October 19, 2005

Alleged priest-killer's family speaks out

Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
October 18, 2005

The following is an edited statement issued by the family of the late Father Ryan Erickson, who recently was found by a judge to have likely been responsible for the shooting deaths of Dan O'Connell and James Ellison in 2002.

(For the record, I would like to say that I agree with the judge's ruling.)

"In the past months, and especially the last few weeks, we have had to watch Father Ryan's name and reputation be battered. So many accusations and innuendos! So many people will say we have our heads buried in the sand; that we do not want to see the truth. We cannot help what people think, and this is not so much about trying to change people's minds about Father Ryan as it is about speaking out on the way we feel.

"Our family chose to keep silent through all of this and, as a result, many people think we did not care enough. The old adage 'Silence is Golden' did not apply in this case. Some of his friends even accused us of letting him hang because we were not at the hearing, and that we had something to hide.

"For one thing, we were told that we could not be there. We have a letter stating that it was a closed John Doe hearing and that only [Erickson's parents] would be allowed in the court room. Many of us would have been there, for we loved and supported Father. Our hearts go out to the O'Connell and Ellison families; they lost someone they love very much.

Posted by kshaw at October 19, 2005 07:23 AM