Friday, November 8, 2013

Maura Would Have Been Cited for Hadley Accident

Spoke to Hadley Police Officer Mark Ruddock today. He was the police officer who responded to Maura's crash in Hadley, Mass, which occurred after a night of excessive drinking. According to Ruddock, Maura would have likely been cited for failure to control her vehicle if she hadn't have disappeared shortly thereafter.

Getting a misdemeanor likely would have impacted Maura's deal with the courts related to credit card fraud.

When asked why he did not charge her with DUI that night, Ruddock hung up on me.


  1. Did he say if he gave her any Field Sobriety Tests or Portable Breath Tests? Or if he asked if he asked her if she had anything to drink at all? Did she have a hard time finding her license/registration and how did he observe her eyes? Have you done a records request to see if/how many DUIs Officer Haddock had written around 2003, 2004? Or what hours their shifts were in 2004?

  2. Why is everyone so weird in this case? Was he seemingly friendly up until you asked that? Did he acknowledge that she had-indeed- been intoxicated?

  3. This case creeps me out more and more. Why is everything being kept so quiet? I enjoy what you're doing with this blog.

  4. Let's face it, if she wasn't that sloppy sometimes even the best police will cut a kid (especially females) a break once in a while. Giving a college kid who seems decent a "failure to control" citation after the fact is a classic slap on the wrist if Maura maybe cried, begged, pleaded with the office not to arrest her because it would ruin her future.

    Also, In a college town there might even be a situation where the town is aiming to keep certain crime statistics within a certain range and the police facilitate that.

    He hung up the phone because it goes without saying that he cannot admit to anything like that.

  5. Watched on TLC last night, and the first person i would investigate very carefully i the man who found her by the car, why leave her there in the Cold weather, why did she leave all her important stuff in the car???the man knewed that there was no cover so Mauro couldent make phonecalls in the area, perfect for him to take her away, traces on the scen wouldent be no troble for him, .....Think...Why leave her and go home and then call the police???very odd behavior...please check the last person That saw her in Life....there is a chans she is locket up somewhere...that have happend Before, victims have lived in a cellar for many years...sorry for my bad English, i am from Sweden, and this case will no go away in my mind

    1. Then, fellow Swede, search this blog for the name Atwood. That was the name of the busdriver who offered to help her. He has since passed away and was most likely not responsible for Maura's disappearance.

    2. Pappa Peter, the man of whom you are curious, has been the subject of a very recent post by James Renner. The man's name was Butch Atwood and he drove a school bus and lived quite close to the scene of Maura's disappearance. He lived there with his wife and mother who both seem to have been home on the night he happened across Maura. It would have been quite the task to do something to Maura while his wife and mother were nearby. Moreover, there were three homes within sight of the accident scene, each of which, for all he could have known, might well have had people at their windows looking at him. Then there is the fact that he was a very tall man and in his late fifties and, no offense intended to his memory, he was also a huge guy-300 pounds or more!! It is unlikely that a man of his age and bulk could have done anything to Maura whom you'll recall was in great shape, even though it seems likely that she was also either drunk or on the way to full inebriation at the time of her accident although, interestingly, Mr. Atwood said she seemed uninjured but that she was shivering; he certainly never said that she was drunk. Finally while at West Point it is likely she had studied self-defense techniques and would have been likely to have been able to deal with Mr. Atwood; at the very least she could have given out a few powerful shrieks. Then there is the fact that after Mr. Atwood drove off, witnesses saw a figure moving around the car in a fast paced manner. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the bus driver and nobody said the person at all resembled him and it is highly unlikely that he could have conjured up an accomplice in mere moments while he did something awful to Maura in the bus and said accomplice checked the car for God-only-knows-what. If somehow he did do something to Maura, he must have come to deeply regret it as the police made him undergo two polygraph tests (one of which he failed which, as James Renner concludes, was most likely due to his numerous health issues) and I get the sense that he was constantly being looked at by the police and private investigators as well as the public and Maura's family and friends like he may have done something terrible to a young woman who was in a weakened state. In fact, he did end up moving down to Florida and I have heard that he came to deeply regret ever having stopped to try to help her in the first place.

      Oh, before I forget, Mr. Atwood maintained that he did ask her if she wanted to wait in his house but she declined. In any event for whatever possibly good reasons nobody else who was aware of the accident went out to lend a hand. They seem to have thought that Butch had it all under control i.e. they trusted him to do the right thing.

  6. Great work, James.

    I don't think this is all of why Maura would have run away, but it is certainly great information.

    In principle, the Hadley police logs should contain a write-up of the stop, and that is public record. It is unlikely that they are available on the Internet, but I think if you ask for them, they are required to give you the full logs for that particular date.

    I'd also be interested to know if this particular record was included in the records given to Fred in response to his FOIA suit. If it wasn't--and I don't remember seeing it in there--then 1 of 2 things is true: 1) the NHPD is so sloppy that they didn't even get that info in their case file, or 2) this info is considered relevant enough to the investigation that Fred wasn't allowed to get a copy.

  7. Hadley is a small town and the cops aren't used to fielding inquiries from reporters. He was probably a little spooked by the idea of winding up in some news report or a book.

    I will say, however, that bagging UMass kids for DUIs in the middle of the night is one thing Hadley cops typically do pretty well, so it's kind of surprising that they'd let one go like that. You have to wonder if she had a compelling story that convinced him to cut her a break.

  8. Can anyone answer the following question? Is there an official report of the accident?