Saturday, September 3, 2011

Haverhill Police Chief Who Worked on Maura's Case is a Troubled Man



When I visited Haverhill earlier this year to speak to people familiar with the investigation into Maura's disappearance, several sources pointed me toward former Haverhill police chief Jeffrey Williams. In 2004, when Maura vanished, Williams was chief. He's not anymore. We'll get to that in a second.

It didn't take long to track him down. Haverhill, Bath, and Woodsville are small towns. Everyone knows everybody. I was directed to a property on Bradley Hill Road, about a mile from where Maura got into her accident. Williams' house is a mansion, with a gigantic barn/garage he built himself, topped with an ornamental golden cow. Not bad digs for a former public servant.

When I knocked, Williams opened the door only a little but it was enough for me to get a sense of his size. He's a big man. Intimidating. Ruggedly handsome. And pissed off. When I told him I was a reporter, he slammed the door in my face. I went to his car and began to write a note, so that I could leave my contact information. At that point, he opened the door and shouted at me to leave his property, "before I kick your ass." I obliged.

It was an odd response from a former chief of police. But after speaking to neighbors, I learned that Williams has gone through a bit of a rough patch over the last couple years and has reason to fear the media.

His troubles began in April of 2009, when he wrecked his Harley when he collided with a pick up truck in Woodsville. And then, on July 24, a Haverhill cop spotted a car speeding along Rt. 10. The car tried to get away. The cop gave chase. Eventually, the car pulled over near the Bath line on Swiftwater Rd. The driver was Jeff Williams. He was charged with DWI and disobeying a police officer and that was the end of his career.

The car he was driving was not his own. There's been a lot of talk about who it belonged to. A woman who was not his wife. But let's not get into gossip.

Fred Murray was perhaps the first one to call out Williams' character. He believed Williams' intentionally mislead newspaper reporters about how intoxicated Maura appeared after the crash.

11 comments:

  1. Please excuse my ignorance of the case facts, but how so?

    "Fred Murray was perhaps the first one to call out Williams' character. He believed Williams' intentionally mislead newspaper reporters about how intoxicated Maura appeared after the crash."

    ???

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  2. Click on the link (the last sentence) and you'll find out.

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  3. Oops missed the link, thanks Connie, I see now.

    I thought I'd read that Atwood drove his bus the short distance home and even that he'd backed the bus into his driveway. The linked article seems to state otherwise:

    "Although Atwood doubted she could have gotten through to AAA, he advised her to put on her hazard lights to avoid being struck by oncoming cars and walked the 100 feet or so back to his home..."

    Did Atwood walk the 100 feet to his home, according to the article? If so, what did he do with his bus?

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  4. Wow... i agree. It sounds like the man threatened you, when he said he would 'kick your ass'... it seems like a former police officer should know better. I would say this man sounds pretty damn unstable to me.. i'm really lucky he's not a cop in my town.

    I'm also going to throw in here..that Fred and you may have more in common than you two realize. Fred sounds like he may be a bit stubborn, but probably for good reason. But you both sound like you have received your fair share of getting dumped on by locals, or threatened on. When in reality, the both of you just want to know what happened to Maura, and where she is. Perhaps after years of this treatment, this may be why Fred is as stubborn and relentless and 'volatile' as he is.. humans can only take so much, especially when they're already hurting.

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  5. Williams had some demons and he dealt with them, though not in the best of ways. Did he intentionally mislead anyone in this investigation? No, I don't believe that for a second. He WAS a cop in my town, I knew him & while I didn't care for him, he was doing his job when Fred Murray came here and turned this town upside down. I cant imagine what was going through his mind. If my daughter went missing, I would lose my shit! But ive said right from the beginning and still whole heartedly feel like Fred knows a lot more than he is letting on.....

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  6. Does anyone have another link to the article noted at the end?
    It's apparently from a site called South Shore Express, but the link goes to an advertisement.

    I would like to read the original quote Aud replied about:

    "Although Atwood doubted she could have gotten through to AAA, he advised her to put on her hazard lights to avoid being struck by oncoming cars and walked the 100 feet or so back to his home..."

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  7. The link is STILL leading to a Viagara ad. Can someone actually fix this link?

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  8. Ok I am totally confused... Williams was the police chief when Maura went missing, but he someone saw her?? "Fred Murray was perhaps the first one to call out Williams' character. He believed Williams' intentionally mislead newspaper reporters about how intoxicated Maura appeared after the crash."

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  9. how does Williams even know if Maura drank, I thought Butch was the only one who saw her.

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