Thursday, April 9, 2009
Father Gerald Robinson was a pillar of his Toledo, Ohio church-going community. A popular priest, he was especially admired in the city's Polish neighborhoods for delivering powerful sermons in Polish. In later years, Father Robinson ministered to the sick, and eventually ended up serving as chaplain at Mercy Hospital--where met Sister Margaret Ann Pahl. Sister Margaret, age 72, was well-loved at Mercy. When, in the hospital's sacristy, she was found dead with numerous stab wounds to her neck, chest, and head--in the pattern of a cross--no one could believe it: Who at Mercy could have committed such evil? For years, there was no answer...even though questions about the chaplain's dark past continued to arise. Finally, in 2004, cold-case detectives announced that Father Gerald Robinson, who presided at Sister Margaret's own funeral, was convicted with her murder.
This is my personal review on Forgive Me,Father by written by John Glatt.I usually enjoy John Glatt books for the fact that the books are not written in a way that you get emotionally involved with any of the people in the book.It is very much a no frills no fuss style of writing.Don't get me wrong here.I do love getting emotionally involved with my books but sometimes you need to break it up a bit by reading a true crime book written in John Glatt's style of writing otherwise I would go mental.So true to form John Glatt has written another excellent book which focuses primarily on the investigation which leads to the subsequent incarceration of the criminal offender.
Especially with John Glatt books does the reader get the intricate details of an investigation and an idea into the massive workload and hours that are required by law enforcement personnel.Another plus on John Glatt style of writing is the fact that he allows the reader to come to their own conclusions as to whodunnit.This is excellent but a little bit frustrating sometimes as you really have to get all the facts right in your mind in order to convince yourself as to the guilt or innocence of the offender.In no way does John Glatt try to influence you into thinking one way or the other.
This can be seen as good or bad depending on your own views.If you like an interactive book then this is the book for you.I actually made notes and I am getting quite good at this.At one point in the book the potential murder weapon was fit into the actual chin bone of the nun to see if it was the murder weapon and I immediately thought that this should not have been done as it could alter the shape of the victims chin bone and hey,presto later on the defense argued the same thing.I was very impressed with myself.
One thing I was not happy about the part where a few nuns who had told their story of sexual abuse and satanic rituals at the hands of some priests,the investigators related in one chapter that the nuns' stories were believable.The problem for me was that John Glatt did not include the nuns' actual versions of what they had charged and the reader had to instead take the word of the investigators as to whether the story was believable or not.John Glatt as the writer does detail what they said happened to them but the stories are so horrific that I did not find it believable.I would have preferred to have the nuns' actual versions to be able to make up my mind as to the believability of the accusations.
All in all a very entertaining and well written book by John Glatt.He is one of my favorite male true crime writers.
To find out more about this book please access via link below for South African readers
or to read some more reviews on this book please go to Amazon link below
Forgive Me, Father: A True Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Brutal Murder
Publisher: St. Martin's True Crime Classics
Publication date: February 2008
I read this book in April 2009 and it has 8 pages of photographs.It was very hard for me to reconcile the photograph of the pitiful looking Father Gerald Robinson with the gruesome murder he committed.I had to remind myself that the murder took place when he was in his forties and the investigation was years later in 2004 so keep that in mind if you do decide to read this book.