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This is because Giovanna was well known to be a beggar and professional poisoner.
Often, circumstances have lead us to take paths that have landed us in trouble, as this was the case for Giovanna, who started and ended her days at the market place either trying to sell some concoction that could do this or that or begging for food and money for herself and her children after she become a widow. Despite her bad luck in life, Giovanna had a keen interest in business. She noted that the only reason people (mostly women) went to her, was for her portions and magic despite her numerous protests of her incompetence in the practice. She learned to embrace her newly found ‘skill’ and even accepted the role in time. News about her spread in Palermo- of course in secret among her clients and potential clients- and soon, she was a typical witch. She had all the classical characteristics of a witch, in that she was old- seventy-five years old to be precise- a widow and a beggar. People even said that she went out at night with “the women from beyond” (donna di fura) who were supernatural whose unpredictable decisions and fickle desires, people believed were responsible for their good or evil fortunes.
Lavack1 says that more and more women visited Giovanna despite her persistence for incompetence. Moreover, the magic they sought was lethal and had to kill its victim through occult powers, thus leaving whoever understood or mediated those powers morally and legally without blame. In short, those who went to Giovanna went with the intent to murder. Even when her mixtures and spells did not attain their desired effect, the intent to kill remained. Challenged by the pressure from her customers, Giovanna dedicated herself to perfecting her skill in spells and magic potions. Giovanna soon made a casual discovery that changed her
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