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Carleous Clay attempted to kill Diane Pranske by setting her on fire: See No Evil investigates

Mugshot of Carleous Clay
Carleous Clay was convicted of kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and robbing Diane Pranske. He’ll spend the rest of his life in jail. Pic credit: Illinois Dept of Corrections

See No Evil on ID is looking at the case of Diane Pranske from Lansing, Illinois, who was kidnapped, raped, and set on fire by her neighbor, Carleous Clay, who was intent on stealing her money.

In September 2015, Clay decided to rob his neighbor’s home. He broke into Diane’s house while she was at work and stole a few items. He then returned later that night intent to steal more items.

Unfortunately, while he was ransacking the house, Diane returned home, which caused Clay to threaten her with a hammer. He forced her into a car and drove across the state line into Indiana, where the reprobate used Diane’s credit cards to withdraw $140 from her bank account.

Clay then brought her back to the house to search for more money, but there was none, so he once again forced her into a car and drove her to a nearby parking lot. In the backseat, he forced himself on his hostage and raped her.

When he tried to force her back into the trunk, Diane fought back, which led to a struggle, Clay choked her until she passed. Clay then, knowing full well that she was still alive, doused her in lighter fluid and set fire to her. He then fled the scene.

Diane Pranske fought for her life

Surveillance footage captured Diane fighting for her life as she spent five minutes trying to put out the fire. She then defied all the odds by walking half a mile to a McDonald’s restaurant to seek help, despite her horrific injuries.

Clay had fled to his girlfriend’s home in Holland, Michigan, but he was arrested a few days later. While awaiting trial in custody, Clay held a federal caseworker hostage and threatened to kill her.

In February 2019, Clay was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, sexual assault, and attempted murder. He received an additional ten years for attempting to take the prison caseworker hostage.

Diane suffered horrific injuries, including multiple organ failure; she underwent numerous surgeries and spent months in hospital. She uses a wheelchair and has third-degree burns over a third of her body. Her medical bills came to more than $2 million.

More from See No Evil

Follow the links to read about more murders profiled on See No Evil.

Handyman Charles Greene attacked 81-year-old landlady Alyce Seff at one of her properties in Columbus, Ohio. He choked Seff to death, stole her credit cards, and stuffed her remains into a decorative wishing well.

Anne Norris admitted to killing her neighbor Marcel Reardon with a hammer outside their apartment complex in St. Johns in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Prosecutors and defense attorneys subsequently argued over whether or not Norris had a mental breakdown or deliberately planned the murder.

See No Evil airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, but is now based in the UK. He specializes in true crime and entertainment news stories. When... read more
Jerry Brown

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