January 13, 2005

Police asked priest hard questions in Hudson's murders

Star Tribune

HUDSON, WIS. -- Not long before he killed himself, the Rev. Ryan Erickson told close friends that police investigators had questioned him aggressively about the double homicide at a Hudson funeral home in 2002.

Investigators asked him whether he had had affairs, both heterosexual and gay, and they named names as they interrogated the man people in the western Wisconsin border town knew as "Father Ryan." They suggested that he wanted to have sex with a woman he had counseled at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson.

Friends, clergymen and others who provided information for this article said Erickson's denials were strong and passionate. But one of those sources with knowledge of the homicide case said Erickson was also being investigated in connection with other possible criminal cases.

On Dec. 16, 2004, Hudson police searched the church, school, convent and rectory at St. Mary of the Seven Dolors Church in Hurley, Wis., confiscating 22 items -- including Erickson's computer, his secretary's computer, six pairs of shoes and his Bible.

Three days later, Erickson, 31, hanged himself.

Posted by kshaw at January 13, 2005 12:22 PM