Bumping up what I believe is a very good, well-written website on Mr. Gricar's disappearance.
This is from an Assistant DA who worked with Ray every day for years. I believe what she says, for the most part, except I do hold out hope that in the lack of evidence of foul play ( no blood, no signs of struggles), he IS alive and well, hopefully in Rio or somewhere else beautiful.
Although Ms. Arnold never comes right out and says, she has stated that she believes Mr. Gricar is dead, and that his live in " paramour" as she terms Patti Fornicola ( ? not sure of last name) was the person involved in Mr. Gricar's disappearance and murder for personal gain. Although I don't think Patti is telling all she knows, I don't think she killed Mr. Gricar or had him killed, either. JMO.
The website is good, IMO, mainly because it gives quite a lot of background history about who Mr. Gricar was, what his values were, and how he conducted his business life during the years that Ms. Arnold knew and worked with him. IF he planned his own disappearance for reasons which we cannot possibly know, then I believe he would have done so thoroughly and systematically, just as he apparently planned every aspect of his life.
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Apparently, he loved his car. It is said to have been registered and titled to his live- in girlfriend, meaning she is the legal owner, although no one knows why. One of the other mysteries about the car. I don't even know where it is these 3 years later- if it was returned to her or kept as possible evidence. I would HOPE that has been and remains properly impounded, but I don't know.
UNLESS A LINK IS POSTED, MY POSTS REFLECT MY OPINION ONLY.
District Attornies React to News Conference
WTAJ - Altoona,PA,USA
Buehner called the investigation into Gricar's dissaspearance shameful- and offered several suggestions about evidence. District Attorneys came to ...
DAs hold conference
The Daily Collegian Online - University Park,PA,USA
By Leslie Small Bob Buehner thinks the case of missing Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar was handled incorrectly -- but his fellow district ...
Danville News - Danville,PA,USA
That there is little to support the contention that Ray Gricar was a victim of a crime is a poor excuse for not approaching the matter as though a crime had ...
State DAs dispute lack of effort in Gricar search
Clearfield Progress - Clearfield,PA,USA
... Montour County District Attorney Robert Buehner regarding the investigation into the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar. ...
Several DAs back probe of missing prosecutor
Philadelphia Inquirer - Philadelphia,PA,USA
"Ray Gricar's case is tough, but it has been handled right." Buehner, who described himself as a good friend of Gricar, started the firestorm Tuesday after ...
DA association announces support of Madeira
The Daily Collegian Online - University Park,PA,USA
In April 2005, Gricar left work in his red Mini Cooper and was never heard from again. "Ray Gricar's case is tough, but it has been handled correctly," read ...
AG Corbett's letter to Montour DA
Centre Daily Times - Centre,PA,USA
Furthermore, as you know I immediately offered the services of this office and our airplane to aid in the search for Ray Gricar. ...
Glad to see it, Christine! This case needs to be solved!
"WE SEEK FOR THE TRUTH. WE SEEK JUSTICE.
THE COURTS REQUIRE IT. THE VICTIMS CRY FOR IT
AND GOD DEMANDS IT!"
A quote spray painted on the wall by search
and rescue workers, Team 5, at the OKC Bombing site 4-19-1995.
What I post are my opinions only.
Does anyone know why she was fired in 2006?
'The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated'
This is such a strange situation. Ms Arnold lays out a lot of information but I don't feel ready to "render a verdict" that she suggests. People often conceal depression because of the stigma attached and suicides sometimes "stage" disappearances for the same reason. I find the fact that his brother pulled off a walkoff/suicide 9 years earlier to the day, very significant. It is possible that he left "clues" (like smoke in his car) to sugest murder, then walked off to some remote spot, concealed himself under brush and shot himself. Such things are not that unusual. He may have perfered that people remember him as the victim of a mysterious murder plot rather than a suicide.
I question Arnolds use of the term "paramour". It is a sort of archic word with sleazy connocations. Why not "girlfriend". I am about Ray's age; I have a "girlfriend", I don't have a "paramour". Arnolds casts some dark shadows on Patti without providing much substance.
Ray put his car; the PT Cruzer he regularly drove, in Patti's name. Thus is became "hers" when he disappeared. Hardly a motive for murder. The reason he gave for this is bogus however. All government employees are "exposed " to the problem of
nuisance lawsuits. Due to a legal "quirk", it is rather difficlt to file a suit against a government entity. Therfore if someone is mad at ABC corporation, they will sue ABC corporation. If they are mad a Bixpy county however, they will "sue" the Bixpy county employee who pissed them off. All government entities have some arrangement to protect their emplyee's from these lwasuits. There are thousands of DA's in this country and most own property, investments, cars and businesses. This was not a real concern of Rays. It might have been a way to make sure Pattie got the car without appearing that he was "planning something".
I don't know if Patti will get his pension. She will definitly have to wait untill he is declaired legally dead. Then it all depends on the wording of his pension (definition of survivor), and the Pennsylvainia "Common law marriage" provision.
A point that Arnold makes is that while everyone involved in the investigation seems to believe it is either a walkoff or a suicide, certain key evidence has been held back because it is still an open investigation. The only type of "open" investigation that would require any evidence to be held back would be a "criminal" investigation. The ivestigaters deny that any of this held back material (phone records, financial records etc) is significant but it would put speculation to rest.
As it is, this is a great mystery. I'm leaning towards suicide but until a body turns up or something knew shakes the investigation up, there will be a certain cloud of suspicion over everyone involved,
Hiya Kemo. Great post! Thanks for joining in this discussion w/us. All opinions are welcome! All possiblities and ideas should and need to be explored until the answers are known, IMO.
A couple of things...acccording to Tony, his father Roy, had suffered from bipolar disorder, Ray did not have any history of mental health issues.
Now, even though I am one to disagree w/the theory he commited suicide...you mentioned Roy shooting himself. He did not. It is even more in line w/what appears to have happened to Ray......
Nine years ago Roy had just retired from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, when he disappeared. He had told his wife he was going out to buy mulch, and never returned. Two days later, his car was found at a Dayton park near the Great Miami River. His body was later recovered, and Roy's death was ruled a suicide.
Also...would Patty get his pension? Were they living together long enough to be considered common law? I do not recall that info.
Also, Ray drove a white Mini Cooper...not that it matters.
I'm I thinking of the wrong case? I thought he committed suicide by jumping off a bridge, but they never found the body.
Time is not so much a factor as whether the couple "holds themselves out as married." They did not do so. Pennsylvania courts have recently split on the subject of recognition of common law marriage, but would agree that Ray and Patti were not spouses for the purpose of intestate inheritance.
However, he may have been able to designate her as the beneficiary of his pension in the event of his death. Depends on the terms of the pension plan.
A few clarifications;
I am not completly sold on the suivide theory. Was was only speculating on how Ray could have done it. Apparently his medical records indicated no history of depression but men, more frequently than women, do conceal it from everyone including their doctors.
I mentioned the issue of the title of the car ( it was a Mini Cooper) because it does support the suicide theory. Putting the title in Patti's name when it was his car that he drove might suggest he was planning "something". By having a reason for doing this, however screwy it was, and teling others at the office about it, could be seen as a way of mitigating any issues the title would have raised had he later turned up missing.
The way most State and local pensions work is that the employee pays into a fund as long as he works. When he qualifies for retirement , the "fund" converts to aa annuity. If he dies before he retires, minor children and "qualified " spouses would get a (probably reduced) annuity. Every state has its own laws pertaining to "common law marriages". The majority of states have no comon law marriage at all.
Pennsylvainia did have one at the time of Ray's dissapearance. If their relationship met the requirements of that Pennsylvania law, they would be legally married and, I assume, Patti would qualify for a widow's annuity if Ray were to be declaired legally dead. ( she may have to wait to meet the age requirement). There may be a "length of marriage" requirement. Since the 7 year wait to be declaired legally dead would count, that shouldn't be a problem for Patti as long as she does nothing to change her condition of marriage (like getting divorced or "marrying" someone else). If there is no spouse or minor child and the employee dies before he retires, the "fund" becomes part of his estate. That will be sorted out in 7 years.
Since he qualified for a pension in less than a year, it seems inconcievible that he would "walk off" penniless at age 58 to start a new life.
I suspect that LE determined that it was suicide pretty early in the game and did not want to "waste" resources investigating a crime they did not believe occured. It does seem that the suspicious disappearance of a DA would warrent a better investigation than he got.
What I don't see is any kind of Motive. No one has mentioned a case that would lead to killing the DA, he was going to retire in 9 months, (anyone at the office who wanted him gone could certainly wait that long) and there doesn't appear to be anything in his personal live that would give anyone a reason to kill him.
Its a real mystery that may never be solved. Perhaps thats what he wanted.
Originally Posted by Kemo
Shortly before his disappearance, Gricar's photograph was posted on the internet in a press release trumpeting the heroin arrests, and the grand jury investigation.
The March 31, 2005 press release from the office of State Attorney General Tom Corbett relates, "'This is the largest heroin operation that we have ever seen in Centre County,' Corbett said, 'feeding a drug trade that stretched throughout the region and allegedly resulted in at least one deadly overdose.'"
"Corbett identified the alleged leader of the drug organization as Taji 'Verbal' Lee, 24, originally from Newark, New Jersey. Lee is currently being held in the Centre County Jail on related drug charges....
Another drug prosecutor vanishes
on a Pennsylvania car ride
Yes, there are similarities with the Jon Luna case. (I am not aware that there was any conection in any of their cases.) There is also a case in Seattle where a federal prosecutor who was murdered and his coworkers feel OIG to quickly accepted the conclusion of the local PD that it was "non-job related".
I have never heard of a Perp being suspected of killing the DA who was procecuting him. DA's, unlike say witnesses, are not that vital to a case. They are easily replaced. It may have happened. I think anyone who works in a job where they can find themselves in advesarial situations expect their employer to be concerned for their safety. Anytime PR, financial considerations or careerism seems to come at the expense of saftey, employees will react strongly. I think that is what has happened in these cases: The perception that it is more convenient for the agency ivolved to dismiss these cases as "non-job related" than to get to the bottom of what really happened.
Was Ray going to be the Prosecutor in that case or was he a witness of some sort? I think it is really strange that he disappeared right before that case went to trial. Maybe someone wanted him out of the way. He could have been watched with someone just waiting for the chance to get him alone.
I can't believe that his case hasn't received more attention and investigation. Who calls in grief counselors a couple days after someone goes missing when there is no proof that they are dead? I've never heard of such a thing. To me it just goes to show that they had their mind made up right from the start...he committed suicide so let's get the grief counselors in. Ray was one of their own. It seems that they would have pulled out all of the stops to find him. Theresa Parker was a dispatcher and LE never stopped looking for her or looking to get the goods on Sam Parker. They still haven't given up on finding her body and Sam has been arrested. That is the way LE should react. Poor Ray was just kicked to the curb.
I don't think that Ray committed suicide. The reason I feel that way is because he lived through his brother's suicide. He not only suffered but he witnessed how it affected his brother's sons. I just don't think he would have done that to his daughter or his brother's sons. I think someone murdered Ray. Who and why may be something we will never know. The whole thing is just really sad and feels like LE and Rays friends and co-workers could care less with the exception of Karen. I'm not sure about Patty or where she fits into this. I hope Ray's daughter gets his pension.
This is a nice summary of the back and forth of the recent event, from the surprise new conference to the last newsworthy event. http://community.centredaily.com/?q=node/5325
In hindsight, it does seem the accusations have some politically motivation to them. And some real life human emotion, too (why haven't you solved the murder of my friend?). The PA state AG is running for some state office, the Centre County DA is not well liked. And the Montour county DA was slighted by one or the other somewhere in the past. The PA state District Attorney's Association (who knew there was such a group, and what do they do) seems to be able to get several DAs togeter for a news conference, but they cannot explain anything about the facts involved (or lack thereof).
It will be interesting to see what develops next.
IMO, there is the possibility that it could all be one big smokescreen... starting with the cigarette butts/ ashes found in and around his car ( a pun for " smokescreen" which might have been understood by the people who were SUPPOSED to understand) and continuing now with the DAs and AGs and so forth acting like Keystone Cops. IF they know he's safe and in hiding, of course they are going to have to cover somehow. Delay, delay delay. It's worked in this country for quite a lot of years.
I had much rather think that he left under protection due to a developing situation like the Luna case than to think that he was murdered due to a case.
Then, there's the possibility of a personally motivated murder. I wondered if Arnold's suspicions about Patti were right, but decided I don't know enough about Patti to make such a judgment. Then, I decided that Arnold just doesn't like or trust Patti. Women are like that a lot.I am a woman so I can say it.
What does that leave? Accidental death at the hand of another, deliberately covered up? Natural death, body not found? I don't think either one's plausible. Gricar was on the cusp of retirement, so rivalry in a political race doesn't pan out at all. I highly doubt Patti had him killed. He wasn't that affluent, and they seemed to get along well enough.
I see no motives or signs of a personally motivated murder, for a hit, for a suicide ( IOW, he didn't seem to have stopped doing things he enjoyed). He was apparently very much a person of habit, doing the same things in the same ways.
IF I was him and was going to plan a safe disappearance for my personal safety, I might very well look to my own family history of the brother who jumped off a bridge and copy SOME elements of the successful suicide. I am leaning more towards that being what happened than anything else.
He had no family except a grown daughter and a fairly non-serious relationship with Patti, was at retirement age, didn't spend anywhere near his salary level so could have had offshore accounts for some time just in case, and could have been helped to disappear.
If I had to guess, I would say that this will always be an unsolved case.
UNLESS A LINK IS POSTED, MY POSTS REFLECT MY OPINION ONLY.
I wonder how many of these DAs are up for re-election? It's really bizarre for them to comment.. but then again, they're all colleagues and a part of the bar.
I'm going to address and question several points in this same post.
1) Did Ray really disappear 9 years to the day after his brother's suicide? It's been so long that I don't remember that detail now. I agree that that would be quite significant.
2) I completely agree about the use of the word paramour. I actually found it offensive. Such a judgemental word. Clearly the author has a great dislike of Fornicola.
3) It is extremely odd that they would have grief counselors in on Monday. Extremely odd. How could they even know at that point that Ray didn't just go off on a get-away weekend?
4) I think that if Ray was depressed enough to take his own life that he would have done it regardless of how it would make others feel. Considering suicide has to be such an atrociously dark, horrible place. I imagine that if one is suffering to that degree, the desire to make the pain go away far outweighs the feelings of others. No matter how much someone loves other people and no matter much you know that your death would devastate them, it really isn't about anyone else in those moments. Some depressed people even rationalize that once the people around them get over the initial pain, they'll actually be better off without them. So I don't think that having experienced the pain that his brother's suicide had caused would have stopped Ray if he was having ideas about taking his own life.
5) Was Patty & Ray's relationship serious or not? I thought I recalled them having been together for a while and also living together. I wouldn't call living together a non-serious relationship. And while I do believe that their relationship would have qualified as common-law marriage, having to wait seven years to receive his pension sure isn't a quick payout. Unless he had some mega insurance policy, I can't imagine finances being a motive for Patty to kill Ray. Honestly, as far as I can recall, I remember Patty seeming pretty genuine. IMO.
Ray Gricar: Morganelli's coming | community.centredaily.com
... In the Battle of District Attorneys last week, Corbett and Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira were blasted by Montour District Attorney Bob Buehner and former Clinton County DA Ted McKnight. The pair ripped Corbett and Madeira for not appearing to care whether Gricar's case was solved, ignoring leads he said he wrote to Madeira about and appearing to be content to ignore the entire matter...
(I really wish we knew more about the ignored leads.)
IMO, there's no reasonable explanation as to why they wouldn't have questioned her in-depth about what she saw. Are they simply so arrogant that they don't want to change their timeline? Are they trying to cover something up or shut someone up? Did they already know what happened to Ray and so they don't need her information (although that would be extremely suspicious and I imagine that they would have taken her statement regardless, if for no other reason than to avoid making it appear fishy). I've never been able to rectify that fact in my mind.