Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One Place to Look for Maura Murray

If Maura Murray is still alive, the one habit she probably could never change is distance running.

If you're looking for a way to contribute, and have some free time, take a look through publicly posted pictures of marathons taken after 2004. I would concentrate on the Northeast United States, Canada, and Ireland.

Drop me a line if you find something interesting.

Cast of Characters

I added a widget to the left for new readers. It's a list of the major characters that appear in the story of Maura's disappearance. Seems like everyone in her life had a secret to keep.

Monday, April 29, 2013

How Would You Disappear?

If you wanted to disappear today, how would you do it?

How much do you think it would cost?

Where could you go, assuming you are an American?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Happened to the $4,000?

The weekend before she disappeared, Fred Murray visited his daughter at UMass. He brought $4,000 in cash with him. In later interviews, he said he brought the cash to use to buy a car for Maura. However, Maura's friends who were with her that weekend say Maura never mentioned shopping for a car. And no car was ever purchased.

What became of that money?

Did Fred leave it with Maura? Did she have it with her when she disappeared.

Friday, April 26, 2013

MotherJones article about online sleuthing.

Renner sees Reddit's marathon work as a force for good. "What you're seeing...is what has always happened inside the writers' dens of newspapers," says Renner. "We've always been able to cast suspicion on people inside our office, to bounce ideas off other journalists, in order to focus our investigations. The internet has merely brought that process of reporting to light. They've made it public. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Click here for the full article.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Red Truck Revised

Well, this red truck thing is more complicated that it looks.

As more info comes in, it appears there in fact WAS a suspicious red truck seen by a local woman named Welma Robinson (also known as Robin/Robinson Ordway, online) at the Stage Shop around the time of Maura's disappearance. I now believe her statement that this red truck had Massachusetts plates.

The confusion comes from other red trucks that were spotted or checked by police officers following Robinson's initial report. The Glynn brothers' truck being one of these.

I believe the evidence in this case suggests Maura may have been traveling in tandem with another driver or met someone up in New Hampshire, and it was that other driver who picked her up after the accident. This red truck with Mass plates is very interesting. Did Robinson witness this other driver turning around to return to the scene of Maura's accident?

Who did Maura know from Mass who owned a red truck in 2004?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Kathleen Murray busted for growing pot in Vermont **UPDATED**


Kathleen Murray was running with some very dangerous people in Vermont. Her ex husband, Tim Carpenter, tried to get her help, and admittedly had problems himself. He went clean. She met a bad dude in rehab and followed him to Swanton, VT when she got out. This was the end result:

Vt. State Police - 9:40 pm Sun Jun 12th, 2011 
On June 12, 2011 at approximately 0002 hours the VT State Police responded to 8 Jonegin Drive in Swanton for a reported domestic disturbance.
During the investigation of this assault, Trooper Hill was searching for one of the people involved and located marijuana plants growing in plastic buckets in the backyard. The female resident, Kathleen Carpenter, was arrested for Cultivation of Marijuana as well as Violation of Pre-Trial Conditions of Release. She was cited and later released. She will appear in Franklin District Court on July 25, 2011. The male resident, Harold ST Francis, was also arrested for Cultivation of Marijuana as well as Domestic Assault. ST Francis will be arraigned on Monday June 13, 2011 in Franklin District Court.
Note "violation of conditions" means she had been arrested before

INCIDENT: Drugs
CASE #: 11A202573
TROOPER: Matthew Hill
STATION: ST Albans
CONTACT#: 524 5993
DATE/TIME: 0030 6/12/11
LOCATION (specific):
8 Jonergin Drive, Swanton VT
VIOLATION:
Cultivation of Marijuana (Misdemeanor)
Violation of Conditions of Release
ACCUSED: Kathleen Carpenter
AGE: 33
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE:
Swanton, VT
ACCUSED: Harold E. ST Francis
AGE:44
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE:
Swanton, VT

Vt. State Police - 3:55 am Sun Jun 12th, 2011 
Harold E. St Francis was charged with Domestic Assault, engaging in a
physical confrontation with his girlfriend early Sunday morning.
Vermont State Police responded to a reported citizen disturbance on
Jonergin Drive in Swanton, VT on June 12th, 2011. The investigation
revealed the 44 year old male and his girlfriend began arguing with each
other and the argument turned physical. St Francis was Lodged in
Chittenden County Correctional Facility and
scheduled for his arrangement on June 13th, 2011.
COURT ACTION: Y- Lodged
DATE: June 13th, 2011
COURT: Franklin
BAIL: $5,000.00
INCIDENT: Second Degree Aggravated Domestic Assault
CASE #: 11A202573
TROOPER: Richard Stepien
STATION: St. Albans
CONTACT#: 524 5993
DATE/TIME: June 12, 2011 at 0002 hours
LOCATION (specific):Residence on Jonergin Dr, Swanton, VT
VIOLATION:
Second Degree Aggravated Domestic Assault
ACCUSED: Harold E. St Francis
AGE: 44
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE:
Swanton, VT
VICTIM: Kathleen Carpenter
AGE:34
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Swanton, VT


Then this happened:

"On July 25, 2012, at approximately 8:30 PM Swanton Police observed Kathleen Carpenter,age 33 of Swanton, operating a Ford Escape on Jonergin Drive. Carpenter is known to have a suspended license.
"After verifying Carpenter's suspension, a motor vehicle stop was initiated on Grand Avenue. While speaking with Carpenter the odor of intoxicates was detected and she had watery bloodshot eyes. She was asked to exit the vehicle and perform dexterity tests.
"Carpenter was transported to the Swanton Police Department for processing. She provided a breath sample which resulted in .352%" "Carpenter was issued a citation to appear in Franklin District Court on August 6th, 2012 at 1:00 PM to answer the charges of Driving with a Suspended License and Driving under the Influence-Second Offense"
.352 is the highest BAC I have ever heard of.
Why am I including this?
It goes along with what Tim told me about Kathleen's history and the reason she has to want to be that wasted. I think it goes to the core of Maura's problem and gives a reason for why she fled from UMass and her father.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Red Truck

If you frequent any of the other messageboards devoted to finding Maura Murray, one of the more persistent rumors concerns a red truck that was seen turning into the Stage Shop Store parking lot around the time Maura disappeared. Welma Robinson, also known as "Robinson Ordway," claimed the driver of the truck was acting kind of weird and that the truck had Mass plates.

Not so, according to Rick Graves, the man who was by Fred Murray's side, searching the area in the weeks after Maura vanished.

Personally, I always suspected too much had been made of this small detail and doubted Ordway's ability of recall in hindsight.

Graves says a red truck was seen pulling into the Stage Shop but it wasn't from Mass. Another witness grabbed the plate number and handed it over to the family later on. It was registered to a local man named Walter Glynn. Glynn apparently lives with his brother. As far as Graves knows, the men have never been questioned.

I tried to contact them but the phones registered to them have been disconnected.

Anyone know these guys?

Keep in mind, this was probably just a guy turning around and had nothing to do with the events of that night.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Maura Worked Security at Hampden Gallery with Sara Alfieri


Today I was finally able to confirm that the "art gallery" Maura reportedly worked at was the Hampden Gallery at UMass Amherst. I spoke with director Anna LaPrade Seuthe, who remembers Maura fondly.

"I hired her, myself," she says. "Maura was great. There didn't seem to be anything wrong."

LaPrade Seuthe says she remembers Maura talking about her boyfriend in the military and that she was close friends with Sara Alfieri who worked there, too. Maura would work about 10 hours a week, mostly during gallery shows.

LaPrade Seuthe was also one of the people who received an email from Maura's account the day she disappeared.

"She said she would be away for a week due to a family emergency."

Not a death in the family, but a "family emergency."

After Maura disappeared, Sara transferred away from UMass. It would be great if we could have Sara's version of events leading up to Maura's last day in Amherst. It seems that could be very important to solving the case. Sara has never said why she will not talk about Maura's disappearance.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

More Reasons to Forget the Vasi Connection

Remember Karen Mayotte?

She was Maura's supervisor, the one who found her nearly catatonic after receiving a call at her security post the week before she disappeared.

I asked Karen if she thought it was possible Maura could have snuck away for a bite to eat or some coffee, hit Petrit Vasi (as the theory goes), and return to her post. Here's what she said:

I do not think that she left her shift and was involved at the hit and run accident, for a number of reasons. First of all, the parking lot takes about five minutes to get to your car, and by the time you drove to Amherst Center, had the hit and run, drive back and walk back to the dorm for your shift...she would have gotten caught leaving her post. Her ID card to get into the dorm at that point would be deactivated, as she should already be in there working, thus she'd be stuck outside waiting for someone to open the door, then sneak in to sit back at the desk. And her stuff was sprawled on the desk...nursing book, cell phone, and I don't see her sneaking away, and then taking her book out again. The supervisors are always rotating around Southwest to check up on the receptionists. Thus the odds of her being able to go get the car, do the drive, get back to the dorm...nope, don't see it happening. As I tell my first graders when learning about probability....very highly unlikely.

I like Karen. Then again, I like anyone who can look at this case objectively.

The reason for Maura's disappearance may have begun that night but I don't think it had anything to do with Vasi. The answer was probably much closer to home.

About that Red Truck...

One of the rumors circling Maura's disappearance is about a "red truck" seen in the area around the time she vanished. Personally, I didn't put much stock in this one. I thought it might have been something made up by a psychic on Topix.

But...

The red truck was real. And the driver has been identified. And I have that info.

However, I wouldn't get too excited. Looks like another dead end. Once I give him the opportunity to talk, I'll post the story.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Prayers for Boston

My thoughts are on the people of Greater Boston today. Lets hope for quick resolution. Be safe.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mass Track League Administrator Thinks Maura Ran Away

Recently I spoke to a couple people who knew Maura as a phenomenal high school runner from Hanson, Mass. The first was reporter Joe Reardon, who wrote for the Boston Herald.

"She was a doll," he said. "She didn't have natural speed. What she had was endurance. She'd set the pace and run the faster girls into the ground. When I first heard about the details of her disappearance I thought she may have wandered into the woods, that her body would be found in the Spring. But then... Her father was a real piece of work. He was always screaming at her at meets."

Joe got me in contact with a man who helped run a track league Maura was once a part of. This man didn't want his name used because he's fearful of retaliation by Fred Murray.

"The father's a psycho," he says. "Never saw him smile. He was a drill sergeant. I think sports should be fun. But it seemed he never enjoyed his kids' success. He didn't make life easy for her. When she disappeared, my first thought was that she staged it to get away. I think she planned to have someone meet her, help her get away."

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Past is Prologue

There are two great mysteries surrounding the disappearance of Maura Murray and I believe they are connected.

1. Where is Maura?
2. Why did she drive into New Hampshire to begin with?

To be clear, I am not suggesting Fred knows the answer to question #1.

But I do believe he has a good idea about the answer to question #2.

Solve #2 and you get closer to figuring out #1.

I've worked on a couple political campaigns in the past. One of my mentors ran his own "crisis management" firm. I know a little bit about public perception. Enough to know that it's turned on Fred and his family. And I think that's distracting from the ultimate goal: to find Maura.

If I was consulting with the Murrays, I would strongly suggest that now is the time to get out in front of this story. Some lies were made to police and media in the beginning. Some odd things happened the weekend before Maura disappeared. Come clean and move on.

What would work best is a video interview with Fred where he responds to some of these tough questions. Let's hear it in his words. Put it up on YouTube.

Specifically:

- What was the purpose of his visit to Amherst the weekend before Maura disappeared?
- What was the purpose of the $4,000 he withdrew from the bank? What happened to the money?
- Who was at the bar before the party?
- What is known about the party Maura attended that night?
- Why did Maura return to his hotel after the party?
- What happened at the hotel? What was said? What occurred?
- What hours did he work at the hospital the following day?
- What did Maura intend to do about the credit card fraud charges and her nursing career?

Honest answers to these questions would put an end to many of these silly conspiracy theories that muddy the waters. And, frankly, after such blatant lies, some kind of explanation is owed to the tax payers who funded the search for Maura in 2004.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Letter from Julie Murray

The following letter was reportedly posted on the Maura Murray Facebook page. I am unable to see it myself because I have been blocked by Julie Murray, who posted it.

We are writing this letter not to engage in debate, nor to attempt to place blame. Our goal is to, as it always has been, locate our sister. The authorities are treating our sister’s case as an open investigation, as such, we encourage everyone who is genuinely concerned about Maura's case to funnel any and all relevant leads and information to them. Although journalism and social media outlets are great methods to keep the case in the public eye, they are certainly not a substitute for the legal process or investigative powers of law enforcement. Our concern is the very real possibility that credible information will be lost in the abyss of social media; potential witnesses turned off by the threat of defamation of character, biased interpretation of the information they provide, or a mischaracterization of their reluctance to discuss matters related to this ongoing investigation or participate in forums on the internet. All of these factors only serve as an impediment to an ongoing investigation. 

Our refraining from participating in social media and conspiracy theories, or speaking with other parties concerning Maura, should not be interpreted as an attempt to put up road blocks to the investigative process. Our focus is on the ongoing investigation and providing all information to law enforcement authorities willing to help. We strongly encourage any and all people with allegations, information, or other evidence of wrongdoing by any party, including family members, to provide this information to the FBI. We also strongly urge you to request the FBI take action on Maura's case. Despite our repeated requests for a thorough investigation by the FBI, we have run into countless roadblocks, and our cries have fallen on deaf ears. Lobbying for the most powerful investigative agency the country has to offer is not the path a family accused of possible wrongdoing and secrets would choose, and we continue to advocate for their involvement. 

Over the past couple of years, a number of people have decided that personal gain by making unsubstantiated claims is more important than the fact a young girl is missing and a family is left shattered, still seeking answers. Maura's story is not a fictitious account dreamed up by a script writer. Instead, it is an actual case that still needs answers. Painting a story based upon conjecture and allegations, as well as sensationalizing to meet some Hollywoodistic standard, seem more important to some than a bonafide effort to help us discover Maura’s whereabouts. Recently, outrageous and completely false allegations vilifying our father and our family have surfaced during this difficult time. While some may give instant credibility to these allegations, there is never a mention of any investigation to determine the presence of any biases or motives to fabricate of these sources. We feel all sources of information, along with any persons of interest, should endure the same level of scrutiny to determine if derogatory facts exist which may call their credibility into question.

We remain a united family struggling with the unconscionable burden of a missing loved one, a burden that we wish upon no one. Each and every day our family lives and relives this tragedy, the weight of which has affected us all, none more so than our father. We remain steadfast in our efforts to find our sister, and we thank all of those who have provided and continue to provide love and support along this difficult road. 

Regards,

Kathleen, Freddie, Julie and Kurtis 
A lot of this is directed at me. They've made me out to be some "Hollywood" type out to make a buck. I'm a journalist, first. And like the Amy Mihaljevic case, I sought to uncover facts in this mystery because I wanted to bring closure to it. When I began, I did not expect to run into such secrecy from the family of this missing woman. Any other family of a missing person would welcome this sort of attention with open arms. But not the Murrays. Why?

If you read Fred Murray's statement to police and weigh it against the stories he's told since the disappearance, you can clearly see he lied. That's not up for argument. It's in his own words.

He repeatedly says Maura's disappearance has nothing to do with what happened in those days leading up to her trip into New Hampshire and refuses to answer questions about why he drove out to Amherst to visit her that weekend and what happened in his hotel room that night.

I see that even Julie is now asking people with information that may implicate family members to please send that info to the FBI. I think that's a smart move.

I can't imagine what this family has gone through. I do feel sorry for Kathleen, Freddie, Julie, and Kurt. Hopefully, there will be closure one day.

Information was given to me last week that seems to confirm what I've long suspected about Fred. I will be giving that info to police on Monday.

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Saco Connection is Pretty Cool

Remember the Saco thing? The report my PI kicked up on Maura showed that someone used her name or social security number in Saco, Maine a couple months after she went missing. Well, the address was listed under the name Richard Graves. I was going to look into it when I got back home. But then I ran into Tim Carpenter, who mentioned that I should talk to the guy who helped Fred search for Maura every weekend for a year. The guy's name? Rick Graves from Saco, Maine.

I just spoke to Rick.

An amateur sleuth who moonlights at Home Depot, Rick was "hip to hip" with Fred every weekend for a year, walking through the woods, looking for Maura. Got to know Fred and the family really well. There will be more about Rick in the book. Suffice to say he's a nice man who wanted to help. Here's some highlights from out interview:

- He stayed at the Wells River Motel, next to Fred's room on the weekends. Every morning, Fred would have to go running first, shower, then they would set out for the search.

- Also present for these searches was Tim and Kathleen, a "dowser" named Dave, and Fred's cousins Sookie and Pattie.

- He thinks Fred is a good guy. Conservative. But nice. And he paid for everything.

- During his first search, Rick found an empty vodka bottle on Lime Kiln Road, which he thought might be connected. He told Tim and Kathleen about it but doesn't know what happened after that.

- Kathleen found a pair of thong panties in a driveway which he believes may have been Maura's. The cops tested it and said it wasn't related.

- He found strange skid marks on Rt. 18 in Franconia.

- He personally went through Maura's stuff when it was stored in Tim's basement. He found some notes in her pockets. One of them was about Billy cheating on her.

- It appeared she was looking for jobs at brew pubs in Mass.

And here's the big stuff.

Rick says the story Fred told him about the night Maura left the party and ended up at the hotel was different from the statement he gave police. Fred told him that Maura had gone to the hotel lobby after the tow truck dropped her off and passed out in a chair. The hotel clerk called his room, woke him up and he went and brought her back to the room.

The reason Maura's name is associated with Rick's address is because Fred gave him permission that year to put a trace on her social security and credit card numbers. If she ever used them, he'd get a notice.

There was a rumor that Maura was raped at the dorm party but they've never been able to get the full story from Kate Markopolous or Sara Alfieri.

Take this next statement with a grain of salt.

Rick visited a medium and before he said why he was there, the woman told him, "Kate knows everything."