Hunt for Pablo Neruda's Killer Officially Underway

Hunt for Pablo Neruda's Killer

Back in February, we reported that Chilean courts had ordered Pablo Neruda's body exhumed so speculations surrounding the poet's death could be investigated via autopsy. Foul play has long been suspected, and after Neruda's driver claimed he was poisoned in a Santiago clinic while receiving prostate cancer treatment, an official investigation began. Many believe he was murdered for his outspoken criticism of the Pinochet regime.

The results of that autopsy are not yet complete, but a Chilean judge has nonetheless ordered police to track down Neruda's killer, The Huffington Post reports. New information from Neruda's doctor, Sergio Draper, spurred the judge on: it seems, contrary to Draper's 1973 testimony that he attended the poet at the time of his death, there was another doctor present in the room. Named only as "Price" and described as a "blond, blue eyed, tall man," Draper alleges he left Neruda alone with this doctor on the night he died.

"But Price did not appear in any of the hospital's records as a treating doctor," HuffPo reports, "and Draper said he never saw him again."

Based on this physical description, eyes quickly turned to Michael Townley, a CIA double agent who admitted to killing many Pinochet critics. But the LA Times reports that Townley is probably not the killer, as he was known to be hiding out in Florida following another assassination at the time of Neruda's death.

Any fans of Neruda here? Are you happy that finding his killer is a top priority for the Chilean government?

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George Copeland's picture
George Copeland from Houston, Texas is reading Post Office by Charles Bukowski June 5, 2013 - 7:36am

They'll want to look more closely at Draper. Seems clear enough he's a proven liar.