Special Reports

Following the Money, Part 1

            One of the questions that has emerged about the disappearance of Ray Gricar was his money situation.  There are some unanswered questions, but there are a few partly answered ones, some just recently.

            There are some serious questions.  The first real questions about money began in August of 2005.  It deal with Mr. Gricar’s ATM withdrawals.  He had withdrawn about $16,000; however these withdrawal over a two and a half year period prior to his disappearance.  It worked out to about $125 a week on average, and much of it was withdrawn while Mr. Gricar was on vacation.1  The average was not large, even though Mr. Gricar used his credit card mostly.  It certainly would not be enough to finance a new life some place, for more than 8 ½ years.  The then lead detective at the time, Darrel Zaccagni did indicate that it could indicate he was setting cash aside, but that was just several months after Mr. Gricar disappeared.

            The first real question about Mr. Gricar’s finances came in May of 2006, in Pete Bosak’s article “Missed Leads.”  Det. Zaccagni reported that Mr. Gricar had just over $100,000 in joint accounts with his daughter.2  This raised a lot of questions, based on Mr. Gricar’s income.3  Mr. Gricar’s close friend, Steve Sloane, “Wow!  "He should have had more money than that, I would think. He wasn't into investing. He wasn't very into 401(k)s or IRAs.”2

            The questions raised by “Missed Leads,” just in regard to Mr. Gricar’s finances were two-fold.  Why did Mr. Gricar put his money into joint accounts with his daughter?  Why did his assets seem to be so low?

            We can skip forward to 2010, when District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller was interviewed for the Investigative Discovery program Disappeared.  The program aired on February 28, 2011,4 but was filmed in October of 2010.5  She said, “You know, we have one person working on the financial part of it to try to create a picture of what went on financially."

            That raises the question.  Why there would be a need to try to create a picture of Mr. Gricar’s finances?

            Finally, we have a comment from the “family spokesman,” Tony Gricar, who commented in an article by David Lohr, which appeared on AOL.com, on January 26, 2011.  He said, “He was making a fair amount of money; but, at least from a forensic accounting standpoint, the thought is there that there should have been more cash."6

            This raises a very basic question.  Why didn’t Mr. Gricar have more money in his accounts?  The people raising questions are not just the members of the “chattering class” on the Internet, though we are raising it.  It isn’t just the members of the Press either.  We are getting questions coming from people that were Mr. Gricar’s friends, his family members, and people involved in law enforcement.

            It is a reasonable question as well.  In the eight prior to his disappearance, Mr. Gricar gross salary was over $100,000 per year.  Even going back to the time that he was divorced in 2001, a single Ray Gricar was grossing more than $115,000 each year.  We would expect Mr. Gricar to have saved up a lot of money during that period, considering his somewhat modest lifestyle.

            There is some documentation of Mr. Gricar’s finances that is a matter of public record; they are not secret or private.  Recently, some of us in the “chattering class,” and I am a member of the chattering class, looked at some of it.  It is only a partial picture of Mr. Gricar’s finances in the years before he disappeared and the remainder after he disappeared, but it is more than we have ever seen.  Over the next few weeks, we will examine what the publicly available documentation shows.  It will change the odds, ultimately, on what happened to Ray Gricar.

              End Notes


1 http://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2005/08/17/FBI-to-scan-photos-of-DA-his-look-alike-from-Texas.html


2 http://www.centredaily.com/2006/05/13/3802/missed-leads.html#storylink=cpy


3 A rough breakdown of Mr. Gricar’s salary will hopefully be the subject of a future blog.  His public salary is a matter of public record.


4 http://www.centredaily.com/2011/03/01/2550766/discovery-is-the-right-name.html


5 http://www.centredaily.com/2010/10/07/2257319/discovery-channel-series-investigating.html


6 http://z10.invisionfree.com/usedtobedoe/index.php?showtopic=2226&st=40


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

E-mail J. J. in Phila at scorg@live.com