Friday, January 27, 2012

Maura Used Stolen Credit Card Number, Charges Would Have Been Dismissed in Feb.

Another rumor can be confirmed. Maura Murray was caught using a stolen credit card number in early November, 2003, according to documents received today from Amherst Police.

According to the police reports, in early November, a female student at UMass discovered some odd charges on her credit card statement. Someone had been using her credit card number to order take-out from Pinocchio's Pizza. After calling the credit company, this student called Amherst Police who then contacted Pinocchio's and two other area pizza restaurants. After checking their records, Pinocchio Pizza managers found that the orders had been delivered to Maura's dorm room. That very night, shortly after Pinocchio's was made aware of the fraud, Maura called and again tried to use the same number. Officers enlisted the deliveryman in a sting in which he would present the bill for Maura to sign. When she did, the police approached her dorm room.

The police quickly explained why they were there and took her picture (above). Maura at first gave no explanation. Eventually, she admitted using the card number, which she said she'd found on a discarded receipt in the trash.

According to the documents, the charges against Maura would have been dismissed in February, 2004, around the time she disappeared-- if she managed to stay out of trouble until then.

Here's the heartbreaking part. Maura was doing this for food. And the theft only amounted to $79.02.

To me, this hints at desperation. Life was coming down on Maura and for whatever reason she was not asking for help. Did the accident the weekend before her disappearance frighten her into running away? Did she mistakenly believe that being cited for the accident would keep these charges from being dismissed?

Why wasn't she asking friends for help? I'm sure she could have turned to any of her friends from Hanson and they would only have been too happy to help her out.

115 comments:

  1. Let’s get down to the root cause. Why was Maura using the credit card in the first place? Wouldn’t she have money from working at her job on campus? I’m sure if she ever needed anything she could easily as her father or one of her siblings for extra cash. This again leads me to believe that she suffered from some type of bipolar disorder. She is exhibiting impulsive behavior.

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  2. To me, as a former bulimic, this brings back memories of literally doing anything to get the food I needed. I couldn't tell my family, they knew i was throwing up the food and wouldn't purchase it for me (enable me) and I did pull a similar stunt with my fathers credit card while at college......

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    1. I agree. I thought of that instantly as well. (I used to be bulimic too). It is an addiction and embarrassing at that.

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    2. We don't know what drove her to any of her reported behaviours. Affairs, bipolar, bulimia, pregnancy, fraud. The only one we can verify is the credit card fraud. All of the other theories are guess work. Even the claim from the deputy track team leader wo said they had an intense relationship. That's only his word and he might have other agendas. I believe she loved Billy and her family very much, but she was struggling with something that she felt she couldn't even talk to her closest friend or father about. She still wanted to appear as that bright innocent student and never wanted to let anyone down. There was massive pressure on her to do well and she had to keep up the pretense as a golden girl. I just simply believe that after the accident with her dad's car she felt she'd let him down and she may also have feared that her father would get to find out about her prior trouble with the police because of the crash, which is why she got so upset.

      This is what happened in my mind and I think it's the most logical explanation:- She wanted time alone. She wanted to stay in an area she'd known all her life, simply to get her thoughts together after what could have been a really difficult few weeks in college.

      I think she loved her course but the work load was getting too much alone, not to mention her other activities, sports etc. The pressure was a lot for any 21 year old. She went up there to think, relax with some alcohol and get her head together. But when she crashed a car for the second time she knew this would look suspect, especially with the alcohol purchases, and they found a coke can that smelled of alcohol. Was she drink driving? Was that her reluctance to call the police
      the second time? I think she ran off while the bus driver that stopped to help was down the road calling the police because within the next ten minutes she was gone. She was scared of getting into trouble, and the consequences to her college degree especially if she'd been caught drink
      driving. I think she poured the contents of a coke can onto the floor, walked to the main road and tried to hitchhike. After that I think her fate was sealed. Some scumbag grabbed her and murdered her. If she'd perished in the woods or killed herself then surely they would have found a body. Nope. It looks to me like someone's getting away with murder. What a shame.

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  3. I don't know about this college, but when I went to college, my parents were forced to buy a meal plan when I lived on campus. I remember ordering the smallest plan offered because I hated the campus food and my parents just wanted to give me cash to buy whatever I wanted from the convenience store because I didn't eat that much. The university REQUIRED everyone living on campus to order a meal plan as part of the tuition. Someone needs to look into this and look up the university's policy for meal plans and on campus living when Maura was there. I have a feeling that she wasn't out of money for food. This might be a stretch but has anyone thought about bulimia? Binge eaters have gone into debt and lost their houses and cars by spending so much money on food. Also, we could go back to considering alcoholism. This girl isn't stupid. So why would she buy something with a stolen credit card and sent it to her own address?

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  4. People have trouble asking others for money, especially their friends and family. This revelation could be nothing, or, it could be just one more thing to add on to the pile to point towards Maura being in a terrible emotional state at the time. Regardless, it's very troubling.

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  5. I cannot resist making one more post before I stop contributing to this blog for the inconsistent application of stated post rules that risks wasting my time.

    It is true that this is heart-breaking. But people don't necessarily steal food because they are hungry. For one thing, living on campus and being at the beginning of the term, she probably had plenty of points of meals left on the cafeteria plan. But aside from that, some people steal because it is a kind of addiction. Getting away with things can be a rush. Winona Ryder, for instance, did not steal clothes because she could not afford them. I'm no expert, but there are well known explanations for financially pointless obsessive behaviors. It might be that she was hungry and running out of money for food, or fearing the rate at which her savings was dwindling. Or maybe her money was going somewhere else that necessitated her supplementing by stealing. Or maybe she has an obsession with stealing, which is a medical issue recognized by DSM-IV.

    I do agree, however, that Maura was unable to ask for help ... another sign of someone buried in the cycle of compulsion. And I agree that it adds up to a heartbreaking story, any way you slice it, even before her known time ended on route 112 on 2/9/04.

    Best regards,

    John Green

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    1. John,
      I have made several posts that have not been included in this blog, but I have to believe that Mr. Renner has his reasons for not including them. I think that reader's contributions to this blog are interesting and my thoughts can literally change after reading each one. So many readers have given me different points to ponder about, you included. I hope you continue to add your thoughts and know that Mr. Renner is only trying to get to the truth.

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  6. Not sure that you can make assumptions about why Maura was using a stolen credit card number. Many college kids are broke and do not resort to stealing. And weren't there rumors she had engaged in this behavior at West Point?

    To me, this shows just another example of behavior of a troubled person - and we have seen lots of examples of that in this case.

    Again, my common sense does not believe that someone with these mounting issues - who had chosen to pack up and leave the dorm room as it was - also ran into foul play such as kidnapping or murder.

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    1. Why not? The type of killer/kidnapper who might be responsible for Maura's disappearance preys on young women in trouble, but I would like to be able to agree with you.

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    2. I would be more apt to believe that Maura was taken against her will by some opportunistic predator IF it weren't for the fact that, ironically, right before she disappeared, all of her troubles seemed to be mounting. She left an email about her boyfriend's unfaithfulness on top of packed belongings, she had just been caught again for theft, she had wrecked her dad's car, she had been apparently drinking quite a bit, and she had searched on the internet about the effects of alcohol on pregnancy. This, that we can surmise, is enough to cause any young girl with pressures from school and athletics to melt down. These are the problems that we can reasonably guess about, but what else may have been going on with Maura, a secretive over achiever? We do know that she had a breakdown on her shift at the campus, in which she was so emotional she had to be escorted back to her room. These are obvious signs and behaviors of a very bothered young girl. She had made some effort to look for a getaway. Obviously, the location was far enough away for us to conclude that she did not want to be around friends or accomplices. I think that it's possible that Maura had much more going on than any of us has stumbled upon yet. I do believe there is SOMEONE who has to know more, but for whatever reason, is not divulging the info.

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    3. I'm questioning if Maura actually "chose" on her own to voluntarily to pack up her dorm room or if the phone call she got wasn't from someone inside the university who alerted her that there was going to be a discplinary action brought against her for the credit card theft (perhaps a suspension or expulsion) and she knew she was going to be asked or told she needed to leave so she packed it up...and then decided she needed to get away from it all and headed north.

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  7. What would a petty theft conviction do to her nursing board application?

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    1. Any kind of arrest need to be reported and explained on ANY nursing job application. The issue not necessarily impacting her nursing board application, but any job one might get after being board-certified. Nursing as a job has a lot of ethical and moral responsibilities.

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    2. for those with a criminal background wanting to take nursing boards, they will need to petition with the states licensing agency to make sure they can even sit for boards. If you have any convictions prior to starting school, the nursing school will also have you work with with the state licensing board to make sure you can even sit for boards-otherwise the 4 years of school would be a waste.

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    3. The credit fraud charge itself is not a big deal, but a car crash X2 and DUI during the time frame when you have to stay out of trouble would become a felony charge. You can not practice nursing if you have a felony charge.

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  8. Did Maura use her calling cards or a track phone to "mask" the call? Back in 2003, I'm not so sure pizza places called you back to verify the request like they do now. Even smart people may not realize the pizza places kept records of the addresses. Maura looks seriously different here, so I agree with the first comment about an underlying medical condition. She did NOT think she'd be caught.

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  9. Speaking from experience, there were several times in college when I was flat broke and simply didn't have money for food, except maybe $0.50 for ramen noodles. I wasn't on the meal plan in college (it was unreasonably expensive), and it was especially tough early in the semester before financial aid money arrived.

    It's not so terribly uncommon for a college student to steal a credit card. I had my credit card stolen in college, and someone in my dorm got kicked out of school for stealing. It doesn't mean that someone has a serious mental illness; it can just be a case of very poor judgment.

    Looking at this from a psychological perspective, Maura was a structured person -- an "A" student who attended prestigious colleges, a disciplined athlete, a bit of a perfectionist. Maybe she started screwing up and just flipped out. For a person like that, it can be difficult to confront wrongdoing, when you've always been a person of virtue. And when you're young, everything seems like a bigger deal than it usually is.

    @John Greene -- Don't get so worked up; this blog will survive without your ingenious contributions.

    -TJ

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    1. Lots of indicators here to suggest psychological issues represented by a constellation of her actions that end with her disappearance. While UMASS Amherst has some honors programs, it is not in the category of "prestigious".
      As for John Greene - I concur.

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    2. West Point is certainly prestigious. The military academies are as difficult to get into as Ivy League universities. I saw friends go through the application process and went to law school with someone who graduated from West Point. It is no joke. Very tough standards, brutal to get into, very highly regarded.

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  10. This reminds me of Michelle McMullen. Stole money, disappeared and started living in another state. She abandoned her car and family and they swore she was kidnapped or killed. No, she was just cold-hearted enough to leave her child! http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=60682

    The point is, Maura could be alive and living someplace else, and unfortunately, possibly scamming others. If she got ahold of one credit card number, how many others did she have? It is very easy to steal some else's identity and personal information from a college mailroom.

    Also, Billy's mom gave her a cell phone. Who says that she did not have another cell phone? Some people said they saw her running away from the accident. If she was meeting someone, then she could have called that person to pick her up on the side of the road. If one boyfriend got her a phone, then why couldn't a second boyfriend get her another phone? Or she could have gotten a prepaid one herself.

    This also reminds me of Esther Reed from the 48 hours special on tv. The good-looking girl who kept stealing identities to gain admissions into universities. She was a troubled girl whose mother died from cancer. She disappeared when she first stole her sister's checkbook. Funny how she also dated numerous men at West Point. The similarities are uncanny. The government even thought she was a spy! BTW, she was just released! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Reed

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  11. The more that is revealed about this case, the more my heart breaks for this poor girl. Maura was obviously terrified that all this was about to come out. I agree with Mr Renner that the accident on Saturday night probably made her think that the issue with the credit card was not going to go away. Christmas must have been miserable for Maura because she had probably kept the problem about the credit card to herself and was worried about it. I have no idea why she used someone else's card because i think by that stage there was so much going on in her life she was very emotionally unstable. No matter how well Maura and her father got on, when she caused all that damage to his new car he had to be mad with her and i think they probably didn't leave each other on such good terms on the Sunday and that was probaly the last straw for her. Whether there was someone else in her life and she was going to meet them, that i don't know. I just hate to think how lonely and desolate she must have felt on that Sunday night and Monday when she set off. Because Maura was in such an emotional state, the rule book goes out the window, as to what a person would or would not do in a certain situation. I've been following this case for a number of years and still can't make up my mind as to what i think happened. Thanks Mr Renner for all the updates!

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    1. 100% ditto on this entire post. I still think she ended up a victim of the elements in the remote wilderness. But each new detail illuminates why she was so desperate and it kept getting worse with the drunk driving car accident even after she was already on the run! At that point she was frenzied enough to just run and run and run far into the rural darkness in the freezing Northwest... I think even in a calm frame of mind you would be in danger in the woods overnight exposed to the elements, animals, dehydration, etc. but she also had a bunch of hard liquor to drink to drown her sorrows and finish herself off. Even if suicide was never her intention she might have finished off the booze and fallen asleep in the snow and never woken up.

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    2. ...except that the dogs followed her trail 100yds up the road..and the trail vanished.

      If she "she might have finished off the booze and fallen asleep in the snow and never woken up." they would have found something yes?

      Speculating...

      GBN
      Maine

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    3. There is a strange perception out there that such dogs are infallible. That is not the case. Tracking dogs and cadaver dogs sometimes lose a scent or get a "false positive" or make other errors. That the dogs lost her scent could mean a variety of things, like she got into a car or that they didn't get a strong hit on her scent to begin with. Also, I live in New England and am familiar with the woods in question. Yes, absolutely, you could die in the forest in that part of NH and either never be found or not be found for years or decades. People seem to have the misperceotion that it is just a few trees in someone's back yard. They are thick, rugged woodlands in a hilly and mountainous region, full of brush, trees and vegetation. A search volunteer could be standing 5 feet from a body or bones and not see a thing. Certainly, animals would very quickly have gotten to the body and scattered the bones. There will be little to find after the animals and the very harsh New England weather has gotten to those remains. People have indeed gotten lost in those woods and bodies disposed of in those woods and not been found. I have camped up there and had a close friend who lived in Haverhill. That poor young woman died of exposure in that forest. She was drunk and irrational and would have gotten easily disoriented in the dark and in the woods. That is my humble opinion.

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    4. Kathleen
      I live in this particular area and you are absolutely right.

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  12. The behavior is classical for eating disorders, and also not seeking help from family and friends. Stealing, cheating or whatever it takes to keep the eating disorder going. It´s kind of like substance abuse.

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  13. To add to my prior post (below), Maura was engaging several out of control or troubling behaviors.

    She had two wrecks in a short time span, both likely involving drinking and driving. She engaged in this crime with credit cards and it may not have been the first time. She packed up her dorm room and lied about a family death and left school. She told the bus driver she did not need help after her second wreck.

    While I have compassion for others in bad situations, as it is very sad, the bottom line is that these were all HER choices.

    From what I have read, there is nothing that makes me believe that she did not then choose her next steps in the moments after her second wreck - seems highly unlikely that someone driving all of these behaviors then became a random victim of a heinous crime? Sure, it COULD happen, but is it LIKELY - given all the other things she CHOSE to do? Not in my opinion.
    ------


    Not sure that you can make assumptions about why Maura was using a stolen credit card number. Many college kids are broke and do not resort to stealing. And weren't there rumors she had engaged in this behavior at West Point?

    To me, this shows just another example of behavior of a troubled person - and we have seen lots of examples of that in this case.

    Again, my common sense does not believe that someone with these mounting issues - who had chosen to pack up and leave the dorm room as it was - also ran into foul play such as kidnapping or murder.

    --------

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  14. I guess this might explain why Fred Murray and others don't want a book written about her. While all this may be true no one wants the memory of their loved daughter sister girlfriend friend ruined by sad facts about her life. It overshadows the fact that she was a nice as a person. Everyone has issues but it seems that Mauras got her into a lot of trouble.

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  15. Wow! Most interesting info! You are making progress James!
    Always amazed how in retrospect the cost of helping someone in trouble and/or prior to their going missing or something happening to them is a pittance to what their families then spend on searching and lamenting over a loved one....
    Oldsteve

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  16. This is interesting and begins to make sense of why the cops were so certain she was just an adult who decided to disappear. I am not surprise that her family and friends tried to paint such a positive picture of her - I seriously doubt her case would have gotten so much publicity if this sort of behavior was known. What else do we not know about her? She seemed like such a level headed successful girl but this sort of (criminal - is is counted as criminal?) behavior points to a very different person. I feel sorry for her and for her family. If only she'd turned to counsellors on campus. Maybe they'd have helped her.

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    1. Family and friends have a more complete picture of her as a person after knowing her for many years while we focus on the last period of time before she disappeared which was a period full of trouble. It isn't strange that their description of Maura is different from ours considering they also have a need to remember her the way she was most of the time, "their Maura" the way they knew and loved her before these bad events.

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  17. $79.02???? How many pizzas did she order??!!

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  18. A few, over the course of a couple weeks.

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    1. Disappeared episode said she worked 2 part time jobs, she prob. didnt need to steal the CC but did it because she could.

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    2. It was my credit card that she used. She took the numbers off of a receipt that was taped to a pizza box in our dorm trash room. After I reported the incident the bank credited me back the money immediately and I never though about it again until she went missing. I only knew who they caught because I happened to be outside her room when the police went in. Mr Renner is correct, it was several weeks before I noticed because she ordered food from all the same places I ate at until she finally ordered from a place that I had never been to before. Someone who lived on the same floor as her told me they thought she was bulimic. What a horrible, sad story. It's too bad her family and the people who love her haven't been able to get any closure after all these years.

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    3. Thanks for commenting, Ann Marie. I would like to know a little more. Could you please contact me at jameswrenner@gmail.com Thanks!

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  19. It is quite possible her family didn't even know about the pizzas and the credit card, unless they were told by LE early on in the investigation. This must be quite a shock to see it in print.

    The truth, however, is that Maura is still missing and it's not so easy to disappear of your own volition unless you have a lot of money. And there's no evidence that she walked away from the NH crash site and perished.

    I still go back to the fact that her school books, running gear and the insurance forms were all in the Saturn, signs that she planned to continue living after her respite. And that there was a suspicious red truck sighted in the area that night...

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    1. I have to disagree here. Leaving the school books and other gear in the car does not signal that she was going to continue school, exercise, or even come back. She was a college student and her car was not spotless. There were food wrappers and cups and other odds and ends in there as proved by Mr. Renner's pictures. Who knows how long that stuff had been left in the car. I'm a very messy person and I leave a lot of stuff in my car. I almost always left my backpack in the car if I didn't have homework when I was in college.

      Also, you don't need a lot of money to survive if you are young, good looking, charming, etc. Plus, who knows what other credit cards she stole and was using. I also believe that she intended on renting that condo with a stolen credit card that she had called about and never booked. The woman who owned the condo said on the Disappeared show that she didn't remember Maura calling to ask about the condo. I'm sure she didn't remember Maura calling because she probably used a fake name to inquire about the condo, and intended on using a stolen credit card to book the room.

      In regard to Billy, I see him in a different light now too. I don't blame him for "cheating" if he found out his girlfriend was stealing credit cards (if she told him) and lying about who knows what else. We don't know the whole story here. He thought she was someone she really wasn't. Stealing a credit card and getting 1 or 2 pizzas is bad, but not heinous. Getting 4 or 5 pizzas signals someone who has a SERIOUS problem.

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    2. He said the pizza purchases were over a period of weeks.

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  20. Again with the red truck. I've found no evidence to support this.

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    1. This is interesting.
      Would that mean that the observations of witness RO would be deemed to be null and void?

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    2. "RO" the witness to the lurking red truck 1 mile down the road from where Maura disappeared on February 9, 2004 had moved away before Mr. Renner visited the area to investigate. It's my understanding that she moved into town (Woodsville) and then moved again, but someone else might better know where she's living.

      RO was friends with the owners of the SSS where she observed the Red Truck loitering, apparently watching for another vehicle or a person to come along. It's unfortunate that the owners of SSS didn't give Mr. Renner an interview or maybe we would know more via his blog regarding the sighting.

      Kit

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    3. Kit,

      Judging by your reply it would seem that RO´s red truck sighting in Swiftwater village couldn´t be dismissed out of hand.
      As I see it we have at least three major question-marks here:

      1. The identity of the driver of the red truck as observed by witness RO.

      2. The rag pushed into the tailpipe of Maura´s Saturn at the accident site on Rte 112 by the Weathered Barn curve.
      From what I have read the rag was apparently quite clean and pushed quite some way into the tailpipe (and therefore likely difficult to spot).
      A question: When and by whom was the rag stuffed into the tailpipe of the Saturn actually discovered?

      3. The mysterious telephone call by Maura (?) to her boyfriend Billy Rausch on February 11th.
      When did this phone call actually take place?
      Early in the morning or closer to mid-day?
      I don´t seem able to find a clearcut answer anywhere on the web.

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  21. Maybe there was another case against her that was going to come out. Maybe she needed to lay low for a week to make sure the probation ended.

    Tom

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  22. Apparently Fred didn't want us to know about the cc and it doesn't look like this was her first time. I would be very angry if I found out if even more negative facts came out. Facts worse than this like a hit and run, or something like that.

    Her father on I.D Disappeared said in regards to the accident in MA: "If this is the worse thing my daughter could do" Obviously he must have known about the West Point dismisal and probably about the CC. So obviously we know that he doesn't mind lying to us. I'm adding on my list of facts about the case:
    Fred Murray can and will lie.

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    1. Amen, and did you also noticed that he was stammering, looking at the ground and licking his lips a lot in his interview? Classic signs of deception.

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    2. or signs of a very upset old man. sorry but a lot of readers here seem to be hung up on this idea that Fred is shady because he looked weird in an interview well how would you act if this awful thing had happened to your child??? There isn't a text book outlining how to behave when your daughter runs away so cut the guy some slack.

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    3. I don't think Fred is "shady". However, I do know that he has been proven to lie several times to make Maura look better to gain sympathy. I just keep going back to the fact that he has refused to talk to so many different people - police and media at various times about Maura. Heck, if my dog was missing I would tell anyone who was interested. Yes some people act weird when family members disappear or die, but why would he tell her friends not to talk to Mr. Renner? If he wants to put things behind him and not talk about it that's one thing, but to go on some kind of mission to prevent them from talking to others IS shady, and controlling!

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    4. Would you lie & omit information if you knew telling the truth would inhibit law enforcement from searching for your missing loved one? I probably would & I am sure a lot more people that aren't ballsy enough to admit it, would too.

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  23. @12.38 -- I agree that " Fred didn't want us to know about the cc" and surely it's obvious why: because he didn't want people to think his daughter was a bad person. He wanted to make sure people took attention of the facts, which are that a young woman is missing and something bad may have happened to her. The fact that she had issues and maybe stole stuff wasn't the point. Who cares? She's missing, find her.

    Let's all look at this objectively, have you ever ever read about a missing person or someone who died tragically who wasn't presented as a nice person, the top of his/her class, an awesome parent/child etc etc? The fact that this is all coming out now in public is due to Mr Renner's detective work, I can totally understand why Fred or any decent parent wouldn't want focus on her issues but rather on how wonderful a daughter she was. If you're a parent you'll know that this is what parents do, we focus on the good bits.

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    1. You can focus on the good parts of who she was, but most of the people on that show outright LIED - especially Fred and Mrs. Rausch.

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    2. "have you ever ever read about a missing person or someone who died tragically who wasn't presented as a nice person?" --Yes, all the time. Watch the Disappeared show on ID. They are not all great people and others still want to help find them.

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  24. So. Maura declined Atwood's help because he mentioned the police, not because he was a big man approaching her alone in the dark. Avoiding the police was number one. When he left she got out of the car, locked it and ran off to get a ride with whoever was passing by and she might have even begged for it. This person who picked her up is always suspected of having harmed her somehow but it's not necessarily so. It is possible she was picked up by someone who doesn't live in the area and who still hasn't heard about Maura's disappearance, and who then dropped her off somewhere else.

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    1. With all due respect, Marie, we don't know that Maura ran off to get a ride with whomever was passing by, let alone might have begged for it. We don't even know for a fact that she was picked up. We are presuming she was picked up because a) she's went missing without a trace within minutes of the accident and b) the search dog lost her scent 100 ft down the road. But, the question still remains...if she was picked up at the accident site, who was she picked up by? A stranger or someone she was perhaps tandum traveling with or planning to meet? This is the answer that I believe will help us to find out what happened next and where Maura is.

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    2. Of course we don't know. If we knew we wouldn't be here. But since so many assume that if she was picked up by somebody then that somebody was the one responsible for her disappearance I mentioned this possibility too.

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    3. With all due respect Marie, I have heard people here trying to reason why she might have avoided Butch and take another ride, but I have not heard a lot of unequivocal statements about it before yours. I think your reasoning is as valid as anyone's but the tone of your dismissal of a previous poster's reasoning is a little ironic in a sentence where you state as hard fact something that is completely unknown.

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    4. It is not my intention for it to appear that way. English is not my first language. I have in my entire life spent a total amount of 14 days in an English-speaking country and I am struggling to express myself. Still, to me (and me alone?), it seemed obvious that Maura would first of all avoid the police of which she had had enough and not think so much about the level of creepiness in the person she turned to for help. If she turned to anyone for help, that is.

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    5. My apologies Marie. I follow your point now. Yes, it seems like a very considerable possibility that her main objective was to dodge police re: drinking. That is a perfectly plausible concept. I misread your comment. Thank you for clarifying. ~ John Green.

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    6. No need to apologise at all. What in real life is explained and understood in an instant takes more effort and time on the web.

      It is nice, by the way, to see your return to the comment field.

      Delete
  25. With this revelation, I am starting to think that her disappearing of her own accord might not be such a crazy idea after all. I mean, look at someone like Michelle McMullen, she did not even face a jail sentence for stealing, and yet she still chose to fall off from the face of the earth for 3 years, leaving without her passport, her money, all of her personal items, even leaving her son behind (despite the people knowing describing her as "someone who wouldn't do something like that) I probably still lean towards her having run into a killer/kidnapper, but I now actually feel that she may just have left of her own free will. It is possible, even in the dark of night and without any money on you. She might have gotten in a car, made it to Canada, gotten a job and started a new life. Given that her mother was already sick in 2004, she might have felt that she could not cope with it, and felt it best just to leave and let her mother slip away. Plus, she was running away from her personal problems (the car crashes, the theft, Billy, etc.). Most people who vanish and then turn up elsewhere, alive and well, their family never says that they would do such a thing, and yet they did. There also was that guy, Christopher Flynn, who disappered in very similar circumstances (abandoned and crashed car, etc.), even in the same area of NH, for him to then turning up 8 months later in Los Angeles, alive and well, having left of own free will. Maybe Maura did the same??

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    1. Great ideas! You might also consider that she might look significantly different as in a large weight gain because 1) she might have been pregnant or 2)she might have had some serious food issues (as proven with ordering so many pizzas- which I have a big hunch that she ate ALL herself). A person can look very different with weight gain. I met an advertising client a few months ago online that said she lived in Haverhill and I said, "Oh so you must know about Maura Murray?" and she said she never heard of her! Maura may be very close and her next door neighbor may not even know she is reported missing!

      Delete
    2. According to the latest news I read Maura's mother since her disappearance died of cancer. Even if Maura was troubled, would she have left and stayed away for 9 years and let her mother die without ever finding out that she was O.K.?

      Delete
    3. I often wondered about this myself and asked the same question. But I do not know how close Maura was to her Mother. Then again, if she ran off she still could have let her Mom know later that she is O.K. We would never know. just because Maura's Mom didn't come forward publicly it doesn't mean that she didn't know.

      Delete
  26. As someone pointed out earlier in the blog, it usually takes a decent amount of money to successfully disappear. That doesn't seem to be the case with Maura.....I think at best she would have had help by at least one other person. In this electronic age, disappearing is even more difficult. The majority of people who attempt to disappear end up with a similar lifestyle--they speak of constantly being on edge and looking over their shoulder. And it seems the majority of those who manage to successfully start over with a new existence, have left the country. SO far, Maura seems to have been in trouble, but nothing worth starting an entirely new life over. Certain things just don't add up. We are talking about a girl who used a stolen credit card to have pizza delivered right to her dorm room door--more than once. Sadly, that sounds more like a combo of criminal ignorance and desperation. Doesn't quite sound like a girl capable of starting a new life all on her own with barely any money. And the time in which she ordered the pizza likely holds no relevance--any 21 year old in college can attest to eating at random hours for all sorts of innocent reasons. I have no doubt that she was an intelligent girl and it seems she just went off track along the way.....but in order to truly assume she ran off to start a new life, one must deeply consider what that entails. And then ask yourself if she seems capable of pulling it off for so many years without a trace. What, did she have another vehicle and a secret stash of cash somewhere waiting for her that night? I feel like if someone helped Maura pull off a planned disappearance, it would possibly be her father. But if that's the case, he has put on one hell of an act. And if not him, someone must have helped her. And with every added "accomplice" comes the greater risk of someone slipping up and giving themselves away. *sigh* This is truly one of the most baffling cases! I continue to wish Mr. Renner the best of luck in his search.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know when you say it takes a lot of money to "successfully disappear" you must mean that it takes a lot of money to run away from your life and hide out alive without being found.

      Because actually there are SO, SO many people on charleyproject.org and doenetwork who have disappeared quite successfully, but not on purpose and not alive.


      And if you look at the resolved cases pages, you will notice a trend. If the missing person was a child or teen they often turn up alive as a runaway, but if the mp was an adult then he/she usually turns up as a skull or femur, the victim of crime, suicide or accident.

      Adults don't usually run away from their lives. Cases like Michelle McMullen's are super rare.


      New details like this make it seem more likely that she could be one of the rare adults that purposely ran away.

      However, she ran off into such dangerous circumstances, alone, in the cold, at night, possibly drunk, and as you say, probably unprepared financially to hide out for long. Therefore, I seriously doubt she is alive and in hiding. I would love to be wrong though.

      Delete
    2. JMR, with all due respect "nothing worth starting an entirely new life over" that is not for you to decide. It is only the individual who is affected by these issues can make that decision and it is judgement call. Right or wrong

      Delete
  27. Do you think it's possible that Maura's first crash was related to the credit card issue?

    Her father arrives to help her purchase a car; this makes her feel guilty about her deception (assuming Fred has not already been informed about her arrest). She has a few cocktails with friends while her conscience gnaws at her, and then makes an impulsive, ill-fated decision to travel to the hotel to tell him in person?

    The confirmation of Maura's pilferous proclivities changes my outlook---apparently she's a lot more resourceful than I'd imagined. For the first time, it seems possible that she's intentionally disappeared.

    If you're willing to steal a classmate's credit card you're probably willing to steal a classmate's ID.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That really made me think about college. A handful of my friends had fake driver's licenses! They made them in their dorm room. They had a different name and address, but they inserted their own picture in them. So maybe she had a fake ID from before she was age 21 and kept it to use in her new life?

      Delete
  28. If you are being charged with a crime wouldnt you be brought to the police station for them to take a photo and fingerprints? If Im reading your posting correctly you are stating that police took a photo of in her dorm room. Do you have the date that Maura was arraigned for the cc fraud charges?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I strongly encourage everyone to watch the episode of Disappeared... The Last Truck Stop. You can watch it instantly on Netflix.

    It is about a very troubled girl named Michele Whitaker. She disappeared without so much as having a dime. I dont want to ruin the story but 6 years after she went missing her case was solved. Many similarities to Maura Murray. Trust me... It is a MUST SEE!!!

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  30. Now, more than ever, it seems to me that Maura likely decided to disappear on purpose.
    There are a number of factors which make me think that she must have been under an enormous mental pressure at the time of her vanishing:

    1. The stolen credit card numbers.
    2. The risk of being expelled from UMass Amherst.
    3. The possibility that Maura was expelled from West Point for some kind of credit card fraud.
    4. The fact that she apparently had confided in her running coach that she wished she could just disappear.
    5. She might possibly have been pregnant.
    6. Her relationship with her boyfriend Billy R. was in tatters with both likely cheating on eachother.
    7. The crashing of her father´s new car.
    8. Likely issues with bulimia and drinking.

    I can see her running away temporarily or for good.
    However, what happened after she crashed her car on Rte 112 in New Hampshire remains as much a mystery as ever before.

    1. Succesful runaway?
    2. Suicide?
    3. Hypothermia and ensuing death?
    4. Hit-and-run or other accident led to her death?
    5. Abduction/murder

    It would seem to me that we are nowhere closer to even trying to answer these questions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems like we're going in circles right?

      Delete
    2. I totally agree, Anonymous at 8:47 AM! I think she successfully ran away. JMO

      Delete
  31. Just because it would not be easy (FAAAAAR from easy), for someone like Maura to disappear of free will, doesnt mean that she didnt manage to do just that. As earlier mentioned, look at people like Michelle McMullen, Christopher Flynn and Michele Whitaker, they all pulled it off, one of them even kept going for 6 years! You dont need loads of money and a plan to run away, it can be a decision made in an instant, and it could still work. I think it is very much possible for her to have disappeared of her own free will, and to hide for all these years. It can actually be done, thousands of people have done it before her, even without their personal documents, money, accomplices and so forth. Even in this digital day and age, it really is possible to disappear completely, and if this is what Maura decided to do on that night (catch a ride to somewhere, befriend someone, get a place to stay, get a job, start a new life, etc.), she certainly is not the first person to do so and she certainly wont be the last!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've been reading this blog for a while but have never commented. However, this post makes me really think about a few things.

    1) Why would someone order almost 80 dollars worth of pizza in a few weeks? If each order amounted to about 15 dollars, that means she ordered 5 pizzas in the span of a few weeks. That's kind of odd to me - that someone would eat the same pizza consistently like that, and does make me think that maybe she had some type of eating disorder.

    2) Why did she buy them with a stolen card? Was she short on cash? Did she not want whoever paid her credit card bill to realize she was eating that much pizza? Maybe whoever paid her card was worried about her health? Was it thrilling to pay with a stolen card and get away with it?

    3)If she was using the card because she was short on cash, was there a problem that led to that shortage? Did she run out of money paying for some other big purchase recently? Did she lend someone money? Was her family no longer able to support her like normal? I'm not sure if this was her situation at all, but sometimes people are used to having a lot of money and then they lose it for some reason and so resort to other means to get money. These are just some things that were floating around in my mind when I read this post.

    ReplyDelete
  33. James, when did she stop running competitively? As a runner I can say that running kept me going through some tough times so if she was off the team, not racing then it's possible that someone like her may have not really felt she has anything to strive for. Seriously running is everything it can take over your whole life and it's essentially an addiction. I would venture that running was all she really cared about and if she didn't have that ten she may well have decided that life was dull.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Now that it has been shown she had stolen credit cards more than once, maybe she had stolen others & used them to begin a new life/identity.

    ReplyDelete
  35. So, I thought of this on the way to work this morning while reading the comments on this post. One thing about Pinocchio's in 2003/2004-- best and cheapest pizza place in Amherst. In 2003, you could call Pinocchio's and get two large cheese pizzas for $9.99. Fifteen dollars bought you a LOT of food from Pinocchio's. I'm leaning toward bulimia. Fred and Laurie Murray could have had access to her checking account statements-- if she was trying to hide an eating disorder, she could have stolen the card number so her parents wouldn't know she was bingeing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is everyone assuming she ate all the pizzas herself? She could have been taking them to parties, or sharing them with her co-workers, classmates, etc. I really don't think the amount of pizza she ordered indicates bulimia.

      Delete
  36. Mr Renner, are you planning on posting the records you are now getting back so we may see them?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Of course. But there will be over a thousand pages, so it will take some time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. James,
      I never realised that the total would amount to over one thousand pages.
      You´re doing a great job here, but I keep asking myself why no other journalists this far have been requesting these same documents over the last eight years.
      This fact reflects very badly on the state of the US media.

      Delete
  38. Mr Renner what date was Maura arrested by Amherst police for cc fraud? And when was she arraigned for these charges? I realize you say there are thousands of pages. But when you put something out to the public like this I believe you should have something to back up what you are saying and show us the proof .Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are the police photo, receipt, and report details not enough? Patience. Eventually everything will be online. The 1,000 pages still to come are not related to these charges.

      Delete
  39. Maura seemed to be a borderline alcoholic who would drink and drive, and apparently somewhat of an identity thief. She had a job, and had money in her bank account (that she exhausted to purchase a huge amount of alcohol). Why didn't she just use money earned to buy the pizzas over a course of a few weeks? What else was she spending her money on? Maybe she had other addictions. I know adderall has been big on campuses for many years, primarily because it helps one study. That combined with alcohol could really take a toll. I don't want to assume anything, but that might be something to look into if Mr. Renner talks to any other students. I doubt she was only using alcohol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey there. This is a great observation. I have thought about it too. Her dad had the $ to buy her a car, she had two jobs, why was her bank account empty when she left Amherst for the last time?

      I add a few things that may go well with your point. Many sources behind this, but two are: books called "Addictive Thinking" and "I'll Quit Tomorrow."

      In the treatment community, I believe many would agree with your assessment. But I think they would use the term "functioning alcoholic" as opposed to "borderline." I hope I have not corrupted your intended meaning by shifting now to this term. I will come back to that in a second. But first some points about addiction.

      * Addictions are progressive. Untreated, they get worse, not better. Even functioning alcoholics at a minimum have shorter life spans, but also face and manage to spin off consequences that a non-addict does not tend to face, like DUIs, more auto accidents, higher divorce rates, more frequently losing jobs, more health problems, etc.
      * People get addicted to not just alcohol and drugs, but also to food, intense activity like exercise, sex, various behavioral compulsions. These all share in common the same brain chemical effects. Many addicts have multiple drugs of choice and behavior compulsions that form a system giving them the ability to access these brain chemicals to dodge their problems and control when they feel good, even if life circumstances dictate feeling differently. It works for a while, but obviously at an immense cost to them and the people around them.
      * Addictions are progressive. Experts will tell you - and statistics at least strongly suggest - that a vanishingly small percentage of addicts can escape the downward cycle of addiction without help, even if they are "functioning" in which case that decline is merely slower.
      * Yet the addict compulsively hides evidence of their problems and addiction and thus avoids and resists the help they need.

      For me, much of this shouts out about Maura. I find it very heartbreaking as I have seen up close the tragic cost of the disease.

      So .... coming back to my point about "functioning alcoholics" .... what I have read tells me that a functioning alcoholic does not by herself, keeping secrets and keeping a good face on things, become a functioning NON-alcoholic. Instead, she is likely at some point to stop functioning so well, begin to abandon responsibilities and grow progressively destructive in decision making. Often people are surprised when the "break" comes, specifically because he or she had been so good about functioning well and hiding the addiction and its consequences. And often because - as a friend of mine who runs addiction programs at a prominent rehab facility says - addiction is a family problem.

      Thus, I think, great observation by you. Perhaps Maura's downward cycle was passing out of "functioning" and merely insidious into something more intense and active. If so, a completely irrational scenario of just running blindly away and looking for a corner to drink in alone and away from everyone is not at all impossible, even though it defies logic. This could include not knowing exactly where she was going in a broken down car and just running regardless. People collapsing into their addictions are very vulnerable to incredibly short sighted thinking, accidents, predators and to putting themselves into situations that they cannot get themselves out of, sometimes with deadly consequences. This line of thought suggests to me a range of possibilities regarding Maura's fate that is wider than what the known facts suggest logically, because maybe she was in the panicked frenzy of an active addict running away and her decisions did not make any sense.

      ~ John Green

      Delete
    2. Please note that my third bullet above should have the first sentence of "Addicts need help" instead of "additions are progressive."

      Delete
    3. John Green: Indeed. We tend to speak about the accident and Maura's behaviour like she was able to think clearly when everything in her behaviour that night and the months before screams the opposite. She had just lied to get time off, she was drinking, she crashed the car and at any moment someone might call the police. It would take less for me to abandon all reason and logic.

      Delete
  40. Mr Renner,

    Have you been able to find out anything at all about the on-campus art gallery where Maura supposedly worked part-time on top of her other job at the Melville Dorm security desk?

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thinking outside the box...maybe Maura realized with credit card theft that her life was spiraling out of control due to the alcohol and decided to get some help...and was going into detox at a rehab facility in NH and didn't want anyone to know about it. There are plenty of them along the route she took and in the general area she disappeared and into the Laconia/Conway region. It might account for why she took so few belongings with her (quick fix detox is usally 5-7 days) as well as her school books to keep up her studies. Not sure how one could find out due to patient confidentiality, but might be worth looking into. If she was going to detox, I would suspect she didn't make the decision alone and someone she trusted was helping her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think this could be a possible motive for MM to skip town. However, a proper detox would never last for a week or less.....as substance abuse is only a "symptom" of a bigger issue. A week would not cure either a substance abuse or the underlying issue. Although it could have certainly been the catalyst. I still believe (and will believe until evidence proves otherwise) that whatever she had planned was thrown off by the accident. And sadly, I don't think by any means it was "thrown off" in her favor.

      Delete
    2. For those who think that all of her troubles before her disappearance mean that her disappearance likely did not involve foul play, I invite readers to peruse any website that profiles missing people (or better, solved cases), e.g., charleyproject.org, websleuths, etc.

      Many people who've disappeared have had recent trouble in their lives or lives that seemed to be spiraling out of control, yet did not commit suicide or walk away from their lives, but were kidnapped and murdered or died accidental deaths. I think that when people are experiencing profound life problems they tend to do things that put themselves at higher risk, pay less attention to safety, and are generally more vulnerable.

      Maybe Maura meant to disappear -- but I think it's safe to assume that a car accident was not a part of her plan, which opens up the possibility that what happened after the accident also was not part of the plan.

      I, too, am a high-achieving woman who spent many years at top universities preparing for a career. Some years ago, just a few years into my career, I encountered some professional setbacks that made me feel as if I had failed and that my future professional life was damaged beyond repair. During that time, I spent a lot of time driving around remote New England backroads, hiking alone, and generally not telling people much of what I was up to. I avoided co-workers and family alike. I was trying to escape/forget just hang on and cope.

      At that time in my life, I could easily have disappeared and people might have assumed that it was because that was my intent, when my intent had nothing to do with wanting to disappear or do myself harm, and everything with wanting a mental escape, however temporary, from what seemed at the time to be overwhelming problems.

      For what it's worth, a lesson that I took from that is that things are rarely as bad as they seem. If Maura met with foul play or an accidental death, as I suspect, it's a horrible tragedy that she did not have a chance to learn the same lesson.

      Delete
    3. Absolutely. I never understood the notion that a person who was already in so much trouble would not likely have run into more. But the car crash could have been intentional, if it was indeed Maura herself who put the rag in the exhaust pipe. Then again, it seems a wee bit contra productive to stage your own car crash if you are heading for some kind of accommodation as her internet searches and phone calls implied.

      Delete
    4. I agree wholeheartedly. If you crashed a car (or two), your boyfriend (allegedly) cheated on you, you got caught with credit card misappropriation which may have resulted in being kicked out of university for a second time you might be tempted to run into the arms of someone who had less than honorable intentions. You might be so numb from the pain of your life, you may not see that someone posing as a "white knight" could possibly cause you harm.

      Maura may not have wanted to bother the school bus driver for help, but if she was indeed cold and shivering and there was no cell phone reception and someone charming, handsome and seemingly harmless offered a ride back to town, in that 10 minute window, she might have figured -- what else bad can happen to me?

      Delete
    5. "Counterproductive" would be a better expression in English, right? Not my native language, see :)

      Delete
    6. Is it possible that Maura was sharing the pizzas with other people in the dorm, maybe even getting them to pitch-in cash because she was using "her" credit card? It would be interesting to actually hear from some of the people who lived there during that time. I have read almost everything about this case. Tonight is the first time I have seen this website, yet I am learning so much info that was never in a single article I read.

      This stuff about the credit cards is extremely revealing. I do not think Maura was a rational person who made rational decisions. Thus, I do not think she really needed a reason to use a stolen credit card number. I do not necessarily think she was broke, bulimic, or trying to hide something. Maybe she just thought she would get something for free. She knew she could not buy something from the store with just a cc#, so she, being not a very sophisticated thief, just ordered pizza.

      And kudos to whomever mentioned her books being in her car having little meaning. In my four years of undergrad and three years of law school, I ALWAYS had books/notes/etc in my car. They were just always there. I did not consciously decided every single time a took a car trip to keep them there. Ditto about her birth control pills. That was probably something she just always kept in her purse. It does not mean she was "planning" to live.

      This case has always interested me because I never could believe the kidnapper/abductor angle. It just seemed way too convenient that a disburbed/stressed/possibly suicidal young woman randomly met up with a murderer within a ten minute window on a remote highway. And that same murderer successfully hid the murder and her body. It just has never made any sense to me. I will concede that it is POSSIBLE, but it seems highly unlikely. I also am having a hard time accepting that she wandered off into the woods and either froze to death or committed suicide. I just do not see how she could have gotten very far before she either decided to kill herself or she died of exposure. Either way, I find it very hard to believe that her body would not have been discovered almost immediately.

      Which leads to the only thing that really makes sense to me: Maura is still alive and simply vanished on her own free will. Somehow she arranged to get from the accident site to Canada, or maybe she didn't. She just hitched a ride with someone, and simply lucked out that that person either did not watch the news, or lived in Canada and never saw this news story.

      I think Maura's facial features would make it easy for her to go unrecognized. She has a pretty face, but otherwise she really does not look that unique. She also has a complexion that would make it very easy for her to change hair colors without it looking fake. I think she probably also has no problem lying to people (recall email to profs) and thus concocting a made-up life story would have been easy for her, maybe even a little bit fun.

      Heck, I am sure it is not that hard for a beautiful young woman like Maura to start anew with little money. She would not even have to work the streets. All she would have needed was to find one guy willing to take her in and help her out. I know women (not trying to disappear) who support themselves their entire lives just by doing this. Maybe she already had some guy lined up. The more I read about Maura, the more I think she had a lot of things going on in her life that neither her friends nor family knew anything about. The trouble is that this entire case has been built around what those people THOUGHT they knew about Maura.

      Delete
  42. the police officer in the ID show about Maura was the only one who elluded to personal issues that may be bothering her. But the show never went in depth. Kind of a half attempt of a show. This blog is the real investigation. Keep it up Mr. Renner!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow, so much has been uncovered on here. One thing that jumps out at me from this photo is that it looks NOTHING like the pictures that have been put out on Maura. I understand it is not a great photo, but she looks much older in this picture than a 21 year old. It doesn't even look like the same person. This is very odd.

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  44. No wonder the SBD says the person that he saw didn't look like Maura. The person in the above photo almost has different eyes and nose. If this is the same person, then something would have to be wrong to look so different. I hate to say this but the person in the above photo looks rough like a drug addict. Usually bulimia doesn't affect your looks so dramatically in your early twenties.
    Their has to be an explanation for why she looks so dramatically different from photos released by family.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Was she even allowed back to umass that semester after being arrested Fr the fraud? Is it possible she found out she was suspended?
    I got arrested in college for something stupid while partying at spring fling. I went back to school the next semester unaware that I was actually suspended for a semester. I was there taking classes about 1-2 wks before they called me in & told me I was actually suspended and I had to leave. Could this have happened to Maura too?
    I find it really hard to believe that she wouldn't have been suspended for at least a semester Fr being arrested, particularly bc she was arrested in the dorm.

    & yes jn the above pic she looks nothing like the other pictures! Wow, great job uncovering this! How did we not know this earlier?? Something was going on here that we don't know.
    I think more than ever that she had another bf that no one knows about. I truly believe that. Does anyone kno who she was hanging out w day to day in the couple months leading up to her dossapearance?
    More important question I have is who did she spend new years with? Is it true that she was in the north country for nye?? If thats true then we need to look to c if she maybe had met a man from nh.
    I keep thinking back a few years ago to when I met my current gf. At the time she was a 21 yr old umass student and I was from nh, right next to Waterville & loon. She drove up to see me all the time without telling anyone. She was Ike maira in the respect of being p

    ReplyDelete
  46. Does anyone else think it looks like she has a black eye in this picture??!!! Zoom in on it and look really closely, there is clealy a very dark patch on the left part of her nose towards her eye, almost looks like there's some black on the right too.
    Has anyone ever said anything about this?
    At first I thought it was just a shadow, but look closely at it. Feat of all there was a flash on the camera so there shouldn't b any shadows. Second just look at it, it's got the shape of a classic bruise. It looks like she has a black eye. Look really close at her left eyelid. That may ne smudged eyeliner but if it is. It's some really really smudged eyeliner. Look at it, it's a fairly big dark ring on the left of her eyelid. That looks like a bruise as well. That ones harder to tell if it is or not but I think it was worth pointing out.
    Is it possible she had been covering this bruise up from her friends using makeup & we can c it in this picture because she was caught off guard by the police. Could it be possible that this secret bf was abusive to her?
    On top of that, why did the cops take a pic of her right there anyways? Since when do they take a picture of
    you when u get arrested? U get yur mug shot yea, but to take your picture right there when u get arrested is
    highly unusual from what I've seen.

    This whole case is just crazy. Fred did a great job
    At manipulating everyone into thinking maura was the perfect "all-American girl" & their family was perfect including Billy and Billy &mauras relationship too. But that is starting to unravel on him.
    I gotta say it again, great job on this blog renner! Great job collecting facts and doing interviews...I can garantee I'll b buying the book once it comes out, the question is what the hell r u gonna say in it? Lol
    Its crazy, There's just so many questions and so many theories that I would have no idea where to start. It's
    Not like there's once theory that's most likely to have happened.
    My advice, I would stick with this whole secret boyfriend/she was going to meet a guy in nh thing. Idk, after this new info came out I just feel that's what happened. I think she had a prepaid cell that she communicated with this guy through. I think this guy exists and I think u already found him. But remeber that there might been 2 guys, meaning there might have been a secret bf she was with for the months befor she met the current guy. I have no clue if thats the case but keep digging, your doing Sn incredible
    Job.

    Does anyone know where and who she spent new years with? Is it true that she was in NH for nye? If so that's like huge..if she spent nye in NH she most likely spent it with a guy, generally u hang out with your significant other on nye, if she hung out with him in NH that means something.
    Thinking back over the years, nobody in the family had ever said where she spent nye, j find that very telling. Dis they know she had a secret bf but thought Billy would
    B hurt if they said it? If she and bully's relationship was so great why wasn't she with him in new years. Generally people want to spend new years evenwith the one they love, or at least r fucking at the time. Clearly
    Their families could've paid for Maura to fly out to Billy if she really wanted to go. If she spent nye in nh we gotta find out who she was with.

    This whole case is just interesting as hell, thanks for doing some real journalism, exactly what this case needed all these years

    ReplyDelete
  47. just curious, has anyone looked into her nursing. She was more than likely working off campus and doing rotations for class. Maybe she stole something from a hospital. Maybe she met a mystery man there? Did her dorm have a landline phone? Many dorms did back then, at least at Kentucky where I went. Can those calls be traced. If she had another man in her life, she wouldn't give him her cell phone number, knowing Billy's fam could see who she was calling....

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  48. I'm thinking that Maura did something relatively impulsive. From my own life experiences which have included a secret lover, minor substance abuse issues, and other small "troubles", I can attest that when things seem like they are reaching a certain point of disaster, one's thinking can easily go awry. We know Maura had some issues - credit card fraud, school problems (West Point and possibly UMass), a recent car crash (at 230 in the morning after drinking), a cheating boyfriend, etc. It's also obvious that she had a plan of some kind, since she had made inquiring phone calls and even packed up her dorm room.
    Ok, so she gets in her car and leaves school on a Monday night. She heads to NH, possibly not even sure of where she is going or why or to what end. She just needs to get away. She picks up some alcohol and possibly starts drinking. At some point perhaps she stops and places a rag in her tailpipe thinking that maybe it will cause an influx of CO2, which will make her pass out and crash (and thus not look like a suicide). Maybe her dad figured this out and lied about the rag to make it not look like suicide so that people would keep up the search for her. So now let's imagine that she crashes, which jolts her into possibly realizing she doesn't want to die (why did she bring that book with her about people dying in the woods in NH?!). She gets out, but is dazed, confused and now really scared. Reality is now setting in. The neighbor stops to help, and she realizes she's now gotten herself into a deeper mess - so she runs. She takes off down the road. On a road like that, it would be easy to see the headlights of cars coming and she easily could have hid from the cops driving by. It's cold, she's exhausted emotionally, she's physically rattled and possibly drunk, and has hit her head. However, she's a long distance runner and in good shape so at some point she goes off the road and into the woods....... She could have feasibly covered a lot of ground that night and succumbed to the elements 10-30 miles away from the crash site.
    Or maybe somewhere down that road someone saw her - and saw an opportunity - and stopped. Is it true there was a state trooper on duty in that area that night who was out of radio contact for almost 2 hours? If so...it makes sense he could have found her, offered to help her, and then done the opposite. The police are hiding information - that fact is plain. But why? To what end?

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    1. I concur with you... I have followed this case for quite a while, and the above scenario seems like Exactly what she was thinking/doing... and I too have wondered about the 2 hrs that were unaccounted for by the state trooper...

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  49. Just my two cents, it sounds like Maura had an eating disorder. I only say this because I use to be bulimic. When i was enrolled as a full time student, living on campus, the meal plan was automatically added to my tuition. However, I didn't like to eat in front of people. It was more common for me to go to the snack area on campus and buy food, then 'rid of it' in the bathroom later. It was too hard for me, at the time, to eat at the cafeteria with friends, because i knew I would want to use the bathroom right after. And I knew my female friends would most likely drop in with me at the bathroom. I always felt guilty spending money on candy, fattening foods, and snacks..it made me happy for a short, temporary time..and then I'd have to get rid of it, to feel a lot better.

    Another thing I wanted to point out, this may be something petty, but it's something I noticed a few of her friends had pointed out, was that she was big on her dental care. I too, am big on my dental care. However, when i use to be bulimic, i found out the hard way, that stomach acid erodes your tooth enamel like none other. So, believe me when I tell you.. my dental hygiene came to the point where I was brushing, flossing, and rinsing more than what was recommended. I didn't want anyone to smell 'vomit' off my breath, and I didn't want to get tooth decay on all my teeth. Before i left for college, I lived with my parents..and i was bulimic for about 3 years living at home, with my parents and sister and they never even knew I was bulimic. That's how secretive I was about the disorder.

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  50. Maura was seen to have 'eaten dinner alone and what not'I assume it was more than once for it to be noticed. Does anyone know if Maura ever actually had a functioning credit card.

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  51. @Anonymous February 5,2012-8:47am
    I would like to say out of all of the comments throughout this entire blog this post is so dead on& I believe to be so very similar to the circumstances of Maura's life at that point in time when she vanished..

    I'm so shocked at the so very many who continue to repeat that Maura's troubles, poor choices, and mounting stressors are the very reason they believe that there was NO FOUL PLAY by which Maura's life was taken.. These factors are the exact reasons that make a victim vulnerable prey to the predators for which we daily walk amongst..Just as you mentioned for any who may question the accuracy of that which I speak simply peruse a Site such as Websleuths..

    A common denominator amongst thousands of cases of victims falling prey to predators is the trials that were active in the victims life at the time of their death..making them not only targets as likely prey for predators,but also weakens their resolve,their inner strength by which they would normally draw upon& not be in the weakened,vulnerable emotional state that many are in when unknowingly crossing paths with a predator..

    These all important facts of Maura Murray's life that Mr Renner has done such an excellent job in bringing forward.. These facts not only show that Maura was as flawed& human as you& I, but most importantly for me they better show the absolute perfect storm of events/circumstances that were at play in her life up til those literal last moments.. That perfect storm set the stage for what sadly would be the situation that led to her death..

    There isn't a single shadow of doubt in my mind that MAURA NOT ONLY MET WITH FOUL PLAY THAT NIGHT, but it's that foul play that ended her bright, beautiful light of life.. This investigating agency absolutely has a clue of who it was that crossed paths with Maura that night on Route 112..they know who that predator is& my question is why are they so damn determined to keep that name from Maura's father specifically?

    Who is this local suspect that in my personal opinion the local law enforcement have knowledge/info that points to this individual having involvement in Maura's murder?.. And above all else why in the hell is it not being aggressively pursued? this suspect that could only be spoken about 'in camera', cloaked in secrecy&sealed away?!

    Not only is Maura deceased, not only was her fate sealed that night of 2/9/04 on that snowy, wild&winding route that was to take her to safe retreat,to have time to think, reflect&change the course of direction her life was taking at that time.. Maura never made it to that safe retreat because her path did cross with an absolute predator.. A predator that when laying eyes upon Maura was able to read her like a book, read the vulnerability written all over the face/demeanor of this lost young girl&that predator quickly&with ease caught his prey&stripped this world from this young woman's beautiful, bright light of life..

    The local agencies know exactly who this individual is&I ask, or rather I plead with Mr Renner to set his sights upon this as his target.. Seek out&find who this predator was that killed Maura now some 8 long years ago.. Mr Renner you have the know how& the determination to do so.. The answers lie within that small local area where the large, blue ribbon is tied to the tree that is the background here on your blog.. The answers are there&if anyone can discover them and HIM and bring it forward to the light of day.. If anyone can do that.. You can Mr Renner..

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  52. Anyone else creeped out by Myma's post? Where were you on 2/9/04?

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  53. I posted only earlier over my concern;

    She didn't choose to take his car- I believe he was under the influence of alcohol that night- which is why she dropped her dad off and came home early-
    she may have had a couple of drinks but was of sound mind or at least better than her fathers, she went to check on him after the party as she knew he was intoxiacted- please see:-

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7_atAFvowRhMmlyRUpNcDU2R3c/edit?pli=1

    He had been caught before on DUI's.

    I truely believe her father had nothing to do with this- but the more I read, the more indescrepicies come about. I will keep on tomorrow reading though every article and counter claiming the arguments with other non identified statements- the truth doesn't dissapear .
    I've saved all on my OLT'as I have been "lagged" on every single post, since I posted this.
    Hope this is a common problem on this site, as I have high speed internet and I'm based in the UK.

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  55. Wow, just look at that picture. She looks terribly embarrassed and stressed out. Quite the different woman from all the family photos we have seen.

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  56. There is no mystery about this. Maura was bulimic and this is classic bulimic behavior. Eating a day's-plus worth of food just to purge is extraordinarily expensive and many have to resort to theft to literally feed their habit. There's also evidence that late-night delivery pizza was Maura's binge/purge food of choice, like the 3:40am call made to Domino's (even though she told Kate Mayotte that she planned to go to bed hours earlier). Maura was in the grip of a dangerous illness that she was deeply ashamed of and no doubt tried to hide. But any woman who has dealt with body issues and/or knows those who have can recognize this behavior for what it is. There are many mysterious aspects to this story. Why she resorted to theft to buy pizza isn't one of them.

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  57. I'm coming into this conversation very late, but I have a story I think you'll find insightful. It's my own story about perception and a missing person. You can read the story about Michael George (SC) by searching Google, but do me a favor and hear me out first. I knew Michael only as an acquaintance; we both went to a bar owned by a friend of mine. When he came up missing a few years ago, there were a couple of persons of interest --- namely, two guys who gave him a ride home after a night of drinking. Some people said he appeared drugged and sick when he left the bar with these guys. One of them was a childhood friend, Jamey. There was some talk about the fact that Michael had been "talking" to Jamey's girlfriend, etc. There were other wild ideas about what might have happened to him. The facts were that those two guys were the last to see him, at Jamey's house where he supposedly slept on the couch and then left in the early morning before anybody else got up. His car was found not too terribly far from his own house, on a rural road, with the driver's seat in a strange position for a man so tall and long-legged. He was a father of two small children, and he was missing. I decided to look up his Facebook account, and there it was, so plain and obvious. He had written several posts in the weeks before he died about how his life was worthless, how he wished he could disappear, and how he even wished somebody would just kill him. I was convinced that he had killed himself, and that before too long his body would be found in the woods near his car. I shared that opinion; I even wrote to the newspaper asking why nobody had written an article about those posts. It was so obvious. Guess what? Jamey killed him. It all came out over months of investigative work and tips. A woman told friends that she had helped clean up a bloody mess at the house, and she and the two guys eventually were arrested. Finally, Jamey confessed ... not only to murdering Michael but to raping a female acquaintance that night. Jamey Mallette. He was recently sentenced. So I thought I knew everything. I was seriously misled by comments somebody made in despair on Facebook. Suicidal people can still be murdered. Just something to think about.

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