Michael W. Ryan

Michael Wayne Ryan (August 3, 1948 – May 24, 2015) was an American convicted murderer and white supremacist.

Criminal careerEdit

Ryan was the leader of a small, anti-government group that occupied a compound near Rulo, Nebraska, in the early 1980s. The group had loose ties to the Posse Comitatus and links to the Christian Identity movement. His teachings included the supremacy of the white race, antisemitism, and a distrust of all established earthly authority, including governments. For months, he and his followers committed burglaries under the cover of night reselling the items to financially support the group. They stockpiled weapons and supplies believing they would be needed during an imminent battle of Armageddon, assumed to occur in the form of a race war.[1]

Ryan was arrested in 1985 after reports and a criminal investigation indicated that he had abused and killed five-year-old Luke Stice and later killed fellow group member James Thimm after he had tortured the latter for several days, beating him, whipping him, then shooting off his fingertips, skinning him alive, breaking his legs, and raping him with a shovel before finally stomping him to death.[1]

Ryan was tried to a jury in Omaha, Nebraska after a change of venue. The jury convicted him of first degree murder and the court sentenced Ryan to death on April 10, 1986 and October 16, 1986, respectively. He claimed to be in direct contact with God and vowed to spend his days in prison rewriting the Bible, but he later recanted both statements. He died of natural causes (cancer)at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution on death row on May 24, 2015.[2]


  • "Michael Ryan". Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.
  • "Judge Lifts Killer's Stay Of Execution". wowt.com. September 12, 2003.
  • "Circuit court rejects appeal by cult leader on death row". Lincoln Journal Star. October 30, 2004.
  • "Judge lifts Ryan's stay of execution". Religion News Blog. September 13, 2003.
  • "Ryan to make execution protocol argument". Lincoln Journal Star. April 26, 2007.
  • "Currently on Death Row". Nebraskans Against the Death Penalty. Archived from the original on May 25, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2007.
  • "Identity Crisis". Southern Poverty Law Center. p. 3.
  • Rod Colvin (1992). Evil harvest: The shocking true story of cult murder in the American heartland. Bantam. ISBN 0-553-29868-2.
  • "07/21/95 State of Nebraska v. Michael W. Ryan". © 1997 VersusLaw Inc. Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved July 21, 2011.


External linksEdit