Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi joins the steady volume of unsolved mysteries and true crime hitting viewers’ screens almost daily from Netflix. From DAHMER — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story to The Watcher, and now Vatican Girl, it’s hard to keep up with what truth lies beneath each true crime story. Since the Vatican Girl is told in a documentary format, we thought it might be easy to figure out what really happened to 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi. However, there are a lot of theories to unpack in the four-part series. Here’s a brief rundown of the basic questions viewers want to be answered after watching the Vatican Girl on Netflix.
[SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for ‘Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi’]
Who lives in the Vatican? How many people live in Vatican City?
In the first episode of Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, Journalist Andrea Purgatori informs viewers that only 100 secular people live inside the borders of the Vatican, where Emanuela lived. Secular means non-religious (such as members of the Swiss Guard). But who else lives inside the walls?
▶” src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ca00ZHJWKuA?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>
RELATED: ‘Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi’: 5 Netflix Documentaries to Watch Next
The only people who live inside the Vatican walls are clergy, religious members of the Catholic Church, lay people, and their family members. According to the Vatican State, the city housed only 453 residents in 2019. Of those, there were only 20 children of the Swiss Guard. So there’s generally a very tiny number of kids at any one time within the walls. That’s why the fact that Emanuela was a Vatican Girl is so vital to the story.
Did they ever find the Vatican Girl, Emanuela Orlandi?
While watching the opening montage of Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, viewers might think the documentary finally unveiled the truth. The Vatican opened two tombs inside the Vatican in 2019; however, the exhuming of the graves only brought more questions. According to the Vatican News, the staff found no human remains, coffins, urns, or bones inside the tombs. Not only was Orlandi’s body not there, but the bodies of the 19th-century German princesses thought to be there were not either.
A demonstrator holds a poster of Emanuela Orlandi reading “Missing” during Pope Benedict XVI’s Regina Coeli noon prayer in St. Peter’s square, at the Vatican on May 27, 2012 | Flippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images
As of the release of the Netflix documentary Vatican Girl, Emanuela Orlandi has still not been found. In 1993, the local magistrate found photos from inside a convent in Luxembourg. The local police and Interpol surrounded the convent and took her somewhere else to meet with her mother. However, the woman was not Orlandi.
What happened to Emanuela Orlandi?
Throughout the four-part series Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, Netflix presents various theories about what happened. However, nothing is proven, and there is no concrete answer about what really happened to her.
In the fourth and final episode, a friend of Emanuela comes forward anonymously. She describes a secret that 15-year-old Emanuela told her about when someone close to the Pope “bothered” her in the Vatican gardens. The friend said the incident was sexual.
The account from Emanuela’s friend and documents detailing the Vatican’s payments for her travel, housing, and food indicates that the Vatican covered up her disappearance.
The director ends the documentary with a heartbreaking request from Emanuela’s family. Everyone in the series believes that the Vatican knows the truth about what happened to the young girl. Tell the family so that they can have closure.
All four parts of the documentary Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi are currently available for streaming on Netflix.