Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Note to Commenters **UPDATED**

Lately, the tone in the comments section has grown increasingly angry and threatening. I am trying to keep the comments "open". I would like to. And, I don't personally mind when you're critical of me or my writing. That's actually one of the main reasons for this blog. I need the constructive criticism.

However, there will be no "outing" of victims of sex crimes, here. Or posting of suspects without any evidence cited.

If you don't want to be civil in my sandbox, you can play somewhere else.

**UPDATE**
Well, that didn't work.

I'll be approving all comments for a while. I had to do this back when the blog started, for about four months. Until the vitriol calms down, this is the way it goes.

34 comments:

  1. I Read the comment earlier and couldn't agree with you more Jim.

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  2. I think everyone's comments are fascinating; Mr. Renner gets the credit for all of us being entertained and enlightened about a lovely, intelligent woman named Maura Murray, who we all just want to walk back into our lives. The anger confuses me. Just ignore it if you find it distasteful. I have spent hours and hours of my life reading this always provocative blog. How silly for me not to buy the book!!

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  4. First of all, I fully agree with James, that we all should get back to a grown up approach of discussing all different angles of that case without putting out threats or loosing temper towards anybody. That said, I'd like to introduce myself to this interesting community as a new member from abroad that has only learned about that case a few weeks ago and since has read into as many posts and details as possible. Now, I'd like to put a few thoughts and questions up for the more knowledgeable memebers to think about and reply to if possible, that would be very much appreciated. I have an open view to the case, seeing the runaway or the local dirtbag theories as the most likely ones and I see the kill herself or accident possibilities as very unlikely, looking at the facts at hand. I found the recent reasoning from Aaron quite logical, that Maura left the accident scene and was in fact the person seen running by a local guy, then, she either made it to new luck or something unfavorable happened to her. I am quite sure she put that rag up the tailpipe herself to prevent the car from smoking.
    I'd like to focus as much as possible to the facts at hand, but I am not sure what are really "facts" in this case? Do we know, she really wrote the email to teachers herself? Can we safely assume that Maura was really in that car when the accident happened? That it was her buying the booze and at the atm. Would police have found out and told us if not? Also, as a foreign person, I am not too familiar with the different powers of local police, state trooper, fbi or whatever exists... Can we safely say, that enough "independent" authorities have been involved that now "local cover up" of some "local dirt" is likely? What is about that trooper, that had his radio turned off for approx. 2 hours after the accident? Any insights anyone? There were rumours around that local people are afraid to talk because they have been threatened? I find that highly unlikely, that all of them would "shut up" for that long a period. Also, I do not think the accident was staged. Why would anyone stage an accident in that location, unless a perfect plan was set up upfront, including local people. But still you would never know who passes by or sees something. The accident was real a Maura left the scene, I guess...

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    1. Sunny, all that can truthfully called fact is contained in the documents section of this blog, and even that is open to interpretation. Everything else, including James' own theories, are interpretations based on circumstantial evidence, ones own experiences or feelings and speculation. I consider no source credible, including family, that is not backed up with official documentation.

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  5. Mr. Renner, I too am so glad that you have made a stance on the mean and hateful comments and thier owners! I have been following your blog for quite some time and enjoy the polite volley of comments.

    I am so excited for the book. I loved your "mittens" book, I had to read it a couple of times to catch everything, but that made it even more enjoyable! Best of luck!

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  6. @Brobert: Thanks for getting back to my post. What I am trying to figure out is some issues that do not seem to have been clarified yet. One import question for me is, can we safely be near certain that Maura was at some point at that crash scene? Would police have found out if she was not the driver that night, if she was not the one that bought the booze and if she was not the one at the atm? Would they have checked that for sure and would we know if they had doubts?

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  7. I have wondered the same thing Sunnybeach. That is why I made the earlier comment about the magician directing your attention to the side of the stage opposite of where the trickery is unfolding. Everything leading up to the night in question indicates to me that she was leaving intentionally. This would involve extensive planning. There is no reason to believe her plan did not include a friend posing as her heading in one direction when she was in fact heading the other way.

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  8. Law enforcement has stated that it was Maura at the ATM and Liquor store, verified by CCTV footage, although that footage has never been released. A positive ID, as in fingerprint ID from the accident scene has never been verified publicly. Law enforcement has always acted in a way that would lead everyone to believe it was Maura at that crash scene in NH. The NHSP and now NHLE's cold case unit was/is looking for Maura Murray, not some unnamed individual, in connection to the crash in NH. That would indicate that it is officially believed to have been Maura at the scene of the NH accident. They may have doubts, as others do, but there is also nothing that we know of that would indicate it was someone else other than speculation.

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  9. Just to keep the whole discourse intellectually honest, I think it's worth pointing out that you have come dangerously close to "outing the victims of sex crimes" yourself with your previous posts regarding your suspicions about Fred and two potential "victims" in particular (female relatives whose photos were allegedly found among pornographic magazines you imply may have belonged to Fred Murray). Why is that okay?

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    1. 100% agree. Not trying to defend threatening commenters, but I sometimes get the feeling JR provokes some of the hostility by not always playing by his own rules.

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    2. And as an investigative journalist I think he provokes on purpose. I think he pushes people's buttons to get them to speak. I think it is a necessary part of this type of investigating. You push the person who wont talk until you get them emotional (anger, passion, hate), then the words fly without thinking, but most importantly, the words fly. LE uses this tactic, lawyers use it, and so do investigative journalists.

      Further, it's James' blog, James' book, James' livelihood, James' sandbox. He can play how he wants. He does not owe you or myself or even John Green an explanation for his actions. No one has to like it, agree with it, or come here to see it.

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    3. In this case, obviously the words don't fly from people who might have good knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Maura's disappearance. But you're right - most certainly JR did try to provoke them.

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    4. Brobert, with all due respect, blind allegiance (a.k.a "fanboyism") is just as disrespectful and offensive as rudeness/antagonism because it does not take the mission of this blog or the subject of this investigation seriously.

      When the author makes a blanket statement such as " there will be no "outing" of victims of sex crimes, here" he's laying down a rule. Absolutely nothing wrong with ((and everything right with) calling him out on where he's come perilously close to violating that same (many would say sacred to professional journalism of any sort) principle himself.

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    5. @ Brobert, I might not be an expert, but IMO provocation used by LE/lawyers is VERY different from the one we sometimes witness here and there is little use comparing them. 100% right it's James' blog and I fully respect what he does, however I see nothing wrong with expressing disagreement in a civilized way.

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    6. Whenever someone says "with all due respect", it is always followed by an insult. Funny. And incorrect. You don't know me. You don't agree with me? Fine. However, you choose to insult me, so FUCK YOU sir. And before you wind into some ramble about my response, I think it is appropriate after you call me "fanboy" in response to my very reasoned, fitting and non confrontational comment. Both very childish, but you started it. You took your shot, I took mine. Are we done?

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    7. To me, the tactics of LE, Lawyers and investigative journalists are the same and worthy of comparison. I stated as such. I also see similarities in chess matches, most sporting events, contract negotiations and just about any argument, ever. You get your opponent emotional and you get them beat. Emotion clouds judgment. Simple and plain fact.
      I do find some of James' methods distasteful and have told him so in the past. I do however understand and came to realize that my distaste for what he does is meaningless towards changing how he does his thing. He is a big boy, he isn't breaking any laws, let him be. These are my opinions, and I don't believe I am alone in this. I have seen countless posts lately of people whining about James' tactics and his not answering questions, or not getting back to people, or not following up. To me those are much more annoying and useless here on this blog than anything James has or has not done.

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    8. Okay Brobert, so according to you, what would be "useful" on this blog? Praise only, or no comments at all? Because this is what your post seems to indicate. Personally I don't expect James to answear questions and most certainly I don't expect/want him to change anything about his tactics - I also don't think that most people who are critical here have an ambition to somehow influence James. People have the right to their own opinions as long as they are not threatening/trollish and it appears that this blog is a place for James' readers to express their opinions/ideas. If you find it so annoying, why not skip the comment section?

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    9. Everyone is free to offer their opinion, and you seemingly agree, "People have the right to their own opinions as long as they are not threatening/trollish and it appears that this blog is a place for James' readers to express their opinions/ideas"... you just said that. I offered my opinion, I was even quite civilized, so why the confrontation? Is it not ok for me in particular to offer an opinion? I don't understand the anger you and Jack seem to have, but I will not perpetuate it. Jack stepped over the line, shame on him. Hopefully he will choose not to continue this game. I hope you choose not to as well.

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    10. And to answer your first question more directly, on this topic post I believe the discourse has been appropriate, even though the aggressive tone is not. For the blog as a whole, discussion about Maura Murray's case would be extremely useful.

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    12. Brobert I,
      I agree with your comments 100%. Thank you for writing them....

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    13. Brobert, I seem to have struck a nerve and for that please accept my sincerest apologies. Where I come from "fanboy" isn't a horribly offensive term or even an insult - it's often used as a way of pointing out that someone seems particularly devoted to supporting/defending a particular person/position often at the cost of critical thinking.

      In retrospect, I should have remembered that many people are unfamiliar with or sensitive to such terms of art and may internalize such remarks as personal criticisms, which was certainly not my intent. I myself got a rather good kick out of your responses. While I do not use them myself, I must admit that I find the odd vulgarity rather refreshing and I applaud you for expressing your frustration and anger in such a raw, base way - which I think can be cathartic. No hard feelings?

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    14. I disagree that it was an unintended slam to me personally. Had you just said "fanboyism", it could be argued that I misunderstood the term. However, when you further explained that it means idolizing to the point of being offensive by my lack of critical thinking, clouded by fanaticism, it was clearly a derogatory statement, directed at me. My bristling at this term and its subsequent explanation was not unfounded, and I stand by my response, crude as it was, it fit the situation.
      That being said, I will accept the apology and we can move on. I offer my apology as well, for the sake of the rest of the posters here. We may have provided entertainment for some, but this is not the place for it.

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  10. Renner, the public has a right to know about your grandfather Keith Simpkins, who, in your own words was a "prolific serial rapist," and the victims whose lives he destroyed.

    And, I think you owe all of us an explanation as to why you are not helping to find Glenna Jean White, a 16 year-old girl who vanished in 2009 near your grandfather's house in Alliance, Ohio.

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    1. Yes, Aaron, I agree. That is why I speak about him in the book. And why my cousin keeps the story on his website, kotori. He certainly had the capability to have done something to Glenna. I am unfamiliar with the case but am looking into it. Thanks for the heads-up.

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    2. I read about Mr. Renner's grandpa on his public web page. He listed him as a personal motivation for the crime solving he engages in. My grandpa was a sadist and extremely abusive. My grandma shot and killed him as a result of all the years of abuse. She only got 3 months in county jail and her case helped pushed the "battered wives syndrome" through as evidence admissable in court. (all you supersleuths can figure out the rest if you care to look up 20/20 segments over 2 decades old.) My point is that I admire your passion Mr. Swartz and you certainly have an uncanny ability to dig up facts. But bringing up a tragic past that Mr. Renner has no control of is a slippery slope where credibility is concerned. I think you are intelligent enough and curious enough for your ideas to have a huge impact on the readers of this blog. My advice, from a kind heart to yours (you dont know me but I am a kind person :) ) is not to sling mud. I would like to keep reading your ideas with a degree of respect, not a large grain of salt! ;)

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    3. chefsgirl, thank you for the kind words, but the only person whose credibility is at stake is Mr. Renner. He is eager to investigate and publicize the lives of Maura Murray and her family, but less eager to investigate and publicize the lives of his grandfather Keith Simpkins and his own family members.

      To quote Mr. Renner, I'm a "reformed muckraker," not a mud-slinger. My current project is My Search for Glenna Jean White, a 16 year-old girl who vanished in 2009 from Alliance, Ohio.

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    4. Aaron, as I said, you can find info about my grandfather online, on this blog, and in the book. I'm not afraid to talk about him and am as concerned as you are that there may be more victims out there. I spoke up about him, when he was still alive, at great cost to my relationships with family members, because I wanted him in prison.

      Every case needs an advocate. It would be great if you found closure for Glenna. If you need any help, let me know. I mean that sincerely. I don't harbor any animosity.

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  11. Mr. Jack Spencer....

    I'd be very interested to hear what you believe happened in this case.

    I'll sit back and listen.

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  12. your doing a public service, whatever you must do, go ahead, as long as it benefits your work on this case. I genuinely respect the work you have conducted on this particular case.

    keep up the good work



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  13. I had read somewhere that the FBI had said that Maitlinds and Murrays cases are not done by a serial killer, how do they know this, why are the police and FBI being so incompetant in their work, pathetic.

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