RONALD RYAN - Hanged - Guilty or Innocent ???

Ronald Ryan was the last man hanged in Australia. It was 8:00 on Friday February 3, 1967 inside 'D' Division at Pentridge Prison in Melbourne, Victoria.

To this day, more than four decades later, the facts and serious doubts remain whether Ronald Ryan was guilty of murder beyond all reasonable doubt.

The "facts" are; Despite a total lack of scientific ballistic forensic evidence, mysterious missing pieces of vital evidence that would have cleared Ronald Ryan, various serious ambiguities in the capital case, dire widespread inconsistencies of all fourteen eyewitnesses evidence for the prosecution, testimony from a prison officer that he fired the one and only single shot (heard by all persons), and ballistic expert evidence confirming the autopsy report that this one single fatal shot was fired from a distance at an elevated position in a downward-trajectory angle (impossible for Ronald Ryan to have fired at such angles), however, Ronald Ryan was found guilty of murder based solely on unsigned unrecorded unproven allegations of verbals/confessions said to have been made by Ronald Ryan to police.

A few months later, seven of the twelve all-male jury who had convicted Ronald Ryan of murder went to the media claiming; "We didn't want the rope and we never would have found Ronald Ryan guilty if we knew he would be hanged."

But the jury were well-informed before the trial that the mandatory sentence for murder was the death penalty. These seven jury members strongly campaigned against the hanging, along with the majority of politicians, the media, lawyers association, religious leaders and 18,000 noisy public protesters.

But the then Victoria State Premier Henry Bolte, was determined Ronald Ryan would hang - a hanging is what Henry Bolte needed to boost his political party's votes in the upcoming Victoria State election.

Ronald Ryan maintained his innocence to the end.

The following “facts” remain to this day - the facts that cannot be disputed, distorted nor manipulated … the “facts” that cannot lie !!!

* For unknown reasons, ballistic forensic experts never scientifically examined Ryan's rifle.

* There was no scientific proof and no conclusive evidence that Ryan's rifle had fired a shot at all.

* It was never proven by scientific ballistic forensics that the fatal bullet came from the rifle in Ryan's possession.

* The alleged‘missing’fatal bullet was never scientifically examined by ballistic forensic experts. This would have proven ID of rifle and bullet involved.

* Despite extensive search by police, the spent cartridge mysteriously went‘missing’and was never found.

* The alleged‘missing’spent cartridge was never scientifically examined by ballistic forensic experts. This would have proven ID of rifle and bullet involved.

* If Ryan had fired a shot, a spent cartridge would have spilled out of the rifle onto the ground. No persons saw a spent cartridge spill out.

* All fourteen eyewitnesses for the prosecution testified different accounts of what they saw - there were dire widespread inconsistencies.

* All fourteen eyewitnesses testified seeing Ryan armed with a rifle.

* Only four of the fourteen eyewitnesses testified of seeing Ryan fire a shot.

* Two eyewitnesses testified seeing Ryan recoil his rifle. In fact, ballistic experts testified that type of rifle was recoil-less.

* Two eyewitnesses testified seeing smoke coming from Ryan's rifle (vehicle exhaust fumes and dust cannot be denied.) In fact, ballistic expert testified that type of rifle contained smokeless cartridges.

* All fourteen eyewitnesses testified of hearing one single shot. No persons among the hundreds of pedestrians and motorists heard two shots fired.

* Prison officer Paterson, admitted and testified he fired one single shot from a distance in the direction of Ryan, Walker and prison officer Hodson.

* At the time that one single shot was heard, armed prison officers had already surrounded the scene of the crime. They were on low prison walls, on prison watchtowers and on the streets.

* Eyewitnesses testified seeing prison officers’aiming their rifles.

* If Ryan had also fired a shot, at least one person among the hundreds of people surrounding the scene of the crime, would have heard two shots.

* Every person heard only one single shot. No persons heard two shots.

* Forensic experts never scientifically examined the rifled of prison officers Bennett or Paterson, for evidence if their rifles had fired a shot.

* Forensic experts never scientifically examined the rifles of other armed prison officers at the scene of the crime, for evidence if their rifles had fired a shot.

* The medical autopsy report of Hodson's fatal injury and verified by ballistic expert evidence at trial, indicated the fatal one single shot was fired from a distance, at an elevated position, in a downward trajectory angle.

* Ryan (a shorter man) could not have fired at prison officer Hodson (a taller man) in such a downward trajectory angle as ballistic evidence indicated, because both men were on level ground.

* Ryan could not have fired from a distance as ballistic evidence indicated, because Ryan and Hodson were within close proximity.

* Ryan could not have fired from an elevated position as ballistic evidence indicated, because Ryan and Hodson were both on level ground.

* There is no evidence whatsoever, no evidence anywhere, that Ryan confessed guilt to anyone, either verbally, recorded, written, or signed document.

Conclusion: Ronald Ryan was hanged over unsigned, unrecorded and unproven‘hearsay’evidence that was sly, flimsy and manipulated with no actual scientific, ballistic or forensic evidence of proof – the most ambiguous capital case, conviction, and hanging in Australian history.

Over the decades, a variety of educational documentary films, movies, stories and plays have been made on Ronald Ryan. These include; The Last Man Hanged, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, The Last of The Ryans, Odd Man Out, Who Hung Ronald Ryan, Remember Ronald Ryan, The Blood on Helmut Lange, and more.

The dramatised documentaries are based on meticulous research, including the‘facts’of the capital case and execution, with a mixture of re-creating interviews with the people directly involved in the Ryan case. Peter Walker (Ryan’s co-escapee) has always maintained that Ryan did not fire a shot at all.

The documentaries tell the true story of Ronald Ryan, including archival material depicting the life and death of Ronald Ryan, the events surrounding the shooting, the case, the ambiguities in the case, total lack of scientific forensic evidence, mysterious missing pieces of vital evidence, eyewitnesses dire inconsistencies at trial and the political power leading up to the hanging of Ryan.

The documentaries have candid interviews with the people who knew Ryan well - his wife, lawyer, fellow escapee, trial judge, the catholic priest, politicians and media journalists who witnessed Ryan's execution.

Each of several documentaries tell the true story of Ronald Joseph Ryan - a petty-thief with no police record of violence, whose botched escape from Pentridge Prison resulted in a wrongful conviction and political execution.

All documentary films, movies, stories, and plays ever made on Ronald Ryan cast serious doubt over his guilt.

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