June 24, 2005 by

Ryan Alan Hade


Categories: Law

Ryan Alan Hade was seven years old on May 20, 1989, when a violent sex offender named Earl Kenneth Shriner kidnapped him. Shriner then raped the boy, cut off his penis, stabbed him and left him for dead in a Tacoma, Wash., park. Because he was so young, and the victim of a sex crime, the press dubbed Hade “The Little Tacoma Boy.”
The brutal nature of Shriner’s crimes was undeniable. His 25-year history of perversion and cruelty against animals and children made it clear to authorities that he was never going to stop, never going to be rehabilitated. In response, Washington adopted the Community Protection Act of 1990, the nation’s first state law for the indefinite civil confinement of sexual predators, to help others like “The Little Tacoma Boy.” Shriner was sentenced to 131 years and remains in prison to this day.
Hade, however, spent the rest of his life trying to recover from what Shriner did to him. He rarely talked about the incident, and until two or three years ago, became angry and physically ill around the anniversary of the attack. Hade underwent reconstructive surgery and spent six years in counseling. He had to change middle schools to avoid questions about his past, and to receive professional attention for his dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.
Hade finished his freshman year in Roseburg, Ore., then returned to Tacoma, where he enrolled at Bates Technical College to learn upholstery. He left home at 18 and supported himself by doing upholstery jobs and buying/renovating houses. A trust fund that his mother, Helen Harlow, formed with nearly $1 million in donations from the public also helped pay for his living expenses. Recently, Hade lived with his grandmother, Betty Foote, in a mobile home in Roy, Wash., while he looked for a one-story duplex in Tacoma. He wanted to find a fixer-upper he could renovate so Foote wouldn’t have to continue climbing the stairs in their current home.
Cheating death as a child also inspired an interest in daredevil sports. Hade enjoyed skateboarding, snowboarding, skydiving and flying. He wrote and recorded music, and served as the DJ in the hip-hop group LikeMinds. His friends said he seemed determined to live every moment as if it would be his last.
Hade died on June 9 when his brand new Suzuki motorcycle collided with a pickup truck. He was 23.

16 Responses to Ryan Alan Hade

  1. T

    This is such a tragedy. He overcame such huge obstacles and was killed in an accident. Another life taken too young.
    Please check out http://www.radkids.org for information on how to teach your children to defend themselves against sexual predators. It’s a Personal Empowerment Program for children.
    This should never happen to another child.

  2. JuliansMa

    God bless Ryan Hade! As a mother of a son whom I waited all my life for I cannot imagine what he and his family went through. This world is full of sick, sick people and it is very scarry. I admire Ryan for moving on with his life despite all he tragically endured as a child. We must make this world a better place for our children and as a tribute to those like Ryan who were brutally victimized. Rest in peace Ryan and God bless you.

  3. Mr. G.

    I had the chance to work with Ryan both in elementary school and once or twice when he was at high school. He overcame the incident quite well and had the support of family and friends to do that.

  4. Christine

    This is a very terrible tragedy. No one should ever have to endure what Ryan went through. Shriner is a monster, a terrible excuse for a human being.
    Rest in peace Ryan.

  5. Tonia

    Ryan was my friend. I am honored to have celebrated my 30th birthday with him as one of my skydiving companions.
    His love for life is inspiring. His is missed so very much.

  6. 'Victoria

    I knew Ryan and his mother, Helen. I lived with them in Tacoma down the street from where the attack happened to Ryan when he was a small blonde boy. When I lived with him and Helen, Ryan was in middle school. He did love his skateboarding and such….I helped take care of him. I remember when his mother went to do the tv show ” Leeza “, I watched him while she was gone. He did struggle with his past and he punched a hole in the wall or his bathroom one night. When I begged him to come out and stop the intense screaming, he did. I calmed him down on the couch and put a cold rag to his head. We sat and talked for the longest time. He said to me…” What is going to happen to me someday, when I get older and want a girlfriend or be around other guys in the bathroom like this?
    I found out today on July the 7th of 2005 that my “little buddy”, Ryan died. I loved him and his mother. My prayers are with you Helen.
    To Ryan: You brought me laughter when you told me your jokes. You scared me when you would come in with skinned up knees from your “famous” tricks on your skateboard. You encouraged me…with your strength. You were an insperation to every human being on this entire planet. I love you and and will pray for you…I will talk to you everyday as if you were still here. In my heart you are. My tears that I shed for you at this moment, I am quite certain you can see from Heaven. May the Lord keep you at His side and give you the “Peace” finally that you so deserve. I know how hard it was for your family and especially you, Ryan. With all of our converstations and all. I did get to know you. You are truly missed and I would love to just hug you one more time and tell you… how much that you are LOVED…..
    Your friend always until we meet again, honey.
    My dear buddy….I am so sorry that it took until today to look you up and find you. I was going to have you come and visit me and my husband who is in the United States Marine Corps. You would of loved him Ryo’….Well, my heart is so sad. I hope you can feel me.
    Rest in Peace my special and never forgotten friend…………….

  7. candice crytzer

    First of all Helen i am so deeply sorry you are in my prayers as well as all those who have suffered the loss of ryan. I knew ryan and it has been a long time since i last saw him but i always remembered him for his great strength even as a young boy .Helen im so sorry i am a mother now and i cannot imagine the pain of such loss in case you wonder i am vickies daughter i will pray everyday for your heart to be at ease someday but until then take care and ryan we love you buddy see you at the crossroads peace out.

  8. Brian Keith Mason

    Today (01/28/o6) I found out about Ryan’s death from a friend (Josh Jones). By happenstance, Josh had met Ryan’s mom whom I had met by way of my capacity as his real estate and mortgage financing consultant. I was shocked and saddened by the news of his death. As I did my nightly excursion through the internet I decided to google Ryan’s name – and came across this site.
    I must say what a testament to the will of this wonderful young man surviving these horrific incidents illustrate. I considered Ryan an amazingly driven young man. I told many of the other investor partners in our “Group of 5” partnership that for Ryan to have been so young (20 years old at the time) he showed an unbelievable discipline and motivation; yet I had no knowledge of his tragic past! Having never known the horrors that he had endured I am further saddend that I can not further lavish him with the praise that his inconquerable spirit deserves.
    For all of you who love and admire this brave gift from God as I do, do not be sad. Cherish him as a wonderful beacon of what it is possible to overcome in this life. From this day forward Ryan shall always live in my heart. When I think of his carefree, happy spirit I will feel a profound sense of guilt whenever I claim to be having a bad day.
    Ryan…my man… save me a spot upstairs..and if there are any team activities – save me a spot on your team.
    Keith Mason

  9. Brenda Stafford

    To the Family of Ryan Alan Hade. I am so soory for your loss. I just now found out 12-09-06 of this tragedy. I met Ryan through his brother Jasun which I dated in High School so many years ago. In the little time that I knew him he was very sweet and loveable boy. He touched my heart with his kindness. My deepest sympathy to all his family,friends and loved ones.

  10. Renee

    Just heard very briefly on msnbc about th guy who commited such a horrible acts such as rape and mutilation, but without mention of suspects names. When I googled his name I found Ryan Alan Hade then read about the motor accident.Although I never mt Alan or infact had never heard of him til reading the article, I will say that my heart was stricken for his suffering and for the family who lost such a brave person.
    May God bless and look over the family. Sorry for your loss. I know this is long over due and the incident was in 05 but for some reason I was just directed to the article tonight and I believe all things happen for a reason.
    R.I.P. Ryan
    May you find rest with the Lord and Angels

  11. Paige

    I recently heard about Ryan’s story and my heart just aches for him and his family. His mother must have been through so much over the years and I am so sorry to hear she lost him at such a young age. I have a young son of my own and I cannot imagine the pain the whole family endured. My prayers are with you all and I hope that there is healing and peace for those who loved Ryan. I wish there was more that I could do for you.

  12. LiAnn

    He was my first love. He was the sweetest man I had met at that time. When he moved to Roseburg,OR I was so sad to see him go. Then we parted ways never to be joined together again. I used to stare at the skaters hoping that one of them was him and we could be reunited but now I know that he will forever be in my heart.
    I loved you Ryan and I still have my yearbook that you signed. I will never part with it.

  13. Lindsey

    Being as close to Ryan as I was in his last few years with us, I can honestly say that he lived a much fuller life in his 23 years than most do in a hundred. I miss you everyday Rylo, but am comforted in knowing that I was lucky enough to have known such an incredible person in my lifetime.

  14. C..

    It’s coming up on 4 years Ryan.. and when im sad or just need to think, or have thought to much and need to clear my head I go to our special place. The one place that lets me think, and the one place I can think about you. I miss you every single day, and Id give anything to have you here with us now. Its taken me this long to write on one of these things, maybe its because I like reading what everyone else loved about you. I think its more because I still feel connected to you everyday… I know you are watching over us.. you did that when you were here.
    Nobody will ever replace you..each month I think about my ice cream date..and everyday something reminds me of you.
    I heart you…so much.

  15. Kerry

    I only meet Ryan once a few weeks after this terrible incident. Boeing, Alaskan Air and Disneyland had put together a trip for 3, all expenses paid. This was done with hopes of showing him that not all the world was evil and that there are good people in this world. I just found out today of this tragic lose and am deeply saddened that he is no longer with us. God bless this young man and his family.

  16. brandon taylor

    i knew ryan when we were kids. we lived across the street and the terrible tragedy happened, .i remember it and how strong i always thought he was for overcoming what would have ruined most people but over the years we lost touch and now i wish we had not my heart goes out to everyone that his life touched he will always be in my thoughts and im sorry he didnt get to live a longer life!

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