The mother of a convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante comes to his defense?!
For those who haven’t been keeping up with the situation, the convicted murderer escaped from prison two weeks ago. The 34-year-old was finally caught again after a two-week manhunt. Pennsylvania state police announced Wednesday that after several close calls, authorities had finally managed to track down the then-armed murderer.
Eventually, a dog “overpowered” him before he could avoid them again. (Is there anything they can’t do?) PSP Lt. Col. George Bivens said he was taken into custody and will be transferred to a state correctional facility. Phew! Everyone in the Chester County area needs to breathe a sigh of relief right now.
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But as the manhunt progresses, we learn more about the crime that landed this man in prison in the first place – and his mother’s shocking defense!
Cavalcante was convicted earlier this summer of stabbing his 33-year-old girlfriend to death in Pennsylvania in 2021. According to the Chester County District Attorney’s Office Deborah Brandao had been at home with her 7- and 4-year-old children outside on April 18, 2021, when Danelo suddenly appeared, grabbed her by the hair and threw her to the floor. He then brutally stabbed her “38 times into virtually every vital organ, including her heart, kidney, lungs and liver, causing her to bleed to death.” Just awful. And the fact that her two young children witnessed everything makes us sick to think about.
As for the motive? The prosecutor said Deborah discovered that her ex-boyfriend was wanted for another murder in 2017 in Brazil, where he grew up. When the victim threatened to hand him over to the police, he decided to carry out this gruesome killing to silence her. Danelo was convicted of first-degree murder on August 16 and sentenced to life in prison without parole. But a few days after the verdict was announced, everything obviously went wrong. On August 31st, he managed to escape from Chester State Prison after running up a narrow outside corridor, right out of the prison yard!
Perhaps even more shocking than the quick disappearance is what Danelo’s mother, Iracema Cavalcante, said about his situation. Surprisingly, instead of being disappointed by her son’s terrible actions, she defended him over the murder! Iracema told The New York Times on Tuesday, before his capture, that he “had no choice” but to kill Deborah:
“Did it happen? It happened. But it happened because of the stranglehold she put on him, the attitude she took towards him. It wasn’t femicide. He had to do it, he had no other choice.”
Um, what?! Is she serious?! There is no excuse for committing such a heinous murder. The fact that she seems to be on his side tells us more about him than we need to know…
During the long search, Cavalcante was spotted several times. He stole a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition from a Pottstown resident and later took a pickup truck. At one point he was caught on a doorbell camera looking completely different as he had new clothes and a shaved face. Iracema told the outlet that because of his difficult upbringing in Brazil, her son was able to elude police for two weeks and survived. Instead of going to school, she claimed, her Danelo had to work to earn money. He was shining shoes at age five before taking a job on a farm at age seven. Iracema said:
“His education was his suffering. It wanted to sleep hungry and woke up when I was wondering what to feed it. Were poor. We are humble. But we are workers. We fought for what we have.”
She sounds almost proud. From a murderer.
While Iracema initially said she didn’t want her son to suffer the same fate as his victims, she eventually backed down and said it would be better if he died before going back to prison:
“If I said my son didn’t make a mistake, I would be lying. I know what my son did was wrong. I know my son should pay for his mistake. But I want my son to pay for his mistake with dignity. Don’t pay with your life. When it comes to going to a place to suffer and die, it is better to die soon. You don’t have to suffer so much. Today I see my son as dead. In a strange place, trampled underfoot, everyone lies about him and says he is something he is not.”
Something he isn’t? The man is a monster. Yes.
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[Image via Chester County District Attorney/Facebook]