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Mafia boss beauty-queen who gunned down husband's killer while heavily pregnant dies age 86

Assunta Maresca shot dead her husband's killer in broad daylight and showed no remorse
Assunta Maresca, also known as Pupetta, meaning 'Little Doll', gunned down her husband's killer while seven month's pregnant

Assunta Maresca, also known as Pupetta, meaning 'Little Doll', gunned down her husband's killer while seven month's pregnant

Clodagh Meaney

A former beauty-queen who was a member of the Italian Camorra mafia has died aged 86.

Born in Castellamare di Stabia, Italy in 1935, Assunta Maresca who was known as Pupetta, meaning ‘Little Doll’ in Italian, was born into the Camorra Mafia.

In 1955 when she was seven months pregnant when she gunned down her husband’s killer in an act of deadly revenge.

Her husband, Pasquale Simonetti, was also a member of the crime gang who worked in Naples and dealt in smuggled goods.

In July 1955, just two months after they tied the knot, Simonetti was shot by a hitman hired by Antonio Esposito, a fellow member of the gang who turned on him.

With his wife pregnant and convinced the police were turning a blind eye to the perpetrator she took matters into her own hands.

After driving to Naples with her younger brother Ciro, she sought out Esposito and shot him dead in broad daylight with a Smith & Wesson .38.

Once arrested and charged with the murder, she told the court she “would do it again", which not only sent the court into an eruption of applause, but it also made headlines across the world.

Maresca was sentenced to 18 years in prison which was later reduced to 13 years and four months.

Pupetta, who was later dubbed ‘Madame Camorra’ gave birth to her first born while behind bars.

She went on to date another Camorra crime boss, drug baron Umberto Ammaturo, with whom she had twins.

When her first son was abducted and murdered in 1974, she believed her lover was behind the killing, however he denied knowing anything about his death and it remains a mystery.

In 1982 she was arrested alongside Ammaturo for the murder of forensic scientist Aldo Semerari, aswell as on charges of extortion.

She denied both crimes for the remainder of her life. However, Ammaturo who was initially found not guilty of the murder, later confessed in 1993.

He broke the mafia’s omerta (code of silence) by becoming a state witness which resulted in 40 arrests. His brother was then murdered in retaliation.

Ammaturo would be 80-years-old today, and is still believed to be living in Sicily under a new identity provided by the witness protection programme.

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