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Craig Titus & Kelly Ryan Investigation » Blog Archive » Murder case records detail sordid lives

Murder case records detail sordid lives

The following was from the Las Vegas Review Journal…

June. 04, 2006 - Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Murder case records detail sordid lives

By GLENN PUIT - REVIEW-JOURNAL

For more than a decade, Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan knew what it was like to be at the pinnacle of fitness and weightlifting competitions.

But as their careers on the national fitness stage wound down, the two at times were living a wild, drug- and sex-fueled lifestyle in Las Vegas, according to police statements and grand jury testimony in the couple’s murder case.

For example, according to a police inventory report observed by the Review-Journal, police searched the couple’s home in southwest Las Vegas in December and found a videotape depicting “footage of a sexual encounter with Titus, Ryan and an unidentified female.”

The report does not indicate that Melissa James — the couple’s personal assistant and the woman who Titus and Ryan are now accused of killing — is on the tape.

According to police reports obtained by the newspaper, one witness, Gregory E. Ruiz, 28, of Las Vegas, told homicide detectives Titus and Ryan were into an alternative lifestyle.
“They’re into swinging,” Ruiz said. “They like having girlfriends over.”

Ruiz said Titus “used to go tell me all the time” to have sex with Ryan.

“I’m from a straight up family,” Ruiz said. “Me and my wife, that’s it.”

Ruiz told police he went into a clothing line business venture with Titus because Titus was a huge celebrity in the weightlifting world, but he soon realized Titus had a drug problem.

He said he witnessed Titus injecting Oxycontin, a strong and often-abused narcotic pain reliever. Titus didn’t seem to care who saw him doing it, he said.

“He wouldn’t hide it from nobody, which was really embarrassing.

“He always carries little needles … and it was the most awfulest thing ever,” Ruiz told police.

Titus already has told police he had steroids in his house at the time of his arrest in James’ death.

In addition, Ryan’s self-described best friend, Megan Michelle Pierson, told police James once told her Ryan was shooting cocaine with a needle.

James believed Ryan “was becoming very addicted to cocaine,” Pierson said.

Pierson said she and a friend were planning an intervention for Ryan.

Titus’ defense attorney, Richard Schonfeld, would not address individual statements made to police for this story. Ryan’s attorney, Tom Pitaro, declined comment. Both defendants have pleaded innocent to the charges.

Schonfeld said, however, that the drug allegations against Titus will be contested.

Schonfeld also said Titus and Ryan were people who dedicated their professional lives to improving their bodies, not polluting them.

“He (Titus) rose to the level of success that other amateur and pro body builders strive for,” Schonfeld said.

In addition, Schonfeld said the credibility of several witnesses who gave statements to authorities will come into serious question once the trial unfolds.

“Drug use affects peoples’ credibility,” Schonfeld said. “There is case law on it.”

Titus and Ryan are two of the most recognized figures in their respective sports. Ryan is a 33-year-old past Ms. Fitness America and Ms. Olympia runner-up, and Titus is a 40-year-old past place-winner of international Mr. Olympia competitions.

Clark County prosecutors indicted the married couple in March on charges they kidnapped and murdered James, 28, in December.

Authorities said the couple used a stun gun on James, drugged her with morphine, strangled her and set the remains ablaze in Ryan’s Jaguar.

Authorities also indicted a co-defendant, Anthony Gross, on charges he helped dispose of the body.

A motive in the case remains convoluted. Titus and Ryan originally told police they suspected James — who has an arrest history for identity theft — was stealing from them and possibly planning to steal their identities.

Ryan even told police she was starting to suspect James was possibly trying to poison her.

The couple later told police they found James dead in their car of a drug overdose, a hypodermic needle in her arm. The couple said they panicked and burned the body, but it wasn’t murder.

But in a police report, a detective said Titus confided to him that he was having an affair with James, which Ryan did not know about. Schonfeld has said this is blatantly false.

According to police reports and witness statements, James lived with Titus and Ryan but did not pay rent or receive a salary. Instead, she simply ran errands for them and helped them with other tasks.

In his witness statement given to police, Ruiz said Titus clearly had a serious drug problem.

“That was a big, big thing. Big big thing.”

“And everyone would say the same thing about him, what the (expletive) is this guy doing?” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said he never saw Ryan doing drugs, but merely heard accounts from others. He said of her friends: “They wanted to do an intervention.”

It is true that friends wanted to do an intervention. We’ve personally heard from friends who said they attempted to do just that. The part about “swinging” has nothing to do with anything related to this case and is embarassing that it is even mentioned. The couple’s sexual likes or dislikes is irrelevant to this case as we see it.

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