• Murder, mystery and money: the accusations swirling around Nathan Carman

    By: Bob Ward

    Updated:

    Nathan Carman is not an easy young man to find.

    In the year since his mother's presumed death at sea somewhere between Block Island and Block Canyon, Nathan Carman has been the source of constant suspicion and speculation.

    Recently, Boston 25 News Reporter Bob Ward traveled to Vernon, Vermont where Nathan Carman lives, apparently alone, in a large ramshackle farmhouse. The property is overgrown with long grass, dying trees, and sparse shrubs. A large pick-up truck and utility vehicle sit idle at the end of a long gravel driveway. A brown barn, attached to the house appears to be in danger of collapsing on itself. 

    Neighbors tell Ward that they rarely see Nathan Carman and when they do, he keeps to himself.

    At the street end of the gravel driveway is a ‘No Trespassing’ sign and beneath it, a hand-written warning to the media: "Please stay off my property. I will not grant any impromptu interviews."

    It is clear Nathan Carman does not want to interact with the world.

    But the world clearly wants to interact with Nathan Carman.

    On Sept. 17, 2016, Nathan and his mother, Linda, set out on board his small boat, the Chicken Pox, from Ram Point Marina in Point Judith, Rhode Island. Linda told friends this was to be an overnight fishing trip off the coast of Block Island. But Nathan allegedly told others the two were going much further out, to the edge of the Continental Shelf, an area known as Block Canyon.

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    Eight days later, a passing ship found Nathan on a raft in the Atlantic Ocean. The Chicken Pox had sunk and Linda Carman disappeared. 

    The day after the US Coast Guard returned Nathan Carman to dry land in Boston, news broke that Nathan Carman was considered a person of interest, if not a prime suspect, in the unsolved murder of his grandfather, John Chakalos, in his Windsor, Connecticut home on Dec. 20, 2013.

    Chakalos was found shot to death in his bed.

    Nathan Carman was the last person known to be with Chakalos, just as Nathan was the last person to be with his mother.

    Boston 25 News traveled to Carman's Vernon, Vermont home, hoping to talk to Nathan about the suspicions and the legal battles that swirling around him. But there was no sign of Nathan at his home, and an email requesting an interview was not answered.

    Nathan Carman filed an insurance claim on his lost boat, but the insurance company is refusing to pay. In legal papers, the company is alleging that Carman made modifications to the boat that led to its sinking.

    And more troublesome for Carman, his aunts have filed legal action in New Hampshire requesting a "slayer" action. The court document reads: "They ask this court to declare that the murderer was Nathan Carman--John's grandson, their nephew--and that Nathan committed this heinous act out of malice and greed."

    Dan Small is the Boston attorney representing Linda Carman's sister, Nathan's aunts. 

    "What is it that you are alleging here?" Bob Ward asked in a recent interview.

    "We are alleging that Nathan Carman murdered his grandfather, John Chakalos. And he did in part to obtain an inheritance from Mr. Chakalos who was a very successful real estate developer."

    If Nathan Carman prevails against his aunts, and if he is not convicted for murder, some estimate he could inherit millions of dollars. 

    There is no direct evidence against Nathan Carman for the murder of his grandfather, however according to Dan Small, there is compelling circumstantial evidence that points in his direction.

    According to the lawsuit filed by Nathan's aunts, investigators discovered Nathan's computer hard drive, as well as the hard drive to his car's GPS system, is missing. There appear to be gaps in Nathan's accounting of his time from 10 p.m. on Dec. 19 to 8 a.m. Dec. 20, the time of the murder.


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    Nathan also bought a Sig Sauer 716 Patrol .308 caliber semi-automatic rifle in New Hampshire before the murder. It is the same caliber weapon used to shoot John Chakalos to death. Authorities were unable to test the ballistics of Nathan's rifle because it cannot be located. 

    "How do you lose a gun like that?" Small asked. "How do you forget about it when the police ask you? But how do you lose it? Do you leave it at the Dunkin' Donuts or something? The story is nonsense. And it is deeply disturbing."

    Court records reveal Windsor, Connecticut Police sought a warrant for Carman's arrest for the death of his grandfather, but a judge did not sign it, instead the judge asked for more information. 

    Two years later, Linda Carman traveled from her home in Middletown, Connecticut to Ram Point Marina where she hoped to bond with her son on a fishing trip.

    Linda Carman was never seen again.

    No one knows what happened to Linda, but again there are more disturbing facts. 

    The US Coast Guard says it never received any warning signal or radio transmission from Nathan Carman or the boat, Chicken Pox, when it ran into trouble. The life raft which protected Nathan for eight days, was loaded with provisions. That raises  questions: if Nathan had time to load his raft with provisions, why was there no time to alert the Coast Guard? Why was there no time to get his mother into the raft? 

    Nathan Carman is not charged with the death of his grandfather. Nor is Nathan facing any legal consequence for the disappearance of his mother, presumed lost at sea. 

    "Is Nathan Carman a dangerous person?" Ward asked Small.  

    "We believe Nathan Carman is a murderer, who, if he gets away with murder, I don't know how else you could define a dangerous person," Small answered.

    Nathan Carman would not answer his door in Vermont when Ward tried to reach him.

    In various court proceedings, Nathan Carman has denied any wrong doing.

    Meanwhile, as long as Nathan Carman continues to cut himself off from the world, the questions and the speculation about his involvement in the deaths of his mother and grandfather will continue to grow.

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