Religion: Death In Rome

Was John Paul I murdered?

When Pope John Paul I suddenly died after just 33 days in office in 1978, Rome's tireless rumor mill lurched into high gear. Vatican fumbling and secrecy only compounded the confusion. The whispers about skulduggery revived in 1984, when author David Yallop speculated in his best-selling book, In God's Name, that the Pope had been poisoned by one of half a dozen suspects with various motives.

In a rare bit of curtain lifting, the Vatican responded two years ago by giving its blessing to an investigation of the murder charges by British journalist John Cornwell, whose book, A Thief in the...

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