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Solar Temple Cult: The gory details of Morin Heights

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.

In this clip the gory, gruesome details emerge of how the five died in Morin Heights, suggesting that three of the victims were murdered. Tony Dutoit, a former cult member, was beaten over the head with a blunt object (believed to be a baseball bat), had his throat slashed from ear to ear and was then stabbed 50 times in the chest.

His wife Nicky, who used to make the ceremonial capes and robes for the cult, was stabbed eight times in the back, four times in the throat and once in each breast. Their three-month-old son Emmanuel was stabbed repeatedly in the chest. Jerry and Colette Genoud's deaths were ruled suicide as they died in the fire.
. Tony Dutoit was a cult member and handyman used by Di Mambro to install electronic devices in the chalet that projected images in order to trick members into believing they were seeing spirits summoned by Jouret during ceremonies. Dutoit learned that Di Mambro stole funds from the cult's collective bank accounts for his own personal use. He told other members about his previous handiwork, which led to several members leaving the sect. Dutoit left the cult in 1991.

It is believed that Di Mambro exacted revenge by selecting Joel Egger, a 34-year-old fanatical member of the cult, to murder Dutoit. Egger is believed to have boarded a plane from Switzerland and flown to Quebec to rendezvous with Jerry and Colette Genoud, a Swiss couple, and Dominique Bellaton in the Morin Heights chalet. On Oct. 4, 1994 Dutoit, his wife and their infant son Emmanuel went to the chalet under the guise of visiting their old friend Bellaton.

After killing Dutoit and his family, Egger and Bellaton returned to Switzerland (where they eventually died in Granges-Sur-Salvan) while the Genouds prepared for their own suicide and the incineration of the dead bodies. They cleaned the house and connected timers to an ignition device hooked up to several containers of gasoline. Hours later the chalet went up in flames.

. The case took an interesting turn with the discovery of the bodies in Morin Heights, as the RCMP confirmed there was an ongoing investigation into money-laundering by the Solar Temple. Simultaneously, Radio-Canada reported that the cult was just a front for money-laundering and arms-smuggling.
Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: Oct. 8, 1994
Guest(s): François Dore, Pierre Lamarbe
Host: Paul Hunter
Reporter: Jed Kahane
Duration: 2:40

Last updated: January 31, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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