CBC Digital Archives

Di Mambro confirmed dead

Murder. Suicide. Assassination. Sex. Money laundering. International investigations. These elements comprise the perfect storyline for any big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. But the story of the Order of the Solar Temple is no movie. It's real life. And for 74 people who died in Quebec, Switzerland and France between 1994 and 1997, the consequences of their membership in the cult were fatal.

Days after the horrific mass-suicides in Switzerland and Quebec, the death of cult leader Joseph Di Mambro, the mastermind of the Solar Temple, is confirmed. In this clip, police report that they have found the body of Di Mambro, 70, in the burned-down chalet in Granges-Sur-Salvan. Swiss TV reports that the body of Camille Pilet, reputed to be the #3 man in the cult, was also pulled from the rubble.

With the whereabouts of Luc Jouret still unknown, Swiss police issue an international warrant for his arrest. Another clue suggesting murder and not suicide emerges when police find a .22 calibre pistol fitted with a silencer in the chalet.
. Burned beyond the point of recognition, Di Mambro's body was identified by Swiss police using dental records supplied by Quebec police.
. Police also revealed that among the dead were Joel Egger and Dominique Bellaton, the Dutoits' assassins, and Di Mambro's 12-year-old daughter Emmanuelle.
. Camille Pilet's body was identified by his relatives. Pilet, a 68-year-old millionaire who contributed millions of dollars to the cult's coffers, was in charge of the cult's finances.

. Police near Ottawa searched an apartment rented by Di Mambro which they thought was used as a base for money laundering operations.
. Police in Australia quickly joined the search for Jouret. Di Mambro lived there for several months during the year prior to his death and immigration records showed Jouret visited him there several times.
Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Oct. 10, 1994
Guest(s): Tim Halderson
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Heather Hiscox
Duration: 2:19

Last updated: January 30, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

Solar Temple: A Cult Gone Wrong

Murder. Suicide. Assassination. Sex. Money laundering. International investigations. These ele...

1997: Solar Temple cult claims five more live...

Five more members of the Solar Temple take their lives as part of a suicide pact in a small vi...

Novelist inspired by the Solar Temple

The Quebec coroner turned writer creates a fictionalized account of the Solar Temple cult murd...

Solar Temple Cult: The coroner's report

The Quebec coroner weighs in with his report on the five dead in St-Casimir.

Solar Temple Cult: Searching for answers

More details surface, including how the three teenagers managed to escape the madness.

Solar Temple Cult: Swiss officials close the ...

Two years after the deaths, a Swiss judge releases the findings of his investigation.