From the DAILY BEAST comes this gripping report on a mafia don, a missing teen-ager, and the Vatican.
- Why a known-mobster like De Pedis is buried on the grounds of a Vatican church has been the object of much speculation since 1997, when a church maid revealed the tomb’s existence to an inquisitive journalist. The Vatican was always cagey about why the mobster was buried in one of its churches, and ultimately, the church’s silence spurred countless conspiracy theories. Now, thanks to shocking Vatican letters leaked in the Vatileaks scandal that is rocking the Holy See, the Italian police are less interested in why he’s buried there. Instead, they want to open the tomb to see if the remains of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi are interred with those of the mobster.
Orlandi was the daughter of a prominent non-clerical Vatican employee who worked in the Vatican’s special events office that organizes papal functions and Catholic celebrations. She disappeared without a trace after leaving her Vatican apartment for music lessons on the afternoon of June 22, 1983. Her lessons were in a music school adjacent to Sant’Apollinare church, and the last witnesses to see her alive told investigators the girl crawled into a dark green BMW, though that lead could never be corroborated. Her disappearance came at a tense moment for the Vatican, and nearly everyone associated her presumed kidnapping with a wider scandal. In 1981,Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman, shot Pope John Paul II, nearly killing him. Orlandi’s parents received a series of phone calls from thugs who said they would give back their daughter if the Vatican released Ali Agca. The calls soon stopped and the Orlandi family was left wondering if their daughter was alive or dead.