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miriam

Solved?

Thank you for that question mark. Indeed, it seems this case is far from cut and dried. Firstly,

'After the deaths, [Ferdinando de' Medici] ordered immediate autopsies -- an unusual step, apparently taken to protect himself from future accusations.'

*Ordering* autopsies of his presumed victims is indeed a highly unlikely step taken by a killer, whatever Ms Lippi may say to explain it.

'Miss Lippi and three other scientists [...] tested organ remains found in broken terra-cotta jars buried under the crypt in the Church of Santa Maria a Bonistallo, near Francesco's villa. Miss Lippi says DNA tests showed it was "highly probable" that one set belonged to Francesco.'

(both quotes are taken from the Washington Post link above)

Secondly, Ms Lippi is far from presenting proof that the remains she analyzed were those of Francesco and Bianca. As to that low concentration of arsenic in Francesco's beard hairs, arsenic was taken as a medicine in those days, and if he was ill, he may well have taken too high a dose of it in the end, going by the motto "much does much". Of course, someone may have taken care of the well-hated Bianca the very moment her only protector was no longer to be reckoned with.

(BTW, the Greek word "arsenicos" means "manly, virile". Arsenic was much recommended and frequently taken as a remedy against impotence throughout the centuries; and Francesco de'Medici seems well to have had some problems in that regard.)

As for Ms Lippi trumpeting her finds about asserting for sure that this was wholesale murder and Ferdinando did it...? Sorry, but I'd say there's only one thing for certain, e.g. that Ms Lippi's case is one of jumping to the conclusions she had set out to prove from the very beginning, and furthermore one of gross sensationalism and attention-seeking.

What I'm waiting for now is someone to unearth queen Elizabeth I and announcing that she was poisoned too -- since, sure as he11, he'll find her bones stuffed with lead. For decades, that good lady used a lot of makeup, to cover her pock marks, that contained a lot of lead white...

Sorry to have objected, but such historians and such ways of rewriting history just get on my nerves.

miriam

P.S. Being much interested in history and true crime, too, though not blogging myself, I want to thank you for your very entertaining and well-written articles.

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