Wednesday, March 26, 2014

**UPDATED** Best Sighting Yet!

I was contacted today by a former employee of the Red Rock Casino in Vegas, who believes the young woman known as "Joanna," dealing cards there in late 2005/early 2006 was Maura Murray. I am cautiously optimistic about this sighting for a few reasons. Most importantly, this man who called is not the typically crazy psychic tipster who normally calls in about this sort of thing. But also because of these details:

- she often hiked out at Red Rock park
- she was quiet-spoken (everyone who met Maura uses this exact phrase)
- when she left she talked about possibly "getting back into nursing"

Also, this sighting isn't from some person who saw a look-alike on the street. This is from an older man who worked side-by-side with her for several months.

The number he had for Joanna is now located in Virginia.

Does anyone have more info on Red Rock Casino or this mysterious "Joanna?"

***UPDATE***
A manager at Red Rock sexually harassed Joanna in front of several witnesses, leading to the manager being fired. Joanna left shortly thereafter.

I don't want to try to connect too many different leads, but the homeless woman in Georgia also talked about being sexually harassed and assaulted by men in her past.

61 comments:

  1. Did you call the phone number?

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  2. Doesn't her sister, Julie, live in Virginia?

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  3. According to the companies Facebook they didn't open until mid 2006. The photos of employees only go back as far as 2010-2011.

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    1. Kinda sounds like another wild goose chase to me. Keep em coming Renner.

      John

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  4. Kudos James. I've been critical. But this is definitely something worth following through on. I hope it leads somewhere.

    A better indication than state would be the area code. Is it 703 or 571 (near DC?). Someone else who lived in that area code James, is the guy I identified to you as a possible suspect for being Clemens21. DId you ever recall where you had heard his name from? You may recall that I spoke with that person. I will try to dig his number out of my notes and send it to you. You never know ...

    By the way, Mindy, Julie now lives in a suburb west of Baltimore (I think) although she at one time lived in the Baltimore-DC corridor. Either way, the Virginia border is not too far away, but it is a big state.

    ~ John Green

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    1. I am new to this whole story today. Saw the show on the ID channel, then found this. Have read this entire blog from top to bottom! I knew nothing about this story before watching the show, but I was deeply disturbed by it. At the very end, Fred refers to his missing daughter as his "Buddy." Twice. I thought for sure he would call her his "Little Girl," or something. Something about him doesn't sit well with me... I get a negative vibe about his spirit. Maura's boyfriend seemed disinterested. His mother seemed overly-protective of her son, to me. Why was she so central to the show? But honestly, it is Fred Murray that bothers me the most. Weird story. I do think she tried to disappear on her own. And I don't think the homeless woman in Georgia is probably her, but when I zoomed in on the picture, she really resembles her. Said a prayer for her, I hope she is alive and safe somewhere.

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    2. Mindy, you said what so many others feel. In my opinion, there is more than that vibe that many pick up from Fred to make one consider the idea that he knows more than he is saying, at least about why Maura was up there. First, his statement to the UMASS police almost certainly contains at least one fabrication: that on Saturday night he picked up Kate in a student lot. I have written about that elsewhere here if you want to know more. (Of course, one has to concede that the UMASS police statement, as they often are, was drafted by the officer who interviewed Fred, but it was signed by him.) This points to something that Renner has stated and which I feel is more likely than not true: Fred has not been honest about why he was in Amherst that weekend. Consider too the strangeness of the fact, by Fred's account to UMASS police, that after Kate was picked up, they all have dinner and drinks not a half mile from Kate's dorm. Maura than drives Fred back to his hotel, which is a good distance out of the way, then returns with Kate to her dorm to go to a party in her dorm, all when Fred was planning to leave the next day, thus necessitating that Maura return the car the next morning. And, of course, as we know, when she does - driving to his hotel at 3:30 in the morning after the alleged party - she crashes the car. There is something, in my view, not revealed by Fred that was going on that weekend. It may not be relevant, consistent with his statements that what was going on in her life prior to her disappearance is not relevant. But, as a matter of common civic sense, that is not for him to decide and his attitudes, comments and contradictions - in addition to some bizarre statements and actions as well as that oft-observed sense - all contribute to the feeling that something there is not right. I don't think you can go so far as to say that he was involved in her disappearance, but I do think it is fair and reasonable to to say, hey, this man is being deceptive.

      ~ John Green

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  5. "The number he had for Joanna is now located in Virginia."

    Did the Phone # move as well. this is a confusing statement.

    Thanx....John

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    1. John, James has asked that we send looks a likes to his email and not post in here. In the past people have hassled the look a likes and caused problems.

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  7. What dates was DW the poker player out in Vegas?

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    2. I wasn't asking you the question if that is what you are referring to.

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  9. First Canada, then Ireland, then Georgia, now Vegas and Virginia?

    Renner, shouldn't you be trying to determine whether your grandfather Keith Simpkins of Alliance, Ohio kidnapped, raped and murdered Glenna Jean White in 2009?

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    1. Personally I'm getting tired of reading comments like yours. This isn't only directed at you, but a few others who seem to have delusions of grandeur. Aren't you a guest here like the rest of us? Is this your website or Mr. Renner's? You don't like the redundancy, the pattern of search that leads him to those geographic locations with nada to show for it? Well have you already mentioned Mr. Renner's grandfather and that particular case before? It's a little hypocritical to call out Mr. Renner on a particular pattern when you yourself are guilty of the same thing. I don't know anything about Glenna Jean White, I came here for Maura Murray. Why don't you investigate the Glenna Jean White case and create a website for her? Your comments are inciteful, they add nothing to the search for Maura....Your middle name wouldn't happen to be "ME ME ME" would it? It I was Mr. Renner I would've banned you and a few others without hesitation weeks ago, just to maintain a semblance of peace and harmony on this site. You and a few others are just wasting space spewing your hate. It's pathetic and tiresome to read....goodness.

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    5. What is your purpose here AS? Your comments are childish, and I think you should DISSAPPEAR.

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  10. Viewed disappeared today( I'm getting my provisional) while recovering from spine damage. 2 cases a morning, a day, just for my curiosity. I've spent the whole day reading her case. What caught me about Maura's Dad was he wasn't forthcoming about her obvious problems. I'm a Dad, I get it, but she's missing. Seeing the show first, all you see is a beautiful very assertive, accomplished student and athlete. As I used PSD and scrolled my day away, I saw everything from bulimia (a) to vitamins(z). Blogs! Opinion: Maura had as many or more problems, as any any person with a plate like hers. Then add the "personal demons". She just piled more problems on that weekend, and was escaping to "catch up" and get her head together. She starts drinking before she gets to her hideaway, crashes again, and doesn't want a DUI. So in that 10 minute window, a "safe" helping hand offers assistance,(sticks a rag in the tailpipe rendering the vehicle dead) and offers solitude from the dui and to her destination, that is all a ruse. It is plausible that she went off grid, but the rag from the emergency kit where it was located tells me that the car was scuttled. It's not my nature to be assumptive, but this is a blog. My Condolences to the Family no matter the outcome. Best wishes, figure this out people, JS

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    1. Couldn't agree more, Jeffrey.

      Disappeared is one of my favourite shows, but the Maura episode didn't even come close to telling the whole story in my opinion. Good luck in your recovery.

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  11. As you know, I have been somewhat critical of the prior "sightings." But this one is definitely worth looking into. Significantly, as you observe, "this sighting isn't from some person who saw a look-alike on the street. This is from an older man who worked side-by-side with her for several months."

    And you have enough information to further investigate the sighting so that, ultimately, you can confirm or deny it.

    Very interesting, James.

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  12. This is a very far-fetched speculation: have you ever heard of creating an alias by using your street name and middle name? Joanna could be a variation of Joanne.

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    1. Hey Sam, Very interesting catch with the Joanne connection. Did Maura have a middle name?

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    2. I can only find a middle initial ("L."). I can't find the name.

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    3. As stated, to work @a casino, you must roll your prints. Her prints were taken prior to her vanishing.JS

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    7. You ever look in the mirror? You ever stop to think of your own pattern of comments and think of a how a stranger would look upon them? You wonder why some of your comments are removed, heck if I was you I'd wonder why James even allows me to post at all....if you don't like the way Mr. Renner conducts himself or this website (and by your comments going way back I'd say it's obvious you don't) then why in the world do you keep coming back? It seems like you're the one with a vendetta. Why don't you create your own personal website for the search of Maura and then you can write what pleases you? Then you can write what you believe is "the truth?" I just don't understand the few of you that bad mouth this man....you don't like the way he does things, it's very simple - don't patronize his site. And from my point of view, you sir, are a TRUE PIECE OF WORK....

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    12. I was the first to comment about the Casinoo pending in mid 2006. He didn't delete my comment. I. Don't think he was deleting it because of the Casino opening date issue, it hink he was trying to just delete all comments from the person in general.

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  14. Does the tipster keep in touch with anyone else who worked with them back then? Even though it was 8 years ago, there may be a way that he could get in touch with someone else he remembers closer to her age who may have kept in touch with Joanna on Facebook or by some other means. This is truly intriguing. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  15. Just a thought that might explain the date discrepancy....hotels and restaurants have "soft openings" before they have grand openings to the public. They are fully staffed and up and running, but only to guests by invitation or to freinds and family of employees/owners. The purpose is to identify and work out the kinks before open to public scrutiny. The first day a place opens it's the doors to the public is NEVER the first day for the employees. That would be akin to throwing someone in the deep end to teach them to swim. It might work for some but the risk is too big in the service industry to make that the standard. Thus...soft openings.

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    2. That's certainly possible and I'm not involved in the Las Vegas casino business but 4 months between soft and grand opening? That's a long time. And I also read somewhere that even after the grand opening there was still some construction going on.

      Any one involved in the restaurant/hotel/casino/etc. business familiar with soft openings? Is this all normal (4 months between)?

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    3. Four months would not be normal. A dealer would not start working until maybe a couple weeks before opening (basic staff training, etc.) at most. Other employees who necessitated more training or whose responsibilities had more to do with "getting the place open" (as opposed to running it) could be working several months out but not a dealer (unless she had significant managerial and oversight responsibilities in addition to dealing). Regarding a "soft opening" specifically - after the staff is all trained and everything is deemed "ready to go" they'll do a night or two where they invite people (family, friends) to eat/drink for free (but not to gamble for free of course) to work out the kinks like a "dress rehearsal."

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    4. @Ryan Rye: I am familiar with the hospitality industry. Hence my handle :) And my familiarity and experience led me to the conclusion of a soft opening. Never worked with a casino but they have monstrous front and back of the house operations that are dozens of times larger than your typical restaurant and that would require immense planning. My two cents :)

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  16. I was thinking that they possibly had a "training school" of sorts for several weeks before the opening. I was also wandering if it was encouraged to use "stage"names instead of real names. I think it is highly possible that If MM is still alive she is a "free spirit" of sorts and moves from area to area I. Order to stay under radar.

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  17. Don't see how the Georgia woman would possibly be related. There are probably hundreds of thousands of incidents of sexual harassment every year in this country - never mind over the past 8-10 years cumulatively. I would imagine that unfortunately homeless women would be particularly vulnerable to such treatment. Am I missing something here - how are two women who both claimed to be sexually harassed sometime within the last decade anything more than two random grains of sand in an (unfortunately) large sandbox?

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  18. Maybe the source's recollection of what year she worked with Joanna just is not accurate.

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  19. If Joanna was MM then the casino would have enough evidence to hang your hat on. She was a card dealer so there must have been gaming commission and casino background checks. Not saying this is not MM, but here is what a dealer might go through to get a job, this is from the Houston Chronicle.

    "Trustworthiness and a Clean Record
    Most state and Indian gaming regulatory bodies have strict requirements for casino dealers, based on the amount of money they handle and the opportunity that unscrupulous dealers have to rob the casino. You must have a squeaky-clean record -- no felonies and no unsavory character references -- to receive a license from the gaming commission with jurisdiction over the casino where you're employed. The background investigations for gaming licenses often are extensive. They probe into your financial background and links to political figures or elected officials who sit on gaming boards, as well as your criminal history."
    http://work.chron.com/qualifications-casino-dealer-12112.html



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  20. Although her penchant for theft might attract her to a casino. It is intriguing.

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  21. Also, don't Casinos have a surveillance camera facing each game table? Granted it is more than likely recorded over by now. But, it sure would have been nice to access footage. If I'm not mistaken they also have a photo attached to the employees files. I know the security measures for working in casinos is rather strict.

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  22. I have a feeling Alden Olsen may be behind this so called tip... Clearly the call came from someone fascinated by Maura's case and in the know. The caller probably reads this blog religiously... Think about it!

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    1. Doubt Alden Olsen is behind this bogus tip, but he might be behind the disappearance of Rebecca Streeter, who vanished from Greenfield, Mass. in late February 2014 and is still missing. Maybe when Renner gets finished scouring the bottom of the Indian Ocean for Maura Murray, he'll look into the Streeter case. Don't hold your breath...

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  23. You know, I get really sick of the Renner bashing on here. If you don't like Renner, and have nothing but negativity to spout, I wish you'd do it some place else. Topix is more up your alley.

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  24. You would have to have formal training before becoming a dealer at a casino. This means taking classes. Which can be expensive and it can take a long time to become a proficient dealer. Sometimes the casino will train but not typically. Usually casinos want to hire experienced dealers so it can be difficult to for new dealers to get their foot in the door.

    What have you been able to discover about this lead so far? Have you talked to the casino? Former employees? Dealer schools in Vegas? Anything thus far? It may have been better to hold off on posting this until you were able to dig into this lead some more and discover some more facts. Instead I feel like people may be getting their hopes up and most likely there is a real small chance this is Ms. Murray. Just my opinion.

    Another reason why I feel it is unlikely Ms. Murray would work in a casino is because of all the people/tourists. If I wanted to lay low and not be discovered working at a casino in Las Vegas would not be my first option. There's just a real high chance someone may recognize me or even see someone I know if people were on vacation there.

    Someone also broached the topic above about credentials and background checks. This would be a REAL big hurdle in Maura's case. If I was using fraudulent identification I would not want to be dealing with a casino and essentially the Nevada Gaming Commission since they would be looking into my background.

    That's why when you look at all of that put together I really have my doubts that this lead will pan out to much of anything. I would advise people not to get their hopes up. Keep us posted when you finally get in touch with people in Vegas, if you haven't already.

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  25. Women get sexually harassed a lot. It's the world we live in. Hell, I've been harassed and assaulted, and I'm pretty sure I'm not Maura.

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  26. My name is jamie:
    I personally think (and this just a speculation) that when she went out and borrowed her father's car that she had found out something like maybe she was prego or something and thought she didn't want anyone else to know she maybe thought she'd upset her father or something she could have been raped or something else but that's why she crashed her dad's car cause she was distraught and she decided she was gonna leave so when she crashed the second car that's why she didn't want the police involved cause she didn't want to be found she may have not even wanted to leave forever just wanted to get away for a week n clear her head and if she was prego or something maybe she decided to keep the baby and instead of facing her family just decided to stay away or could have been raped and got prego n decided to keep the baby

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