A nice normal family

Joseph and Vincenza Importuna had been married for approximately 15 years. They had two young children, a 9 year old girl and a 4 year old son. He was part owner of a pizzeria and she was employed as a real estate agent. They had purchased and moved into their home in September. Vincenza Importuna's father had been staying with them, but had returned to his home earlier on Monday. Neighbors who say they didn't know them well, say they appeared to be a nice, normal family.

Last week Joseph received a letter telling him his wife was taking steps to obtain a divorce. However, court records do not show that she had actually filed for the divorce yet. It is not known if there was any history of domestic violence in the home.

 About 4:45 pm, Joseph took the two children to his brothers home and said that he needed to speak to his wife privately.

Police say that he returned to the home and shot his wife in the chest, then shot himself in the chest.

Joseph's brother called the home multiple times. When he did not get an answer, he and his wife went to the home about 10 pm. They found the couple's bodies in the master bedroom.



I cannot imagine being the brother or his wife. First to have had to go to the home and find the bodies. Then in the midst of their own shock, horror and grief to have to go home and tell their children. How do you tell them their parents are gone forever……and how do you answer their questions of how and why? The children are now reported to be staying with relatives. I am sure they do not think of themselves as lucky. But they were taken to their uncle's home first.

I did find an interesting article associated with how to tell children. It doesn't address how to children about their own parents, but it does discuss telling the other children. Because even though it wasn't their children, friends of the children may be traumatized also. :

Children's questions about violent acts should be answered with sensitivity 

One thing I noted that was a bit curious. The letter arrived last week. Yet the murder suicide did not occur till a week later. And Vincenza's father was staying with the family until the very day of the murder suicide. I am not sure how that relates, just find it curious.

When I hear of couple's divorcing, I always tell them to forget what they knew of their spouse. Because no matter what they think of their spouse, no matter how mild mannered or civilized…….when divorce becomes a reality, tensions escalate, stress mounts, decisions have to be made, and often there is some grief at the loss of the relationship, and people often do not behave as they do in normal times.



  1. Cathy said,

    June 24, 2006 at 10:57 pm

    What a sad terrible story. I’m just very thankful that he took the Children to his brother’s. I love your BLOG, thank you for getting this stuff out to the public.
    I’m going to link this story.

  2. Dr. A said,

    June 24, 2006 at 11:50 pm

    I found this story from Cathy’s site. Thanks for sharing this story, even though it is a tragedy. This is an unfortunate side of divorce that needs to be shared more.

  3. June 25, 2006 at 2:52 am

    Thanks you all! Keep coming back. Unfortunately there are a lot of these stories, and many are equally tragic. It seems that family members can often be crueler to other family members than the outside world is.

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