True Crime Case of Claire Gravel

Taylor Rose, Staff Writer

Thirty-six years later, the case of Claire Gravel, a Massachusetts college student, is finally solved. Claire was a sophomore attending Salem State College where she studied computer science. On the night of June 28th, 1986 Claire Gravel was out celebrating her team’s softball win with friends. They were in Major Magleashe’s bar located on Washington Street in Salem. One of Massachusetts State Police investigators had revealed to the public that it was unclear where Claire had gone after she had left the bar around 1 a.m.

Supposed witnesses told investigators a woman was arguing with a man before getting into a car that had matched Claire’s description. The following afternoon a body was found in the woods on the northbound side of Route 128; A few miles from Salem in Beverly, Massachusetts. Many possible scenarios were discussed after finding the body. It was evident that the body was strangled and severely beaten. A tank top that was tied in a “figure of eight” was the only piece of evidence found by investigators. The body and piece of clothing were later identified as Claires. Police had listened to tips and investigated friends, family, and even the softball team to try and find anything else about what happened. No one had heard or seen anything and soon enough the case went cold.

It wasn’t until 2007 that John Carey was taken into custody to serve a twenty-year sentence in jail. Claire’s case was reopened by detectives and previous evidence was retested for DNA. Investigators had traced back the DNA found on Claire’s tank top to Carey. He was previously connected to the conviction of trying to strangle a woman to her death. Carey was already charged with attempted murder, assault and battery, and home invasion. Jonathan W. Blodgett, Essex District Attorney had said that Carey will be arraigned on a first-degree murder charge of Claire Gravel.

In the years following, the cold case officials were continuing to review evidence and interview witnesses. The community never forgot the day they had found out about Claire. After thirty-six years, friends and family of Claire Gravel can finally find some peace in knowing that justice is being served.