Paul Sweetman was 70 when he was reported missing by wife in August 2004, allegedly beaten to death, frozen, dismembered and his remains scattered around the New Britain area, by Hannon and Minery
His leg was found on a golf course a month later, but not identified as Sweetman
In 2016, his son submitted to a DNA test and the leg was a parental match
Hannon had revealed grisly intimate details of murder to the FBI as early as 2006
Rudy Hannon and Sorek Minery, this week were arrested and charged with murder and felony murder
Sweetman was last seen by his wife Joanne on July 21, 2004, but she reported him missing to Southington police three days later. New
Britain police believe that although Hannon and Minery were involved in Sweetman’s killing, the slaying was at the behest of Joanne Sweetman
Joanne who was first married to Julius Schacknow, reportedly, was in a struggle for control of the cult with her current husband, after the death of Schacknow
Rudy Hannon [left], and Sorek Minery [right], have been arrested over the 2004 murder of Paul Sweetman.
The murder of a man who was beat to death, dismembered and scattered around New Britain will finally be prosecuted – nearly 14 years later. Paul Sweetman, 70, was allegedly beaten to death, frozen, cut into pieces and buried in 2004.
Sweetman’s leg turned up on the golf course that same year, about a month after he was reported missing by his wife, but police didn’t find out who it was once connected to until 2016, an arrest warrant obtained by the Record Journal claims.
A claim to the FBI about the way the father – who had the high-ranking position of ‘Chief Apostle’ in a religious cult called ‘The Work’, had been murdered, an open missing persons case in another area and a DNA test on Sweetman’s son allowed police to start piecing the grisly murder together.
This week, alleged killers Rudy Hannon, 72, and Sorek Minery, 42, were arrested and charged with murder and felony murder.
Police allege that Sorek Minery of Burlington and Rudy Hannon a former Burlington area resident, killed Paul Sweetman, 70, of Southington, in 2004, dismembered his body and buried the remains in various places in New Britain.
The pair have been arrested over the murder of Sweetman. They allegedly beat Sweetman to death, then freezing and cutting him up before dispersing his body parts throughout New Britain
The pair were also members of The Work, a religious cult based out of central Connecticut in the 1980 and 1990s where followers praise Julius Schacknow, who claimed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Driven by what they saw as a holy mission to advance the cult known as ‘The Work’, Schacknow’s followers throughout the 1980s oversaw the building of an expanding, multimillion-dollar real estate and construction business.
Among the businesses was J-Anne North/Century 21, a real estate company based in Southington that operated five Century 21 franchises in central Connecticut and did $100 million in sales a year.
Their contracting business, County Wide Construction Co. and its affiliate, County Wide Home Improvement and Maintenance Co., did major work for towns, private developers and homeowners.
Cult leader Brother Julius Schacknow, [left], walks with his right hand man ‘Chief Apostle’ Paul Sweetman [left], one of Schacknow’s apostles and closest aides
Paul Sweetman was the “Chief Apostle” for the cult known as “Brother Julius,” for Julius Schacknow, who died in 1996. Schacknow ran the religious cult in central Connecticut more than 30 years ago.
Sweetman, who lived in Cheshire at the time before moving to Southington, was Schacknow’s self-proclaimed “chief apostle.”
Sweetman who along with ‘Apostle’ Joseph Joyce, directed many of The Work’s businesses, had several run-ins with the law during his stewardship of the cult’s businesses.
In 2000, he was sentenced to three years in federal prison on conspiracy and fraud charges and was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution after fraudulently obtaining a $3.2 million loan from a Hamden bank. He was also charged with improperly dipping into pension and profit-sharing plans for the cult’s businesses to back loans, according to the government.
In an complex maze of their domestic arrengement Paul Sweetman was married to Joanne Sweetman, Schacknow’s former wife, who died in 2011. A powerful voice in the cult, she was known by members of the cult as the “holy spirit.”
Minery allegedly, told police Hannon had convinced him Paul Sweetman needed to die, as he had been beating his wife Joanne, who was also a prominent member of the cult.
Hannon allegedly told Minery God would want Sweetman to die, and over time, Minery came to believe it.
The 70-year-old Sweetman was last seen by his wife on July 21, 2004. She reported him missing to Southington police on July 24, three days later. New Britain police believe Hannon was killed in Minery’s construction firm in Plainville shortly after his disappearance, stuffed in a freezer and then dismembered, according to an arrest warrant
Although court records allege that two former members of the cult, Rudy Hannon and Sorek Minery, were involved in Sweetman’s killing, the slaying was at the behest of Joanne Sweetman, police said.
Joanne reportedly, was in a struggle for control of the cult with her husband.
The arrest warrant says Hannon revealed the murder to the FBI as early as 2006, when he claimed he had taken Sweetman to Minery’s workshop, the alleged crime scene, believing Minery would ‘work him over’ [beat him].
Hannon admitted to helping disrobe and freeze Sweetman’s body, and told the FBI where the rest of the man’s limbs were.
The head and legs buried no more than 12 inches below the ground in a reservoir and his arms and torso wrapped in garbage bags and covered by a concrete slab below Minery’s shed.
The shed was not excavated until 2016, but detectives found Sweetman’s torso and arms, wearing jewellery described by Hannon 10 years earlier, and a ring with ‘Joanne’ inscribed on it.
Sweetman’s head and other leg have not yet been excavated by police, the New Britain Herald reported.
When detectives questioned Minery days later, he admitted to pulling Sweetman’s body out of the freezer three to four days later, dismembering him with an electric saw, and putting him back inside.
Hannon and Minery have turned on each other. Rudy Hannon [photo] in court Aug 1 2018] has provided a detailed account of what happened to the FBI in 2006 in which he blames his co-defendant for the murder, while he merely assisted with the disposal
The men’s statements to police, as seen in Hannon’s arrest warrant, suggest the pair agree on how Sweetman died, and how his body was hidden.
What they can’t decide, is who dealt the fatal blows.
Hannon previously claimed he waited outside while Minery beat Sweetman to death, but has more recently claimed he was in the room.
Hannon says after Minery finished beating the victim, they put Sweetman in the fridge together, though Hannon believed he may have still been alive.
He claimed Minery also placed a heavy bag of tools on the freezer to prevent any attempt at escape.
Contradicting his partner’s account of events, Minery says it was Hannon that attacked the Sweetman, before asking for help getting him inside the freezer.
He admitted that he used an electric saw to chop Sweetman into pieces, and then he placed the remains in a garbage bag and back into the freezer until he could dispose of them.
Minery buried Sweetman’s head and legs in a shallow grave near the New Britain reservoir and then buried the torso and arms beneath his shed on Leo Street, he said. He shared the location of the remains with Hannon, he said. Minery drew police a sketch of his business including the location of the freezer he used to store Sweetman’s body. Sweetman’s head and other leg have not been recovered by police.
The 42-year-old claims Hannon then extorted him, demanding money in exchange for his silence.
72-year-old Rudy Hannon who was arraigned in Bristol Superior Court Tuesday, has an extensive criminal history and has done time in federal prison.
Minery had no criminal record prior to his arrest on Tuesday. He also made his first appearance in Bristol Superior Court on Wednesday.
Both cases have been transferred to New Britain Superior Court where the more serious cases are heard. The alleged killers are being held in separate corrections facilities on a bond of $2million. Neither have entered a plea.