A new chapter has been added to the ongoing Jerry Sandusky-Penn State scandal that’s slowly captivated the nation: what happened to the district attorney (DA) who investigated allegations of Sandusky being inappropriate with at least one little boy back in 1998?
In the 23-page grand jury report released last weekend that more or less initiated the firestorm we've seen over the last week, there were some throwaway mentions made about a similar investigation of Sandusky that occurred in 1998. At the time, the then defensive coordinator of Penn State’s football team, was accused of “inappropriate touching” in the showers by two boys.
Ultimately, then Centre County DA Ray Gricar felt for whatever reason, there wasn’t enough prosecutable evidence to charge Sandusky. As per last Saturday’s report: the DA “decided there would be no criminal charges.”
Many suspect that it was those 1998 allegations that forced then Penn State head coach Joe Paterno to inform Sandusky that he would never get the head coaching job following Paterno’s retirement, despite the fact Sandusky up to that point had always been viewed as the heir apparent. (By the way, this is what makes the gross incompetence that has gone on at Penn State over the last decade all the more unforgiveable).
Sandusky retired shortly thereafter.
But what has gone unmentioned over the last week is the mysterious fate that awaited the DA involved in that 1998 investigation – Gricar. According to the New York Daily News, a few months before he was due to retire, Gricar literally disappeared. Following a drive to Lewisburg, PA. to go antique shopping, he vanished and was never heard from again.
“It’s literally a mystery,” Bellefonte Borough Police Chief Shawn Weaver told the Daily News. “The man vanished, period. No human trace has been found. There’s only one of three things that could have happened to him — a suicide, homicide or he just walked away.”
A lawyer representing Gricar’s family told the paper that there was no way he had committed suicide, despite what some believe.
“He was a very well-respected attorney at the peak of his career,” said Amos Goodall. “I knew Ray for 25 years. He was planning on retiring. He was happy, healthy, in a good relationship. I know how much he loved his daughter.”
The attorney refused to speculate on whether or not Gricar was murdered, although he did say that he was “absolutely convinced” that the former DA was deceased.
While some believe that suicide was not the case, evidence found after the fact paints a different picture. Among the items examined following an investigation into Gricar’s disappearance was his home computer. On that computer, authorities discovered searches for how to destroy a hard drive and what water damage could do to a hard drive.
On the topic of Gricar’s investigation of Sandusky, his daughter had this to say to the Daily News:
“I can only imagine that he would have prosecuted if he had enough information,” she said.
“He’d have prosecuted the President of the United States if he thought he had a case,” Goodall said. “He was committed and fearless.”