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Francesco MANGIONE






"Ice-cream murder"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Long-standing turf war over ice-cream vans
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 5, 2002
Date of birth: July 23, 1957
Victim profile: His cousin Denis Timothy Guinta, 26
Method of murder: Slashing, stabbing and hacking with a home made sword
Location: Williamstown, Victoria, Australia
Status: Sentenced to 22 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 years, on April 21, 2004

On February 5, 2002, Melbourne icecream vendor Francesco Mangione, 46, of Moonee Ponds hacked to death competitor icecream vendor Denis Giunta with a home-made sword and stabbed him 55 times because they had disagreements on who could sell icecream on what streets. Denis' missus jumped out of a window to escape and broke her leg.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Justice David Harper jailed him for 22 years with a minimum non-parole term of 18 years.


Francesco Mangione is an Australian, convicted of the murder of his 26 year old cousin, Denis Giunta on 5 February 2002 in his Williamstown home.

Early life

Mangione, of Moonee Ponds, Victoria was born 23 July 1957 in Sicily. In 1969 he came to Australia. Apprenticed to the former State Electricity Commission of Victoria, he was in 1978 named by the Industrial Training Commission of Victoria as the outstanding radio tradesman apprentice of that year. He departed the SECV in 1989 and began operating an icecream van.

In 1992 Mangione was arrested and detained, but he was later released due to there being no evidence to support charges over a missing six year old girl found in his icecream van. In 1993 an incident occurred between his family and that of Giunta, also an icecream van operator, escalating a turf war which included a violent fight between Mangione and Giunta.


On 5 February 2002, Giunta returned home from work. After showering he stepped naked into the bedroom where his wife lay sleeping and Mangione lay in wait. Mangione then attacked Giunta slashing, stabbing and hacking at him with a home made sword. Giunta's wife, Laura, awakened by her husband's screams, escaped via the bedroom's balcony leading to the outside garage roof where she leapt to the ground, breaking her leg, requiring further hospitalisation for 21 days and in need of a wheelchair and crutches upon her release. Giunta died at the scene from massive injuries.


The trial lasted 10 days. On 13 February 2004, Mangione was found guilty by a jury and sentenced by Justice David Harper to 22 years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of 18 years.

On 21 February 2006, the Supreme Court of Victoria Court of Appeal dismissed Mangione's appeal against the severity of his sentence. Mangione continues to maintain his innocence. He is imprisoned at Barwon Prison.


22 years for ice cream vendor who hacked rival to death

April 22, 2004

A Melbourne ice-cream vendor has been jailed for 22 years for the "cold blooded assassination" of a competitor who was hacked to death with a home-made sword.

Francesco Mangione, 46, of suburban Moonee Ponds, was ordered to serve a minimum non-parole term of 18 years.

Victorian Supreme Court judge Justice David Harper said Mangione "hacked his victim to death" with the sword.

The court heard Mangione wore a mask when he attacked his 26-year-old cousin, Denis Giunta, in the victim's suburban Williamstown home in the early hours of February 5, 2002, stabbing him 55 times.

The Mangiones and the Giuntas had been engaged in a turf war over territory in which both families operated ice-cream vans, the court was told.

A previous fight with the victim and the turf dispute were the only suggested reasons why Mangione should have wanted Mr Giunta dead, the judge said.

"If there were any redeeming features of this crime, the evidence did not reveal them," Justice Harper said.

"It was a planned assassination. It was committed in cold blood in the principal bedroom of the victim's house."

A jury convicted Mangione of murder.

Melbourne was shocked by the brutal stabbing murder, carried out with a home-made sword made from a sharpened piece of iron.

During the attack, Mr Giunta's wife broke her leg when she leapt five metres from the bedroom balcony on to her garage roof.

During an earlier court hearing, Mrs Giunta wept as she recalled waking to see her husband fighting the masked man, and fleeing to the balcony and jumping at her husband's urging.

The court was told there was a history of bad blood between the men and a deep-seated hatred arose between their families after a long-standing turf war over ice-cream vans.


Ice-cream turf war led to murder, court told

By Peter Gregory -

February 4, 2004

A man accused of murdering his cousin had "avenged" himself nine years after a territorial dispute over ice-cream vans, a jury was told yesterday.

Prosecutor Bill Morgan-Payler, QC, said Francesco Mangione, 47, developed and nurtured an intense hatred for his cousin, Dennis Giunta, 26. He said both men had been involved in violence in 1993 after family members running separate ice-cream vans had argued over sales territory.

Mangione, of Bent Street, Moonee Ponds, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Giunta on February 5, 2002.

Mr Morgan-Payler said Mr Giunta's body was found in the upstairs bedroom of his Williamstown house after he and his wife, Laura, were confronted by a masked, sword-wielding, intruder.

He said Mr Giunta died from injuries to his head, chest and abdomen. A pathologist found at least 55 wounds to his body.

David Brustman, for Mangione, said he did not dispute that Mr Giunta was murdered by a supposed assassin, but he said Mangione did not commit the offence. He said a "turf war" over ice-cream vending had existed years earlier between the men's families. But he disagreed that there was a simmering dispute or festering grievance.

Yesterday in the Supreme Court, Mrs Giunta wept as she described her husband's fearful screams during the attack.

In a trial before Justice David Harper, she said Mr Giunta was trying to protect himself as the silent attacker waved the sword around "like crazy". "It was like blood going everywhere, it was like bottles exploding," she said.

"(Dennis) was in so much fear. He was saying 'Take what you want, leave us alone, don't hurt us'. But he didn't listen."

Mrs Giunta said that when she awoke she saw her husband struggling with another person. She escaped through a sliding door to a balcony after Mr Giunta told her to run. She screamed for help from the balcony.

Fearing the intruder would hurt or kill her, she made her way to the garage roof of their Williamstown home.

Mrs Giunta then jumped on to the roof of her family car and made her way to a neighbour's house.

In later testimony, she agreed with Mr Brustman that her husband cultivated marijuana at their home and sold it elsewhere.

Mr Morgan-Payler said DNA from a glove found at the Giunta house was 10 million times more likely to have come from Mangione and Mr Giunta than from Mr Giunta and a randomly-selected Caucasian person.

Mr Brustman said the main issue in the trial was whether the jurors accepted or rejected scientific evidence.

Peter Giunta, Dennis Giunta's father, cried as he described "shameful" behaviour involving himself and other family members in 1993. He said he hit his sister with an ice-cream van as he drove near where other family members were fighting.

He said Mangione's father was present and looked at the ground. Mr Giunta said: "He was saying, 'Why (do) you argue for bloody ice-cream?'"


On trial: ice-cream murder

March 26, 2003

A Melbourne man will stand trial over allegations he killed a rival's son in a family war over ice-cream van territory.

Dennis Giunta, 26, was stabbed at least 25 times with a home-made sword and died during an attack in his bedroom in his suburban Williamstown home in February last year.

His cousin Francesco Mangione, 45, of Moonee Ponds, was today ordered to face a Victorian Supreme Court jury over the murder after a preliminary hearing before Magistrate John Hardy.

Mangione had a longstanding dispute with the dead man's father Peter Giunta over where they operated their ice-cream vans, it has been alleged.

Dennis Giunta's wife Laura woke up to witness the fatal attack before jumping from the first-floor window to safety in the early hours of February 5 last year, injuring her leg.

"I remember the murderer looking at me and I'll just never forget those eyes," Ms Giunta told the preliminary hearing.

Dennis' Giunta's father Peter told the court that in 1993 he fought with Mangione and still had marks from the encounter on his nose.

In the weeks following their fight, Mangione had invited Mr Giunta to fight again as they crossed each other's paths selling ice-cream but then Mr Giunta moved to a different area, the court heard.

However, the dead man only rarely helped his father in the ice-cream selling business.

It has also been alleged police found a piece of metal in Mangione's shed fashioned similarly to the murder weapon when they arrested him.

And DNA samples in a car owned by Mangione's father were alleged to have matched those found at the murder scene.

Mangione has pleaded not guilty to the murder and remains in custody before a directions hearing on July 1.



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