An article appearing in The New Haven Register on Monday, September 9th, sheds some light on the mystery surrounding four skeletons that were disinterred from what had been the cemetery at the former St. John's Roman Catholic Church, adjacent to what is now Yale-New Haven Hospital.
According to the article, local historian and Hamden Historical Society researcher, Tony Griego, a retired New Haven police sergeant, first learned of the cemetery many years ago in a book purchased from a friend. The book told of New Haven's first Roman Catholic church, originally called Christ Church, later St. John's Church, and the cemetery located there. When the area was being excavated forty years ago, two skulls were found among the debris discarded from the site. New Haven police determined that the skulls had been dug up from the erstwhile church cemetery.
Although the original parishioners were largely Irish immigrants, the DNA test of three of sets of bones suggested they were of southern European descent. The fourth set of bones is believed to be those of an Irish immigrant who was convicted of the 1849 murder of a New Haven couple and subsequently hanged behind the New Haven courthouse.