October 16, 2005

Tip turned focus of probe to priest

WISCONSIN
Pioneer Press

BY KEVIN HARTER
Pioneer Press

If there was so much circumstantial evidence that the Rev. Ryan Erickson killed two men, why did it take more than three years to close the case?

It's understandable today to raise that question after all the evidence was laid out at a court proceeding earlier this month, Hudson Police Chief Dick Trende acknowledges, but it's hindsight.

The reality is that detectives investigating the killings of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison were faced with reluctant or unwitting witnesses. Some didn't want to come forward, others didn't think their information was important. And there were rumors to dispel, barriers to break down in the community as well as in the church.

Most importantly, no one could or wanted to believe a priest was involved.

Posted by kshaw at October 16, 2005 09:49 AM