Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Red Truck Revised

Well, this red truck thing is more complicated that it looks.

As more info comes in, it appears there in fact WAS a suspicious red truck seen by a local woman named Welma Robinson (also known as Robin/Robinson Ordway, online) at the Stage Shop around the time of Maura's disappearance. I now believe her statement that this red truck had Massachusetts plates.

The confusion comes from other red trucks that were spotted or checked by police officers following Robinson's initial report. The Glynn brothers' truck being one of these.

I believe the evidence in this case suggests Maura may have been traveling in tandem with another driver or met someone up in New Hampshire, and it was that other driver who picked her up after the accident. This red truck with Mass plates is very interesting. Did Robinson witness this other driver turning around to return to the scene of Maura's accident?

Who did Maura know from Mass who owned a red truck in 2004?

119 comments:

  1. Fred Murray on the Montel Williams show, 2004.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=our9Rc67uxs

    Fred does not appear to be concerned in this interview. If you notice the very first question asked, he takes a moment to think about what he is going to say and come up with the 'right' answer.

    I personally think, he seem to know something, but I do not see any reason for silence? We are all interested for Maura's good..we all want that this story has a happy end..that she is alive and happy somewhere..why so much secrecy and silence by her close ones? By the way, Fred seems to me a perfectionist, and he must have had high expectations for Maura..and she with her lately action let him down.. It seems strange to me if she is still alive somewhere (which I hope she is!), that she does not have any contact with her family for 9 years?

    James have you tried to watch (whether it is legally) "every step" Fred does for a mont or so? Maybe you would find answers...

    Greets from Slovenia

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  2. I wonder what type of truck it was. Whenever I heard of the red truck in the past, I imagined a loud, slow, country truck that probably couldn't make from MA to NH - something that a creepy old man would drive. It just now hit me that it could've been a more modern one!

    So here's what could have happened: The person in the red truck was traveling with Maura. Perhaps s/he was in front of Maura and didn't see her accident in the rearview mirror. S/he suddenly realizes that Maura isn't following them, goes back to the accident scene, and:
    a) picks up Maura and has a hand in her disappearance
    b) doesn't see Maura and keeps looking for her around Haverhill (therefore turning around in Stage Shop suspiciously)

    It's possible, but I also think it's a little farfetched. Judging by Maura's actions, she seemed to want some time away to herself.

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  3. Another point, since Maura was concerned about the reliability of her vehicle, why would she drive in tandem and not just ride in the other person's vehicle? Assuming they were coming from different parts of MA, they could have found a meeting place, left Maura's vehicle somewhere, and then driven together to their destination. I really don't think that Maura would drink and drive in her unreliable vehicle unless it was a last resort.

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    1. Good question. Some possible answers:

      1) The person she was traveling in tandem with had bad intentions and convinced her to take the Saturn as part of those, somehow.

      2) They thought that leaving the car in the woods of rural NH would be better for making her disappearance look like a suicide/abduction/death by elements. That is, the choice not to leave the car in MA was somehow part of the staging of her disappearance.

      And, perhaps most likely,

      3) They wanted to dump the Saturn FAR away...in a rural, undiscoverable place. I would guess they had somewhere in particular where they were planning to dump it, but didn't make it there.

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    2. I think it's time to seriously question whether there was ever anything wrong with Maura's car to begin with. It seems like that whole story stems from the claim that Fred went to help Maura buy a new car, which is now open to debate.

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    3. 1) Although not stated in the police report, she quite possibly could have driven after drinking, just a few days before in her father's NEW vehicle late at night and wrecked it.
      2) Unfortunately, tons of people, especially college age, drink and drive. They think that they are "ok" not considering what their BAC might be.
      3) She could have been meeting a friend or relative at a ski or vacation resort in the area. That person might have to go to work or school before Maura wanted to leave, so she brought her car too. This seems to be a very rural area and perhaps she didn't know where to leave her car, or didn't want to leave it unattended.
      4) Perhaps she was meeting someone(a date from an internet site, or a person that had traveled from out of town/state, or a friend from another college). They would be coming from different directions or would need to go in a different direction when the vacation was over.
      5) Maybe her plan was to ditch her car somewhere in that rural area and then get a ride from the other person. However, I don't think this accident was faked. I think her plan got snagged on the way to her destination.
      Just some random ideas about why she wouldn't ride with someone else.

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    4. @Anomymous 9:56--GREAT point.

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  4. If you wanted to go off by yourself to "be alone" or kill yourself or whatever, you would probably not buy a variety of different liquors to buy mixed drinks. At least I don't think that is likely. It is more likely that she bought so much alcohol to drink it with someone else. However, a lot of facts about this case an not very likely to happen - and have occurred.

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    1. To be fair, the larger bottles of liquor tend to give you "more bang for your buck" than the smaller ones. If she wanted some time alone, either by herself or with an acquaintance, buying the larger bottles would have given her more value and it's not like she was wealthy.

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  5. I would still check out the Glynn brothers. Since it appears that they a) had a red truck and b) lived in Benton down BHR at the time, IF they are the bros. who worked snowmaking at Loon, then they'd be the #1 local suspects.

    Only discrepancy would be the MA plates and RO could have been mistaken on that.

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  6. You keep saying that you believe Maura was traveling in tandem with someone else. Can you explain why you believe that? What evidence suggests to you that she was? Not saying you're wrong; just curious. I've read this whole blog but I'm still not sure where that is coming from.

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    1. I agree. Maybe there's something I've missed, but I don't see any evidence that anyone was traveling with her--in the same car or another. If it's just something we're suggesting is true, then what does it get us? In other words, what is explainable by her traveling with someone else that is difficult to explain otherwise?

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    2. He wants you to buy the book, that's why he's not giving the info.

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    3. Adriana Pacheco-LesemannApril 27, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Comments like the one above, are simply disgusting and completely baseless.

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  7. i am very suprised because you are writing the book and i was sure that you have your theory but this post makes me belive that you are stil searching and that all theories are open.

    i enjoy reading your posts and i am happy because you said that thisis evidence that suggests Maura may have been traveling in tandem with another driver.

    about your question in the end.....no one will tell you anything... you tried to talk to some persons but they did not wanted talk to you.

    i heve 2 questions... first... did you try to talk to bill and what he said?


    about red truck had Massachusetts plates...can you go to Insurance companies or at the car registration places to chech registrated red cars at 2004 in Mass.....i dont know how many car registrations places are in Mass but at least you will get some answers!

    Balkan cura :)

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  8. I would like to know, from Mr Renner's point of view, if he can in any way reveal why he thinks that Maura was with someone else and why he believes it is possible that she is still alive...? Does he in any way have evidence that this might be true or is this opinon a simple personal conclusion? I would like to believe the same so that's the reason I ask....Thanks.

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    1. I think where Renner is coming from is this: Maura disappeared from the road in an incredibly short period of time and was not seen anywhere near there again, so she probably didn't get a ride from a local to a nearby convenience store or motel. If Maura was not picked up by a psycho killer, Renner rejects this as being way beyond the odds, then just about the only way she could have been whisked out of there into nowhere so thoroughly and quickly would have been if she climbed into a car (or truck) with someone she knew and who was either ahead of or behind her and together they hightailed it points unknown.

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    2. The active voices in the case keep claiming it's a fairly low chance that she would run into a situational killer but as a young woman from the area who is fascinated with maura because of how thin the divide is, that seems to me to be the most likely, and where she was and her possible current state (possible inebriation) put her at even higher risk, as a young female alone. I don't know why men think they can get inside the mind of a young girl without first asking women before simply dismissing that whole notion when it's incredibly likely she was not picked up by someone age knew if we have no record or information after 20 years to prove this supposed aquaintance even existed in the first place. They were not seen on the security footage of maura earlier that night nor were they mentioned or seen in any parking lot or gas station she stopped at. Seems like blatantly snatching at threads of facts to come up with theoreticals that are realistically less likely than the original mystery

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    3. The active voices in the case keep claiming it's a fairly low chance that she would run into a situational killer but as a young woman from the area who is fascinated with maura because of how thin the divide is, that seems to me to be the most likely, and where she was and her possible current state (possible inebriation) put her at even higher risk, as a young female alone. I don't know why men think they can get inside the mind of a young girl without first asking women before simply dismissing that whole notion when it's incredibly likely she was not picked up by someone age knew if we have no record or information after 20 years to prove this supposed aquaintance even existed in the first place. They were not seen on the security footage of maura earlier that night nor were they mentioned or seen in any parking lot or gas station she stopped at. Seems like blatantly snatching at threads of facts to come up with theoreticals that are realistically less likely than the original mystery

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  9. From what I have read about this red truck and the witness' description of it, it seemed like the driver may have been looking for someone in particular (and realized that the witness was not that person). The driving in tandem looks very plausible in that light.

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  10. James, thank you so much for your amazing work on this case.

    ~Kolina

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  11. James:

    According to RO's statements in the papers (at least as recopied onto the weeper forum by Fred L. who I think is a reliable secondary source), the truck departed the store toward the scene. There is no indication as to whether it turned around to do so. Her statement seems to suggest, in fact, that she was walking east toward the store when the truck initially passed her. She says that after they stopped at the store and - what seemed to her as if - they were getting a better look at her, the truck took off up the hill toward the crash site.

    ~ John Green

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  12. OK, let's think this through for a second.

    Red truck leaves in direction of the accident site. Cops go by 10 minutes later. This puts the red truck at Maura's car at exactly the crucial moment: just after SBD, just before police. Very suspicious.

    Now we have decent confirmation and first-hand clarification from RO what really happened. So it's not in the land of rumor anymore. This seems to be very relevant.

    So here's the part that I can't quite wrap my head around. The Stage Shop is west of the accident scene, correct? Therefore Maura would have passed it already. Why is red truck driver (hereinafter RTD) looking for Maura at the Stage Shop? There might be some answers to be had here, because here's how it plays out to me (and would love to have me some John Green on this thought process):

    1. If Maura and RTD are driving in tandem, why would RTD stop BEFORE the accident happened? If the SS was on the far side of the accident site, it would make sense that RTD was waiting for her to catch up, and when she didn't, went back to look for her. But it was on the NEAR side. So it doesn't make sense for the RTD, if in tandem with Maura to make a stop where Maura didn't, nor to expect her to appear there if she was ahead. If RTD is following her, then he should just happen across the accident site a few seconds afterwards. And if you're following someone in tandem through an area with no cell reception, the last thing you want to do is make an unscheduled stop that might cause you to get separated from the person you're following.

    2. It DOES support the theory that she wrecked the car deliberately (one which I never previously gave much credence to). If the plan was, say, that RTD waits at Stage Stop while Maura goes ahead and wrecks the car, and then Maura walks back but is then delayed by the conversation with SBD, it would make sense that he was waiting for her to show up and when she didn't, he took off for the accident site.

    3. Ditto the rag in the tailpipe to disable the car theory. If Maura had stopped at the Stage Shop for gas, RTD could have stuffed the rag in the tailpipe and waited for the car to stall, so the RTD could do someting nefarious. It would make sense for the RTD to wait a few minutes before going to look for a stalled car, and to be curious if the person entering the Stage Shop was Maura looking for help earlier than expected.

    4.No one seems to understand why Maura turned down 112 when 302 was a more direct route to Bartlett. In light of this information WHERE the accident occurred may be very significant, coming right as it does (a) right before the road heads into the wilderness; (b) just far enough in from the junction of 302 and 112 so that someone making a wrong turn would begin to realize it and start to contemplate a U-turn; (c) a point where, if you were going to rendezvous with someone coming the opposite direction on 302, it would make sense to meet up (since you don't want to meet at the intersection itself, but at the nearest semi-populated/business area on a nearby road); and (d) at a kink in the road so sharp and obvious it can be seen on even the least-detailed state map.

    I don't know which of (a) through (d) is relevant, but I'd bet one of them is.

    I'm becoming convinced the Red Truck may be the key to the whole thing, but I can't think of any scenario that plausibly puts the tandem driver in the parking lot of the Stage Shop WEST and BEHIND Maura's direction of travel without the wreck being deliberately planned. Am I missing something? Because I'm starting to think if you answer this question, you might solve the mystery.

    adam

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    1. To point #4:

      If she was familiar with Bartlett then she was somewhat familiar with Conway/North Conway and the amount of accommodation there. If she had no luck with the condo in Bartlett, it would be reasonable to think you could find a room in Conway/North Conway. Looking at a map, rt 112 appears to be a direct line to Conway. If her intent was still Bartlett, 112 still looks like a more direct route. On a map it looks like 302 curves up and over to where 112 meets it in the Conway area, thus a longer trip to end up in the same place. The reality is that the 112 route to Bartlett is about 20 miles further, but looking at a road map, it does not appear that way. Only someone who knows the roads would know that direct line or not, 112 is not a great road for traveling unless you are in no hurry and want to sight see.

      B

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    2. Thanks B...makes sense.

      (adam)

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  13. Minor detail but still important and I will keep emphasizing it. Witness statements do not indicate any "turning around" of the truck at any point. We have 2, possibly 3 "sightings" (if you will) of it.

    1) The first time it stopped or slowed down in the middle of the road as Robinson O approached from the behind and also when it passed her and presumably did not see her walking far off the road. Both headed eastbound Rt 112, towards the accident scene.

    2) Stage Stop Store when it took off towards the accident as Robinson O approached and stepped into the light presumably after driver was again satisfied she was not the person or thing he was looking for.

    3) Possible sighting on Bradley Hill Rd later by dog walker.

    In all cases, the picture is painted of the truck moving from west to east, towards and past the accident site. At no point is a change in direction (turn around) indicated. I wish we would strike "turn around" from our collective vocabularies on this issue it will keep any confusion on the matter to a minimum.

    I think writing off the red truck is a very, very bad idea. I have no privileged info per se and could never obtain it in a million years but I have it on very good firsthand authority that they are very, very, very interested in a SPECIFIC vehicle or vehicle(s) in the area that night. At least one sounds very much like the red truck. At minimum this is a person the police would be extremely, extremely interested in talking to as it seems like he is one of only a small handful who most likely passed (or worse, did something to) Maura on the side of the rd. The timeline possibly puts red truck at scene during the window where Butch Atwood is out of sight. If Butch is correct, we also know that at least a few other cars (I think Butch says 5 or so, could be more or less, somebody help me out) passed during the time he was watching on his porch. In rural NH it is very common for people to stop at accidents and offer aid, even more so in 2004. Does not sound like a long time ago to us but fact is cell network and use was still significantly worse then. Why did these cars not stop when Maura was alone? Could the red truck have been stopped at the time so they did not think it necessary to stop?

    The behavior of the truck is also suspicious to say the least. I totally leave out the MA plates vs NH vs 48 other possible states and more in Canada on the plates. It probably was MA or something that looks like it (NH temp) but I WOULD NOT DRAW CONCLUSIONS BASED ON WITNESS ACCOUNTS OF PLATES AT NIGHT!!! That area is EXTREMELY dark. RO admits she did not get the plate # (not close enough) but presumed MA plates. If you are not close enough to get the #, you are not close enough to be 100% sure what state it is unless you are a cop familiar with plates or somebody who just happens to pay alot of attention to plates on the road (im like that myself). My point being, dont use the possible MA plates to rule in "driving in tandem" and rule out "local dirtbag". Honestly, I think the origin of the plates/vehicle is the shakiest ground in all this red truck stuff. Could be from anywhere. More important is his actions, where he was and at what time. Sorry, its strange at minimum to stop the way he did, go up to the store lot, NOT GO INTO THE STORE FOR ANY REASON OR DO ANYTHING ELSE IN PARKINGLOT (ie wash windows, fix truck, etc) and then take off AGAIN when somebody approached. It is a known fact that red truck driver was never in the store from owners accounts. So what was he doing and why? Could it be nothing? Of course but at minimum this person witnessed some potentially important things. I think if this case gets solved we find he is more than a witness ...

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    1. I don't believe in the driving in tandem theory. There is no eveidence to support it (no previous correspondence such as email, phone calls, etc.). The guy in the red truck could have just been lost or he was someone who gave Maura a lift. To me, both are possibilities.

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    2. I live in new england and have ct plates but spend far more time driving in mass. The plate issue boggles me because regardless, all the info points to this red truck being involved and whether or not they had NH plates is so far from realistically important. It's only 3 hours from here in mass to where maura crashed that night. I could literally drive up there now if I got the urge to go hiking, so why couldn't someone with mass plates possibly travel up there on a whim or looking for prey, or live in NH but have a mass license and plates because they haven't switched over/live there unofficially which in assuming someone with the mindset to kidnap a young woman probably doesn't want their name on homeowner bills. If they were doing shady things they probably wouldn't want to have legal possessions or property documented under their name at the time, and/or kept different state plates to fly under the radar more/look like a ma resident passing through for the day. Then they could relocate again and move on so as not to be investigated, as a good serial killer prob would.

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  14. Again James, with great respect for your work, I disagree on 1 point.

    What we know suggests the red truck was NOT travelling with MM. Instead, if it is relevant to MM's fate, she probably was abducted.

    To see this, suppose these assumptions:

    [1] The red truck is relevant to MM's case, probably meaning that she got into it where dogs lost her scent.

    [2] RO saw what she said she saw, including the truck heading east toward the accident scene upon departing the store.

    [3] RO's impressions are correct; to wit, the driver of the truck was waiting to get a good look at her near the store and - upon seeing that she was not the person they were looking for - departed toward the accident scene.

    Of course, the 3rd assumption could be wrong, but RO's statements are the only evidence of the red truck. Given her credibility in what she said and how, it is useful (if not definitive) to evaluate the situation as if her present sense impressions were correct.

    In that context, observe that the red truck driver was looking for Maura walking along the road before she crashed. We know that RO saw the truck prior to the accident, because her sense of having gotten to the store shortly after 7:00 pm is corroborated by her having seen the police pass 20 minutes later. Thus, the driver of the red truck anticipated the crash by at least 10 minutes. This advance knowledge implies sabotage and a nefarious intent.

    Here is how it might have gone down.

    [1] MM had car trouble and got help. (This, by the way, might be further speculatively corroborated by the hospital worker who saw the police car go the wrong way at first, west on 112 off of Goose Lane. To wit, the dispatcher perhaps had also gotten a call about the same car being disabled along the road, resulting in confusion about the Saturn's location.)

    [2] The person who helped MM also sabotaged her car, perhaps rigging a stall (consistent with what the EMT inferred from the accident scene) and possibly putting the rag in the tailpipe.

    [3] Giving her a head start, that person set out on Route 112 to intercede as a good Samaritan.

    [4] That person picked up MM where the dogs lost the scent. (This would account for one problem with the "an abduction down the road" theory in the abstract; namely, the why would she accept help from one person - down the road - and not Butch? That is explained in this scenario because she had already met and been helped by the red truck driver. When she saw it pass after the accident, therefore, she preferred help from the driver. Also, she may have been concerned about a DUI.

    This all implies that MM probably was not traveling in tandem with the red truck. It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which a co-traveler would be looking for her walking along the road a mile prior to the accident scene, at least 10 minutes before the accident occurred. Thus her co-traveler, if one existed, was most likely not the driver of the red truck.

    Moreover, MM probably was traveling alone. It is difficult otherwise to imagine her getting into the red truck at all, and harder still to imagine her traveling companion being silent or silenced since.

    (If, after the accident, MM did not accept a ride from the red truck, then the 1st assumption fails and the red truck was not relevant to her fate.)

    As such, if evidence were to somehow definitively show that the red truck was involved in MM's disappearance (e.g., her finger prints in a red truck in an NH driveway), it follows that she likely was traveling alone and was abducted by someone who sabotaged her car on the pretense of helping her.

    More broadly, therefore, the red truck either (1) tends to suggest an abduction, or (2) was an irrelevant coincidence. It does not well suggest, however, that somebody driving that truck was travelling with MM.

    While not definitive, this reasoning flows from the only evidence we have that the red truck ever existed (RO's credible statement) taken on its face.

    ~ John Green

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    1. Not sure if I agree with you completely on this, because Maura and her companion could have maintained a significant distance while traveling in tandem. Indeed, if they had wanted to pull it off stealthily, traveling with distance between them would have been the obvious way to go.

      Therefore, since they had no cell phone connection at that point, it could have made sense for her traveling partner to be looking for her at that interval.

      That said, there has been a lot of discussion--corroborated by the police logs--about another accident nearby, shortly prior to Maura's accident, and presumably on Maura's route. Many on other forums (i.e. Yuku) have speculated that Maura was also involved in this earlier accident. That would fit in well with your theory.

      But note that the possibilities of traveling in tandem AND someone trying to sabotage Maura's car are not mutually exclusive. In fact, if I had to give the edge to one particular theory of Maura's disappearance at this point, I would go with non-stranger abduction/homicide.

      It just doesn't seem like this fits the pattern of either an opportunistic or a strategic serial killer. For one thing, the car broke down (for the second time) in a populated area; the rag in the tailpipe was Maura's own; and let us not forget that Maura probably filled her backpack with alcohol before going to the other car (as indicated by the fact that some of the alcohol bottles she bought were missing from her car, or so I seem to remember.) That said, this happened in the White Mountains, which has had well more than its share of killings and killers in the last 40 years. If there is one place where it could have been a serial killer, this would be it.

      Last thing...
      Is it possible that Fred could have used the $4,000 to get a car for himself? ...You know what kind of car I mean.

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    2. That's a good point. I had not thought of that. They might have been in cell phone contact on the highways and said "hey, meet you at jigger johnson" or something.

      But still, I think the factor I cite remains. Even under that scenario, the red truck with a driver who knows Maura had no reason to be looking for her walking along a road, at least 10 minutes prior to her accident and one mile west of the scene. In fact, logic would indicate that if Maura indeed proceeded from 302/10 to the accident scene, she was BEHIND the red truck at this point. Thus, if RO's impression of the situation is correct (and her credibility is high in my eyes, given HOW she said what she said), then it seems to me that the red truck is either an irrelevant coincidence or (as someone else put it) some bad dude trolling for a victim or who knew that Maura was going to stall because he sabotaged her car. The bottom line is that looking for somebody walking prior to the accident suggests that if Maura was the person they were looking for, they knew she would crash. If it was a staged accident, surely they would have been at the scene together to ensure fleeing quickly. So to me, it suggests that if Maura was who the peering driving was looking for, he had advance knowledge a crash was coming.

      That said, it is possible that RO got an accurate sense, but there is some other reason why Maura's traveling companion was looking for someone, one that is hard to imagine. I say this because when the truth comes out, whatever it is, there will be some surprising longshot probably that nobody foresaw. So I offer my coincidence or bad guy dichotomy with the caveat that it depends entirely on RO's sense of the situation being literally 100% correct, even though she has no real way to know for sure what was going through the red truck driver's mind and has never asserted that she does. She simply conveyed her sense of the situation, which I ran with a bit.

      ~ John Green

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    3. John Green, that all makes good sense. Like you, I believe Ms. Robinson's account (...although I don't know that we can trust 100% that the person who posted here is in fact her, since for one thing I thought LE told her to stop posting online.)

      I think it may be a little risky to try to parse out the logistical details too finely, because, as you suggest, there are so many unknowns. At any rate, we should probably not use a fine-grained interpretation of this fuzzy picture as a way to make conclusions about the situation. Once we have a plausible situation theory locked down, and have an idea of everyone's motives and plans, then it could be reasonable to try to fit together the exact timing and details as carefully as possible.

      I think the problem with doing so now is that any number of 'arbitrary' decisions could have been made by either driver for reasons we cannot know: someone might have been lost or delayed; someone may have chosen an alternate route to avoid being spotted or because they were spotted; or Maura may have even suddenly had a change of heart and sought to lose her companion. In any of these cases--or any number of other conceivable cases--it is possible that the cars would not be places in the order and proximity we imagine, ESPECIALLY if they were purposely trying to keep their distance.

      I hope that made some sense and you don't mind my stating my view on this complicated question. Your interpretations on this blog have been consistently excellent, and this is no exception--any possible inconsistencies in the itinerary are definitely worth pointing out. I just don't think we should use these tenuous points to draw conclusions such as "nefarious stranger" without further evidence. This case is definitely a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, and the one thing that is clear about it is that nothing it is clear! Hopefully someone will talk soon and shine some light.

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    4. Sorry, I just wanted to add that the earlier accident nearby was NOT NECESSARILY corroborated by police logs, as I said it was in my first reply. The first accident was supposedly reported by a woman named Anne listening to a scanner or other radio. In that accident, according to Anne, the woman left the scene in a "private vehicle." It is NOT clear whether the police logs contain a report of that accident, and the full logs are no longer available as far as I know. It would have been in the log for Bath, NH, if anywhere, but I don't know if it is. Sorry for the mistake.

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  15. In all this, lest not forget Fred told the tow truck operator he suggested to Maura, weeks prior to the accident, to put the rag in tailpipe to prevent smoking. Now, Fred saying this should strike a chord with anyone reading this blog. After years of being around garages and being the child of a mechanic, I've never heard anyone suggest that. We all know the car will stall if the exhaust is blocked. The tow truck operator said the rag was clean, which suggests it was placed there either after the crash or just before. We know the lady who called 911 after the wreck said she heard the car rev up before the impact, which implies it was starting to stall and she gave it gas and could lead to her losing control and hitting the snowbank. It could very well be she stopped at some point and got help from someone with bad intentions. It could also be the person she was meeting up with knew the rag could stall the car and purposly wrecked the car for reasons known only to the participants. Maura refused help from the SBD. She no doubt saw the neighbors lights on and could have taking refuge at a house in proximity to the crash until help arrived. I believe she purposly chose to ditch her car because she knew someone was coming. I'd like to know if anyone in the Murray family had a red truck in this era. Remember, Fred's car was totaled and he could very well had a backup truck or borrowed from a friend or relative, hence the Mass. plates. I'm not saying this theory is correct, but it is something to ponder.

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  16. John - You make a very convincing argument for the red truck driver having a "nefarious intent". It helps to explain a lot of the information. However, if this is true, then the rag in the tail pipe is a major piece of evidence! Why would Fred make up a reason for it being there?

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    1. You got me on that. I have recently uncovered, however, that there are some legitimate reasons to put a rag in a tail pipe (beyond what the EMS said). For one thing, you would do it to check for an exhaust leak. Also, depending on the type of exhaust system, I discovered that a rag - contrary to the EMS statement - would not NECESSARILY stall the car.

      But your point remains salient if I might restate it a bit: if the red truck driver was a random bad guy, like Fred says (i.e., the dirtbag), then Fred has no reason to equivocate and play games with logic and truth (as I am certain from scrutinizing his statements, some of which are in video) that he has.

      So, I don't know ...

      ~ John Green

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    2. Try stalling your car with a rag in the tailpipe. You will drop the idea of "nefarious intent by rag" immediately.

      Of course that still leaves a huge question mark as to why it was there and I believe Fred's explanation is suspicious at best.

      B

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  17. Could the red truck possibly have been the legit (or maybe non-legit) tow truck? Also something that's been bugging me: if Maura knew she wasn't returning, why bother with the family emergency email? If she knew she was returning, why'd she pack up her dorm room? Maybe Maura herself didn't know whether or not she would be coming back / i.e. knew wherever she was going or whomever she was meeting was dangerous?
    -Sharon

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  18. The red truck was going in the direction of the accident when it stopped in the middle of the hill in front of my house as I was walking...the lighting was poor there, and I thought to myself that maybe they either 1) thought I needed a ride or 2) that I was someone else. As I approached the stagestop, the truck was in the stagestop parking lot. I could tell there was someone watching me and as I got in the light of the pumps, the red truck pulled away, again, towards the accident. When I went into the store, I asked Wini if some people came in the store just now and she said no and I said well, there was a red truck that stopped in the hill with MA plates and then took off and was in your parking lot as I approached. We both shrugged it off as someone looking for someone else. Twenty minutes or so later, the PD went flying by. I continued to visit with Wini until she closed up at 8 and then started walking home. As I was approaching my driveway - in the middle of the hill again where it was dark - the ambulance went by - going towards 302/10 as if it was leaving the accident scene. It slammed on its brakes when it saw me and pulled into the Bunga Road (which is on the other side of my house). Then a state police officer pulled up and rolled down his window.....I said hello and he said oh, its you...and I said yep, just me...he asked if I had seen anyone else walking and I said no, and he left and the ambulance followed him. At that point I did not know of the accident and in fact, I didn't hear of it for a couple of days later when Wini called and told me and reminded me of the truck. Her and I spent numerous times looking for this truck to no avail. Now, the reason I was sure it was MA plates is because when it stopped in the hill, I looked at the plate and tried to memorize it (thinking to myself, oh great, I am going to get kidnapped or something). Obviously, a few days later the only thing I could remember was the MA plates. Hope this helps clarify things for you. Whether it had anything to do with Maura disappearing, I have no idea. WS Robinson

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing your story..

      that ambulance was going from place where mauras car was find or from the direction where that other accident occured few minutes before mauras accident?

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    2. the key thing i take from this is that it is a specific and very compelling account and this may be due to how suspicious the driver of this truck was acting. When the witness mentions she looked at the plate as she thought she might be kidnapped it does raise a red flag. Clearly she herself felt this red truck was very suspicious. It is HIGHLY suspicious that the truck stops twice before taking off and stops at the station without any cause. I fear this was someone looking for a victim - an opportunist who was about to pass Maura at the exact time when she was most desperate. Would be terrible luck for Maura but certainly not beyond the realms of believability.

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  19. Just a thought but maybe when the bus driver stopped to help she didn't realize there was no cell service. As soon as he leaves she would try to call and discover the problem. She could have started walking down the road to try and find a signal. She most likely wouldn't pass up an offer for a ride from another car knowing her options are to wait for the cops to show up or walk alone in the dark for help. How long does it take for a car to stall out after a rag is placed in the tail pipe? And do we know where she last stopped for gas? I would be curious to see if those match up. If they do that would that would almost certainly mean someone was following her waiting for the car to malfunction.

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    1. VERY plausible explanation, good job. All of this fits. The one thing is that it's not a guarantee Maura would take a ride from a stranger after walking a bit. I think she would probably take a ride from her traveling companion, but no one else. That said, if she was drunk enough, she might have mistaken someone else for her traveling companion.

      It's all a little confusing when you consider that the dogs lost her scent 100 yards down the road from the crash site, but then she was possibly seen running down the road 4-5 miles away. (Many people doubt that sighting, because it came from the notoriously unreliable RF, but it seems like the cops aren't entirely doubtful.)

      As to your question about the gas...her tank was found almost full. I imagine that if a rag were to stall the car without being expelled by the exhaust, it would do so quickly. So that would line up with the rag being put in at a nearby gas station.

      My personal belief is that the rag was placed in the tailpipe *after* the crash occurred. If it had been put there earlier, I think it would have a very high chance of being expelled by the engine, or else the car would not run for more than a few yards. (I have NO expertise in auto mechanics, just trying to apply common sense here, FWIW. Experts please correct.)

      Also, we don't know how dirty the rag was when it was found, but I imagine that if it had been in there while the car was running, it would be VERY sooty and dirty to the point of being unrecognizable as "a white rag." And finally, Maura was apparently seen going to the trunk area of her vehicle after the crash...this might have been an opportunity to get the rag and stick it in.

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    2. Good analysis. However what would be the purpose of Maura putting the rag there after the crash...? It makes no sense at all....

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  20. Whoa...first hand unfiltered information. Like water in the desert in this case. Thank you Ms. Robinson.

    This changes things a bit. Assuming we take Ms. R at her word (I see no reason not to, provisionally), this adds three things:

    1. Massachusetts plates definitely
    2. RTD first slows down WEST of Stage Shop
    3. Incident takes place 20 minutes prior to police arrival, not 10.

    This shakes things up a bit, doesn't it? I generally agreed with John Green's analysis about disabling the vehicle, but if the truck is on the prowl before the Stage Shop it reduces the opportunities for that to happen, because of the proximity of the turnoff to 112. It would almost have to be a scenario such as John described, where the car was already disabled, good samaritan stops and helps, surreptitiously disables the vehicle, then follows at a discreet distance to pick Maura up. But:

    1. First off, if there's bad intent, why not just snatch Maura then and there at the first supposed car breakdown? I suppose the incident could have been on more crowded 302, but still...the rag in the tailpipe seems complicated and likely to fail. Why not just grab her?

    2. For this to work, Maura's first breakdown has to be something easily fixable by good samaritan. This itself strikes me as somewhat improbable too.

    3. I don't believe there's any place further up 112 where Maura could have stopped for gas/eats and the rag in the tailpipe could have happened while the car was stopped and she was away from it. True, it could have been done in town and the RTD followed a discreet distance until the car stalled, but they had to be close enough to see Maura make the turn on 112, and they were far enough behind when Mrs. R saw them that they had to slow down to take a look.

    4. If it happened that way, it doesn't explain (per John's logic) why Maura would accept help from RTD and not SBD.

    Now, I can think of a few ways this could be made to fit, but the confirmation of Mass plates plus the car slowing down BEFORE the Stage Stop, seems to me to slightly strengthen the tandem theory a bit. It also, I'm afraid to say, strengthens the theory, which has not been aired much here, of a first accident elsewhere where Maura was removed, and a second staged accident. I always thought this was way too complicated and conspiracy-theory like (why bother?), and I still kinda do, but that scenario does fit these facts.

    The timing is interesting too. 10 minutes prior to cops definitely puts the red truck there right at the crucial period. 20 minutes puts it closer to the accident itself. Question: did Bruce Atwood (SBD) report that any vehicles passed by him when he was talking to Maura? Could the red truck have been one of them? If it was a tandem driver and Maura saw him/her, it could partly explain the way she handled SBD.

    Any way you look at it, this incident is highly suggestive, and very puzzling. Once more looking forward to John Green's and Renner's thoughts.

    adam

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    1. Thanks for the thoughtful analysis. I agree with your critiques of my scenario, except - perhaps - for number 4. If she had already gotten help from someone, that might be a reason why she refused the SBD, having seen that person pass and stop. This particularly if she was drunk and had already cleared that issue with the red truck driver.

      I'd like to emphasize that I don't necessarily think that scenario in particular happened. Instead, I offer it as something that could have happened, part-and-parcel with my primary point: the direct and clearly credible evidence about the red truck strongly implies that - if it was involved in Maura's fate - most likely was being driven by someone with nefarious intent. Either that, or it the red truck is an irrelevant coincidence. This because (see my earlier post) - if RO's impression is correct that the truck driver was looking for someone, thought she may have been that person, then took off upon getting a better look at her and realizing it was not, that would mean the driver was looking for MM BEFORE the accident occurred. As such, it was most likely being driven either by someone who knew she was going to have car problems (under lots of imaginable scenarios, including some distilled version of the one I already posted) or it is simply a coincidence that has nothing to do with MM's fate.

      I offered all this in response to James' comment that he feels the red truck was traveling in tandem with Maura. Just on what we have - RO's present sense impression - that does not make sense to me. If the red truck and MM got separated, it is hard to imagine why they would be looking for her walking along 112 ... and apparently have trouble identifying her.

      All that said, however, it is nice when thoughtful people engage a topic here and I enjoy reading those thoughts, so thanks for your post, the thrust of which I agree with. To wit, the particular scenario I offered per my larger point is not the ideal one to make that point.

      ~ John Green

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    2. As for "trouble identifying her"...

      I'm not sure if we should rely on this supposed detail. It's hard to identify pedestrians from a car at night, even if you know them well. The RTD's exact behaviors and gestures, to the (meager) extent that we truly know what they were, could indicate any number of possible scenarios.

      That said, "trouble identifying her" could fit in with one theory posited by Mason/Leatherman on the Yuku forum:

      "It may have been possible for Maura to have rear ended a parked and unattended vehicle such as a 4x4 pickup as she was leaving the gas station and this might have caused the damage to the hood. If this happened, she may have left the scene without attempting to locate the owner or leave a note. Maybe the owner saw the accident from some distance away and attempted to follow her. Maybe she tried to ditch him by turning off onto Rte 112. Maybe she crashed the Saturn because she was in a hurry and couldn't see the road well enough wit the headlights askew. Maybe he was too far behind her to see her turn off on Rte 112 and he continued driving on Rte 302 for several miles until he realized she wasn't ahead of him. Maybe he doubled back and decided to check Rte 112. Maybe he was driving the curious red pickup Robinson Ordway saw. Maybe he arrived at the accident scene as the SBD was leaving."

      For one thing, this theory is an example of how "any number of things are actually possible," and we should beware of narrowing things down to a list of 3 or 4 clunky possibilities, when in fact the reality may be (and probably is) more nuanced than any one of them. But it's also a nice theory in general. It is supported by the belief of many people on the Yuku forum that the last accident alone could not have done that amount of damage to Maura's car, particularly to the hood. .

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  21. It's probably irrelevant, but old roads are hobby of mine, and it became apparent looking at the aerial photos of the area, that there is an abandoned road that heads south from the exact spot Maura's car wrecked that runs past a few houses and then due south into the deep woods winding up on 116. This appears to be a remnant of a very old through road and is probably the reason for the sharp bend in 112 at that point (because in early days, the road went straight south with a junction to the east, and later the state adopted the road to the east and the south road was abandoned). Old topographic maps posted online confirm this interpretation.

    It is probably totally irrelevant, and I would have to imagine someone has searched this road, which goes through deep woods and past a VERY secluded homestead (which now has a newer entry point from the west). But I was rather surprised to note that there was such an old road -- now probably an overgrown trail eminating from a driveway -- proceeding from that very spot and no one's ever mentioned it. Maura would be unlikely to know about it and even more unlikely to go down it unobserved, since the first part of it appears to be used as a driveway for some houses, so it's probably irrelevant. But it's still interesting.

    adam

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    1. Adam... thanks!

      This is great. Is there a place where I could access these aerial photos? I sometimes "fly around" the site on google maps but have not yet spotted this road.

      Here's a question spurred by your contribution ... if it is not obvious that this road exists (from the roadway), there is a slight possibility that Maura bolted into the woods when she saw the police and got on that trail. It is always good to ask the stupid question. Thus I wonder - if this road is not easily seeable from 112 but distinct enough to move along ... has anybody ever walked down it looking for Maura. I mean, it is not impossible that she died of exposure with a broken ankle out of shouting distance.

      Also, there is a park off Valley Road, with athletic fields. Valley Road is the loop road a short distance back from the first part of the S curve where she crashed. I have visited that park and went jogging back on some of those trails, which project into the woods easterly. I wonder if perhaps they join up with this faded road.

      I'd really like to know more adam if you have pics or links. I can be reached at John88hgreen@yahoo.com.

      ~ John Green

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    2. adam. I am very interested in what you say. Thanks for sharing !!!

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    3. Adam: do you have a link where this road can be located..Thanks.

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    4. I can't give a direct link, but I can tell you where to look. John, I'm not surprised you didn't see it...as I said, it's a hobby of mine and there are certain things that tip you off when there used to be a road in the vicinity (sharp bends in the road are one of them) and I saw a couple of indicators on googlemaps that made me investigate further, and that's where I confirmed it. I was a little shocked no one had brought it up until now but as I said, it probably exists now as a driveway and a trail.

      The place I went to confirm it is a website called historicaerials.com. You can look at old aerial photos and also corresponding vintage topo maps, though the dates they use for the latter are not reliable. If you scan through the various old top maps there, you can see that in the beginning it was a through road connecting 116 and 112 (before they were designated as such), proceeding from a similar jog in 116 past a hill called "Whites Pinnacle", over Waterman Brook, and connecting to the jog in 112, which interestingly apparently was once a four corner (with Bradley Hill Road also proceeding from that spot). Judging by the topography on the map (as I said, the dates are not reliable) this would be around 1900 or so.

      The road seems to have remained open until the '60s. It appears that the crossing at Waterman Brook may have gotten washed out, because after that point there is still a road proceeding to that point southward, and then from the brook down it is marked as a trail. Just south of Waterman, as I said in the above post, is some sort of a compound that is both next to the old road and has a newer access road from the west.

      Looking at the current aerial photos, you can see the beginning of this road proceeding just east of south from the bend in 112. It leads to two houses and then plunges into the woods, with little trace visible from googlemaps past that point. So today it would appear as a driveway and as I said, the entrance to the old road is probably a trail and may not be accessible given it might be on private property -- although with old rights of ways such as these, they often remain open for local use as snowmobile trails and such. Maybe a local can clue us in. But the old road is there...it's clearly shown on old topos.

      adam



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    5. The thing about this old road is, if indeed it was accessible, it's hard to imagine it not having been searched, and I would imagine it was covered with snow at the time. Hard to travel on and I would think footprints would be left...

      There is one codicil to that though...sometimes old roads like this are kept open as snowmobile trails. That might make it a little less improbable that someone could have walked down it at night and not leave evidence. And I would imagine locals know it's there. Anyway, everyone can check it out for themselves and factor it in. I'm just shocked no one ever mentioned it before.

      adam

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    6. You can see the turnoff for the old road on the right side at 6:21-6:23 on the "Maura Murray's Last Known Drive" on youtube. It shows that at least that northernmost part of it is still open and ploughed (which makes sense since it leads to two houses).

      Perhaps more significantly, marked as it is with a road sign and a "Dead End" sign it shows that the part of it near Maura's accident is still a public road (and not a "no trespassing" private driveway per se) so it is more conceivable that somewhat might walk down it without worrying about winding up in someone's yard.

      Still seems more likely that she went down Bradley Hill Road to me, but I'm surprised no one has pointed out up 'til now that this dead end stub used to go through, and the right of way extends deep into the woods.

      I would assume (hope) someone has searched it. As I said above, unless it had seen heavy snowmobile use, I would guess there would have been footprints to rule it in or out. But judging by the aerial photos, you wouldn't be able to tell from the air. It's totally covered by trees south of those two houses.

      Someone local could probably comment as to what the right-of-way is used for, what condition it's in, and whether it's still accessible from the north. What evidence I can gather online seems to indicate that it is, but nothing definitive.

      adam

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    7. John...

      I'm showing Valley Road as being a road extending west and south from Swiftwater Circle, which I think is the loop road you describe. It's possible one of those trails connects up, I don't know. There definitely is connection further down. "Lodge Lane" leaves Valley Road going eastward, and there is an extension from Lodge Lane that winds deep into the woods and leads to a large compound or set of buildings. The old road leads directly behind these buildings, which suggests that they were originally built next to the old road and the access road came later.

      adam

      adam

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    8. Very interesting Adam, thank for the link to the site. On new google maps you can see a change in the treeline that roughly follows old peters road to 116. It call it a walkway which I expect means its a hiking trail, who knows if it's used anymore. Interesting that there was a ski lift close by at one point. Wonder if there are buildings up there too?

      B

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    9. Adam, I think I know just what you are talking about. You can see these strange building in a clearing kind of south of the accident scene and east of those athletic fields. If you scope out far enough, you can see what look like the shadows of trails cutting through the woods there but not connect to that clearing. There is what looks like a road in the clearing with a couple building. The line of the segment of road points back up toward he curve on 112. Is this what you are talking about.

      The funny thing is that about a year after I randomly drove by the bow on 112 and was exposed thereby to Maura's case, I returned to the site. I was very drawn to those athletic fields and went jogging back on some of those trails. I wish I had known then that those buildings and road remnant were there. If it were no on private property, I would have been interested to get back there. It must be the kind of secret place that kids like and where older folks go to do drugs in peace.

      Thanks again for the interesting contribution.

      ~ John Green

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    10. You know Adam, your excellent contribution has spurred a thought.

      Suppose Maura indeed went running east away from the scene. (By the way, I would contend that a well trained runner has so little time with their feet actually impacting the ground that the dogs could have lost her scent - after two days - at the point where she broke into a run). Soon after entering the Federal areas, she would have encountered the Cobby Hill Trail (I think that is the name.) If she was experienced enough with the area, she might have known that on that trial you an work your way up to some back roads from which she could have made her shortest way on foot to Franconia, where there are plenty of accomodations. But if you look at the google maps, you can see the cobby hill trail intersects other unknown trails or abandoned roads. She might have take a blind path and gotten lost. At that point, a misstep and ankle sprain could have been fatal. The thing is, she was athletic enough to have gotten far enough away from the scene to possibly have not been found during the searches. Moreover, if a black bear found her and dragged her back to the den (black bears do not hibernate, per se, but do sleep a lot in the winter, occasionally getting up to forage and they are very prudent eaters, perfectly willing to feed on carrion), her body might never be found because bears notoriously den in remote and incredibly difficult to get to places.

      Not saying this happened. Just pointing to something within the vector of possibilities that makes your interest and knowledge - and ability to spot - remnants of these old rows perhaps very useful.

      ~ John Green

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    11. Adam,

      This is a little unreasonable I suppose, but if you were inclined to scan a free hand drawing of where you think this remnant roads are in the area, I would be most interested to see it.

      Asking for a lot I realize ...

      ~ John Green

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    12. John and Adam,
      I live locally(8 yrs) but am not a native of the area. Valley road comes off of French Pond road in the Mountain Lakes community of Haverhill. The members of this community pay an HOA fee for maintenance/lifeguard coverage for the lakes, and use of the lodge on Lodge Lane. Lodge lane is the driveway for the lodge and the playing fields are owned and maintained by the HOA. When my son Graduated from Haverhill Cooperative Middle School to Woodsville High School, several of his classmates from Mountain Lakes reserved the lodge for a party so I had occasion to visit and learn some of the history. The lodge was originally the lodge for a small and/or private ski slope, which is indicated on the topo maps. The lift no longer exists but the main slope is still somewhat clear of trees, some of the more daring now 9th grade boys took a bike ride down that slope the day I was there. Note on the map the maze of tree lines which I was told are additional slopes. The roads around the building were roads used by the operators of the slope for maintenance and snow-making (note the small pond at the bottom of the slope by the lodge, it was the water supply for snow-making). The roads you refer to, pinnacle lane for example are hiking trails now and are very steep and unlikely to be traversed on foot in February. While all this does not supply an answer about the Old Peters road extension, it does show some of the others in the area. I will be honoring a request of some Topix posters to video Old Peters Road, and I will get that done in the following week I believe. I hope to have a better idea of what the extension of the road looks like at that time. I will also try to find the outlet of that extension on rt 116.

      BillNH

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    13. Just a note of explanation...When I noted the ski slope and the possibility of buildings in an earlier post, I didn't realize what I was looking at was the Mountain Lakes lodge on the Historic Arial maps. After that dawned on me, I took a drive through there to refresh my memory before I posted about it.

      BillNH

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    14. Hey John...just saw this.

      I can't do it (don't have the requisite software), but were you able to find the old topo maps? The road I pointed out is shown clearly on all the ones prior to around 1960 or so, and the further back you go, the more prominent the road is.

      It's pretty easy to trace because the remnants of its ending junction points can be found in the jogs on 112 and 116, with the house in the middle in between as the midpoint (the old road runs right in back of it). I do see a change in the treeline there was well, but it's very subtle.

      I think the road PROBABLY still exists to the south past the houses off 112. The reason I say this is there's a small cleared area in the middle of the wooded area (between the bend and the house), and I can see a road in that cleared area on googlemaps. It's not the old road; it's going in the wrong direction. But there is a second road almost certainly connected to it faintly visible that runs more or less NW-SE along the eastern edge of that cleared spot. That does correspond with where the old road went. So I suspect the road is open at least as far as that clearing, where there's a newer road that services...whatever the road is used for. It might even still be open as far as the creek crossing. There's no real way to know without asking a local, or going and hiking it.

      According to Fred (I know, I know) she didn't know that area well at all, so I have a hard time thinking she went on back trails, unless she had a preordained plan. I had thought it was highly unlikely she would have gone down this particular road to escape the police, but now that I have seen the lay of the land on video more carefully, I think it's at least possible. It's not marked as a private road; it's marked as a dead end. She could have ducked down it to hide out. It's possible. If she was still at the car when she heard the sirens, I would actually even consider it likely...it would be her nearest (only) escape route. The logic being who's going to look down a dead end road? And then if it goes deep into the woods, so much the better. But then you get into the footprints question. But there wouldn't be any at first...the road is clearly ploughed in the video.

      I just have to assume someone has searched this old road all the way through. I would certainly hope so. It should at least be ruled out.

      If you're asking about other roads, the way to do it would be to A/B the old topos to what's there now. Pretty simple stuff. Many old trails run along the remnants of early abandoned roads...

      adam

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    15. I think someone said there used to be a ski lift in the area? Now that I look more carefully, that's what those trails near the "mystery building" look like to me...abandoned ski trails.

      adam

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  22. Was Maura murdered in Amherst?The Trip up north by the culprits in the Saturn was to make it appear she left of her own free will.The red truck driver from Ma. being an accomplice in the disposal..SBD "thought" it was Maura..Did anyone see Maura on Sunday?No one actually saw Maura type the emails.

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    1. they saw her on the camera that was at atm or at that shop where she bought drinks.
      or they saw someone else at atm and thats why the tape or picture wasnt published. but why they didnt showed picture?

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    2. Hey there.

      This is an interesting thought. Thinking reductionist-wise about the evidence, we know very little indicating that she was ever driving the car, except that the SBD identified her from a picture, although he said her hair was down, which was not a common look for Maura. Is it impossible that somebody who looked like her was driving the car? I don't think it can be completely ignored. And if that was the case, it certainly opens up the possibility that Maura was murdered in Amherst.

      I'll give you some additional fodder for this line of analysis. Suppose that the person who murdered her did so in the context of say .... a carjacking in a parking lot in Amherst. Not saying that happened, but it could have and it allows examination of a broader point. So assume that for one second. So she's dead. You killed her. F___. What do I do now. First, I have to get rid of the body. Now, if possible, I want to throw investigators off the scent. So, if I am youngish or my gf is, who was there when it happened, maybe we not only stage the accident, but we go to her room and pack her stuff up so it looks like she was permanently getting out of Dodge.

      Again, I am not saying this happened. And I don't think it did. But if a piece of evidence surfaced that Maura never drove up I-91 (such as a picture of someone else driving the car at a toll booth or something) then all of a sudden this possibility you've identified becomes more real. In that case, the scenario you mention is not only plausible, but it explains another baffling facet of the case. To wit, why did her room suggest running away or leaving school, while the contents of her car suggested being engaged with school and running and her life in general? If a scenario such as the one you mention, with my addition about the perpetrator perhaps knowing her and packing up the room in addition to staging the accident, this contradiction is resolved. They simply did not think it through to that level as is typical with criminals, who almost always leave one stone unturned that eventually comes to light.

      Thanks for the interesting speculation.

      ~ John Green

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    3. Didn't dogs track her scent on the road she crashed on? Wouldn't that rule this option out?

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    4. I think there is some question about the dogs' reliability, both for tracking only 100 yards (these particular type of dogs, that's as far as they go, from what I understand) and for it being Maura's scent at all (because of the glove supposedly being new).

      This just gave me another thought...I think I will post it in the next blog entry up.

      adam

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    5. To anon at 933 ... the dogs tracked the scent from a pair of new gloves that were in Maura's car. They were new, according to Fred. If someone else had them on, the dogs could have been tracing that someone else's scent.

      ~ John Green

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  23. Thanks for replying WS Robinson if that is indeed you, does sound like it.

    John Green, very good points. I very much agree that red truck looking for somebody west of the accident scene only points in 2 directions if he knew of Maura in the area beforehand. Either a staged accident and planned subsequent pick up by red truck driver or red truck driver doing something to vehicle on a previous encounter that he knew would disable it. Honestly, Im not entirely sold on the rag in the pipe thing and whether it would stall a car. Ive been told all kinds of different ideas from mechanics from "absolutely" to "no way" to "its possible". A rag is not gonna be air tight and in New England, in a vehicle of that age, the exhaust system is likely rusted and has leaks. I think more work is still needed and a real expert analysis should be done with the vehicle.

    There is also the possibility that he was just looking for somebody to abduct and found his mark "randomly" or was tipped off by a scanner. I dont rule out random abduction here at all, in fact loss of scent where it happened sort of points to it.

    One of my major issues with the rag/intentionally disabled car theory: Great, its more than plausible BUT simply disabling a car for bad purposes later WOULD NOT cause the crash at the curve. Loss of power wont make you spin out. This is a hit on the theory that somebody other than Maura caused the vehicle to end up how it did. You can make something stall, possibly, but you cant make it do a 180 and end up backwards without making some obvious alterations. I can picture strategic cutting of brake lines possibly doing this to a car IF under heavy braking (approaching a curve) and the operator was going fast enough. Id assume the cops checked the car for cut brake lines.

    My big issue with the "staged accident": Nobody in their right mind would choose that curve to stage an accident on. Its one of the few places along the road where there are multiple lines of sight from residences to scene and heck, you are RIGHT in front of somebodies house. If somebody is gonna stage an accident to run away, they probably are going to scout out the area first. Any scouting of that area would tell you to go somewhere between another 5-15 miles east and stage it in the middle of the wilderness where you can be 10 miles or more from other people.

    When you boil it down, this is obviously a very, very strange and unique case. For every good, relatively sound theory one can bring up, there is a major caveat that either comes from what little evidence we have or from deductive reasoning. Thats precisely why we are still talking about this case in 2013, thats why its so baffling and interesting. Everything you could come up with that sounds reasonable can have holes shot in it very easily. Usually with these types of things, you start to be able to rule things out and chip away at the truth. Not the case here.

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    1. I think that planned pick up scenario is unlikely, if in fact RO's sense that the red truck driver was looking for someone. This because if you were going to stage an accident, I don't think a young girl would drive into a snowbank by herself hard enough to inflate the air bags unless her ride out was right there. Thus, I think that if RO's impression that the red truck was looking for someone is correct, then it points only in these two directions: (1) it was someone with nefarious intent toward Maura because the timing clearly would indicate that the person was looking for Maura BEFORE she crashed, or (2) the red truck is an irrelevant coincidence.

      That said, thank you for your interesting insights.

      ~ John Green

      Delete
  24. if there was accident before that accident where mauras car were found....maybe maura had accident but red truck driver helped her and that is when he met het and outs rag....than he doesnt follow her but he knows that her car will stop and he is watching for her to came to shop (looking for help).....
    when this first accident happend(who called police, men or women) ang how far was it from mauras accident

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  25. Drive in tandem.....eyeroll. Makes zero wense in the context of her life.

    Someone knows it was a mistake to admit Maura didnt drive. A coordinated change to the story has been made.

    I predict your blog will only result in uncovering embarassing Murray Family issues...but nothing else.

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  26. Hey there.

    This is an interesting thought. Thinking reductionist-wise about the evidence, we know very little indicating that she was ever driving the car, except that the SBD identified her from a picture, although he said her hair was down, which was not a common look for Maura. Is it impossible that somebody who looked like her was driving the car? I don't think it can be completely ignored. And if that was the case, it certainly opens up the possibility that Maura was murdered in Amherst.

    I'll give you some additional fodder for this line of analysis. Suppose that the person who murdered her did so in the context of say .... a carjacking in a parking lot in Amherst. Not saying that happened, but it could have and it allows examination of a broader point. So assume that for one second. So she's dead. You killed her. F___. What do I do now. First, I have to get rid of the body. Now, if possible, I want to throw investigators off the scent. So, if I am youngish or my gf is, who was there when it happened, maybe we not only stage the accident, but we go to her room and pack her stuff up so it looks like she was permanently getting out of Dodge.

    Again, I am not saying this happened. And I don't think it did. But if a piece of evidence surfaced that Maura never drove up I-91 (such as a picture of someone else driving the car at a toll booth or something) then all of a sudden this possibility you've identified becomes more real. In that case, the scenario you mention is not only plausible, but it explains another baffling facet of the case. To wit, why did her room suggest running away or leaving school, while the contents of her car suggested being engaged with school and running and her life in general? If a scenario such as the one you mention, with my addition about the perpetrator perhaps knowing her and packing up the room in addition to staging the accident, this contradiction is resolved. They simply did not think it through to that level as is typical with criminals, who almost always leave one stone unturned that eventually comes to light.

    Thanks for the interesting speculation.

    ~ John Green

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    1. Keep in mind the car was a tad shy of a full tank. There is a photo of this online. If Maura never made it out of Amherst and this was an attempt to ditch the car, etc. why fill up the tank. The tank is on E and you say lets ditch it here. You don't go to a gas station, take the chance of being seen and then FILL IT UP...if your the bad guy. You also don't do this if you are Maura with the intentions of ditching it. It has to be Maura that fills the tank close to where the car is found andit also tells me there was no staged accident.

      Delete
    2. I do not understand why is so well assumed, and taken as an irrefutable fact, that Maura packed up her room. When my daughter went back to her college dorm, it would sometimes take her weeks to put things back and I would also notice that behaviour with some of her other roomates. She had just returned from vacation so it is likely she had not unpacked yet.

      Delete
    3. There were a number of people in Amherst that weekend that most likely were pretty angry with Maura I.E...CC Fraud,Freds crashed car&drunken partygoers etc..Not to mention the disturbing phone call where all Maura could utter was "my sister"..The ATM video wasnt released for a reason,not Maura?The internet searches,the emails to proffesors&packed up dorm room could have been staged,easily. I dont believe the accident was staged,it just happened during the ditch her car(and body?) tandem drive up north...If FM or KM were involved they would never turn on eachother..Hence the silence.

      Delete
    4. @Anon 2:05...Her belongings were packed neatly in boxes on her bed. The art was removed from her walls. This was not a "slow to unpack after vacation" situation.

      Delete
  27. Any $4,000 dollar red trucks purchased that weekend? Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The confirmed Mass license plate (thank you, Ms. Robinson!) makes me think the red truck was definitely traveling in tandem with her. Again, at a distance. They probably lost each other, or there was a sabotage at the site of the first crash or elsewhere. Anything is possible as part of the tandem situation.

    Another possibility we have not considered is that the red truck was actually chasing Maura. That is, an involuntary tandem situation. It could have even chased her starting in Amherst. If Maura had been traveling at a high speed, this would explain her crash. It would be hard to square with the ATM/liquor stop, though.

    I think we ought to SERIOUSLY consider the possibility that the truck was Fred's.

    Ms. Robinson, if you're still here, is it possible that the MA plates were temporary, or were they normal plates?

    Also, you said you felt that the driver of the red truck was "looking at you"...did you, by chance, see him? Was it definitely a man? Alone? Any idea of his age?

    One more question, Ms. Robinson, if you'd be so kind...I heard from a source that LE asked you to stop discussing the red truck online...is this true, and have they since rescinded that request?

    And might you be able to re-post the picture of the truck resembling the red truck you saw?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one ever asked me to not discuss the red truck. My memory is that they were normal plates. I did not see if it was a him or her...I know I did state that I thought there was more than one person in the truck.

      Delete
    2. Thank you! Hope you'll stick around.

      Delete
  29. Okay, I think Fred knows Maura's current status. He either knows she's dead or knows she's alive/OK.

    Why I think so:
    IF Fred didn't know Maura's current status, he would talk. Period. He would talk so that LE would find her.

    He clearly cared about Maura. He may have been harsh, but he was not some kind of absentee father.

    So if Maura's current situation were a total mystery to him, he would be doing ANYTHING he could to help Law Enforcement find her...including telling them everything they want to know.

    It doesn't matter what the details were, and whether they might implicate him or embarrass Maura...a father's first priority would be finding his daughter, and so... *he would talk.*

    He wouldn't keep up the blather about "Maura's past not mattering" or "the events of the last days in Amherst not mattering." He's not an idiot. He knows that ANY and ALL details could be useful to the police in finding Maura.

    And so he would tell everything, the whole truth. At least to LE. Maybe not immediately, but within 9 years, he sure would.

    While it is *barely* possible he has in fact told LE the whole truth by now, it is highly unlikely.

    .....Therefore, I must conclude that Fred either...
    1) Knows Maura is dead...which would point to involvement. (If he knew Maura was dead at someone else's hands, he'd be talking like crazy!)
    2) Knows Maura is alive and well.

    Can anyone find a flaw in this argument??

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    Replies
    1. I think that he knows she is probably alive but does not know where she is.

      Delete
  30. I want to add that if the logic in my last comment is solid, then this *completely* rules out the possibility of a serial killer/stranger murder.

    And it *largely* rules out the possibility that another acquaintance/non-stranger murdered her.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I find it hard to believe the red truck or any vehicle picked Maura Murray up because of a very simple fact: She left her toothpaste, shampoo, running shoes, and books behind. Why not at least take the bag of hygiene products? I find it so amazing reading this blog how so many people will believe something like that is staged, but do not believe the accident scene ever could be. I can just hear it now: She left all that stuff behind as a clever ruse to fool everyone. She has fooled all of us and the New Hampshire State police.

    And then you have that Franzia wine again. Now I know people do not believe this has anything to do with the case, but here is a great question that maybe someone can answer for me:

    Why would a person take the time to dump out a bunch of alcohol while their friend is waiting for them to get in their car, but not take their personal belongings with them? Which takes more time- dumping the alcohol or throwing the bags she left behind into someone's car?

    But that is just the way I think. That does not mean that is the way it happened.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. She didn't bring her toiletries because she was extremely shaken up, likely drunk, and certainly in a hurry to get the hell out of there. The better question is why she didn't take her diamond necklace. ...Guess what? Same answer!

      It doesn't take much time to dump alcohol out the window, if she in fact did that. Anyway, dumping alcohol is almost a reflex for someone who has been in DUI situations. It's a frantic gesture. Doesn't take a lot of thinking. Contemplating whether it would be prudent to have your dental floss and shaving cream with you when you run is another story.

      Delete
    2. With all due respect to everyone here, I also find the idea of an "estaged accident" completely off. Why would a young girl drive that far and stage such complicated scene..? Why would she buy licour, fill up her gas tank,withdraw money, pack up personal items etc and drive hours to intentionally crash...so she can disappear? It makes absolutely no sense. Also as the person above stated, if she was going to get in the car with someone she was driving with, she would have taken her personal items with her. Girls at that age are fastidious about personal hygiene. The first thing they grab is their make up and tooth brush. Maura was taken by an opportunistic killer of whom there are many...there are few other explanations in my opinion. Of course I could be so wrong....and how I pray, that I am...

      Delete
    3. But if she was as drunk as it seems she may have been, you can't apply our sober standards of "why would she do this or that" to the actions she took that the time (leaving this but taking that etc.)

      Delete
    4. i don't think it was a staged accident at all. is it possible that someone in a red truck (unknown to maura, maybe just a local) was driving ahead of her and saw her crash in the rearview mirror.. maybe turned around in the store lot where the other person saw the red truck and went back to help maura. maybe picked her up and something happend at that point. Did anyone ever do a search of red trucks in this town and neighoboring towns or of sales of red trucks around this time? maybe they just saw an opportunity at that time...a young girl in need of assistance. get her in the truck and try to have thier way with her.

      Delete
  32. The red truck has suddenly become very important and I’ve been thinking about the timeline . I asked myself if it would be possible to make a decent estimate of the time RTD would have passed the scene of the accident. I came up with this.

    There is a lot of valuable information from a reliable eyewitness. She saw the truck on the road and a few minutes later at the Stage shop. About 20 minutes after RTD had left the shop, the police went flying by the shop. Because we have the dispatch log of the accident, we know a Cecil Smith arrived at 19:46:20 at the scene, about one mile away from the shop. So the police went past the shop only a few minutes earlier, so around 19:44 – 19:45. That means RTD was there (at the shop) around 19:25 and would have been at the scene of the accident only few minutes later. Perhaps 2 -3 minutes later at most (it’s only a mile).

    In the dispatch log, the call reporting the accident is registered at 19:27, so the accident happened probably a few minutes earlier at 19:23 to 19:25.

    So it’s very possible RTD was at the scene of the accident around the time it happened. He even could have seen it happen. It also seems to imply that he was very close behind Maura. Did RTD see her pass the Stage shop and did he follow her?

    If I’m correct the busdriver called in at 19:43. He saw Maura alive a few minutes after the accident and at that moment RTD would have already past the scene. So if RTD picked Maura up, that seems only possible (or logical) further away from the scene. And that’s where the dogs lost her scent.

    I don’t know yet what all this means, and if this timeline is correct, but it seems to make RTD even more important.

    JW

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  33. SAH, there are some major flaws in your argument. It assumes that Fred has a certain set of priorities and pursues these priorities in a logical manner. We're talking about human behaviour here. There is huge variation in human behaviour and it doesn't always make sense. You can't exclude other theories based on Fred's behaviour.

    Chris

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    Replies
    1. Chris, you may be right. I don't think so. On another long comments thread on this blog, people described the insane amounts of information other families have been willing to share in order to help cops find their missing loved ones. Many have disclosed their own infidelities and criminal behavior in addition to every detail of the missing's sordid/troubled past. They will take any hit to their pride and reputation in order to FIND their loved one. I don't think any of us can imagine how that trumps literally all other concerns for these people.

      ...But not for Fred, are you saying?

      Maybe it's true that Fred's behavior is, ahem, "variant" in this regard. If so, that fact is just as damning as any knowledge that he may have.

      (Also, please do be so kind as to tell me the other "major flaws" in my argument, since you mentioned "some." I am honestly interested. --SAH)

      Delete
    2. Chris,

      I am with SAH on this. First of all, your statement is an abstraction that does not directly apply to the situation at hand. In the limited and well-defined circumstances of having a missing kid - and I have read about A LOT of these cases in my time - I am hard pressed to think of a SINGLE other example of any parent opposing ANYTHING that will bring additional attention to the case. As such, SAH's inference has much empirical observation behind it and in any case is a reasonable one.

      Moreover, your own argument contradicts you. You start with the premise that SAH is making flawed assumptions given a wide vector of human behavior. But then you focus on one possibility as elicited by SAH and exclude it based on her alleged flawed assumptions. By your own reasoning, elimination of that one possibility (given the wide vector human behavior) makes no sense because by doing it you are making exactly the kind of assumptions that you say SAH is making (i.e., you can't know what Fred was thinking). SAH's argument is stronger than yours, in fact, because SAH is in the context of speculating about possibilities, not certainties. You, however, are making the definite assertion of excluding a possibility in saying that SAH is wrong. It is your own argument that is flawed by the very premise of reasoning that you lay out, much more so than SAH's.

      No offense Chris ... at all. I am glad you are here and I am sure your contributions here have been and will continue be meaningful. But in this case, I think you thought yourself around the axel. If you are going to hit at someone else THAT hard and say their thinking is really flawed, you should offer more than a semantic twist of words to support it.

      ~ John Green

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  34. i have question for WS Robinson...
    i wonder if your appearance is similiar as mauras... height, hair colour... bacause if you have any similarities with maura maybe thats evidence that RTD was looking for her. sorry if i am asking too much but i hope you understand why i wonder that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have brown hair, I am short, and far from thin..lol :)

      Delete
  35. Can anyone post all known specifics about the theory of an earlier accident? I've heard this one bandied about but, like the red truck prior to this week, never could nail down what the actual credible evidence was for it happening.

    adam

    ReplyDelete
  36. Just a thought -

    Maybe the driver that night wasn't Maura, but someone who kind of looked similar to her (white female, at least had brown hair). The bus driver that identified her didn't know her, wasn't around her for long, and her hair was down (which doesn't make the girl not Maura, but it seems that people agree that it wasn't normal for her).

    So, if the driver wasn't Maura, what if it was one of her friends staging the accident? While she was somewhere else getting away? I know cameras saw her withdraw the money, and there's evidence that she bought the alcohol, but I don't think that means she couldn't have passed the drinks to someone else who was driving the car.

    Maybe the red car was driving in tandem to pick up the girl? Maybe the girl was one of Maura's friends who are reluctant to talk?

    I know people are saying it's a strange place to stage an accident, but it's also a strange place for a violent abduction. I highly doubt that the girl (or Maura) was stupid enough to get into a stranger's car willingly. Maura doesn't come across to me as a naive girl, no matter how desperate. So, if the person was strong enough to grab her, wouldn't someone have seen something/heard screaming and been alerted like they were when the accident happened? It's a lot quieter and less suspicious looking to get into a car calmly with someone you know.

    I wonder who drove the red car.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something else I thought after posting this -

      Maybe the accident was staged there to expedite things. Her car would have been found faster in a place like that, and judging by the things "left behind" in the car, people would assume that she was abducted. Maybe that was the plan? You don't need the things left in the car if you're planning on running away.

      Delete
  37. Robinsonordways, thanks for providing this information once again. It is
    interesting that no one reported seeing this Truck again, as you stated you and W. kept looking for
    such a truck.

    A serial killer waiting for someone to come along is not improbable, not by a long shot. Most such crimes are of opportunity. This truck was not seen again in the area, doesn't at all suggest that the Truck driver was waiting for Maura specifically, it suggests more that the person was visiting and lurking for a victim and once found a victim move along. Just as probable a scenario as the driver knew Maura.

    Coming upon Robinsonordways on the road, and as she got close he took off, might say he was looking for Maura, but that is not to say that he knew Maura personally, he could have seen her outside her car by the Weatherbarn, he could have seen Maura parked nearby while she consulted her map. The reality is no one knows.

    No one can jump to the conclusion of what happened to Maura as no one knows. Fact is unless it is Maura's DNA on the airbag, it is inconclusive if Maura was driving the car. I believe she was, but there is no proof of anything, other than it appears Maura disappeared within 1-3 minutes of police arriving at the scene of the Weatherbarn accident. Did she leave by foot, did someone pick her up, was someone waiting for her, was she abducted against her will, was she struck by a car as she walked along the highway? No one knows what happened! That's the reality.

    As far as the Red Truck being ruled out, it would only amount to an opinion and not a fact.

    It was reported on Topix and in internet blogs that a truck was parked down the Bradley Hill Road, after 9 p.m. the night of Maura's disappearance! The dog walker stated that her dog started acting erratic when they came near the vehicle, and the dog walker thought there was someone in the woods near the truck? It was allegedly reported to police, although does not appear in the Grafton County Sheriff logs of that same night.

    Is this the truck, the same red truck acting suspiciously on the road that Robinsonordways saw the night Maura disappeared?


    ReplyDelete
  38. Ms. Robinson/RW Ordway, if you're reading this, you might want to send James Renner (the author of this blog) an email. Jameswrenner@gmail.com. He may want to ask you some questions directly if he hasn't already, and I'm sure he'd appreciate having your email address in case you stop posting here. (Again, if he doesn't have it already.)

    Just want to make sure we don't lose this incredible resource....


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    Replies
    1. SAH,

      I think they talked. I actually was able to track down her contact info when I was arguing her that going with Graves' statement made no sense if RO's could be verified. I think the outcry here that RO was being dismissed too quickly, made him try again to contact her. She previously had not wanted to talk with him. It seems that he got through and was able to get the story straight from her, then clarify from Graves what actually happened on his end, which was not quite what he said/implied at first. All of this with the net result that James now seems to feel that the red truck can't be dismissed and may well be in play.

      Just thought you'd want to know. I was a little up closer on this one with James and had exchanged a few emails with him on it.

      ~ John Green

      Delete
    2. Thanks, John Green for filling me in!

      Was wondering if you had seen: 1) RobinsonOrdways' reply to me above, in which she said there may have been a second person in the truck. 2) The entry about the "2001 Red Ford Style Side pickup" in the police logs that same day.

      Delete
  39. Now this is interesting:

    Go to the "Documents" section of this blog and click "Part 2" under "Documents Given to Fred Murray." Then go to p. 15 of the PDF.

    Look midway down the page, where 4 vehicles are listed in a bunch.

    Look at the second one.

    It's "Red 2001 Ford PU Style Side." Supposedly involved in something or other on 8:29 a.m. (I can't make heads or tails of the report, so I don't know if that's the correct time, and whether it was on 2/9 or 2/10.)

    What I do know is that that is the EXACT description of the red truck that has been circulating among the forums since RobinsonOrdway identified the make and model most similar to the one she saw.

    Ford, Red, Pickup, Style Side. The only thing that differs is that supposedly Maura's red truck was somewhat dated-looking, and a 2001 car would have been quite new in 2004. But everything else is 100%.

    (And re: the age of the car, I can vouch that cars do get shabby-looking up in New England very quickly because of the weather. If a car has been through the elements there for even a day it can look old all of a sudden.)

    Can anyone read police lingo? Anyone know what kind of event is being described in this write-up?

    ...It does *not* seem to be from the morning when they were rounding up red pickups.

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    Replies
    1. Really interesting. Given that the top of the page says it is the dispatch log for 2/9 - 2/10, 1800 - 1800 (in other words, 9 Feb, 6pm through 10 Feb, 6pm), and the time is given as 0829, that suggests to me it's 10 Feb, 8:29 am.

      Sadly, I am not hip to cop lingo, so the rest of it reads like gibberish to me. The reference to "name searches for vehicle" suggests they were running plates... but I really don't know.

      Delete
    2. I’m following this blog from outside the USA (actually from the Netherlands) and for me the codes and abbreviations on the dispatch log are not always easy to understand. Fortunately there’s Google.

      I’ve found this. In New Hampshire 10-20 means “Motor Vehicle Listing” and I believe the letter g followed by a number is used for the different police units.

      http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Police_Codes_(NH)
      http://www.graftonpolice.com/site/Logs.aspx

      So on the morning of February 10, there are two red trucks “investigated” by the police. There is the 08:29 entrance of four cars, one of which is a red truck (2001 PU Ford style side). But there is also a second red truck on the same page at 08:04: a red 1997 Ford AP Expedition.

      Since they are in the log, it seems fair to assume the police is aware of these red trucks and knows their owners.

      These two cars are probably not connected to a “tandem drive & get away”. Why would they still be in the area the next morning? But they could be connected to a local “dirtbag”.

      Another thing is that the eyewitness told police about RTD a few days after the accident. That seems to suggest that on the morning of February 10, police did not investigate these two red trucks in connection to Maura’s accident.

      JW

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    3. Excellent info. Thanks, JW.

      Delete
    4. Two people above concluded that the 08:29 red pickup check happened on Tue Feb 10, after the accident. I believe that's wrong. Despite what the header at the top of the page says, I'm fairly sure that this was in fact the morning of Mon, Feb 9, i.e. about 11 hours before Maura's crash. If you look at page 19 (still in Part 2), at 19:27 the log clearly shows the various calls & dispatch regarding Maura's crash. Note that this page has the identical header as page 15. And if you look through the time stamps from 08:29 through 19:27 over those 5 pages, it's in a chronological order. I believe the log covers much more than what the page header implies, i.e all of 2/9, not just 2/9 from 18:00 on.

      This of course would mean that they were doing something with this truck long before they could have been looking for it because of MM. Still could have incidentally been the same truck seen that night, of course.

      There are also at least 2 incidents involving pickups the next day: 06:36am Red 1996 Dodge Pickup warned for defective equipment, and then at 17:54 a Blue 2001 Ford pickup with "citation/warning issued". Both are very close to the presumed target vehicle... Considering there aren't that many vehicles listed in the log, one could conclude they were in fact on the lookout for pickup trucks of a certain colour and/or year.

      Delete
  40. Hey JW...where in the Netherlands? I will be there in a few weeks on tour. Maybe we can get together and talk about the case!

    adam

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    1. Hey Adam, I live near the city of Zwolle, about 60 miles to the north east of Amsterdam.

      Can I sent you an email?

      JW

      Delete
  41. Hi JW...I'll be staying in Amersfoort part of the time, which isn't far from you.

    Try me at ihatereseda@aol.com. It's not my main e-mail, so it may take me a day or two to get back to you...

    adam

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  42. I'm a Swiftwater native in the most literal sense (my mother had a home birth) & I was a freshman in high school at the time of Maura's disappearance. I have heard many possibilities as to what could have happened that night, ranging from staging the accident to intentionally disappear to abduction to her stopping at a small house party & accidentally overdosing. in October of 2011 (2 months after my 21st bday, just a few months younger than Maura was) I was involved in a minor accident just under a mile west of the stage stop. my mother & I have discussed the similarities between mine & Maura's accident & tried to apply my train of thought that night to Maura's case. I, like Maura, had somewhat of a "good girl" reputation. I had been drinking the night of my accident & my immediate thought was to avoid dui. (the difference btw mine & Maura's case being I was attempting to outrun LE so they were on the scene just a few moments after the accident) I was being pursued by a white unmarked SUV & remember a story my mother had once told me of a man posing as an undercover police officer preying on women in rural areas. the suv that was following me was new so I had my doubts that it was actually LE as I knew what the unmarked cruisers typically used in my area were neither suvs nor were they white.

    When I crashed, I saw the blue lights approaching & jumped out of my car & ran down an almost vertical bank (spraining my ankle in the process), slid into the wild ammonoosuc & swam upstream for a short period before climbing back up the bank, crossing 112 out of view of the officer (who was still at my car) & running to a friend's house.


    Now I know this area much better than Maura would have & still my first thought was to run down a dangerously steep bank into a very cold & rushing river (this was just a couple weeks after hurricane Irene so there were many uprooted trees all along the steep banks of the river) to avoid a dui. considering Maura had just been involved in an accident the night before, it's quite possible she could have desperately put herself in a similar situation to avoid a dui.

    another thing I'd like to point out is that the police officer didn't even attempt to come after me, which shows how much effort LE puts into their investigations around here. had I fallen into the river, smashed my head off a rock & floated downstream, they wouldn't have even began looking for me for a couple of days. any blood would have been washed away & my body wouldn't have been anywhere within their immediate search radius. in Maura's case it had snowed by the time they began looking for her, making it nearly impossible to identify any footprints that may had been found if they had looked for her immediately.

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    1. Thanks for the story. It is important as it shines a light on what many people have tended to sweep under the rug in this case = the level to which the actual crash (and fear of getting a DUI) had an effect on Maura. I believe people often overly emphasize Maura as being a kind of genius planner, to the extent people some believe she even planned the crash. But then I also find the "tandem" theory unlikely as well. I still believe the red pickup is key to the case, he could have even seen the crash somehow (in rear view?). The panic from the crash, the fear of getting caught by the police and her intoxication might have influenced Maura in getting in a strange car that she would not usually get in. People often ask why she would not take help from Atwood (the bus driver) but get it elsewhere but I always felt that the initial reason for her running was the same as yours - to get away from police who she could see would respond quickly due to where she cashed (in full view of cabins). Thanks for posting your experience.

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  43. I know this is an old thread; but I just read elsewhere that the Glynn brothers who worked at Loon Mountain as snow makers drove rt 112 to work every evening around the time of MM's crash.

    The poster states that the night of the crash the Glynn brothers pulled a no call/no show at work. Has this been looked at/confirmed?

    It's awfully coincidental that they would pull a no call no show that night. And own a red truck at the time.

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    1. Where did you read that the "Glynn Brothers" worked at Loon? I have seen it asked if they did, but had not seen confirmation of that as of yet.

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  44. My thoughts:

    1. Per her father, the rag was Maura’s rag. I believe witnesses say Maura went around to her trunk after the crash. I believe therefore that she put the rag in after the crash to indicate to passersby that the vehicle was broken down, not abandoned.

    2. Hounds lost Maura’s scent a short way up the road, suggesting she got into a vehicle. (Of course this evidence is not infallible because of the time that had elapsed before the dogs were brought to the scene.)

    3. The evidence suggests that the red truck passed by the crash site during the very short window of time when Maura was there.

    4. A witness stated that she saw the driver of the red truck “looking for someone” and feared being abducted. The truck driver’s behavior was suspicious enough to get her attention and he appeared to be looking for someone other than the witness.

    5. The witness stated the truck had Mass plates. She could have been mistaken, but stated that she was very certain about the plates being Mass. Plates. Maura was from Massachusetts.

    I feel the evidence suggests that Maura was either riding tandem (with space between) with the red truck driver with Mass. plates OR was abducted by the red truck driver.

    1. Maura could have faked the accident, perhaps to hide evidence from the Petrit Vasi accident or simply to fake her own disappearance (or both). She sends Butch Atwood on his way, places the rag in the tailpipe, and then hops into her friend/ lover’s red truck with Mass. Plates as planned.

    2. Alternatively, Maura could have had the bad luck to have been abducted after an unfortunate crash. A poster’s earlier theory about Maura seeking cell phone service and thus walking a short way away from the accident prior to being abducted by the red truck driver also fits the evidence. Perhaps she didn’t trust Butch Atwood (large older gentleman), or figured she wanted to call a tow truck herself in order to buy time to sober up. She sends BA on his way, places the rag in the tailpipe, but realizes she does NOT have cell phone service. She walks a bit up the road to try for better service and is abducted by the red truck driver who had perhaps been following her after spotting her earlier along her journey or simply decided to abduct her after first coming upon her at the accident scene.

    Currently I’m leaning towards an abduction, but I very much hope Maura is alive!

    People frequently say that

    1. …Maura would be unlikely to have gotten away with starting a new life without being discovered. Past news stories prove that it can and does happen and someone living under an assumed identity can go undiscovered for YEARS.

    2. …there wasn’t a large enough window of time for Maura to be abducted. All it takes is an intersection of a person with nefarious intentions with a vulnerable victim. People who abduct others are just waiting for the right opportunity with a vulnerable person to present itself! Maura was pretty and slim and under the influence (possibly alone) on a dark and cold night in a rural area. She was in an untrustworthy vehicle with out of town plates. Someone in this situation is very vulnerable and certainly might have caught the attention of the wrong person(s)…especially at a rest stop or gas station along her journey.

    Either scenario is believable to me. James, thank you for your EXCELLENT work. We are counting on you to unravel this mystery!

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  45. I also wanted to mention that Maura's accident was reported to the police, and the report stated that a female driver on her own was at the crash scene. Someone local with bad intentions and a police scanner could easily have headed her way.

    No offense to anyone in New England (I lived there at one time), but the north country certainly seems to have its fair share of weirdos!

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