Grain Valley man sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years in wife’s stabbing death


LIBERTY, Mo. — A Grain Valley man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for the stabbing death of his estranged wife in Clay County.

Larry Ratliff, 70, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Carolyn Ratliff, plus 40 years in prison for armed criminal action.

On Jan. 4, 2016, police received a 911 call from a family member from Warrensburg, Mo.

Larry Ratliff

The family member said Larry Ratliff had killed his wife at a residence at 10215 N. E. 38th Street in Kansas City, Mo.  According to the victim’s sister, that’s her home, and she says Carolyn had been staying with her because she wanted a divorce.

According to police, both of the couple’s daughters reportedly received calls from Ratliff, leaving a voicemail saying, “I stabbed your mom. I killed her.”

When police responded, they say they found Ratliff crying in the driveway, where he allegedly told officers he stabbed his wife four times in the chest. He told police she was inside the home.

Ratliff, who testified in his own defense, claimed that he inadvertently pulled a hunting knife out while trying to get his cell phone and once he had the knife, he snapped and began stabbing Carolyn.

According to the prosecutor’s office, jurors were shown video where Ratliff detailed to officers how he planned and carried out the murder.

“It’s chilling. He demonstrates no affect, no sign of remorse. No weeping. Nothing,” said Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White.

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