On March 27, 1995, there was simply one word in Patrizia Reggiani’s diary: “Paradeisos.”
But that single entry — that means paradise in Greek — held a lot weight to it. After all, that was the date that her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, grandson of Guccio Gucci, the founding father of the Gucci vogue empire, was killed in chilly blood. In 1998, Reggiani was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in jail for ordering his homicide. Though she denied responsibility for the crime all through the complete trial, she admitted she was behind it not lengthy after being launched in 2014.
It was the sort of scandal that performed out like a melodramatic cleaning soap opera, full with rich heirs, secret affairs and a fashionista with a aptitude for phrases and a penchant for carrying a parrot on her shoulder.
They had been the final word jet-setting couple
Reggiani was born exterior Milan to a waitress mom and trucking businessman father, rising up fairly wealthy and operating round in elite circles, the place she first met Maurizio. “I didn’t think much of him at first,” she advised The Guardian in 2016. “He was just the quiet boy whose teeth crossed over at the front.”
But ultimately they fell in love and married after they had been each 24, in 1972. Together, they lived lavishly. “We were a beautiful couple and we had a beautiful life, of course,” she advised The Guardian, which reported that that they had a Manhattan luxurious penthouse and a chauffeured automotive with the license place “Mauizia” — their couple identify combining Maurizio and Patrizia — and schmoozed with the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Soon, that they had two daughters, Alessandra and Allegra, in addition to a Saint Moritz ski chalet, Acapulco vacation home and Connecticut farm. Reggiani reveled within the luxe way of life, as soon as saying, in line with The New York Times, “I might quite weep in a Rolls-Royce than be pleased on a bicycle.”
When Maurizio’s father died, every little thing modified
But the charmed life quickly got here to an finish when Maurizio’s father, Roldofo Gucci, died in 1983, leaving his solely youngster together with his 50 p.c stake within the Gucci fortune. “Maurizio acquired loopy,” Reggiani advised The Guardian of the time. “Until then, I was his chief adviser about all Gucci matters. But he wanted to be the best, and he stopped listening to me.”
The impossibly successful fashion brand had hit a stumbling block when it was “shedding status from over-licensing its famed double-G brand and from mass manufacturing of canvas baggage.” Maurizio was working onerous to convey again the model’s good status, and combating off his uncle and cousins who owned the opposite 50 p.c. Eventually, he purchased them out.
But life at dwelling was deteriorating. And in a stunning transfer, Maurizio packed a bag one night time and left — by no means returning dwelling.
Reggiani had been upset about the way in which he was dealing with the enterprise selections, and it turned out her hunch was proper since he ultimately needed to promote out his complete share of the corporate for $120 million in 1993. At some level, Maurizio had additionally reconnected with an previous good friend from the European celebration circuit, Paola Franchi, and each of them had been in troubled marriages. “We fell in love instantly,” Franchi advised The Guardian over tears. “Maurizio used to tell me that we were two halves of the same apple.”
There was clearly quite a bit to fireside up Reggiani. “I was angry with Maurizio about many, many things at that time,” she said. “But above all, this. Losing the family business. It was stupid. It was a failure. I was filled with rage, but there was nothing I could do. He shouldn’t have done that to me.”
Maurizio was shot quite a few occasions
That fateful day of the crime began as a “lovely spring morning,” in line with Giuseppe Onorato, the doorman for the constructing at Via Palestro 20, the place Maurizio’s workplace was situated. Onorato was sweeping leaves when Maurizio arrived holding a number of magazines.
“Then I saw a hand,” Onorato advised The Guardian. “It was a beautiful, clean hand, and it was pointing a gun.”
Four pictures had been fired — three at Maurizio’s again and a fourth at his head. And then when the shooter noticed Onorato, he shot twice extra, hitting the doorman within the arm.
Still, in some way Onorato made it over to Maurizio. “I was cradling Mr. Gucci’s head,” he continued. “He died in my arms.”
It took practically two years for Reggiani and 4 accomplices to be charged
With a close-range, point-blank homicide, it could seem to be a straightforward case to resolve. Yet the Gucci household was wrapped up in so much drama over the empire’s fortune that the cops thought the assassin is likely to be amongst Maurizio’s blood kin, or maybe from his on line casino ties.
It wasn’t till practically two years later in 1997 that an nameless tip pointed to Ivano Savioni, a lodge porter, who had been contacted by Reggiani’s private psychic Guiseppina Auriemma to assist her rent hitman Benedetto Ceraulo and getaway automotive driver Orazio Cicala. And Reggiani was additionally charged as one of many co-conspirators, incomes her the nickname Vedova Nera, that means Black Widow.
There was loads of damning proof towards Reggiani. She had shared with associates and reporters that she wished Maurizio had been lifeless. Even so, throughout the trial, she maintained her innocence, together with her legal professionals telling the courtroom that the “threats were the ramblings of a mentally disturbed woman,” The New York Times reported. But a psychiatric panel got here to the conclusion that she was “mentally competent” on the time of the trial.
She as an alternative tried to level fingers at her psychic, saying that Auriemma was behind every little thing and tried to blackmail Reggiani. “Never let even a friendly fox into the chicken coop,” Reggiani said to the jurors about Auriemma. “Sooner or later it could get hungry.” Yet she contradicted herself at trial throughout the cross-examination when Reggiani stated she paid Auriemma $365,000, commenting, “It was worth every penny.”
In the top, Reggiani and Cicala had been sentenced to 29 years in jail, Savioni to 26 years, Auriemma to 25 years and the gunman Ceraulo was given a life sentence.
Reggiani admitted to the crime years later
After spending 16 years in jail — which she refers to as “my stay at Vittore Residence” the place she was in a position to hold a pet ferret named Bambi — a digicam crew confirmed up with out warning on the jewellery firm Bozart, the place Reggiani was working. The reporter requested, “Patrizia, why did you hire a hitman to kill Maurizio Gucci? Why didn’t you shoot him yourself?”
As if she couldn’t assist herself, she answered, “My eyesight is not so good—I didn’t want to miss,” The Guardian reported.
It’s clear that Reggiani lives in her personal bubble, typically seen roaming round Milan with a parrot on her shoulder and telling La Repubblica in 2014 that she hoped to return to work with Gucci, saying, “They need me…I still feel like a Gucci—in fact, the most Gucci of them all.”
Reggiani had warned Maurizio of the ‘inferno’
Given her eccentric existence now, the small print of the way in which she plotted her ex-husband’s loss of life are each troublesome, but oddly simple, to consider. During the trial, it got here out that Reggiani had reportedly put strain on the 4 accomplices to hurry up the homicide plans to ensure it was taken care of earlier than Maurizio may marry Franchi. Part of it was apparently out of worry that her daughters would lose a few of their inheritance if that they had youngsters, however Auriemma testified throughout the trial that Reggiani couldn’t stand the considered being changed.
“Patrizia was stalking us,” Franchi advised The Guardian. “She still had spies in Maurizio’s circle, and she knew all about our plans, his business dealings, everything. She called many times, abusing him and threatening to kill him.”
When Maurizio refused to take her calls, she would ship him tape recordings calling him a “monster” for not caring for their daughters and warning, “the inferno for you is yet to come.”
Indeed that inferno got here — but in some way Reggiani, even after admitting her personal guilt within the plot-to-kill, continues to roam the streets, doing issues her means.
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