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mbrn30000

The disappearance of Ray Gricar (Part 2)

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MAV1962

 

SuperSmith, indeed it does.  I made a very fast and somewhat loose transcript of the discussion about RG. The context of the discussion is the 1998 case in which Sandusky was investigated and the case closed by an employee of  PA Department of Welfare--although the media has bandied about the notion that RG "declined to prosecute."

Blehar points out that "the DA’s office can’t prosecute the case” because the Child Welfare agent from Harrisburg has said. "Ah, it’s OK. No big deal…this doesn’t meet our criteria for protection.”

Quote

“The 98 case is really the untold story of this whole thing. That people just, people say, ‘The DA didn’t press charges, end of story. Because the DA is dead. Nobody can talk to him. He’s Ray Gricar, the guy who mysteriously disappeared in 2005. So he becomes a scapegoat in this too.’”

80:59 begins the discussion of how RG comes into the 1998 case. I’ve compressed the discussion about RG here.

Quote

“He was in contact with the police…before Gricar could make a decision, they closed the case.”

“A DA goes missing and you don’t put a State Police task force on it…it’s mysterious how incompetent that investigation is too…a child molestation case came across RG’s desk in 2005 {Christopher Lee case}. Gricar disappeared and the new DA  that replaces himgave Lee a slap on the wrist, ARD. It’s unheard of to give a child molester ARD…Was there a bigger child sex ring, was that my somebody made him disappear?” 

Edited by MAV1962

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MAV1962

The Christopher Lee case raises an issue that bothers me about the Sandusky case, an issue that Blehar began to look at because of the anomalies in the Freeh report and the bizarre failure to prosecute anyone else involved in Sandusky's Second Mile "charity"--or for that matter, those involved with the adoption of the foster son that Sandusky molested. Blehar and others have poked around what looks like a likely pedophile trafficking ring that was effectively ignored by the media and the PA government. Instead, the case becomes about one terrible man and the football coaches and university leaders who enabled him, perhaps unwittingly. It becomes a football story, not the starting point into an investigation of child sexual abuse in Central PA. 

RG gets shut out of the 1998 case before it can be truly investigated. In 2005, he get the Christopher Lee case and disappears before he can see it through. I know we talked about the Lee case on the other forum, but I've learned a lot more since then about how people with power protect child molesters (and that includes both people with power in organizations like the Catholic Church and governments. The Sandusky case and the Lee case may only be connected insofar as they appear to be about "solitary" child molesters who position themselves to groom and molest kids. But the Sandusky case "went away" in 1998 and the Lee case essentially "went away" with an ARD, a disposition usually reserved for first-time offenders like drunk drivers. Not a child molester. And there is no sign that any investigations went beyond the solitary molester to look for connections to others.

The very murky Oakland County Child Sex Murders involved a bunch of rich people who trafficked kids, some of whom ended up dead. I'll link a really good longform story written by a writer who investigated the case; there are also blogs done by the father and sister of one of the victims. My point here is that if we are looking at what kind of crime might be big enough to get rid of a DA like Ray Gricar, a child sex trafficking ring involving rich people and politicians in PA willing to throw the Penn State football program and the university under the bus--and to the tune of millions and millions of dollars would be such a case. 

Here is the Oakland County Child Sex Murders story:

https://medium.com/@J.Reuben.Appelman/blood-semen-saliva-prints-3fdab84c73d7#.f7rybx2q8

Edited by MAV1962
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SuperSmith

 Very good post Mav and I hope Blehar continues to dig as it seems the RG case may in fact intersect more than we know.  What we need now is a solid connection between Sandusky and Lee.  I will add one important tidbit so it is not lost. Let's not forget that the very DA who left Lee off with a slap on the wrist is also the DA that is related to Sandusky through marriage and excused himself from any prosecution proceeding against Sandusky when the complaints started to roll in. He kicked it to the AG who was Corbett.

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MAV1962

Let's just say that the narrative is familiar:  child molesters, even when they run charities and other public attractions for kids and their families, are always presented as solitary actors. There is never, ever an investigation into who else might be part of the network.  Even the low-level, smarmy abusers and child kidnappers often exchange child porn with each other. And when people like Sandusky and Lee are protected for years and years, we never get to see the hand that protects them. The Sandusky case was so bad they had to throw a whole university under the bus to cover it up. That's not to say that the university wasn't at fault in some ways, or that Paterno shouldn't have known that Sandusky was a pervert.  But "football, football, football" made a nice distraction from the Second Mile and who all was involved there. Investigators should have looked at all of Sandusky's contacts, every trip he took, every call he made, every man who "visited" or communicated by email. But instead, let's throw the football team under the bus and leave it at that. And then we find out, if we have the incentive to dig, that Lee got an ARD, didn't live up to the agreement, and spent another decade doing his dirty deeds. But now he's 65 and maybe isn't important any more so he can go under the bus, too. 

One thing Lee and Sandusky have in common:  they used the same attorney, Joe Amendola. He's a bird of the same feather, having impregnated a 16-year old who was "working" in his law office.

Edited by MAV1962

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MAV1962

SuperSmith, I was working on this, regarding the ARD, last night and fell asleep.

Quote

http://www.centredaily.com/news/article42865098.html

In 2005, Lee was charged with indecent assault in a case relating to allegations that he touched two children, ages 8 and 10, on an overnight stay at the mansion, where Lee, a descendant of the Boal family, lives.

Lee was admitted into the ARD program and, in 2009, his criminal record was expunged. And, according to the Prothonotary’s Office, those records are sealed, the images restricted and only a court order can change that.

Quote

http://www.centredaily.com/news/article42897732.html

Three documents released Tuesday were dated June 5, 2006, the day Lee was approved for the ARD by the district attorney and Judge Bradley P. Lunsford. The same day, Lee signed a contract with the Parole and Probation Department agreeing to pay any costs incurred and that failure to comply with the contract “may result in further court action” against him.

A court order four days later amended the ARD to require that Lee be evaluated for treatment by Project Point of Light, a psychology clinic in DuBois, and undergo any recommended treatment programs. The clinic is listed as a state sex offender treatment provider.

A faxed report from State College police sent to the probation office on Feb. 7, 2007, described an incident in which Lee befriended a then-10-year-old while skiing at Tussey Mountain Ski Area in late January. The child’s mother reported the incident to police after the child told her because she was concerned about the 2005 allegations against Lee, according to the report.

 

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MAV1962

The court documents from the 2005 Lee case show the first reported incident at June 2005, about 9-10 weeks after RG disappeared. But various accounts suggest that there were other incidents, although I can't find dates in media reports. But certainly, Lee's activities pre-date RG's disappearance. We can also speculate, with some justification, that a full-scale investigation that looked for other victims (as in Sandusky's later case) would have turned up others as 2 years after getting the ARD, Lee was up to his old tricks. 

Quote

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archives/article_9ec75cff-3ecf-5371-b79f-b10dc8ff9c4a.html

The 10-year-old victim recounted an alleged June 3 incident at the preliminary hearing. He said he felt ill and after having tea with Lee, they both slept on a pullout sofa, according to court documents. He said Lee then suggested the boy remove his pajamas because of the heat.

 

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Regi
On 7/27/2016 at 8:48 AM, MAV1962 said:

I have a lot of skepticism about those searches. First, we don't know who made them or why.  RG might have had a number of professional reasons to try various search terms about computers. If he were going to disappear and trash the HD, it seems likely he would not have left this kind of evidence behind. He could just take the laptop and use it or ditch it somewhere. Or carried out the "erasing" and left the computer behind. The suicide scenario is just not plausible, given the location of the vehicle, the lack of scent track, and the fact that his body was never found. I think the information about the computer search term has been exaggerated by those who flog the "walkaway" scenario. It might be worth reading the second press release to see what 2-B is talking about. Myself, I'm willing to believe JKA that RG was scrupulous about taking care of county property. It might be that RG had it with him for some reason and the killer or killers didn't want to leave it with the car. This quotation is from 2-B's post,  #239  Aug. 28.  

We know that LE did not conduct the kind of investigation that should have been conducted into the disappearance of a prominent citizen, especially the chief elected law enforcement officer in a county. The house should have been searched for forensic clues. Luminol should have been used to check for blood. The people closest to the victim should have been polygraphed not about whether they had "heard" from him but about the disappearance, their statements about it, and their whereabouts. Had the house been treated like a crime scene and turned up clean, we could have more confidence in the notion that RG took and destroyed the computer. As it is, we have only PF's word that she talked to RG to support the notion that RG was alive on that day. Anyone could have taken the computer, driven the car and left it. Or RG might have been in the presence of his killer if he did call. How would LE know if they didn't treat the case as a crime from the beginning?  See JKA's internet statement for a thorough discussion of major discrepancies in what LE said about the cell phone, in the first 2 years. She worked with the guy every day and her first thoughts weren't suicide or walkaway. 

I asked how you'd rationalize those home computer searches and what I meant by that was, how would/do they factor into your line of thinking? More simply put, what do you think is the purpose of their existence?

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MAV1962

How do the computer searches factor into my line of thinking?  I don't see the "computer searches" as a major clue about anything other than imminent retirement. My employer changes my laptop every 2-3 years and I agonize about turning it in as there are lots of passwords, a long Reading List, etc. that I neither want to lose or pass on to someone else. So any thinking about those searches means I have to see something that points to more than that.

First, I would take care to not assume I know the motive for the search or for the key words used. I would want to know what kind of computer he was using and what search engine was. And I would try to factor in how the computer's memory and/or the search engine's analytics try to ANTICIPATE what the person is searching for. For example, when I teach students to do searches of library databases, I always have them not the key word search terms that pop up as they start typing. We can't assume that any person searching the internet is searching for the exact thing the key words denote, as we are often casting about, looking at all sorts of stuff, following links, trying to figure out how the internet stores the thing we are looking for.  So in this computer, with this search engine, what pops up? How long did the searcher look at any of these sites? What trail was followed? 

Second, I would want to note the date and duration of the searching. 

Third, I would want to note who used the computer routinely and at what times. I would want to note who did the searches before and after the ones in question and what those searches were about.

Fourth, I would want to know if there was any attempt to erase material on the home computer or the office computer (not the laptop) after RG went missing--and how deeply these computers were examined forensically? If they were searched, what did LE learn? If not, why not?

Fifth, I would want to know if there were other searches done by RG (verifiable)  in the weeks before and after the computer-related searches and what those searches were about.

Sixth, I would want to know what discussions RG or PF might have had with county IT department about clearing data from, or erasing hard drives. 

Seventh, I would try to consider why the laptop was destroyed and not the home computer or the one at RG's office. It has been said that he rarely used the laptop. If he intended to erase that hard drive or destroy it in order to destroy some "evidence," why do those searches on the home computer? It's not like RG is some novice--really, if he intended to disappear, he probably imagined a far more intensive investigation into possible foul play than the one that actually occurred. Do the search on the laptop. Destroy the laptop and leave it where it won't be found.  A sledgehammer and then dump the rubble in 5-6 dumpsters in different locations over a period of weeks. 

Eighth, I would want to ask everyone in RG's life when he used the laptop, how often, and what he used it for. 

Ninth, how sure are we that the laptop itself was in the house? Could it have been in the office, and the case just left in the house, since RG apparently did not always use it?

Tenth, had RG used  disks, an external drive, or USB drives to back up data? If so, what was on them?

2-B made the point back a few pages that this information about the searches was not treated as some bombshell of information by LE or the media when it was first reported. I don't have access to the actual articles here. But this internet search has been woven into a narrative about suicide or walkaway, along with a bunch of other stuff that is for the most part speculation. We don't know if RG made it to Lewisburg--or even that he went alone. We don't know where the cigarette ash came from. We can only speculate as to why scent dogs got nothing beyond the Mini-Cooper. The computer turning up in the river nearby seems to be something a stupid man would do. If RG wanted kill himself by jumping off a bridge, and for no one to find that computer, why throw it in just the place where people will be looking for a body?  

I don't think much about the computer search at all, without any of this other data or context. My guess would be he had private stuff on the laptop, passwords to bank accounts, whatever, and the searches have nothing to do with his disappearance in any direct way. I think the computer issues was a red herring to bolster "walkaway" as a convenient theory to avoid a full-on investigation of what happened to the DA. Suicide is ludicrous, in my view; there were zero indicators that this man was so depressed that he was ready to take his life, particularly since he fought the idea of his brother's suicide so vehemently because he did not believe his brother would do that to his kids. I've seen contradictory discussions about whether it would even be possible for the body to go undiscovered in that scenario. 

So the question for me is:  What got RG killed? Who benefitted? And what might someone think he had stored on that little-used laptop? Was the laptop just conveniently in the Mini and thus a useful prop? Or was the laptop removed from the house or the office by someone else? 

 

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MAV1962

And let me say that had the PA State Police been investigating RG's disappearance, they would have had a decent computer forensic team go this work and they, at least, would surely know more than the public knows now, after years of downplaying the possibility of foul play.

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Regi

^ For example...

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SuperSmith

Another great post Mav as evidenced by you silencing Regi (doesn't happen often).

Lets also remember that it was reported that RG & PF used his laptop as a home computer prior to RG buying their own desktop computer. So can it be verified that RG actually did the searches?Or could it have been PF, a hacker, or even a assailant? I think simply he wanted to turn the Laptop in prior to retirement with a clean slate. This is supported by his inquiry of a coworker as to how to wipe a harddrive and the software he purchased to do this very thing. The fact it ended up in the river tells me that it was used as a decoy.

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MAV1962

I didn't know that they had used the laptop as a home computer. That pretty much explains the need to remove data from the hard drive, both in order to protect their own information and passwords and to make the machine usable for the next person. I might have "known" or seen that at some point, but it  had fallen out of my memory. It would be useful to have access to all the old stuff from the TruTv discussion boards. I've been away from this for a while and it's easy to forget these without an accessible data base to check. What's bothering me now is why RG would have taken the computer with him, if the rest of the scenario--the day trip to Lewisburg--is to be believed. Why would he take the computer on a day trip unless he planned to use it?  Wifi was not as readily available ten years ago, so it was more likely to be for a writing or note-taking purpose. Again, if he had suicide in mind or the ever-ludicrous "walkaway," why not just "disappear" the computer as he did to himself? Why hesitate to steal it (in the walkaway scenario) if he's going to destroy it? That's the biggest argument I can make against either of these scenarios. There is no evidence that RG was a thief or had ever, ever destroyed government property. Those peddling the walkaway or suicide scenarios can make a mountain out of the "his demeanor changed" molehill or try to fabricate some excuse about long-delayed shame over a failure to prosecute Sandusky in 1998--but I've never seen one compelling argument that RG would destroy public property--not one hint of impropriety, not one example of carelessness or thievery or misappropriation. 

Much is made of RG being distracted or "tired" or having a different demeanor in the week or two before the disappearance. Point to any human who hasn't gone through a week or two or three where life seemed heavy and more difficult. But where's the evidence of what was supposedly bothering him? If the best people can do is say maybe there was some shameful failure to prosecute some case from 6 years or more before--well, that's just lame.  Especially in the case of Sandusky, where all RG would have to do is talk to LE about his concerns that the ball had been dropped in 2004. I don't doubt RG would have liked a do-over with Sandusky's case, as he was outmaneuvered by DPW and Lauro. That's my theory as to why he took the case from JKA--he suspected that it would be about politics, not prosecution. And if I am right--he was right.

Edited by MAV1962

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MAV1962
Quote

What got RG killed? Who benefitted? And what might someone think he had stored on that little-used laptop? Was the laptop just conveniently in the Mini and thus a useful prop? Or was the laptop removed from the house or the office by someone else? 

I should add here: If RG took the laptop with him, what did he intend to use it for on that trip? That's a weird thing to take with you on a day trip to look at antiques and scenery.

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Regi

^ Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I take it that you're unable to conclude- or you don't think it can be or should be concluded- who made those home computer searches.

Well surely the most revealing aspect would be that they were made before the disappearance, don't you think?

 

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Regi
1 hour ago, MAV1962 said:

Much is made of RG being distracted or "tired" or having a different demeanor in the week or two before the disappearance. Point to any human who hasn't gone through a week or two or three where life seemed heavy and more difficult. But where's the evidence of what was supposedly bothering him?

Such would be the evidence, but please differentiate. I mean, certainly, naturally, every human being will experience some degree of difficulty, but they all haven't then also come up as a missing person.

Personally, I think there's likely more evidence re: this issue than what's been revealed.

Edited by regi

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1oldtrooper
10 hours ago, MAV1962 said:

I should add here: If RG took the laptop with him, what did he intend to use it for on that trip? That's a weird thing to take with you on a day trip to look at antiques and scenery.

Why he took the laptop with him is simple.  He only intended to take half a day off and was going to work in the afternoon. He would have needed it.

 

 

Edited by 1oldtrooper

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MAV1962

You may be correct in thinking that LE knows aspects of this case that we as civilians do not. However, even what we know is relatively mild--he might have been tired or preoccupied. We aren't told of signs of major depression or anxiety. He didn't seek counseling. He was not drinking heavily or doing drugs or (so far as we know) involved in a protracted love affair. He was not missing a lot of work. He medical records showed no issues. My point was that I can't see casual observations of relatively minor changes as indicative of a turn toward suicide or "walking away" from his career, pension, and adult child when retirement and a huge opportunity to change his life with important resources was on the horizon. 

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MAV1962
9 hours ago, regi said:

^ Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I take it that you're unable to conclude- or you don't think it can be or should be concluded- who made those home computer searches.

Well surely the most revealing aspect would be that they were made before the disappearance, don't you think?

 

I am saying that those of us speculating here don't know what was on the computer. My GUESS would be that RG made those searches. At least 2 people we know of had regular access to that computer. But most people just assume it was RG. It might have been PF doing the search for RG; my ex husband could never find what he was looking for if it wasn't a simple search. My point was that there is much we don't know about those computer searches and I'm not willing to weave a narrative around them when the hard drive ended up in a river. Nobody needs to do a search for that method of disposal. So maybe if the search is "evidence," it's evidence that RG or PF (presumably one of the two) was aware of the need to get personal data off the computer hard drive and wanted to know how to do that. If the sites that turned up said, "Dump it in a river," then that might be significant.

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MAV1962
13 minutes ago, 1oldtrooper said:

Why he took the laptop with him is simple.  He only intended to take half a day off and was going to work in the afternoon. He would have needed it.

I agree. He might have been intending to work on a document or meeting with a source or a member of LE or another DA. We don't know. But that is indeed the simplest and most likely explanation, and one that doesn't require us to cast RG as someone who would just throw away government property.

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SuperSmith
32 minutes ago, 1oldtrooper said:

Why he took the laptop with him is simple.  He only intended to take half a day off and was going to work in the afternoon. He would have needed it.

 

 

 

RG "needing" it for work purposes contradicts what PF indicated and that was that it was on the shelf, not being used, in an upstairs closet. Remember the usefulness of a laptop back then (late 90s) was very limited compared to today's standards.

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SuperSmith

I have to wonder if the laptop, among personal data, contained case notes from Sandusky in 1998. Long shot but just a thought

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SuperSmith

Mav, your question about why Gricar took his laptop (w/o case) is a good one but ask yourself what is the most concrete evidence that Gricar was even in Lewisburg let alone chucking his laptop into the river? The eyewitness? The car? His cellphone? His laptop? The call from Rt192? I admit it seems as though he was in Lewisburg but not one thing definitively puts there 100%. No pics, no purchases, no video, etc

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docyabut2
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Its obvious RG is dead of foul play , if a walk out, he would have shown up to his family by now.

 

Edited by docyabut2

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Regi
14 hours ago, MAV1962 said:

I am saying that those of us speculating here don't know what was on the computer. My GUESS would be that RG made those searches. At least 2 people we know of had regular access to that computer. But most people just assume it was RG. It might have been PF doing the search for RG; my ex husband could never find what he was looking for if it wasn't a simple search. My point was that there is much we don't know about those computer searches and I'm not willing to weave a narrative around them when the hard drive ended up in a river. Nobody needs to do a search for that method of disposal. So maybe if the search is "evidence," it's evidence that RG or PF (presumably one of the two) was aware of the need to get personal data off the computer hard drive and wanted to know how to do that. If the sites that turned up said, "Dump it in a river," then that might be significant.

But you just said that nobody needs to do that...:huh:

I think it's obvious that the searches show intent to destroy property, yet somehow it appears it's beyond comprehension that the same person who'd make such searches could also then throw the laptop into a river.

***

I think it's likely that by the time of the searches, Gricar had learned that as long as a hard drive is operable, it's still possible that deleted files can be recovered.

 

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MAV1962
4 hours ago, regi said:

But you just said that nobody needs to do that...:huh:

I think it's obvious that the searches show intent to destroy property, yet somehow it appears it's beyond comprehension that the same person who'd make such searches could also then throw the laptop into a river.

***

I think it's likely that by the time of the searches, Gricar had learned that as long as a hard drive is operable, it's still possible that deleted files can be recovered.

 

I would want to see the search terms and the links followed before I would come to such a conclusion. If 1oldtrooper is correct, the reason RG had the laptop with him was he intended to go into the office when he got back. That makes more sense than destroying the computer and then leaving it to be found. And frankly, why would RG keep files so dangerous on a work computer when he could use the one at home?  It was in my view a routine search to figure out what to do about the computer or what questions to ask IT when the time came. The fact that the laptop was "missing" and then conveniently found is the only thing that makes the search of any interest. 

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