A Pittsburgh woman told police she was inspired by “The Mummy Returns” to fatally stab her father in the chest after a bad breakup.
Christina Nicassio, 27, was arrested on Saturday and charged with the murder of her father, Dr. Anthony Nicassio, TribLive.com reports.
Anthony Nicassio was killed about 3:30 a.m. at his home on Capri Court in Plum, Pennsylvania, the newspaper reports.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Nicassio Told Police She ‘Thought the World Was Ending’ & Her Father ‘Had to Die’ After She Broke Up With Her Fiance
Christina Nicassio, 27, told police she had broken up with her fiance about a week ago, and the relationship ended badly, WPXI-TV reports.
Nicassio’s parents, Dr. Anthony Nicassio, a physician, and Sandy Nicassio, told police she was at their house in Plum early Saturday and was speaking irrationally and nonsensically, according to court documents. Her parents tried to get her into their car to take her to the hospital, but she grabbed a knife, police said. Her mother then called 911.
“They were trying to take me to the hospital to find out what is wrong with me, I didn’t want to go,” Christina Nicassio told police. Anthony Nicassio tried to get the knife away from his daughter, but she stabbed him twice in the chest, police wrote in the criminal complaint. He died at the scene.
Christina Nicassio was taken into custody without incident when officers arrived, police said.
“I got played by Hollywood,” Christina Nicassio told police, according to a criminal complaint obtained by TribLive. “In a movie, someone who can’t love someone else, they stab their father.”
She told police the movie was “The Mummy Returns,” a 2001 sequel to “The Mummy.” According to the New York Daily News, the scene in the movie features a scene where the villainous character, Anck-Su-Namun, kills Pharaoh Seti I. But the character is the Pharaoh’s bodyguard and mistress, not his daughter.
According to the criminal complaint, Christina Nicassio told police, “I don’t know why, I thought he had to die.” She told detectives she “felt the world was ending.”
2. She Is Being Held on a Homicide Charge & Was Hospitalized After Running Head First Into a Wall in Jail
Christina Nicassio was taken to the Allegheny County Jail to await arraignment on charges of homicide and possessing instruments of a crime, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. But she has since been hospitalized after suffering a self-inflicted wound while in the jail.
According to the newspaper, Nicassio was found about 2:45 p.m. Saturday with a 4-inch laceration to the front of her head. She repeatedly ran head first into a cell wall, according to a jail report obtained by the newspaper. She told jail staff she did it because she was upset about what she had done. She said she “didn’t want to think anymore.”
State criminal records show Nicassio’s only previous run-ins with the law were traffic violations, for running a red light in 2012 and for having improper sunscreening on her windshield in 2016. It is not known if Nicassio has a history of mental illness. She is undergoing a mental health evaluation, officials said.
“She has some serious mental health issues, I think,” her attorney, Patrick Thomassey told the newspaper. “It’s just really sad.”
She was returned to the jail after receiving four stitches to her head, Thomassey said.
A preliminary hearing in her case is set for May 17, the newspaper reports.
3. She Was a Standout Soccer Player in High School & at the University of Pittsburgh Who Had Recently Been Coaching a Youth Team
Nicassio was a standout soccer player at Plum High School and went on to play defense for the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, according to the school’s website. She also spent five years in the Pennsylvania Olympic Development Program.
While in high school, Nicassio was a two-time All-Section First Team selection and led her club team to a state championship. She was also an honor roll student and a Student-Athlete Scholar Award winner, according to the Pitt website.
Nicassio graduated from Pitt in 2010 after playing in more than 50 games and scoring at least one goal. She made several starts as a defender.
After college, Nicassio spent time working as a youth soccer coach, including most recently as a part-time coach with the Allegheny Force Football Club, a team of 16-year-old girls, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
“She seemed like a pretty nice person and kids loved her,” club president Jamie Holt told the newspaper. “It’s kind of shocking to us to wake up this morning and hear that.”
Holt said the team screens its coaches and said they wouldn’t have hired Nicassio if she wasn’t respected.
“Our thoughts go out to the family,” he said. “We’re going to have some counseling available for the kids from her team.”
4. She Worked in Real Estate Alongside Her Mother & Called Herself ‘Young, Motivated, Understanding, & Knowledgeable’ in a Post About Their Team
Along with her work as a soccer coach, Nicassio had formed a “mother-daughter” real estate team with Sandy Nicassio, according to her mother’s Facebook page. Her mother works for the Northwood Realty Services.
In a now-deleted 2015 Linkedin post about the team, Christina Nicassio wrote she is a “young, motivated, understanding and knowledgable” person looking forward to helping put people into new homes.
According to her Linkedin profile, Christina also previously worked as a project coordinator for a building materials company, an admissions representative for an education company and as an account executive for a printing company. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010 with a degree in communications.
5. Her Father Worked as a Physician at the UPMC Shadyside Hospital
Christina Nicassio’s father, Dr. Anthony Nicassio, was a primary care physician practicing internal medicine at the UPMC Shadyside Hospital, according to its website.
He graduated from the Drexel/Hahnemann University College of Medicine and completed his residency at St. Francis Medical Center in Pittsburgh.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Nicassio, who was a dedicated and skilled physician and who devoted his life to compassionate care of his patients,” UPMC said in a statement.
Along with his daughter, Nicassio is survived by his wife and two sons.