Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man Accused of Stabbing Wife 47 Times Released, Her Death Possible Suicide

Valentino Ianetti

Valentino Ianetti

Valentino Ianetti of Stanhope, New Jersey, who has spent three years in prison awaiting trial for the stabbing death of his wife Pamela in 2009, was released after prosecutors dropped the charges against him. His trial was scheduled for September 2013.

Ianetti, 63, was released on August 14, 2013, when prosecutors in Sussex County moved to dismiss allegations that Ianetti had brutally stabbed his wife of 37 years to death in their home. The couple did not have a history of domestic abuse. Ianetti earlier rejected a plea deal in the case arguing that his wife’s death was a suicide.

The medical examiner, who found that Pamela Ianetti had been stabbed 47 times around the face and neck, maintains that Pamela was murdered. Ianetti’s attorney, however, Public Defender Steven Insley, revealed new information that she was under the influence of oxycodone, “She had taken between 20 and 40 pills. If not for stabbing herself, she might’ve died just from the drugs she had taken.” He theorized that due to being so heavily anesthetized, “She probably wasn’t feeling the stab wounds.” He further argued that most of the stab wounds were self-inflicted “hesitation wounds.”

Sussex County First Assistant Prosecutor Gregory Mueller said, “Because some reasonable doubt currently exists, this office felt it was appropriate to dismiss the indictment pending further investigation. We have not concluded necessarily that this was a suicide, only that there is some reasonable doubt at this time.” Mueller conceded that opiates were found in her system and that she had a prescription for them, but said that the number of pills Pamela had ingested is still in question.

The investigation continues and charges could be reinstated at a later time, but for now Ianetti is a free man.

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