[This is the ninth part of a series on the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.]
Current Centre County District Attorney Michael T. Madeira has made several strange public comments in regard to the investigation of the disappearance of his predecessor in that post, Ray Gricar. The comments are either contradictory, or turn out to be wildly inaccurate; this is troubling when they come from “highest-ranking law enforcement officer in the County,” according to District Attorney’s Office’s website.1
Where related to the case, I shall cite them roughly in the order they were made, but they will not be a separate “series within a series.”
The first one was made soon after Mr. Madeira took office around January 10, 2006. He said:
"From my overview of what I've seen from them today, they have done a great job looking into all information that has come in and exhausting every lead. I will say I was impressed by the level of the work that was done. They have left no stone unturned."2
Mr. Madeira made this comment after meeting with Chief Weaver, who at the time had been chief for less than a fortnight, and Det. Zaccagni. The meeting lasted for ninety minutes (or just over ten minutes a month for each month of the very active investigation). Mr. Madeira apparently did not inspect the case file too closely, if at all, because he could have known that former Chief Dixon’s statements that there were readable fingerprints in the car, and that they belonged to Mr. Gricar, were incorrect; by failing to look at the report, or looking and failing to correct it, he allowed this misinformation to be out there for about two years.3 He would have perhaps seen the report of Ms. Fenton (who would soon be hired as an Assistant District Attorney).4 He would have known that the police had yet to check the searches Mr. Gricar had done on his home computer.5 This was not known at the time. These unturned stones eluded Mr. Madeira’s grasp.
I don’t want to go out of my way to make this a political blog, but I did note that the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for District Attorney had a disadvantage. None of them have access to the files, and without looking, they could not truly say what they would do in the case. One, the ultimate winner of that primary, Stacey Parks Miller, said that she would, "tear that file apart from front to back."6 I am left wondering how much more progress would have been made in solving this case had Mr. Madeira just done that in his first weeks or months in office, even if it would have taken him longer to issue a public comment.
He might have also suggested new techniques in the investigation, or a review of the case; that would come in a few months after this comments. We will see why in the next blog entry.
To extend the “no stone unturned” analogy, when Mr. Madeira made that public statement, there was a pile of unturned stones in the Gricar investigation rivaling Mt. Nittanny in height. His comment would be very humorous, and posters could make addition witticisms all day, if the comment didn’t involve what is at least a potential murder case.
[Part 10, Mr. Bosak’s “Missed Leads,” is next]
3 CDT, 2/26/08 http://tiny.cc/Fingerprints
5 DC, 4/16/09 http://tiny.cc/2years
6 DC, 4/17/09 http://tiny.cc/ParksMiller