Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Changes to the Method of Our Investigation


I am still processing the events in Cleveland. I covered the Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus abductions for The Free Times back in 2006. Like the police and the FBI, I had the name of the girl last seen with Gina, Arlene Castro. I can't help wondering if maybe I'd pushed a little harder for info about the girl and her family... How could anyone imagine what her father, Ariel Castro was up to?

The moment I heard that Amanda, Gina, and Michelle Knight had returned from the dead, I understood that I had underestimated the evil that men can do.

In the Maura Murray disappearance, I have dismissed the theory that Maura was abducted by a dirtbag from New Hampshire. She was only alone for seven minutes, after all. The odds that a serial killer happened to drive by in that short window--and avoid being seen--seemed too astronomical. But look at Ariel Castro. He proved that sometimes evil can take advantage of those astronomical odds.

So, let's have a look at that theory. If you live in Bath or Swiftwater or Haverhill, do you know of any men who board up their windows and put padlocks on their doors? Have you noticed any single men buying food in bulk at McDonalds or the grocery store?

I'm changing something else. I'm letting other people add to the investigation into what happened to Maura Murray.

Beginning tomorrow, John Green will be contributing analysis of the evidence in this case. He's been sharing some insight through emails and it should be shared. The first thing he's doing is creating a very specific timeline of Maura's activities before her disappearance.

Let's figure this one out.

17 comments:

  1. Iam beyond happy !!! So now John Green is going to use his overwelming analytical insight to try to make some sense of this rather cloudy and complicated case. But before this is done I want to add the following thought. Maura walked away from the scene. It is possible that it was at that time that she was abducted. In many cases this kind of killer knows how to get what he wants as quickly as possible and therefore there in NO need to keep someone in captivity thus eliminating any danger to himself. This is not to deny that I might be completely wrong but I have to rely on my "instincts" which are nothing else than that contraversial term otherwise known as "sixth sense"...or something along that line......John Green is fascinating so I look forward to reading everything he has to say !!!

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  2. I am very glad John Green is joining the blogging team. He has, along with Avellar, some of the very best insights here, for sure. That is great news.

    (John Green, by the way, I wanted to let you know I've read your latest responses in our exchanges, and I'm sorry not to have replied yet--I've been waiting for a free moment to read everything through and respond methodically. Those comments threads are getting long! But I want you to know I've very much appreciated the insights you've raised, particularly those about the $4k. They make a lot of sense.)

    James, right now I would put some serious money on "It wasn't a dirtbag." As much as I have been tempted by the Beagle/McGrath plotline and the story of the snowmaking brothers at Loon--and the pattern of missing people in NH/VT--I just think Fred Murray's silence says too much here. Specifically, it says that he knows what has happened to Maura; at the very least, he knows whether she is alive or dead. And that means it wasn't a dirtbag.

    Because if Fred didn't know definitively what had happened to his daughter, he'd be spilling every bean in the bag. I don't care how weird a guy he is; he just would. Anyone would. Literally. I stand by that.

    The dirtbag angle is an exciting one, of course. And of course it's James's specialty. And it's temptingly easy to dig up clues and names and leads and try to string them together into theories about dirtbags....but I don't doing so, however exhilarating, will ultimately lead us to Maura. I think the answers about Maura are where we always knew they were: with the family.

    And that's where we must keep looking, however frustrating it feels.

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    1. I agree with you about Fred. If he knew that Maura were alive, this would be the perfect time to come forward and say, yes she is alive, and does not want to be contacted. Or, if he doesn't know that she is alive, it would be a perfect time to come clean about covering up the bad things about Maura (credit card theft, possible DUI) and admit that those things happened. Just because someone commits a few petty crimes does not make them a "bad" person. People still want to find them and know that they are alive and okay.

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    2. This family's behaviour regarding Maura is certainly strange. But I don't believe that they know where she is or what really happened to her. I do believe that the reason they don't want a book is because they fear something unpleasant will be revealed. At times it seems, they are more concerned about then anything else....

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  3. In spite of my last comment....

    If we're going with the dirtbag angle now, doesn't that mean the red truck could have been that of a dirtbag? In which case shouldn't we also be considering that the dirtbag could be from MA?

    If the red truck is still of interest, I'd like to mention again that I saw a red truck listed in the police log, and I don't think it was from when they were pulling over red trucks a few days later. It was from either the day Maura disappeared or the next day. I'm talking about the 2001 red Ford style-side pickup.

    Finally, if not to MA, it might at least be worth expanding the area of interest near Maura's crash site to the local ski towns--Franconia, Littleton, Bethlehem, Lincoln, Bretton Woods, and St. Johnsbury, VT. A lot of that area is pretty rural and sketchy. Littleton is crawling with registered sex offenders.

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    1. I lived in Lincoln for many years. What exactly about it is "sketchy"? Also, the entire world as a whole is crawling with sex offenders. Is that really the ground breaking commentary you are bringing to the table?

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  4. I hope some good will come out of this absolutely tragic case in Cleveland and bring more attention to the missing and exploited. Glad to hear John Green will be contributing as well! VA

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  5. and I'm sure this is music to John Green's ears. I won't be coming on here at all anymore.

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    1. That is ridiculous. Just because you don't agree doesn't mean you have to stop reading this blog, but to each his/her own.

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  6. Super excited about John Green. His contributions thus far have always been interesting and articulate.

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  7. You keep talking about a serial killer, but we have been trying to tell you that this is a STRAW MAN. You are responding to an argument that nobody is making.

    It could have been a one-off crime of opportunity for someone who otherwise conducts a normal life. And your probability arguments confuse ex ante and ex post probability anyway.

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    1. Normally, I'd be the last to say this, but I don't think anyone *knows* for sure that the serial killer thing is nothing but a straw man. In any case, I don't see how it's any more of a strawman than any other conception of the "local dirtbag," including the one you propose.

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  8. The timing would have to be a gift from the Serial Killing/Opportunity Killing gods. Do most victims of Serial/Opportunity Killers have a constellation of red flags like MM? I think when you look at all of the factors it suggests MM ran away and possibly had help from an old boyfriend or someone. If she told too many people they would have slipped up by now with all of the mounting heat on this case. An old boyfriend or close confidant, on the other hand, would keep the secret.

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  9. SAH,

    The red truck that you note does not really match the description RO offered, in my opinion. Mainly because she thought it was an older truck. I know it was mentioned somewhere on this blog that cars look old up here because of the weather/mud/dirtbags, but they only look old to "outsiders". Sketchy as we are, we can tell the difference between a new truck and an old truck since we see them in their seasonal transformation. Additionally, there were 2 names associated with that particular SPOTS check. One of them I found reference to in some old newspaper articles, arrested and charged with burglary, in the Plymouth, NH area. The other name I found no reference to, even on the incredibly huge sex offender list we have up here in the sticks.

    As you may have picked up on, I take particular offense to the characterization of this area and the people by some of the posters here. I believe it was in one of your posts SAH that you mention we have "lots of weirdos up there", and that "abduction is easy to imagine if you know the area and it's history". I challenge you or anyone else to present any proof that NH/VT is not one of, if not THE safest place in the country to live. If you consider the northern portion of NH only (the Haverhill area and north) it is likely THE safest place to live. Our "history" is that it's been one of the safest places to live for at least the last 50 years or so that they have kept records.

    Until some proof is put forward, please, everyone, stop misrepresenting the area and the people as backwoods hick weirdos with a lust for killin' on their minds. I live here with a wife and a teenage daughter, and I have NEVER feared for their safety.

    BillNH

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  10. This may have already been suggested but why doesn't this group form a search party for the areas that Maura could have gone outside the official 5 mile radius? I think even if 10-20 people started looking in these areas on the weekends we could slowly rule out her freezing to death in the woods. I know there is a ton of ground to cover but with I think it needs to happen at some point. That way we can move on from the theory that she died of exposure (which is what I believe happened to her). Just a thought.....
    Jenniferever

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  11. the timing would seem more likely if the abductor stacked the deck by tampering with Maura's car at a rest stop by putting a rag in the tail pipe. then he could follow her at a distance, wait for the car to stop and then just happen to come upon her. Since she had probably met him at the stop, she'd be more likely to take the ride.

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  12. If a stranger put a rag in the tailpipe, why would Fred say he told her to do this? It's either a stranger, Maura or Fred. It can't be all three possibilities. The odds of a stranger doing exactly what Fred advised her to do are astronomical. Either Fred or Maura placed the rag in the tailpipe.

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