Pedophile Priest's Killer Behind Bars For Slaying Gay Man

Mon. August 25, 2003 12:00 AM by

Boston, Massachusetts - The man who killed a priest in prison for pedophilia already was serving a life sentence for the killing of a gay man.

John J. Geoghan, the ex-priest at the center of the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, was found strangled and beaten to death Saturday in the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Mass.

The man accused of killing him, Joseph L. Druce, was already serving a life sentence for the 1988 murder of a gay man who had picked him up hitchhiking. Druce, who was then known as Darrin E. Smiledge punched and kicked George Rolo until the man was near death. He then tied him up with rope and threw him unconscious into the trunk of the man's own car. He then drove around in the car for four days with Rollo's dead body still in the trunk.

At the time, investigators called it the most vicious crime they had worked on.

Druce is a neo-Nazzi and member of the Arian Nation. He is portrayed as having a deep seated hatred for gays.

"Obviously, Geoghan was a prime target and a triple whammy as a pedophile, a gay man and a priest who had violated the trust placed in him. Added to that, he was a high-profile offender," Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University told the Boston Globe.

Prison officials say it appears Druce planned the killing for weeks.

"The question obviously has to be asked why should a gay individual be in the same area as a man who professed to hate gays," said Fox. "But we can't have separate protective custody units for pedophiles, former cops, white supremacists and everyone else. How many ways are we going to divide the deck?"

by Michael J. Meade Newscenter
Boston Bureau
©® 2003

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.