Silvia Zani, aged 29, and Paola Zani, aged 21, have been handed down life imprisonment for the ruthless murder of their mother, Laura Ziliani, a former Temù traffic warden. The verdict was pronounced by the Court of Assizes of Brescia, confirming their guilt in poisoning and killing Ziliani on the night of May 7, 2021. Mirto Milani, Silvia’s partner and also the lover of her younger sister Paola, has also been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the crime.
The trio, dubbed “the criminal trio,” confessed to the murder a year after the heinous act, during their incarceration. The prosecutor speculated the motive behind the murder to be the desire to acquire Ziliani’s real estate assets, though this motive was never admitted by the defendants.
During the trial, Silvia Zani made a stunning claim, stating, “When I killed my mother, I was convinced that she wanted to poison us. I would have put my hand in the fire.” Silvia further elaborated, expressing her earlier good relationship with her mother but alleging fear that Ziliani wanted to eliminate them for reasons unknown.
Mirto Milani, in a detailed confession to a cellmate, revealed the events of the night of the crime. He narrated that they attempted to stupefy Ziliani with drugs in a dessert and subsequently strangled her when the initial attempt failed. Further, it was disclosed that this wasn’t the first attempt; on April 16 of the same year, they had administered a herbal tea laced with strong tranquilizers, rendering Ziliani unconscious for over 48 hours, but she eventually recovered.
The trio resorted to misdirection during the investigations, falsely claiming on television that Ziliani had gone for a walk in the mountains and never returned, while concealing the fact that they had killed her hours earlier and hidden her body near the Oglio river.
The Brescia Assize Court’s verdict sentenced all three defendants to life imprisonment for the murder of Laura Ziliani. The victim was drugged and suffocated, and her body was buried near the Oglio river in Alta Vallecamonica. The confession came months after their arrest on September 24, 2021, with intercepted conversations revealing the daughters’ anticipation of financial gain and making plans for purchases and holidays, celebrating the expected money from their mother’s death.
This conclusive judgment from the court marked the responsibility of the “criminal trio” in the heinous murder, with the judges holding them equally accountable without differentiation.