Monday, March 5, 2018

Prosecutor's Missing Notes About "Billy Doe" Mysteriously Reappear

Former ADA Mariana "You're Killing My Case" Sorensen
By Ralph Cipriano

Eight years ago, former Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen conducted the first interview with Danny Gallagher, AKA "Billy Doe," right after a detective bailed the former  altar boy out of jail, so he could assume the staring role in a witch hunt about to be staged against the Catholic Church.

But according to the D.A.'s office, Sorensen took no notes on Jan. 28, 2010, when she and Detective Drew Snyder interviewed Gallagher, along with his parents, at the D.A.'s office. According to what the D.A.'s office represented at two criminal trials, in front of at least three different judges, the only notes that existed from that initial interview with Gallagher were three pages of notes typed up by Detective Snyder.

Eight years later, seven pages of typed notes by Sorensen from that initial interview with Gallagher have mysteriously reappeared, a copy of which was sent to BigTrial. Defense lawyers in the case say those notes should have been turned over at two criminal trials, where three priests and a former schoolteacher were sent to jail for the alleged repeated rapes of Danny Gallagher. It's the latest episode of prosecutorial misconduct in a case replete with it, a case that's headed for a final chapter later this year when a new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner, plans to retry Msgr. William J. Lynn, the lead defendant, on a charge of endangering the welfare of a child.

Danny Gallagher's enabler

On July 29, 2011, with Judge Lillian Ransom presiding, five assistant district attorneys and five defense lawyers were gathered for a pretrial hearing in a case billed by then District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams as a "historic" prosecution of the Catholic Church.

The subject was whether the D.A.'s office had turned over to defense lawyers all the evidence it had gathered for prosecution, as required by law. Suddenly, it was time for some tap-dancing.

"This is where I need to talk to you about any statements at some earlier point that Mr. [Danny] Gallagher may have made as far as interviews at or with members of the D.A.'s office," Assistant District Attorney Sorensen told the judge. "I checked with [former Deputy District Attorney, and Sorensen's boss] Charlie Gallagher. There's nothing discoverable."

"I know that occasionally a piece of paper gets turned the wrong way," the judge replied. "If you come across anything, turn that over."

"Yes, Your Honor," Sorensen replied.

"I'll accept your representation as it stands now," the judge said.

"Thank you," Sorensen replied.

Michael J. McGovern, a defense lawyer and former ADA himself representing Father Charles Engelhardt, then asked about "oral statements and oral interviews" conducted by the D.A.'s office, especially, "the substance of any oral interviews, notes or anything that related to interaction and discussion with [Danny Gallagher]."

"Let me ask you this, Mr. McGovern," the judge interjected. "What I asked Ms. Sorensen to look for were written statements. Now if you are making reference to oral statements, they would not be recorded any place."

"There may be notes," McGovern replied. "I'm asking for anything. I'm being told that there was an investigation of this major complaint for over a year, and there is nothing documented or recorded about it. I find that hard to believe."

"That may be hard to believe, but that's the representation that we have at this point," the judge said.

"Good enough," McGovern said.

Later in the hearing, Judge Ransom turned to another prosecutor in the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Evangelia Manos, and asked about discovery motions filed by the defense lawyers.

"Ms. Manos, I want to talk to you about these," the judge said, referring to discovery motions  seeking "statements or interviews conducted by the district attorney's office. That [motion] is granted," the judge said.

"Ms. Manos, the judge said, is it your position that as of today you have turned over everything that you have?"

Wanted For Stealing $5 Million From The Catholic Church
"Correct," Manos said.

"As of today?" the judge asked.

"Correct," Manos replied.

"It's an ongoing discovery issue," the judge told the prosecutor. "If other statements come into your possession, whether they're new or old . . . "

"Correct," Manos said.

"They have to be turned over," the judge concluded.

But during two criminal trials, and appeals in those cases, the D.A.'s office never turned over Sorensen's notes.

Charles Gallagher, former chief of the Special Investigations Unit, of which Sorensen was a member, could not be reached for comment.  McGovern declined comment.


On Jan. 28, 2010, Detective Drew Snyder showed up at Graterford Prison to spring Danny Gallagher out of jail, where he was being held for a probation violation, and chauffeured him over to the D.A.'s office, where Gallagher's parents were waiting, along with ADA Sorensen.

Danny Gallagher was about to tell a story how, back when he was a 10 and 11-year-old altar boy at St. Jerome's Church in Northeast Philadelphia, he had allegedly been passed around like a piñata among three different rapists.

This was music to the D.A.'s office, under Rufus Seth Williams, which was looking to make headlines by becoming the first prosecutors in the country to put a Catholic priest in jail in the clergy sex abuse scandal, not for touching a child, but for covering it up.

Gallagher at the time was 21, and so the usual protocol at the D.A.'s office in any sex abuse investigation would have been to interview Gallagher and his parents, James, a Philadelphia police department, and Sheila, a registered nurse, separately. But that's not what happened that day at the D.A.'s office.

The usual protocol also called for the detective and/or Sorensen to ask Danny Gallagher questions, and on a "483" police form, write down those questions, as well as the answers. And when the interview was finished, the usual protocol called for having Danny Gallagher review the Q and A interview form, make corrections, and then sign it. The same deal with his parents.

Philadelphia's Criminal District Attorney
But that's not what happened that day at the D.A.'s office. Instead, in a room without typewriters or computers, Snyder wrote down notes, and typed up three pages, which were turned over to defense lawyers.

Sorensen, according to what the D.A.'s office has represented for the past eight years, at two different
criminal trials, in front of at least three different judges, sat there like a potted plant, took no notes, and apparently asked no questions.

But now we know that Sorensen typed up seven pages of notes, and asked plenty of questions. And in what she describes as a typed "summary," she refers to handwritten notes that are presumably still missing.

What Snyder and Sorensen were dealing with was a completely non-credible witness who told an unbelievable story of abuse previously to two social workers from the archdiocese. In those stories, Gallagher claimed to have been anally raped for five hours by one priest, knocked unconscious and tied up with altar sashes by another priest, threatened with death if he talked, and strangled with a seatbelt by the schoolteacher who raped him.

Then, when he told new versions of abuse to the police, the grand jury and the D.A.'s office, Gallagher dropped all those above details and invented an entirely new tale of abuse featuring oral sex and mutual masturbation, as well as being forced to perform strip-teases.

So Snyder and Sorensen were trying to pin Gallagher down on a semi-credible tale. The less notes they produced the better. And certainly notes in a Q and A form, featuring multiple quotes from Gallagher, were only going to cause further credibility problems for a witness with no credibility.

Keep in mind that the lead detective in this case, Joe Walsh, has previously come forward to say that he caught Danny Gallagher telling numerous lies. And that when the detective confronted Gallagher about it, he admitted he had just "made stuff up" and "told them anything."

And when Detective Walsh repeatedly informed Assistant District Attorney Mariana Sorensen that Gallagher was not a credible witness, she replied that she still believed Gallagher's fairy tales, and, "You're killing my case."


To: File
From: Mariana Sorensen, Assistant District Attorney, SIU

Re: Interview of Daniel Gallagher and parents 1/28/2010
Supplement to Det. Snyder's notes

"I sat in on Detective Andrew Snyder's Jan. 28, 2010, interview with Daniel Gallagher," she wrote. "The summary below is typed up from my notes and includes some things that might not have appeared in Det. Snyder's notes. [Detective Snyder and I were both of out of the room at various times when Danny and his parents said things.]"

In her notes, Sorensen says that she talked to Gallagher's parents before he came into the room. And here, for the D.A.'s office, is where things start to get messy.

"At age 14, Danny changed," Sorensen wrote, after questioning Gallagher's parents. "He got kicked out of High School. They [the parents] didn't know what had precipitated the change. They attributed his behavior to the death of his grandmother, and that they had allowed him to see her as she was dying [or her body after she died??]"

Those details, of course, did not fit the D.A.'s story line. On Nov. 12, 2010, Sheila Gallagher testified before the grand jury. ADA Manos was asking the questions while ADA Sorensen watched:

Q. Did there come a time when you noticed a change in [Billy's] behavior?

A. Yes. At age 14, as he entered high school, freshman year at high school, he wasn't the same child. He was very troubling to us.
The Fall Guy

Q. Ok. Prior to that, what was his personality?

A. He was basically a very pleasant, active, happy person prior to that and he was defined by some people as either Dennis the Menace or the All-American boy up to that point.

Q. Ok. So he's leaving St. Jerome's and entering into high school?

A. Uh-huh.

But when Sorensen wrote the Jan. 21, 2011 grand jury report, on page 17, it was get me rewrite. Here's how she described what Billy Doe's mother told her about her son's personality change in that grand jury report:

Billy’s mother also told us of a dramatic change in her son’s personality that coincided with the abuse. His friends and their parents also noticed this personality change. Billy’s mother watched as her friendly, happy, sociable son turned into a lonely, sullen boy. He no longer played sports or socialized with his friends. He separated himself, and began to smoke marijuana at age 11. By the time Billy was in high school, he was abusing prescription painkillers, and eventually he graduated to heroin.

When Thomas A. Bergstrom, Msgr. Lynn's lawyer read the first page of Sorensen's notes, he couldn't believe it.

"She completely fabricates what the mother told her," Bergstrom said about ADA Sorennsen  "That's an absolute, outright lie. There's no wiggle room there. She [Sorensen] heard it twice from the mother."

According to the mom, Danny Gallagher's personality change took place in high school, at age 14, and not in grammar school, at age 11. On top of that, Gallagher's parents blamed the death of Gallagher's grandmother for Danny's personality change, and not sex abuse.

Those notes should have been turned over to the defense, Bergstrom said.

In Sorensen's notes, she describes four encounters Danny Gallagher allegedly had with Father Engelhardt, two of which resulted in sex abuse. In the grand jury report, there are only three encounters with Engelhardt, and only one resulting in sex abuse.

Sorensen quotes Danny Gallagher in her notes as saying things that were supposedly said by his attackers, but the quotes are missing from Snyder's notes, and they also do not appear in the grand jury report.
Father Charles Engelhardt: Falsely Accused; Died In Prison

"There are certain things that people do that God wants them to do," Father Engelhardt supposedly tells Gallagher. "But people don't really talk about it. But it's natural . . ."

"You can do these acts without being a sinner [if you pray??]" Sorensen says Gallagher quoted the priest as saying. The priest also supposedly asked, "Do you want to practice?" as in sex. There are also specific details such as the priest starting things by allegedly unbuttoning the boy's shirt, and then, when it was over, saying, "You are dismissed," that don't appear in Snyder's notes, or the grand jury report.

This is the kind of material that defense lawyers would use to impeach a witness. But you can't ask any questions if the D.A. deliberately buries the evidence.

In Sorensen's version of the encounters with Engelhardt, "Danny said he told the priest if he came near him again, he'd kill him." Snyder makes the same claim. But Gallagher told the social workers it was the priest who threatened to kill him; the grand jury report doesn't mention any death threat.

In Sorensen's notes, Gallagher claims that Father Avery attacked him "in a backroom where supplies are kept." Snyder says the attack takes place in a "back storage room." But in the official grand jury report, Avery allegedly attacks Gallagher in the sacristy.

In Sorensen's notes, Avery supposedly says during the attacks, "Look at me, son," and, "This is what God wanted."  

"Danny says those words will never leave him," Sorensen writes. But Snyder doesn't mention this, and those quotes are left out of the grand jury report.

In Sorensen's notes, schoolteacher Bernard Shero attacks Gallagher in an area of a park known as "Little City" and they pass a sign that says "Welcome to Winchester Park." But in the Snyder version the rape occurs in a parking lot near Shawn and Holmhurst Street; in the grand jury report, the location is a park about a mile from Gallagher's house. In the Shero attacks, petroleum jelly and paper towels are used, details Snyder doesn't mention, details that are not in the grand jury report.
The Buck Stops Here: Progressive Larry Krasner

Now this prosecutorial misconduct is the problem of our new D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner. Will he go forward with the retrial of Msgr. Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's former secretary for clergy? Lynn's conviction on one count of endangering the welfare of a child had twice been overturned by the state Superior Court.

Ben Waxman, a spokesman for the D.A.'s office, last seen hiding under his desk, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.


  1. When is enough going to be enough. Krasner campaigned on "cleaning" the DAs office. Now we have instances of DAs committing perjury - lying to a judge. And here is the Phila Inquirer - they just ran a 2 page article about two brothers involved in the same crime - one got to go to the Super Bowl; the other is still in prison. How about writing one about how a Catholic priest died because DAs lied to a judge? Their anti-Catholic bias rears its ugly head.

  2. Replies
    1. It appears the ADA's were willing to perjure themselves just to make Rufus look good. There is little chance that the DA will proceed with a retrial.

    2. Of course they were willing to perjure themselves, its not a crime when they do it, perjury is only a crime for the rest of us. Lying, hiding evidence, all legal for the DOJ. Why have any fear, they can say and do whatever they want, even in front of the media, no worries.

    3. Good News!!! The new Billy Penn newsletter is up and running and is looking for dirt or "something that just does not sound right" on politicians or elected officials. After they dusted off their new office and had a cheese-steak lunch they are hot on the trail of politicians.

      Maybe we can entice these two intrepid reporters with real dirt and "something that is absolutely not right" with info on prosecutors and the justice departments facts, they could use some fact checking. The Lynn case would be a great start.

      We have loads and loads of information, but its not fashionable to focus on anyone other than politicians, who really cares about innocent people, horrible politicians are walking around that need their facts checked.

      Monica and Michela want a career with future, talk to defendants about their treatment at the hands of the "justice" department.

      See below, from Billy Penns newsletter.

      Both Mónica and Michaela are now ready to report for duty as fact-checkers, so we need your help: Hear a politician — or any public official — say something that just doesn't sound right? Send us a note at and we'll dig into it.

  3. Found in the secret archives? Interesting

  4. Who knew the prosecutors in Rufus's office had their own secret archives.

  5. Its shocking to think that prosecutors have no regard for the truth, if it goes against the agenda they are pushing, wining and their own well being come before the basic rights of fellow citizens.
    Sorensen must go to jail.

  6. It is pretty shocking, isn't it? Imagine if we had a daily newspaper in this town that cared about prosecutorial misconduct, or falsely-accused priests or a Catholic schoolteacher.

    But over at our daily newspaper, where social justice warriors reign, nobody gives a damn about wrongly accused priests or a Catholic schoolteacher. It doesn't fit in with their preconceived notions. Catholic priests are automatically presumed guilty of sex abuse; why would sex abuse victims lie?

    And so it goes. I wrote a book about the Vince Fumo case. It's filled with stories never printed before about excesses of the prosecutors and excesses of the Inky. The best thing I could hope for is a bad book review. But they seem determined to ignore it.

    1. Had the Inky reported the facts as the prosecutions facts only,instead of aiding the prosecution, they could now be in a position to revisit the piece they had written to correct the record, when new facts become available, as they sometimes do.

      Remember along with priest all being guilty of sex crimes, the most notorious of criminals that walk the earth are elected officials,everyone knows they are all crooks and should be eradicated,an easy target for the prosecution and the media. The Inky hates all elected officials or it just seems like it with years and years of a barrage of negativity.

      But since the Inky has done all the in-depth research on every case it has ever written about and knows all the truths, there is no need for them to change their views. Even in the face of abject lies told to them by the prosecution.

      Will the day dawn on the Inky that we need them to be a participant in an unfolding case, not part of the prosecution team. We need them as an advocate for justice not the prosecutors, we need them to take responsibility when they get it wrong and give much deserved justice, that has been denied to innocents for too long.

      Prosecutors never get it wrong and can not be challenged, same with the Inky.

  7. This from Detective Walsh:

    Mr. Cipriano, I just finished reading the latest post on your blog. I have to thank you because after what was said about me in court by ADA Blessington and the lies told to Judge Ceisler, I feel vindicated. I'm glad that the truth is finally coming out and those responsible for this injustice are being brought to light.

    Retired Detective Joe Walsh

    1. Good job Walsh. Jack Rossiter, retired FBI and former Archdiocese investigator. I worked over one hundred cases and never heard of three employees passing a victim around

    2. Joe - where were you six years ago?

    3. Retired Detective Joe WalshMarch 7, 2018 at 7:36 PM

      Contrary to the lies the DAs told Judge Ceisler that I was helping the defense attorneys and giving them information, I never spoke to either defense attorney before the trial began and was never subpoenaed by either of them. Had I been subpoenaed to testify in court, I would have answered all questions put to me truthfully. However, I never had the opportunity to testify to the truth.

    4. To Ralph, Detective Walsh, and Jack Ross; We are so grateful for your continued effort to expose the fabrications in the 2011 GJR and the resulting devastation to many individuals and their families. We believe the truth may provide some level of comfort to the families of Father Engelhardt and Mr. Shero. We have been waiting for years for the truth to be told. There are also individuals who were vilified by the lies in that report. Their reputations and careers were destroyed and their families were hurt. Their names were splashed across the internet and news media across the country. They were constantly told that they were "just collateral damage". When are people going to be held accountable for the destruction of lives they have created!! The families who have been suffering for years from the fallout of these lies.

  8. I haven't heard back from Mariana "You're Killing My Case" Sorensen yet, but I'm sure she'll be weighing in any minute. Right after I hear from Ben Waxman, the spokesman for our new DA, Progressive Larry Krasner.

    And from Bill Marimow over at the Inky, who will be telling me he just an investigative team on the Billy Doe case, because he heard the kid might not be telling the truth.

    1. Do you think we have it all wrong about the Inky, do you think they already know that prosecutors, FBI agents lie,IRS agents lie, as well as knowing that Judges look the other way when it comes to team prosecution, that they also know about jailhouse witnesses who have been lying for the prosecution or witnesses and their families who are threatened to cooperate, defendants who plead guilty to crimes that never happened rather than take a chance with a jury that already thinks they are guilty because of the Inky.

      It may not be news to them at all. The Inky may not feel its their job to enlighten the region or juries that sit in judgement and make critical decisions on the lives of defendants.

      Unless the ground swell throughout the United States against the Justice Department is too obvious for them to ignore. Recently they have started publishing articles involving some police officers , I think in another fifty years or so they will have the courage to go after prosecutors, FBI agents or Judges.

  9. I would like to know which kindergarten those ADA's and Seth Williams got their law degree from. Kramer is no better as he is prosecuting the double jeopardy of Lynn's case in order to save Blessington's ass

    1. It really does not matter what law schools they attended, law schools all teach ethics, prosecutors just don't use that training in the real world, its useless to them, they can't win if they use their ethics training.

  10. Thanks Ralph!

    There must be another secret safe in Philadelphia and some honor in the DA's office! Could Diogenes have found it?

    Or - - - maybe this information came from a disgruntled employee whom Krasner canned.

    Whatever the source or motive, this disclosure should be enough to get Sorensen disbarred, prosecuted and incarcerated. Hope so!

    I'd like to be a fly on the wall in Mariana's kitchen - or in her shrink's office, for that matter.

    Wonder if Her 'Honor' Sarmina knew anything about this?

    1. Or the smart thing would be for Kramer to drop the case and fire Blessington as nobody wants to take on his predecessor's shit.

  11. This case and the Sandusky case seem to be isomorphic to McMartin, Fells Acres, Linda Micheals, and of course, the Salem Witch hunts. When will they ever learn?....when will they ever learn??

  12. Oh. darn. It was Kelly Micheals in New Jersey. Terrible injustice, but Fells Acres and McMartin were worse. But who is going to prosecute the prosecutors?? When jurors believe that children were turned into mice, you really have to scratch your head...but that's what happened!

  13. If it is any consolation, it took the LA Times 50 years to apologize for the panic they caused with fake news about a Japanese invasion. Thousands of innocent Americans sent to Manzanar. The Times never apologized for its role in McMartin. Only a single reporter decided that he had enough and wrote a stinging article about the case. Good discussion on the cases at

  14. Interesting that McGovern still remains quiet through all of this. History with DA's office keeps you guessing his priority in the case.

  15. In my estimation, changing grand jury testimony should result in an automatic dismissal of the case and jail time for Sorensen. We know that prosecutors lie to grand juries to get indictments, changing the wording is equally as horrific.

    1. @Anonymous - sounds GREAT to me. Wonder if sending this blog entry to Ceisler, Sarmina or the President Judge would do any good. How about to all the judges on the Superior / Supreme Court?

    2. Can guarantee you that Krasner, Ceisler, Sarmina have staff monitoring this blog. They all have larger political aspirations and their MISS on this case is a huge mark on their careers.

      Just reread the Inquirer article where they wrote about Malcolm Jenkins giving 2 Super Bowl tickets to someone who killed a person as a juvenile. Yet the Inquirer refuses to write anything about perjury committed within the Phila DAs office and the wrongful convictions of a Catholic priest and a Catholic school teacher


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.