Murder or Suicide pact? Here is another incident from the Habsburg family vaults.
Theories abound regarding what really happened and why. Just about the only thing that can be agreed upon is that Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria and his 17-year-old mistress, Marie Vetsera, were found dead in the Imperial Hunting Lodge at Mayerling. Both died from a single gunshot wound to the head. It was obvious that Marie died first, but beyond that what really happened remains a mystery.
The cover up and conspiracies surrounding the deaths only made the speculation worse. Rudolph had friends and enemies aplenty inside and out of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Most theories say that the two were actually murdered - but by who? Enemies of the Empire? Agents of the German Empire sent by Bismarck? Rudolph's wife?
The whys are even more speculative and outlandish. But, it was known that Rudolph had written a letter to the Pope regarding his marriage, so his wife might not have been above suspicion. Marie's letters to her friend, companion, and confidant, Marie Larisch are full of her love for Rudolph and his for her. Supposedly they even made plans to marry after the Pope answered his letter.
Just about all that the commentators, biographers, and speculators can agree upon is that Marie was an innocent pawn in the entire debacle. An impressionable, gullible, and naive 17-year-old whose family should have kept better tabs on her and her so-called companion, she left behind a shell-shocked family that suffered for the connection.This Day in History: The bodies of Rudolph and Marie are found in a bedroom in the hunting lodge at Mayerling on this day in what year?