May 16, 2005

Private investigator sends unusual letter to diocesan clergy


By Father Bill Pomerleau
Observer staff

SPRINGFIELD – A private investigator hired by a Springfield newspaper to investigate the 1972 murder of Daniel Croteau sent unusually worded letters to at least 13 priests of the Diocese of Springfield asking for information.

The letters, dated Easter Sunday, March 23, seem to imply that investigator R.C. Stevens could offer confidentiality to informant clergy, and that the former state police officer might know about unfavorable personal histories of the priests.

“Please understand that my inquiries do not necessarily reflect you, your past or your current circumstances. However, through the course of our investigation, unusual circumstances have emerged surrounding groups of individuals,” the letters said.

Stevens, a retired state police officer once attached to the Northwest District Attorney’s office in Northampton, was hired by The Republican newspaper last August to investigate the 1972 unsolved murder of Daniel Croteau.

Alluding to colleagues at his Hadley-based detective agency, Psychologically Supported Intervention & Investigation, he wrote: “As private investigators, our ability to pose questions in confidence proves advantageous should individuals feel apprehensive with regard to the possibility of public misperceptions.”

Posted by kshaw at May 16, 2005 02:16 PM