Friends! Thanks for staying with me during my absence. I am on the road to recovery and excited to return to work. I spent many hours reviewing my plan of action and hope my upcoming projects are to your liking.
The first project I am excited about is my series entitled “The Unity Project.” Last year I shared the pencil drawing of cover number one, and here is the graphic for book two.
If you remember, The Unity Project is about four sisters who live during WWII. While engaging in different roles to help the war effort, the ladies stumble upon evidence that proves someone murdered their parents. However, the evidence they fought to uncover may lead back to one of the sisters. Stay tuned for more info and a free giveaway in the following months.
A few days before surgery, I streamed the documentary about the Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi. Here are the highlights of her kidnapping.
In 1983, fifteen-year-old Emanuela Orlandi left her home in Vatican State and attended a flute lesson in Rome, just outside the Vatican’s walls. The Orlandis were not strangers in the area. Emanuela’s father and grandfathers worked as couriers and in administration services for seven generations. Thus, as a deep-rooted citizen, Emanuela enjoyed the gardens and all other amenities afforded to the family.
A week before her kidnapping, Emanuela met her best friend. She divulged that while strolling through the gardens, a Cardinal, close to the Pope, “harassed” her several times. The friend swears that Emanuela’s words conveyed sexual overtones.
On June 22, Emanuela called her sister and shared that a man in a green BMW offered her a job selling Avon. Curious, her sister ordered Emanuela to stay put until she arrived. Yet, when the sister reached the music school, Emanuela had disappeared.
Decades later, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano revealed that the night Emanuela disappeared, their Press Office received a call from the group who kidnapped Emanuela. The thugs demanded the Vatican pay a ransom for Emanuela’s return. Yet, no one shared this information with the Orlandi family or the authorities.
The family frantically looked for Emanuela, called all the hospitals, and spoke with their neighbors and friends. No one had seen Emanuela. The next day, the Orlandis filed a missing person report with the authorities. Yet, after looking at her photo, the police found no cause for concern. According to the officer, Emanuela had no striking features. Thus, she had not been kidnapped but ran away from home.
Soon after, the family placed an article in the paper asking for their daughter’s whereabouts. Soon after, the family glued posters all over town. Now, to us, missing person ads are an unfortunate commonplace in our society. However, to this day, Emanuela’s name is the only missing citizen in their records.
On July 3, 1983, Pope John Paul made a shocking statement. He wanted the Orlandis to know he shared their anxiety. Then he said, “I am talking to whoever is responsible for this case. I hope she returns to her family.” Why would the Pope talk about kidnapping while the authorities treated Emanuela as a runaway? Did he know about the phone message left at the Press Office?
After the Angelus, the family receives several calls from a group who claims to be Emanuela’s kidnappers. They forward copies of Emanuela’s student Identification, a tuition payment receipt, and a note in her handwriting stating, “with much love, E.” In exchange for Emanuela, the men demand that the Pope agree to the release of Mehmet Ali Agca. The person who attempted to assassinate John Paul during his visit to Poland. On the day of the supposed exchange, Agca remained incarcerated, and Emanuela never returned home. Later, an informant close to the Vatican tells a reporter that the demand for Agca had been a ruse.
Now, this is where the plot thickens.
While recovering from Agca’s assassination attempt, John Paul II stated, “Can I forget that the events in St. Peter’s Square occurred on the same day of the Prophecy Fatima?” On May 13, 1917, three children encountered the Virgin Mary, who warned that a Pope would die if the Russian empire did not return to Catholicism. (The assassination attempt occurred on May 13, 1981 at 17:17) Based on the dates, John Paul insists he is the Pope mentioned in the Fatima.
With the help of Bishop Paul Marcinkus, the men funneled 200 million lire to a trade union called the Solidarnosc. The Turkish group pressures communist governments to concede to political reform. But how can the Vatican cover the transfer of these funds? Marcinkus turned to Roberto Calvi, the CEO of Banco de Ambrosiano. However, Calvi also worked with the mob and laundered their money through the Vatican bank. During the payment transfer, Calvi uses assets belonging to the mafia. Soon Calvi is found dead. Now the mob wants the Pope to return their money and uses Emanuela to get it.
To add to the allegations, in 2016, the Vatileaks scandal, which exposed classified papers from the church’s vaults, uncovered a dossier filled with paperwork regarding Emanuela. The folder includes a five-page document entitled “The List of Expenses Sustained by The Citizen Emanuela Orlandi.” The list covers fourteen years from 1983 to 1997 of expenditures, including tuition, medical, and living expenses, in London. Unfortunately, the itemization also includes the transport of her body back to the Vatican. Emanuela would have been 29 years old in 1997.
But why Emanuela? Well, as I said earlier, Emanuela had a secret. If the Vatican wanted to keep that secret under wraps, they would have to negotiate with the mafia for Emanuela’s release. Then hide her to prevent the Orlandis from talking.
Of course, over the last 30 years, the Vatican adamantly denies the allegations. However, in the last few weeks, Pope Francis has agreed to reopen the case and review all the evidence documented throughout the years.
Did you find her story interesting? I posted a few websites with more info on Facebook. Please visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/harpergalebooks, and follow me for more details on our mysteries.