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John Granat, 17, Beats His Wealthy Parents to Death in Suburban Chicago Home

By Pete Kotz in homicide
Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 9:59 am
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UPDATE: Police believe 17-year-old John Granat attacked his parents with a hammer while they were sleeping. The wounds were so severe detectives originally thought they'd been shot, and say they never had a chance. See update after the jump...

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John and Maria Granat were found bludgeoned to death in their suburban Chicago mansion. Maria was also stabbed multiple times.
The call came into the sheriff's office at 7:12 a.m. Sunday morning. 17-year-old John Granat was summoning deputies to his parents' mansion in Palos Park, a distant Chicago suburb. Cops arrived to find John Granat, 44, and his wife, Maria, 42, dead in their bedroom.

John Sr. had been bludgeoned to death in the head. Maria had also been bludgeoned, in addition to being stabbed multiple times. John Jr. was arrested for their murders.

So far, police are releasing almost no details on the crimes, nor have they spoken of a motive.

John Jr. was a student at Stagg High School in Palos Hills. His dad was a contractor who'd apparently had a great deal of success in the business, judging by the magnitude of their home.

As always seems to be the case in these kinds of incidents, neighbors described them as an ideal family.

Linda Falkenburg, who lives behind them, told the Chicago Tribune that they were "the sweetest, most perfect family... I feel like I just lost a family member. I can't imagine why anyone would do something like this."

UPDATE: John Jr. had threatened to kill his parents many times before.


When John Jr. first called 911, he said he'd woken at 7 on Sunday morning to find the family home had been tossed, as if by an intruder. So he went upstairs to find his parents murdered.

John Jr. claimed he'd fallen asleep in the basement at 12:30 a.m. the night before. But detectives found no sign of forced entry. What they did find is that Granat is a moron. He'd actually been pulled over by Palos Heights police for a minor traffic violation just two hours before he called 911. And that meant he hadn't been sleeping all night.

So like a good mope, he decided to change his story. This time he told them that a friend needed money, so he'd given the friend permission to enter the home. John Jr. now said that while the friend went in, he decided to sleep in his car until 7 a.m.

But that story -- if you can call it that -- also fell apart when detectives began interviewing his friends, only to discover that John Jr. had repeatedly threatened to kill his parents in the past.

We still don't know what that beef was about, but we'll keep you posted.

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Police believe John and Maria Granat died because they found their son was growing weed at their home and threw it away
UPDATE II: John Jr. seems to have killed his parents for throwing out his weed.

A few weeks ago, his parents found that he was growing weed at their suburban Chicago home, so they trashed the plants and threw them out. That's when John Jr. began telling friends he was going to kill them.

They say they pleaded with him not to, but they never went to the cops.

Meanwhile, the kid appears to have been a hapless murderer. After the bodies were discovered, John Jr. kept changing his story.

The cops pulled him over at 5 a.m. Sunday morning -- two hours before he called 911. In his car was a bottle of pool chlorine and $4,000 cash. Granat would later tell detectives he'd been out all night with friends, but none of the kids he named had seen him since 6 p.m. Saturday.

Moreover, signs of a break-in seemed non-existent. John Sr.'s wallet was found on the kitchen counter, still containing $1,800. Nothing else of value was missing from the home.

Inside John Sr. and Maria's bedroom, blood was splattered from floor to ceiling, indicating a vicious assault. John Sr.'s body had defensive wounds on the arms, as if he'd tried to fight his son off. The room also contained the strong smell of bleach.

John Sr. was found on the floor beaten to death. He'd suffered wicked blows to the head. His jaw was broken, his teeth were knocked out, and he had a lacerated kidney.

Maria was found dead on the bed.

Friends say John Jr. recently got into weightlifting and may have been taking steroids. But his lawyer is claiming the kid is only 5-foot-4 and weighs 140 pounds, and there's no way he was capable of beating two people to death.

His extended family of Polish immigrants seems to be buying that story. Seventeen showed up for his initial hearing in support. But a judge denied the kid bail. 

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John and Maria were attacked with a hammer while they were sleeping. Detectives say they didn't have a chance.
UPDATE III: Detectives believe John Jr. attacked his parents while they were sleeping.

The wounds were so severe that detectives originally thought they'd been shot. But they now believe they were attacked with a hammer while they were sleeping. John Jr. began by beating and stabbing Maria to death. John Sr. apparently woke up, but he never had a chance to defend himself.

In his 911 call, John Jr. says he awoke to find them dead, then ran out of the home and called from a block away, not knowing if an intruder was still in the house.

"I went to go wake up my parents, and everything was messed up in, like, the house, like we got robbed, and I went to go open the door and my dad's laying there in his own blood," he told the dispatcher.

"I'm, like, a heavy sleeper so I don't really hear anything. I sleep in the basement," he said.

See our last story from the Rotten Little Bastards file: Adam Chumley, Alleged Christian Football Player, Beats Opponent in Head With Helmet.

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