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On 4 December 1563 Laura was caught having sex with a man who was not her husband. This resulted in a crime of passion, and she was murdered in her bedchamber in Carini Castle, along with her lover Ludovice Vernagallo.
Her father, Cesare Lanza, Count of Trabia, confessed to the killing in a letter which he wrote to Philip II of Spain, but her husband, Don Vincenzo La Grua Talamanca, Baron of Carini was also suspected on account of rumours that he planned to marry again. It is also believed that La Grua killed Vernagallo to prevent Vernagallo from assuming the Lanza inheritance were the Baroness to give birth to an illegitimate child. One reason proposed for Cesare being willing to accept the blame is that the crime qualified as an honor killing and therefore socially acceptable by the Italian nobility at the time.
There is a popular legend that, on the anniversary of Baroness Lanza's murder, her bloody handprint will appear on a particular spot on her chamber wall.