A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
James do you know if Maura had a passport or a nexus card so she could cross into Canada if thats indeed what she did? If she didn't have documents is it possible to just walk across into Canada at anyplace other than a guard border crossing? How far is it from where Maura's car found to the Canadian border? Has she been know to go there before?
At that time, at least at the Detroit/Windsor crossing, one needed only a drivers license to cross over in to Canada and (usually but not always, depending on the border agent) a birth certificate and license to get back. But that's via car, I don't know about by foot.
You still only need a driver's license to enter Canada. You need a passport to come back, but that wasn't an issue for Maura. The same rules apply at all crossings. Maura most likely would have crossed at Derby Line/Stanstead via US-5 or I-91 (=two different possible crossing points, if I am not mistaken) or, conceivably, at North Troy/Highwater via VT-243. The other possibilities are Norton/Stanhope via VT-147 and Canaan/Hereford Road via VT-141. IMO the first two (three?) are most likely unless she took a circuitous route on purpose.
Why look for accommodation in the USA if your plan is to go to Canada?
I just watched the episode of Disappeared on Netflix and saw the Maura Murray case. I don't have any information to add at all... but did have a question. What about this bus driver? The show didn't mention any questioning of him. Also, a woman on the show had mentioned that she had definitely saw Maura mouthing "help me" with an older man in his 60's.. That bus driver looked to be in that age bracket... and he was definitely the last person to see her. Was he ever questioned?
I grew up in a town where a border crossing into Canada was a fun thing to do on a weekend day, on foot. Driver's licenses were all we ever needed to get there and back. One guard, once, gave us a hard time about not having more than a license. This in years and years of crossing, previously.This was prior to passport requirement, obviously.
Here are some things that really stand out to me. He said, "She WAS, needed a new car..." "She dropped me off at...ah, um, motel that I was staying at..." It seems to me that he was going to say what time she dropped him off, but then he edited what he was going to say. I'm not typing an exact direct quote here, but there is something missing. He says something like, "On the way back from uh, the dormitory, she had an accident. And, ah, the car was towed back and she told me about it in the morning. And uh, I, you know, wasn't actually all that upset..." Wait a minute here - She crashed her dad's car and waited to tell him until the morning, instead of when she arrived at his room? Either she was afraid of his temper and snuck in and went to bed. Or, there is a very open possibility here that she got the car towed, and then went on to spend the night at another location in town, or even back to her dorm. Maybe even an off-campus boyfriend's residence. Only Fred has said that she stayed with him that night in other interviews. What if she didn't? She could have arranged for the car to be towed and went to the boyfriend's (or friend's, we don't know) and stayed there for the night because she was too upset to tell her dad right away. Fred's use of the statement, "And uh, I, you know, wasn't actually all that upset..." seems like a very minimizing statement. It reminds me of statements that abusive people like to say, "I wasn't actually screaming that loud." Um, actually you probably were. This also still leaves in the possibility of the hit-and-run scenario, which I know is extremely unlikely, but cannot be ruled out according to this tv interview. There is some "missing" time here that he does not go into. Fred seems like a very shy guy. Maybe the uhs and ums are because he is nervous being on national tv. But as he talks more and more, he gets less nervous and it's very obvious where the holes are in the story. Also, when he's rambling on about how it was "a different type of relationship" and that they were "buddies," it leads me to think that possibly they were "drinking buddies"?
I think it's pretty clear from the ID episode that they were indeed drinking buddies.
Did you miss the part where the police called him at home to tell him his daughter was missing? And that he lives in another city? Don't quit your day job to try and become a detective...
You don't know a thing about this family so stop with all the bs. They were not drinking buddies, he was a very involved parent and was very close to both Maura and Julie, her older sister. I knew this family and ran track and field/ cross country with both of them. This man is hiding nothing so stop postulating when you really haven't got a friggin clue. It makes me sick and sad to think people would say things about him or that Maura killed herself. Get a life.
My Respect to you "Anonymous" but I did see that in 1987 Mr. Maura was arrested for DUI and Maura did have a traveling booze bar in her car she left behind so I think it is safe to say that there was a drinking problem in the family line. It is also in the blog that Fred has told Maura's friend's NOT to speak to the press! Also being a family member of someone who committed suicide I can tell you it is TEXTBOOK to have lots of stress, return or give away objects, pack your things up like your not coming back, demonstrate risky behavior. A lot of which Maura did. I know you don't want to hear it, but that is what it looks like from this standpoint.
That is some good research Mr. Renner. Now the only thing left to figure out is whether she committed suicide between trips to see Dane Cook the weekend she disappeared and February 12th. She also had a snow day that week so I wonder what she did that day. Mr. Murray seems like a concerned parent. The only thing I noticed from the video is how he says he told Maura to call him to fill out the accident reports and she did, but in the Disappeared show I thought that call never took place, the 8ish one she was supposed to make that Monday. It did always seem odd to me that she did not make the call because it would assure her father she is fine instead of not calling. It would give her a larger time gap to disappear without raising any alarms. And ever since my accident I can not figure out how anyone could fill out an accident report where the accident took place at night without going back to the scene. According to your research and pictures the accident scene is very close to the UMASS campus.
Make sure that the police captured her ACTUAL date of disappearance corectly as the day she disappeared on and NOT the date when they eventually decided to file a missing person's report. This is CRUCIAL information if a match is to me found with Jane Doe discoveries. This is what happened in another case where a police clerk incorrectly entered the date of disappearance as the one when they decided to file the report 4 months after the girl's disappearance. She could never be matched to bodies found since the system would see her as still alive 4 months earlier when a body was found. When they changed the date, a positive match was found.
It's always interesting to see interviews of the family. I'm guessing that was her sister in one of the clips? Hmm. Montel was not doing a good interview at all . You can clearly see Fred not telling the whole story here. He was in protection mode I guess. Would like to see the whole show.
One thing that I can't get out of my mind is that in the Disappeared documentary when Fred is talking about Maura crashing his car he uses the third person:"I think she felt she let her father down"To me a more natural way of saying it is:"I think she felt she let me down"Although I suppose Fred had to think about what he was going to say before filming so it may have come across as more of a narrative.
Cross post from Topix - "Stud" writes - "Just watched Fred on Montel. He is lying and covering up."I'll second that opinion.
Why do you think he is lying? What do you believe points to him lying and what proof do you have to back that up? Not trying to start an argument, its just that I, for one, do not think Fred is covering up for anyone or making anything up.. I'm just trying to see where you are coming from.
I first want to add that not everyone has experience speaking on national television. Not everyone is an extrovert, and many people have anxiety. The 'you knows' and the 'uhs' could just as well be a case of nervousness or anxiety. I, for one, know if i ever had to talk on tv, even if it was a local news channel, i'd be panicking and probably at a loss for words. Additionally, i wanted to point out the obvious. A few people said, 'Everything Fred says sounds too recited.' ..well..I think, if any of us were going to speak on national television, we would at the very least get an idea drawn up in our heads or paper over what we were going to talk about, correct?? I'm not 'siding' with anyone, I'm just stating trying to be fair. Something I wanted to point out here, and wanted to know what other people thought of, if it's true, Fred says he didn't find out until the morning about the vehicle. I don't know what hour of the morning it was, but if it's true... how did Maura get into his room without him knowing? I doubt she had an extra key to his room? I believe from my own experiences, the only person who could have let her in was himself. Even if she went up to the front desk of the motel and asked if they had a spare key for room # ___, then I suspect and only assume they would have to call the occupant in the room and ask for their permission before handing extra keys over to anyone.
How so? Just wondering is all...
Hi James. I found this online:http://patriciaviolamissing.homestead.com/Maura_Murray_on_Montel_Williams_Nov_29_2004.wmv
Maura calls Billy in the middle of the night more than once the night before she goes missing. Maura has a phone call with "someone" - presumably her sister, but her sister denies it - in which she is frantic and then near-catatonic. None of her friends say anything about the trouble Maura has been in the past. Yet, Fred is considered suspicious because he doesn't out his daughter's transgressions from the previous couple months. Is Fred the Godafather or what? Are the all "afraid" of him? I doubt it. No one seems to want to talk about it, and I seriously doubt if Fred is threatening anyone over it.
I agree. I believe Fred is being honest and forthcoming. I think if Fred truly thought she took off for good on her own, then i don't think he would be still up there every weekend, 8 years later. Working full time out of state, and faithfully driving back to a different state nearly every weekend to look on your own is a lot of time, energy and money.
As I recall, Maura's sister didn't deny that the phone call took place, she denied that anything was said during that call that, in her opinion, could have caused Maura to have had such an extreme reaction--"sobbing uncontrollably," being in a "near-catatonic state."
Even on the ID show about Maura's disappearance, the LT for NH LE doesn't even talk about Maura's legal issues, just that she has a lot of stress in her private life. That's respect, and Fred is being equally respectful....
I agree with Brian.
That's so sad that 7 years on we know not much more about what happened. I'm sure Montel has all videos saved if you want to see them. I'm still wondering about the people who were near the accident. Did you talk to them James? Forcier, the wife, people who said/joked they talked to her. Seem strange to not turn over every stone an explore every avenue.
There's a full link on topix
Fred seems like he is not being honest. And the video on the other link shows him looking through items for her body I guess. That looks very staged. I'm just not buying what Fred is selling.
I dont think Fred had anything to do with it but I do find it weird that he appears to the public that he is trying to find her anyway he can, yet when jounalists or people trying to find out information to help like James Renner try and talk to him he clams up. Its like he wants all the information to be told to him only by the police so he can control what information gets out as if he's hiding something. If he really would go to any lengths to find Maura then why wouldn't he talk to Mr Renner? He should have a whole "Find Maura" army behind him of whoever wants to help...not shut people out.
"If I don't nobody else is." Fred says this in reference to searching for his daughter, Maura. Maybe the answer is right there in front of him, but he fails to see it? If one thing doesn't seem to make sense, or lead to anything, then why not try something new or change the way you think? He seems to be very set on the fact that she must have been picked up by a predator. I'm certainly not ruling that out, but it's equally possible that she left on her own. I wonder what Fred's opinion on that is? When i first watched her episode on ID, my very first initial thought was, 'The father seems to feel guilty about something.' I still think that way when i watch Fred's body language and facial expressions. Yes, he may have anxiety, but when he looks down away from the camera, i always sense some kind of guilt. I wonder when he told her friends and bf to 'move on', if he thought, 'this is on me, i yelled at her too much or said something hurtful to her the night she crashed my car,' its possible. That's what i have always gotten from this. And as you pointed out, James, there was motive to run. If this were just a 'Maura has truly never left on her own before, and everything truly was peachy keen in all aspects of her life' then i would lean more towards a kidnapping theory. But that doesn't seem to be so with Maura.
Not much going on after 8 years; her disappearance is just fodder for the mystery junkies to throw their ideas up into the sky and watch them fall down again. A 40K reward is out there with no takers. Can't imagine the stats for solving cold cases are very high; the noise and the drama haven't moved anything forward. I'm less hopeful than ever that there will be answers and a conclusion anytime soon. Can't wait to read the book, then put it to rest and walk away.
My friend told me about this page on Facebook about missing people if anyone is interested. http://www.facebook.com/seeking.thelost.news
I agree that Fred seems to edit his story on both TV shows; however, I'm inclined to think his motive is to protect his reputation, as well as his daughter's. Also, I'm sure he didn't want LE or the public to jump to conclusions and reduce or call off their searches. Additionally, I'm quite sure he feels a lot of guilt for whatever role he played in her decision to take off for parts unknown. What father wants to admit that to himself, let alone the public.
He is her father and wants to keep her life private exspecially to people who dont really care. We all need pray this doesnt hit home. I dont no how anyone could judge him , there is no manual in what is proper edicate when your child comes up missing.
I agree that he wants to protect himself and her as well. No one wants their dirty secrets aired.. and I believe he expected her to come home so he didnt want her embarrassed any more than she already was, or would have been. But thats all just supposition. There is no manual on how to deal with a situation such as this.
I was always surprised at the lack of interviews of her former boyfriend, Billy. Sometimes, I toy with the idea that Maura ran away, and wanted to stay away for good, or atleast, for a long time. Her father obviously cares about her and loves her, or else, he wouldn't be doing as much as he does (still making trips to NH on the weekends, even though he works and lives out of state), I've always seen little of her boyfriend helping out. And supposedly, they were 'engaged to be engaged.' As if the printed out email she purposely left on the top of her boxes at her former dorm room weren't enough. I always wondered if Billy feels bad about ways he treated her, or was unfaithful to her, and deep down, thinks he's the main reasons of her running away. Whether she meant to run away for just one week, or for good.
I don't know where Bill Rausch is now, or what he's doing, but when Maura vanished I believe he was a serving officer in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. While he was given some leave at the time, to assist in the search, he was clearly not free to simply ditch his job or take an extended leave of absence to spend weeks and months looking for Maura, much as he might have wished to. The military just doesn't work that way. He may deserve criticism for some things, but I don't think this is one of them.
I dont believe he has anything to do with her disappearance. I do believe it was a calculated disappearance, that she fled this life that she felt was spiraling out of her control. I believe Billy is as much a victim in this as her father..
Fred is sort of a hard person to pin down. Based upon his age, ethnicity and strong regional accent, I think he may just not be the sort of person who opens up emotionally, especially not in front of strangers. Now, the whole thing about him finding out about the accident in the morning is so odd to me because whenever Fred tells this story he leaves out a crucial part. Think about it. Anyone else would say "Maura came back to the hotel room at 3 am, BUT did not tell me about the accident until the morning. I asked why she waited until the morning" Or something like that. I also agree with the others that Fred was probably very upset of the car crash. I am not buying that he was cool with it.
Sometimes i wonder if Maura truly only planned on leaving town for a week. After hearing about Jaycee Dugard and other missing people, its a possibility that she could be locked up in someone's basement. Maybe this theory is more far fetched than the others, but it is a possibility.
I remember when I went hiking I alwasy remembered to bring matches. Since she was not a smoker, I thought maybe she might have brought some matches.
Iv just watched a programme about Michele Whitaker who had some problems & just walked away from everything.her family thought she was dead,police searched for her body after a tip off with no joy.6 years later she was found living her new life!!gives me hope that maura is doing the same.maura felt ashamed about the credit card fraud & the car accidents.she could feel she had let her family down so simply walked away.
someone grabbed her,all people have problems she never came back because she couldn't.fred will always miss her and would lay down his own life just to see her one more time on this earth.as for guilt over this or that people have that all the time.she's gone.
The post on august 16, 7:18 PM, mentions the possibility that Maura didn't sleep at her dad's hotelroom but somewhere else. Her sleeping there has always seemed very strange to me. Is there any evidence that she really was there that night?Also striking in this interview is that Fred says Maura was seen at the scene of the accident by the person who called 911, 1 or 2 minutes before the police arrived. That period of time is by most accounts thought to have been around 5 to 10 minutes. JW
The accident with her father's car has some issues. It is said she left the party at Kennedy dorm around 02:30. In the accident report the time of the crash is stated as 03:33. That's an hour later, but the accident occured just 1 mile from Kennedy dorm? Did she go somewhere else first? Or did the accident happen around 02:30 and did the officer arrive an hour later and filled in the time he arrived as the time of the crash? Perhaps not impossible.Is there evidence she was at the motel that night? The accident happened on a possible route to her fathers's motel in Bradley and the accident report states that the tow company brought the car to the motel and gave Maura a lift. That's evidence that she was brought to the motel that night, but it doesn't proof she spent the night there. The calls she made around 04:49 that night to her boyfriend were made with her father's phone. But it is not an esthablised fact that she made the calls.Billy said she called him. Well, someone used that phone to call him. Was it Maura? Why wouldn't she have used her own phone? So did Fred call Billy? Still more questions.JW
A thought just occurred to me while I was watching a show about Ireland. What if Fred and Maura planned this disappearance together? What if she was the mystery driver who hit the pedestrian on campus? She would have been panicked about it, thinking she would be charged with manslaughter or worse. And Fred seems to be a guy who would do anything to protect his daughter--even, say, helping her flee to Canada or Ireland. Didn't he take a mysterious trip to Ireland after her disappearance? And who knows how many times he could have driven to Canada and back since then. Americans come and go as they please. Maybe HE drove in tandem with her to the spot she disappeared. Whether the accident was staged or real, who knows, but she may have gotten into his car. The packed boxes in her dorm with a note about her boyfriend on top--sounds like something Fred would do, or orchestrate. And it would explain why, if he was so "concerned", it took him two years and a lawyer to get him to sit down for an interview with them. There was quite a gap between the time of the accident and the time that Fred supposedly found out about the accident. Has it really been proven that he was at his job way down in wherever at the time of the accident? Or did the police just take his word for it? Or maybe his employer just assumed he was on the job the entire day--do we even know what he did for a living at the time? The gap between the accident and the police call he received left a lot of time for driving. It's been said that her family knows she's not missing. Could it be because Fred has told them (or at least hinted) that he knows Maura is OK? Also, I don't think Ireland extradites American fugitives without a fight--so it would be a good choice from an over-protective father. It would also explain how Maura could financially afford to disappear for this long. Just an idea...
An interesting theory... and one I hadnt contemplated.
I think what makes Maura Murray's case so interesting and unique is that it is basically a case of assumptions. You simply assume certain things about the case without questioning if they are indeed fact. I thought that the father might not be truthful when I first read about Maura's case, but there is nothing to suggest that. I think that like the police he might know more about what might have motivated her to leave, not what actually happened to her. I thought maybe Maura and her father did not look for a car together, but it turns out that they not only looked for a car, but had one picked out: a Geo Prizm, a car that looks remarkably like the Saturn Maura had. I have a few questions that have always left me puzzled when I saw her case on t.v. First, if she is traveling to a rental cabin that she has stayed with her father and boyfriend in before, why would she show up drunk? You would think that if she was meeting someone who knew her father, she would think twice about drinking beforehand. The call to the Bartlett cabin and the time of the email to her boyfriend are also strange being so close. Second, if you had just been convicted of credit card fraud and were on probation, would you drink and drive in a rundown car? Just suppose that her driving skills are good enough to get through it all. The fact of the matter is that the car could still break down alongside the road and the police could show up to smell alcohol on her breath. The police would bring up her record and she would get charged with something, open container, whatever. That is bold with a capital B to do what she did. Even IF she had made it through to her destination, that is taking a major risk. It is those types of questions that make one wonder about so many of the events associated with Maura Murray's case. Finally you come to one assumption you cannot deny: She has not been seen or heard from in over 8 1/2 years.
I believe she was/is an alcoholic. Alcholics dont always make good decisions...
If Maura had been devastated from the accident and getting into trouble before, she definitley wouldn't want to get into trouble again. Its possible she hid around the area until the cops left her car, then took everything she needed from it to escape, and then this "10 minute" timespan wouldn't exist. Also, the border crossing laws were different before September 11. I am a Canadian and it wouldn't surprise me if she took the couple hour drive from the crash site into the Montreal border. Why don't people post her missing poster in Montreal? I can't say Ive ever seen a missing poster of anyone in my life in Canada, it would definitley spike interests and maybe even some new leads, or people who have seen Maura but don't know shes "Missing Maura" from New Hampshire
If Maura was looking up places to stay in Stowe, and Burlington, why was she headed to Bartlett? Was it to pick someone up on route to either Stowe or Burlington?
I don't think so. That would be a little like going from, say, Chicago to New York via San Francisco.
"Also, the border crossing laws were different before September 11. I am a Canadian and it wouldn't surprise me if she took the couple hour drive from the crash site into the Montreal border."Do you realize this all happened in 2004? Maybe I am missing your point.
I think the original poster's just confused about when passport requirements between the US and Canada took effect; it was not until 2009. The laws probably resulted from the Sept. 11 '01 attacks, but it was some time before they went into effect (I would guess to allow people to actually get said passports without completely overwhelming the system).
If she was going to pick someone up but never made don't you think that person ound come forward. I know one time when I was having major problems and I was majorly depressed I took off without anybody knowing where I went. I wanted to try to make sense of my life my purpose, my self worth, something. I did come home though but it was so tough to come home with the reality of what I was facing. It was not anything illegal but I had a husband that we had been together nice jr high married for sixteen years and three daughters he was a great provider but a chronic cheater. I know Maura was probably wondering why she let herself get into trouble with the law have to leave WestPoint and then wrecked her dads car. What I find is that there is no trace of her after the crash. Ten minute time span and she totally disappeared. We all wish she would be found either alive or her remains because the toughest thing is not knowing.
Regarding Maura's apparent decision to drink and drive that fateful day in New Hampshire, I'm convinced that Maura was an alcoholic and couldn't stop drinking even though her life was spinning out of control. She and her father both seemed to be heavy drinkers, and were drinking buddies of sorts. So it wouldn't be out of the question for her to be drinking and driving even if her father was following her in his car.
Seems so odd that she had 2 such similar wrecks within 3 days. Seems like the wreck was planned, she first tried to execute the plan in her dad's car, then decided to try again farther from home in her own car. What I suspect was someone kidnapped her- planned it all out and told her what to do. Threatened her by threatening to kill her family or something. So she was told by this abductor to "crash", then he would pick her up. So it was all against her will. Explains why there was a witness that swears to have seen her with an older man and she was mouthing "help me".
I was just reading some posts on another website, and a thought occurred to me. I don't recall reading about it on this site before, so forgive me if this is a repeat. It is said that Fred Murray had $4,000 cash in his possession when he went "car shopping" with Maura on the Saturday preceding her disappearance. I'm wondering if he let that fact be known publicly in order to hide the real reason he withdrew $4,000 shortly before her disappearance. If my theory is correct--that Fred orchestrated Maura's disappearance to protect her from prosecution for a hit & run--he would need to provide her with a lot of cash so she can go into hiding. If he's got a good excuse for withdrawing a large amount of cash shortly before she disappears, the police/public are less likely to be suspicious of his actions. What is the statute of limitations on prosecuting a hit & run? Maybe Maura will reappear at that time.
I have made a lot of comments about Maura Murray, even poking fun at her rebelliousness. Sein Fein. I think it means us or ourselves. I keep thinking about how if I were her and I was planning this out, how I would do it. I agree with her friends, that she was intelligent and happy most of the time. Even with the drinking, she seems like a smart person to myself. This is a huge stretch, but if she indeed planned that accident up in New Hampshire(and there is no evidence that she did), I think the person would want to make sure they were not hurt and get a sense of what would happen when they crashed. The glass bottles of alcohol would have to be in the trunk and retrieved after the crash. So I had a question for anyone who might know: In the first crash Maura has with her father's car, did the airbags go off?