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Oh and, well, speaking of crime, it’s been awhile since we chatted about a serial killer (or two).
So today, we’re going to chat about the only known U.S. family that produced two serial killers at separate times in unrelated incidents. So check on your sibling text threads and make sure they’re ready to read with you. Because it’s time to dive into the Ranes brothers.
Yeeaaa probably blaming the parents here
Danny and Larry Ranes were born a year apart (did we mention they’re brothers? Oh right, like a lot. nvm) in Kalamazoo, Michigan - a small quiet town. They had an older and younger sister. Their mother worked.
Their father, an abusive alcoholic, left the family with another woman when they were under 10 years old, but not before instilling in them a healthy sense of competition and a “need to win.” (By which we mean, he literally made them fight each other, sometimes with weapons, apparently.)
As teenagers they tracked their father down at his Florida home. Being the stand up gentleman that he is, the guy kicked them out. He apparently told them “I never want to see you again.” (Dad of the year, right there.)
The teens went back to Michigan and apparently dated the same woman, Paula, for awhile (these guys do EVERYTHING together am I right?). But that stint ended when Larry, the younger brother, enlisted in the army.
He was quickly kicked out for brandishing a knife and threatening to kill people. (Talk about foreshadowing…)
And when Larry came back to town, Danny was still dating Paula. Larry tried to get her back, failed, and well...found other activities to pass the time...
Oh brother, where art thou? (Killing people. He’s out killing people.)
On May 30, 1964, a man went missing. His car was found, and his body was in the trunk. He’d been shot. The killer had removed his watch, shoes, and taken his money.
Soon after, good ole Larry Ranes, now age 19, he was arrested WEARING the dead guy’s watch and shoes. (A friend turned him in apparently, after convincing him not to commit suicide). In custody, he confessed and was also found to have killed four other times over the past few months, including in other states.
Ranes admitted the following about his murders. "There was never a plan….It was a natural thing. It always seemed to me like I was an actor in a play..." He showed no remorse and remembered odd, technical things about his victims: the blood flew farther than he expected in one case, and another young man "bounced a couple of feet in the air."
The courtroom battle centered largely around the question of Ranes' sanity. But in the end, he was deemed mentally fit and sentenced to life.
Anything you can do I can do...worse? - Danny Ranes, probably.
Danny, unlike his younger brother, worked with a partner. After serving time in prison for assault, he was paroled at age 28. Within a month, he’d killed a woman. He then described the incident to a 15-year-old named Brent Koster and convinced the teenager to join him in the next ones.
Together they killed three more women. They hid the bodies in the woods, stole their money, and used it to “celebrate.”
But Koster proved to be the wrong accomplice. The police flipped him (once Koster realized Ranes wanted to kill him too). With his partner’s testimony, Danny Ranes was convicted of various charges and received several life sentences. (He, unlike his younger brother, still insisted on his innocence. Right, bud. Sure…)
Well that was depressing. But at least they both got caught?
So that was pretty...yuck. But hey, at least they didn’t work together? In case you want to cleanse your pallet: Here’s a video of sibling rivalry that’s much cuter.
But if you want some longer reads about this one:
Here’s a wiki about the Ranes brothers.
Here’s a book on murders in Michigan which goes into the Ranes Brothers a bit
The Ranes brothers are also mentioned in an excerpt in a book called Inside the Minds of Serial Killers
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