The Gilbert Bonneau Story
According to His Family
By William Bonneau
1947 – A set of untimely and tragic events were set into motion by the sudden illness and hospitalization (and later death) of my mother. After my mother’s hospitalization, the local authorities did not believe my father would be able to care for his five children alone. Against my father’s will Daniel, Michael, and Gilbert Bonneau were placed in St. Colman’s Home. My brother Patrick was taken in by a family friend; I remained with my father.
1950 – Daniel left St. Colman’s and was transferred to another school.
1953 – On November 27, 1953 my family was notified that Gilbert had taken ill and had been sent to the infirmary.
The following day my father was informed that Gilbert’s condition drastically worsened; he was removed from the infirmary and taken to Albany Hospital. My father, my brother Danny and I immediately went to the hospital.
Danny and I remember that day clearly as it was the last day that we would ever see our brother Gilbert alive. Gilbert was comatose; he had tubes down his throat and up his nose. His head was wrapped in a bandage. Both my brother and I recall spots of blood on the bandage. I was only fourteen years of age at the time of Gilbert’s death and my brother Danny was thirteen. Our father, without question, readily accepted what the doctors told him concerning the cause of Gilbert’s death.
Through the years after our little brother passed on, we all thought about him often and we missed him very much. It was very hard for us to know that Gilbert was the most helpless of us all and he was left in St. Colman’s by himself and none of us were able to be there for him.
More than twenty years had passed since the death of Gilbert, when we received a most upsetting phone call from a woman claiming to have information surrounding the death of my brother. Her name was Marion Maynard, and she claimed to have resided at St. Colman’s Home during the same period of time that my three brothers did.
This mysterious call has triggered a chain of events leaving our family with a great many questions that have yet to be clearly answered to our satisfaction. Marion Maynard claims to have witnessed my brother Gilbert being struck several times over the head with a stick or a piece of wood by a nun. She gave us the nun’s name and also stated that the nun threatened to punish them (other witnesses to the beating) if they repeated the incident to anyone.
Our family feels stongly that the information given to us by this woman, after so many years have transpired, must be true in light of the various discrepancies surrounding all the available paperwork and the suspicious nature and questions surrounding Gilbert’s burial. Our brother Gilbert was a defenseless 8-year-old. We feel strongly that those responsible for his well being need to thoroughly investigate these claims.
More information can be found at justiceforgilbert.com