Penn State child molestation case

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History

Perpetrators

Controversies

University cover-up

Ray Gricar disappearance

Political connections

Joe Paterno

Pennsylvania elites

Franklin scandal

Main article: Franklin child sex ring

Corporate connections

Second Mile charity

See also

References

External links

Sandusky abuse

  • 1998 investigation - of allegations made by Victim 6 and another boy B.K.
  • Allan Myers incident witnessed by Mike McQueary
    • Washington Post, "Joe Paterno’s first interview since the Penn State-Sandusky scandal", 2012/01/14: "This is Paterno’s own account:

      On a Saturday morning in 2002, an upset young assistant coach named Mike McQueary knocked on Paterno’s door to tell him he had witnessed a shocking scene in the Penn State football building showers. Until that moment, Paterno said, he had “no inkling” that Sandusky might be a sexual deviant. By then Sandusky was a former employee, with whom Paterno had little to do. Although Sandusky had been his close coaching associate and helped fashion Penn State defenses for three decades, their relationship was “professional, not social,” as Paterno described it. “He was a lot younger than me.” Sandusky had been out of the program for three years, and in fact, Paterno said he cannot recall the last time he had seen or spoken to Sandusky. “I can’t,” he said.

      [...]

      Paterno insists he was completely unaware of a 1998 police investigation into a report from a Second Mile mother that Sandusky had inappropriately touched her son in a shower. The inquiry ended when the local prosecutor declined to bring charges. “You know it wasn’t like it was something everybody in the building knew about,” Paterno said. “Nobody knew about it.”

      Paterno contends that ignorance was the context with which he heard McQueary’s disturbing story in 2002. McQueary, sitting at Paterno’s kitchen table, told him that he had been at the football building late the evening before when he heard noises coming from the shower.

      “He was very upset and I said why, and he was very reluctant to get into it,” Paterno said. “He told me what he saw, and I said, what? He said it, well, looked like inappropriate, or fondling, I’m not quite sure exactly how he put it. I said you did what you had to do. It’s my job now to figure out what we want to do. So I sat around. It was a Saturday. Waited till Sunday because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then I called my superiors and I said: ‘Hey, we got a problem, I think. Would you guys look into it?’ Cause I didn’t know, you know. We never had, until that point, 58 years I think, I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate.”

      At that point, Paterno set up a meeting for McQueary and Curley, the athletic director, and Schultz, who oversaw university police. McQueary has testified that he gave both men a far more graphic description of what he witnessed, which he believed to be Sandusky sodomizing a boy of about 10, who had his hands against the shower wall. At the preliminary hearing for Curley and Schultz on Dec. 16, McQueary said he had been reluctant to go into similar “great detail about sexual acts” with Paterno, out of respect for the coach, who was 75 at the time.

      Schultz and Curley have maintained that McQueary failed to impart the seriousness of what he saw to them as well. They never told police about the allegation, instead informing Sandusky he could no longer bring children to university facilities. Prosecutors say Sandusky continued to abuse boys for six more years."
  • Renewed investigation starting in 2008 - TODO: fill in further, and cover arguments from debunkers like Mark Pendergrast

Joe Paterno

  • The Morning Call, "Gop Nominates Bush Paterno Rips Democrats Republican Convention", 1988/08/18: "A fired-up Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach, standing on the floor of the Louisiana Superdome with the Pennsylvania delegation to the convention, gave the second of seven seconding speeches. He said the vice president is both a leader and a winner who exudes a "quiet, dignified confidence." [...] "After a lifetime of being in competition, I know a leader and I know a winner," Paterno said. "I know the difference between bravado and the quiet, dignified, confidence of a Joe DiMaggio, a Walter Payton, a George Bush. . . . He will be a great president of the United States.""
  • Washington Post, "Paterno hires D.C. criminal defense attorney Wick Sollers", 2011/11/11: "Sollers is the managing partner of King & Spalding’s Washington office and former chair of the firm’s government investigations practice. He is an experienced trial attorney who regularly represents companies in civil and criminal investigations and in the 1990’s, he represented George H.W. Bush in the Iran-Contra investigation."
  • Dave McGowan, "Random Thoughts at the Dawn of the Year 2012", 2012/02/13 - mentions Paterno's death being reported hours before it happened
  • CNN, "CNN exclusive: Joe Paterno may have known of earlier Jerry Sandusky abuse claim, police report reveals", 2017/09/09: "The one-page Pennsylvania state police report, obtained from a source and described here for the first time, lays out an account from whistleblower Mike McQueary, who reported to Paterno an incident he had just witnessed in a locker room between Sandusky and a young boy. Paterno allegedly told McQueary in 2001 that the claim against Sandusky "was the second complaint of this nature he had received," according to the police report, which was written after Sandusky's arrest 10 years later. [...] The police report casts fresh doubt on the mountain of denials by Paterno, his family and his loyalists that the coach knew anything of Sandusky's serial molestation before the 2001 incident. It contradicts the head coach's testimony before a grand jury and his published statement a week before he died in 2012 that he "had 'no inkling' that Sandusky might be a sexual deviant" until he heard the shocking allegation from McQueary. Other documents unveiled since Paterno's death suggest the head coach was told of other similar claims as early as the 1970s. [...] emails released in 2012 as part of Penn State’s internal investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh show Paterno was mentioned as part of email discussions in 1998 involving a similar allegation against Sandusky. “I have touched base with Coach,” Ex-Penn State Athletic Director Tim Curley wrote in an email in 1998 regarding the claim against Sandusky. Curley testified this spring that he had a conversation in 1998 with Paterno about that allegation."

Law enforcement cover-ups

  • New York Times, "Questions on Sandusky Are Wrapped in a 2005 Mystery", 2011/11/08: "One of the questions surrounding the sex-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky is why a former district attorney chose not to prosecute the then-Penn State assistant coach in 1998 after reports surfaced that he had inappropriate interactions with a boy. The answer is unknowable because of an unsolved mystery: What happened to Ray Gricar, the Centre County, Pa., district attorney? [...] [Assistant district attorney Anthony] De Boef said Gricar did not share any information with him about the case in 1998, which involved Sandusky allegedly showering with an 11-year-old boy. Gricar, he said, reviewed the police reports in private including, presumably, notes or recordings of two conversations that the police heard between Sandusky and the boy’s mother."
  • Bill Keisling, "A Town Gone Bad: Freeh Report ignores obvious question: What about Tom Corbett?", 2012/07/12
  • Bill Keisling, "Kids as commodities: Second Mile and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare", 2013/01/26
  • Rock the Capital, "See no evil: DA Ray Gricar drops the ball", 2014/02/14
    • "The next day, on May 5, 1998, officials at the Centre County Children and Youth office held a meeting to decide “what to do,” according to notes found in Freeh’s report.

      CYS officials advised Detective Schreffler that they’d decided to kick the Sandusky matter upstairs, to their overseers in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare in Harrisburg."
    • "Second Mile worked closely with CYS in various ways. Since 1982 Second Mile ran a foster home in State College. CYS had contracts to place kids in the foster home, Louis Freeh would write. Over the years Second Mile also came to provide support for other foster care families with special events and outings.

      As well, Second Mile’s executive director, Jack Raykovitz, held a contract with Centre County CYS to perform child evaluations."
    • "Even so, the state DPW would soon inexplicably kick the matter back down to the county Children and Youth agency. No one seemed to be in charge. [...] Within a few days, by May 8, state DPW officials asked Centre County CYS to enlist counselor John Seasock to interview Zach. (At the time, Seasock was not licensed by the state.) This despite the fact that Zach had already been “evaluated” by his own licensed state-registered psychologist, Dr. Chambers. [...] After speaking with Zach, CYS’s Seasock would issue a report exonerating Sandusky."
    • "A few days into the investigation, Gricar strangely intervened, and removed Assistant DA Karen Arnold from the case. This was certainly unusual. [...] As criminologists, and not social workers, Gricar and his law enforcement team had to do one thing, and one thing only, to crack the case: they had to identify and interview the many Second Mile kids surrounding and victimized by Jerry Sandusky. Matt, Dustin, Brett and the others. In fact, a circa-1998 photo shows Sandusky surrounded by many of these victims. But, inexplicably, no other children were interviewed."
  • The Patriot-News, "Ray Gricar mystery: 2012 story examines Gricar's fiercely private life, ladies' man reputation", 2015/04/12: "But theories that seemed crazy and extreme suddenly were being discussed by reasonable people after it became clear that Gricar had played a central role in quashing a child sex abuse complaint against Sandusky in 1998. It would be 10 years until another boy's complaint would lead to a second investigation and Sandusky's arrest. Why did Gricar decide against pressing charges against the legendary coach when, by many accounts, it seemed there was at least enough evidence to take a closer look? [...] [Gricar's first wife Barbara Gray] also said she remembers Gricar talking about the now infamous police investigation of Sandusky in 1998 which did not lead to charges until a grand jury met 13 years later but declined to talk about it. [...] Why did Gricar decide to close the case? [Lead detective Matt] Rickard has gone back and searched through Gricar's files. He found no notes, memos or any paperwork at all related to the 1998 investigation. [...] it was Gricar's idea to have police hide while the mother confronted Sandusky about what happened. Sandusky told the mother: "I was wrong. I wish I could get forgiveness from you. I know I won't get it from you. I wish I were dead." When Gricar was told about the conversation, he said he'd be in touch. He closed the case a few days later, on June 2, 1998."
  • Websleuths comments in 2018 by J. J. in Phila criticizing Gricar's decision not to prosecute Sandusky
    • "The lack of evidence reason is quite bogus. There were two victims, Victim 6 and B.K., who both reported the same thing. Neither RFG, nor anyone from the DA's Office, ever interviewed Victim 6. That, along with some other things, do show, strongly, that RFG did not want to prosecute Sandusky. One of his ADA's, who was somewhat involved with the case, said that RFG prosecute if Sandusky "received help with the problem.""
    • "While we should be very critical of RFG's decision, it was neither illegal nor unethical; DA's, for whatever reason, may decline to charge. We have seen this with other prosecutors in some other counties, regarding the Catholic Church. (I actually know, slightly, two the former prosecutors in Cambria County who did this.) PSU was a very big institution in Centre County, where, at the time, 40%-60% of the electorate either was attending, attended, worked for, or was retired from."
    • "The crimes that Sandusky was convicted of in regard to Victim 6 was "Unlawful Contract," which is a felony, child endangerment, and corruption of minors, both misdemeanors. Keep in mind that, in 1998, RFG had two victims, and that the AG, in 2012, had only one victim available. The "Unlawful Contact" conviction would have been sufficient to put Sandusky on "Meagan's List.""
    • "Based on the trial results,the police reports, and JKA's statement, we know three things that RFG did (or didn't do) in 1998. 1. He removed the designated abuse prosecutor, JKA. She says so, and the police report backs her up. 2. He never interviewed Victim 6. That is from the transcript. 3. He made his decision not to prosecute Sandusky before the LE/DPW interviewed Sandusky. That is from the police report and the court transcript."

Pedophile network

PA sex and drug rings

  • Dan Delp scandal
  • Philadelphia Black Mafia activities circa 2000s - with the politically-connected Imam Shamsud-din Ali as a key ringleader; involves several individuals from the Philadelphia boxing scene throughout the course of the story
    • Dave McGowan, "Newsletter #72: He Coulda’ Been A Contender! Plus A Brief Look at the Arrest of the Alleged ‘BTK” Killer", 2005/03/02 - about the alleged suicide of Najai Turpin
      • "[...] Then, at the tail end of an Associated Press report, this throwaway fact caught my eye: “Turpin worked out at the James Shuler Memorial Gym, a haven for serious fighters from a rough and impoverished neighborhood. Tybius Flowers, another boxer at the gym, was murdered last year shortly before he was to appear as a key witness in a murder trial.” Hmmm …

        Tybius Flowers was, like his longtime gym-mate, Najai Turpin, a promising young boxer for whom [Percy] Custus served as – you guessed it – trainer and surrogate father. In the early morning hours of March 2, 2004, Flowers was cut down in a hail of gunfire as he sat in his car near the corner of Eighth and Butler. At the time of his death, Flowers was facing a possible twenty-year prison sentence on state and federal drug charges for allegedly operating a stash-house for crack cocaine very near the drug-infested corner where he was killed.

        Six years earlier, on March 19, 1998, the very same Tybius Flowers had allegedly stood on that very same corner and witnessed the murder of Kennith Lassiter. Both Flowers and another witness, Corey Williams, had reportedly identified Lassiter’s assassin as Kaboni Savage, who had fairly recently been – what else? – a promising young boxer, unbeaten in fifteen amateur fights and one professional match."
      • "Following Flowers’ murder, the state’s case against Kaboni Savage, aka Yusef Billa, fell apart and Savage was acquitted on March 23, 2004. A few weeks later, on April 13, Savage was arrested and charged with being one of the leaders of a drug trafficking and money laundering ring that had allegedly moved hundreds of kilos of cocaine and laundered millions of dollars in drug money over a 4-5 year period. Even while under house arrest following his arrest for the murder of Lassiter, Savage allegedly moved massive quantities of cocaine.

        In May, Savage was named along with twenty-six other suspects in two federal indictments aimed at breaking up two interlocked drug trafficking rings. One ring was allegedly run by Kaboni Savage and Gerald “Bubbie” Thomas, aka Bahaar Jabbaar. The other ring was allegedly run by Byron Darby, a retired defensive lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles, who some of you may remember from the recent Superbowl.

        Among the indicted suspects was Dawud Bey, a close associate of Kaboni Savage. Bey was a prime suspect in the murder of Raymond Nina, who was shot nineteen times in the back on April 18, 2004. Bey was also investigated, along with Savage, in connection with the murder of Tybius Flowers. Bey and another suspect, John Tillman, had visited Savage in prison just four days before Flowers was killed."
      • "The investigation of the drug rings led to a dubious character by the name of Imam Shamsud-din Ali, whose telephone conversations with both Gerald Thomas and Dawud Bey were intercepted by wiretaps. These conversations included discussions of payments requested by, and apparently made to, Ali. The two alleged druglords were known to visit with the local community leader at his posh home and at the Philadelphia Masjid Mosque and the Sister Clara Muhammad School, both of which are run by the Imam.

        Ali had himself served five-and-a-half-years on a murder conviction in the 1970s, before he got that conviction overturned. He later emerged as a leader of the local Muslim community and a strong supporter of, and fundraiser for, both Philadelphia Mayor John Street and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

        Once the investigation had expanded to include Ali, it quickly expanded further still, when wiretaps picked up calls from Ali to attorney Ronald White, a close friend and major fundraiser for Mayor Street. This then led to the bugging of Street’s office, which resulted in considerable controversy and local media attention when the bug was discovered in October 2003, just before the Philadelphia mayoral election."
      • "The political scandal, involving wide-ranging financial swindles, soon eclipsed the drug trafficking investigation, and the two investigations were, not surprisingly, claimed to be unrelated matters. Curiously enough though, both Imam Shamsud-din Ali and alleged drug kingpin Kaboni Savage are represented by the very same attorney, Tariq El-Shabazz.

        In late June 2004, twelve people, including attorney Ronald White, were charged with defrauding the city of Philadelphia. With the exception of former City Treasurer Corey Kemp, city officials seem to have walked away clean, as did Shamsud-din Ali, who has not been indicted in connection with either the political scandals or the drug trafficking investigation, even though he appears to be a central figure in both."
    • Philadelphia Daily News, "FEDS BUST 2 DRUG GANGS: 2 OF 27 INDICTED IN COKE RINGS UNWITTINGLY HAD ROLE IN LAUNCH OF CORRUPTION PROBE", 2004/05/21 (pages 3, 4): "The link between the two networks was Wendell Mason, who allegedly supplied cocaine to both drug organizations, which fed Philadelphia's insatiable appetite for crack and cocaine, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Ehlers. The cocaine was obtained from various wholesale suppliers from Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. It was cut, recompressed and repackaged, sometimes as crack, and sold for $29,000 per kilogram. The 27th defendant, Melvin Stein, 58, of Fort Washington, is a real-estate agent who worked at Mazer Real Estate, 8829 Stenton Ave., Mount Airy. Stein allegedly laundered $116,375 in drug proceeds by concealing the ownership of seven houses and two of his own cars that he sold to drug dealers, according to the indictment."
    • Philadelphia Inquirer, "Imam surrenders to feds, starts sentence", 2007/08/14: "SOME THOUGHT they'd never see the day when Shamsud-din Ali, the so-called "Teflon imam," would go back to jail. [...] Ali, 69, of Melrose Park, had walked into the courthouse after shaking hands with longtime Muslim supporters and hugging relatives, including his stepson, Azheem Spicer, and stepdaughter, Lakiha Spicer, both of whom were convicted in a fraud scheme run by their mother, Ali's wife, Faridah. [...] [Ali] will remain in custody for 30 days at the Federal Detention Center, 7th and Race streets, before the prison bureau designates where he'll be jailed for 87 months for his conviction on charges of racketeering, commercial bribery, multiple frauds and income-tax fraud. [...] In 2005, he was convicted of operating eight illegal moneymaking schemes using his Islamic school as his headquarters. He had remained free for two years until he lost his appeal last month. [...] A decade ago, the Alis were sitting on top of the world. Prominent and respected, Shamsud-din Ali rubbed elbows with Gov. Rendell, Mayor Street, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey - even District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who tapped him for election support. [...] In 2002, FBI agents monitoring a drug wiretap overheard Ali talking with a major dealer about taking $5,000 to the mayor's office. Not only did the Alis' world come crashing down, but so did a network of municipal scams. Some remain under investigation by the FBI's public-corruption squad. Since the initial drug wiretap, at least 53 defendants have been convicted, including 33 drug dealers, the ex-city treasurer, the Alis and 17 others. Two were acquitted. Several key figures in the probe died, including prominent attorney Ronald A. White, major drug dealer Gerald "Bubbie" Thomas, and, recently, co-defendant John Johnson. While Ali was currying favor with political power brokers, drug dealers with whom he had long been associated complained that he was shaking them down. In one wiretapped call, convicted drug dealer Dawud Bey said of Ali, "He's walking with kings and we're out here hustling." [...] Shortly after her husband was convicted in 2005, Faridah Ali pleaded nolo contendere to 18 counts, which was treated as a guilty plea. [...] At her sentencing, she admitted scamming the college by hiring ghost teachers, including her son, daughter and nephew, for nonexistent classes [...]"
    • Daily Local News (West Chester PA), "Philly drug kingpin goes on trial in arson deaths", 2013/02/04: "Defense lawyer Christian Hoey said in his opening statement that Savage never ran a criminal “racketeering enterprise” and vowed to challenge the credibility of Lewis and Coleman. In something of an aside, he noted that the FBI investigation into Savage’s purported mentor in the drug world led – albeit indirectly – to the infamous bugging of the Philadelphia mayor’s office in 2003. The drug probe led agents to a Muslim cleric who knew drug dealers, labor leaders and then-Mayor John Street. The FBI installed a listening device in Street’s office, but it was soon discovered. Street denied wrongdoing and was never charged. Hoey said the cleric, Shamsud din-Ali, secretly mediated disputes among city drug dealers, from home invasions to unreported kidnappings. He is serving an 87-month sentence for government fraud involving his Muslim school."
    • Department of Justice, "Philadelphia Drug Kingpin Sentenced to Death, Co-defendant to Face Life in Prison", 2013/06/13: "A federal jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that voted in favor of death for a North Philadelphia drug kingpin, Kaboni Savage, today voted in favor of life for a co-defendant, Steven Northington. [...] Savage was convicted on May 13, 2013, of 12 counts of murder in aid of racketeering, one count of retaliating against a witness by murder, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and one count of conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise. [...] Today, the same jury voted in favor of life for Northington, 41, who was convicted of the murders of Barry Parker in 2003 and of Tybius Flowers in 2004 in addition to racketeering (RICO) conspiracy. [...] Savage’s sister and co-defendant, Kidada Savage, was also found guilty of the RICO conspiracy and the Coleman family murders. Co-defendant Robert Merritt was found guilty of the RICO conspiracy. [...] Savage’s drug enterprise operated primarily in the North Philadelphia area from at least late 1997 to 2010. After Savage was indicted on drug charges in 2004, he ordered the murders of the family of government witness Eugene Coleman. Lamont Lewis, who has pleaded guilty, firebombed the Coleman family home on Savage’s orders which Kidada Savage relayed to Lewis. In addition to the six people inside the Coleman home, Savage was convicted of the following murders: • Kenneth Lassiter, 44, of Lansdale, Pa., on March 19, 1998, near the corner of 8th and Butler Streets in Philadelphia; • Mansur “Shafiq” Abdullah, 22, of 11th Street, Philadelphia, on Sept. 6, 2000. Abdullah was shot and his burned body was later recovered in the 4200 block of North Park Avenue in Philadelphia; • Carlton “Mohammed” Brown, 27, of Darien Street, Philadelphia, on Sept. 13, 2001; • Barry Parker, 32, of Susquehanna Avenue, Philadelphia, on February 26, 2003, in the 3900 block of North Franklin Street in Philadelphia; • Tyrone Toliver, 26, of Cherry Hill, N.J., on March 14, 2003, in the 3500 block of North Palmetto Street in Philadelphia; and • Tybius Flowers, 32, of K Street, Philadelphia, on March 1, 2004, in the 3700 block of N. 8th Street in Philadelphia."
    • Shamsud-din Ali background
      • Philadelphia Magazine, "Requiem for a Gangster" by Sean Patrick Griffin, 2016/03/13: "Shamsud-din Ali served time for murder in the early 1970s, when he was known as Clarence Fowler. His conviction was overturned in part because the lone witness refused to participate in the appeal process after she was visited by a Black Mafia henchman. Soon after Ali’s 1976 release, DEA informants revealed that the Black Mafia racket of extorting drug dealers was thriving, with tributes paid to Ali’s mosque. Decades later, FBI agents would hear wiretapped descriptions of Ali’s alleged shakedowns — including drug money he solicited supposedly for an aide of Mayor John Street. Agents pondered whether the funds were used in Street’s 2002 reelection campaign, prompting a much-publicized corruption probe that ended in dozens of guilty pleas and convictions for no-show jobs and pay-to-play contracting. For his role in the scandal, Ali was convicted in September 2005 on various racketeering, conspiracy and fraud charges and sentenced to federal prison. He was released in December 2013."
      • Sean Patrick Griffin, "Boxing legend Muhammad Ali with Philly Black Mafia heavyweights Nudie Mims and Shamsud-din Ali", 2019/12/08: "Shamsud-din Ali (then known as Clarence Fowler) served time in prison for murder in the early 1970s until his conviction was overturned. While in Philly’s notorious Holmesburg Prison, Fowler (like Mims years later in equally-infamous Graterford Prison) was an influential figure inside the institution and on the street. [...] Fowler’s/Ali’s ties to the boxing world have spanned decades, as I have documented elsewhere. As many know, his daughter Lakiha (“Kiki”) is married to another boxing legend, Mike Tyson."
        • Mike Tyson background and connections
          • Dave McGowan, "Death, Taxes, and Education", 2000/11/04 - curious link to Sammy Gravano: "At one point in his life of crime, Gravano enlisted the services of boxing trainer Teddy Atlas, who sent Sammy to a hypnotist — a key element of his training regimen. Atlas’ past clients included Mike Tyson."
          • US World Herald, "Brutal Italian mobsters light up Mike Tyson’s eyes", 2020/05/10: "A much-feared mob boss who once ruled Philadelphia’s Italian Mafia was the most viral moment in a recent episode of Mike Tyson’s weekly ‘Hotboxin’ podcast. The 53-year-old boxer sat down with former Mafia captain Michael Franzese to discuss a wide range of topics, including family life, and growing up in Brooklyn. [...] Mike Tyson obviously knows a thing or two about the Mob. From the age of 13, he was raised by Cus D’Amato, an Italian guy from the Bronx, who was involved with plenty of underworld figures who had their fingers in boxing. In his first autobiography, ‘Undisputed Truth,’ Tyson defends the Mob and admits to meeting Anthony (Fat Tony) Salerno, the rough-talking, cigar-chomping boss of the Genovese crime family. But Nicky Scarfo was an entirely different kettle of fish and Mike Tyson wants to know more."
          • Reddit comment from 2021 alleging that a teenage Tyson was a bodyguard for drug dealers: "oh boy do I have a story for this one. Back in the 80's I was in the Navy stationed in Groton CT, loved it, I got sent to San Diego for a C school where I met a guy with the last name of Ippolito who was from the Pocono's area. Anyway we started hanging out and one day he tells me the story of why he joined the Navy. Turns out he used to be in to coke in a big way and needed to get away from it because one day things got totally out of hand. He got a call from his supplier in the city who was in desperate need of some cash fast. He had just gotten a shipment that had not been cut yet and he would sell him a shoe box of it for 10K. So my buddy's thinking that he'd been saving money for a Corvette and thought that he could cut it, sell it and he'd have his new car in no time. So he drives into the city, buy's it, heads back home and calls a few friends over for a party. He woke up Monday on the bathroom floor, the entire weekend is a blur, he has blood running down from his nose and an empty shoe box. He joked that he pretty much snorted a Corvette, the best part is...his drug dealers body guard was a 16 year old kid named Mike Tyson."
    • Tariq El-Shabazz background
      • Philadelphia Inquirer, "Justice on hold: To Philly DA's Conviction Review Unit, no one is innocent", 2016/11/19 - notes that El-Shabazz was "a top deputy in the DA's office" overseeing the Conviction Review Unit at the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which had purportedly never in its entire existence found any conviction worthy of overturning
      • City & State Pennsylvania, "El-Shabazz was disciplined, removed from cases as a defense attorney", 2017/04/26: "[Retired Philadelphia police detective Brian Grevious has] devoted a significant chunk of the ensuing 18 years trying to get one man, Anthony Brown, out of jail. Grevious believes Brown was wrongfully convicted of a 1998 homicide simply because his defense attorney failed to look into his alibi. [...] Tariq El-Shabazz, now a candidate for Philadelphia District Attorney. [...] with his appeals exhausted, Brown’s best hope is for the District Attorney’s Office to review the conviction. In a bizarre twist of fate, that office’s Conviction Integrity Unit was most recently overseen by El-Shabazz himself and staffed by Assistant District Attorney Mark Gilson – the same man who put Brown in jail for murder. [...] Brown’s father, Arthur Boyer, was so confident in his son’s innocence he scraped together the money for a high-priced private defense attorney [El-Shabazz] [...] as the months leading up to Brown’s trial turned into a year, the young man would tell his father that he’d barely heard from his crack defense lawyer. [...] At one point, Boyer was contacted by a “shifty” private investigator named Billy Padden who said he was working for El-Shabazz. The man peppered him with basic questions about the case: [...] Boyer was alarmed – how could the man investigating his son’s alibi not know the first thing about it? [...] El-Shabazz got into a dispute over payment with Padden and the PI disappeared, along with a case file of dubious value. Little else would happen for Brown until the week before his case went before a judge – nearly two years after Rorie’s slaying – when El-Shabazz abruptly called Brian Grevious, whom he remembered from his time on the force. [...] [After finding the alibi witnesses,] Grevious thought he had broken the DA’s case open when, in fact, the game was already over: Three weeks into the trial, El-Shabazz had already blown a deadline for the introduction of an alibi petition notifying prosecutors [...] Word of El-Shabazz’s campaign for DA has spread to Philadelphia’s Graterford prison, a place where a number of his former clients now reside. In interviews, several men in that correctional facility told stories with similarities to Brown’s case."
        • Billy Padden background
          • Bloody Elbow, "Coach: If Greg Hardy had malice in alleged domestic violence incident, ‘the woman would be dead’", 2019/04/30: "The difference between Greg Hardy’s first UFC win and his disqualification loss is “night and day,” according to his coach. Billy Padden, who works as a boxing coach at American Top Team in south Florida, said Hardy let the bright lights of the UFC get to him when he made his promotional debut at UFC Brooklyn in January. [...] In 2014, Hardy was convicted on domestic violence charges against his ex-girlfriend, but he appealed and the case was dropped when the victim did not show up in court to testify. Previously, the victim had testified that Hardy threw her in the bathroom and put his hands on her throat and threatened to kill her. Hardy denied those accusations. Padden, who was a probation officer for 10 years and a court investigator for 10 years in Philadelphia, said he believes Hardy had no malice during the alleged incident. “I watch Greg Hardy hit grown men and make them limp as a noodle in seconds,” Padden said. “If he had any malice the night of this alleged incident, the woman would be dead.”"
          • Extreme Velocity Martial Arts bio for Billy Padden: "Coach Billy Padden is a product of the ultra tough Philadelphia boxing gyms. He was trained by the legendary Willie Reddish Sr and Jr. The trainer of Sonny Liston, Gypsy Joe Harris , Gil Turner , Sugar Hart, Curtis Parker, Toothpick Brown and many others. Coach Padden won two national collegiate title and was a three time All American in three different weight classes. He has been training elite fighter for 40 years. From UFC superstars to World boxing champions . He has appeared on HBO several times both as a fighter and Coach. He has worked in over 10 World Title Camps."
      • Philadelphia Inquirer, "Philadelphia sheriff taps former defense lawyer to be undersheriff", 2021/05/25: "Tariq El-Shabazz, a former high-profile Philadelphia criminal defense attorney, was hired earlier this year to be a legal adviser in Sheriff Rochelle Bilal’s office. This week, the sheriff sent an internal memo to her staff to “formally introduce” El-Shabazz as the new undersheriff. [...] El-Shabazz is replacing former undersheriff Curtis Douglas, who retired earlier this month shortly after it came to light that the office had entered into an illegal six-year contract with Bid4Assets, a Maryland-based online property auction company. [...] El-Shabazz, who in 2016 was hired to be first assistant district attorney by DA Seth Williams, did not respond to an email seeking comment."
  • Russ Wantz scandal
    • Alignable page on Schaad Detective Agency Inc. of York PA: "Schaad Detective Agency, Inc., was established in 1972 by Russell C. Schaad, a retired captain of detectives of the York City Police Department and Russell L. Wantz, Jr. At the time of its inception only these two men worked for the agency. During the early years, Schaad Detective Agency devoted its primary operation to investigative services. In 1975, Mr. Wantz visualized a need in the York, Pennsylvania area for a professional armed and unarmed security guard service. After the death of Mr. Schaad in 1977, Russell Wantz obtained full ownership of the company, and he has been instrumental in the growth of the company. He devoted many long hours into developing what has become the area’s largest locally owned security guard agency. Schaad expanded into other markets like: Hanover, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Chambersburg, and Lancaster Pennsylvania."
    • Bill Keisling, "Pennsylvania State Police launch investigation into PA Turnpike security provider", 2005/03/14: "Rep. Mark Cohen, of Philadelphia, in a December 30, 2004, letter to Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Jeffrey B. Miller, called on the State Police conduct a "full and complete" investigation of Russell Wantz, owner of the Schaad Detective Agency, of York. "Wantz heads the Schaad Detective Agency which provides security for PennDOT, the Liquor Control Board, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike," Rep. Cohen wrote the State Police Commissioner. In the letter, Rep. Cohen wrote of ignored allegations from concerned Pennsylvanians that "Wantz was actively involved in a prostitution ring, both in recruitment of women and in financing operations." Citizens coming forward with their concerns include, Cohen writes, "Jim Sneddon, Controller of the City of York, and Herbert Grofcsik, a former York Police Commissioner." These leading members of the York community, Cohen notes, "complain there is nothing anyone can do about it," due to Wantz’s close ties to York County DA Stanley Rebert. Wantz's detective agency provides security not only for the state, but also for various government agencies in and around York County. Wantz also is a car dealer who has long provided services for DA Rebert and the DA's office. [...] Some of the security allegations involving Wantz were uncovered by a private investigator hired by the Dispatch, following a late-1990s prostitution scandal involving former state Senator Dan Delp, of York, who also was close ally of DA Rebert. [...] The body of Baltimore Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Luna was found near the Pennsylvania Turnpike in December 2003. Residents near the scene of Luna's murder complained to Keisling that police weren't investigating who may have had access to a turnpike access road located a half mile from the scene of Luna's death. The police instead have impounded boxes of turnpike tickets from a public toll plaza several miles from the murder scene. At the time of Luna's death, state and federal investigators intimated they were considering whether Luna may have had contact with a prostitute."
    • Bill Keisling, "PA Turnpike security contractor seeks federal injunction to ban Luna book", 2006/07/27
    • Bill Keisling, "Arrest of PA state security contractor Russell Wantz on prostitution charges puts millions of dollars in state contracts at risk", 2007/12/19 (Swatara Township Police Department arrest records for case no. 07-0019928; Pennsylvania state contracts with Schaad Detective Agency, Inc.): "Russell Wantz, one of the Rendell administration's top security contractors, was arrested in a police prostitution sting in suburban Harrisburg, PA, on December 10, 2007. He was charged with criminal attempt to patronize a prostitute, a misdemeanor. Wantz, 57, of York, PA, was charged by Swatara Township, PA, police with allegedly soliciting sex from a 21-year-old Harrisburg woman named Payonna Williams. [...] State contract records obtained by yardbird.com document that Wantz's firm, the Schaad Detective Agency, of York, PA, has received millions of dollars in Pennsylvania state contracts over the past decade. [...] Wantz's firm provides security for some of the most sensitive areas and buildings in Pennsylvania state government. Schaad provides security for PennDot's Riverfront Office Center, where driver's licenses are processed, for example, as well as security for the Turnpike Commission's main office building outside Harrisburg, and the Liquor Control Board. [...] Several state agencies are housed at the various state office buildings protected by Schaad, so various departments are involved in the security contracts. For example, a committee compromised of PennDot, the Board of Probation and Parole, the Department of Treasury, the Board of Finance and Revenue, the Bureau of Unclaimed Property and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission are parties to "Letters of Understanding" stating that these agencies representatives "shall have authority and permission to direct ... security personnel whenever the welfare of all of the employees of the building are at stake. ...(A) threat to the welfare of any employee in the building constitutes a threat to all employees in the building.""
    • The Patriot-News, "Detective agency owner to stand trial on prostitution charge", 2008/02/01: "The owner of one of the largest private detective and security agencies in central Pennsylvania will stand trial on a charge of criminal attempt to solicit a prostitute, a Dauphin County district judge ruled today. Russell Leroy Wantz Jr., 57, who owns the York-based Schaad Detective Agency, Inc., was arrested Dec. 10 in Swatara Twp., after police said he arraigned to meet a woman for sex at the Red Roof Inn. Wantz was responding to the woman's advertisement on CraigsList, a free online classifieds site, according to investigators. Wantz declined comment as he left District Judge Michael Smith's courtroom following his preliminary hearing."
    • The Morning Call (Allentown PA), "Entertainment in Keystone politics deserves better recognition", 2009/01/09: "With help from Rendell, the Schaad Detective Agency of York, run by Russell Wantz Jr., went from just two guys to more than 500 employees. According to Harrisburg muckraker Bill Keisling, an Emmaus native (www.yardbird.com), that agency benefited from contracts with at least three big agencies in the Rendell administration. Other news stories said Schaad had four contracts with state agencies worth $1 million in services. I called one of them, the Turnpike Commission, and was told Schaad did have a contract, but not now. Unfortunately, Rendell's favorite private eye may not be immediately available. Before Wantz can clean up other problems, he has one of his own. Wantz was busted last month in a prostitution investigation. In view of how the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has hobbled the DeNaples case, maybe there also is hope for Wantz to get off the hook."
    • Bill Keisling, "York County DA ensnarled in bid-rigging controversy", 2009/03/29 (parts 1, 2 of interview with Greg Turchetta): "A former employee of Best Chevrolet, of Spring Grove, PA, alleges in a court affidavit and video (click here to watch) that the dealership's owner, Russell Wantz, was given access to confidential bid information by York County District Attorney Stanley Rebert. Wantz would then win supposedly "sealed" county bid contracts. Those bids were all along rigged in Wantz's favor, the employee alleges. In return, the car dealership gave DA Rebert, and others, free use of bank-financed dealership cars in a so-called "Perpetual Loan Program." The alleged long-running bid-rigging scheme involved cars that were both sold, and loaned, between DA Rebert's office and Wantz's car dealership. [...] The employee, Greg Turchetta, former sales manager of Best Chevrolet, says that before the bidding period was over for one car transaction with York County government he was instructed by Wantz "not only to type up the bid, but to get the paper work together because it was sold and we needed to deliver it." [...] In December 2007, Wantz was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Harrisburg, PA. Wantz stands to lose his state contracts if convicted, state officials have said. Yet Wantz has not been brought to trial by Dauphin County Republican DA Ed Marcico. The women involved in Wantz's prostitution arrest have not-so-curiously long ago served jail time. DA Marsico in late February once again delayed Wantz's human trafficking trial -- this time until June 2009 -- until after DA Rebert's primary reelection day in May. DA Marsico has attended fellow Republican DA Rebert's campaign events, and is a political supporter of Rebert. Gov. Ed Rendell meanwhile has refused to terminate Russell Wantz's highly sensitive state security contracts, and has ignored Wantz's arrest for lewd acts, until Marsico figures out how to hold a trial. [...] On March 19, York County DA Rebert's first assistant DA, Bill Graff, resigned from office amid allegations made by local and state police that Graff revealed the identities of confidential police informants to at least one drug dealer. [...] Republican State Attorney General Tom Corbett, also a political supporter of DA Rebert's, refused to prosecute ADA Graff. [...] Corbett, a former attorney for Waste Management, Inc., has, like Gov. Rendell, instead busied himself by accepting tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions from known members of organized crime in return for lucrative casino licenses."
    • 2011 video upload of Greg Turchetta describing how his attorney Larry Heim / L.C. Heim of York PA, who represented and was friends with Russell Wantz, boasted of engaging in child prostitution in Costa Rica
    • Bill Keisling, "DA Tom Kearney asks FBI to investigate Corbett administration security contractor", 2011/11/16: "District Attorney Tom Kearney, of York County, PA, has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate longstanding allegations that Corbett Administration security provider Russell Wantz, Jr. has ongoing close ties to a prostitution and pedophile ring centered in and around the York County courthouse. Sex offender Wantz, of York County, was arrested in a Craigslist sting in December 2007, by Swatara Township police. In 2009, Wantz was granted an ARD by Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico. At the time Marsico refused to investigate Wantz further. [...] Among the allegations reviewed by DA Kearney and his county detectives are complaints that Wantz's campaign manager and lawyer, Larry "L.C." Heim, also of York, openly displayed to several clients photos of a young girl whom Heim openly boasts he'd bought for sex. [...] Three of Heim's cleints so far have come forward to say lawyer Heim showed them the photo of his sex victim. "Larry must've shown that photo to half the town," one client says. [...] Attorney General Corbett refused to investigate related complaints filed in 2005 by Chief County Detective Becky Downing in a federal lawsuit. In court papers Downing complained that York courthouse personnel used a state police forensic evidence computer to view child pornography." [...] Attorney Heim claims York County District Court President Judge Stephen Linebaugh, former President Judge Richard K. Renn, and Judge Maria Musti Cook protect the courthouse pedophile and prostitution ring. Heim's law partner, Robert Katherman, chaired Judge Cook's campaign for county judge."

Ray Gricar case

  • Seattle Times, "Missing DA: Is it foul play or did he commit suicide?", 2005/04/22: "Nine months from retirement, District Attorney Ray Gricar was feeling extremely fatigued, taking naps after work or even at lunchtime, his girlfriend said. She suggested he see a doctor. Then, last Friday, he disappeared after throwing on his jeans and sneakers and taking a Friday off from work. His red-and-white Mini Cooper was found the next day near an antiques mall he liked to visit 45 miles away, on the Susquehanna River. [...] Statements from his girlfriend are raising questions about the prosecutor’s physical and mental health. Patricia Fornicola “had encouraged Gricar to seek a medical examination for any possible medical or mental conditions that may need attention,” according to court papers. For three weeks, he had been complaining of fatigue. [...] The prosecutor’s brother, Roy Gricar, had just retired from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, when he disappeared in May 1996. 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 later was pulled from the water and his death ruled suicide by drowning. [...] Dixon said yesterday that a police dog that sniffed around the parking lot where Gricar’s car was found acted in a way that “possibly could have meant that Ray might have gotten into another vehicle.” He also said Gricar’s laptop cannot be found."
  • Centre Daily Times, "Foul play theory weakened", 2009/04/15: "Before he disappeared on April 15, 2005, police say former District Attorney Ray Gricar used his home computer to search the Internet for information on “how to wreck a hard drive,” “how to fry a hard drive,” and “water damage to a notebook computer.” Tuesday, a day before the fourth anniversary of Gricar’s disappearance, Bellefonte Police Detective Matthew Rickard released the information, raising the question of why Gricar would have wanted to destroy that hard drive. [...] Gricar was eight months from a planned retirement when he took a drive through Brush Valley toward Lewisburg on April 15, 2005. He hasn’t been heard from since. What was believed to be the hard drive from his county-issued laptop computer was found in the Susquehanna River six months later, separated from the computer itself, which had earlier been found in the river. Two FBI labs and Kroll Ontrack, a company that was able to recover data from hard drives on board Space Shuttle Columbia after it was destroyed, all evaluated the hard drive and concluded it was too damaged for data to be recovered. [...] “I don’t think it does anything to dispel the theory that he was murdered,” said Gricar’s friend and colleague, Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner. “As a matter of fact, I think it does the opposite. I believe that he was murdered. ... Why would he want to destroy information on a hard drive of a computer? Cause somebody wanted that information.” [...] Investigators previously had disclosed that they had, through interviews, heard that Gricar was talking about ways to erase a hard drive with friends and colleagues about 16 months before he disappeared. A box for such software was seen at his house around January 2004. “The investigation learned early on that Mr. Gricar had, in fact, purchased software to accomplish this,” Rickard said."
  • Centre Daily Times, "Southfield Sighting", 2011/02/14: "The date was Friday, May 27, 2005. The place was a restaurant in the Detroit suburb of Southfield, MI. The witness was having dinner with his daughter when he noticed someone who looked vaguely familiar; he couldn’t place the other man and pointed him out to his daughter. The man was with a woman, but one about 70 years old. The witness even said hello to the man, though the witness couldn’t place where he had seen him before. When the man returned home, he caught a repeat of a news show about Mr. Gricar, one that showed his photo. The witness instantly recognized that the photo was of the same man he had seen earlier in the day.4 The witness was more than just a run of the mill witness. He was a retired Detroit police officer who also happened to be a composite artist.4 He was possibly the best witness you could have for identifying faces. The retired officer spoke to his daughter, who agreed that it was the same man. He emailed the police. The police did a “photo lineup,” and the retired officer immediately picked out Mr. Gricar’s photo. The police checked the restaurant, and several of the employees said that the man was “familiar5.” [...] Southfield also has a foreign consulate, for the Republic of Macedonia, which was opened in 20036. This is significant because it is former Yugoslavian Republic, like Mr. Gricar’s ancestral home of Slovenia7; he had vacationed in Slovenia and had distant relatives there. It could be possible to enter Macedonia and using the documents go to Slovenia. A visa could be obtained at the consulate."
  • Deadspin, "What Is The CIA Hiding About The Missing DA Who Didn't Prosecute Jerry Sandusky In 1998? (Probably Nothing.)", 2012/04/03: "The documents we got back deal with an "URGENT" 1986 background check the FBI did on Gricar, when he was appointed by the local U.S. attorney to try federal cases. [...] the FBI consulted with the CIA before responding to my request. And 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. [...] So it appears the spooks might actually have something on Gricar, which drags us partway into conspiracy territory. [...] But consider this: Macedonia was part of the former Yugoslavia. So was Slovenia. And Gricar's FBI file reveals trips to communist Yugoslavia during the Cold War (in 1973 and 1984). These caught the attention of the federal background checkers in 1986. They noted the Yugoslavia travel on the "name check" forms submitted to the CIA. Was Gricar spooking in the Balkans? Was he merely visiting family members in Slovenia? [...] So I returned to The Wolf, who had another interesting observation after studying Gricar's SF-86 form, which is the mandatory questionnaire the FBI gives to people up for national security jobs: There may be something worth following up. Gricar did not include his summer spent at John Carroll University (Cleveland, OH) on his SF-86. Unusual for him, because he was one of those boring, precise and extremely responsible individuals who never overlooked anything. The FBI interviewed several people at JCU, including the asst. dean who said that Gricar "took Economics 101 from an instructor who was a _______________ and departed from the staff after the summer of 1966 and did not list an address". I inserted Yugoslav in the space, and it fit."
  • The Patriot-News, "The hunt for Ray Gricar: 15 years of clues, theories and the search for answers", 2020/04/15: "I did some legwork before meeting The Informant. [...] I reached out to a few more people in law enforcement who were familiar with him. They vouched for him, at least hypothetically, as a plausible source because he already served as a police informant in a somewhat high-profile case. It didn’t get much press coverage but The Informant’s actions may well have saved someone’s life. [...] it’s been years since he was told the story of what happened to Ray and years since he told the state police. [...] That was back in 2009 and 2010, he said, and he expected he’d take the story to his grave. [...] The Informant came upon his information in 2008, while incarcerated at SCI Camp Hill, which serves as a processing facility for incoming prisoners before they are assigned to facilities elsewhere across the state. His cellmate was a boisterous man who claimed to work with a partner, a fixer for a criminal organization with various interests scattered about the state. Together, The Informant said, they committed arsons, assaults and murders. [...] According to The Informant, the cellmate and this other man, who is still alive, were contracted to kidnap and murder Ray as a means of slowing down a drug investigation. In 2005, Ray and then-Attorney General Tom Corbett were investigating a massive drug ring based in and around State College, which was announced one month prior to Ray’s disappearance. [...] A female acquaintance of the two men, who is now also deceased, was paid to lure Ray to the Street of Shops with the promise of connecting him with information about the drug ring. The Informant said Ray and this woman drove to a nearby hotel — the cellmate didn’t specify which — where the partner surprised Ray, broke his neck and hauled his body into the trunk of a waiting car. Then, as his story goes, the two men drove Ray’s body to a remote game land and dumped his body down an abandoned mine shaft submerged in water."
  • TODO: add information from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office documents on Delmart Vreeland regarding his alleged knowledge of DA Gricar's fate
  • Drug ring investigation that Gricar was part of shortly before his disappearance
    • Daily Collegian, "Six arrested in heroin case", 2005/04/01: "A grand jury investigation resulted in the arrests and arraignments of six people yesterday, as part of what the Attorney General's Office has called the "largest heroin operation that we have ever seen in Centre County." "In the years of 2003 and 2004 based on testimony, we estimated it was $1 million worth of heroin and a half a million dollars in cocaine, in street price," Senior Deputy Attorney General Michael Madeira said. Among those arrested and arraigned were Kenyon Ebeling, 36, of 795 Ashworth Lane, Boalsburg; Shauna Foss, 25, of 118 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Centre Hall; Michelle Sopp, 20, of 1400 Martin St.; Nicholas Oswald, 25, of 3130 Sheffield Drive; Trista Shope of 664 Southgate Drive; and Joseph McGlaughlin, 36, of 1632 Birchcourt St. Taji Lee, 24, of Newark, N.J., who is currently being held on $1 million bail in Centre County Prison for other drug violations, is now being held on an additional $500,000 for new charges related to yesterday's arrests. Jenna Reeves, 54, of 908 Kay Street, Boalsburg, was in the hospital and will be charged with one count of drug delivery and one count of conspiracy, Madeira said. Bradley Arzner, 25, of 911 W. Aaron Drive, is a fugitive wanted in connection with the drug charges, including seven counts of possession with intent to deliver the drugs, Madeira said. [...] Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar said heroin and cocaine are problems that have been increasing throughout Pennsylvania. "This was investigated by a statewide grand jury and as a result, drug charges being filed," he said. "It's a significant victory for combined law enforcement to deal with the drug problem." Gricar said the Centre County Drug Task Force provided the initial information and as the investigation progressed, the Attorney General's Office began to investigate. The investigation began in late 2004, after the grand jury received reports of Lee distributing heroin and cocaine in Centre County, according to court documents."
    • Bill Keisling, "Another drug prosecutor vanishes on a Pennsylvania car ride", 2005/04/17 (revised 2005/04/30): "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.... "Corbett said narcotics investigators began probing Lee's activities in 2003. At that time, agents had begun getting reports of heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine being distributed in Centre County by an individual known as 'Verbal,' who was reportedly transporting large quantities of heroin and cocaine from New Jersey to Centre County.... "On Jan. 11, 2005, Lee was arrested by officers from the Centre County Drug Task Force shortly after he allegedly arranged to deliver 348 bags of heroin to an undercover agent. "Corbett said that the grand jury also recommended that Lee be charged in connection with a fatal heroin overdose which occurred in State College. The grand jury found that Lee was the source of heroin involved in the Jan. 28, 2004 death of Boyd Francis. "Lee allegedly delivered 30 packets of heroin to Francis the evening before Francis died. In addition, the grand jury found that Lee instructed associates to destroy the remaining heroin used to supply Francis, after police seized several packets of heroin while investigating the fatal overdose.""
    • Bill Keisling, "The disappearance of DA Ray Gricar: Fear and loathing in Happy Valley", 2005/04/27 (updated 2005/04/29): "I inquired about the very real possibility that Gricar may have been stalked by a vengeful supplier connected to the "million-and-a-half-dollar" heroin and cocaine ring Gricar had just helped shut down. [...] "They're looking into that," Chief Dixon said, addressing the possible connection with the drug case. Then, just as quickly, he amazingly dismissed this line of inquiry as a theory someone somewhere deemed not worthy of exhaustive exploration. Referring to decisions already made somewhere in Attorney General Corbett's office, Dixon said, for some reason "they don't think" the recent, "million-and-a-half-dollar" drug case involving alleged middleman Taji "Verbal" Lee had anything to do with DA Gricar's strange disappearance." [...] (One other peculiar similarity in both the Gricar and Luna vanishings, is that Luna's body reappeared in an Amish community, while Gricar vanished in one. If you really want to get creeped out thinking about this, consider reports in recent years that Amish youth had been recruited into the drug trade by motorcycle gangs....)"
    • Centre Daily Times, "Four Plead Guilty to Aiding Drug Distribution", 2005/12/20: "Four people charged with helping distribute $1.5 million worth of heroin and cocaine in Centre County pleaded guilty to drug and criminal conspiracy charges Monday. Prosecutors said the four were charged in connection with an investigation into Taji “Verbal” Lee, who, when he was arrested in January, police called one of the biggest heroin dealers in the county. Lee, of New Jersey, was arrested on numerous drug charges after an undercover officer arranged to purchase 400 baggies of heroin, worth about $7,500, from him, according to court reports. He remains in Centre County Correctional Facility, awaiting trial. Prosecutors relied upon testimony from Lee’s co-defendants to build a case against Lee, even convincing one co-defendant, Kenyon A. Ebeling, 36, of Boalsburg, to tape record phone conversations with Lee. Other co-defendants who pleaded guilty Monday are Bradley J. Arzner, 25, of State College, Nicholas S. Oswald, 25, formerly of State College, and Trista L. Shope, 24, of State College. Arzner pleaded guilty to one count of delivery of drugs, three counts of possession with intent to deliver and one count of criminal conspiracy. He faces three to six years in prison on those charges. He also pleaded guilty to charges in an unrelated case, in which he was accused of stabbing Penn State student David Pimentel during a fight on Hiester Street in December 2004. He entered pleas to charges of terroristic threats and aggravated assault in that case. He faces three to six years in prison on the drug charges, and four to eight years on the stabbing charges, said prosecutor Michael Madeira, senior deputy attorney general and Centre County district attorney-elect. Ebeling pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to deliver, one count each of criminal conspiracy, criminal use of a communication device and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful actions. She faces 111/2 to 23 months in jail. Shope pleaded guilty to one count each criminal conspiracy and possession with intent to deliver. She faces one to two years in prison."
    • Daily Collegian, "Druglord gets 30 to 60 years", 2006/07/19: "The New Jersey man convicted of running the largest heroin and cocaine ring in Centre County history received what the judge called the longest prison sentence handed down in a Centre County drug case yesterday -- a minimum of 30 years in state prison. The moment 25-year-old Taji "Verbal" Lee stepped out of the police squad car to enter the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte, he began to grin and chatter with bystanders. Throughout the proceedings he mumbled at attorneys and argued with Centre County Judge Bradley Lunsford. Lee only quieted down when Lunsford cited each count he was convicted of and sentenced him to prison for anywhere from 30 to 60 years, with a fine of $90,000. [...] Lee argued with Lunsford, saying the prosecution targeted him and denied him a fair trial. "This case turned out to be a political grand slam -- a lot of people got new jobs because of my case," Lee said. "It wasn't about right or wrong here, it was about a conviction." As Lunsford read Lee his rights to appeal, Lee rebutted, announcing that he already started the process. "It doesn't matter what you sentence," Lee told the judge in his statement. "Eventually I'll either be sitting in front of you again or be on the streets ... I'll be seeing you guys again real soon." Prosecutor Dave Gorman said Lee's appeal would not be successful. [...] Lee addressed Lunsford, the Centre County District Attorney's office, the Pennsylvania Assistant Attorney General, Goreman and undercover agents before he was sentenced. He accused all parties of conspiring against him. "I think I made my point clear that Dave Gorman is an idiot," Lee said. "Mike Madeira is not an idiot. He is an intelligent person; he knows how to kick the dirt where it needs to be kicked to keep things covered." Defense Attorney Jeff Stover, who defended Lee in place of his trial attorney Ron McGlaughlin, argued that the amount of prison time offered through a plea bargain during the case -- 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison -- was an appropriate amount for Lee to be sentenced."
    • The Patriot-News, "Ten years later, Ray Gricar's disappearance still haunts many", 2015/04/14: "One of the early reprisal inquiries centered around Taji "Verbal" Lee. That March, just a couple weeks before his disappearance, Gricar had joined Corbett in announcing the shutdown of what Corbett described as the "largest heroin operation we have ever seen in Centre County." Zaccagni said he tracked down numerous leads involving that case and, as it turned out, none of the timelines for Lee and his associates corresponded with Gricar's vanishing."
  • Alleged suicide of Ray's brother Roy Gricar
    • Documents from case nos. CH-CA-40709 and CH-CA-50246: DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AIR FORCE MATERIEL COMMAND 88TH AIR BASE WING WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OHIO, Respondent and AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, LOCAL 1138, AFL-CIO, Charging Party, 1995 - mentions "Roy James Gricar" as part of the charging party and calls him "Vice President of Local 1138" as well as "Roy James Gricar, Vice-President American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1138 P.O. Box 1505 Fairborn, OH 45323"
    • Tom Ashley, "Will We Ever Know?": "It was 1996 and Roy Gricar and I were back at our prep school, Gilmour Academy, for our 35th reunion. [...] A year later my phone rang. It was Roy. “Tom, I’m going to be in London in two weeks,” he said. “Can we get together?” We arranged that he and his wife Carol would come to the flat where I lived with my girlfriend and that we’d have dinner together there. Roy and Carol arrived on time and we had a nice meal with several bottles of Bordeaux. At one point in the evening, Roy pulled me aside and asked if we could speak privately. He had seemed jumpy and slightly (or not so slightly) nervous. We stepped outside into the garden. He then told me his story. “My job is Civilian Approval Expenditure Manager for Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.” My eyes widened. We had all read stories about the continuing scandals of the military’s needless expenditures for $350 hammers and useless equipment, and overbilling and overpaying practices. I was primed for listening to a secret. Gricar told me about an action he had recently taken regarding a contract for the maintenance of Air Force jet engine cargo planes. [...] Roy felt that was an unsafe and incorrect procedure, and in the report he filed he said so and refused to sign off on the contract. Not long afterward, Roy said, a cargo jet crashed, killing all crew members. He immediately went back to check his files on the plane maintenance orders and recommendations. But they, along with his computer, were gone. Roy went to tell the top commanding officer at the base, but not one of the officers would speak with him about the crash. He then stopped to think and decided it would be unsafe if he went higher up in the military or even to the local police. “Tom, I’m a wreck. What do you think I should do? I feel my life is in danger.” [...] I never heard from Roy again. A year after that dinner, one of my classmates, Bill Crookson, called to tell me that Roy Gricar was dead. It had been called a suicide."
  • Jonathan Luna murder - an Assistant US Attorney in Baltimore MD who turned up dead in Lancaster County PA in late 2003 during a major drug conspiracy case that he had been prosecuting