Francesca Martire, 61, is accused of stuffing a rosary down her the throat of her 93-year old mother in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ her of evil spirits on May 27.
Italian-born Francesca Martire, 61, who ran a successful design, furniture and lighting dealership in St John’s Wood, is undergoing psychiatric assessments after being arrested for the alleged murder of her mother, Maria Luigia Magazzile.
Mrs Martire, who had lived in Britain since 1986, has told her lawyer and police that she believed her mother’s apartment was infested with evil spirits and that by shoving the rosary in her mouth she was attempting to perform a sort of exorcism.
What role does religious belief in possession play in this action? It’s hard to say because people associated with Martire said she was not acting herself recently. Martire was at the scene of death after the police arrived. Neighbors had heard screaming. Martire was in “an extremely agitated and confused state” and at that time, allegedly told the police that her mother had been suffocating from “demonic spirits” and she was helping her breathe.
It is not the first or last time that a death resulted from an attempted exorcism. Emotion overcomes sense and the victim perishes.