Case 151

Dan O’Connell & James Ellison

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Case 151

Dan O’Connell & James Ellison

In the early afternoon of Tuesday, February 5 2002, Saint Croix County Medical Officer Marty Shanklin headed over to The O’Connell Family Funeral Home to conduct a routine visit. Due to the requirements of his job, he was well acquainted with the O’Connells, and on this occasion, he needed Dan to sign some paperwork.

Marty arrived at 1:40 PM and immediately made his way to Dan’s office, which was located towards the back of the building. Upon entering, he was met by a horrifying scene.

________

Our episodes deal with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre. Some suggestions for confidential support for men, women and children:

 

AUSTRALIA:

Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36

Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732

Men's Line: 1300 78 99 78

Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre

 

USA:

Distress &  Lifeline: 1800 273 8255

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741

Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233

Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846

MTC program: maketheconnection.net/resources/spread-the-word

 

UK:

Mind: mental health support: 0300 123 3393

SANE: mental health support: 0300 304 7000

Samaritans support network: 116 123

National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

 

CANADA:

For a list of Canadian crisis centres: https://thelifelinecanada.ca/help/call/

 

NEW ZEALAND:

Lifeline: 0800 543354

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (Text 4202)

CREDITS

 

Casefile Presents

 

NARRATION:

Episode narrated by the Anonymous Host

 

EPISODE:

Researched by Jessica Forsayeth

Written by Erin Munro

Creative director: Milly Raso

 

MUSIC:

‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro www.dl-sounds.com

All other music and audio clean up performed by Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn

 

OTHER:

Logo design by Paulina Szymanska

 

 

RESOURCES

 

WEBSITES:

Discover Hudson

Hudson, Wisconsin

The O’Connell Family Funeral Home

Catholic views on suicide

The Seminaries of Saint Paul

Bishop Raphael Fliss

Bishop Raphael Fliss, longtime leader of Superior Diocese, dies at age 84

Catholic Church sexual abuse claims

Catholic Church sex abuse cases in the United States

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:

“Two killings ‘Random’” by Pamela Powers and Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 February 2002 

“No motive yet in funeral home murders” (AP) for Marshfield News-Herald, Marshfield, Wisconsin, printed 7 February 2002

“No signs of theft at the Hudson murder scene” (AP) for The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin, printed 8 February 2002

“Minister/Leader found with list of funeral homes” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 February 2002

“Leader: We’re innocent” by Robert Imrie (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 15 February 2002

“Father thanks well-wishers after son’s death” by Alyssa Waters for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 1 March 2002

“Letter threatens official” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 2 April 2002

“Reward offered in Hudson murders” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 30 April 2002

“Letter threats lead to charges” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 21 May 2002

“$100,000 reward in Hudson slayings” by Heron Marquez Estrada for the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 1 May 2002

“Families struggle to understand Hudson murders” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 2 February 2003

“Family, friends pay tribute to shooting victims” by Knight Ridder News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 February 2003

“Former Hudson Priest found dead in Hurley” by Leader-Telegram staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 20 December 2004

“Police: Priest wasn’t the only one questioned” by Knight Ridder News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 22 December 2004

“Police asked priest hard questions about murders” by Scripps Howard News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 January 2005

“Allegation surfaces about dead priest” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 19 January 2005

“Police chief: progress made in slayings probe” (AP) for The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin, printed 24 March 2005

“Police want help in murder investigation” by Leader-Telegram Staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 26 April 2005

“Computer may have murder clues” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 16 June 2005

“DA: Families to advise him on what to do with results of police investigation” (Hudson AP) for Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, printed 30 August 2005

“Judge to rule on deaths” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 September 2005

“Deacon: priest admitted murder” by Leader-Telegram Staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 3 October 2005

“Judge says evidence shows priest killed 2 in Hudson” by Robert Imrie (AP) for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 4 October 2005

“Judge pleased with results of semi private Doe hearing” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 4 October 2005

“Court records suggest church knew of sex allegations against priest” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 5 October 2005

“Priest, likely killer of two, suggested mafia was involved” by Robert Imrie (AP Hudson) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 6 October 2005

“Church reforms ripped” by Pat Schneider for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 7 October 2005

“Three men report alleged killer priest made sexual advances toward them” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 9 October 2005

“Ruling shocks priest’s friends” by Alyssa Waters for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 9 October 2005

“Priest denied murder role” by (Hudson AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 26 October 2005

“Family of slain Wisconsin funeral home workers seeks church action” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 1 November 2005

“Bishop apologizes for handling of accused priest” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 3 November 2005

“Victims’ kin want answers from bishops” The Washington Post, Washington D.C., printed 14 November 2005

“Murder victims’ families press bishops on reform; also want meeting with pope” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 15 November 2005

“O’Connell fund with assist children” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 January 2006

“Police: Late priest’s will tells of ‘wretched life’” (AP HUDSON) for Marshfield News Herald, Marshfield, Wisconsin, printed 3 February 2006

“Hudson family sues 200 bishops” by John Hartzell (AP) for Chippewa Herald-Telegram, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, printed 9 August 2006

“O’Connell family wins fight to get priests’ names released” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 22 November 2006

“Victim’s parents sue church” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 December 2006

“Vigil spotlights abuse by clergy” by Mike Miller for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 6 January 2007

“Suit seeking information on priest’s tossed out” (Hudson AP) for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 1 January 2008

“Sex abuse victims deserve justice” by Tom O’Connell for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 14 February 2008

“Suit rejected in case of priest who killed two” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 24 September 2008

“Victims’ families move on with their lives amid continuing pain” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 11 February 2012

“Father Ryan cloaked himself in many faces” by Howard Sinker, Richard Meryhew, Randy Furst and Paul Levy for Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 11 December 2005

“The Sins of the Father” by Bruce Rubenstein, for Minneapolis City Pages, Hudson, Wisconsin, printed 5 October 2005

“Freelance super-sleuths helped in Hudson probe” by Donna Halvorsen for Star-Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 19 December 2005

 

ONLINE ARTICLES:

“Erickson video interview released” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 30 November 2005

“Double murder is now ten years old” author unknown at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 5 February 2012

“Jennie O’Connell: her family perseveres” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 5 February 2012

“Priest picked for Diocese of Superior post says more attention should be paid to priest screening” by Maria Lockwood at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 2 July 2007

“Second Erickson suicide note released” by Warren Wolfe and Randy Furst at https://m.startribune.com/, uploaded 21 December 2007

“Trende begins and end career with HPD” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 14 April 2006

“Keeping children safe in the Catholic church” by Thomas Plante for psychologytoday.com, uploaded 9 April 2020

 

OTHER:

Podles, L.J. (2008) The Rev. Ryan Erickson Case Study, Crossland Foundation

 

 

THIS EPISODE’S SPONSORS

 

BetterHelp – Get 10% off your first month of professional counselling with a licensed therapist

Quip – Get your first refill pack FREE with a QUIP electric toothbrush

ShipStation – Try ShipStation FREE for 60 days with promo code ‘CASEFILE’

Function of Beauty – Get 20% OFF your first order of fully customised shampoo

Deep Cover: The Drug Wars – Listen to a new crime podcast brought to you by Pushkin Industries

Listen On

In the early afternoon of Tuesday, February 5 2002, Saint Croix County Medical Officer Marty Shanklin headed over to The O’Connell Family Funeral Home to conduct a routine visit. Due to the requirements of his job, he was well acquainted with the O’Connells, and on this occasion, he needed Dan to sign some paperwork.

Marty arrived at 1:40 PM and immediately made his way to Dan’s office, which was located towards the back of the building. Upon entering, he was met by a horrifying scene.

______

Our episodes deal with serious and often distressing incidents. If you feel at anytime you need support, please contact your local crisis centre. Some suggestions for confidential support for men, women and children:

 

AUSTRALIA:

Lifeline Crisis Support: 13 11 14

Beyond Blue: Depression and anxiety support: 1300 22 46 36

Rape & Domestic Violence Services: 1800 737 732

Men's Line:  1300 78 99 78

Headspace: Youth Mental Health Foundation: see headspace.org.au for your local centre

 

USA:

Distress &  Lifeline: 1800 273 8255

Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741 741

Domestic Violence Helpline: 1800 799 7233

Victim Connect: support for victims of crime: 855 484 2846

 

UK:

Mind: mental health support: 0300 123 3393

SANE: mental health support: 0300 304 7000

Samaritans support network: 116 123

National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300

 

CANADA:

For a list of Canadian crisis centres: https://thelifelinecanada.ca/help/call

 

NEW ZEALAND:

Lifeline: 0800 543354

Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757 (Text 4202)

CREDITS

 

Casefile Presents

 

NARRATION:

Episode narrated by the Anonymous Host

 

EPISODE:

Researched by Jessica Forsayeth

Written by Erin Munro

Creative director: Milly Raso

 

MUSIC:

‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro www.dl-sounds.com

All other music and audio clean up performed by Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn

 

OTHER:

Logo design by Paulina Szymanska

 

 

RESOURCES

 

WEBSITES:

Discover Hudson

Hudson, Wisconsin

The O’Connell Family Funeral Home

Catholic views on suicide

The Seminaries of Saint Paul

Bishop Raphael Fliss

Bishop Raphael Fliss, longtime leader of Superior Diocese, dies at age 84

Catholic Church sexual abuse claims

Catholic Church sex abuse cases in the United States

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES:

“Two killings ‘Random’” by Pamela Powers and Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 February 2002 

“No motive yet in funeral home murders” (AP) for Marshfield News-Herald, Marshfield, Wisconsin, printed 7 February 2002

“No signs of theft at the Hudson murder scene” (AP) for The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin, printed 8 February 2002

“Minister/Leader found with list of funeral homes” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 February 2002

“Leader: We’re innocent” by Robert Imrie (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 15 February 2002

“Father thanks well-wishers after son’s death” by Alyssa Waters for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 1 March 2002

“Letter threatens official” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 2 April 2002

“Reward offered in Hudson murders” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 30 April 2002

“Letter threats lead to charges” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 21 May 2002

“$100,000 reward in Hudson slayings” by Heron Marquez Estrada for the Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 1 May 2002

“Families struggle to understand Hudson murders” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 2 February 2003

“Family, friends pay tribute to shooting victims” by Knight Ridder News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 February 2003

“Former Hudson Priest found dead in Hurley” by Leader-Telegram staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 20 December 2004

“Police: Priest wasn’t the only one questioned” by Knight Ridder News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 22 December 2004

“Police asked priest hard questions about murders” by Scripps Howard News Service for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 January 2005

“Allegation surfaces about dead priest” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 19 January 2005

“Police chief: progress made in slayings probe” (AP) for The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisconsin, printed 24 March 2005

“Police want help in murder investigation” by Leader-Telegram Staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 26 April 2005

“Computer may have murder clues” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 16 June 2005

“DA: Families to advise him on what to do with results of police investigation” (Hudson AP) for Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, printed 30 August 2005

“Judge to rule on deaths” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 September 2005

“Deacon: priest admitted murder” by Leader-Telegram Staff for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 3 October 2005

“Judge says evidence shows priest killed 2 in Hudson” by Robert Imrie (AP) for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 4 October 2005

“Judge pleased with results of semi private Doe hearing” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 4 October 2005

“Court records suggest church knew of sex allegations against priest” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 5 October 2005

“Priest, likely killer of two, suggested mafia was involved” by Robert Imrie (AP Hudson) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 6 October 2005

“Church reforms ripped” by Pat Schneider for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 7 October 2005

“Three men report alleged killer priest made sexual advances toward them” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 9 October 2005

“Ruling shocks priest’s friends” by Alyssa Waters for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 9 October 2005

“Priest denied murder role” by (Hudson AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 26 October 2005

“Family of slain Wisconsin funeral home workers seeks church action” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 1 November 2005

“Bishop apologizes for handling of accused priest” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 3 November 2005

“Victims’ kin want answers from bishops” The Washington Post, Washington D.C., printed 14 November 2005

“Murder victims’ families press bishops on reform; also want meeting with pope” (AP) for Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, printed 15 November 2005

“O’Connell fund with assist children” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 6 January 2006

“Police: Late priest’s will tells of ‘wretched life’” (AP HUDSON) for Marshfield News Herald, Marshfield, Wisconsin, printed 3 February 2006

“Hudson family sues 200 bishops” by John Hartzell (AP) for Chippewa Herald-Telegram, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, printed 9 August 2006

“O’Connell family wins fight to get priests’ names released” (AP) for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 22 November 2006

“Victim’s parents sue church” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 13 December 2006

“Vigil spotlights abuse by clergy” by Mike Miller for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 6 January 2007

“Suit seeking information on priest’s tossed out” (Hudson AP) for The Capital Times, Madison, Wisconsin, printed 1 January 2008

“Sex abuse victims deserve justice” by Tom O’Connell for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 14 February 2008

“Suit rejected in case of priest who killed two” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 24 September 2008

“Victims’ families move on with their lives amid continuing pain” by Chuck Rupnow for Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, printed 11 February 2012

“Father Ryan cloaked himself in many faces” by Howard Sinker, Richard Meryhew, Randy Furst and Paul Levy for Star Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 11 December 2005

“The Sins of the Father” by Bruce Rubenstein, for Minneapolis City Pages, Hudson, Wisconsin, printed 5 October 2005

“Freelance super-sleuths helped in Hudson probe” by Donna Halvorsen for Star-Tribune, Minneapolis, Minnesota, printed 19 December 2005

 

ONLINE ARTICLES:

“Erickson video interview released” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 30 November 2005

“Double murder is now ten years old” author unknown at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 5 February 2012

“Jennie O’Connell: her family perseveres” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 5 February 2012

“Priest picked for Diocese of Superior post says more attention should be paid to priest screening” by Maria Lockwood at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 2 July 2007

“Second Erickson suicide note released” by Warren Wolfe and Randy Furst at https://m.startribune.com/, uploaded 21 December 2007

“Trende begins and end career with HPD” by Meg Heaton at Rivertowns.net, uploaded 14 April 2006

“Keeping children safe in the Catholic church” by Thomas Plante for psychologytoday.com, uploaded 9 April 2020

 

OTHER:

Podles, L.J. (2008) The Rev. Ryan Erickson Case Study, Crossland Foundation

 

 

THIS EPISODE’S SPONSORS

 

BetterHelp – Get 10% off your first month of professional counselling with a licensed therapist

Quip – Get your first refill pack FREE with a QUIP electric toothbrush

ShipStation – Try ShipStation FREE for 60 days with promo code ‘CASEFILE’

Function of Beauty – Get 20% OFF your first order of fully customised shampoo

Deep Cover: The Drug Wars – Listen to a new crime podcast brought to you by Pushkin Industries

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