Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chronicle Documentary Gets it Right

Click here to watch the Chronicle Documentary on Maura's disappearance.


  1. Segment 2:
    Segment 3:
    Segment 4:

    Very well made. Lots of relevant info.

    1. Viktor, thanks for posting the links. It made everything a whole lot easier.

      John Avellar

    2. Would someone be able to upload this to YouTube? The site doesn't work on my phone. :-(

  2. After watching all the segments on above video I fail to see why there is so much hatred towards James.he hasn't lied and has gone out of his way to look for maura.keep at it James I feel you are close to the truth

  3. The reporter said she got very upset by a phone call with a family member Thursday night before she went missing. Has this been confirmed? What was the conversation about? I think this might be the reason she left. Doesn't mean there was foul play though.

    1. This was the original theory by police in the early days and they were wrong then and they still are now.

      Maura wasn't on a phone at all when approached by her supervisor.

      Maura did gesture to her phone and say "My Sister" when the supervisor comforted her, but no actual link to a phone call has ever been proven to be what upset Maura that night.

      Police took the witness statement from the supervisor and came to the conclusion that it was a phone call the two sister's had had around 10:10 p.m.

      The problem with that is, that Maura was found upset by her supervisor at 1 a.m. not 10:10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. Maura's phone call with her sister at 10:10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. had nothing to do with Maura's breakdown at 1 a.m.

  4. I'm surprised they didn't mention the Vasi angle. Admittedly I can't explain how she could have slipped away from work, but.... Thursday a student gets hit in town by a hit and run (possibly/likely intoxicated drive) Later that night Maura is freaking out. Two days later her Dad comes up and gives her his car to drive and looks for a new car for her. That night she gets drunk and crashes her Dad's car. Two days later she flees to NH and gets in yet another drink driving accident.

    I see a pattern that is at least worth seriously considering. It's not like it's ever day that a) a student gets hit by a hit and run driver or b) another student with a series drunk driving problem and trouble with the law skips town never to be seen again.

    1. Thanks, Jack. This is one of the more cogent, non-incendiary comments posted here of late — and a good, clear summary of the strange circumstances surrounding the car(s).

    2. I could see a very plausible situation here:
      Maura sneaks away to get food.
      She's in a rush to get back and is driving a bit fast.
      Accidently hits Vasi and hauls ass back to post.
      Makes it back to work and is starting to panic.
      Maybe she calls sister from cell phone or landline at desk to tell her what happened.
      Starts to freak out as the night wears on and has a meltdown.
      In the meantime, sister calls Fred to break news. Fred plans on coming up that weekend, and starts drawing atm money out for a getaway for Maura.
      Fred comes into town to make plans to getaway.
      Plans get interrupted by party and Kate, so Fred hangs at motel and instructs Maura to come there when done to suss out details.
      Maura wrecks car because she's boozed up.
      Fred and Maura may have had a round or two, but plans are in motion. Fred gives Maura cash and instructs her to clean out bank account and pack up dorm room and make a up a lie to tell teachers so she could get a head start.
      Maura cleans up room, leaves note from Billy on top of boxes so the LE will think she was having boyfriend trouble--distraction.
      Maura waits until 3 or 4 to leave so she can meet up with Fred to get her out of dodge.
      She purposely wrecks Saturn to cover up any evidence of Vasi hit....poors booze out and sticks rag in tailpipe (Fred's idea) to muddle the scene.
      Fred swings in and scoops her up (reasons for not calling her at 8pm and phone going dark for almost 24 hours).
      Wisks her away to parts unknown, possibly Canada, then to Ireland...

      Who sounds plausible.

    3. Good theory but why crash where she did?why in front of houses?why not somewhere with no witnesses?

  5. upon review of the last days before leaving school there is sufficient factual information to support the position that she was intent on ending her life - either figuratively or literally; she leaves evidence of travel plans but conceals her departure to provide travel time before a search would commence;

    during the same time frame her father was actively helping her with some pressing need - the $4k ATM cash;

    to what extent did her father assist her, did she deceive or exclude her father at any point;

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  7. They still didn't ask Fred any tough questions, but I'm glad they gave Renner a fair hearing on his theories. Fred's response to Maura's lie to her instructors is quite funny...almost dismissive...he is quite the showman.

    1. Fred's response to the email lying really struck me as well! Granted, given everything else it is probably the least of his worries that she told her professors a lie to avoid anyone questioning why she would be in class, but come one now! There was a reason she lied to her professors to get out of class and her clinicals and that is bigger than his so-what, she wanted an excused absence dismissal of it.

  8. It is possible to slip out of work, drive somewhere, and drive back. I mean, most jobs give you a 15 minute break, right? But I'm not sure, even if she did hit Vasi, that this would be a good enough reason for her dad to help her flee the country. After all, Vasi didn't die. And I doubt she was drinking at work, so it would not have been a DUI. She would probably have gotten probation. Even with the credit fraud charges, she probably would have done less than 3 months in county lockup. Is this worth fleeing the country?

    1. I believe Vasi was in a coma for quite some time, so as of February 9th whether he'd live or die still hung very much in the balance.

      That noted, I tend to believe that the Fred/ Maura plan was not to flea the country but primarily to cover up the evidence by getting rid of her car.

      The two possibilities I see for the Toyota accident are that:

      a) it was a legitimate accident that threw a wrench in their plan and drove them to plan B - attempting to ditch the car in NH for whatever reason (maybe they knew or had previously dealt with a used car dealer up there); or

      b) that it was part of a more elaborate plan to get Maura on record with the police as driving a Toyota in case there were potential eyewitnesses to the Vasi hit, then get rid of the Saturn (in NH). While Maura's Saturn would still be on file with the school parking records, she could lie and say that she'd been actually driving the Toyota in February and had already gotten rid of her Saturn - the police record of the Toyota crash would back that up. This may also explain Fred's suspicious "parking lot" activity at UMass - maybe he was scoping out the parking lot for cameras to see if there would be video evidence on file of Maura's comings and goings the night of the Vasi hit.

      Either way, a friend or family member may have been driving up 93 to meet her in Lincoln, Conway, or near her cousins in Plymouth, NH (a connection that is often overlooked and I have never seen mentioned on this blog). That would account for the Londonderry ping.

      After that it's a matter of did she a) follow through with a plan to disappear b) succumb to the elements or c) meet some other cruel fate at the hand of or in the company of someone she met on her adventure. Ozcam's razor would tend to favor "a" of course.

  9. Whenever I see these things, I notice the same two friends are talking, But when they show the pictures, Maura isn't standing next to them. I wonder if there are friends that were closer to her that know more and just don't want to speak to the media or police. I just wonder if other friends knew her better and have a more detailed picture of who she was and what she was doing.

  10. Well done documentary and fair coverage of all possibilities/points of view given the time allotted.

    James, your statement that Maura would at minimum be "charged with failure to control her vehicle" is not relevant to the minor fraud case Maura had going in MA. Dropping charges under the condition that Maura kept her nose clean would have nothing to do with a minor, single vehicle car accident. Accidents happen, they are not criminal offenses. Poor showing there with that statement, nobody gives a crap about a non criminal car accident in the legal system. Could she have possibly been too intoxicated to drive? Yes and that would be a different ballgame. I just worry about lost credibility with a statement like "charged with failure to control her vehicle" spoken in such absolute terms. Its a 1 vehicle accident on a rural winding NH road. Absent alcohol impairment, the cops would have had the vehicle pulled out and either sent on its way or towed to a shop if undrivable most likely not charging the operator with a damn thing.

    1. James was referring to the accident near UMASS in Fred's car.

    2. According to "A refresher on probation law and procedures" by Michael Fabbri, it sounds at least possible that she could have been found in violation even for a minor traffic accident:

      "Only a judge may set the conditions of probation...

      The conditions of probation should be primarily directed at the rehabilitation of the probationer and the protection of the public, but they may also serve the goals of punishment, deterrence and retribution.

      Even conditions that affect legal or constitutional rights may be imposed, so long as they are adequately clear and not “vague.”"

  11. A car accident, even an "at fault" one is not, in and of itself, indicative of anything other than one or more parties involved in the accident screwed up. Thats it. No judge is going to hold a car accident against somebody in a case of fraud. Car accident w/alcohol involvement, yes now we are in the criminal realm.

    I think James is referring to the accident in NH, watch it again, he was on the subject of Maura wanting out of the accident scene in NH fast and is discussing the idea that she was traveling in tandem with somebody. He is clearly referring to NH if you have any interpretive skills whatsoever.

    Its a minor semantic detail on an edited/timed show but lets not imply that running your car off the road, in and of itself, is reason to fear criminal prosecution or be construed as not keeping ones nose clean in light of an ongoing case. Its a minor car accident at face value.

    Of course it is known that much more was "going on".

    1. I know you think that he's referring to NH but you're dead wrong. Read more Renner.

      Here he uses the same term:

      It's not a minor semantic detail.

      It changes the point in time in which she developed reasons to run.

      If it's the NH crash then she's already on a long road trip and then decides to start a new life. If its the UMASS crash then maybe she took the long road trip to start a new life. It changes things a bit.

      Also, she 100% would have been charged with DUI for the NH crash. There were open containers in the car and wine on the ceiling. There's just no doubt about that one.

    2. The term "failure to control".

      Also, typically "her father's car" refers to FM's Corolla and the UMASS accident and "Maura's Saturn" refers to, well, MM's Saturn and the NH accident.

    3. Also, I'm not arguing that a judge would've definitely canceled her deal over the UMASS accident. I'm just saying it isn't inconceivable.

      And it doesn't ultimately matter what he'd have done. The significance of this is the motivation to run.

      So the real question is, was Maura too scared of what a judge MIGHT have done to stick around and find out what he WOULD do?

    4. Maura was NOT CHARGED for anything from her first wreck with her father's car. She was cited in the accident report for driver inattention (for insurance purposes).

      The lead investigator into Maura's disappearance has gone on record to say he can't believe Maura DIDNT get charged for DUI from that first wreck.

  12. Chris she was on probation for stealing (after being kicked out of west point for stealing) and had 2 duis in 3 days while hoping to pass a nursing license exam in a year or 2. What part of motive to run and be a fugitive do you not see?

    1. I'm not addressing "motive to run". I'm addressing the stupid comment James made that implied "at the very least she was going to be charged with failure to control her vehicle" in theNH accident. That is BS. You are not getting charged criminally for running off the damn road and no judge in any criminal case gives a crap about a 1 vehicle accident, in and of itself. Its a non criminal irrelevance in and of itself.Thats what I'm addressing.

      I never said DUI and other factors were not possible, I said that James and anyone else who thinks she is up the creek over a simple car accident is wrong. I have said this more than once, some of you need to work on reading comprehension.

    2. You still haven't figured out he was referring to the UMASS accident in Fred's car when he said that?

      He got that from an interview with a police officer.

      He posted about it here:

    3. Maybe it's not our lack of comprehension but your lack of reading?

  13. JR posted a prior blog on this where he interviewed the 1st mva cop who said mm would have likely been charged. Haverhill had a wreck with alcohol. I would have run too if I had that plus 2 prior recent thefts on me.

  14. Longtime lurker--great blog, and I appreciate your hard-nosed journalism. Having followed this case since happening upon the ID documentary back in November, and having seen this chronicle piece, I have a fairly simple question:

    Are there any recordings of Maura's voice? I ask because obviously Fred has such a thick New England accent. Did--or, assuming walkaway, *does*--Maura also have tell-tale linguistic tics associated with the region? Maybe such a person wouldn't stick out in NH, ME, VT, or even Quebec; but elsewhere, a strong New England accent may be a great identifying trait that would be harder to change than appearance.

    1. ...and it could be also helpful in phone investigations like calling Curves, etc.