Angelina Napolitano or Angelina Neapolitano (1882-1932) was an immigrant to Canada who murdered her abusive husband in 1911, igniting a public debate about domestic violence and the death penalty. She was the first woman in Canada to use the battered woman defence on a murder charge. In 2005, the story of her marriage and dramatic trial was turned into an award-winning independent film, Looking for Angelina.
Angelina was born in Italy in about 1883, probably in a small town not too far from Naples. Her family name is not known. She married Pietro Napolitano about 1898 and the couple emigrated to America shortly after the turn of the century. They lived in New York City for seven years and moved to Canada in 1909 – first to Thessalon, Ontario, then to Sault Ste. Marie, where there was a sizable Italian immigrant community. The couple had four children.
The Napolitano marriage was violent; Pietro beat and threatened his wife. In November 1910, he attacked her with a pocket knife, wounding her nine times in the face, neck, shoulder, chest and arms and leaving scars. He was charged with assault, but received a suspended sentence.