Thursday, November 3, 2011

Probability

Let's be clear. I'm not suggesting Fred Murray had anything to do with his daughter's disappearance. I don't know what the hell happened in those 5 minutes she was alone.

However, considering the details of the days leading up to Maura's vanishing act, I believe there is a strong probability that suggests Fred may be the one other person who knows why Maura went to New Hampshire in the first place.

Consider: The accident reports.
Maura picks up the reports related to the Saturday night accident. She is supposed to give them to her father, Fred. They are found in the car she was driving when she disappeared.

Consider: The location.
Many early reports of Maura's disappearance treated Haverhill as this weird out-of-the-way place Maura would never go to. But she had been on that very road dozens of times. She camped with her father at Jigger-Johnson, down the road, every summer. When she traveled to that area, it was always with Fred.

Consider: The alcohol.
Maura bought more booze than any one person could drink.

Consider: The Londonderry ping.
I believe this search warrant. And if its real, than someone near Rt. 93 called Maura earlier in the afternoon the day of her disappearance. That is the route one would take if you're driving up to the Lincoln/Jigger-Johnson area from the eastern region of Massachusetts. I believe whoever placed this call was the person she was meeting up there.

Consider: The rag in the tailpipe. I spoke to Mike Lavoie again. He says the rag was stuffed way up in there. The only reason you would stick a rag into a tail pipe like that would be some strange attempt to keep it from running. The only person who has given an explanation for the rag is Fred Murray, when he stopped by Lavoie's home, where his car was being impounded in the days after the crash. He said he'd told her that placing a rag in there would keep it from smoking. What. Utter. Bull. Shit. If I'm looking for a missing family member and I hear that someone has placed a rag in her tailpipe some time before she crashed and disappeared, I'm going to be all over that. Even if I suggested something so stupid as that it might keep smoke down, I wouldn't admit it. It's a clue. And a clue that would keep police interested in finding her. The ONLY reason I can see mentioning it is if you know your fingerprints are gonna be all over it. We don't know where that rag came from or who put it there. But Fred wants you to know that he's touched it at some point in the past.

Consider: Fred was unreachable after Maura's disappearance. Police tried to call him at home and only got a message. He didn't call them back until much later.

Consider: Fred's vehement aversion to anything that happened to Maura in the days leading up to her disappearance or why she was up there. "It's not important," he said over and over and over again. Again, as a parent who supposedly doesn't know why Maura went up there, I'm going to assume everything could be a clue.

Consider: Fred's reluctance to sit down with detectives. He refused to be formally interviewed, on record, by police for 2 YEARS. 2 Years, his daughter was missing and he wouldn't meet with police. And when he does, he brings lawyers. What was said in that interview will remain secret until this case is solved. But more than one source has told me off the record that some of the questions pertained to the nature of his relationship with Maura and why on earth she came to his motel room at 2:30 in the morning and stayed through the night.

Fred's a master manipulator. Good at spin.

But if you look at the probability, you come to the conclusion that the most likely scenario, in fact the only one that explains the evidence, strongly suggests Maura was driving up to New Hampshire to meet her father and, perhaps, even did meet with him somewhere before she vanished or ran away or was killed.

46 comments:

  1. Were the accident reports completed? I guess I had assumed they were either blank forms or they were only partially completed and she was going to take time over the week and complete them.

    If they were completed (or substantially so other than a signature or a straight-forward line or two) then there is an implication she was going to see Mr. Murray up there.

    OR that she was (a) planning to run-away or (b) take her life, and like packing up her belongings at school, was giving one last courtesy to make things easier for those left behind.

    Buuuuut... if complete, could have left those at home too.

    One question I have regarding the alcohol, which came to about $35-$40, did she purchase a single bottle of each variety or more than that?

    ...if I were buying a single bottle of vodka, baileys, etc, this afternoon it would easily come to $35 - $40. They dont sell alcohol in single-serving containers unless you are a bar or on a plane... so if she bought 1 bottle of each, a total coming to $40, that seems about right, or not way out of line. And if you want a mudslide or white russian, well, you have to buy the whole bottle, not an "individual serving" (whatever that is - I would say for a college student who likes to drink, gone for a week, it doesnt seem like some ridiculous amount...). In other words, if I want to drink just one Long Island tonight I'd have to buy a bunch of bottles of booze. But it is still just me there.

    Intriguing post.

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  2. Mr Renner,

    According to all the publicly available information that I have read over the years, Maura is unlikely to have had any previous knowledge of the western part of Rte 112 in New Hampshire, namely the stretch of road between Woodsville to the west and Lincoln/I-93 to the east.
    Apparently, Maura was well acquainted with the eastern section of Rte 112 (aka the Kancamagus Highway) between Lincoln/I-93 to the west and Bartlett/Conway to the east. This eastern part of Rte 112 also passes by the Jigger Johnson Campground, where Maura and her family often stayed.

    Obviously, if Maura was driving up north from Amherst on I-91 with the possible intention of meeting some person in the Lincoln, NH, area, Rte 112 between Woodsville and Lincoln would have been the natural choice for her to take.

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  3. And, to follow, what was Fred's alibi for not being available when the police called? Posters on some of the MM forums stated they knew he had an "alibi" but refused to share. There has been considerable discussion about this over the years, but a father would usually be anxious to answer some of these questions and refute any suspicion.

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  4. Wow. You may not be explicitly suggesting that Fred had anything to do with his daughter's disappearance, but you certainly are suggesting something. If you are right, then I think I think we all need to apply Occam's Razor. There is clearly a prime suspect in this case.

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  5. wow...just wow. Quite a theory. I'm very interested to hear what else you have.

    For the sake of discussion. I thought I read something, somewhere sometime, that Fred was a nuclear physician or something nuclear related and his work involved being secluded in some lab where there was no interaction. Could that have been why they couldn't reach him?

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  6. Wow! So perhaps they denied Fred's FOIA request because he was mentioned in the case file? Very interesting.

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  7. I watched the Disappeared episode and have followed this case in the news. I always got a very forthright and grieving/panicked father vibe from Fred. I don't understand the concern people have expressed about his reaction to the rag. It seems honest to me - he had told her to do that, so he told whoever asked about it the truth: it was something he advised her to do. I would think that selectively sharing that (or any) information would be more alarming. He just seems like a pretty straight shooter. It also seems that early on he was more visible to the media - even appearing in the Disappeared episode - but I can chalk up any recent reluctance to speak publicly to typical New England discomfort with attention. This seems particularly likely because the police work, in his opinion it seems, has been less than stellar. Just my observations.

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    1. I agree with you. I think he was genuinely fearful for his daughter and her whereabouts and he didn't want police sidetracked with what brought her to that turn in the road on Rte. 112. The police weren't doing anything to help him find his daughter and I'm sure he was reluctant to give the police any information that could make them question his daughters character, and allow them to site further reasons as to why they were not searching for her. I put myself in his shoes and I think that I would do anything in my power to keep the focused on what happened to my daughter after she crashed her car on 2/9.

      I have read every post on this website and I think that the real villains here are the NH State Police. They were ignorant, and jumped to conclusions much too early. The problem with that is when the police make mistakes or assumptions, their mistakes aren't small relatively inconsequential errors. They can cost a person their life and I believe that in this case they absolutely allowed Maura to remain in harms way, perhaps even costing her her life. I would love to see some reporting on how the police handled Maura's case and how their early prejudices towards the case caused an adversarial relationship with the family. If my child were missing and the police would do nothing to help me, you better believe that I would be screaming from the highest mountain trying to get anyone and everyone to help me find my child. I think this is why Fred shut down with the police.

      James, although I do not agree with your assessment and perhaps I do not have all of the information that you do, I thank you for all of your hard work on this case and trying to bring attention to Maura. I'm looking forward to reading your book.

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    2. I've read that he told her a smoking car is a sure fire way to get pulled over by the police, offering that she put a rag in the muffler to hide the smoke. If she was drinking and driving its likely she followed her dads advice to avoid being pulled over. Not far fetched to believe she wouldn't know the effect on the car by plugging the exhaust (ask most people in their 20's and they are not aware of many things involving their cars) seemingly from a all accounts she was trying to avoid another encounter with police which doesn't make her suspicious it means she is normal. She was most likely intoxicated and disoriented from the crash, I'm guessing her plan was to get back to the store she had passed, and to avoid running into the police she attempted to navigate the woods in the dark. Anyone who has spent time in the woods should know how easy it is to get turned around and lost and end up miles and miles from where you thought you where heading. I assume she eventually succumbed to the elements, 30 deg. Is still below freezing. IMO it seems as if the police where focused on showing her as a troubled young woman with serious problems. As a father I would be outraged at how this case was handled and refuse to work with the police to help build a case that my child was just another suicidal college student. Tragic story that I hope one day allows for closure for the victims family. Before the chorus chimes that she was indeed troubled, none of the problems brought to light in this blog are extraordinary by any means, only sensationalized trying to prove over complicated theories.

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  8. Sounds to me like nailing down Fred's schedule after Maura wrecked his car will make a big difference in explaining his reticence to speak.

    The wiki article suggests he was working out of state, but was this the same stint as just after he rented the car? Would he have been home Monday and able to travel to NH, then to go from there to wherever his out-of-state gig was, driving overnight if necessary?

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  9. I don't think Fred has anything to do with her disappearance. I do feel he may have been livid when she crashed his car. I have a different take on why he said that it doesn't matter what happened before she went to NH. I think he feels she was not going up there to disappear or commit suicide, but to only cool out for a few days. I also think he feels that examining all her actions and tearing apart her life prior to her disappearance is not going to find her. I get the impression that he believes her disappearance happened after the accident in NH and the reason why she went to NH has nothing to do with her disappearance. I'm in agreement with him on that.

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  10. Excellent blog and thoughtful posts. Thinking about ome miscellaneous stuff that might be right or wrong:

    Part 1

    - After seeing Fred until Sunday, Maura was said (in articles and MMM) to have talked to him for 20 minutes Sunday night, from around 11PM to 11:20PM. Talking about accident reports? Making sure Fred got home OK? (Nah) Planning a trip? Hmmmm. Remember in "Disappeared" when they're filming him driving up the highway and Fred said (paraphrased), "Now this is where she was supposed to exit"... To me that sounded like he had her route mapped out. Just a thought.

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    1. "Now this is where she was supposed to exit"... To me that sounded like he had her route mapped out. -- That is a really interesting catch. Very curious.

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  11. Part 2

    The muffler wasn't, as I understand it, sticking into the road facing oncoming traffic, so a white towel wouldn't seem useful as a warning flag.

    Years ago, when I called the Hadley motels out of curiosity, none said they had rooms with just a twin (single) bed, but they had rooms with one double bed. What do you think, James?

    What was Maura wearing when she showed up on Sunday afternoon at her gallery job? Was she wearing a turtleneck or scarf? Wondering (as other posters have in the past) if Maura had an injury, a bruise, maybe in her neck area, that she wanted to cover up with clothing or wearing her hair down... It has been written in many articles that she didn't tell her friends about the car accident.

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  12. Man, I'd like to know where Fred was from Sunday night after he talked to Maura until late Tuesday afternoon/eve when he tried returning NH LE's calls.

    Was he at work? Or did he spent a good part of Sun-Wed "on the road", between Amherst, CT, NH, Hansen, Weymouth, etc.

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  13. While Maura might possibly have been intending to meet her father up in NH, it might just as well have been the likely "secret" boy friend she may have been planning to meet up with in the North Country.
    I´m still considering the Petrit Vasi hit-and-run case in Amherst, MA, which took place a few hours before Maura´s breakdown at the security desk on UMass Amherst.
    This is wild conjecture on my part, but what if Maura or a close friend of hers ("secret" boyfriend?) hit Petrit Vasi and Maura´s Saturn suddenly needed to be disposed of, perhaps somewhere up in rural NH?
    Just a thought...

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  14. Maura was working when Petrit Vasi was hit. Has nothing to do with this case.

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  15. By what the poster Anonymous at 5:48 am implies I can see why Fred has turned down talking to Renner or anyone else for that matter. Scarf? Turtleneck? Maura hiding neck wounds by wearing her hair down? Try driving 2.5 hours with your bun pressed up against a headrest-- uncomfortable! Also, most hotels or motels don't offer only one twin bed! I have never seen a hotel room with only a twin bed. Seriously, I don't think they exist.

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  16. I don't know why this hasn't been stated but I was wondering if anyone from her clinicals been investigated? As a nursing student she would spend probably at least 20 hours at a hospital...could she have been seeing a doctor there? security guard? patient? Could she have planned to go away with someone who possibly took their vacation that same week? Or could there have been someone stalking her from the hospital? Those are some other possibilities...

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  17. I agree with the 4:20 poster that implications of abuse may well be the reason for Fred's reluctance to speak with investigators. I am grateful, Mr. Renner, for your interest in this case, as I would love to see this mystery solved. However, I am concerned with the shift in focus to Fred because the reasoning for it includes a lot of supposition. I offer this as constructive criticism, Mr. Renner: I believe you are a Midwesterner. Culturally, New Englanders - especially rural/non-urban New Englanders, like the Murrays - are a bit unique. I say this, as a native, with a mix of pride and acknowledgement that is may often be to our own detriment. New Englanders are stubborn, intensely private, place a high value on taking care of ourselves/our own and can be quite cranky. I see a lot of my father and elder male relatives on Fred. Where you may see manipulation and uncooperative behavior, I see a man who feels it is his own responsibility to find his daughter and may not trust the motives of those asking questions. I simply offer this as advice as you move forward dealing with a lot of people from this region. You may need to start looking through the lens of a new culture, strange as that may sound. Additionally, the West Point and military officer background present in the family - at least Maura and her sister were West Point, so there is some value there - come into play as well.

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  18. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  19. I can't get past the fact that Fred Murray would not talk to police for 2 years. That fact, above all else, seems very suspicious. I can somewhat understand his desire for privacy and ask her friends not to discuss the details of Maura's private life with an author. But why would he not be completely open with the people searching for his daughter? Unless he was so pissed off at them for screwing up the initial search for her? Hopefully he will decide to talk with you, James, and help make sense of his actions.

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  20. very interesting! I've been interested in this case for years and frankly, I never understood why her father would always insist that the reason for her odd behavior and destination didn't matter. Of course they matter. Knowing why she was going somewhere and where she was going are the very core to solving where she could be or what happened to her.

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  21. As a native New Englander, on some level I can understand Fred's reticence; regardless of the reason, Maura was clearly in distress and making some bad choices immediately before her disappearance---we Yankees like to keep our family problems as far from prying eyes as possible.

    I also think their closeness may simply indicate an unhealthy co-dependent relationship; kids today are far less independent and intrepid than we were at that age.

    That said, Fred's refusal to sit for a police interview for two years is unfathomable to me. I don't like or trust the police, but if a loved one was missing I'd want as many people as possible looking for her, my antipathy towards the police be damned---NAMBLA and the KKK are welcome to join the search if they're willing. The more folks looking the more likely she is to be found, IMHO.

    In addition, it seems to me that time is critical in a missing person's case. Maura may be shackled in some perverts outhouse, enduring unimaginable torture each and every day. And her father drags his heels re: the police interview for TWO YEARS?

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  22. I never thought it was likely that in that brief amount of time and after the bad luck of an accident, a psychotic killer happened along her path. As Mr. Renner stated, what are the odds that a serial killer or a psychopath just happened to be driving by a young woman in distress? I strongly believe harm came to Maura, but I think she knew her abductor/killer. I think she had planned to meet this person halfway or they were following her to their getaway. Is there a possibility that they were about to meet and take off in his car (leaving hers behind) and were interrupted? This would explain why she took off quickly without most of her belongings: she would've just hopped into his car and took off as soon as he arrived because she probably knew the police would be called.

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  23. Hello, I would like to reassert a comment here that I have made elsewhere on this blog, with regard to the improbability of a serial killer chancing upon Maura in a thin window of time, after that accident and before she vanished (and her scent did too, according to the tracking dogs later.) This is not a valid way to discount this possibility. We are all thinking about Maura and talking about her because something unusual happened to her. Thus, the unlikely thing that did happen is what started this conversation. She is not - that is to say - a randomly selected person, for whom the probability of being abducted is very low. Whatever happened to her already happened and it was highly unusual and a very low probability (only a very very small fraction of the population disappears without a trace). Given that she was already in that group when we all took an interest, it is not valid to now say (after the fact) that it is too unlikely to consider. Look at it this way: if that reasoning works, no case without direct witness evidence would EVER be investigated by police as a probable abduction by a stranger, because they would all involve similarly low probabilities windows. Incidentally, I would like to point to other reasoning that does - nonetheless - sharply diminish the odds that Maura was abducted by the stranger. If she was, it was because she took a ride/accepted help from the second stranger she encountered, a short distance down the road (according the scent dogs), as opposed to the first one (Bruce Atwood). As far as she knew (or anyone knows), what difference the first and second strangers offering help under the theory of abduction by a false good samaritan happening across her path? To me, this very strongly suggests that if she hopped in a another vehicle down the road (where the dogs lost her scent), she knew its driver. Respectfully, John Green

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    1. Or she was, by that time, fairly certain she could now avoid a DUI when she'd inevitably have to deal with her car and the police, or desperate and cold and tired enough to risk it.

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  24. "Consider: The location."

    Just a thought on this part of your blog... Why would someone MapQuest an area they know by heart? It would be like me looking up directions for how to get to my parent's, or how to get to the lake I camp at every year with my family. Wouldn't happen. I would however look up an address I didn't know... Or maybe somewhere close by to something I did know...
    Also, if she was meeting someone at something like a condo, maybe the reservation wouldn't be in her name. She may have called to get an address, not a reservation.

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    1. My only thought on this is that she was possibly looking for an alternate, less traveled route to her destination (perhaps in case her father came looking for her). This would explain why she took 112 - although it was a harsh route, ont he map, it looks like a direct, alternate route to many of the areas she may have been headed.

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  25. I have been wondering about this scenario: Could it be possible that someone shoved a cloth into the car's tailpipe somewhere she had stopped just prior to the accident, knowing the car would soon stall? Maybe at a gas station or food place? When the car began to stall, Maura got confused, especially if she had been drinking, and lost control on the curve. Then the culprit, who supposedly would have been following her, waited for her to be alone, drove up and either offered her a ride, a rescue in her mind, so as not to be found DUI, or kidnapped her. Although not probable, it is possible for an adult kidnapping to happen the blink of an eye...
    I do not remember reading whether or not she seemed sober to the person who offered her assistance?

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  26. Chickpea,
    I have written a similar response in other forums. However, it would have to be perfect timing for the perp to make his move as their were witnesses that were looking out from time to time. It could've happened...they said she was there one minute and gone the next...how eerie that would be

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    1. Thank for the response. After I backed into a snow pile some years ago and clogged my muffler, the car stalled very shortly afterward. When it did, I lost control of the brakes and steering. If she had stopped at a store or gas station earlier (she was only about 5 miles from the town, I think) and had seemed a little high to someone, they may have just taken the chance, knowing how desolate it would be around there at that time of night, especially a weeknight (I have been driving around up there in the winter at night visiting friends in both North Conway and Benton). So, if a kidnapper stopped to offer help, no one would be the wiser. If someone came along as he drove up to her, he would just offer help and go on his way. If she was alone, he could stop and take her.
      I know you can’t drive a car very far with a rag stuck in the muffler, especially not the entire way she had driven, and she probably didn’t put it there herself. Now, the question is, whether it was entirely obstructing the muffler or not? It seems to me that this needs to be cleared up. I doubt someone she knew was following her just because she seemed so aimless without even a hotel room booked yet (it was 7:30 at night).
      I am a nurse and I know that things come up in nursing school that can challenge the most stable of people. Between the long and difficult study hours, the high level of performance expected and the intense study of the human psyche, it can really push a person to exhaustion. If she was possibly also struggling with an addiction and family issues, these would be understandable triggers for a temporary “flake out.” Most people recover, readjust and continue, nurses are tough. I think something very bad has happened to Maura.

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    2. Yes, and when you're that young, you're so innocent and trusting. It's an unlikely scenario but I just don't think she was being followed (knowingly, anyway) by someone she knew because they would have known that she was drinking and driving and hopefully would have stopped her, especially in light of her most recent accident. This is so creepy.

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  27. John Green's post on 11/21 at 10:10 p.m. on probability is interesting. The likelihood of harm coming to her increases significantly if you examine the situation - a young, pretty girl in distress on a desolate road. If she then accepts a ride these odds increase even more. Young pretty women attract attention. Young pretty women traveling alone would turn heads. Any predator that she encountered at any point during her route would have started to hunt.

    Trust me, I was 22 once and at that point I frequently had to turn down offers of men trying to give me rides. I was followed several times. I think back on those situations now and it just makes me shiver.

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  28. I wonder what route Maura and her father took during their many trips to Northern NH? It's stated above that this was an area that Maura had been on that road dozens of times. However on Youtube, part 3 of 5 of the Disappeared episode, Mr Murray states "Maura is not familiar with this area". Is I-91 the way they normally traveled to get to the White Mountains, or did they go I-93?

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  29. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that perhaps the rag in the muffler is not a huge deal. I'm picturing this car on it's last legs, probably has an exhaust leak or lots of smoke, and I could see a guy like Fred suggesting to just throw a rag in there to keep the smoke at bay, I'm assuming this car was typically just used for putting around campus and in no condition for a long trip. I think a rag would need to be in there very tight to stall the car, I guess it's just tough for us to really know much about the exhaust and the fit of the rag. I don't think Fred ever avoided the issue of the rag, from what I know he said he advised it. I guess my whole point is, even if the rag stalled the car the rag isn't the crime, I think there's a lot of emphasis being put on the rag when the emphasis should really be on the fact there is a missing person.

    These two things seem more important to me than the rag at this point:
    This has to be someone's skull-
    http://hosted2.ap.org/RIPRJ/94df6789960948c2869c5b6429e1fe7d/Article_2012-02-15-Skull%20Found/id-f3790db67fa64a7798e46213f7e00632

    And this guy is presumably still out and about, maybe killing people-
    http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/nhsp/wantedpersons/wanted_mcgrath.html

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  30. Really?? The rag isn't important?? What planet r u from? We have a beautiful young girl who is missing and there was a rag in her tailpipe!
    Anyone w any knowledge of cars knows that a car will not run more than a few miles w a rag in the tailpipe. Thsts basic car knowledge.
    Fred saying that he told her to put the rag in is highly suspicious IMO, I mean come on, u told your daughter to put a rag in her muffler??

    Find who put the rag in the muffler, & you've found her killer IMO.
    I tend to think that she ha stopped down the road & a stranger had placed it Ther but after hearing what Fred said, I think we have a prime suspect...it's really sad to say & I never thought this back at the beginning..but I also thought Fred had done multiple interview w le too.
    I think we now know why Fred was always so insistent on her actions prior to the accident being unimportant..at best he's embarrassed and trying to cover for her, at worst he's the perp

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  31. While I do think its important to look down every alley when rehashing this case including the not so pleasant ones. I just don't see the conspiracy with the father. Fred had a chilly relationship with the police from the beginning. They had been slow to react and get the wheels turning. He felt they were hung up on his "squaw" comment and looking to quickly write his daughter off as a suicide. I sure there was also some protective parent not wanting their kid's reputation drug through the mud sprinkled in. Right or wrong, he certainly wouldn't be the first parent to feel like the police were pointing fingers instead of looking for a missing child.

    As a bit of a car guy myself the rag is perplexing although I've heard plenty of dumb, old wives tale type fixes. Anything I've read about the case I've never seen a coherent explanation of what was actually wrong with the car, anyone know?

    Overall I don't think that a persons actions need to be smart in order to be plausible.

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  32. Dear Mr. Renner,
    Although i very much like what you are doing on this forum i believe you have crossed the line between journalism and speculation.

    From the methodology and correct journalism point of view many of your conclusions on this post depend on poor reasoning. But more importantly, a journalist should first be dedicated to finding the facts instead of drawing conclusions.

    1- Accident reports: Them being in the car does not provide enough reason to conclude she was going to somewhere she can give them to Fred. I sometimes leave papers at the car if i will take them to somewhere else in a couple of days. Being in Mauras condition, i believe the reports were the least important thing for her at that time.

    2- Location: Remember the time you were a newbie driver. New drivers always prefer driving to familiar places. Additionally it is very reasonable for her to choose a place she knows and be peaceful for some soul searching. The "location" alone too does not provide enough facts for concluding she was going to meet Fred there, poor reasoning.

    3- Alcohol: some of he drinks she bought are for making Black/white Russian (vodka+coffee liqueur esp. Kahlua) which was favorite among women those days. This drink needs to be prepared before drinking. Baileys is also a drink that women love. It is known that Maura liked those drinks.
    And the amount she purchased is not suicidal. It is just enough for someone planning to drink away 3 or 4 days. For myself, i love Longisland ice tea which is prepared with rum, tequila, gin and vodka. According to your reasoning, if i had those bottles in the car, i should be going for a 5 people party. Again, your conclusion, or correctly put, your assumption is based on biased reasoning.

    4- Rag in exhaust pipe: My internet research shows that a rag in the pipe can either cause many different things with the car: car may not even startup, can stop the engine in 5 seconds, can let the car be driven in bad condition for hours. I believe you are missing some research basics here: Did you, yourself test how long can an old Saturn be driven in that condition? And did you check if that old car had any exhaust leakage? If the exhaust pipe has a hole (due to rusting) somewhere or a dislocated joint, the car can very well be driven for hours without even noticing the rag. You have do more research here.
    And for the fingerprints, i think you are joking. You can NOT dust a rag for fingerprints. Even dna could have been lost after that heat and chemical exposure.

    5- Fred wasn't reachable: As a journalist you have to accept his words as correct unless you can put him somewhere else with solid evidence. You are again assuming and speculating.

    I completely agree with your other 2 comments.

    Again, what you are doing for Maura and in the name of journalism deserves a big applause, but to remain credible and unbiased a journalist should keep his own belief apart from the facts.

    Believing is not knowing. Only knowing is knowing and you can not know without solid facts. And you can not have ideas without knowing.

    MG

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    1. Mr. Renner is not suggesting that any of the points in his original post are independently dispositive. But, taken together, they do paint a certain picture. Yes, you can refute each one with an explanation of how it doesn't necessarily lead to Mr. Renner's conclusion, but the fact is that several things are aligning here, and it seems to be more than a coincidence.

      I don't understand your last comment--"And you can not have ideas without knowing." Of course you can. That's part of the point of this blog. There is very little anyone actually *knows* about how the evidence fits together. Of *course* a lot of this blog is speculation. So is a lot of detective work. You have to speculate a certain amount in order to make any type of sense of things.

      Mr. Renner is not asserting any particular as fact, only pointing out things to "consider."

      Your point number 2 also makes no sense; after 4 years with a driver's license, most people don't consider themselves "newbie drivers" to the extent that they would only drive in familiar places. I might add that the particular roads she was driving on, at least near the end, were most likely unfamiliar to Maura.

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  33. I have always wondered what happened in that motel room (I know others do as well)the night that Maura got into that accident in his car. I was wondering if you ever tried to track down any of the other patrons staying at that motel to see if anyone saw or heard anything that night. Motel room walls are usually paper thin. I am not suggesting anything too profound by any means. I am merely suggesting that Maura had recently (as seen through this blog) been getting in A LOT of trouble thanks to bad judgement and a lot of drinking recently. In saying that, I don't believe a strict and high standard man would have REALLY thought it was no big deal hearing of more trouble coming from his daughter who was already beginning to fall below standard in his eyes (from what we have learned with being asked to leave West Point, credit card fraud, relationship issues with Billy, possible issues at UMass like fraud again, ect.). I have also read, however am not positive, that Fred is short tempered and has possible domestic violence on his records. As we know the smallest clues can mean a lot. Did he fly off the handle that night (whether he latered calmed down or not)and hit Maura that night? Could that have also lead her to make some hasty decisions that night? I do find it interesting that if she was going to disappear intentionally or NOT plan on seeing her father that she would have those reports with her. HMMM..

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  34. Did Fred ever take a lie detector test?

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  35. I am late to this mystery but it's is interesting. As such no one will probably ever read this post but...
    I keep reading that its unlikely that Maura ran into a serial killer, the odds are high but not impossible.
    In my life I have known 3 of them, two were customers at my job that I spoke to on a regular basis and one was a friend of my mothers boyfriend. Of those three 1 tried to kill me an was unsuccessful obviously.
    I would love to see the odds on that. I suppose for me the idea of coming on a serial killer just isn't that odd.

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    1. Where do you live so I know not to move there!!!

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  37. Podcast got me here. What needs to be checked-how long would car of that make and model drive with that rug in the pipe.
    Did anyone ever checked bus that was owned by the neighbour who stoped to ask if she needs help.
    What caused windshield crack?

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