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Update: Melissa James murder *Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan have pled guilty to her murder; sentenced to prison*

Melissa James

Melissa James murder 12/14/2005 Las Vegas, NV *Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan arrested for her murder*
Bodybuilding couple plead in assistant’s death
Bodybuilding Champions Plead Guilty to Killing Assistant
Bodybuilding pros plead guilty in murder case
PLEA AGREEMENT REACHED: Bodybuilder admits killing
Bodybuilders Take Plea Deal in Assistant’s Murder
Bodybuilders Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan Sentenced for Murder
Last defendant in bodybuilder murder case gets probation
Murderpedia: Craig Michael Titus
Murderpedia: Kelly Ann Ryan
Wikipedia: Craig Titus
Wikpedia: Kelly Ann Ryan

Fire in the Desert: The True Story of the Craig Titus-Kelly Ryan Murder Mystery
Killer Bodies: A Glamorous Bodybuilding Couple, a Love Triangle, and a Brutal Murder

Murder Among Friends: Muscle Bound
48 Hours Mystery: Vegas Heat
Snapped: Season 10: Kelly Ryan
Wikipedia: Snapped Episode Guide

Craig Titus – pled guilty to second-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and arson; sentenced to 21 to 55 years in prison; eligible for parole 12/2026
Kelly Ryan – pled guilty to arson and battery with a deadly weapon with significant bodily harm; sentenced to 6 to 17 years in prison for each of her counts. Denied parole, eligible again in 2017
Anthony Gross – pled no contest to accessory to arson and conspiracy to commit arson; sentenced to probation.


Offender ID: 1024059
Gender: Male
Ethnic: Caucasian
Age: 47
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 220lb
Complexion: FAIR
Eyes: BLUE
Custody Level: MEDIUM
Prior Felonies: YES


Offender ID: 1024476
Gender: Female
Ethnic: Caucasian
Age: 39
Height: 5’3″
Weight: 125lb
Complexion: MEDIUM
Hair: Brown
Custody Level: MEDIUM
Prior Felonies: no
Parole Hearing Details
Offender Book ID Parole Hearing Date Parole Hearing Location
113572 2008-12-24 PAROLE BOARD ROOM 301
113572 2011-09-22 PAROLE BOARD ROOM 301


25 Responses

  1. Will someone explain to me -why- Titus & Ryan killed James ? I’ve yet to see mention of reasonable motive. Are these people retarded enough to have killed someone over romantic jealousy or petty theft? Is there more?

  2. They killed her in a jealous rage loaded up on many many drugs including crystal meth. They had been using for 3 days straight. Kelly use to be someone that I admired, looked up to. Its sad to watch 2 people who could have had it all do something so horrible. Kelly deserves to rot in jail. She helped KILL!!

  3. All I can say is…WOW! I’m watching it on 48 Hours right now and I’m just shocked. I admired the both of them. My husband subscribed to Muscle Mag and I liked reading about them and looking at their pictures. What a loss. They had it all!!

  4. Two losers!! They had it all, and each other, but felt the need to take a life. I hope they rot in jail. God bless you Melissa. RIP.

  5. craig was messed up on coke and roids i know he was, he was a customer at my shop….. i seen the drugs and new they had a 3 way relastionship…he always said how kool his wife was…..

    • You own your own shop? You spelt words wrong and speak like a teenager. It is hard to believe you are reliable.

  6. They had it all???? Omg..are you people fooled! They used steriods, meaning they were cheaters! Any contests they may have “won”, or awards they received, were as a result of steriods!! They would write articles on fitness and working out, or other issues…Now think, who are they to comment on anything? Just goes to show how ignorant, or, stupid, the american public is..It is no surprise to me, that they are in this predicament…Better them than me.

  7. Hay Agatha, anyone who competes uses anabolics you dumb dumb. That goes without saying. When you combine drugs and a love triangle, something bad is bound to transpire. It got out way out of control.

  8. Ben hit the nail right on the head! They competed in the IFBB which means THEY ALL use steroids! Not a natural body among them, Agatha! Craig went from being known as bodybuildings “bad boy” to seemingly making a decent life for himself. They had lots of material things. Cars, the house etc…. It looked like Kelly was actually keeping him in check for a while but then all the partying ensued and they both became known for not only drugs, but an alternative lifestyle as well. Craig ALWAYS had a short fuse and it was only a matter of time before something as unfortunate as this happened. Personally I hope neither one of them get to see the light of day ever again. If either walk in one day less than 20 years then our justice system has failed miserably!

  9. I remember Melissa from panama city. We werent friends, or enimies. I hate that this happened to her. I watched it on a news braodcast…horrible what her last moments were like. I hope they rot in hell

  10. My heart goes out to Melissa’s family. She was far too young. This couple deserves more time in prison….a minimum of 2 years? Are you kidding??!! I can’t imagine how Melissa’s family must feel, but if they read this, I am so, so sorry for your loss.

  11. this is so sad.
    she was such a beautiful young woman. I am so deeply sorry for your lost…NO one deserves that! I am SOO Happy that the judge set him (Craig) straight & gave him the max. But I wish she (kelly) got more than 6 years!

    Melissa Anne James.

  12. Hey Ben…..guess what….not all competitors take anabolics dumb dumb. I am a competitor and NEVER took a thing….let alone a life. And guess what…..I have come in first twice, second 3 times, third once and fourth once. So you need to think about what you say before you say if. Point is what you said after that – that drugs and a love triangle is a toxic combo.

  13. Melissa was an AMAZING, TALENTED, LOVING woman who dedicated her life to her family and to helping children dance. Melissa did NOT use roids or meth. She was a part of NO “3 way” relationship. Seems Kelly might have been a little jealous of Melissa’s natural beauty…. not needing face lift after face lift….. I don’t really care. They tortured and murdered my friend and they aren’t getting sh*t for it. They deserve much much more then our “justice” systems hands down. We can never have her back. her mom will never see her baby again. These lunatics killed her and stole her from us all.

    Never forget what they did to her!!!!!!!!!

    RIP Melissa, you are missed my friend

  14. First I’d like to say I am truly saddened by what happened to Melissa! May she rest in peace… But only Jesus knows what truly happened between all three of them. Not thats there is an excuse for what was done to her… I just think everyone needs to remember people deserve forgiveness and grace just like Jesus does for each one of us everyday! A sin is a sin…. And saying things like Kelly deserves to rot is just as much a sin in Jesus’ eyes…. Try to be more Godly!! Holding on to these terrible turn of events will just cause stife in your life…. May the family of Melissa find forgiveness & peace in their hearts!

  15. Melissa seemed to be a very kind person, from what I have seen and heard. i can’t believe people could sit there and lie about something like this. I can’t believe people would do this!! I am only 14 and I think this is crazy! Rest In Peace Melissa James. I am sure you are missed dearly.

  16. I just watched the episode on id channel and it seems to me that all three of them were heavy drug users. James is not as innocent as people here make her to be. All three of them were junkies. Still that is not an excuse to murder someone. Also I do not understand why a big strapping man like Titus would beat the living daylights out of a woman even if she did ingest steroids with the other two, he is still physically stronger than her. I believed that Ryan and James were fighting and Kelly despite being more “fit” was losing bad. Screaming to Titus, he snapped and beat James up, then Kelly went behind and tasered James for revenge. James was too mangled up to have the situation declared as a “accident” so they decided to engulf her body in flames to get rid of the evidence.

    I do not believe in the theory that Ryan was jealous of James’ looks. Both are relatively good looking and it seems Ryan has (or had) a killer body, BUT maybe James was getting more attention from Titus which irritated Ryan

    • floyd,

      Whatever Melissa may have done with drugs is irrelevant and does not make her any less ‘innocent’. Is she alive? No, she is still dead, murdered at the hands of the others. Did she deserve this, no! Here, you need to remember the victim and that she had a life and that she lived. She did not deserve this. Don’t badmouth her here for any reason. That had no relevance on her murder.

  17. […] Update: Melissa James murder *Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan have pled …Bodybuilding pros plead guilty in murder case … Bodybuilders Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan Murder Sentence Update. Posted in crime, murder, … […]

  18. Thats my sister ((melissa)) like no joke and she was amazing she was pretty nice and i loved her alot i miss her she was an awsome dance teacher

  19. Sorry for your loss Jamie. Melissa seemed like an amazing person who just got caught up with some evil people. May you have peace and comfort even in the face of such a great loss and may your sisters amazing spirit live through you. Be blessed Jamie

  20. Those assholes took her life because they were on drugs, and were heartless killers. But, James should never have moved in with those crazies. If it wasnt a three way it definitely looks like one, and that type of lifestyle, where people are self centred, bathed in glamour and deception, and getting rewarded for it (accolades in body building even though they were on roids) may have “taught” them that they could get away with anything in society. At least the court process seems to have unveiled the admissions. Confessions that they covered it up show at least the sort of characters that they were.

  21. Frankly…I think it’s disgusting to see people Jugde or talk any smack about a women who was brutaly murdered & isn’t here to defend herself! No one walked a mile in her shoes or knows anything about her accept her family. I guess it’s easy for people to attack someone they don’t know or ever have to face.. God bless you Melissa & your family! I am so very sorry for your loss. Please don’t waste your time reading what people think or think they know..

  22. Craig and Kelly visited my gym in Howell Michigan. I have many photos and closed early to allow them to work out. Later I met them in Detroit at a dance bar. I danced with Kelly she wanted to go meet up with me later. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Craig not looking to pleased even though he was dancing with other chicks. I didn’t meet up later at there hotel even though Craig agreed.

    Good thing I didn’t or I’d probably would have been floating in the Detroit river.

    I thought Kelly was great. But I knew Craig had issues like control, possessive stuff. I really think Kelly got caught up in a bad situation and the drugs made it all the more worse.

    But it doesn’t justify the murder at all.

    RIP Melissa.

  23. If they in fact where using crystal meth along with whatever else that along with sleep deprivation would definitely explain their loss of reason. I’m a recovering heroin addict. For most of my life I associated with people addicted to meth. You would not believe the drastic change in behavior when they would go on a runner ( using meth for days straight). I’m not condoning what these two did I’m just explaining what motivated their actions.

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