Is Michael Ryan dead or alive? Update


Little did James Thimm know that joining an anti-government cult-like group in Rulo, Nebraska would be his fate. Nevertheless, when the police finally recovered his body in August 1985, James was brutally tortured, whipped and beaten to death. Investigation Discovery’s “Evil Lives Here: Son of the Prophet” chronicles the brutal murder and shows how the ensuing investigation uncovered a sinister and murderous cult straight out of the pages of a horror novel. Let’s dive into the details of the case and find out the current whereabouts of James’ killer, shall we?

How did James Thimm die?

James Thimm was 26 at the time of his death and had joined the cult in Rulo, Nebraska. Led by Michael Ryan, the cult worshiped Yahweh and resided on a pig farm owned by Rick Stice. Although James was initially accepted and given membership, the show mentioned that he had expressed doubts about a few of the teachings and was demoted to slave status.

Image Credit: Erin/Find a Grave

According to the show, in June 1985, cult members James Haverkamp and John Andreas were arrested for stealing farm machinery in Kansas. The arrests led police to raid the sect’s compound in Rulo, where authorities found caches of firearms, ammunition and stolen property. Afterwards, Haverkamp and Andreas informed the police of James’ murder, resulting in the recovery of the victim as well as the body of five-year-old Luke Stice, both buried in unmarked graves.

Once authorities recovered James’ body, they saw that he had been brutally tortured. There were numerous whip marks all over his body and the victim appeared to have been sodomized with an abnormally large object. Additionally, his limbs and ribcage were shattered, while medical examiners also discovered a gunshot wound to the head, which is believed to have caused death.

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Who killed James Thimm?

Once the police recovered the bodies of Luke and James, they immediately arrested cult leader Michael Ryan along with members Dennis Ryan and Timothy Haverkamp. Surprisingly, the public knew nothing of the cult’s activities, and so the details made public during the trials shook the town of Rulo. Cult members testified how Michael Ryan proclaimed himself a leader and claimed that Yahweh was the only true god. Michael claimed he spoke directly to Yahweh and insisted that the god had asked him to take several wives.

Using trickery and deception, Michael began to increase his following and even began hoarding weapons in preparation for Armageddon. However, he was not a benevolent leader and deeply despised people who fell on his bad books. According to the show, Rick Stice and James Thimm began to cast doubt on some of Michael’s teachings and tricks. Michael couldn’t stand such elongated insolence and so decided to imprison Rick, James, as well as Rick’s five-year-old son, Luke.

The show mentioned how Rick and James were chained up in a pigsty and demoted to slavery, while Luke was considered nothing better than a dog. Michael didn’t even hesitate to torture 5-year-old Luke as cult members testified he spat on the boy, brutally beat him and forced James to sexually abuse him. Finally, on March 25, 1985, Michael picked up the poor kid and slammed him against a cabinet, killing him instantly.

With Luke dead, Michael then turned his anger on James and had the cult members whip him mercilessly for hours. A shovel was used to horribly sodomize the victim before others shot James’ fingertips on his left hand. Michael even broke James’ hands before having Dennis Ryan and Timothy Haverkamp break the victim’s legs. Eventually, Michael began stomping on James’ chest, breaking his ribs before Timothy shot him in the head, killing him.

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Is Michael Ryan dead or alive?

Michael Ryan is no more as he died in prison in 2015. With a wealth of incriminating evidence and first-hand witness statements at his trial, Micael was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death in 1986 He spent three decades in Nebraska. death row and was housed at Tecumseh State Correctional Facility in 2015. Finally, on May 24, 2015, Michael Ryan breathed his last due to terminal brain cancer. He was 66 at the time of his death.

Read more: Where are Dennis Ryan and Timothy Haverkamp now?

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