Netflix documentary challenges Vatican cover-up of Emanuela Orlandi abduction

Netflix documentary challenges Vatican cover-up of Emanuela Orlandi abduction

The dolls and stuffed animals on the shelf above Emanuela Orlandi’s single bed serve as a reminder that she was only a kid at the time of her disappearance. The bedroom is still exactly as it was when the 15-year-old left it on a scorching day in June 1983.

Emanuela continues to be revered in a large portion of the remainder of her family’s apartment in Rome’s Vatican City. The skilled young pianist plays the piano in the living room, and for many years, Maria, now 92, kept the key to their house on a hook outside the front door in case her daughter ever came back.

That hoped for nothing. Emanuela would be in her mid-50s and presumably have her own children if she were still living today. But the last time her close-knit family saw her was on that fateful Wednesday when she left for a flute lesson only to vanish shortly after.

The Da Vinci Code, a book by Dan Brown about a centuries-long Vatican cover-up over the location of the Holy Grail, has been linked to the hunt for the adolescent over the course of the four decades.

However, Vatican Girl, a new Netflix documentary series created by Mark Lewis, who won an Emmy for his last Netflix series Don’t F**k With Cats, claims that the key to Emanuela Orlandi’s destiny is a real-life papal conspiracy.

Its most incredible allegations are that Emanuela was kidnapped by the Vatican and sent to London, where she lived for 14 years. And that once she passed away at the age of 29, her corpse was brought back to Rome, where her family continued to suffer from nightmares about what had happened to her while continuing to live only a few hundred yards away from the men who had kept the truth hidden.

The Vatican has now made an unusual U-turn as a result of the documentary’s findings. They finally decided this week to launch a thorough investigation into the matter after years of defying the family’s sincere and persistent requests, pledging to ‘leave no stone unturned’ in their quest to learn what happened to their lone citizen who is believed to be missing.

However, given shocking new evidence that Emanuela was sexually molested by a top Vatican official close to Pope John Paul II soon before she disappeared, it is unclear how thorough and transparent these investigations will be.

Her father’s position as a papal clerk earned her family an apartment in Vatican City, which is the autonomous papal state and only has a 0.2 square mile territory. This apartment allowed the Orlandis to carry on a more than 100-year-old family tradition that saw them work for seven popes.

Emanuela, the fourth of Ercole and Maria Orlandi’s five children, had what many would consider to be a dream childhood, with the kids having free reign of the Vatican Gardens.

According to Pietro, Emanuela’s elder brother, “We believed we were in the safest place in the world.” But her high school closest friend, speaking anonymously on camera for the first time, claims on Vatican Girl that Emanuela informed her she had “a secret to confess” approximately a week before going missing. She said that while strolling around the Vatican Gardens, she was “bothered” by a person who was near to the Pope.

Whether you ask the lady if this harassment was sexual, she replies, “Absolutely, yeah. Weeping, she adds, “She told me, maybe to feel better, maybe believing that I’d liberate her from this monster. “But I took no action,” you say.

Emanuela showed up for her piano lesson on the day she vanished. She was scheduled to meet her sister, Cristina, and her friends at a bridge near the Vatican afterward, but she never showed up.

By midnight, when she still hadn’t come back home, Pietro and one of their cousins hopped on a motorcycle and set off to look for her. Pietro adds, “I feel like I’ve been living some kind of nightmare.” “God, why isn’t Emanuela here? What happened to her?”

It seems that Sabrina Minardi, a gangster’s mistress, could have the solution. Until he was shot dead by rivals in 1990, she was in love with Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis, leader of the Banda della Magliana gang and Rome’s most dreaded criminal lord.

In the Netflix documentary, Minardi relates how she and De Pedis were at a lake outside of Rome on the night of the abduction when his driver showed up in a vehicle with a little girl who matched Emanuela’s description in the rear.

She was instructed to go with the child to Torvaianica, a seaside resort about an hour’s drive from Rome, according to Minardi. In the town, Minardi’s parents had a vacation property that was now empty. They were greeted by a lady there whom Minardi only knows as “Adelaide.” To keep Emanuela quiet, she drugged her and kept her in one of the bedrooms.

I could hear her groaning,” Minardi remembers. She complained a much,

The family was left in no doubt when, two weeks after Emanuela had vanished, they received a phone call from a man who played them a tape recording of their daughter repeatedly saying: “I should be in the third year of high school next year,” despite Minardi’s denials that she knew who the girl was or that she had been abducted. He declined to identify his group, but this was meant to be evidence that they were holding the scared adolescent.

After decades of ignoring the heartfelt and repeated demands of the family, the Vatican this week finally agreed to open a full inquiry into the case, promising to 'leave no stone unturned'

He then gave a terrifying command. If the authorities would not free Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and critically injured Pope John Paul II two years before, Emanuela would be murdered.

According to the documentary, everything was only a smokescreen intended to confuse the cops.

While this was going on, De Pedis’ group, the Banda della Magliana, a Mafia front group, quietly bargained with the Vatican to get what they actually wanted. the repatriation of billions of dollars that the Mafia had hidden via one of Italy’s biggest private banks, Banco Ambrosiano, which was supported by the Vatican.

The Vatican is accused of borrowing up to half a billion pounds from those illicit proceeds to support Solidarity, the growing anti-communist labor movement in John Paul II’s home Poland.

It was left to De Pedis’s Magliana to blackmail the Vatican by kidnapping one of their own when the Banco Ambrosiano suddenly went bankrupt in 1982 and the Vatican showed no indications of returning the Mafia’s money.

Despite having the ability to kidnap a cardinal or other prominent clergyman, the series contends that they may have discovered in Emanuela a victim who offered them even more sway over the Vatican due to the information she may have regarding her sexual assault.

Although Emanuela’s family claims they were unaware of the abuse at the time, it’s conceivable that word of the abuse made its way to the Magliana family given the close-knit community of Vatican City, which has a population of less than 800. This is because De Pedis had numerous connections in the highest levels of the Vatican.

There is little doubt that Emanuela seems to have been singled out. Before he passed away in 2008, a former member of the Magliana gang said that he had been told to follow her through Rome’s streets before she vanished and that eventually he had kidnapped her.

A gang member contacted an Italian journalist a few days after the initial phone call she made to her family to provide him directions to a trash can close to the Trevi Fountain. In that box, he discovered another audio tape that seemed to have a horrifying recording of Emanuela being tormented.

This could have been done in the basement of a big mansion in the suburbs of Rome, where Emanuela was relocated around ten days after the kidnapping, according to Sabrina Minardi. She was kept continually medicated both there and in Torvaianica.

She was very perplexed, recalls Minardi. She was so heavily drugged that she was unable to take care of herself.

Two months after the kidnapping, in the middle of August, De Pedis instructed Minardi to take the still-heavily-drugged Emanuela to a gas station run by the Vatican. A priest emerged from a black Mercedes with Vatican City license plates that was parked nearby, loaded Emanuela inside, and then took off with her. According to Minardi, it was the last time she saw the gang’s prisoner.

Emanuela was never brought back to her family, regardless of whether they had covertly negotiated a settlement with the Vatican.

Ercole, her father, passed away in 2004 and was never aware of what had happened to Emanuela. But it seems that he may have had doubts at the end of his life. According to Pietro, “My father had always trusted the investigators and the Vatican to assist us get Emanuela back home.” However, just before he passed away, he said, “I was deceived by people I served.”

If it is true that the Vatican paid the kidnappers to release Emanuela, they would still need to figure out a way to prevent her from speaking out about the sexual assault. A top-secret document that was allegedly taken from the Vatican by a whistleblower provides compelling proof that they did so by preventing her from visiting Rome and her family.

This was acquired by investigative reporter Emiliano Fittipaldi in 2015, and it contains a list of costs to “enable the departure from home of Emanuela Orlandi.”

Unusually, these payments from 1983 to 1997 were connected to the 14 years Emanuela allegedly spent living in London. They included hospital bills, travel costs, tuition fees, lodging and board at the Scalabrini Fathers’ dormitory for young Catholic women in Clapham, and afterwards at the Institute of St. Marcellina, a nun-run institution in Hampstead.

Fittipaldi searched both places but was unable to locate Emanuela. He reasoned that she may have been registered under a different name.

Another item on the list, a visit to Professor Lesley Regan, one of the most well-known gynecologists in Britain, would also have fit this description. Regan said she didn’t recognize Emanuela when shown with a picture of the woman, but added that there were too many patients—many of them Italian—for her to remember all of their features.

A concerning reference to “the transfer to the Vatican City State” and “final processes” in 1997 may be found in the last item. Fittipaldi speculates that the possibility of Emanuela’s death in London may allude to the transfer of her corpse to the Vatican, where it was buried secretly from her family.

It’s likely that these papers were faked by one interest group and were provided to Fittipaldi to generate difficulties given how famously divided the Vatican is. If Emanuela was indeed alive until 1997, it begs the issue of why she didn’t make an effort to flee her new life or get in touch with her relatives.

The documentary’s director, Mark Lewis, asserts that “the sexual secret is without a doubt the key.” If accurate, the Vatican would have been able to persuade her to keep quiet by claiming that if she went back home and spoke out, it would not only bring down the Pope but also result in her father losing his job and her family losing their house.

Whatever the case may be, the family can only hope that the Holy See’s current investigation will provide some answers.

In 2013, they went to a mass officiated by Pope Francis, who had just been elected. The family had expected to speak with the pope about Emanuela later, but when they approached him, he spoke simply four words to them: “Emanuela is in heaven.”

Pietro adds, “It chilled my blood to hear the Pope proclaim that Emanuela was dead.” Because he is the head of state, he must know something that the rest of us don’t.

This was further supported by a tip the family’s attorney obtained in 2019 that claimed Emanuela was buried in a specific vault in one of the two cemeteries on Vatican property.

After a year of petitioning by the family, the Vatican eventually decided to uncover it, but when they did, neither Emanuela’s coffin nor that of the two German princesses from the 19th century who were meant to be there were there.

Pietro saw that the tomb seemed to have been “vacuumed,” which raised the possibility that the tomb’s re-opening had been approved only after Emanuela had been taken out and interred somewhere else.

The only thing Pietro is certain of is that the Vatican is aware of the truth.

Please let us know whether Emanuela is deceased so that my mother may at least bring a flower to her grave, if not.

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