Thirty-five years have passed since the massacre of eight people on the fishing boat Investor first shocked the nation. For those whose lives were upended by the killings, the case remains a painful cloud that refuses to lift.
For John Peel, the former deckhand who police and prosecutors suspected of committing the grisly slayings, the mystery is something else: a question mark that still hangs over his head.
Peel was charged with the killings in 1984, but after two expensive, headline-grabbing trials, he was found not guilty. Decades later, the case is Alaska’s worst unsolved mass homicide.
“Somebody out there knows what happened,” Peel tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue, in an exclusive interview after years of silence. The case will also be featured on Monday night’s People Magazine Investigates on Investigation Discovery.
“Somebody was responsible for this,” Peel says. “Somebody out there knows what happened, but I’m not going to waste any more of my