Friday, December 02, 2011

Facts Of Melania Rea’s Stabbing Death In Italy Last April Are Also Proving Hard To Get Straight #5

Posted by Peter Quennell

This post: events in May 2011

These CCTV images above and below are the last known shots of Melania Rea still alive. She is with her husband Salvatore and baby daughter Victoria and it is the day after Palm Sunday.

Melania would be dead approximately five hours later. She is entering a supermarket here. Then she goes to a clinic for a quick check of a health condition, and then back home to call her mom.

They talk for about seven minutes. She tells her mom that her little family was heading for the afternoon to the playground at the San Marco plateau about ten minutes drive to the west.

Although Salvatore and Victoria were seen there about two hours later, there is zero trace of her having ever arrived. Her body was found in another park 10 kilometers south two days later.

This is the Carabinieri office in Ascoli. They have helped with major arms of the investigation including the tracking of cell phones and the blood and DNA work where Melania’s body was found.

This is Umberto Monti who was the lead Ascoli prosecutor on the case through to Salvatore being charged in July in Teramo. Teramo has jurisdiction over the Casermette park.

He prepared a detailed report for the overseeing judge in July which outlines all the evidence already assembled against Salvatore. This led to a judge labeling him dangerous and locking him away pending charges.

These are the Teramo prosecutors, Greta Aloisi and Davide Rosati, who have also been working on the case all along. They assumed the lead from July once Salvatore was locked away. Teramo is about 20 kilometers south of Ascoli.

If and when the case against Salvatore Parolisi for killing Melania goes to trial, they will be the lead prosecutors in the court.

Salvatore Parolisi was prominent and outspoken on Italian TV for a number of weeks. He appeared on several national interview shows like these above and below. He explained his version of events - Melania’s supposed kidnapping.

He often cried on camera,  and said often how much Melania and he were in love. He looked or assumed a look of being haggard. He urged the police to find the real killer, and he became more and more prickly as his credibility fell.

This is Father Don Carlo Lupi, the Catholic priest at Melania’s and Salvatore’s local church. He had spoken with them after the Palm Sunday service the previous day, and they always seemed to him good together and in love.

This is the Villa San Marco clinic in Ascoli where Melania was checked three hours before her death for a small gynaecological condition. She had been advised to abstain for a short while from sex, a fact which came to matter later.

In these images above and below, we can see Salvatore and his sister Francesca with a reporter in the Casermette park right where Melania died. In this documentary report, he identified precisely where Melania’s body was found.

This is Melania’s friend Sonia Viviani who tried twice to call Melania mid-afternoon and also sent her several text messages. Melania did not pick up, although her mobile phone had a loud ring tone and the vibration was also switched on.

This is Melania’s friend Immacolata (“Imma”) Rosa who talked with Melania two days before her death. Melania told Imma she had just found out something really shocking and did not want to describe it over the phone.

Two main theories of what this shocking secret could be emerged in June and July (see later posts), both bizarre, and both possibly the real main motive behind the crime against Melania.

This is Raffaele Paciolla, a prison guard, who lived in the same building as Melania and Salvatore. They were very good friends. Raffaele was taken up the mountain by the police to do the first identification of Melania’s body.

When Salvatore was challenged about knowing where Melania’s body was found (see images above) he said Raffaele had taken shots with his phone. But Raffaele said he took no shots, a fact very damaging to Salvatore.

This is Raffaele Paciolla’s wife Stefania Dorinzi who lived with Raffaele in the same building. She knew that Melania was struggling to hold onto Salvatore and said after the crime Salvatore emerged as a very nasty person.

This is Colonel Alessandro Patrizio who was the commandant of the Clementi regimental barracks where Salvatore was a trainer. The barrack trains almost exclusively girls, some 330 every three months. Then they decide if they want to continue.

He moved fast to try to shore up the reputation of the barracks and to demonstrate that growing suspicions of major breaches of rules were taking place were wrong. He was reassigned within three months. It was said to be long-planned.

This is Krizia Sardella who completed the course but decided not to become a soldier. She still lives locally. She trained with Salvatore and said her group found him to be upstanding, serious, polite, and seemingly safe to be alone with. 

This is a soldier colleague of Salvatore at the barracks who would not give his name or show his face on camera, but said he found Salvatore’s behavior in the barracks to be okay and nothing out of the ordinary.

This is Melania’s friend Valentina Esposito who like her other friends knew from Melania that something was amiss in her marriage. Melania had talked of taking the baby back to her hometown for kindergarten.

This is the Samsung model of mobile phone that Melania had on her that day. She last used it to talk with her mother. The police remotely switched it to GPS mode to try to find approximately where Melania was lying.

They then did a great deal of signal measurement with similar phones in both parks (full details in the prosecutor’s report) and concluded that there was no proof that Melania had ever been to the first park as Salvatore had claimed.

This map is from the report on the cell towers in the wider area to which Melania’s phone would respond with a ping. One tower near where Melania’s body was found documented a strong signal from her phone all afternoon.

This is the town of Civitella several kilometers south of Ascoli and east of the mountain on which Melania was found. From a call box (shown below) at the bus station, somebody called in a report on her body two days after she disappeared.

He seemed to be authentically someone in his sixties with a strong regional dialect. He has never been traced, but that is said to be not uncommon for such calls. He may be a wild-mushroom picker in the forest. 

Late in the month, rumors of Salvatore having a longtime girlfriend at the barracks grew to a crescendo, and his fellow soldier trainer Ludovica Perrone, about three years younger than Melania, was publicly outed.

Phone calls in the next several weeks that they both thought were secret (Salvatore used a secret second phone) were recorded by the police, and long excerpts appeared in the prosecutor’s report in July.

Salvatore had led Ludovica to believe that his leaving Melania was just around the corner, and so she had arranged for her parents to meet him the following (Easter) weekend at a hotel on the Amalfi Coast south of Naples.

He had apparently not said as much to Melania. She knew about the affair and was outraged. Twice in the three days before she died she called Ludovica at the barracks to warn her to stop breaking up their marriage.

Ludovica was dismissed after the case opened up and has since disappeared, though the police know where she is and still interview her. She sounded outraged after Melania’s death at hearing Salvatore on-air saying how much he loved Melania. 

This is the Teramo coroner Adriano Tagliabracci who in mid May did a second autopsy on Melania and concluded she had not been moved after her death. He reconstructed the horrific final fight that she went through.

He also concluded that the body had been stabbed a dozen more times the day after Melania died, and that the body was inscribed and a syringe inserted to throw investigators off the trail. 

This is Michele Rea, Melania’s brother, who attended the second autopsy with Salvatore and his brother Rocco. Nearly a month after the murder both families were still getting along well, though they bitterly split soon after. 

These next few shots are of Melania’s funeral at Summa Vesuvio, her home two, three days after the coroner released her body for burial. Believe it or not, the shot above is of Salvatore hugging Melania’s father Gennaro; both were crying.

Salvatore moved back to his own home town near Vesuvius after his forced release from the army at the start of May. His car and the entrance to the yard of his family’s apartment were watched by reporters up to late July when he was put in prison.

Meanwhile little Victoria lives with Melania’s parents at Summa Vesuvio and she is not old enough yet to understand anything that is going on.  As in Perugia, cold callous unrepenting narcissism reigns, while there is more and more heartbreaking damage.

Open questions

These are not make-or-break, but they do show that as in Perugia there will always be loose ends. Why were there so many small cuts on Melania’s body? Why did she have her back turned, seemingly trustingly with her pants down? Why did she agree to go to the Casermette park when that was not what they’d intended? Who mutilated Melania’s body on the Tuesday? Was it possible for Salvatore to get back there on Tuesday unnoticed? Or could that have been Ludovica, or another woman? Why did he visit the barracks on Tuesday and Wednesday? What was Melania’s dark secret that she had told no-one? And if Salvatore wanted to marry Ludovica, why did he not simply ask Melania for a divorce?

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/02/11 at 12:40 PM in The legal followups


Tragic case - how heart-breaking for the little girl now left without her mother - praying for justice for the victim Melania. Keep us posted.

Posted by giustizia on 12/03/11 at 03:48 AM | #

Thanks Bjorn. Hi giustizia. Yeah I was thinking of your excellent post on Amanda Knox and Scott Petersen and how you showed it really pays to place several similar cases side by side for comparison. There are very few unsolved murders in Italy whereas there are hundreds in the US and the police efforts invested have to be one factor.

Prosecutor Monti’s report filed in July 12 weeks after the murder contains an amazing amount of detail. It recreates Melania’s last minutes and it has many pages on the timeline and the mobile phone patterns and all the witness statements (which continued from August onward).

Either the police were always this good or Meredith’s case helped inspire them and either way the results here are encouraging. I already thought Judge Hellman was a fool to be taken in by the CSI Effect and to dismiss a huge body of evidence so casually and this confirms he was a fool in spades.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/03/11 at 04:16 AM | #

According to Italian media, Sollecito has signed a
book deal with Sharlene Martin.

Posted by Miriam on 12/03/11 at 07:05 PM | #

I read somewhere that women who kill tend to stab their victims multiple times [in a frenzy]. There are multiple examples of men who kill [or have someone kill] their wives so that they can be with someone else - why don’t they just ask them for a divorce?

Posted by Melanie on 12/04/11 at 09:34 PM | #


It is not for love that such men leave their wives for another one.  These men are bored with love and family life and just seek excitement.  These are related to hormonal problems and cannot be easily treated.  Many confuse sex with love and excitement with happiness. Please see Ergon’s excellent post on this topic- all these are related.

Also there are women who use sex as a tool to control men - just like Amanda Knox.  Men also use such women for excitement and pleasure but the hormones peak for sometime and then level off.  Amanda Knox will have many boyfriends but all will be for a short while- most men do not like to be controlled by and slave to sex. Male hormones often fluctuates widely and they are therefore more dangerous as criminals. 

I suspect that Amanda’s cravings for “wild sex” is perhaps related to some childhood abuse, probably sex related.

Both men and women (like above) do not think (or cannot think) normally like most of us.  They get excited with violence and sometimes feel violence as ten times stronger pleasure than sex.  Divorce never comes to their minds.  They just want to get rid of their “non-performing” partners. Melania must have mentioned the “secret” sometime and she had to pay for that with her own life.

Posted by chami on 12/05/11 at 09:22 PM | #

Posted by believing on 12/06/11 at 04:10 PM | #

Majority of the comments below this article seem to be ‘non-supportive’ in the least.

Posted by believing on 12/06/11 at 04:14 PM | #


Thanks for the posted reference of 12/06.
I have read it. Carefully. Thoughtfully. Twice.
I am astonished to the verge of stupefaction.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 12/06/11 at 05:25 PM | #

This is interesting. A convicted liar reveals all? Ha, ha

Posted by starsdad on 12/06/11 at 06:50 PM | #

Thanks for the link.

This comment is my favorite:

“Book Title : If I did it.
Includes buying bleach, cleaning up after the murder, making contradictory statements, showing total indifference over roomates murder, etc.”

Posted by Terry on 12/06/11 at 08:27 PM | #

How about:

“she and casey anthony should cowrite together how to get away with murder and have oj write the introduction”

Posted by Melanie on 12/06/11 at 09:25 PM | #

And Sollecito gets his book deal. Money, money, money. I guess Knox’s PR team have decided to try and strike while the iron is hot (as opposed to going “dark” for six months), but it looks from the comments of the related articles that the public does not swallow the angelic innocence routine, especially as Knox was convicted and served time for lying about the murder and accusing her boss Lumumba.

When will Knox actually answer some hard questions in an interview? Don’t think it will ever happen, or her answers will be terribly scripted.

Posted by giustizia on 12/06/11 at 11:00 PM | #

@believing - thanks for the link - I think one of my favorite comments was: “Lies and more lies. Book 300 pages of lies. Cost you $29.99”

What crazy times we live in.

Posted by giustizia on 12/06/11 at 11:29 PM | #

All is well with me,  I was delayed slightly on a a work trip. New post in this series later today. That and one more should do it. As with Meredith’s case this shows Italy in a kind and hard-working light. Serious people on the whole though quick to laugh.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 12/08/11 at 01:38 PM | #

Amanda Knox strikes a deal with Blair and President Obama’s book agent just as her ex-lover announces he’ll pen his own tell-all book too.

Read more:

The American is expected to earn at least a million dollars for a book on her conviction and subsequent acquittal for killing her British housemate.

And, with the major U.S. networks jostling for position, the 24-year-old could net as much again for a television interview on top of other earning opportunities.

Posted by gdeschaetzen on 12/13/11 at 03:23 AM | #

I don’t know how she will make such a book interesting.  It seems like everything has already been said on this case unless there are new revelations.  I wonder if the two books will match up in their details of the night in question.  I think it was a big mistake to delay the slander case as that would have cleared up the question of AK being abused during the investigation.

While we will not forget poor Meredith, we see that she is not alone in meeting a violent needless death, as in the other shocking case of Melania.  I do not know how Peter Quenell has the time to put together all the details of these cases so well.

Posted by believing on 12/13/11 at 05:16 AM | #

As I already said a few months ago : If Knox decides to write a book I have no intention of reading it.

Posted by aethelred23 on 12/13/11 at 10:46 PM | #

I’ve been wondering same thing. If Knox writes a book, would I read it? I might, because she will inadvertently disclose her guilt. Those who know what to look for will see it clearly. Yet I understand your decision because I too will resent giving money toward her cause by purchasing the book, or being assailed by more of her lies. It’s the sure belief that I will be able to read between the lines and pick up yet more evidence of her guilt to confirm what the court already declared that makes me willing to consider reading a Knox book of lies.

She lives on a volcano. Her case broke down on the DNA arguments. Judge Hellman’s ruling was a counsel of despair. Maybe diplomatic secrets were involved, political pressure. As Kermit said on Sharon Feinstein blog, at any moment Rudy could reveal all and land Raf and Amanda in the hurt locker. There could be others among family or friends the lovebirds confided in who might be willing to talk, if the lovebirds offend them over time.

Posted by Hopeful on 12/14/11 at 02:11 PM | #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Where next:

Click here to return to The Top Of The Front Page

Or to next entry Facts Of Melania Rea’s Stabbing Death In Italy Last April Are Also Proving Hard To Get Straight #6

Or to previous entry Facts Of Melania Rea’s Stabbing Death In Italy Last April Are Also Proving Hard To Get Straight #4