Leonarda Cianciulli AKA The Human Flesh Soap Maker

Following on from our strangest serial killer
in the U.S., we now bring you one of the weirdest tales from the dark side of humanity. Ok, so our woman of the hour may not have
been as maniacal as lady killer Ted Bundy, or as utterly demented as Ed Gein – the
man who liked to dress in skin suits made from dead women – but she has certainly
worked her way into the serial killer hall of infamy just for originality. It’s conceivable the novel and then movie
“Fight Club” may have used her wicked deeds as inspiration regarding soap made out
of liposuction waste, so we can say she made her mark on history. Welcome to this episode of the Infographics
Show, Leonarda Cianciulli A.K.A. – The Human Flesh Soap-Maker. Ok, so there isn’t really a big reveal to
this show as the title pretty much explains what this serial killer got up to. But who was she before she started making
lumps of soap out of the people she killed? Let’s start with a short bio. Leonarda Cianciulli, aka, the human soap maker,
aka, the soap maker of Correggio (in Italian it sounds much more poetic – la Saponificatrice
di Correggio) was born in 1894 and lived until an old age, dying in 1970. Her childhood wasn’t easy, and reading about
it, you might not be surprised that she turned out, err, a little odd. Apparently, her mother was a nasty woman,
telling Leonarda that she was cursed by the devil and that her life would come to nothing. That’s not easy on a child, and when she
was a teenager she tried to commit suicide not once but twice. She was yet another serial killer with what
is known as an “overbearing mother.” She then met a fella when she got older, a
registry office clerk, but he wasn’t quite what her mother was expecting and so the man
was vociferously disapproved of. She had in total 17 kids, which is quite the
accomplishment. But unfortunately, only 4 of them lived past
the age of 10. You could say after all that heartache and
pain, she was a protective mother to those that survived. Leonarda doted on her kids, but she was full
of anger at what life had thrown at her. And it threw a lot more than dying children
and miscarriages. Perhaps it was very much her fault when she
got imprisoned for fraud at the age of 33, but when an earthquake destroyed her house
a few years later, that seemed like rotten luck again. Nonetheless, this unlucky woman was apparently
well liked in her community, if not in her own mind doomed somewhat. In fact, it’s said she even believed that
her mother was right, and indeed, she was cursed. She went to see a gypsy fortune teller, but
that just made matters a lot worse, as it’s said this is what she was told, “In your
right hand I see prison, in your left a criminal asylum.” Ok, so you kind of get the picture. This is a woman who had had a brutal life,
but on the surface of things, she looked ok. Her neighbors liked her, and she was a loving
mother to the dear children that didn’t kick the bucket before they got out of primary
school. But something sinister was lurking behind
the scenes. Imagine this: One day your neighbor, a loving
mother and good friend, the owner of a shop in town, a trusted member of the community,
invites you for cake and coffee. You accept the offer and are greeted with
some sweet-tasting cakes. Only you don’t know that the cakes are part
human. Yes, between 1939 and 1940 (when she was about
42 or 43), Leonarda murdered three women. The story goes that she wasn’t just killing
because she was inherently evil, but she believed, again, that she was cursed, and that to keep
her remaining kids alive, she had to make some sacrifices – as you do. She was particularly concerned about her favorite
son, Giuseppe, who’d just signed up to the Italian army and was about to join the battlefields
of bloody Europe. So, that’s what she did, she made some sacrifices
like those old school Aztecs who propitiated the Gods with human blood. Leonarda lured these women into her shop,
and then drugged them. After they passed out, she killed them with
an axe and then boiled their bodies in caustic soda. So far so good, but that doesn’t mean everything
just disappears. In her own diaries, Leonarda described what
was left as a “thick dark mush.” So, our killer went a step further. You might know that regular soap often contains
animal fats. So, Mrs. Cianciulli realized she could turn
human fat into soap. She actually explained this in her diaries,
“Her flesh was fat and white. When it had melted, I added a bottle of cologne,
and after a long time on the boil, I was able to make some most acceptable creamy soap. I gave bars to neighbors and acquaintances.” What a sweet gift that was, and Leonarda went
as far as to call the remains of her victims very sweet. She didn’t stop there, though. Waste not want not was likely her motto. She used part of this mush to make what she
called crunchy cakes. This wasn’t, it seems, out of rage towards
her neighbors, because she said she and her sons all ate the delicious cakes. She said of her process, “As for the blood
in the basin, I waited until it had coagulated, dried it in the oven, ground it and mixed
it with flour, sugar, chocolate, milk and eggs, as well as a bit of margarine, kneading
all the ingredients together.” Voila! Human cake. You could at least call her resourceful, which
isn’t necessarily a bad thing during a world war. But she wasn’t exactly a clever killer,
and was easily found out. You see, she didn’t just make things from
her victims, but she scammed them out of money too. She went as far as to tell these women that
she had found a great teaching job for them abroad, and just before they set off, Leonarda
coerced them write to their family and friends explaining that they would be leaving the
country for a while to work. There was no job of course, and a fate worse
than cake awaited them. One such victim, Virginia Cacioppo, had disappeared
and her sister had said the last person who had seen her was that shopkeeper called Leonarda. She didn’t buy into the teaching job and
believed a cunning canard had taken place. She was right. Later Leonarda would remark that this was
her best victim in terms of how she turned out on the plate and in the bathroom. In her diaries she wrote, “The cakes, too,
were better: that woman was really sweet.” At first the Italian cops accused Leonarda,
who denied any wrongdoing. But then the cops accused her son, good old
Giuseppe, and that was too much to bear for the doting mother. She confessed to everything, even the soap
and cake bit. Not surprisingly, this soon became a cause
celebre in Italy. The trial lasted three days, and after that,
our loving mother would spend a total of 30 years in prison and three years in an asylum. She died at age 76 from a cerebral apoplexy. She still causes shivers down people’s spines
today, as you can see her axe and other instruments, including the pot in which she boiled the
bodies, at the Criminology Museum in Rome, Italy. Well, that’s all we have to say about this
strange cannibal. Only in Italy can a cannibal turn her victim
not only into a delicious dessert, but also a sweet fragrance. What are your thoughts regarding this serial
killer? Pure evil or worthy of sympathy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Worst Punishments in the History of Mankind! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!


  1. The Infographics Show said:

    Think twice before accepting a cookie from a stranger… You never know what it's made of…🤢

    December 20, 2018
  2. Um passarin said:

    Well here in Brazil there was a couple of serial killers who made sausages with the bodies of their victims and sold them to unsuspecting people

    June 15, 2019
  3. mark vega said:

    what about maria labo philipina cannibal

    June 15, 2019
  4. roccstar zeus said:

    6:00 the gypsy wasn’t lying she had 30 years in prison and 3 in a criminal asylum!!!!!!

    June 15, 2019
  5. Bulbasuar said:

    My thought is … cool!

    June 16, 2019
  6. christian d'occhio said:

    The gypsy was right !!!

    Just like happened to one person I know. The gypsy told him: "Tomorrow at 7am you will die"! And he died the next day at 7am

    Apparently, according to the police's evidences, one gypsy killed him

    June 16, 2019
  7. Snipershoot 76542 said:

    so this all happened because of her mother

    June 17, 2019
  8. Ramla Adam said:

    want not waste not

    June 17, 2019
  9. Yandere Alchemist said:

    When people tell you to be cautious of food offered by strangers, this is not the reason that usually comes to mind.

    June 23, 2019
  10. Gokul Manohar said:

    after all the gypsy fortune teller was right

    June 25, 2019
  11. RED the Flame said:

    Mmm cakes…just like mama used to make!!!

    June 25, 2019
  12. Dab cat Dude423 said:

    Yo yo

    June 26, 2019
  13. Awfully Odd said:

    This video starting with an ad about soap 😐

    June 27, 2019
  14. tiffany rance said:

    Has she ever been featured on an episode of Deadly Women? If so, I need to watch this episode…

    June 28, 2019
  15. Mr. Bonkers said:

    Don't put the keychup on the pizza, or Leonarda Cianciulli will get you!

    June 30, 2019
  16. Invertedbirdieboi said:


    July 4, 2019
  17. Christy Mitchell said:

    Is it wrong these serial killer history stories interest and kinda excite me? I mean please don’t misunderstand, there’s no excuse for wat these people did, and hurting/killing animals is so heinous and despicable and I’m glad they got wat they deserved. But at the same time, how they carried out their crimes and how they inspired so many movies and shows, is very fascinating

    July 5, 2019
  18. Susan Ananda said:

    I must learn more

    July 7, 2019
  19. Lea Srb_vie said:

    My Name is Leonarda … 😂😅😅😅😅😅😅

    July 8, 2019
  20. Mercedes Obeng said:

    When I read the title I was like “yeh soap is made for human flesh”

    July 14, 2019
  21. Sahil Ahmed said:

    at least her cake is better than pig dodo

    July 15, 2019
  22. TKBD Chesseyman said:

    Finally a girl killer

    July 16, 2019
  23. Levi Ackerman said:

    Change the human flesh with bear,horse chicken or other animal meat except dog
    Might be delicious

    July 16, 2019
  24. mydumbyoutubechannel said:

    Crunchy cakes- the original red velvet.

    July 19, 2019
  25. Stalker Bleach said:

    As one does

    July 23, 2019
  26. Mordekaiser said:

    I bet she told her costumers :"You are so sweet i could eat you."

    July 25, 2019
  27. Mike Veis said:

    Pure evil

    July 27, 2019
  28. Miyuki Aoyama said:

    "this woman is so sweet" will never sound the same to me.

    July 29, 2019
  29. Soldat Daniels said:

    What do i think? Hmmm…..I'd say that lady should have been executed.

    August 1, 2019
  30. planetkinookittens said:

    She confessed all that in front of her son? Bet her son never spoke to her again 😔😔

    August 3, 2019
  31. Maia Uzimaki said:

    She shoulda found Jesus 🤦🏾‍♀️

    August 5, 2019
  32. Rowdy cowboy Randy Miller said:

    Soap made from liposuction fat… Fight club anyone?!??!

    August 10, 2019
  33. 【 Hollywood ALDC 】 said:

    “She just had to make some sacrifices as you do”

    August 10, 2019
  34. Adam Cheung said:

    You're making us fear even our own mums…

    August 13, 2019
  35. wikiwikiwee1 said:

    saponified soap, made by people, for people

    August 14, 2019
  36. DB - 05LJ - Arnott Charlton PS (1524) said:

    Can some one add numbers countin by 1s I’ll start


    August 17, 2019
  37. Sean gaming n vlogs said:


    August 17, 2019
  38. Malek Zalfana said:

    Can we all just admire the cute fire animation 0:40

    August 17, 2019
  39. MrAboundance said:

    The cake is a lie!

    August 17, 2019
  40. CodedCreator57 said:

    She is not a curse
    She gives curse to a soap

    August 21, 2019
  41. Serious Sam said:

    I want some of that cake if that is ok…..

    August 23, 2019
  42. Anthony Padial said:

    Now I kinda wanna try the crunchy cakes ;-;

    August 25, 2019
  43. Baneen Alsalehi said:

    Don’t worry I have OCD I don’t trust anyone besides my relatives ☺️

    August 25, 2019
  44. LCK MAN said:

    wonder if the recipes were in cookpad.

    August 26, 2019
  45. Domen Gašperin II said:

    She could've had worked for the fascists during the war.

    August 30, 2019
  46. Donnell Vickers said:

    How can u make soap of of a human

    August 30, 2019
  47. Ilonka Rachewa said:

    Why the dead girls are HAPPY!??

    September 4, 2019
  48. Breno Angélico said:

    gotta hand to the italians, they do work magic on their cuisine

    September 5, 2019
  49. seremos extraños juntos o no said:

    I tink shes witch

    September 7, 2019
  50. xirmir said:

    i think that her mo was to blame

    September 7, 2019
  51. Circeee said:

    Serial killers always have abusive and bad parents😒 dear parents, please be nice to your child, if u can't then just don't have children!

    September 17, 2019
  52. Zero said:

    rumor that human meat taste just fine, not as tender as chicken though

    September 20, 2019
  53. I am kiwi uwu said:

    Imagine being gifted a soap and the next thing you know is you bathed and washed yourself with human fat

    September 22, 2019
  54. Zee said:

    Okay not to sound weird or anything, but those cakes sound delicious 😂

    September 22, 2019
  55. Ocean Holic said:

    Which one is scarier? Leonarda Cialciulli or Hannibal Lecter?

    September 23, 2019
  56. Monique Mauleon said:

    So like in Sweeney Todd?

    September 24, 2019
  57. [ASii] Ziekoss The Leader said:

    thats why you drink your shield potions kids

    September 24, 2019
  58. Ricky Jay Oculam said:

    I remember the move "Perfume Story of a Murderer"

    September 27, 2019
  59. serena christina said:

    I'm Romanian and my grandmother made our soap from leftovers from animals like fat, legs etc. boiled with caustic soda and other ingredients.

    October 1, 2019
  60. Weird.Random. Girl said:

    Okay but I would really be disturbed and feel guilty if I was the reason my mom killed people like damm how did the son turn out??

    October 2, 2019
  61. John Nihil said:

    Well liked in her community. They're always well liked. Lol

    October 5, 2019
  62. Aichi Toshiki said:

    I wonder how the children were after that. At least she was a caring mother. CRAZY, but loving.

    Still crazy though.

    October 7, 2019
  63. Stoned said:


    October 7, 2019
  64. Ben said:

    Now i know why my shampoo is called "Head and shoulders"

    October 9, 2019
  65. Shadoww Bringer said:


    October 11, 2019
  66. Fiorosy said:

    Please don't speak Italian if you can't even pronounce it. Thank you very much

    October 12, 2019
  67. TheKingOfKings75 said:

    What can I say? Us italians have a gift 🎁

    October 12, 2019
  68. Night Light said:

    I thought it said soup…

    October 16, 2019
  69. maliqueB said:

    Lizzy borden

    October 17, 2019
  70. Big Electron said:


    October 17, 2019
  71. Waspy Wasp said:

    This would be an amazing movie which could make people think.

    October 18, 2019
  72. Chelsey A said:

    Customer: i want a cake
    Woman: okay first u make a letter for ya family
    Woman: and we need is u
    Customer: awesome!!
    Customer: WAIT WHAT AHHHHH

    October 19, 2019
  73. Muhd Zaki said:

    Perfume : Story of The Murderer

    October 22, 2019
  74. craig clermond said:

    whats crazy is the gypsy fortune teller was 100% correct.She ended her years in both prison and an asylum .i need my fortune told by that person

    October 24, 2019
  75. picsart edits said:

    ”honey, you don’t need to buy anymore soap, i’ve learned to make my own.”

    October 24, 2019
  76. Dr. MystRy said:

    Sorry all I heard was Hannibal Lecter's wife

    October 25, 2019
  77. xXColdestIceXx coldness said:

    Huh soap

    October 25, 2019
  78. Batwom said:

    Welp. Looks like I'm in 'that' part of YouTube again.

    October 27, 2019
  79. max said:

    on the next episode of "What is Wrong With People?'

    October 27, 2019
  80. ASeeker said:

    Thinks of the Wiggles

    Munchy, Crunchy, honey cakes 🩸
    Fun to eat and fun to make 🔪🔪🔪

    October 27, 2019
  81. KurayamiXHikari said:

    thanks for the recipes, will definitely try it

    October 29, 2019
  82. Joanne Scarlet said:

    At least she cared about her kids

    October 30, 2019
  83. Viola Millard said:

    At least she didn't waste anything after killing lol😂

    October 31, 2019
  84. Destiny Reyes said:

    Now I know why it’s called head and shoulders

    November 1, 2019
  85. Shaggy ! said:

    “Make sacrifices, as you do” honestly this is my favorite narrator of all time

    November 1, 2019
  86. Duchesse de Berne said:

    My ears bleed when you use Italian words

    November 2, 2019
  87. Impala Middleton said:

    She's like the female Sweeny Todd & Misses Lovette all rolled into one evil twisted person.

    November 3, 2019
  88. Make's mom lNln said:

    Leonarda Be like: Im about to spread cannibalism over the world.

    November 4, 2019
  89. shoujocrush said:

    whoever narrates these videos, its always so nice to hear him pronounce non-english words

    November 6, 2019
  90. Sranger said:

    How sweet lady.

    November 7, 2019
  91. Kate00san said:

    I know a very dangerous killer that can get eaten and have as many clones as it wants
    Cereal killer

    November 8, 2019
  92. Em 889 said:

    What a story !

    November 8, 2019
  93. Sureda Drue said:

    I wonder, what would happen if you matched Ellen Ripley vs. a Predator?

    November 13, 2019
  94. KJ Singh said:

    This is so depressing. I shouldn't have watched this. I made a huge mistake.

    November 13, 2019
  95. Lynx said:

    "a fate worse than cake"

    November 14, 2019
  96. James F said:

    Cupcakes is not just a fan fic, sqeee.

    Dashi…. we are coming for you. ^_^

    November 15, 2019
  97. bubs_ said:

    The soap gives a nice human glow.

    November 22, 2019
  98. Ben Siener said:

    She was just helping people make something of themselves.

    November 23, 2019
  99. Varun Nagrare said:

    She was an artist but in an evil way. 😐

    November 23, 2019
  100. Gacha Dragon said:

    1970 and 1971 is my birth

    November 24, 2019

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