1994: Cult members die in 'mass suicide'
Oct. 5, 1994: Cult members die in 'mass suicide'
The bodies of 48 cult members have been discovered by Swiss police following an apparent mass suicide.
Twenty-three of the bodies were found in a concealed chamber beneath a remote farmhouse in the village of Cheiry, 48 miles north-east of Geneva.
A further 25 bodies, including some children, were recovered in three burnt-out chalets in Granges-sur-Salvan, 47 miles east of Geneva, near the Italian border.
The deaths have been linked to the apocalyptical Order of the Solar Temple sect, which was founded in 1984 by Dr Luc Jouret and Joseph di Mambro.
It was revealed following the mass suicides that the Order of the Solar Temple sect owned extensive property in Switzerland, Canada and France and was heavily involved in money laundering and arms trafficking.
International arrest warrants were issued for Luc Jouret and Joseph di Mambro who were suspected of mass murder, but their bodies were eventually discovered among the dead in Switzerland.
Two days after the Swiss suicides the bodies of Antonio and Nikki Dutoit and their three-month old son, Christopher, were found murdered in their home at Morin Heights, Quebec. The couple had left the Order of the Solar Temple sect three years previously but possibly "knew too much."
In December 1995 16 members of the sect were found dead in France and in March 1997 five more died in Quebec.
In 2001, Michel Tabachnik, a former conductor with the Canadian Opera Company, was cleared of contributing to the 74 deaths of the members of the Order of the Solar Temple between 1994 and 1997.