Well, I was wrong. Seeing the previous Nancy Grace program, from January 2011, I was expecting the January 17, 2014 program of Nancy Grace Mysteries, to be “The Case of Ray of the Walkaway.” It was more balanced than that, I’m quite happy to say. They considered at least the possibility that Mr. Gricar did not leave voluntarily.
The show was basically a clip show, without much new information, but some of those clips have not been seen for years. It did deal with the Sandusky Scandal with Ms. Grace using air quotes around the claim of “lack of evidence” for not prosecuting Sandusky in 1998.1 The Sandusky case is part of the narrative of Mr. Gricar’s professional life, so that can be expected.
Ms. Grace’s opening statement on the case was, “The day he went missing, Gricar, who was reputed to be a ladies` man, had taken the day off.”1 That is part of the narrative of Mr. Gricar’s personal life. I have talked to people that did know him, and that was his reputation. The Bellefonte Police actually referred to a group of women that he was close to as “the woman.”2 His friend, former Montour County District Attorney Robert W. Buehner, Jr. actually suggested checking female registrants of area motels and try to match the famous “Mystery Woman,”3 that was seen by multiple witnesses.
Ms. Grace reached a conclusion:
Never miss a local story.
“I think he was with another woman, a tall, attractive brunette.
What happened after that, I don`t know what to think.”1
During the program a graphic appeared at the bottom of the scream asking, “Did DA run off with mystery woman?” I can answer that question. No.
Mr. Gricar probably was planning to be in Lewisburg that day and probably wanted to be there at a specific time. He may have been planning to meet the “Mystery Woman.” He may have been planning to voluntarily disappear. He may have wanted to have a romantic encounter with the Mystery Woman. He did not run off with her, because no woman that he knew has been missing.
The women that Mr. Gricar knew, old friends at least, were not reported missing. No women from the area were reported missing at the time. The Mystery Woman, may have been a lover, a helper, a murderer, or just a fellow shopper that never realized she was talking to a person named Ray Gricar. While increasingly unlikely, it may have a case of mistaken identity and it wasn’t actually Mr. Gricar. Whomever the Mystery Woman was, we can say that she did not hook up with Mr. Gricar and vanish into a new life with him.
There were some inaccuracies, like Ms. Grace’s statement here: “He told his girlfriend that he was going antiquing.”1 I have never heard anyone state that he told his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, the purpose of the drive (he liked to drive for relaxation).
There was one piece of new information. There have been 300 witness sightings of Mr. Gricar. I suspect that most, if not all, are false. If only one of them is accurate, that would solve the mystery of what happened to Ray Gricar.
Nancy Grace Mysteries was not too much more than the video equivalent of a face on a milk carton, but that still can help. At least it wasn’t an overly biased one.
3 Letter from Buehner to Madeira and Johnson, 6/3/08.
Centre Daily Times Ray Gricar Section: http://www.centredaily.com/138/
Link to the Main Index for Sporadic Comments on Ray Gricar: http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/21/2597340/main-index-32011.html
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