One policemen's desperate and moving account of how he tried for decades to bring a paedophile priest to justice - but was blocked by not only the Catholic church, but by his own Police Force.
One policeman's desperate and moving account of his decades-long struggle to bring a depraved paedophile priest to justice - only to find himself obstructed by the Catholic Church and betrayed by his own police force.
Monsignor John Day died in 1978. He was arguably Australia's most prolific paedophile. His victims are counted in the hundreds. Yet when Day died, he was feted by Bishop Ronald Mulkearns as having 'faithfully fulfilled his ministry in God's name'.
The Church had been well aware of Day's activities. For years his crimes had been overlooked and tacitly endorsed.
Unbelievably, Day had committed his terrible crimes with the knowledge and protection of senior members of the Victoria Police as well as the Clerk of the Courts, the most senior officer of the court in Mildura in the 1960s and '70s. Together the three men cast a shadow over the city that remains today.
Denis Ryan, a young police detective from Melbourne, had transferred to Mildura in the early 1960s. By the tacit rules of the day, priests were not to be charged for any crime short of murder in Victoria. The influence of the Church both in the Victoria Police and within the office of public prosecutions was too strong. But Ryan was a good cop, and quickly gained the trust of the people of Mildura. One by one the victims started coming forward-children who had been molested by Monsignor Day and their shocked and sometimes disbelieving parents.
Armed with a dozen or more signed statements, Ryan had sufficient evidence to lay charges. Then began his nightmare, as his every step towards bringing Day to justice was blocked by the Catholic Church and then the Victoria Police. Ryan struggled for decades to have his story and those of Day's countless victims heard, but shamefully, this will be the first time this tragic tale is made public.
This is Ryan's story, told in his own words. It is also the story of Day's victims, many of whom are alive today, and are here for the first time given a voice.
After all this time, at last the truth can now be told.
About the Author
Peter Hoysted is an author, columnist and television producer. He co-wrote Shallow Graves in 2000 with Sydney based crime writer, Paul Kidd and was the producer and writer of Tough Nuts: Australia's Hardest Criminals, a 16 part true crime series which screens on Foxtel's Crime Investigation channel.
Peter is an online columnist with The Australian, writing under the nom de plume of Jack the Insider.
Denis Ryan is the former Victorian Police officer who sought to bring the paedophile priest, Monsignor John Day to justice and break the nexus that extended police protection to the priest. Denis paid a heavy price for his determination and was effectively forced from service; offered a transfer that police knew he would not take.
After his retirement from the Victorian Police Force, Denis became Shire President of Mildura in 1979. He established the first Ethnic Advisory Council in Victoria in 1977 and remained its chair until 1980.
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I bought this book as a gift for a friend who is not a huge reader, but enjoys stories of this ilk. A very captivating read, and difficult to put down.
I lived in Mildura at the time of some of these events. It's interesting that the book was not published until nearly everyone in it had died so we have only one side of the story. I'm not necessarily denying the truth of the author's allegations but he seems very bitter. It would be good to hear both sides of the story. Still, an interesting and topical read.
This is book that had to be written but is very depressing and quite unbelievable at times. I felt shock, horror, disgust, sorrow and regret that justice was not done.
There will be number [there are!]of books on this subject of abuse within the church and other organisations. Reality may have caught up with some of the content, but I thought that this book was well written about a particular case. It made me quite ill and sad but I felt that I should finish reading the book. How did we let this happen? Parents must have known. Teachers must have known. We must have known. But we didn't. Good well written book.
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 29th June 2013
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.4
Edition Number: 1