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Solar Temple cult claims five more lives

The Story

Quebec is in shock after learning of the fire-and-brimstone deaths of five members of the Solar Temple who took their own lives in a small village outside Quebec City. A small house in St-Casimir explodes into flames, leaving behind five charred bodies for the police to pull from the rubble. Three teenagers -- 13, 14 and 16; the children of one of the couples that died in the fire -- are discovered in a shed behind the house, alive but heavily drugged. Police and firemen involved in the investigation believe it is just a routine fire until evidence shows that the fire was started deliberately, fuelling suspicion the victims were part of a mass-suicide. When the police learn French national Didier Queze owned the house, they instantly make the link to the Solar Temple. In this clip, questions are asked as to why and how the children were drugged, whether or not they were meant to die, and how their parents took their own lives.

Medium: Television
Program: Sunday Report
Broadcast Date: March 23, 1997
Host: Wendy Mesley
Reporter: Tom Kennedy
Duration: 3:01

Did You know?

• In total, 74 people who were involved with the Solar Temple cult died in Quebec, Switzerland and France between 1994 and 1997. 

• This 1997 suicide pact threw Quebec into a state of shock, as it was believed that the Solar Temple had self-destructed following a 1995 mass suicide.

• The police immediately launched an intense, international investigation to see if the sect was still active. They questioned 30 to 40 current and former members in Quebec, and contacted police officials in Europe.

• The three teenagers -- Tom, Fanie and Julien Queze -- were hospitalized over night after the fire. The eldest son later identified the bodies for the police. Among the dead were their parents and grandmother.



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