Special Reports

Murder I: A Meeting for Murder

This is the second in series of blogs discussing the possibilities about what happened to Ray Gricar, the then Centre County District Attorney who vanished.  These are possibilities, not facts and not advocacies or any theory.  I want to mesh each theory with the publicly known evidence. 

            This entry is based on this premise:  On 4/15/05, Mr. Gricar was lured to Lewisburg and murdered.

            Mr. Gricar, due to the nature of his job, made enemies.  Some of them were not defendants.  They would include the defendant’s loved ones and associates.  They would also include victims and victim’s associates and loved ones that felt Mr. Gricar or his staff didn’t do “enough.”  There are a few examples that are public and a lot of people could have kept their feeling suppressed.  Nephew Tony Gricar called it the “slow burn.”

One of these folks could have lured him.

            Whom ever the “lurer” was, he/she had to convince Mr. Gricar to come to Lewisburg.  The lurer might be able to concoct a story, probably about government corruption (it need not be true), or about someone on staff at the District Attorney’s Office.  The lurer could easily claim that he/she couldn’t be seen in public in Centre County with Mr. Gricar and convince him to come to Lewisburg, in a different media market.  The Media Markets and Geography  That would help prevent anyone from recognizing Mr. Gricar or who was with him.  A Friday would help delay any reporting of the crime. Friday, Thank God It’s Friday  The contact would have been earlier, which may have been disturbing with him, prompting his change in demeanor.   A Change in Demeanor and Activity  .   

            Mr. Gricar wanted to destroy the hard drive for months; he arrived a bit early, removed it, and tossed it into the Susquehanna. 

The Data and Erasing It  This would explain why Mr. Gricar was doing searches on his computer about destroying his drive.  (I told you you’d hear this again.)

            In Lewisburg, the lurer manages to persuade Mr. Gricar, perhaps at gunpoint, to get into another car, leaving a scent trail in the parking lot.   The Physical Evidence  The lurer, and/or his associates, in a remote location, kills Mr. Gricar and hides the body, maybe, as Slamdunk noted, in Montandon Marsh, but any place would be possible.  The other items missing could very easily have been in his pockets. 

What Else is Missing?

            The evidence that would be coincidental to this set of circumstances would be, Mr. Gricar’s interest in the Wiley case,

Wiley and Gricar, the Timing , putting the car in Ms. Fornicola’s name,

Liability and the Mini Cooper , the call to Ms. Fornicola,

 A Call About the Dog , the similarities to 20/20 Vision, 20/20 Hindsight , and his finances,  Income and Assets, The Pension.

            Two of the things on the list don’t completely support this premise.  Mr. Gricar had both a change in demeanor and an increase in work activity.  This premise does not explain the increase of work activity.  The witnesses in Lewisburg from 4/15/05 put Mr. Gricar in Lewisburg around lunch time and he was seen in there in the early evening.  The Lewisburg Witnesses, April 15, 2005  Even if it took him an hour to remove the drive and toss it, he is still walking around Lewisburg for about four hours.  Even some of the supporting evidence is not very supportive.

            There are some points that completely argue against this scenario.  .  Mr. Gricar was seen in Bellefonte on 4/15/05, in a different car, by Ms. Fenton.  Behind the Courthouse  Three known witnesses saw Mr. Gricar in Lewisburg on 4/16/05.

The Lewisburg Witnesses, April 16, 2005 Two saw him in Wilkes-Barre on 4/18/05. Wilkes-Barre, Monday, April 18, 2005   Only if all of these witnesses are wrong could this theory be correct.

            There is another problem, the luring itself.  In the last six months, we saw a problem with someone on the District Attorney’s Office payroll, the situation with Mr. Marshall.  The current District Attorney, Mr. Madeira, didn’t go sneaking off to another county to handle the situation.  It seems to have been handled in the actual office.  It would have to be a very well constructed plot to lure the experienced Mr. Gricar fifty miles from home.  There is no evidence of a plot, and there likely would be.

            The evidence for this meeting for murder scenario:

            *  The job could create enemies.

            *  Meeting in a different media market would decrease the chance of either party being recognized.

            *  Committing the crime on Friday would limit initial coverage.

            *  The scent detected by the dog supports the premise.

            *  A report used to lure Mr. Gricar could have caused his change in demeanor.

            The evidence against this meeting for murder scenario:

            *  It would not explain his increased work activity.

            *  It would be unlikely for him to wait five or more hours in Lewisburg for this meeting.

            *  The Fenton sighting.

            *  The 4/16/05 Lewisburg witnesses.

            *  The Wilkes-Barre witnesses.

            *  It would be very unlikely that some story could be concocted, without evidence, that could be used to lure Mr. Gricar to Lewisburg.

            Five pieces of information support this scenario and six refute it.  Six would be coincidental.  It’s a bit stronger than suicide, but not too strong.

            This was actually the scenario I first came up with, a bit more that two years ago.  As you can see, it is possible, but the evidence argues against it.  There is at least one other murder scenario that I will be discussing, but the next entry will be the walkaway scenario.  You will see how much better both fit with the known evidence.