Craig Titus is a professional bodybuilder who was active from the late '80s until the mid-2000s, placing at Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic competitions going against the best pros in the world. At one point during his early 2000's run, he packed on 260+ pounds on just a 5'7'' frame.
His career likely ended forever when he and his wife killed their assistant in a love triangle motivated by selfishness, money, and drug use. Aside from using a lot of hard drugs and partying, Titus was also a heavy steroid user who critics say contributed to his act. In this article, we will take a look at his life but also bring facts to the table on whether steroids cause people to murder.
Teenage years and early 20's
Titus grew up as a skinny short kid vs. his peers in Michigan. He didn't play open weight contact sports due to his small stature, so he gravitated to wrestling because it had weight divisions to force an even playing field. He also enjoyed weight training and did well at it. After high school, he started to gain size rapidly and decided to become a bodybuilder. He won a competition in Houston before his 22nd birthday, he then competed at various contests winning the 1991 NPC Ironman before he turned 25. It appeared that Titus was going to be able to achieve his dreams and make a living at bodybuilding. Finally, he earned his IFBB pro card by winning the NPC USA Championships.
During his ascension, Titus was hiding a dark secret about his personal life. He was a recreational drug user and had a party lifestyle that mixed poorly with bodybuilding. To make matters worse he was dealing drugs, including Ecstasy, which is a serious offense in the United States. He was able to plead guilty to avoid a major prison sentence and had to wear an ankle bracelet while on probation. Having to be stuck at home losing muscle mass was too much for him to handle, so he violated his probation by being caught using drugs and anabolic steroids. This resulted in a 1 1/2 year prison sentence.
Early 2000's success
Titus hit his bodybuilding peak during the early 2000s where he finished in the top 10 at various competitions including the Ironman Pro, Arnold Classic, and Toronto Pro. His Mr. Olymipa finishes were solid, finishing in 11th place in 2002 and 12th in 2001. He finished up his bodybuilding career by finishing as high as 3rd at the 2003 IFBB Night of Champions and 5th at the 2004 IFBB Iron Man Pro. His last major competition was the 2005 IFBB Iron Man Pro where he finished 6th against stiff competition.
Murderer or accomplice?
During this time a young lady named Melissa James came to live with Craig Titus and his wife Kelly Ryan (Kelly was also a bodybuilder) in Las Vegas. Melissa James was a fan of both and took a job as their assistant to help out with their business. The arrangement involved a room and money. During this time Titus had an affair with Melissa which formed a love triangle. In addition to this Melissa had griped to her family that she wasn't getting paid what she was promised and wanted to come back home but would wait a little longer to see if things improved. This decision would cost her.
In late 2005, Melissa (the assistant) was found dead inside a burned-out vehicle owned by Kelly Ryan (Craig’s wife). Melissa had been tasered, beaten, and given morphine then lit on fire which was a disturbing murder.
A store video showed Titus and his wife purchasing items used in the fire and there was also a witness who came forward to say he helped burn the car.
Titus and his wife fled to the other side of the country but were caught before they could leave the country.
Craig Titus pled guilty and got up to 55 years in prison while his wife Kelly Ryan got up to 26 years. Kelly served 11 years and was released.
To this day we don't know who truly orchestrated this murder and if Craig was more of an accomplice trying to save his wife. What we do know is drugs heavily influenced the events of that night.
Do steroids make killers?
I did find a journal that looked into this . Their findings showed that steroid use may be associated with an antisocial lifestyle and crimes such as fraud or weapons charges, but were not linked to more serious violent crimes.
My educated opinion, based on anecdotal evidence and researching this subject over the years, I can safely say that steroids don't create murderers. Craig Titus is a murderer with or without steroids. Even if he never touched them again he will not hesitate to take another person's life if he is ever put in a situation where money, fame, and personal relationships were at stake. Add to that his heavy recreational drug use and you get a recipe for disaster.
Steroids and Bigorexia
There is zero debate whether Titus ever used steroids, after all, he was arrested for them previously since they violated his terms of release, the question is how much did he use and was he on them when he committed the crime?
We can speculate that he was on a lot of steroids throughout his life, being likely introduced to them in high school and also into his 20's as he rapidly gained mass within a couple years. We can also speculate that he used them around the time of the murder, because many bodybuilders suffer from bigorexia which is also called muscle dysmorphia. Bigorexia is a psychological condition where the person is obsessed with appearance and any loss of muscle or strength will cause depression and anger.
This condition is incurable without the use of SSRI drugs, therapy, group sessions, meditation, and avoiding a gym environment which Titus would have turned down anyway. Living with bigorexia, he would have stayed on steroids year-round because stopping them would put him in a deep depression, so we can speculate he followed a 'blast and cruise' strategy to his steroid use.
His year-round cruising dose would look like this:
HGH 10IU's per day
600mgs a week Testosterone Cypionate
600mgs a week Masteron Enanthate
300mg a week Trenbolone Enanthate
His 20-week blasts would look like this:
HGH 20IU's per day
Insulin 10IU's per day
1200mgs a week Testosterone Enanthate
1000mgs a week Masteron Propionate
1000mgs a week Trenbolone Acetate
150mgs a day Anadrol
150mgs a day Winstrol
"Craig Titus was an insane dude"
"Drugged to [expletive]"
"He is a bad guy, keep him locked up"
"Really shocking to see what he did"
"That man is an idiot"
cousin killed his wife from steroids
remember Craig titus?
don't expect pct to save your ass
Anyone else tried Clomid&nolvadex as Test booster?(not pct)
Written by Steve Smi
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated