DEATH OF AN ALTAR BOY
This book was a difficult read. Firstly, because I knew the person accused by many outside of the realm of the legal system, although he was never formally charged.
Secondly, because the design of the presentation wasn’t conducive to easy reading, presenting more like a complicated compilation of court documents, some clearly not accurate, but then court testimony rarely is.
Sometimes too much detail alters the interpretation making it difficult with so many names and places and dates to form a picture or movie in one’s own mind about what happened or didn’t. One thing for sure – one boy died.
Confusion reigned where it didn’t have to. For that, the writer bears some responsibility.
I can still see in my minds eye him standing beneath a large sprawling tree or was it a tall skinny tree in the gray of the sky that somehow reached down to the earth and made him a brighter stronger gray than his background. He was a child as was I.
As I glanced out the window while sitting waiting to be fitted is when I saw him, almost as if he willed it, he stood so motionless.
For new shoes inside the garage of his father Mr. Lavigne – set up like a real shoe store, organized and clean and professional. Me thinking of starting school again soon and Mom wanting new shoes for us is what we were doing.
With Dad we were. Mom stayed home with many other chores to do to get ready for that first day – like she did every year.
I felt that we shouldn’t have to buy shoes that way. But nobody complained. He did have a solid collection and the ones I chose fit. Nothing fancy, but back then school shoes weren’t. And as I said, it was all professional looking and he professional acting.
Yes my father found a way to buy shoes on-time. That was before the day of credit cards. He had three kids all needing new shoes. So there we were.
The day was overcast and the stillness with which this boy stood looking in motionless with arms straight to his sides spoke to me. I saw him more than once and each time saw someone, something different, although he didn’t move beyond the fact that he was alive, because he was obviously standing.
Later, after, a statue came to mind.
Quiet I thought, minus mind words. I hadn’t yet learned how to talk to myself in my mind. My world was filled with impressions. Feelings rather than thoughts. Well, thoughts minus the words that defined them.
Gentle and confused. He seemed confused as to what to do next, because he didn’t move. He was frozen in place. Conflicted I think now. His father probably told him to stay away while he was fitting people for shoes. I don’t know. Kids weren’t a part of everything back then, like they are today.
Many years later even before Mr. Lavigne’s son became a priest and entered our parish, I still to those days have memories of young boys my age sitting with heads lowered looking ashamed and wanting of something they didn’t have. Never looking up but somehow needing somebody to recognize them.
An overwhelming sadness that presented with no cure.
In the neighborhood and later downtown as so many of us gravitated toward to feed our worldly curiosities and thirst for freedom and for many others to be among familiar strangers to suppress it.
I recognized you and forever remembered you, even now at seventy one years old I remember you. All of you.
My father and mother would never allow for our absence from any moment in their lives. We were connected – don’t know how or why just knew we were. Even when apart, there was a string of something not visible but there.
I thought everybody was that way while simultaneously knowing they weren’t.
Other parents allow for long absences from their children absent explanations, not thinking or calculating actual consequences.
Still, I’m not here to talk about your responsibilities or consequences.
I saw one lanky kid, standing tall beneath a broad or skinny tree alone confident watching his father do something good by providing shoes for kids whose parents couldn’t afford payment now.
He was a kid himself. I felt his loneliness. I respected that he came out to declare himself visible.
Tom and Peg Davies did always pay as arranged. That’s what Mr. Lavigne could always count on. People who bought their kids shoes on-time knew the responsibility.
And my mother and father were grateful.
My father and mother dead now and me probably soon, I need at least some explanation regarding this person, who so entered and disrupted at least in thought our lives, who needed so much attention that the world simply couldn’t give by nature of the world.
You took too much Richard Lavigne. You simply took too much.
And for that you are guilty.
My name is Sharon Lee Davies-Tight daughter to Tom and Peg Davies, East Springfield, Massachusetts. Sister to Carole, Jim, Rick.
Dick Lavigne is not however responsible for the death of Daniel Croteau. The Mafiosa in the South End of Springfield Massachusetts is responsible for the death of an altar boy via the order of the Vatican.
That’s my view and I’ve been a long time on it.
I call him Danny, although I didn’t know him or his family. I knew others by their demeanors. In my mind looking back I call them all Danny.
Richard Lavigne, given your intellectual and artistic capacity you should have solved what needs to be solved. I know you could have. Scientific journals are begging for what you know. I understand that societies are not equipped to handle that, only because it’s so prevalent and discriminatory toward children.
We say, as one world, to protect the children, but when an adult sees themselves as that child they covet, while performing in every other realm of society in sophisticated ways, the world somehow faults the characteristics of the child rather than the characteristics of the adult for what happens to that child.
You and you alone irrespective of your parents and your experiences chose not to contribute to that explanation.
That’s on you.
If Richard Lavigne had murdered Daniel Croteau then Richard Lavigne would have been dead by assassins a long time ago.
That’s just my view.
Adult sexual attraction to children is common, and just like any other sexual preference or orientation it needs to be understood.
I saw an advertisement in a bar on T. V. a couple days ago that showed a large baby’s face up close with adult female sexually suggestive eyes, that was disgusting to me.
I don’t remember what they were selling, but there’s a lot of perversity in our society that goes unnoticed.
As it turned out sexual manipulation of children at St. Mary’s parish was rampant, yet it went unnoticed. Karl Huller was another of those priests at our parish who preyed upon children, yet was often praised for the work he did for young wayward boys. He later became diocesan superintendent of schools.
We often think it’s the quiet ones who become targets, but it appears in many instances to be those considered trouble makers. The street-wise ones aren’t likely to run home to tell family members about their encounters. They at some point become as manipulative as their predators.
Boundaries are at the root of all inappropriate sexual behavior.
Don Lemon an openly gay opinion news host said as much when he forced another man’s hand down his trousers and made him smell his fingers asking if they smelled better than a woman’s genitals.
The onus was put on the bartender, whom Don Lemon thought wanted it.
Gays often are excused for inappropriate sexual contact because they’re gay. Even if the bartender was also gay, the question of impropriety still remains unaddressed, again, because Don Lemon was GAY. Add to that the news people who took Don Lemon’s side claiming him to have been sexually manipulated as a child, and the court of public opinion as Lemon often referred to was in his favor.
There cannot be an excuse given, that holds any weight, by people with a conflict of interest claiming their client innocent after that client claimed he thought the guy he did it to was okay with it.
Should society excuse such behavior?
No. I don’t watch Don Lemon anymore. I see a sexual predator every time I see his face.
The same face I see when I look at Richard Lavigne in my minds eye – not the face of the child standing beneath that tree, but the face of denial of responsibility that he became.
What is it with the French that they accept and foster and even groom their sexual attraction to human children and other animals?
‘Such is life’ is not explanation enough. Not enough for the young girl looking out the window at a motionless boy who became a notorious child sexual manipulator, who entered her space, who sat at her father’s table with her mother presenting to them his dream version of himself and who took her youngest brother fishing using popcorn as bait for the sole purpose of presenting himself amicable and trustworthy, because of her mother’s stature in the church, while taking liberties not his to take from those whom he considered not worthy of anybody else’s notice.
The French preying on the French – in this instance. But of course it didn’t stop there.
One must wonder why there are not universal laws that prohibit the sexual manipulation of children.
There is a difference between being sexually attracted to children and being a predator. If we are to accept differences in sexual orientation, then we must draw the line where sexual manipulation is concerned.
Consenting adults not pressured to consent is the new rule.
The problem with therapy for sex offenders no matter the orientation is that it seeks to change the orientation rather than the offenders perception of sexual boundaries.
Do all alternative sexual orientations deserve to be satisfied?
If someone cannot control urges, sexual or otherwise, they need to be separated from society in an environment that won’t provide them opportunities to offend.
Prisons globally have become havens for rapists. Commit a crime, go to jail, get raped every night or go to jail where you can have your pick of easy prey every night.
Bottom line: The predator preys on the most vulnerable and/or the most visible.