Matt C. Abbott
Slain priest's 'intimate relationships'?
By Matt C. Abbott
September 15, 2018

Many of my readers know I've been following and writing about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz for a number of years. Catholic World Report recently published an excellent three-part series of articles on the case – click here, here and here to read them – written by Joe Hanneman (and contributed to by me).

From the CWR story:
    The most controversial part of the investigation came in March 2000 when then-Sheriff Gary H. Hamblin announced that Father Kunz had 'intimate' relationships with women. Police have never identified the alleged paramours, or defined what they meant by the term 'intimate.' Hamblin suggested reporters refer to Webster's dictionary, which includes definitions ranging from 'a very close relationship' to 'involving sex or sexual relations.' Investigators said jealousy, anger, infidelity, or betrayal could be a motive for the murder.

    [Sheriff David J.] Mahoney said no one wants to harm Kunz's reputation, but these kinds of 'difficult interview conversations' are a necessary part of solving the case. Investigators corroborated statements from women, at least one of whom was married, stating they had intimate relationships with the priest.

    'We would not release allegations that could not be corroborated,' Mahoney said. 'When we talk about Father Kunz having been involved in intimate relationships, it's because those statements have been corroborated. And I don't mean somebody said somebody engaged in that kind of behavior. Somebody admitted to being involved in those relationships.'
It's not clear exactly how investigators initially found out about these alleged relationships, but the Dane County Sheriff's Office has always been adamant that they occurred. One investigator told journalist Chuck Nowlen years ago: "Oh yeah, there were several of them. Yeah, there's no doubt about it at all."

More recently, in March 2018, when the sheriff's office conducted a social media campaign on the case, Mahoney emphatically told a local television station that the intimate relationships "are the facts of the case."

Overall, police are still very tight-lipped about the investigation, so I'm seeking information about these alleged relationships from the public. If anyone has firsthand knowledge of one or more of these alleged relationships, please email me at I will not publicize your name or experience.

If you prefer, you can set up a temporary, anonymous and free email account to send me information (but please don't delete the account right after you send me the information; wait until I respond at least once). Just make sure to include enough detail so I can be reasonably certain you're being truthful.

Assuming these women actually exist and are still living, I'd like to see if one or more of them will contact me.

Also, there's this item from Mr. Hanneman's CWR story:
    "Large amounts of money had been moved between parish accounts in the months before the murder, and some large checks were cut, police said."
If anyone has solid information about who was receiving these large checks and why they were receiving them, please let me know.

Thank you and God bless!

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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