Saturday, December 28, 2013

Could Maura Have Used an Underground Railroad?


A fascinating possibility has emerged from a conversation I've had with a woman via email who has helped a number of women successfully disappear in America. This woman, a practicing social worker, believes Maura may have used a little-known battered-women's organization to aide her in her disappearance.

One outfit is the House of Ruth. And here's how it has worked in similar cases:

They can and will provide women with completely new identities, complete with drivers licenses, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, and credit cards. They provide resources, financial and otherwise, to help these women flee. 
They are also more secretive than the CIA. not all of what they do is 100% legal. Its a huge network of people worldwide that assist with whatever is needed when called upon. I can attest that these organizations are very good at what they do and aside from witness protection (which looks sloppy and careless compared to some DV organizations), this is a surefire way to disappear with little to no resources and no street sense, neither of which Maura seemed to possess. 
However, its extremely difficult to fool true victims of horrible domestic abuse. MM would have to be an excellent actress or a legit victim to fool these people. Escapes such as mauras would've been expensive and risky. They don't do that for just anyone. 
Anyway, this theory has been with me since the beginning when i learned certain facts about the case. The ssn snafu is what made me write you. 
It could be nothing, but having little knowledge of these underground organizations, certain things stick out. 
If this is what happened, you have a better chance of finding the holy grail. Tight lipped is an understatement. I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned on the blogs, forums, etc. But at the same time, not all that surprised. People involved with these types of organizations have a lot to lose and keep better secrets than the pentagon. I don't know how you could explore this further but certain things are leading me to believe this a really viable theory. Maura simply wasn't smart enough to vanish on her own. It also explains Fred's and the family's reaction. 
Food for thought. 
I'd also like to point out that we very rarely know each other. I might get a call from my contact, who got a call from hers, to provide temporary shelter, off the books, for a victim and her children. They will stay with me until I get a call to either give her a ride somewhere or put her on a train, bus, etc.

But how could she get by without using her social security number?

Hypothetical: I let them "borrow" mine. Good credit history, clean background, etc. Then, when they're where they're going, a new identity is set up and mine is returned to me. 
There is more than one group. For instance, I might get the call to pick someone up anywhere from .GA to VA. It could be another group that contacted MY contact because we are in that area of the country and my skill set is needed. 
It really is like an underground railroad. A network. And I would happily serve time in jail before giving anyone up. I would and do go to drastic measures to protect them. I'm telling you this for a variety of reasons. I think if Maura did this, she took advantage and lied and took resources from women who were severely abused.

19 comments:

  1. How would Maura have even known about something like this? I assume most people hear about it at a battered women's shelter.

    I think we might be over thinking this a little. Go read the stories of actual missing people who took off voluntarily and started a new a life. NONE of them planned it out very well. They all just left, went somewhere else, and started a new life. NONE of them used some fancy network or one of Saul's henchmen. They just took off. Simple as that! Those cases all show that it is not all that complicated to start a new life.

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  2. I was wandering how MM. Would have found out about something like this also. What proof could she have shown (bruising, broken bones) that she was a battered women? It's possible she new someone who was affiliated with them and they passed on the info maybe? That could explain the friend who didn't want to get her in trouble and the SSN mix up. It just seems kind of far fetched IMO. Wouldn't posting this email cause problems of sorts for people involved in this "network"?

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  3. Yeah, this is sounding very movie-of-the-week to me: even if such a network DID exist, how quick would a woman involved with said network be to share that information with a man, let alone a man who is investigating the disappearance of a young woman (and one who may have vanished of her own free will, besides)? I tend to think this lady is either a con artist, or a kook looking for attention.

    And, if she *is* legit, I doubt she'd be happy about you sharing this information on your very public blog. Better watch out, James, or these ladies might try to "disappear" you!

    [cue Twilight Zone music]

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  4. Perhaps Maura was in a situation that would have provided her these services without a lie. A legit victim. I know most have given the possibility some thought.

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  5. I certainly do not possess the expertise to be definitively dismiss of this, but from the way the writer expresses her thoughts, I am VERY skeptical.

    For just one example of aspects of the message that gives me doubts ...

    MORE SECRETIVE THAN THE CIA

    BUT I'LL EMAIL SOME INFO ABOUT IT, INCLUDING OUR LESS THAN LEGAL ENTERPRISES AND HOW IT WORKS AND THE FACT THAT I PARTICIPATE IN IT TO JAMES RENNER WHO WILL PROBABLY POST IT. OTHER THAN THAT, REALLY SECRETIVE WE ARE.

    House of Ruth is a legitimate organization. http://www.hruth.org/ I wonder what they would say about this depiction of an underground network?

    How many women have been conveyed to a new life? Were they all cut off from all their prior relationships? How many of those women are listed on missing people websites? How much in the way of public resources are being expended to find these women.

    Again, I don't have enough information to rule it, but I also don't have enough information to definitively rule out big foot definitively. Still, within seconds the obvious holes in this story were clear. This message simply does not sound credible to me. I could be wrong and I apologize if I am.

    ~ John Green

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    1. No need to be so dramatic guys. I saw a rerun of "Law and Order" from about 10 years ago that discussed this same subject, battered women's undergound, that said all the same things. James' source has not let the cat out of the bag here.

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    2. If that was directed at me Bill, you may not have caught my meaning. I was pointing to the contradiction between saying that this organization she is affiliated with makes the witness protection program look like novices with their secrecy, and yet they have no provisions for discouraging their participants from just talking publicly about work they did, in an email, which then associates a particular purpose with a particular event that may or may not be totally legal. Law and Order is a TV show. TV shows take creative license, as it sounds to me like this person did, possibly based on having seen the TV show.

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    3. Not just you John, and I do understand what you were saying. My point is that I don't see where she gave any more information than what was given on a TV drama 10 years ago(or so). Your argument as to why one should be skeptical is hollow. We all know that there is a witness protection program and exactly how it works, yet it's integrity has not been compromised by this knowledge. This writer has only given general information about what they do, which should be of no surprise to anyone or any cause for them to be discredited.

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  6. Under this theory, I assume that the accident was staged. I can't see why an organization would choose to create a compelling mystery. Is this the norm?

    What facts of Maura's case are consistent with this theory (other than the fact that she disappeared)?

    Is there any reason to believe that Maura was the victim of abuse?

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  7. No one really knows the TRUE relationship Fred and Maura had. Maybe that relationship was much deeper, darker, and complex than the little info we have; however, James does have some stuff on Fred via Tim Carpenter that , according to his blog update, turned over to the police. I've always wondered what Tim revealed to James that caused him to submit it to LE --I guess it will be in the book. On a paranoid, Beagle note: Didn't he (beagle) accuse Fred of harming Maura in the hotel room after the first accident in Amherst? Something about a black eye in the ATM footage? Who knows? Anyway, I can't believe we don't have more in-depth discussions about LE's reason(s) for not releasing the ATM photos. If she was truly missing or abducted, wouldn't the ATM pics be beneficial to the public? It shows what she was wearing hours before disappearing; it also may show what her hairstyle was. Most--if not all--missing person cases release any last-known footage of a person. Why did LE keep this to themselves?

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    1. Good point about the photos; compare the Abigail Hernandez case, where surveillance photos were immediately made public.

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  8. Also, anyone criticizing James for posting this, please remember it's a blog to bounce ideas around. That's all.

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  9. Nope - I suppose there are networks such as this for the abused and those escaping human trafficking, it seems like a nonstarter.

    If the discussion is broadened though it could raise the specter that MM staged every part of her last days to create a false narrative. Perhaps everything is a red herring.

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  10. I know that you can apply to the SSN office for a new social security number and information. There is an application you fill out, documents you submit to justify your request, and then if you are approved they issue you a new number and card. They are not allowed to link your old number and new number together and can't release any information without a signed consent.

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  11. I had searched all poss of the phone numbers from the diss series and one came up as a family social service business Any one else remember finding that?

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    1. Yes. Although I do not have the information in front of me. I'll try to find it tomorrow.

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  12. I think if this was the generally accepted theory it would sayisfy me. It answers the "why" and it explains several other things a: why she got hysterical after speaking with her sister (she would miss her) b: why some friends And family act so strangely. C: packing the dorm. She may have found out after doing it that there wouldn't be room where she was going. There is a great book "why does he do that" by Lundy Bancroft where he really gets into the psychology of abuse. Most people make false assumptions about the nature of these relationships but nursing students would potentially receive some training in this especially in a maternity/neonatal concentration. She had a boyfriend at West Point which points to alpha male and he had her in his family cell plan. But she also had her dad and her track coach. I can't speculate who she may have been running from but looking At her known choice in men it wouldn't be surprising if one of them or another unknown man was domineering to an abusive degree. Not so far fetched.

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  13. Those organizations strive to make it appear as if the victim has died. They leave no open ends like accidents with no bodies for the abusers to follow. Abusers don’t give up. Ever. Plus, as she said, it is hard to deceive a true survivor of domestic violence. They have a "sixth sense" when it comes to reading people, as a result of their amygdala stuck in a hyper vigilant survivor mode. I believe that woman knows of such organizations but is marginally involved with them if at all. I believe Maura Probably did disappear, she had help, and it was probably her father who helped. He seems every bit the perfectionist and a daughter with legal troubles would be no good for his desired reputation in the community. Plus his behavior has always been defensive. But then again, I have read maybe a few of these posts and don't know the whole story. I just like cold cases!

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  14. I agree with this possible scenario, and I do think Maura ran away and for many good reasons. I would and did. But I would not go as far as to say she took advantage or lied. She was probably desperate, and we cannot say how abused she was. DV comes in may forms, and it can really mess thae psyche up, no matter what kind of abuse it is.

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