October 31, 2005

Families of 2 slain in Hudson funeral home seek meeting with pope

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Randy Furst, Star Tribune
Last update: October 31, 2005 at 3:08 PM

The families of two men who were killed more than three years ago in Hudson, Wis., said today that they will seek an audience with Pope Benedict.

At a news conference in the office of St. Paul attorney Jeffrey Anderson, a prominent litigator in the area of sexual abuse by priests, members of the families of Daniel O’Connell and James Ellison said that the Catholic church should have removed the Rev. Ryan Erickson before the killings occurred.

O’Connell, 39, and Ellison, 22, were gunned down in the O’Connell family funeral home, where they worked, on Feb. 5, 2002.

Earlier this month, St. Croix County Circuit Judge Eric Lundell ruled that there was probable cause that Erickson shot them

Erickson committed suicide on Dec. 19, 2004, three days after Hudson police executed a search warrant at a Catholic church in Hurley, Wis., where he was a priest. Erickson was an associate priest at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at the time of the killings, and denied to police that he was involved.

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 04:36 PM