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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Catholic Nuns and Priests murdered and tortured children: are you listening Pope Francis? A five part weekly series on catholic church crimes

Frankie and George Barilla
Gilbert Bonneau
Part I.  Murdered and tortured children

Gilbert Bonneau was killed by a catholic nun – of the Sisters of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at st. colmans home in Watervliet, New York. This “home” – is just 137 miles north of st. agnes in Sparkill, New York where I was smothered close to death by catholic Dominican nuns. Children died and suffered at the hands of these criminals -- like my brother who committed suicide and others who turned to drugs and alcohol to block what these devils disguised as God’s representatives did to them.

Gilbert can’t tell what happened but Bob Linde, the witness to Gilbert’s death survived and Gilbert’s brother remembers.  I survived and I remember what happened to me and my brother. Together we will expose the church and make sure that the tragic stories of the victims – dead and alive are told. Help us stop the perpetrators from torturing and murdering children – if you know about such abuse or any abuse of children by such criminals hiding behind religion – any religion -- let us know. We want justice. 

Murdering children in catholic-run homes, orphanages and convents is not a single incident -- it is a practice that nuns and priests do often and get away with. In just a small area of New York State I came close to death by smothering and my brother committed suicide, Gilbert Bonneau was beaten and smothered to death (witnessed by a severely beaten child); Mark Longale at the same home as Gilbert was beaten to death. Is it a coincidence that Gilbert and I, both born in 1944, were both smothered with a pillow by a nun? I believe that this is the method by which they killed many children because it didn't leave any marks on the victim. The nuns wanted to be sure they could blame the death on something other than themselves. No one questioned the mother superior who told police that the child died in his sleep or “fell” and hurt himself.

Gilbert’s brother Bill, his brother Ernie (now deceased) and Bob, who is still alive and the witness to Gilbert’s murder fought since 1995 to get justice for Gilbert. Bill says, “Living in an area controlled by the Catholic Church has been difficult for my late brother and now myself to get this done.” 


Gilbert’s Death: Bob the Witness

Bob is 72 years old.  Bob says, “I am still praying for some kind of Justice for Gilbert Bonneau. He was my friend.” 

Bob: “At age fifty-six I got a computer as a gift. I was disabled, couldn't work, and I was all alone. I learned how to use it and found that I could post messages about what I had wanted to say for fifty years – that I witnessed Gilbert’s death. The message I posted asking for information was answered two years later by Ernie Bonneau, one of Gilbert’s brothers. I couldn't believe it! His brothers had launched a very large campaign in and around Albany, New York, including exhuming Gilbert’s body to find out how he really died, before they ever got to know him as a brother. There was a sham of an investigation into Gilbert’s death but it went nowhere. I couldn’t believe that nothing was done about Gilbert’s death. There were two more deaths by “natural causes” after Gilbert. I wanted to help.”

What Bob Saw

“My memories of St. Colmans will always be fresh in my mind.  Realizing the penalty for perjury I swear what I saw from 10 feet away is true.  At age 8 Gilbert did not die of natural causes. Gilbert was beaten so bad that he had to be in the infirmary; his pain was so bad that he could not stop screaming in pain.  I was in that infirmary after one of my beatings -- the only other child there. A row of four iron beds were immediately to the right of the door. I was in the fourth bed up against the wall. I knew not to scream.  Gilbert Bonneau was in the first bed just inside the door -- he couldn't stop screaming, he was beaten so bad in the playroom that he had blood all over his face, and shirt, and arms. I watched as a nun came in, determined to put a stop to Gilbert’s screaming, one way or another. She went into a state of rage -- shouting at Gilbert to shut up.  She saw me watching her and told me to face the wall, if I knew what was good for me.

But I was determined to see what was going on, so I took a peek, and I saw what ended Gilbert’s screaming forever:  She pulled a pillow from underneath Gilbert’s head and forced it over his face -- pressing with all her strength to suffocate Gilbert into a state of unconsciousness. I quickly turned back to the wall. I was so scared; I peed in my bed (which got me another, but lighter whipping). A few days later I was at Gilbert’s funeral.”

“Remember: No little boy that is eight years old dies of "Natural Causes", as was stated by Albany Catholic Diocese. The beating was witnessed, and the MURDER was witnessed -- but they all got away with murder. If you said anything in those days, you would end up the same way. This failure at justice stinks to high heaven, which I don't think many of the nuns that I knew were going to make that trip.”

“Those nuns struck fear in all of the kids, and that's how they controlled us. Beatings were an exhibition, except when they resulted in fractures, and of course deaths. Remember that those nuns were young themselves, and given all that power, they abused it, and us. Gilbert was so afraid, and hurt, that he wet the bed, and that always resulted in beatings. When we tried to hide his wet sheets, Katherine Fredette, a worker who grew up at Colmans punched us around, and then Sister Cecelia would have a go at us. Fredette was mean -- she hung me by my ankles down a three story laundry chute, threatening to drop me – I saw her hang a soiled pair of underwear over a boy’s face, and rubbed it in, in front of everyone.” 

Bob said: “Remember that the abuse not only came from the nuns. Gilbert and I were both altar boys, and the regular priest was father Flynn who sexually abused both Gilbert and me. Sometimes it would be before mass, and sometimes after. [me and my brother Frankie were raped by a priest – another coincidence?] So much pain came from that place [Colmans] that many of us have been affected by it our entire lives. What gives the bishops and cardinals, the right to deal with a pedophile within their own ranks? This is a felony, and must be turned over to the district attorney for indictment. It is like a bunch of murderers bonded together, and when one kills someone, they don’t call the police, they deal with it internally. How can we get this obvious miscarriage of justice straightened out? It is a crime!”

“Our suffering from the beatings still bothers us, but Gilbert's suffering, KILLED HIM. He was my Friend. We slept next to each other in the main dorm. Please don't ever forget this little eight year old boy who always shared a slice of old toast with me when he got it, and I shared with him when I could get it. He went into St. Colmans as a little boy who
needed care, and he came out in a little white pine coffin with his altar boy gown on, dead.”

The quest for justice for Gilbert, for me and my brother Frankie and for all the countless numbers of children murdered, raped and tortured by clergy and nuns will not stop. We can’t bring back the dead children or take away the pain of those who lived but we can tell the world who did it and make it a safer place for children. Part II of this series of weekly posts shows the courage and determination of those who want justice done.