A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
I am an avid follower of the blog and enjoy your work and research- however, I think this post is a stretch. I'm a photographer, and the first difference I see is that the top image is a professionally shot image with semi decent lighting- a smiling girl with her make up and hair done. The second image is a snap shot taken against a wall, hair pulled back, no smile, no make up- looks like a lot of women on a lazy Saturday. A bad picture? Maybe a bad day? But evidence of a hellish period of her life? No -
I think you are right.
It is probably a photo copy of a bad photo.
Agreed. If you look at my driver's license photo, you'd think I just got back from war. I was in a DMV in a bad neighborhood and was desperate to get the hell out of there.
I think her erratic behaviour coupled with her mothers genes make a drinking problem quite likelyPerhaps a post drinking food binge problem too - her weight seems to bounce up and down from picture to picture .
Well, considering the circumstances I don´t think it would be realistic to expect Maura to look happy, relaxed, smiling, stylish, etc, in a police mug shot. She must have been in a state of shock at the time.I agree, though, that there is something haunting about that picture and I sense a tremendous amount of emotional stress in Maura´s expression.It makes me feel truly sorry for her, a young lady with so much promise.
For the record, it's not a mug shot. It's a picture taken in the halls of Kennedy dorm.
I do agree that something more than 4-years-worth-of-aging happened to Maura in the time between those 2 pictures. Not a fact, just a hunch.
Damn...I was thinking of posting something about this earlier. It's almost two different people. Not that I think it's two different people, but you know.
The second pic may not be a professional one, with hair and makeup done, but you can clearly see a difference in her expression. Her face in the second pic looks thinner, sadder, more dark, and just unhealthy, even despite the circumstances. Anon WV
I never thought about this before, but after having studied the two photos of Maura in some detail, it seems to me that her eyebrows look completely different in the two pictures.Is this just my imagination, perhaps?
Of course her eyebrows look different. Four years have passed and she plucked them as well. I think we are all reading too much into a simple image. We all know that Maura was going through difficult times. That is not a new piece of information.I want to know what the police found in her room. Her being a young girl in college, I find it hard to believe that she didn’t keep a paper journal, or even a computer journal. I have a feeling that the police DID find a journal, and just have not released any of the information. What do you think Mr. Renner? Doesn’t it seem that they would have to find SOMETHING, ANYTHING at all that would show her state of mind? What about her grades. I have wondered this for some time. Was she taking a creative writing class at the time? If so, what topics was she writing about? I feel like the key to this mystery can be found at the college she was running AWAY from.
I f you look at the picture of her just a year prior (2003 pic at the restaurant ) She looks happy and healthy.
I don't know if it is the same photo you're referring to, but if you look at this picture on Sharon Rausch's site:http://www.spbowers.com/Images/maura/Maura%20MurrayPic4.jpgYou'll notice in the bottom right corner the date is printed '03 12 27 (December 27, 2003.) Provided the date was set correctly by the owner of the camera, that photo was taken in the month after the arrest. Also, I have a photo of Maura with Billy in Central Park, NY taken on 12/20/03. In both of these photos she 'appears' happy, fresh-faced and smiling. While I do believe she is putting on a good face for the later photos, I agree that it is a stretch to compare the two photos posted above; one professional, the other a monochromatic, grainy photocopy. If you want to a good example on how a picture can create bias you may recall Time Magazine's shopped 1994 cover photo of OJ Simpson. Anon13
I am guessing that most of us here went to College? Well get out the yearbooks and take a look at yourself at 17 and then at 21 - big difference I'm betting! Those years of growing up, having responsibility, doing your own laundry etc take their toll. It's fairly typical to "age" in those first years. Look at her other online photos - where she's at a wedding with her bf in summer 03 and the one with girlfriends at a ball - looks awesome! I think most of would look less than awesome at 2am with the cops on our door. Let's not speculate too much and focus on facts. She stole stuff, she doesn't need to be un attractive too.
When was her mother diagnosed with cancer? I had a friend in college with terminal cancer and my friend just about went nuts. She even ended up in the hospital for psychiatric issues for a period of time.
The picture was taken by the police the night they charged her for the credit card fraud.
In my opinion, in one picture she looks happy. In the other picture she looks angry. One question that would keep me wondering is why she ever took that trip in the first place? If what the ID program said was correct, and she was going to get a car the following weekend, what was so pressing that she had to drive the old run down car? And why does the father say that he usually comes up about once a month, but then delays buying the car for another week? He would have had to come up again, not to mention his car is now wrecked. Maybe she knew she was not getting a different car?
Sorry, typo above @ 6:08 PM. I meant to say her mother was diagnosed with cancer and the girl was devastated and just couldn't handle it.
Well, she had just been busted for credit card theft. And, as other commenters indicate, this is the 4 years in which most people become fully adult. So the answer to James's question: She got into some trouble, hence the poor lighting and serious expression, and she moved from late adolescence to adulthood.
Hey James, I'm a licensed aesthetican, and I couldn't agree with you more. Although these photos are black and white, I can see some obvious skin sagging around her mouth. Stress can age you, no doubt about that. But the sun ages you the most, and Maura was a runner, meaning she spent much of her time outside, everyday, running. I doubt she wore sunscreen, most young people don't wear sunscreen when they are outdoors. From what I understand, she was also a drinker, alcohol, too will dehydrate your skin, and lead to premature aging. UVA damage is the biggest culprit though. Nursing school is extremely stressful, and I'm sure between being enrolled full time as a nursing student, complete with clinicals, as well as working two jobs, and being in a long distance relationship... I doubt she got a full 8 hours of sleep each day, and I'm sure she had much stress in her life. I think it's important to find out what happened at West Point. Did she get kicked out? Or did she leave on her own terms, to pursue a nursing career?
Hi. I`ve been reading this blog about couple of months for now, since I saw the case on ID channel. I`m from Estonia..this story is so strange and I cant get it out of my mind until it`s probably solved.Could someone please explain me about that phone call Maura`s boyfriend got few days later and no-one talked on it? There is no possibilities to research more about it?
MR Renner, are you going to scan the docs as they come in?
JR, have you looked into drug use such as methamphedamine? She seemed to be on an irregular sleeping schedule in the days leading up to her disappearance? I personally don't think it's the case, but it's worth it to explore the possibility. I'm no expert in the effects of the drug, but many people claim bulimia as a possible cause of her fluctuating weight and apperance change, etc. Could there be something here? I don't know.
I have to say, I didn't want to post it, but that was the first thing I thought of when I saw that picture - methamphetamine. The look is there. I hope that's not the case, but it would add a very new dimension to the story.
NCAA collegiate athletes are subject to random drug tests. Schools tend to make them less than random for athletes like runners; if you qualify for a big meet, you get tested. Most runners at Maura's level - if obsessive and addictive - tend not to get into heavier drugs because they are also addicted to the endorphins their body produces, running is thus too valuable to them, and heavier drugs shut a runner down quick. Moreover, heavier drugs are frowned on in the culture of running (leaving aside performance enhancing stuff). It might be worth trying to find out if she had failed a drug test and might lose an athletic scholarship that she may have had. If she did, having been a competitive runner in college at Maura's level, I'd bet dollars to donuts it was for pot.
in the photo by the cops, does her left eye look like its been blackened? maybe its the lighting..
It does look like she has a black eye....but I think it's the lighting in the photo....this picture actually reminds me of the drawing that the creepy guy put in that you tube video. Jenni
So your saying that a picture that was planned to be taken, and is professional re-touched, should be compared to what looks like a mug shot?