Michael W. Ryan
Michael Wayne Ryan (August 3, 1948 – May 24, 2015) was an American convicted murderer and white supremacist.
Ryan was the leader of a small, anti-government group that occupied a compound near Rulo, Nebraska, in the early 1980s. He and his group of followers 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 which were obtained by theft financially supported the activities of the group and it stockpiled weapons and supplies which it believed it would need during the imminent battle of Armageddon, which it assumed would occur in the form of a race war.
Ryan was arrested in 1984 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.
Ryan was tried, convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death on September 12, 1985. 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 at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution on death row on May 24, 2015.
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