Special Reports

Unsung Heroes Part 1: The Staff of the Centre Daily Times

[This is the first part in a series on the some people that have made some major efforts behind the scenes to help with the Gricar investigation.]

            I’m going to start out by saying that the Centre Daily Times (CDT) staffers that I am going to mention may not have yet read this.  I’m a man of many secrets, and what I was planning to do here is but one of them.   The staffers, from the highest levels, are some of the unsung heroes of the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.  You may read their names as authors of the story, but you don’t know want went into that story.

            There are several people that have dealt with the news story of Mr. Gricar disappearance, with one name you might not recognize.  Four are the familiar names from articles, Erin Nissley, Pete Bosak, Sara Gamin, the police reporters who covered the case, and Mike Joseph, the political reporter.  All have contributed to the case, including revealing witnesses.  Ms. Nissley started the Q & A Forum; Mr. Bosak’s famous “Missed Leads” prompted the State Police review of the case.  The fifth name is one that I don’t think you’ve never seen as the reporter, but he has had a major role in the CDT coverage, obviously.  That is Bob Heisse, the editor of the CDT.  All of these people have done more than what you’ve been reading in the paper.

            I’m going to focus on two people, the two that covered the story for the most time, Mr. Bosak and Mr. Heisse (he was there from the start).

            First, much of the reason we, the public, know as much about the Gricar case today is because of the reporting of Mr. Bosak.  It is impossible to seriously discuss the evidence, any theory, or the investigation without citing something that he first revealed.  From “Missed Leads” to the coverage of the “Dueling Press Conferences.” there was new information on the Gricar case.  You saw it while he was doing his blog as well, where he revealed that one of the Wilkes-Barre witnesses was a police officer. That wasn’t all.

            I have some idea of the dead ends that Mr. Bosak looked at.  I can give you an example.  At one point, there were false rumors that Mr. Gricar had serious psychological problems.  Mr. Bosak collected the information and asked people in the psychological field if these pointed to a psychological problem; they said no, and he eliminated a possibility.   There was another dead end, me.  He checked me out thoroughly; he knew the elections I voted in since I was first registered.  The dead ends take time and you don’t read about them in the newspaper.  That still wasn’t all.

            This one might not be too apparent, but Mr. Bosak did as much as he could to keep the story in the press.  In a prior blog, I pointed to two stories, one on 9/14/06, http://tiny.cc/PSPCIA3  and one on 11/2/06, http://tiny.cc/PSPCIA4 , that basically said, there is no new news in the case.  He helped keep the case in the news.

I think it’s fair to say that Mr. Bosak, even though he’s not with the CDT anymore, still follows the case.  I’m happy about that.  He’s been a phenomenal help, even when we don’t agree.

            Now, none of this would have been possible without Mr. Heisse.  Think about it.  Editors edit, and determine what goes into the paper.  You would never have seen those two stories without Mr. Heisse’s approval.  Likewise, I’ve mentioned those “Ray Gricar is still missing” editorials in a previous blog.  Those were from him.  He has helped keep the story alive.

            Mr. Heisse took a chance when he agreed to run the story on 20/20 Vision.  Mr. Bosak, who know I was interested in science fiction, asked me to read it.  I told him it just coincidence and he didn’t have anything.  After the story ran, a retired State Police Trooper revealed that Mr. Gricar had indeed read 20/20 Vision.  I sent him an e-mail that began, “Now you know why I'm not a journalist.”  Or an editor.  Mr. Heisse had no idea that corroborating evidence would come out; he could have easily said that the story was too weak to be run.  His judgment was sound, and sounder than mine.

            And, he took a few chances on-line.  The first was continuing with the Just Gricar blog by Mr. Bosak.  It was exceptionally useful.  And there is this blog, with just my nom de plume on it.  He didn’t have to do that, and I didn’t expect it.  I had reservations about me being capable of doing this blog; if you can’t tell, I’m not a journalist.  He may have had reservations, but they were less than mine.

            I know very little about the professional relationship between Mr. Heisse and the rest of the staff; Mr. Bosak would only occasionally mention running an idea in front of him, and never spoke of him negatively.  I’ve seen his hand in the coverage, however, and it has made him a truly unsung hero.  He has been there from the start.

             The staff of the Centre Daily Times truly deserves the title of unsung heroes in the Gricar case.

[Part Two is next]