Fifteen-year-old Fabiana Luzzi made a fatal mistake last Friday night when she told a 17-year-old suitor, known only as Davide M. in court documents, that she did not want to have sex with him. The two teens, who had reportedly been waffling on the edge of romance for quite some time, had wandered off into a forest on the edge of Corigliano Calabro in Calabria in southern Italy to do what teens do best—explore the oft-frustrated intrigue of young love. They kissed and cuddled, but when Fabiana resisted intercourse, her not-quite-boyfriend admitted to police that he lost his head and pulled out his knife. He stabbed the young woman—whom he had wanted to make love to only moments earlier—more than 20 times in her chest, abdomen and back, in what Italians call a raptus, or fit of rage. Then, he reportedly admitted to police, he left her bleeding in a ravine for over an hour before returning with a canister of gas to burn the evidence of his crime of passion. But when he drizzled the gas over Fabiana’s body, she sprang to life and found the energy to lunge at him, trying desperately to knock the gas canister out of his hands, spilling gas on his clothes. The two struggled but ultimately Fabiana, weakened by the loss of blood from her stab wounds, collapsed. Davide lit a match, threw it on Fabiana, and walked away. “She was still alive when I set her on fire,” Davide told investigators according to the police report seen by The Daily Beast. The ashes from what was left of her singed corpse were found the next morning. When Davide was arrested, he reportedly confessed to the horrible crime.
Fabiana, who would have turned 16 on June 13, is the youngest known victim of femicide in Italy, a moribund crime category also referred to as intimate partner or intimate personal violence that has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. In 2012, 127 women were murdered by men they loved—by husbands, boyfriends and sons. Chillingly, 47 women escaped death last year but were so brutally beaten, their cases are tagged as attempted femicides by the authorities that tally such gruesome statistics. The women who lived are scarred for life, both physically and psychologically. Many have suffered disfiguring facial fractures, broken ribs and even acid burns. Some of those who died last year were thrown off balconies, strangled with appliance power cords, and stabbed with their own stiletto heels.