Michael Ross became an Oblate before execution
- View SourceHere is part of the news about Michael Ross one doesn't ordinarily hear. JL
Jun 5, 2005 9:10 am US/Eastern
1010 WINS (Redding, CT) A funeral liturgy attended by about 30 people, including the retired bishop of Norwich, was held for serial killer Michael Ross on Saturday, his spiritual adviser said.
Ross, who celebrated his oblation as a Benedictine oblate on death row shortly before his first, and aborted, scheduled execution in January, will be buried at ``an undisclosed time and place,'' said Father John Giuliani of the Benedictine Grange in Redding.
``He wanted it to be not so much secret, but private,'' he said.
Ross, 45, was executed May 13. He had sought death since October despite having years of appeals available to him. The Cornell University graduate and former insurance agent admitted killing eight women in Connecticut and New York during the early 1980s.
The liturgy was attended by members of the Benedictine Grange community, several friends Ross made through his writings and the Most Rev. Daniel Hart, the retired bishop of Norwich, Giuliani said Saturday.
``People were influenced by his persuasive writings against capital punishment,'' Giuliani said, referring to Ross.
A death penalty opponent, Ross wrote extensively about how believed he should not have been executed because of his mental illness. But late last year, he fired his public defenders and announced he wanted to forgo any further appeals and move ahead with the execution.
As an oblate, a lay affiliate of the Roman Catholic Order of St. Benedict, Ross chose the name Brother Dismas, Giuliani said. St. Dismas was one of two men crucified alongside Jesus, and he rebuked the other who challenged Jesus to save them.
Giuliani, who knew Ross for more than seven years, has said he watched him become a devoted Catholic. Ross became devout since his arrest in 1984, meeting regularly over the years with two priests and praying the rosary each morning.
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