Sunday, September 1, 2013


50,000 words in.

That's book length, but I have a feeling I'm only about 2/3rds done. I'll be sending out a rough draft of the manuscript to a few copy editors/readers in a few weeks.

A couple new leads have kicked up and I'll do one last round of interviews while the rough draft is being edited. That probably means one last trip to New England, soon.

I'd still like a couple more anecdotes about Maura's life in Mass. If you knew her and have a story to share, please contact me:

More soon.


Rough draft is finished. Lots of editing to do. I'm not 100% in control of when this might come out. 2014 is looking kind of tight. 2015 is more likely.

I will be adding to it before publication. So send me your stories.



  1. New to this mystery.
    Also just found your blog and as you write its" 50,000 words...That's book length". But after reading some and scanning more of the info and background you provide, I have what's probably an impertinent suggestion/question. >

    What if Maura was experiencing the onset of schizophrenia ? Her age is right-- and incidents you report, the accidents, the zoning out ( phantoming) and crying spells-- much fairly jumps out at me. I watched my sister-in-law become so ( I raised her children) and also worked in Adult residences and home services for people with mild to profound disorders....
    She could easily disappear and not resurface as the former Maura if this is the case.
    Its very hard for my younger niece that her mother ( who she really has rarely seen as her mother often 'dissappears'--even for a couple years at a time) does not know her daughter or remember her as her child, if indeed remembering she is a mother at all.
    Also the reaction to onset, when still can be aware that they are having mental difficulties and symptoms is to hide it and is to run!
    And when my sister in law ( close up and personal) was in this state those around her were unaware. She started reporting incidents ( like strange people and attempted rapes) and we believed her with no reason not to. It was later that we realized all was in her mind.
    Doesn't solve how she left the scene of the accident, if this were the case. But if was true she would most likely slowly ( or not so slowly) work her way to homeless shelters in nearest big cities, quickly shedding her belongings as she went.
    Don't know how she ever could be found if that was the case...could be possible with great detective work !
    Not a sexy ending ( unless she was actually located!). But possible scenerio.
    And wouldn't have mentioned it even except that quite a few incidents ( li.e. the crying/zoning out at the dorm security desk) scream 'recognition' at me!

  2. The $240 that Maura withdrew from her account would have been very close to the amount needed to pay for an abortion in Vt. in 2004.

    Maura was not exhibiting signs of being in the prodromal stage of schizophrenia. There is no evidence that she was hearing voices or was delusional. She did however, exhibit MANY suicidal symptoms:

    1. Having trouble concentrating or thinking clearly (multiple car wrecks)
    2. Giving away belongings (scrubs)
    3. Talking about going away or the need to "get my affairs in order" (packing up her belongings so her family wouldn't have to pack them up after she was gone)
    4. Suddenly changing behavior (disappearing/driving off/abandoning her studies)
    5 .Losing interest in activities she used to enjoy (quitting track)
    6. Performing self-destructive behaviors like excessive alcohol consumption and stealing credit cards
    7. Pulling away from friends or not wanting to go out (reclusive in dorm)
    8. Sudden or increasing trouble in school or work (grades dropped)
    9, Changing sleep or eating habits (bulimia symptoms)
    10. Arranging ways to take her own life (stuffing cloth into exhaust and crashing car)

    1. Do have a degree is psychology/psychiatry? If so, go back to school please. There are no definable or set symptoms for schizophrenia. Just because someone isn't hearing voices doesn't disqualify them from a diagnosis. Schizophrenia is unpredictable, there are some variables that are a constant but that's not so black and white. My source: have been a social worker for 11+ years, have studied and have worked 20+ residents with varying degrees of schizophrenia. I'm not trying to be rude, but please don't generalize.

  3. This story has always stuck out ever since they showed it on Disappeared a few years back. Such a beautiful girl with that mega watt smile. I do believe foul play was involved here. It's upsetting to me that just b/c she was 21 when she vanished, police just automatically assume she left on her own free will.

    1. @stlouisluv Apparently she did, in fact, leave of her own free will -- under curious circumstances and, reportedly, without telling anyone we know of where she was going. What we don't know is whether or not her failure to return was also of her own free will.

  4. We don't know if she left the crash site of her own free will, I am pretty sure that's what stlouisluv meant, Ken - and he/she is correct.