3 February 1967 – Ronald Ryan

Ronald Ryan The last Aussie to be executed Down Under was Ronald Joseph Ryan. However, there are doubts as to whether he had committed the crime or not.

He was found guilty after he killed George Hodson, while he was in the midst of a jail break. Naturally the penalty for murder was death. So, 41-year-old Ryan was hanged at 8am in Pentridge Prison in Coburg, in the state of Victoria on Friday 3 February 1967.

The 41-year-old was hanged at 8am in Pentridge Prison in Coburg, in the state of Victoria on Friday 3 February 1967. But there is talk that Ryan may not even have been guilty.

Framed?

Two years after his execution, prison warder Helmut Lange committed suicide and there was a theory circulating that Lange may have known Ryan was innocent.

Lange is said to have known about bullet casings that were found, which proved that Ryan wasn’t guilty of shooting Hodson. It’s alleged that Lange had been ordered to change his statement and lose the casings by prison authorities.

Any real hope of finding evidence to pardon Ryan died with Lange, when he committed suicide.

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5 Responses to “3 February 1967 – Ronald Ryan”

  1. Ronald Ryan was convicted of murder, sentenced to death and subsequently hanged, based solely on “hearsay” unsigned, untaped and unrecorded allegations of verbals/confessions, said to have been made by Ryan to police. By law, Australian police have to record all interviews in connection with a crime. There were no scientific, ballistic or forensic examinations for proof of evidence. Unbelievably, Ryan’s rifle was never examined by forensic experts to prove it had fired a shot – it had been hidden in the boot of a police car. Vital pieces of evidence, including the fatal bullet and spent bullet cartridge, which would have cleared Ryan of murder, mysteriously went missing and could not be scientifically tested by ballistic experts. All fourteen eyewitnesses for the prosecution testified different accounts of what they saw – there were serious wide-spread inconsistencies. One single shot was heard by all persons at and surrounding the scene of the crime. Ballistic experts testified the fatal shot was fired from a distance at an elevated position in a downward trajectory angle. A prison officer admitted and testified he fired one single shot from an elevated distance. If Ryan had also fired a shot at least one of the many dozens of people would have heard two shots fired. No person heard two shots. These are the facts !!!

    Further reading on referenced facts, go to …
    http://www.wiserearth.org/article/8952f9043182c8826c0fbd56dd1d0b09

    • For unknown reasons, ballistic forensic experts never scientifically examined Ryan’s rifle.
    • There was no forensic proof and no conclusive evidence that Ryan’s rifle had fired a shot at all.
    • It was never proven by forensics that the fatal bullet came from the rifle in Ryan’s possession.
    • Despite extensive search by police, the fatal bullet mysteriously went missing and was never found.
    • The fatal bullet was never scientifically examined by ballistic forensic experts, to prove which rifle fired the fatal bullet.
    • Despite extensive search by police, the spent cartridge mysteriously went missing and was never found.
    • The spent cartridge (bullet-case) was never scientifically examined by ballistic forensic experts, for evidence.
    • If Ryan had fired a shot, a spent cartridge would have spilled out of the rifle. No spent cartridge was ever found.
    • All fourteen eyewitnesses for the prosecution testified different accounts of what they saw – there were widespread inconsistencies.
    • Only four of the fourteen eyewitnesses testified of seeing Ryan fire a shot.
    • All fourteen eyewitnesses testified of hearing one single shot. No person heard two shots.
    • Prison officer Paterson, admitted and testified he fired one single shot, from an elevated distance.
    • If Ryan had also fired a shot, at least one person among the dozens of people surrounding the scene of the crime, would have heard two shots.
    • Forensic experts never scientifically examined prison officer Paterson’s rifle, to prove it had fired a shot.
    • Forensic experts never scientifically examined all other prison officers’ rifles at the scene of the crime, to prove if their rifles had fired a shot.
    • Ballistic evidence indicated that the prison officer was shot from a distance, in a downward trajectory angle.
    • The measurement of the entry and exit wound on the deceased prison officer indicated that the fatal shot was fired from an elevated position. At the time of the shooting, there were many prison officers’ armed with rifles surrounding the crime scene, on prison walls, on prison guard towers and on the streets.
    • Eyewitnesses testified seeing prison officers aiming their rifles.
    • Ryan (a shorter man) could not have fired at the prison officer (a taller man) in such a downward trajectory angle, as both were on level ground.
    • Ryan could not have fired from a distance as evidence indicated, because Ryan was adjacent to the prison officer who was running after and adjacent to, the other prison escapee.
    • Ryan could not have fired from an elevated position as evidence indicated, because Ryan was on level ground.
    • Some eyewitnesses testified seeing Ryan recoil his rifle and smoke coming from the barrel of his rifle. In fact, ballistic experts testified at trial that type of rifle had no recoil and it contained smokeless cartridges.

  2. Bepopalula Says:

    Apparently, most members of the jury who convicted Ronald Ryan of murder later made several pleas to State officials not to execute Ryan. Never heard of a case like it! Did the jury have second thoughts or what?

  3. Peter John Walker was Ryan’s co-escapee. Walker has always said that Ronald Ryan was innocent, that he never saw Ryan fire a shot, that the gun was jammed at the prison tower where Ryan stole the gun from prison guard Helmut Lange. What reason could Walker have to lie about this, even to this day? Walker had nothing to gain and nothing to lose by telling the truth. He still maintains Ryan did not fire a shot. This case should be re-opened but there are ‘people’ being protected to make sure the case will never be re-opened. A most corrupt case of all time.

  4. Steward Ray Says:

    Ronald was still a convicted prisoner who tried to escape from his punishment.Regardless of whether he did or did not murder George Hudson he attempted to escape incarceration. It is because he was evil is the reason why the Judge thought he was capable of committing murder.

    Though the evidence tends to indicate that it was a prison warden who committed the offence, not Ronald! But let’s not forget the fact that Ronald was an evil man.

    • Regardless of whether Ryan killed or not? You must be joking! Why don’t we just hang convicted persons, even if there is a total lack of scientific evidence to prove guilt – as was the case with Ryan. Why did most jurors who convicted Ryan later go to the media claiming they didn’t want Ryan executed? Strange!

      If Ryan was an evil man, well that’s only your opinion! Fact is that Ryan was a small-time serial thief with gambling problems. Ryan had no history of violence and no police record of violence. Ryan’s family members have always maintained he was not a violent nor a evil man.

      Are you suggesting we execute all convicted prisoners on the suspicion they are evil people ???

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