Vania did not make it: she has died this morning, shortly after 6 o’clock, due to extensive burns that involved 90% of her body. The 46-year-old health worker, a mother of three children, is the latest victim of a long list of women killed by men: an ex-husband, a father, a brother or a partner who does not accept the end of the relationship between the two of them. Vania Vannucchi was admitted yesterday to the burn center of the Cisanello hospital, after suffering an attack in Lucca. The alleged assailant, her peer Pasquale Russo, had poured flammable liquid on her, then set her on fire: her clothes caught fire, instantly, and transformed her into a “human torch”. The woman was urgently hospitalized in serious condition and managed to tell her rescuers – despite the agony – the name of the aggressor: “It has been Pasquale.”
Russo, an employee of a cooperative that provided services to the hospital of Lucca, was arrested yesterday on charges of attempted murder. He continues to deny responsibility for what happened, but he has a burn on his arm. They knew each other because they had worked together at the hospital of Lucca. One of the hypotheses is that Russo had had an affair with the woman, who had separated from her husband long ago. But the relationship seems to have deteriorated, perhaps they broke up, and this may have provided the motive for the crime.
It has happened at around 1 p.m., in the morgue area of the former Campo di Marte Hospital in Lucca. It is unclear whether the two had arranged to meet, or the attacker waited fir Vania who had arrived driving a car. When she got out of her Fiat, after an altercation, Russo threw flammable liquid on her, then set her on fire. The woman could not do anything but throwing herself down, in a vain attempt to quell the flames. “We heard someone screaming – says a witness – we ran out and saw the lady in flames on her stomach.” Vania was conscious during the rescue operations and on the way to the burns unit of Pisa. She even managed to talk on the phone with her former husband. But the burns were too deep and the body parts affected where too many to allow her to survive.