1986 Spokane Police Report

October 25, 2002\live\welsh-1025

[See also the Spokesman-Review article about the case.]

Editor's note: The Spokesman-Review obtained the following 1986 Spokane Police report through a public records request:

On 9-9-86 Detectives R. Graves and R. Webb were assigned the task of following up on a Report of a Male Prostitute that he had been strangled while performing a oral sex act upon a man in Chicago Ill. On 8-8-86. The reason we were assigned this followup is the suspect is a Spokane resident and the prostitute thought that the suspect might have committed murder in the past. We were working off of a report from the Green River Task force, Seattle, Wa. They had received information on the report from a Det. Tom Bohling Chicago PD (phone number deleted) and a Det. Carl Schoffler Wash. D.C. Police Dept. (phone number deleted).

On 9-10-86 Det. Graves contacted Det. Bohling of Chicago and went over some of the details of the incident. Bohling said the the suspect had been in Chicago for a Knights of Columbus convention and had stayed at the Chicago Hilton a couple of nights. At this time Det. Graves did not request Det. Bohling to do any follow up investigation as to finding the victim, or getting more information of telephone calls made from the suspects room.

On 9-11-86 Det. Graves contacted Det. Schoffler of the Wash. D.C. PD. At this time Det. Schoffler stated that his informant/victim was positive as to the dates the incident happened, that the suspect was from Wash. State. Det. Schoffler also stated that his informant/victim was a fugitive from Wisconson and that he thought he was in jail in the Chicago area.

Dot. Massong of the Spokane County Sheriff’s office had already done some follow up investigation for the Green River Task force and had identified the Suspect as Bishop Lawrence Welsh of Spokane. When the Green river Task force learned of the suspects Id they classified him as a class “C” suspect in their Green River Cases.

On 9-24-86 Det. Graves and Webb met with Bishop Welsh at his residence 1025 W. Cleveland (phone numbers deleted). Upon our arrival Mr. Welsh was advised of the alledged incident in Chicago and as to our interests in the case. He readly admitted that he had been in Chicago on the date in question, that he was there for a Knights of Columbus convention and that he stayed at the Chicago Hilton. He admitted to picking up a drug addict and taking him to his room for counseling. Mr. Welsh said that the man had come up to him in a bar and started talking to him about his personal problems. He said that he was not wearing his priest collar and did not tell the man he was a priest. Mr. Welsh was reluctant to tell us the whole truth at first but as the interview went along he would reveal a little more of the truth all the time, until his version of what happened came pretty close as to what the victim had said. The only thing Mr. Welsh took acception to was the amount of violence used. He did admit to putting his hands on the victim. When asked if he put his hands on the victims throat he said that he had put his hands all over the victims body. He said that he would NEVER deliberately do anything to hurt anybody and that he did not think he did anything to hurt this individual. Mr. Welsh was advised that we would like a member of his Family to know of the incident and since the Church was his family we would like to discuss the incident with a person the same rank as him in the church or a Supervisor. Mr. Welsh was agreeable to this and said he would make an appointment with his Supervisor Archbishop Raymond Hunthausen.

On 9-29-86 Det. Graves and Det. Webb met with bishop Welsh and Archbishop Hunthausen at Mr. Welsh’s residenct. At this time Mr. Welsh advised that he had informed Mr. Huntausen of the situation and it was explained to Mr. Huntausen what we would like his role to be. This is to see that Mr. Welsh is evaluated by a psychiatrist who specializes in sexual abuse cases Mr. Welsh agreeded that Mr. Welsh would see a psychiatrist for an evaluation. Mr. Welsh again expressed that he did not feel he did anything violent in the course of the sex act and that if he had it would have been as an outlet for frustrations that had built up within him.

It is Det. Graves and Webbs Feelings that Mr. Welsh is truly imbarrased and regretful of the incident and that there is no reason to believe he is a threat to society.


Det. R. Graves/Det. R. Webb


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