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 Latest coverage

October 25
Victims could now collect

October 2
Geoghan's sister hits guards

October 1
Geoghan's sister to speak

September 27
Conviction erasure protested
Druce is hospitalized again
Guard ad seeks understanding

September 24
Inquiry: Druce beaten as child

September 20
Druce pleads not guilty in slay
Geoghan claims guard assault

September 14
Report says Druce in a rage

September 13
Letter: Druce abused as a boy

September 12
Geoghan bore guards' abuse
Lawyer: Mail deluges accused

September 11
Expanded panel is sought

September 8
Druce is returned from hospital

September 5
Geoghan consultant ties eyed

September 4
Conflict raised on consultant

September 3
Bias concerns raised in probe

September 2
No new panel members seen

August 31
Geoghan panel to expand

Earlier stories

Spotlight Report

Geoghan's sister expected to break silence

Described as 'not happy' with slaying investigation

By Sean P. Murphy, Globe Staff, 10/1/2003

 Related stories
Geoghan killed
Geoghan's sister criticizes guards

Geoghan's sister to speak

Victims protest conviction erasure
Druce is hospitalized again
Guards' ad seeks understanding

Inquiry: Druce beaten as a child

Druce pleads not guilty to killing
Geoghan claimed guard assault

Report describes Druce in a rage

Letter says Druce abused as boy

Inmate: Geoghan bore abuse
Lawyer: Mail deluging accused

Expanded Geoghan panel sought

Druce is returned from hospital

McNamara: A back-page death

Geoghan consultant's ties eyed
McGrory: Romney can do better

Conflict issue raised on consultant

Bias concerns are raised in probe

No new members seen for panel

Geoghan panel will be expanded

Group assails prison guards
Geoghan is buried in Brookline
Op-Ed: Geoghan's 'innocence'

Priest in 'aggressive' case unit
Records show Druce as deviant
Voiding of record is challenged

Bid to keep Geoghan at Concord
Geoghan's death voids conviction
Prison units see volatile mixes
US attorney won't rush decision

Monthlong plot to kill Geoghan
Alleged killer led troubled life

Geoghan was tied and beaten
Death doesn't end victim suffering
Similiarities in suspect's '88 crime
Priest seen as a prison target

Geoghan is strangled in prison
A troubled life exploiting vocation

Geoghan case letters, documents
Law deposition in Geoghan case

 From the archives
Key stories in the Geoghan case

Church allowed abuse for years

Geoghan found guilty of sex abuse

Geoghan receives 9-10 years

Law recalls little on Geoghan case

Geoghan victims settle for $10m

 Complete coverage
The John Geoghan case

Breaking five weeks of silence, Catherine T. Geoghan, the sister of defrocked priest John J. Geoghan, today will express concerns about what she sees as bias in the official investigation into her brother's death, according to a person who has read a two-page statement Geoghan plans to release.

''She wants the truth to come out about how her brother was killed, and she's worried it won't,'' said the person, who has seen the statement and asked not to be identified. ''The process is not going smoothly and she is just not happy.''

In the statement, Geoghan, 69, cites as an example statements she says have been made by some prisoners who were present when her brother was killed in prison. Those inmates say they have been told by state Department of Correction officials to keep quiet about possible lapses by prison officials, according to the person who has read the statement.

John Geoghan, 68, was beaten and strangled Aug. 23 inside his cell in the protective custody unit of the maximum-security Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley.

Catherine Geoghan's statement is to be released today by Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, an agency that provides lawyers for prisoners.

How Geoghan, whose prison record was devoid of violent incidents, wound up in one of the state's highest-security facilities is one of the questions being investigated by a three-member panel appointed to examine the death of the former priest whose actions helped trigger the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Lawyers who represented Geoghan say guards at the medium-security Concord state prison, where he was jailed before being transferred to Souza-Baranowski, constantly harassed and abused Geoghan and filed bogus disciplinary reports in an effort to get him transferred to the more dangerous maximum-security facility.

At Souza-Baranowski, authorities said, Geoghan was killed by Joseph L. Druce, 38, who was serving a life sentence for beating and strangling a Gloucester man. During his murder trial, Druce claimed that victim had made a sexual advance.

The three-member panel investigating the Geoghan case is chaired by Mark Delaney, a State Police major, and includes Mark Reilly, the Department of Correction's chief investigator, and George Camp, a prison consultant and executive director of an organization that represents the interests of the nation's top prison officials. The panel was established two days after Geoghan's death at the urging of Governor Mitt Romney, who called the killing ''a failure of government.''

The panel is to report back in November to Edward A. Flynn, the state secretary of public safety who oversees the State Police and the Department of Correction.

Since Geoghan's death, his sister has closely followed developments in the case, according to the person who has read her statement. A group of state legislators, prisoners' rights advocates, and civil rights lawyers publicly called on Flynn to add independent members of the panel.

Meanwhile, the cochairmen of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Public Safety has scheduled a public hearing on the Geoghan case for Oct. 28.

A spokeswoman for Flynn did not return telephone calls yesterday. Justin Latini, a spokesman for the Department of Correction, declined to comment on any aspect of the investigation.

John Geoghan was serving a nine- to 10-year prison sentence for molesting a 10-year-old boy, but allegations that Geoghan sexually assaulted nearly 150 children, mostly boys, helped spark the scandal that rocked the Catholic Church. Catherine Geoghan was her brother's closest confidante and most steadfast supporter, and in 2000 said during a deposition that the charges against John Geoghan ''are false.''

In a testament to the siblings' devotion to each other, John Geoghan on Oct. 1, 2002, defied prison guards who had revoked his telephone privileges and called his sister.

Prison guards had deleted Catherine Geoghan's telephone number from the database of numbers preapproved for inmates to call. But John Geoghan eluded that restriction by having another inmate add her telephone number back to the database under a pseudonym. The fictitious name he picked: Catherine Lord.

Catherine Geoghan was a witness to one episode of abuse, in which her brother said a prison guard intentionally ''slammed'' into him in the Concord state prison visitors center, according to John Geoghan's written account of the Sept. 5, 2002, incident.

Prison guards, in disputing Geoghan's version of the incident, concluded he had lied and disciplined him by revoking his telephone privileges for six weeks -- all the while refusing requests from Geoghan and his lawyer to allow Catherine Geoghan to testify as a witness, according to Department of Correction documents on the disciplinary action.

Sean P. Murphy can be reached at

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