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An Australian mother was decapitated by her own daughter in the summer of 2019 after she spent thousands on an exorcism for the troubled young woman.
Rita Camilleri, 57, hired a “spirit communicator” to banish a demonic presence from her daughter two weeks before she was dismembered by Jessica Camilleri in her own kitchen, according to Australian outlet news.com.au.
In July 2019, Rita Camilleri’s head was discovered on a walking path near her home. Inside her residence, the woman’s mutilated body, including the tip of her nose, was found in the kitchen. She had been stabbed more than 100 times, prosecutors said. Her daughter, covered in blood, was found at the scene holding a water bottle.
“She immediately told them she had killed her mother and pointed out the head that was on the footpath,” crown prosecutor Tony McCarthy said, according to news.com.au.
Jessica Camilleri, then 25, admitted to carrying out the murder of her mother but insisted the brutal killing was in self-defense.
“I kept stabbing and stabbing and stabbing her, I took off her head,” Jessica Camilleri said, according to prosecutors.
Under police questioning, she allegedly told authorities she and her mother had been arguing shortly before the attack.
“The accused said she wanted to give the deceased a taste of her own medicine,” McCarthy added.
The 27-year-old has numerous psychological illnesses, as well as autism and a mild mental disability, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. She’s pleaded not guilty.
Gruesome new details of the Australian mother’s death have emerged in court this week. Weeks before the killing, Rita Camilleri was allegedly convinced her daughter was possessed by a supernatural force. The desperate mother spent $2,500 on a “she-wolf” medium to “get the demon” out of her daughter, officials said.
“She paid $2500 but never got any service, I believe she was desperate for anything to help,” family friend Kristy Torrisi told the court this week, according to news.com.au.
Acquaintances of the family had previously warned the mother that her daughter may “hurt someone” if she didn’t intervene, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
However, Rita Camilleri refused to give up on her daughter.
“Not my Jessica,” she’d told the neighbor, who testified in court on Tuesday, the Australian newspaper reported.
Two weeks later, she was found dead.
Friends of Jessica Camilleri said she was “extremely demanding” and was sometimes verbally abusive toward her mother. Still, Rita Camilleri would defend her daughter.
“[She] always protected Jessica and always stuck up for her,” Jade Arena told the court, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Jessica Camilleri was also a horror film fanatic. Two of her favorite movies were “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “Jeepers Creepers,” according to news.com.au.
“A feature of these movies was killing people violently and dismembering their bodies,” McCarthy said.
Jessica Camilleri is alleged to have been particularly fascinated by dismemberment scenes, which police said she would watch on repeat. The Australian woman would "pause and rewind them at certain parts," police said.
Nathan Steel, Camilleri’s defense attorney, stated she was going through a mental episode at the time of her mother’s death.
“Due to the effects of her mental conditions, she had an impaired capacity at the time of the events,” he said, according to news.com.au.
Steel also asked the jury to “keep an open mind.”
"We are at the very early stages of this trial," he said. "As hard as it may be... put emotions, prejudice, and sympathy to one side."
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