Death Of Altar Boy
Danny Croteau was a Catholic altar boy and the victim of priestly sexual abuse. Author E.J. Fleming’s understanding of Danny’s murder comes from 10,000 documents and interviews and from the fact that Fleming’s background was similar to Danny’s. Fleming, too, was a Catholic altar boy in Springfield, MA–but not in Danny Croteau’s parish and not with an abusing priest.
The Springfield district attorney charged no one in Danny’s murder. The physical evidence was weak, some of it lost and some of it mishandled, but the D. A. nonetheless believed that it pointed directly at Father Richard Lavigne, a priest who sexually abused the boy. The lead detective on the case agreed, saying that if Lavigne had been an ordinary factory worker, he would have been charged with murder.
So why didn’t the district attorney seek an indictment?