Police ban funeral for 'Mafia moll' Pupetta Maresca

Assunta ‘Pupetta’ Maresca

 CASTELLAMMARE DI STABIA – A funeral for Assunta ‘Pupetta’ Maresca, credited with being Italy's most notorious woman gangster, has been banned by police because of her  status as a Camorra boss, a term her lawyers dispute, police sources say.

 Maresca was born Jan. 19 1935 in Castellamare di Stabia in the Bay of Naples. At aged 20 she married Pasquale Simonetti, a mafia boss of the fruit and vegetable markets known as ‘Pascalone 'e Nola.’ Four months into their marriage Simonetti was killed by hitman Antonio Esposito, and his pregnant widow took her revenge by shooting Esposito dead in broad daylight. “I would do it again,” she famously declared in court, to cheers of support. She died Dec. 29.

 The story made international headlines and Maresca, known as ‘Pupetta’ for her doll-like features, was dubbed by one newspaper ‘the Diva of Crime.’ She was sentenced to 18 years in prison, which was later reduced to 13 years and four months.

 Her lawyers, Gennaro and Carlo Pecoraro, have protested the descriptions of ‘boss’ and ‘prima donna of the Camorra’ attributed to her by the media.

 “Defining Pupetta Maresca as a ‘camorrista’ or a ‘woman boss,’” wrote the lawyers, “is in contempt of reality.”

 The lawyers condemned comments made on social media and by politicians, who “offended” Maresca’s memory with “statements based on assumptions denied in every court.”

 "Moreover,” continued the lawyers’ note, “it is painful to see that the defamatory news has actually induced public authorities to ban Pupetta Maresca’s funeral - though this is typical of an era in which, even for the State, facts count for less than the suggestions and uninformed slander of the media and social networks.”

 “The Maresca family hopes that those responsible for the defamatory conduct rectify the information falsely provided, and refrain in the future from conveying incorrect and offensive information again, thus returning to Pupetta Maresca, at the moment of his death, the right to be remembered according to truth and justice.”

 Police permitted there to be only a blessing of the body. About 10 women went to the church of Sant’Antonio di Padova in Castellamare di Stabia - where the funeral would have taken place - to recite some prayers on Saturday for her.