October 16, 2005

Priest suspected in Hudson killings had erratic past, raised suspicions

Duluth News Tribune


As parishioners walked past a marble monument inscribed with the words of John Paul II -- "God alone is the Lord of life, from its beginning until its end" -- the Rev. Ryan Erickson would take aim with his finger and fire imaginary shots at those he didn't like.

Strange behavior for anyone, witnesses said, much less a priest.

It also was prophetic.

Two years after Erickson left St. Patrick Catholic Church in Hudson, Wis., a judge would find that the priest likely had killed two men and sexually molested teen boys.

In the 10 months since Erickson hanged himself outside his Hurley, Wis., parish, a split portrait of the priest emerged. This traditional, cassock-clad Catholic clergyman -- who was full of Old Testament wrath and damnation -- was a man who couldn't control his drinking, ego or illicit sexual appetites.

Posted by kshaw at October 16, 2005 09:43 AM