Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Happened to the $4,000?

The weekend before she disappeared, Fred Murray visited his daughter at UMass. He brought $4,000 in cash with him. In later interviews, he said he brought the cash to use to buy a car for Maura. However, Maura's friends who were with her that weekend say Maura never mentioned shopping for a car. And no car was ever purchased.

What became of that money?

Did Fred leave it with Maura? Did she have it with her when she disappeared.

114 comments:

  1. I do not understand your blog question. When you interviewed Lt. Scarinsa, did you ask him if police verified Mr. Murray's statement by going to the used car dealership in question and asking if Maura and her father shopped for a car?

    There are too many conspiracy theories that go along with this case. I agree. But the way to get closer to solving the case seems to be to try and debunk these theories with real facts or at least theories that can be tested to be true or false. Verisimilitude is all about the idea that all theories are true or false, but some are truer or closer to the truth than others.

    Take for example the rag in the muffler pipe. We could easily say that the rag in the tailpipe was Maura's and that would then be the end of it. How could someone use a rag from Maura's own car to sabotage her vehicle? That is a very good question.

    Still there are a great deal of people that believe a kidnapper sabotaged Maura's car and then kidnapped her. Suppose we take this to be a true. Since this person would not want Maura to suspect they were following her, I would imagine they kept at least a 20-30 second car gap, which is rather long in terms of distance. Maura crashes. How in the next 20-30 seconds was she able to dump any type of alcohol out of her car? I would think she would be dazed and confused from the airbags exploding, much like the bus driver described. But the bus driver did not show up until a few minutes after the accident. How could someone who sabotages Maura's car ever lose sight of the vehicle? What if she turned off a side road? The point is that in terms of common sense it seems truer that she crashed her car alone, and nobody was following her who had disabled her vehicle.

    Maybe someone else did come along, but they came along at RANDOM. In terms of time, there is no way they could have been following Maura and Maura having enough time to do things like dump alcohol in the snow. What would be the point of a good Samaritan who disabled her car coming along and offering assistance and then Maura staying around to dump her alcohol in the snow? I would think she would just want to get the heck out of there if she saw that person as a good opportunity to leave.

    The kidnapper who uses a rag to disable Maura's vehicle would be truer if Maura had not stayed around to dump out alcohol. She did something that took time that she does not have if a person were following her pretending to come upon a disabled vehicle.

    There are a few facts that I consider true about this case:

    1. A person cannot finish an entire box of Franzia wine in 3-4 hours. If the person did not finish it they had to dump it out.

    2. Dumping alcohol, like consuming it, takes time, maybe not a lot of time but still time. If my theory about fact #1 is true then she would have to dump the alcohol in the Coke bottle and from the wine bag although maybe the wine bag was punctured and it emptied itself in the backseat of the car.

    3. If there is another person involved and MAURA KNOWS there is another person, why take any more time to do something rather trivial like dumping alcohol when she is going to be long gone from the scene before police arrive anyway? And why take the time to do that, but not grab the rest of her belongings? If it is a forced kidnapping, why not scream?

    Finally, why would a random kidnapper want to sabotage a vehicle that has already been involved in an accident(if the rag in muffler was done at the scene)? Why take the TIME to do that and not just take Maura and leave? Truth and time are the biggest mysteries with this case.



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    1. I appreciated your thoughtful comments.

      It strikes me however that you are debunking some theories that perhaps have thin evidence behind them with others that also do. You ask questions about motivations of serial killers and other people, as if the answers are obvious. The issue is that neither the theories you put forward to debunk what others have said, nor their theories ... none of them ... are without contradiction. Each one makes its assumptions and each fails to deal with some fact. There are too many unknowns and nobody knows for sure. And just as surely as they don't know - which you point out - nor do you. The rhetorical questions you offer, despite the way you offer them, do not have easy answers. I appreciate your insights and I appreciate the deep thought you have put into the matter. But I don't think you or anyone has enough information to claim to "debunk" what others speculate, for you no less than they speculate.

      ~ John Green

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    2. This is an interesting idea. It would also begin to explain why in his story on the Montel show, Fred never says the obvious thing in recounting what happened when he found out. "Well, Amherst was half way between me and the accident site and I thought, well I will check at school for her and ask the university police to keep an eye out for her." When you watch the Montel show, you can tell he is equivocating because he says of that Sunday morning, "I told her to call me, which she did ... that night." But that's BS because the police administrative offices would have been closed on Sunday, so she could not have gotten the accident papers. She clearly got them on Monday and that is why they were in her car. Fred even said once that she was supposed to call him on Monday night. But by the time he got on Montel, he is obfuscating by focusing on the police and so he slides the story a little bit ... oh she called me on Sunday. This so that he can answer the question about when he first heard of the accident with a slightly outraged "24 hours later." So, looping back to your point, if he knew why she went up there, he probably had talked to Kathleen by then and had some idea that something had gone down.

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    3. To Mr. Green: I understand your point. Nothing is for certain. For the purposes of verisimilitude the best way to describe what happened to Maura Murray would be to write: Maura Murray crashed and was either kidnapped or walked away from her life, or was disillusioned and walked into the woods where she froze to death or took a ride from a friend or stranger. Let me know if I missed anything. I believe that while nothing is certain asking questions concerning the evidence gets you CLOSER to the truth.

      One thing I do believe is fact, in my opinion, is the wine dumping and wine consumption. I do not believe for a second Maura Murray drank an entire box of Franzia wine and only had left what was in the Coke bottle when she crashed her car. That is not theory to me. That is fact. And if someone did stop by to kidnap her, I also do not believe she was unconscious when it happened because of again, the wine dumping. Sometimes I wonder if she is alive she thinks to herself, "That darn bus driver" because of her placement at the scene, her state of mind, and the fact that she could not plan him. But that is just speculation. The bus driver tells me she was conscious, that she could speak, that she could beep her horn if she was in trouble. He puts her at the scene.

      I would rather focus on the evidence associated with the case than whether or not Maura Murray's family is hiding something because, in my opinion, the only person that truly knows why Maura Murray left that day is Maura Murray. In my opinion, my conclusions are common sense.

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    4. I respect your opinion and you state it well. It is perfectly reasonable to prefer the focus on Haverhill. I simply disagree. I wont list out all the contradictions and strangenesses, but there are so many indications of probative evidence that would solve the case lurking among the Murrays that I cannot overlook it. It is not one or two things. It is many, many inconsistencies, contradictions, half truths and statements that literally could not be true. All of it - for me - culminates in the reticence to talk to authorities or James and to be opposed to a book that could only help to find his daughter. Like I said, I respect your opinion and more than that I respect how - uncommonly (at least here) among people who share that opinion - you do it without denigrating anyone else. This makes it a genuinely valuable contribution to the discussion. But I do disagree for the reasons aforestated. I am glad you are here to well represent that opinion, for as more information ripens, it will only help James to have more perpsectives and hunches covered. And in the end, this is a story that should be told and perhaps tis telling will result in Maura being found.

      ~ John Green

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  2. Fred could have spent it on something else? Its not like we can see his financial transactions/banking history. Frankly, its not all that much money and if Fred never gave it to Maura its none of our or the investigation's business what was done with it.

    Considering the condition of the Saturn, I find it completely plausible they were looking for a new vehicle. Not everybody cares enough about cars to rave to their friends about getting a new one. I know plenty of people who all the sudden have a new car without saying word #1 to anyone of their intentions.

    In the extreme case, Fred could have given it to Maura to run away or given it to her expecting her to complete the car transaction on her own during the week because they ran out of time, car was not ready to be picked up yet, etc. I think the second possibility is the only one that would help her fuel a "runaway". Fred gives $, she is already fed up with life for whatever reasons, Maura decides its a damn good amount to start with and takes off. I dont necessarily buy what I just said but its one of the many distinct possibilities.

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  3. Do we know for sure that the $4,000 was withdrawn? What I mean is, is there more than Fred's word for it?

    adam

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    1. I think the idea is that the reason he is so upfront about withdrawing $4000 and explaining it is that the withdrawal would have come to light in the investigation and looked very suspicious if he had not already explained it away. In that sense, we don't need more than Fred's word - if he never made the withdrawal there'd be absolutely no reason for him to say he did.

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  4. That's interesting! I had not thought about that before.

    Off Topic - If we have an off-topic question, where do we post it? I have a question/comment about the 1:00 AM phone call...In reading on WS...it's mentioned "the cell phone bill confirms that there was no conversation at 1:00 AM on the cell phone.

    As to a call on the security phone, Maura would have had to call someone and give them the number for them to call her.........she was prohibited from taking personal calls on the security phone, which puts us back to the mystery of why she was so emotional at 1:00 AM.....".

    So, if the call wasn't on her cell phone, who could have called her on the security phone?

    (Please move to the appropriate place).

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    1. Debbie,

      This is a good point. I was thinking of suggesting to James that he set up something where someone can send him a suggested post to the first level of the blog to raise topics among those of us following. He would still have the control to reject of accept those suggestions.

      ~ John Green

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  5. She totally ran off with that $4000. She's the type of girl who would only have to dye her hair black, put some make up on and no one would recognise her in a million years.

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  6. I believe Fred gave Maura the $4000 to run away temporarily or to take care of something - I don't know what it was because it seems her life was a pretty big mess.

    I think she took the money and ran. I don't think Fred or most of her family knows where she is. I do think that at least one of her sisters knows where she is.

    I think that Maura was about 8 weeks pregnant when she left and that she probably had a baby around Sept. 2004. I believe that the child has slightly darker features that she could not have passed it off as Billy's. I believe that she is hiding in plain sight under a new name (possibly the name of a real girl almost her exact age who passed away) in a rural community somewhere and that she keeps her head down and tries not to raise too many eyebrows in her life. I think that at least one of the reported Maura-sightings was the real deal, but that lives pretty far from where that sighting took place.

    I believe that one day (after Fred passes away) she will likely come forward and tell her story. I don't think that Fred was abusive in the sense that has been implied, but I do believe that he was very critical and demanding of the kids and the reason Maura left is that she felt she had failed past the point of no return (West Point, stealing, college track, pregnancy, etc) in Fred's eyes and would never be good enough.

    I believe that Maura loved and respected her dad so much that her life was essentially over if he did not respect her or believe in her any more. I believe that the words he said to her after she crashed his car that night at the motel were so painful, hurtful, and critical that she could never face him again. I believe that Fred knows that and that is his reason for being so defensive and secretive about why Maura left - he knows it was his fault. I think Fred does not believe that Maura is dead or that there was a crime but pursues that angle because he believes that is the way to get the most help in finding her. I also think that when he talks about "dirtbags" and "lowlifes" he is projecting a bit of disgust he feels with himself for driving Maura away.

    I believe the answers to this mystery lie up North as opposed to in Hanson or Amherst.

    -RL

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    1. Not one word you said above mentions anything about "up north". All the points you make refer to her life and family before heading north. So exactly why does the answer lie up north?

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    2. Because I believe that's where she lives. And she has the answers.

      RL

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    3. If she knew she was going to have a baby, why would she drink so heavily? She was not a stupid person. I understand if she didn't want to keep the baby then she would be drinking. But if Maura knew she was pregnant and wanted to keep the baby, I highly doubt she would have been excessively drinking alcohol that weekend. Although this does tie in to the web searches she did about alcohol and pregnancy. Maybe she drank a bunch, found out that she was pregnant, did web research on the topic, and continue to drink figuring that she had done enough damage and didn't want to have the child.

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    4. I think you're onto something here. I also think part of the web search was to see how many drinks she could "safely" have (wine/beer) - some doctors say up to 2 drinks is safe-ish depending on several other factors. Remember Fred said she had beer at the pub. Then she bought wine for the trip. The booze could have been for someone else. As for what got drunk in the car - why do we always assume she was alone. Maybe the witness was not mistaken when she said she saw a man in the car. It's really just as possible Maura had a driving companion.

      Maura may have not ever considered abortion as an option for herself. Many Catholics don't (assuming Maura was at least nominally Catholic, which I think is a safe bet). Her mom got pregnant outside the marriage and still had the baby - that's a clue to me that she may have been raised such that she wouldn't have seriously considered getting an abortion.

      A baby on the way may have been several motivating factors for Maura to skip out on her old life (together with pending criminal charges, etc.).

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    5. RL,
      Shame on me for forgetting to reply to your excellent post. I think you are right on.
      --SAH

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  7. The money was for Kathleen. Kathleen called Maura Thursday night with the bombshell (whatever it was). Fred came up the next day to Amherst with $4000 and gave it to Maura. She left for Vermont the next day to meet up with Kathleen and give her the money. Two things I am not sure of: 1) Whether Fred knew the money was for Kathleen 2)How Maura ended up in NH and what happened to her.

    But yes, I believe the money was for Kathleen and this was the family crisis Maura told her teachers and bosses of - it was her job to go up to VT and give Kathleen the $4000 for some emergency.

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    1. Where was Kathleen living at the time? I missed this.

      adam

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    2. One exercise that might be instructive is to add up a list of things that Fred and/or the family, for reasons inexplicable to the outside observe, does not want looked at.

      Off the top of my head:

      1. The rag in the tail pipe. Perhaps the oddest thing to not want anyone to look into.
      2. Maura's presence in his hotel room after the accident during the night -- an odd lie because the cover-up was stinkier than the seemingly innocuous truth.
      3. His reasons for being in Amherst, assuming the car story is bogus.
      4. Maybe what happened at the dorm party (this presupposes Maura's friends' not talking about it is on instructions from the family, but that is not at all for certain).

      Side question: what caused the change in Fred's initial reaction to the disappearance (thinking Maura had taken off and was possibly suicidal) and his later public stance (no way she was suicidal, dirtbag did it).

      Anyone got anything else to add to this? It's a motley list and as such might shed some light if there's a common thread to be found. I do like what someone else said downthread: the idea that Fred believes she is alive but does not know where she is, and thinks this is the best means of action to find her. Alternately, he may honestly believe something bad happened to Maura, but thinks that if the full truth were outed, people would assume otherwise and the case would not be investigated properly. This is the most obvious answer, but not the only one.

      Anyone got anything to add to the list above?

      adam

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    3. The more fact that come to light the more it seems that Kathleen may be in this up to her eyeballs - she alone among the family may know what happened to Maura.

      Stowe (one of the places Maura was looking at staying) is on the way to St. Albans. It just seems pretty clear that meeting up with Kathleen was part of the equation for that trip - exactly where and what happened after that I can't say. But you've got 1) Middle of night upsetting phone call from Kathleen 2) Fred high tails it to MA with $4000 the next day and gives it to Maura 3) Two days later Maura head up to within striking distance of where she could meet Kathleen in VT or along the border 4) Kathleen's known criminal and drug problems and connections 5) Nobody ever sees or hears from Maura again after he car is found abandoned 6 miles inside the NH border.

      It doesn't answer all the details (Was Maura travelling alone? Exactly who did exactly what to her? What was Kathleen's involvement? Is Maura still alive?) - but I think it's the basic framework that holds the answers to this mystery.

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    4. Interesting thoughts. However, at that time, Kathleen did not live in Swanton. She lived in Hanover, Mass, which is south of Boston. I was at one point confused on the same point but I looked it up.

      That said, even without knowing why she was on 112, your speculation is insightful and interesting.

      ~ John Green

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    5. @ ADAM

      I feel like the PI Francis Kelly (who goes by Weeper in some forums) once made a great list of red herring and critical issues in the case. I don't know exactly what happened, but apparently at one point, all the MM threads on Topics disappeared, but someone had saved all of Weekpers, so they are now on a particular site, where is indexed a lot of interesting posts from the old Topix days, with the BS ones (like those by that jackass Beagle, aka Storage Head, i.e. the guy who made those stupid movies) weeded out. If you check there, you might find those lists in a section called "Weeper's posts." If need be and if you are interested, email me at John88Green@yahoo.com and I will send you the like.

      ~ John Green

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    6. @Anon 9:26...Another reason (#6) in support of Kathleen is that Kathleen's potential involvement would square up with Fred's unwillingness to talk. If Kathleen had done something REAL bad, for which she'd be in BIG trouble, that seems to me like one of the few possible reasons Fred would still be keeping mum at this point.

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    7. Even if Kathleen didn't "live" there yet, are we sure she wasn't spending time up there already? A lot of people split there time between a couple of places - especially if they don't have consistent employment which could apply to Kathleen.

      Or maybe she and Kathleen made a drug run up there to settle a debt, got into trouble, and Kathleen made it out while Maura did not. That would explain a lot of this secrecy for sure.

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    8. Great points SAH. I have sensed that connection to. For whatever Fred may have done in his life, I do see a guy pained by this terrible saga. One way to square that with his equivocations is - as you point out - that he is equivocating about one daughter with the interests of another in mind, perhaps even knowing in his heart that what he is equivocating about wont help find Maura.

      ~ John Green

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    9. At anon 355 pm.

      Great point. The border areas have a lot of drugs (more going out than in) which is one reason why you now (as of June 2009) need a passport to drive into Canada.

      ~ John Green

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    10. If what happened in Haverhill was drug-related, there may be connections to the people responsible for Brianna Maitland's disappearance. Those (suspected) guys were some nasty operators from what I have read.

      For the record, I don't believe in that idea myself--I stand by my theory that Fred knows with complete certainty whether Maura is alive or dead, which would rule out most non-family killers--but it's possible.

      @John Green, don't know if you agree, but I personally take Weeper's posts with a grain of salt, because I think Frank Kelly was Fred's PI, and may have had motives for promoting non-family-centered theories. I do think it is very weird that he posted so much for the public as a PI on the case.

      Adam, the site John Green is talking about is findmauramurray.fr.yuku.com. (I have been allowed to link it here before.) The discussion is no longer live there, but there is some really interesting information including much I hadn't heard before. I don't know how credible this is, but one thing they were discussing for awhile was the fact that clothes, but not underwear, were found in Maura's car. Someone spookily left a pair of underwear on the memorial site years later. Again, none of this is confirmed, but still intriguing.

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    11. SAH,

      Thanks for the information. I'd like to know more about that if you don't mind communicating it to me, or at my email John88Green@yahoo.com

      I will say that I have always thought that FK was a bit of an atypical character among investigatory types. There is a youtube video of him. He is very imprecise at times and very cryptic. His posts can be the same way.

      Columbo, I always felt, was totally out of left field.

      I would also add that I could get a PI license and so could seven of my friends and we could form a league and volunter troll around the Maura scene for a while too. I mean, these are just dudes. I was really thinking it was weird when one of them was planning to hold a seminar for people to meet him and ask questions ... at Dunkin Donuts. He literally said "I'll be at such a such a Dunkin Donuts on such and such a date." I thought that was a bizarre form of self-aggrandizement. I think it was PK that did that.

      But Fred Leatherman, however - i.e., Mason - is a credible source and there is a lot of his stuff on that site too. James has even indicated that he talked to Fred. I also know that Fred knows some of my former colleagues at the University of Washington law school, which I graduated from in the 1990s, and that he was involved in a very prominent pro bono project there. So he's a real dude with real stuff going on. So my point is that even though that site is culled of the really ridiculous stuff from Topix, I do agree with SAH that you have to be careful what you take from it. But I think Fred is a very good source.

      So, in any case, I think you are right that I need to up the salt dosage around my reliance on PK's statements. He's made contributions but he is often cryptic and vague. And now I would like to know more about your feelings on his bias, so please do - if you feel comfortable - let me know.

      ~ John Green

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    12. Hi John Green,
      I really need to start keeping records of what I read and where I read it. I wish I could tell you on which forum(s) I read that FK was hired by the Murrays, but I don't remember. It also must be said that there is a lot of misinformation and disinformation on forums, and there is no reason to believe what I read about FK is definitely true. I do try to apply my own filter to things I read online, but that is far from a foolproof measure.

      As for the FK details I mentioned, I will say I remember reading several pieces of supporting information, as well as one or two comments to the contrary ("Frank Kelly is totally neutral" sort of thing.) I wish I could quote even some of it, but I can't. I will say:
      1) You're absolutely right that anyone can get a PI license and call themselves a PI. It doesn't necessarily mean anything.

      2) I find it highly unusual that, as a private investigator doing ongoing work on this case, he would post his "findings" on online forums...unless he were somehow trying to bait/elicit certain responses as part of his research. (An interesting point about missing persons investigations in the Internet age is the idea that involved people can and do frequently participate in online discussions about the case.)
      In either case, the posts should not necessarily be taken at face value.

      3) It is a bit remarkable to me just how many of his posts center on the "bogeyman" interpretation. Granted, everyone has their theory, and I am no exception. But he does seem to frame a lot of his posted comments as "Which bad guy was it?" rather than "Was it a bad guy?" ...Just an impression I've had.

      Again, if true, that doesn't necessarily mean he has ulterior motives. He could just really believe that it was a bad guy and nothing else, or he could simply prefer to focus on that part of the investigation. But I do think it's notable that we find him making very few comments about Fred's lies, Maura's backstory, etc.--all of which are undoubtedly important pieces of this puzzle, no matter what happened. A neutral PI would surely be contemplating those things at least a little.

      ...

      A quick interesting thing I ran into as I was trying to source my FK comments:
      Apparently, FK said in an interview, "I will state that her vehicle was not damaged at the site where it was located and towed from." Another investigator, John Healy, agreed with that, saying, "We are considering that Maura may have been involved in another accident prior to her car being found on Wild Ammonoosuc [...] We're not ruling out that the accident [on Wild Ammonoosuc] could have been staged." Both these quotes were from this article: http://southshorexpress.net/content/view/81/174/
      ...I find the idea of a previous accident that night very interesting. It seems to have been extensively discussed on Websleuths and the Yuku forum. I am glad we are finally beginning to explore it on this site.

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  8. Has Mr. Murray ever said why, if they'd found a car for Maura, they didn't buy it that weekend? I've never heard why they intended to wait until the following weekend. Perhaps, as others have suggested, the $4000, if it ever existed, wasn't for a car at all.

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    1. I know I have my theories about this. See my long post on this thread. The car story came into being on Tuesday as he was driving up to NH, worried that the $ would be found on MM. I can't prove it, but it would explain a bunch of other oddities (again, see my long post) as well as the one you point to ... why wait until next week? If nothing else a $4k downpayment takes the car home.

      ~ John Green

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    2. Adriana Pacheco LesemannApril 30, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      John Green...maybe they did not find what they would like to find in terms of a car and decided to wait...no great mistery there !!!

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    3. Adriana,

      I would invite you to become more informed about the facts in the case before you denigrate or disagree with the reasoning of others in a way that is meant to suggest that others are being stupid or biased.

      Fred said they found the car they wanted.

      Please don't fish for reasons to criticize. That is not making a contribution.

      ~ John Green

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    4. I would like to know more about how you arrive at the conclusion that my comment is denigrating simply because I find a more simple reason as to why they did not buy the car that week-end. How is that difference of opinion "denigrating"....and how exactly is it negative criticism...? Is this blog turning like the blog run by MMMG where you have to agree with everything they say or you are accused of being hostile? I was not fishing for any thing negative and you have no right to accuse me of that. And please don't refer to my grammar-syntax etc. That might be too distracting or might take away from the content of my response. English is not my first language. Is my third.

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    5. Mr John Green: CONFIDENTIAL.

      I am noticing that in the USA people are always speaking of the right to free speech, but in many of these Blogs the moderators view any diviation of opinion, as an attack on them...Because I did not agree to join the majority opinion in the MMMG blog line, that James Renner is not a nice, ethical journalist, I was threatened with banning. Now you accuse me of "not knowing enough facts" to render a simple opinion simply because you did not like what I said. The fact that you send me on my way "to find out more facts" isn't that denigrating? The fact is, I have been following this case for two years, and I base all my opinions on reading and seeing how this case has or has not developed.You can answer me privately if you wish. thanks. And by the way, I very much like your use of formal logic in everything you say.

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    6. Adriana: CONFIDENTIAL

      John Green was absolutely polite to you.

      As he tried to explain...

      Fred has said they had the car picked out. He even brought money "for the car." $4,000, to be precise. Almost certainly enough to take the car off the lot.

      And yet they didn't.

      Why not?

      If you have an answer, you are welcome to post it. Until then, the "great mistery" remains.

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  9. From what I understand he didn't have enough money for a car that weekend... but i suppose from his statement on getting a car the following weekend.. he was waiting on another paycheck.

    I get it that you're a reporter and investigator, but i think it's ignorant to jump to conclusions. I suppose the only person who would know is Fred. You don't have enough information right now to form any kind of conclusion..to much info missing..

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    1. Ah, A voice of reason. I agree. Although, I am no expert in anything here either, it seems like a lot of minutiae or tit for tat and mountains made out of any word that comes out of Fred's mouth. The only FACT is....Maura is missing.

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    2. To anonymous at 606.

      Your statement is factually incorrect and morally incorrect in the suggestions it intentionally lodges. The issues are so well documented and covered, via original sources, that your statements shows either that (1) you are not informed, or (2) you have some strange axe to grind.

      Sorry to be so blunt. But disagreeing and making a positive contribution to a conversation is one thing. Trying to leave false suggestions of the invalidity of that discussion in the record with throw away posts is entirely another. It is socially irresponsible. I ask you to think and offer positive statements of your opinion rather than denigrations of others, for the latter adds nothing to anyone's interests.

      ~ John

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    3. To anonymous at 1120:

      Unlike the post in reply to yours, I appreciate your post, other than your inane use of the word "ignorant" which in itself was ignorant. I wonder if you could direct me to the source where someone says that he did not have enough money for the car and was waiting for his next check. I simply missed that.

      If it is a fact in the record, it does not change my conclusion. The fact is that $4,000 will get a used car off any lot that day. Many used car dealers have (and even many new car dealers) will give you a financing deal that is abortable within a certain period of time if you pay off the balance.

      I disagree with your implied contention that there is no reason to look at the $4,000. There is. It has been discussed on this site and on this thread. In fact my post on this thread lays it out well, I believe. You are correct, perhaps, in guessing that it does not matter. But that does not matter. What matters is that there is so much in the record that shows that Fred is hiding something HIGHLY relevant to Maura's disappearance. Thus he himself by his actions, statements and in some cases outright lies has brought this speculation on himself. Moreover, his opposition to a book that will absolutely spur interest in his daughter's case and vastly increases the chances that she will be found, is impossible to understand, either abstractly or in terms of the reasoning he has offered about it, which is absurd.

      It is one thing to speculate about the end matter of whether the $4,000 will eventually prove to be significant. But that is like looking for a key you lost in town and saying, "well I'm not gonna check Pine street because it is not likely and same with walnut and same with broad street and thus eliminating all the streets in town because they each are not likely where you lost it. If you know you know the key is in town, you have to start checking the streets. We know Fred is equivocating, suggestive things - like a hinky story about the $4,000 - need to be checked. If investigative journalists did not work this way, think about Richard Nixon finishing his term and being revered as a great president today and think about Ted Bundy's body count as he moved into his 60s. Because smart people taking a frank look at stuff that looked wrong is what caught those crooks.

      Again, I see your point about the lacking evidence for a conclusion. But the issue is the existence of enough reason to look, not whether the evidence right now would stand up in court. Otherwise, no cases would ever be solved but by confession or red handedness.

      ~ John Green

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    4. Anonymous 11:20 ---- If Fred couldn't afford a car that weekend, WHY would he have brought the $4,000 that weekend? He has stated many, many times that the $4,000 was *with him* when he visited Maura. If he wasn't planning to buy the car then, why bring it?

      I really hope you will respond, but I'm not holding my breath...

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    5. I share SAH's hope that you will respond, but your pattern is kind of hit and run in a cowardly attempt to just leave statements here that derail. Unfortunately for you, I am taking a mid-career break and have all kinds of time on my hands to make a hobby of debunking your foolishness, thereby further cementing the bases for that which you try to derail.

      Also, SAH, good point. If his idea was to pay full, why even bring the $4k. No car under $4k was going to improve on the Saturn. So it makes no sense. He CLEARLY was explaining the possibility that if Maura were found there might 40 crisp Franklins traceble to his bank and - because it was a big withdrawal - right to him.

      ~ John Green

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  10. Was Kathleen living in Vermont in 2004?

    People will beat up on me for this question, but I'd like to explore the pregnancy angle a bit. Who was doing 2nd trimester abortions (past 12 weeks) in the northeast or canada in 2004, and how much would it have cost? There's not many places that do them, and they definitely cost several thousand.

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    1. Hi there.

      Kathleen was living in Hanover, MA, south of Boston in 2004.

      Why would people beat you up over raising the pregnancy issue? She is known to have scouted info on the internet about it, right? I think your idea is a great one. I had never been able to get around "why go up there to get the abortion, why not do it in MA." But you are right ... because she may have been too far along. Worse than heading toward CA for an abortion is the idea of getting an illegal abortion with that $4000. That is a horrid thought for the poor girl, if in fact it explains her fate. It is also interesting that she researched the topic of drinking's affect on a fetus. This might suggest that she had been pregnant for a while and not noticed it. Who knows.

      So anyway, for me, you introduced something that I missed which had always caused me to not put much stock in the pregnancy angle. But it is more than possible that she could have been far along and not showing, particularly given her athletic physique.

      If someone were to beat you up over posting that insightful comment, I think it would be that guy who likes to go at James from non-existent premise to angry conclusion ... a monkey better left to his bananas.

      ~ John Green

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    2. Adriana Pacheco -LesemannApril 30, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      I don't know of any intelligent student -Athlete, who would not know that she is pregnant to the extent that she ends up needing a long term abortion. Girl athletes are very very attuned to their bodies. Because it is rummored that she looked at these subjects one cannot deduce that she was pregnant.One should first be certain that the assertion of what she was looking at is a fact. Otherwise is pure speculation. And I am the kind of person who tends to consume a lot more than plain babanas.

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    3. Hi Adriana.

      You make a good point. You very well could be correct.

      But I think you may be incorrect to entirely exclude the possibility. It is a possibility that exists within the wide vector of possibilities at hand in this case. Surprisingly, it turns out that there are actually quite a few cases of women who carry deep into term (at least past the point of a legal abortion) without realizing they are pregnant. Sometimes, this has to do with denial, which clearly was a facet of the codependency built into the Murray family structure. There are even stories of women going into labor without ever having consciously admitted to themselves that they are pregnant. This can happen to educated people. In fact, it might be more likely for someone whose forebrain intellect is stronger and more willful.

      In terms of the computer searches - if that is what you are referring to - I believe UMASS police gave out the information that she had searched for the effect of alcohol on a fetus.

      ~ John Green

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    4. She may very well have known she was pregnant, but dithered about what to do for too long. That's very common. Also, if she was bulimic, it is very likely she had irregular periods and therefore not have known she was pregnant until too late.

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    5. Another good point 541. How about using a name too? : )

      ~ John Green

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    6. Planned Parenthood is an organization that most women and girls know about. That is probably where you would go to have any kind of abortion. However, I do not know the "late-term abortions laws in 2004...but Iam going to check. If they were in place at the time where you could get it, I don't think it would have cost four thousand dollars or near that amount. At most, a few hundred dollars...

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    7. The availability of second trimester abortions is a matter of state law, and where they are both legal and available, with providers willing to perform them, I can assure it costs well over a few hundred dollars. A second trimester abortion is a far different animal than a first trimester one. It is a serious procedure needing a far higher level of equipment and care.

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  11. As another poster said, the obvious conclusion is that he kept the money. With no way to know, there is no basis for even beginning to speculate about it, nor any reason to.

    Except that ... something nags about the money: that we even know about it.

    (Caveat: I'm speculating about a "necklace" below because I think the "beads" fit together. If someone can dispute the facts or reasoning, I'm eager to it.)

    Why add the detail about the cash? Not just the price range you sought, but also that you were going to pop $4,000 down in cash, which was in your pocket, which you withdrew before coming to Amherst. Seems forced upon the narration. I mean: "we were going to buy a car, blah blah blah, she went to a party, she crashed my car and then THE MOST HORRIBLE DAY OF MY LIFE HAPPENED." The money detail is an unnatural detour. (That said, I cant find and would like to see the original source of this information.)

    Thus - particularly given other obvious Murray equivocations - maybe it IS reasonable to explore the issue. Improbable, perhaps, but in this case improbable rocks need be turned.

    I think this strange detail may tie to something else I noticed: Fred lied on the Montel show. He said that when Maura told him of the accident on Sunday morning he told her to go get the accident papers and call him. At that juncture, after a pause, he says "which she did, on Sunday night," or something close to that. In 2004, however, Fred explained the existence of the papers in Maura's car in Haverhill by saying that she was supposed to call him at 8 pm on Monday. (Again, unfortunately, I cannot find the source for this, but I recall it clearly.) In fact, the reason we know about the Hadley crash is because the papers were found in the Saturn. Moreover, police admin offices would be closed on Sunday, so Maura did not in fact talk with Fred on Sunday night about them.

    I think this lie allowed Fred to emphasize his outrage at the police. He justifiably wanted to point out that it took too long for them to call the Murrays (24 hours). To do this, he could not say "she was going to call on Monday," because it would elicit the unpleasantly suggestive question, "why didn't you try to call her when she did not call you as promised?"

    There is something even worse. Say you are in CT and your daughter reported missing after a crash halfway to Canada in NH. That's 200 +/- miles straight up I-91. An hour in, you pass Amherst. Why not stop and check her dorm, or notify campus police look for her? Or at least call them? This was the utterly natural thing to do, on the perfectly logical hope of a terrified parent that she'd somehow gotten back to school. But we know he didn't do this, because we know that Amherst authorities were first involved when contacted by NH investigators. Moreover, if he had done it, it is a VERY natural thing to mention on the Montel show, toward further emphasizing his point about how NH authorities were negligent early in the investigation.

    Stopping at Amherst is the kind of thing that the parent with no clue why his daughter was up in Haverhill would have done. But it is NOT necessarily something the parent who knew why - and who was worried about some unpleasant additional facts surfacing - WOULD REMEMBER to make up.

    This could tie back to speculation about the $4,000. If, as another poster suggested, Fred gave the money to Maura to give to Kathleen - or for any other reason - then he likely knew why she was up there. So while driving up I-91, he may have been wrestling with his guilt and conscience. In that context, talking to campus police would not have been most urgently on his mind. Perhaps what was on his mind involved explanations for $4,000 - perhaps in crisp bills, traceable back to Fred's bank - that might be found on Maura, were she located, particularly if the reason she had it was for some illegal or non-all American girl purpose.

    ~ John Green

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    1. John Green, you are my hero. Amazing post.

      Excellent questions you ask.

      As for why Fred mentioned the $4,000 -- yes, it is extremely unnatural to report that detail. But, as you rightly conclude, he HAD to make up some reason for it. The police were going to find out that it was withdrawn from his account. So he made sure to weave the car purchase notion into his story every time he told it.

      The fact that he has been so eager to report, "I withdrew $4k! Here's why!" makes me think the real reason he withdrew the money is VERY crucial here. And that reason certainly wasn't "to buy Maura a car."

      I think if we find out why he withdrew the money, this mystery will be WELL on its way to being solved.

      ....

      I didn't see you explain your theory of what the necklace had to do with it...I'd be very interested to hear that. I'm guessing that the necklace + the $280 + the $4,000 were all intended for the same emergency purpose. Maybe Kathleen, maybe Maura's own escape fund, or maybe some non-All-American-Girl purpose, as you suggest.

      I want to know what costs roughly $5,000, but obviously the truth is that any number of things cost that amount of money. "Bailing Kathleen [or someone else] out of jail" came to mind quickly, but on second thought, it wouldn't explain such an urgent departure. And surely the police would know if Kathleen had been bailed out of jail at that time.

      Paying someone off, maybe?

      ...

      Anyway, this whole question is one more reason why James's posts about Kathleen's criminal record may be FAR from irrelevant.

      ....

      Finally, John Green, your point was *excellent* about how FM didn't stop in Amherst.

      First of all, he needed quiet time to cook up a few explanations. Second, there is no reason to check her dorm if in fact you know she's not there.

      ...As I commented on the previous post ("Red Truck Revised,") I am increasingly sure Fred knows most of what happened to Maura. He almost certainly knows whether she's dead or alive as we speak.

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    2. Gosh ... thanks. What a nice thing to say.

      So, I really appreciate your thoughtful post. I have been thinking about what costs $4,000 too. A lot of less than all-American things come to mind, including some things that are highly illegal that in my mind might tie back to another wierdness about the whole saga. But I am hesitant to post it, for it is downright accusatory and I try to remember that we are talking about a family who - regardless of what happened - has probably lost a daughter in one way or another and (however self-inflicted it may be in part) has been through so much pain. I can't bring myself to speculate out that far, but I have a sense of one thing that money could have been used for.

      I was really struck when it came to me, while watching Montel, that (a) Fred was lying and (b) in imagining him driving up there, he never stopped at Amherst. It really leapt out at me because for me it ties back to the money. He needed to have an explanation for that money because the bills, if they were on her, would have been tracebable back to his bank. All withdrawals can be traced back to a bank and big ones to the specific withdawer.

      Unfortunately, there was that confusing part about the beads and the necklace. I apologize for the confusion. It was meant as a cute metaphor to say that I don't know if all these beads (clues or ideas) fit together in the way I am about to present them (i.e., the necklace), but I am going to throw the idea out there. It was just a way of saying that I can't be sure I am putting the pieces together correctly and I don't have enough knowledge to know for sure that what I am saying is correct. If the entire truth were known, for instance, there may be reason why FM did not stop in Amherst.

      In any case thanks again for the nice words and please do keep posting. How about signing your name so there is an identity with your ideas? Even if you make up a name, just so we know who is talking?

      Regards,

      John Green

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    3. To John Green: If Fred Murray took out $4000 for whatever reason, wouldn't the smartest thing to do be to find out if he put the money back in his bank account?

      That is just my common sense suggestion.

      Delete
    4. I wouldn't give too much credit to the fact that Fred didn't stop by Maura's dorm the on the way to the accident site. I'd imagine that getting a call from someone saying your daughter is missing would put you in the frame of mind to make a bee-line to her last known location, not plan a road-trip with stops along the way. He was probably hell-bent on getting up there as fast as possible.

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    5. John Green:
      (That said, I cant find and would like to see the original source of this information.)

      If you mean the $4000 in the context of the running narrative of the events of the weekend, it's from Fred's statement to the police. From the statement (transcribed verbatim from the image file):

      "Saturday arrived around 12:00-12:30 called her on phone waited for her to come outside her dorm. We were going to get her a car. That is why I came up that weekend. We started in Hadley looking at cars $4000 on my person."

      (Emphasis mine.)

      I am mindful of the fact that this is not something he wrote, but something transcribed as he spoke, though he did sign it (thereby endorsing it as true).

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    6. To 558 AM.

      There is a difference between planning a road trip and stopping at your daughter's university to alert the U police that she is missing, look for her at her dorm, call Kate and ask if she has seen Maura, etc.

      The fact that you felt the need to EGREGIOUSLY mischaracterize my reasoning by saying he would go straight to the scene rather than "plan a road trip" tells me you either did not read my post or are thinking less than objectively.

      ~ John Green

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    7. to 1018 pm

      Makes sense to me. That would remove the issue if it is not really an issue. But I suppose only the police could do that and only if they named Fred as a suspect and got a warrant duces tecum to serve on the bank to give up his records.

      I will say this: take the money out - go to Amherst - find the car you want - leave amherst - redeposit the money - plan to take it out again - plan to go back to amherst and buy the car next weekend even though $4000 down will get a used car off the lot straight away .... all sounds hinky to me. AND, Kate and her other friends (according to James I believe) don't remember any mention of car shopping even though Kate, for instance, had dinner with Fred and Maura right after they returned from (so says Fred) finding the car that they were going to buy. Ummm....

      But who knows? In a single instance you can always say that people do weird things sometimes for reasons that are not clear and that they cannot always remember. But there are too many with Fred surrounding Maura's case. This may or may not in fact be one, but odds are with all those contradictions and equivocations, something is being masked, deliberately, by him. In that context, Fred in a sense has himself to blame if some conceptions of what he is hiding are exaggerated. For it is clear that something about that prior weekend set Maura's fate in motion and it is clear that Fred is hiding something about that prior weekend and or Maura's trip north. The easy way to put a stop to exaggerated speculations, for him, is to do what most parents would do for their kids ... want the truth out as far and wide as possible ... so somebody somebody somebody with the key might be alerted or spurred to come forward.

      ~ John Green

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    8. Hi John Green, thanks for the followup. (I'm the poster who wrote the first reply to this comment. I do sign all my posts here as "SAH" in the name/signature field--a name should show up above each comment, whether it's "Anonymous" or something more specific, in my case "SAH." It's possible that your browser doesn't display these, though--I think it's a scripting thing.) I get your necklace analogy now :)

      I am very intrigued to know your idea about what the $4k might have gone to. I completely understand your desire to protect the family, and that is very noble. No doubt this has been hell for every single one of them, and I, too, have a good deal of sympathy for all of them, including Fred. If you think there might be a way to state your idea obliquely enough that it wouldn't seem like an accusation, I would appreciate hearing it, although if you can't or don't want to, that's completely understandable. The one advantage is that if it is something investigable, you have an audience here that may be willing to help you look into it. And you never know who with even greater investigatory capabilities, such as LE members, might be reading this blog for ideas.

      I do hope you tell at least JR about your theory. In this case, I wouldn't be surprised if something pretty out-of-the-box turns out to be the key to the mystery, so all ideas that make a reasonable degree of sense are potentially useful. And the knowledge that this has been NH's MOST expensive case does somewhat change the stakes in my eyes. But, again, it is up to you.

      Thank you again for all the sensitivity and intelligence you have brought to the site through your comments. --SAH

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    9. to snapdragon:

      thank you! If it is verbatim, that does lesson the reason I have offered for looking at the $4,000, because it sounds like a throwaway line that he did not particularly emphasize.

      I wonder if he has said it anywhere else?

      John Green

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    10. Hey SnapDragon.

      I took a closer look at Fred Murray's statement to the police. On second thought, it does not dissuade me about the validity of my reasoning above about why the $4k merits a look.

      For one thing, I don't think it is verbatim. In fact, as piece of legal evidence, it could not be authenticated as such in a court of law. This for two reasons. First, there is no stenographer's stamp on it. Second, and more logically, the last paragraph mixes interviewer narration, talking about Fred in the third person, with quotes by Fred.

      As such, we don't really know what kind of emphasis he put on the $4k comment. But we can still see in the entire transcript that his emphasis was on explaining what was going on that weekend and on portraying Maura in a certain way. It could be accurate, but there is evidence that things went down that weekend different than he says. And still, the fact remains, the detail about the $4k is not really relevant to anything. It is strange that he included it. The story itself is strange as it suggests that the UMASS police were almost interrogating him, wanting to know exactly what he had been doing up there that weekend, which exactly corresponds with the suspicions about the $4k and the knowledge undisclosed that Fred has. Perhaps the UMASS police felt the same way?

      ~ John Green

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    11. John Green,

      Sorry for the confusion--I only meant that my typing it into the post from the (image file) report was verbatim; that typos/grammatical errors/poor sentence structure were [sic]. I definitely agree that it was not word-for-word as he spoke, for the reasons you gave.

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    12. Hi SAH. Sorry for the delay in responding.

      Okay, some theories. I am presenting these not as factual assertions by which to accuse anyone. Instead, I am using them as hypotheticals to make the point that the $4,000 is such a curious thing (taking cash to the dealer makes no sense, no car that would have been an improvement over the Saturn would have gone for that amount in 2004, that amount however would be enough to get a car off the lot, typically if you finance an $8000 car you would put less than $4k down on it, it it is weird that Fred felt the need to mention how much he had because it is not relevant to the story as he would have us believe it, and everybody in the world who sells cars (including that lot in Northhampton he mentioned) will take credit cards and personal checks.) So it is weird, particularly that he even mentioned it in the first place. So in that context, you have to say, what was it for? The following are a couple of REPRESENTATIVE IDEAS about what could cost $4k. But I am not asserting they happened, instead merely asserting that it feels to me like someone was being paid for something with that money.

      (1) Somebody was pregnant. They were far along in term. There are lots of stories about women carrying for a long time and being in denial. (Don't forget Maura's searches about the effect of alcohal consumption on a fetus). So somebody was pregnant. MM, KM, somebody. Fred gave the money to Maura to pay one of those smarmy doctors who performs procedures after the first trimester.

      (2) There was Graves' statement that Maura may have been raped at the Saturday night party. There was additional information that that rape may actually have occurred the prior weekend. (Incidentally, god bless that poor girl with so much on her.) So Fred becomes enraged. He pays someone to teach the bastard a lesson ... half now, half when its done. Could even be that a mistake got made and the thug hit the wrong person, say on Thursday night. Maura found out about that and got very upset.

      Again, not saying money for an illegal procedure or a hit is what this is about. Just saying that I feel that somebody was getting paid for something somewhere in the equation, and Maura may well have had that money on her on Monday night.

      To the Murrays, in the unlikely event you read any of this: please forgive me for how hurtful it must be to read some of these speculations. I like to think that what you are hiding is not so terrible. But you are hiding something and this case is not yours. It belongs to the people of the community and you have no right to direct it or decide what's relevant. Still, it is very possible that any given speculation is quite hurtful so if you read this blog and have read some of mine, forgive me. I have checked my motives and for reasons having to do with my own life and the highly coincidental way I became acquainted with Maura's case, I want her to be found. And I sorry for your suffering.

      ~ John Green

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    13. It's all good Snap Dragon. I think this blog has helped Renner because folks sincerely interested like you and me are taking careful looks at what is out there. The way James was steered to a new view of the red truck is a good example. So the scrutiny and engagement is always good. When I first read the statement, I choked a bit thinking that I wasted everyone's time, but then it stirred in me that we don't what he said, we only know what the officer recorded. In that context, I still think it is a bizarre detail to include. Does it PROBABLY indicate that $4k is relevant (a question JR's annoying detractor here likes to posit in rhetorical form, relying on the rhetorical question to suggest a substantive depth he/she lacks). No it doesn't probably indicate that. But it CERTAINLY indicates that the $4k - in light of Fred's record of lies and equivocations - is something that needs to be looked at.

      ~ John Green

      ~ John Green

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    14. To 5:58 am.

      Fred did not in any way make a beeline to Haverhill. He admittedly was notified at 3:20 PM on Tuesday and although "Disappeared" I believe it was, made a big deal about his "traveling through the night" to get to Haverhill in time for the search at 7am Wednesday, in reality it was a 4 hour drive from his work in Connecticut. Not exactly a beeline, and I am sure if he stopped in Amherst, "Disappeared" or whomever it was would have added that to their narrative.

      BillNH

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    15. Hi John Green,
      I really appreciate your sharing your ideas.

      I hope the family understands the context in which this is being discussed. If they would provide LE with complete information, there would be no need for such speculation because, more than likely, the case would be solved. As it is, they have little right to complain about the pain caused to them by such speculation. I hope that does not sound callous. It is true I have never been in their shoes and have no idea what it is like, and, at the end of the day, I do feel for them.

      I like your ideas. I have started to ponder how a late-term pregnancy could square with the alleged rape. If someone had raped her, there's a good chance he'd have noticed if she were pregnant. Maybe he had threatened to tell if she told about the rape? I'm just playing with ideas here...I don't think it's actually possible to prove any of this. But I do wonder how the pregnancy + rape + pack of oral contraceptives in the car would all square up.

      Another thing about the $4,000 is that it seems to be a rather arbitrary amount just to give someone for the purposes of running away. Why not round up to $5k in that case? Of course, there could be reasons, like if that just happened to be the exact amount of discretionary money Fred had at that time. But I think it is slightly more likely that the $4k was in fact used to pay for something that cost a specific amount in the realm of $4k. And I don't mean a car.

      That is why your ideas sound so good to me. I don't think we know close to enough at this point to conclude that either of them is correct, nor do I think it is strictly likely that the money was going to one of those two exact purposes. However, I do think it is productive to contemplate what could cost $4,000 that would be very secret, and you have given two good examples. I hope people, including you and JR, will continue to think about this. Thank you again.

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  12. To John Green - if you're talking about him travelling from Hanson, MA, to Haverhill, NH, I think he'd go up 93-N and not 91. Amherst would be way out west and not on the direct route. Hope this helps. Totally agree with your other points!
    -Sharon

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  13. Hi Sharon.

    Many thanks for the info. I was actually thinking of Fred being in Connecticut, where his job at the time was. But I actually don't know for a fact that he was there that particular day, so you could be correct that is was 93, 89, 91. That could have some relevance because I think it is not impossible that Fred was up there for part of the saga as it went down on Monday night (it at least has to be considered.) If he was, maybe he did not head back to work that night and went home to Hanson instead. This would also explain perhaps Monday afternoon's Londonderry Ping.

    By the way, thanks for signing your name. It is nice to know who's who among the astute here.

    ~ John Green

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    1. He did say he got the news that Maura was missing in the parking garage of his workplace. As always with Fred, that may or may not be true.

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  14. I read two things recently:

    1) That this has been the most expensive (criminal? missing persons?) case in NH state history.

    If true, that says something. Time to speak up, Murrays.

    2) Nancy West's 2007 article in the NH Union Leader, reproduced here: http://projectjason.org/forums/index.php?topic=568.75
    It's a very interesting article in terms of Fred's statements in the interview. Many of them seem ripe for statement analysis. Some are just interesting. Some are lies. For example:

    --FM: "I think a dirt bag grabbed her. I said that right off the bat,"
    ...Not true. "Right off the bat," Fred was suggesting that it was a suicide. Only later did he change his tune to "dirt bag."

    --Take these three comments together, all presumably from the same conversation:
    FM: "It makes me pretty mad. [A tip he got] involves *the same people who are my chief suspects* and the cops say, 'We looked into that,' but I don't know what that means,"
    FM: "I think a dirt bag grabbed her. I said that right off the bat."
    FM: "I don't know who grabbed her. All possibilities exist."
    Here, Fred seems insistent on maintaining the red herring of "the guy who grabbed her," whether he's suggesting he knows specific suspects, just knows it's a "dirt bag," or doesn't know at all. All he wants for us to focus on is the idea that someone "grabbed her."
    ...The trouble is, if he didn't have other info, he would have no way of knowing if someone had grabbed her or if something totally different went down. Parents of other missing kids tend to be more equivocal about how/why their child disappeared (unless they have a body or other reason to KNOW it was foul play). Even if a kidnapping was likely, they will speak in terms of their kid "going missing," not "being grabbed." They will say, "We don't know what happened to her/where she is," not "We don't know who grabbed her." This is why I'm pretty convinced Fred is intentionally playing up the "dirt bag"/"grabbed" theme as a red herring.

    --FM: "She was supposed to call me at 8 that night so I could help her go over them on the phone. She did pick up the accident reports. *She had every intention of calling me.*"
    ...But DID she call you, Fred? That's what doesn't get addressed.
    ...Did you call HER, Fred? --Also carefully elided.
    As John Green mentioned earlier, this is one of the points Fred Murray likes to equivocate about: what happened with the promised 8 p.m. phone call. Here, since he doesn't want to talk about the facts, he talks about Maura's "intentions."
    (It's also telling that he goes out of his way to mention the time, 8 p.m., even years later. Eight p.m., $4,000.. It seems like Fred gets awfully specific with numbers when it comes to the hot topics.)

    --FM: "There must have been a series of nearly simultaneous things built up that bothered her, no one thing, maybe a handful of things taken together produced an effect of temporary desperation. I don't think there was one major thing, but a combination of events."

    This seems to be the most telling comment of all in terms of rhetorical style. I have learned from Seamus O'Riley's excellent statement analysis blog that repetition can indicate sensitivity to a topic and therefore deception. If we apply that principle bluntly to Fred's statement here, with its BLATANT repetition and diffusion, it seems that the statement telegraphs one thing: there WAS just one thing that prompted Maura to leave. Fred, of course, does not want us to know this, so he makes a point of suggesting (over...and over...and over) that it WASN'T "just one thing." Seems like a valiant attempt to avoid a question he would rather not answer: the question of what the "thing" was.

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    1. Thank you for this. What a great analysis. I think it will be important for James to at some point line up the reasoning for doubting Fred because people are going to try to undermine the book based on that and if he can be painted as being mad at Fred for not "giving him the story" it might work, which serves to hurt Maura, because this book should help her be found. So good job, thanks.

      ~ John Green

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    2. Whoa, whoa, whoa...I'm lost here.

      I am absolutely, 100% certain that sometime in the last week I either read or saw video of Fred saying that he DID stop off at Amherst on the way Tuesday. Can anyone back me up on this? My memory is very clear because it was a new detail to me. I just don't remember where it was said.

      If that's not the case, isn't the fact that he later said that's what he did extremely curious and suggestive? Like to a level of drawing police attention?

      adam

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    3. Wow ... if that is the case, I really want to see it to. I remember seeing videos of him saying that he stopped off in Amherst often and had been there that Saturday.

      I hope I have not made a mistake here. I will poke around looking for said video. If you find it, please do email at John88Green@yahoo.com

      Thanks,

      John Green

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    4. In Fred's statement to the police (http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2012/03/police-obtained-fred-murrays-cell-phone.html) he says that he called Maura on Sunday to tell her to get the accident reports from the police. On Montel he says that she got them and called him on Sunday. He does not say anything about stopping at Amherst on the way to the accident seen. He simply says that late in the afternoon he got a call from Kathleen.

      As to whether Fred at some point said he stopped at Amherst, I cannot find it. But like you said, even if he did - if it was a late addition to his story - that hardly rests the suspicions around his contradictions.

      Again, if you find it, please send it to me. I will immediately rethink my reasoning and admit it if I have made an error. That quote is simply something I have not seen.

      ~ John Green

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    5. Hi John...

      I just went and looked for the quote in a couple of obvious places. I can't find it, either. I suppose I may be on drugs but my memory of this quote is very clear (my reaction having been "wtf?"), so if I'm wrong on this, I really got mixed up. Hopefully I will stumble across it again -- if indeed it exists -- in whatever manner I did before.

      The one thing that did jog my memory as I was looking for it is that the "Disappeared" show had Fred saying something like "I wanted to get right up there..." and then there was an edit. My recollection of what I saw may have been a longer version of this same interview, something like "I wanted to get right up there but I thought I should check in Amherst first, so I stopped off there on the way." That's how I recall it...not those exact words, but roughly.

      Again, I don't expect anyone to take my word for it. I'll keep looking for it. If I did get this wrong, I'm baffled as to how.

      And I agree, if the quote exists it doesn't make things any the less suspicious.

      adam

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  15. One has to wonder, right? It would surely be the perfect amount of money to hand over to someone who was trying to escape and start a new life. Maybe everything was catching up to her and she just wanted out?

    I mean one could imagine that Maura Murray was running away from something, but I tend to think that she was also running to something that night.

    Her actions suggest that she had a plan, but that it was interrupted by the accident. A big part of me thinks she was running away to start a new life. That's what I want to believe anyways.

    It was uncovered that Maura Murray had looked up directions to Burlington, VT. I did a quick search and found that Burlington is not too far from the US/Canada border. And that there is a total of 15 border crossings in Vermont alone. It looks like there is a major highway that is a straight shot from Burlington to the border.

    Here's a visual: http://www.ezbordercrossing.com/list-of-border-crossings/vermont/

    I don't know anything about the area, but it seems as though Burlington is one of the larger towns. Maybe that's why she searched for directions there? Maybe she knew that once she got to Burlington it was a straight shot to the Canadian border?

    Would it have been possible to cross without proper ID to avoid being traced?

    Meaning - is there any point on the Vermont/Canada border that one could easily cross over without detection?

    Anyways, that's just a theory of course. I know it's one that you've considered. And what with the supposed sightings there in the past - you have to wonder?

    Maybe the plan was to stay in Stowe for the night (remember she also called a Stowe Vermont telephone number and listened to a recording about the area for 5 mins).

    Stowe isn't exactly a mid-way point, but maybe she just was familiar with that town so that's why she chose it?

    When she crashed - maybe there WAS a person following her who simply picked her up and they continued on their way.

    They most likely didn't plan the crash since the location wouldn't indicate such.

    And yes, she likely was trying to avoid DUI.

    I suppose the question might be - did she (they) plan to return to the car or not?

    Maybe the plan was always to run away and they decided to just continue on their way - with the goal of making their way into Canada?

    Maybe she was wanted for something more than just credit card theft?

    Another theory that might not have been considered is the idea that she planned to meet up with someone she had never met that night. Maybe she met someone online? A romantic interest perhaps?

    I know she was with Billy, but you never know?

    I'm around Maura's age and in 2004 I was definitely chatting with guys I had met online. I even took a few chances and met a few face to face. Luckily for me, these guys all turned out to be decent.

    Anyways, just another theory that probably has no weight.

    But it would explain the alcoholic beverage purchase - the fact that the choices she made seemed as if she was buying for more than one person.

    Maybe the traveling in tandem theory is true and once the unplanned crash occurred, he convinced her to leave her car behind since she had been drinking and would probably face a DUI.

    And so she hopped in his car with plans to return and retrieve her car at some later time? After she had sobered up? But never got a chance to do so?

    This case haunts me. There really are so many ways it could have gone. One thing is for sure - Maura seems to have had a plan that night. Whether she reached her destination - it's anyone's guess?

    Chrissy

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    1. Adriana Pacheco LesemannApril 30, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      Chrissy. I agree. I also believe she was going to meet someone there. I have good instincts and those tell me that the "truth" of what might happened to Maura is a great deal simpler than it has made out to be. I can't believe all the incredible elaborate theories that have been posted here lately but I respect them. Nonetheless, I do not for a minute, agree with the idea of an elaborate plot for Maura disappearance much less that her father was involved.Some of the arguments and theories expressed by people here are so well written and logical that I keep changing my simpler theory of what happened and at moments I am almost convinced I am wrong. I am very puzzled by the fact that not one knows for certain what her phone records show and the fact that there was no record of her using the phone right before or right after she disappeared. That to me, is a very crucial point.I also do not know if the family knows more about this fact than the general public in which case they have crucial information not known to anyone else...

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    2. I was a frequent traveler to Canada(Ontario and Quebec) in those days, perhaps, conservatively, 300 trips over several years. The first time I ever had to show ID at the US/CA border was in August of 2010, in Derby, VT. The changes made in security after 9/11 took nearly 10 years to make it to the north country in any significant way. MM would have had little trouble crossing the border with no ID or fake ID in 2004. The US/Canada border was mutually weak, and acceptably so by both countries. The US at the time was critical of Canada's other borders, which the US felt was equally weak, in and out, and allowed people to take advantage of the weak US/CA border after taking advantage of the weak CA/everywhere else borders. It is fair to say that MM could have been into Canada and off the continent before midnight on 2/9/04.

      BillNH

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    3. Bill NH,

      Thanks for this info. I have never been to Canada, but I was very skeptical that it would have been difficult to cross the border in 2004. We used to go back and forth from Mexico when I was younger and it was generally very easy to cross the border. I think Maura could have very, very easily crossed into Canada without even a driver's license, or if she was asked for ID, the border guard merely looked at it and handed it back to her.

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    4. BillNH,
      Excellent point. I hadn't realized they were lax even about ID's in those days.

      Nor had I realized that you could get out of Canada and into a third country that easily. Really? Even without a passport?

      I would be interested to know whether Maura did have a passport.

      This is PURE speculation, but is there any chance the $4k could have been used to get her a fake one?

      Delete
    5. There is a possibility that Maura is using a real ID that was from one of her sisters, whether they gave her the ID or whether she took it from them. So perhaps she could be living under her sister's identity and SS#? I used to let my sister take my ID to the movies to get in since she was a few years younger.

      Delete
  16. Maybe this has been covered in depth already but I've never seen any mention of it on here... What if Maura blackmailed Fred into helping her run?

    On the surface it sounds outlandish, but it's a pretty simple scenario if you think about it. Maura has evidence of something pertaining to Fred and approaches him as follows: "I'm out of here, you're going to give me 4 grand, and if I ever get found I'm spilling the beans". Doesn't take a mastermind to put this into effect.

    It would explain a lot of Fred's behavior, and if her two friends knew about it and/or helped her run, it would explain theirs as well.

    Of course, this doesn't "solve" anything, as any number of things could have happened in the process. But is this an angle that has been pursued? I don't want to say that this is actually what I believe happened (in fact I don't think that it is) but this case is so bizarre that something like that is definitely not out of the realm of possibility.


    Also, slightly different subject, but a lot has been made of the alcohol situation. I'm not well versed enough to know what exactly was found in the car, but the impression I got was that she bought a box of wine, a bottle or two of liquor, and some "malt beverages". Regardless of what happened to the box of wine, there would have been a bunch of smashed glass bottles in that car if the whole haul was in there. And I doubt she would have left most of her stuff but taken a bag full of broken glass with her, while at the same time leaving the wine behind.

    But what if ALL of the booze she bought, including the full box of wine, was in a different car (the red truck or otherwise) with which she was driving in tandem? They were drinking a box of wine the night before, right? She could have just been rolling with the leftovers, which could have been any amount and would explain why there was so little left in it.

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    1. I thought the same thing at first to explain how she could have drank an entire box of Franzia wine, but if the box of wine is on the store receipt the day she disappeared, there is too little time to finish it.

      As to the glass bottles, that is another good point. I thought how could this box of wine get so damaged, but the glass bottles did not? Maybe they were in the trunk of her car protected in a bookbag or something? I cannot really say what happened to the glass bottles. I thought I read on this blog that all the bottles were accounted for by police, but if not that would be an interesting question. But I am relatively sure if the Disappeared episode is accurate that all the alcohol she took with her was bought that day between 3-4 pm.

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  17. Oh ... and hey .. just to buttress your point ...

    In my post, I was saying more than the gentle equivocate about the call. On Montel, he out and out LIED about it. He said Maura called him on SUNDAY night. HOW? Police admin offices are closed, she couldn't have gotten the papers. And he'd already said that she was going to call him at 8 on Monday in explaining at first why the papers were in the car. He changed the story to allow emphasis of the (actually legitimate) point that the police did not call the Murrays until 24 hours after the accident. If he does not throw in the hesitating "I asked her to call me after she got the papers .... << PAUSE >>>, which she did on Sunday," he can't emphasize that he did not get called for 24 hours because if he does the question becomes "well, didn't you call her after she missed your call?"

    So, he lied. He out and out lied. On video. You can watch it. No matter how many times you watch the 1954 series on ESPN 11, Willie Mays always makes that catch. And Fred always tells that lie on Montel.

    ~ John Green

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    1. John, most of your police departments are open 24-7 and have accident forms, gun permit forms etc... available that you can take.

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    2. Anonymous 255,

      That is not true. Many operate 24/7, in terms of (a) having patrols, (b) having a dispatcher, and (c) having a place you can walk into as opposed to call for help. But not all. And in any case, police administrative offices, where you would have to go - necessarily to have a record retrieved (i.e., an accident report) are not open 24/7.

      For instance, you could not walk into a police department at 2 pm on Sunday to get finger printed for a background check. That is a service that police departments provide through their administrative staffs. You could also not call at 2 pm on Sunday to schedule an interview on a tv or radio show with the police chief, because that scheduling is handled through administrative staff. You might be right that you can grab forms at a dispatcher's desk in some jurisdictions, but those are BLANK forms. Forms with privacy implications about arrests or incidents require procedural verifcation of the rights of the requestor to get the forms. This is handled by administrative staff.

      Even on top of ALL OF THAT. Muara was still in the hotel - crying her eyes out - at 2 pm on Sunday. She could not have gotten the forms because police admin staff don't work on weekends, she did not because it was already late in the day when she separated from her father AND we know from Fred's statements in 2004 that they did not discuss the accident report on Sunday (as he fabricated on Montel) and that - according to him she was to call him at 8 pm on Monday night.

      Sorry to be blunt but you have offered something that is factually incorrect. It strikes me that you may be thinking she needed to pick up blank, publically forms, which - like I said may be possible at the desk of a dispatcher at a PD. THESE ARE NOT WHAT WAS FOUN IN THE CAR OR WHAT FRED WAS TALKING ABOUT ON MONTEL. He was talking about an accident report that cannot be released to anyone who walks in. To get those papers, Maura would have had to present an ID to an admin staffer who retrieved them from an online file or a filing cabinet.

      ~ John Green

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  18. Correct me if I've misremembered these things . . . it has always been my understanding that Fred (alleges he) called Maura on Sunday night to reassure her that he'd spoken with his insurance agent and learned that the repairs to his car would be substantially covered, and that the reason they agreed to speak again on Monday night (Fred alleges) was so that he could help her fill out the accident forms if she had any questions about them. When she didn't call, he may have just figured she didn't have any questions. For that matter, do we know whether he was going to call her, or she was going to call him? That's never been clear to me, but maybe I missed something.

    And wouldn't these forms have been available online? I should think so. She could have printed them off in her dorm room. Or, if she went to motor vehicles for them, couldn't she have done that on Monday, since she supposedly didn't leave Amherst for NH until mid-afternoon?

    I'm not sure there are any big dramas about either the phone calls or the forms. Seems as if there are enough dramas in this story to be going on with, without creating any more.

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    1. Hey there. You make a good point, but I think you have a mistaken premise. Let me see if what I have construed makes sense to you.

      First of all, Fred has not always alleged this.

      He first alleged in 2004 that she was to call him at 8pm on Monday in explaining the existence of the police report papers in the car.

      On Montel, he said she called him on Sunday, with the papers, to discuss the insurance. That is BS. She could not have gotten them on the weekend from the admin offices of the police department AND - in any case - that she had them in the car is consistent with Fred's first statement. The reason he changed his story is to allow him to further emphasize the negligence of the police... "they did not call us until 24 hours after the accident." Had he stuck with the Monday story on Montel, that statement would not fly, as it would invite the question "well didn't you call her when she did not call you on Monday as planned."

      The accident report forms in 2004 would not have been available online. In fact, they are not available online now (because an incident report is not public information). However, many police departments now have scanners now and if you can verify your identity, they could email the documents to you, which then would have to be printed out. But you would still need to talk to an administrative office at the PD and those offices are regular business hours.

      I do see your point - and it is a good one - if the forms found in the car were blank insurance forms. But what they were, I believe, was accident reports that needed to be submitted with the insurance forms. Fred has said that several times, including on Montel.

      On the other hand, maybe I have something misconstrued in my mind. If the papers found in the car were blank insurance forms, the situation breaks down a little differently. But you are still left with a weird contradiction by Fred, because in 2004 he most definitely said that Maura was supposed to call him at 8 on Monday (regardless of what happened on Sunday) and by the time he got on Montel, that detail had been put aside to facilitate the aforementioned enhanced outrage at the police for not calling the Murrays for 24 hours.

      ~ John Green

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    2. John Green--I'm beginning to see where I'm confused (I think!). I thought Fred told Maura to go to Motor Vehicles and obtain blank accident report forms for the state and/or insurance company--which I really think would be available online. You're telling me, if I'm reading you correctly, that the cop who responded to Maura's accident with Fred's car did not give her a copy of the Police Accident Report at the scene, so that was the "form" Fred wanted her to get, without which she could not complete the forms for the state, and it was only obtainable from an administrative office at the police department that would have been closed on Sunday.

      I'm still bewildered by why she couldn't have got it from the P.D. on Monday. Could you explain further?

      Thanks in advance!

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    3. You got it spot on.

      She DID go and get them on Monday. And they were in her car at the accident scene.

      Moreover, back in 2004, in explaining the existence of those papers, Fred explained the accident in Hadley and said that he and Maura were planning on talking at 8 pm on Monday.

      But on the Montel show, things have changed. Fred says that he told Maura on Sunday to get the papers from the police, then call him, adding after a hesitant pause "which she did on Sunday night." So there are two reasons to know he lied about that on Montel.

      I think he clearly told this lie on Montel because it makes it possible for him to further emphasize a legitimate point about it taking 24 hours for the police to call the Murrays. This because, if he does not say that she called on Sunday and instead says what he had said before, Montel might have asked the obvious question ... well didn't you call her after she did not call you on Monday night? So he skirts that by saying that Maura called him on Sunday with the suggestion that she had the police report. She did not. He had said before that he called her on Sunday to reassure her. He had said before that they were to talk on Monday at 8. She could not have gotten the reports on Sunday. It was blatant lie.

      Why? I don't know. But it's another in a long list of indications that SOMETHING is being hidden from view.

      ~ John Green

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    4. Or maybe Fred just made a mistake? That would be simpler than a lot of these other explanations.

      Chris

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    5. John Green--you say, "She DID go and get them on Monday. And they were in her car at the accident scene." So the forms found were BOTH the PD Accident Scene report AND the blank forms from motor vehicles? Sorry to seem so thick; am just trying to get this straight. Thanks.

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  19. What if Maura was being used by Fred as a mule to deliver the money to someone, possibly Kathleen, possibly the red truck driver (could they be one in the same?). She was going to drive to meet the person, drop off the money, spend one night, and then return.

    But then one of several things happened:

    1) after driving for a while, and drinking, she starts thinking that she could really use that money and deserves it more than the planned recipient. So she stages an accident, then disappears, starts new life.

    2) she meets the person, and a fight ensues. She tries to flee in her car, and the person chases her. Maura runs off the road during the pursuit. The other driver stops, picks her up (after SBD leaves), drives away and kills her for the money.

    3) she legitimately has an accident but then FREAKS about accepting help from anyone, because she has such a large amount of cash on her. So she walks into the woods to hide until she can figure out a plan, passes out drunk, and freezes to death. This would explain why Fred looks for her every weekend -- if she potentially has $4,000 still on her body.

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    1. Why would Fred need to use her college daughter to mule a few grand, though?

      If her other daughter needed money, what would be stopping Fred from giving it to her himself? Even nine years ago there were a plethora of quick and convenient ways for people to transfer money to one another, with some not leaving much of a paper trail (and being used by scammers, etc.)

      Scenario one I guess is a variation of what others are saying, minus the part where she is muling cash for her dad (for who? why? to where?)

      Scenario two would not be feasible IMO if it was her sister, and Fred is no dummy so if someone else killed Maura that she was supposed to give money for, it would have had to be a close acquaintance to Fred and/or the family. No way he would just let his daughter deliver cash to someone he did not know well and couldn't vet or vouch for.

      Scenario three is a likely scenario, but the $4000 has little bearing IMO on why Fred looks for her every weekend. Maura potentially having $4000 on her would not be a motivator for Fred to look for his missing daughter.

      This is a man who likely spent far, far more than 4 grand looking for her....why would her having that money matter? He is on record saying he was going to buy her a car, so it would not be suspicious if she had the money since Fred would have already issued a reason why.

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  20. Eh.....$4000 in the grand scheme of things is a miniscule amount of money. I doubt there is some grand conspiracy or interesting destination for a few grand.

    Maura may not have told friends about car shopping because it wasn't that big of a deal to her. With $4000 cash in the year 2004, you would be getting at best a 1998(likely older)-2000 car in decent aesthetic condition, OK mechanical condition and tens of thousands of miles traveled already-- she was swapping out a cheap crappy car for a cheap passable car. Not exactly something anyone would feel compelled to share or give too much thought to.

    Also, James has interviewed people who have gone on-record and talked about the search parties Fred organized shortly after Maura's disappearance, and how he paid for "everything". When you are footing the bill for all those people, $4k can easily be gone within a single day when you tally up all the overhead.

    If Fred had taken out $40,000 cash, or even $14,000 or $24,000 for a "new car" and that money was never accounted for, then that would be something worth exploring and raise some flags.

    But $4,000? Hardly an amount which is suspicious. If Fred knew of Maura's mounting legal issues, maybe he gave it to her for a lawyer, as area attorneys have a field day overcharging college kids to rep them in DUI, petty theft, public urination, etc. cases. But without any statements from Fred (and he sure as hell isn't going to be speaking with James), we can only speculate about his knowledge of Maura's issues with UMass Police.

    If you are going by the theory that Fred was part of Maura's disappearance and gave her a few grand to tide her over until whenever/whatever the second phase of the vanishing act were to take place, the only way you can really put stock into that theory is if you can prove beyond reasonable doubt that this was the plan all along....and I have yet to see anything which would be a game-changer in regards to the "willful disappearance" theory.

    Just my 2 cents.

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    1. I have put a $5000 DOWNPAYMENT on a new car before and financed the rest. Perhaps this was Fred's intention? Although, why CASH and not just write a check? But I know dealerships can give you a better deal if you offer to pay with cash on hand.

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    2. Various articles over the years either flat-out said or alluded to them being in the market for a used car, so I was just going by that.

      And from what I can tell Fred seemed like he is/was a working class guy, so short of an early graduation gift I don't see him splurging and getting a brand new car for a college aged child.

      Also, the cash thing confused me at first but I came to the same conclusion you did as I've experienced various businesses over the years offering me discounts and better deals if I payed cash up-front.

      Still, traveling with that much cash is something I'd never do and consider pretty stupid, to be honest.

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    3. Maybe Fred brought her the $4000 to pay off her student loan or tuition bill debt for the semester so she could withdraw? Perhaps he knew she was going to withdraw and didn't want the police to think she ran away, otherwise they would not look for her?

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  21. You know what I find interesting?

    This thread got me to go back and read again the statement by Fred Murray to the police. Just a note: it is not a verbatim transcription and could not be offered into evidence as such because (a) no stenographer is identified, and (b) it clearly contains a portion at the end where the interviewer is shown to be the writer and he talks a bit about Fred in the third person before quoting him. This is not unusual for police statements that a police officer will write the summary based on the interviewer, then give it to the witness to review and sign. So we don't know specifically what was said and how, etc. We just know that Fred signed to those facts.

    BUT HERE IS THE INTERESTING PART:

    The 5th sentence in the statement by Fred is about the car hunting. Specifically, Fred is recorded as having said "We went to a place in Northhampton where her boyfriend had good luck."

    Um? Who? Did Billy buy a car up there? Really? Who is that boyfriend?

    ~ John Green

    Link to transcript: http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2012/03/police-obtained-fred-murrays-cell-phone.html

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    1. I almost added that 5th sentence when I quoted in my comment above. Yes, I wonder about that too.

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    2. I emailed James about this, who apparently checked with a source of his. Billy apparently had a friend who worked at the dealership.

      ~ John Green

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  22. A friend I was talking to about the case brought up a great point: what was the Canadian exchange rate in 2004? It's certainly better than it is now. If Maura took the $4000 to Canada and had it changed to Canadian money, she would hypothetically have significantly more. When I visited Canada in 2000 I think $1 American was $1.29ish Canadian. If it was around that same exchange rate, that $4000 would be $5160ish Canadian.

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    1. I don't believe any parent would give their children money to disappear. Unless the child is going to be charged with some serious crime and I don't think that is the case here.

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  23. I want to ask the people on this board: have any of you actually been shopping for a used car? It is an exhaustive, stressful, all day event. You feel like you are being conned and lied to the entire time. If you met up with someone that evening for dinner, it would be ALL you would talk about for at least the first 15 minutes. The only way I can surmise that Maura and Fred did not mention it at dinner at all is because they never actually went used car shopping.

    I really like your insight, John Green, and it has really gotten me to thinking. Nothing about that weekend totally adds up to me. The main thing that seemed strange to me was that Maura would drive to her father's hotel room in the middle of the night. It only makes sense in the context of something bigger going on than just weekend of car shopping.

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    1. Definitely, buying a car is usually a major event in anyone's life, even if it is a used car.

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  24. To John Green,

    Stop drinking coffee and go take a nap!!

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    1. I'm still unclear on exactly where Fred, or any of the key players for that matter, were on the Monday.

      Now that I'm starting to get my head around John Green's accident report gotcha....I understand why Fred would lie about the Sunday night call -- it gives him the ability to express more righteous indignation about the police...but why DIDN'T he call her on Monday night when she didn't call? I suppose he could have just let it go, figured he'd give her another day. But it seems a little strange.

      Was it because he wasn't, in fact, expecting the call? But the accident report in the car supports that part of his story...

      adam

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  25. SAH/John Green,

    Interesting thoughts about the use of the $4000. Is there anyone connected to Kathleen who actually died at that time? Maybe Maura's report of a death in the family wasn't a lie?

    Chris

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  26. I think she made up the "family emergency" or "death in the family" excuse because usually professors will only excuse your absence if a serious event has occurred. Simply wanting to go on a vacation break would not excuse her absence and may have caused her to not receive credit for her assignments of the class for the semester.

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  27. Random thought - Maybe when Maura was upset when she received the phone call and said, "My sister...", perhaps her sister was angry/frustrated/upset that she had just found out about Maura's repeat credit card fraud. I can see the sister saying, "Dad's coming up to see you this weekend to talk to you about the problems you are having." Or, "Dad's bringing you money to see a lawyer." Then Maura was crying because she did not want her dad to come. She said "My sister" because her sister just broke the news to her that her dad found out about the crime(s). If Fred already had a bad temper and then he found out that Maura got in trouble a second time for stealing credit cards, I bet he would be furious! I know I would and I don't have a violent temper!

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  28. If the Murray girls were raised on high standards and met those standards enough to get into West Point, then I doubt that Fred would help one run from the law. I do think that the family thinks she ran away for good. Either she has contacted them already, or something bad happened to her after she ran away. People keep asking why they would still pretend that she was missing, but there are tons of missing children cases where the parents are involved in killing the kid and pretending that they are missing. I don't think that anyone in the family killed Maura at all, but I do think that they want to cover up the fact that she ran away on purpose (possibly because she was mad at someone in her family, or that she had committed some crime that they later discovered).

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  29. Do you suppose he helped her "take a break from life" by giving her a lump sum of money?

    Maybe en route to a location she decided life would be easier to use it to start afresh away from a dramatic family.

    Maybe her family doesn't give a crap where she is and knows she wanted to start over. Maybe they all would like th echance to too

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