Today, I’d like to tell you an incredible and interesting case which affected the fashion world in 1995. It was the famous case of Maurizio Gucci’s murder.
It was Italy’s first media show trial where TV cameras and paparazzi jockeyed for space in the courtroom, hoping to capture a glimpse of the guilty woman, who, when she showed up in court, did so in fur coats and stiletto heels with perfectly manicured nails despite being in prison during the trial. The judge had granted her petition for pre-trial beauty treatments, and her two daughters brought her expensive desiner clothes to wear to court.
Who was that woman? But first of all, we have to say who was Maurizio Gucci and tell what happened to him.
Maurizio Gucci was the grandson of Guccio Gucci and the son of Rodolfo Gucci. He was an Italian businessman and the former head of the famous Gucci fashion house. In 1973 he married Patrizia Reggiani, and they had two children. They separeted in 1985.
In the 80s there were a lot of problem in Gucci’s family for the inheritance and the leadership of the fashion house. Maurizio Gucci went on to sell his stock in Gucci in 1993 for $170 million to the Bahrain-based investment group, Investcorp.
On the 27th of March of 1995, Maurizio Gucci was gunned down in the foyer of his Milan office building with three buller wounds in his back and one in his face. The killer also gunned to Giuseppe Onorato, the caretaker of the building. Luckily, he didn’t died and his evidence was very important for the trial.
The assumptions about the crime were several. The police tended to focus on the business track. The investigators considerated the enormous amount received from the sale of shares and the hatred and envies both inside and outside of the family.
At that time, Maurizio fell in love with Paola Franchi, who, according to him, was the right woman for him, not as Patrizia, his ex-wife from whom only on the end of ’94 he divorced. He was about to marry his new lover, and in doing so, announced that he would cut his ex-wife’s alimony to just $860,000 a year. Insulted by both her former husband’s newfound love and the pittance in alimony, which she called “a bowl of lentils”, Patrizia Reggiani started talking about wanting Gucci dead.
Time passed, and the investigators began to think about a private revenge instead of a business motive. Infact, at the time of the statements of Maurizio Gucci about the cut of his ex-wife’s alimony, Patrizia Reggiani started meditating about her desire for her husband’s death with Giuseppina Auriemma, a self-titled witch who was drawn to Reggiani’s wealth and who preyed on the socialite’s belief in supernatural powers (she also owned at that time a Gucci shop in Naples). When Gucci was shot, Reggiani wrote on her diary “Paradeisos”, the Greek word for paradise.
Even though Patrizia Reggiani made no secret of hoping for her husband’s demise, she denied any involvement, and the Italian police could not initially find a money trail or any forensic evidence to link the murder to socialite.
Who was the guilty?
Business motive or crime of passion?
…to be continued… 😉