Father Christopher Clonan's whereabouts have been the source of as much speculation in recent years and filled as much newspaper copy as the progress of the child abuse legal claims against him.
But the mystery ended in May last year when West Midlands Police confirmed that the man known to neighbours in a quiet Melbourne suburb as Christie Oliver was the fugitive priest and that he had died in 1998.
Born in Clonard, Co Meath, Christopher Oliver Clonan had been a part time builder and property developer before entering the priesthood and being posted to Christ the King church in Coundon, Coventry, in the 1970s.
Because of his former trade, he became known as "Father Fix It" for his skills in church construction schemes.
But the priest, who was known to swear like a trooper and have a weakness for whiskey and cigars, became embroiled
in an altogether different project, abusing young parishioners and altar boys.
It was claims from his victims that prompted Clonan to flee the country in 1992 as police began investigating the allegations, which were said to have taken place in his presbytery, the snooker club he built and his home.
From there, he is said to have spent time in a psychiatric hospital in Dublin before flying to Australia to join members of his large family who had resettled in Melbourne.
It was then the conspiracy theories began to emerge: Clonan had faked his own death, Reggie Perrin- style, and reemerged with a new identity, even returning to the West Midlands.
One claimed he was posing as a teacher, travelling on an Irish passport and had been spotted by two priests at St Dunstan's Catholic Church in the Kings Heath area of Birmingham.
Clonan ' s brother, Andrew, was forced to issue repeated denials that the former parish priest was still alive, going so far as to issue his death certificate.
The document stated that unmarried property developer Christopher Oliver - by then he had dropped his surname - died on October 22 1998, aged 56, at 214 High Street, in the Kangaroo Flats area of Bendigo, a suburb of Melbourne.
He was cremated at Bendigo crematorium five days later. DNA taken at the time satisfied the British detectives who travelled to Australia.
It was only then that neighbours who knew Christie Oliver found out his real identity.
Clonan's death means those whose innocence he robbed cannot see him punished on this earth but with eight more claims against him, they can seek an apology and financial compensation from the Roman Catholic Church.