March 17, 2006

Closed files kept family out

The Republican

Friday, March 17, 2006

SPRINGFIELD - For the Croteau family, it's still not over.

But more than three decades after the murder of their young son Daniel, at least they are able to see and hold the voluminous record of the subsequent investigation that remains open to this day.

And to Carl Croteau, the father of the boy who was just 13 when he was beaten to death in 1972, that's something to be thankful for.

"There's never closure, as long as they're still investigating," said Croteau, a Springfield resident who is now 75 and a retired Hampden County Housing Court mediator.

"But to see what they had been compiling all those years, the things they told us were too important to the investigation to make public, that's something. We waited so long," he added.

The Croteau family had to wait for a 2004 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that followed a challenge brought by The Republican and a Greenfield lawyer who represents clergy abuse plaintiffs. The case for disclosure, argued by a lawyer for The Republican before the high court, was opposed by both a lawyer for the prime suspect in the murder - a defrocked Roman Catholic priest - and Hampden County District Attorney William M. Bennett.

Posted by kshaw at March 17, 2006 07:21 AM