October 08, 2005

Priest knew what he shouldn't have known

Minneapolis Star Tribune

October 9, 2005

HUDSON, WIS. -- The detectives were chatting with the Rev. Ryan Erickson at his church in a small Wisconsin border town one morning last fall when he suddenly made a stunning remark.

It was their first interview with the priest in a homicide case gone cold: the February 2002 deaths of Daniel O'Connell, 39, and James Ellison, 22, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson.

During the questioning, Erickson mentioned to Hudson detectives Shawn Pettee and Jeff Knotts two small details about the killings that had never been made public: the positions of the two bodies inside the funeral home and a description of how Ellison had been coming through a doorway.

The detectives listened in silent shock.

"We didn't look at each other," Pettee recalled. "We didn't dare."

Posted by kshaw at October 8, 2005 08:31 PM