A Grain Valley man will spend the rest of his life in prison after being sentenced Thursday for the 2016 murder of his estranged wife.
A Clay County judge sentenced Larry Ratliff, 70, to life in prison without parole and an additional 40 years for the stabbing death of his 65-year-old wife, Carolyn Ratliff.
A jury had convicted Ratliff of first-degree murder and armed criminal action on Sept. 11.
Ratliff stabbed his wife several times inside a Kansas City home on Northeast 38th Street, east of Birmingham Road and north of Missouri 210, on Jan. 4, 2016.
According to court records, officers were called by a family member in Warrensburg who said Larry Ratliff had killed his wife. Ratliff also called police and said he had killed her.
When police arrived at the scene, they found Ratliff in the driveway with an empty knife sheath on his belt, and he said he had stabbed his wife four times. They found gloves and a knife next to Carolyn.
In addition, two daughters of the Ratliffs produced voicemails left by Larry in which he confessed to stabbing their mother. One had not listened to the voicemail but had called Larry back after several missed calls, and when he answered, he said, “I stabbed your mom, I killed her.”
Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White said Ratliff showed no signs of contrition. A video shown to jurors shows Ratliff telling police how he planned and carried out her death. Ratliff told officers he stalked her, and watched from a distance to ensure she was alone and that he taunted the woman as she lay dying, White said.
“It’s chilling,” White said in a press release. “He demonstrates no effect, no sign of remorse. No weeping. Nothing.”