Monday, August 29, 2016

The Father Gordon J. MacRae Story: Injustice in New Hampshire

By Ryan A. MacDonald

L to R:  The Plea Deal of Monsignor Edward Arsenault; The Wrongful Conviction of Father Gordon MacRae; The Arrest of Judge Arthur Brennan

Here in one place can be found the series of links on the case against Father Gordon MacRae investigated, researched, and published by Ryan A. MacDonald.  Please share and post links to this URL.

I recently received an email from a well known American journalist asking if my investigation
and articles on the case of falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned priest, Father Gordon J. MacRae, can be found in one place.  I had never thought of this, but it's an excellent idea.  single post with a list of links to my publications at multiple sites on this case would be a helpful tool for anyone with an interest in this story that remains a gaping wound on the integrity of American justice.

In 2005, I came upon the story of Father Gordon MacRae in a series of articles by Pulitzer-Prize winning writer, Dorothy Rabinowitz in The Wall Street Journal. This was my first inkling that the case against this Catholic priest, that I and most others thought to be fairly and justly adjudicated, was in fact deeply flawed.

As I looked more closely, and probed more deeply, it became apparent to me that this priest is a victim of a zealous sex crimes detective, a set of political agendas, and the greed of men pretending to be victims to ride a wave of media coverage of Catholic scandal to commit fraud.

There are two common denominators in the case against Fr. Gordon MacRae:  Expectations of money, and Keene, NH sex crimes detective James F. McLaughlin.  The articles below tell a shocking and unexplained account of fraudulent investigation, witness tampering, and claims of attempted bribery and falsification of evidence. 

The following statement by Steven Wollschlager was presented to FBI Special Agent (Ret.) James Abbott who spent three years investigating this case. This disturbing statement is from an individual who accused Father MacRae and has now recanted. This man has nothing to gain except his own integrity by making this statement, but no New Hampshire judge has allowed him to testify.  Here is his statement: 

"My name is Steven Wollschlager. . . In 1994 I was contacted by Keene Police Detective McLaughlin. . . I was aware at the time of Father MacRae's trial knowing full well that it was bogus and having heard of the lawsuits and money involved and also the reputations of those who were making accusations. I agreed to meet with the above detective after being told I would be reimbursed for my time. 
During this the meeting, I just listened to the scenarios and statements being spoken to me by the police. The lawsuits and money were of greatest discussion and I was left feeling that if I would go along with the story I could reap the rewards as well . . . .  McLaughlin had me believing that all I had to do was make up a story about this priest and I could receive a large sum of money as others already had.  McLaughlin reminded me of the young child and girlfriend I had and referenced that life could be easier for us with a large amount of money.
I left that meeting after being given $50, easy money like what would come from lawsuits against MacRae.  I was at the time using drugs and would have been influenced to say anything they wanted for money."

When told of this statement, Detective McLaughlin described it to The Wall Street Journal as "a fabrication." However, it is a testament to the role of money in this story that a full year before Father MacRae was charged with the claims of accuser Thomas Grover, hard evidence places this detective investigating this case from the Concord law office of Thomas Grover's contingency lawyer, Attorney Robert Upton. Probing phone calls in an attempt to get this priest to say something incriminating, instead cast doubt on the role of this detective. Was he investigating a crime or choreographing a lawsuit?

Former FBI Special Agent Supervisor James Abbott spent three years independently investigating this case culminating in this statement from his Affidavit:       "In my three-year investigation of this case, I have found no evidence to support that Father MacRae committed these crimes, or any crimes. Indeed, the only 'evidence' is the statements of the accusers themselves which have been convincingly discredited by their own family members and others."

The links below are to articles independently investigated and researched. These articles are published at These Stone Walls or A Ram in the Thicket. It is my hope that readers will bookmark this URL and forward it or post it to refute the distortions of those with an agenda to mask the true facts of this story.


  Bombshells and Black Ops in the Fr Gordon MacRae Case 

The Story Buried under the Father Gordon MacRae Case 

A Touch of Deja Vu 

How Psychotherapists Helped Send an Innocent Priest to Prison 

Whack-A-Mole Justice Holds Court


The Trial of Father MacRae:  A Conspiracy of Fraud 

The Prison of Father MacRae:  A Conspiracy of Silence 

The Post-Trial Extortion of Father Gordon MacRae 

Judge Arthur Brennan Sentenced Father Gordon MacRae to Die in Prison 


Judge Joseph Laplante Denies Priest's Appeal 

For One Priest, A Fate Worse Than Dying in Prison 

A Grievous Error in Judge Joseph Laplante's Court 

The Testimony Judge Joseph Laplante has not Heard

"Those aware of the facts of this case find it hard to imagine that any court today would ignore the perversion of justice it represents." Dorothy Rabinowitz, The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2013

Bishop John McCormack, Bishop Francis Christian, and Msgr Edward Arsenault release the names of "credibly" accused priests to the news media.


Bishop Takes Pawn:  Plundering the Rights of a Prisoner Priest 

To Azazel:  The Gospel of Mercy in the Diocese of Manchester

Justice and a  Priest's Right of Defense in the Diocese of Manchester

Prelude to the Year of Mercy:  Confronting the Truth by Father George David Byers, Missionary of Mercy

#MeToo&#HimToo: Jonathan Grover & Father Gordon MacRae

Please share this post. Please send it to others. Please post links in your social media and in comments on the topic of Catholic priests falsely accused.



    Mr MacDonald: please see my post of your article on Fr. MacRae. Sincerely, Martin Barillas. Editor, Spero News

    1. Dear Mr. MacDonald -
      I have been corresponding with Fr. Mac Rae for some time now. recently, I suggested to him a letter writing campaign. He suggested instead checking your blog and sharing it with newspapers, etc. I will do that. Is there anything else that you can suggest?

      Pete Haas

    2. Thank you Mr. Haas and other commenters on this site. When I wrote this post with all its pertinent links it was just for the purpose that you describe. Sharing a link on social media and with other media can only help spread the word about this case. God bless you for your efforts. All the best, Ryan A. MacDonald

  2. Dear Mr. McDonald,
    Thank you for this amazing piece of work on behalf of Fr. Gordon MacRae. I, like many others have been reading his blog, and corresponding with him. We are all outraged at this innocent priest behind bars for over 20 years now. Please tell us what is the best way we can help him. There are several couples in my area of Treasure Island, FL. who want to "make some noise" Should we contact the Bishop of the diocese of Manchester. You seem to know the case so well... what is our best recourse to help Fr. Gordon? I am a Catholic singer/songwriter. He is in one of my music videos to highlight persecuted Christians. He actually heard the song by God's providence in the yard of the prison, on a small radio he had sent away for. God allowed our paths to cross for a reason, and I will not remain silent until his name is cleared and he is free. God bless you for your work and your great article. Mrs. Annie Karto

    1. Very nice comment, Annie. I read about you in Father's post this week, and I had seen your video earlier. You are very gifted. I do not recommend contacting Bishop Libasci. He has shown no interest whatsoever in allowing Father MacRae to say even a single word in his own defense. In his three years as bishop he has visited Father MacRae only once, and made no gesture whatsoever to help him. He didn't even ask if he needed anything. For now, the best help would be to copy and transmit this post to everyone you can. The links here refute virtually every argument that the anti-clerical faction in our Church has tried to use against this priest to keep him silent and to keep him where he is. Sadly, the Bishop of Manchester, by his sheer disinterest, seems to be a part of that effort. Let us hope and pray and also advocate. God bless you, Annie.

  3. Thank you Ryan. My husband and I are from Indpls. It would be so nice to meet you if at all possible. My email is: I am praying about doing a concert in N.H. to raise awareness. I know some very talented musicians in that area that could come together. Maybe next spring... allowing God to guide me and inspire me. I will in the meantime contact radio stations and send your article to everyone I can. Blessings..annie karto

    1. Annie,

      Fr. Gordon is a very good friend of mine whom I first met three years ago when I was a volunteer doing The Hearts Afire retreat program in the Concord State Prison for Men. I would very much like to hear the song you mentioned and to let me know if you do a concert in NH as I would help you promote it as best as I can. My email address is

  4. I wrote Pope Francis in 2014 to protest the treatment of US priests by US bishops in their un canonical and un-natural civil law destruction of their basic rights


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