A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
I have been researching this case for some time now, and believe that a plausible explanation for Maura's dissapearance could be that she was possibly the victim of a hit-and-run incident? Based on pictures of the area that she crashed her car, it doesn't seem to be the type of road you would expecet to see someone walking on at night, and therefore somebody who was speeding or simply not paying attention could easily miss her? Something to consider maybe
It seems likely that if that were the base, they would have found her body, or some evidence of a hit and run. Those are messy.
This is a great poll because it shows just how widely varied the opinions are regarding what happened to Maura Murray. I voted for she started a life somewhere else but I really do not know.I personally feel bad for her father and family because for all anyone knows she was kidnapped, took a ride, or succumbed to the cold. All of those theories have merit. There is just something about the accident scene that bothers me. When you run the accident through your head, the one thing that does not make sense is that the major damage to the front of the car is on the DRIVERS side. The headlights when they bashed against the snowbank are facing in from the drivers side as if the car impacted hardest into the snowbank from the drivers side of the vehicle. That is the only thing that does not make sense to me if she wsa traveling east to Bartlett, NH. As for what happened to Maura Murray, I do not know.
It's likely that her vehicle crossed the road and impacted the snow on the LEFT side of the road since it was reported that her car was found partially in the road and facing AGAINST traffic.
It doesn't have to be a serial killer, it much more likely was a crime of opportunity. She was killed by someone who maybe had done it before or whose already bad intentions went awry. That is the most likely scenario. So, none of the above.
I feel that this poll is missing a choice or two. It should also have options like "She was abducted/murdered by an opportunist" ("Serial killer" and "someone she knew" aren't the only potential murderers.) and/or "Other - detailed in a comment below," just to cover all bases.
A big part of me thinks she died of exposure. In my mind I think she was hiding from the police and went into the woods to stay out of site and the elements got to her. With as vast as those woods are I'm not surprised they haven't found her body.
I have been following this case for years, but would look her up about once a year to see if she had been found. I came across your web site and it is very interesting. I had a question, maybe you could help. Has the police officer that responded to the accident ever been question, or a suspect. I mean he could of came upon the scene, seen her drunk, have a fetish for young girls, knocked her out, put her in his trunk took her home, did whatever, killed her got rid of her remains.Thanks
or the bus driver who called the police after being the last person to see Maura!
Very interesting to see people's opinions in poll.maybe there should have been the option 'does Fred know more than he is letting on'
I voted for the middle option, because it its closest to what I believe its most likely to be , which is that she was killed by someone she didn't know. I do want to say that I think the term "serial killer" sensationalizes it. AJD
"She was abducted by a serial killer" is rating quite high. Do people really think a serial killer came upon her in a minute amount of time, or are you thinking that she was probably abducted and killed by some random local who saw an opportunity and took it but that category isn't part of the survey? John Avellar
I subscribe to Fred's "dirtbag" theory. Not the dirtbag from the videos, but you know... some dirtbag grabbed her.
I've studied this case for years, have read as much as I could on it, and with each new twist or turn that comes up, I have to admit: I. Still. Have. No. Idea.
I've studied this case for years, and with each new twist and turn, and bit of information added to the picture, I have to admit: I still have no idea what happened to Maura Murray.The one option I just do not buy is the suicide theory. As for the others, it's basically jump ball. They're all equally improbable to me, and yet one of them is most likely true.
1. She was in trouble. She had a car accident, credit card theft, school issues, and boyfriend problems, among others.2. Her father came to visit her the weekend before she disappeared and he had a serious amount of cash with him. 3. She packed up her room and called a few places to see if they had availability for lodging.4. She emailed people to say she had a "death in the family".5. She cleaned out her savings account, bought liquor and hit the road.6. She crashed her car and disappeared.7. Fred is not reachable until 24 hours later when he gets the news that her car was crashed and abandoned (very suspicious).It's so ironic that these facts can be argued so many different ways. Once oculd say that she planned to commit suicide because her troubled life was catching up to her and she need an out. However, it doesn't explain her dad's appearance the weekend before the accident with the large amount of cash. It is implausible that he would simply carry that much cash with him to go shopping for a car that they had not yet decided on. Next, it defies probability that a serial killer happened upon her at that very moment. Yes, there have been cases of random abductions,etc. But they are extremely rare and they do not happen in a span of 10 minutes. The killer takes more time to stalk the victim before making his move. We would be hard-pressed to argue that someone at that precise moment would snatch Maura Murray from the accident scene. It is, of course, plausible that Maura grabbed a ride from a stranger that offered her help, but I don't think that's possible, since Butch the bus driver stopped to offer her help as well. It is unlikely that she would then get into the next car that might stop and offer her a ride. As for dying in the elements, again, it is a possibility that she ducked into a building that hasn't been used for all of these years. Is that possible? Look at the Brandon Swanson case in Minnesota. Clearly, we know Maura was planning to leave for at least the week. Was someone with her? That is the most probable solution, since she has not yet been found. Is she alive and well? I question whether she is, given the documents that James posted on the blog. Aren't the police considering Maura a victim of homicide? Why? I voted for murdered by someone she knew. I subscribe to the notion that she was riding in tandem with someone, and then that person murdered her. See the Patti Adkins case from Missouri. Patti was riding in the back of her coworker's truck (they believe) and she was never heard from again. Was the phone call to tell her she was pregnant? That is a great motive for murder if the father is not in a position to be a father. These are my rambling thoughts. Enjoy!
Patti Adkins was from Ohio.
Forgive me if this has been covered. If it has, I welcome info about where I can read about it. Please bear with me. :)Do we know definitively that the woman with whom Butch spoke was Maura?There's been speculation that she may have been traveling in tandem with someone who harmed her.Assuming for a moment that's true...1) Is it possible that person harmed her earlier in their journey, then drove Maura's car further up the road and crashed it, only to be picked up by someone else who'd been along for the ride?2) If that person was a woman whose physical description was similar to Maura's, is it possible that, in the dark, she could have passed for Maura with people who didn't know her?3) If that person had been in Maura's car, could she have had enough of Maura's scent on her that the search dog would have alerted on it? If so, and that person was picked up by someone else, could that explain the dog losing the scent and there being no other signs of Maura having been in that area?That may all be a load of junk, but I wanted to get it off my chest. I moved to the area shortly after the Disappeared episode originally aired and caught a rerun of it soon thereafter. I think that, along with my interest in true crime, is what has me hooked on this case.If it's not a load of junk, all the searching may have been in an area where Maura had never even been. That's not a nice thought.
Interesting we are thinking along the same lines.we can't be sure it was maura that the bus driver spoke to.that would explain why she didnt want help.
Although the idea may seem inprobable, the fact is that all types of strange coincidences, can and do take place. So the fact that she met someone who killed her shortly after the accident is possible. However tonight I was telling my husband the whole story of her dissapearance and after asking me a few questions he said: It sounds like she was a very smart young woman and the whole thing was staged in order to start a new life" It completely surprised me because that is one theory I have never believed.When I said she was very close to her father so why would she want to cause him so much pain he said: perhaps revenge for something...
Iv often wondered what if it wasn't maura driving her car?what if bus driver thought it was her?a young girl with long dark hair same build.what of its all been an elaborate set up?what if something happened to maura before the final accident?
I'm surprised to see how many people voted that she started a new life elsewhere. I find this highly unlikely, because it appears she was very close to her family and friends and I really don't think it could be kept secret. Her dad certainly wouldn't be spending money on lawyers. I also think it's highly unlikely a serial killer abducted her for the reasons pointed out above. I believe, she most likely died from exposure. She is definitely NOT the all american girl that her father makes her out to be. I don't see her drinking or drinking and driving as being too significant. She's 21, in college, and that behavior is probably more closer to the norm than not. I do see the credit card fraud as being significant. That is not typical. So, Maura, definitely had some skeletons in her closet. If Maura, had been drinking when she got into the accident it would be reasonable that she'd want to get away because she was still on probation for the credit card fraud, and I'd think a dwi would likely get her expelled from the nursing program. Also, if she was intoxicated that would make her more susceptible to hypothermia, and once that sets in actions aren't always logical. They can actually be quite illogical.In regards to the tracking dog losing her scent that may or may not be significant. There are two types of tracking dogs. Those that track by air scent and those that track by ground scent. An air scent is easier lost than a ground scent.I wish Kate, would be more forthright with what she knows. I find it very hard to believe that she remembers nothing from that weekend or what Maura's state of mind might of been.In regards to Fred, I suspect people would be disappointed with what he knows. The fact he hasn't given interviews, and appears to be controlling leads me to believe he wants to protect Maura and the family image. I do wonder if the real reason for his visit that weekend was to discuss Maura's priorities with school/life. It does seem if he was there car shopping someone would've come forward and verified that.I belong to another website where the topic was listening to police scanners, and someone posted this. "My parents have a scanner radio, and they were listening when the calls went out over Maura Murray disappearing (>5 miles away from their house). And no, I don't have any particular insight on what could have happened to her, either; one of my best friends thinks that someone must have picked her up, but whether it was someone she planned to meet or someone she didn't, nobody knows. The road in question is moderately busy, but it's mostly local traffic, and it's not right off the interstate or anything, and it was snowing VERY hard that day, so even hardcore North Country residents wouldn't have been inclined to be out if they didn't have to be. If she'd just wandered off and froze to death or drowned in the river, they most likely would have found either her body or at least some pretty good evidence she was there, but so far, nothing."Sorry for rambling.
Every corner of her life was an emotional mess school, relationships, credit card fraud, bulimia, trouble with alcohol, car accidents, emotional problems. Packing up and returning things that didn't belong to her is text book suicide like actions. That is what I think happened.
Very few people seem to think this is the case, but her father had been rough on her for years (screaming at her), and then she wrecks his new car. Her fear of him seems obvious. Some things point away from suicide, like the school books and homework and jogging clothes in her car. But one thing really hit me hard ... the fact that the car was found with a RAG stuffed into the exhaust pipe. I can just see her right after crashing her car and possibly drunk, feeling suicidal and putting that rag into the pipe (thinking that it would fill the car with carbon monoxide), then sitting in the car crying and considering starting the engine (was this about the time that "crying" message was put onto her boyfriend's cellphone?), and then deciding not to do it. Of course, the car would hardly have started with that rag in there, and if it did, it would have died very quickly. But it is something to consider. I think she was VERY depressed and bordering on suicidal, at least.
I think James's final theory is going to be that the "Londonderry Ping" was Fred calling Maura on his way to a meet up point with her somewhere between White River Junction, VT and Wells River, VT. I'm very curious as to whether James has any evidence that Fred had ever been to the motel in Wells River before 2/9/04. Anyhow, I think he will write that she got in Fred's car and he whisked her to the new life. It's a much tidier explanation for getting in someone else's car than some mystery boyfriend. It would also perfectly explain Fred's odd behavior and a staged accident in New Hampshire to cover up any Vasi connection, although I believe James poo-poohed that.What also is interesting and would fit right in is the fact that when Beagle was making those videos about a year ago, no legal action was taken. If not criminal charges, I would think the Murrays could at least sue for intentional infliction of emotional distress. But if they know she's A-OK in Canada, Ireland or wherever, then there's not much of a case, just cover to be blown.
I picked "murdered by someone she knew" because the "new life elsewhere" theory strikes me as improbable. Maura had no previous experience in that regard. Her social security number has never been used to get a job anywhere. Her fingerprints haven't appeared anywhere. It seems to me that a routine background check for a job would have found her if she was alive. If she is alive, someone must be supporting her and she doesn't have a credit card or driver's license, doesn't own or rent anything, and has a different appearance. This strikes me as farfetched.
“It does not matter why she left or if she told anybody about it,” said Fred Murray. “She had an accident and this presented her with a completely different set of circumstances, any other plans went out the window. I believe that my daughter would be home safe and sound right now if the police had not ignored the case until it was way too late. They would have known where she was heading if they had bothered to check the last phone call she made three hours before she left Amherst. I told the police where she was going two days after the accident but they didn’t check that either. The police failed to follow their own procedures and are now striving to prevent this from coming to light. Maura probably did get a ride with one or more of the area’s multitudinous sex offenders who law enforcement can’t catch because they waited too long to get started.”Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2006/03/35310/#Uq2fejg6wFP1I1YV.99
However odd some of Fred's statements and actions, if what is said there is all true, it is compelling.~ John Green
Quoted from Fred Murray: "They would have known where she was heading if they had bothered to check the last phone call she made three hours before she left Amherst. I told the police where she was going two days after the accident but they didn’t check that either."So wait... her father knew where she was going? Has this destination ever been made public? And 'the last phone call'? Wasn't that to her boyfriend? (I'm muddling details up a bit.)
It seems clear enough that she intended to return, but there are still a lot of questions:Why didn't she tell anyone where she was going in a vehicle with mechanical problems?Why did she take such a large quantity of liquor? Did she normally drink a lot?Was she actually upset or feeling guilty about something, and if so, why?
I think she fled into the woods because she was drinking and succumbed to the elements. This is the only logical explanation. How we will find her bones is another question?
I agree on only logical explanation. At same time at that logic I believe a body would have been discovered.
An an ex-detective, I find the initial accident in her father's car to be a catalyst. I wonder if she was not the driver on the night her dad's car was wrecked. If it was someone else, and who possibly held some power over her, that was black mailing her then it would explain the last conversation was that she needed to get triplicate copies of the accident lodged with the police... this never happened. I wonder what investigation has been done in regards to that weekend. Who was she with, was there anyone else who could have been operating her father's car at the time of the first accident. If so, what power did they wield that may cause her to want to get away for a while?I wonder if this young woman may have met someone who was out of her depth (older in age and experience). Was this situation a catalyst? Or did the same person end up in the car with her on this final journey? Police don't seem to think so.It's a shame the dog handler was only ever given a new glove to trace her scent. If only the police had a more personal piece from her.At the same time, I feel the police obviously have SOME evidence that definitely has some substance, otherwise they would not have been given the court injunction they were given. I hope that soon the police will receive the missing piece to the evidence they have that will catch the person who has done this. I feel this poor girl has met a terrible demise, that has nothing to do with going hiking. I feel that original accident holds some information, and that the police have enough evidence to hopefully someday, someone will be charged with a horrible crime. I am deeply sorry for her family, and hope sometime soon they will be able bring that person to justice.
Her jogging shoes were in the locked car at the accident scene. What else could provide a better scent than that? Somebody screwed up.
Wrong place at wrong time just my opinion. She was prolly a little buzzed when accident happened maybe not drunk but buzzed. Fearing and most likely knowing the passer by was going call the cops due to there concern she was prolly scared. Jumping at the opportunity to semi escape trouble for now she got into a car which lead her to her fate. She wasn't running wasn't trying disappear she was just taking time off from life that seems obvious. Being young buzzed and scared which lead her to maybe make a choice she would of otherwise made seems to me is what happened.
She obviously had no problem drinking and driving which is bad. She seems to have had a lot of problems and demons. She also seemed like a nice person so I wonder if she was moving into Schizophrenia and drinking to shut out the confusion\voices, many self medicate. With 2 out of 100 people suffering from Schizophrenia this could be a reason she'd drink and drive and have accidents.She was at the age where it hits females and with any added pressures a major episode can develop.I think it is very possible she did hit the man who ended up in a coma and started this really bad downward spiral. Fear then made her distracted and needing to escape. Her car was damaged from the hit and run so she drove her dads and wrecked that too. But when she made her escape... she continued to drink and drive because of the Schizophrenia. After the last accident during her running away, I think her fear of police was paranoia made even worse by her extreme fear. But what happened? It was 18 degrees outside, anyone NOT having a mental episode would have gone into the nearest house once her cell phone would not work to call Triple A. Why didn't any locals put on a coat and come out to her????Did the homeowner right there who called see the bus outside?She had NO option but to stay with her car, wait for help, or go into a house, nothing else makes sense unless she was severely paranoid. Since no footprints were found into the woods...(if they looked hard enough) then she probably was picked up by someone very nearby. I tend to think it is the house right there at the accident or the bus driver. If it was the guy who said he saw her cross the road miles away... then he expects people to look there and she will be found there, 4 miles away.Either way she will be found sooner or later and it will still be unclear if she wondered there and died or if she was placed there.OR best case scenerio.... she is in a witness protection program.