The case aroused great interest among Italians, with conspiracy theories that spoke of the involvement of many subjects, including the secret services, the mafia, the supreme Vatican authorities and the Freemasons.
But many questions remain unanswered: who kidnapped the girl? And why? What is her fate? What does the Vatican know about this burning dossier?
A former lover of Enrico de Pedis, a mafia “boss” suspected of belonging to a Masonic lodge and entities linked to Vatican funding, confirmed that he had kidnapped the girl and poured cement on her body.
In 2012, the Italian judiciary even opened the tomb of De Pedis, one of the leaders of a criminal group in Rome called “La Banda della Maliana”, but DNA analyzes showed nothing.
According to some hypotheses, this criminal group kidnapped the girl to recover a loan from the former head of the Vatican bank, the American bishop Paul Marcinkus.
This case, which saw many twists and turns, was the subject of a documentary series presented by Netflix at the end of 2022, entitled “A girl from the Vatican: the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi”, in which Emanuela’s brother Pietro claims Pope Francis told him “she is in paradise”, which means that according to the family, the Vatican knows what happened to the girl.
the documentary, in whose testimonies confirm the kidnapping hypothesis, also reports the testimony of a friend of the teenager who confirms that Emanuela had confided in her that she was “disturbed” by the sexual harassment to which she had been subjected by a close collaborator of Pope John Paul II in the Vatican Gardens, a few days before his disappearance.
The Vatican “collusion”?
In 2019, at the request of the girl’s family after a mysterious letter received from their lawyer, the Vatican authorized the opening of two burials of two princesses who died in the 19th century in a place known as the Teutonic Cemetery in Rome, but they did not contain any bones. Experts also examined the remains found in two bone burial sites in Vatican, to no avail.
The family lawyer, Laura Sgro, at the moment wants to know the intentions of the Vatican judiciary.
“We don’t know what the Vatican will do. In the next few hours, I will request a meeting with the Vatican prosecutor’s office to understand the matter. The Vatican hasn’t done anything so far,” he told AFP.
Despite four decades having passed since the case, Emanuela’s family still calls for justice and denounces the silence of the Vatican.
Brother Pietro Orlandi wrote on Facebook: “There is no need for a long investigation because they know the truth, so what is needed is to reveal it”.
He also posted a photo of Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis reunited, with the words “silence made them accomplices”.
One of many hypotheses in this case indicates that the girl was kidnapped to solicit the release of Mehmet Ali Akca, the Turk who attempted to assassinate John Paul II in 1981.
In an open letter from 2019, Ali Akca, released in 2010, confirmed that Emanuela Orlandi was still alive and that it was necessary to look for her trace in the CIA archives.