Many years have passed since Gricar’s disappearance. Immediate rumors were that he may have absconded to Slovenia. In fact, this theory was so viable that law enforcement had his “missing person” flyers translated into Slovak and Russian initially after his disappearance.
This is not far fetched, and here are a few reasons why:
- Gricar had known relatives in Slovenia, and kept a photo of his cousins in his office, which was present the day he disappeared. He proudly pointed this photo out to friends and colleagues in his office, and was known to speak frequently and fondly of his relatives another world away, in Slovenia.
- Gricar minored in Russian while in college, and was known to speak Russian semi-fluently, and Slovak fluently. He was said to love the language.
- Gricar spent some time in Slovenia meeting up with family sometime during college and shortly after college. The FBI report even notes this, and speculates it as a potential destination if he were to have ran.
- Gricar disappeared, and the last known sighting was in Southfield, Michigan – where he was spotted by (of all people) a retired policeman sketch artist (pretty credible sighting), so credible it drew law enforcement to travel out there. Southfield Michigan happens to be a Detroit suburb with a macedonian Consulate, about 40 miles away from the consulate. In addition, it was only a mere miles from the Canada border – Where one might hide if they were “on the run” from U.S. law enforcement.
- Law enforcement, purportedly, at one time traveled to Slovenia after Gricar’s disappearance to interview his relatives. Nothing came of it, and his relatives were closed lipped.
Imagine the embarrassment, then, when the annual Lawyers Directory of the Pennsylvania Bar Association was published last month and it was discovered that among the listing of 50,000 people licensed to practice law in the state was one “Hon. Joseph F. O’Kicki,” who, it turned out, had hung up a shingle in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, and was soliciting business from there.
Pennsylvania-licensed lawyers use the directory to network for legal services among themselves, not only within the state but indeed around the globe. So the directory lists the names, addresses and telephone numbers of a far-flung lot: there are 12 members of the Pennsylvania bar in Japan, for instance, along with seven in France, two in Guam and one each in Jamaica, India and Italy.
And one in Slovenia, who, although he had long since become a fugitive, managed to evade the State Disciplinary Board’s directory screening process because the Pennsylvania Supreme Court did not get around to suspending his license until December. “It’s just something that slipped through,” said Paul J. Burgoyne, an aide to the board, “and it’s unfortunate.” –New York Times: CITATION
But it gets even stranger than that. If you talk to Ray Gricar’s right hand man and good friend Steve Sloane, (former Assistant District Attorney in Centre County): Sloane will easily relay to you the strange connection between Gricar and Joseph O’Kicki. It wasn’t just a shared mutual heritage of being from Slovenia……
Gricar actually dated Joseph O’Kicki’s daughter while in High School, and had remained a close personal friend of the family. Yes, you heard that right. Gricar dated the daughter of the indicted Judge who is under federal investigation for helping her father escape.
But it gets stranger, because Sloane says while he was in high school, he dated Joseph O’Kicki’s daughter as well.
And Sloane also says that his friend Ray Gricar, who visited him daily in the hospital after his car wreck and read to him, happens to be alive and well. He swears it, but remains very secretive as to his reasons for thinking so. When pried further, Sloane changes the subject.
My theory? Gricar is alive and well, possibly practicing law under another name with former Judge Joseph O’Kicki in Slovenia. And more than that, his family and close friends know this, which is why the search for him has gone cold.
Stay tuned for my next blog, as I am finishing the Pamela West novel. And have some more information which you might not have heard before.