National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly

Archives  | 

Send This Page to a Friend

 Today's Take:  NCR News Blog

A roundup of coverage and comment on the killing of John Geoghan.

Other news NCR is watching
Aug. 27
Representatives of Catholic priest associations in Boston, New York, Chicago, southern Illinois and Pittsburgh said they plan on taking action to support more than 160 Milwaukee-area priests who signed a letter urging that the priesthood be open to married men. Catholic clergy groups expected to champion Milwaukee movement.

John Geoghan, a former Boston priest convicted of sexual abuse who was forcibly laicized in 1998, was bound, gagged and strangled Aug. 23 in his cell on the protective-custody unit of a Massachusetts state prison. He was serving a 10-year sentence on a sexual molestation charge and had been accused of abusing more than 130 children.

Links to coverage of the story follow:

Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 10:28 a.m. CST

One 'mad dog' slain, but more still out there
Press Herald, ME
David Clohessy apologizes if the analogy seems a bit harsh. But for those who wonder why he and other victims of abusive priests aren't dancing on John Geoghan's grave, it's the best answer Clohessy can offer. "If you're attacked by a mad dog, where do you direct your anger?" he asked. "At the dog? Or at its owner?" Good question.

Editorial: The Perils In US Prisons
New London Day, CT
Even some of his victims agreed that John J. Geoghan, the defrocked Roman Catholic priest in prison for sexually abusing young boys, didn't deserve to die in the brutal fashion in which he was murdered by another inmate. But what is most disturbing about this case is that it's not unusual.

Long Planning Cited in Death of an Ex-Priest
Yahoo News
State and local officials opened investigations today into the prison killing of John J. Geoghan, a former priest convicted of child molestation.

Bid to keep Geoghan at Concord was denied
Boston Globe, MA
The superintendent at MCI-Concord overruled a prison board's recommendation to keep convicted pedophile John J. Geoghan "in protective custody" at that facility and the defrocked priest was later shipped to Shirley, where he was killed.

Inmate warned prison bigs that priest was in danger
New York Daily News, NY
BOSTON -- The convicted murderer who allegedly strangled defrocked priest John J. Geoghan in his cell was looking to commit a hate crime so he could go to federal prison, an inmate told prisoner advocates.

Alleged killer of defrocked priest implicates another inmate
Bay News, FL
Another inmate may have offered money to the convict who confessed to the Boston area prison cell killing of a defrocked Roman Catholic priest convicted as a pedophile, says a prisoners' advocate assisting the investigation.

Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2003 at 8:43 a.m. CST

Could slain priest's fate have been avoided?
South Bend Tribune, Indiana
Some question whether prison was the best place for the defrocked priest and convicted child molester to serve out his 10-year sentence for assault and battery on a 10-year-old boy.

Monthlong plot to kill Geoghan
Boston Globe, MA
Joseph L. Druce told investigators he planned the murder of John J. Geoghan for at least a month, plotting how he jammed the defrocked priest's cell door shut with part of a book, tied him up with a T-shirt, and used socks to strangle him after lunch, authorities said yesterday.

Mass. Probes Pedophile Priest's Death
Guardian, UK
Prosecutors investigating the prison death of defrocked priest John Geoghan want to know if security procedures broke down at the facility, allowing a neo-Nazi who hated homosexuals the opportunity to confront a convicted pedophile.

Records Reveal Priest's Alleged Killer
Kansas City Star, MO
The psychiatrist's handwritten notes are economical -- and chilling. It was May 1989 and Joseph L. Druce was in jail awaiting trial for the murder of a gay man who picked him up hitchhiking. "Angry, frustrated, blaming, remorseless, intense determined man, believes in Satan, unafraid, laughing as he declares his intent to kill himself," the psychiatrist's notes say

The Death of John Geoghan
New York Times Editorial
As a child molester, and a central figure in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, the defrocked priest John Geoghan was a predictable target for violence ... Mr. Geoghan's violent death was eminently preventable. But it was a foreseeable consequence of understaffing at the prison where he was being held in Massachusetts -- conditions that are, unfortunately, common nationwide.

Vigilante justice
USA Today Editorial
The murder of pedophile priest John Geoghan in a Massachusetts prison leaves many of his victims -- and victims of other predators -- feeling violated once. ... A second criminal case and more than 20 civil suits still pending might have shed more light on his actions and why they were covered up for so many years.

Posted Monday, August 25, 2003 at 10:45 a.m. CST

Slain clergyman 'personified the pedophile priest'
Philadelphia Daily News, PA
Geoghan personified the pedophile priest," said Jim Post, president of Voice of the Faithful, a lay reform group organized after the abuse scandal broke.

Prison opens probe of priest murder Washington Times, DC
BOSTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- An autopsy was scheduled Monday on slain defrocked pedophile priest John Geoghan, the Boston Herald reported.

Prison Guards Descri