Just over a year ago, I wrote a blog with the title “Can This Case Be Solved.” The title was from a blog by my predecessor, Mr. Bosak, which he wrote on September 30, 2008. At that time, he said: “But above all, more than three years are gone. Investigators talk about that critical 24 or 48 hours after a crime, disappearance, etc.That ship has long since sailed.” (Unfortunately, the original is no longer up.)
In my version, I wrote: “ I think it can, at least to the point of making murder and voluntary departure, walkaway, either very likely or very unlikely. I strongly suspect that some evidence may rule some people out as being a murderer, or as helping Mr. Gricar to walk away. The police may have that information, or not.” I pointed out in that entry how I had a record of where I was on 4/15/05; if I had that record, without having the resources of the police, they can find a lot more. I had records of me posting on various web sites. Mr. Gricar’s computer searches came out the next day, and I’ve always wondered about the timing of that announcement. You can read that blog here: Can This Case Be Solved?
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Then, back in April of 2009, I thought the case could still be solved. Today, I can only more strongly say that I think the case can be solved. Two things make me say this today.
First, and obviously, is the conduct of the still new District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller in regard to the investigation. She promised to "tear that [Gricar case] file apart from front to back,"1 and she has. Unlike her predecessor, it wasn’t a cursory look. Ms. Parks Miller kept her word. Then she did something else. She decided to bring in more people by forming a review board. She has “new eyes” and she is bringing other sets of new eyes in to solve the case. Her aggressiveness is welcome.
Second, it was something else Ms. Parks Miller said, but it was something I could have said. That was: “And since taking office and being able to review the file and the investigation, I can say I was very pleased to learn that what the public was informed of is just the tip of the iceberg, in terms of what has been done in the investigation.” 2
As far as I know, I’ve been the only one in the chattering class (nor do know of any journalist doing so) to look at the investigation chronologically. If you have not looked at the blogs on the investigation, look here: Index of the Investigation, April 2010
Look as what the Bellefonte Police and Pennsylvania State Police did. That’s just the details that we know about. If that is “just the tip of the iceberg,” there is a whole lot of ice we have not seen.
The police were not perfect, but I’ve looked at other cases, even in Centre County, and the police got a lot right in the Gricar case; for a missing person case, it is one of the better handled ones. I don’t think I really appreciated the work that they have done, until I did that series. Where there were deficiencies, the police took steps to correct them. This review board has a good place to start.
We’ve seen an alignment of factors in the investigation into the disappearance former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar. A leader aggressively pursuing the case, and not waiting for some new lead to drop into her lap, coupled with substantial police work by the “boots on the ground,” the now expanded with new investigators in the review board. Yes, I think the potential for a solution to the Gricar case has been increased.
1 DC 4/17/09, http://tiny.cc/SPM_Candidate
E-mail J. J. in Phila at email@example.com