Friday, May 22, 2020

Unsolved: Murder of Charles McGraw

Beech Grove, IN (May 22, 2020) — At one time St. Francis Hospital was one of the premier businesses and social centers in Beech Grove. Food Services Director Charles McGraw was one of its leading administrators. Back in 1988, when you thought of Beech Grove, you thought of Amtrak and St. Francis Hospital. So for this to happen at St. Francis, a place that was a hallmark of the city, it alarmed a lot of people.

On October 7, 1988, Charles McGraw who was married with four children was brutally murdered by someone while he was sitting with in his car. It was a silver and maroon '84 Cadillac Seville on the second floor of the parking garage at the now demolished St. Francis Hospital Center on Albany Street in Beech Grove, Indiana.

The murder investigation led to a composite sketch of someone seen getting in McGraw's car with him around 4:30 PM that afternoon, however no suspect was ever identified. McGraw was later found shot dead in the car by co-workers at around 5:20 PM.

At the time the murder took place, the hospital was one of the busiest, most vibrant hospitals in the Indianapolis area. It happened on a Friday afternoon which was also a payday for hospital employees, but no one reported hearing shots or actually seeing the killing take place.

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The murder was very methodical and was completed by somebody who went there knowing what they were going to do and they did it. McGraw had attended a hospital reception for employees late that Friday afternoon, passed by a security guard in a ground level shack and met his killer eye-to-eye on the second floor.

A witness observed an individual enter the automobile with McGraw, watched both of them get into the automobile. The individual entered the passenger side and McGraw got in on the driver’s side. The witness stated that it appeared that they knew each other.

The witness description of the apparent acquaintance led to a composite sketch of a man approximately 30-years-old with a slight mustache and feathered haircut, dressed in casual golf-style clothes.

Within minutes a passing physician found McGraw’s body, slumped over in the front seat, shot multiple times. Detectives recovered some firearm evidence and his clothing had been rifled. It appeared that some things were missing from his person that he would normally have.

According to detectives, McGraw was a gambler, known to bet $30,000-40,000 per weekend during the height of the fall college and professional football seasons. He was such a big a player that other bookies would lay their bets off on him.

Several have concluded that something happened involving McGraw’s gambling involvement that led to his death.They don’t know if it was a failure to pay a loss, or to cover something that he promised to cover.

But there were indications that earlier in the week, for those that don’t know the jargon as well, Tuesday is settle up day, and there were events on settle up day that seemed to indicate that Charlie was nervous and upset from that Tuesday on and he was killed on Friday.

McGraw was known as a go-to guy in Beech Grove, not only for favors but a charitable hand out to someone also experienced hard times. Detectives said his lifestyle at the time of his death, was that he was also generous.

He did things for the church, he did things for those in need, he would help people, it wasn’t all one way for him. He was not someone who would avoid responding to a request for need.

The case is still open, and anybody who can provide any leads should call the Beech Grove, Indiana Police Department at (317) 782-4950 or send an Email at
You can also call Crimestoppers at 1-800-262-TIPS.