Claude Ravache was a French anarchist leader who organized several criminal bombings throughout Europe around 1891. Unbeknownst to many, he was also secretly an accomplice of the criminal mastermind, Professor James Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes interrogated Ravache while searching for René Heron in 1891.
Although Ravache once believed in his cause, by 1891 he had become a mere puppet of Moriarty's. Knowing the anarchists' reputation throughout Europe, Moriarty realised that they would be a good scapegoat for his planned acts of violence. Originally only secretly funding Ravache by pretending to support his cause, he slowly began to take over his cell and eventually came to dictate all of its movements, leaving Ravache only as a figurehead. The anarchists were ordered to take responsibility for all of Moriarty's acts of terror, including a string of terrorist bombings across Europe from Straßburg to Vienna intended to destabilize international relations, particularly between German Empire and France. Moriarty knew that the anarchists' reputation would mean no one would question their motives – no one except Sherlock Holmes.
At some point Ravache came into contact with René Heron, who was chosen by Moriarty as his pawn in the last stage of his grand conspiracy to cause a Europe-wide war. Rene's disappearance did not go unnoticed, by either Holmes, who was investigating Moriarty's plot, or by his sister, Madame Simza Heron.
By the time Holmes, John Watson, and Sim caught up with Ravache, he was operating out of the cellars of the Sept Grenouilles restaurant and bakery in Paris. His notoriety made it difficult for him to leave, but he was at least marginally still involved in anarchist causes (as illustrated by the pamphlets surrounding him reading "Des anarchistes aux électeurs", urging citizens not to vote). Though Sim and Watson tried to force him to reveal where René was hiding, Holmes realised that Ravache was telling the truth when he said that he was not there. Watson then astutely realised that Moriarty had ordered Ravache had planted another bomb, and the trio demanded to know where it was hidden. Ravache, however, refused to reveal the answer, revealing that Moriarty had his wife and children. Though Sim and Holmes tried to convince him they could help him, Ravache refused, telling them that he and Moriarty had made a deal with "no loose ends". Telling them that they had less than ten minutes to stop the bomb, Ravache then abruptly shot himself in the head, leading the other anarchists upstairs to rush to investigate. Holmes, Watson, and Sim nonetheless managed to escape, with Holmes deducing that the bomb was headed to the Paris Opera.
- Ravache seems to have been based on the French anarchist Ravachol (born François Claudius Koenigstein), who was responsible for a number of bombings in Paris in Spring of 1892.