On October 19, 2018, in Rome, in the San Lorenzo district, the body of a girl of only 16 years old was found in a abandoned building located in Via dei Lucani 22. It was Desirée Mariottini. Cardiorespiratory insufficiency was the cause of death following after taking a lethal mix of drugs. The autopsy then reveals that Desirée was also the victim of rape. The investigation led to the immediate arrest of four men, all immigrants, identified as responsible for the death of the young woman. Some traces of DNA present both on the body and on the victim’s clothing frame them. In addition to them, three young Italians are also accused. The death of Desirée happens in an already hostile climate towards migrants, made even more exasperate by the previous terrible murder of Pamela Mastropietro, an 18-year-old Roman girl killed in Macerata by a Nigerian citizen. The words used by Matteo Salvini and some newspapers end up throwing fuel on the fire of the “demonization” of the foreigner, evoking typical arguments the most classic racist rhetoric, such as those of the so-called “uncontrolled immigration” and the existence of an alleged close correlation between crime and foreign citizens. The contribution analyses some aspects of it.