"Ugly Prey" discussion questions.
1) In interviews, the author is firm in her opinion that Sabella Nitti did not kill her husband. She suggests Francesco Nitti died of natural causes, walked away from the family, or was murdered by his second son. After reading the book, what do you think happened to Francesco Nitti?
2) The author described Sabella Nitti as a "white widow," and in interviews has discussed how her own great-grandmother was a white widow from Abruzzo. What was the immigrant experience for the women in your family?
3) Attorney Helen Cirese faced may obstacles, including the assumption she was wasting her own beauty. Discuss how both Sabella and her attorney were subject to female standards of beauty.
4) This article on Racked.com explores how beautiful women were able to get away with murder, but Sabella was judged for her appearance. Do you think such bias continues today?
5) Sabella Nitti lived in a time before radio, TV, and documentary film. In today's cluttered media environment, would her story still be frontage news?
6) Sabella Nitti was forgotten, but other women in the cellblock were immortalized in the play "Chicago." Why do you think the collective memory forgot Sabella?