Saturday, February 9, 2013

Maura in the news.


Click the image to read some old news stories about Maura Murray's experience running cross country in Hanson, Mass.

I thought it was interesting to read a quote from Maura following a cold and wet run in late October:

"I actually like running in weather conditions like this. I think I can run better than in other conditions."


26 comments:

  1. Hey James,

    Interesting stuff. Thanks again for sharing the products of your leg work.

    I was a distance at Boston U. I know a lot about running in adverse conditions and have raced cross country courses all over New England, including Dartmouth College. I also hiked a lot up there and have trained in rural NH in the winter. In that context, a few points re the possible significance of her athleticism.

    (1) Maura's internet available times indicate that she was a very good HS runner but around average in college. Often, HS kids get glowing local accolades but in college are a smaller fish in a vastly bigger sea, including fish from other countries, particularly in NE where there are many good programs in a condensed area. Many get discouraged and quit, having loved the accolades more than the sport itself.

    (2) Having trained in rural NE in the winter, having trained a lot at night in the winter and being familiar with 112, I can tell you that logging a distance down 112 at night would not be an inviting prospect. Short site lines, narrow or nonexistent shoulders, a sense of isolation all change, and utter darkness change things a lot for a distance runner, even for someone who because of their fleetness and fitness is very confident. It would have been a very uncomfortable thing to do. Even for a fit athlete, it suggests desperation, panic or a lot of planning.

    (3) Even as an average female collegiate runner, Maura could have easily outrun most men, even a fit man. An average female collegiate miler run a 5:10 mile. Most adult men could not do that. She could also have busted into a sprint of about 35 seconds over 200 meters (half way around an outdoor track), which most adult men could not do. She also could have much more quickly summoned her top speed. Her fitness and leg strength also would have made it very hard to get a hold of her before she could get far enough (maybe 30 yards?) into an escape sprint where her athleticism overcame male muscle mass advantages.

    (4) That she was an XC runner may have afforded a trail running opportunity, which might have been less harrowing than 112 in some ways. Suppose, for instance, that she had a hiking headlamp or light with her- just given who she was - and was headed someplace local where she knew her way around. Within 1.3 miles east on 112 she is in the National Forest. Among other options: the north Cobble Hill Trail (4 miles west), the trailhead of which you can see on Google maps. There are also a couple ways she could worked her way southward to the area around Mount Moosilauke, which is popular among college students in part for its various hostels. There is one hostel about 10 miles from the accident scene on Long Pond Rd, which is unpaved I think. There is a another at the base of Moosilauke that is owned by Dartmouth.

    (5) If you watch a slo mo vid of a fit runner, the percentage of time that their feet are actually in contact with the ground is surprisingly low. As such, given that the gloves had not much been worn by Maura, at the point where she broke into a sprint, it may be that after two days too little of her scent was left and the dogs lost it. Imagine, for one instance, that she saw the police arrive and backed away west on 112. As they started shining their lights around looking for her, she took off.

    Not arguing for any scenario. I don't know what happened. I just wanted to contribute what I know.

    John Green

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    1. That was very interesting. Thank you. But wasn't the road icy? I think that would make sprinting almost impossible.

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    2. Hey Marie. Well, according to that weather report James posted, it had warmed up in the night and I imagine the road was treated during the winter. But you could be right and it is a good point. Certainly, though, college distance runners in New England are about as good as anyone in running on icy roadways.

      John

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    3. THERE IS NO HOSTEL ON LONG POND RD

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    4. I can see by your use of all caps that this is a big day for you, so I will try to accommodate you as much as I can.

      You are correct. You have to make a right at the end of Long Pond Road onto to High Street and go about 800 feet to the "Hikers Welcome Hostel" in Glencliffe, at the intersection of 25A and High Street.

      Nice job calling me out that and making a great contribution to the discussion.

      ~ John Green

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    5. The hostel is 100 feet from the end of Long Pond Rd, at the corner of High Street and Route 25. Forgive my error. The salience of my point remains.

      ~ John Green

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  2. Always wondered if she had a flashlight packed in her emergency car kit, and if so it would be something she could have used to make a run with... Wife and I would use flashlights when we ran at night...
    Oldsteve

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  3. What about the possibility that she was drinking? I've also read some comments stating that she was injured at the time.

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  4. Whatever happened to Maura Murray, I think you have to entertain the possibility she froze to death out there. I think statistically it is the most likely scenario. There was a Disappeared episode called Missing in the Mountains about a park ranger with 28 years experience. He had problems in his life such as a pending divorce and when he disappeared it certainly seemed like, given his experience that it had to be of his own will. About five years later a book with part of his leg bone was found in part of a river stream by hikers. Ironically a search dog fell through the ice near where his body was eventually found. It is thought the same thing happened to him and he drowned. A book was written about the episode called "The Lost Season".

    There are so many different ideas you can come up with about Maura Murray's case. Something that has always bothered me is the the darkness surrounding her case.

    Let's examine the school bus driver for a second. He comes upon the scene when it is dark and Maura is sitting in her car. His story to police is that Maura told him she tried to call AAA. Either he is a very good storyteller or most likely he is telling the truth. Since he never entered the car how would he know Maura even has a AAA card?

    Then there is Maura Murray herself. She has the common sense to quickly dump out her alcohol into the snow. Then supposedly she takes a ride. I was always puzzled by something:

    If a person has been drinking, it is night, and they are so worried about police, wouldn't they be worried that any lights they see coming towards them might be a police car? Mr. Murray said it best, "It is so dark out here you cannot see your hand in front of your face."

    How does she know the car coming towards her is NOT a police car?

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    1. I am replying to my own comment. The Disappeared episode I reference was actually called Radio Silence, not Missing in the Mountains. Sorry for the mix up.

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  5. Why is it interesting that she thinks she ran better in damp, cold conditions? The last post said the night she went missing it was unseasonably warm. Must be that you like to contradict yourself so anything you say at any point you can say "That's what I am saying."

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    1. Just a friendly FYI ... that far north in NH, when it is unseasonably warm, it could still be considered cold and damp. The weather data posted makes this a pretty easy point to understand, so perhaps the issue is that you did not look at it. Let me help you learn to help yourself. The data says that at 10 pm it was 33.8 degrees. According to the post, the temperatures had been warming throughout the day, which agrees with the 24 hour minimum provided in the data, of 14.8 degrees and a 24 hour max of 26. Clearly, just as th post says, it had been cold in the morning, warmed throughout the day to an ambient temperature at which snow melts (36 degrees), then began to cool again in the evening, falling to 33.8 degrees by 10 pm. In other words: cold, damp and unseasonably warm. And in any case, if you read the article in which Maura was quoted, she was saying that she ran better in adverse conditions, i.e. on a "slow track" in cross country, which route 112 on that day, along with the trails off of it, would certainly qualify as. So, basically, if you actually had read the information you are touting as supporting this alleged contradiction - and thought about it - you would have realized that there is not even a whiff of contradiction there.

      So ... chill. At least wait for a better opportunity to be critical, and at least read the information you use to support your arguments.

      John Green

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    2. Yes being the runner he is I am sure that he was putting that much thought into it when he wrote the conditions...I'm aware of what the weather is like up here, and compared to the type of weather Maura was used to running in, I'm sure that unseasonably warm wasn't really adverse unless she was running in the snow.

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    3. I don't know if that was a response to what I wrote, because it is hard to follow. Again, the data and the article make perfect sense in relation to James' reason for posting it and his comment, which the poster I replied to (who is apparently you) assailed. You seem to be fishing without a hook or bait, or a body of water under you.

      ~ John Green

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  6. I think Creeper's problems are more real then we know already:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/23/health/l-singling-out-cybersex-397601.html

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    1. LOL! I don't often participate on these boards, but whoever he is, that letter is awesome!

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    2. Oh good god. THe massive doses of neoepinepherin released into the brain by sexual compulsion and cocaine are similar and very different from the levels released by golf. What a sorry, terrible thing that poor man goes though. It is a shame, for he once wrote so incredibly eloquently and insightfully on his blog about homelessness and the difficulties of his life and simply the way things are in the world around him. But clearly his obsessions as they have converged around Maura have overtaken him and he has emotionally and spiritually succumbed to them. There are solutions and help for the kind of problems he has. It is a shame that he either cannot or will not seek them out.

      ~ John Green

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  7. Excellent points John Green.

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    1. thanks ... anonymous. ~ John

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  8. If Maura did succumb to the weather arent the chances more likely that her body woul have been found?

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  9. To Anonymous 2/14/13 @ 6:51 pm: I used to think the same thing until I saw the Disappeared episode called Radio Silence and looked up the book called The Last Season by Eric Blumn. If a park ranger who rescued people for 28 years can slip, fall, and go missing then it certainly makes sense that a drunk 21 year old might be able to.

    I hope the book written about Maura will be as informative as to her life and what might have happened to her. After 9 years, if her body is out there it is most likely scattered bones that might never be found.

    I think there is one thing that so many people are forgetting about Maura's case. Whatever it was that she was traveling to do, she was very concerned about keeping it a secret. While that does not mean that she did not take a ride, it ponders the question
    why she would right away accept a ride. All that planning and secrecy would be down the drain by involving another person whether or not they intended to harm her, a fate she would not know until she is in the other vehicle.

    The other vehicle is a mystery too. There is a major flaw in the Disappeared episode about Maura's case. In it, they re-enact Maura accepting a ride, but they do it with a car that is travelling towards her. Why is this significant?

    I think that when a person hitches a ride they hitch a ride in the direction they are walking towards.

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  10. I just viewed the video of Maura's ride up to the location of the accident. Could someone please tell me why the heck she was on this remote road at night?? I can't imagine ANYONE setting off walking or running away from the accident in this terrifying environment! Nothing makes sense. Come on, she wasn't that brave. The most sensible thing she could have done was go to one of the nearby houses. This brings up the bus driver again. BUT what was she doing on this road to begin with??

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  11. I think everybody is missing something here. Everybody has speculated about the hit and run on campus days before Maura's disappearance and all the other typical theories surrounding her seemingly rash decision to leave town that weekend. What has peaked my interest the most, and is overlooked in my opinion, is the crash she had in her Dad's car the night before she left. Not that this made her totally distraught in my mind, but maybe what happened shortly after could have. Clearly she was drinking that night, a lot. Why wasn't she cited? I'm sure Maura would have done just about anything to avoid a DUI considering her legal troubles at the time. The responding officer arrived on the scene at 3:30am, what time was it when she made it back to her Dad's hotel? I think this event specifically needs looked at more closely.

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  12. Please forgive me if this has been brought up before but my initial take on this after looking over some of the information and watching the "Disappeared" show is that Maura clearly wanted to get away. No secret there- she purchased alcohol and withdrew all her available ready cash with the intent of going far away and escaping her problems if only for a little while. What interests me is that her cell phone was easily traced to her boyfriend (who in my opinion has nothing to do with what happened to her). I think she was well aware that since her records on the phone would be visible to her boyfriend she was very careful to limit what her intentions were. So it strikes me as possible that she had plans with someone else to meet up at a remote location, drink, and spend time with this person. Again- I'm sure this isn't breaking news to anyone and I'm sure this has been posited numerous other places so I apologize if I am being repetitive/obvious. Here is my takeaway:

    * She made plans with someone she knew to meet in NH. This person was either following her or she was following him (her) and the accident happened.

    * If she was following someone they may not have noticed right away and then possibly circled around to find her talking to the bus driver. Since this was a clandestine meeting the person may have just driven by, circled around when there was no one else around and picked her up.

    * If someone was following her then a similar thing may have happened and they panicked and didn't immediately stop. Again- circled around later when she was alone.

    * Or, it is possible to assume that someone she did not know offered her a ride.

    Since I'm quite sure everyone that was close to her from her past has been interviewed I would look at people that were close (or maybe even not so close) to the people that were close to her. Friends of her friends, brothers of her friends, classmates at West Point- anyone that expressed even a casual interest in her. At Maura's age and the high social level she operated on I'm sure there were *plenty* of people that were interested in her. She's an attractive, smart and out-going girl. And *everyone* has secrets. It's folly to think you truly know someone. Here are things I don't put much stock in:

    * The convenience store clerk and the mouthed "help me". This doesn't add up. If she were aware and conscious of any danger she could have easily taken any measure to make a scene and help herself.

    * The father. Leave this poor man alone. He may not be perfect but either are you.

    * Serial killer. There is an off-chance of this but factored in with everything else it just seems too unlikely. Whatever happened that night, Maura wanted to hide her actions.

    I think Maura was following or being followed by someone she knew and that this person was someone she did not want people to necessarily know she knew. What happened after that is anyone's guess but clearly it didn't end well. I do not believe she is alive. My heart goes out to everyone that knew and loved her.

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  13. Has the Stinson Lake area in Rumney,NH been searched. That weird symbol with numbers posted by the crazy laughing old man (dirtbag112) almost seems like a map. If the numbers are miles it appears to take you to Stinson Lake.

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  14. Anonymous, you have presented excellent points. I just have a few questions... If Maura was followed/following someone she knew, crashed, and they circled around to pick her up...wouldn't she most likely be alive now? Or at least, wouldn't the chances of her survival be a little higher than they are now? You said yourself that you believe she is most likely dead (as do I), but the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, at least for me, doesn't fit your theory. You believe that she left with the person that she knew, and if she did, sure, this person could have taken advantage of her state of stupor, but the likelihood that he would be a killer? Also not very likely. I have to add my personal view of what I believe did NOT happen. I do not believe that she was brave enough to wander into the woods , somehow get lost, and then die out there. I do not think she froze to death because of two reasons, the first being that she was drunk. She would have to be completely and utterly stupid, point blank, to go wandering in the woods in such a state, especially AFTER she had just crashed. Anybody, even Maura, whose in their right mind, would most likely have tried to flag down a car for help. I also have to tackle the theory that she did not want anyone to find her. Yes, this was true, but I do believe that after she crashed she realized that she was really not in her right mind. I think that if she had any self-preservation at all, if she thought an ounce about responsibility and her duties--she most likely wouldn't have gotten herself into that situation in the first place. I think it was her turning point, and I think she knew better than to try and be brave. I think that she was scared, most likely a little bit hurt, and decided to get help. As for the bus driver, I do think that something must have prevented her from seeking his help--for whatever reason. That being said, she could have still flagged down a car afterward and gotten in. Perhaps the person in the car took advantage of her drunken state and got out of hand and killer her; after all, she was very vulnerable. And although this is definitely what I think happened, I have to be open to the other possibilities. She could have started a new life, but I don't think she would do that to her family, even if she was intent on it at first. I also have to realize that anything, absolutely anything could have happened to her. She's a young girl, she's attractive, she's alone. It just seems unlikely to me that she would have continued on her own from that point. After all this time, I guess nobody really knows what really happened to Maura, and I guess only she will truly know the truth. As for the Internet creeper, I think that's all he is, and I don't believe he should get any attention. He's just trying to distract from the actual case at hand.

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