New book ‘Blood in the Vatican’ delves into Swiss Guards’ murders

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By Euronews  with AP
Pope Francis walks past a Swiss Guard as he arrives to meet with members of the Italian Schools for Peace Network at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.
Pope Francis walks past a Swiss Guard as he arrives to meet with members of the Italian Schools for Peace Network at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.   -   Copyright  Andrew Medichini/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved

After nearly 25 years a Vatican murder mystery is back in the spotlight thanks to a new book written by a lawyer, Laura Sgrò who claims the Holy See's investigation was insufficient.

Muguette Baudat, the mother of a decommissioned Swiss guard, Cedric Tornay, was found guilty of fatally shooting his commander Alois Estermann and the senior officer's wife in 1998 before committing suicide.

In her book "Blood in the Vatican", Baudat's representative details her efforts to pry information out of the Vatican and access the court file into the May 4, 1998 slayings.

The pair have now turned to the United Nations and Pope Francis in hopes of getting some closure after nearly a quarter of a century.

Nine months after the killings, in February 1999, the Vatican released a 10-page summary of its internal investigation that confirmed its initial assessment, made hours after the colonel and his wife were found dead.

It concluded that Tornay was solely responsible for the murder-suicide but added that his marijuana use and a brain cyst the size of a pigeon’s egg could have impaired his reasoning.

Baudat spent two decades campaigning for more information and hired Sgrò in 2019, asking for the Vatican investigation to be reopened.

She said her request was not spurred by a belief that the Vatican was responsible, but rather to end the secrecy with which it has always handled the case.

In the book, Sgrò details what she found in the file and the conditions imposed on her by the Vatican prosecutor to view it.

She says she wasn’t allowed to make copies but could only view the documentation in the tribunal, with two gendarmes standing behind her back monitoring her at all times.

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