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Prosecutors probe sex abuse priest's jail death

Prosecutors were yesterday investigating how an anti-gay convicted murderer managed to strangle fellow inmate pedophile priest John Geoghan inside one of Massachusetts' most secure prisons.

Geoghan was apparently killed by Joseph Druce, 37, Worcester County District Attorney John Conte said on Saturday, declining to say how he was choked to death. An autopsy is planned.

Geoghan, who was serving a sentence for child rape, was a central figure in the sex scandal that sent shockwaves through the Church. He was suspended in 1998 and his prosecution helped uncover a string of pedophile cases that forced Cardinal Bernard Law to resign as Boston's archbishop late last year.

His prosecution helped uncover a string of pedophile cases that forced Cardinal Bernard Law to resign last year as head of the Boston Archdiocese.

Geoghan's violent death shocked the city and more than 130 people who have filed lawsuits charging he abused them over a span of 40 years when he was being shuttled around several parishes in the Boston area.

On Sunday morning Boston parishes offered a mass for Geoghan, whose death was called "tragic" by the Archdiocese.

"I'm glad they offered a mass for him. I just hope they offer a mass for the victims too," said 40 year old former altar boy victim John King.

The Archdiocese's new bishop, Sean O'Malley, is winning praise for confronting the scandal. He did not discuss the Geoghan murder in detail at mass on Sunday, but offered prayers to the ex-priest's family.


Autopsy of ex-priest John Geoghan planned for Monday
Timeline: Key dates in Geoghan's life (CNN)
Death shocks ex-priest's many victims (Boston Herald)
Former priest Geoghan is slain (Boston Globe)
Pedophile Ex-Priest Is Killed in Prison (AP)
Paedophile US priest is killed in prison (London Independent)
Apology to abuse victims is new Boston archbishop's first act (1/8/03)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

25 Aug 2003