What happened during this week in crime history: May 12 – Body of Lindbergh baby was found (1932); May 13 – Pope John Paul II was shot (1981); May 15 – Second Vigilante Committee was formed in San Francisco (1856); May 16 – Voltaire was imprisoned at the Bastille (1717); May 17 – Police raid the hideout of the Symbionese Liberation Army in Los Angeles and kill six (1974).
Many people argued that the very unusual short trial must have been an effort to cover up evidence of a conspiracy. In fact, Italian authorities had their own suspicions but did not want to disclose them in a highly publicized trial. Instead, they conducted a relatively quiet investigation into the connection between Agca and Bulgaria's KGB-connected intelligence agency. The motive behind an alleged Soviet-inspired assassination must be viewed in the context of the Cold War in 1981. Pope John Paul II was Polish-born and openly supportive of the democratic movement in that country. His visit to Poland in 1979 worried the Kremlin, which saw its hold on Eastern Europe in danger. Although the exact extent of the conspiracy remains unknown today, Agca allegedly met with Bulgarian spies in Rome about assassinating Lech Walesa, the Polish labor union leader. However, this plan was abandoned when Agca was offered $1.25 million to kill the pope.
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