The Port Arthur News
In his last statement before lethal injection began Port Arthur serial killer Elroy Chester admitted to the violent string of murders he was accused of then asked the family of his victims not to hate him.
Chester, 43, was pronounced dead at 7:04 p.m. Wednesday, 27 minutes after the lethal dose began. Chester was sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of Port Arthur firefighter Willie Ryman III. He later confessed to four other murders as well as burglaries and sexual assaults. Members of Port Arthur Fire Department and Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton, who worked the case 15 years ago, gathered outside the prison in support of Ryman’s family.
Chester appeared calm while strapped to the gurney while he made his last statement.
“I just want to say I don’t want you to have hate in your heart for me, because I took your loved one. I know it doesn’t mean anything, I told the truth because I feel like you should know who killed your loved one. God watches everything, don’t hate me. I’m sorry for taking your loved one. Ms Suzy, Susan thank you for fighting for me in the courts. Thank you for supporting me for all these years. Elroy Chester wasn’t a bad man, I knew me. A lot of people say I didn’t commit those murders, I really did it. That’s my statement, warden you can go ahead,” Chester said.
After Chester was pronounced dead witnesses and media walked across the street where Kim Chiasson, sister of Ryman, along with Barry Ryman, his brother, made a statement while a more than a dozen firefighters and supporters lined the sidewalk nearby.
“We thank you for the support. It’s been a long road,” Chiasson said as other family members gathered behind her. “It was a surreal experience.”
Barry Ryman said that even with the execution the family doesn’t have complete closure.
“My brother is not here. Our mom passed away before she could see this,” Barry Ryman said. “This is for you momma, and Billy (Ryman) it’s finished.”
Barry Ryman said he wasn’t sure if Chester’s apology was sincere considering death was impending. He added that the Elroy Chester he saw was a different man then he had seen before.
Port Arthur Fire Chief Larry Richard told The News he was glad the execution was over and hopefully the family can put this “horrible, horrible” event in their past.