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 decommissioned Swiss Guard Cédric Tornay, was found guilty of shooting and killing her commanding officer Alois Estermann and the senior officer’s wife in 1998 before killing herself.
In her book “Blood in the Vatican,” Baudat’s representative details her efforts to extract information from the Vatican and gain access to the court file on the May 4, 1998, murders.
The couple have now turned to the United Nations and Pope Francis in hopes of securing a closure after nearly a quarter of a century.
Nine months after the murders, in February 1999, the Vatican published a 10-page summary of its internal investigation which confirmed its initial assessment, made hours after the colonel and his wife were found dead.
He 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, calling for the Vatican’s investigation to be reopened.
She said her request was not motivated by a belief that the Vatican was responsible, but rather to end the secrecy with which it has always handled the matter.
In the book, Sgrò details what she found in the file and the conditions imposed on her by the Vatican prosecutor to consult it.
She says she was not allowed to make copies but could only see the documentation in court, with two gendarmes standing behind her back watching her at all times.
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