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Coroner reports on Solar Temple cult deaths

The Story


Days after the suicide, people are still searching for answers. In this clip, some of the answers are revealed as Coroner Yvon Naud releases his report to the public. The report confirms that four of the victims were alive when the fire started, and that they died from smoke inhalation after taking heavy doses of tranquilizers. The autopsy shows that the fifth victim, the 63-year-old grandmother, died before the fire after taking medication. Naud says there is no evidence that she was murdered.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 27, 1997
Guest(s): François Houle, Pierre Robichaud
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Mark Kelley
Duration: 2:04

Did You know?


• Amidst the charred remains from the house, police found several colourful robes that were used during ceremonies.

• Police also found a ceremonial sword with the name of one of the victims (Pauline Riou) inscribed on the handle.

• The three teenagers were immediately put into the custody of youth protection officials. They told the police that the propane gas mechanism used to start the fire was turned on and off five times during the weekend -- a chilling sign of how much their parents struggled with the decision to take their lives.

• After launching an investigation, the crown attorney decided not to charge the teenagers in connection with the death of their parents. The crown said they couldn't find substantial evidence to suggest that the teenagers helped to set the fire.


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