The widely accepted story that Ray Gricar closed the 1998 investigation is one among the many "myths" of that investigation. The list of "myths" is long - but that's another story for another time.
Recent examination of the evidence in the 1998 case -- and particularly - the report of the May 13th, 1998 sting and the timeline related to a Tom Harmon e-mail reveal that everyone but Ray Gricar decided the outcome of the case.
In the previous blog about Tom Harmon's role in the case, it was revealed that:
- Harmon was neighbors with Sandusky and attended the same church.
- Harmon didn't make an entry in the crime log for the 1998 incident.
- On June 1, Sandusky was interviewed at 11:00AM by Detective Schreffler and Jerry Lauro (DPW).
- On June 1, at 1:10 PM, Chief Tom Harmon e-mailed Gary Schultz to inform him there would be no charges.
- Harmon said he never discussed the case with Ray Gricar.
- Schreffler said Gricar told Harmon to close the case.
The report of the June 1st, 1998 interview with Sandusky was not typed into the police report until June 3rd -- confirming the fact that Gricar could not have reviewed the report on June 1 and made the decision to close the case. Hat tip, Jimmy W.
The timeline the works best for the closure of the 1998 investigation can be found by typing Harrisburg, PA in the "B" location and State College, PA in the "A" location of google directions. The answer yields one hour and 39 minutes.
Relooking at the timeline, the interview with Sandusky occurred at 11AM. Allowing 15 minutes for the interview, Lauro then exited the building, hopped in the car and arrived at his office at around 1PM. After telling his boss that the interview was over and there was "nothing there," the boss made a few phone calls and Harmon got the word. By 1:10PM Harmon had typed out the e-mail to Schultz to tell him the investigation was closed.
The Pro-Forma Interview
The June 1, 1998 interview with Sandusky was purely a pro-forma (check the box) activity for Lauro and DPW. The decision that Sandusky was not going to be "indicated" as an abuser was made long before the June 1st interview - at some time on or before May 13, 1998.
On May 13 at 4:48PM, Harmon sent the following e-mail to Schultz (note this is Exhibit 2B, which the time and dates are out of order) stating that DPW wanted "to resolve this quickly."
Upon further investigation, it is highly likely that DPW's decision to "resolve this quickly" was made before they knew the police had completed the first sting of Sandusky. DPW wasn't actively involved in the case once Seasock reported on May 8th that Sandusky was not exhibiting behaviors typical of a pedophile.
The First Sting
According to the police report, Schreffler met with State College Police Chief Ralph Ralston at 3:40PM on 13 May 1998 to set up the sting of Sandusky at the residence of Victim 6 and his mother. As you will see in the report below Sandusky arrived at the residence on 5/13/98 at 4:05 PM (at arrow) and spoke with the mother.
Apparently the police were recording the conversation with a tape recorder. As the conversation continues, Sandusky become dejected, ends the conversation, and leaves. I suspect the discussion lasted maybe five minutes or ten at the most (allowing for a pregnant pause or two). However, the police report indicates that the interview ended at exactly the same time Sandusky arrived (4:05PM). But upon close inspection, it is clear that the second digit in 4:05 was altered.
It appears the number may have been 4:15PM before it was changed. Is this just a typographical error by Schreffler or was the number changed after the fact for another reason?
Once again, we need to get an answer on this from Harmon (or Schreffler).
The timeline of the sting, allowing 10 minutes for the conversation between Sandusky and the mother, the recaps with the police, and travel time would be:
4:05PM - Sandusky arrives
4:05-4:15PM - Sandusky and the mother speak
4:15PM - Sandusky departs
4:15-4:25PM - Police discuss interview with the mother. Mother relays concern about rear door.
4:25-4:30PM - Ralston and Schreffler discuss case.
4:30-4:38PM - Schreffler drives from Nittany Gardens back to the police department.
4:40-4:45PM - Schreffler informs Harmon of results of sting.
4:48PM - Harmon e-mails Schultz and indicates that DPW wants to resolve the matter quickly.
Unless Schreffler called Harmon on the police radio and Harmon immediately called DPW, there was almost no time for DPW to have learned that the sting came up empty - for which to base the decision to resolve the matter quickly.
So, who made the decision to "resolve the matter" quickly?
The evidence seems to point to Tom Harmon.