Man convicted of killing wife, stepchildren has killed before

Posted at 8:36 PM, Mar 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-31 20:36:51-04

John Ragin was just 15-years-old when he shot and killed his best friend in South Carolina.

Ragin served nearly 15 years on a manslaughter conviction. While he was in prison, he met his future wife Crystal. She was a guard there.

"When his eyes first connected to my eyes, I said to myself then there`s something wrong with him. There`s something not right about him,” says Crystal’s sister Shelby Hancock.

Crystal`s sister Shelby Hancock says Crystal was divorcing her first husband when the two met.

She spoke exclusively to NewsChannel 3.  He baited my sister in; he swept her off her feet, made her think he was the one for her, that he was her savior. Shelby says their mother warned Crystal about marrying a convicted killer.

But the two married not long after his release from prison. "She told Crystal over and over and over and Crystal would always say “Oh, ma, he wouldn`t do nothing like that,’” says Hancock.

John and Crystal`s marriage grew sour over the years. The day before the murders were discovered, Crystal got a protective order against John. She made a 911 call during a run-in at a gas station.

Hours later, John Ragin stabbed Crystal and her three children to death. Prosecutors believe after that Ragin showed up at a 7-Eleven where he purchased the gasoline he used to pour on his family’s bodies.

He then set their apartment on fire and took off to South Carolina with the only child he and Crystal shared.

“Crystal felt like there was a possibility he could do something to her, that he could hurt her, she felt that way. But she was absolutely certain that he would not hurt her children,” says Hancock.

And now that a jury`s convicted him of his family`s death, they learn of the one that came many years before the one that allowed he and Crystal`s paths to cross.