Sunday, April 7, 2013

Past is Prologue

There are two great mysteries surrounding the disappearance of Maura Murray and I believe they are connected.

1. Where is Maura?
2. Why did she drive into New Hampshire to begin with?

To be clear, I am not suggesting Fred knows the answer to question #1.

But I do believe he has a good idea about the answer to question #2.

Solve #2 and you get closer to figuring out #1.

I've worked on a couple political campaigns in the past. One of my mentors ran his own "crisis management" firm. I know a little bit about public perception. Enough to know that it's turned on Fred and his family. And I think that's distracting from the ultimate goal: to find Maura.

If I was consulting with the Murrays, I would strongly suggest that now is the time to get out in front of this story. Some lies were made to police and media in the beginning. Some odd things happened the weekend before Maura disappeared. Come clean and move on.

What would work best is a video interview with Fred where he responds to some of these tough questions. Let's hear it in his words. Put it up on YouTube.

Specifically:

- What was the purpose of his visit to Amherst the weekend before Maura disappeared?
- What was the purpose of the $4,000 he withdrew from the bank? What happened to the money?
- Who was at the bar before the party?
- What is known about the party Maura attended that night?
- Why did Maura return to his hotel after the party?
- What happened at the hotel? What was said? What occurred?
- What hours did he work at the hospital the following day?
- What did Maura intend to do about the credit card fraud charges and her nursing career?

Honest answers to these questions would put an end to many of these silly conspiracy theories that muddy the waters. And, frankly, after such blatant lies, some kind of explanation is owed to the tax payers who funded the search for Maura in 2004.

64 comments:

  1. I've worked in PR almost two decades and I agree with you partially. I do agree that it would be beneficial to the family and the search to get out in front of this story now, while they still can.

    However, if Fred was my client I would advise against a video interview posted to Youtube. Here's why: online commentors and conspiracy theorists would pick apart his every word, vocal pause, and facial tick ad nauseum for years to come - in search of some telltale giveaway of this or that. That would just further distract from the investigation. Answers: good. Circus: bad.

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  2. We´ve been told Fred worked until 11 pm Monday and that he was in the parking garage at work, finishing or beginning his shift, Tuesday at 5 pm when he received the call from Kathleen telling him Maura was missing.

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  3. From Fred's point of view: Q#2 is not relevant if you believe that Maura was the random victim of a stranger. But in every other possibility it is vitally important. To echo many other posters, I simply can't understand the Murray's lack of desire for publicity. Most families of the missing would give anything for a journalist to start a website and write a book about their cases. In a situation like this there is no such thing as "bad publicity." Unless, apparently, your name is Fred Murray.

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    1. her disappearance was broadcast on several national news shows---so it was highly pulicized, i guess you dont remember

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    2. I think what the poster is saying is that others with missing loved ones would want the continued publicity, given the age of the case.

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    3. In this respect, Maura´s case could be compared to the McStay case.

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  4. It's just too much of a coincidence that the exact weekend Fred comes to UMASS, she takes off and vanishes the next day. It could be she ran into a "dirtbag" in NH, but too much is being concealed for me to believe she vanished by foul play.

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  5. Maura left work early Friday night, didn't go to work on Saturday, nor did she go to work on Sunday (and took that following week off from work and school).

    I recall reading somewhere that she withdrew most of her money in her bank account, but was going to be getting paid that following Thursday.
    If Maura get paid every week, and if the pay period began on friday, if she intended on disappearing.. then she wouldn't have been waiting around for a paycheck that Thursday, so whatever she withdrew was all she knew she would be getting.
    Maybe she had decided, already, a week before she left that she was going to be leaving.
    Who knows, maybe Friday night came around she decided why bother working the rest of the shift if she knew she wouldn't be sticking around for a paycheck later in the week to begin with.

    One other thing I've wanted to say. Maura's last email to Billy, "I don't feel like talking too much of anyone.." Why does Sharon interpret that as, "I don't feel like talking too much to anyone..."
    Clearly, someone was on Maura's mind, enough for her to tell Billy "I don't feel like talking too much OF anyone."
    I never understood why Sharon interpreted it the way she did never made sense to me.

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    1. Anonymous, are you sure it wasn't "I don't feel like talking TO much of anyone"? Because that would make more sense.

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    2. I interpreted it as her implying she didn't feel like talking much about someone. Who knows, either way, it wasn't very clear grammar and wording she was using. I suppose the only person who really knows, is Maura.

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  6. I dont believe any of these questions have anything to do with the actual disappearance, and should not be focused on--What does it matter what fred was doing in Amherst the weekend b4 she went missing?---thats completely irrelevant. What we know is, is this was a dysfuntional family---many families are---and what we also know is, Fred went as far as the supreme court to have investigaional records released that directly pertained to the investigation, which included wire taps, polygraph tests, interviews and so on---but to no avail--and what we also know is that senior assistant attorney Jeffery Strezlin is handling this as a criminal investigation based on all the evidence that these files infer...and its also quite evident he DOES NOT want Fred to see any of these files....which to me is very telling

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    1. David, So what you seem to be saying is...Fred is a suspect because he was not allowed access to the files. So in order to be able to take this to prosecution they would need some sort of evidence. Where would that evidence come from? Hmmmm....maybe from the actions of those involved in the days leading up to the date MM disappeared...

      I don't disagree with your conclusion, but how do you expect the case to move forward if the days prior to MM's disappearance are irrelevant? Waiting on a confession?

      B

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    2. With all due respect, your comment invalidly assumes its own conclusion. You would have to know the answers to two questions - which answers nobody who is talking publicly knows - in order to validly assert, as you have, that those two questions are unrelated.

      There are LOTS of scenarios under which Fred's visit the prior weekend matters to Marua's disappearance, some in subtle and some in obvious ways. To name just one: he was helping prepare her to run away. I am not saying that happened, but for your statement that the other questions have nothing to do with the disappearance to be true, it would have to be the case that no such scenario is even imaginable. But, in fact, dozens of such scenarios are imaginable.

      I'll put it another way. Neither you nor anyone on this blog (presumably) knows what happened that weekend or to Maura. As such, it is impossible for you to logically conclude that those two topics are unrelated. It would be like saying P does not equal K, when the quantities for P and K are unknown. Thus, your claim that Fred's reasons for being in Amherst are irrelevant is empirically baseless. It quite obviously and under many different easy to imagine scenarios could be and the only way you could disprove that would be if you knew for certain what happened to Maura and why Fred was there. As such, in your assertion you assume the conclusion that putatively asserts your assertion, which makes no sense.

      Secondly, much evidence points to the possible probative connection between the events of the prior weekend in Amherst and her disappearance. It has been much discussed elsewhere, so I wont repeat it (unless you want me to). As such, to the extent that any evidence does exist one way or the other regarding the connection between the prior weekend in Amherst and Fred's visit, it tends to point to such a connection in fact existing. In that context, not only does your statement not flow logically, it cuts against the grain of what evidence there is on the topic, which points to a connection, at least to some degree.

      ~ John Green

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    3. You know, sometimes I wonder if there might be a dead body somewhere that is not Maura, whose existence is yet undiscovered or at yet unconnected to this case. Because if there were, I think a singly theory tying together some of fragmented complexities of this case might emerge.

      ~ John Green

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    4. with all due respect john i think you have been watching too many episode of CSI. you state "Fred may have been helping her to prepare to run away" that makes absolutely on sense, simply because why would fred, or anyone for that matter, spend time and money to take this to the level that he took it to, including but not limited to his numerous TV appearances and the Supreme court--his actions are not that of a man who helped his daughter run away---this girl was more than likely abducted/killed either by a passing motorist who gave her a ride, or one of the 2 only witnesses who claimed to have seen/talked to her...

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    5. B, im not at all inferring that Fred is a suspect in his daughters disappearance----i dont believe that to be the case at all---a man doesnt go looking week after week for his daughter, then go on national TV, then take his law suit to the supreme court if he had anything to do with his daughters disappearance--that makes no sense, and if it makes no sense it probably isnt true--when i posted hes not allowed ot access the files, that tells me that senior attorney Strezlin may very well have a suspect, or a person of interest in this case, and that suspect may very well be someone who lives in the area of the disappearance, and fred being as determined as he is, if he knew who this persons name was, would more than likely take matters into his own hands....i have no doubt maura was a victim of foul play, and accoring to Strezlin, he seems to also believe that to be the case

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    6. I agree with David - the fact that Atty. Strezlin does not want to disclose the investigative files to Fred Murray is troubling to say the least. Read the transcripts of the court case where Fred tries to get the files released. Something is going on behind the scenes that is only hinted at in the in-court discussions.

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    7. I am not saying that Fred is doing this but a person might want to give the impression that he is doing everything in his power to solve a crime when in truth he is merely seeking to divert attention away from himself or herself.

      John Avellar

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    8. David, if you read this blog, I don't think you'll find many people here who think Fred is "a suspect in his daughter's disappearance." But there are very good reasons to believe that Fred is concealing details that he knows. His reticence (with James AND Law Enforcement), his documented lies, and yes, his lawsuits, are all things pointing in that direction.

      During Fred's lawsuit, it was suggested that there was a POI with a high chance of being prosecuted, but nothing ever came of that. LE spoke privately to the judge in his chambers and explained their real reasons for wanting to keep the files closed, and I'm guessing that at least some of that may have had to do with the details about Fred contained in the files.

      You suggested twice that Fred's behavior doesn't make sense in the context of having helped Maura run away, or otherwise being privy to what really happened to her. ("Why would fred, or anyone for that matter, spend time and money to take this to the level that he took it to, including but not limited to his numerous TV appearances and the Supreme court--his actions are not that of a man who helped his daughter run away [...] A man doesnt go looking week after week for his daughter, then go on national TV, then take his law suit to the supreme court if he had anything to do with his daughters disappearance--that makes no sense, and if it makes no sense it probably isnt true")... Well, I couldn't disagree more.

      I constantly mention the JonBenet Ramsey case on this blog because there are some startling similarities between John Ramsey's behavior and Fred Murray's after both lost their daughters. John Ramsey did almost exactly these things--"searched," engaged tons of publicity, hired tons of lawyers, talked to some people but not others, sued the State--all for years and years. It is now clear that these actions were almost certainly part of a coverup. I won't go into further detail, but if you're interested, read James Kolar's "Foreign Faction." The point is that these actions are not at all atypical of someone who is hiding either involvement or knowledge.

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    9. Hi David.

      Could I ask you to read what I wrote again? I am hoping that you merely misunderstood it. First of all, I did hit you with ad hominems, as you did me, which are childish and telling indication of someone not completely sure of the soundness their own argument. You should accord your own point of view more respect than to resort to that. More importantly, in order to refute my statement, you blatantly mischaracterized it. You are needlessly adding complexity to a simple point, which was VERY clearly stated and which you did not respond to. That point was that if (a) you don't know what happened to Maura, and (b) you don't know what happened that weekend, then (c) you could not possibly claim - as you did - that Fred being in Amherst is "completely irrelevant." It simply is not possible to substantiate that statement logically. My example, which you blatantly mischaracterized was specifically offered as "not something that did happen" but that conceivably could have. But I will stop there .... it is so common sense a pont that I believe you are willfully avoiding it, not unable understand it. If so, it is unfortunate that you contribute obfuscation rather than substance to this discussion. In any case, you have a right to your opinion, but when you offer an opinion that defies common sense and is stated on absolute terms ("I am right, everyone else is wrong"), it is easy to challenge your statement. I would suggest that rather than implying in tone and diction that others are wrong, why not simply state in less charged emotional terms your opinion as simply your opinion? The fact that you choose instead to take an attacking posture, both in your original post and toward me denigrates your point, rather than enhancing it. It does so much better, in fact, than any ad hominem I could come up with in retort to yours, if I were inclined to think that way. But as I am inclined to approach the matter out of sincere interest, use of logic and trying to learn from other, reasonable people, I will leave the discussion with you at this point and read some other posts hoping to find some substantive analysis and insight as opposed to adversarial bluster.

      ~ John Green

      P.S. "ad hominem" means attacking the person making a statement rather than addressing the statement, which experience shows often happens where substance lags.

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    10. Very well said SAH. ~ John Green

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    11. TO ANONYMOUS AT 11:49 AM.

      Your comment caught my interest and I went back and read the transcripts. While I agree with the underlying thrust of the thread here that something is not disclosed by Fred and whatever it is is both troubling and highly relevant, I respectfullly disagree that evidence of that is discernible in the transcript. While the questioning of Strezlin and Landry results in a kind of byzantine conversation with apparent implicative resonance, all that is really happening is that the lawyers are trying to get establish how the Curran ruling (which the NH Supreme Court on its hearing of this case before sending it back to the district court - said applies to this case) should be applied to this case. The attorneys are just building a record, which requires inducing a lot of statements to support their interpretation of how the present case fits in with what the SC said about Curran. As an attorney who has in my former career built records in this way (that is what attornies do, build court records through transcripts) the questioning can get tedious and elongated in order to substantiate a relatively simple point. This was exaggerated in this case because they had to repeat the process for a bunch of different requests by Fred. it may look byzantine and suggestive, but really it is just technical jostling between competing attornies. Beyond that, no DA or police officer will ever want to release any information about an investigation to anyone for the reasons that the Curran case encapsulates: it can chill witnesses, it can put witnesses in danger, it can help suspects cover their tracks and the information cannot be controlled once it is released. Your statement that "it is troubling" that Strezlin does not want to release it is not really true. It is pro forma that he does not, for good reasons. Fred and the Murrays are no different than anyone else when it comes to prosecution of a crime, in terms of the state's role. All of Curran's logic applies to them as well as anyone else. The police will tend to brief victim's families but in general even in that capacity almost never give them more information than is available under the Curren test for FOIA requests for the exact same reasons. It comes down to liability. NH gets sued - and looks really bad - if a case does not get closed because a suspect was alerted to being a focus after Fred goes on Montel Williams and talks about what he discovered in his affadavit, or a witness get murdered when that suspect realizes how the police are closing in on him, etc. I just don't see Strezlin's reluctance as anything more than pro forma common sense related to his position.

      ~ John Green

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  7. THis is well said. It really bothers me that the Murrays continue to behave as if THEY OWN THIS CASE. Ever notice that a criminal case is State v. Name. That is, the state prosecutes crimes. Our system of jurisprudence and criminal punishment is based on the community interest in resolving and punishing crimes. It is a very common sense approach, for otherwise, justice could not be doled evenly, even in theory. Moreover, we all have a common interest in deterrence and safety. Even though the suffered, for the Murrays to act as if they own this case, somehow, is destructive. Of course, for all I know, they have come clean with the authorities via an attorney. But the fact remains that anyone trying to conjour information or promote the solution of the case is not only squarely within their rights to do so, but fulfilling a civic role in exemplary, notwithstanding the flawed, implied civics lessons the Murrays put out through their spin teams.

    ~ John Green

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    1. Police like to keep things close to the vest. They may have an idea what happened to Maura, but do not want to compromise a future arrest and conviction.

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    2. Agreed. There was, in fact, an indication of that in a post on the blog a while back. One of the investigators I think suggested that and said there was this high, specific percentage the case would lead to an arrest. That suggested to me that they had a working theory they were confident in, but it was a vague statement. Also, your observation, if true, could mean that the Murrays have come clean with them, which would change my attitude a bit about their reticence publicly. But my sense so far is that there may be some info the Murrays are holding back from even the police. But I certainly don't know that for a fact and will feel bad for saying it if later it is proven they don't.

      ~ John Green

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    3. The "75% likelihood" the police put out there must be understood in the context it was given. It's only significance is as part of a legal standard the AG/NHSP had to meet in Murray v. NH to keep the files sealed.

      It goes something like this: the court has to weigh Fred's interest in getting the files v. the state's interest in holding on to them.

      As parent of a 3-year missing daughter who has demonstrated proactive interest in solving the case, Fred's interest is automatically deemed compelling.

      Then the state must show a countervailing interest beyond the basic interest in doing their police work without interference. So they show the judge the evidence they have, then proffer a professional opinion that there is 75% chance the case will be solved if they are allowed to continue their work.

      At that point, as a matter of law the judge's hands are tied - but had they said 50%, the judge would have theoretically had more leeway. The point is: when you are asked that question of pure opinion, you don't give the judge that leeway as there's zero risk in maybe being slightly optimistic.

      This is not to say that the police *don't* believe it - it's just to say that "75%" is automatically the right answer and not an indication either way of what they believe.

      What "75%" doesn't signify is that a) they are actually close to an arrest b) they have one particular prime suspect c) they have any reason for keeping Fred in particular out of the loop. All three of those may be true, but the "75%" isn't evidence of that. It's evidence that they wanted to prevail in Murray v. NH.

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    4. I understand your point 11:36 am. Well taken. I read the transcript yesterday and saw how the tedious questioning was all around meeting the Curran standard as the NH SC had discussed it before remanding the case and I saw that that is where the 75% came from. I had forgotten when I wrote the above post that that is where that number came from. You are correct that its context in meeting a legal standard probably means that it does not signify what I said it did. My apologies for the error and I appreciate you pointing it out so articulately.

      ~ John Green

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  8. I only have 2 questions for everyone: 1. How many 20 oz Coke bottles would have you have to fill up to empty a box of Franzia wine? 2. How many times would she have had to stop by the side of the road in order to refill(in terms of time)?

    Would you ever believe that?

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    1. and what has that got to do with her disappearance?

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  9. Maura left for a solid reason. It was big. You don't drop out of college in the last semester of your last year, with no plan to return, on a whim. She had a good career lined up. She had dealt with the family problems, boyfriend problems, legal problems for a while. But something happened that tipped the scale, something possibly criminal or highly embarrassing. I tend to agree with Renner here. The family knows why she left, but they don't know where she went.

    The circle of silence extends to Maura's college friends who lay down one of the most obvious and really preposterous lies in this whole thing: they went to a party, they know not where and with they know not whom. When caught red handed, an old friend used to say, deny it all. They know why she left, and others at the dorm party may have overheard.

    Fred was there to help her get out. He brought some getaway cash and she was gone.

    Then the accident in New Hampshire. If you read it like a real accident (staged is too dangerous for a drunk amateur) then one of three things happened: she got in the car with the wrong stranger at the wrong time and made the last bad judgement call of her life. Or she got in the car with someone she knew and has done a so far excellent job at disappearing. Or she got in the car with someone she thought she knew, but didn't know well enough.

    If you believe the cops, it's either 1 or 3. They have a person of interest. They assume a homicide. Get a list of who they interviewed, and the name would likely be there. If the name were known to Fred, you can bet his actions would have been a giveaway. If Maura went with someone, it would seem odd that she not mention the person to her friends, but I suspect that if they knew the name, Fred would know the name, and I doubt he would hesitate to let it be known.

    So I'm left with option one, sadly. And with that, it really doesn't matter why she left. What matters is what happened on that road on New Hampshire, whether she was on the lam, or whether a tornado dropped her there doesn't matter. What matters is that a young woman was on the wrong road at the wrong time and, desperate to get away before the cops arrived and took her in for a DUI and maybe even in to face the reason she was running, she took a ride and has not come back.

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    1. I absolutely agree.

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    2. First, I thought she had another year to go at UMass, but I may be wrong about that. Second, she had a lot of problems on her plate for someone only 21 years old, and while she caused them, maybe she just got fed up and decided to get the hell out and start over. Third, maybe she caught a ride with some perfectly nice young people returning to, say, Boston, after a long ski weekend, who were perfectly happy to drop her off at the bus station and easily bought whatever fairy tale she told them to explain her need for a ride--she seems to have been a pretty facile liar when she wanted to be. So why didn't they come forward? Because they were "kids"--who didn't read newspapers or watch news on TV or online, so never heard about it. Or, they heard, but knew if they came forward they'd have cops falling all over them from a great height and might be accused of something ugly. In other words, they didn't want to get involved. Or, they figured if she wanted to get on a bus and go someplace that was her business, not the cops'. People in their early twenties may be legally adult, but they're often not emotionally mature--just like Maura wasn't. I think we shouldn't underestimate her, though. Maybe she wanted a new life, so she went and got one. Not as sensational as abduction by a killer, but quite possible. Just my opinion.

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    3. It was stated she was in her Junior year at UMASS.

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    4. Was she at UMass on a track scholarship? If so, after she left the track team, was her scholarship still in place?

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  10. Not only do they own the case, but they go as far as attempting to manipulate what individual members say and think.
    If you ask simple questions related to the case they don't like you
    If you ask intelligent questions, they don't like you
    if you try to use reason and apply it towards what is already known or not, they don't like you. The bottom line is that this is a closely manipulated group in where individual reasonable opinions are not welcomed. The group operates only on behalf of this family as a PR group which is definitely fine as long as they are clear of their intentions. Instead they use threats to bann you from membership, sensor what you say by deleting entire threads and go as far as telling you not to use inboxes to send private messages to other members of the group!!. This is all told under a very clever passive tone of perfect good manners. I did a great deal of research on mind control groups and there is so much of that in the way this group officers operate...that last night I was having nightmares !!!!(ah ...and of course you must hate James Renner, another pre-requisite !)

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  11. The Valley News (April 7,Lebanon, NH)local newspaper magazine published more than a page long article summarizing most of the events of the the case. While the Murray family continues to treat the case as their "own" and refusing to discuss the events before the disappearance of Maura, let's face it: police investigations tend to try to cover everything in the relation of the case. You never know what becomes an important detail.
    I live just corners away where Maura disappeared from, and I still do not understand why she came to this area to begin with (I only moved here 2 years later though). The uncovered credit fraud case certainly would explain why she did not want 911 called. A 21 year old, especially when could be suspected drinking would not want to complicate/compromise her own future career, and as a nurse, I can certainly affirm that having a past legal history will make your career opportunities very unlikely if not impossible.
    If you are 21, upset, ashamed, running away and had been drinking your judgement is not going to be clear,that comes without saying.
    I have been jogging in that area for a few years, until I became totally spooked out when having ride offered by characters who looked like were up to no good- and that only happened when I was caught outside by pouring rain. I also got lost quite a few times in the area and came upon collapsing cabins in the wood - this is certainly not an immaculate neighborhood because it IS so remote. The article in the Valley News indicated that Maura's mother have passed away since- and do not believe that any daughter would put her own mother through the torture of not having a closure...My opinion is that Maura has gotten into someone's car and her remains have not been found.

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    1. I agree..it make sense.

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    2. I've never heard about those collapsing cabins in the wood before. If they're just corners away where Maura disappeared from, maybe that's the type of non-immaculate, remote neighborhood where something very bad could happen?

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  12. So, Fred, in the midst of a search and rescue for his missing child, decides to get up and jog every morning before the search, then call it quits and head to the local restaurant and treat everyone for drinks and food? Something not right about that in the least. And to make bizarre statements about her being "drunk and naked on the mountain" is a little odd, not to mention lying about the events at the hotel in Amherst. Oh, let's not forget Mr. Murray refusing for 2 years to sit and do an interview with the police in NH. Sorry, I think Fred is hiding something.

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  13. Whos remains were found years ago not far from where Maura had dissapeared? The skull was found just beside the road as I recall..

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    1. State officials say they are ending an investigation into a piece of a human skull found in the Eli Wallace Horse Cemetery in Littleton last summer because it doesn’t appear there has been any crime.

      In a news release today state officials said Bonnie Stinchfield of Littleton admitted she buried the bone last summer.

      “She said that her husband had been in possession of the piece of bone since at least 1988. He had received the bone from another man who was moving and didn’t want it anymore,” the release said.

      “Mrs. Stinchfield understood that the man who had given the bone to her husband had had the bone for some time, but she did not know the source or history of the bone. After her husband died in November of 2010, Mrs. Stinchfield said that she did not know what to do with the bone, so she decided to bury it in the horse cemetery.”

      Dr. Marcella H. Sorg, a Forensic Anthropologist in Maine, examined the skull at the request of New Hampshire officials.

      She concluded it was probably from an African-American male between 25 and 45 years-old and there was no sign of trauma “inflicted at the time of death.” It also appeared the skull had been “professionally cleaned, possibly as a medical specimen.”

      The bone will remain at the lab in Maine (end)

      Hope that helps.

      B

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    2. Or this one from the Littleton Record:

      DANBY, Vt. (AP) Vermont State Police say a human skull has been found along a roadside in Danby in southern Vermont.

      Police said Wednesday that the skull appears to be that of a young female and that trauma to it indicates that she could have been killed.

      Police say a person reported finding the skull along Danby Hill Road on Sunday.

      Authorities say the area is being searched for additional remains or other evidence.

      Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Rutland.(end)

      Danby is about 120 miles from where the Saturn crashed.

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  14. This may not be relevant at all, but I look at the Maura Murray wikipedia page about twice a month, just to reread everything.

    The detail about Maura's tailpipe being stuffed with a rag has been deleted and then re-added several times. I don't know who has edited the page or if this even means anything, but I thought it was strange.

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    1. The rag in the tail pipe is the most overlooked piece to this puzzle. Not believing in coincidences, I think who ever put that rag in MM's tailpipe is responsible for MM's disappearance. It is not purely a coincidence. Trust me.

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    2. Re: "I think whoever put that rag in MM's tailpipe is responsible for MM's disappearance."

      So do I. I think it was Maura. Adult walkaways know very well how important it is to create confusion, obfuscation, ambiguity and distraction, to give them time to get away while LE focuses on these red herrings.

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    3. Wow ... that is a HUGE observation on your part. It could, of course, simply represent a dispute as to the validity of the original source of the information about the rag in the tailpipe. But looked at another way ... well ... I wonder what some of these Murray family defense trolls would do on this site if they had provisional editorial permissions?

      I wonder if there is a way to track down an IP address or something about the person who keeps deleting the comments. Don't you have to have a account with Wikipedia in order to edit entries? Gosh, it could be interesting to know who was doing that.

      ~ John Green

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    4. I would not give MM that much credit. I dont think she was in the mind set at all that day to hatch such a sophisticated plan to disappear. I think she intended to disappear for a couple of days but I believe whole heartedly (and I believe that the evidance that has been released support the notion) that she was drunk, was seen at the gas station, was sabotaged, was picked up, and was murdered. Her body was most likely placed in the Connecticut river and unless someone has a change of conscious, we will never know the true story. I have said this and will continue to say this: Where there is smoke, there is fire. The woman claiming her husband murdered MM is probably the lead that the NHLE are following.

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    5. Interesting comment 8:22 am. It very well could be. The only thing I want to add is that if she was murdered, she was probably buried somewhere. The ground is much less likely to give up a body than water. Even weighted bodies miles in the ocean have a way of coming back up at some point. Moreover, in a 2 hour drive northeast, you could be in the wilds of eastern Maine, where if she was buried I don't think she would ever be found without a witness directing investigators there.

      ~ John Green

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    6. John Green,

      The edit history of every page on Wikipedia can be viewed by clicking "view history" at the top right of the page.

      There are over 500 edits in the history of the article, dating back to when I first created the page on 4.11.2007. My wiki handle is Gephydro, if you want to look. There is a discussion page, as well, that details the reasons for many of the edits made.

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  15. Adriana Pacheco-LesemannApril 9, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Please. Do not make this site a place to judge a grieving father. It is clear, I think, that Fred Murray had nothing to do with her disappearance. If his actions, in any way, contributed to her taking off, then let LE and investigator repporters like Mr. Renner uncover the facts. I the meanwhile it is not fair to blame him for something that remains unproven.

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    1. Adriana, I understand your desire to limit thinking the worst of Fred Murray. However, it has been obvious to many people, the instant they start looking into this case that something is not quite right with the way Fred has acted since day 1 of Maura's disappearance. And further research by Mr. Renner and others have uncovered even more unsavory details about Fred, his actions and his statements. While no one wishes for Fred to be in any way connected to her disappearance, the sad truth is that it happens, and it happens frequently, and should not be ruled out in this case. ""What better way to get away with murder than to portray yourself as a grieving father and immerse yourself in the investigation and continually point fingers in every other direction? Even if it means years of effort, whats the alternative? Put yourself in the shoes of a murderer trying to get away with it and see if it doesn't fit."" Now that statement in double quotes was not intended to point a finger at Fred as a murderer, but to just illustrate how "possible" it is and that it cannot be ruled out. Google 'Fritzl' and see what horror a father can inflict on a daughter. This blog and the many forums are a place for people to throw these ideas out to try and solve the case. They are not tainted by loyalties or friendships or family so they are free to voice what many are thinking and sometimes it puts people in a bad light. Finding Maura is the goal and no stone can be left unturned no matter how undesirable the truth may be.

      B

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  16. If you believe, as I do, that she ran away from a DUI accident scene that day into the woods and died there, then it really doesn't matter why she was running. Knowing that won't help find her remains there in the woods. Often times remains are found w/i a mile or 2 of where the person was last seen and in an area that was searched before. Also when a case is resolved they will say, the remains were found a decade ago but were only recenty identified through DNA analysis. This is because of a huge backlog or something but there can be over a decade long delay even after bones are found for them to be identified. Sorry, I would love to belive she started a new life or has amnesia but those outcomes are really rare. Also I belive that, like in physics, an object stays on the same trajectory unless interupted and I just think it is a stretch to add that a killer came and interupted her already self-destructive known trajectory (running away drunk and alone in a remote area as night approached.) Becky

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  17. These are just some random, unrelated thoughts I have had over the past few months:

    1) I'm not saying that Maura was involved in the Vasi hit and run, but keep that incident in context with the time. Wasn't he clinging to life in the days and weeks afterward? If so, whoever did hit him would have been worried about a whole lot more than a hit and run. Also, within a week of that crime, how would the driver who hit him know for sure that no one saw them do it? Although there's someone out there in 2013 who knows they got away with it, they would have been extremely nervous during the initial days after the incident and may have had reason to escape the area due to all the publicity surrounding the case, especially if they had a damaged car.

    2) Was the victim of Maura's credit card theft in her same dorm? One has to wonder if eventually word of this crime started trickling around the dorm and campus. Perhaps upon returning from Christmas break Maura found that quite a few people knew it was her who stole the credit card #. Imagine every gathering or party she attended, her not knowing if someone there was whispering behind her back that she was the one who stole so-and-so's credit card number to buy pizza. This could have certainly increased her stress level at this time and led her to maybe decide to leave school.

    3) It has been well stated that the odds are extremely slim that a serial killer would be passing by at the exact moment Maura stood beside her car. That I agree with. But what about just a regular killer? There are probably thousands more who would kill in a certain situation but never had the opportunity...that is until they came across an intoxicated, attractive female at the side of the road who was very willing to hop in for a ride away from the scene. Maybe murder wasn't even on the mind of this driver at the outset. Maybe he brought her back to his home far away from the scene. Maybe after a while he expected to be "repaid" for his efforts and then things turned ugly. This may have happened a day or two later and far away from where people searched.

    4) I don't recall this ever being discussed, but according to google maps, nearly the entire stretch of Rte 112 Maura likely drove on is in the town of Bath. Only a very short stretch of 112 dips into the town of Haverhill and then once you go a few hundred yards beyond the crash site it turns back into Bath again. If you look at a map of Haverhill, the crash site is in a far corner of the town. I wonder if this restricted Haverhill police in their initial search in the moments after their arrival?

    5) Finally, in case there are new visitors to this site, I am hoping to jog someone's memory. I had posted last year that I was in that area in Sept 2003 and there was extensive contruction on these roads, quite possibly Rte 112. Expecting to drive and see the sights on the Kancamagus Hwy, we were instead met with miles of torn up road and workers and flag men everywhere. It seemed like a very big project and I believe this would have been in the area east of the crash site deeper into the woods. Does anyone remember this? I suppose they would have wanted to finish this work before winter, but did this work (and the workers) linger in this area through the time of Maura's disappearance?

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    1. Thanks for these interesting thoughts. It is nice to read thoughtful contributions here, as I am so fascinated by this case. I have some things to add in response to your questions and otherwise.

      Per 1 - I too wonder about the Vasi hit. It would be a trigger tying together known events and well explaining what appears to have been a crazy weekend. But James posted last year that it is almost certainly irrelevant and he seems to not be focused on it.

      Per 2 - Yes, the victim of the cc fraud was in the same dorm. That police report said the police, after working with the pizza place to catch Maura in the act, went down the hall to talk with her. Your insight about resulting social pressures - I think - is SPOT ON. I did not think of it, but as soon as I read your comment, I realized she would have likely faced humiliating social circumstances and pressures, which are really tough on a college kid. Consider, in fact, the possibility that others were out in the hall when her "on the spot" mug shot was snapped.

      Per 3 - I have written here before about it NOT being unlikely that a serial killer got her. I sent James an extended version of the logic and he agreed. I'll give you a shorter version. There is conditional probability at hand, related to an unknown condition with known implications. Suppose a plane from NYC to London disappeared from radar over the Atlantic and never landed in London, but no wreckage was found. You could not reason that it did not go down in the Atlantic because only 3 of the last 8 million flights over the Atlantic (or whatever) went down. Instead, there is a condition that changes the odds. The normal things that trans-Atlantic flights do did not happen. To wit, they normally land somewhere and don't disappear from radar. So the distribution of outcomes for that plane, as opposed to all planes taxi-ing toward takeoff is QUITE different. Likewise, we know that all of the most likely outcomes of a given drive for a given New England girl (showing up for class, emailing her boyfriend, going back to her dorm, going home, calling home, ever talking to her friends again, etc.) did not happen. Whatever did happen to her is already in the realm of unlikelihood to being with. If the reasoning that Maura being snatched by a serial killer is statistically unlikely were valid, then in all most missing persons cases it would never make sense to evaluate clues or reasoning leading to an abduction theory. Thus - statistically viewed - it IS NOT really all that unlikely that a serial killer got her given that Maura's fate is already in the unlikely column across a population of New England kids taking a drive.

      Per 4 - I noticed that too. But I did not recognize the potential investigatory implications. I do think police generally have the right to cross jurisdictional lines in pursuit of clues about something that happened in their jurisdiction. But it appears from what the police did in this case, however, that they may have confined their search to their jurisdiction. You know, I also wondered this: if the accident was staged, was the remoteness of the scene within Haverhill's borders a factor in selecting the location?

      Per 5 - This was discussed here in connection with the first Alden Olson creep video, where he was wearing the reflective jackets that construction workers often wear. Also, I think you are correct; construction teams in remote areas sometimes hire local temps or people who move to the area chasing construction jobs, who then lurk around for a while in that area.

      ~ John Green

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  18. my instincts, for what they're worth, tell me that although Fred may be hiding something this isn't directly related to her disappearance...though he isn't sure of this himself.

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    1. I think this is quite a measured and insightful response. It has occurred to me too. The only factor that makes me wonder is the amount of apparent equivocations and contradictions. But you never know with an older person facing grief how they might react. You could very well be right that there is a guilt and unease and hiding of something, but all without a culpability or intent. Well said. I tend to think otherwise, but your perspective well merits consideration.

      ~ John Green

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  19. "Please. Do not make this site a place to judge a grieving father. It is clear, I think, that Fred Murray had nothing to do with her disappearance."

    How is it clear that he had nothing to do with Maura's disappearance?

    John Avellar

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  20. The police are obviously throwing you off, you clearly have the facts all wrong. Fred did NOT do this, and you my friend are a joke.

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    1. You have a particular diction style. And a particular flair for reasoning from a non-existent premise to an angry conclusion. You sign your name almost as literally as I do.

      ~ John Green

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  21. Where is Mr Renner implying that Mr. Murray is responsable for his daughter's death? He does not have the "facts"wrong since that is not what he is implying.

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  22. Just watched this on Discovery ID, read all this blog, wanted to put my two cents in.......

    ....Everyone hopes this young girl is still alive, it is better to hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.....

    1. She probably left the scene of the accident, after she received a head injury, was drinking, didn't eat, locked her car door so it wouldn't be vandalized.

    2. She blew off the bus driver because he was weird, creepy and she was disorientated, immature.

    3. After the Bus driver left ( he probably regrets that every day), she realized the phone didn't work, your in the middle of nowhere, no one is coming to help. She should of stayed with her car, but decided to walk to a gas station.

    4. On her walk she succumbed to her injury and elements. Hypothermia, head injury, she just wanted to sit and rest for a moment, pasted out on the side of the road and never woke up.

    5. She might have been hit by another vehicle, by her car, down the road and it was never reported, was mistaken for an animal....ect.

    6. She was prob startled by the bus driver while going to the bathroom next to the car.

    7.She is prob within a mile of the accident scene and her body will be found within a few years by someone walking their dog, a tow truck driver responding to another accident.

    8.She didn't care about the credit card fraud, kids do this all the time in college.

    7.The wine was for her, the Khalua, Bailies, vodka was for a friend. Maybe underage, or maybe," Hey your going to the liqueur store, could you grab me this, I will pay you back when you get here." She picked it up for them and dropped it off before she even left UMass, thats why it wasn't in the car.

    8. If your not wearing your seatbelt airbags will not stop your head from hitting the windshield.

    9. Her family was more relaxed about drinking, drinking and driving. The father said we looked for brewery to eat. He drank beers and drove. Maybe one, maybe more.

    10. She was driving her friends back and forth from.....to....the party.....parties....maybe she was afraid he car would break down. Maybe her fathers car had more room. Maybe her heater didn't work in the saturn. Maybe wanted to impress a guy she liked with a nicer car. Most kids prob didn't have cars up there, and she was happy to help by driving.

    11. She didn't commit suicide, it wasn't a serial killer, her father didn't kill her, she didn't run away to Canada and start a new life with a new boyfriend.

    12. When your that age you don't consider the consequences of your actions, you just do stuff.

    13. She was coming back.

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  23. All very interesting comments here. I'm surprised that no one mentioned the heavy breathing/whimpering voicemail to the boyfriend. Where does this message fall within the timeline of accident, bus driver and copy arrival? How do you work this into your theories? Although statistical a murderer seems unlikely, I tend to lean towards that theory. But wouldn't a murderer grab her cel phone? I need to do a little more research to find out what else was found in here car. I wonder how much wine was left (not that this directly tells us what happened), but I'm still curious how drunk she was. Also, the tail pipe, although maybe a red herring, does anyone know why someone would stuff a cloth in one in general?

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    1. The phone call/voicemail wasn't her. See this entry:

      A source close to the investigation now confirms the person who made the phone call has been located and interviewed. It was a Red Cross worker trying to reach William in reference to his requests for emergency leave from the military (the Red Cross can help servicemen get emergency leave in some cases). The Red Cross worker hung up because they believed they had reached voice mail and did not want to leave a message, opting to call again later to speak directly to Rausch.

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  24. Im sorry to say, if he hasn't changed his story in 9 years, he isn't about to start now.

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