Annual report shows continued toll of clergy sex abuse crisis
By Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff May 20, 2016
The Catholic church paid $153 million in the United States last year to settle lawsuits, and fielded hundreds of new accusations, as fallout continued from the clergy sex abuse scandal exposed in the early 2000s, a new report from church leaders says.
The annual report from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which covers July 2014 to June 2015, said 384 victims came forward with allegations the church deemed credible.
The figure, while somewhat higher than the 330 allegations deemed credible in the prior year, generally fit into a trend in which the number of such allegations has declined in recent years....
Between 1950 and June 2015, more than 17,600 people made clergy abuse allegations that US Catholic officials have deemed credible....
More than 6,500 clerics were accused of abuse nationwide between 1950 and June 2015, church data show.
Many of the cases deemed credible by the church were alleged to have occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s. Clergy preyed upon boys in the vast majority of reported cases. The alleged abuse most often began when victims were between 10 and 14.
Between 1950 and the end of June 2015, about $3.5 billion was spent on settlement-related costs by US church officials, according to the church....
Jeffrey Franklin’s dark writings foreshadowed his deadly attack on his family
May 25, 2016, by Brian Lawson
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Even 18 years after high school student Jeffrey Franklin murdered his parents and attacked three of his siblings with a hatchet, his writings – collected by investigators after his arrest – still have the power to shock.
Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard – then an assistant DA – prosecuted Franklin. It was a death penalty case, but it never went to trial, as Franklin entered a guilty plea on the eve of the trial. The murders took place at the family’s home on Camelot Drive in south Huntsville on March 10, 1998.
“If we didn’t have this material in front of us, I think we’d just have to speculate,” Broussard said. “But really when you absorb this material, you’re left with the feeling that there is evil present, and he is evil....
The Franklin case has drawn renewed attention because he is eligible for parole beginning in June.
Franklin, who was 17 at the time of the murders, pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder. He received five life sentences.
No hearing date has been set, according to state records, but under Alabama law a person serving a life term is parole eligible after serving 15 years in prison....
Broussard described the writings as “the contents” of Franklin’s head in the run-up to the murders that took place at a home on Camelot Drive.
“In this material, there’s meticulous planning, about how he’s going to kill his parents, even, even tactically,” Broussard said, “‘I know Dad will be home at this time and I’m going to be, I’ll wait by the front door, behind the little hutch, and I’ll hit him with a hammer. Mom will be out on a walk, when she comes back I’ll have the radio playing loudly, I’ll call Mom in the room and ask her what’s on the agenda for today, then I’ll kill her, and what about the brothers and sisters. Well, I’ll take them, I’ll strangle my little brother in this room and I’ll lure my other little brother into this room and strangle him. Then my sister I will rape her then I will finish her off.’
“And, it’s pretty chilling. All the way down to, ‘Even if they do catch me, I will plead insanity, and fool those stupid judges and prosecutors.’”
The writings are also marked by an apparent fascination with the occult.
“Devil worship-based,” Broussard said. “Very violent. Overtones of a sexual nature throughout the material. There are religious themes, sort of anti-God, kind of theme that runs through it.
“I mean, the predominance, the predominant theme here, really is, that of Satanic worship, as you read through this material. And, very violent.”...
Along with drug abuse, Franklin’s writings point to a darker side. McCutcheon described as Satanism.
“He just felt like that he was doing what Satan, who at that particular time, based on his writings, was his god,” McCutcheon said. “He was doing what Satan wanted him to do.”
But Tuten said he doesn’t believe the writings prove that.
“I did not think he was actually devil-worshipping,” Tuten said. “His family was very staunch Catholics, and I think he was doing that out of rebellion, in an effort to make his parents mad. And I don’t there was anything else to it, other than that.”
Broussard said the writings contain a Satanic and anti-God themes, along with descriptions and drawings of sexual violence....