Friday, April 19, 2013

Maura Worked Security at Hampden Gallery with Sara Alfieri

Today I was finally able to confirm that the "art gallery" Maura reportedly worked at was the Hampden Gallery at UMass Amherst. I spoke with director Anna LaPrade Seuthe, who remembers Maura fondly.

"I hired her, myself," she says. "Maura was great. There didn't seem to be anything wrong."

LaPrade Seuthe says she remembers Maura talking about her boyfriend in the military and that she was close friends with Sara Alfieri who worked there, too. Maura would work about 10 hours a week, mostly during gallery shows.

LaPrade Seuthe was also one of the people who received an email from Maura's account the day she disappeared.

"She said she would be away for a week due to a family emergency."

Not a death in the family, but a "family emergency."

After Maura disappeared, Sara transferred away from UMass. It would be great if we could have Sara's version of events leading up to Maura's last day in Amherst. It seems that could be very important to solving the case. Sara has never said why she will not talk about Maura's disappearance.


  1. This is really interesting. I recall reading arguments somewhere to the effect that there was never a "death in the family" email, only a "family emergency email." The person making this argument - who you have said you hold in high esteem - said that a reporter for a certain paper simply got that part wrong. I think it makes a difference in interpreting her state of mind and trying to determine why she left. To lie about something so dramatic as an excuse to be away possibly implies a more troubled mind than simply saying "family emergency." The first one is a lie that evokes sympathy and could suggest that she was feeling the need for sympathy. The second one is something perhaps said when you want to be vague and say just enough to get away ... or when there is in fact a family emergency of some type. Either way, that gives some morsel indication of her state of mind that is different from the "death in the family" scenario.

    1. Agreed. Maybe the 'family emergency' was just that Maura may have been honest about all that.
      When i first read the 'death in the family' part, i thought oh great..another lie from Maura, the all American girl (no offense to her or her family) I thought that also, she wanted sympathy or attention, or time off from college and work.
      But then as I read 'family emergency' i thought okay, after knowing family dynamics now, it probably had a lot to do with her family.
      But something happened...
      I never thought Maura was suicidal, it takes a mentally strong person to be as academically and athletically accomplished as Maura was, as well as toughing it out in West Point for a year and a half.
      Sometimes, i think it was an 'accidental' death, maybe she wandered off, froze to death, got hit by a car.
      James, you said Kathleen had been arrested before..did this come around the time Maura turned up missing? I sometimes wonder if withdrawing almost all her money..would go towards helping her sister, who knows.
      I still think if Maura was intentionally meeting up with someone there would have been some form of trail. I would think the only reason why there would not be in the event of her running away on her own will.

    2. Maura Murray had a family emergency it's as simple as that. Somebody in that family knows what that emergency was and they probably feel too guilty to stand up. For all you haters out there just think about this. Maybe she had to drive to New Hampshire to deliver or pick something up, who knows, but I do think there's been way too much emphasis on the death in the family story. I don't know what else to call it. It sounds believable as told by many members of her family. and not everybody in that family and circle of friends is going to know about this family emergency.

      good grief, when they repeat it, they think it's true. When we hear it or read it, we think it's true. The death in the family story really distracts people from looking at what might be the real problem. Somebody in the family was in trouble, not just Maura Murray.
      Kathleen said oh it was a nothing call, she didn't offer anything to police. They had to find out for themselves, and confront her as being one of the people who talked with MM on Thursday night. When the FBI was there, I hope that they took a good look at those emails.

  2. Great information. Good job !!!!!

  3. Was Kathleen living in Vermont the time Maura left Massachusetts? Kathleen did say that phone conversation she had with Maura pertained to a big fight she had with her boyfriend. I wonder if Maura was trying to eventually make it up to Vermont to try to help her sister out, or be there for her sister. I think that scenario makes the most sense, since she doesn't seem to have known people in the NH area. Maybe she was stressed from wrecking her dad's car, and her sister..stopped to get booze for her and her sister, and was planning on staying the night in NH by herself, so she could call her father like she promised..then the next morning, drive to her sister's.

  4. Have you ever thought Maura escaped to Mexico?

  5. Can someone please shed some light on a few things I picked up on when watching the disappeared episode the second time.
    1. Maura's phone was an additional line to Fred's. Her call log would be on the monthly bill. This call log came at the latest in early March. Why did Fred and Sharon wait until fall of 2004 to analzyze and call all the numbers Maura had called on and around the date of her disappearance?
    2. Why can't the condo owner recollect details from the call? She claims that the time passing muddied her memory. Which is plausible, but wouldn't she have seen on the news about Maura in the following days and offered any information she could to help her?

    These are just a few of my thoughts. Anyone who can offer any information to clear this up, please reply. Also, I was wondering if you had checked into any of this Mr.Renner.

    1. 1) Maura had a line that was tied to Billy's, so his mom,Mrs.Rausch, was receiving and paying the bill. I'm sure she thought it wasn't her place to go digging into the phone record or perhaps she was leaving that up to the police.
      2) Maybe Maura did not use her name when calling to ask about the condo rental. How would the owner remember her if she had not left her name? She is a busy business owner and maybe didn't watch the news. Some people are not interested in crimes or missing persons cases so she probably did not pay attention to it on the news.

    2. "I'm sure she thought it wasn't her place to go digging into the phone record or perhaps she was leaving that up to the police. "

      Sharon seemed very controlling of Maura and it would not surprise me if she was monitoring her calls on a regular basis. In fact, I also wonder if Sharon had the PIN to listen to Maura's voicemail.

    3. Yes by giving her a phone they think they had control over her, maybe her new boyfriend gave her a new phone and gave her trust? Fred seemed like a control freak as well, even trying to control the media, that much control makes me think hes equally out of control.

  6. Hey there anonymous 5:24,

    Here is my take on the issues you raised.

    I might be mistaken here and/or there may some misinformation floating around, but I thought I had heard that Maura's phone was actually an additional line on the Rausch's plan. I believe Billy's mom said that. Someone please correct me if either I got that wrong or if I got it right that Billy's mom said that but it is not true.

    I believe that certain providers allow you to add a line to a plan without getting call data about that line.

    But even if both the above beliefs of mine are true, your point remains salient, at least as far as I see. Whether Fred or Sharon owned the plan, they could have easily requested the call data and gotten it within a week or two. I don't know why they waited so long. Where is the source of information, by the way, about how long that they waited? I don't remember reading it. Not doubting or challenging you, I just want to go read it.

    As for the condo owner not being helpful, I can understand it. In order for the condo owner to have helped the investigation, three things had to happen:

    (1) She had to have a reason to remember Maura specifically, without having seen her and based only on a very routine process of hers in fielding an inquiry about availability. Remember that when she talked to Maura there was nothing special about that call; just another person making an inquiry.
    (2) While that recollection was still vivid - a recollection which would be centered only on a name - she had to have heard about Maura's case, which at first - I think - was not lighting up the news because it appeared to simply be a flight from a possible DUI.
    (3) She had to have had her interest captured enough by Maura's case to really start reading about it. Again, at first, I don't think it looked like a huge thing.

    In that context, I think it is not at all unlikely that the connection would evaded detection by the condo owner until investigators approached her, by which time it makes sense that she would not remember much from a routine call.

    Just my thoughts. Very interested what others might have to say. (Well, except for the thoughts of that angry crazy person who reasons against James from non-existent premises to invalid conclusions with barely intelligible diction about once a week on this site! But other folks ... would love to hear what others think.)

    ~ John Green

    1. On her episode of disappeared Shannon says, in the fall of 2004, we looked her call logs and started from square one and started to call all the numbers. And she says that Fred bought her the phone for Christmas and payed the monthly bill. I'm anonymous 5:24 but I will sign my name for any future replies to avoid confusion.

    2. John: In the "Disappeared" episode, Sharon Rausch said that Maura's phone was added to Billy's line, and that that meant that, when the bills came in, she could see all the activity on Maura's phone. That being the case, I don't think she and/or Fred had to request the call data--Mrs. R. already had it. My impression was that it just hadn't occurred to either of them to track those calls until quite a while after Maura's disappearance. This makes more sense if one thinks about the fact that Fred was steadfastly denying that anything prior to Maura's Saturn accident was relevant to her disappearance, and there was a tremendous amount of confusion and activity in many directions from the get-go.

    3. Yes, from what I understand Maura's line was an addition to Billy's plan. Some people have speculated that he was controlling, but being in a long distance relationship myself with a military man... i think he may have done it to help her out financially, and may have in the past felt guilty of racking up her minutes..being long distance.
      James, have you been able to interview Sharon Rausch? I'd be interested as to what she says, about anything.
      And by chance, when you stopped at the residence in MA that Fred use to live, were you able to talk to any neighbors that may have lived next to him? I wonder if they had anything new to say about his character.

    4. Anon 4/21 8:16 pm: That being the case, I don't think she and/or Fred had to request the call data--Mrs. R. already had it.

      I seem to recall someone in a comment on this site describing Sprint's billing at the time, but I can't find it now (darn it). However, the gist of the comment confirmed what I recall: individual cell phone bills were never so granular to show specific calls on the normal billing statements. Minutes used in and out of network, detailed by phone, yes, but not individual calls made and received. A detailed list like we've seen on this site and on Disappeared... I don't think that's a normal cell phone bill.

  7. As for why Fred and Sharon waited so long to analyze those phone calls, it's likely because they assumed that something as basic as that would have been done by the police, as is standard. When they learned the police hadn't, they did it themselves.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. The both of them started their own investigation.

  8. is that interactive map coming soon? i would love to study that.