Priest interrogated shooting victim shortly after surgery, instead of letting him rest.
From Patrick Pontillo’s blog from the following link: http://www.donaldwuerl.com/2012/02/priest-interrogated-shooting-victim.html
by guest writer Mike Ference, in continuation of his narration of
Donald Wuerl’s disregard for the trauma that the Ference family endured, shortly after and long after the attempted murder of a young Adam Ference on Pittsburgh diocesan school grounds.
On December 5, 1989, my son was the victim of handgun bullet wound
in the back of his head. The gun was held inches from his skull before
the shooter pulled the trigger. The shooter then turned the gun on him-
self and successfully committed suicide.
The prime witness in this event was now dead. Believe or not, this was
not the worst of it. What would happen over the next few days, the next
few months, the next few years, and would continue for almost two de-
cades tells the story of just how corrupt and uncivilized the Common-
wealth of Pennsylvania has become.
Teenage suicides, sexual molestation, and attempted murders proved to
be nothing more than inconvenience for the Pennsylvania power mongers
who were present when the exploitation of the political/judicial system
was occurring – of a system they continue to maintain for the benefit of
a few well-placed and well-networked persons who don’t have the com-
mon good in mind.
After undergoing six or seven hours of emergency neurosurgery, my son
was admitted to the intensive care unit and his vital signs would be closely
monitored for the next several days. That night, my wife would begin her
14-day vigil, almost never being more than a few feet from our son’s bed-
side. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Diocese would begin its 20 year vigil of
covering up accusations leveled against people employed by the church;
not only Pittsburgh Diocesan personnel, but personnel from the Archdio-
cese of Boston, as well.
The Red Flag Incident
On the night of Adam’s shooting, Serra Catholic High School
Headmaster Sysol (now deceased) ventured into Presbyterian
Hospital (now the Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center). Sysol
would ask my wife if he could visit with our son. It was close
to midnight and it had been the toughest day ever for my son
and our close-knit family. When Headmaster Sysol asked to
visit with my son, my wife thought that she would be going in
with him. No such luck.
The Questions as to the Headmaster’s Intentions
Was Sysol on a mission? Was Sysol on a clandestine operation, to find
out what, if anything, Adam knew about the shooter who befriended a
Fr. John Wellinger a few years earlier, at St. Clare of Assisi Parish in
Clairton? Sysol would conveniently be in a position to also check and
see if my son, Adam, knew anything about Brother Kenneth Ghastin, a
teacher at Serra High School who was accused of molesting two teen-
age brothers in 1974, during a time when he taught at the now-defunct
Christopher Columbus High School, in Boston’s North End. This is ac-
cording to an article published by the Framingham Metro West Daily
As far as goes any concern for my son, Sysol had none that I could de-
tect. He would question my son for almost three relentless hours, ask-
ing the same questions of a kid still dazed by a shotgun blast to the head
and still trying to recover from seven hours of intensive neurosurgery.
Let me repeat: At Serra Catholic High School, in the Diocese of Pitts-
burgh, at the time when my son was the target of an attempted murder,
there was a member of the Boston Archdiocese stationed there who
was accused of molestation and who had close access to the school’s
male youths. No one warned us of this. Instead, they covered up their
It wouldn’t be until the middle 1990s that the Archdiocese of Boston
would finally reach a financial settlement with the families, concerning
that teacher. The settlement would include a $30,000 payment to one
of the brothers. Sadly, according to the paper, one of the brothers who
had a history of drug misuse would die in 1994. Church files would re-
gard it as a suicide, as if he intended to die from that occasion of drug
misuse, and even though he apparently had no intention to die from drug
use at any time prior. That is to say, the archdiocese did not mark the
death as an accidental one resulting from long-term emotional trauma.
For now, that’s the rest of the story. But plenty of questions still need
to be answered. Did Donald Wuerl cooperate with the Archdiocese of
Boston and permit known pedophiles to remain in the Pittsburgh Diocese?
If so, were other pedophiles admitted to Serra Catholic High School and
other Catholic institutions without us knowing it? Was it the assignment
of Headmaster Sysol to keep an eye on Brother Kenneth Ghastin and
possibly other abusive clergy transferred from Boston? Knowing what
we know now about the Archdiocese of Boston abuse scandal, anything
Little wonder that Father Ron Lengwin allegedly badgered the police of
McKeesport to quash the case of the attempted murder of my son, with
little investigative effort on the part of McKeesport police … and with no
cooperation with Pennsylvania State Police. No wonder Serra Catholic
High School administrators would not permit McKeesport police to in-
vestigate the crime scene, according to the police report, and so done
against Lengwin’s judgment. Incidentally, McKeesport police were not
permitted on Serra Catholic High School property for over 24 hours af-
ter the shooting of my son and the suicide of his shooter.
It is becoming clear as to why the Pittsburgh Diocese went to such great
lengths to cover up the accusations leveled against not merely one alleged
predator, but at least two, namely John Wellinger and Kenneth Ghastin.
No wonder why current St. Vincent Archabbot Douglas Nowicki would
have motive to offer me what I construed was a de facto bribe, in his be-
ing willing to admitting my son Adam to St. Vincent College, while saying
it in such a way that I interpreted the offer as having strings attached to it.
No wonder why Cardinal Bernard Law would visit that same Latrobe in-
stitution before his final and most shameful departure for Rome.
A telephone call to Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, PA re-
sulted in the principal refusing to give his last name and almost begging
for advice on how to handle this latest development. I advised the man
to do the right thing. He did not know how to respond or what I even
meant. So much for the training and all the zero-tolerance policies.
I had hoped to speak with Barbara Thorp of the Archdiocese of Boston
as soon as was possible. Likewise, New York Franciscan administrators
Father Patrick Boyle and Father Robert Campagna seemed prepared to
cooperate and provide the necessary information needed to finally get to
the truth. But, that hope was sparked in 2009. It’s now the Year 2012,
and I have gotten no results. Incidentally, Brother Ghastin asserted his
innocence, at last count.
A sunrise broken by gunfire on a school bus. An investigation as to the root cause of the gunfire suffocated. Wuerl let it be suffocated.
A sunrise broken by gunfire on a school bus. An investigation as to the root cause of the gunfire suffocated. Wuerl let it be suffocated.
By Patrick Pontillo
by guest writer Mike Ference, detailing the experience of having
a son get shot in the back of the head and then to be treated as
an impediment to Wuerl’s rise to power. Edited as to its syntax.
Diplomatically abridged as to its contents.
The sodomizing of youth by Catholic clergy members and then covered
up by church hierarchs was something seldom discussed. It was seldom
discussed until the media broke open the seals of secrecy that were once
glazed over Cardinal Bernard Law’s disgraced Boston Archdiocese.
It was twenty-three years ago when I was forced to begin investigating
similar things in the county where sits Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. This
was because a fifteen year old youth allegedly preoccupied with the
Occult, Satanism, and devil-worship attempted to murder my son,
Adam, on a school bus. The same youth then killed himself.
My investigation began in December of 1989. This means that I was
forced to start my work thirteen calendar years before veteran journal-
ists of the Boston Globe exposed Catholic Church red hatter Bernie
Law for having habitually covered the criminal actions of priests. Ten
years after having begun my investigations, the Philadelphia district at-
torney’s office put to bed the prosecution of every Philadelphia area
cleric accused of the same old crimes and the same old cover ups.
Being a molester in Pennsylvania was a lucrative pastime, at the time.
The attack on my son took place on the morning of December 5, 1989,
around 8:00 am. A bus carrying Serra Catholic High School students
began its approach toward the school’s entrance doors. A bus loaded
with dozens of teenagers was beginning to cross onto Serra Catholic
school grounds when the would-be assassin pulled out a loaded hand-
gun and blasted a shot into the back of my son’s head. He next placed
the gun to his temple and fired the second shot.
Two ambulances transferred my son and the shooter to the McKeesport
Hospital. Both young men were admitted to the same emergency room,
separated by the curtains surrounding their beds. A telephone call from
Brother Chuck, the guidance counselor of Serra Catholic, served notice
to our family to get to the McKeesport Hospital Emergency Room as
soon as possible.
Ironically, my wife, my eldest son, and I arrived at the hospital before
the ambulances did. While a paramedic was pushing a gurney through
a hallway, I shouted to the man, “If that’s Adam Ference, tell him his
parents are here.” The body was completely covered. Deep-down in-
side, and without saying a word, I hoped and I prayed it wasn’t Adam.
Seconds later came another gurney, being pushed through the hallway.
It was Adam, sitting up. He was conscious, but I wasn’t sure how
alert he was.
A nurse came to escort me back to where my son was. I still didn’t
know what happened. A disheveled detective from the McKeesport
Police Department approached my wife and I. He recklessly pulled a
gun from a brown paper bag and asked if we had ever seen the wea-
pon before. Confused and bewildered, we shook our heads sideways,
quietly saying no. A teacher would then pull the detective to the side
and tell him that we weren’t the parents he needed to talk to.
I watched an ER room’s bed sheets get saturated with blood as the
shooter lay dead, no doubt from the 32-caliber self-inflicted gunshot
wound. It was a shot taken seconds after the shooter blasted my
son’s skull with his first shot, done while my son sat directly in front
of him, half asleep.
Minutes later, a nurse called me into the emergency room, to see my
son. I tried to reassure him that everything would be alright, as he
seemed to daze in and out of consciousness. I caught myself glanc-
ing back and forth from the wound in the back of my son’s head to
the blood-stained sheets of the shooter in the bed next to my son.
It were as if I was watching a tennis match or a ping pong game.
I prayed and promised God that I would do whatever I could to make
things right, not knowing what that meant, and still not knowing what
exactly happened. Now, I knew that Adam could never intentionally
harm anyone with a gun. But, I figured that he might have accidental-
ly tripped someone, resulting in multiple gun shots being unleashed from
a loaded weapon. So, I kept promising God that I would do whatever
it took to make things right. Sadly, I heard a father crying; weeping
over his son’s dead body. All but for the grace of God, the father in
anguish could have been me.
Twenty-three years later, I’m still trying to keep the promise I made
in the McKeesport ER. Needless to say, Donald Wuerl has been a
ruthless antagonist, preventing the truth from being uncovered. This
Wuerl keeps us in the dark, in so many diabolical ways.
Several weeks after the shooting, my son was well on his way to re-
covery. Several weeks after the shooting, a seasoned law enforce-
ment officer who actively participated in the investigation, ended up
sitting in my living room, alleging to my wife and I that the investiga-
tion of my son’s attempted murder was deliberately quashed by the
McKeesport Police Chief (Thomas Brletic) and his investigating of-
ficers. The man who alleged this to me was and is William Scully.
At the time, Scully was the Public Safety Officer of Clairton. At the
time, Clairton no longer had a police force, due to the economic woes
which followed the demolition of the Pittsburgh steel industry. Prior
to being Clairton’s public safety director, Scully was assistant chief
of police for the same town of Clairton and served several years as
a police officer there.
To compensate for the case being allegedly quashed, Scully provid-
ed me with specific notes and details about the shooter. He alleged
that the shooter was sexually abused by Fr. John Wellinger, a parish
priest at Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA. Prior to Wellinger’s
assignment at Holy Spirit, he was an assistant pastor of Saint Clare
of Assisi Church, in Clairton. The shooter served as an altar boy for
Fr. Wellinger at St. Clare’s.
According to several sources, the shooter was often an after-school
guest of Wellinger, at the parish rectory house, along with other boys.
It was a parish house equipped with a pool table, pinball machines
and other facilities which keeps young boys amused for hours.
Scully also provided specific information about Wellinger allegedly
harming a teenager from Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin. This
harming allegedly occurred circa 1987 or 1988. I even received an
email from the alleged victim in 2011 that suffices as evidence that
easily confirms my allegations on the topic.
As time progressed, I would eventually speak with several sources.
The sources included a retired police chief of West Mifflin, as well
as a police officer of the same West Mifflin whose son was alleged-
ly molested by the same John Wellinger. My sources also included
several ladies who worked along side Wellinger at Holy Spirit Parish.
There was even the matter of a woman who may have known John
Wellinger intimately. Added to the list is the former Pittsburgh Post
Gazette investigative reporter who alleged that Wellinger once made
a homosexual pass at him. An additional source included a Florida
man who once visited Wellinger at Holy Spirit Parish, and alleged
that Wellinger wanted to perform an unnatural act on his person.
Plus, there was the teenager to whom Wellinger allegedly supplied
a spiked alcoholic beverage which knocked the youth out for hours.
Concerning the youth, he eventually returned to consciousness and
dialed 911. He then allegedly staggered down apartments stairs, to
meet an awaiting ambulance which allegedly took the youth to then
Presbyterian University Hospital (now part of the University of Pitts-
burgh Medical Center).
According to the allegations, he and his family were victimized yet
again, in the alleged cover-up that followed. It’s sad that it has taken
over 23 years for me to release my information with just a scant hope
of justice finally being served. Tragically speaking, as I have tried to
draw attention to the various crimes and cover ups, I can only imagine
how many more victimscould have been saved from being victimized,
if only Wuerl and government officials would have applied an element
of human decency and did what needed to have been done.
Michael Unglo is one person who immediately comes to mind. Mike
committed suicide shortly after the Diocese of Pittsburgh, under Bish-
op David Zubik, stopped financing his psychiatric treatment. Now, the
Pittsburgh diocese had already payed $300,000 in psychiatric bills for
Michael. But, Mike suffered from flashbacks, due to the alleged mo-
lestations of the defrocked Richard Dorsch who receives a thousand
dollar a month stipend (pension) from the diocese.
Meanwhile, homosexual con artist Fr James Torquato immediately
canceled all business contracts with his accuser’s uncle, and Wuerl
ratified Fr. Torquato’s act of economic terrorism, as if Wuerl were
performing the terrorism himself. Basically, James Torquato black-
mailed his accuser’s uncle. The uncle was to get Torquato’s accus-
er to retract his accusations against Torquato or else lose significant
I would like to point out something about my son’s attempted murder.
The shooter was not sitting is his regular seat that day, nor did he get
on at his regular stop. My son did sit in his regular seat, close to the
window. The shooter was allegedly in the aisle seat behind him. This
means that he was originally catty-corner to Adam. Well, he alleged-
ly switched seated and was now exactly behind Adam.
The exact conjecture as to what was transpiring during the attempted
murder of my son was thwarted by parents not allowing their children
to be interviewed by law enforcement investigators. Depositions exist
which can be supplied as proof of a community-wide cover up.
Concerning Adam’s case, I had sought help from many people in gov-
ernment. I was referred to an Allegheny County detective by form-
er a PA State Trooper, named Robert Griffin. Griffin was brought
into the case in 1989 and investigated the Satanic and Occult inter-
ests of my son’s shooter and the shooter’s friends. The detective to
whom I was referred simply stated that the Diocese of Pittsburgh
was covering up crimes for years. The offending priests would be
shuffled from one parish to another, the detective alleged. He made
it sound as if there was nothing he could do about it.
There is a long list of state troopers who did absolutely nothing. Like-
wise, the same nothing came from former Pennsylvania Senator and
Catholic Church lobbyist, Rick Santorum. Senator Arlen Spector al-
so chose to ignore my case, as did Congressman Mike Doyle. Plus,
Carol Burke, Chief of Staff for State Rep David Levdansky, simply
advised me to get over it.
An FBI agent did exist who was well-aware of Wellinger’s alleged
sexual shenanigans, but the agent was preoccupied with the investi-
gation into a drug raid gone bad which resulted in a fellow agent be-
ing killed. So, the Pittsburgh diocese has been getting a free pass,
ever since the tenure of Anthony Bevilacqua. Include Wuerl’s ten-
ure also, especially in light of the fact that Wuelr paid no price for
his alleged absence of cooperativeness during an investigation that
resulted in the arrests of Wolk, Zula, and Pucci. Wuerl also paid
no price thus far, for ratifying the Torquato retaliations.
Allegheny County’s Courthouse is located on Grant Street, in down-
town Pittsburgh. Supposedly, justice is served there. Sadly enough,
some of the PA judges were bought and sold like stolen merchandise
at outdoor flea markets. I cite the infamous Luzerne County “Cash
for Kids” scandal that sent two greed-infested Pennsylvania judges to
federal prisons, after years of locking up children in private juvenile de-
tention centers for things as petty as summary offenses.
The detention centers are owned by Gregory Zappala, son of former
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Zappala, Sr and
brother of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala, Jr.
Sadly enough, one of the victims of this barbaric practice would end
up committing suicide after two incarcerations. His death would take
place on the 10th of June, 2010, the same day when Allegheny County
District Attorney Stephen Zappala was sworn in as a member of the
board that oversees clergy sex abuse allegation, under the auspices
of the United States Bishop’s Conference.
It’s pertinent to point out that the attempted murder of my son took
place in McKeesport, PA. It’s a section of the Mon Valley jokingly
referred to as Mob Valley. It’s the last place one expects to find any
semblance of justice. McKeesport is filled with case after case of
systematic and deliberate cover ups of criminal behavior, most often
alleging McKeesport police and democratic officials as being at the
center of the alleged cover ups.
Some allegations involved: 1] a dead teenage girl whose body was
found in a McKeesport cemetery, 2] a woman held captive for al-
most a decade by a McKeesport School district security guard, and
3] the Cornell Elementary School scandal which allegedly involved
two McKeesport teachers doing their best to imitate dogs in heat,
while two other teachers allegedly did their best to act like watch-
dogs. All actions were either well concealed or never happened.
None the less, the allegation that Fr. John Wellinger molested the
shooter of my son, as well as had drugged-up the drink of another
youth, were things stated in Scully’s notes. Thus, these allegations
came from someone who had official status.
I’ve also met and talked with yet, another accuser of former Pitts-
burgh clergy member, John Wellinger. This accuser was one of the
plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
His parents were parishioners of Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin.
For now, I want to caution people from outside of Pennsylvania that,
if you’re contemplating moving here, you would do better to just stay
put. Jim Potts, founder of Democracy Rising and advocate for hon-
est government in Pennsylvania, opined on a Pittsburgh radio station
that “Pennsylvania may be the most corrupt state in America.”
I agree with Potts. However, I would extend his opinion to include
most third world countries.
Consider the following before you plan a visit to Pennsylvania, or
worse yet, to move to this commonwealth: 1] the Cash for Kids
Scandal; 2] the Jerry Sandusky and Penn State scandal; 3] the
grand jury investigations into the rape and sodomizing of innocent
children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese; 4] the Tanya Kash case
involving a McKeesport School District security guard allegedly
holding a teenager captive for almost ten years; 5] Cardinal Don-
ald Wuerl’s proven triple cover-up of Wolk, Zula, and Pucci, by
which he ignored the Child Protective Services Act and was ac-
cused of having been uncooperative during the criminal investiga-
tion of the three priests he tried to conceal … followed by Wuerl
facing zero accountability for his evil commissions and equally
All of these cases allege police and government officials being all
too willing to delay or hamper investigations involving children in
harm’s way. In a Philadelphia archdiocesan case, a ten-year-old
boy was alleged to have been sodomized by his teacher in a park.
When the teacher had satisfied his barbaric cravings, the alleged-
ly victimized youth was forced to make his way home on his own,
bleeding from his rectum.
Pennsylvania is a pro-pedophile state, in my opinion. My opinion,
of course, comes from personal experience and a lot of investigat-
ing, done free of charge. So, you can either take my word for it or
risk your own children’s lives to prove me wrong. In Pennsylvania,
even adults were the victims of power abuse. Concerning this, you
can either take my word for it or else risk your own future to prove