Thursday, February 9, 2023

Netflix Picks: Vatican Girl

Back in 2019, I remember reading something in the news about two tombs being opened in one of the cemeteries in the Vatican. This was supposed to find the bones of a missing girl from the 1980s. Apparently, there were speculations that the girl’s body was hidden in one of those tombs but unfortunately, they did not find anything, not even the bones of the people who were supposed to be in those tombs (said to be two unnamed German princesses). 

That piece of news was the first time that I had heard the story of the missing girl who lived in the Vatican. Years later, I found myself watching the Netflix documentary series called Vatican Girl which explored the story of Emmanuela Orlandi’s disappearance and the clues about what happened to her.

What I discovered while watching the documentary were more questions instead of answers. There are so many theories about what happened to the young girl, who was 15 years old at the time of her disappearance. Some people have come forward claiming knowledge about what happened but none have been able to point out what eventually happened to her and where she is or even if she is alive or dead. I can’t imagine how difficult it has been for her family to go on for years not knowing what had happened to her.  

There is a theory that she was kidnapped and used as leverage to get something from the Vatican, and that when she was recovered she was hidden away so that no one would know the Vatican’s involvement in the disappearance. While conspiracy theorists would probably lean more into this theory, I have my doubts since the Vatican could have simply returned her to her family after being able to recover her. 

Another theory is that she ran away and that she became involved in some sort of criminal group or mafia and that she was drugged. Some people have come forward concerning this theory but there is speculation about their credibility. 

Emmanuela has been missing for 40 years, which would make her around 55 by now if she is still alive. It is sad to think that she may have already passed away, but it seems to be a possibility because if she was still living she would have found her way back home by now. Sadly, there are all these theories but there are no solid leads about where she is and what truly happened to her. As time passes it may become harder and harder to find answers as people who were around when it happened have either passed away or maybe too old to be reliable witnesses. 

While it is good that documentaries like this give people an awareness of what happened and keep the story alive with the public to push the authorities to take action, I feel bad that Emmanuela’s family has to relive everything yet another time to share their story. There were no new leads presented by the documentary and it seemed there was no verified proof of anything that could help with this story. It was all theories and speculations, claims by people who say they were involved in some capacity but could not provide any true answers about what happened. 

The most troubling thing about this whole story is that the girl went missing in the Vatican. The girl lived in the Vatican, one of the smallest but most powerful states in the world with its own security. The fact that something like this can happen in a place where you thought it would be safe is what bothers me the most. I think that is why some people are pointing to a Vatican conspiracy. I have so many questions. How did this happen? How can the Vatican leave this case unanswered? As a place with so much power and influence, why can’t they find the answer to Emmanuela’s disappearance? I may not be sold on the conspiracy theory, but I am wondering why there are no answers yet after 40 years.

As interesting a topic as the disappearance of Emmanuela Orlandi is, the documentary was not as good as I expected. A lot of what was told in the series can easily be looked up online. The four episodes were dragging a bit and also boring so I struggled to finish them. And like I said, it gave more questions than answers. There was nothing new presented that could help her case. No proof of anything, just theories. 

Despite the lack of answers, I am still hoping that someday, we will all find out what truly happened to Emmanuela Orlandi. Her family deserves to know so they can find peace of mind after this tragedy. 

As many of you may have noticed if you read my blog, I do reviews of shows on Netflix from time to time. I recently did a review of Netflix shows I’ve watched on the Fandesals Podcast. I’ve embedded the episode here for you to watch. 

Happy viewing!


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