Some of you might remember the story of my maternal great-grandmother Caterina Scalise Farina, who in 1921 murdered my great-grandfather Foca "Frank" Farina by chasing him into a field, knocking him down and, (using a small hatchet) held him down and ended his life.
Yesterday my mom found a new
picture of Caterina, one we hadn't seen before. In it she is holding my mother as a little girl (on the back of the photo is written that my mom was 1 1/2 years old). My mother (and everyone else evidently) was terrified of her. She was quite mean and sometimes got physical. On one occasion she slapped my other great-grandmother Amelia across the face for no reason.
Doesn't my mother look terrified??
Caterina Scalise Farina and grandaugter Peggy
here is a little from the newspaper (1921) detailing the trial...
Haverhill Evening GazetteTuesday July 5, 1921
One of the most gruesome murders in the history of the city was perpetrated shortly after midnight Saturday when Mrs. Katherine Farina, age 34, 4 ½ Atlanta Street, mother of six children, killed her husband, Frank Farina age 39, by hacking his head into a pulp with a hatchet. The deed occurred, according to the confession the police say she made. After he had come home in an intoxicated condition, dragged her through the house by the hair, and then the husband chased her 14 year old daughter from the house claiming that he would kill her.Mrs. Farina pleaded not guilty to a charge of first degree murder when arraigned before Judge John J. Winn in central district court this morning. With her 11 month old baby in her arms, Mrs. Farina, who has maintained a stoical calm ever since her arrest, entered her plea through an interpreter. She pleaded not-guilty on the advice of her counsel, Attorney William J. McDonald.The case will be given a hearing Saturday morning being continued until that date by the court after the police and defense counsel has agreed upon the continuance.Judge Winn ordered the prisoner held without bail until Saturday and also ordered that Mrs. Farina be permitted to take her 11 month old son Anthony to jail with her.