Thursday, January 28, 2016

Newsweek's Cover Boy Makes A Splash

By Ralph Cipriano

In a "victim's impact" statement read in court on June 12, 2013, "Billy Doe" told Judge Ellen Ceisler, "It finally feels good to make my family proud of me."

Well congratulations, Billy. They must have really been proud last week when you were outed coast-to-coast as a lying, scheming fraud with a Pinocchio nose on the cover of Newsweek!

On the internet, reaction to Newsweek's scoop spilled across a half-dozen Google pages. Catholic bloggers teed of on the former altar boy. Conservative commentators Breitbart and Hot Air noted the Rolling Stone connection, that the same reporter who bought Billy's serial rape story in that discredited magazine also fell for "Jackie's" bogus story about gang rape at a UVA frat house.

Susan Matthews, publisher at, wondered, "Why is the church paying the [$]5 million?" Oh, that was another bombshell in the Newsweek story; that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had basically caved in to fraud and paid Billy an estimated $5 million to settle his civil suit for his alleged pain and suffering. Good question, Susan. It's one that every Catholic should be asking their archbishop before they put another dollar in the collection basket.

Over at Philly mag, the self-appointed arbiter of taste and truth in our city, the Billy Doe story set off a tizzy. "Who to believe?" shrieked a sub-head in the story.

Well, let's see. On one side, the argument that Billy Doe is quite possibly a fraud, Newsweek quoted a forensic psychiatrist who examined Billy for nearly three hours. He also sifted through Billy's medical records from 28 different doctors, hospitals and drug clinics, as well as Billy's school records, along with his testimony in the criminal and civil cases.

And what did Dr. Stephen Mechanick conclude? That none of Billy's myriad injuries, both physical and psychic, were corroborated by any of the records. All of the evidence contradicted Billy.

The Newsweek story also quoted the civil deposition of retired Detective Joseph Walsh, who led the Philadelphia district attorney's investigation into Billy's allegations. Walsh testified that he questioned Billy on nine different factual discrepancies with his stories. And what was Billy's response? According to Walsh, Billy either sat there and said nothing, or claimed he was high on drugs, or told a new story.

On the other side of the argument, that Billy was telling the truth, we have Billy's lawyer, who claimed that "the science is clear" that victims of abuse typically turn to drugs and alcohol and crime.  Really? Who knew that victimology was a science? Philly mag also recruited David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, to weigh in with his impartial take.

Clohessy attempted to explain away all the factual contradictions and astounding changes in Billy's stories by saying that "traumatized individuals, especially those violated as kids by adults who claim to represent God, rarely recall all the facts and timelines perfectly."

Nice rhetorical flourish, Dave. Keep pouring on the gasoline.

So on one side of the controversy, Newsweek examined all of the facts relevant to the Billy Doe case, relying on testimony from a couple of expert witnesses in the case -- Dr. Mechanick the forensic psychiatrist and Detective Walsh, who led the D.A.'s investigation into Billy's allegations.

On the other side we have some generalities pedaled by a couple of partisans that may or may not be true about legitimate sex abuse victims, generalities that have no application in a case of fraud.

Only a magazine that missed the big story for the past four years would try to pass off those two opposing arguments as equivalents. Oh but wait, isn't Philadelphia magazine the same rag that used to print Sabrina Rubin Erdely's fantasies as truthful stories before she went on to write more ambitious fiction for Rolling Stone?

Isn't Philly mag the same magazine that printed the story about the gay Mummer that turned out to be a fraud? The same magazine that trusted an idiotic sports talk radio show host known as "the Cuz" to write a story about a former Marine sniper who amazingly lived next door, a guy who supposedly killed scores of people and was haunted by the memories? And then they ran the hoax without any fact-checking? It's no wonder at Philly mag, where they can't separate fact from fiction, that they were confused by the Newsweek story.

Ironically, the argument advanced by Clohessy was also made by Dr. Berkowitz, another psychiatrist in the Billy Doe case who was paid to examine Billy in 2014 by Billy's lawyers. Dr. Berkowitz concluded that “Mr. Gallagher’s false reports of abuse” are typically common among abuse victims trying to come to terms with their experience.

In his 40-page report on Billy Doe, Dr. Mechanick addressed that argument, and suggested some alternative explanations for why Billy Doe might have told his false stories:

“Dr. Berkowitz’s report does not discuss the possibility that Mr. [Daniel] Gallagher has made false reports of abuse for personal gain,” Dr. Mechanick wrote. “He does not discuss the possibility that Mr. Gallagher reported that he was abused by various people to rationalize and excuse his substance abuse. Dr. Berkowitz’s report does not discuss the possibility that Mr. Gallagher reported that he was abused so that his parents and others might be less critical of him, and so that they might see him as a victim rather than being responsible for his drug abuse.”

Wow, did the doc tee off on Billy/Danny.

Oh, that was another thing that upset Billy's lawyers and the SNAP guy, that the Newsweek story outed Billy Doe for who he really is, Daniel Gallagher. That's how he was identified when he twice testified as a witness in two criminal cases; that's how he was identified by Dr. Mechanick in his report, as well as by Detective Walsh in his deposition.

There is no legal reason not to print Billy Doe's real name. It's a hypocritical self-censorship policy designed by the media to protect victims of sex abuse. While the names of the accused are always hung out to dry. At this point in the game, however, there seems to be plenty of evidence to doubt whether Billy was ever a victim of sex abuse. 

Time to stand on your own two feet, Mr. Gallagher! Shortly after Newsweek outed Billy, the National Catholic Reporter, which has reported extensively on the case, also followed suit.

In Philly mag, Billy's lawyer complained that the Newsweek story "cherry-picked" quotes from the Mechanick report. Here are some other quotes from the Mechanick report that were used to describe Billy: 

chronically maladjusted . . . immature . . . self-indulgent . . . manipulating others to his own ends . . . He refuses to accept responsibility for his own problems . . . exaggerated . . . grandiose . . . hedonistic . . . may overuse alcohol or drugs . . . quite impulsive . . . paranoid features and externalization of blame . . . manipulative and self-serving . . . He tends to blame others for problems he has helped to create . . . paranoid or passive aggressive personality . . . delusional.

In short, the perfect psychological makeup for a star witness foisted on the criminal justice system and the public by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams.

Eight days after they received Dr. Mechanick's report, Billy's lawyers folded their civil case on the eve of jury selection. It's easy to see why when you read the report.

In the Philly mag article, Billy's lawyer also claimed that his client had passed a polygraph, a claim he previously made in the Legal Intelligencer.

We'll skip over the fact that there's a voluntary confidentiality stipulation in the case that's supposed to prevent lawyers from making such pronouncements to reporters. The facts are these: When Billy Doe was deposed in the civil case, he was asked whether he had ever been polygraphed.

His answer was no.

We know that the district attorney never polygraphed Billy. We also know that in Pennsylvania, polygraphs are not admissible in civil and criminal proceedings. So why Billy's lawyers would polygraph him after he testified in two criminal cases and his civil case doesn't make much sense.

There's also the possibility that either Billy or his lawyer aren't telling the truth. Now that would be a shocker!

But let's get to the bottom of this. When I printed that the late Father Charles Engelhardt passed a polygraph test, I had the results in hand.

Let's review. On July 31, 2012, William L. Fleisher, a former FBI agent, Philadelphia cop and forensic psychophysiologist used by the district attorney and the U.S. Attorney's office, wrote a report about his polygraph test on Father Engelhardt. In the report, Fleisher said he discussing the allegations with Engelhardt before posing three key questions:

"While in St. Jerome's Sacristy, did you have sex with Daniel Gallagher?

"No," the priest replied.

"Regarding Daniel Gallagher, did you have sex with him?"


"Are any of [Gallagher's] accusations about you true?"


All three times, Fleisher wrote, the polygraph result was "no deception indicated," the highest grade you can get on a polygraph test.

"It is my professional opinion based on the reactions to the formulated questions in this examination that Mr. Engelhardt was being truthful when he denied having engaged in sexual activity with the boy known to him as [Billy Doe]," Fleisher wrote.

Attention, Billy's lawyers. If Billy Doe passed a polygraph, please mail me the report and I will be happy to print it.

In other words, put up or shut up.


  1. Thank You Ralph For The Good Work You Do!,,,

  2. Wow, Philadelphia magazine really sucks.

  3. How could Ralph have hit a nerve ? My buddy is 5 million dollars richer who could buy and sell Ralph like a civil war slave. Avery has been denied parole, Shero had his appeal denied, Engelhardt is no longer with us and Lynn is still in prison fighting to get out before he ends up like Engelhardt.

    Seems like Ralph did hit a nerve the one right on my funny bone.

    1. You must be his only friend. Or at least the only one he has not paid or provided favors to.

  4. That 5 million will go right into Danny and Rebecca's arms.

    1. Anonymous 3:20 I don't think they got that ONE!,

  5. Some People Do Anything For Money!! That's The Bottom Line.

  6. I'm sure it will too. For flu shots but the time that season rolls around the interest alone on 5 million dollars will pay for some flu shots, carS,houseS,boatS and whatever he damn well wants.

  7. How Think Michael Jackson Felt!,,,

  8. Ralph has been telling us for a long, long, long time he has the proof to overturn the convictions of 3 priests and a school teacher. He also has said he has the proof the DA, the ADA, the judges involved are all corrupt, and let us not forget he said he can prove that Billy Doe is a Liar.

    Well, I'm tired of waiting for all this proof. The convicted are all in prison with a date for release not even in sight. The DA and ADA along with the judges are still in office or enjoying a sweet retirement and the center of attention Billy Doe was just handed 5 Million Dollars by the Archdiocese without a fight.

    It seems to me Ralph Cipriano is the liar here and is only continuing this attack on Billy Doe as a attention getter or hope of a bigger prize.

    I say its time to put this information up that will release these convicts or see the corrupt go to prison, or shut the hell up and move on.

  9. Sorry How You Think^

  10. Here is a thought for you Ralph.

    We are hearing that Chaput will eventually have to appear for a deposition regarding a wrongful death suit against the Archdiocese. Now I'm not saying I know what might happen at that time but if the plaintiffs attorney asks Chaput why did he payout to Billy Doe that very large payout and Chaput responds with the answer "We came to a conclusion more likely then not two priests and a school teacher did abuse this child" Is Newsweek Magazine the Beasley Firm and yourself prepared for that possible outcome.

    I believe an answer like that would put nothing but holes in your story and the quickest way to have a sit down with Billy Doe in a court of law while he sues you, Newsweek and the Beasley Firm.

  11. What I really want to say is you maybe able to prove Billy Doe did lie on certain questions but with your blog and Newsweek article you have failed to prove without a doubt Billy Doe was not abused.

    You have failed to place Billy in a separate location of those he claimed abused him. I am saying it would have been nice if Billy claimed to be abused in a park by Shero at a certain time and Shero could have placed himself in a different location with witnesses. The same goes for the two priests.

    I am only being realistic on what possibly could happen if Billy Doe pushes the issue about your claims of him not being abused and publicly calling him a liar about his abuse.

    It would be interesting to know if Newsweek or the Beasley firm is willing to standby you in case of the worst.

    You already have one strike against you and that is the multi million dollar settlement by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

    1. I'm going to unfreeze the comment section to reply to your nonsense. Your attempts at intimidation are laughable. Let's try and get a grip on reality here.

      At every stage of the Billy Doe story, on the part of Billy and the DA's office, there is lying, suspension of the usual rules, chicanery, and more lying.

      I have been exposing the lies and the deception at every level. The people behind this fraud aren't stupid. They know that if they ever sued anybody over this, the discovery process would be a new forum to put all the bad actors under oath and start asking questions. Not to mentioning an opportunity to subpoena whatever other evidence is out there.

      They're not that stupid. You need a new line of attack.

    2. Hey Ralph, I don't think that the 'bad actors' in all of this have any integrity whatsoever - they're simply all in it for the money. They apparently have anesthetized their consciences to the point where they show no outward remorse for the damages they've caused, sending 4 people to prison - one of whom died under the most ignominious circumstances - bankrupting families, ruining reputations while extorting a virtual fortune from the Catholic Church.

      I'm writing to Attorney General Kathleen Kane requesting a thorough examination of the DA's office insofar as the Billy Doe case is concerned. Perhaps her staff is evaluating it right now for all we know.

      Let's hope so.

  12. Did you successfully take legal action against someone who claimed you did not tell the truth ? Only saying the shoe might end up on the other foot and you might be apologizing to Billy Doe.

    1. I might also be elected president. And you might have the balls to come out of hiding. But until then, keep enjoying your legal fantasies.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. You're off topic. And a persistent waste of time. Keep it up and I will shut down the comments.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  14. That's an interesting question by Anonymous that I have never seen before.

    Can you place the convicted somewhere else other then where Billy Doe claims they were during the attacks ? DO THEY HAVE ALIBIS ?

    Such a simple YES or NO answer from you Ralph without all the added ranting.


    It's time to put up or shut up.

    1. Sure, Dennis, let me turn the clock back to 1999, find out what everybody was doing on those particular days, and I'll get right back to you.

    2. So the answer to my question is NO you cannot do that.

      Your response to my question is also interesting.You seem to know how difficult it would be to remember something years later except under certain circumstances like everyone mostly can remember where they were during 9/11 or the shuttle explosion or a horrific event such as being raped. I for one can tell you were I was for all three.

      But you trash Billy for the same thing you can't do and Billy was a child.

    3. Great theory, Dennis. You certainly make one convincing, fact-based argument after another. You're wearing me down with your brilliance, no doubt about it.

      But how do we get around Sheila Gallagher's meticulous contemporaneous calendars, which show that Billy/Danny had no early morning masses he served at during his fifth grade school year he claimed he was raped? Or the funeral register at the church that says Avery didn't serve at a funeral mass at St. Jerome's during his sixth-grade year when he claimed he was accosted following a funeral mass he served with Avery.

  15. It would be really interesting to get Kopride's take on all of this. Where's he been? AWOL?

  16. My theory about Chaput still stands. Pope told him to pay him off. Chaput wants to become a cardinal. His nomination put on hold. Payoff money less likely from Archdiocese and more likely willing benefactor.

  17. It's a shame that Ralph had to shut down comments on his latest post. I think we could all agree that Ralph has been keeping a lively discussion going here for quite some time and most of us looked forward to his new posts. It probably has something to do with the nonsense comments like those above, Fungo la do, and whatever else those guys are talking about. Super annoying, Kire.

  18. Avery also passed a polygraph


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.