It was a scorching 98 degrees in Rome, Italy, on the afternoon of June 22, 1983. Emanuela Orlandi, 15, the fourth of five children who lived with their parents in Vatican City, asked her older brother Pietro for a ride to her afternoon flute lesson, complaining of the heat.
Pietro, being a 20-year-old at the time, refused to drive her, so she walked alone to her music school, situated outside of the Vatican City walls in the heart of Rome.
That decision, he would tell the Guardian decades later, has haunted him his entire life.
“It’s a very painful memory – she insisted I take her, and we rowed over it,” he said. “Then she left, slamming the door. I never thought it would be the last time I saw her. I’ve gone over it so many times, telling myself if only I had accompanied her, maybe it wouldn’t have happened.”
Before she arrived at the school, Emanuela called her older sister Federica to say that a man from Avon Products had approached her and offered her a job handing out flyers for a fashion show. Emanuela told her sister that she would meet with the man again after her music lesson and let him know whether she would take the job.
Federica warned her sister not to take the job, believing it was a…