The Canadian, now aged 36, was due to be married in three weeks and he was terrified his secret – that he was unemployed and without any qualifications – would make his partner re-consider their wedding.
His fiancée, physiotherapist Kristen Baxter, knew he was an ex-con, News Corpreports. Years before, Ryan had been convicted for a series of bank robberies.
He served jail time for posing as an older man – the media dubbing him the “Fake Beard Bandit” – and committing a series of heists throughout Toronto and Durham during 2007 and 2008, The Toronto Sun reports.
Baxter knew all this before saying “yes” to his proposal. She moved in with Ryan in 2013 and the pair were engaged in 2014.
What she didn’t know was that Ryan had lost his job in May 2016 because his employer had found out about his criminal past and that he had never graduated university.
Three weeks before the wedding, Ryan told his mother, Susan, about his web of lies. She gave him an ultimatum: tell your fiancé, and I will support you financially until you find another job, or I will tell her myself.
It became a death sentence.
In an elaborate plan, Ryan set up a cross bow in his mother’s garage. He also put together a string of electronic devices, designed to send emails from his account at different locations and provide him with an alibi.
Tensions came to a head on August 25 in a confrontation between Ryan and his mother. Susan called her older son, Christopher, for help.
Ryan stabbed his mother, then strangled her to death. He ambushed Christopher with the cross bow, shooting him in the back of the head. The youngest brother, Alexander, was also fatally stabbed collapsing in the driveway after confronting Ryan.
The fourth brother, Leigh, who lived in his mother’s home, ran to call emergency services after hearing the commotion. Ryan attacked him, too. But Leigh got away.
On Friday, Ryan pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder for killing his mother Susan, 66, and his brother, Alexander, 29, The Toronto Sun reports. He also pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of his oldest brother, Christopher, 42, and the attempted murder of Leigh, 38.
He confessed the violence was in an attempt to prevent his fiancé from finding out about his unemployment and lack-of-qualification.
“This is an extremely tragic case — an entire family has been destroyed by a web of lies,” Justice John McMahon, who presided over the case, concluded.
According to The Toronto Sun, Ryan was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years for the first-degree murder, as well as two concurrent life sentences, and a 10-year sentence, for the other killings and the attempted murder.