Colombo gangster Anthony Raimondi (left) claims he was present in 1978 when fellow conspirators killed Pope John Paul I (above) with cyanide — because the pontiff threatened to expose a stock fraud by Vatican bank insiders — in the new book “When the Bullet Hits the Bone.”
He helped kill the pope — so his pals could stay out of hell.
That’s the shocking claim from longtime Colombo gangster Anthony Raimondi, who says that, in 1978, he went to Italy with a team of hit men who whacked John Paul I. They allegedly poisoned him with cyanide just 33 days into the pontiff’s reign, according to Raimondi’s new book, “When the Bullet Hits the Bone,” out now from Page Publishing.
Raimondi, the nephew of legendary godfather Lucky Luciano, claims he was recruited for the murder at the age of 28 by his cardinal cousin, Paul Marcinkus, who ran the Vatican bank. Raimondi’s job was to learn the pope’s habits and be on hand to observe as Marcinkus knocked out John Paul by spiking his nightly cup of tea with Valium.
“I stood in the hallway outside the pope’s quarters when the tea was served,” he writes, adding that the drug did its job so well that their victim wouldn’t have stirred “even if there had been an earthquake,” he recounts. “I’d done a lot of things in my time, but I didn’t want to be there in the room when they killed the pope. I knew that would buy me a one-way ticket to hell.”