[This is the fourteenth 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. The title of this entry is also a bit inaccurate. In regard to the events around the “dueling press conferences” there were strange comments, plural, coming from Mr. Madeira on the Gricar investigation.
Mr. Madeira said, in referring to Mr. Buehner, “In three years he’s never contacted me. And now he wants to run the investigation? Any gentleman or professional would say, ‘How can I help?’ Not ‘How can I bash you?’”1 He also asked, "Why are my colleagues bringing this up nearly three years later?"2
That is not exactly true. Mr. Buehner raised three possible evidentiary sources in his letter and said, “Would you kindly advise me on the matters raised herein?” 3 That isn’t lawyerspeak for wanting to “run the investigation.” It was asking him to respond on three points. The letter, in no way, bashed Mr. Madeira. Two of the points were not new. Mr. Buehner did not comment on the letter for nearly a month; Mr. Madeira simply ignored it until the there was the possibility bad press for him. After the 7/1/08 conference was called, late in the day on 6/30/08, Mr. Madeira called Mr. Buehner.4 Had Mr. Madeira made the call a few weeks earlier, or even a few days earlier, that news conference may never have happened.
Two of these points were previously raised in regard to the investigation. First, Mr. Madeira indicated that one point, McKnight’s witness, had been raised in 20052; it was just never revealed, until Mr. Madeira had to defend his position. The second, looking at female registrants, was discussed at the district attorney’s meeting organized by Mr. McKnight in 2005, according to a law enforcement source. These things were brought up even before Mr. Madeira was elected District Attorney. Did he bother to check the files, or ask the staff and police that were there?
The third, using Kroll Ontrack to attempt to get data from the drive, was new. That was also the suggestion that Mr. Madeira took, eventually. 2 This was part of the same old pattern in the investigation. When the press gets bad, do something.
Mr. Madeira also said of Mr. Buehner, “People need to know he is being disingenuous at best. And that is saying it kindly.” 1 In looking at this, including the fact that these points were first raised privately, and some were raised, by Mr.Madeira’s own admission, in 2005, it becomes a question of who is being “disingenuous at best?” People do need to know that.
This ranks possibly as some of the strangest statements, perhaps even bizarre, coming from Mr. Madeira in regard to this case. And yet, there is more from Mr. Madeira in the strange comment department at the same time he made those. This one was on a different subject and in a different forum. This occurred in Mr. Bosak’s old blog and was published on 7/3/08.
Mr. Bosak asked Mr. Madeira about calling a grand jury to investigate the Gricar disappearance. It’s been suggested by posters on message boards and Mr. Buehner had mentioned it at some point. I’ve advocated it. The idea has been around for a while. Mr. Bosak posed the question.
Mr. Madeira answered it this way: "Grand juries are designed to get testimony from people who are not willing to cooperate. That is not the case here."5
Since there has never been an explanation for Mr. Gricar’s disappearance, how could Mr. Madeira know that no one is talking? Assume that Mr. Gricar was murdered, and that is still a very real possibility. Somebody, the murderer, obviously is not talking. Only if he knew, or had a good idea of, what happened to Mr. Gricar would his statement make sense. How does he know that everyone is cooperating?
If he does know, why isn’t he telling the rest of us? If he doesn’t know, why make such a strange comment? Obviously, he’d realize that a murderer wasn’t going to walk up to his office, knock on the door, and admit to committing a crime.
Mr. Madeira, without going to the attorney general has had it in his power to call a grand jury (he has to go before a local judge) since his term began. The investigation would still involve the local police, but would permit witnesses to be subpoenaed and require them to testify under oath. It is not something too extraordinary.
While perhaps not as strange as the other comments made at that time, this still ranks as one of Mr. Madeira’s strange comments on the Gricar case.
[Part 15, Rebooting the Laptop, is next]
1 CDT 7/3/08, http://z10.invisionfree.com/usedtobedoe/ar/t2226.htm
3 Buehner Letter to Madeira, 6/3/08, no longer on-line
5 This is no longer on line, but I thought the quote was so odd, that I saved it. It has been mentioned previously.