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Kelly Ryan is a Free Woman but Will She Resurface in the Fitness Industry?

by Matt Weik

Many of you might remember Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan from back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Craig was a bodybuilder and Kelly was a fitness competitor—and a damn good one at that! Many thought she would be the future face of the sport. Unfortunately for her, she made several poor choices with her life that put her in jail for 13 years.

A downward spiral

As the story would go, both Craig and Kelly would hire an assistant to help them—her name was Melissa James. No one knows much about Melissa, other than the fact that her fate laid in the hands of what we now consider two murderers. Back in 2005, it was alleged that Craig and his assistant, Melissa James, were engaged in a sexual relationship. Whether that was completely known to Kelly prior to the events leading up to Melissa’s death, is still uncertain. Both Craig and Kelly had also made the poor decision to get involved with and use drugs—which bad things tend to follow suit. However, at some point, there was an altercation where Craig and Kelly killed Melissa and decided they needed to dispose of the body—and fast.

They drove Kelly’s Jaguar in the middle of the night to pick up lighter fluid and made their way into the desert. Being that the location they were at was flat, their next decision sealed each of their fates. Both Craig and Kelly doused the Jaguar with the lighter fluid they just purchased and set the car on fire with Melissa James in the trunk. The car was engulfed in flames and from nearby roadways stuck out like a sore thumb, causing other motorists to call 911 and mention there was something on fire in the desert.

Local police and firefighters raced to the burning vehicle and extinguished the flame to find the body of Melissa in the trunk. Without too much effort, police were able to identify the body in the vehicle as Melissa James. This then leads police on a hunt for Craig and Kelly who were on the run from their home state of Nevada.

Boston police found Kelly inside a nail salon where they were arrested and later charged with Melissa’s murder.

Will Kelly find her way back in the fitness industry?

I don’t think so. After everything that took place, I believe she is thoroughly embarrassed and just wants to go live a new life outside of the industry where no one would recognize her face or name. Getting on stage again at this point will not bode well for her. I’m not even sure if the IFBB would allow her to come back or if she has been banned indefinitely for her horrific actions in the death of Melissa James.

Kelly will probably find a 9-5 job somewhere and live under the radar for the rest of her life—hopefully. After spending 13 years in prison, and having time to think about her poor choices, I’d be hard-pressed to think a comeback is in her future. She served her full sentence after being denied parole three times. In addition, she divorced Craig in 2009 while they were both in prison (maybe that piece had something to do with Craig’s sexual relationship with Melissa?).

I hope for her own sake, she gets her life together and can make at least something out of her life. It’s uncertain (to my knowledge at least) what happened to their assets. We are assuming after she got out of jail in late 2017 that she stayed in the Las Vegas area, but whether or not she still has the home she shared with Craig is unknown. Being that her location right now is unknown, no one has spoken to her to see where she is living or what her plans are moving forward.

It would, however, be nice to get a full story on what all took place from the time all of this went down until now. How did it begin? Did she know and accept the relationship between Craig and Melissa or is that what started all of this? Did they each have a clear state of mind or was their judgment cloudy from potentially being on a drug or multiple? Maybe she’ll come out with a book? Who knows?

As I learn more information, I will be sure to give updates on social media. What do you all think? Will she work her way back into the industry or will she become a ghost, never to be seen again in the flesh? Let us know in the comments.

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