Follow the Evidence

Posted by JJinPhila on April 18, 2009 

            Ray Gricar was murdered!  There, I said it.

            Ray Gricar walked away!  There, I said it too.

            Ray Gricar committed suicide!  Ditto!

            Ray Gricar was kidnapped by Elvis and taken aboard a UFO!  No wait, the troll that lives under the railroad bridge in Lewisburg ate him!

            This is the Internet.  Anyone can make statements totally unsubstantiated by evidence about nearly anything.  We’ve seen a number of them, in comments to news stories, on web pages, even in comments to this blog.   Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  Let’s make sure that we, and even the investigators in the case and those coving it the story, follow the evidence.  So far Detective Rickard has.

            Mid week, we had a release of new information in this case, except it wasn’t new; it was discovered by the police sometime in 2006.  I’m happy that it was released, but the timing was just before the fourth anniversary of Mr. Gricar’s disappearance, when there might have been stories about it anyhow.

            What was this newly released evidence?  That Mr. Gricar did searches on his home computer about how to destroy the data on his laptop.   In the late summer of 2008, we found out that he had talked to people about how to erase a hard drive and that he was talking about this more than a year prior to his disappearance.  Now we find out that Mr. Gricar had used his computer to search for methods to destroy the drive, including tossing it in water.

            Now, that is evidence, but what does that tell up?  First, it tells us that Mr. Gricar wanted the data on the drive to never see the light of day.  We knew that last summer.  That’s a bit like telling us that Mr. Gricar put the Mini in Ms. Fornicola’s name.  It should not be a great shock to folks following the case.  There is not necessarily anything nefarious in wanting to destroy a hard drive with private and personal information on it.

            A fellow poster in the “Gricar Internet Community” (I might run for Council in that community, my name recognition is great enough) found a recent Internet poll.  With this “new” news, more than 58% of those that responded said that he “ran away.”  http://wearecentralpa.com/content/poll/?poll_id=2661 I’ve seen earlier polls and these numbers jumped largely in response to this “new” evidence, that wasn’t new.  I do follow the evidence, and I do think that there is much circumstantial evidence that points toward the theory that Mr. Gricar voluntarily walked away, but this "revelation," such as it was, didn’t add anything to that.  My odds on walkaway did not go up.

            Much of the evidence can be used to support any theory, including this one.

            Could Mr. Gricar have removed the drive and tossed it into the Susquehanna prior to walking away from his old and into his new life?  Sure!

            Could Mr. Gricar have wanted to destroy drive to hide embarrassing information that could have been found after his suicide?  Yes!

            Could Mr. Gricar have decided to kill two birds with one stone?  He did want to destroy the data on the drive and might of thought, “I’m going to be in Lewisburg for some other purpose.  This will be a good opportunity to get rid of the hard drive.  I’ll drop it into the river while I’m there.”  Absolutely!  In this case, it would even explain why Mr. Gricar spend much of the afternoon in Lewisburg.  He was looking for the right spot to toss the drive.

            This, like much of the evidence in this case, can point to numerous scenarios.  Unless the case is solved in the next few days, I’ll be discussing various scenarios and seeing how these fit with the released evidence.  First up will be suicide, but I will discussing at least two murder scenarios, one much stronger than the other, and walkaway.

            Right now, based on the evidence, I’ll give you my odds on what happened. 

Walkaway:  48% likely.

Murder:  42% likely.

(both scenarios together)

Suicide:  9% likely.

Something else:  1%

(There were two blog entries on those; this one includes Elvis and the troll under the bridge)

            Why should you believe my odds?  Hopefully, because you will be able to see how it fits in with the evidence.  Hopefully, you will also be able to see that I am a major skeptic about nearly everything in this case and am not easily swayed without hard evidence.   Hopefully, you will be able to see that I am not wedded to a particular theory and don’t have one that I’d even say was 50% likely.  Hopefully, you will see that I have “amazing knowledge for a disabled guy living in Philly,” since it’s on the Internet.  :)

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