Emanuela Orlandi

The truth about Emanuela’s case

One of the things that I like the most about this stage of my children is that they ask to see a documentary or a series together. It is difficult to find something that interests us all: their tastes are different, their curiosities are different, and what they want to see in that little while that we all agree on the sofa is not always what you want to see. I also admit it, I hoard the television remote as soon as the news starts and I don’t let go until the copy of the last one comes on. So, from that hour on, everything seems fine to me. And more if they propose it.

It’s funny because, lately, documentaries about events that happened a few years ago have brought us all back together in front of the television. The case of Dolores Vázquez and Rocío Wanninkho f, the case of the girls from Alcàsser, Nevenka … Cases that I have had to tell as a journalist at the time and that I like to revise with the eyes of my children. The last one we have seen this weekend has been The Girl from the Vatican: it analyzes the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi in 1983. A case that occurred 40 years ago and has never been closed. An unresolved disappearance that brings together all the ingredients to continue generating a thousand hypotheses. She was 15 years old when she was kidnapped. She had gone to a music class, it was the end of June. And she never came back. That afternoon she called home saying that a man had approached her to offer her a job selling Avon products at home.

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Just by chance, on Sunday Pope Francis spoke precisely about this case, but not to ask for more clarity in the investigations, but to ask for respect for the figure of John Paul II. Why? Manuela disappeared when he was in charge of the Vatican, she lived with her family in that small state. Wojtyla himself asked the kidnappers, during the first days of her disappearance, for mercy and to end the suffering of the family. During these years, there has been more than one hypothesis about the connection of people close to the pope in this case. About how much they knew and how much they were silent.

Emanuela Orlandi’s brother, a few days ago, said in an interview that the pope used to leave the Vatican walls at night, and “not to bless houses.” He didn’t add anything else. But he said a lot. Every secret ends up coming to light. It’s what someone says during the documentary. In this case, the family has been asking for the truth for 40 years. Knowing where Emanuela’s body ended up, what they did with her, who took her, and why. The truth. Without it, there will be more speculation, conjecture, more red herrings, and, perhaps, people who should not be pointed out will end up being pointed out. If the Vatican really wants to put an end to these hoaxes, they should help close this case.

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