Sunday, December 29, 2013

Maura Was Thinking of Disappearing for Months

Here's something I think we forget when reviewing the facts of this case: Maura was talking about disappearing for months before she vanished. During her affair with her track coach, she sometimes talked about running away and starting a new life somewhere.

Also worth noting, she never once mentioned having a father, the whole time the two were involved.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Could Maura Have Used an Underground Railroad?


A fascinating possibility has emerged from a conversation I've had with a woman via email who has helped a number of women successfully disappear in America. This woman, a practicing social worker, believes Maura may have used a little-known battered-women's organization to aide her in her disappearance.

One outfit is the House of Ruth. And here's how it has worked in similar cases:

They can and will provide women with completely new identities, complete with drivers licenses, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, and credit cards. They provide resources, financial and otherwise, to help these women flee. 
They are also more secretive than the CIA. not all of what they do is 100% legal. Its a huge network of people worldwide that assist with whatever is needed when called upon. I can attest that these organizations are very good at what they do and aside from witness protection (which looks sloppy and careless compared to some DV organizations), this is a surefire way to disappear with little to no resources and no street sense, neither of which Maura seemed to possess. 
However, its extremely difficult to fool true victims of horrible domestic abuse. MM would have to be an excellent actress or a legit victim to fool these people. Escapes such as mauras would've been expensive and risky. They don't do that for just anyone. 
Anyway, this theory has been with me since the beginning when i learned certain facts about the case. The ssn snafu is what made me write you. 
It could be nothing, but having little knowledge of these underground organizations, certain things stick out. 
If this is what happened, you have a better chance of finding the holy grail. Tight lipped is an understatement. I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned on the blogs, forums, etc. But at the same time, not all that surprised. People involved with these types of organizations have a lot to lose and keep better secrets than the pentagon. I don't know how you could explore this further but certain things are leading me to believe this a really viable theory. Maura simply wasn't smart enough to vanish on her own. It also explains Fred's and the family's reaction. 
Food for thought. 
I'd also like to point out that we very rarely know each other. I might get a call from my contact, who got a call from hers, to provide temporary shelter, off the books, for a victim and her children. They will stay with me until I get a call to either give her a ride somewhere or put her on a train, bus, etc.

But how could she get by without using her social security number?

Hypothetical: I let them "borrow" mine. Good credit history, clean background, etc. Then, when they're where they're going, a new identity is set up and mine is returned to me. 
There is more than one group. For instance, I might get the call to pick someone up anywhere from .GA to VA. It could be another group that contacted MY contact because we are in that area of the country and my skill set is needed. 
It really is like an underground railroad. A network. And I would happily serve time in jail before giving anyone up. I would and do go to drastic measures to protect them. I'm telling you this for a variety of reasons. I think if Maura did this, she took advantage and lied and took resources from women who were severely abused.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How You Can Help

So far, we've raised a little over $500. Not a bad start, but we have a ways to go.

Please consider a $10 donation today to push us closer to our goal.

Other ways to help:

- posting the link on your personal Facebook page
- emailing friends/family

http://www.gofundme.com/mauramurray


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Update

We're gathering about 1% toward our goal per day, which isn't bad, but I'd like to do a little better after the holiday. Please share the donation link with your friends/family.

In other news, I have been banned from the Maura Murray Facebook page. If you're just tuning in, this is the first time in history, the family of a missing woman has turned down the offer for a fundraising campaign to help find them, as well as further publicity for the case.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let's Get This Started

The fundraising effort for the billboards on the 10th anniversary of Maura's disappearance begins, today.

CBS Outdoor is offering a great price on digital billboards in the Boston area. And the Amherst daily paper is giving us a great deal on a full-page ad.

I'm still working on NH, Canada, and Ireland. Will update soon.

Click the link to find out more (and to donate!) Every single penny (minus the 5% charged by GoFundMe) will go directly to billboards and ads asking for information about Maura's disappearance. If we exceed out goal, more billboards can be purchased. Whatever is left will go to flyers.

We're off to a great start! Please share the link!

NH Police Chief Was Sexual Predator, Avoids Prosecution


The former police chief of New London, NH, David Seastrand, resigned in April 2013, after a young Colby-Sawyer student came forward, claiming he said he'd drop her underage drinking charge if she'd pose nude for him.

Shortly thereafter, several other young women stepped forward with similar tales. One claims that Seastrand coerced her into having sex with him, the other says he got rid of a parking ticket for her after she posed in lingerie.

Last week, the NH AG decided not to file criminal charges.

This predator was on the force for 27 years. He gets to keep his nice retirement package.

New London is quite a drive from where Maura went missing (78 miles). But I thought it was worth mentioning. Of course, the Haverhill Police Chief had his own demons.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interview with David Whalen

I heard from David Whalen earlier today and he wanted to clear up a couple things.

It seems that you came across a picture of me in college (that I believe was provided by one of Maura's family members/friends for a documentary that aired years ago) and built a narrative about my potential involvement with Maura. Reading the posts/comments from strangers that speculate about my life based on ONE photo makes me nauseous. 
One of of your recent posts states I was "often playing playing at Rockingham Park and Seabrooke Race Track, which are very close to Londonderry, NH" in 2004. Not only was I a full time college student and not yet a poker player in 2004, but a visit to the Seabrook Poker Room website tells me that both rooms didn't even exist until 2006. 

I was a friend of Maura's in high school/college. We weren't particularly close, but we did share some friends in common. This is the beginning and end of any useful information I can provide. 

The Tweets were just his dark sense of humor, he says. No harm there.

And the photo?

That was taken around the time of the New Years Eve party in Goshen, New Hampshire, about five weeks  a year before Maura disappeared. The place was owned by a relative of Maura's friend, Andrea Connolly. David says he doesn't remember any other guys being there that weekend.

It was a relatively uneventful weekend from a long ago, so there's not much that comes to mind.


Thank you to Sam Ledyard for the leads that made this interview happen. Go check out his Maura Murray blog.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Age Progression


Contributor Joan Sullivan has created this very decent age progression of what Maura might look like, 10 years later.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10th Anniversary Billboards

The plan is to put up 5-10 billboards featuring Maura's info along with information on how to contact NH authorities about the case.

- Where would you like these billboards located?

- Does anyone have connections to Clearchannel or other billboard companies?


Final Thoughts on This Week **UPDATED**


What a clustercuss, as Mr. Fox would say.

That being said, I would probably do everything the same if faced with such a situation again.

Like it or not, the era of privacy is over. And, personally, I don't agree with the fear-driven need for absolute privacy, anyway. Never have. That's why I knocked on J.D. Salinger's door a few years ago.

We live during a time when reporting is being supplemented by citizens. The Boston bombings showed how these stories will work in the future. These cases can and will be solved via Reddit or personal blogs or other websites that can serve as lightning rods for specific stories.

In journalism, we have this thing called the Writer's Den. It's where reporters can come together and shoot theories off each other, using each other's wisdom, combining their intellect to suss out a story. All that has happened is that Writer's Den has moved from inside the newsroom to the public forum. Instead of being fearful or angry about this, we should learn to accept it. Accept the fallibility of it. It's a way to get at information. In the end, the account in the newspaper, or the book, should still be held to high standards but don't be fearful of public discourse.

I believe we acted appropriately. We had a lead in a 10-year-old cold case that has few leads. A woman was connected by Maura's social security number. Her friend looked shockingly like Maura. When we asked about the similarities, this friend chose to act fearful instead of simply responding, "Hey, my name is Jane Smith, I'm not Maura, silly." I sent the lead to police. No member of law enforcement said, "Hey, dude, take it down." Everyone saw the weird similarities between Maura and this woman. When she shut down her Facebook profile and her husband put up threatening pictures, I realized we had reached a point where authorities should figure out what was going on and if anyone was in danger. I called the Hanson police. Spoke to a nice Sgt. there who decided to get a definitive answer at 2 in the morning. He called me back with the answer: it wasn't her. And he thanked me before he ended the call. Also, we never revealed her name.

I believe in this kind of journalism. Love it or hate it, it gets results (this blog was viewed 14,000 times in one day last week--many more people have learned about Maura's case because of it.) So I will defend this method of reporting, vigorously. And loudly.

**UPDATE**
 I just received a call from a man who identified himself as a father of the woman's family. He said he worked many years to make sure his family's identities were never revealed. He called me at home and threatened my children. I don't know what to make of it other than to say, no matter how bizarre these people act, the woman in question is NOT Maura Murray. There are weirdos everywhere.

Friday, December 13, 2013

More on that Quebec City sighting.

Here's a little more from the nice woman who believes she saw Maura in her record store last week:

Just let you know that the girl we have seen here in QC look like the pictures of Maura Murray but older of course! She looks like around 34... Like I said in another email. It's someone who looks like the girl but older. That's it. And I do not look for something back or visibility or anything like that. I don't care about that. I just wanted to do my citizen job. And the girl we saw her dit not have at all the look of your [strange picture woman]... NO link. The girl here was muchhhhhh look like the picture but older. Just that. 
Good luck. If I see her, I'll talk to her. You know, in QC city, in town where we live, I know a LOT of people, so I can say she's not from here.  And it is not a BIG city in that neiberhood. Anyway. :) We do not have cameras here... it is a little shop and very convivial place. I Know almost all of my clientele. 
Bye bye. :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What a Waste of Time **UPDATED AGAIN**

Here's what happened with the Maura look-alike photograph that surfaced this week and eventually led back to Hanson:

Concerned that things were escalating, I called the Hanson, PD last night to look into it. They spoke to the woman and her husband. The woman in the photograph is not Maura.

What could have ended after one simple returned phone call or email, instead resulted in getting a lot of peoples' hopes up.

I don't know that we'll ever know why Maura's SS number was mixed up with these folks, but it doesn't appear related to her disappearance.

Consider this a dead end and move on.

Thank you for your help and for listening to me when I asked you not to identify the woman in the photos. I'm proud of the way we came together. Another let down but maybe closer to the real answer...

**UPDATED**
Yes, I'm as mystified by all the weird coincidences with this lead: the social, the similarities, the reaction, etc. But the police have said it's not her. NH police have the info if they want to pursue it any further. Let's trust them.

Feel free to discuss, but I will delete any comment that contains personal info such as location or name.

Be nice.

And also, thank you for the kind words. I don't know what I could have done differently, but we all make mistakes and sometimes what looks like good info, really exciting info, just doesn't pan out.

**UPDATE 2**
I was just shown proof-positive evidence that the woman in the pictures, though strikingly similar, is not Maura Murray. It's not her. Sorry. Don't post names. The mystery isn't here. I know it's disappointing, but move on.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sighting in Quebec City **UPDATED**

We're starting to get some follow-up info on our trip across the border. Seems there was a very good sighting in Quebec City. Not sure if this is related to the photograph below but I'm going to post everything as it comes in (at least the stuff I can verify).

During our time in Quebec City, we stopped at a record store. I heard back from the manager, today. Here's what she said:

My french is not very good. 
You went her last sunday at a record store. You let me the picture... but after you have leave, i search for other pictures on the net and the ressemblance was big. I saw (if its her) on monday 2 decembre. She asked for live music. 
One of my friend was with me on that monday. I show him the pictures on the internet and he also vas on the choc of the similitudes. He speachs english: he speaks with that girl. She was on bicycle (bike) in snow. sportive girl. 
I did not want to communicate with you at that time because you did not identify. But i talk with the police. He talked wiht NH police and i thought you too beacause the police told me he gave you my number phone.
UPDATE: More:

In fact, she asked for live music on monday here in Quebec. We (friend and I) told her that here, in qc, there is nothing on monday and tell her for thursay ou friday. She said she will not be there...she really want  it MONDAY.  And on saturday, i see her in bike on another street. Alone, in the snow with her bike. I notice it because she told us she would not be there and that clash me. 
She is REALLY look like the picture. We both (friend and I) have a great visual memory. She enters the record store slowly.. watching. She was discreet. We wanted to give her a map with the name of venue of artist and she refused telling she was ok. She told us that here, in QC, people do not know there town, not like another places (that supposed she travels). She speaks at " I" and not "WE". She has a suit for winter, but cheap  one, not a big "sportive". One colour suit. I know a lottt of people here so that I notice her on the street the saturday.  She did not have make up. If you have a video of her tallking and moving, we could more be "sure" if it was her. 
She stay around 15 minutes in the shop talking (english). She acts a little weird. She had a little "backpack" (dont know the word). My friend talk about music and how the city was "made" (streets)... She did not wanted to go to big show. Juste some little. 
You have some pictures on the net that are SOOOOO similar. I would never have contact police or you if my friend and I do not have a big suspicious. We were not knowing anything before you both came here sunday pm. The face was familiar to me. Juste 1 min after your left I was on the net because the face remember something to me. Really expressive with her eyes. Speaks slowly, prononciating each word really good (i could even understand some things). 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My Posse


So, meet Josh, Lance, and Tim. They're filming a documentary about Maura's case and are along on this journey across Quebec with me.

As far as updates, I'm starting to get responses from my flyers. There have been credible sightings in Sherbrooke. I'll be passing that info to the police, soon.

We visited Montreal and Beauharnois today.

Quebec City tomorrow. Unless we hear from her before then.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh, Canada!


I am in Canada with a small group of investigators. We are handing out flyers tonight.

More soon.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Have Hope

I found a new word some weeks ago. Eucatastrophe. It was coined by J.R.R. Tolkien. It's that turn near the end of a dark tale where everything is set to right. I'd like to think we're there with this mystery. And, for the moment, I will hope I am right.

Anyway, this tale needs a little hope. And a little more adventure.

I'm getting on a plane and traveling to parts unknown to prove that Maura Murray is still alive.

And I'm on a literary bent, so let me leave you with this quote from Tolkein, on the nature of hope:

"But the 'consolation' of fairy-tales has another aspect than the imaginative satisfaction of ancient desires. Far more important is the Consolation of the Happy Ending. Almost I would venture to assert that all complete fairy-stories must have it. At least I would say that Tragedy is the true form of Drama, its highest function; but the opposite is true of Fairy-story. Since we do not appear to possess a word that expresses this opposite — I will call it Eucatastrophe. The eucatastrophic tale is the true form of fairy-tale, and its highest function.

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist', nor 'fugitive'. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of 
dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.
"

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Maura as a Blonde


A few people have sent me their best attempts at age-progression photos. Here's one that shows what Maura may look like with blonde hair and glasses.

Keep em coming.

***UPDATED***So How, Exactly, Is Martha Nagle Related to Maura?


Last week, I told you about Martha Nagle, aka Martha Vivar, who did clinicals with Maura at UMass. When I contacted her to get some background on her trips to the hospitals with Maura, she said she didn't want to comment because she was related to Maura. When I asked her how that was possible, she said it was by marriage, then stopped replying.

As I see it, this leaves only a few possibilities. Either one of Martha's siblings married into the Murray family, her husband's siblings married into the Murray family, or... Maura married into Martha's family.

I can find no link between Martha and the Murrays. And the fact that someone in her clinicals ended up related to her is improbable. Though, not impossible.

I guess there is another possibility. That she's lying. Can anyone find a link, here?

**UPDATE**
Not lying, exactly, but the connection is quite tenuous.

Martha is related to Patty Nagle, who is the sister of Carol Dwyer, who is related to Helena Dwyer Murray, who married into the Murray family.

I think I'm more closely related to Jeremy Renner than she is to Maura Murray.

Still no comment from Martha as to whether or not she is the author of the messageboard post that first mentioned Maura alive and well in Canada.

(Thanks everyone for your help!)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Age Progression: A crowd-sourcing request.

I'm about to print out several hundred flyers for distribution in a mid-sized town. It would be great if I could include an age-progression picture of what Maura might look like today.

Does anyone have the computer skills to give it a try?

Send your best to me at jameswrenner@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

For Maura

I feel like I'm getting close to an answer that will lead to resolution in a matter of weeks.

I believe you are alive. And I believe I know where you went. Who you traveled with. And how you got there.

The only reason I have to find you, personally, is to show this community of concerned people that you are alive and well and they should focus on other mysteries. Frankly, I don't care about the hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money that have been spent trying to find you. I don't care about the charges you face in Mass.

I don't see any reason to invade your privacy any more that it already has been. I do not care to share your location with the family and friends you have written out of your life (for good reason).

All we ask is for proof of life. You can send it anonymously. If we can see that you are alive and well, the search can end here and the well-meaning internet armchair sleuths can move on to cases of real missing people whom they can actually help.

I truly hope you've found a better life.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

***UPDATED*** Let's See What the Victim Has to Say

Here's one loose end: the woman who had her credit card number stolen by Maura Murray. I could use a little help locating her or her name. Here's what we know:

She was a student at UMass in the Spring of 2004. From Gloucester City, NJ. She worked in Salem, NH.

I would very much like to talk to her.

**UPDATE**
Upon closer review, it appears the victim was from North Andover, Mass.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How Can We Crowdsource the Investigation?

So this blog gets about 3,000 views on any given day. There are still many people interested in this case and helping to bring it to some kind of resolution. What's the best way we can work together?

Is there an aspect of this search for Maura that we could use this site to "crowdsource" the way we did when searching through pics of Canadian marathons?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Was Maura in Boston Just Before She Went Missing?

A couple weeks ago a tip came in that, on the surface, sounded crazy but has since gained some steam.

A man was photographing the area outside Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, in Boston, a couple days before Maura disappeared. He was doing research into notorious mobster Whitey Bulger, who killed a guy there back in the day. There were two vehicles parked in the lot and he didn't really think much about them until later.

See, one of the vehicles was Maura's Saturn, he says. He knows because the license plate is clear in the photo and it matches to her plates that are in the public record. Only, he won't scan the pics into a computer. He wanted to send them through the mail to a different source. But then the photos never came.

I know, right? Probably just a bunch of smoke. Except...

The other vehicle that was there. He provided the license plate for that one, too. And I tracked it down. I interviewed the guy who owned the truck. Says he doesn't know Maura. But, yes, he was at Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant.

Which lends credibility to the photograph also showing Maura's car.

And if she was in Boston, what was she doing there? And why was she driving her Saturn so far if it was on its last leg?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Open question: Could Maura Have Canadian Citizenship?

If a mother has a child in Canada, does she become a citizen of Canada? Would the U.S. even bother with extradition on a credit card fraud charge?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

**UPDATED** So This Is Weird


One of the women that Maura had clinicals with was an Asian-American student named Martha Nagle aka Martha Park aka Martha Vivar.

Here's the message I got from Martha today:

I'd like to help but I'm also related to Maura and I don't feel comfortable talking about this with you. Only out of respect for Maura's family. Thank you anyway. Good luck with your research.

On follow-up, she explained that she was related through marriage. And then she blocked me on Facebook.

Can't figure this one out. How exactly does that work? Did Maura make the introductions before she disappeared? It didn't seem like they were close, according to classmates. So, did it happen after the fact? Or is it a lie?

Could use some help figuring this one out.

**UPDATE**
One location that appears in Martha's history is in the town of Taunton.

Taunton, as you know, is where the person who posted the Geocities letter (the one that explains that some family members know that Maura is living in Canada) was from. As several people have pointed out, that letter appeared to have been written by someone who was trained as a nurse. Like Martha. And was somehow related to Maura. Like Martha. And was in Taunton. Like Martha.

When asked to comment, Martha wrote: Fuck you. How's that for a comment?

Clinicals

Some information is finally coming in about Maura's time studying to be a nurse at UMass. I've spoken to a couple of her classmates who did clinical rotations with her and here's what they say:

Their class was large, about 70 students. But the class was then divided into groups of 6-8, for clinicals. Clinicals are a way for students to get first-hand knowledge of nursing. Students travel to area hospitals and are given a patient or two. It's a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. They work for seven hours then meet together and kind of debrief before traveling back to campus. Most everyone car-pooled.

In the Spring of 2004, Maura had clinicals twice a week. One day was spent at the Providence mental hospital in Holyoke. The other was done at Norwood Hospital's labor and deliver unit, in Norwood (an hour and a half drive, it's nearer Quincy/Weymouth).

Her class list: Pharmacology; Mental Health; Maternity; Research in Nursing.

Classmates describe her as quiet, reserved. She didn't really have friends in the program.

Given that she was actively studying labor and delivery and mental health I'm not sure how much importance we can put on those internet searches related to pregnancy before she disappeared. More to come.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Maura Would Have Been Cited for Hadley Accident

Spoke to Hadley Police Officer Mark Ruddock today. He was the police officer who responded to Maura's crash in Hadley, Mass, which occurred after a night of excessive drinking. According to Ruddock, Maura would have likely been cited for failure to control her vehicle if she hadn't have disappeared shortly thereafter.

Getting a misdemeanor likely would have impacted Maura's deal with the courts related to credit card fraud.

When asked why he did not charge her with DUI that night, Ruddock hung up on me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Open Question

What are the biggest unanswered questions that remain in this case? I mean, outside of the big ones (the rag in the tail pipe/Petrit Vasi/etc.) Who else (like the Salamones and Atwoods) would you like to hear from?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Butch Atwood Given 2 Lie Detector Tests

Butch's wife, Barbara, spoke to me from Florida today, and dropped this little tidbit: Police detectives gave Butch two lie detector tests after Maura went missing. They were told he flunked the first one and passed the second. She believes he failed the first one due to his health complications, which included high blood pressure, diabetes, a-fib, and COPD.

Before you get too excited about this info, you should know that lie detector tests are not admissible in court (usually) and are basically just a tool for detectives to push a suspect into a confession. The tests measure bio-feedback so his health would certainly have been a factor. To me, Butch is not a likely suspect, and seems to be a good samaritan who got caught up in a big case.

Keep in mind, at the time Butch lived there with both Barbara and his mother, Violet. And Maura's accident was in plain view of three homes. Not easy for a 300-pound guy to commit a crime in those circumstances.

To his dying day, Butch believed Maura was picked up by someone, possibly a traveling companion, due to how quickly her disappearance happened.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Salamone Place Was Not for One Person

I'm devoting the next few weeks to filling in some holes in my reporting as I work on another draft of the book.

Today, I spoke with Linda Salamone, who owns a condo in the Seasons Resort community of North Conway. Maura called her to check on availability of her rental the day she went missing.

Here's the thing. Her condo is quite large. Two bedrooms. Big living area. It's not meant for one person. She cannot recall ever renting it for just one person. Usually, she rents it to families. This, again, lends itself to my developing theory that Maura was traveling in tandem with one or more people the night she disappeared.

Of course, she couldn't rent to Maura that day because her property doesn't really work like a hotel. Linda would have needed to mail Maura a key and a contract, first.

She has since learned that Fred and Maura used to stay together at the Seasons Resort, though never in her unit.

When Salamone was contacted by police, many months later, the detective told her that the reason she hadn't heard from them before was because the case "had taken a turn" and they didn't believe they needed the information she might have. The investigation, he said, was "going in another direction."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Remains Found During Search for Abigail Hernandez Likely Not Maura Murray

Authorities searching the New Hampshire woods for evidence related to the disappearance of Conway teen Abigail Hernandez stumbled upon human remains that were not Abigail's. 

Several news outlets have quoted a source saying the remains were those of a person who disappeared in the region some years ago, leading many to speculate that the bones may belong to Maura.

I just got off the phone with a source at the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game, who explained a bit more about what was discovered.

- what they found was a partial human skull and teeth.
- no evidence related to Maura Murray's case (backpack, booze, etc.) was found
- it is believed the remains belong to a man who disappeared nearby a few years ago, not Maura, but it will take some time to verify identity.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Holy Moly! Did a nurse write this??

Years ago, someone posted a message on a Geocities board that explained how Maura had hit Petrit Vasi the night of her breakdown, which started a chain of events that led her to decide to just leave and start her life over with a boyfriend in Quebec.

Here's much more about that message.

Editing the book, today, I came across the message again and noted this passage:


Sometime between 12 MN and 1 AM Maura driving her Saturn struck and critically injured the UMass student Petrit Vasi leaving him for dead.

And I thought 12 MN was strange. I don't know anyone who writes it like that.

But guess what? That's standard subscript for... a nurse.

Looking back on the message, one other passage stands out to me.

Maura’s being asked to leave West Point and all the ensuing criticism by her father was the beginning of a certain line of thought for Maura, culminating in her leaving on Feb 9, 2004 to start a new life unencumbered by the constant criticism of her father. 

"the beginning of a certain line of thought..." sounds to me like a distinct grammatical twitch that this person uses in conversation. Is it familiar to anyone?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Update

50,000 words in.

That's book length, but I have a feeling I'm only about 2/3rds done. I'll be sending out a rough draft of the manuscript to a few copy editors/readers in a few weeks.

A couple new leads have kicked up and I'll do one last round of interviews while the rough draft is being edited. That probably means one last trip to New England, soon.

I'd still like a couple more anecdotes about Maura's life in Mass. If you knew her and have a story to share, please contact me: jameswrenner@gmail.com

More soon.

***Updated***

Rough draft is finished. Lots of editing to do. I'm not 100% in control of when this might come out. 2014 is looking kind of tight. 2015 is more likely.

I will be adding to it before publication. So send me your stories.

Thanks.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Creep's Videos

In an effort to preserve these for the historic record of this case, I'm reposting these videos. They were originally posted to YouTube on Valentine's Day, 2012 by a man who has used the name Alden Olson and the online avatars Beagle and 112Dirtbag.




Saturday, July 27, 2013

Everybody Lies


Well. Well. Well.

Is there anyone in this case who isn't a lying liar pants-on-fire?

Seems this Richard Thousand story was a bit of a farce.

Here's the email I just got:

I have to apologize to Maura and you and set the record straight. About two years ago I came across the story of Maura's disappearance and due to many commonalities between us I got hook into the investigation. I came across the photos and saw the card with the number on the back. One night I attempted to access the card to see if there was anything interesting to the investigation. I don't even remember the specifics but when I provided my e mail address it gave me access to the card account. Afterward I got worried about doing this and dropped my interest in her case. When I got your e mail I got spooked and sent an e mail that gave the impression she found my card.. While checking out your blog last night I came across the item about the card and was shocked that my e mail was there and people discussing that she stole my card and then changed the information on it. This is a tragic situation for both Maura and her family and I don't want to do anything to perpetuate the idea that she was a thief or untrustworthy. Furthermore, I didn't write the email for attention and I have an alibi for my whereabouts on the night she disappeared so your readers can relax. I still wish you well with your book.

Rick

**UPDATED**

Here's a follow-up email:

I was in u mass looking into the master program in 2003 and talked to some nurses. That is one reason I got drawn into this story. Everything in the e mail was true except talking to a particular student that had a boyfriend in Oklahoma. If I met her I think I would have remembered that name so I would say no. FYI. Marine Hedges worked for years in our hospital coffee shop in Wichita Kansas. I knew her only because she made me food every thursday, otherwise I had no real connection to her, Why I brought that up was that prior to finding out that it was BTK, there were many theories some bordering on the bizarre about what happened to her. Everyone was totally shocked when they learned the truth that she was just unlucky that night. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

**UPDATED** Topix Scrubs Entire Maura Murray forum. *Back up*

Moments ago, Topix removed the entire Maura Murray forum thread from its Franconia page. There were over 38,000 posts dating back several years.

A poster CitiGirl, who claimed to be Maura's relative from Weymouth, was a frequent commenter until a couple weeks ago when she went silent.

Very strange.

Well that was quick. It's back up already, though some posts have been removed.

So... The Stop & Shop Loyalty Card Found in Maura's Car? Yeah, She Stole That, Too.


You know, the more I look into this case the more unbelievable it becomes. I went into it, like many of you, with this image in mind of Maura as the All-American Girl. Then we learn of her credit card fraud. Her cheating. Her petty theft at West Point. Not that I think she was given much of a chance. Her mother outed her bulimia in front of family members, some of whom had serious problems with drugs and issues of their own. And Fred... Jesus. Where do you start? What a mess.

And yet she's still missing. The case needs closure.

Anyway, last night I learned the Stop & Shop loyalty card found in her Saturn after the crash had been stolen (I believe it was, based on the following story, anyway, but you tell me if you can come up with a better explanation). A reader of the blog ran the card number through Stop & Shop's system and found that the card was associated with the address 22 Walker St. Weymouth (which was where Fred was living). And an email that linked back to a man in Cleveland named Richard Thousand.

Here's what Thousand had to say:

Very Interesting! I did attended a meeting at U Mass shortly after graduating from Nursing School in 2003. I was there for approximately a week and signed for a card at the Stop and Shop close to where I was staying because they had some money off on gas. Of course, while there I talked to several nurses attending the University and I do remember talking quite some time with a girl who fits Maura's profile from your website. We were both runners and I grew up in Upstate New York and camped and hiked many of the same areas that she had in New Hampshire. I remember her mentioning a boyfriend in Oklahoma because I had told her I had moved to Ohio from Kansas and she said she was planning on getting a job there. She asked me about the kind of area it was. I also had been in the Air Force and she mentioned some military training, but I don't remember her mentioning West Point Academy- but that was a while ago. As for the card, I don't think she would have stolen it from me since I keep a very keen eye on my wallet and only carry the bare minimum. I am notorious about dumping these cards anywhere because they aren't credit cards and we don't have these stores in Ohio so I could have left it anywhere on campus. I still do this since I travel a lot but I guess I will be more careful in the future. I was rather shocked by what I read about her disappearance but I had a co worker in Kansas disappear and there were a lot of strange theories but they eventually found out that BTK was her neighbor and actually abducted her from her home and killed her.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One way to search for Maura...

So China has developed better facial-recognition software than we have here in the States. You can go onto Shitu.baidu.com and plug in a picture of someone's face and it will search for likely matches on the internet.

I spent some time on there this morning and found a couple really close matches but nothing panned out. If you have some time to help with the search, check it out.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Confirmed: Maura suffered from Bulimia.

I spoke today with another man who investigated Maura's disappearance (full interview soon) and he confirmed another rumor that has come up again and again over the years. Maura suffered from bulimia for years. Other girls who lived in Kennedy Hall became aware of this. Her family had known for years, but were not exactly rushing to get her the counseling she needed.

At one family gathering, Thanksgiving or Christmas, Maura's mother Laurie outed Maura in front of her siblings, saying, "Why do we have so much food if you're just going to throw it up later?"

I'm really beginning to wonder if Maura had a single kind person she could turn to.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Book update

100 pages in.

Expect to finish a rough draft by the end of August.

I'll do one more round of research/interviews then.

I'd still love to hear from friends of Maura who knew her from Hanson, West Point, or Amherst.

More soon.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Song by Maura's Brother Kurt Suggests Family Believes She Could Have Run Away

A song written by Kurt, in 2010:

What I Wouldn't Give
Where did you run
Is there somewhere that your new life has begun
Adrift
In a sea of endless time
What have we done
To make you turn your back on us and run
From our love
That will grow on your return
Why did you shun
A life that you had only just begun
To live, to live...
Chorus
What I wouldn't give to only see your face,
Your radiant smile, flowing grace
If I could know for sure that you've not been lost in time
And if you only knew what your absence here has put us through
In hopes that someday soon you might walk back through that door.
Bridge
I know you're out there waiting
Until the pain you feel subsides
but your fears, your doubts, your anger
with our love we'll cast aside...
Repeat Chorus
Maura, we're missing you so dearly now
We see your face so clearly
We pray with ever hopeful hearts
That you'll still walk back through that door
Someday you will, I'm sure...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Homicide Detectives Wanted Fred Murray's Cell Phone Records **UPDATED**


Here is a very interesting document.

It shows a couple things.

1. Homicide detectives subpoena'd Fred Murray's cell phone records.
2. They were asking for a CDR, which means "call detail report," meaning records of calls going in and out.
3. They did not trust Fred enough to get this information directly from him.
4. The search parameters (Feb 1 - Feb 20) suggests they believed possible criminal activity was happening beyond the time of Maura's disappearance.

This document was part of the items released to Fred by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire and can be obtained through FOIA.

**UPDATE**
A few readers have pointed out that a subpoena to a phone company may be standard procedure in order to maintain chain-of-custody. Also, these records may have been a way to alibi Fred out.

As I've said before, I do not believe Fred is responsible for Maura's homicide (if that's what it is). But I do believe he knows what led her to drive into New Hampshire. And, to me, that is half of the puzzle in this case.

Fred's statement to UMass police is up.

I guess I forgot to post this in the Documents section. It's up now.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Investigation into Maura's Disappearance Found Other Criminal Activity

I'm currently writing about Fred Murray's lawsuit against the State of New Hampshire. Found this little nugget today, tucked into the state's explanation about why it couldn't release certain information about the case.

...although the information may have been determined not to be relevant to Maura Murray, it may in fact be relevant to other criminal conduct: in fact information that has been gathered in this case has resulted in cases being opened investigating charges related to burglary, drugs, arson and criminal mischief

Any thoughts as to what/who this is referring to?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Forget the Past

Here are some interesting comments from Fred Murray, when asked about the days leading up to Maura's disappearance:

From South Shore Express:

One line Fred repeated throughout the day was, "it doesn't matter." If you ask what he did for a living, or why Maura packed her things, or didn't tell anyone where she was headed, he'll just answer, "It doesn't matter." "We'll never know why she came up here," Fred said. 
All that matters to Fred is "what happened on Wild Ammonoosuc Road."

From the Patriot Ledger, February 9, 2005:

The Stage Shop owner about Fred: “He’s just wrong. He’s not telling us anything about her and what he’s done is turned neighbor against neighbor up here.” 

From WCVB:

"If she was upset and wanted to get away to find peace, it would be here. It doesn't matter what brought her here to this point. Once she got here, something happened," 

From 20/20:

“Regardless of what brought Murray to that remote area, her father wants to know where she is now.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fred Murray was losing his home the week Maura vanished.


Just when you think you know everything about this case...

An astute reader found this filing in Norfolk County, Mass. It's a notice from the tax man, dated three days before Maura disappeared. Seems the county was about to seize the property in Weymouth where Fred was living when he wasn't staying in motels.

Does this change anything or is it just another red herring?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Horizon Beckons


Topic Post
June 19, 2013

Without even the faintest of hard feelings, I decided to move on from posting to James' blog.  I still think that James has a real chance to solve this case and I support everything he is doing.

I have some interesting new things to turn my attention to.  If you have been in touch already, please drop me a line, you might find my next thing interesting.  If you have not been in touch, feel free to contact me and say hi.  I'm at John88Green@yahoo.com.

As for some other information I collected and developed during my trip, I will make it available to James at some point, although I need a breather for now.  I will make it available to anyone else also.  Just email me.

Keep up the good work here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Law Enforcement Source: "dog track in Maura's case one step up from useless"


Topic Post
Wednesday - June 19, 2013

In recent weeks, via this blog, we have developed a value law enforcement source.  He is quite knowledgeable about Maura's case, although he is in a different jurisdiction.  He has many contacts close to the case and is especially knowledgeable about the the types of dog tracks and dogs used in New Hampshire and has handled them himself in a professional capacity as an officer.  He considered the facts of Maura's case with another colleague of his who is a recognized expert on dog-based tracking and came to some conclusions.

According to our LE source, the dog search in Maura's case is "one step up from useless."  At most it indicates that she did not leave the roadway into the woods within the first 100 yards east of the scene, but even that is unlikely.   This primarily because:

(1)  On a flat wide surface subject to air being kicked up along the surface (by cars) the scent will disappear faster.  Although some anecdotes and practitioners have indicated that searches can be successful after 72 hours, most experts put that at 48 hours, under ideal conditions, such as over tall grasses in dry weather during the summer. The conditions during Maura's track were very adverse.  It is very unlikely that the dogs could have followed Maura's track over a roadway in the winter with cars going over it, two days later, because if she left one at all it was gone by then.

(2)  The result of the track suggests that what the dogs actually followed was an officer's scent.  If the officer who conducted the track also retrieved the gloves, the dogs - in doing their jobs - might have simply followed his scent.   It also could have happened if the first responding officer was ever in the car or touched the gloves.  This would have occurred had the same officer walked that distance at some point, either immediately before the search or on the night of the accident (for example to talk to Atwood). The dogs are trained to evaluate all the scents on the gloves, which would have included every scent in the car, along with the officer's scent if he went in the car to get the gloves or handled the gloves. They then look for one they can follow.  There is a very good chance that they may have followed the handler's or the first responding officer's scent.

Note that NH uses two types of tracking canines.  I did not bother with the distinction here, but the conclusions apply to the specific dogs used in Maura's search and in fact both kinds of dogs used in the state.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"No, He Was Nice"


Topic Post
Saturday, June 15, 2003

On may home now.  I was in Haverhill/Woodsville/Bath, as well as Amherst and Northampton.  I have had some powerful emotional reactions and learned some new things.  Posts and updates to come.  For now, an anecdote.

I rolled in Woodsville around 1:00 am earlier this week.  I explored, walking along 112 and BHR, then probing cautiously up a few trails trails or rutted paths off 112, just to see how things looked and felt at night.  Upon starting my car to leave, about 3 miles east of the accident scene, I was heart-in-throat surprised as my headlights dawned on a moose trotting off the trail I had just been on, right in front of my car.  I followed the slouchy-trotting creature at about 5-10 miles per hour for a minute or soas he moved along the road.  He disappeared up a steep gravel driveway behind a house.  I headed for the only middle-of-the-night food option; a Cumberland Farms (CF) mini mart and gas station in Woodsville. Then I slept in my car on the periphery of the new Walmart's parking lot.

At CF, I got to chatting with the friendly and articulate woman working overnight.  She has worked for more than 10 years.  I didn't say why I'd come to NH. But starting with the prompting comment, "what a beautiful place, it must be crime free up here huh?" we first talked about the Walmart shooting and then she said "and then there is Laura Murray (sic)."

(If you are reading this, friendly lady from CF, I am sorry that I deceived you and I really enjoyed talking with you.  I wanted to hear what you had to say without being direct and possibly annoying you.  Also, please forgive me for having forgotten your name.)

She knew the story well, although she thought that Fred had died a couple years ago, possibly having conflated him with Laurie upon passed around news of her passing.  Here is what she told me.

  • Fred used to into come into Woodsville businesses and restaurants and - without introducing himself - throw down Maura posters, brusquely demanding, "you need to hang these in your windows and ask your customers if they have seen her!"  The way she mimicked his manner called to mind the way Kurt described Maura coaching him, applying the same discipline that her father had applied to her.  It also reminded of the call Coach Lafreniere got, where the voice on the other and responded to her hello without introduction by blurting "do you know where Maura is?"  
  • The CF manager manager once had to forcefully ask Fred to leave because he was bothering their customers.  "Did you meet him," I asked.  "Yes," she replied. "The guy's a jerk."
  • "For a while," she told me, "they thought he [Fred] had something to do with it, but after he died that went away."
  • "Her tracks disappeared 100 yards away, so she got in a car," she shared.  "The accident was staged."
  • "So she could be dead out there somewhere?" I asked at one point. "Mmm-hmm, she replied with a kind of winking look, "or maybe living it up as we speak ... in Canada ... Tor-ONTO."
  • "There was a writer who came up here too," she told me.  "What was his name?" I asked but she didn't remember.  "Was he a jerk too?"  I asked. "No, he was very nice," she replied, continuing on to offer that "people liked him.  But most of the people who come up here asking about Maura are impolite.  After a while you don't want to talk about it ... it is just like ...."  Her voice trailed off and she looked skyward, her hands making a gesture like the French make when they say 'comme ci comme ca.' I took her meaning: it doesn't matter to the locals anymore and the topic annoys them.  But I thought: the real issue is that you don't want to be interrogated by vain people. She was happy to talk about it to someone who engaged her sincerely first, just to make conversation and be friendly.  I enjoyed chatting with her and would have even if I had not furtively stoked conversation of Maura.
  • I was about to leave when she said, "and then there is Tom Conrad."  So I let the door shut and stayed a while and found about him too.
As our conversation wound down, a large red pick up truck pulled, with three people seated across the front seat.  The driver - a petite, college aged girl as small as the truck was big - jumped out.  She was  dressed like she'd been to a party or bar.  She ran inside, a little flustered but composed herself enough to be polite in the way she urgently asked "can I have a plastic bag!?"  

Running back out with the bag, she handed it off the girl in the middle seat, who - her hand guiding his hand - helped the young man leaning on the passenger side door to throw up out the window and into the bag as the truck roared away.  The store attendant laughed.

I remembered my days in college and those situations and it made me remember how and why Maura is so sad for so many: she at once looked like what we want kids to be and we wanted to be when we were kids, but she was also just a kid in a world that offers so many blind alleys lies and adults willing to compromise a beautiful child with their own ugly needs and wants rather than dealing with their own shit.  And I thought in a kind of stunned way, "my oh my, but for the grace of god ..."  

Maura deserves better than to be left as a New Hampshire folk tale, which - if her truth is never known - is what she will fade to.  Her life is even more beautiful as the flawed and struggling kid she was.  Her truth if known, I bet, would help and inspire many, including perhaps Julie and Kathleen to transcend in transcending their issues, like a gift back to them from their little sister. 

Good thing for that Renner, who I agree is a nice guy and who I admire more and more as the days go by.

Request for info

First, just for the record, I had a great conversation over lunch at Luigi's the other day with blogger John Green and I can tell you he is definitely not Alden Olson.

Second, I'm a good ways into this book, finally, and hope to finish up a draft by the end of the summer, which makes publication in 2014 a real possibility.

I'm currently searching for any documented interview with Fred Murray in which he refuses to talk about Maura's past and the days leading up to her disappearance. Anyone remember where that came from?

Thanks.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Commenting

In an effort to make it easier for quicker discussion, I am changing the way comments can be written/posted on this site.

To comment, you must register (which many have done, already--thank you). Once you register, you can comment on any post and those comments will not be moderated and will post immediately.

Please be respectful.

Do not post libelous statements without documented evidence.

Please contact me directly if you see a comment that should be taken down.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Self-Sabotage and Subconscious Avoidance


Topic Post
June 13, 2013

James and I had an interesting talk today, that got sympathetically into Maura's mental state.  There is a wealth of information out there, but this "Psychology Today" article is a decent read on Self-Sabotage and Subconscious Avoidance.  I found this quote, in particular, interesting:

"[The subconscious] follows its own set of rules. And these rules can be quite as subjective (and idiosyncratic) as they are paradoxical. To the psyche, winning can feel like losing. And success like failure--and, perhaps even more perversely, failure like success. Although it would hardly make sense to an observer, if failing at something enables you to avoid a situation linked to intolerable fearpanic, or shame, then it does - at least immediately - allow you to emerge triumphant. Even as you experience disappointment, you may breathe a welcome sigh of relief."

I see two ways this kind of subconscious and powerful reaction could have been emerging in Maura's life in he days before she disappeared.

  1. Perhaps Maura's ambitions and rigorous pursuit of them were inventions of her father or family generally, but not truly of her heart's self-identity.  She thus began to sabotage herself subconsciously (credit card fraud, drinking, poorer performance at school and running, irresponsible behaviors at West Point, etc.) to escape the pressure of living up to what she felt a strong conscious desire to be, but a stronger subconscious desire to flee.
  2. If standard putative accounts are believed, Maura crashed two cars in two days.  Are we certain that Maura drank and was drunk on Saturday night?  The officer let off a college kid who drove straight into a guard rail drunk?  And then incurred potential liability for the university or county by putting her into a tow truck dead drunk?  Is it a possibility that she was sober and heading to her father's hotel for a practical reason, such as the trip north that happened on Monday having been originally planned for Sunday? One wonders at the dynamics of Saturday night - and in particular the possibility that Maura had the Corolla because Fred had the Saturn.  (There will be more on this on an update to the "Lot 22" post before Monday, including a significant contribution from a journalist who watches the blog and caught an important detail.).  Is it possible that Maura was avoiding something she found intolerable in crashing two cars in two days?  Refusing, in other words, to go through with some plan and thereby "avoid[ing] a situation linked to intolerable fear panic, or shame ... experienc[ing] disappointment, [while at the same time] breath[ing] a welcome sigh of relief?"

What do you think?  Does this resonate for you?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Message from friend?

Still combing through early articles on Maura's disappearance. Came across this weird detail in an Associated Press story by Kate McCann:

Police are also investigating a message on Maura's phone from a friend she talked to the day before she disappeared.

Any idea what message this is referring to?


Sunday, June 9, 2013

"I don't want to get Maura in trouble."

I'm a few chapters into this book, now, and this weekend I went back to the first articles written about Maura's disappearance to get a better sense of what was known at the beginning. I didn't realize this, but it appears the Boston Globe was actually the first news source to report on the friend of Maura's who was not cooperating with police.

The more details are revealed, the more baffling the case becomes, police acknowledge. Yesterday, Thrasher said that Maura had fastidiously packed all her belongings into boxes before she left school, even removing the art from her dorm room walls. Meanwhile, one UMass friend has seemingly withheld information from police, saying she didn't want to get Maura "in trouble."

This strengthens my belief that Kate Markopoulos and/or Sara Alfieri know a bit more about what led Maura into New Hampshire than they have shared publicly. What could be so important that they would rather not share info with police and journalists when their friend is missing?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another Teammate Speaks


Original Post
June 5, 2013

Last week, I spoke with one of Maura's UMASS teammates. I am keeping her name out of the discussion because she is one of many former teammates and it is not necessary to name her specifically. I will refer to her as MN.  Below is a summary of her recollections and insights.
  • Maura was not running well during her one year on the team.
  • Maura was friendly but private and tended to avoid detailed conversation about Billy. MN saw Maura's reticence as a normal personality trait, not an indication of a problem and still feels that way.
  • During winter break 2002-03, the team returned several weeks before spring semester began to practice.  They stayed in a local hotel.  Billy visited Maura for a few days during which they did not socialize much with the team. MN recalls briefly meeting Billy and that "everyone liked him."
  • The team was told about Maura's disappearance on a Saturday, February 14, at a track meet.  
  • MN surmises that Coach LaFreniere learned of Maura's disappearance via the phone call from Fred (see the topic post on her statement to me) on Friday the 13th. The team probably did not practice that Friday, because they would have done only a short, light jog was the day before a competition.  Thus, the coach would have been in her office more that day. Moreover, MN believes the coach would have told the team as soon as possible, in case anyone knew something.
  • MN knew Hossein, saying he was "friendly and liked to joke around."  If they were dating, MN said, "nobody knew about it" and it must have been a closely held secret as "gossip like that would have spread quickly."
  • MN believes Maura quit the team simply due to the rigors of the nursing program.
  • MN feels Kate's failure to remember the names of the people at the party on Saturday night is NOT suspicious.  "These could have been Maura's friends," MN said, noting that particularly when you are drinking it is hard to keep names straight and to avoid embarrassment, you stop asking. 
  • During the spring season, on Maura's birthday, Kate organized a moment of silence for Maura during which her teammates released balloons.
  • MN struggles with Maura and Kate driving Fred back to his hotel (a 15+ mile round trip) when Maura's dorm was not far from the Amherst Brewing Company and Kate and Maura were going to a party within walking distance of Maura's dorm. MN wonders if this suggests that Maura needed the car for a specific reason but the Hadley accident changed her plans.  "Was her room already packed up?" MN asked, again rhetorically.
  • MN thought Maura's room may have been packed up because Maura was moving out and she decided to leave town for a week until she could move into her new place.
  • MN wondered if Maura perhaps felt scared or threatened by something in her dorm.
  • MN thinks "Maura is out there in the woods somewhere and died of exposure." She referenced the possibility of a hit to the head and alcohol consumption disorienting Maura, as well as getting cold if she had started to run and sweat formed in her street clothing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Best Photo from Recent Marathons ***UPDATED***


A while back I suggested it might be worth the time for some readers to check through online photographs of recent marathons. My thought was that it Maura is still alive, she would still be running. A few people sent in some interesting photographs but this is the best possibility so far.

Check out the woman in red.

Now, I'm guessing it's not her. But the resemblance is interesting. It would be great if we could rule this one out. Any help would be appreciated.

Here's the link to the race, Toronto Women's Half Marathon.

***UPDATE***
That was fast. Thanks for the help. The runner has been ID'd and it is not her.

Monday, June 3, 2013

More disturbing details about those emails...

A couple weeks ago, I received a very disturbing email from "clemens21@aol.com," which referred to Maura as a "white trash ho." The email was angrier than most and referenced torture of women. I forwarded the email to police and asked for help from a reader to track it back to the source. The best we were able to do was trace it to Northern New Jersey.

I've since received two more emails from him.

The emails are bizarre. In them he claims his name is Doug Olive. He also references Heart of Darkness and T.S. Eliot's The Waste Lands.

There's also this:

Time to edu-ma-cate all of those sycophants (including the oh so analytically-eloquent Mr. Green Jeans, JD-Harvard, Class of 1996).

I was then contacted by a professional escort from New Jersey who has also been receiving threatening messages from this same aol account. Here are a few snippets:

I was convicted of stalking and terrorizing Michelle Wirth.
U love the taste of Columbian cum lol like that other white trash whore Liz Exline.

Sending these along to the police, too. Does this guy sound familiar to anyone out there??

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Other Cases With Similar Elements


TOPIC POST
May 31, 2013

Although difficult to quantify, experts estimate that 2,300 people per day are reported missing in the U.S. The vast majority of these are not stereotypical stranger abductions and many are resolved quickly.  The following is a good discussion of the demographics of the missing by David Krajicek: tp://www.trutv.com/library/crime/criminal_mind/forensics/americas_missing/2.html

Other cases may spur insights.  If you know a lot about one, I would like to hear your thoughts.


Here are two cases I have looked at closely because they feature elements that could illuminate thinking about Maura's case.

Brooke Wilberger - Most who know of Maura's case know also of Brooke's. They both were abducted in 2004 and their cases were featured together in a 2008 ABC special, made before Brook's case was solved.

Brooke's case illustrates that a body can be effectively hidden in the back woods in cunning ways.  Officials close to the Wilberger case have said that but for the apprehension of her killer via other investigative tracks and his subsequent deal to avoid the death penalty, Brooke may never have been found. In terms of Maura, therefore, it raises consideration of whether - even with the rivers frozen and the ground too hard to dig in New Hampshire in February - a cunning serial killer might effectively have hidden her body.This short article and video provide background on that topic: http://www.kval.com/news/local/62585902.html?tab=video&c=y

Leah Roberts was a 23 year old young lady from Durham, North Carolina. Like Maura, she bolted in her car without telling anyone (we know of) where she was going or why.  Also like Maura, she had recently seen tough emotional times, including the death of both her parents.  Her jeep was found crashed down a highway embankment north of Seattle.  Other than a few reported sightings (including one reported in a mysterious, suddenly terminated call to authorities), she has never been seen again. Like Maura's case, there are intriguing details whose ultimate significance remain unknown.  This case perhaps has or will someday yield insights about Maura's perhaps confused or panicked state of mind after the accident.  This is good discussion of Leah's case: http://foothillsgazette.com/2010/03/25/10-years-later-missing-person-case-remains-open/