Murdered Behind Bars

Prison is always a tough place, but it's especially dangerous for notorious convicts. Last Saturday pedophile ex-priest John Geoghan was strangled by another inmate inside a maximum-security Massachusetts prison. Geoghan was being held in a protective-custody unit, but even that couldn't keep him from joining Jeffrey Dahmer and the Boston Strangler among felons killed in prison. Geoghan, who faced accusations of molesting more than 150 parishioners over three decades, began serving a nine-year sentence in January for fondling a boy in a public swimming pool in 1991. He was scheduled to stand trial again on child-rape charges. "Sex offenders are hated by other prisoners, and they'll be abused in every way you can imagine," says Jim Hogshire, an expert on prison sociology.

Among Geoghan victims, there was no celebrating his death. "I feel bad for the guy--no one deserves to die under those circumstances," says Ralph DelVecchio, 46. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who's represented 147 Geoghan victims, says some of them cried upon hearing the news. The Boston Archdiocese, which has already paid $10 million to settle 86 Geoghan lawsuits, offered "prayers for the repose of John's soul."