Michael Wayne Ryan, an inmate on death row in Nebraska died on Sunday, May 24, 2015, at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institute in Tecumseh, Nebraska.  Michael was 66 years of age.  Michael was sentenced to death on September 12, 1985, after being convicted of murdering 5-year-old Luke Stice and 26-year-old James Thimm during the first quarter of 1984.  Michael spent the last 30 years of his life on Nebraska’s death row.

 

Michael, a high school dropout and former truck driver, eventually became the leader of white supremacist, anti-government, antisemitic, Christian cult.  The cult would carry out burglaries at night, selling the items they stole to stockpile supplies and weapons for the coming armageddon, which they believed would take the form of a race war.  In 1985, the bodies of Luke Stice and James Thimm were discovered.  Evidence suggested, and agreed with testimony provided by other members of the cult at trial, that both males had been brutally tortured and sexually assaulted before being killed.

 

Michael was last scheduled to be executed in 2012, but received a stay of execution two weeks before his scheduled date, as Nebraska was unable to obtain the necessary drugs to carry out his execution.  Legislatures in Nebraska are currently trying to abolish the death penalty.  Ten men remain on death row in Nebraska, following Michael’s death.

 

A cause of death has not yet been determined, as there has been no autopsy, however, it is known that Michael had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had been receiving treatment for a long-term medical condition.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Luke Stice and James Thimm.  Please pray for the family of Michael.

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