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Police: Teen used hammer to kill parents

John Granat

John Granat

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Updated: January 23, 2012 3:46AM



John Granat, the Stagg High School senior charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of his parents in their home in unincorporated Palos Township, used a hammer to beat them, a police source said Wednesday.

The injuries suffered by Granat’s parents, John and Maria Granat, were so severe that investigators initially thought they had been shot, the source said.

Police believe Granat’s mother was sleeping when he attacked her in his parents’ bedroom late Saturday or early Sunday in the family’s home in the 12700 block of 81st Court near Palos Park.

The Cook County medical examiner ruled that both parents died after suffering multiple blunt force injuries. Maria Granat also suffered stab wounds.

Police believe the violent attack awakened Granat’s father, the source said. But the elder Granat “didn’t have much of a chance,” the source said. “It (the attack) was very brutal.”

The younger Granat apparently was angry because his father had destroyed marijuana plants the teen was growing in the home, the source said.

“It was a falling out over that,” the source said.

Another source close to the investigation confirmed the confrontation over the marijuana plants, but said it took place several days earlier. Police said Granat had threatened his parents’ lives before the slaying.

Police also are investigating the possibility that Granat had been using steroids, muscle-enhancing drugs associated with violent outbursts of rage, the first source said.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said investigators were looking into it after being told Granat recently had started weightlifting. In his holding cell after he was arrested, Granat was doing push-ups and asked about using a gym, a source said.

A grand jury has been interviewing the youth’s friends and associates.

The couple were found dead in their home after John Granat called 911 at 7:12 a.m. Sunday from the house, police said.

He told investigators several stories about what happened Saturday night and Sunday morning, including that he had stayed home the entire night and slept in the basement. But things began to crumble when it was determined that Palos Heights police had stopped Granat for a broken taillight at 5:17 a.m. Sunday at 122nd Street and Harlem Avenue.

In the car was a bottle of ammonia or bleach in the back seat. The house smelled of ammonia or bleach when police entered Sunday morning. A police source said there is a surveillance tape of Granat buying undetermined items at a nearby 24-hour Wal-Mart.

Granat is being held without bail at Cook County Jail. He is due in court Tuesday.



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