Whenever someone is murdered, investigators and loved ones of the victim want to know why. They want to figure out what happened to make someone kill.
It seems that there is a disproportionate amount of murders perpetrated by bodybuilders and other athletes who have been taking steroids, compared those not on them.
In fact, roid rage has been implicated in many crimes other than murder, such as domestic violence, road rage, and numerous assaults.
Most people who take steroids do not kill, or even become violent, even though science has proven aggression is a side effect of any steroid use.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is another issue when it comes to violence or murder committed by sports figures.
More studying has to be done to determine the point at which blows to the head are too much.
Let’s take a look at some of the murders that have been committed by bodybuilders in recent history.
1. John Riccardi
John Riccardi was a body builder who killed his ex girlfriend, Connie Navarro, as well as a friend of hers, Sue Jory, in 1983.
He gunned them down in Connie’s condo, and not only got away, but evaded police for eight years after the killings.
Finally, in 1991, his case was on an episode of ‘America’s Most Wanted.’ The show received enough tips about him that they were able to arrest him in his Houston condo shortly after it aired.
He had been funding a luxurious lifestyle by burgling. Lots of stolen items, jewels and money were found in his home at the time of his arrest.
He denied having any part to in Connie Navarro’s death, and said that he didn’t even harass her after their split. Friends and neighbors all told police they had seen him get mean and violent towards her before her death.
He was eventually found guilty of both women’s murders, and was given the death penalty. It was later overturned and reduced to life inprisonment without parole.
You might have recognized the name Navarro. That is because Connie was the mother of rocker Dave Navarro. He was 15 years old when his mother was killed.
A week earlier, Riccardi, had broken into the home Connie and David shared, pulled a gun on the David, and handcuffed the boy to a piece of furniture. Dave thinks he might have been killed along with his mom had he not been with his dad the night of her slaying.
Dave has been a member of two successful rock bands. Jane’s Addiction, and later, Red Hot Chili Peppers. The rocker admits that he was scared until Riccardi was caught. He feared that him being famous would make him easy to find.
He also admits to using heroin for a while to cope with the pain of losing his mom in such a tragic way. He now tells others that you have to go through the pain, rather than numbing it to come out on the other side. He made a movie called ‘Mourning Son’ as a way to explore ways to heal for him, and for others.
He even visited his mom’s killer in prison and was surprised at the lack of anger he felt towards him. He described him as just another old man, who will die in jail.
He now hosts ‘Ink Master,’ a show all about tattoos and the artists who are doing amazing work in the field of body art.
2. Bertil Fox
Bertil Fox was twice named Mr. Universe, often called ‘Brutal Fox’ due to his being such a fierce competitor.
On September 30, 1997, this bodybuilder entered the dress shop owned by his former fiancé’s mother, Leyoca Brown, on Saint Kitts Island.
Leyoca was in the shop that day with her daughter, Violet, when Fox showed up. It wasn’t long before Fox and Violet began to argue and she began trying to push him out the door.
He began shooting at this point, killing his former love, Violet, and her mother Leyoca.
He said it was an accident. He said Violet and himself were struggling with the weapon when it went off.
During Fox’s trial, a friend of his told the court that Fox told him all about killing them, never saying it was accidental. A worker from the shop corroborated that it was on purpose. Even though the had the testimony of an eyewitness and someone he confessed to, the jury was hung.
Another trial was set, and this time he was convicted of the murders, and received a death by hanging sentence. It was later changed to life imprisonment.
3. Sally McNeil
Sally and Ray McNeil, both having been marines, then turned bodybuilders, seemed a great pairing. On February 14, 1995, their marriage of 8 years ended in a violent murder.
Ray had once been in the top 20 of pro bodybuilders in the United States. In 1992, he was named Mr. California. Sally won the Physique Championship for the Armed Forces two times in the 80s. She also did amateur wrestling matches, against women and men. Her wresting name, ironically, was Killer Sally.
Sally and Ray had a rough relationship from the beginning. This night, however, ended in the death of Ray McNeil at the hands of Sally.
Ray came home late on this fateful night and began to prepare himself some chicken. Sally was upset because he was late getting home and she had been letting her anger fester all evening. An argument ensued, starting with yelling and then Sally being choked, according to the sounds heard by one of her children.
Sally then retrieved a shotgun from the closet, and killed her husband. She shot him two times, one time in the stomach and one time in his jaw. She then called 911. Dispatchers could hear Ray asking “why?”
When police and paramedics arrived, Ray was alive and said he didn’t choke his wife. He died a few hours later. He had five different types of steroids in his system. Sally had one in hers.
She was found guilty of murder in the second degree and received a sentence of 19 years up to life in prison.
The years before Sally killed her husband were not happy ones. Sally became increasingly violent through the years, often involved in assaults and arguments. She had been arrested previously for brandishing a gun toward her first spouse and busting his car windows out using a crowbar
She once dropped a heavy weight, 70 lbs, on Ray’s car from a balcony while he was trying to leave.
Officers had been called to the residence one time to see about the kids, and she fought with officers to the point that they had to spray her with pepper spray to calm her down.
Other problems included being banned from bodybuilding competitions after beating up a female in the audience, whom she thought had slept with Ray, and going “berserk” on cops, assaulting one of them, when the responded to a call after a bouncer in a bar had asked her to quit standing on tables.
4. James Batsel
The proprietor of a strip club in Atlanta, Henry Jeffcoat, was killed as he arrived home from his establishment one night in February, 1993.
As he entered into his garage, some men followed him in and waited until he closed the door behind him to reveal themselves. Henry was able to get to a switch located in his vehicle to alert the police, and fire his own gun, which wounded one intruder.
Then, Henry was shot 9 times in his back, killing him. The men escaped after kicking down the door to the garage.
A tip from the public led to the arrests of the two men responsible for the attempted robbery and murder, and everyone in the area was stunned to learn that the perpetrators were SWAT team members in another jurisdiction. They were officers Batsel and McKenna.
Mark McKenna is the one who was shot by Jeffcoat, and he fully cooperated with the investigation to avoid the death penalty. He ended up with life, no chance of parole. He helped police identify the men of a criminal ring, responsible for many unsolved cases. They were mostly police officers, who were also into bodybuilding. They worked out at Gold’s Gym and went by the name “White Boys Against Crime.”
One member of this bodybuilding group said he joined because they targeted mainly drug dealers so they could get the dirty money.
James Batsel pleaded guilty to shooting Jeffcoat, blaming his heavy use of steroids. He claimed to be using over 3,000mg a week. When he was arrested, he was nearly 300 pounds with only 2% body fat.
5. Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan
Melissa James started working as an assistant to a bodybuilding power couple. The couple was Craig Titus and his wife Kelly Ryan. Craig and Kelly were a married couple and were big stars in that world.
This should have been a great opportunity for the Melissa, as Craig and Kelly were very successful.
Instead, on December 14, 2005, she was found burned in a car in the Las Vegas desert. It was Kelly’s car, a Jaguar. She was unrecognizable, in the trunk.
The events leading up to her death are harrowing. The woman had been tasered, beaten, she’d been given morphine and other drugs, and strangled. Also, they had encased her head with duct tape.
The coronor on her case was unable to determine a definite cause of her demise. He wasn’t even able to tell if she was still living while she was burned.
After killing Melissa James, Kelly and Craig were on the lam, which resulted in a massive manhunt from coast to coast. They were arrested in a salon nine days later, near Boston.
Their story was that Melissa overdosed and died, and that they torched her after finding her. They claimed they were fearful of the publicity hurting their careers.
Later, Craig came clean about having a love affair with James, and said he had used steroids amongst different drugs. He received a sentence of 21-51 years after a plea of guilty for murder in the second degree. Kelly also got a deal of 6-26 years for assault with a deadly weapon and arson.
6. Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal
You might have seen the movie, Pain and again, starring actors Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg, based on Daniel Lugo and Adrian Doorbal without realizing it was based on a horrific situation.
The story is incredible and seems like something that could only happen in a movie. Daniel and Adrian were acquaintances from Sun Gym, located in the Florida town, Miami Lakes.
The two would work out every day and try to figure out how to become rich. The plan they devised is crazy.
They decided to kidnap rich people. They would make them sign their money and property over to them. Lugo and Doorbal carried out the abductions, and another gym buddy, who was an accountant, took care of the transfers.
A fourth man, Jorge Delgado, assisted by finding the initial victim. It was a man named Marcel Schiller, who owned many grand homes and millions in offshore banks. Delgado had the code to Schiller’s security system at one of his homes and was able to gain access to the house.
They tried multiple times to kidnap the man before they were finally successful in November of 1995. They held him in a warehouse, bound him up and covered his eyes. They didn’t let him use the restroom, making him dwell in filth.
They burned him with lighters and used tasers on him to force him into signing papers, all with his eyes covered.
They ended up transferring millions upon millions of Schiller’s money to their own accounts over a four week period. The men then set up a car accident, in order to kill him, but he didn’t die. He waited several weeks before telling the authorities what really happened.
The guys picked Frank Griga as their second victim. Griga owned a number of sex phone lines and was worth a few million. They also took his lady love, Krisztina Furton. The men beat and drugged the couple with tranquilizers meant for horses. They tortured Griga to death before gaining any of his fortune. They then attempted to get codes from Krisztina, to no avail. She was so drugged that she diesel as well.
The men then dismembered Griga and his girlfriend and put them in 55 gallon drums to burn. That didn’t work out so they just threw the bodies into a ditch in buckets.
They were identified by Krisztina’s breast implant serial numbers.
Lugo and Doorbal would both be caught and found guilty of murder.
7. Gordon Kimbrough
San Fransisco bodybuilding couple Gordon Kimbrough and Kristy Ramsey were well known in their community. The lived and competed together and both held titles won alone and together.
Their relationship was rocky from the start. Gordon cheated quite a bit and admitted that he was guilty of pushing and even slapping Kristy. They broke up when she just couldn’t take it anymore. She attempted to get Gordon to take counseling to help him with his anger, and he agreed, even though he didn’t believe it was a big deal.
They seemed to get to a better place, they planned to marry, and she became pregnant. They terminated the pregnancy, but were moving ahead with the marriage. However, before they could get married, Kristy met another man.
She decided to end the relationship with Kimbrough on June 20, 1993, after four years, and he did not take it well. He was incensed. He went into a rage and hit her in her face before strangling her with a cord, tying it and stabbing her in her neck.
He was found by police with a syringe, and he was holding it to his necks if to kill himself with. He testified for himself in his trial, claiming he killed her out of passion because he loved her so much. He hoped it would help him. It didn’t. He was given 27 years to life for Kristy’s murder.
8. Jamie Fuller
A novice bodybuilder and high school student, Jamie Fuller, just 16 years old, of Massachusetts, began a steroid regimen at just 14 years old in order to build his muscles up. Family members and friends saw a change in him almost immediately. His tragic story was the basis of a 1996 film titled ‘No One Would Tell.’
Jamie had impregnated his girlfriend, Amy Carnivale, 14. When he heard she had seen another boy, and went into a blind rage. Recently, he had dosed himself with high amounts of testosterone in addition to anabolic steroid. He also had a lot of beer that day, and because of all of those factors, he was unable to control his anger and aggression.
On August 22, 1991, friends of Jamie’s said he had Amy agree to meet with him in the woods where he then grabbed her and covered her mouth. He told her he loved her just before he stabbed her stomach and slit her throat.
When she was falling to the forest floor, he then stomped her throat, mad that she told him she loved him as he was hurting her.
He came out from the woods, covered in blood and said to his friends it was done. He then threw her body into a small pond tied to a cinder block. The other boys said he laughed as he heard bones crack.
He said he would kill the witnesses if they ever told on him. But he was caught and given life in prison.
9. Bruce Nadler
Dr. Bruce Nadlercalled himself the ‘world’s strongest plastic surgeon’ and was known throughout the amateur and pro bodybuilding community in New York.
Bruce was famous in the bodybuilding world for fixing more than 700 cases of gynecomastia, which is the overgrowth of breast tissue that is common in bodybuilders on steroids.
Most doctors are against anabolic steroid use, but Dr. Nadler liked them and said he would find a combo and dosage amount to avoid the bad side effects eventually.
He was charged with medical misconduct and lost his license to practice medicine after an investigation conducted in cooperation with the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct.
After being made to retire, he focused on his passion for fitness. He penned a book in 2005, ‘The Nip Tuck Workout: Exercise through the Eyes of a Plastic Surgeon’ and moved to Los Angeles along with Terri, his wife.
He opened a gym in Beverly Hills, Nip Tuck Fitness, L.A.
On February 2, 2008, Bruce and Terri were discovered dead in their house. They were shot and it was ruled to be murder/suicide but no details are known. Some friends say he may have been depressed about not being able to practice medicine, but nobody knows for sure why this happened out of the blue.