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The Macana brothers

Today, an anecdote. Yesterday, a creepy reality. The Leonelli brothers are the bloodiest part of Mendoza's history. We'll tell you who they were.

The worst thing about us

Blood brought them together, they were brothers. But they were also joined by the blood of others. The taste and satisfaction of killing. History remembers them, but not like many would like to be remembered. This is the case of serial killers who inhabited Mendoza more than a century ago.

They were two of the five children of Teresa Paolantonio de Leonelli, who was widowed very young. Marcos Mauricio and José María were the elders, and they had to take over the family economy. Thus, in the house located on Urquiza Street to 191 City, the brothers first carried out a warehouse with which they did not do well and had to close. Then, as a nod to fate, the Leonelli set up, in that same place, a funeral home. They had something with death. And that is, it will be seen later, they themselves would generate their own customers.

Business was going very well. As has always been said, the funeral home is a good option because, after all, we all die. That's why they had a lot of profit and gained respect. They bought a farm in Guaymallén. They were a totally normal family. Except for one small detail: they were real serial killers.

The whistle-blower

On the morning of December 20, 1916, heartbreaking screams alerted the neighbors of Urquiza Street almost Salta, the house of the Leonelli. The brothers Mauricio and Joseph Maria had quoted a Syrian merchant, Tufick Ladekani, to exchange money. When he entered the house, one of the brothers, hiding and behind, struck him with an iron stick, but without too much aim. He left the victim alive and allowed him to cast those desperate cries. They then beat him again to the end of his life, placing the body lying in the basement of the house.

That's the scene the police found that day, noting that a wire had also been used to strangle the Syrian. They also found the money that was supposed to be the motive for the murder. The Leonelli brothers killed for silver.

Collectors of corpses

The brothers had a rather bloody hobbie: collected dead people, their own victims. Already with the murderers arrested, police continued to investigate the home and found the corpses of Julian Azcona, a cigarette seller whose absence had been previously denounced and Juan M. Dávila, a mortgage creditor.

Although the bodies were not found, the Leonelli were attributes the death of Francisco Petruolo and Tomás Guajardo. In addition to the bodies that were also found in the Guaymallén estate.

To the bench of the accused

The killers went to trial in 1918 for the murders of Azcona, Davila and Ladekani. José María was sentenced to 25 imprisonment, while Marcos Mauricio had to serve life imprisonment. In 1923 they were transferred to Ushuaia prison. Marcos died there. Jose Maria was given freedom 20 years later.

Publication Date: 10/08/2020

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