Priest suspended as part of murder investigation

Priest suspended as part of murder investigation

Here’s another bizarre story. A Cape Cod priest has been placed on leave while he is investigated in relation to the murder of a 20-year-old man. It gets weirder. The slain man, Jonathan Wessner, disappeared last month. His truck was found in a parking lot miles away, with blood stains inside. At the time, police said they were looking for a convicted sex offender, Paul Nolin. In connection with the disappearance. Then, a few days later, Wessner’s body was found on a beach in Falmouth and cops said it was if it was placed there.

Now Father Bernard Kelly of Woods Hole, a village next to Falmouth, has been placed on leave pending the investigation in Wessner’s death. Nolin’s lawyer said he and Fr. Kelly were “good friends” and Nolin worked at the church as a handyman.

A few questions come to mind: What kind of friendship arises between a priest and a convicted sex offender who evidently had a taste for adult men? Notice the lawyer said it wasn’t a spiritual counseling relationship, but a friendship. And why would a convicted sex offender be allowed to work in any position in a church after the uproar over the past two years? In the Archdiocese of Boston, everyone—volunteers and paid staff alike—must undergo criminal background checks. Isn’t that true in the Fall River diocese as well?

Note this earlier story on the investigation, especially this line.

Wessner, who lived in East Falmouth with his family, was last seen leaving a party and heading to Woods Hole with Paul R. Nolin, 39, of Falmouth, in the early hours of Sept. 20. ... Nolin had invited Wessner to get coffee at the Pie In The Sky bakery on Water Street and then to go to a scenic spot overlooking the harbor in Woods Hole, according to a close friend of Nolin.

What kind of party is it that two men leave together and then head off to a “scenic spot” in the middle of the night? And who is the “close friend” of Nolin who observed this exchange? You make the obvious links.

Update: More details emerge, confirming some of my suspicions above.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli