Father Lawrence Murphy was a man with charm and social skills. Small of stature, he was a lively, sociable, charismatic Irishman, who also had the rare ability to communicate fluently in sign language. Watching him conduct a service with his hands is said to have been more moving than if words had been spoken.
He was the mentor and spiritual guide to hundreds of vulnerable boys – and one thing they learnt from him is that there are some disgusting individuals in the adult world who gratify their sleazy appetites without a thought for others. Father Murphy was a predatory paedophile whose crimes were all the more revolting for the helplessness of his victims. The pupils at St John’s School, St Francis city, Wisconsin, were deaf. This was a boarding school, so there was no escape at nights from the vile priest who had power over them.
Anyway, he was the only adult many of them could communicate with. They were given no sex education, so they had no way of understanding what he was doing. Some may have thought they deserved this treatment.