"But the eating - it filled him with white light." - Sin City
What a difference a collar can make. The man on the left looks like Henry Lee Lucas's dumber brother; the man on the right, the sort responsible parents might entrust with their children.
Both are Father Gerald Robinson. I've written about him before. He's the Toledo priest belatedly facing trial for the 1980 ritual murder of a nun, Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. She was found, strangled and stabbed to death, in the sacristy of the chapel of Mercy Hospital, an altar cloth draped over her torso and her body posed lewdly to suggest she had been sexually assaulted. A "deliberate" pattern of stab wounds allegedly resembled a cross.
Sister Margaret Ann Pahl:
Today, Good Friday, is Gerald Robinson's 68th birthday. Margaret Ann Pahl was murdered on Holy Saturday. Her 72nd birthday would have fallen on that Easter Sunday. And Robinson's trial begins this Monday. A curious alignment of remembrance this long weekend.
Robinson was an early suspect and failed a polygraph test - he later admitted having lied when he'd said he'd heard the murderer's confession - but the case was cold until a number of women began to speak freely about having endured, as children, rape and ritual abuse in "cult-like ceremonies involving altars and men dressed in robes." Beneath the robes were Toledo clergy, and one of them, allegedly, was Gerald Robinson. ("I've had nightmares about this since I was a child," said one survivor. "I didn't think anyone would believe me.") Then, following the discovery of blood transfer patterns linking Robinson to the murder, he was arrested.
Again, it will be interesting to see how the ritual aspects of the murder and the ceremonial abuse of children get played by an embarrassed prosecution and a defense eager to capitalize on the seeming, bloody absurdity of it all. I mean, come on - just look at him. (The priest on the right, of course.)
Robinson retired from the priesthood in 2004, but his bishop has granted him permission to wear the collar in the courtroom. Good thing, too. That guy on the left didn't stand a chance.
Happy Easter, anyway.