A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
LOVE the title!
Great title, how ironic that their was a band in the 80s named Missing Persons with a song called destination unknown!
Good title, James. A strong candidate.
Good title.This is my last visit to the site. It was nice exchanging ideas with everyone.
As cheesy as this may sound.. if you never get appreciated or even thanked by anyone in Maura's family for your:time, effort, energy, resources, and money that you have spent researching, interviewing, tracking down, calling, traveling.. to find out as much about this case as possible..then as person who never knew Maura.. i wanted to say that I appreciate all your work. This has been unsolved for 9 years now, and still no answers. Kudos to you for having taken up this frustrating, and overwhelming task. I really am looking forward to your book!!! p.s. The title is very fitting!
Looking forward to it! Are you still aiming for a Feb 2014 release?
After watching the "Disappeared" episode this past weekend on this case (my introduction to it), I found this site and spent a good chunk of time this morning reading through all the posts. Wowsa. The phone call that shook her up and caused her to be sent home from work surprised the heck out of me, as it was not mentioned at all (that I recall) on the "Disappeared" program. Maybe I missed it, but what has been turned up regarding that conversation (unclear: was it with her sister? Or about her?). Looking forward to more posts... and to the book itself.I like the title, by the way... a lot. (Song title by Missing Persons... intentional? :) )
Unless Maura fell asleep in the woods from the alcohol and died from exposure, the only other answer is that she was planning a new life. She seems to be very smart. I don't think she was picked up by someone that killed her. But she would need a lot of money to start a new life in Canada. Maybe this is the reason the Murray family is not talking. What about the money trail? Has this been investigated $4,000 doesn't go too far?
I like the title James and I want to thank you for feeding my questioning soul......I live in NH and have family that owns a farm on rt 10 literally about a mile from the "accident scene" on 112. I frequently think about this case..every few days, even nine years later. I think people are tired of hearing me try to make sense of it all out loud..I'm a sucker for the belief that someone saw something or knows more than they are saying and you have opened up the portal of how much more information is out there if you are just willing to dig. If you are ever in the area and need a partner in solving crime I gladly volunteer...and I hope we all get the answers we are waiting on. As a woman in her mid twenties from the area I like to think there will someday be some answers. Thanks again for continuing to investigate and I look forward to reading the book!
Elizabeth, do you have the impression that Maura's case is well known in the accident area? I once talked to someone from the general area-or so he said-who had never heard of the case? Thanks for considering this question.John Avellar
It is still well known to the area and most of the surrounding towns.
I also know that area well and visit at least once a year. I have never heard any local mention or talk about it or seen any reference to it in the media, on posters, etc. (To be fair, I only found out about the case within the last year, so I wasn't looking out for anything about it earlier than that.)And, although I'm sure many locals have *heard* of MM's disappearance, I know a number who have not. Furthermore, it doesn't seem to be on anyone's mind, at least not anymore.
The really sad thing about Maura Murray's case is that it could be just what it appears to be. It is the beginning of the semester and she thinks it is a good time to miss some school so she buys some alcohol, travels to her favorite place, maybe to visit some of the places in the Not Without Peril book, then on to the mountains of Vermont. Along the way she has this accident and for all the theories I have or anyone else, there is no other person with her, no getting lost and dying in the forest, no runaway, and no suicide. Just a girl who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I saw the conversation tonight on the FB Maura Missing group tonight, didn't want some of them seeing my name but wanted to say that I am looking forward to your book. I've thought it was strange how her family doesn't welcome more attempts to garner attention to Maura being missing, but tonight I thought it was even stranger how evasive the moderator and people claiming to be close to them were and the denial that events leading up to her disappearance could have anything to do with it. You definitely hit a chord tonight on there, which makes me think that they know you are on to something. Great name for your book and once again, can't wait to read it, and I hope she is found (or if she did leave on her own accord, at least settle the mystery).
Thank you. What a crazy mess that was. I should have known better than to comment on there. You can't argue with people who refute reality.
Citigirl on Topix who presents herself as a family member has also shown strange behavior to those that have tried to keep the conversation to Maura while embracing those that try and deflect the conversation. Very strange indeed . I believe the family knows more than they are saying, I voted that Maura started a new life.
The most disgusting part is that they would be scarred in the very depths of their very being if they were to learn that Maura were alive and well. No fact can intrude on their cult-like devotion to her death at the hands of a murderer. Macabre and sinister are they.John Avellar
Re: Citigirl...Wasn't she the one with some sort of connection to the mysterious letter about Maura's new life in Quebec? (and faking the car crash to destroy evidence of the Vasi hit-and-run, etc.) I have always suspected that that letter is credible, if only because the letter writer might have been more persistent (i.e., trying to plant more "evidence" and/or assure people the letter was real) if it were a fake.
James, could Hossein Baghdadi be the tandem driver? Wasn't he the only person to say that she actually talked about disappearing?
I have been obsessed with this case since I saw it on Discovery ID several months ago. Honestly, reading your blog has been so amazing compared to that program. I almost feel like that program has cheated people out of a lot of very vital information about this case (like the credit card fraud, the real reason she left West Point, etc). I got to thinking the other day about why LE has not released footage or stills of Maura at the ATM. I read in some interview documents that the school bus driver claimed that she did not look like the posters and pictures that were being distributed after her disappearance. And lastly, I saw the police (Be On The Lookout For) Documents that had her description very different and was later corrected. Does anyone else think that maybe she had changed her appearance before she left? I strongly believe that she walked away willingly to start a new life somewhere. Changing your appearance is a good start to keep people from finding you...
Thank you for this interesting comment.One explanation for why LE has not released the ATM photos of Maura is that there could be a telling detail about her appearance that night that they'd like to keep a secret, if only to see which supposed witnesses of Maura that night are credible. I'd love to see your source for those SBD interviews in which he says the driver of the car did not look like Maura. Also, could you point to a source showing that the description of Maura in the Be on the Lookout For documents was in fact changed? What was the description originally, and what was it changed to?If no one is able to corroborate this, I'll have to discredit it, however fascinating.
If Maura had a penchant for petty crime, just judging from her past, could she keep herself clean in a new life?
I have been following this case since right after Maura disappeared. I have to say I really appreciate the information on your blog, LOVE the title and can't wait to get the book. I think someone was following Maura (the red truck most likely) and she planned to leave the car somewhere and disappear. The car crash made her change plans and disappear a bit too soon, but, I think she went willingly with a friend and is living a life somewhere. I think Fred knows why she left and tries to keep this a missing/criminal case to get LE to do his looking for him. So much about him... anyway, I can't wait to read your book James! Hurry, please?
When is the release date, again? Thanks!
so with all ur info what do u really think happened????
about the red truck...first, someone said that "Be On The Lookout For) Documents that had her description very different and was later corrected" so that could mean that she changed her appearance.later, if i remember well, a women said she saw a red truck and seemed the driver was looking for someone. if the driver was her friend and thought that that women was maura, then it would be easy to realize that maura change her appearance...because, if that women had short blond hair...that would be a sign that maura changed her appearance.
I am glad there is a book being written about Maura Murray's case. I can understand how the case would be interesting to a writer like Mr. Renner. Really, how many times have you heard of a disappearance where the person possibly crashes the car in order to disappear? I have never heard of it before this case. I think a book written about Maura Murray's case is a good idea because it will provide a new perspective as to what might or might not have happened to her. I am glad Mr. Renner looked into the case. My mind like most of the pollsters wants to believe she started a life elsewhere. I even came up with an idea for why she chose that curve up in New Hampshire. There was this great movie that came out in September 2003 called Matchstick Men. The main character played by Nicholas Cage is an antiques broker. Because of where Maura crashed her car I wondered whether she has ever seen that movie. The case at this point does not have a conclusion but after looking at the poll results there is a great irony that I cannot get over. Maybe someone knows what it is.
I love how you all ignore all the smoke that has come with this case in the years after MMs disappearance. A woman coming forward saying her ex husband murdered MM and threw her in the Connecticut River, the dogs going crazy in a house that should not have any scent of MM unless she was there, and a man posting videos on the anniversary saying he had knowledge of her disappearance etc... Its a great dream that MM is somewhere alive and living off the grid and allows her family to spend money, time and resources looking for her but its not true. There is now way in this world with some many people looking for her that she would not be found. Heck if Bin Laden was eventually tracked down in less time than MM has been missing. The simple fact is MM is dead and was likely the victim of mentally disturbed sexual deviant. I am sadden to now believe that Jame's book is going to promote this idea that she is still alive. I will not buy it or read it if that is the case. If the NH DA's office has said that they believe that have evidance that will eventually lead to an arrest in this case. Give it time, something will break and you guys will realize that life is just sad and filled with unfortunate situations.
Wow, you seem to take all this pretty personally. Also, you seem pretty sure you know what's going on. You also seem to mention the "ex husband" bit a lot on this blog. Kind of makes me think (hope?) you're one of the ones from Camp Maura who is trying to protect her in her new life.
Hi. Don't mean to be critical, but I think you are way off base here. There are a lot of scenarios in which Maura may not be found, similar to many people who have been abducted or gone missing in the deep woods who all had LOTS of people looking for them. Empirically, your statement that with so many people looking for her she would have been found is wrong. Take Natalie Holloway. Take Judge Crater, who had WAY more people looking for him than Maura. Same with Jimmy Hoffa. Or Valerie Sifsof, who disappeared recently in the backwoods of Alaska. You are just wrong on that count. As for Bin Laden, he was a high profile leader of an international organization that a massive, billion dollar set of military programs spent more than a decade looking for, and who was alive and who - by the nature of his leadership - had communications in code flying around to, from and about him. Bad comparison. You are mistaken also about the dogs in the A frame house. They were cadaver dogs, not tracking dogs. Tracking dogs follow a specific person's scent, if they can find it. Cadaver dogs identify the odors associated with a dead body, but not a particular person. Each is trained from puppy hood in their specialty. This difference in training has to do with the odor profile of a decomposing or decomposed body, but I will spare you the details. Suffice the matter to say that you are mistaken on this count too. Moreover, there are accepted explanations lurking for what the cadaver dogs picked up on, but again, I will spare you the details. Do some research. Finally, you take three unrelated points and assail one of several scenarios that the author has discussed on this blog. But your points are basically mutually exclusive unless the guy whose ex wife said he killed her did so in the a frame house then dumped in the Connecticut River, which - by the way - is one of the least secure places to put a dead body (a river that is) because river's give up bodies A LOT easier than dense backwoods forests do, an empirical fact you could verify by looking over past cases and how many missing people thought to be in water were found compared to those not though to be in water. Even weighted bodies dumped in the ocean have a way of coming back, like Stacy Peterson's.I don't discount your final opinion ... Maura may well have simply been murdered. But the kind of denigrating tone toward Renner's work - based on hashing out a few ideas in your head, some of which are incorrect and which in any case as a whole do not present a cohesive alternative - seems a little unfair and counterproductive. Just my two cents.~ John Green
James, I love the title, but the sub-title or tag-line should be the Header of this blog. So the title would be:Destination UnknownMy Search for Maura Murray
I posted on 1/31/13 at 11:21pm. I wanted to finish the post. Maura Murray has not been found. All indications are that she either left the car and succombed to the cold, was kidnapped, or took a ride. The presumption even though this is a missing persons case is that she is dead. The great irony about the poll about Maura Murray is that in death she might have fooled more people than if she was alive.
James, I love your title too, but I still say that your first title had the charm of referring to the mysteriously coincidental book left on the seat. I think that concept was good. In that context, "Not Without Clues," still gets my vote.~ John Green
I have several questions to ask. First, what did Maura's letter to Billy say? How did she find out Billy was cheating? Finally, if we believe the letter from the cousins is true, why are we still looking for answers?
Maura was to graduate her nursing program in June and she had a nursing job lined up to be near Billy so in four months (after February disappearance) she was moving. Since she was moving in four months anyway I wonder if she packed up stuff she didn't use on a regular basis and that maybe the packed up stuff didn't really indicate any intention of her dropping out of school at all. Has the contents of those belongings ever been made public?