Craig Titus

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Craig Titus
Personal info
Full nameCraig Michael Titus
Born (1965-01-14) January 14, 1965 (age 53)
Wyandotte, Michigan, U.S.
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight(in season) 242 lb (110 kg)
(off season) 267 lb (121 kg)
Professional career
Pro-debut1988 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships -- 1st Middleweight and Overall, 1988
Best winNPC USA Championships -- 1st Heavyweight and Overall, 1996
PredecessorPhilip Hernon Jr.
SuccessorJason Arntz
ActiveRetired 2005
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Spouse(s)Kelly Ann Ryan (2003-2009)
Conviction(s)Pled guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree arson, and first-degree battery
Criminal penalty21-55 years in state prison

Craig Michael Titus (born January 14, 1965,[1] in Wyandotte, Michigan) is an American convicted murderer and former professional bodybuilder.

Early life[edit]

Titus lived most of his early life in Riverview, near Detroit. He has a younger brother, Kevin, and a younger sister, Nicole. Titus played high school football but quit because he was too small. He also wrestled at 132 lbs. After graduation Titus decided to put on some muscle by weight training.


When Titus graduated from high school, he was 5'6" and 140 lbs. By the age of 21, he was 5'8" and 185 lbs. Once he started seeing good results from weight training, he decided to become a bodybuilder. Titus's first bodybuilding show was the 1988 Houston Bodybuilding Championships in which he won the Men's Open middleweight class and the overall title.

Criminal convictions[edit]

In April 1995 in Louisiana, Titus pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute ecstasy, and was sentenced to 16 months' house arrest via monitoring with an electronic anklet. In July 1997, Titus was sentenced to 21 months in prison for violating his probation by using anabolic steroids.

In December 2005, Titus and his wife Kelly Ryan were implicated in the death of Melissa James, their personal assistant, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Titus admitted to an affair with James.[2] After fleeing cross-country, the couple was arrested in Stoughton, Massachusetts.

In February 2006, after being extradited to Nevada from Boston, Titus and Ryan were denied bail. On March 29, both pleaded not guilty to a felony charge for killing their live-in assistant. The charge carried the possibility of the death penalty.

Despite previous statements asserting their innocence, both Titus and Ryan pleaded guilty to various charges on May 30, 2008, just days before their murder trial was set to begin in Las Vegas.

On August 22, 2008, Titus was convicted of second-degree murder, kidnapping and arson.[3] He was sentenced to 21 to 55 years in prison. Ryan was sentenced to two consecutive terms of 3–13 years in prison.[4][5][6][7]

Anthony Gross, also charged as an accomplice in the crime, pleaded guilty in February 2009 and received probation.

With time served from the date of capture, Craig Titus is eligible for parole release on December 23, 2026.

Competitions and titles[edit]

  • 2005 IFBB Iron Man Pro—6th
  • 2004 IFBB GNC Show Of Strength—6th
  • 2004 IFBB Florida Xtreme Pro Challenge—7th
  • 2004 IFBB Grand Prix Australia—6th
  • 2004 IFBB Arnold Classic And Internationals—6th
  • 2004 IFBB Iron Man Pro—5th
  • 2003 IFBB Night Of Champions—3rd
  • 2002 IFBB GNC Show Of Strength—7th
  • 2002 Mr. Olympia—11th
  • 2002 Night of Champions XIV—5th
  • 2002 Southwest Pro—7th
  • 2001 British Grand Prix—9th
  • 2001 Mr. Olympia—12th
  • 2001 Arnold Classic—6th
  • 2001 San Francisco Grand Prix—2nd
  • 2001 Ironman Pro Invitational—5th
  • 2000 Toronto Pro—5th
  • 2000 Arnold Classic—10th
  • 2000 Night of Champions—11th
  • 2000 Ironman Pro Invitational—8th
  • 1996 NPC USA Championships—1st Heavyweight and Overall (earning pro card in the IFBB)
  • 1995 NPC USA Championships—2nd Heavyweight
  • 1994 NPC National Championships—2nd Heavyweight
  • 1994 NPC USA Championships—2nd Heavyweight
  • 1993 NPC USA Championships—4th Heavyweight
  • 1991 NPC Ironman/Ironmaiden—Overall
  • 1990 NPC Tournament of Champions—3rd Heavyweight
  • 1990 NPC Western Cup—Overall
  • 1989 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships—Overall
  • 1988 NPC Houston Bodybuilding Championships—1st Middleweight and Overall

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " - Craig Titus Pro Bodybuilding Profile". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Curreri, Frank. "Craig Titus Murder Charge". Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  3. ^ "Offender Detail Record". Nevada Offender Tracking Information System. Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
  4. ^ "Pro Bodybuilders Sentenced in Aides".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Pro Bodybuilders Sentenced in Aide's 2005 Death in Vegas". Las Vegas, Nevada: 8 News NOW. August 22, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  6. ^ "Bodybuilder, wife get prison in slaying". Las Vegas Review-Journal. August 23, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  7. ^ "Bodybuilders Plead Guilty In Gruesome Slay". CBS News. May 31, 2008.


  • Fire in the Desert: The True Story of the Craig Titus-Kelly Ryan Murder Mystery by Glenn Puit (Stephens Press, published February 2007) ISBN 9781932173741
  • Swift Injustice: The Craig Titus Story by Tracy Mitchell-Milam (TMM Publishing, published July 17, 2015) ISBN 0578164574

External links[edit]