Talk about a cold case

I read of a new lead in the case of the murder of Francesco de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his second wife Bianca Cappello.  The case is 400 years old.

Scientists in Italy Believe They Have Uncovered a 400-Year-Old Medici Family Murder

By MARIA SANMINIATELLI

The Associated Press

ROME – Italian scientists believe they have uncovered a 400-year-old murder. Historians have long suspected that Francesco de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his second wife Bianca Cappello did not die of malaria but were poisoned probably by Francesco’s brother, Cardinal Ferdinando de’ Medici, who was vying for the title.

Hmmm…. dangerous business.

"When a Medici dies, the first assumption is arsenic," said Richard J. Hamilton, a medical toxicologist at Drexel University who was not involved in the study.

Francesco de’ Medici ruled from 1574 until his death at age 46 on Oct. 17, 1587, 11 days after he fell ill and a few hours before his wife, who by all accounts had been his mistress while he was married to his first wife who is also believed to have died of poisoning.

"Immediately after their deaths, rumors began to circulate that they had been poisoned," Donatella Lippi, a professor of history of medicine and a co-author of the study, told The Associated Press. It "was a lethal dose, but progressive, and the symptoms were compatible with arsenic poisoning."

From the outset, Ferdinando de’ Medici’s behavior was suspicious and fueled rumors, the study says. Among other things, he took charge of his brother’s illness, compiling medical bulletins and minimizing the gravity of his brother’s condition in dispatches to the Vatican.

Read the whole thing.  It is interesting.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Response to Talk about a cold case

  1. Hmm.

    And, what else do you hear from Rome?