Case 242

The Investor Murders

*** Content Warning: child victims ***

On the afternoon of Tuesday, September 7 1982, residents of the tiny Alaskan fishing village of Craig noticed smoke across the harbour. A fishing vessel was on fire. It belonged to successful Washington fisherman Mark Coulthurst, who was travelling with his wife Irene, their two children, Kimberley and John, and four teenage deckhands: Dean Moon, Michael Stewart, Jerome Keown and Chris Heyman.

When the flames were extinguished, and the boat was boarded, first responders made a shocking discovery. Everyone onboard was dead, and it appeared the fire had been started to cover a gruesome crime. Authorities soon honed in on one suspect: a former employee of Mark’s named John Peel…



Casefile Presents



Research & writing – Erin Munro

Creative direction – Milly Raso

Narration – Anonymous Host



‘Flatline intro’ and ‘Come play with me’ intro and outro –

Audio production – Mike Migas 

Scoring – Mike Migas and Andrew Joslyn



Logo and website design – Paulina Szymanska



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What Happened in Craig – Leland Hale

Fire Cops Michael Sasser and Charles Sasser



Leland E. Hale – The Official Blog



How a killer massacred an entire family on a fishing boat in Alaska –

Exonerated suspect in unsolved Alaska fishing boat mass murder breaks his silence –



Skiff actions stir mystery in boat fire – The Bellingham Herald

Search yields 7 on Investor – The Bellingham Herald

Attempt to identify remains is abandoned – The Bellingham Herald

Mystery, grief mark Investor tragedy – The Bellingham Herald

Alaska Troopers still pursue Investor case – The Bellingham Herald

Missing motive – The Bellingham Herald

Two years of frustration end with arrest – The Bellingham Herald

Friends don’t believe Peel did it – The Bellingham Herald

John Peel’s family rallies to denounce case – The Bellingham Herald

Governor signs extradition order for suspect in 8 Alaska murders – The News Tribune

Peel defense attorneys say their case should satisfy jurors – The Bellingham Herald

Scenario: Enraged Peel did it – The Bellingham Herald

Ex-girlfriend says she wasn’t with Peel on night of murders – The Bellingham Herald

Witness’ testimony contradicts Peel alibi – The Bellingham Herald

Peel’s fate in hands of jurors – The Bellingham Herald

Juror: Panel favoured Peel acquittal – The Bellingham Herald



Memory on trial: the manhunt for Alaska’s most elusive mass murderer – Brittany A. Retherford

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