TREBASELEGHE, ITALY – A father’s two teenage children were reportedly visiting him for the holiday season when he allegedly murdered the two of them by slicing their throats and then killing himself.
— New York Post (@nypost) December 24, 2020
The disturbing murders took place in the town of Trebaseleghe, which resides in the Italian province of Padua. The victims, identified as 15-year-old Francesca Calzarotto and 13-year-old Pietro Calzarotto, were sent to stay with their father, 49-year-old Alessandro Pontin, for the holidays.
Pontin was reportedly separated from the children’s mother, and there was some degree of underlying strife between the two regarding child support payments. Pontin was apparently having a difficult time finding work as a carpenter and was trying to find other means to make a decent income.
When the murders occurred, the two teenage victims were reportedly sleeping in their beds. Evidence from the crime scene suggests that the two had awoken during the attack, as there were signs of blood strewn across the floor that was trampled upon.
Le vittime sono Pietro e Francesca Pontin, 13 e 15 anni. Il padre Alessandro Pontin, 49, dopo il duplice omicidio si è tolto la vita con lo stesso coltello pugnalandosi mortalmente alla carotide https://t.co/8mcpAqMkvL
— Corriere della Sera (@Corriere) December 21, 2020
After the two children were slain, Pontin was said to have taken the weapon used to slice the children’s throats to himself and committed suicide.
A suicide note was reportedly left behind by Pontin, requesting that he be cremated and his ashes be scattered – however, there was no mention of either his killed children in the note.
Local reporting of the case said that the children’s mother, Roberta Calzarotto, had collapsed in shock at the news of her children’s murder. She was reportedly treated following the incident.
According to Pontin’s brother, the alleged murderer was in the process of reinventing himself as some sort of Zen motivational expert – after having tried and failed to become a masseuse and “holistic expert”.
Padre uccide i due figli.Un uomo di 49 anni, Alessandro Pontin, ha ucciso con coltellate alla gola i due figli, una ragazza di 15 anni e un ragazzo di 13, poi si è tolto la vita Trebaseleghe, in provincia di Padova
Nemmeno una bestia ammazza in quel modo i propri figli pic.twitter.com/4vEcr0H12q
— tuccio (@TucciTuccio) December 21, 2020
Pontin was said to have created a website that translated roughly to “The reflected world of Alesandro Pontin”, which may have bore some foreshadowing to the man’s mental state that led to these gruesome murders.
One post from Pontin’s website read as follows:
“Through a conscious touch, you will release the discomfort, you will understand the cause and you will find harmony.”
When Pontin’s Facebook account was reviewed, there was another recent post that read:
“Life is yourself, if life is difficult to bear it is because it is very difficult to bear yourself.”
While these unveiled postings may help to better understand what may have possibly motivated these murders, investigators will likely never be able to pin down the exact motivation due to the suicide note only mentioning how Pontin would like to be handled posthumously.
— Tgcom24 (@MediasetTgcom24) December 21, 2020
Aldo Cazzarotto, the grandfather of the victims, couldn’t come up with the words to describe what would compel someone to kill their own children:
“Not even a beast kills its own children like that. But what man was this?”
“I used to pick them up from school every day because my daughter works. They used to eat with me and my wife. How can we live without them?”
Aldo claimed that his daughter had warned police that Pontin was dangerously unstable, but that local authorities did not intervene.
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This isn’t the only disturbing case involving a father slaying his own children.
In Lancaster, California, a father was said to have decapitated his two teenage children.
Here’s that previous report from earlier in December.
LANCASTER, CA – A Lancaster, California man has been charged with the murders of two of his teenage children. He is accused of decapitating them, then forcing his two younger kids to view their slain siblings’ bodies.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., a 34-year-old personal trainer, was charged Tuesday with two counts of murder for the deaths of his 12-year-old son, Maurice Taylor Jr., and 13-year-old daughter, Maliaka, along with two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances or conditions likely to cause great bodily injury or death involving his 8- and 9-year-old sons.
According to authorities, Taylor stabbed the two children to death and then beheaded them.
Taylor allegedly showed his youngest sons the bodies of their decapitated siblings sometime in the five-day period between when they were killed and when they were discovered dead. For several days, the boys were forced to stay in their bedrooms, where they did not receive any food, prosecutors said.
— LA County Sheriffs (@LASDHQ) December 5, 2020
Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Los Angeles Times that both victims were decapitated, calling the incident “pretty brutal.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies were initially called to the home in the 45000 block of Century Circle last Friday morning after receiving a report of a gas leak, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department reported. That is when they found the two slain children and the other children suffering from dehydration.
Deputies were initially called to the scene after clients of Taylor, who worked as a personal trainer, grew concerned when they did not hear from him all week despite scheduled Zoom training sessions.
“We were afraid of carbon monoxide poisoning or they were all dead from falling asleep,” said one client, who spoke on the condition of anonymity and described Taylor as “mellow” and “reliable.”
The decapitated bodies were found in separate rooms, and it was unclear how long they had been dead, Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Brandon Dean told the newspaper.
Police arrested Taylor and his wife, who were both home when law enforcement arrived, without a struggle.
Lieutenant Dean confirmed the suspect’s wife and their other two children were questioned by homicide detectives, who arrested the father just before 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Lancaster [CA] father [Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr., a 34yo personal trainer] charged with murder, accused of decapitating his kids while forcing his other children to view slain siblingshttps://t.co/P9Hc9I4r1B
— AnnaZ (@AnnaZ) December 10, 2020
The Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services could not confirm whether it had any prior contact with the family. “We mourn with the community over this tragic loss,” the agency said in a statement.
A woman, thought to be the mother of the victims, and the other children at the home were questioned by homicide detectives.
Taylor was initially held in lieu of $2 million bail, but his bail was increased Tuesday to $4.2 million while he awaits arraignment on December 21 at the Lancaster courthouse.
Taylor faces a potential state prison sentence of 57 years and four months to life if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Maurice Jewel Taylor Sr, a Southern California father of four has been charged murder after allegedly decapitating his teenage daughter and 12-year-old son and abusing his two other boys. https://t.co/symCB7UPyN via @MailOnline pic.twitter.com/Ea6VlqRHP2
— KatNL (@KatNL) December 10, 2020
A USA TODAY examination of more than three decades of FBI homicide data shows that on average, 450 children are killed every year by their parents.
- The vast majority of child victims – three out of four – are under 5. More than a third of all victims are under a year old.
- Nearly half of all victims died from physical beatings or other injuries at a parent’s hands.
- Fathers are more likely to kill. Men killed six out of 10 children, most often beating or shooting them. Fathers were at fault in 75% of cases when children were shot to death by a parent and in 64% of cases when a child was beaten.
- When mothers kill, they are far more likely to kill victims under the age of 1 than children of any other age. Nearly 40% of all children killed by their mothers were less than a year old.
Friends of Taylor said that he was suffering financially from the constraints placed upon his personal training business due to the pandemic.