Tuesday, January 25, 2022

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Assunta Maresca, legendary beauty queen and mafia boss, dies aged 86

Assunta Maresca , an ex-beauty queen who shot to fame when she killed her husband’s killer in Naples at the age of 18 and went on to become the first female boss in Italy’s powerful Camorra mafia clan has died aged 86.

Fondly referred to as Pupetta, or “Little Doll”, Maresca was the daughter of a notorious black marketeer.

She shot to fame in the mid-1950s, when 18 years old and six months pregnant, she tracked down Antonio Esposito, the Camorra boss who had ordered the killing of her husband, and shot him dead in broad daylight on a street in Naples.

Investigators believed there had been more than one shooter on the scene, but keen to establish her status and defend her position in the Naples underworld, Maresca always insisted she was solely responsible, Guardian writes.

During her trial for murder in 1959 she defiantly told the court: “I would do it again!”

Maresca gave birth in prison, and after her release 14 years later was reunited with her son, Pasqualino.

In the years after leaving prison she acted in a film that was inspired by her life and opened two clothes shops in Naples. But her private life continued to be turbulent. She moved in with the drug trafficker and arms dealer Umberto Ammaturo, and they had twins. But Ammaturo was jealous of Pasqualino, who had ambitions to rise in the Camorra.

When Pasqualino was 18, in January 1974, he went to meet Ammaturo on a construction site for the Naples flyover, and disappeared. His mother suspected her lover had murdered the boy and buried his body in cement.

The only girl in a family of four brothers, she won a local beauty contest in 1953 and was crowned Miss Rovegliano. Maresca died at her home in Castellammare di Stabia, near Pompeii, after an illness.

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