RISE AND FALL OF A TITAN
FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012
titus_ryan and kelly ryan
Big muscular physique and body mass, enhanced strength, increased speed, and low body fat percentages are all desired results of steroid use. Side effects are also well known including heart attacks and increased bouts of cancer. Perhaps, the most typical reaction to steroid use is ‘Roid Rage’ whereby the user loses self restraint and responds erratically (at times violently…) to the slightest interaction.
There’ve been examples of users who’ve abused their loved ones and videos posted on YouTube of bodybuilders physically attacking innocent gym patrons. Certainly, one of the worst examples of ‘Roid Rage’ involved a married bodybuilding couple and the murder of one unsuspecting business victim.
The saga rippled throughout the bodybuilding subculture and became a news headline for several days. In fact, CBS highlighted juicy details on its popular 48 Hours broadcast. Before the deadly deed falls into the abyss of obscurity, let’s revisit the particulars of the case; beginning with the cast of characters.
Some fans of this website may recall that Kelly Ryan was quite active in physical fitness. Athletics was important to her ever since grade school where gymnastics, basketball, and cheerleading were her main pursuits. Later – in college, Kelly would draw from the gymnastics experience and excel in choreography and further use it to compete in her first Ladies Fitness competition (1995 NPC South Carolina competition) where she placed 1st in her category. Kelly Ryan was able to perfect her pre-contest training to the extent that she was a persistent winner in fitness competitions. Images of Kelly Ryan could occasionally be found on the covers of bodybuilding magazines. Other pictures were common of her posing routines during competitions, and even more photo shoots can be found of Kelly Ryan that were a bit more suggestive nature.
Note: modern ladies figure contests grew in the 1980s in response to the freakish degree of masculinity that existed in women’s bodybuilding. Though steroids are supposed to be a non-factor in ladies figure competitions, competitors still use performance enhancing drugs; especially, human growth hormone.
Craig Titus exploded onto the bodybuilding scene briefly as an amateur before bouncing into the junior status. His aggressive stacking of steroids gained him such mass that his physique was comparable to that of professional bodybuilders in a fraction of the time. Like his wife, Titus could be found on covers of all bodybuilding magazines in the 1990s as he quickly climbed the ranks from amateur status to that of Junior NPC qualifier, and eventually professional. Titus was known as an up-or-down straight-shooter with a “no nonsense” “bad boy” personality that complemented the general rugged image of bodybuilding. Titus was reaching greater heights but driven by a commonality that most bodybuilders share then suffer from.
Craig Titus’ beginnings are humble and resemble that of most bodybuilders. Craig was raised in the Detroit area and the eldest of a brother and sister. His tenure in high school football was short lived due to short stature and he wrestled competitively at 5’8” tall with a weight of 132lbs. It was only after graduating high school, did Craig decide to add weight by (a) beginning a serious weight training program while (b) supplementing with steroids. Proof of his steroid use was obvious as he added 40lbs of muscle mass quickly. A couple of years later, he had added 45lbs of solid muscle; all of which he attributes to steroids.
Craig Titus’ first competed in the 1988 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships and took both 1st place in his middleweight class as well as Overall placement. The following year, Craig won Overall in the same competition as well as Overall in the 1990 NPC Western Cup competition. In 1995, Craig Titus found himself on the wrong side of the law and forced to plead guilty to a Class 3 Felony – conspiracy to possess, with the intent to distribute imported Ecstasy tablets. For that offense, Craig received a 16-month in-house arrest determination involving ankle monitoring. Merely 2 years later, Craig was sentenced to 21 months in prison for steroid possession / use which was a violation of his earlier plea deal and 1995 judgment. Craig rebounded from his time away and was on a roll via lucrative opportunities associated with bodybuilding that came easily until the end of 2005.
CRIME OF PASSION OR AGGRESSIVE RAGE:
On December 14th of 2005, headlines filled the air waves with allegations of murder involving a beautiful woman named Melissa James. Details of the crime were explicit with descriptions of a badly beaten corpse stuffed in the trunk of a Jaguar which belonged to Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan. Moreover, the car had been set ablaze which drew the attention of local law enforcement. Eye witnesses stated that the car was fully engulfed in flames (implying the presence of an accelerant…) but that the license plates were still legible. Equipped with this information, police briefly interrogated both Craig and Kelly but failed to detain them because the couple claimed Melissa to have been suicidal.
Realizing that authorities would catch onto discrepancies, Craig and Kelly travelled cross-country and prompted a manhunt consisting of local police as well as the FBI. Nine days into the manhunt and on the Friday following the date of the murder, Craig was arrested in Canton, Massachusetts as he waited in a truck while Kelly received a pedicure. Items in their possession indicated that the couple was arranging to flee to Greece which does not share an extradition treaty with the United States. Craig Titus is of Greek descent and is fluent in that country’s language. In addition to the pedicure, Kelly Ryan was arrested from the salon with differing hair color; quite a feeble disguise. Anthony Gross was also arrested for being an accomplice to the arson / murder.
In retrospect, this was an embarrassing mistake which simply adds to the stereotype of police incompetence. Video evidence clearly shows Craig Titus purchasing 7 bottles of lighter fluid from a 24-hr Wal-Mart at 3:30 in the morning. Coincidentally, Melissa James’ body was discovered the same day between 3:30am and 4am.
As if this saga was not enough, court room antics were equally interesting with the criminal cases against defendants Craig and Kelly. First supplemental motions for ‘Relief from Prejudicial Joinder’ were approved so that the couple would be tried separately. Pretrial motions were entered on both sides to prevent disbarred attorneys from offering legal counsel. Other motions were entered to suppress defendant ‘bad behavior’ evidence through motions to exclude hearsay. There were even legal challenges to declare Melissa James as the victim; suggesting that they were irrelevant.
The defense of Craig Titus faced a mountain of evidence which prompted him to initially enter a ‘guilty’ plea deal. A change of heart compelled Craig to rescind the plea; replacing it with a ‘Not Guilty’ plea. Ultimately, Craig Titus and Kelly Ann Ryan independently ran out of options and both agreed to admit their guilt in exchange for reduced sentences. As the Prosecutorial focus centered on the murder of Melissa James, it did not pursue legitimate evidence that Craig Titus was choreographing a ‘Murder for Hire’ plot that would kill 3 witnesses scheduled to offer critical testimony against him.
Kelly’s sentence was 2 – consecutive sentences of 3 to 13 years for arson, battery with a deadly weapon resulting in significant harm. Her earliest eligible release is in 2015 as she serves out her sentence at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility in Nevada. Meanwhile, Craig Titus was convicted in 2008 with Murder in the Second Degree, Arson in the First Degree, and Kidnapping in the First Degree. His sentence was 21 to 55 years behind prison and he’s serving out his sentence at both Ely Nevada Correctional Facility and under special supervision due to his erratic mental state and ability to overpower prison personnel.
There is no chance to discover a motive since Craig and Kelly offered guilty plea deals prior to an actual trial. Nonetheless, gossip was prevalent throughout the Las Vegas and southern California bodybuilding scene with respect to the actions of Craig and Melissa. The bodybuilding world and deviant sexual behavior are often intertwined and this fact has the potential to corroborate rumors of sex videos displaying an indiscrete Titus and James in all aspects of sexual engagement. The situation erupted out of control when an article was posted on Flex Online (website related to Flex Magazine) regarding the Titus/James sex tape in 2002.
Supposedly the tape is segmented into 3 sections with Part A showing Melissa James engaged in lesbian sex while Craig Titus is the videographer and Kelly Ryan’s voice is heard on a telephone call in the background. The second Part B is said to be strictly innocent and of Kelly Ryan during a pre-contest posing routine. The third Part C is said to have been of Craig Titus and his wife fully engaged in a 20-minute sex act. The dirty particulars of this rumor are incriminating but don’t seem to rise to the occasion that would spur thoughts of murder.
Other proposed motives include Melissa James’ threat to blow the whistle on Kelly and Craig for massive steroid/HGH and Ecstasy distribution network. This concept seems more credible to us here at www.steroidanalysis.com
. A couple of years ago, we contacted Craig Titus at his prison location to request an interview with respect to his steroid use. Craig Titus kindly responded, “…fact is, my use of steroids, HGH and other Performance Enhancing drugs such as E.P.O. and Plasma Expanders dates all the way back to 1988.” In the same paragraph, Craig claimed, “…I can honestly say I’ve used almost every steroid made at one time in my career.” Further in the response letter, he proclaimed himself to be an expert in the field of performance enhancing drugs.
Craig was proud of the fact that he’d supplied many famous athletes, actors, and other celebrities in both his Venice Beach and Las Vegas offices including Vince Neil from Motley Crue. He goes on to mention that his services are not limited to supply but also teaching his clients how to use steroids/HGH. Craig would only agree to an interview if we contributed monetarily to his prison account. With regret, we at www.steroidanalysis.com
declined as we would never profit at anyone’s expense; especially, that of Melissa James and her mother.
Kelly Ryan filed for divorce from Craig Titus in December of 2009. Sadly, the stress of circumstances was too much for Melissa James’ mother who suffered a fatal heart attack during court proceedings.
Images courtesy of:
Nevada Correctional Facility
Ely State Prison
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