Cray was the head Peacekeeper of District 12 before he was replaced by Romulus Thread. He is described to be an older Peacekeeper, much unlike other Peacekeepers Darius or Purnia, with a few strands of silvery hair combed sideways over his unusually red face. He is infamous for paying young women to sleep with him. Katniss realizes if she had been older when her father died she too might have gone to Cray. Luckily, she learned how to hunt.
Katniss sees him in the Hob after she buys white liquor for Haymitch. Cray, a heavy drinker, warns her of how strong the alcohol is, saying that it could probably kill her. Only seconds later did Cray buy a bottle of the same alcohol. He was Gale's best customer when it came to poached wild turkeys, but Gale is surprised one day when he knocks on his door to find Cray replaced as Head Peacekeeper by Romulus. Romulus sees the dead turkey hanging from his belt, and drags him to the square, where he is forced to plead guilty to his crime, and forced to withstand a public whipping. He was whipped at least 40 times, and fell unconscious around 30 before Katniss stepped in to stop the torture. Thread would have continued if Purnia and Katniss had not stopped him.
Katniss later states that Cray was disliked in District 12 because of his soliciting prostitution from impoverished, starving women of the Seam. However, she also concedes that he is kinder than Thread. Cray disappeared due to an unknown reason. He was then replaced with the more efficient Thread.
In the film, Cray greets Commander Thread upon arrival, suggesting he knew Thread was coming. However a bag was thrown over his head and he was immediately arrested.