Behind Mario Alessi’s Own Trial And Life Sentence: The Kidnap And Murder of A Baby Boy
Posted by Peter Quennell
Above: Mario Alessi and his wife Antonella Conserva at trial in Parma, Sicily, in 2008.
A notorious and very cruel case. A masked Mario Alessi kidnapped a baby at gunpoint, and 20 minutes later beat him to death with a shovel. He received a life sentence and his wife Antonella 30 years.
Here on the People You’ll See In Hell website is one apparently quite accurate English-language report of their crime.
Tommaso Onofri was a beautiful baby who lived with his mum, dad and older brother in a country house near Parma, Italy. The evening of March 2nd, 2006, seemed a normal one at Onofri home. The family was having dinner, and 17-month-old Tommy was in his usual place for this time of day, sitting in his high chair.
Suddenly, two men with their faces covered by balaclava burst into the room. The family, terrified and thinking they were being robbed, wisely told the pair of bandits, “Take whatever you want.” But this was no robbery – no, it was much worse than that. To everyone’s shock and surprise, instead of taking money or jewels, one of the men pulled the baby out of the high chair,and the two intruders ran off with little Tommaso Onofri.
The Police and news media went mad about this case. The Onofris seemed like such a normal family, without secrets, and they were not rich. Nobody ever asked for a ransom. Little Tommy was an epileptic baby who needs daily medications, but days passed and there was no trace of the child or the kidnappers.
Investigators looked at every angle. They found traces of child pornography in Mr. Onofri’s computer, and for a short time police suspected him, but it turned out there was no evidence to support the theory that he was connected to the disappearance of his son.
Then, police checked on a man who worked in the Onofri house as a builder, some days before Tommy was kidnapped. His name was Mario Alessi and he’d done time for sexual assault; some years before, he raped a girl in front of her boyfriend.
But now he was a free man, and he had a wife and a son. Police interrogated him, and Mario Alessi became the first legitimate suspect. But again, they had no evidence and were forced to release him.
He went back home and did an interview with his wife for an Italian TV show (for money, I suppose). Video cameras went to their house, they showed what fine, upstanding people the Alessis were, how suspecting them was a huge mistake. “You shall not touch children!” said Alessi to millions of fellow Italians on TV.
Some days later, he, his wife, Antonella Conserva, and another builder who worked with Mario Alessi, Salvatore Raimondi, were arrested for the kidnapping of Tommaso Onofri. But where was little Tommy? Antonella ConservaIt seemed to everyone that now that the case was over, the baby should now be back in his mother’s arms.
Finally, in April of 2006, one month after the disappearance of little Tommy, Mario Alessi confessed. He led the police to a river not far from the baby’s country home. The police found the body of 17-month-old Tommaso Onofri buried in a shallow grave at the bank of the river, in high state of decomposition. It turns out he was murdered just 20 minutes after he was taken from his highchair.
Here’s how police say this crime took place. Mario Alessi and Salvatore Raimondi planned the kidnapping. They had decided to kidnap the baby because they did some work for the Onofris and mistakenly assumed they were rich. The original plan called for them to give the baby to Alessi’s wife, Antonella Conserva, to care for him, while they made arrangements to ransom Tommaso.
But something went terribly wrong: Alessi took the baby and ran off on a motorbike. First he heard police sirens closing in behind him, then he saw police cars on his road, and he started to get nervous. Little Tommy couldn’t stop crying and Alessi began to panic, so he went down to the river. Finally, fearing the police would hear the baby’s cries, Mario Alessi took a shovel and beat Tommaso Onofri to death. He buried the body in the sandy soil at the bank of the river.
Mario Alessi was condemned to life in prison. His accomplice, Salvatore Raimondi, got 20 years (he was the first to confess and he had chosen an abbreviated process), and Antonella Conserva was sentenced to 30 years”.
Amanda Knox and Raffele Sollecito: please meet your new best friend from hell…
Thank you Peter for the background.
So Mario Alessi is on the “People You’ll See In Hell” website but our three are not. Who really comes off worse though? The Alessi gang or our three?
Alessi and wife planned a villainous deed, that is for sure. Kidnapping is always very serious. But then there was panic as all the sirens went off, only Alessi himself was in on the murder, and he did late confess. Then he was awarded life behind bars.
Our three surely also had some kind of mischief premeditated. They were probably all high on drugs, a crime in itself. All three were in on the final act. Their taunting and torturing of Meredith and the sexual attack were cruel, sadistic and depraved by any standards. They left her dying clutching her neck to stop the blood running out, when a call for help could have saved her.
They locked her door, and they took her two mobile phones away. They stole her rent money. And they desecrated her body to maker it look more like a sex attack by a loner. Knox framed an innocent man for the crime. None have shown any repentance except marginally perhaps Guede, and Knox and Solleciito in fact seem to have shown glee. They and their families have been arrogant, callous and uncaring toward Meredith’s family and friends, they have slimed dozens of people, caused turmoil in Seattle, and highly misled the American public. Tension between Italy and the US linger on.
And for all of this, Guede and Sollecito and Knox have been awarded respectively only 16, 25 and 26 years. With two waves of appeal and a likelihood of some reduction coming up.
The system seems to weight their crimes lighter than Alessi’s. But one has to wonder.
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but hopefully, I won’t see any of them in Hell.
Holy Mother of God. He beat a baby to death with a SHOVEL? And we are supposed to ‘trust’ what this man says? There is no short cut to redemption for this sort of crime. Whatever he was trying to swing here it was never going to fly. What a piece of work.