Gary Smith exposed child sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic church

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

July 24, 2018

By Bruce Vielmetti

A Milwaukee man who played a key role in exposing the child sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church has died.

Gary Smith had been suffering from cancer and died Monday evening at St. Francis Terrace at the age of 68, said Kathy Shallow, a close friend whose sister was Smith’s domestic partner.

As a child, Smith attended St. John’s Boarding School for the Deaf in St. Francis, where he and as many as 200 other hearing-impaired children were molested for years by the late Rev. Lawrence Murphy.

Murphy worked at St. John’s from 1950 to 1974. Bishops had known about the abuse for decades but did not move to defrock him until he was near death. He died in 1998.

His victims, including Smith, distributed fliers outside Milwaukee’s Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in 1974, protesting inaction by the church regarding Murphy.

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