Italy shocked by ritual murder in Sicily: man kills wife and two sons aged 5 and 16, daughter survives | Abroad

On the Italian island of Sicily, a man murdered his wife and two underage sons last weekend. It is said to be a ritual to drive away demons, Italian media report. The 17-year-old daughter survived the bloody act and was found alive in the house in the village of Altavilla Milicia, not far from Palermo. The 54-year-old man is said to be a religious fanatic and may have ties to a sect.

On Sunday morning, the man himself contacted Italian police to confess that he had murdered his 41-year-old wife and sons aged 5 and 16. Emergency services found the bodies of the two sons in the house and a few hours later the charred body of the woman under a mound of earth not far from the house. The daughter was found in shock in a room.

During interrogation, the man told the carabinieri that the devil had been in the house. The daughter also reportedly told investigators that her father had performed some kind of exorcism, together with a couple of friends. The couple was also arrested. Investigators suspect the man killed his family to rid his house of demons.