Happy Scribe
[00:00:00]

Today's episode was made possible by a wilderness of error on its 50 years ago, Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald was charged with the murders of his pregnant wife and two young daughters. To this day, though, he maintains his innocence, claiming that a group of hippies imitating the Manson family committed the atrocities from the award winning producers of The Jinx comes a wilderness of error. A new documentary series that re-examines this infamous case to finally answer the questions. Did the media shape public opinion and helped convict an innocent man?

[00:00:38]

Or did Jeffrey MacDonald kill his family?

[00:00:43]

A wilderness of error concludes Friday, October 2nd on Fox, now streaming on Hulu High Crime Junkies.

[00:00:52]

I'm Ashley Flowers. And I'm Brett and Strapon Folks because I have got a case for you today that's going to make your head spin.

[00:01:00]

This is one that I followed for a long time. And to me it's like a real crime junkie case because nothing about it makes sense. And the more I learned, the more questions I have about what happened to Ray Gricar.

[00:01:47]

In 2005, Ray Gricar was a D.A. working out of Pennsylvania and counting down the days till his retirement. Now in April.

[00:01:55]

He was a mere eight months away and it literally could not come fast enough now that he had any big plans. In fact, having no big plans sounded really nice, like that was his big plan.

[00:02:05]

He just wanted to hit the road with his girlfriend, Patty, drive across the country, maybe visit his grown daughter like no real plans or agenda other than not having one, which is to me, golf sounds amazing.

[00:02:17]

Ray had met his girlfriend Patty at work and the two found a wonderful companionship in one another and they eventually moved in together. So when the two woke up in bed together on the morning of April 15th, it was supposed to be like any other day, a work. Yeah, it's tax day. Yeah, tax day.

[00:02:36]

Literally, like the most mundane of day, truly. But on this morning, Ray told his girlfriend, you know what? I'm playing hooky today. Good for you. Patty thinks she, like, knows how hard he's been working. He deserves a day off. So she gets up, starts getting ready for the day. Now, according to the disappeared episode titled A Family's Curse, Patty left a note before she walked out of the door that day.

[00:02:59]

She said she had some errands to run over her lunch break. So if he could take care of the dog, that would be great. But if he wasn't going to be around, she needed him to let her know so that she could stop back by the house.

[00:03:10]

So Patty goes to work another day, another dollar, totally normal. Then at 11, 30, her phone rings and it's Ray. He was calling to tell Patty that he was out on the road just taking a drive along 192 and he wasn't going to be back home around lunch, take care of the dog. So she was going to need to.

[00:03:28]

Not a problem. She says, like, I'll pop back in the house. They share a goodbye. They say, I love you before hanging up. And the rest of the day is completely uneventful for Patty. Now, she's a little surprised when she gets home around five, 10 and there's still no Ray. But Surprized is not worried like quickly. Her mind is already filling up like the blanks, like maybe he's out. Maybe he went somewhere.

[00:03:49]

Zero worries. So Patty goes to the local gym, she works out, and then she gets home like two hours later and Ray is still gone.

[00:03:58]

And now she's running out of excuses to make like he should be back by now. She starts calling his phone once, twice, then more and more and more. And every time there's no answers and her calls become more and more frequent as eleven o'clock at night comes and goes, Patti knows something is wrong. And by the time eleven thirty hits, it's been twelve hours since she's been in contact with Ray, so she decides to call 911 and report him missing.

[00:04:30]

Wallace McKelvy wrote about this case for Penn Live, which is Patriot News, and he said that from the start this case was handled differently than standard missing person cases because the local law enforcement was all familiar with Ray because the local law enforcement was familiar with Ray. They put out a be on the lookout for him right away for both him actually and his vehicle.

[00:04:52]

And they do this the same night that Patty calls in. But the BOLO doesn't do much all that night and into the morning.

[00:04:59]

No one spots Ray or his car, which is like this little red Mini Cooper.

[00:05:03]

Oh, yeah. That definitely be hard to miss. Right.

[00:05:05]

So knowing he isn't just like driving around still and his car hasn't been spotted at any local places, a full search goes underway by the next morning on the sixteenth. Now, based on Ray's last known communication with Patty, they start their search along 192, which is great that they have a place to start. But this is a huge stretch of road that doesn't really narrow down their search much. So all day the search goes on, helicopters, dogs, land, air, like the whole kit and caboodle.

[00:05:35]

And hours passed with no sign of Ray or his car until about six thirty at night when a state trooper is driving in the town of Lewisburg, which is a town that's about like fifty miles or so away from where Ray lived and they're parked across from this antiques shopping mall is a bright red Mini Cooper.

[00:05:58]

The trooper runs the plates and sure enough, it's Ray now. He wasn't in the car, but surely they'd find him because according to the trooper, the keys weren't anywhere to be found, like the car was locked.

[00:06:11]

And this particular area, this particular mall, Ray, had been there a bunch of times before with Patty, like he had to be nearby, or at least they thought that at first, once investigators were notified that the car had been found and they'd take a closer look at it and what was inside, they become less confident that they were any closer to Ray because inside the car they found his work cell phone, which had been turned off. And more interestingly, they found cigarette ash near the passenger side of the car, which is a big deal because a.

[00:06:46]

According to all the sources I read for this case, Ray didn't smoke and he didn't like the smell of it at all, like everyone who knew him said that he definitely wouldn't have been smoking and he probably wouldn't have even been OK with someone else in his car smoking. So at this point, no one knew how the car got there or even if Ray was the one to put it there. But they knew that it was a clue. So the car was taken away for processing and they did find a number of prints on the car, but none that were usable.

[00:07:15]

Well, if someone was smoking, did they find any, like, cigarette butts, like they can pull DNA off of those, right.

[00:07:20]

So, yeah, potentially. So in that a family curse episode, they did say that cigarette butts were collected from the parking lot. They didn't say anything about inside the car and they were able to pull DNA off at least one of them.

[00:07:33]

But it didn't match anyone in the database, which we know doesn't necessarily mean it's not related to the case, but it does mean that for now, there's nothing we can do with it. And it doesn't get us any closer to finding Rae. People who knew Ray come together from far and wide to help look for him like Ray's daughter flew in. Even his nephews from Ohio came out. And when they all talk, there are a number of theories that arise from the totally innocuous two things that are a little bit darker at first.

[00:08:03]

Friends who knew Ray suggested maybe he just left town for a minute without telling anyone, you know, just like he did before.

[00:08:11]

What do you mean before the. So apparently one day years before, without telling anyone, Ray just bounced and he drove from his home all the way to Cleveland to watch a baseball game like he's from Ohio. So he knew that area was like big into like the Indians.

[00:08:27]

And he came home safe and sound and was back to work by Monday morning. He just said he needed to get away. And so they're thinking like maybe this was that all over again. And, you know, maybe I can see why people would want to cling to that hope early on. But that theory stop making sense after they found his car and not him at the antiques mall. Like, sure, maybe he passed out and went to a place he's been a ton like he did love the antique mall, but where is he now?

[00:08:55]

Like, he couldn't get very far leaving his car behind. And on top of that, his girlfriend and daughter had been doing press conferences telling Ray, like, everyone is looking for you, like, please come home. I'm sure this is a misunderstanding. But even after all of that, Ray never surfaced. And that's when a darker realization came into focus. The circumstances around Ray's disappearance almost mirrored his brothers, who went missing ten years before.

[00:09:26]

It was Ray's nephews who first brought it up, their dad, Ray's brother, had gone missing a decade before he said that he was just going out to buy some mulch and then never came home. Now, eventually, they found his car abandoned in a park near a bridge over water. Now, here they were again looking for Ray. They found his abandoned car, which just so happened to be near a bridge over water. So it was feeling eerily similar.

[00:09:56]

Now, in his brother's case, his body was recovered from the river a few days after finding his car, and it was eventually ruled a suicide. So everyone kept wondering if maybe that's what happened here in a dark time. Did Ray mirror his brother's death? OK, but like what? Dark time? Like, was there something going on? Did he suffer from depression or.

[00:10:18]

Well, from what we know clinically, no. There are no medical records that the public has ever been privy to that would suggest he suffered from depression. But that doesn't mean that he didn't, you know, like many people who suffer often don't get treatment. Right. And especially in like an older generation, like, it's more likely that they just don't talk about things, you know.

[00:10:38]

Right. So it is possible that he was depressed that day or had been for a while. You know, looking back, people tend to read situations differently after someone goes missing. And so some were saying that Ray was acting despondent in the days leading up to his disappearance.

[00:10:52]

Others say they would have never seen it coming. And it's hard to imagine because most of his actions before this did seem so normal, like they found footage of Ray from the night before he went missing, walking into his office. And then he was like working there for a couple hours. And then you see footage of him like coming out a couple of hours later. And people look at that footage and they say, look, look, he's fine.

[00:11:14]

But research shows and probably those who suffer from depression will know that most of the time the decision to take one's life is made quickly. Not that the idea just springs up all at once. According to a live science article on the statistics and warning signs of suicide, 75 percent of people who will attempt suicide actually talk about their thoughts and feelings before the act. But according to Harvard's analysis of the Houston study, 71 percent make the decision to take their own life in less than an hour.

[00:11:46]

So saying that Ray is fine on camera 15 hours before he went missing can't rule out the possibility that he did take his own life that morning. But either way, if Ray was sad, if he did take his own life, it would be just a matter of time before his body surfaced. Until then, they had to keep treating this as a missing persons case, which meant talking to shop owners at the antique mall to see if they saw anything around the time that Ray's car would have made it there.

[00:12:15]

And it turns out that they did. According to that Penn Live article written by Wallace McQuivey, there were a small number of sightings of Ray. At least one person saw Ray sitting in his car, quote, rubbing his face and talking on his phone and quote, which could be telling could mean nothing. We don't have, like Ray's cell phone records to compare times and calls. Without that, this sighting, to me at least, seems kind of meaningless.

[00:12:41]

But the other sighting of Ray is not at least one person, possibly more. It's a little bit hard to tell from my sources, but at least one person saw Ray in a store at that antiques mall where his car was parked across from now. This isn't surprising because, again, he'd been there before.

[00:12:58]

What was surprising was that Ray was seen there with a woman. Oh, right now, at first you hear that.

[00:13:06]

And the implication is like, oh, there's another woman. Right. But every time I have heard this described, all of the sources say that it seemed like maybe these two bumped into one another and had a friendly conversation, maybe walked around together a little bit.

[00:13:22]

But that to everyone, it didn't seem romantic. I mean, you hear that he's with a woman, romantic or not, like we want to find her. Yeah. Here's the thing, though, and this makes me want to scream. The police get a description of this woman, dark hair, maybe 30, 40, about five, nine.

[00:13:40]

And according to Sara Ganim reporting for Penn Live, they never release this to the public until 13 months after Ray had been missing. What? Yeah, that is a huge span of time in this investigation.

[00:13:55]

And here's how it kind of played out in the first couple of days of the investigation.

[00:14:00]

The investigators thought they knew who this was.

[00:14:03]

Apparently, there was a woman who had known Ray for a very long time. They were very good friends. And she, at least at one time was a smoker and she fit the description. So when they go to find her and tell her that Ray's missing, see if she was the person that he was with, she is Mia, too. So they think like, oh, we found him. He is. In fact, like with this woman and kind of ran off, but they quickly learned that this woman was just away visiting family, and when they finally do make contact with her, she says she hasn't seen Ray.

[00:14:38]

So now they're right back to where they started. Now, it's been days. Now nobody has turned up in the river. They don't know why Ray's car was parked across from the mall or who he met inside. And to me, this seems like a perfectly good point to announce to the public that you have a missing guy and you're looking for the person that was last seen with him. But again, for completely unknown reasons, the police hold back that information about the woman.

[00:15:05]

I mean, maybe they did think that he went off with this woman but wanted to protect him like he always has a girlfriend, his family. They didn't want them to know.

[00:15:15]

Maybe, maybe. But but again, I go back to you know, we know in hindsight they wait 13 months. I get maybe not telling everyone, day one, we wait for him to show up. But when you're like a couple of days out now and not anywhere close to finding him, but 13 month just seems like a really long time.

[00:15:35]

Yeah, but I think you're on to something because I think this idea of him being with this woman or whatever starts to kind of shape this new theory that maybe Ray just walked away from his life and wanted to start over like there's another woman.

[00:15:50]

Or maybe this is extreme, though, like he and Patti weren't married. Like, if he didn't want to be with her, just break up. I guess it sounds simple, but like by running away and disappearing on Patti, literally, I mean, he still has a daughter. Like if he runs away from Patty, he can never contact his daughter again now. And that's what I'm saying to me, like a little bit walking away just to be with someone else doesn't make a whole lot of sense, especially when you think about how close he was to retirement and the fact that after his disappearance, his bank cards were never used and he left something like 100000 dollars just sitting in the bank now for a month during the investigation, nothing happens.

[00:16:32]

Raise money stays untouched. No one hears from him. And still a body never surfaces, making the idea of suicide harder and harder for some to believe. Now, eventually, a psychic is consulted by police and this psychic says that she can see or sense or whatever psychics do, she can see a construction worker lean into Ray's car. And she says that as this construction worker is leaning in and talking to him, he's also smoking a cigarette. Now, this is interesting because at this point in the investigation, the fact that police found ash in that front seat wasn't widely known by anyone.

[00:17:13]

But there is no construction worker that they can link to Ray. And so that lead goes nowhere. The longer he is gone with no contact with his family without touching his money, it also becomes harder to believe that he just walked away.

[00:17:30]

That is, until July of 2005, when something is found that completely changes the way everyone would view this investigation. Today's episode is brought to you by thread up, I'm not really sure where my head was, but I was fully convinced that maybe you could wear her winter coat from last year, you know, when she was like one and a half years old again this year when she is racing towards a three year old mark. But guess what? I was wrong.

[00:18:03]

And as soon as I realized last year's little coat would not be zipped up, I went straight to thread up to find an amazing deal on a coat for her threat. Up is the world's largest online thrift store, with up to 90 percent of estimated retail, which means I scored not only an amazing Oreo winter coat for me at a fraction of the price. I also snagged a cute little fall jacket from Old Navy for myself for sixteen dollars when I guess the retail over sixty bucks.

[00:18:30]

I've been using thread up for years now and these items always come in high quality condition. Some even have their tags still on them and they get delivered straight to my door. What's not to love. So if you're like me and are trying to do a little full closet refresh, you got to check out thread up, get the styles you love at a fraction of the price. You'll look and feel good with thread up. And for crime junkie listeners, here is an exclusive offer just for you.

[00:18:57]

Get an extra thirty percent off your first order at threat up dotcom slash crime junkie. That t h r e d up dot com slash crime junkie for thirty percent off your first order threat dotcom slash crime junkie for an extra thirty percent off today. Terms apply. About three months after Ray went missing, there were some fishermen out on the river near where Ray's car was found. Now the water this time was crystal clear and they spot something at the bottom laying on the rocks.

[00:19:32]

It's a computer, a laptop. More specifically. Now, they turned the computer over to police who discover that it belonged to Ray Ray's work.

[00:19:42]

Laptop was the only thing investigators couldn't find when Ray went missing. Now they figured that they would come across it one day when they found Ray. But here was the laptop and still no sign of Ray. But this is the big break that they were waiting for and finding it the way they did disposed of in the river makes them feel like whatever is on that laptop could be the thing that leads them to Ray. I mean, yeah, it's something that he owned.

[00:20:09]

It definitely makes me think that Ray or whoever took him definitely didn't want anybody to find that laptop. Right. And police think so, too. But when they try and restore the laptop, they realized something devastating. There's no hard drive, like it's ruined or like popped out when it hit the riverbed floor. No, no, no, no. Like, it just wasn't there. And they can tell because of this type of computer that the hard drive would have had to have been, like, ejected manually.

[00:20:41]

It wasn't just going to get knocked out almost like disassembled. Right. Which means that whoever put it in there, Ray, or someone else didn't want anyone to find what was on that computer. And now the question becomes, who didn't want that information to be found?

[00:20:59]

Was it Ray? And would whatever was on there give him a reason to walk away from his life?

[00:21:05]

Or did he or someone else have a reason to get rid of whatever's on the computer? Well, yeah, and I think both are a possibility. I think it could be, Ray, and I think it also could be someone else. But whether Ray walked away or someone did something to him, I do believe it was Ray who ejected his hard drive and threw the computer into the river. And I think this because of something important found on Ray's home computer.

[00:21:29]

Now, the police didn't release this information to the public for almost four years, but what they knew when the computer was found was that before Ray went missing, he had used his home computer to search for ways to destroy a hard drive. He had searched for things like water damage to a hard drive, how to fry a hard drive. And people at his work said he had bought software to wipe his hard drive. OK, but this could be like super innocuous.

[00:21:59]

Like you said, he was about to retire. Maybe he just wanted to get stuff off his work computer because he would have to turn it back in. OK, but come on.

[00:22:07]

Like, listen, I get wanting to do like a factory reset so they don't have your passwords or personal information.

[00:22:13]

Yeah, but how to fry a hard drive like that sounds like someone who doesn't want anything to ever be pulled off that computer when he leaves. So what on earth could Ray be that concerned about? Or if someone was threatening him, what could that person have wanted to hide?

[00:22:30]

So to answer those questions, police start looking into Ray's history with the DA's office. I mean, it's a position that can make you a lot of enemies. Maybe he pissed someone off and there were a lot of people to look at on this list. So according to McCluskey's reporting, Ray was part of announcing the shutdown of this huge heroin operation just weeks before he went missing. But police couldn't link anyone in that operation to Ray or to like the time and place of where he went missing.

[00:23:00]

Now, there was also a really big case that Ray prosecuted, where a man named James Kruse was convicted for murdering a 17 year old teenage runaway. Now, Ray actually potentially linked to James Cruze to a number of other women, making him a serial killer. But in those cases, other charges were never brought against him. Now, James maintains his innocence, and he's tried a number of time for different appeals and is always getting denied.

[00:23:27]

So maybe he's, like out for vengeance on a wrongful conviction.

[00:23:31]

So, I mean, maybe. But the only person who really thinks James is innocent is James.

[00:23:36]

Listen, I've looked at this case and I agree with the jury. It's not like this guy has a huge backing of people following him either. Like, this isn't like a huge Scott Peterson case or an Adnan Syed case. This case is almost unknown outside of Pennsylvania. So because this guy doesn't have a following, he's sitting in jail. Eventually this lead is ruled out as well.

[00:23:57]

Now, as people looked more and more into his life in the DA's office, they make a strange connection. A couple of years before Ray went missing. This is now in 2003. Another prosecutor was found in Pennsylvania under really bizarre circumstances. It was a man named Jonathan Luna.

[00:24:18]

Now. Jonathan was a prosecutor in Baltimore, but after working late one night, like in the middle of a big case, he went missing. Now, unlike Ray's case, Jonathan was found the next day in a rural area of Pennsylvania. He was like 95 miles away from where he was last seen, lying face down in a creek. And according to a Washington Post article by Cheryl Thompson, he had 36 puncture wounds, most of which were concentrated like on or around his neck.

[00:24:48]

Now, most of the wounds were pretty superficial. And he had like little cut marks on his hands, like signs of defensive marks on his nails. And they even say his genitals had been wounded, which there was no, like, real clarity as to what kind of wound that we were talking about. They didn't say that in The Washington Post article, but I don't think it was any kind of like mutilation or anything sadistic. Like I think it likely could have been more in line with bruising or something you would get if you were struggling with someone.

[00:25:13]

Hey, wait a minute.

[00:25:14]

Like it's sounding like there's not a lot of similarities between these two cases other than they're both in Pennsylvania and they had the same job.

[00:25:22]

Yeah. OK, so there are a lot of different circumstances around it, but I'll tell you why it comes up. So Jonathan Luna's case gets a little bit fishy because there has been a lot of speculation from people that his death shouldn't have been ruled a homicide and maybe it was staged because, you know, that big case that he was working on. Well, at some point in court, a bunch of money went missing and people started accusing Jonathan Luna of taking it.

[00:25:48]

And he was supposed to undergo a polygraph about the incident. But then he died and so got obviously out of the polygraph.

[00:25:56]

OK, but that's like an elaborate way to set up your own death. Yes, it is. But if we're going to assume for a second that this rumor holds any kind of credibility, people say that he stole the money because he was in a lot of credit card debt. And if he was in debt and wanted to take his own life as like a way out, he would know that none of his death benefits would apply to his family after suicide.

[00:26:17]

So maybe he was looking out for them.

[00:26:21]

Now, his death is still classified as an unsolved homicide, and eventually everyone would come to realize that there was no connection between him and Ray Gricar. But it's something that like if you were to look up this case, you see all the time, because it is just a little bit eerie that you have these two people who work in the DA's office who go missing or found murdered under really bizarre circumstances. It's hard not to kind of like make a connection in high profile stuff like that.

[00:26:48]

Right. But as the summer turns into fall and just as investigators think they're hitting a wall, guess what is found?

[00:26:56]

Was it right? No, the hard drive, it was found in the same river as the laptop just a little further upstream. Police use every forensic technique they can to pull absolutely anything off this hard drive. And I mean, it's been sitting in water for months at this point. So it's not going to be easy. They try and they try, but their own guys can't get anything. So they send it to this like specialty office within the government who is known for being able to recover things like this.

[00:27:28]

But even they have no luck. And that's when it becomes clear to everyone that whatever Ray wanted to keep secret probably will stay secret forever, or at least until he's found.

[00:27:42]

But here's the thing about secrets ruined hard drives tossed the computer. There is just something about secrets. They can't stay secrets for long.

[00:27:51]

And in 2011, the public finally learns about a deep, dark secret being kept by many in Pennsylvania. And they would wonder if this could be the key to finding Ray Gricar. So, Brett, do you remember what one of the biggest stories of 2011 was going to be honest, 2011 was a long time ago fair.

[00:28:18]

So in 2011, a huge scandal erupted in Pennsylvania when the whole world found out that former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky had been molesting young boys. Yeah, and while that shocking on its own, what becomes one of the biggest parts of the story is that apparently it had been going on for years. Decades, right? Yeah. And for years and decades, people knew people tried to report it. It kept getting covered up over and over again.

[00:28:49]

And for those of you who didn't follow the case closely, CNN did a great article in twenty nineteen titled Penn State Scandal Fast Facts, which are linked to in the sources. If you want to dive deeper into some of the details on this, but I'll give you like the story at 30000 feet. So Jerry Sandusky had this non-profit organization that he founded back in the 70s. And the mission was to quote, you know, help troubled boys. But spoiler alert, it was really to give him a pool of vulnerable young victims to prey on.

[00:29:16]

Now, did things go down in the 70s and 80s? I don't know. Maybe, probably. But the first report of an accusation comes from a mother in 1998 when she contacted the authorities and says that Sandusky was showering with her 11 year old son. Now, Sandusky is evaluated by a psychologist who says, yup, he's a total predator and he admits to showering naked with this boy and says, you know, totally my bad. I know it's wrong, won't happen again.

[00:29:46]

And everyone says, well, that's nice of him. And they basically wash their hands of it and close the case.

[00:29:53]

So fast forward in 99, Sandusky retires, but he's still hanging around all the time like a big old perv. And over the years, he keeps getting caught with young boys in the shower who is usually from his program. But excuses, excuses, it gets reported. And somewhere up the chain of reporting, some would always say, oh, I never heard about that. No one ever told me, I swear. And so then it would never go anywhere until 2008.

[00:30:19]

A boy comes forward who says that Sandusky befriended him sometime in 2005 or 2006 and then assaulted him until he broke things off with Sandusky in 2008. An investigation was launched and they found that he called this kid a hundred and eighteen times. So he was not getting out of this one. And when this investigation started, more and more reports started to surface. The investigation lasted years. And then in 2011 is when they finally announced that they were formally charging him.

[00:30:50]

Now, how does all this relate back to Ray, you ask? Well, when everyone finds out about this revelation, someone realizes that Ray had a connection to the case.

[00:31:02]

Ray was actually the prosecutor who got put in charge of the very first allegations back in 1998, and he was the one who declined to prosecute.

[00:31:13]

Investigators looked into this theory and here's where it gets some legs. Now, they could not find a single note on his case from back in 1998, not even a mention of Sandusky. So they could never go back and find out why he chose not to prosecute him or how weak or strong the case was, because there was just nothing, which is super unusual to not have a single note from an investigation like that, especially when you're talking like that.

[00:31:43]

That would be a high profile thing, even though it got kind of covered up. Yeah. Now, according to Sara Ganim reporting for Penn Live, one of Ray's closest friends and colleagues was a man named Steve Sloan.

[00:31:54]

And Steve had Ray's old Dictaphone, which he would like, say all his notes into, and then his secretary would write them up.

[00:32:01]

Now, the only thing related to the Sandusky case that could ever be recovered was this, quote, October 13, 1998, Shreffler Ralston, Sloane Gricar investigation, going to Penn State, meeting Ray Fran granter Ron Shreffler is taking us to the football building. And I will finish this memo. Sue and either Ray will help type something, handwrite something, or he'll tell me to dictate this. And I'll give you the tape when we get back. Thanks.

[00:32:35]

So it means nothing like all kind of nonsense.

[00:32:38]

And you read it together. It's really hard. Yeah, but the point is there are supposed to be some notes later. There obviously was something before except whatever he was supposed to write up or dictate when he got back is lost forever, which makes people wonder, is that what was on his work computer that he was trying to get rid of?

[00:32:58]

Like, could his disappearance be a bigger coverup of some kind?

[00:33:03]

OK, Ashleigh, you know, I am a huge conspiracy theorist, but I guess I don't get the. Timing of this, like Ray was in charge of the first Sandusky investigation back in 98, he went missing in 2005 and then there wasn't even another investigation into Sandusky until 2008. Like if he was leaving because of that, he left before it was even a thing. Well, what if he got a heads up? Now, this is all complete conjecture, people.

[00:33:30]

But for those of you who believe that his disappearance is related to the Sandusky case, what if some kind of deal was made like everyone keeps it quiet as long as Sandusky promises to keep it in his pants. Basically, they are people watching him and then he's not cooperating. Then around 2005 is when he starts grooming that other kid, the one that ends up coming forward, like maybe they saw that and everyone was told to, like, get clean before they started the investigation.

[00:33:58]

I mean, I don't put it past anyone if they let Sandusky go once.

[00:34:01]

But you said he was abusing boys between 1998 and 2008 and people were reporting it like if that's the reason, he would have left sooner.

[00:34:11]

Listen, I agree it doesn't make perfect sense. And most people will say that his disappearance is probably not connected to Sandusky at all. But if not, his lost notes on Sandusky, what was on that hard drive that needed to be destroyed so bad? There was a guy named Luke O'Brien from Deadspin and he kind of had the same question and he wanted to know what he could have been hiding or what he was connected to. So this guy actually requested records from the FBI related to the Gricar case and he got some back.

[00:34:45]

But the FBI said that the CIA had to, like, review and redact and approve all of the information. First, the CIA like what in the world is going on? I'm not sure.

[00:34:58]

Like, OK, here's exactly what Luke wrote. Quote, The CIA refused to allow certain information to be released because it's classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and can't be disclosed in order to protect intelligence sources and methods as well as the names, titles, etc. of CIA personnel, end quote. Now, to be totally fair, the CIA might not have anything on Ray. The FBI checking with them might be normal protocol, but we haven't gotten the CIA in an episode before and it's worth mentioning whatever we think it means.

[00:35:36]

Yeah. So what was Ray so ashamed of or scared of that he had to abandon his life or who hated him so much that they would take his life?

[00:35:47]

And those are really the only two options right now, because you said his body never surfaced. So we can pretty much completely rule out suicide. Well, here's the thing. Not exactly. Some still believe that Ray could have jumped into the river. They say that the river was connected to a dam and that if his body made it to the dam, he could have basically gotten like chopped up for lack of a better term.

[00:36:11]

And there may be nothing left of him. All that is left behind are questions. Why did Ray really take off work that day? Why did he take his computer with him? And what the heck was on it that he or someone was so dead set on destroying?

[00:36:30]

And who was that woman he was seen with? Because still to this day, she has never come forward, you know, but this is one of those cases that I could spiral on forever and ever. So we're going to have a little bonus episode in The Fanclub. For those of you who are not in there, sometimes we do this where big cases, Britain, Iowa record a little extra on like theories and kind of like off the wall stuff or what we think happened.

[00:36:55]

It's just like five to ten minutes and we upload them as audio extras for the Fanclub. We did this for the Brian Schaefer case. We talked about an alternate theory. And listen, I've got a whole lot more on this case that really didn't fit into the episode.

[00:37:06]

But like a true crime junkie will want to know all of the ins and outs. So if you want to join us for a little post episode conversation, you can head to our website, Crime Junkie podcast, Dotcom, click the Fanclub link to join. You'll get the audio extra and you can join the fan discussion and tell us where you think Ray Gricar is and what was on that laptop. If you want to see the pictures and sources from this case or to join the fan club for the little audio extra, go to Crime Junkie podcast Dotcom and be sure to follow us on Instagram at Crunchie podcast.

[00:37:53]

We will be back next week with a brand new episode. Crime junkie is an audio production, so what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?