Palos Couple Died in Blood-Soaked Bedroom, Prosecutor Says
A judge denied bail for their son, John Granat, 17, after authorities described a gruesome scene. Granat offered flimsy alibis, police said.
Clad in a white jumpsuit, 17-year-old John Granat stood in a Cook County courtroom Tuesday morning, eyes downcast, and listened as a prosecutor explained how his parents died in their own blood-soaked bedroom.
Charged with two counts of first-degree murder, police said the slightly built Stagg High School student bludgeoned his father then beat and stabbed his mother to death in the home near Palos Park that his father built.
Asst. State's Attorney Peter Troy said John Granat, 44, was found on the floor of the bedroom, dead of blunt force trauma to the head, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office determined. Maria Granat, 42, was in her bed with numerous lacerations to her face and head as well as numerous stab wounds to her torso, Troy said.
Blood covered the walls and ceiling, according to invesigators.
After hearing the details, a judge denied bail for the teen Tuesday.
Investigators say friends have said Granat threatened to kill his parents several times.
"At different times he had made threats," Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said.
The teen himself called 911 Sunday morning, Sept. 11, at 7:11 a.m., Troy said, and told the dispatcher the house had been "ransacked" and both of his parents were dead.
When investigators arrived at the house in the 12700 block of 81st Court, they saw a well-cared for home and a bedroom covered in blood, Dart said.
Granat initially told investigators he had arrived home at 8 p.m. Saturday night and went to bed in the basement shortly after midnight, Troy said. He told police he never left the house.
As investigators began to follow leads, they discovered Granat was stopped in Palos Heights around 122nd Street and Harlem Avenue for a traffic violation at 5:18 a.m. on Sunday morning, said Palos Heights Deputy Police Chief Bill Czajkowski.
Granat had a container of bleach or ammonia when he was stopped, Dart said.
Granat then began giving investigators various alibis for his whereabouts in the 18 hours before the murder, none of which held up, Troy said.
The teen also told investigators a friend needed money and, while Granat was out of the house, he gave the friend permission to enter. Granat said he fell asleep in his car and didn’t enter the family home until 7 a.m., when he found his parents dead.
Police believe his parents were killed between 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10, and 4 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, Dart said.
A weapon has not been recovered. Investigators believe a hard object, about 1 inch in diameter, was used in the beating, Dart said.
Seventeen family members filled the courtroom Tuesday morning. Defense attorney Rick Beuke was retained by family members, and he said they believe John Granat to be innocent of his parents' murder.
Beuke said it is not possible that Granat, who he estimates to be 5 feet 4 inches and 140 pounds, could have killed his parents in the manner described by prosecutors.
Beuke said family members believe in Granat's innocence and that the case will likely head to trial.
"I feel comfortable that he will be found not guilty," Beuke said.
Beuke denies the sheriff's office's claims that there was a strained relationship between Granat and his parents.
Beuke said his conversations with the family "gave no indications of that."
The elder Granat was in the construction business, and had built their large, stately brick home, valued at more than $400,000. A large pond sits beside the house.
Neighbors describe the Granats as a quiet couple who kept to themselves.
Ernie Vanier says, "they were nice people, they just kept to themselves."
The teen has never been arrested, Dart said. Granat’s next court hearing is set for Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Update at 3:48 p.m.: John Granat has requested protective custody at the Cook County Jail. He is in Cermak Hospital undergoing a physical and psychological evaluation, after which he will be assigned to a protective custody cell, according to jail officials.