ITALY: Test of Fire

For five months Italy's Montesi case smoldered beneath the surface like a bog fire. Last week it burst into flame. The government was scorched, the Foreign Minister was forced to resign, and one whole stratum of Italian society was illuminated in garish light.

The Montesi case would not die, as pretty Wilma Montesi herself had died, obscurely on an Ostia beach 13 miles southwest of Rome (TIME, Feb. 15). At first her death was dismissed as accidental drowning, then came hints of murder. Suddenly sparked by a criminal libel suit, a vast scandal flared up, involving sex, narcotics, and playboys...

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