According to the locals, the street received this rather unusual name since for hundreds of years it housed many of the whores whose primary clientele were the Vatican cardinals, bishops and priests, as well as any visiting members of the clergy.After World War II, the prostitution on the street eventually moved to a more secretivelocation, making way now for stores engaged in the lucrative business of selling religious paraphernalia like rosaries, pictures of the Pope's and holy water.As I sat having a glass of wine and going through the Italian papers, the main headlineread how Cardinal Paul Marcinkus, head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, wasindicted by Italian authorities (in 1982) as an accessory in the $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, an Italian financial institution with close ties to the Vatican Bank.Although I tried many times without success to interview Marcinkus, since he was frommy hometown of Chicago, the case never came to trial in Italy, as courts corruptly ruledthat as a "Vatican employee he was immune from prosecution." The Vatican Bank alsorefused to admit legal responsibility for the Bank of Ambrosiano's downfall but didacknowledge "moral involvement", paying $241m (?169m) to creditors.Little did I know that this story, the 1978 death of Pope John Paul I, the murder of the bank's president, Robert Calvi, found dangling under the Blackfriars Bridge in London, alittle known mafia figure named Mario Cuomo (not the former mayor of New York) anda mysterious woman named Maria would all help in putting the pieces together of alarger more sinister puzzle.Although still incomplete, the small pieces of the puzzle I uncovered in the 1980s all leadto direct involvement of members of the Illuminati/Freemasons, through groups like "PDue", the Prieure du Sion and others, as well as the deep involvement of the Vatican, thehub and centerpiece of this secret worldwide organization known to the public as theIlluminati but known by members as "The Family or The Order."After writing several stories about the Vatican Bank Scandal and traveling to London onthe Calvi story, finding very little new evidence, I didn't give much thought to theIlluminati and child sacrificing until about a year later when I was sitting on Via Venato,having coffee for a brief hour or two with the rich and famous. As a quick aside, no oneever really believes me anyway when I mention I once sat on Sophia Loren's lap, so I willleave that story for happier times.
As I mentioned, I put the gruesome picture of a child sacrificing out of my mind until astrikingly beautiful, black-haired Italian woman in her late 20s, named Maria, asked if she could join me at my Via Veneto outdoor table.