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What You Don’t Know About Massachusetts Priest: Richard Lavigne Biography, Wiki, Age, Net Worth, Family, Facebook, Instagram and More

Kody Scott
Kody Scott

Who was Richard Lavigne?

Richard Lavigne was a former Catholic priest who was reportedly named as the only suspect in the murder investigation of Croteau but was never charged. He died on May 21, as informed by Hampden District Attorney Anthony D Gulluni. The 13-year-old Danny Croteau was found dead along the Chicopee River in Springfield on April 15, 1972. He was bludgeoned to death. After almost five decades of the gruesome murder, the District Attorney says.

How old was Richard Lavigne?

Richard Lavigne was 80 years old at the time of death.

Father Richard Lavigne

Lavigne, a convicted child molester, was the prime and the only suspect in Croteau’s murder investigation for years.

His attorneys, though, repeatedly denied his involvement. Lavigne was a priest for Croteau’s parish and was a close aide of the family. Gulluni said that Lavigne came under the radar of suspicion because of the “inconsistent and unusual” statements he made after the murder and because they learned he had lied about the last time he saw Croteau. DNA tests failed to link Lavigne to the Croteau murder in 1994.

The Hampden County District Attorney William Bennett could not charge Lavigne in that case.

Richard Lavigne Wiki

Lavigne was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under age 14, in 1992, according to the Sex Offender Registry Board.

He was even classified as a Level 3 sex offender and was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and seven months of mandatory sex-offender counseling.

About 40 claims of sexual abuse of minors were placed against him.

Lavigne was defrocked in 2003.

Richard Lavigne Chicopee Ma

Gulluni authorized investigators to conduct a series of interviews with Lavigne earlier this year.

The conversations were recorded during 11 hours of interviews spanning over five days. “Lavigne refused to affirmatively admit that he killed Danny Croteau. He at times was cagy and evasive, continuing his long-running attempts to mislead and distract investigators. However, he made several statements to indicate that he was the last person to see Danny Croteau alive — that he brought him to the riverbank on April 14, 1972, that he physically assaulted him there and after leaving Danny there, in his words, and returning a short time later, that he saw Danny floating face-down in the river.

He stated further that he neither attempted to rescue him nor alert Danny’s parents or police of Danny’s whereabouts,” Gulluni said.

Bishop William Byrne of the Diocese of Springfield said:

“I was angered and sickened to hear Lavigne’s unapologetic admissions in the heinous murder of this innocent child. It is incredibly disheartening to learn that a priest, a person ordained to care for God’s people, would have committed such an evil crime and then not taken responsibility for his actions.”

Richard Lavigne Obituary

Croteau’s brother, Joe Croteau said that his family is disappointed that Lavigne will not be brought to justice, but they believe “there’s a higher power and he will face that higher power now”. Lavigne died at the age of 80, according to the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry.

Richard spent the last two years of his life ‘in violation’ and his last known residence was in Chicopee.

Gulluni said:

“In fact, earlier that day, I authorized members of my office’s state police detective unit to present the facts of our investigation to a magistrate in order to obtain a complaint and arrest warrant for Richard Lavigne.” Informing that Lavigne’s death has permanently shut Croteau’s murder investigation, Gulluni said, “Regrettably, due to Lavigne’s death, there will be no prosecution or trial. But, due to the credible and significant evidence that has been assembled in the last year that incriminates Richard Lavigne, I am announcing today that the investigation into the murder of Danny Croteau is now officially closed.”

Richard Lavigne Cause of Death

After nearly 50 years, answers have been revealed in the murder of 13-year-old Danny Croteau.

Investigators shared audio of the alleged killer’s confession. Richard Lavigne died of COVID-19 Friday. The same day investigators in Springfield, Massachusetts were set to charge the former catholic priest with murder in the death of Croteau in 1972.

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