‘How I Caught My Killer’ Episode 7: Recap And Ending, Explained: Who Killed The Air Force Veteran John Ray?

Previously in “How I Caught My Killer,” we witnessed the murder of a 14-year-old girl who had just gone out for a walk in her supposedly safe village. In this episode of the docuseries, we witness the gruesome murder of an Air Force veteran, John Ray, a very well-respected member of his community and had shifted to Atlanta with big dreams. John was working as a paralegal in the city and was a kind-hearted man. Let’s delve into his story. 

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John Ray was a humble man who had a big family. Even though he was close to his family, only his sister knew that he was gay. He moved to Atlanta because he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life working in a factory. After moving to Atlanta, he got a job and earned money. He was independent and lived his life in a well-respected community. He had a good friend named Markeyshi. John Ray was supposed to meet her on May 16, 2004, but he never showed up at her place as they had planned. Markeyshi described being scared because it was very unlike John not to show up without prior notice. She got worried and contacted his workplace. Markeyshi got to know that John Ray had not shown up at work either. She got very apprehensive listening to this and decided to visit John’s house. She had a spare key to his house, but on her way, she got a call from John Ray’s workplace. They asked her not to open his house since they were sending police to his place. When she reached his house, Markeyshi handed the spare key to the officer. One of John Ray’s colleagues and a police officer went inside the house and discovered John Ray’s dead body. The news was overwhelming for Markeyshi, and she broke down in front of everyone. She was extremely close to John Ray and could not process his death.

The police started investigating the crime scene and found out that the shower had been used recently. Along with that, the washing machine had been used too. In the washing machine, the police found a t-shirt that, according to Markeyshi, did not belong to John Ray.

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She said that John Ray always dressed up in fancy clothes and was always the best-dressed person in the room, and the t-shirt was not the type of clothing he would wear. His style was very different.

John Ray had been murdered barbarically. He had suffered several stab wounds, and the killer had stabbed John Ray with such an impact that the knife had broken off inside him. It was a crime of passion. The police started asking John Ray’s family and friends about his life and if he had a beef with someone. His acquaintances reported that John Ray had a bit of a falling out with the landlord over his house. John was renting to own the house but the house was still going to be foreclosed on, so John had been lied to by the owner even though John was paying him. He then confronted the landlord, which led to a huge quarrel between them. Since there were no signs of forced entry, the police deduced that the victim knew the suspect. The police, however, had to rule out the landlord because he had a solid alibi.

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The police noticed that John Ray’s car was missing too. The police believed whoever killed John Ray stole his car. It was found that the car had been in an accident a few miles from his home after a police chase. Before the police could reach the car, the suspect had fled the scene. But the police did keep the evidence they found inside the car intact. Sadly, because the police had no leads, the case went cold, and the police moved on to solving other cases. Years went by, and the family lost all hope in the law until, one day, the cold case reopened. 

The police department in Atlanta formed a team to solve cold cases in 2011, and that is when Detective English started calling John Ray’s family again. They saw a ray of hope and were ready to give any information and cooperate with Detective English. Police searched through John Ray’s computer and found out that he had been searching for criminals. Was it work-related? Further, they found out that John Ray had been active on many dating websites. Anyone could be a suspect. Soon, Detective English looked at the evidence police collected from John Ray’s car and found a briefcase. Upon opening the briefcase, English found out that there were printouts in the bag of documents related to a person called Jackson Terico. He was a criminal who used to rob people; he had also been in jail for several felonies. Why would a man working with the law invite a known criminal to his place? According to his sister, he might have been helping Jackson change for the better. Even his best friend believed the same. Since John Ray was a man with a big heart, he might have trusted the wrong person. 

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Detective English noticed that Jackson Terico owned the same t-shirt they had found at the crime scene. Before John Ray was murdered, his house had been robbed multiple times, which was alarming. At first, Detective English thought that the printouts could be work-related, but they learned the truth soon. Also, the DNA found in John Ray’s stolen car matched Jackson’s. However, the case was still circumstantial. The police still filed a case against Jackson Terico, and he pleaded not guilty. His defense was that John Ray had attacked him, and that he had killed him in self-defense, but the suspect had been staying in his house after killing John Ray. The body was discovered on May 19, and John Ray was murdered on May 16. So, it was clear that Jackson Terico premeditated the murder.

John Ray’s sister said Jackson had told her that it could have been his brother on trial had he not killed him. Jackson was a cold-blooded murderer who was not only evil but heartless. The jury did not buy Jackson’s self-defense excuse and charged him with multiple felonies. Jackson was sentenced to two life sentences and 25 years in jail for burglary, murder, and armed robbery. His family got closure after years, and it was John Ray’s briefcase that helped in solving the case. It would have remained a cold case if the police department had not formed a separate team for cold cases. We have to commend the officers who solved this mystery after years of the case becoming cold.


Tarushi Patali
Tarushi Patali
Tarushi is an English Literature graduate, who is currently doing master's in mass communication from Mumbai. She loves making lists and is an avid reader. Also, she likes judging people by their movie taste. In her leisure time you would find her digging random conspiracy pages on Reddit!

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