A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
Is that Billy's wife in the picture with him in the Cast of Characters section? She somewhat resembles Maura, IMO.
If that is Billy's wife, do we know for certain that she is NOT Maura? I know its a bit crazy to think that she could be hiding in that plain of sight, but she looks so much like Maura its jaw dropping. Seems to go beyond finding a gal because of type or because she reminds you of someone. JM $.02
I know it's pratically impossible but I have to admit I entertained the same thought.
She sure does look like Maura. Same smile, hair parted on same side as in her picture,similar eyes, about the right height and even has a dimple. It looks like she has a wedding ring on. James do you know who this woman is?
That is Billy's wife. Her picture should really be removed from here, she has nothing to do with this case.
It is not Maura. It is Alison Rausch, Billy's wife.
PROLOGUE: There are too many predator/prowlers out there. They spend a lot of time cruising, listening to police scanners, looking for any opportunity to get their hands on a vulnerable female.Undoubtedly, many of Maura's friends/family have issues, skeletons, or worse. That explains their lack of cooperation. Maura was an extremely stressed young woman who needed time to get away, think, and possibly rearrange her life. She was planning to return and pick up her packed boxes.On her way, drinking, she wrecked. She refused help from the SBD, knowing that would involve the police. She was planning to return to the crash scene after she sobered up, so she left her personal items, locked the car, and poured out the alcohol. She started walking to find a place to sober up. A prowler/predator, possibly the RTD, saw his chance, pulled up and offered her a "safe" place to hang out. Trusting, inebriated, she got in the vehicle and that's the last of Maura. This scenario answers the main questions. I just hope it's not true.
I keep hearing how many predators there are out there, lurking and waiting to pounce on young women. Is that REALLY true? I'm not trying to be a jerk, I'm just genuinely curious. I know we're pumped full of true crime stories on cable TV shows, but I wonder how common it really is. I'm a bit skeptical it's as common as the media tries to scare us into thinking it is.BTW, I am not trying to minimalize the abuse and molestation of women, which I know is widespread -- but my understanding is a great deal of that takes place in domestic or "friendly" situations (e.g. date rape), where the risk of exposure is much less. Not meaning to glorify crime in any way, but it takes a lot of balls to be a serial killer or rapist, to walk up to a stranger in an exposed situation and make away with them. I would think most people, even if they possessed the bad intent, wouldn't be sufficiently motivated or brave enough to act out in real life.Again, not being dimissive at all. Just wondering if there's some statistics on this. adam
Adam, I totally hear what you are saying. The truth is that the VAST majority of women who are murdered are murdered by someone they know. That leaves those who are killed by a predator. The majority of those women who are victims of serial killers and predators are drug-addicted prostitutes. (i.e. the most vulnerable women, the women who will get in a car with a man) Could Maura have been a victim of a predator? Yes, but it seems very highly unlikely to me. A lot of people on this board are under the impression that the roads are just crawling with opportunistic serial killers. Random stranger predators are actually very rare. Let's break this down shall we: Maura refused a ride and help from SBD. To me that says that Maura, like most women, would not go off in a vehicle with some man she does not know. Okay, let's say she did though. Let's say up the road she got in a car with a man who happened to be a predator and a killer. So on a rural Vermont road within an extremely narrow frame of time, a man who just happens to be a psychopath comes across Maura, offers her a ride, she gets in willingly, AND there is never any evidence in the past 10 years of a murder? 99.9% of the people out there on the road that night were harmless, yet Maura manages to get picked up by a nutcase? I simply find the probability of this happening to be practically astronomical. Now, had Maura been missing for a week before her car was found abandoned somewhere, then I could see a lot of scenarios, but there was essentially a 15 minute time frame where all this went down. But this all leads me to my only conclusion. Since Maura's body was not found within walking distance, she MUST have gotten a ride in a vehicle shortly after leaving the scene of the accident. My own theory is that Maura was in that area to meet up with someone anyway. It was therefore not a big deal to duck behind a tree, make a phone call, wait for that car to pull up, hop in and drive away forever. My best evidence for this is that Maura's own family was on television right after the accident pleading for Maura to come back, telling her that any problems she was having could be worked out. They seemed to know that she had an alternative way of leaving the area.
James, can you point us toward a source where LE definitively explains the paper found on top of the boxes in Maura's dorm room? My memory (which may be faulty, of course) is that it was a partial printout of an email FROM Billy to Maura, sent the previous autumn, in which his infidelity was discussed, but I've not yet seen anything that clears up whether it was an initial confession, an apology or part of an ongoing discussion of the matter.
WOW!!!! She looks more like Maura than her sisters do. That is just creepy.
Adam: Statistics would be almost impossible since no one, even anonymously, would admit to being a predator. Ask yourself how long a young female could walk down a road or stand in a parking lot alone before a solo man stopped to offer her "a ride". I am a woman who remembers those instances happening too often when I was a teen. Most of my female friends tell me they had the same experiences. Too many of those guys are out there, not all of them looking to murder, but that does happen. They could be your neighbor, a trooper, red truck driver, or even a police chief. You just never know, but trust me, they're out there. And all they need is a small window of opportunuty.Back to Maura. I agree with the previous poster. The fact is that she had a wreck then disappeared, most likely into the vehicle of a predator who saw his oppurtinity. I really hope that I too am wrong.
I get it, but respectfully, you're looking at it from the perspective of a woman who feels vulnerable to this kind of attack, and who has a media that's 24/7 putting these ideas out there. And mark my words: I am not saying such people do not exist. I'm just skeptical, for the reasons above, that they are as common as you think. Also, speaking from the perspective of a friendly and harmless, but physically imposing and somewhat quirky, male: There are a lot of women who have their hairtriggers way up in dealing with men, and are coming from a place of an assumption of fear. I am not criticizing this; I understand the motivation. But I am saying it is not always coming from a place of reality. You make the implication that any guy who stops for a woman walking down the road is to be assumed to be a probable rapist. I think that's a really unfair and unlikely assumption. A lustful thought, yes, possibly a majority might entertain that -- but that's hardly the same thing as acting in any way inappropriately. And if you think about it, that's the kind of attitude that's more likely to get a woman killed, since good guys know that stopping for a woman in trouble is likely to be misperceived as a threat, so in a way, it's a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. When I was a younger man, I would always stop in this situation. I don't now, for this reason.That's why I raised the issue; there's certainly a PERCEPTION that there's a lot of random ne'er do wells out there ready to do harm to women, but just how many, as a rough percentage, to the general population of men? Again, admittedly speaking from a male perspective, I bet it's a lot smaller percentage than many women perceive or suspect.Quick anecdote: I can remember leaving a club in a hurry about 10 years ago because I was supposed to meet a friend at midnight and was late, so I started running to my car. About halfway to my car there happened to be a woman walking alone to her car. Upon realizing I had appeared in her (not very close) vicinity she broke into a terrified run to her car. I'm sure she told her friends she had a narrow escape from a mugger; but I was just trying to get to my own car, and there was really nothing I could do about the fact that she just was there all of a sudden. That's maybe an example of the kind of misperception I'm talking about. Again, I'm sure it happens, even regularly. But I'm skeptical about the potential predator lurking behind every tree. In the home, in controlled circumstances where you're unlikely to get caught: yes, that conforms more to what I know of human nature. But as I said, it takes a certain level of brazenness to be a serial killer or predator that I have not seen in many people. Just my opinion, I admit. It would be great to be able to quantify it in some way. I'm not sure how it would be done, as you rightly point out. Was it Ted Bundy who was so successful because he was extraordinarily handsome and possessed with a great deal of charm? I'm afraid that's another situation where misplaced perceptions helped, rather than thwarted, a killer.Just my .02adam
Just an addendum to this post, in light of this week's events: I'm not in any way suggesting such people aren't out there. I just believe that people who feel vulnerable overestimate the threat, and often see it in the wrong places, because it's really hard to differentiate between something feeling hinky just because one is uncomfortable and an actual threat. The heroes in the Cleveland case that helped those girls get out of the house wouldn't have inspired, by their appearance, any confidence to a woman walking down a dark street, yet they turned out to be on the side of the angels. That's the kind of misperception of risk that I'm talking about.adam
Well said, Adam