A rare clinical picture, as well as “unfortunate”. Doctor Carlo Calanchini defined the combination of psychopathy and psychosis from which the 29-year-old author of the double stabbing at the Manor of Lugano on 24 November 2020. The psychiatrist was in fact questioned today at the Federal Criminal Court of Bellinzona, at the end of the first day of the trial which saw as a key element the interrogation to the defendant herself.
‘Non-negligible cognitive difficulty’
Based on the expert report, drawn up on behalf of the Attorney General of the Confederation, the clinical situation of the woman appears complex. Calanchini has in fact concluded «a mild mental retardation, to which a psychopathic disorder with paranoid traits is superimposed. It is a fairly complicated disorder, therefore treatment and therapy are also more difficult ». The complicated diagnosis, however, is also complicated in the individual aspects. Starting with mental retardation: according to the expert report, the woman’s IQ stands at 75, when the lower limit for diagnosing mental retardation is 69. However, according to previous calculations, the IQ would actually have been 67, but also 90 when the 29 years old was a child. «They are limit values – explained the psychiatrist -. However, we are faced with a non-negligible cognitive difficulty. This manifested itself already in school with learning difficulties. Then there were relationship difficulties, periods of loneliness, isolation, depression.
‘Lack of empathy’
As for psychosis, according to Calanchini the elements for diagnosing schizophrenia «are not sufficiently fulfilled (or at least they weren’t at the time of the expert report, ed). In any case it can be said that he suffers from a similar disorder approaching schizophrenia.’ In general, citing his own professional experience, the doctor specified that it is “a combination of psychosis and psychopathy that I have never seen. It is an ominous combination of lack of empathy and mental retardation, perhaps for genetic reasons” he added in reply to the side judge Roy Garré who asked him for details on the prognosis.
Medium to high risk of recurrence
Just the latter does not seem favorable. “There is a well-founded danger that he will commit new crimes against the person,” said Calanchini, speaking of a medium risk of recidivism, compared to the medium-serious risk according to the second expert Alessandra Canuto, who will be heard by the Court tomorrow. “Mental retardation is not curable – added the psychiatrist -. The psychotic component, on the other hand, could improve, but I have the impression that it already has deep roots. The defendant will probably fail to develop better judgment. So I’m not very optimistic.” And indeed, what was striking during the interrogation of the 29-year-old was the apparent absence of displeasure for what she had committed, which the defendant actually claimed, emphasizing that she would do it again.
In the light of the ailments detected, the expert’s report established a diminished imputability of medium degree at the time of the events, for which she is being investigated for repeated attempted murder. “All the facts?” asked the President of the Court Florence Bergomi referring to the other two charges: the violation of the federal law which prohibits the groups al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as well as the repeated unlawful practice of prostitution, both of which occurred prior to November 24, 2020. «Yes – the psychiatrist’s reply -, taking account of the fact that the third offense is completely different from the previous two”. Pressed by the defenders of the 29-year-old, Daniel Iuliucci And Simone CreazzoCalanchini then provided further details on the link between charges and mental disorders.
Isis? ‘Scenario about which he knows very little’
«The disturbances from which he suffers had been there for a long time, therefore the crime committed cannot be considered as a direct consequence of a psychotic explosion or a contingent factor of the moment. However, the relationship between aggression and psychic disturbance should be studied more closely». With regard to her radicalization and the link with Isis, the psychiatrist highlights how the defendant would have “entered a scenario that for her is largely fantastic and about which she knows very little: she knows less about that world than a any person who informs himself in newspapers or on the television news”.
‘Closed stationary treatment’
So what solution for a profile like this? “The peritanda should ideally be connected in a closed facility, without access to potentially dangerous tools, with simple-to-do activities and supported by adequate socio-psychiatric personnel”. A stationary treatment in a closed structure, therefore, for at least three years which should then be re-evaluated gradually. However, Calanchini defined a possible transfer to the Curabilis prison for dangerous psychiatric prisoners in the Canton of Geneva as “overproportionate”, also deeming imprisonment in the cantonal penitentiary adequate.