CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Searching for answers in Solar Temple cult deaths

The Story

The day after the bodies were discovered, details started to surface about what happened in St. Casimir. Police reveal that the cult's first suicide attempt, the day before the fire, was thwarted when the timing device used to set the fire failed. Miraculously, the three teenagers, who knew nothing about their parents' attempted suicide, were saved. In this clip, Tom Kennedy explains how the teenagers narrowly avoided death.

Medium: Television
Program: The National
Broadcast Date: March 24, 1997
Guest(s): Guy Fournier, Pierre Robichaud
Host: Peter Mansbridge
Reporter: Tom Kennedy
Duration: 2:43

Did You know?

• The day after the bodies were discovered, police confirmed the identity of the five people: Didier Queze, 39; his wife Chantale Goupillot, 41; her mother and another couple who were cult members. Goupillot's mother was not a cult member.

• The teenagers didn't learn of their parents' first attempt to commit suicide until the next day when they awoke. They later told the police their parents wanted the whole family to die together.

• The day of the suicide was thought to have been selected to coincide astrologically with the Vernal Equinox; the first day of spring.



Solar Temple: A Cult Gone Wrong more