A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
I believe her father had a profound influence on Maura's life for good and bad. The good is her achievement, the bad is the family dysfunction alluded to by witnesses in NH to her father's temper, mention of alcoholism in the family constellation, and mention of the family's being known to authorities for domestic calls. IF these allegations are true, and also include credit card fraud, a possible eating disorder, and multiple car crashes, then this troubled young woman very likely made poor choices, was at risk for violence in relationships, and probably felt the need to run away from serious trouble in her life.Maura lied easily. She was a habitual liar. IMHO, her father knows much more than he is sharing with the public. Her family could not have been unaware of her troubles and her relationships. This haunting but beautiful image suggests her escape. Her father keeps his silence.
Anonymous 11:36 am, I think Maura had some problems, but I think you are being a bit harsh on her father. Families are not perfect. He seemed to there for her--unlike many fathers. Besides, what happened to her happened after her accident in NH.
When he keeps his mouth shut he looks like a sympathetic character. When he opens it, he is harsh. He behaved very badly in NH. 'Nuff said.
She writes in Serbian in a reply to a comment:"Once a long time ago something very similar happened in my family and now, years later, I feel with everyone who find themselves in this situation. I have talked with this family and from this side of the world I am trying to help in the only way I can."
It's amazing how wide the appeal of this case is. Somebody should write a book about it or something ;)The case, at least as far as information available to the public, went cold awhile ago the only place we can look is backwards. As a result I think people read to much into any scrap of new info made available. 11:36am, you contradict yourself. She lied, put on a false face, and had some dark secrets yet daddy must have known everything? I've known girls who had close relationships with their father, quality time wasn't spent regaling each other with tales of sexual exploits. Here's a interesting factiod: The cops were called on Fred Murray in April 2004 for trespassing/parking so some of these "character witnesses" were tired of hearing him complain about his missing daughter months (not years) after she disappeared.
She lied to others; she might not have lied to him. Bet he had a very close relationship with her. JMO.
@3:17 - Who knows what her relationship was with her father, except perhaps her mother, siblings, or a good friend (who is keeping his or her mouth shut).Maura didn't live in a vacuum. She might have confided in Billy, and if so, he would have felt an obligation to report what he knew to the police during his interviews. It's likely someone isn't out of the woods yet, at least in the eyes of law enforcement. It's been informally reported on forums that the problem with Fred Murray wasn't his search for his daughter, but his disregard for private property and his disrespect for property owners. His "alibi" for the time he was unavailable to respond to authorities when they attempted to notify him of his daughter's having gone missing has still not been revealed to the public. Surely Fred Murray was very involved in intimately understanding the reasons for his daughter's transfer from WP to UMASS, and it is unlikely he was unaware of the trouble at WP. No one said they spent "quality time"..."regaling each other with tales of sexual exploits". Suspiciously, Maura's misbehaviors are not consistent with the image of The All American Girl.
My, what a beautiful image. It does capture my idea of the mystery surrounding Maura very well. What do you think are the chances that she wandered off and succumbed to the elements? I've never been overly impressed with the theory, but this image makes me wonder...
Glad to see not everyone went Beagle-crazy and only drew meaningless MS Paint pictures on the 8th anniversary!
This would look amazing on the cover of your book, Mr. Renner!
There's a posting on this site from August 2nd 2011 in which Mrs. Whitman states that she did in fact see a red light which could've been the tip of a cigarette but never saw a man. While this sounds like it could be a key point in the investigation, however, the only witness to this is completely debunking it. Great point to bring up though, TJ! Perhaps there may be more to it than she is letting on. JW
i agree. it would be a great book cover! a poignant image.
I don't understand why my most recent comment wasn't "approved," but whatever..Moving on, I have a question: Does anyone know if a cigarette butt was retrieved at the crash site? There has been discussion about that on other forums, and it could corroborate Faith Westman's original claim that she saw a man smoking a cigarette in Maura's car. (Note that Westman's house is 80 meters from the crash site -- a bit far to be able to see a cell phone light.)-TJ
I just browsed through "Not Without Peril," a book about misadventure in the New Hampshire mountains (this book was curiously found in Maura's car). I saw that the book focuses on Mount Washington, which is about 50-60 miles northeast of where Maura disappeared. Maura's father and campus co-worker have stated that she loved the trails along Mount Washington.Does anyone know how well Mount Washington has been searched? It's a vast area, and a body wouldn't necessarily be easy to find.-TJ
I got an idea from your picture. I kept looking at everything that should not be there, the accident forms, the wine box, etc. when in reality I should have been looking at what should be there. The picture made me remember when I went hiking especially if there is snow. One thing that I remember is that you never want to wear shoes. So there is one thing I would expect would be found in the trunk of her car: boots.
I just wish to thank everyone for your kind words. I keep on hoping somewhere, somehow this blog or my image reaches someone who knows something and at last this dreadfully sad affair comes unraveled.- Aleksandra
in a boston.com article from 2004, it mentioned that LE were interviewing Maura's friends/classmates at UMASS after the disappearence. One girl was questioned further because she wasn't truthful for the first interview. She claimed she didn't want to get Maura in trouble. I wonder what that was? Maybe the credit card fraud, but she was already in trouble for that. Maybe having an affair? Just wondered if anyone else caught this. It's on a linked article on Maura's wikipedia page.http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2004/03/02/where_could_maura_be/
@Anonymous 10:05 -- That's very interesting. Thanks for posting that info. In any case, I hope that article dispels the myth that Maura wandered off in the woods... As many of us have said repeatedly, there were extensive searches by dogs, people, and helicopter that strongly suggest that Maura did NOT go into the woods (and besides, it was pitch black and the woods are very thick).Law enforcement is treating this case as a homicide investigation, and they know a lot more than we do. Common sense tells me that LE may have an idea of the perpetrator, but they cannot yet press charges due to insufficient forensic evidence.On the other hand, the peculiar circumstances surrounding Maura's personal life suggest that she might have been motivated to run away and begin a new life. But with her extremely limited resources in today's post-9/11 world of surveillance, that seems extremely unlikely.I've also wondered if the car accident in Haverhill triggered an episode of dissociative fugue, which can result in transient global amnesia. There are many documented cases of this occurring with missing persons (e.g. Amber Gerweck), always triggered by a traumatic event and exacerbated by other stressful factors. It is entirely possible that Maura began hitchhiking and essentially drifted off the radar. I don't know...-TJ
There's been some people speculating that Maura intended to go north to commit suicide, and that her excuse to leave school and work was due to a 'death in the family' some people have pointed out, maybe she meant 'her' death. I only say this because I am in nursing school. I just started up last month. We went over the program's policy, what days we have off, as well as 'excused absences'. They pointed out that they REALLY frown on anyone taking a day off of a class or a clinical. The absences, if multiple in a day/consecutive, would have to be something like serious illness/hospitalization/deaths in the family, etc..etc. I suppose Maura picked the 'death in the family' as being the most believable excuse, as people have seen her all weekend on campus and the week before that.Just my two cents.
I have often wondered if Maura dropped of the "missing alcohol" to same person who she returned the scrubs to? Could this person have been under 21 - making her the friend who wasn't truthful first time around, as she didn't want Maura to get into trouble (buying alcohol for an underage friend). That would also explain why the police say all the alcohol was "accounted for" - even though it was not found in the car.It would also make a lot more sense than Maura deciding to take a couple bottle of alcohol with her - but nothing else. It is more likely, she took off without any alcohol, as she didnt have any to take (except the bulk wine, which she obviously wouldn't take....)