TDISH: God’s Banker Found Dead

In the early morning of June 18, 1982, an Italian man was found hanging from the bottom of the Blackfriars Bridge over the Thames in London.  At first the death of Roberto Calvi was deemed a suicide, but as more details emerged it became clear that this man – a banker – had handled money for some particularly powerful and some very notorious people.  Roberto Calvi had been known as “God’s Banker,” because of his close ties to the Vatican Bank.  Calvi was the chair of Banco Ambrosiano, the largest Italian private bank at the time.  His bank handled the majority of the financial affairs for the Vatican.  The other clients of the bank, however, remain shrouded in much more mystery.  One thing seems certain – Banco Ambrosiano served some less than savory characters: the Mafia and Propaganda Due (a ultra-right wing branch of Freemasonry).  Calvi was found with bricks stuffed in his clothing and with a large amount of cash in various currencies.  In 2002, an official inquest determined that the death was indeed murder – and five men with mafia ties were charged with the crime.  However, in 2007, all five were acquitted of any involvement.  The general consensus seems to be that Calvi was killed by the mafia due to mishandling of their money, but it is highly unlikely that will ever be proven.

Featured Image: “Roberto Calvi.” By Unknown – Foto extraída de la revista Siete Días . Año XV, numero 797, septiembre de 1982., Public Domain.
Hooper, John. “Calvi Was Murdered by the Mafia, Italian Experts Rule.” The Guardian. 25 July 2003.
Summers, Chris. “‘God’s Banker’s Death Still a Mystery.” BBC News. 6 June 2007.

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