Monday, June 24

More questions about who closed the 1998 Sandusky investigation

More alterations of the police report and e-mail evidence indicates that someone else called the shots in 1998 - not Ray Gricar

By
Ray Blehar

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.
Understanding Ray Gricar's propensity to examine all the evidence before determining to charge a case, the amount of elapsed time was insufficient for not only Gricar, but for Wayne Weaver, to review and sign off on the police report.  However, there is more...

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.








21 comments:

  1. I thought, based on earlier analyses presented here and on transcripts of testimonies, that Lauro's actions and statements were highly suspicious. It seems to me that the decision to not investigate Sandusky was made when Seasock was brought in, or before. Perhaps everything after May 8, at the latest, was pro forma.

    Ray, what's your current thinking on Lauro's role in all this? Seems whoever was directing his actions/ words back then would be happy to sacrifice him as the scapegoat now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that DPW scuttled the investigation by bringing in Seasock to conduct the evaluation - however, the decision to not "indicate" Sandusky as a child abuser probably was a foregone conclusion. His history as a foster and adoptive parent, plus his role with Second Mile, made him "untouchable" in the minds of the CYS and DPW caseworkers.

      I wouldn't point at any one individual as much as I would point to the system failing.

      And the system is still failing today.

      Delete
  2. Your chain of events/activities would lead one to believe that some people were aware of Sandusky's tendencies prior to 1998. Do you feel that maybe that played a role in his so called retirement?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The list of people who knew about the 1998 investigation is quite long -- and I find it hard to believe that the PSU BOT was not made aware of it in some way.

      There is nothing on the record to say whether or not the BOT was aware of Sandusky's proclivities prior to 1998.

      I think that maybe Freeh got that one right - the 1998 case had nothing to do with Sandusky's retirement.

      And from a football perspective, Sandusky had fallen out of favor as the next head coach after the 1994 season. Ganter was the heir apparent. Sandusky's defenses had underpeformed in the years leading up to his retirement.

      Joe was being honest when he said he should have talked to Jerry about retiring five or six years earlier.

      Delete
  3. I think it was very wrong for the Attorney General to ask/tell Freeh not to interview Harmon. It is astounding that any one, including the Board of Trustees and the NCAA, could think Freeh did an independent and objective investigation in view of Freeh's statements from page 12 of his report

    "At the request of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Special Investigative Counsel did not interview former Pennsylvania State University Director of Public Safety Thomas Harmon or former coach Michael McQueary, among others.  Although the information these individuals could have provided would have been pertinent to the investigation, the findings contained in this report represent a fair, objective and comprehensive analysis of facts.  Moreover, the extensive contemporaneous documentation that the Special Investigative Counsel collected provided important insights, even into the actions of those who
    declined to be interviewed."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure that the lawyers (Paul Kelly and Wick Sollers) for the Paterno family lawsuit against the NCAA will use this inforation about Harmon in their case. Hopefully, they will get standing and be able to argue the case.

      Delete
  4. Ray, the bottom line here is, Sandusky had not even been working for Paterno for 14 years when he was arrested! So wouldn't it be safe to say the Second Mile/PA state government connection is much more of a plausible reason for the Attorney General's office not to arrest Sandusky for that same amount of time, 14 years? I mean, instead of saying Paterno was Jerry's keeper, which is false, and blaming Paterno, isn't it more obvious to look at a money connection instead of assuming an 80 year old man should have known where an independent like Sandusky was 24/7? Sandusky represented Second Mile after he retired, not PSU or Paterno. So what's with the public perception of Paterno being all-knowing, and therefore to blame for Sandusky's crimes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that almost ANY OTHER scenario is more plausible than the current "crock of spit" that PSU covered this up to avoid bad publicity.

      Yes, I agree the financial connections between Second Mile and the PA Gov't should be examined and I believe Kane's investigation was asked to look at that as a potential reason for the "slow roll."

      Delete
  5. Ray, the Spanier Grand Jury Presentment (PDF pages 3-4) indicate that Ray Gricar closed the case prior to the interview of Sandusky conducted on June 1, 1998. http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Press/spanier-schultz-curley_presentment-11-1-12.pdf

    This article indicated that he closed it two days after receiving the Seasock Report. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/03/patriot-news_exclusive_psychol.html

    The date the Seasock report was faxed to CYS was May 21, 1998.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ray, at the preliminary hearing, the prosecution introduced an e-mail, dated 6/1/98, from Harmon to Schultz, which indicated that the case had been closed.

    Schultz did respond to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Schultz responded on June 8th or 9th -- after he returned from vacation.

      Delete
  7. Hey Ray... Do you have any ideas what you think may have happened in the disapperance of Ray Gricar ????

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ray, why is this not so plane to see !!! Governor Corbett and Harmon had EVERYTHING to do with this cover up. They didn't want to lose money from the Second mile!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ray.....what is your honest opinion on what you think happened to Gricar??? My honest opinion is I think he was taken out by , well I think we all know, T.C and Harmon. They had to give the approval only to protect the incoming cash flow from the Second Mile $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've not investigated that case. Any ideas at this point would be speculative. I may look at the case when I'm done with this one.

      Delete
  10. Wooooow !!!! Not expected to hear that reply !!!!! Isn't this all tied into one ???? Why is everyone afraid to blame Corbett ??? Or why is everyone afraid to go POLITICAL on this ??? This all the same Ray, you know it, I know it ??? Get some balls n go political .

    ReplyDelete
  11. How u segregate cases when they are all involved into one .... Total cop out ray . r u afraid to go political... I just called Kathleen Kane's office and told her sec what I thought I gave my number and name . I told her to call me if she needed help !!.. Why are u afraid ???

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sorry. Csn't say if it is or isn"t related untll I evaluate evidence and investigate.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ok I can both u and john zeigler are AFRAID to go political ....how interesting ??? I think you both want the hype but HYPE but without the consequences....aka R.G !!!!! THINK ABOUT IT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's nothing political about what I do. I'm a registered Republican who has written many articles condemning Tom Corbett for his decisions on the Sandusky case.

      As I said, I have not investigated the Gricar case. Period. Not going to investigate it until I am done with this case. I have nothing to say about it - except that I put no credence at all in what has been written in the press about it. However, that statement would fit anything I would investigate.

      Delete