Is The Staircase’s Big Ray Based on a Real Person? Where is He Now? – The fifth episode of HBO Max’s crime series ‘The Staircase‘ explores Michael Peterson’s time in prison after being convicted of his wife, Kathleen Peterson’s murder. He is beaten up by his fellow convicts and has a difficult time adjusting to the institution’s protocols and standards. Meanwhile, he encounters Big Ray, a fellow convict who teaches him how to defend himself.
Big Ray becomes a close friend of Michael’s, and the former even offer emotional support when Michael’s appeals are denied. Naturally, the audience will be curious to learn more about Big Ray. Let’s talk about what we’ve learned about the character!
Is ‘Big Ray’ based on a Real-Life Person?
Big Ray is Michael Peterson’s fellow prisoner in the show. Michael, on the other hand, has never referenced or spoken about a fellow inmate named Big Ray. There is no mention of Big Ray in Michael’s non-fiction book, ‘Behind the Staircase,’ which chronicles his life before and after his trial.
However, the figure in the show looks a lot like Big Tom, Michael’s fellow inmate in Nash Correctional Institution. Tom was found guilty of murder, according to the book. He, like Ray, was obsessed with weightlifting and assisted Michael in doing so. Michael regarded Tom as someone who, like Ray on the show, had his back.
As Ray does in the episode, Tom is the one who introduced Michael to the world of stamps. Michael learned about the importance of stamps in prison and how he might utilise them in exchange for protection from his fellow inmates’ atrocities, as per Tom’s instructions.
Michael and Tom shared a connection during his time at Nash, as his book suggests, which is similar to Michael’s bond with Ray on the programme. Ray protects Michael even though he is unable to obtain enough stamps to ensure his safety.
When Michael loses his second appeal and faces life in jail in the sixth episode, Ray consoles him. In real life, Tom supported Michael in difficult moments and assisted him in dealing with disappointments.
Michael writes on Tom in his book, “God knows Big Tom was difficult—a murderer!—but he was amusing, and I’d witnessed loyalty deep within.” Despite the potential that Big Ray’s traits are based on various real-life Michael’s fellow inmates, the character appears to be most like Big Tom.
What Happened to Big Ray and Where Is He Now?
Michael’s book contains no information on Big Tom’s current whereabouts. Due to the lack of jail documents, “Big Tom” appears to be an unofficial alias rather than a name. Michael hasn’t released the person’s genuine name or identify in order to track down his current location.
Despite the fact that he stated that Tom was convicted of murder, the length of his sentence is unknown, making it difficult to determine whether he is still incarcerated in Nash Correctional Institution or has been freed. His hometown, according to the novel, is Mount Airy, North Carolina.