Thursday, September 29, 2016

**Updated** Coordinates Linked to 4Chan thread

Someone just alerted me to this post that appeared on 4Chan, in 2015. The coordinates on Desolation Trail appear along with this message: "Bring a shovel. You'll have to trespass to get into the area, but no one will be around"

Here's the link. Warning: it contains not-safe-for-work images.

There may be a bit of an "echo chamber" effect here as readers have noted the 4chan post is dated the same day as the original post on the blog, meaning the poster could have simply grabbed the coordinates here and reposted on 4chan for internet karma.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Unfound Clue

Just a reminder that nobody has yet successfully traveled to the coordinates off Desolation Trail, where Maura's body is alleged to be found, according to an anonymous email I received several years ago. The weather is about to turn, again, and soon the location will be under snow.

Click here for more on that story and the coordinates.

Do not try this if you are not an experienced hiker. Do not go alone. Be aware that there might be a goddamn bear trap or something left there for me.

And please provide evidence in photographs and gps data if you go.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Who are Peabody and Citigirl?

On early messageboards, there were two frequent posters who seemed intimate with the investigation: "Peabody" and "Citigirl." I have heard rumors about who these people really are, but so far have seen no solid proof. Can anyone prove the identity of these posters? Email me:

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Woman From New England Leaves Family, Creates New Life

The strange case of Lori Erica Ruff was just solved by some astute online sleuths. Looks like this woman wanted to leave her family behind and start fresh, under a new name.

Then one day, she told her mom she was leaving for good. Don’t come after me, she warned.
The family never heard from her again. They tried everything they could think of, but Kimberly had ensured they would never find her by changing her name not once but twice.
It's not very well known, but there are certain agencies in New England that help women leave abusive situations and start a new life somewhere. I wonder if that's what Lori did.

Read the full article at The Seattle Times. It's a great piece of journalism and an odd end to an odd story.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Maura Murray Went Off the Grid Before Leaving UMass

Now that the excitement around the book has calmed down a bit, I think I'm able to see the data related to this case with clear eyes. There's a lot we missed in the phone records that I received last year. Yesterday, I talked about how the phone call data suggests Maura was with Kate Markopoulos just before she left UMass and disappeared. Today, something else hit me:

It appears that Maura turned her phone off when she was still at UMass.

In fact, Maura appears to have turned the phone off at exactly 2:18 p.m. since no incoming call was logged on her account from Bill Rausch's phone number. His records show he called her at 2:21, 2:22, and 2:24. Since we know she was in range of a cell tower at that time, due to her call at 2:18 to Bill's voicemail, the only way Bill's calls could not register on her bill is if Maura's phone was off.

There are two ways this is possible. 1. It ran out of batteries. 2. She turned it off.

I think the most likely explanation is that Maura purposefully turned off her cell phone immediately after Bill called Kate Markopoulos's dorm room at 2:18 p.m. Bill was looking for her. Maura didn't want to talk.

So, the next question is: did Maura turn off her phone just so that Bill couldn't find her? Or did she turn it off so that nobody could find her?

Maura made one last and final phone call, when she turned on her phone again around 4:37 p.m. She checked her voicemail.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Was Maura with Kate Just Before She Left UMass?

I'm taking another close look at the phone records for Bill Rausch and Maura Murray, from the day Maura disappeared, and I found a sequence of calls that is interesting.

According to Bill, he was "out in the field" helping with some kind of training exercise at Fort Sill. But apparently, there was cell phone reception out there because he's busy calling Maura all morning. She's not returning his calls. Then, at 2 p.m. EST, Maura sends this email to Bill:

Subject: hey hey
To: "Bill Rausch"

I love you more stud
I got your messages, but honestly, i didn't feel like talking to much of anyone, i promise
to call today though
love you

Bill ignores this and calls her cell phone again. Maura doesn't answer. So at 2:18 EST, he calls Kate Markopoulos's room at UMass, twice in one minute. Seconds later, Maura calls Billy back but he's still connected to Kate's room so the call goes to voicemail.

Bill then immediately calls Maura's cell again. Three times. She doesn't answer.

A couple take-aways: there was some stress between Maura and Bill that day. And Maura is only prompted to call him once he calls Kate. Did Kate tell Maura? Why wouldn't she talk to Maura if Maura's boyfriend was calling from Fort Sill - obviously Billy really wanted to get a message to Maura. Was Maura in Kate's room - is that how she knew he was calling at that moment?

But what happened next? That is the question.

Again, phone records show that Bill is petty consistently making phone calls that day (he made a LOT of calls, to West Point professors and former girlfriends and family members) and that alone suggests he could not have been in the White Mountains, where cell phone service is scarce to this day.

A year ago, I asked Bill about his alibi. Here's the email he sent back.

As previously discussed with you and confirmed by authorities in NH while I was on the ground searching for Maura after she went missing, I was at Fort Sill, OK the day Maura went missing to include the weeks in advance. The last time I saw her was during the holiday season.

Understanding that you need to confirm, please reference the information below.

- From June 2003-June 2004 I was assigned as the Executive Officer (XO) to Charlie Battery, 1-19th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, OK.

Two individuals who can confirm that I was at work when Maura went missing and that I was unable to leave until the Army gave me permission are:

1. Senior Drill Sergeant Robert Ramos -- assigned to Charlie Battery, 1-19th FA and in charge of operations and all Drill Sergeants assigned to the unit.
2. LT Nate Mayfield -- roommate at the time

Nate Mayfield and Robert Ramos have not returned emails or phone calls asking to confirm.

The Top 5 Episodes of "Missing Maura Murray"

In July, 2015, Lance Reenstierna & Tim Pilleri launched a humble podcast about the mystery of Maura Murray's disappearance, with a special focus on the obsessive minds that are attracted to the case. Since then, they've produced over 30 episodes of "Missing Maura Murray" and their little podcast has attracted many obsessive fans of its own.

It's a mostly thankless job. They work hard for weeks on a single podcast and once it's up, because of the nature of the case, and the disparate opinions on what happened to Maura, they face constant criticism and anger. But those same people are the first to start asking, "When's the next one going up? I need my fix."

If you haven't already started listening and want to catch up, here's my list of the Essential Episodes, the top five podcasts you shouldn't skip.

5. Episode 11 "Defining Sociopath."
Early on, Lance and Tim ending an episode with an off-the-cuff quote by yours truly, where I called Maura Murray a sociopath. I've since reconsidered that statement. Now that new evidence about her relationship with Bill Rausch has come to light, I consider Maura not a sociopath but a survivor. In this episode, the guys interview University of New Hampshire Professor of Forensic Psychology Doctor Robert Eckstein to get some clarity on the definition of sociopath and whether Maura might be one.

4.  Episode 8 "Fred's Letters."
I think episode eight is where Lance & Tim hit their stride. There's so much going on in this episode, from an examination of Fred's letters to the state of New Hampshire, to the introduction of "Truthseeker," to a discussion about a former police officer's Facebook post, in which he claims to know the location of Maura's body.

3. Episode 21 "Behind the Scenes."
After criticism that the Missing Maura Murray podcast is a bit of a sausage fest, the guys bring on some much-needed female voices, specifically investigator "KF" and Vanessa Grigoriadis, who wrote a much-referenced early article about the case.

2. Episode 29 "Rick Graves."
This interview with Rick Graves, who worked beside Fred Murray for many months, searching the woods for Maura Murray, was more enlightening that a dozen online articles about the case.

1. Episode 27 "Questions & Answers"
The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office responds to a list of questions Lance & Tim posed about the case. These are definitive answers from law enforcement that end speculation on certain aspects of the case while raising new questions.