Friday, December 28, 2012

What I Believe

I posted some answers to frequently asked questions on Topix earlier tonight and it kind of reveals my hunches about this case after studying it for a few years. Thought I'd share it here, too.

1. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night. If you look at the case from a probability standpoint, the chances of her being abducted in front of three homes in the seven minutes she was alone is nil. Maura was street smart and would never get in a vehicle with someone she did not know out there at night. I believe a plan was hatched that weekend and begun the night she disappeared. The accident was an unforeseen hitch in the plan and it had to be amended on the fly. Unfortunately, it turned whatever she was doing into national news as a missing person case.

2. I do not believe she ever looked for a new car that weekend.

3. I believe several people close to her know where she was going that night.

4. Maribeth made many mistakes in her reporting that I am attempting to correct on my blog and in the book. No disrespect. Every article you read in the paper has a mistake or two. But she got hoodwinked along the way by her sources.

5. The Golden Egg business is bunk.

6. I believe there is a good chance Maura Murray is alive. If I find her I do not intend to give up her location. But I do want the visual proof that she is alive and well.

68 comments:

  1. James,

    What evidence overwhelmingly suggests this? I've followed your blog from the beginning and seen absolutely nothing to convince me that she wasn't alone. Atwood stated she was alone. Forcier, in describing his sighting of the female jogger, didn't mention anyone else. And he was at least a mile from the accident site. Don't you think, if she was traveling with someone, she'd have been picked up by that point? Why was she alone in front of Rick Forcier's house if she had someone waiting for her just around the bend? It doesn't wash.

    And furthermore, if Maura's disappearance were part of some plot in which she was complicit, why was her behavior so erratic in the days leading up to it? Why would her traveling partner allowed her to spend so much money on alcohol if the plan was to start a new life in Canada? Why would her partner allow her to get behind the wheel if she had been drinking?

    And what kind of person would trust someone like Maura, who obviously had an array of obvious mental/emotional problems to start a new life on her own without repeating her pattern of behavior? I've read enough to state with some confidence that Maura, in addition to a possible undiagnosed depressive condition, suffered from severe bulimia and alcoholic tendencies. These issues, as evidenced by her erratic behavior, along with her youth, would seem to preclude putting her on the honor system in terms of starting a new life.

    I know what you're suggesting. You've got a bone to pick with Fred and have for quite some time. But if he were her traveling companion, which is what you've all but implied, he would have to be the most permissive, irresponsible, and unprepared parent on the planet - which would run counter to the man's behavior in the aftermath of his daughter's disappearance as well as the character accounts of virtually everyone who knows the man.

    Rather, what I see here is an ambitious author who, stymied by a lack of cooperation from would-be sources and without the blessing of the victim's family, would rather lean on his fictive skills to create a conspiratorial potboiler rather than give up a book project that has been on the rocks from the very beginning. As such, I fail to see much daylight between you and Beagle, especially now that you're both apparently given to posting your inane ramblings on the same Topix forums.

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  2. one question that i have reguarding the rag in the tailpipe is could it possibly been put there to start a catalitic converter fire? the rag is the strangest part of this storie.

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  3. was the saturn insured for fire and theft?

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  4. I believe Maura Murray was traveling alone. Used car dealers do want you to buy that day, but since Mr. Murray gave a statement to police, doesn't anyone think police would have verfied that information. If not that is shoddy police work.
    Maura seems like an independent individual. She has a single dorm room and did not mention leaving to any of her friends. While there is the possibility someone wsa traveling behind her or ahead of her, when Maura does leave the car, why did she leave so many things behind she could have just thrown into the other vehicle?
    She dumps alcohol into the snow, but forgets the receipt. A lot of her actions if she was traveling with someone else do not make sense. Maura seems too smart to involve someone else in her plans.
    Her father seems like the type of guy who lives vicariously through his kids and expects a lot from them. Some of the stuff brought up in this blog probably did not make him happy. I thought the interesting thing about the Disappeared program was how he talks about Maura getting into nursing school, how the program is difficult, and how she was such a good student in such a difficult program.
    I hesitate to talk about her or her father because I do not know them, but if this is a runaway you have to think about what might have motivated the person to leave. Maybe Maura just wanted to be liked for being Maura.

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  5. pretty much agree with everything you've said....and have thought this all along. Just hope she's safe and has found happiness

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  6. How would she contact someone in another car that she had an accident if she had no cell phone coverage? What do you mean by "golden egg business?" She was selling her own eggs for money? Who do you believe knows where she was going that night? Family?, friends? You wrote somewhere else that you thought she was maybe working at a curve in Nova Scotia and asked for a "Muara" who came to the phone and upon telling who you were the phone was taken from her and then her name was Maureen. I think with all her troubles, returning other people belongings, packing up the things in her dorm as if she was not going to return she took her own life. This is textbook behavior of what a person committing suicide will do. Also if you would find her isn't law enforcement looking for her? Wouldn't you be bound by law to "turn her in?"

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    1. As far as I know, LE was only looking for her as a missing person, not as a fugitive for having committed a crime. I think that if LE found her alive, they would be bound by confidentiality laws to honor her wishes if she said she did not want her whereabouts revealed to anyone. She's an adult and she was an adult when she left. I'm glad James would behave similarly if he located her.

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  7. If you told the whole story on the blog there wouldn't be much point in writing the book, so I'm just tossing out a few things here . . .

    I'm curious about why you think Maura was street smart. I'm not so sure about that.

    Your suggestion that the plan was hatched over the weekend strongly suggests that you think Fred was involved, perhaps as one of the "several people close to her" whom you believe to have known where she was headed. You'll have to substantiate that, I think, in the book--and perhaps you can.

    I agree that the alleged car hunt is dubious. Seems to me that $4,280 would be a lot better grubstake for a new life than $280, and that Fred may have given it to her for just that purpose, then, after plans went awry, had to come up with a reason for carrying that much cash. Surely LE checked his bank records about that whole business. He could have told LE that he gave the money to Maura to hold until the following weekend for the (fictitious) car purchase, when perhaps he gave it to her to help her flee.

    Several huge questions really have to be addressed in your book. Who did she run off with (assuming she did that)? Why did she choose running away as her best option? I have trouble seeing her father agree to this as a mature problem-solving technique, unless Maura was in a hell of a lot more trouble than has been revealed so far.

    I'm thumbs-down on "Perilous" as the title. The Disappeared title, "Miles to Nowhere," was brilliant, but I suppose you can't snag that for the book. Still hope you'll keep trying for something better than "Perilous," though.

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  8. Why do you think Maura could be alive? Have you found any sign at all that she is? Have anyone she knew/knows hinted that she is alive?

    Thanks for any response.

    //Viktor

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  9. sorry, but is there actually any evidence of her having an accomplice ? any signs of the whole thing being planned/staged? because i dont recall anything pointing towards her driving in tandem with someone or anything of the like. i love your blog and the stuff youve uncovered, but this theory just sounds ridiculous. what "overwelming evidence" is it that youre talking about?? And the chance of abduction isnt "nil". i mean, its rare, but it happens. she was drunk, cold, wanted to get away from the police, hitched a ride from a bad person and so forth...it could easily have happened.

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  10. Questions on these comments if you could please?
    And thank you for your reporting on this... this is very incredible really.
    On 2. Is that to say they didn't have a Geo Prizm in mind to purchase the next week as well?

    On 3. Are you figuring those close to her also knew who she was "in tandem" with as well?

    5. Is that a reference to pregnancy?

    6. Would we ever at least know if you did find her? Of course not where, but just that we can move on?

    Thank you for all of the work.

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  11. It's been a long time since I saw the show on ID, but didn't Maura wreck her own car shortly after she wrecked her father's car? If so, didn't that second accident happen after the on-campus hit & run? If so, perhaps Maura purposely "wrecked" her car to hide (and document) the damage to her car from, say, a hit & run? That would explain why she was sober when the police arrived at the scene of that accident. I remember watching the show and thinking, 1) how can one person get in so many accidents in such a short period of time unless he/she had a serious drinking problem, and 2) if she had a drinking problem, as I strongly suspect she did, why wasn't she nabbed for DUI at the scene of the second car accident? It didn't match up. However, if the second car accident was staged to cover up dents from a hit & run, the puzzle fits.

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    1. Very smart, thoughtful comment--makes a lot of sense.

      Add to that the $4,000--which almost certainly was *not* intended to be used for a new car (what parent would spring for a new car just moments after the kid got into two major accidents within days of each other??)--and the picture is telling.

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  12. I think Maura Murray was feeling depressed for a while. When she finally made the decision to to leave, it was based on feeling the way she did for a long time. I think that is evidenced by the type of things she engaged in along the way including credit card fraud and drinking.

    One of the ways to find out whether or not her and her father looked for a car was to ask the friend she went out with her father that weekend about whether or not the discussion of buying a different car ever came up. They ate dinner at the pub after shopping for the car so that would seem a good question.

    The real question about the accident is whether or not it is a real accident. The might sound fantastic, but maybe the mistake in the thinking is that everyone thinks everything Maura did was based on spur of the moment thinking. That accident is strange because airbags on a vehicle are only designed to go off in head on crashes where there is a sudden decrease in acceleration. It makes the accident odd, not impossible, but odd.

    Then there are the stamps and envelopes she would need to send any Valentine card to her boyfriend or send in the accident forms for her father. I am betting she did not have any stamps of envelopes with her because she never planned on sending any letters. In her mind she was already gone.

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  13. James Renner wrote:
    1. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night. If you look at the case from a probability standpoint, the chances of her being abducted in front of three homes in the seven minutes she was alone is nil. Maura was street smart and would never get in a vehicle with someone she did not know out there at night. I believe a plan was hatched that weekend and begun the night she disappeared. The accident was an unforeseen hitch in the plan and it had to be amended on the fly. Unfortunately, it turned whatever she was doing into national news as a missing person case.
    ________________________________________________

    The really unsettling thing for me is that she was also very likely drunk or close to it when the accident happened. If this were indeed the case and she was driving in tandem, then whomever was shadowing her must have been livid when she got into his/her car. I mean if I were helping you to elude this or that problem, James, and there is an accident and the police are likely minutes away and, upon your entering my vehicle you are tanked, under these circumstances I would be one unhappy camper. Perhaps some would be ready to employ violence under these circumstances. At the very least her drinking while driving on a difficult road in a car she was supposed to have been afraid to drive under mundane circumstances certainly shows a person who was not using her best judgment to say the least.

    As to her being streetwise I'll take your word for it, but given that she had food delivered to her room when said food was purchased using a credit card number not her own makes me wonder just how streetwise she actually was. But maybe her running in dangerous neighborhoods, pace Sharon's letters at the old Maura forum, did prepare her for dealing with dangerous situations. And wouldn't she have been trained in self-defense tactics at West Point thereby preparing her to deal with criminals? But then we remember that she was drinking which would have hurt her chances of adequately defending herself.

    John Avellar

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  14. Makes no sense. Why would she email her professors? So they didn't get in their cars and follow her? She was coming back...way too much evidence says so. Not like she killed someone. Apparently her dad would've had enough money to hire the best lawyers over the credit card thing...

    This theory sounds completely insane to me.

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    1. I hope I don't spark any arguments or upset any other posters on here with a disagreement. I tend to agree with Brian. I still don't think the father had anything to do with this. Why would he spend all his time off from work, gas money, motel room money... to continue to drive up at the same spot and continue to look for Maura's body. One would think he would be putting in a lot less effort, like many other missing persons' family members. That takes a lot of effort, a lot of energy, and a lot of money to continue to do what he's doing.


      I tend to agree with you that she wants to be missing, but i don't think the father knows or thinks that. Have any of you thought that maybe she may have wanted to get away from him? On top of everything else she was running from.
      I agree with some of his body language being off. There could be many reasons for that, he may just be nervous in front of cameras, with tons of people watching. I can relate to that. It always seemed to me, that the father has a guilty conscience.
      I agree with you when you said some people may know where she is. I recall reading a statement by one of her friends in which she said she didn't want to get Maura 'in trouble.'

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    2. "Why would he spend all his time off from work, gas money, motel room money... to continue to drive up at the same spot and continue to look for Maura's body."

      What better way to camouflage subsequent visits "up north" to visit and check in with Maura? He's got to have a good excuse for all those gas and hotel receipts in case the police start to suspect that he's been lying to them. Haverhill may just have been a stop on the way to his true destination.

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    3. "Why would she email her professors? So they didn't get in their cars and follow her? She was coming back...way too much evidence says so."

      I think the evidence shows that she wanted everyone to THINK she was coming back. If she emails her professors, that gives her a week before anyone comes looking for her. Plenty of time to settle in to her new home, wherever that is. The "Not Without Peril" book found in her car was no coincidence. I suspect she planted it to throw searchers off her trail. I suspect the original plan was to park her car at the foot of some hiking trail, and disappear with whoever (cough, cough) she was riding in tandem with. Judging by the horrendous curve in the road at the point of her accident (you can go to Google Maps and see the curve from a driver's point of view), I don't think the accident was staged. If there's one thing that's irrefutable in this entire case, it's that Maura was a lousy driver. If her father was the one driving in tandem, I believe he would have been a coupe of miles behind her, not in front of her. A protective father would want to be pulling up the rear in case something happened to his daughter while she was driving. He may have seen the accident, but passed by so he could turn around; of course, he'd have to be sure nobody would see him. That may explain why she had to walk a few yards ahead of the accident to get in the car. That's where the hound dog lost her scent.

      "Not like she killed someone. Apparently her dad would've had enough money to hire the best lawyers over the credit card thing..."

      This isn't about the credit card. It's about a hit and run on the college campus a few days before Maura's disappearance, wherein a young man was badly injured and hospitalized. The driver of the car has apparently yet to be identified. It was not mentioned on the TV show, so you have to Google it.

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    4. thank you. I agree with this theory. You clearly are putting the puzzle together using the known clues instead of Topix rumors. Good job.

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    5. We have no real evidence that Maura had been drinking before the accident in Haverhill. Yes, we have the wine box in the car, wine spilled throughout the car and wine dumped near the car, but there is no evidence that she was actually drinking. All of this "evidence" that she had been drinking could have been a plant to throw people off her trail. Butch Atwood said that she didn't seem impaired, just "shook up." Just a thought. We need to pare things down to true evidence, not conjecture.

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  15. I think you've reached the correct conclusion, Mr. Renner. I've come to the same conclusion myself over the last couple of months, without input from this or other websites. Once I was reminded about the $4,000 cash, everything else fell into place like a puzzle. This is a story of a troubled but loving father doing what he felt he had to do to protect his baby girl. I only hope that the story has a happy ending, and by that I mean, that not only is Maura still alive, but that she has conquered her genetic demons as well. The only point I disagree with you on...Fred Murray is a fine actor.

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    1. I agree about the cash. It just makes sense that they never had any intention of buying a car for Maura. I wonder statistically how many people usually pay actually cash money (bills in hand) for a used car at a dealership. Wouldn't you write a check or get a loan? I can see buying a car from a private party with cash, but at a dealership? Maybe I'm wrong, but that seems pretty unlikely to me. I always thought the hit and run had something to do with this case, but it doesn't. Didn't Fred withdraw the $4000 before the Vasili hit and run?

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  16. I was very interested in the book. Now, not as much. I hope you have some solid evidence to back up the conjecture that she was travelling in tandem with someone. I think any other theory holds more weight. Hopefully your book will explore more than one theory, even if you rank one higher than the others. Even though I am now dubious about your final product, I do appreciate the investigative work you have done on this case over the past months/years.

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    1. Of course his book will pursue several theories. His other book about that girl Amy explored dozens of leads. This book is going to be good!

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  17. A few thoughts on your five hunches:

    1. It's tough to take you serious Mr. Renner when you make bold statements like, "The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night." WHAT OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE? Heck, what evidence at all? You do realize that a James Renner Hunch wouldn't be considered overwhelming evidence by anyone other than perhaps your mother or wife?

    2. You don't believe she looked for a new car. Are you a birther Mr. Renner? That might help explain why you don't believe something that has been confirmed by multiple sources.

    3. You believe "several people close to her know where she was going that night." Have any of these people close to her confirmed this fact to you or to anyone?

    4. You say that "Maribeth made many mistakes in her reporting that I am attempting to correct on my blog and in the book," and I am sure she will appreciate the corrections and so will her readers. Do you think you will have any mistakes in your reporting? If so, who would you like to see correct them after you publish your book?

    5. I hope you would still recommend the Golden Egg as a reliable place to have breakfast.

    6. You believe MM is alive. What if she's not? Are you willing to admit that is a possibility? Do your "facts" eliminate the possibility that she is dead?

    I was excited when I found out about this blog and your book Mr. Renner, but I think the readers here would have better luck finding out what happened to MM if they put the question to the nice lady on the Long Island Medium TV show.

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    1. What are the "multiple sources" that confirmed the "fact" that she was searching for a car that weekend? If you have been with this blog since the beginning, you know that it has been a long process in coming to the conclusions that Mr. Renner has chosen. He seemed pretty wary to give his opinion/conclusion for many months and now I know why. Don't go jumping to conclusions so quickly.

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    2. Well, let's look at what has been written about Maura and her Saturn. She was supposed to have been so afraid of driving said vehicle that she would bum rides with her fellow students to off-campus nursing classes/clinicals. She would however drive her car closer to the campus where, presumably, she believed that if the vehicle broke down, she could rather easily get help.

      So now fast forward to that fateful day. Not only does she take the Saturn on a journey far removed from any definition of the word local, but she heads into the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the darkness of the winter night. She also buys a good deal of booze while still in Massachusetts, and the evidence shows she likely began drinking as she headed north.

      Having then gotten into an accident hours from Umass Amherst, she manages to disappear in the seven minutes she was unobserved by local residents. However the bus driver who stopped to help her-and was much vilified on the old Maura site for his efforts, which may well have helped him to an early grave-said that when he was back at his place he heard a couple of vehicles go by. Since she was probably drunk, her vaunted running abilities are unlikely to have gotten her the 17 or so miles to the nearest town. After Rick F. spotted a "young person" seemingly trying to elude being seen by him as he approached him/her, not a living soul saw any sign of Maura or the runner Rick F. had seen. It seems likely that someone had been following her and got lost or momentarily disoriented and was later able to meet up with and spirit her away. This may have occurred 100 yards from the vehicle where days later search dogs lost the trail in the middle of the road, indicating that a car had picked her up, or perhaps she did make her way far enough on foot to have been seen by Rick F., but then her helper perhaps finally found her and took her away.

      If Maura was not followed by someone whom she trusted, then are we to believe as many posited on the old Maura site that she was simply going on a vacation spur-of-the-moment like? If this were indeed the case, then she must have been lying about having a fear of driving the car any great distance, and by implication she must also have been lying about the engine being defective in some rather significant way.

      There has also been postings at Renner's site to the effect that Maura had more than one boyfriend at school. In fact there was one girl on her dorm floor who when asked to look at Maura's picture reportedly said that she had never seen her before. Where Maura may have been staying is anybody's guess, but she seems to have a friend(s) her other pals did not know of. Naturally we know she was around the dorm enough to rip off one of her dorm mates-and we are often told that this would in no way have impacted her prospective nursing career!-but perhaps she had not bonded with her fellow residents whom she may not have seen very often. In any case such a beautiful woman may well have found someone willing to help her get out of dodge and a boyfriend would be a likely candidate. Heck even a guy who wanted to get into her good graces may have been a good candidate.

      So while we readers here do not know of any hard evidence to show that Maura was driving in tandem with a helper, there are good reasons to see it as a distinct possibility even without knowing what evidence James may have turned up and wishes to keep close to the vest until we read the book in two years.

      About the Golden Egg though I too would see it as a fine name for a diner featuring delightful breakfast entrees, but a closer examination shows that it refers to a DVD purporting to show Maura having sex with some unknown individual with the relevance to the case being that whomever the guy was featured in the tape said individual would likely be of some interest to the police as someone who might have helped her that night or may have done her harm.

      John Avellar bids you adieu.

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  18. Just watching Fred in the few interviews he actually did, the body language is telling. He is lying. He is covering up. He is not a good actor. I agree with James. This case is all about the weekend before the crash. Fred just happens to come into town. She just happens to wreck 2 cars. Fred happens to have 4k in cash that weekend. I have come to the conclusion a plan was birthed that weekend to get Maura out of dodge, and it played out, but not without a hitch. The second wreck was not expected. I can see someone having to backtrack and pick her up, only to be stalled a few minutes by a large bus and its driver being in the way. Seven minutes on the side of the road makes sense and I do believe she is savy enough not to take a ride from a stranger.

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  19. If Maura wanted to leave UMass--and I think she did, although I realize there are other possible interpretations of the packed-up dorm room--all she had to do was withdraw. As a Dean's Lister, she had excellent academic standing; UMass probably would have been sorry to see her go and happy to readmit her if she chose to return at a later time. This happens all the time. Students withdraw, maybe work a semester or two, perhaps to reassess goals, maybe to earn the money to continue, then go back to college to finish their degrees. It's no big deal.

    Granted, Fred probably would have tried to push her into staying, and he wouldn't have been happy to lose some or all of the tuition and fees he'd paid for the second semester, which was already underway when Maura vanished. But she was, after all, an adult, able to make her own decisions, at least in theory.

    Similarly, if she wanted to end the relationship with Bill Rausch, she had only to say, "Bill, we're quits." This, too, happens all the time. Young people get together, break up, get over it. There probably would have been some residual sadness on both sides, but this is just a part of life. We reject, we get rejected, we deal with it, learn from it and move on. Again, no big deal, long term.

    And yes, Maura seems to have had a skewed moral compass. Strange, senseless thefts, and apparently right in her own back yard. Using someone else's credit card number, without permission, was bad enough, but as I recall, the lawful owner of the card lived in the same dorm. It brings to mind an old saying, vulgar but apt: "Don't shit where you eat." But that's exactly what she did. Was she so stupid or so arrogant that she really thought she'd get away with it? I don't think so. I think she may have been doing something similar to what I suspect she did to get out of West Point--committing a relatively petty act that was just unethical and illegal enough to get her asked to leave, but not to get her prison time or a serious police record. But UMass, as far as I know, wasn't going to ask her to leave, and she was about to be off the hook on the credit card charge anyway.

    Hmm. Why-oh-why. I'd need a lot more evidence than I've yet seen to give credence to the incest theory, but Fred certainly seems to have been overinvested in Maura's life and future (Achieve! Achieve! Achieve!) and she seems to have been heavily emotionally dependent on his approval.

    It's a mistake to generalize from someone's being responsible about academics to a belief that he or she is therefore emotionally mature. I think Maura wasn't. She doesn't seem to have been able to address directly anything that went against what her father wanted her to do. When things went wrong, she "solved" the problems via the back door, running instead of facing up to them, and constructing odd manipulations of people and events to slide out of trouble.

    If, as James thinks, she went north with or to meet someone--a new boyfriend, perhaps--what was the point of that? I mean what was she doing, telling a huge lie and creeping around the back woods of New Hampshire? I don't know anything about the philosophy or attitudes of the Murrays, but was there, I wonder, something about this new love that Maura knew would have upset her family terribly? Was he a member of a different race or religion? Some families would regard that as cataclysmic. Or was the new love, perhaps, a woman? Plenty of families would be horrified to learn that a son or daughter was not entirely heterosexual--and the fact that Maura apparently had no history in this area means nothing. Many people, many women particularly, don't get squared away with their sexual orientations at an early age.

    The question is still very much in the wind: what in the world was going on that required such drastic behavior--running away, disappearing? There are many possibilities, but no certainties.

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  20. Why would Fred want her to get out of dodge? I don't get it. For what reason?

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    1. To protect her from possible hit and run charges stemming from a serious accident on her college campus just days before her disappearance.

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  21. So how do you feel that Maura felt when she heard that her Mother died in 2009 and that her Boyfriend's Sister committed suicide several years ago. Did her Father or anyone else every put out an award to find out her whereabouts? Are there any warrants out for her arrest? I can't understand why at this time one of her friends who by this time have matured and have kids of their own would have stepped forward with any important news of her whereabouts. By the records I have read in your Blog both Maura and her Father have drinking problems. Maura has an Eating Disorder, emotional problems, depression problems with law enforcement. If her friends are also nurses they would understand the importance of getting her the help she needs. Also have you checked for a nursing license under her name in different states? You can mostly come up with them on the internet.

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    1. I suspect that, if she is alive, only her nuclear family (father, mother, sister...) know/knew the real story. Cousins and friends may have figured it out from the family's behavior, but I doubt they would have been told by Maura's immediate family. I don't think Maura's dad, sister, etc. would take that chance.

      I always thought it strange that her mother didn't travel to Haverhill in the initial search for Maura. The reason stated was a broken foot. Any mother out there knows that a broken foot ain't gonna keep you away from your baby. She could have at least been in the town close by while the others searched on foot.

      As for not attending her mother's funeral...that's just the price you pay to avoid prison sometimes--at least that's how Maura might see it. Besides that, I've got a hunch Maura and her mother were not close. Like Maura, my parents divorced early, and I have a very close relationship with my dad, very much like Maura and her dad (sans the drinking), but I'm not close to my mother who raised me.

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  22. I imagine when the book is released and more info becomes available, we will learn more about what drove Maura to flee and the events surrounding the escape. This case is not like the more public cases like Casey Anthony etc. The media has no access to even the smallest bit of evidence. Since there is thousand upon thousand hours of manpower put into this case, I can imagine the info we have is tiny compared to what's known. Example is the atm photo. If Maura was truly a missing person or believed to be abducted, that photo should have been released to give the public a view of what Maura looked like that night.

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    1. I agree, Herm. We have little information about Maura's life and disappearance. We know that she was at West Point and UMass, had two sisters, had a boyfriend named Billy Rauch, was a former runner, that she had two jobs at UMass, drove an older car, that she took money out of her bank account the day of the Haverhill incident, bought liquor and left some items in her car after the accident. Much more than that is conjecture.

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  23. Hi James,
    I don't know why readers should believe that you have some special knowledge about Maura Murray. I could make a website and start saying the same thing. Where is the verifiable evidence to support your statements? I understand you want to sell your book and don't want to reveal everything on your blog, but it's hard to take you seriously when you say "The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night." What evidence? So if you find her you're not going to disclose her whereabouts? Why would anyone believe you? You can get crafty with photoshop and tell everyone it's a current photo!

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  24. For those of us who are into Forensic Astrology, there's an interesting article about Maura on http://forensicastrology.blogspot.com/2008/08/maura-murray.html.

    The author/astrology concludes that Maura was with a boyfriend at the time of the accident, but I think she made a wrong assumption. She says, "Now look at the fifth house, where both Mercury and Neptune are just hanging out, in conjunction. Not an exact conjunction but close enough. This reads that she is not alone, she is actually with a boyfriend when she crashes this car."

    The astrologer made the assumption there was a boyfriend with her since the fifth house rules romance, BUT the fifth house also rules your DAD, especially if you have a close relationship.

    This quote is also key, "both Mercury and Neptune are just hanging out, in conjunction. Not an exact conjunction but close enough." This fits perfectly with driving in tandem with another person, as in your DAD.

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    1. Really? Forensic Astrology?? Wow!

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  25. Do you think she could have joined some military corp or a convent? Yes become a soldier in like Israel or catholic convent?

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  26. I've lurked on discussion forums dealing with the Murray case for a long time, although this is the first time I've posted. Like others have said, I appreciate all the work you're doing and it seems as if you're the first one to go back to source material and dig for hard evidence; it must be a huge investment of time and resources. I hope you sell lots of books and that it pays off. That said, here is my perspective:

    1. Your proposed explanation, at least on its face, violates Occam's Razor. Given the evidence that we have to date, it seems to me that the most likely explanations are, in order (1) that she ran away to avoid a DUI and ended up freezing to death in the woods (not unlikely that the body wouldn't be recovered) and (2) that she got picked up by a psycho who saw a perfect crime of opportunity. I understand that you're obviously not going to give us everything that you have before the book comes out. I just hope that your preferred explanation is backed up by a *lot* of evidence, since in the absence of such evidence one of the theories requiring fewer conspiracies / assumptions is more likely.

    2. Related to (1), I hope you intend to propose a credible reason why the people who know about her disappearance have invested so many resources in (apparently) pretending to search for her just to keep up an illusion. If it's to protect Maura, it must be something pretty bad that she's running away from. I don't see hiding out for 10 years and having family in on it investing huge amounts of time pretending to search for you just to avoid some penny-ante credit card charge, or even the hit-and-run for that matter -- for which I have never seen anything other than speculation that she was involved in.

    3. I hope you don't put too much weight on your perception of Fred Murray's emotional state honesty as a piece of evidence. Different people react differently to different circumstances. My experience is that people who say "I knew he was lying from his body language" or "I knew he was guilty from the second I saw him" are cranks who far over-estimate their ability to read into human behavior. Even psychologists don't ascribe that much reliability to reading into people's emotions.

    All that said, again I appreciate all the work you've put into this.

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    Replies
    1. "She got picked up by a psycho who saw a perfect crime of opportunity"--talk about violating Occam's Razor. Personally, I think she was abducted by aliens. Now *that's* an economical explanation.

      I have very much wanted to bring up the JonBenet Ramsey case here, as it contains many *significant* parallels to Maura's re: cover-ups and the behavior of the family. In fact, I would like to rebut your entire comment, and in particular point #2, with two words: Ramsey Family.

      For an explanation of what I mean--and to everyone with a serious interest in Maura's case--I would recommend James Kolar's very recent book on the Ramseys, "Foreign Faction." It makes it very clear that that murder was in fact an inside job with an extensive coverup by the family. The parallels between John Ramsey's behavior after that crime and Fred Murray's are, in a word, stunning.

      Delete
  27. Suggested title "The Dark Road"

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  28. If she *were* driving in tandem with someone, than it makes me think that they were probably not in college if they were able to take time off like this at the beginning of the semester.


    If it's true, that she wanted to disappear for good, then how could they turn around and tell Fred that they are '75% sure of catching the person?

    What's that explanation?

    It seems a little odd to me that a girl could just up and forget about everyone, her mom, siblings, friends, boyfriend (even if he wasn't perfect), boyfriend's mom...


    A few of you have pointed out she had mental issues. I have to tell you that when I was applying to go to a military college after high school, they give you a very thorough physical. In fact, it has been my most thorough physical I've ever had in my life. Furthermore, you're giving another physical just to get in nursing school. This isn't just checking your eye sight, hearing and the like. They make you perform a number of exercises, i assume to make sure your joints/body are working properly and you have reflex.

    NO offense to the above poster, but from an objective point of view, I need a lot more than just 'astrology' to give me a solid speculation.

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  29. Why beat up on Fred? He is a father that has spent all his resources trying to find out what happened to his daughter. Can you blame him for trying not to let the media in on some of his daughters mistakes.We all know what the media can do to negative information. Look at what this site has done to his name and Maura's for that matter with absolutely no proof at all and just a lot of speculation.
    Maura made the choice to return to his Motel room in the early hours of that Sunday. What do you people expect him to do at this point. She wrecked his car. He has no car. Her car is at the dorm and it is 3am. Lets see. He throws her out on the sidewalk so people like some on this site don't assume he is being inappropriate with his own daughter? No. He has no choice. The two wait till morning, get a rental when they open and he takes her back to the dorm. Now I am not saying that their wasn't a heated discussion going on during this time but lets have some respect for a man and father that has lost his daughter or at the very least try to see that their is a far more simple explanation.

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    1. In general, I agree with this comment. However, there are some serious problems with Fred's behavior. He did, in fact, talk to the media...but not to Law Enforcement without lawyers of his own, and not for years. His stories are inconsistent. He wanted to have Maura's car crushed. He seemed to know *quite* a lot about that rag...

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  30. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night. If you look at the case from a probability standpoint, the chances of her being abducted in front of three homes in the seven minutes she was alone is nil. Maura was street smart and would never get in a vehicle with someone she did not know out there at night. I believe a plan was hatched that weekend and begun the night she disappeared. The accident was an unforeseen hitch in the plan and it had to be amended on the fly. Unfortunately, it turned whatever she was doing into national news as a missing person case.

    I believe that some will agree with me when I say that the chances of her being alive at this point are at even greater odds than the chances someone took her against he will. Lets remember 2 others that happened in the same year, Briana Maitland and Brooke Wilberger who was taken in broad daylight in front of apartments.
    We are expected to believe some conspiracy theory that this 21 year old had this elaborate plan to run away with someone that no one is aware of and is not missing. If she was traveling in tandem with someone then where is that missing person? There is no other missing person at that time. Then we have the father theory and the $4,000. Why?? That is more bizarre than to think she was taken. So the Nil is not really Nil. She was 21, pretty, had a lot of cash on her and a car with Alcohol. One or all of those things may have been enough to attract the attention of some "dirtbags" along her travels.

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    1. "If she was traveling in tandem with someone then where is that missing person?"

      exactly my thoughts.

      Delete
    2. Simple: the other person didn't go missing. The two of them went--or planned to go--back to where that person came from. The other person is out in broad daylight, denying involvement or keeping mum or hiding Maura's identity or even telling a select few people. Whatever. It's extremely easy to conceive of how this could happen.

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  31. Herm,

    If he's covering something up, it doesn't mean he's covering up what you say he is covering up. As a father of three, including two girls, it is under no parent's obligation to explain to you everything that was going on in my daughters' lives. James probably found out most of it - about West Point and the credit fraud - and it doesn't mean she disappeared and is still alive, and it SURELY doesn't mean she didn't run, intoxicated, down a dark road and got picked up by some loon or ran a decent distance out into the woods, died, and animals hauled away the remains in the 2-3 days NO ONE was searching very far for her.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the retort, Brian. I get what your saying. But I am also a father of 2, both girls and I could never imagine harming my kids or doing anything of the sorts. But, human behavior is widely mutable and highly varied. We live in a culture were we all think we're junior Dr.Phils and can diagnose others by comparing it to our own behavior. I still hold firm in the belief Fred has a story to tell and it's the big clue to this mystery. I am wrong? Maybe. We all are just guessing, except James. I believe with his history of digging through the rumors and innuendo in such cases, I give him the benefit of knowing which roads to follow. God bless.

      Delete
  32. i never before heard anything about $4,000. is that amount that fred had that weekend for new car? didi fred said that he took that mount or?

    ReplyDelete
  33. I feel bad for making some harsh comments here. I'm sure we will see your puzzle pieces come together in the book. I just feel bad for Fred Murray and even for Maura herself, even if she is voluntarily missing. Keep investigating. I hope one day the mystery is solved!

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  34. First of all, with the limited availability of information to the general public this is of course, all conjecture. I would assume James has information not available to all of us and in a wacky plan to make a living, is understandably not going to publish it all on the net. I would agree while watching Fred it appears he is hiding something. To me however I do not feel James is saying he is culpable for her disappearance. I don't think he would continue to search for her, he clearly looks pained. He looks to me like a very good person over wrought with grief. I think its possible she took that money from him and he was not forthcoming with that information to LE. It's possible she went with someone (I don't think Fred) to dispose of the car and collect on insurance? To disappear? Did the person with her harm her and steal the money? I would agree the accident was an unforeseen hitch in the plan. I would agree there was another person. I can't imagine she would look for hotels/condos and not book something without a different plan in place. My hunch is that there is info on the computer that was not released. Ie the person she was traveling with. According to police someone was wired, there is someone they were looking at. Most college students have crappy cars, the car didn't look that bad. Has anyone examined the vehicle to substantiate claims. Did she plan to dispose of the Saturn because she wanted the money, to get rid of evidence (Vasi) because someone recognized her vulnerable state and was manipulating her? I don't know about not giving contact info to the car salesman. I do find highly improbable that one would not mention car shopping to their girlfriend while having dinner the same day with thee father that they went car shopping with. Have any friends substantiated these car problems? Was Maura actually in the nursing program? Has anyone talked to students in her nursing class. You become very close with these people. I have been through nursing school everyone is different but I can't imagine carting someone around because they didn't want to drive. Someone posted that she sent a note and was absolutely planning on returning. I personally think she was buying some time, again I can only speak of my experience and what I know from nurse friends but I can't imagine a program where leaving for a week on a bs excuse would be acceptable. I would expect to fail the semester, especially if she was in clinicals. L.

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    Replies
    1. Why was nobody from her nursing program up in Haverhill on the weekends helping to look for Maura? Why not her sisters, mother, Kate and Sara? Friends from the track team? Friends from her dorm? Friends from high school? West point? Friends she worked with at her two jobs at UMass?

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  35. I think it's unfortunate discussing details of her life may come off as judgement but there most defiantly would be a problem with having a record, particularly stealing. You work with a vulnerable population and you have access to all of their identifying information, I think credit fraud would be a problem. In michigan you pay for a background check and finger printing for your license and then the hospitals require this be done as well. I just wonder was she truly in the nursing program, she sounds very driven and successful in many ways but 2-3 jobs, student athlete and nursing school? I do find it hard to believe anyone could handle that.I do wonder what happened to the 4,000? I could see the possibility I think facts that have come to light do show that Maura was having some significant mental health issues, bipolar disorder does spring to mind when I look at the issues that are listed. Also her mom didn't look for her because she had a broken leg? That is what I recall reading, I would look for my cat with every limb broken, just seems odd if that was in fact the case. Anyhow, after all that rambling, I see the possibility that Fred was covering up some serious issues without being directly involved and/or culpable for her disappearance. Parents can have some serious denial about their children's behavior or thinking my kids behavior has been very erratic, she (not a fact to my knowledge) took 4,000 dollars from me but if I tell them that they will assume she is a bad person or willfully missing. Also, people drink at times to lower inhibitions, mania could explane the car crashes, you don't have to be falling down drunk for it to impair driving and potentially not be noticed by others

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  36. Just watched the "Dissappeared" episode on Maura so of course that really all the info I've seen so far. In browsing it online I came across this blog site. I just have a question, well a lot but one for now! In the show supposedly a gas station attendant saw "Maura" with a 60-ish year old man mouthing the words "help me". Anything come of that? Did I miss it? I don't get why the lady never had a discription of the car. Anything? I really think what happened only based on what I have seen is that she had been drinking and driving when her car went off the road and that's why she didn't want the police there that night. She starts walking and either accepts or is forced into a car with someone. And god only knows what happened from there. Very sad. May God bless her heart and give her family peace ...

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  37. Why are some of you saying the Vasi hit and run was on-campus? That is not the case at all. Trying to piece together a puzzle using such erroneous info makes your whole theory bunk.

    Vasi was hit coming out of a bar. The accident location was at the corner of Triangle and Mattoon. That is not on at UMass campus, and certainly not anywhere near the Southwest residential area where Maura was working security that night.

    Furthermore, Umass dorms, especially Southwest (where there are the most freshman), have security cameras in the main lobby where the entrance/exit is. They were there when I was a freshman there a year after Maura's disappearance and I am pretty sure they were there in 2004.

    Since Maura being so upset that night was a point of interest and it was the night of the hit and run, the UMass Police and any other investigators could have just looked up the security footage.

    However, the mere thought of Maura leaving her post, walk to her car (which could have been waaaaay far out given how cramped the parking lot always is), drove for whatever reason all the way to Triangle and Mattoon, hit Vasi and come back unnoticed is a ridiculous scenario for anyone who has ever been a student at UMass and understands how the security and sign-in process works.

    Not to mention, Thursday-Saturday nights are very busy on campus and supervisors regularly make rounds. It would have been stupid for someone who wanted to keep their job to leave their post and go off-campus when another security personnel or even a superior could have stopped by at any time.

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  38. Happened upon this website after watching the Disappeared episode on YouTube. Lots of good stuff here. Can't say I agree with everything, but definitely interesting. Just some observations I've gathered from reading the info here and watching the show.

    1. It's clear to me Maura was never going back to Amherst. Why? Because her lie was laughable. Her grandmother died? Isn't that the kind of lie you tell people when you don't really mind being found out that you're lying? Was she really gonna come back to Amherst with that so-easily-disprovable lie hanging over her head--especially given the other trouble she'd been in? If she intended to come back, she would've told a lie that couldn't be disproven--like she had mono or the flu, and she needed to get away so nobody else would catch it. Yes, she took her books, but it's because it goes along with the lie--i.e. she'll study in between funeral services.

    2. I don't believe she was traveling in tandem either. What did this other person do while the bus driver pulled up? Wait down the road? What if the bus driver stays? Then what? What if a cop happens by a minute after the wreck? What does the other person do . . . drive away? What if Maura is hurt in the accident and an ambulance comes . . . does the person deny he/she even knows Maura? You see what I mean? In fact, if there was another person in another car, the best thing that happened to them was the bus driver not sticking around--and that is not what usually happens at car wreck scenes, no matter if someone is hurt or not. Usually, the first person on the scene flags the next car down to get help while that person stays with the accident victim, especially if there is no cell phone service in the area. The bus driver going back to his house and leaving Maura alone was complete luck. Probably the most glaring point: do you think this tandem driver is gonna go along with a plan that includes Maura drinking and driving? I mean, the person had to know Maura well and knew her alcohol tendencies. Why didn't this person carry the alcohol in his/her own car? Plus, surely this other person would've told Maura--we need to get where we're going, could you please not drink and drive?

    3. I don't believe the accident was staged either. Once again, as in #2, too much can go wrong to take such a big chance. Why risk getting knocked out or somebody seeing the whole thing and sticking around for the police? Nobody upon nobody would come up with a plan like that--Maura could've easily pulled off running away without the wreck. And I'm sure she would've figured that out early on when the planning began.

    4. I don't believe she was meeting someone in NH either. As a guy, I look at this way--men make the arrangements for setting up rendezvouses a large majority of the time. If she was meeting someone in NH/VT, why was she doing all the calling for condos? Sure, she knew the area but couldn't she have told the guy: Hey, I know some nice places, call this one first. I mean, if there was some affair going on, how romantic is it that Maura is trying to make the arrangements? Hey, even married men make the arrangements when they're meeting their mistresses. Moreover, it didn't sound like she was doing it very well. Now, if she was meeting another woman? I've never read anything here or elsewhere saying she was a lesbian, so until I hear anything else I'm going to assume she was hetero.

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  39. 5. If Maura was trying to run away and vanish, and there was somebody else, who is this other person? Shouldn't that other person be missing too? Or, is this other person continuing to live his/her own life while covering up for Maura who now has a new identity? I'm sorry but that sounds like a movie, not real life. It's not like the mob was after Maura. More to the point, the amount of people who disappear and end up dead (by whatever means), compared to the amount of people who disappear and change identities--the ratio has to be like a 1000 to 1. Yes, identity theft happens but that is usually someone who goes by their real name but is using other people's credit and ID to get stuff. Is Maura doing that? I don't think so.

    6. If there were arrangements to meet someone at some hideaway in NH/VT, wouldn't an innkeeper come forward by now and said: "you know, a couple made a reservation for the week Maura vanished, and they never showed up." Or, "you know, a girl matching Maura's description stayed at my place the same week she vanished." I can see a single person showing up in the mountains of NH without a reservation but couples don't do that usually if it's some romantic interlude. Plus, making a reservation takes any unpredictability out of the plan to vanish. They'll pay cash. They'll stay under assume names, etc. But, if they start driving around and can't find a place, they're going to be remembered by many business owners--something they don't want. And they'd also be remembered if they made reservations and didn't show up.

    7. I firmly believe Maura was headed to NH to commit suicide. Now that I know all the bad things going on in her life at the time I can't think any other way. It's obvious she had an overbearing father who probably pushed her more than was probably healthy. Drinking, credit card fraud, a cheating boyfriend, an affair, yada yada yada. Wrecking her father's car was probably the final straw. She was going to go to a place where she had great memories--NH and VT, drink some alcohol, take some sleeping pills, and leave this Earth at one of those condos--whichever one she could find a room at. And what I believe happened is when she wrecked she thought: I can't even pull off a suicide plan correctly. So, she left the car, ran down the road on the pavement where her footprints couldn't be seen, went into the woods a mile or two down the roads so the police couldn't track her and died in the cold--she was planning to die on the trip anyway. Sure, there were search teams and helicopters but those kinds of searches are suspect at best. One of these days a hunter will happen upon her remains as occurs many times in cases where people disappear in the middle of nowhere.

    It's all a dang shame but it's obvious Maura had her demons, probably created by things both genetic and environmental.

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  40. First, I appreciate all the work James has done and I believe he genuinely wants
    to solve this mystery. Having said that, I am not sure that all of his
    statements above can be truly described as fact. Some seem more like opinions to
    me but I haven't seen everything there is to see.

    The thing about this case that makes it so mind-boggling is that if were to
    break the case down into know 'facts' there isn't a clear preponderance of
    evidence in any one direction. In the end you have to believe 1 of 2 things,
    either a) she disappeared of her own accord, or b) she was killed by someone.
    (either an opportunist or a predator) I can find reasons to lean towards either
    scenario but every time I do there is something that just doesn't make sense. If
    I broke down all known facts and came up with 10 pieces of evidence it's about a
    5/5 split as to what makes sense.

    Maura could have chosen to take off and start over for any number of reasons and
    even though her problems don't seem that severe to someone from the outside, to
    a 21 year old kid it could have felt as if the world was collapsing on her. And,
    of course a great many people have personal private demons that haunt them that
    even their closest friends and family don't see or understand. Anyone who has
    any knowledge of the case know that Maura was having some serious issues in her
    personal life and 'running off' doesn't in and of itself seem impossible. The
    problem is that if she were planning and running away several things don't make
    any sense.



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  41. 1) Generally speaking, she doesn't act like a person who is planning
    on vanishing. She uses her phone to try and make reservations in NH and sends
    emails to her profs lying about a death in the family and saying she'll be back
    in a week. (UMASS is a large school and I doubt any of her instructors would
    have called in the National Guard if a student missed a couple of classes) My
    point here is that if she were running away what's the significance of a week?
    She would only need a couple days lead time and wouldn't she be more worried
    about her parents or friends wondering where she went than her teachers? Also,
    she doesn't take much money or personal items for someone leaving their life
    forever.
    2) She stops and buys booze, enough booze for a small party, on the
    way out of town heading towards her new life? Wouldn't she try and conserve her
    money AND be clearheaded on her way outta dodge? (Also, if as some have
    suggested, her father or anyone close to her was following her up there would
    they allow her to stop and buy liquor to drink WHILE driving? Especially her
    Dad?!!
    3) Why would she need someone, anyone, to follow her to wherever
    she was headed? If it were a friend wouldn't they be unaccounted for in the
    immediate few days after Maura was reported missing? Why wouldn't they just give
    her a ride or ride with her? I mean then she could drink without being behind
    the wheel and her disappearance wouldn't be near the mystery!! THINK about it!
    If her car was discovered in the parking lot at school this whole thing wouldn't
    be as baffling. In fact no one would any idea what happened which is my next
    point.
    4) Her 'getaway' car is this (by all accounts) old clunker? She
    didn't trust this car down the street but she drives it into the cold dark night
    of northern rural NH? And if she were headed to Canada, what was she going to do
    with her car? If she took it across there would be a record of that and if she
    left it up near the border it would be found and be obvious as to where she
    went. Again, if I were going to disappear with the help of someone I would just
    have them drop me off.
    5) There was a lot of media attention about this case right away
    in the days after she vanished yet no one came forward to say they knew any
    factual details? (I'm discounting all of the 'sightings' as they are unconfirmed
    and highly suspect. Like the one where a woman saw Maura in a gas station
    mouthing, "help me". First off, this would have to be the WORST citizen ever
    because she doesn't try to help or get a description of the man or his vehicle?
    Really? Also, this case was well known in the area but somehow she was kept
    captive for several months and then taken out in public where the only person
    who recognized her was this idiot?

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  42. 3) Why would she need someone, anyone, to follow her to wherever
    she was headed? If it were a friend wouldn't they be unaccounted for in the
    immediate few days after Maura was reported missing? Why wouldn't they just give
    her a ride or ride with her? I mean then she could drink without being behind
    the wheel and her disappearance wouldn't be near the mystery!! THINK about it!
    If her car was discovered in the parking lot at school this whole thing wouldn't
    be as baffling. In fact no one would any idea what happened which is my next
    point.
    4) Her 'getaway' car is this (by all accounts) old clunker? She
    didn't trust this car down the street but she drives it into the cold dark night
    of northern rural NH? And if she were headed to Canada, what was she going to do
    with her car? If she took it across there would be a record of that and if she
    left it up near the border it would be found and be obvious as to where she
    went. Again, if I were going to disappear with the help of someone I would just
    have them drop me off.
    5) There was a lot of media attention about this case right away
    in the days after she vanished yet no one came forward to say they knew any
    factual details? (I'm discounting all of the 'sightings' as they are unconfirmed
    and highly suspect. Like the one where a woman saw Maura in a gas station
    mouthing, "help me". First off, this would have to be the WORST citizen ever
    because she doesn't try to help or get a description of the man or his vehicle?
    Really? Also, this case was well known in the area but somehow she was kept
    captive for several months and then taken out in public where the only person
    who recognized her was this idiot?

    ReplyDelete
  43. 6) When she did wreck and end up in the ditch there are two possibilities.
    a) She was traveling with a 'partner' in which case she simply hopped in with them.
    Problem is they would probably be driving right behind her and as a result they would have
    stopped and picked her up before the bus driver came alone. At least, the bus driver would have seen another car in the vicinity. (even if they were 1 mile behind they would catch up within a few minutes) Also, why didn't she grab the rest of her stuff and throw that into the other car? And, then we have to assume that the sighting of a 'jogger' a couple miles down the road was erroneous or not her.
    b) Maura was driving alone and had to have caught a ride with someone other than the bus driver. I don't know about anyone else but I'm a man and if I were stuck out there in pitch black I wouldn't have turned away help from the bus driver. I mean how many killers drive school busses? Of course she could have been scared and assumed she had or could walk a ways and have cell service to call AAA. Remember an oft forgotten clue, her AAA card was out and in the car, not in her wallet or purse which was not found. So she DID have the card out to use, or it can be surmised. I HAVE A THEORY HERE BUT I WILL HOLD IT UNTIL THE END.
    7) Just based on these observations one would have to assume that something bad happened to her on that lonely stretch of road even if she intended to escape to another life.

    Now, the other option is she is a victim of foul play. However, that as it's own set of issues.
    1) Maura had, (or appeared to have) issues with alcohol and perhaps food as some have suggested although she cold have been ordering all that pizza for her dorm mates as well as herself. It's known that she had legal problems as she was on probation and of course no one would argue she was a good driver having been in several accidents in just a few days. There had been some issues with her bf in the months prior however the extent of that cannot be certain, at least to us outsiders.
    2) She did pack up all of her things at her dorm and leave an old email from her bf out in view.
    3) She did lie about a death in the family and make several phone calls inquiring about lodging in NH but she never did make a reservation so perhaps she decided to find something when she got up there?
    4) We cannot forget about the phone call she received from her sister (it's been reported but I don't know if confirmed) that got her so upset that she needed to be walked back to her room. That seems like a bit of a buried clue there as what could be that upsetting other than a death in the family or something of that nature where you need to get off of a work AND be escorted back to your dorm?
    Perhaps it was a fairly benign call and she used it as an excuse to get off? Seems plausible to me.

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  44. 5) Of course her friend doesn't remember Maura talking about her and her dad looking for a new car AND she can't remember ANYONE from the party they attended. Again, a subtle clue because that seems basically implausible. And even if she didn't remember, no one else came forward to say, "hey I was at that party and so was...."? Hmmmm
    6) HERE IS THE KICKER! All that crazy stuff going on in her life, and she happens to end up being the victim of a killer in such a short window of time on the side of road in nowhere NH? She would have to be incredibly unlucky and that seems quite unlikely.
    7) Of course this takes us back full circle to the running off scenario which as we have already established, has some gaping holes.

    There are a few things that either don't fit in either scenario, fit into both or need to be answered.
    1) The infamous rag in the tailpipe. This makes no sense whatsoever. Who puts a rag into their exhaust to make a car run BETTER? Conversely, what criminal stalks a woman with ill intent by putting a rag in her tailpipe with the hopes of stalling the car? And it's a rag from her road kit according to reports which seems hardly possible. However, how do they know that this rag came from her road kit?
    2) The stuff she packed in her dorm. What does her dad say about this? What is his explanation? Could she have been moving rooms? Painting the walls?
    3) The email from her BF that supposedly his cheating on her, that has been reported as laying on top of her stuff. Was is laying out so as to be obviously seen? Was it folded up and just one of several papers? One would probably know right away if Maura meant for it to be found as a de-facto statement about why she had chosen to disappear.
    4) If they found a car they liked and planned on getting it the next week, why didn't they just use the 4k to buy it that weekend?

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  45. 5) The officer who was "unaccounted for" for the two hours around Maura's accident, what does that mean? Where is that info coming from? I mean at the time of the accident LE didn't know what they had on their hands so they weren't in panic mode so maybe that cop was at his gf's house, who knows.

    HERE IT IS.
    I rule out suicide, even if that was her intent because her body and/or her backpack etc would have been found at some point within the small area she could have wandered off to. I also don't believe her dad or anyone who she was close with had a hand in her going to NH. Her friend's shoddy recollection of their party mates probably has more to do with avoiding trouble for those people at the party because of age and the use of alcohol or drugs than a cover up. This business about her dad and some adult magazines at his house, her friend's dad with the seedy background and even the rag in the exhaust are red herrings a believe. In the end anything is possible of course and I go back and forth but a scenario that seems to add up to me at this point is this, my theory as alluded to above.


    **** I think Maura was fairly typical of a girl her age with school, parents, a bf far away, and I would guess a more serious than average alcohol issue to deal with. I think she left town that week just to get away and have some time to herself to maybe just get drunk and be alone. It's possible she was down and thought about harming herself and that up in the mountains might be a good place should she decide to do something like that. And, it's not surprising she had an accident and ended up on the side of the road. Here is where others have made a mistake, including James. They believe, as I did that the odds of Maura getting picked up by a perpetrator was hardly possible in such a short period of time. Well, who says it was a short period of time? No one looked for her that night and one guy said he did see a jogger who ducked down a side road. Maura probably hid from cars when she saw headlights in the distance. She may have been out there walking and hiding for and hour, two hours, maybe several hours, and finally she excepts a ride because she is cold or goes up to the wrong farm house to ask for help. I'm going with the ride because if she was abducted and killed I assume her body was far enough not to be discovered be searchers. Unless, it was moved at some point after that night which would explain the cadaver dogs hitting on that house nearby. Nothing about this whole thing is clear and smooth but of all the possibilities this one, to me, seems the most likely.

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  46. Agreed. Especially seeing as how LE has stated there is a 75% chance of pressing criminal charges in this case.

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