In Ontario, Stephine Beck's Life Worth Little

Lou FCD's picture

On Sunday, March 4, 2007, at 6:39 a.m., Stephine Beck was found dead, face down in the snow with her pants pulled down and her top pulled up. She had been strangled and dumped. Beck was the mother of five children, and pregnant.

Imagine the outrage this must have generated in the courtroom when the accused was brought to trial! Imagine how little mercy the presiding judge must have shown while sentencing the man convicted of such a heinous act. The killer was a crack addict, a drunk, and frequented prostitutes. His grown daughter testified that when they were children, her father would call them bitches and sluts. He was known to abuse his ex-wife when they were married. Surely the citizens of Ontario had their pitchforks and torches at the ready!

On a second look at bail, the judge himself wrote :

Yet, it is obvious that the accused is a Jekyll-and-Hyde type who leads a double life: a conscientious worker with a long-standing criminal involvement in drugs and prostitution.  The fact that his private world is populated almost entirely by drug-addled prostitutes (whom he sometimes abuses), leads one to suspect that he has psychosocial problems and is socially stunted.

Elsewhere in the court documents we learn more about Ryczak's emotional involvements with and violent feelings toward women who don't do as he would like them to do:

Melissa Reeves has stayed over in the accused’s trailer.  She has had conversations with him about Jennifer Dunsford.  The accused told Ms. Reeves that he was hoping for a relationship with Ms. Dunsford, but she rejected him.  He expressed anger at Edith Price, who was a girlfriend of Ms. Dunsford’s.  He told Ms. Reeves that he had “a bullet with Edie’s name on it.”  He also stated that he had another bullet for Jamie Price, Ms. Price’s brother."

The killer strangled Stephine in his home and was seen by the neighbor to drag her body out, load the body into his SUV, and drive away, returning a half hour later. Blood at the scene was DNA matched to Stephine. Leaves from a lime plant were found in Stephine's pants that matched a plant in the accused's home. The case was open and shut.

Surely this man, this murderer of Stephine Beck, was put away for a very, very long time, right?

Well, not so much.

Wayne William Ryczak wasn't put away for a very, very long time. In fact, Ryczak pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 months in jail and three years probation. He had served 14 months and 10 days awaiting trial. The judge gave him credit on a nearly two-to-one basis, releasing him after one more day.

How is it that he got off with 14 months and 11 days for strangling Stephine Beck, you ask?

Ryczak claims she broke into his home and attacked him at 3:30 in the morning. Conveniently for Ryczak, we only have his word on that. He also claimed that he and the victim "may have met before", and the reason her clothing was half off was because he had trouble loading her body into his SUV.

But the heart of the matter is that Stephine Beck was a crack addict, a crappy parent, and an HIV positive prostitute. Oh, and Ryczak was at one time a Cub Scout Leader and a lacrosse coach. Apparently, that makes killing a person not-so-bad-after-all in Ontario.


The Chronicle Herald

Denial of Bail decision

Appeal decision

I have made minor edits to this post for clarity.