Joseph Druce: pulling a fast one

The video shows correctional officers struggling with a cell door, while convicted murderer Joseph Druce is inside strangling the convicted pedophile priest, John Goeghan, in August, 2003. It's been showing on youtube since June and now has over 90,000 hits.

You never see what happened inside, although they extract an individual, presumably Druce, throwing him fact down, to the ground. And then you see a nurse and others, presumably try to attend to John Goeghan. You only see the activity in the doorway from the surveillance camera. It was a lost cause: he was pronounced dead later at Leominster hospital. Druce was convicted of Goeghan's murder in January; it seemed to be an open and shut case. He admitted it, he described it in excruciating detail, and some people are applauding it. So for some, in an alternative universe, Joseph Druce is a HERO: for killing the pedophile priest. If you go through the comments on the youtube video, you'll see what I mean.

Goeghan, by this time, was a frail 68-year old man. He had already received his sentence, but the Archdiosese is still sorting through all allegations against Goeghan of of sexual abuse against children, having settled already with 86 victims for $10 million. There are assurances that some will still move ahead, as there were at least 150 who came forward.

The fact that Walpole inmates don’t have access to the web is another troubling part about the Druce story and the video showing up on youtube. (Click here for the 11 minute video) He must be getting help from people on the outside. But this is a clip from a surveillance video from inside Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, (SBCC) where the murder occurred, so Druce has had inside help, too. Druce was moved to Walpole after the murder at SBCC.

Jim Pingeon, the ‘director of litigation’, for the prisoners’ rights group, Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services’ claimed that another inmate tried to warn the guards about Druce’s attack on Geoghan.1

Youtube is in cahoots with the legal eagles who appear to be orchestrating this, because despite authorities saying it was a danger to the correctional officers to have that information up there, and despite their requests it be taken down, Youtube has let it stay up for over a month. Authorities complain because it's a surveillance video from inside the prison, and they're trying to find out who leaked it.

Druce sent a handwritten signed note to the Boston Herald, with the link to the youtube vid.

Credit: Boston Herald

Inmates at Walpole prison, where he is today, do not have access to the internet,2 but that hasn't stopped him from referring to the link, or more videos from appearing on the internet. On July 8th, according to the Tech Chick, a second video went up, called “Move to CO Office“.

At 11:58:35 both Monsen and inmat James Namey go into the CO Office and again tell CO Lonergan I was in cell #2 beating up John Geognan.

At 11:58:51 CO Lonergan at podium locking both (inmate runners) Munson and Namey in their cells.

You can’t see it, it is marked as “private” – which means you need an invitation from the person uploading the videos to view it. But it’s might interesting! The public video on youtube of the correctional officers extracting Druce from Goeghan’s cell begins at approximately 12:00, less than 2 minutes later.

The public video has some nuts commenting on it, too. One is “breezing butterfly”:

Officer Brouillette violated rules & regulations of DOC BlueBook & hindered the Investigation & violated CORI regulations. Officer Lonergan lied and that can be seen here on the video. As you can see I have read the Executive Statements. Just Oh, My, God! Conte Hid all the shit!! What a freaking mess.

And so they’re using the legal angle.

I am certain the websites, the video and documents that have been put up recently all have something to do with the civil suit Druce filed in December of 2006 in a 12-page handwritten screed. The suit charges that there was a conspiracy during his January case to mislead him about his defense strategy.3

He says the Worcester Diocese controlled the prison deacon’s movements and could have prevented Goeghan’s death at the hands of Massachussetts’ Department of Corrections.

HUH? What’s he smoking?

Those who he feels conspired to make him believe he’d be a free man (is that ludicrous or what?) are these named defendants:

Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte;

Boston Archbishop Sean O’Malley;

the diocese of Worcester;

the Massachusetts Department of Correction;

Deacon David Isabelle, a chaplain at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center where the murder occurred;

and John H. LaChance, Druce’s defense lawyer.

In the 12-page suit, Mr. Druce — claimed he’s a political prisoner and that he’s being physically abused at Walpole State Prison where he is now incarcerated. Druce and his minions are using pictures like this to complain about conditions and ‘torture’ at Walpole.4

He wants a tremendous amount of money for pain and suffering, and he spells out a number of other terms. He claims he was led to believe that an insanity defense would lead to his acquittal. I wasn’t aware that anyone is entitled to sue their defense attorneys if they lose your case. huh.

I also wasn’t aware that his first conviction for murder has disappeared; I thought that’s the whole reason that he and Goeghan crossed paths in the first place: Druce was in prison for having murderered a gay busdriver in 1988, and had served 15 years of that sentence by 2003. Maybe he was going to be parolled, and his murdering Goeghan took away his opportunity freedom or parole? I doubt it. I have seen nothing about the possibility of parole for this freak.

The suit makes a number of other claims, including the Department of Correction’s reports about Goeghan’s murder weren’t accurately portrayed in the courtroom. And breezy butterfly in his comments on the video seems to be working for Druce, and feels very sorry for him, and one point even calling him “Darrin”. (Druce's birth name is Darrin Smiledge.)

“Darrin” doesn’t look like he’s making any friends in there, -I gather he was at one time working as a prison ‘informant’. Maybe he’s on the receiving end of beatings from fellow inmates, and is blaming it on correctional officers, who knows.

The guy is a nut. But what’s frightening is he has sympathizers on the outside who are helping him. Inmates at Walpole do not have access to the internet,5 but Druce has a website up, anyway: at

At this page is the Executive Summary.7

Executive Statement Opening

Executive Statement Part 1

Executive Statement Part 2

Executive Statement Part 3

Executive Statement Part 4

Executive Statement Part 5

Executive Statement Part 6

Executive Statement Part 7

Executive Statement Part 8

Joseph’s Rebuttal Part 1

Joseph’s Rebuttal Part 2

Part of what’s amazing in that summary is all the press reports. Brouillette, though, is an executive of the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union, which promotes bigger government. What he was doing by talking to the press is advocating better staffing for prisons, highlighting staffing shortages, which undoubtedly means a beg for bigger budgets for staffing. But that’s historically what unions are for: more, more, more! And in some cases, more for less work!

Brouillette already faced consequences for talking to the press when he was suspended for talking to the media in 2003, when the ACLU took up his case.8

Druce writes his notes in the margins of the Executive Summary about how he was ‘used’, and how they 'broke protocol'. On the one hand, you have his talking about how Goeghan was a sexual predator of children, and how murdering Goeghan saved the Catholic church millions of dollars. I’m not sure how he can prove that, from what I gather, the cases of abuse against Goeghan will still move ahead in spite of his unfortunate demise. And Druce's depicting himself as a savior of children by murdering Goeghan, is absurd. Goeghan would probably have never gotten out. It’s not up to Druce to serve as judge, jury, and EXECUTIONER, after a sentence has already been meted out on a fellow inmate. It’s not Druce’s call to take the law into his own hands; particularly when he’s in a secure area of a prison where all the prisoners are kept purposely from mingling with the general population, and are under close watch.

On the other hand, you have his accusations that authorities knew ahead of time that he was planning to kill Goeghan and did nothing to stop it: “officers allowing J.G. to die through their neglect”. His emphasis on their violating protocol by having only one guard on duty when there should have been two, gives credence to Brouilette’s statement that they have nothing to do but watch what you do and how you do it. His complaints about Brouillette and Lonergan lying are another point of contention. What does any of that have to do with the bottom line of his guilt? Or the verdict of ‘guilty’?

These are procedural errors, it doesn’t effect the juste of the case. Unless he can get the previous verdict thrown out on a technicality on appeal or maybe in a different case, which the filing of December, 2006 shows he’s probably trying to do. It just stinks of legaleze.

He wants to waste more taxpayer money with another jury trial, wants restraining orders against the defendants and $50 million, among other things.

It’s all interesting, but his lines are conflicting. If he killed Goeghan, and there seems to be little dispute that he did, then it’s an open-and-shut case in spite of his obfuscating the facts with this nitpicking over two inmates who went into Lonergan’s office to complain that Druce was beating up Goeghan, but Lonergan said in his report he heard ‘thumping’ noises and went to investigate. So slap Lonergan! Maybe Lonergan was protecting those inmates. It sounds to me as though they were informants. And if they were, why is Druce so willing to expose his fellow inmates when he was an informant himself? Who did he fall out of favor with? The inmates or the guards? Is that the reason he’s getting beat up?

Everyone has an interest in telling their own version; peppered with embellishments that bear little resemblance to the truth. And of course, the official line that comes out of government or prison may not reflect precisely what happened.

None of the details he’s quibbling over have any bearing over the guilty verdict.

We’re expected to believe a twice convicted murderer over the law enforcement officers, but the substance of the case is no different, even when taking them into account-except we have the names of individuals whose privacy should probably be protected in order for them to continue doing their jobs. No new compelling testimony or information has come to light that would have anyone draw the conclusion that Druce is innocent.

Plus, what good does it do to have the second murder conviction overturned? He’s still serving a life sentence for the FIRST!

Since convicts don’t care about their own reputations, character assassination is a weapon they can use toward those who do. If they achieve that, I guess it’s considered some kind of victory, but the situation has not changed. Druce will still remain behind bars no matter what legal gymnastics he puts authorities through.

And that doesn’t take into account the millions of dollars spent on investigations and two trials; the civil suit turns it into a third jury trial, should they allow it to happen. It’s no wonder people are confiscating his paperwork, this guy is a pain in the ass, and he’s accomplishing nothing with his circular arguments.

CBS/AP (August 26, 2003) Guards Told Of Geoghan Slay Plot? CBS News.

Belluck, P. (July 6, 2007). Internet Posting Shows Scene Outside Cell Where Ex-Priest Was Killed. The New York Times.

various articles including McPhee, Boston Herald Bureau Police Chief (July 6, 2007): Security video from Geoghan slay hits Web located at

Belluck, P. (July 6, 2007). Internet Posting Shows Scene Outside Cell Where Ex-Priest Was Killed. The New York Times.

AP (December 6, 2003). ACLU Defends Massachusetts Prison Guard from Prisontalk, NPSE website National Prison and Sentencing Consultants, The Nation’s Leader in Sentence Reduction Strategies. Linked to original from Newsday, no longer available.

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