Friday, August 5, 2011

In her brother's words

Kurt is the youngest of the Murray siblings, but shared a special bond with Maura. She was the one who played catch with him in the cul-de-sac outside their house on Joanne Drive in Hanson. Ground-ball drills. If he botched a play, she'd make him run laps.

"We went on adventures in the woods, too. She'd take me to the river tucked in back there. We used to go on camping trips every year. Jigger Johnson was our favorite spot. Sometimes she'd go with her father and I'd come along. Sometimes they just went themselves."

When he'd travel there with Maura, they would jump off bridges into the river together. There was a rope swing for a while, at the Jigger Johnson campground, too. Maura was fearless, he says. "She'd always put on a show. She'd jump off that rope swing and do these all twists in the air before falling into the water."

The routine of running the home eventually fell to Maura when the older kids moved out or got jobs and she would shop for the family's groceries, taking Kurt along with her to the local Shaws. She turned it into a game, leaving items at the end of isles for Kurt to race to and then return to the cart. She taught him to bargain shop.

"I hated running, so when she'd go running, I'd ride my bike along with her."

Kurt came home from school one day and the whole family was there. Maura was missing, they told him. Everyone packed up and drove to New Hampshire. They stayed at the Wells River Motel for a bit and then at a condo in Lincoln owned by Fred Jr's boss. The siblings searched for Maura, or her body, in the woods, though Kurt once told his aunt it would crush him if he ever were to actually find her remains.

It makes sense that she would have gone up there with the intention of clearing her mind, he says. "I think she needed a break. All this talk of suicide...why would she drive all the way up there to do it? Doesn't make sense. That place was special for us. I think she went up there to take a breather and then something happened."

When their mother, Laurie, got sick, Kurt moved back home and took care of her until the end, dropping out of school so he could work to help with living expenses. The kid's been through a lot more than most, but he still has a quick smile and a laid back disposition. He's more than a little inspiring to tell the truth.


  1. You've captured the good qualities we all seemed to see (from our distant computers) in Kurt; his class and kindness were obvious early on in a photo Amelia Kundhardt took, and also in the thoughtfulness of his writings and poems. He's an amazing young man to have taken care of his mother. I'm glad you could let us know how he's doing. And I'm also pleased to know about his good memories of his times with Maura; I feel better too knowing that Maura had those fun experiences.

  2. Kurt´s very poignant description of Maura is truly that of a wonderful girl and young lady.
    Not knowing what happened to her must be absolutely heartbreaking for her family and friends.

    Does anyone know whether it was ever checked out whether Maura might conceivably have been staying at the Jigger Johnson campground the night of her disappearance?

    Was the house near Bethlehem of a supposed relative of Maura´s ever searched?

    I guess that Maura´s family and/or LE no doubt checked out both these locations, but if so I´ve never seen any publicly released information to that effect.

  3. The loving relationship expressed in this interview makes it harder and harder to entertain the notion that Maura would voluntarily disappear and stay gone. This case is so maddening and also so very sad.

  4. I know along the route Maura would've taken that before she would've came to the Jigger Johnson campground, she would've passed near a town called Woodstock. And I also know that Fred and Laurie each thought Maura may have came across Woodstock and Fred was stunned to find out that Woodstock police had not been informed about Maura going missing and had no idea who she was when Fred inquired about her in the days after she went missing

  5. It is absolutely unbelievable and outrageous that Woodstock LE apparently was not informed about Maura´s disappearance, despite the short distance between Swiftwater/Bath and Woodstock.
    This makes me very upset to learn.
    I should have thought that Woodstock and other nearby Police Departments would have been automatically notified about Maura going missing considering that a New Hampshire state trooper by all accounts stopped at the scene of Maura´s car at the Weathered Barn curve in Swiftwater/Bath.
    So the big question remains:
    Why didn´t this NH state trooper (or for that matter Haverhill PD) make sure that Maura´s disappearance was being cabled out throughout this part of NH and perhaps beyond?
    I have always believed that the BOL (Be on the look-out) for Maura which Haverhill LE sent out shortly after Maura´s disappearance would automatically have been relayed to other Police Departments throughout the area, but obviously this was not so.
    Absolutely amazing.

  6. I have heard the statement more than once that she would not have committed suicide because "why would she drive all the way up there to do it? Doesn't make sense. That place was special for us. I think she went up there to take a breather and then something happened."

    It actually does make sense and has happened frequently. I have attended several suicides and often they look for and find a place that gives them peace. Look up Guy Waterman for one. He committed suicide in the whites because it was a special place for him. It is not a valid argument.


  7. Mr. Renerr, question, whatever happened to the possibility that Maura was pregnant? Did you ask her brother if he knew that Maura was pregnant? Have you been able to verify this with anyone?

  8. If you have attended many suicides, you should be arrested and married in the clink.

  9. Anonymous (August 5, 2011 9:24 PM) Your not particularly bright are you? Never guessed that I was an EMT with the fire department, huh?


    1. Bill, "attended" is just an odd way of putting it

    2. Oh, Bill says and does no wrong. He is always right, you are always wrong. He is very smart, you are very stupid. He is good looking, you are not very attractive.

  10. Most women would want to have Maura's intelligence, quiet humor, motivation, and beauty. It seems she had to deal with very high expectations. It's not unthinkable that when a series of things went wrong for her that she might have thought about taking her own life because she didn't want to disappoint others. If so, she had to be horribly conflicted.

    You know the things that were going badly: She left prestigious West Point to attend a high quality university, but... that was still a loss. IIRC she had an injury that prevented her from running competitively, which (I know personally) is a huge loss. That needs to be checked out once and for all! Her mom was very sick. Her boyfriend apparently was unfaithful. Her car was just a huge paperweight. She wrecked her dad's car. She was drinking (can't compare her to other college kids 'cause who knows?). We don't know if she really had friends to confide in: her best, old friends (I'll find link if I have to) never knew she had transferred to UMass until she showed up there! Maura might have felt she was disappointing people (see her dad on "Montel") by not being perfect. (Fred said something like, "Maybe she didn't want to disappoint her father.") In her abandoned Saturn she had mementos from the people who were important in her life, including her brother Kurt's baseball card/photo, used as a bookmark. It bookmarked a chapter concerning dealing with something you've never encountered before and for which humans have not been given an instruction manual.

    I really hope she's alive and well, maybe living a life with fewer expectations. Sadly, I doubt that's the case. IMHO I don't think a predator took her from the area near her Saturn. If (and evidence seems to support this) Maura had been drinking as she drove up to NH, I also doubt it was her who Rick saw running (even though an article quoted Fred Murray as finding Rick credible). IMHO it would seem more likely for him to have helped her, driving her to a bus or train station... I have no back-up for this but articles/posts exist that seem to indicate law officers were not his favorite people, and if he could help a beautiful girl escape from a DUI, he might.