Ray Emmons, 1942-2017: Clearwater's cop who sniffed out Scientology's secrets - 2017-10-28
Yesterday, Ray Emmons died of a heart attack. He was 75. We're remembering him here at the Underground Bunker with the help of Robert Peterson, 68, who got to know Ray when Bob was working for the Lisa McPherson Trust in 2000.
In 1975, when buildings in Clearwater were purchased under the name "United Churches of Florida," it didn't take locals long to figure out that something was fishy. In fact, it was L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology invading the town with subterfuge. Later, shocking things about Scientology were revealed in documents uncovered in an FBI raid, and the city of Clearwater wanted to learn more about its new residents. The job of investigating Scientology locally fell to a Clearwater Police Department sergeant by the name of Ray Emmons, who soon was promoted to lieutenant. His work laid the foundation for the 1982 hearings held by the city, and Ray's famously comprehensive report was released the following year, in 1983.
Ray L. Emmons was born on March 31, 1942 in Carey, Ohio. He got a bachelor's degree from St. Leo University, and a masters degree in criminal justice from the University of South Florida. He served in the US Navy from 1960 to 1964, and in 1967 he married Georgienne "Gigi" Tice. They have two daughters, Kimberly and Christine. Ray started with the Clearwater PD in 1968 and worked there until 1985, when he went to work for the Pasco County Sheriff's Department until 1993. Following that he worked as a private investigator and later, his favorite job of all, as a substitute teacher for the Pinellas County school system.