By Kevin Cullen GLOBE COLUMNIST JULY 26, 2017
It seems achingly unfair that Joe Crowley is dead and Paul Shanley is about to go free.
Shanley, a predator in a Roman collar, is wrapping up a 12-year sentence for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s.
Some have the audacity to suggest that Shanley was overpunished, that he got more time in prison than he deserved because he eluded justice for his multitude of other crimes on technical grounds.
The reality is that Paul Shanley ruined countless lives, including Joe Crowley’s, and he was never held accountable or punished for that. Shanley got off easy, if you ask me. The bigger scandal is that so many of his fellow predators, and their supervisors, never saw the inside of a prison cell.
Joe Crowley was 15 years old, a student at Boston College High School on a path to college, when a 40-year-old Shanley raped him, then passed him on to other men like a cigarette.
Like a lot of young, vulnerable teenagers who fell under Shanley’s charismatic street priest spell, Crowley walked right into his clutches. Crowley spent years blaming himself, ruining his health, mental and physical, with booze and cigarettes and whatever else might dull the memories.