Sunday, February 19, 2012

Police provided secret testimony to Superior Court Judge

In the more than a thousand pages of documents from Grafton Superior Court, what is missing is as interesting to me as what is included. According to court records, New Hampshire State Police provided information about the disappearance of Maura Murray to the judge under seal during Fred Murray's lawsuit against the state police.

From the "motion to seal" by Senior Assistant AG, Nancy J. Smith:

Respondents respectfully request the opportunity to present information specific to this investigation to the court through in camera testimony without the petitioner [Fred Murray] present, and that the record of such testimony be sealed.

There are details throughout the other reports that hint at the information presented under seal. In his affidavit, Detective Todd Landry is hesitant to speak about the criminal records checks his office conducted.

Identification of specific individuals regarding whom records have been requested would pinpoint the focus of our investigation, thereby damaging it....I can address this item with further specificity by in camera affidavit or testimony.

Also sealed is information about a "one-party intercept" which could mean a wiretap or a secret audio recording of some kind. Nancy Smith categorizes it as a:

one-of-a-kind type of item that the Supreme Court recognized cannot be described specifically without irreparably disclosing what it consists of. SAAG Strelzin can address this item with further specificity by in camera affidavit or testimony.

My hunch is that state police have an idea of what may have happened to Maura Murray and who might be responsible. The inclusion of SAAG Strelzin is very telling. After all, he is head of the AG's homicide section. Whatever the evidence is, one thing is very clear: they didn't want Fred Murray to see it.





33 comments:

  1. There is no doubt in my mind now that Fred Murray either lied to the police or is somehow involved in the disappearance of his daughter. There is absolutely no other reason for LE to keep this information from the family. James - has anyone you have spoken to from LE on this case made any suggestion that they suspect Fred?

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    1. You are WRONG! It is common for police to withold evidence from the family of a murder victim. In fact, it happens in most homicide cases. They don't want to compromise the case. LE has good reasons, although, extremely frustrating for the family.

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    2. Yes, God, like this is the first time someone is pointing a finger of blame towards Fred on this site! If it had been the mother who was more involved with attempting to find Maura, she'd have been the prime "suspect" now.
      The fact of the matter is that, as it was already said, there's PLENTY of cases where PLENTY of information is withheld from the family, and in a large percentage of those the act of withholding information has got nothing to do with suspecting a family member.
      Prove that Fred had anything to do with it - prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt - or don't profess your certainty under the veil of anonymity.

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  2. All this means is that the police don't want to reveal who they are investigating or impair the investigation by releasing specifics to the public. They only reason they are specifically excluding Fred is because HE is the one petitioning to see it. That is all. I doesn't mean that Fred is their suspect or the one they are wire-tapping or whatever. The idea that Fred is involved is one of the more ridiculous suggestions I've heard. And there have been some VERY far out theories. Becky

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  3. fred's behavior needs to be examined none the less. He not wanting to help Mr. Renner is odd too. Why not help someone who can help solve this mystery? Why avoid the police for 2 years? Why claim the reasons she fled/ran off is not important? I hope he isn't involved, but he puts a lot of questions out there by his actions.

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    1. Try walking in his shoes. Easier said than done.

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  4. Firstly, I have to say I don't know anything about the American legal system so please excuse me if I ask a question that is obvious to everyone else. If the police don't want to divulge all their information to court, would that mean that it more than likely had something to do with someone who was known to Maura. Could the judge insist on it being made public if he thought it important enought or would he not have the power to do that. I feel it mustn't have been very strong evidence as eight years it still hasn't been acted upon.
    ~MF

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    1. It sounds like they have a very good suspect and all the existing evidence points to this particular person of interest, but they don't have enough evidence for a conviction in court.

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  5. They probably don't want a very upset father compromising the investigation. I can picture him approaching the POI.

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    1. That is exactly the reason....because Fred Murray would go to these people in person and ask them directly. I My self would do the same.

      He has No Fear when it comes to finding His daughter and Yes His search has been going on for "8 years 10 days" Mr. Murray will do this until He finds an answer.

      It is time for some answers.....!

      John

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    2. I agree this is the reason. Fred may be part of the reason MM wanted to disappear; there is no way he has anything to do with it, imho.

      Brian

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    3. Brian, If there was a reason, which included Fred, it was MM didn't want to disappoint him

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  6. At the very least, there is a significant, underlying issue that relates to LE's investigation, and directly to FM. It seems FM and his family are hiding something, either about his own history and/or his relationship with his daughter, which may also include her sibs.
    It is doubtful authorities would actively withhold information from him as a spite measure for his behaving badly to LE.

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  7. James,

    I don't think any of this implies that Fred is a suspect. Just that they want all evidence to be admissible in court.

    Of interest to me, however, is the "one-party intercept". If they had enough on someone to authorize a one-party intercept, did the information gleaned from it lead to enough probable cause to get a search warrant? Anything in the docs you received about that, James?

    Amy, aka "amy researches" on topix

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    1. The only thing I know that they searched was the one neighbors trailer when he sold it. They waited until it was pulled off of his property and on the road, then they pulled it over and searched it. This is the same person who would not let them into his house or search any of his property, while searching for Maura.

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    2. One other comment, this gentleman's place was also exactly where the dogs lost her scent.

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  8. This might be off topic to the post, but Maura's choice in music is something that I thought was interesting. I liked the Offspring when I was in college, but I remember hearing the Switchfoot song "Meant for More". If you have ever heard the song the lyrics are kind of foreboding. Good song though.

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    1. Lyrics:Meant for More by SWITCHFOOT

      Fumbling his confidence
      And wondering why the world has passed him by
      Hoping that he's bent for more than arguments
      And failed attempts to fly, fly

      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      Somewhere we live inside
      Somewhere we live inside
      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      Somewhere we live inside

      Dreaming about providence
      And whether mice and men have second tries
      Maybe we've been living with our eyes half open
      Maybe we're bent and broken, broken

      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      Somewhere we live inside
      Somewhere we live inside
      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      Somewhere we live inside!

      We want more than this world's got to offer
      We want more than this world's got to offer
      We want more than the wars of our fathers
      And everything inside screams for second life, yeah!

      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      We were meant to live for so much more
      Have we lost ourselves?
      We were meant to live
      We were meant to live

      These are the lyrics. Do you feel they might be read as enjoining listeners to leave this vale of tears through suicide? Might they not be read as a call to leave one's old life to start a new one?

      John Avellar

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    2. The name of the song is actually Meant to Live by Switchfoot. I think the main point behind my posts is that no one will probably ever understand what Maura Murray was thinking. I do not think I could ever understand that.

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    3. There is probably no meaning in the songs she chose to listen to or the books she chose to read. Heh, most of us like reading about serial killers and kidnapped people, but we are average moms and dads who would never dream of having anything to do with those things in real lives.

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  9. Just imagine Fred's reaction if a cop had said, in open court, "Well, we're looking closely at Mr. Wrong, at such-and-such an address"--Fred would have been out of that room in ten seconds and over at the guy's house, stringing him up by the short and curlies, ranting and raving and beating on him with a stick of stove wood. This could definitely have compromised the investigation. If police have strong suspicions and even circumstantial evidence, but nothing that will stand up in court and lead to a body and a conviction, they will often lie low, keep shtum and wait for the bozo to shoot his mouth off or make some other mistake, so they can nail him. An understandable but ill-timed blowup by Fred could have had serious negative consequences for ever solving the case.

    As to why Fred was reluctant to talk with police, it may be that he knew if he came clean with them, a lot of Maura's dirty linen would have been washed in public--surely he was ashamed of whatever got her asked to leave West Point; he may have known about the credit card debacle at UMass; he may have had concerns about her drinking--and he wanted desperately for people to think she was wonderful and be motivated to continue looking for her.

    And here's another thing: Surely NH fought hard to keep the case file under wraps partly because they feared it could initiate a slippery slope, set a precedent that would allow every disgruntled family, unhappy with a police investigation, to gain access to police records, making it impossible for any evidence to be kept confidential.

    There's another, less flattering, possibility, of course. Maybe Fred was right. Maybe the investigation was so badly bungled that the case file he was so hot to get his hands on was one page in a tattered manila folder saying little more than, "Ms. Murray was probably drunk. Adult walkaway. Looked into it, found nothing. She'll turn up." Now that wouldn't have made them look too good, would it? In the I.D. documentary, one police officer actually admitted that "mistakes were made," an understatement that I view as probably the first and only such admission by a cop in the history of the world. If he was willing to say that, imagine what he didn't say.

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  10. It certainly tells me that their investigation has led them to the conclusion of homicide. Without a body though tyring to put someone behind bars is very difficult to say the least. The one party intercept is sealed but do we know when it was requested or initiated? Also the criminal records check? How far into the investigation were they done?
    Froggy

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  11. Investigators have to entertain that a crime took place or else the courts would've already had them release everything they know about the case.

    A release that isn't adequate enough for Fred, could lead to a lawsuit against the state.

    This may be what is really going on.

    here is a good example of the push, pull that actually goes on in these type of cases

    here is an actual video recording of one of fred murray's court hearings to try and get information released

    http://www.courts.nh.gov/pastsessions/november06/20060113va.asx

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  12. Am I understanding right that a "one-party intercept" is the interception of some form of communication from an individual. This could be phone or possibly even email. So, while the one party part of the intercept would be hidden, unless the person was placing a phone call to his/her self, who was the other party, or was their another party? Someone else involved here I am imagining.

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  13. The question is, how did they know whom to target for that intercept and when did they figure that out? You can't do it without probable cause and a warrant. Someone had to have tipped them off, or there's a card they haven't revealed to anyone in this case.

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    1. It's possible this all stemmed from the Grand Jury.

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  14. I have a relative who was murdered, and law enforcement was EXTREMELY secretive with the family. LE had a definite idea of who committed the murder, but they were silent until they had gathered enough evidence to press charges.

    It's important to understand that family members of victims who are missing or murdered become completely unhinged. They can impeded the investigation and they can also act irrationally.

    -TJ

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  15. I think it's a little strange that her "supposed" fiance's mother paid for her cell phone. Also I don't think they make enough mention anywhere about her relationship with Billy not being what it appeared to be on the surface. I see people talk so much about the bus driver etc etc, but no one thinks about how wierd things seemed to be with Bill and his mother. I think she had a secret lover. I realy do. Plus all of her actions leading up to her disappearance are connected WITH her disappearance because her behavior was so strange and erratic. She made the decision to drive up there herself, no one else. So I just beleive there was a lot more complicated things going on in her life- I believe her family and friends know more than they are telling..and are in denial. COMPLETE denial. This leads to nothing, but an unsolved mystery.

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    1. James has stated in previous posts that it was evident that MM had another BF- her coach in fact. As far as the MIL paying the phone bill, I can see how that would seem odd, but when my husband and I were first engaged, his parents footed the bill because it was cheaper to have everyone on the same plan- my fiancé at the time was stationed far away and this way we had adequate and inexpensive communication. Since Billy at the time MM went missing, was far away, it makes sense to me for his family to want to help keep comm lines open for the newlyweds to be.
      As far as the strange behaviors leading up to her disappearance- James also has touched Khalil of this- the possibility of a hit and run, an unwanted pregnancy, etc.
      JW

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  16. John, considering that Switchfoot started out in the Christian music industry, I doubt they're exhorting anyone to commit suicide.

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  17. The police have something. From prior experience, I can firmly tell you that they will give you practically nothing in any murder case. The phone calls to Linda Salamone and the 7 AM call that Bill received while going through airport security are very important pieces of evidence. Fred has maintained that she was headed to Bartlett. They had all stayed at Linda's condo the year before. It was the most reasonable in price in the area according to them. In Bartlett, Fred said that "she knew that she could get a room there." They had stayed in Bartlett at many different places. I feel confident that she would only have headed in that direction if given a ride which is East.
    Where did she end up that she had cell phone service in order to make this call to Billy? It was definitely a cell phone call as he could not call her back as it was a paid card. The phone was working because she made the call to Linda at 12:55 PM the day before. Where was Maura that she got service? It had to be in a relatively open area. From my place south of Haverhill, we get no sevice. However, a three miles toward a large lake, service comes in well. In the next town 10 miles north I get almost perfect service. What this simply means, is that the place where there is service should be the focus. Yes it has been 8 years. However, The service has not changed at all in my area and I am sure that it has not changed there. I believe that phone calls and service area will be what solves this. That area will be East toward Bartlett. MDW

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    1. As far as I can remember it has been established that the phone call Billy Rausch received was not from Maura.
      ~MF

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