October 04, 2005

The dark side of Fr. Erickson

Ironwood Daily Globe

Published Tuesday, October 4, 2005 2:14:50 PM Central Time

HUDSON, Wis. -- Testimony at Monday's John Doe hearing into the deaths of two Hudson men revealed that the Rev. Ryan Erickson, a Catholic priest, had a dark side to his private life involving sexual contact with young boys.

A judge concluded after Monday's hearing that there was probable cause to conclude that Erickson murdered Hudson funeral director Dan O'Connell and his intern, James Ellison.

Father Erickson served St. Patrick's Church in Hudson at the time of the murders in 2002. He later was transferred to Ladysmith and then St. Mary's in Hurley. He hanged himself in December of 2004 soon after being questioned by Hudson police.

According to an account of Monday's testimony in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Erickson professed a love of God, but he was described by witnesses as a man who downloaded hardcore pornography, much of it involving boys. Authorities said one computer file labeled "Holy Mass/Prayers" included 40 pornographic photos.

Posted by kshaw at October 4, 2005 02:48 PM