|The Monongahela River, pointed southward in the fog.|
This information was provided by me to two Allegheny County detectives in February of 2006, namely Detectives Dennis Logan and Keith Andrews. The information was sent via email and also hand delivered to an office in Dormont, PA.
I also spoke with both detectives. Logan looked at me after I thought he had reviewed it and asked "What do you want me to do with this?" I also spoke to Detective Andrews. I told him that I meant business this time around and would not take any prisoners. Writers use metaphors at times, but Andrews didn't take this into account, all but arresting me on the spot. He bullied me and asked whom I was threatening.
Some of the information below needs to be revised. Following the alleged drugging of a certain youth, by Father John Wellinger, the youth was transported to then Presbyterian University Hospital (now known as University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.) Also, the youth told me (when I interviewed him) that the alleged assault occurred when he was 18 years-old.
One more thing: Assistant DA Laura Ditka strongly advised then-Mayor Jim Brewster to give me the police report of the attempted murder of my son. Ditka told me and Brewster that it was a public record, and as the father of the victim, I was more than entitled to it. To this day, I have never received the report. I did receive a coroner’s report that Ditka must have been able to have located in the DA’s office, but that’s it. How do I know this? ANS: The coroner’s report that was faxed to me has the DA’s fax number on it. So, as far as I’m concerned, Senator Brewster is still covering-up crimes and is still obstructing justice. This is something that, according to my opinion, he is very good at. The following is a summary of my investigation into John Wellinger, a priest who allegedly sexually assaulted an 11-year-old boy at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA.
Much of this information was supplied to Corporal Griffin in 1991, when I met with him. Griffin told me that he would have the West Mifflin Police at least question John Wellinger. All I know is that Wellinger was gone from Holy Spirit Church within about 2 weeks.
I spoke to Brian Washowich, a detective for the McKeesport Police, in 2005. He advised me to contact DA Zappalla and request a grand jury investigation. Those were Washowich’s words. It didn’t matter. No one ever returned my calls.
It should be noted that Brian Washowich also spoke with Brletic before he recommended that I call the DA’s office. These guys will eventually trip over themselves and the truth will come out. It will be interesting to hear how they piece together a story, to cover all their acts of ineptness.
Much of this information was given to Ken Evans, an investigative reporter from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette just a few months after my son was shot on December 5, 1989. Likewise, when Ken Evans failed as an investigative reporter, I passed on most of these details to Mary Pat Flaherty, a Pulitzer-winning writer with the now defunct Pittsburgh Press. Mary Pat Flaherty now works for the Washington Post.
The law firm of Behrend and Enesberger also had most of the details and information at their disposal, but failed miserably. Brian Knolls who handled my case won’t even attempt to answer the simplest question when I talked to him in 2005, preferring instead to have the firm handle my simple questions. Brian Knolls, like Ken Evans, left Pittsburgh soon after my case was settled with the diocese. Could there have been some sort of payoff to both of them?
I finally found a law enforcement/government official who took my investigation seriously. Sadly enough, this person has no jurisdiction in Western PA. But, he has been able to alert the right people who may be able to make a difference. I can not repeat this statement often enough. I was not able to find one law enforcement official at any level in Western PA. No government official except for one outside my legislative district was willing to help.
Not once did DA Zappala’s office respond to my calls for help. It wasn’t until a letter was sent to the DA’s office by Senator Jane Orie that an assistant DA, Laura Ditka, called me. I realize that Ms. Ditka may have an outstanding reputation in the DA’s office, but quite frankly, her recommendation that I call the Police Chief of McKeesport, in order to obtain the police report of my son’s shooting, was nothing more than a waste of my time.
Mayor Brewster called me back a week later and refused to give me the report. Ms. Ditka claimed that it was a public record. Well, I called her back and sent an email, so that she could advise me what to do next. No return calls.
During our conversation, Ms. Ditka whined about the tough questions I was asking her, concerning my investigation. I don’t think you will ever find someone from Zappala’s office really giving a damn about this case.
I looked into having the McKeesport Police Department investigated. This, in my eyes, would have been fruitless. The DA’s office would have served as the investigator.
I also looked into to having the DA’s office investigated by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. However, Zappala’s father is a retired judge, I believe, and wouldn't be investigated, probably.
The democrats have it all tied up in Allegheny County . That’s why we’re in the mess we are ( forgive the editorializing).
Timeline for allegations into John Wellinger
A 16-year-old boy was fed drugs and alcohol by John Wellinger sometime in 1987, two years before the alleged sexual assault of Chris Mathews, who at the time, was an 11-year-old altar boy at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin , PA. Because of the age of the boy at the time of the offense, I can not give his name, or the name of his parents. Note: He turned out to be 18 and the hospital to where he went was Presby. Today, it's known as UPMC ... Univ. of Pgh Med Ctr.
The boy’s mother worked for the church under John Wellinger. This would have been in 1987 or so. I never pressed my sources for exact dates such as the month of the alleged transgression or first names. In the case of this boy, he does have an older brother who may have been attending the University of Pittsburgh at the time. The attack may have also taken place in an University of Pittsburgh dormitory.
The young boy somehow managed to make his way to Shadyside Hospital in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh . It’s also reasonably close to the Pitt Campus. The parents were summoned by hospital employees. Again, according to my sources, the parents were advised (possibly by a hospital social worker or another hospital employee) to not press charges. The hospital employee explained that it required too much money to take on the church.
Here are some other details you should know. Again this is information that I received from my sources who I will identify shortly:
The mother of the boy who was attacked by John Wellinger was infatuated with Wellinger, possibly to the point of having an affair. This could be said about a number of women who, for whatever reason, were very close to Wellinger.
It may also be one of the reasons why the father of the boy allegedly attacked by Wellinger was never willing to step forward and press charges against Wellinger. There are other reasons as well.
I’ve previously stated that Wellinger was a text-book pedophile. One of the ways he compromised his victims was to compromise their family, as well. Wellinger not only scoped-out his victims, he scoped-out the family for additional victims.
I spoke with the mother in 1990, as part of my investigation into John Wellinger. I spoke with her over the phone and explained to her why I was interested in talking to her about Wellinger. At this time, her son was in the service ... the Navy I believe.
She said that she had to discuss the matter with her husband. I told her that I would call back in about two weeks. When I called back, the mother said that her family did not want to bring up what happened. They wanted to leave it behind them, being that it was very difficult to talk about.
According to my sources, another reason the family never pressed charges was because they were afraid that any mention of their son doing drugs could have prevented their son from entering the armed forces. This, combined with the mother’s infatuation with Wellinger, was enough to keep Wellinger from being exposed.
Sources that could verify parts or all of this story include:
Sister Gretchen Wiegl, a Sister of Mercy who works at Mercy Hospital. I was told that she was well-aware of John Wellinger’s demons. She never returned my calls. There was no need for her to do so. I don’t have a badge. Nor do I represent any so-called legitimate media.
Michelle Niedziela was the church organist, I believe, when Wellinger was the pastor at Holy Spirit. She can confirm most of the details above. I spoke with her over the phone. She became a member of St. Clare Church in Clairton , PA. She also knows Maria Campano very well.
Marina Cocarro has been involved with church affairs for many years and would know everything there is to know about Wellinger. She refused to answer any questions. She was still a member of Holy Spirit Church and active in the church affairs.
Richard Dorsch is a former Catholic priest who, I’m told by one source, was John Wellinger’s lover and male companion. The two may have met in the seminary. Dorsch was convicted in 1994 of sexually abusing a boy from a North Side Parish.
Marinell is one of John Wellinger’s sisters. I do not have a last name. She is a former nun, married, and for a time she may have served as a secretary at Holy Spirit Church . She was also aware of her brother’s demons. Wellinger also had another sister. She, too, was a nun. She retired.
Jo Ann Leshen may be familiar with Wellinger’s drug habits. I talked to this woman in 1990. She was reluctant to say much. But, she advised me that Wellinger was very shrewd and had eyes and ears everywhere.
Virginia Voytek spent a lot of time with Wellinger. She was another woman who was infatuated with him. I could not locate her, to talk to her.
Pat Ruffing would be another woman who should be able to verify much of the story. She also worked for Holy Spirit in some capacity.
Maria Campano was living with John Wellinger in a house on Waddell Avenue in Clairton, PA; about a block or two from the Clairton Education Center. Maria Campano had been a constant companion of John Wellinger, since Wellinger left St. Clare of Assisi Parish in Clairton, sometime around 1986 or 1987. The only time she was not with Wellinger would have been the time he spent at St. Luke’s Treatment Center in Maryland. This is a guess. I’m guessing it would have been around 1993 to 1995. Again, that’s only a guess.
Bill Scully was the public safety officer for Clairton at the time of my son’s shooting. He was privy to much of the investigation, and because he knew the town and the people, he was instrumental in providing information to Police Chief Brletic and other McKeesport officers, as well as Corporal Robert Griffin of the PA State Police and to the media members who were covering the story.
Bill Scully had many years as a seasoned law enforcement officer, including stints as a detective and possibly a year or two as the assistant police chief. He’s also a thoroughbred democrat. He knows the good, bad and evil side of politics. He advised me only weeks after the shooting that, if I followed John Wellinger, I might be able to have solved this case.
He advised me that Wellinger may have abused Bob Butler, Jr., the boy who shot my son. As a police officer, Bill Scully was privy to a lot of information from individuals who stepped forward and wanted to see justice prevail. My guess is that he also talked to people who advised him to keep the case quiet. His sister-in-law also knew some information about Wellinger.
Frank DeFazio was the chief of police of West Mifflin when Wellinger was a preist at Holy Spirit in West Mifflin. I talked with Frank several times. He had a neighbor who made the claim that Wellinger’s sexual activity with young boys was common knowledge. This person would never talk to me.
Then there was Marta Placek. I have a taped interview with her that includes details of her going to the diocese in 1988 with details of John Wellinger’s innaproriate behavior, including a young boy living at the rectory. She thinks that she talked to Ron Lengwin. She was rebuffed and made to sound like a woman spreading ugly gossip.
Over the years I did have a chance to speak with the father of the boy allegedly drugged by Wellinger. He never volunteered much information, but he always suggested that I talk to members of church council, to find out the truth. I was able to find an anniversary book for Holy Spirit Church. It provided me with plenty of people to call.
The only time the father of the boy said he would be willing to step forward is if there was an open forum and information about Wellinger and Holy Spirit Church was being discussed freely. This was after he saw my first article/editorial in the 51 Corridor.