Perry has now spent 92 days in jail – for stepping up to the plate to protect children, and then daring to say he has lost faith in the justice system. This is the institutional response to allegations of childhood sexual abuse.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HELEN! From Perry
A blog on recent testimony and background on Richard Hickerson.
First, note that the Cornwall Standard Freeholder headlines and references Hickerson a “suspected” abuser. Hickerson was not a “suspected” abuser. He was an abuser. He admitted having sex with young boys. He admitted sexual activity with C-11. The boy was in Grade 8 when the abuse began.
Hickerson also admitted sexually abusing an altar boy in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.
That statement obtained by Project Truth officers was entered into evidence during the testimony of C-11. The bottom line is that Hickerson was a known sexual predator. There are I believe enough “alleged” molesters – dead and/or alive – in Cornwall as is without adding to the list. It is extremely difficult for the victims to see the reality of their abuse put into question in this fashion. Hickerson was a molester/an abuser: period.
Richard Hickerson, ex-priest, was molesting young boys, both during his years as a priest and after.
According to another statement entered into evidence and referenced by commission counsel Pierre Dumais:
Mr. Hickerson does confirm that he left the priesthood; and he does confirm as well that there had been a relationship with an altar boy; and he does confirm that it appears to have been in Prince Albert and that the bishop at that location, Bishop Morin, would have been aware of that.
A relationship? My how I hate to hear that word when it applies to sexual abuse. But, note, Bishop Morin knew! What did Morin do? What happened in PA and to Hickerson after the Bishop found out?
Anyway, Richard Hickerson was a former Marianist priest. As a priest he taught at Provencher School, a boy’s school in St. Boniface, Manitoba (beside Winnipeg) during 1961-1962 and 1962- 1963 school years. The boys called him “homo-priest.” I have a source who tells me that Hickerson also taught at the school in the mid 50s before he pursued the priesthood.
The Mother House of the Marianists responsible for St. Boniface was/is located in Kirkwood, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.
The principal at Provencher was a Brother Laurin. One source tells me that some time after Hickerson’s departure from the school Lauren told a former student that Hickerson had left the Marianists and had become diocesan priest in Prince Albert Saskatchewan. At the time Bro. Laurin presumably said of Hickerson: “That guy is crazy.”
I don’t believe that Hickerson left the Marianists, at least not initially . He is identified in Church directories with sm after his name, indicating he was a Marianist priest. He did however move on to the Diocese of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He was definitely there in the mid 60s. While there he served as a priest at the city’s Sacred Heart Cathedral. I believe he was also teaching at Notre Dame College. He had an apartment in the Bishop’s palace adjacent to the cathedral.
Father Hickerson was definitely molesting boys in Prince Albert. We know he was. He admitted to one. His admissions aside I have spoken at length and on several occasions to one of his victims. I was told the boys referred to Hickerson as “homo-Hick.” I was also told Hickerson molested about 10% of 146 or so boys in the altar guild.
Word did get out at some point way back in the late 60s that Hickerson had molested a very young boy. Hickerson was shipped away. The understanding of local Catholics was he had been shipped back to the seminary. According to the directories however he was back at Provencher school in St. Boniface.
The bishop of Prince Albert from 1959 to 1983 was Laurent Morin, a close friend of Bishop Alexander Carter, the latter one of the influential Gang of Five who personally mentored Bishop Adolphe Proulx. (Proulx was bishop of the Diocese of Alexandria when Hickerson, by then a known molester, arrived in Cornwall, presumably as a layman.) George Flahiff, another member of the Gang of Five, was Bishop of the Winnipeg, Manitoba diocese from 1960 to 1982.
There seem to be indicators also that Hickerson spent perhaps a year in Ottawa before he showed up permanently in Cornwall. At that time Joseph Aurele Plourde, Gang of Five member and former Auxiliary Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall , would have been Archbishop of Ottawa. Whether Hickerson was out of the priesthood by then, or on his way out, or perhaps studying something or other at Saint Paul’s, a pontifically chartered univesrity, is unknown.
Did any of the these well situated prelates look after Hickerson’s comings and goings? Lorin apparently knew that Hickerson was preying on young lads. Did he share that information with any or all his confreres? Did any open secular doors for the clerical paedophile in Cornwall – as a layman?
e may never know. That’s not in keeping with the mandate of the Cornwall Public Inquiry. It would however be very much in keeping with an inquiry mandated to determine the veracity of persistent allegations of a paedophile ring and cover-up.
A Manitoba contact advised that he recalls watching Hickerson being interviewed on CBC TV some 15-20 years ago. At the time Hickerson was an advisor to people who had declared bankruptcy, or who were burdened with heavy debt loads. It would be interesting to try to track that interview down 🙂
I have no reports that indicate Hickerson was molesting or suspected to be molesting while he was in Manitoba, however I do wonder at the remark made by the former principal of Provencher along with the assumption Hickerson had left the Marianists to become a diocesan priest.
I have also just come across a document which seems to indicate Hickerson was born and raised in Ontario. Where in Ontario I do not know.
With that as background, on to the testimony…..
Testimony of Detective Sergeant Jeff Carroll, 16 May 2008.
(1) Hickerson committed suicide on or about 19 June 1998.
Carroll’s notes state:
I arrive on-scene and Constable Murphy is present and there’s two gentlemen outside, who appear to have arrived at that location on bicycles; one person by the name of James Lewis and the other person by the name of Joseph Hall.
(2) James Lewis and Joseph Hall were friends of Hickerson. They hadn’t heard from him in a few days, he had apparently been talking about suicide and he wasn’t answering the door.
(Lewis, a victim of Hickerson, was later convicted on a charge of possession of kiddie porn. Later he was convicted for sexually abusing Jamie Marsolais. Jamie was also molested by Hickerson.)
(3) According to Carroll there was a large video camera set up by Hickerson’s bed:
MR. CARROLL: In the bedroom set up right in the area of the bed was a rather large video camera on a tripod. I did note at the same time that the camera was heavily coated in dust, there wasn’t a videotape in it and it didn’t appear that it had been used or handled recently.
(4) Lewis had apparently received instructions from Hickerson on what he should do in the event of Hickerson’s death:
MR. CARROLL: There was instructions for Mr. Lewis on things to do with respect to bank accounts of Mr. Hickerson, with respect to some of Mr. Hickerson’s belongings and specifically some notation there that had to do with pictures, videotapes and computer disks; do what you want with them.
Carroll’s notes read:
“Tells me that during the last week, victim had given him a letter of instructions on handling the affairs after his death.”
Lewis apparently had a note on his person the day of Hickerson’s death entitled: ““Things to do and talk about”
(5) Officer Luc Brunet interviewed James Lewis. Lewis was asked if Hickerson ever mentioned taking his own life. According to evidence read into the record the reply was:
“There was a time he had — Dale Campbell gave him a call and said he wanted money from him. He came to the police and made a complaint.”
Carroll recalls no follow up on his own part on the reference to Dale Campbell.
(6) Lewis also said that he had overheard or somehow attained information that Hickerson had missed on the first shot:
“James states that he heard that victim missed the first time when he shot himself and this was because his hand was shaking from his diabetes. We asked him where he got this info and he told me he must have heard from one of the officers talking about this yesterday.”
Caroll found that a “peculiar” comment – “kind of ridiculous.”
I get the impression from Carroll’s testimony to date there was no indication of two shots fired.
(7) This seemed to be Hickerson’s second run-in with the law. We know that he admitted molesting in Prince Albert. Was he charged? Or was he perhaps caught and charged in Winnipeg Manitoba? If yes to either, what was the outcome?
MR. CARROLL: I believe James had mentioned to me that Richard had been through this before and that over the course of the last week or at least since the officers from Project Truth had spoken to him, he had become increasingly depressed and had indicated that there is no way that he could be dragged through the courts again.
(8) A lot of material was removed from Hickerson’s home the following day.
“A large quantity of pornographic material was present within the residence, in the form of magazines and videos. These, for the most part, were homosexually orientated; a substantial music and computer collection was present, the computer equipment included several diskettes, the contents of which were not apparent.”
(9) Several days later a search warrant at the home of James Lewis discovered a collection of Polaroid pictures “many of which had been cut up with scissors and were left in pieces.” The polaroids were found in the garbage can under the sink. Lewis admitted it was he who done the cutting.
There were also man-boy “love” type books seized:
Carroll: There, as well, were some hardcover books that were rather academic in appearance that discussed issues of when a man of God falls in love with a boy or one was entitled “Pederasty”, the subject of man-boy love and topics like that.
MR. DUMAIS: All right. And another one of those books was titled “Children Who Seduce Men”. Is that correct? (agrees)
(Hickerson personally wrote a book about sex and spirituality. I have the title jotted down somewhere. Can’t find it yet. When I do I’ll make a note of it. I know it was available online about a year or so ago.)
Children who Seduce Men! What kind of warped perverted mind thinks in those terms?! To think that this was once a priest!!!
Hearings have started. I will carry on with info entered into evidence today. Also have just happened on some intriguing Hickerson information.
Just had a short chat with Perry. Not a good day. He has been unable to reach Helen. No one is answering the phone at Nan’s. He requested a Temporary Absence Permit to see his Nan, the woman who helped to raise him. Permission denied.
The strange thing about the denial of the TAP is that the person who brought the news ended up saying “If you want to pay for it yourself it will be really expensive.” So, what exactly is the issue? Is it that the guards would be put at risk? Or the community would be put at risk? Or is it finances? If the latter, the family has already told officials they would foot the bill if that was what was required to get Perry out to see Nan to say goodye.
They just plain will not let him go.
On top of that, at 1:50 pm this afternoon Perry had not yet received any one of his three morning papers.
A rough day. His 19th anniversary.
Enough for now