MO--Just arrested murderer/priest spent time in St. Louis; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790[email protected])

An ex-priest who was just charged with raping and murdering a beauty queen spent time in St. Louis, a daily newspaper disclosed yesterday.  We fear he may have hurt a woman in here too.

We urge Missouri Catholic officials, especially St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson, to

-- disclose where in St. Louis Feit was, and

-- aggressively beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward to law enforcement so the full truth about this heinous crime can be uncovered.

Last week, John Feit was arrested in Phoenix for killing a 25 year old parishioner in McAllen, Texas in 1960. Two years later, he pled “no contest” to assaulting another young woman.

After Irene Garza’s murder, Catholic officials quietly moved Feit several places including St. Louis and Ava Missouri, according to The McAllen Monitor. In Ava, he reportedly admitted, in detail, several times, how he killed Garza.

It takes just seconds to assault a vulnerable person. And even if he did NOT hurt a single Iowa woman, the prudent, caring move now would be for Missouri Catholic bishops to use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to urge anyone with information or suspicions about Feit to call secular authorities.

So there may be a current or former church official in Missouri who has information or suspicions about Feit and who could help prosecutors convict Feit.

We believe dozens of predator priests from out-of-state have been quietly allowed to work in St. Louis parishes (including Fr. Nicholas Voelker, Fr. Darrel Mitchell and Fr. Fred Lenczycki). And we know that dozens – or even hundreds – of predator priests have been sent here to church-run “treatment centers, including some of the nation’s most notorious and prolific ones (Fr. James Porter, for instance).

We don’t know whether Feit was in a local church or one of these centers. And it doesn’t matter. Even if he were supposedly “monitored,” as church officials claim, he still could have assaulted someone or admitted to someone that he killed Garza.

Regardless of what Missouri church officials do or don’t do, we beg Missouri Catholic parishioners to beat the bushes, spread the word about Feit and beg anyone who can help shed light on these serious allegations to speak up and call police.

(Feit was also sent to Dubuque IA, San Antonio TX and later Jemez Springs NM, where he worked at a “treatment center” that housed dozens of pedophile priests, including some of the most notorious and prolific ones in US history.)

Timeline of the case:

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])


Irene Garza's family feels weight has been lifted as former priest faces murder charge

Posted: Saturday, February 13, 2016 7:19 pm


EDINBURG — Noemi Sigler stood over her cousin Irene Garza’s grave Friday and felt the weight of a decades-long fight to bring the young woman’s killer to justice had finally been lifted from her shoulders, she later said.

“You can’t even imagine. I had so many doors closed in my face, and I would often get so discouraged,” said Sigler, who for the past 32 years tirelessly pressed law enforcement to get the man who killed her cousin.

“Many times I would try to stop and I’d try to leave it alone, but Irene would always bring me back,” she added.

But in a stunning development last week . . . 

Read full article here

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