Was Emanuela Orlandi the victim of a loved one? Forty years after the disappearance of the teenager who lived in the Vatican, one of the most famous legal enigmas in Italy, the investigation could be directed towards a family drama.
• Read also: Mysterious disappearance in 1983: Rome reopens the investigation of one of the most famous legal enigmas in Italy
Emanuela Orlandi, 15, whose father worked in the Vatican, was last seen in central Rome leaving a music lesson on June 22, 1983.
Since then, this affair has given rise to countless speculations and has never ceased to fascinate Italians against the backdrop of conspiracy theories implicating the secret services, the mafia, the high Vatican authorities or Freemasonry. This case also inspired a recent hit documentary series, “Vatican Girl,” which aired on Netflix.
However, information broadcast by the private television channel La7 now opens up another avenue, that of the family drama.
According to La7, the Vatican prosecutor recently handed over to his Roman counterpart an exchange of letters between a senior Vatican official and a priest in September 1983, three months after the girl’s disappearance.
Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli, number two in the Vatican, then wrote to a priest who had been the spiritual adviser to the Orlandi family.
Its purpose: to have confirmation that Natalina, the elder sister of the disappeared, was sexually abused by their uncle, Mario Meneguzzi, now deceased. The confessor recognizes that the young girl had confessed the facts to him. She was forbidden to speak on pain of losing her post in the Chamber of Deputies where her uncle, who ran the bar, had hired her some time before.
Facts known to investigators at the time since they had been confirmed by the direct testimony of Natalina Orlandi, according to La7.
Did Uncle Mario kill Emanuela and you his crime?
He was close to the internal security services at the time, had answered certain anonymous calls received by the Orlandi family and escaped a shadowing of which he was aware without the investigators knowing how, Italian media reported on Tuesday.
Finally, the robot portrait of the man seen with Emanuela Orlandi, June 22, 1983, the day of his disappearance, is similar.
But Emanuela’s brother, Pietro, his sister Natalina and their lawyer, Laura Segro, under whose pressure the Vatican and then the Rome prosecutor’s office reopened the file in 2023, do not believe it.
They accuse the Holy See of wanting to “exonerate” itself from its supposed responsibility in this affair. They were to give a press conference on Tuesday afternoon in Rome.
“I am angry, furious. They crossed the line like never before […] They cannot shift responsibility for everything onto a family,” Pietro Orlandi told the Adnkronos news agency.