Mobster claims he helped kill Pope John Paul I

A man in a car.
Pope John Paul I. Photo credit: Getty

A New York mobster is claiming he helped kill Pope John Paul I to get his family out of trouble for stock fraud.

Anthony Raimondi, a member of the Colombo crime family, made the claims in his new book When the Bullet Hits the Bone, the New York Post reports.

Raimondi claimed a hit was put out on the Pope because he uncovered details of a massive stock fraud run by Vatican insiders, including his cousin Cardinal Paul Marcinkus.

He said Marcinkus spiked the Pope's nightly cup of tea with Valium (also known as diazepam) and then his cousin squeezed a drop of cyanide into the sleeping man's mouth.

According to Raimondi's version of events, a papal assistant checked on Pope John Paul I shortly afterwards and called out for help at which point Marcinkus and two other cardinals in on the plot rushed in, acting surprised.

Many dismiss the story, which closely resembles the plot of the movie The Godfather Part III, but Raimondi dismisses any association with the "terrible movie".

"To tell you the truth I don’t really remember [the movie]," he told the New York Post.

"What I said in the book I stand by till the day I die. If they take [the Pope’s body] and do any type of testing, they will still find traces of the poison in his system."

Pope John Paul I is widely believed to have died due to a heart attack. He was found by a pair of nuns dead in his bed on the morning of September 28, 1978.

It was revealed in 2017 the Pope had complained of chest pains the night before he was found dead, although he asked for his doctor not to be called.