Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Post Modern Cultural Value

We are a country of blame. When something terrible occurs, it’s our natural reaction to blame someone, anyone for what happened. For example the Penn State scandal that has been in the news recently. Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with over 40 counts of child sexual assault and has allegedly molested at least eight boys over the years. He is obviously the easiest to blame since he was the one that actually did the assaulting. But there is others who are also being blamed in this horrific crime. The Penn State Head Football Coach was fired after serving 62 years at the university. He was fired because there was evidence that he didn’t go through the proper avenues in reporting Sandusky’s incidents. Another person blamed is Penn State Offensive Coordinator Mike McQueary. It is reported that he is the person who actually witnessed one of Sandusky’s sexual acts with an underaged boy. This incident took place reportedly in the locker room shower located at the university. The public also believes McQueary did not do enough for the victims of these senseless acts. There also has been the mention of a prosecutor connected to this scandal. His name is Ray Gricar. He was the district attorney of Centre County in Pennsylvania for over 20 years. 
I first heard about Gricar while watching my favorite channel Investigation Discovery. I was watching a show called Disappeared. This show is about people who go missing for unexplained reasons. Families of the missing plead to the public for help and for any information that will lead to the recovery [dead or alive] of their loved ones. While watching Disappeared one night, the story of Ray Gricar came on. I thought nothing of it. I just watched it like I watched other episodes of Disappeared. It was an intriguing episode because it was filled with uncertainty and suspense. He went off on a drive to get away from the stresses of his job, and he never returned. His red Mini Cooper was found. So was his cell phone, laptop, and hard drive...but no Ray Gricar. I immediately thought there might be a connection between his disappearance and one of his dangerous cases he has worked on in the past. I watched this episode maybe a year ago. Now warp to a couple weeks ago and his name was mentioned again. He is now known for being the district attorney who didn’t charge Sandusky back in 1998. 
There are many explanations that both the authorities and the public are coming up with regarding the disappearance of Ray Gricar. Some say suicide. Some say he was kidnapped and murdered. And finally, some say he was paid off by Penn State so he would stay hush hush about the Sandusky scandal. Jerry Sandusky was seen as a god at that school and anything that could hurt his reputation or the university’s reputation could be deadly.
I believe populism plays a large part in the Ray Gricar disappearance. When disappearances occur, many resources are used to find the missing. Lately, the use of psychics have added a whole new element to investigations. Back in the day, psychics were looked down upon by the public who compared them to witches and Satanic worshipers. Now psychic investigation is welcomed by the public thanks to the media. There are shows on TV nowadays like Psychic Detectives and The Dead Files which I feel has helped society cope and welcome the use of psychics in police investigations. With the Gricar case, a psychic was brought in to add some insight to the investigation. Her name was Carla Baron and she said that the missing 59-year-old district attorney was killed.  This is the scenario of his death that she laid out: Gricar, who was planning on retiring at the end of 2005, had stumbled upon some information of an illegal scheme that threatened the income and reputation of several people. He stumbled upon this information about four to six weeks before his disappearance and was planning on passing this information to someone higher in the government. Those in this scheme found out Gricar was on to them and began following him. Baron said, “It was too much of a danger to them and their the root of this is a lot of money.” She doesn’t believe they planned on kidnapping Gricar on April 15, but the opportunity presented itself when he drove out of town. When Gricar parked his car at the antique shop in Lewisburg, he was approached by two men in a tan, four-door car. The driver leaned in Gricar’s passenger window and showed him a gun beneath his shirt. “I could see the hairs on the guy’s arm leaning in,” she said. The man apparently threatened Gricar and they left in Gricar’s Mini Cooper. A man in the back seat used plastic ties to secure Gricar’s hands behind his back. “The reason he went with them, he didn’t want any harm to come to the people he loved,” Baron said. “The threat was on the table.” She believed the men took Gricar to a large warehouse with a series of bay doors that roll up. She believes a road runs parallel to the warehouse and there are railroad tracks that go up and slope back down again. She thinks Route 15 will come into play at some point, and she also sees an underpass with concrete buttresses. Baron believes the attackers copied what was on Gricar’s laptop computer, and then destroyed it. She believes they killed Gricar that night he disappeared and buried him in a shallow grave near the warehouse so they could keep an eye out on it. “The same people that picked up Ray are not the ones who killed him,” Baron said. “I have a feeling we’re going to find them and connect them to this before we find Ray.” She believes Gricar’s body is five to 15 minutes away from the spot in Lewisburg where his car was found (
Regardless if you believe in psychics or not, I think investigators should give this lady a chance. It’s definitely worth a shot since all other leads have gotten nowhere. I think it’s interesting how Baron mentions that his disappearance/murder has something to do with a case he was just about to break. Hmm could that be the Penn State case? We can only wonder.

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