Saturday, March 10, 2012

Details Remain Unproven

Here are a few details about Maura's case that I am still trying to find some kind of evidence to support. As of this moment, I cannot prove these things are true. I cannot find support documentation or unbiased sources to support these clues. If you can help, let me know. I will continue digging.

1. Was Maura's car really unreliable? Did it run on "three cylinders?"
2. Did Fred visit UMass the weekend before her disappearance to look for a new car for Maura?
3. Was Fred Murray working February 9, 2004?


71 comments:

  1. I drove a car with 3 cylinders. It all depends on how bad the compression is and whether it actually is all 3 cylinders. The car will basically stall out in stop and go or slow down situations. That could explain the accident scene because the car would stall, she would lose power steering and it would go straight into the snowbank.
    I would try to find someone who worked at the Amherst Brew Pub or the used car dealer to see if Fred and Maura were shopping for a car but after such a long time it would probably be difficult to find someone who worked there even if you find the actual place.
    Something I was curious about was were she got the accident forms. Maybe she printed them out from her computer but if she did visit a BMV on her way to wherever she was going I only could find one that would be on her way.
    The one conclusion you can come to is that her state of mind changed dramatically in a short period of time or this was planned for a while. The email from Liz Drewniak says she just missed seeing Dane Cook at UMASS(when?) and was looking to see him in Storrs, CT on February 12th. So sometime between when she sent that email and February 12th, something happened. Maybe a fight with her father over first accident?
    I do not believe she was suicidal. If it is a suicide or even attempted suicide it is one of the strangest I have ever heard of. She killed herself between attempted trips to see a comedian.

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  2. If the Saturn is still on a police impound lot in NH, it should be possible to examine the engine and determine the state of the cylinders. Getting permission to do so is another matter, but if LE reads this blog and hadn't already thought of taking a look at this possibility, maybe they'll be motivated to do so. Did I read somewhere that Fred wanted the Saturn crushed? Hmm.

    Further to the question of whether Fred went to UMass that weekend to find a better car for Maura, I've never understood why no one seems to have pursued the question of why in the world, if they found a car, they chose to put off buying it for a week. If that's why Fred went to Amherst, surely he was prepared--checkbook, credit cards--to buy one at once, particularly if the Saturn was in such terrible condition and he was so worried about it.

    It would be tricky to get Fred's employment records, but you'd think LE would have checked whether he was at work on the 9th. If not, maybe they will now, if they read this blog.

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    1. It was said that he had $4,000 with him, but the car they had found, he needed more money. So the plan was to go home to get more cash and then come back the following weekend.

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  3. I'm Maura's age at the time she went missing, and just got my second car. My first car was a bit of a 'junker', and I HATED driving it, definitely if I was driving it to class or something and couldn't afford for it to break down. Funny thing is though, the car never actually broke down. It was just old and loud. My dad drove the car 500 miles with no problems. I just felt uncomfortable with it because I don't know cars, and can't distinguish bad sounds from just normal "this car is old" sounds. I feel like Maura's car situation may have been a far cry from what maybe Maura reported to her father or others. Maybe she knew cars, I get the feeling she didn't though. Even with the rag in the tailpipe, I can imagine I would do something slightly stupid/odd if it meant that car would feel better to me in the short term. Just some thoughts. A car can be a pretty foreign thing to a young lady. That car, in my opinion, could have been just fine. Who knows though.

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  4. I realized my last comment sounded off to me, I'm not insinuating any kind of stupidity among females. I'm not stupid, Maura wasn't either. Just honest feelings from someone who can relate to Maura in a demographic sort of way. In earlier blog posts people have commented things along the lines of "who would be stupid enough to put a rag in a tailpipe??????" To be honest, I would. She could have heard something about rags in tailpipes before, it been misconstrued, maybe she thought it would serve a short term purpose, (maybe she was close to where she was going....) Anyway, on this end of it I can now say "who would be stupid enough to stick a rag in a tailpipe", but I really don't think it would be far fetched. Nor would the idea that maybe Maura advertised the non-fact that her car was unreliable when it was just old and rickety and she hated driving the damn thing. I guess that could kind of equate to unreliable but what I meant was no imminent break down was coming due to a known issue with it. She drove a ways, it could've started smokin or something by then, she didn't want to attract attention so she put the rag in the tailpipe to hinder the smoke, she knew she was close to where she was going, anyway.

    Just some possibilities.

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    1. I agree. She was probably very naive when it comes to cars, and she probably did not want to attract attention to herself driving a smoking vehicle while she had opened alcohol in the car. It is likely she inserted the rag herself very soon before the crash, and the rag itself may have precipitated her stall. I don't think your comments were insinuating any stupidity; I may have (unfortunately) thought of the same thing myself at 20.....plus, she may be been intoxicated. Clearly that would obscure her judgement.

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    2. When I try to recall where from came these three commonly held beliefs, it strikes me that Fred is the original source of all three? I am not sure of that. Didn't he indicate each of these things in interviews fairly soon after the accident?

      I am conscious of Fred's grief and not wanting to write mean or speculative things about him. But I think many indications of his reticence and lack of forthrightness exist. It is easy to jump to speculative conclusions based on that, which I would rather not do. But I will say that whenever Fred is the source of a bit of knowledge about the case, I look at it differently due to his puzzling attitude.

      ~ John Green

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    3. Interesting. I hate to put any bad light on Fred though, what he must be going through. I do think you're right though about all three coming from Fred himself.

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    4. I think Fred probably really laid into her the night she wrecked his car. So he probably feels responsible for what happened to her. If he wasn't so hard on her, maybe she wouldn't have left and then nothing would have happened to her, whether foul play or her running away. I think that's why he keeps saying anything that happened before the accident doesn't matter.

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  5. Dirtbag made a blog about you. Be careful out there, Mr. Renner.

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    1. Care providing a link to that blog? I can't seem to find it anywhere.

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  6. James,
    There is something really fishy about Mr. Murray. I feel with all of the work that you are doing he would some how get involved if he really...key word really wanted to find his daughter. He knows a lot more than he puts off...hence not wanting anything to do with you or this blog.

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    1. You seem to be suggesting that this blog is the only way to find Maura, so that anyone who's not on board doesn't really care. I disagree. I think this blog is one valuable tool toward pooling information that may help find Maura--or not. And consider that for all any of us knows, Fred Murray may follow this blog avidly, may read it every night after work and twice on Sundays, may even contribute to it as an "Anonymous" writer. What we say and what we do aren't always the same things. Conversely, Fred may think this blog is a ridiculous waste of time and may be pursuing his search in an entirely different way that he considers is better. Who are we to say he's wrong?

      Fred's biggest downfall has always been his mouth, but a third possibility is that NH LE has found a way to get him to stick a cork in it, and have told him a lot more than they've told the general public, such as, perhaps, that they've got their eyes on an answer and that if he'll just be very quiet and very patient, they can see an end in sight. I think he wants Maura found so badly that he just might agree to it. That would be an alternative explanation of why he hasn't been open and avid with James and this blog; he doesn't want to blow it.

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    2. I just watched the "Disappeared" episode on Maura with fresh eyes, and one thing I hadn't noticed before -- Fred said that he had asked Maura to call him at 8 pm on February 9 to discuss paperwork from her accident in Hadley, Mass. (That scheduled phone call would have taken place shortly after her second accident in Haverhill.) Fred seems extremely disturbed by the conversations he'd had that morning after Maura wrecked his own car; I get the sense that there was a major altercation between him and Maura.

      I'm putting myself in Maura's shoes: I've been expelled from West Point (and might be facing expulsion from UMass), I've been caught with credit card fraud, I've wrecked my father's car (probably DUI, and possibly striking a UMass student who is in a coma), I'm skipping school for a week without telling anyone, the boyfriend I wanted to marry has cheated on me... And now I've wrecked my own car (again probably DUI) and I'm supposed to call my dad in 15 minutes.

      If that's not enough to send someone over the edge, I don't know what is.

      New Hampshire LE has suggested (unofficially) that this case is being treated as a homicide investigation. But I wonder if that isn't a decoy -- if they think that Maura may actually be involved in identity fraud and might be living under an assumed name. I don't know.

      -TJ

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    3. I'm watching an episode of 20/20 regarding the disappearance of Maura Murray. Will someone tell me why there is so much suspicion hanging over her father Fred Murray? I have watched several shows on the subject and I don't get it?

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  7. After the accident the car might have not started. Her thought may have been to put the rag in the tailpipe in an effort to get the car restarted. I've read here that her father advised her in the past to put a rag in the tailpipe for other mechanical issue. Perhaps she thought this would be one of those times and the car would perhaps restarted. I beleive she had a flight reflex as many of us would after an accident that involved no damage to others. She wanted to get the car restarted and flee the scene.

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  8. The vehicle reportedly had last been inspected in Weymouth, Mass. on Oct. 17, 2003.I am not sure what station inspected it

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    1. Meaning no disrespect, this is one of the forms of comment that frustrates the heck out of me. Who reported this, and to whom? You may be the most honest person on the planet, and every word you've written may be 100 percent true, but without your name and contact information there is no way for James to corroborate what you've said, and should he wish to do so he's now got an uphill trek to track all this back and get answers you could give him immediately. Meanwhile, why should any of us readers believe your unsubstantiated word? At least email James privately and expand upon what you say you know. Otherwise, trying to make your comment useful is like trying to bag smoke, and just puts another layer of vague stuff out there.

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    2. Good for you, Anon @ 1:30!!! The danger is in the repetition of this piece of "information" as "fact", as has been done for 8 years now. Without citing a source, or being the source and willing to step up with the information, it is not valid, and not worthy of becoming a "fact".

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  9. Have you had any success in getting those in her circle to speak? Like dorm-mates, West Point classmates, or if any that ate the pizza's she was charging etc? I find it so odd that after all these years, there aren't more "I knew Maura then . . . " types aren't willing to be interviewed.

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  10. I so hope that people with first hand knowledge are contacting you. I agree with aud. There have to be people out there that saw Maura and/or her father that last weekend that can fill in holes. Have you thought of trying a Personal Ad in the area newspapers? That might reach a whole new audience.

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  11. Didn't you interview the friend of Maura's, who had dinner at the local pub with Fred and Maura that weekend?

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    1. Yes I did. And she has no memory of any conversation about a bad car.

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    2. It has always struck me as odd that her friend Kate Markopoulos, who had dinner with Fred and Maura that night, has no recollection of them mentioning looking for a new car as stated in your earlier blog last year. What on earth did they talk about if not what they'd been doing all day? Also, Mr Murray says on Disappeared that they had one picked out that they were going to pick up the following week. If that was the case he must surely have left a deposit and that could be checked out through bank records. It is normal practice to leave a deposit and come back a week later giving the garage time to spruce up the car and the buyer time to arrange insurance in place to start from the day of purchase. Did Mr Murray contact the insurers with the new registration to commence new cover? This should be traceable, don't you think?

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    3. I'm with you on this, teapot. Wasn't it Kate Markopoulos who also said she had no recollection of the identities of any of the people at the dorm party she attended with Maura just before the accident with Fred's car? Seems unlikely she was dead drunk, since she remembered well enough Maura's telling her, at the party, that she wanted to return her father's car, and telling Maura that was a bad idea at that hour of the night, and Maura's then agreeing with her and saying she was going to go to her dorm and go to bed. This woman seems to have a highly selective memory. Maybe Maura DID tell someone her plans, and that someone is playing dim and dumb to keep her secrets . . .

      Re a deposit on an alleged car, I agree again; that whole piece has always been murky. James probably couldn't get those bank records, but NH LE could. Wonder if they ever thought of doing that?

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  12. Wasn't Maura accepting rides to her clinicals, because her car was running bad?

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  13. One thin we can be positive of is that car was not running on 3 cylinders, that's just ridiculous.
    I dove a car that ended ip running on 3 and trust me, it won't make it to Nh like that, at least not in the time she made it there.
    I'm not saying her car ran great but clearly it ran ok. It ran good Enuf to get her to Amherst from the south shore a pulls weeks before.
    I would suspect that the car ran fine and Maura obviously knew it, would she really try to take it to Nh if it didn't? Why not just leave town if there was a problem, she didn't have to go all the way to Nh.

    The question is why would Fred say this repeatedly?? Why would he make it out like the car was so shitty?
    Why didn't he buy her the car that week? Why would he want to come out Again the following week?
    Something isn't right with freds whole story.

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    1. I had an old 6 cylinder (1979 Pontiac Sunbird) that ran on 5 cylinders. And even that was rough, and really lacking in power. I also had a 4 cylinder running on 3 (1999 Cavalier) due to a blocked injector and/or faulty ignition wire (they cleaned the injectors and replaced ignition wires as they felt both might be an issue). So I know a car definitely can run one cylinder short, even a 4-banger. However, with the 4 cylinder, it was VERY noticable, and I did not drive it long like that. Certainly would not have taken it on a road trip like that, and certainly not in winter.

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  14. While all the discussion about cars was going on, something occurred to me and I went back to read the very early entries regarding Maura's accident in Hadley while she was on her way to her father's hotel at 2:30 am. Has anyone ever theorized the accident was a first attempt to run away but the area was perhaps too populated? My apologies if I missed something but was it Maura who called for the tow truck that night?

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    1. great question

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    2. Doubt it. She was in her Dad's car. She had been out partying with friends. It was a different scenario than her second accident.

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  15. What would the implications be if it turned out that Maura's car wasn't running bad and they weren't planning on buying a new car? Would that point straight towards the idea that Fred knows more than he's ever admitted?

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    1. Of course it does! Who said he was looking for a new car with her? People! Understand that these pieces of information were either carefully constructed to tell a story from the earliest days of her disappearance, or they have been guessed and then retold so many times that they are taken as "truth".
      Very little about her disappearance can be documented as being verified and true.
      James has done an excellent job, so far, in establishing truths.

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    2. I agree, but think about this scenario. He came to town to buy her a new car, they were going to look for one the next day. That evening she wrecked Fred's car before he ever committed to buy one for her at the dealer. So he said he would not buy her a new one as a punishment, or because he couldn't afford to pay for one until the insurance money came in to repair his own car. She lived on campus and was catching rides to her nursing clinicals with a friend. They way he probably saw it was that she didn't "need" a car.

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  16. I wanted to clarify something. I drove a car on three cylinders like I wrote in the first comment, but that does not mean I actually drove it. There is a fine line in understanding this mechanically. A car that actually is only running on ONLY(I wrote all) three cylinders will have a very difficult time going anywhere. Now I have another car running on three cylinders fully but a bad fourth cylinder. This car runs ok because the ENTIRE cylinder has not stopped working. It just has low compression in the 4th cylinder so the pickup is not as good anymore. But I drive it around although I would not trust it on a long trip to the middle of nowhere where I did not let someone know where I was going for obvious reasons. This brings me to another point about Maura.
    I do not know whether you have been able to verify this Mr. Renner, but did Maura have her own credit card? The reason I ask is that when you are driving around in a car that is old and beatup, you would think that if you were planning a trip you might just rent a car. Her trip is during the week and she might have gotten a deal in addition to any student advantages. It just made me curious because the one thing they will ask you, besides whether or not you have a credit card, is what states you will be driving your car in or through. So another conclusion you can probably come up with if she was so afraid of the car she was driving in is that she drove it because she could not rent a vehicle because she did not have a credit card. When I went on trips, especially if it was going to be a short term trip where driving was advantageous because it is only another state, I decided it was not worth it to drive my old beater because it could get me stranded and screw up getting to my destination and keeping my plans. So that would be a question I would be interested in finding out about:
    Did Maura Murray EVER rent a car? The conclusion has to be no.

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    1. You can't rent a car in MA if you are under 25 years old.

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  17. Mr. Renner,
    The point I am trying to make is very simple: She calls Go Stowe, she calls the woman in Bartlett, maybe she looks for a rental, maybe she doesn't but there is one thing I know for sure:

    You cannot rent a car, a hotel room, or a condo over the phone with cash. You cannot even get tickets over the phone to see a comedian.

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    1. It was stated that after February 9th, none of her debit cards or credit cards have ever been used since, so yes I believe she had credit cards.

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    2. None of HER credit cards have ever been used, but remember her troubles started because she had stolen credit cards......

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  18. If Maura was planning on running away, and starting a life out somewhere else..then why didn't she just wait until her father bought her a new car, like he said he was planning on doing later that week or month.

    I don't know, this whole thing seems bizaar to me. What nursing school student takes time off, the same week she goes back to school, just when she had a long winter break?

    I always thought it was odd too, how she called a friend, another nursing student that day in the afternoon..to give them scrubs.

    The family or friends didn't think it was odd that she gave her scrubs to someone? If someone were to give me their scrubs at work, I would think they either gained or lost so much weight that the scrubs didn't fit (which wasn't Maura's case)... or i would think they were planning on getting out of that field.

    I think too, that its a little odd how many of her friends don't seem to want to talk.

    The odd thing about this case, is it seems as though this could go either way, she either ran away, or it is a homicide. There doesn't seem to be too many facts or evidence that can point one way or another.

    Although, I do think if she were meeting up with someone..then why call the Go Stowe line, and want to book a room, wouldn't she just meet up with someone at their house or their place of choice? She was a full time nursing student with not much money to spare afterall. If she were planning on meeting a friend or another man, I'm pretty sure his number would have showed up on the phone bill, how can one make plans with someone but have no way to contact them, by computer or phone? I don't think she was meeting up with someone.

    I recall reading an article, where her family checked out every possible hotel, motel, inn and the like in the area, and I'm sure LE looked into every possible place to stay in the state, and bordering states.

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    1. What is the source of your comment that "she called another nursing student that day in the afternoon ... to give them scrubs?" I have read a lot about Maura's case and I have never seen that. But I could have missed it. Could you point me to the source?

      Many thanks,

      John Green

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    2. From what i remember, Maura was returning scrubs that she had borrowed from a fellow student.
      ~MF

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    3. Thanks MF. My question actually relates to the issue of what is the source of this information?

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    4. John Green ~ there is no source about the scrubs. It's an old wives tale, and the story changed and was filled in differently each time it was told. It originated at the old MMM forum.

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    5. Read all the old news articles. I recall reading about the scrubs too. It may have been on the "Disappeared" program too. Billy's mother may have brought it up.

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  19. It would have been dead simple for Maura, an adult, to get a debit card through her bank or credit union, or a credit card, either one of these in her own name, and with the bills going only to her, not to her parents or to the Rausches. Better yet, she could have dealt with the whole business online, the way most of us do our banking nowadays, with no one being the wiser. I suspect the only people who have a clear picture of her exact financial situation and arrangements is LE, as they probably went through her computer carefully for exactly this kind of information (among other things) and could subpoena bank records if necessary for a closer look. This information certainly wouldn't be available to any member of the general public (including James, unfortunately), and possibly not to her parents either, even via subpoena, unless there is some provision for emergency access.

    I've long believed she must have had at least one piece of plastic, as she seems to have gone north with an inadequate amount of cash for more than a couple of days (lodging, gas, meals). Lodging isn't cheap in ski country in winter. Of course she may have had a cash stash in her room, built up over time, and have taken that with her.

    Two points follow from this: First, she did not, apparently, book any lodging, BUT, second, if she did so using someone else's credit card, this would be hard to trace and would lend credence to the possibility that she was more deeply involved in cc fraud than has so far come to light.

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  20. No offense, but does anyone here pay attention to more than one thing at a time? I am as frustrated on the focus on Fred Murray as I was with the focus on "Beagle." First of all, Bill and Sharon Rausch talk about being afraid for Maura because she was driving a piece of crap car. Secondly, I don't think running on three cylinders was necessarily supposed to be literal. I know in my family, we say that about cars that run bad; we don't mean it literally. Lastly, (this is just off the top of my head remember some comments out of the previous 33), Fred mentions several times that Maura was upset about wrecking her dad's car. I doubt he NEEDED to get cross with her about it, and he probably didn't. She was a daddy's girl and wrecking his car was apparently the straw what broke the camel's back for her, and she felt she needed to get away for a few days. Unfortunately, something happened to her.

    The Mar 11, 2012 01:53 PM poster seems to be reading my mind about what is very possibly going on with Fred right now.

    Brian

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    1. Yeah, I think the focus on Fred is ridiculous and way off base. A waste of time. Time to move on to some real detective work.

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  21. I just began following this case a few days ago, and have not stopped reading this blog since.

    I believe someone else mentioned that it would be a great idea to find the car dealership and ask around to see if anyone was there when Fred and Maura went car shopping. Obviously, it has been quite a few years since this occurred, but someone must remember SOMETHING.

    A huge break in the case may occur if we were able to find something of Maura's, such as a diary. It would be great if someone at UMASS was able to help you in your investigation.

    I know that I am just stating random things, but I am definitely on Maura Murray info overload, as I am sure everyone else is. There just HAS to be an answer out there...

    -L.M.

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    1. Good idea in theory, but part of the problem is: WHAT car dealership? I may have missed something, but I don't remember any specific one being named by anybody. Could have been a private sale, too, discovered in a classified ad. Unless Fred opens up, and LE can independently verify what he says, we're back to needles in haystacks. No idea how many places sell used cars in the Amherst area, but I'll bet there are a lot of them.

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  22. Keep in mind that because a car "runs on three cylinders" it doesnt mean one has lost all compression. It may mean that an ignition coil has lost its ground, leading to intermittent spark in the affected cylinder. Weak ignition wires/worn spark plugs also contribute to this problem. The Saturn 1.9 DOHC engine is common having this problem.

    Thinking out loud........

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  23. Beagle/Dirtbag is so afraid James will crack this case. His whole life is wrapped around an obsession with Maura. If James can crack this, alot of Topix folks would be left with nothing to discuss. Kind of sad beagle is getting upset. It's about Maura, not him.

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  24. I know Fred has his defenders, and I do feel for him greatly, but not sitting down and talking with LE for two years and when he does, he brings lawyers. Not one, but two. That is just plain strange. And all the facts known are ones Fred has said himself. His body language in the Disapperard episode are, well, not of a man being honest.

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    1. I have been watching the episode of Disappeared today and what I found strange was that when Fred talked on public TV wasn't looking straight into the camera (as encouragement to a daughter who might have been watching TV elsewhere), as he was saying that he will take care of everything and he is waiting her to come back..but he was talking to the journalist! Fred in the entire episode seemed to be hiding something ... to me is also interesting the fact that this episode does not expose her mother .. Billy's mother Sharon also knows more than she said .. I hope Maura is still alive and happy somewhere. Btw: sorry for my english..i'm from europe

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  25. Yeah, you know, I think that something is up with Fred. I mean, really, put yourself in his position. Say that your child, or some other person very close to you was missing. What would you do? I know I would be telling the police and the public anything and everything to find that person. Hell, I would go on TV, and specifically ask if anyone out there had been sleeping with my daughter. I would not care at that point.

    Think on this for a moment: it is through this website that we know about Maura's "missing hour." Now surely Fred figured that out very early into the investigation. If it was your daughter who was missing, wouldn't you be on TV begging for people to come forward who may have seen her during that missing hour? Okay, I have no children, but I am thinking if my mom went missing and there was a "missing hour," I would literally be driving anywhere I thought she could have gone, stopping at every gas station, restaurant, and home, and seeing if anyone had seen her. I would be on the TV begging people to try and remember if they saw her, and to remind people that there is a whole hour unaccounted for, and that she could have been anywhere within a certain range of the accident site. I would go on TV and beg everyone in that area with a surveilance tape to PLEASE not throw it away or erase it, and to please save it even if the police do not ask for it. I think all of you would do the same.

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    1. He spent every weekend in NH looking for her for years. He may still be going up there.

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  26. I don't find it odd at all that FM would protect his daughter's past digressions, even if it makes him look somewhat guilty. No one wants the dark side of their daughter's past (and most daughters have one, especially around that age) put out in public, especially if they know it wouldn't help the situation. He has been totally selfless, imho, out of respect for keeping his daughter's name good. He strongly believes, as I do, that even though she may have been running from some bad stuff going on in her life and in her head (he readily admits ON TV that they can hammer out the problems she is having shortly after she goes missing), none of it has to do with why she went missing. That is his frustration. He was the second-to-last person to see her, the last one she saw that she is even remotely acquainted with, so him bringing lawyers in case they try to spin the blame to him is not all that surprising. As someone with a son and two daughters myself - even though I could never put myself in Fred's shoes - I don't find much of what he did too far out of the ordinary. He probably knows in the back of his mind that he had nothing to do with her disappearance and there's a 99% chance (to him) that she was a victim of a random act and there's no sense in bringing out the problems in her life when they have nothing to do with the case at hand. He also probably believes people are less likely to care/look for her if she is demmed as a "bad person." While there are a few things that may seem sketchy about Fred's behavior, there are many, many more actions he has taken that, to me, prove his innocence. The way he is being implicated by some people makes me wonder why he hasn't come out with a public reply of "You can all go *@^% yourselves." I have a feeling that's what I would have already said.

    I realize this is more out of emotion than logic, and I don't even know the Murrays - I've just been following this case since day one and actually went through a year or two phase where I thought he almost HAD to have played some part in it.

    Brian

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    1. Brian, I think you've put that very well. After all, if Fred was somehow responsible, would he really have put so much effort into searching for his daughter?

      Nevertheless, I think it's reasonable to investigate the three points that James has mentioned at the top of the page. It's good practice to be thorough.

      Chris

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    2. Agreeing with every word.

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    3. I totally agree. I think he has shown remarkable restraint so far in NOT coming out with a "You can all go *@^% yourselves."

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    4. I do not think that FM is responsible for MM disappearance. I do, however, think that many of his behaviors were very odd considering the circumstances. If that were my daughter, not only would I have talked to the police right away, but I would have been calling other police departments in the area and giving them information.

      This is what I would have done. And may I just add: I am myself a lawyer. I totally understand the importance of protecting yourself and always having a lawyer with you when you are questioned by the police. I am behind that all the way.

      But let me ask you all this: if you thought your daughter might be chained-up in some creep's basement, would you really care at that point if LE considered you to be a possible suspect? Would you really care if your neighbors back home knew your daughter stole a credit card?

      I ask this because there have been people who, when their child was missing, 100% put themselves out there without a second thought. They HAPPILY played the part of suspect if they thought it might bring their child home.

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    5. @Rose,

      I can't say what I'd do if it actually happened. Who knows.

      But, I have thought about it quite a bit, both before and after reading about this case.

      I THINK I absolutely would care that LE thought I was a suspect. I think I'd be furious. My daughter is at risk and you're wasting time questioning ME! And about (what FM considers to be) irrelevant details?!

      LE, in my opinion, were overly focused on the events leading up to her trip and the reasons for her trip.

      FM truly believes she is a victim of foul play from someone local to the area. He's said as much to others that interviewed him.

      So from his perspective, she may as well have been running to the store for some milk. And LE is asking him questions like:
      Why did she need milk?
      Who drank the last of her milk?
      Did she even like milk?
      Did YOU finish her milk?
      Do you think she'd have bought whole milk or 2% milk?

      And FM is, I'm sure thinking, who the F- cares? Go search the area where her car was found! Go question the people that live there! Get the FBI in here! Jesus do something constructive.

      Keep in mind that LE was VERY slow starting on this case and by the time they really did anything they were telling him she was running away, possibly to commit suicide. Infuriating.

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    6. I do not believe they were too focused on the lead-up to her disappearance. The reasons she took off may well shed light on what happened the night she disappeared. Or, they may be a dead end. But, until the truth is known and confirmed, the reasons behind her odd behaviour leading up to her disappearance remain a glaring hole in the case.

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  27. Mr. Renner,
    I had some information that you might be interested in. The email to Liz Drewniak stated that Maura was planning to see Dane Cook in Storrs, CT on February 12th, 2004. I found an old UCONN article online that stated that as of February 6th the show was not yet sold out and that if you wanted to call for tickets the number was 486-3423. Tickets were $8 each. The show was going to take place at Jorgensen Theater at 8pm. It was at the University of Connecticut.
    If she did indeed run away I am inclined to just let it be because if she did run away she probably does not want to be found. I just have one more question that maybe someone could find out. How much were tickets for the show at UMASS?

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  28. The logical side of me thinks she succumed to the elements. My heart tells me she was picked up or strayed on the wrong person's property. If the police are going down the homicide route, then I am putting my money on that.

    What happened to the rumours about those two brothers?

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  29. well, some things just don't add up. There is something quite odd about her father. What about her relationship with her mother? what was it like? She didnt really participate in the search and investigation because she had a broken ankle. But that's all that is said about her.

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    1. I recall her mother searching for her after the disappearance, but I don't know how long after it was. I know they had had some run-ins with locals who did not want them trespassing. I recall Maura's mother being quoted in the press saying, "Don't tell me I can't look for my daughter." Now, I am basing this on memory of what I read in the press a couple years after the incident. I believe by the time I read it, the article was already old - it had been written perhaps a few months after her disappearance. All this is from my memory.

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  30. Just my two rambling cents from a psychological view. Freds actions can be explained by his feeling of guilt (fearing he had pushed his daughter too far in asking her to "get the paperwork done"), combined with his pursuit of not smearing his daughter with what he knew about her past troubles.
    Police knew more than him about daughters accute state of mind after cc fraud. They knew she was on probation when she crashed her fathers car. Fred did not (If he had he would not have asked her to report herself wrecking a car). Police rightfully issued a statement that she might be suicidal. Had they informed Fred daughter was on probation he might have blamed himself. Police protected Fred. Fred thought they were holding back because of suspicions towards him or because they didnt take daughters disappearence seriously. After Fred found out daughter was on probation and that his asking her to fix paperwork and report back to him coincided with her disappearence, Fred is overvome with guilt and goes quiet.

    To me, it seems overly likely that daughter was consumed by feeling of worthlessness. She did not plan anything directly, but was clearly suicidal and "just went". She would not have cared too much exactly how and when. She hid her actions because she was suicidal for real and not for show or to get attention. She had let everyone down. Including her inlaws who had such trust in her kind character (she was not a liar). Nobody wanted to know the truth. She knew they would not be able to accept it. In her mind there was no room for a faulty bad girl that stole and was on probation. She did not have a drinking problem, but bought a cuicide-kit. Alcoholics dont make white russians. They do vodka.

    When daughter crashed on her way to nowhere where she may have expected to decide to live or die, she had gotten all the signs she needed. She did not reach anyone to let her a place. She could not reach her boyfriend. She had crashed again. She was supposed to call her father in minutes to tell him she had "fixed everything". She felt destiny did not want her to get anywhere in this world, and she wandered off half drunk with the rest of her alcohol and froze to death somewhere not far from where her car was found.

    This is the simplest of all theories: Too much pressure for her to be "the honest, perfect, good and loving little girl" she was not. Many of us arent. At least many of us that are featured on these "shows" as "quiet, nice, honest and good to people".

    We are torn to pieces with guilt. Our Introverted Intuitive Feeling preferences makes it extremely difficult to forgive ourselves when we disappoint the ones that loves us. We arent "adventurous" or "impulsive". We are troubled. Forgive us. Accept us with all our faults. And we might not go missing anymore.

    Fred: You are a good man. Please try to have a good life. She would have liked you to remember her just as you do. Just as you have told everyone she was.
    You are a good dad.

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    1. I think this is an excellent post and captures how I feel things most likely transpired. I can picture her taking the alcohol and running and running miles away from the accident. When she was tired and in complete despair she finished off the bottle, passed out and succumbed to the elements.

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  31. Just wanted to add my voice along with the people urging caution in the treatment of Fred. I think the concern is in damaging the investigation by treating Fred with too much suspicion. I think the inconsistencies and lack of verification that result from Fred's statements are there for one main reason and that is guilt. I find it hard to believe that Fred is as forgiving and mild mannered as he paints himself, we are talking about a daughter who was on probation for stealing credit card numbers and who did extensive damage to his car. Most fathers would be apoplectic (and arguably rightly so) if their offspring was involved in these kind of troubles. It is consequently very possible that the last exchanges between father and daughter were at best fraught, at worst partially hostile. This would explain the guilt and can only increase the sorrow that Fred feels. I don't believe this forms a motive for running away but could well form part of a motive for running away. The trouble is that even if it is found that Fred did have unhappy exchanges with his daughter and even if he had no pressing arrangement to get a new car for her then what does this tell us? If Fred were found to be outright lying, in essence remembering his final moments with his daughter in his own fictional (and less painful) way it still in my view does not give a reason for Murray's confusing final actions.

    For me one of the most interesting parts of the case is the amount and type of alcohol Muara Murray purchased. I just cannot believe that Murray purchased all the alcohol for herself alone. Even if you take the view she was drinking heavily as she believed she was pregnant, or that you view that she was drinking heavily through depression then this is still a mammoth amount of booze to purchase. I can believe that the vodka and kalhua were for her but the large amount of red wine and the connotations that red wine brings up leads me to suspect that she was meeting someone, somewhere, that night. She might have been meeting for a tryst (we have seen already she was involved with more men then we initially believed) or she may have been meeting someone socially. The large amount of red wine just intrigues me and it would be interesting to know if this was Murray's favored drink (and indeed how popular was vodka and black russian cocktails with her). The arrangement of this meeting could be on the computer in which case it would be found one would think or the meeting might have been arranged on the dorm phone. If she was making a meeting then it would also explain why she refused to wait for the police or help with the car.

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  32. I just found this story on listverse of all places, and now I can't stop reading about it. As a former Bartender my first questions about this dissappearence are about the alcohol found in the car.

    First of all, if Maura was a drinker, and it sounds like she was, WHAT was her "drink"?
    Every drinker has a preferred drink of choice. Was it the wine? That was found in a diet coke bottle and spilled in the car? I would guess it was or she believed the wine was a lighter drink than the vodka and would not make her too drunk to drive? The bus driver never mentions her slurring her words or that she seems intoxicated.

    Was the bailey's bought as a replacement for the milk that traditionally goes in a white russian? Maybe it was a long trip or she was going to a place where she couldn't keep milk. Or the baileys, kahlua and vodka was going to be drank as a shot?

    3rd were ANY of her friends, party buddies asked what her drinking tastes were? I would think this would not be a big deal for them to answer. Some people will only drink beer, some only sweeter mixed drinks etc...Most people will tell you right away "Oh I hate gin" or "I never developed a taste for beer". Plus White Russian drinkers are memorable just because it's a 3 ingredient drink. If she was known to drink this at parties, someone would remember.

    4th A full box of wine, a full bottle of vodka, a full bottle of kahlua and a full bottle of bailey's would cost a whole lot more than 40 bucks! I don't know where I read that, but it can't be right. A bottle of khaula alone is over 20.00, even the generic brands. These had to be Much smaller bottles, maybe like the half ones found behind the counter at most liquor stores. If these were all full bottles plus a BOX of wine, your looking at 80.00 plus.

    So, if it could be found out if she was a vodka/White Russian drinker or if no one ever saw her with that drink or if it was known she hated vodka. Then it would be pretty easy to assume this purchase was for someone she planned on meeting up with.

    Does anyone know what she ate/drank at that last dinner out with her Father and her friend?
    If there is any info I missed about this, please direct me to it.

    Thanks


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