February 5, 2002
Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Francesco Mangione (44) stabs, hacks, and slices his cousin Denis Timothy Guinta (26) over 55 times with a homemade sword during a long-standing ice cream van turf war
Mangione broke into the home of Guinta and his wife as they slept before he began to hack at Guinta with a “handmade sword” constructed from a sharpened piece of iron. During the assault, Guinta told his wife Laura to jump from their bedroom balcony to escape the attacker, which she did. She broke her leg after landing on her garage roof some five meters below the bedroom balcony but managed to make her way to a neighbor’s house where she contacted police.
Guinta’s body, covered in at least 55 wounds to his head, chest, and abdomen, was found in the bedroom where the attack took place. Laura was unable to see the masked intruder’s face during the assault, but a glove found at the scene contained DNA evidence which was linked to Mangione, and a piece of scrap metal similar to the weapon used in the attack was found in Mangione’s tool shed.
The judge presiding over the trial could only suggest the murder was precipitated by the victim’s and killer’s businesses: Guinta and Mangione had been embroiled in a feud, often punctuated with violence, since 1993. Both families owned ice cream vans and had accused the other of encroaching on their territory.
Mangione was convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 18 years.
“22 years for ice cream vendor who hacked rival to death.” The Sydney Morning Herald. April 22, 2004. Accessed February 5, 2019. https://amp.smh.com.au/national/22-years-for-ice-cream-vendor-who-hacked-rival-to-death-20040422-gdiscr.html
“Ice-cream turf war led to murder, court told.” The Age. February 4, 2004. Accessed: February 5, 2019. https://amp.theage.com.au/national/ice-cream-turf-war-led-to-murder-court-told-20040204-gdx8oc.html
“On trial: ice-cream murder.” The Age. March 26, 2003. Accessed: February 5, 2019. https://amp.theage.com.au/national/on-trial-ice-cream-murder-20030326-gdvfu5.html