Whether it was the Mafia or a Vatican pedophile ring, the suspected culprits behind the Emanuela Orlandi disappearance make for a truly chilling tale.
Emanuela Orlandi has been missing since June 22, 1983, when the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican official was last seen following a music class in Rome.
Theories surrounding Orlandi’s disappearance, particularly in connection with her father and the Vatican’s criminal underworld, have spun a decades-long yarn that has garnered renewed traction this week.
Orlandi’s body has never been found, Daily Mail reported, but a promising new lead might be pointing authorities in the right direction for the first time in nearly 40 years.
New Evidence In The Disappearance Of Emanuela Orlandi
Orlandi family lawyer Laura Sgro received an incredibly ominous note last year which contained a photograph of a tomb beneath the Vatican — and directions to “look where the angel is pointing,” in reference to the marble angel guarding the crypt in question.
The anonymous tip has garnered the attention of the Vatican’s highest members, with spokesman Alessandro Gisotti — who recently contributed the city-state’s official statements and opinions regarding a cardinal’s child sexual abuse crimes — chiming in to diplomatically address the situation.
“I can confirm that the letter by Emanuela Orlandi’s family has been received,” said Gisotti, “and the requests it contains will be studied.”
The angel mentioned in the letter is reportedly situated above the tombstone of a German prince who was named archbishop by Pope Pio IX in 1857, and his wife. This is beneath the Vatican, in a German cemetery — with the angelic figure purportedly holding a tablet that reads “Rest in Peace” in Latin.
What makes the vivid Vatican mystery even more intriguing is that scientific tests on the tomb following this unexpected tip-off have suggested that the tomb has been opened — at least once — and that the date on the tablet being held by the angel is different than the date on the tombstone.
In other words, it certainly appeared as though somebody was actively, purposefully, leading investigators along. For what purpose, to what end, and what type of conclusion — we have yet to see.
In a letter to the Vatican, Sgro said she had been able to “verify that some people knew there was a chance Emanuela Orlandi’s body had been hidden in the German cemetery.”
Furthermore, there’s been additional evidence that unidentified visitors have been frequenting this particular tomb — as flowers have been left behind as a potential sign to keep forging ahead with the letter’s recommendations.
Theories About Emanuela Orlandi’s Disappearance
There are, of course, a few notable theories surrounding Emanuela Orlandi’s 1983 disappearance and presumed death, as well as suggested motives to substantiate those speculative narratives. With the Vatican and the surrounding area a hub of both religious power and Mafia power, theories about Orlandi’s disappearance are fueled by both notions.
Some speculate that Emanuela Orlandi was merely the victim of a high-level criminal element that kidnapped her — the young daughter of a member of the Vatican police — to use her as leverage for financial gain. The theory suggests this gang was loaned money by the Vatican and used Orlandi as blackmail, and a pawn to retrieve it.
Alternatively, some say the girl was taken as a strategy to force officials to release Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, from prison.
This isn’t the first time that promising, key information regarding Orlandi’s disappearance was anonymously divulged to authorities, either.
An unidentified person called in to an Italian television show in 2005, claiming the clues to Orlandi’s location were in the tomb of Enrico De Pedis — a renowned gangster and serious figure in Rome’s underworld at the time, BBC reported.
De Pedis was killed in 1990 and was buried in one of Rome’s most prestigious churches, the Saint Apollinare. This church is home to numerous cardinals and senior members of the Vatican. Officials took note of the televised tipster and exhumed the mobster’s body. Nothing of note was found or divulged.
The most disturbing theory revolves around a concerted effort on behalf of the Vatican, local police, and regional lawmakers to kidnap young girls like Emanuela Orlandi and force them into sexual servitude. These sex parties, the theory claims, also involved foreign diplomats, The Telegraph reported.
The allegation isn’t entirely dismissible, as the one who came forth with it was Father Gabriele Amorth — the Vatican’s chief exorcist, who was appointed by John Paul II himself. Amorth said Orlandi was sexually abused and eventually killed and disposed of.
“This was a crime with a sexual motive,” he said. “Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls. The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up as a victim of this circle.”
The Future Of The Investigation
Ultimately, nobody has yet come forth with tangible proof of any of these narratives, and as such, the fate of Emanuela Orlandi and her remains are still a mystery. It has been nearly 36 years since she was last seen. The family has been plagued by hints and disturbing claims ever since.
Most recently, the Orlandi family collectively held its breath when the Vatican discovered human remains on its property in October 2018, but sighed in frustrated disappointment when these turned out to belong unrelated victims. Though confirmation that these remains were, indeed, their daughter would surely be hard to bear — the absence of any sign is surely worse.
As it stands, the Vatican is mulling over whether or not to inspect the German prince’s tomb. At the very least, officials are well aware of the public pressure to put this case to rest.
If tomb will indeed be opened — and if anything of note will be found within — it may finally clear up this chilling mystery that has left people baffled for decades.