Nebraska Attorney General Seeks Execution Date for Cult Leader

The Nebraska attorney general’s office has asked the state Supreme Court Thursday to schedule an execution date for former cult leader Michael Ryan, who was condemned for the torture and slaying of a man in 1985 at Ryan’s compound near Rulo.

The Associated Press reports

The request followed an announcement earlier in the day by the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services that it has obtained a new supply of one of three drugs needed to carry out executions by lethal injection.

Ryan’s execution would be the first in Nebraska since 1997 and its first by lethal injection. The state had previously executed prisoners using the electric chair, but the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that it was cruel and unusual punishment. […]

Ryan was sentenced to die for the beating and slaying of James Thimm at Ryan’s compound near Rulo, a town of about 200 people in the southeast corner of Nebraska.


Over three days, Thimm was beaten, sexually abused, shot, stomped and partially skinned while he was still alive. His fingertips had been shot off on one hand.

Ryan also was convicted in the beating death of a 5-year-old son of a cult member.

Ryan was the leader of a small anti-government group that had ties to the Posse Comitatus — a racist, white supremacist, anti-semitic hate group rooted in the Christian Identity movement.

Adherents of the latter believe present day Anglo-Saxon people are direct descendants of the ancient Israelites, and have thus inherited all God’s promises to Abraham and his descendants. The movement consists of a number of groups, most of which promote hate by considering whites to be the superior race (“White Supremacy“).

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This post was last updated: May. 9, 2014