch, despite the fact that she was only able to eat 'baby food', so that it would look she had died through natural causes, according to a report

The woman is alleged to have killed Maria Basso by feeding her the dish after taking her out for lunch, despite the fact that she was only able to eat ‘baby food’, so that it would look she had died through natural causes, according to a report 

The great-niece of the victim, who contests the accusation, is now under house arrest and has been tagged with an electronic bracelet, the publication reports.

Over a two-month period, the suspect, looking to take advantage of her great-aunt’s particularly vulnerable state, showed a strong interest in the assets, which had been earmarked 15 years ago for a Christian youth education institute in Milan, Corriere della Sera reports.

The inheritance was estimated to be worth around £428,000.

The great-niece made several trips to the institution, where the elderly lady held the current account, arousing suspicion from the bank’s director and officials, which led them to file a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office.

Under the plan, the suspect would have managed to convince the elderly woman to revoke the general power of attorney, issued in favour of her long-time friend according to the publication.

On December 2, 2022, after staying in a hotel in Asiago for the night, Basso was forced to take a long car journey from the Plateau where her retirement home was located, to a care home in Aci Castello, Sicily.

Basso was not allowed to collect her belongings, nor to notify loved ones, who had not been told about her transfer.

Additionally, the suspect had not brought along the drugs that her great-aunt took on a daily basis, despite managers at the facility where she was hospitalized advising her to do so.

Basso’s family members, who were worried by the sudden disappearance of their relative, filed a complaint and a criminal case to the Vicenza prosecutor’s office, which was then forwarded to the Catania prosecutor’s office for jurisdiction.

Under the plan, on December 9, 2022, the elderly woman would be made to sign a public will, under which the great-niece would be established as the sole heir.

Two days later, the woman allegedly took Basso out for lunch, forcing her to eat the spaghetti dish that caused her death.

After the prosecutor’s office put in a request, and the investigating judge gave the go-ahead, the suspect was placed under house arrest after she was tracked down and handcuffed in her home.



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