Giovanni Barreca confessed to having murdered his wife and two children in their home
An Italian bricklayer may have forced his 17-year-old daughter to watch as he slaughtered his wife and two children in a bid to rid their home of “demons”, investigators have claimed.
Giovanni Barreca, 54, confessed to having murdered his wife Antonella Salamone, 40, and their sons Kevin, 15, and Emanuel, five, in their home in Altavilla Milicia, near Palermo.
A couple, who locals have branded “religious fanatics” and believed to be friends of Barreca, have since been accused of acting as his accomplices in the murders.
Massimo Carandente and Sabrina Fina were arrested after Barreca called the Carabinieri on Saturday night, a day after he is believed to have killed his children.
The children were said to have been strangled and one of the children was found chained. Police found their bodies inside the family home. ANSA reports, while the charred remains of his mother were located buried in the garden.
Images from the scene show police tape crossing the street in front of the family home, as well as police officers gathered outside several police vehicles.
Giovanni Barreca, 54, confessed to having murdered his wife, Antonella Salamone, 40
The murders may have taken place over several days, and initial examinations of the bodies suggest that the children were killed on Friday, while their mother was murdered earlier in the week.
The only family member who was saved was Barreca’s daughter, who was found in her bedroom and was said to be in a state of shock.
Police are investigating whether the teenager was drugged and forced to witness the massacre. The Print reports, and I’ve been talking to the girl.
“He wanted to free us from the devil,” he 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 determine whether the murders were part of a sickening exorcism ritual.
Barreca told prosecutors that he wanted to free the victims from “demons” and allegedly allowed himself to be encouraged by Carandente and Fina.
The trio met during a prayer meeting at an evangelical church, from which they had since distanced themselves.
Barreca told prosecutors that he wanted to free the victims from ‘demons’ and allegedly allowed himself to be encouraged by Carandente and Fina.
Carandente’s Facebook profile is flooded with religious slogans such as ‘Satan uses corrupt pastors’ and ‘When the people pray, the devil trembles’.
An arrest warrant was issued for Carandente and Fina yesterday and the police managed to locate them using Barreca’s phone and the testimony of locals.
The couple, both from Palermo, were taken to the prosecutor’s office and face multiple charges of murder.
As the Carabinieri continue to investigate the murders, video from the scene shows police tape across the street in front of the family home, as well as police gathered outside several police vehicles.