Deadly Entanglement; Priest Planned to Leave Estate to Accused Killer

By Dave Wedge
Boston Herald
November 21, 2003

Disgraced priest Bernard Kelly planned to leave his massive East Otis vacation property to his lover-turned-accused killer Paul Nolin and was planning to hand down $ 10,000 to an alleged New Bedford pedophile priest, court records show.

Kelly, who is accused of embezzling more than $ 50,000 from St. Joseph's Church in Woods Hole, had been planning since 1991 to leave his multimillion-dollar estate to his brother, Douglas. But in August, Kelly cut his brother out of the will, opting to leave his sprawling East Otis farmhouse and four lots to Nolin, a convicted child rapist indicted yesterday for the Sept. 20 kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Jonathan Wessner.

According to a lawsuit filed by Douglas Kelly, Nolin and Bernard Kelly were "homosexual lovers." Investigators also have said the pair were lovers, a claim denied by their attorneys.

Douglas Kelly lived with his priest brother in Bernard Kelly's $ 1.14 million farmhouse in the Cummaquid section of Barnstable from 1987 through 2000. Douglas Kelly claims he completely renovated the house, built a guesthouse and ran a bed-and-breakfast there on the condition he would get the property when his brother died.

The suit alleges his brother broke that promise by giving half his estate to Nolin and seeks $ 4 million in damages. Kelly also is being sued by the Diocese of Fall River, which has placed a $ 150,000 lien on the Cummaquid property.

Kelly's August will also shows he was planning to leave $ 10,000 to Gilbert Simoes, an ex-priest at New Bedford's Mount Carmel Church who was accused of molesting several children in the 1960s, according to a longtime investigator who interviewed the victims.

The investigator, who requested anonymity, said authorities interviewed at least seven victims who alleged Simoes and another priest molested them during trips to Cape Cod.

Simoes is one of 21 priests singled out by Bristol District Attorney Paul Walsh as being accused of sexual misdeeds but never charged because the statute of limitations had run out.

"We had a million cases against him," the investigator said.

Simoes, who is no longer a priest, could not be reached for comment.

Kelly, who was suspended by the Fall River diocese because of his ties to Nolin, resigned this week. Kelly's attorney, Frank O'Boy, said his client cut Nolin out of the will after Nolin's arrest and is leaving his entire estate to his sister.

Kelly's August will shows he also was planning to leave $ 5,000 to the Rev. Donald Turlick, a priest-turned-therapist who counseled Nolin and helped the ex-con land a job with Kelly at the Woods Hole church.

Turlick recommended Nolin's 2000 release from prison and rented him an apartment in his Mashpee home. Investigators are probing whether Turlick and Nolin had a sexual relationship, according to Paula Erickson, a former co-worker of Turlick's at the Massachusetts Treatment Center in Bridgewater. Erickson said she has been questioned about Turlick's relationship with Nolin at the treatment center and told investigators Turlick gave Nolin condoms, silk pajamas and other gifts.

Turlick, 68, reportedly was forced to resign from the treatment center, but yesterday he said he was "bumped out of it by another psychologist." He refused comment on his relationship with Nolin.

Turlick, a priest since 1961, has been on leave from the Bridgeport, Conn., diocese since 1983 when he left "to pursue his studies and secular work, and to live as a lay person," diocesan spokesman Dr. Joseph McAleer said.

According to McAleer, Turlick is not paid by the diocese and "has no permission to work as a priest."

Turlick said of his current standing, "I am a priest not having a clerical appointment."


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