Saturday, July 27, 2013

Everybody Lies

Well. Well. Well.

Is there anyone in this case who isn't a lying liar pants-on-fire?

Seems this Richard Thousand story was a bit of a farce.

Here's the email I just got:

I have to apologize to Maura and you and set the record straight. About two years ago I came across the story of Maura's disappearance and due to many commonalities between us I got hook into the investigation. I came across the photos and saw the card with the number on the back. One night I attempted to access the card to see if there was anything interesting to the investigation. I don't even remember the specifics but when I provided my e mail address it gave me access to the card account. Afterward I got worried about doing this and dropped my interest in her case. When I got your e mail I got spooked and sent an e mail that gave the impression she found my card.. While checking out your blog last night I came across the item about the card and was shocked that my e mail was there and people discussing that she stole my card and then changed the information on it. This is a tragic situation for both Maura and her family and I don't want to do anything to perpetuate the idea that she was a thief or untrustworthy. Furthermore, I didn't write the email for attention and I have an alibi for my whereabouts on the night she disappeared so your readers can relax. I still wish you well with your book.



Here's a follow-up email:

I was in u mass looking into the master program in 2003 and talked to some nurses. That is one reason I got drawn into this story. Everything in the e mail was true except talking to a particular student that had a boyfriend in Oklahoma. If I met her I think I would have remembered that name so I would say no. FYI. Marine Hedges worked for years in our hospital coffee shop in Wichita Kansas. I knew her only because she made me food every thursday, otherwise I had no real connection to her, Why I brought that up was that prior to finding out that it was BTK, there were many theories some bordering on the bizarre about what happened to her. Everyone was totally shocked when they learned the truth that she was just unlucky that night. 


  1. This is weird. But if I had to guess I would say this guy is not worth thinking about. The whole saga reads like someone who wanted to establish contact with you, having grown fascinated with the case, who made up a lie to feel connected to the case, probably due to the similarities he mentions. I think that can happen to people, although the decision to fabricate a story is a bad one. He sounds scared and remorseful to me. If some cunning deception were at hand, like the planting of a red herring, it would have to be genius-level subtle as the net impact of his collected emails to you, in terms of Maura's case, is naught.

  2. One thing that I would mention about the first email, in retrospect. It has those unnecessary details that seem to get included in deceptive statements. The detail "because they had discount gas" is not necessary to credibly establish that you got the card ... discount something is why anyone gets one of those cards. Consider to the TON of explanation about why it was Maura that he talked to, which - if that were the case - would have led a candid writer to say "I am almost sure it was Maura." Finally, the reason she mentioned Billy is not necessary to establish that she mentioned Billy. Furthermore the reason given is silly; Kansas is near Oklahoma ... oh, that part of the world. "You grew up in Montana? Me too! In South North Dakota!"

    I don't think this person has anything to do with the case (if I had to guess), but it is an example of an email containing known deceptions relying on useless, over-proving detail that a more candid speaker would not bother with. In other words, it corroborates the concept behind some of doubts around the veracity of Fred's statement to UMASS police. As has been said by many, often a signal of a rehearsed, thought out and not candid recounting is superfluous detail. Not at all saying that this is Fred. Just saying that it is an example of that kind of deceptive voicing of something.

    Either than or hospital workers add superfluous detail.

  3. Well. At least he came clean.

    You did the right thing by clearing it up, Rick.

  4. Not so fast!

    His second story doesn't make any sense . In order to sign in you must enter your name and password, Ok so then how did he get to the point of attaching himself to Mauras Card?

    Here is the sign in page:

  5. correction : Email and password must be entered. You don't enter your account number first. I think a follow up to shaws to see if what he said he did is possible and second I would research who this person really is.

    1. I'm pretty sure Maura wouldn't have registered her account in 2003 online. The Internet wasn't as ubiquitous then as it is now, so to sign up online for the first time all you would need was the number from the card, an email address, and to set your own password. That's why the account has her address and his email. She filled out the contact info in person in the store, and he used her number to log in to and register the account.

  6. What bothers me is that Maura's reputation has been further tarnished because this story was published on this blog but not true. Not everyone is a liar but this blog is high profile and will attract those who want attention. And Rick's statement that he has an alibi for the night of Maura's disappearance is also more detail than he needs to give.

    It is worth thinking about how this man's false information was framed and interpreted here. Beyond using a card once or twice to get cheaper gas, there would be no benefit to keeping a stolen supermarket card, and it would be stone stupid for a thief to change the address, thus giving everyone involved a way to catch her.

    We all might want to think about how easy it is to go from what we know (low-level credit card fraud) to assumptions that a person is an habitual thief. This issue points not only to people lying about the case but to practices on the blog that could call the journalistic process behind your book into question. Any claim about Maura's character should be subject to rigorous vetting and simple common-sense analysis, particularly if the claim does not bear directly on the circumstance of her disappearance, as is the case here. That is being fair to the presumed victim in this case, Maura, and also honoring your hard research that has moved the case forward.

    I tried to comment via WordPress but it tells me I don't own my identity...ironically...

    1. LJP: The purpose of the blog is to generate leads and new information. As new info comes in, I use the blog to share with the countless number of readers who help vet these clues. If I had never shared that info on the blog we would never have arrived at the truth.

      The book is different. The book needs to stand the test of time. So it will be scrutinized not just by me but by a number of editors and fact checkers.