The Curious Case of Ray Gricar

I hate to admit it, but I am fascinated by the disappearance of former District Attorney Ray Gricar.

Why? Well, I used to live in State College, and I suppose that’s part of it even though I only lived in the area until 1999. But the main reason I’m fascinated is because I’m a writer. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance are so mysterious and complex that I don’t believe I could have constructed such a plot.

Here is a rundown of the theories on what happened to him:

He faked his death and went on the run.

He was murdered by the mob/drug dealers.

He committed suicide.

He was a special agent.

He went into some sort of witness protection.

He was murdered by people involved with the Sandusky scandal.

There are some strange things about this case. First, the body was never found. Second, his computer’s hard drive was wiped and the computer was later found in the Susquehanna river. Third, there were cigarette ashes in his car, and he did not smoke. Fourth, Gricar did not prosecute Sandusky in 1998. Fifth, the local police didn’t do all that much of a search after he disappeared.

Ok. So the body was never found. While some people have theorized that he committed suicide, unless he did that and buried himself afterwards, I believe that his body would have been found eventually. So maybe he was murdered and his body was disposed of in a way that it would never be found. Or maybe his body was never found because it is still alive somewhere, sipping pina coladas in Mexico or some suburb in Ohio.

The computer is the truly odd thing about this case. Let’s say that he was planning on going on the run (from the mob or whomever), why wipe his computer hard drive? Why not just take the computer with him? Some people have theorized that he wiped the drive because there were naughty things on there, but I don’t believe it. If Gricar was searching for naughty, illegal things online, these searches could have been traced. If he wanted to disappear, why not just toss his computer into a garbage bag and into a dumpster somewhere in Kansas if he wanted to get rid of it for one reason or another?

Somebody wanted to wipe the drive on Gricar’s computer, and I don’t believe it was Gricar. But the searches for how to wipe a drive took place at his house. Interesting. But maybe it wasn’t Gricar who did that search. Maybe it was his murderer who did that search.

Let’s paint this scenario. Let’s pretend that Gricar hears a knock at the door on the morning of his disappearance. Since there do not seem to be reports of forced entry at his home, let’s assume that this person is someone who knows.

He trusts them.

He trusts them because the person is perhaps a police officer…

This person incapacitates Gricar (a taser? no reports of blood or struggle at his home…). Police are trained to restrain people and they carry tasers and handcuffs and all that handy stuff with them. Maybe after he is restrained, another person comes in to finish the act and take care of disposing of the body. There can’t be too much unaccounted for time for whoever might have known Gricar enough to get him to open the door.

A mob hit man (in the mind of a writer) probably would have just shot him and left him there. And if they wanted the computer, they’d just take it with him. A mob hit man also wouldn’t have any reason to believe that critical information regarding a case of theirs was only on his computer.

So why search on the computer at his home? Because there is something on that computer that is very, very delicate information and it isn’t enough to just destroy the computer.

Information that is so delicate that he wouldn’t have backed-up this information at his workplace because if that information got out it might cause a major scandal.

But Gricar investigates quietly because he is a straight-shooter. Maybe he tells one or two other trusted people on the staff, people who knew something about the case.

But it gets back to the people/person who are/is being investigated that the District Attorney is compiling some rather damning evidence. And somebody knows that this information is ONLY on his computer. Who else would know this but someone close to him? Someone he trusted enough to let into his house.

I’d never assert that a cop killed him since of course there are no such things as dirty cops. I mean, all that hearsay about the cops in State College escorting the drug shipments into town was just, well, hearsay.

But if there were some dirty cops and Gricar was doing some sort of internal investigation, well, that might be a good reason to murder someone. And that might be a reason why Gricar never saved any of those important, mysterious documents in the police station.

Or, perhaps Gricar was investigating some charges against a well-respected man and somehow this got back to the guy who is being investigated because, I don’t know, one of the cops is the guy’s buddy or neighbor or something. But stuff like that only happens in fiction! Since who in town would have the money it would take to get a cop to do something so gruesome?

But if I were an investigator, I might look into why the police didn’t investigate the case all that deeply. That’s kind of odd, don’t you think? Gricar was a well-respected man who by all accounts doled out justice evenly and blindly. If I were an investigator, I would follow the money. Maybe there were some large purchases or large transfers from accounts during this time period.

I don’t believe we’ll ever find out what happened to Ray Gricar. I believe that there are people still alive who know what happened to him, but as recent events in State College have taught us, people in the area can be very good at keeping their mouths shut when they have a good reason.

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