Vermont review of church orphanage finds misconduct but not murder

The VT Digger

December 14, 2020

By Kevin O’Connor

A two-year investigation of past problems at Burlington’s shuttered St. Joseph’s Orphanage — sparked by a 2018 BuzzFeed News story headlined “We Saw Nuns Kill Children” — has confirmed a history of child abuse but concluded with no criminal charges of murder.

“It’s clear that abuse did occur at St. Joseph’s Orphanage, and that many children suffered,” Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan said Monday upon releasing a 286-page report. “But we have found that there is no credible evidence to suggest that a murder occurred.”

The Attorney General’s Office teamed with local and state police and prosecutors after reading BuzzFeed claims that not only recounted previously reported “unrelenting physical and psychological abuse of captive children” but also revealed a few deadly allegations not documented in a series of well-publicized lawsuits in the 1990s.

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