Sunday, February 24, 2019

Changing Minds

I need to accept that nothing I write on this blog will change anyone's mind. And continuing to write about how this case has devolved into conspiracy and superstition - blaming the police - only brings more anger and hostility. Because of this, I will not continue to write regular posts on this blog, but I do want to preserve some of the more important posts for people who have found this site while doing research on the case.

A cop who was the center of conspiracy theories by armchair sleuths in this case, took his life last week. How much of that decision was based on what he'd read about himself on the Internet? We don't know. Maybe it was only a drop in the bucket, something in the back of his mind that made him sad or disenchanted. I do know that if he read those things, it affected him. I know because I've been the target of so many attacks for reporting the facts of this case. And there's a helpless feeling that comes with that. Because you want to calmly explain to them how they got it wrong, how they're letting their paranoia get the best of them. But it's out of your control. They've made up their minds.

And, this small and loud group, they really want their conspiracies. They want their made-up stories. Because it's exciting to imagine that there is some boogeyman out there, even though none exists in this case. They need a bad person to focus their blame. And if you try to take that away from them, you become that bad guy.

Whatever that policeman's reasons were, he didn't deserve to spend the last year and a half of his life having people suggest he killed Maura Murray or helped to cover it up when there was no basis in fact to support such defamation. To be clear: the police had nothing to do with what happened to Maura Murray. And there is no need to interject a mysterious local "dirtbag" into the equation when Maura was surrounded by dirtbags in her everyday life. These anti-police statements only hurt the investigation. They have real-world consequences, and may lead to harassment and violence against law enforcement or, as may have happened in this case, they may contribute to depression and thoughts of self harm.

I'll continue to help behind the scenes as much as I can. Feel free to send me information and to reach out. But there is no reason to continue to debate this case in a public forum. Everything I wanted to say, I said in the book.

If you're interested in helping solve some other mysteries, please follow The Philosophy of Crime, where we post a case a day, not to debate the facts, but to share the details in hopes of finding the person out there who carries the missing piece of a puzzle.

Donations in memory of Cecil Smith can be made here: Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452

Finally, if you are in a tough place and are having thoughts of self-harm, here is where you can get help right now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Send Tips 100% Anonymously

Today, I set up a Globaleaks server and website specifically for sharing evidence and information related to the Maura Murray case.

This is designed for two purposes:

1. For Maura Murray herself to provide proof of life without revealing her location (this would include a photograph or video).

2. For anyone with information about the death of Maura Murray to provide evidence or information without fear of being traced.

How it works:

Step One:
Download the Tor browser.

Step Two:
Open Tor and input this address in the address bar:
zzkahkxumybfb7rd.onion

Step Three:
Follow the prompts to submit info.

Step Four:
Copy the 16-digit code so that you can log in later to communicate further.

That's it. Let's have closure.

Fingers crossed.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Text Exchange Supports Internal Investigation at Ray Group International Following Alleged Assault by Bill Rausch

I have obtained some evidence given to the Grand Jury in DC that is reviewing the sex-assault allegations against Bill Rausch, there. One piece of this is a text conversation between two coworkers of Bill's the first working day following the assault. He is accused of forcing himself on a woman in Michael Louden's office on St. Patrick's Day, 2011, and also pushing this woman down the escalators in the Metro.

10:33 AM Coworker1: i basically told them that i don't feel safe. that bill scares the crap out of me. i'm not the only one who feels this way and that Mike [Louden] has no idea what bill is actually like
  i explained some of his erratic behavior in the past-i told mike that bill puts on a show for him
10:34 AM that he's a completely different person when he crosses from the left side of the building to the right
 Coworker2: its true
  what did he say>
 CW1: i gave my personal opinion about his mental health
 CW2: oh good
  youre my hero
 CW1: they're rethinking him coming in this afternoon and talking about security
10:35 AM i need to go for a walk-but i basically aired out bill's dirty laundry re:he's fucking crazy and a sociopath and doesn't understand human emotion
  but said differently
10:36 AM and i told them that while things people might say today might sound a little "far out", but that it's not "female histrionics" and that Mike, Alex etc need to understand that anything anyone states today is not just opinion and not a situation being blown up or taken out of context
  but completely accurate and true
  and basically that they better listen and not discount anything anyone says today
  i also pointed out that bill hates strong, intelligent women
  and that he has to assert his power over them
10:37 AM and now i need to take a long walk:)
  ps we're going to be sent home i think after we talk to alex
  i'm thinking movie party at VICTIM's so she's not by herself
10:38 AM i literally just told the head of our company that he has no idea who the real bill is...hmmmmm
10:39 AM CW2: you were awesome
  thanks
Following the investigation at Ray Group, Bill was barred from the office during the day and removed from his job shortly after. He did not list Ray Group on his LinkedIn page for several years.

Whatever happened in that office, one thing is clear - his female coworkers were frightened of him.

Read about the other allegations here.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

"I'm Going to Kill You Like I Killed Maura"

Three Five women have come forward to ask police to investigate Bill Rausch and what role his actions may have played in the fate of Maura Murray. Here are their stories.

Lawton, OK, 2004

Two weeks ago, I was contacted by a woman who lived in Lawton, Oklahoma, in 2004. She knew Bill a few months after Maura Murray disappeared in 2004. He visited the people who lived in her house, often, as some had ties to Fort Sill, where Bill was working at the time. He was friends with the man she was seeing at the time, who warned her that Bill "had gone off the deep end" and that his girlfriend was missing.

One day, Bill found out that her guy was not home for a while and he texted her, asked if he could come over. There was a party at the house that night and so she didn't see the harm. Once he arrived, though, he took her outside and grabbed her and started kissing her. He suggested they go to a hotel. She agreed and went with him in the car.

At a stoplight, she says, Bill reached over and grabbed her by the neck and said, "I'm going to kill you like I killed Maura." She reached over and dug her nails into him. "I'll rip your crotch off," she said.

Immediately, Bill's demeanor changed and he became gentle again. He said he was just joking and they continued on to the hotel. However, at the hotel she decided not to have sex. Later, she says, Bill explained that he was glad she never slept with him because "the only people I care about that I have sex with die."

Washington D.C., 2011

Please listen to the interview (click YouTube link above) with these two women to hear the story in their own voices. Below is a summary.

Two years ago, I learned that Bill lost his job at Ray Group International in 2011 after a woman alleged that he sexually assaulted her in the office one night. This woman says his aggression toward her began before that, when she was going up the escalators on the Metro one morning. Someone jogged up beside her and pushed her down. Luckily fellow commuters caught her before she could tumble to the bottom. But her dressed was ripped. She looked up and saw Bill at the top of the escalators. Later, when he assaulted her, he began by saying that it was him who pushed her down that day as (in her words) the humanity in his eyes went away and he became robotic in the attack.

***Originally published November, 2017***

Insert: Here's a photo of the woman inside the "man trap" at Ray Group with Bill behind her.

Last month, another woman contacted me about her encounter with Bill in the fall of 2011. She was working as a bartender at the time. She hooked up with Bill one night. The sex started consensual but quickly progressed to choking. He wanted to hear her gasp for breath. She too described the lack of emotion in his eyes. After it was over, she says he was threatening. "This never happened."



When I asked Bill about the second woman, he said it wasn't true. That he never knew her. When I told her that he denied it, she sent me a picture of the napkin they used to communicate at the bar that night. It contains his cell phone in his hand writing.


Note by the Author

If you have any information that could help in solving this case please contact the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit at coldcaseunit@dos.nh.gov

You can also contact me directly at jameswrenner@gmail.com

If you have specific evidence and wish to remain 100% anonymous you can also submit tips through Globaleaks. 

***UPDATED***

A 4th Woman

Another woman came forward yesterday. She and Bill had a brief relationship in 2006. "I'm not surprised to hear all this," she said. "He was a pathological liar."

He spoke about Maura Murray only once, by saying he had a girlfriend who had "passed" but that they were broken up at the time.

She describes Bill as being extremely pushy, obsessive, arrogant, and controlling. She said even his friends at Fort Sill called him, "Billy Liar."

***3rd UPDATE***
 May 8, 2018
A fifth woman has come forward. Here is her story:
I spent one night with Bill when we were both working in politics in Ohio in 2008 and he was violent and degrading towards me. We were at a bar with other political staffers one night when he sent me one text  saying that he wanted to go home with me and a second that said "I want to break you." I seriously thought the second one was a typo because I didn't know why someone would send that message in a flirty situation. He came to my apartment after the bar and it was clear that text was not a typo. The language he used and the demands he made were threatening and demeaning. We only spent the one night together but I could see the potential for regular abhorrent behavior towards women. The next day I was shaken and decided to google him and that's when I saw the case about Maura. I was deeply disturbed and felt lucky that nothing more had happened to me.

Bill was working at the ODP at the time and I asked other women there if they knew about Maura or if any of them had witnessed this kind of behavior. They said Bill had been proactive in declaring innocence in Maura's case during his interview process. It was top in google results, so he had to talk about it straight away in the interview vetting process. The women brushed Bill's relationship to Maura as a weird coincidence,  but confirmed that he made inappropriate comments to women in the office and was often seeking sexual relationships.
Follow up:

There are other similarities between the stories from the women you interviewed on youtube and my story though. Firstly, looking back at that night I felt like he was testing me to see how violent he could get away with being without me resisting and in my case, the answer was not very. He might have been less aggressive with me than other women who were continuously choked because he realized I was going to resist submitting to that and/or because I had connections to political leaders and he feared retaliation. Also, when we were at the bar, Bill was passing notes on napkins with the bar tender and trying to get her to write her number down. It was like a manipulative game he was playing that she was not interested in and he wouldn't let it go. He wrote a note to me also, which I've attached photos of. There were cheap paintings for sale at the bar I bought one. On the back, Bill wrote "fuck you -captain bill". The handwriting isn't identical to napkin notes posted on your blog that also start with "fuck you". It's more of a cursive scrawl, but he wrote it. He also seemed to be blaming me for his inability to control himself, like the bartender in your story said, and I think that's what the "fuck you" meant. Like "fuck you for triggering these urges in me." I thought it was kind of funny, but it did not seem so funny later on. Also when Bill left my apartment he said, "This never happened", just like the bartender in your story said. 
DC Police are currently investigating this string of odd behavior. Subpoenas have been served for files related to Bill's dismissal from Ray Group International and witnesses have appeared before a federal Grand Jury.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Maura Murray's West Point Record













I have had a source on deep background within West Point for some years, providing me with information about the history of Bill Rausch, Maura Murray, and others. I've decided to release Maura's full transcript (but not the details of anyone's judicial hearings) for a couple reasons. One, it shows again that Fred Murray and Maura were using the Weymouth address as late as 2002. Second, that it shows absences due to the judicial hearings that would eventually lead to Maura leaving West Point before she could be expelled.

I'm sure there are some things I've missed. Interested to know what everyone else finds.

Special thanks to Bruce Maguire and the crew at the Mindshock podcast for prompting me to look back into this.

Last word:
Thank you to my Irregulars for pointing out that this document only specifically shows that Fred was using the Weymouth address up to 2002, leaving it up to interpretation as to what happened after that. But neighbors claim he was staying there until at least the summer of 2004 (the first step any legit journalist would take to verify). Items found at the scene place him there after Maura's disappearance, too (handwritten, dated notes on the subject of media contacts about the crime).

The reason this has become a point of discussion is due to the discovery of an adult magazine at the property in which appeared the xeroxed photographs of family members. The magazine was among items that belonged solely to Fred Murray. Make of it what you will, perhaps there is a logical explanation. It disturbed me, in light of other reporting. But instead of accepting evidence and fact, the effort lately is to discredit the messenger.

Strangely, they all seem to forget that this was the permanent address Fred Murray used when he sued the state of New Hampshire... in 2005.

Here's a snippet:

AKA Murray 014-1

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
SUPERIOR COURT
Docket No. 05-E-383
Frederick J. Murray
v.
Special Investigation Unit of the Division of State Police of the New Hampshire Department of Safety; Grafton County Sheriffs Department; Grafton County Attorney's Office; New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte; New Hampshire Governor John J. Lynch; Hanover Police Department; Director of the Division of State Police of the New Hampshire Department of Safety; Commander of the State Police Troop F in Twin Mountain; Troop F of the New Hampshire State Police in Twin Mountain; New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Region 2; and Historic Case Unit in Major Crimes of the Division of State Police of the New Hampshire Department of Safety
BILL IN EQUITY
Now comes the Petitioner, Frederick J. Murray, ("Petitioner" or "Murray") by and through his counsel, Gallant & Ervin, LLC, and respectfully submits this Bill in Equity for Injunctive Relief. In support of this petition, the Petitioner states as follows:
I. Parties
1. The Petitioner, Frederick J. Murray is an individual residing at 22 Walker Street, Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.
2. The Respondent, the Special Investigation Unit of the Division of State Police of New Hampshire is a division of a state agency located at 10 Hazen Avenue, Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire.
3. The Respondent, the Grafton County Sheriffs Department is a state agency located at 3785 Dartmouth College Highway, North Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

88 Episodes In, the Missing Maura Murray Podcast Delivers Its Most Important Episode


Kudos to Lance & Tim. This week's episode of Missing Maura Murray features an interview with Maura's brother, Kurt. Among other things, Kurt gives the best explanation for the rag in the tailpipe and goes a long way toward explaining Kathleen's odd behavior. What a brave young man. Check it out.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Kent State documents

An Irregular named Elaine Gray was the first to view the collection of material on Maura Murray's case this week. I asked her to send me her thoughts after reading through it all:

On Thursday, April 26, I had the opportunity to visit the Kent State  Special Collections Department to view James Renner’s personal Maura Murray files. I was handed a large banker’s box filled with labeled file folders, and spent the next four hours engrossed in the mountain of documents: hand written notes, maps, newspaper clippings, yearbook scans, phone records, police reports and much more.

You may know Maura’s case, even down to the details, but you don’t know Maura. After my day at Kent State, I believe James Renner does know Maura (as much as any of us can) and the closest you can come to knowing her is through his files.

I am more of a casual observer of Maura’s disappearance. I listen to the podcasts, watch the shows, read the blogs, but have never done any of my own research. But even for the person who can debate the timeline down to the second, there is much to gain. 

I found the most valuable part of the collection to be the notes from the interviews James has conducted over the years with friends, family, coaches, reporters, co-workers, teammates; and not just to Maura, but to many of the key players. In his torn notebook pages, many stained with coffee and heavily underlined and starred, humanity is restored to those who have become characters in this case. And, I believe, a simple answer emerges.

I wish everyone had to spend a day with these archives as a prerequisite for commenting about Maura online. I left with a much different theory than I came in with, and with new, more specific, avenues to explore.

Friday, April 20, 2018

UMass Police Detective: Renner was right. Maura lives in Canada.

As I'm wrapping up the blog, I'm going to share some things I've held back over the years before I take it all down in May.

Here's a conversation Lt. Thrasher shared a couple months ago on Facebook. Thrasher was a Lt. at UMass when Maura went missing. He's the one who first share info about the call Maura received from her sister the night she had a breakdown.


Monday, April 16, 2018

UPDATE: Bob McDonald provides further alibi for Bill Rausch

After some questions arose about Bill's whereabouts in the days following Maura Murray's disappearance (based on cell phone roaming charges), I heard from one of his West Point professors, Bob McDonald.

Here's what McDonald says:
I was with him for all that time. My wife and I arrived late Friday and checked into the Wells River Motel, which is where everyone was staying. If my memory is correct (not a 100% certainty given that 14 years have passed) my wife drove home on Monday (it was a three day weekend) but I was able to get colleagues to cover my classes and didn't head home until -- I think -- Wednesday. That last day Bill and I drove to UMass and met with campus police; afterwards he drove me to Springfield (or maybe it was Worcester), where I rented a car and drove home.
Bill basically didn't leave my side. While my wife was with me, he slept in his parents' room. After my wife left, he moved over to mine. There were times when he'd go to the motel office to do phone interviews with Greta Van Susteren, etc., but other than that I don't remember us being apart. I wish I had a better memory of NH and VT geography and place names. The first day or two I was there (Saturday and maybe Sunday) we searched in the general vicinity of the crash site. We visited the tourist town near Mt. Washington and also went to a few other towns both in the direction in which she was traveling (into NH) but also in the opposite direction (toward VT) since, if she got picked up, we weren't sure in which direction the car was traveling. We were posting fliers, talking to people in convenience stores and food markets, and trying to get her picture and police contact info out there. We went to UMass on my last night up there to meet with campus police and also to get me a car rental so I could drive myself home. I hated to leave. Bill stayed up there for a while longer.

As the days passed the focus shifted from searching near the site of Maura's crash and talking to people who lived nearby to trying to do everything possible (distributing fliers, speaking to the media) to raising awareness that she was missing and getting her photo out there in the hope that someone had seen her.

I'm not 100% sure how to explain the 4-minute call. Maybe he was trying to access her voicemail (I think I remember her voice mail being something all of us discussed, but can't remember if we had access to it right away, later, or ever), or maybe he was just leaving a long message in hopes that she would get it. I'm guessing that the period in which he didn't use his cell is explained by the fact that coverage up there was so lousy back then. He was using the hotel phone to speak with media and others in the evenings and during the daytime we were either searching or driving around passing out and posting fliers