The Italian "Soap Killer" Leonarda Cianciulli

July 15, 2021

Although she may have looked like a typical Italian housewife in this colorized photograph, Leonarda Cianciulli was anything but. Nicknamed the “Soap Killer”, Cianciulli gained a notorious reputation as a serial killer and cannibal. 

Wikimedia Commons - Leonarda Cianciulli - Colorized

The embodiment of true evil, Leonarda Cianciulli murdered her victims and made soap and teacakes from their bodies. She believed that she was cursed and needed to conduct human sacrifices to ease the curse and protect her family. 

A Disturbed Childhood

Leonarda with husband Raffaele Pansardi. Source:

Leonarda Cianciulli was conceived during her mother’s rape. To make matters worse, her mother was forced to marry her rapist. Cianciulli was born on April 18, 1894 and grew up in the most poverty stricken regions of Italy. When Cianciulli’s father died, her mother quickly remarried. Her new stepfather wasn’t any better than her real father. She was physically and emotionally abused by her stepfather and her mother. In desperation, she attempted suicide twice while still in her teens.