Nathan Carman penned letter with ‘religious references’ to captain who rescued him at sea

Nathan Carman is accused by relatives of killing his millionaire grandfather and his mother to collect inheritance money.
Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant via AP
Nathan Carman is accused by relatives of killing his millionaire grandfather and his mother to collect inheritance money.

Nathan Carman, the Vermont man suspected by relatives of killing his wealthy grandfather and mother in a scheme to collect an inheritance, wrote a “curious letter with religious references” to the person who rescued him after his boat sank in 2016 when he and his mother were on board, records show.

References to the letter appeared in a legal filing Tuesday in federal court in Rhode Island, where the insurer of Carman’s sunken boat is suing him in an effort to quash his $85,000 claim on the vessel.

“Nathan Carman’s ‘religious beliefs’ are discoverable as Plaintiffs have disclosed a curious letter with religious references he wrote to the ORIENT LUCKY captain who rescued him” after the sinking, the insurer’s lawyers wrote in the filing.


The filing did not elaborate on Carman’s religious beliefs, but David J. Farrell Jr., a lawyer for the insurer, told Carman’s attorney in a recent e-mail that his beliefs “may be relevant” to the litigation. Lawyers for Carman say his religious faith isn’t relevant.

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Farrell declined to comment when reached by e-mail Thursday, and a lawyer for Carman didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry seeking comment.

The injection of Carman’s religious beliefs, whatever they may be, into the high-profile legal drama is the latest wrinkle in a case tied to the fatal shooting of his grandfather, John Chakalos, in 2013 in Connecticut and the disappearance of his mother, Linda Carman, at sea in 2016.

Police have labeled Nathan Carman a person of interest in Chakalos’s murder, but he hasn’t been charged and adamantly denies killing his grandfather. He and his lawyers have asserted that Chakalos’s young mistress, her boyfriend, or even Carman’s aunts may be responsible for the killing.

Carman and his mother set out on a fishing trip from Point Judith, R.I., in September 2016 on Nathan’s boat, which sank about 100 miles offshore. Carman was later rescued, but his mother wasn’t found.


With her presumed death, her share of Chakalos’s $44 million estate would eventually go to Carman, her only child. In the Rhode Island lawsuit, the insurer alleges Carman made suspicious alterations to his vessel before the trip, with the intention of sinking the boat.

Carman’s lawyers say the sinking was accidental.

In addition to the Rhode Island litigation, Carman faces a separate lawsuit in New Hampshire, where his aunts want a probate court judge to block him from collecting any funds from Chakalos’s estate, on the grounds that he allegedly killed their father.

About five weeks before the slaying of Chakalos, Carman bought a firearm that the aunts’ attorneys and police have said is similar in caliber to the murder weapon, an assertion Carman’s lawyers have disputed, court filings show. Police haven’t located the murder weapon.

The judge presiding over the Rhode Island matter has previously found that “the factual questions central in this case and the New Hampshire probate case — whether Mr. Carman concocted and carried out a scheme resulting in the death of his grandfather and mother and in the loss at sea of the insured vessel — are identical,” records show.

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.