|Witness Interview: Father Patrick Monahan, Priest at St. John's Catholic Church|
Saturday, December 9, 2000 - 3:00 p.m.
Pursuant to Incident Report # 004516-08L-2000, this witness was identified as the director of the church donation program. Father Monahan was interview by Det. Sam Murphy in the rectory at St. John's Catholic Church.
SM: For the record, could you please state your name and address.
FPM: Father Patrick David Monahan. I live here in the St. John's rectory at 403 University Avenue, Oxford.
SM: Father Monahan, I appreciate your cooperation in this matter and allowing me to come at such a late hour. I won't take up much of your time.
FPM: It's nothing, my child. How may I help you?
SM: As we discussed on the phone, we received a report of a coat donated to United Way that appeared to have blood on it. According to their records, that donation came from St. John's parcel. We've brought the coat for you to examine.
FPM: Is that it there? In the bag?
SM: Yes, I'm afraid we have to keep it in the bag to protect it, in case there is forensic evidence. You understand?
FPM: Well, sure I understand. What is it you think I can tell you about this coat?
SM: Do you recognize it?
FPM: Do I recognize it? You mean, do I know who it might have belonged to?
SM: Yes, Father, that's what I mean.
FPM: It's very hard to say. There is nothing extraordinary about it. A simple cloth coat, it could have belonged to anyone.
SM: Of course, but is there anyone in your parish who wore such a coat, that comes to mind?
FPM: Many of our parishioners wear ordinary clothing. I suppose I could say I've seen coats of this type on several of our worshipers.
SM: Anyone specifically come to mind?
FPM: Well... Mary O'Keefe has a coat like this. I believe Mrs. Rose may also have one that is similar. Possibly a few others.
SM: What about Peggy LeClaire? Does she wear a coat like this?
FPM: Yes, I think so. Though I have to admit I never looked closely at any of their coats. But I believe they all wear cloth coats like this.
SM: Okay, fair enough. How does the donation process work? Do you keep any records?
FPM: I'm afraid it's not nearly that organized. We have a box in the foyer of the catechism and people just put things in that they want to donate.
SM: Does anyone check the box?
FPM: I do, when it seems to be getting too full, I call the folks over at United Way to pick it up. Then we place the empty box back in the foyer for further donations.
SM: I see. Do you check the pockets or anything before you hand them over to United Way? In case somebody has left something in them?
FPM: Sometimes. If it looks as if there is something in it, then we check. If it's something valuable, we post a note on the bulletin board to check the lost and found. If it's loose change, it goes in the poor box. If it's old receipts or something of that nature, we throw it away.
SM: To your knowledge, nothing like that was found in this bunch of clothing?
FPM: Not that I'm aware of. Let me check the lost and found. It's right here in the closet. Oh, here's something. Is that a brown coat?
SM: Yes, it's a brown coat.
FPM: Apparently, this glove and set of keys were found in the pocket of a brown coat. But as you can see, no one has claimed it. It's kind of surprising. You'd think someone would need their keys, but... maybe they're an old set. Would you like to take these things with you?
SM: Yes, Father, I would. No need to take them out of the bag. I'll just take them as is.
FPM: Of course, here you go.
SM: Thank you, Father Pat.
FPM: Do you think it will help you locate the owner of the coat?
SM: I think it might.
FPM: Anything else I can help you with?
SM: No, I think that does it. Thanks again, for your time.
FPM: You're very welcome, Samantha. Hope to see you at Mass sometime soon. We have one in just a little while, after I hear confessions.
SM: Now Father, you know I'm not Catholic. But if I was, you know I'd be here.
FPM: Well, it never hurts to ask. Bless you, child. Go with God.
SM: Thank you, Father. You too!
End interview 3:37 p.m.