Desert Beliefs: Father Gary Underwood update

Jan 9, 2008 Full story: The Arizona Daily Star 20

“No showing has been made that the prosecution intentionally slowed the proceedings; once the alleged victims came forward the state acted in a timely fashion.”

Looks like the Rev. Gary E. Underwood may be heading to trial on charges that he molested three teenage boys during the 1980s. via The Arizona Daily Star

Full Story
Jerry Tredway

Springfield, MO

#1 Feb 7, 2008
I don't believe the accusations against Fr. Gary Underwood. I knew him personally as my priest from 1989-1991 while serving in the USAF. Even if the accusations are true I hold no ill feelings towards him and won't pass any bad judgement against him. Your in our prayers!! Jerry and Dulce!
Michelle

Tucson, AZ

#2 May 20, 2008
Pull your heads out of your butts!! I know the victims and they would not make this up, why? I know what they have been going through the last 20 years. I'm so sick of people thinking these priest are beyond the law, Gods and the state. They are just men, dishonest ugly men who deserve harsher punishment then normal. Thank God I'm not catholic.
THANK GOD!!! I hope he spends the rest of his life in person. There are plenty of men there who would love to get a piece of him. Eye for an eye. AMEN
Fred

Spring, TX

#3 Jun 19, 2008
I too knew Gary Underwood while at Tyndall AFB. The admitted and plead guilty to the charges. Hope the sick bastard that baptised my daughter burns in hell.
Fred

Spring, TX

#4 Jun 19, 2008
Yea, It's hard Jerry to pass judgement on a priest who shows 15 year boys porn, serves them booze and cons them into oral sex. God bless your retarded heart Jerry! By the way, I remeber seeing that Corvette..a 65 wasn't it? Who knew that would be a wagon for child molesting...hope they bury him in it.

"Prosecutors say Underwood molested the boys in the St. Odilia’s rectory, as well as in a hot tub, in his car and inside the church itself. He is accused of having an “overarching scheme or plan” to engage in sexual acts with the boys, befriending them with a young, cool, demeanor and driving them in his red Corvette. Prosecutors say he then took advantage of them by supplying them with alcohol, showing them pornography, and having sexual contact with them".
Barney

Spring, TX

#5 Jun 19, 2008
Oh Jerry and Dulce my dear friends, believe it for it is true my children. For he who offers worship also ovveres sex to young BOYS. Read bellow:

ARIZONA DAILY STAR …former Tucson priest admitted Tuesday afternoon to engaging in sexual acts with three teenage boys in 1983 and 1984.

The Rev. Gary E. Underwood pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual conduct with a minor and will be sentenced in August.

On Tuesday, Underwood admitted he engaged in oral sex with two of the boys and other acts with the third.
Wilma Dino

Spring, TX

#6 Jun 19, 2008
Wow, what a sick man! Befriends little boys and has oral sex with them? Sick! Utilized his "Little Red Corvette" (Prince joke) in many ways didnt he. LOL...what a sicko. People turn to him for worship, support and guidance. And how does he return the favor? He molests your young male children! So what if it has been 15 years since the act took place...who's to say there weren't others who are just embarased or affraid to speak out. It's like a kid and the cookie jar, once you had one cookie...you always go back a sneak somemore. He is guily as sin and hope he gets what he deserves.
Debbie

Urbana, IL

#7 Jul 16, 2008
Jerry Tredway wrote:
I don't believe the accusations against Fr. Gary Underwood. I knew him personally as my priest from 1989-1991 while serving in the USAF. Even if the accusations are true I hold no ill feelings towards him and won't pass any bad judgement against him. Your in our prayers!! Jerry and Dulce!
I can't believe I'm reading this! This man admitted to molesting children and you have no bad judgement against him? He passed a life sentence on these children when he did this to them.
CPR

Houston, TX

#8 Jul 28, 2008
Hey Jerry, I knew Gary personally as well. Intrestingly enough, my last contact with him was around the time that you first began serving in the USAF. It's people like you that keep Gary in business. It's also people like you that feed your kids to him for weekend sleepovers at the rectory. Open your eyes and see the light. As a young man growing up serving as an alter boy, I knew all about his fancy cars (btw, Wilma he drove a camero before getting the Vette) He loved sharing his alcohol and pornography to young unsuspecting boys who looked up to him. After all, how many priest actually drove a cool sportscar? Knowing him has forever influenced that way that I look at clergy- which is unfortunate- in that I know there are good priests out there. The allegations are true. I know first hand. Gary has negatively impacted many lives (except Jerry Tredway's) I gave a deposition earlier this year and am just sorry that I won't see the SOB sentenced on August 5th. Let's just hope the punishment will fit the crime- I know that they just love his type in prison.

GCJ

Since: Aug 08

Kent, WA

#9 Aug 5, 2008
For everyone else that has posted, I am not Catholic, but I too know Gary personally and have witnessed first hand the torment this hole ordeal has been to him, his family, and everyone else that loves and knows him. I can understand the guilt and toture the four young men must have endured IF they were molested and I believe some justice would be deserving if true, but to hear the venomous hate spewing from your hearts is more troublesome than the actions of a man, who if truly guilty, is in need of help. Fr. Gary plead guilty to the charges, but I still don't believe he is guilty....and here's why. Let's say I gave you a revolver with two chambers, one empty and one loaded, then forced you to stand before the court to play Roulette with your life. You could plead your case, your word against mine. If you pull the trigger, well who know's what might really happen. Your freedom, your life, or the end of it as you know it. Now lets say before you
pull the trigger I offer you one more option. That option is to plead guilty, but instead of Roulette with your life...a life sentence, I offer you a shot to your stomach. It's going to hurt, you'll forever be wounded, but you will live. If given those choices...really...which would you pick. You can try to prove your innocence and leave your life up to a Jury (oh and by the way, we already know the history of the Catholic Church, so these accusations must be true right...I could read it in your posts), or you can accept a plea-bargain, admit guilt, and serve a sentence of not longer than 12 years (6 years if paroled). This is the position Fr Gary was in, so while he DID plead guilty, I truly believe he did so as not to play Roulette with his life.

I am so disgusted with some of what the above posters have said. "I hope he burns in hell", "there are plenty of men that would love to get a piece of him. Eye for an eye. AMEN". AMEN...nice touch...and I'm glad you all are so perfect and Christian at that. You should be ashamed of yourselves. So here's my quote, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
CPR

Houston, TX

#10 Aug 6, 2008
To GCJ:
Well said. It is true that many things have been said about Gary that I believe (for some) are an expression of anger from the culmination of abuse that has occurred to young people at the hands of some select priests. With that said, as stated above, I too knew Gary, and I know that he is guilty. I gave a sworn deposition to these facts earlier this year. Although many years have passed since my experience with him, the memory of his evil ways still remain vivid in my mind. The years that have passed have not dinimished the negative impact that He left in many of the lives that he came in contact with. The distrust of the Church and priests in gereral has been something I have grappled with over the years. This has been very unfortunate because I know that there are good priests out there. I have deep and profound respect for the three individuals that have stepped up and spoke out about something that has caused them unspeakable pain.

Gary did play Roulette- BUT, he put himself into the position of being handed the gun in the first place. He will most likely serve 7-8 years of the 10 years he was sentenced to because of this. This pales in comparison to the LIFE sentence these men have to serve living through the experience of even knowing the man.

Everyone involved (including Gary) needs our prayers. Gary will serve his time- God will give the final judgement.

Jamiedawn

Tallassee, AL

#12 Aug 9, 2008
GCJ:
Pleading guilty is one thing, confessing to these crimes is another. A confession was not necessary to make a guilty plea or to make his sentence less but a assurance of his guilt. One I might add was a total shock to myself and my family.
In 1996 while my husband was stationed at Eglin AFB, Fr Gary came into our lives. We spent many months with him going through the rite of RCIA. Fr Gary not only baptized myself and husband but our two sons as well and gave us our First Holy Communion. We loved and respected more than words can say he was our friend. When these allegations first came out I did not believe them. Not because he was a man of cloth who took an oath to serve God and man but because I thought he was a man with to much honor and dignity to such a heinous crime against children. One even the most hardened criminal looks down on.
I know from personal experience that once a predator takes the INNOCENCE of a child it can NEVER be given back. I feel for his victims and just hope they will be able to live somewhat normal lives now that this is behind them and justice has been served.
I agree that some of the comments made here have been mean and I have nothing cruel to say to Gary. I can say though that any love and respect I have had for him for years is gone. His victims, as well as his parishioners from over the years will be forever changed by his actions.
Noel Desilets

United States

#13 Aug 10, 2008
Jamiedawn wrote:
GCJ:
Pleading guilty is one thing, confessing to these crimes is another. A confession was not necessary to make a guilty plea or to make his sentence less but a assurance of his guilt. One I might add was a total shock to myself and my family.
In 1996 while my husband was stationed at Eglin AFB, Fr Gary came into our lives. We spent many months with him going through the rite of RCIA. Fr Gary not only baptized myself and husband but our two sons as well and gave us our First Holy Communion. We loved and respected more than words can say he was our friend. When these allegations first came out I did not believe them. Not because he was a man of cloth who took an oath to serve God and man but because I thought he was a man with to much honor and dignity to such a heinous crime against children. One even the most hardened criminal looks down on.
I know from personal experience that once a predator takes the INNOCENCE of a child it can NEVER be given back. I feel for his victims and just hope they will be able to live somewhat normal lives now that this is behind them and justice has been served.
I agree that some of the comments made here have been mean and I have nothing cruel to say to Gary. I can say though that any love and respect I have had for him for years is gone. His victims, as well as his parishioners from over the years will be forever changed by his actions.
This "Father" molested alot more boys than four! I personally know one young man who was molested and it changed his life forever and the lives of all his friend and families also. I am one of those. I was one who was there when he first came out of the seminary and was working at Our Mother of Sorrows of Tucson and had his Gold Corvette. We thought he was the coolest priest ever. Then my best friend told he was hanging out at the rectory with "Gary" and was being shown pornography. I knew at that moment that my friend's life would never be the same. The evil man who robbed the innocence from my best friend and "brother" changed him from an innocent boy to a confused young man and now he (my friend) is in prison. I believe this man has ruined many young boy's lives and deserves what ever punishment can be attained. I am no longer a catholic, but I believe that he will suffer the eternal damnation of God's wrath, less he begs forgiveness of his sin from God and accept Jesus Christ as his Savior (which he apprently did not do even though he pretened to be a man of God). He stole my best friend (brother) from me and I will never be able to forgive him. I hope God can forgive me for my anger and resentment. "Father" Gary Underwood may find the mercy of God, but I hope the court throws everything possible at him.
JOR

Loveland, CO

#14 Aug 12, 2008
I too knew Father Gary back in the early to mid 1980's. I lived a few blocks from the church in Tucson and two of my best friends were members there. As high school kids I was invited to hang out with Father Gary on numerous occasions(by my friends-not by Gary himself). The only thing out of the ordinary that ever happened was he did offer us beer, which at the time we thought was "cool". But I could never understand why my two friends wanted to hang out at a priest's house watching movies(like I said-I was never exposed to porn or anything of the sort), it just seemed like there were funner things we could be doing. About ten yrs ago some of the Catholic Church pedophile stuff made news and I remember commenting to my mother that it made me wonder what might've gone on with those guys back then. Both came from decent families, but one turned to drug addiction at a young age and last I heard the other is a full blown alcoholic. When news of this hit the papers in Tucson, my mother called me right away because she remembered our discussion about father Gary from many yrs before. I hope and pray that my two childhood friends weren't the victims in this mess, and if they were I pray that there is some type of closure for them, and I also pray for father Gary and his family as I believe people who do these things are truly ill, and probably have no control over their impulses.
Gail

Rockville, MD

#15 Apr 6, 2009
I remember Fr. Gary from Our Mother Of Sorrows when I was in 7th and 8th grade, this was early 80's. He was young, handsome, really cool, had a Camaro, and according to the boys - who were always invited to hang out at the rectory, he had a top of the line tv, huge stereo, and a water bed. As a kid it bothered me that someone who took a vow of poverty and lived off tithings could live so well. I could not understand why he'd become a priest. He had it all. I wondered about him all these years and today I googled his name and found the article in the Az Daily Star. I am not surprised and I wonder if any of my classmates at OMOS were abused.
Jess

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

#16 Feb 22, 2010
I did a search today to see if I can find Father Gary and this article came up..and I am in complete shock. He was my priest for many years while I was in Middle & High School. I just can't believe it.
Dave

Las Vegas, NV

#17 Aug 28, 2010
I can't say much here because I know Father Gary as a friend, a counselor and a good Priest. He is a good person with good intentions but everybody makes mistakes. You all who were not there at these events are judging him though it is your place to forgive. Holding these grudges on the events that you may or may not have participated in is your choice I guess but don't blame all of your problems on one individual. I will not pass judgement on Father Gary and I will respect him as a human being, a person who makes mistakes just like the rest of us. I grew up in a strict Catholic family, was an alter boy until my senior year in high school and never felt intimidated or taken advantage of by any priest. I no longer choose to go to Church but I am not going to blame other people for my reasons as to why I am not a "good catholic" any more. God wants you to find it in your hearts to forgive, you know that. And for those of you that are claiming to have been "taken advantage of", your lives are your own, be strong and be the people that you are supposed to be and take responsibilty for your own actions and decisions as adults. Father Gary is spending his time in prison reflecting on his decisions and I'm sure, learning from them. He is not a bad person, move on with your lives.
Florida

Tacoma, WA

#19 Feb 11, 2011
I'm not in shock! I have been waiting for years for him to get just what he got. I was stationed at Eglin AFB and was just getting out of the military. I needed a place to stay until my new job started. He offered to let me stay at his place. After staying there a few days I knew something was wrong - he told me I'll do your laundry just put all your dirty clothes even your underwear on the washer. There were other things he wanted me to sleep in his bed or the final thing when I decided to find somewhere to stay was he said while we are in the house you need to either just be in your underwear or naked. I was like that's not gonna happen dude that's not cool. I left the next day. I took this to my old supervisor on base because she was a catholic she confronts him and he drags my name through the mud saying horrible lies about me to the point my supervisor wouldn't even talk to me. She couldn't believe a catholic priest would do these things. Well what comes around goes around Gary Underwood you got just what you deserved you b@%^$##!!! Oh and he had a new vette and abrand new F150 both red when I knew him. Revenge is mine sayeth the Lord!
Sean Corcoran

Huntley, IL

#20 Jul 26, 2011
I attended St. Odilia's, and I was an alter boy there as well; I remember his "bad ass red vette" while being in his acquaintance. I too thought he was a "cool" priest, and never had any issues with him that made me uncomfortable (Ftr Bob gave me the heebie jeebies, but I think that was more due to the fact he was a grumpy old man with no sense of humor). I don't disbelieve the horrible situations being told above, but to me, he was a good priest, and someone to look up to--and that's how I'll choose to remember him. God can do the judging; I'll pass.
This Guy

Derby, KS

#21 Jan 29, 2014
I knew Fr Gary when my family was stationed at Dyess and McConnell AFBs. I was an alter boy at both and never once had a negative experience. No odd requests, no hanging out with the boys. I too found it refreshing, and still to this day, that a priest showed he was just a man. Not holier than thou, not some pious pompous ass like some clergy out there. So what if he smoked, drank beer, cursed and had a tattoo? Doesn't make him a bad guy there, just another human being.
Now, if he truly did some stuff, then sure he should know, or believe, that he gets to rot in hell. Did he? Who knows and you would need to know all the collected evidence to really make an argument. I agree with the above poster: given the option of 12 yrs vs life, give me the short fix even if I know I'm innocent. He was going to get drilled just because of his character and the fact he was a priest. No jury would have accepted that.
Anthony

United States

#22 Sep 16, 2014
This Guy wrote:
I knew Fr Gary when my family was stationed at Dyess and McConnell AFBs. I was an alter boy at both and never once had a negative experience. No odd requests, no hanging out with the boys. I too found it refreshing, and still to this day, that a priest showed he was just a man. Not holier than thou, not some pious pompous ass like some clergy out there. So what if he smoked, drank beer, cursed and had a tattoo? Doesn't make him a bad guy there, just another human being.
Now, if he truly did some stuff, then sure he should know, or believe, that he gets to rot in hell. Did he? Who knows and you would need to know all the collected evidence to really make an argument. I agree with the above poster: given the option of 12 yrs vs life, give me the short fix even if I know I'm innocent. He was going to get drilled just because of his character and the fact he was a priest. No jury would have accepted that.
I worked alongside Ch Underwood at McConnell AFB for several years as a chaplains assistant. I even house sat for him a few times while he was away at different catholic retreats. And yes he had the yellow corvette and red F150. Never once did he say or do anything that would have indicated he was capable of doing such things. I can't judge him because it's not my place. Nor is it anyone else's place to judge him. For if you do, you are just as guilty as the charges laid out in front of him. My prayers will always be with him wherever he is now.

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