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Anna Ferraro Killed

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The Seattle Daily Times
Saturday, October 18, 1941
Page 1, Column 3
Maiden name: Margellie
Note: Please also see the obituary for Mrs. Ferraro.

Girl Tells Of Fighting Off Mother’s Killer

Crazed Admirer Turns on Daughter Before Attempting Suicide

The courageous attempt of 16 year old Gloria Ferraro, a pupil at Franklin High School, to save her mother, Mrs. Anna Ferraro 43, from death at the hands of a jealous admirer, was told by police today.

The mother was stabbed to death last night by Frank Potega, 50 years old, who also wounded Gloria and then tried to take his own life.

Potega stabbed the girl when she tried to save her mother. The attacker, who attempted to stab himself in the heart after fatally wounding Mrs. Ferraro is in a critical condition in Harborview County Hospital.

Gloria’s wounds were not sufficiently serious to require hospital attention.

Mrs. Ferraro died in Harborview at 6:30 o’clock last night, a half hour after she had been stabbed in her home at 4652 Lucille Street.

Wounded on Arm

Gloria, who tried to fight off Potega with a kitchen stool, was cut on the arm by the ice pick which Potega used to kill Mrs. Ferraro. He later used the ice pick in an effort to end his own life.

Gloria’s desperate battle with Potega attracted the attention of neighbors, who called police. Mrs. Ferraro was alive when police arrived. She told Patrolmen C.A. Morrison and R.W. Littlefield that Potega attacked her when he became enraged after she had refused to keep “steady company” with him.

Mrs. Ferraro said Potega was jealous of a man friend “named George.”

Potega told police:

“Love is blind. I don’t know what I stabbed her with. I picked the first thing I could find.”

Hears Screams

Gloria said that last evening she went to a nearby store to get groceries and that when she returned Potega was there. She said she went into another room to do some ironing and while in there heard her mother scream.

“I rushed out into the dining room and saw him stabbing my mother,” said Gloria. “I grabbed up a stool and began hitting him with it. He chased me into the living room and stabbed me in the arm. My mother came to my rescue and Potega turned on her again. He stabbed her repeatedly. Then he stabbed himself.”

Gloria said she made a second effort to save her mother but that Potega knocked her down just before he wounded himself.

Collapses After Attack

“He ran out on the porch then,” she said, “and shouted that ‘she had it coming.’ Then he came back into the house and collapsed.”

Police found Potega lying on the living room floor. He had attempted to stab himself in the heart but the ice pick just missed the mark.

Mrs. Ferraro, a widow, is survived by three other children. Nancy, 26 and Fred, 18, came home soon after the accident. Another daughter is Mrs. Angeline Anderson.

Police said the Ferraro home showed signs of the desperate struggle which both Mrs. Ferraro and Gloria put up against Potega. He is under technical arrest in the hospital but no charge has been filed.

The Seattle Times
Thursday, June 18, 1942
Page 13, Column 2

Potega Given 25-Year Term

Frank Potega, 51 years old, who killed the woman he loved because he feared he was going to lose her to another man, today was sentenced by Superior Judge Ralph O. Olson to a maximum of 25 years in the state penitentiary.

The stocky, gray haired defendant, in contrast to his impassioned plea before the jury which convicted him of second degree murder, accepted the sentence silently and without showing emotion, Potega merely thanked the court for a “just trial.”

Victim’s Son in Court

Only one of the four children of Mrs. Anna Ferraro, 42-year-old widow who was fatally stabbed by Potega in her home October 17, 1941, was present at the sentencing. Fred Ferraro, 18, watched the proceedings and silently walked from the courtroom after his mother’s slayer had been led away by a Deputy Sheriff.

Before Judge Olson of Whatcom County, sitting here temporarily passed sentence, Defense Attorney Albert D. Rosellini told the court that Potega already had “suffered so much and will continue to suffer” that a brief prison term should be imposed.

Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Tammany, however, pointing out that the defendant stabbed Mrs. Ferraro 15 times in a jealous rage, called the murder a “brutal” one and asked that a long term be assessed.

“I feel that you should be removed from society for a long period,” Judge Olson told Potega.


Generously contributed by: Sheila Simpson