Not only did the Russian Orthodox Church refuse to officiate at the ceremony but a DNA analysis by Stanford University in the United States in 2004 has questioned the previous DNA tests carried out in the 1990’s. Far from bringing closure to an event that has haunted the Russian psyche for decades, the latest evidence threatens to destroy the accepted story of the massacre.
In January 2010 the Russian authorities, compelled by surviving members of the Romanov family and public demand for answers, reopened the criminal investigation into the deaths.
"Journalist Valentin Chernenko, 50’s, writes in his notebook as he waits for the train to St. Petersburg. He is returning from the funeral of a childhood friend, the first time he has been back to his birthplace in over twenty years. Occasionally he looks out at the huge flakes of snow swirling in eddies outside the cold waiting-room, the pristine whiteness contrasting with the grimy windowpanes.
He hears the
shrill toot of a whistle and
checks his watch. It’s 3.45pm. Surprised, he jumps up, notebook in hand, and walks
out onto the platform, pulling his coat tightly around him to keep out the icy
wind. In the distance the ghostly
outline of an old-fashioned steam locomotive appears, puffing heavily in the driving snow.
He watches as it pulls into the station, momentarily obliterating
everything around him with jets of smoke and steam as it passes and the train slows to a stop.
Through the clearing mist he sees two young women disembark from a coach up ahead, both richly dressed in what looked like 'Edwardian' clothes - ankle-length skirts, close-fitting jackets, luxurious fur stoles and feathered hats and pearls. Amused, he stands and watches.
stationmaster walks out of his office announcing the imminent arrival of the express to
St. Petersburg. Valentin hurries over and asks about the train that had just left, but the man denied
having seen any such thing and tersely informed
Valentin that his train - the real train - will be here in just a few minutes. Incapable of taking in what had
happened, it is only when Valentin is seated in his first class compartment
that he remembers the taller girl writing in his book. Opening it, he reads the neat copperplate, ‘Love
is light, and it has no end ……’ But this cannot be, he muses; yet, much as he wants to dismiss the ‘ghost train’
as a trick of his imagination, he is completely unable to explain the writing.
He tries recalling schoolboy History. There had been talk that one daughter, maybe a second, had escaped, but had apparently been badly injured and only eventually had managed to reach England. Could any of that possibly be true? He knew only two facts surrounding the so-called massacre could be proven with any certainty - first, that none of the victims’ bodies had ever been found, and second, that not one of the family had been 'officially' seen or recognised alive again even though there had been numerous sightings of the Tsarina and three of her children right up until January 1919......."