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Solar Temple Cult: Swiss officials close the case

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.

media clip
Two years after piecing together this apocalyptic story of murder and suicide and the strange connection between two Swiss villages and Morin Heights, a Swiss judge completes his investigation. In this clip, the judge reveals how at least 30 of the victims were murdered in a carefully arranged ritual ordered by Di Mambro. He rules that while members of the Solar Temple felt they were bound by a death pact, evidence reveals it more closely resembled a mass assassination.
. Swiss police closed the case after the judge released his report, but families of victims believed the cult was still active and possibly planning other "transit ceremonies" — the voyage that would take followers to another planet.
. During their investigation, the Swiss police thought the killings in Switzerland were somehow linked to the ones in France a year later but they failed to make a connection.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: April 3, 1996
Guest(s): Jean-Fran├žois Mayer
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Paul Workman
Duration: 2:27
Photo: Video images produced by Solar Temple

Last updated: May 8, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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