March 7, 2006 at 5:49 pm #1863Herald42Participant
Catholic priest murdered outside London coffee house
LONDON ? Father Patrick McDonald was found murdered in a back alley of the The Athenaeum, a Coffee House located between Pall Mall and Waterloo Place.
The 56-year-old catholic priest was well favored in religious circles and around London. Police have made finding the culprit a top priority and are giving a 20-Pound reward for anyone who has information leading to the arrest and capture of the criminal.
Investigators at the crime scene report that the man?s head was severed from his body and then placed into a trashcan that had been lit on fire. Investigators say they found bloody footprints at the crime scene leading off into an alleyway.
They think the suspect is a man, anywhere from 5-foot-7-inches tall to 5-foot-11-inches tall weighing anywhere from 140 pounds to 170 pounds, based on the girth of the footprints.
He was running east within the back alleys based on a trickle of blood found.
Police suspect some kind of sword or machete was used to detach the head from the body, citing the use of two quick slash marks on the victim?s neck.
?Whoever did this is sick and twisted and we will find you,? top investigator Constable Nick Montgomery said.
Montgomery said the priest had been involved in an altercation with a woman in the coffee house?s back alley. The woman was also hurt but didn?t know many details of the incident. She remains under investigation and her name is not being released.
McDonald, who presided over services at St Martin-in-the-Fields, had been considered as a likely candidate for Cardinal. He was well versed in Vatican doctrines and had received minor acclaim for his work among the poor.
All Catholic parishes across London are mourning the death of McDonald and a special service is being conducted this Sunday.
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