The lawyers of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who is sitting trial in Boston on charges of mass murder, used in court on Thursday pictures that meant to ‘humanize’ Bulger; however, one picture showed him with the now defrocked Monsignor Frederick Ryan.
The Boston Globe confirmed with Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian that the man beside Bulger in the photo is Frederick Ryan. In 2002, Garabedian represented two former high school students who successfully sued the archdiocese on claims of sexual abuse. Ryan was later defrocked in 2006.
“Given Whitey Bulger’s lack of respect for humanity, it comes as no surprise that Whitey Bulger is associated with a serial pedophile such as Fred Ryan,’’ Garabedian said to the Boston Globe.
Two former Catholic Memorial High School students, both male, had accused Ryan of molesting them in the chancery where he was serving when the two males were still in school in the 1980s. Ryan served as chaplain of the high school from 1971 until 1974, when he took up the role of vice chancellor.
While Ryan had ended formal contact with the high school upon his departure from his role of chaplain in 1974, he reportedly met his two victims through informal contacts with the high school’s athletic programs.
Ryan was ordained in 1964, and served in churches in Holliston and Hyde Park and at the chancery from 1974 to 1995, where he served under Cardinal Bernard F. Law, who was then the leader of the Boston archdiocese, reports the Boston Globe.
When Ryan was ultimately defrocked by the Vatican in 2006, he was the highest-ranking priest to be dismissed since the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002.
The picture of Bulger and Ryan was included in a collection of snapshots from different periods of Bulger’s life. The series was entered into evidence for the ongoing trial by Bulger’s defense attorneys this week in an effort to “humanize” the now notorious criminal.