Saturday, December 27, 2014

Maura's Friend Was Uncooperative With Police

I spent some time this week tracking back the source of the comment that one of Maura's friends would not answer questions about what happened to Maura up in New Hampshire because she didn't want her friend to "get in trouble."

This quote has appeared in a few different places, often attributed to Sara Alfieri, as a quote given to a reporter. That is not the case, it appears.

This quote tracks back to a March 2, 2004 article that appeared in the Boston Globe. Here is the passage:

The more details are revealed, the more baffling the case becomes, police acknowledge. Yesterday, [Lt. Robert] Thrasher said that Maura had fastidiously packed all her belongings into boxes before she left school, even removing the art from her dorm room walls. Meanwhile, one UMass friend has seemingly withheld information from police, saying she didn't want to get Maura "in trouble."

This changes a couple things:

1. The friend may not be Sara Alfieri. In fact, it's much more likely that it was Kate Markopoulos.

2. A month after the disappearance, this friend was acting as if Maura was still alive, somewhere. Her friend is missing. As far as anyone knows she was abducted. But this friend is more worried about getting her in trouble than helping the police. That is not normal behavior.

While Sara Alfieri may not be the friend referenced by Thrasher, she, too apparently has more information about Maura Murray that could be helpful in the investigation. She is terrified of reporters and family spokesperson Helena Dwyer-Murray has said she would only tell the "real story" to Fred Murray.

62 comments:

  1. James, have you tried looking into who else ran with these girls during this time? It would be likely they all had boyfriends at the time, and could have possibly confided in them the situation surrounding Maura. It's worth a shot I guess; it's going on 11 years, and somewhere, somebody knows more about this case that may be willing to spill the beans.


    Also, I recall reading on an older blog update that you received a call from a guy with a deep voice claiming to know the whereabouts of Maura. Anything come of that?

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    1. Based upon the current academic calendar, and the calendar from 2004, I am going to assume that classes resumed at Umass on Tuesday January 20th, a mere month before Maura disappeared. I am wondering (going on the theory that something happened before the crash), if whatever happened, happened over Christmas break. Maura returns to school, hoping to put it behind her, or thinking that she can forget about it something, but finds that she cannot.

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    2. Hi Rose.

      Good points and a plausible read of the situation. To bolster slightly: Jan 20th would have been 1 day short of 3 weeks after the school year began; not even a month.

      ~ John Green

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  2. Hi James.

    As I have mentioned to you many times, with each revelation and discovery, I feel more and more interested in this speculation: some enterprise or event that was illegal in nature lurked behind the five strange days culminating in the Saturn accident.

    ~ John Green

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    1. John, I completely agree with you. I recall about a year ago that I reached the conclusion that there was no "breakdown at work". There was no upsetting phone call. It was a ruse by Maura so that her "death in the family" email a couple days later would carry more gravitas and seem real to her supervisor. She made sure that her "breakdown" started right around the time the supervisor would be making her rounds to Maura's desk.

      Whatever happened that Monday started several days earlier. I strongly believe that was why Fred was up there that weekend. Once we find out what that was, I think we will find Maura.

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    2. Excellent Rose! I never even thought of the phone call being a ruse. That makes perfect sense.

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    3. Well, I posted a long reply that got eaten so I'll just reiterate my main points...
      1) Rose, you are a bit off in your description of the night. Her supervisor didn't discover her that way, other employees noticed her crying and informed the supervisor at which point she went to check on her herself.
      2) Maura would have to be one hell of an actress to have faked the whole episode. Could you successfully pull that off right now, complete with crying and have it be convincing? And why overdo it SO much? If I wanted to set up a fake death in the family, I certainly wouldn't feel it necessary to go so overboard with my act.

      And last thought, this has been running through my mind about the phone call--wild speculation of course. Perhaps she had been keeping the credit card trouble a secret and her sister was calling her to tell her that Fred not only found out but was coming up there that weekend (to get her?).

      There is obviously some piece of information that only Fred, possibly her sisters, Kate, and likely Sara know. Something serious enough in their estimation that it is never to be shared, at any cost. And probably the something that would not tell us where Maura is, but make sense of all the confusing aspects of the time leading up to it. Until someone decides to talk, I don't think it's possible to suss out explanations for things like the phone call.

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    4. Rose, Max, Nicholas and Yuri,

      I am really impressed with the thinking in your posts above and am actively chewing on it. Thanks for sharing your thought.

      Yuri, your last paragraph says it well. I say it like this: something larger, and possibly illegal in nature, quite possibly was float in the background that will tie together the five strange days and all the strange things since.

      Of course, on the other hand, sometimes things lurking in the shadows of the unknown case big shadows and maybe the answer is short and mundane: confused kid, drinking a lot, panic attacks recurring (one on Thursday) over something an adult might handle better, makes bad decisions, gets in bad situation she can't get out of. Would not be the first time.

      ~ John Green

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  3. This info is so old. This has been KNOWN BY LE since the beginning. Where do You come up with these delusional posts. Renner You just seem to pull crap outta Your hole when you can come up with nothing else.

    IF LE has not investigated this lead thoroughly after almost 11 years......then all hope is lost.

    John

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    1. "You just seem to pull crap outta Your hole when you can come up with nothing else." You should know all about that, Columbo. Go chase a train.

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    2. Renner, why don't you just remove this guy from the blog. He adds nothing to the discussion and only wants to dismiss everything that is brought up.
      I can't understand why someone who disagrees so much with one persons point of view decides to follow everything that person posts

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    3. Agreed. His/her posts totally disrupt any meaningful discussion and idea exchange that can be had here.

      The purpose of the blog is to bounce ideas off each other, not bicker.

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    4. Mr. Incognito,
      You have a serious chip on your shoulder. Why read Renner's blog if you hate him so much? And if you know more than him (as you obviously want everyone to believe) then prove it. Otherwise, please find something better to do.
      Thank you

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    5. I stated a fact...................And Renner is a real piece of work. he is pushing his book and that is what he cares about. Whether or not Maura is found makes no difference to him.

      In the end You will all see through this façade.

      John

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    6. Oh Yuri.....It seems as though I have pushed the right button on Your back. Activation of the Renner squad has been initiated.

      Just like clockwork..........

      LOL

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    7. James,

      At this point, I agree that you should ban the shiny star play detective's posts. His presences dissuades some people with legitimate interest in the case from contributing their perspectives. (Some of them have emailed me rather than post here).

      I and others have tried hard to treat shiny star and his comments with respect, but there clearly is something going on with him that has nothing to do with your or this case that he is focusing on you and the case because he can't take responsibility for it himself. I wonder if it has to do with the failures that have reduced a self-professed "detective" to spending all of his time posting here and on topix?

      I suggest simply setting the policy banning any screen bame that repeatedly makes obnoxious remarks. He has a lot of time on his hands, so he will go and get another screen name, but at least make it harder for him. Besides, while trying to lie low under a new screen name, he might actually say something useful.

      It is a shame because the shiny star play detective does know a lot about the case. But he never says anything about it. He just goes at other people. In short, he spends all his time making it obvious that he envies you, and soaking in his own envy publicly.

      ~ John Green

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    8. AGAIN....I will state "The last thing I am is envious of is James Renner"

      Freedom of speech allows me to say what I want. If He bans me that is his right.

      My knowledge of this case spans almost 11 years and many miles as well as tons of interviews. I have tried to share in the past and Jimmy found My material TOO TRUTHFUL. therefore My posts with any substance have always been removed.

      NOW....WHY IS THAT DO YOU SUPPOSE.

      It is not bc of My little rants.......he leaves those up to add to His drama filled life. Woe is Jimmy fund.

      John

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    9. Shiny Star Detective:

      I wish you well. I hope you are able to say what you have to say somewhere, in an environment that will not leave you so frustrated and bitter.

      ~ John Green

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    10. The problem here is that nobody cares how much you know about the case because no one likes you. And the more you protest that you're not envious of Renner the more we are all convinced that you are.

      Delete
    11. Oh man....nobody likes Me. This makes M very sad.

      This is not a popularity contest.

      Go on with your bad selves.

      Delete
    12. If you were actually making a positive contribution to the blog, then your attitude might be overlooked, but you're not even doing that. In the end, you're just another douchebag. The world has millions of them. There's nothing special about you.

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    13. That is Your opinion........Thank You for the input.

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    14. Hold up though. I'll be the first to agree that Mr Incognito comes across as a pissed off lunatic (no offense), but he has said something that has a lot of truth to it.

      "therefore My posts with any substance have always been removed. NOW....WHY IS THAT DO YOU SUPPOSE. It is not bc of My little rants.......he leaves those up to add to His drama filled life."

      He is 100% right. Renner doesn't remove all his posts. Look back through the comments. There are tons of them, all ranting. And he is right - Renner keeps them up.

      But every once in a while, one of his posts is removed by the site administrator, usually followed by another rant about how Renner is hiding the truth. That's REALLY odd to me. If you have someone disruptive, you ban them. Or at least you take down everything they say. But James is very clearly picking and choosing certain posts of his to remove (I also noticed that they seem to be taken down fairly quickly, within a few hours).

      Incognito may be a complete whack-job, but Renner's reaction to him is really strange. He is clearly being censored by Renner.

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    15. Yes. I delete his posts when they are libelous or threatening to other people.

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    16. Ok. I'll take your word for it.

      And to be 100% clear, I'm not taking his side. It just seems weird that some of his posts get censored, while the other semi-coherent hateful rants stick around.

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  4. You say in an earlier post, "Sara told Seventeen she didn't want to say more because she didn't want to get Maura in trouble."

    Is this incorrect, then? Was it assumed it was Sara when it just said "a friend" or did the article state that Sara had said this?

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    1. That is a good point Yuri. It was, in fact, Sara who was quoted as saying that in the Seventeen article. But did not that article appear later than the one James quoted?

      James, perhaps you are forgetting that the Seventeen author, who published later, at least implied that he/she had identified which friend made that comment?

      In that context, James, can you elaborate on your point 1: why does the information produced above point to Kate more than Sara?

      Is it possible that both Kate and Sara said the same thing at different times?

      ~ John Green

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  5. Hey everyone.

    The shiny star detective is correct that the story of Maura's friend being uncooperative with police was out there practically from the beginning. However, Renner's insight about that uncooperativeness, in light of more recent discoveries, is the point here.

    I have another, related, take on the impulse of the friend to "not get Maura in trouble "one month after she's gone missing. In addition to my comment on its significance above (that it reminds me of my long brewing suspicion of a larger, possibly criminal enterprise having set in motion the five strange days culminating in the Saturn crash), it also makes me think again that the players in the five strange days knew - at least by Saturday - that there would be a trip north. I think that because I feel that Kate has been at least implicitly complicit in some of Fred's lies and equivocations about that weekend.

    To wit, I really wish Kate would come forward and answer these questions:

    1. Did Fred or Fred and Maura actually pick you up and take you the to ABC for drinks on Saturday night after night you returned from the meet at the University of Rhode Island?

    2. Did he/they really pick you up in "a student lot," as he said, which certainly refers to lot 22, across North University from the Southwest Area?

    For whatever it is worth, I also find it strange that Kate, when she did talk to Renner, said that she had no idea Maura was getting a new car. Really? According to Fred's statement to UMASS police and subsequent defenses of its obvious equivocations, he brought $4,000 in cash to put down on the car and they went to a lot where "Billy had had good luck" that day, just hours before having drinks with Kate. This to buy a used car. But they did not leave with the car. Really? In 2004, leaving a used car lot when you are ready to throw down $4k on a used car comparable to a Saturn would have been next to impossible. But according to Fred, they picked out the car and were going to return the next week to get it. I know from another teammate that Kate had a barely usable wreck on campus that she actually abandoned at UMASS when she graduated.

    In the context of all that, this scenario: Maura is getting a new car and has drinks with her father (who'd come to town to buy her said car) and her friend Kate that night, just hours later. And 21 year old Maura never says: "I'm getting a new car ... we can finally make road trips or trips to the liquor store in a reliable car" or something like that. Really? Highly suspect in my view.

    ~ John Green

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    1. Hi John,
      You mentioned before that Fred may have switched cars with Maura so he could get hers fixed - do you think that was what the $4k was for? I'm sure some repairs cost that much...

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    2. Hi Heidi.

      I don't know. Perhaps. It always struck me that that was an odd detail for him to include in his statement and one that seemed like a lie (really? a car lot let him leave when he was going to put down $k and ask him to come back the next week?). This suggests to me (1) that the $4,000 was for some other purpose and that the car story was a lie meant to explain the $4k, and (2) if so, he had some concern about that $4k turning up somewhere (at a car shop? on Maura?). It does seem like a lot of money, however, to put into an eight year old Saturn. But it could be. In that case, one would have to wonder why he seemed to not want to divulge that he had had the car fixed.

      In any case, thanks for sharing the thought, I had never considered that possibility before.

      ~ John Green

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    3. John/Heidi Marie-

      If the Maura's Saturn was in such bad shape, then why take it on a relatively long highway trip up to Northern NH? This point has been made several times before, but it is one of those puzzling things which I find myself pondering on occasion. Maybe, as John suggested in response to the most recent post, there was some sort of plan that involved using Fred's car which got derailed after Maura crashed it.

      The way I look at it, there are three general possibilities.

      First, as you suggest in your posts above, either Maura's Saturn was not in as bad a shape as Fred has indicated, or he had it fixed somewhere. Accordingly, Fred's story about the $4,000 and fruitless car search is inaccurate, to put it diplomatically.

      Second, Maura was stressed, angered, naive--or some combination of the three--to the point that she was willing to make the trip notwithstanding the risk of a potentially expensive mechanical failure far from home. I try not to play armchair psychologist. From personal experience, the most I can say is that young people who are under a great deal of strain are especially prone to making decisions which do not balance out in terms of risk/reward or cost/benefit.

      Third, someone or something compelled Maura to make the trip. In other words, she felt she had to make the trip regardless of the fact that her car had problems.

      Note that possibilities two and three are pretty much hand-in-glove.

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    4. Hi Joe M,
      That's something I always wondered, too. My theory is that her car wasn't in nearly as bad of shape as Fred claims, but who knows? In fact, does anyone know if her car was inspected after it was impounded? I'm certain a mechanic can tell if a repair/tune up was done recently. I also agree with you about her possible naïveté. I am the same age as Maura, and I can assure that back in 2004, my common sense wasn't the best. It's easy (especially for girls, I think) to allow emotions to rule at that age. Not speaking for all young women, just in general.
      And whatever the $4k may have been for, I have to agree with John Green that something illegal and far more serious than petty theft was going on in the background which prompted the journey north. I also believe - and this is speculation - that Kate and Sara are guilty of something. That's the only solid reasoning I can come up with given their staunch silence. Either that, or they are some of the most loyal people on earth, or the biggest pushovers.

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    5. Heidi-- I think your question about whether the car was ever inspected after the crash is a good one.

      In the Boston Globe Magazine's February 2014 article (citation below), Fred is quoted as saying that the car "kind of blew a cylinder" and was "smoking something fierce."

      The phrase "kind of blew a cylinder" is a little bit ambiguous, but it implies the existence of a problem with compression in the engine. A simple compression check on the engine should be able to tell if any of the car's cylinders were somehow mechanically deficient. If the car had severely reduced compression in a cylinder, it would have run very roughly and made for an unpleasant drive North into NH.

      Now, onto the supposed smoke coming out the tailpipe. Was the car leaking oil? Coolant (antifreeze)? Both of those conditions would cause smoking.

      A car can, however, go a long ways with a slightly (key word) leaky head gasket. A larger head gasket leak will render a vehicle inoperable after only a short period of operation. Further, a substantial head gasket leak would most likely cause coolant to be present in the car's oil.

      On the other hand, a car can run almost indefinitely with leaky valves. Yes, the car will burn oil and smoke, but it can generally be driven without fear of a catastrophic failure.

      In any event, it would be helpful to know if the police inspected the mechanical condition of the engine. If they did, then what did they find? If there was bad compression in a cylinder or coolant in the oil, then Fred's account concerning the $4,000 and visit to a used car lot would appear to be credible.

      If the car really was not in dire shape, and conversely just had a minor problem which caused it to smoke a little bit (e.g., bad valve gaskets), then I'd have even more doubts about Fred's story involving the $4,000 and used car search.

      Although it has been speculated on, I have never heard any factual evidence presented that some mechanical failing with the car (and not a combination of road conditions and impaired driving) was responsible for the crash. Much like you and John, my interest in the car's condition is more geared towards the truthfulness of Fred's account concerning their visit to the used car lot and his withdrawal of $4,000.

      http://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/article/2014/01/28/maura-murray/

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    7. It also has occurred to me that maybe the money was not necessarily for a mechanical repair, but for body repairs due to, let's say, hitting something. I know that Renner does not but the Vasi theory, and he may have good reason, but I haven't ruled it out.

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    8. Thanks for these comments Heidi and Joe. It is nice to see engaged and interesting discussion around an interesting topic, without the "I care about Maura" or "I know more than you" or "Renner is devil" stuff. It is just a blog. Interested people talking about something that is interesting to them. I appreciate the intelligence and thoughtfulness of your comments.

      A lot to comment on, but for now I have on thing to say: the connections that fit together among Maura's Thursday upset, the money, the Vasi hit, the five strange days as a whole, the obvious lies from Fred and strange equivocations and reticence of Kate and Sara, may all be elements of this mystery driven by different factors, coincidentally occurring in the context of Maura disappearing. But as you keep seeing bizarre things pop up around the same person in the same time frame, one naturally has to attempt to identify theories that explain multiple or most of these bizarre events. While Renner long ago dismissed the Vasi hit, therefore, I think it cannot be demised. For there are theories, one of which you allude to, that could emerge from a Vasi hit connection that go a long way toward explaining a lot of the bizarreness at hand. Of course, on the other hand, as Yuri (I believe) pointed out, a confused 22 year girl with deep family troubles and under a lot of pressure to maintain the halo over her head, may have stretched her emotions and spirit so much, possibly with drugs and sex and other ways to avoid trouble addictively, that some small incident (as viewed from our perspective) caused the Thursday upset. We have to remember, she was a very troubled kid trying to hold up under immense pressures and making all kinds of troubled kid mistakes. Thus, this mystery and the mysterious upset of Thursday night could have been nothing more than a troubled adolescent's panicked and reeling response to life seemingly coming apart. Thanks by the way Yuri, for your very personal sharing of your experience to demonstrate this point.

      ~ John Green

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    9. One other comment. If someone said to me that a car "kind of blew a cylinder," I probably - after some thought - would become skeptical about that person's statement. Cars don't "kind of" blow cylinders. There are very specific things that happen to a car when a cylinder blows. It is like saying "my aunt kind of died."

      I'll note, for what it is worth, that one of the "tells" of equivocators is often the "90% statement" that leaves wiggle room later. "For the most part, I had no relationship with that ...." Or, "he more or less stated that ...." Etc.

      "The cylinder kind of blew" could, in the context (and without having been there) be interpreted as someone not willing to quite say that the cylinder blew because he is wary of his own prevarications.

      Like the guy whose aunt "kind of" died, more of less, depending on who you ask.

      ~ John Green

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    10. John, totally agree with you. There really isn't a mechanical condition which can be described as a "kind of" blown cylinder. To me, Fred's quote sounds like he is either (a) being duplicitous, as discussed in your post or (b) really did not have the slightest idea what was wrong Maura's car and decided to use some terms which were readily available in his lexicon to describe it, e.g., "hmmm . . . the car was smoking, most likely that is something wrong with the cylinder, guess I should just say it "kind of blew a cylinder."

      If you tell your mechanic you have a "blown cylinder," he or she will probably look at you quizzically and ask for more information about how the car is running, what sounds you are hearing, when the condition first occurred, etc. If you tell your mechanic you think you have bad valves, or a bad head gasket, he or she will tell you to bring the car in right away so that he or she can confirm the diagnosis and make a decent chunk of change from fixing the problem.

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    11. I don't rule out the significance totally, but I feel like Fred just didn't know anything about cars and misspoke.

      Like, for example, you have a car that has 4 cylinders and also a 4-speed automatic transmission. The car does some weird shit when switching from 2nd to 3rd through no fault of the driver, and when explaining the problem you substitute "cylinder" for "gear"--and regardless of the term you used, you might not have a clue about the true nature of the problem.

      I know almost nothing about cars; I wouldn't make that specific mistake, but I could easily say something comparable. I'm just saying.

      I give Fred the benefit of the doubt on that one (at least on the specific problem), just like I can believe that he gave Maura the misguided advice to stuff a rag in her tailpipe to reduce the exhaust or whatever.

      The "wiggle room" point I look harder at is the statement about the (paraphrased) "dealership that her boyfriend had good luck at". Was the "boyfriend" in question Billy, or someone else? Did the "good luck" directly involve him purchasing a car? Or was it second-hand? Unclear, and conveniently not verifiable.

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    12. I remember reading a long time ago (can't remember the source) that Fred claimed that her car was running on only three cylinders, which I'm guessing is really bad. I know next to nothing about mechanics, so maybe someone less ignorant than me can confirm that. While we're on the subject of the car, can I ask everyone's theory on the rag in the tailpipe? I always saw it as a red herring, but I could be totally off...

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    13. Hi Heidi.

      I remember reading that too, although I read it on Topix. At one time I tried to find the source of it and could not. Fred supposedly also said that the car "kind of blew a cylinder" according to a poster here, recently, which is a silly statement.

      As for the rag in the tailpipe, I think the rag is not a big issue in terms of how or why it was put in there. People in stressful situations do things, and she may have been drinking. She may have recalled her father saying it would control smoke and she was thinking (in the way a stressed or buzzed person might think) that if the car were not smoking it would attract less attention. One of the neighbors said people had walked around to the rear of the car, it was a rag from here trunk ... I think she just put it there.

      The real mystery of the rag to me is the story of its discovery. Lavoie, the tow driver, apparently, found it and gave it to Fred. Huh? First of all, how did he find it. He said it was stuffed up there pretty far. So did he look up the tailpipe? Why? If not, when and how did he see it. I talked with two very reliable members of the community where I used to live who both have been involved with cars their entire lives and who both have towed many cars themselves. They both said, essentially, that this sounded fishy.

      Further, why give it to Fred. He towed the car to a privatized temporary impound for police. First of all, he should not have taken anything out of it in that role. And if he did, he should have given it to police, not the driver's father. Regardless of what he may have thought about the case in that first night and first few days, that is a weird breach of obvious protocol and probably of his towing contract with the township.

      One counter to what I have said came in a recent post but a very perceptive poster. I believe it is still up. He actually went and checked out parts in catalogs for Saturn 96 mufflers and exhausts. His take was that there was not enough room in the tailpipe, before you got back to the muffler for the rag to have been stuffed up in the tailpipe as far as Lavoie said. So perhaps all of my speculation about how did he find it really stems from a mis-statement of his about how far in there it was. According to this poster, it would have been visible or hanging out a bit.

      Maybe Lavoie was smitten with the possible investigative relevance her perceived and therefore exaggerated slightly how far back it was. Perhaps he believed that you can stall a modern car with a rag in the tail pipe (or the Vaudvillain banana). But you can't. There are escape valves in mufflers and tail pipes that prevent that. The car, after a long time running might operate sub par, and be more difficult to restart, but it would run fine for a while. Recall, in this context, that Lavoie said something like a car could not go more than a mile down the road with a rag in the tailpipe and someone stuffed it there either to stall the car or muddy the waters.

      Maybe he was romanticizing his discovery a bit. Consistent with this, from what I understand, his statement that it was stuffed pretty far up there, came in answer to a follow up question of some sort, if I remember correctly.

      ~ John Green

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    14. Hi John,
      Thank you, as always I appreciate your knowledge and insight. Maybe I'm over-analyzing this, but I also find it very odd/unethical for Lavoie to give the rag to Fred instead of the police. So I'm wondering: did Fred bribe him? Again, I may be getting too carried away with all this, but everyone connected to the case behaves so strangely that I can't rule anything out....

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    15. Heidi-- My posts concerning the muffler are under Renner's 12/15/14 update.

      One thing I should have mentioned is that it would be relatively easy to stuff a rag all the way into the body of the muffler, which is what Fred said he did. If that was done, though, I think it would be difficult--though probably not impossible-for part of the rag to work its way out of the downspout (the very last part of the exhaust which is visible from the end of the car).

      If the entire rag was in the muffler, then it would have been invisible and the tow truck driver must have somehow reached inside (or opened) the muffler to get it. I doubt that happened. It would seem highly unusual for a tow truck driver to jeopardize a potentially lucrative relationship with local law enforcement by messing around with evidence in such an egregious fashion. So, my best guess is that part of it was protruding from the downspout.

      Renner talked to the tow truck driver and posted an update on 08/06/2011 concerning their conversation. The updated says that the driver "noticed" (Renner's term) the rag without going into specifics on how/when, etc.

      And of course, none of the foregoing changes the fact that stuffing a rag anywhere in a car's exhaust will do absolutely nothing to make it run better. If a car is billowing smoke, the last thing you want to do is impede the exhaust flow further.

      As Jhonez points out, though, lots of folks have erroneous beliefs about cars, especially when it comes to temporary fixes for potentially expensive problems.

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    16. Thanks Joe M:)
      And I'm going to check out the post you mentioned

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    17. Mr. Green - did you see the early news article that quoted Kate as saying she met them at the restaurant Saturday Night as pertains to your first question above? I found it last nite and would be happy to find it again and show you.

      -Kassandra

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  6. OK - at this point I think we all qualify for our own show on the History Channel. If The Curse of Oak Island and Search for the Lost Giants can get a show certainly there's enough for us to get a three season run.

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  7. Lay off the shiny star detective. I remember the days JG was the most obnoxious poster on this site.......but he never got banned!!! FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!!!

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    1. I cannot believe that anyone can be this uneducated. Free speech applies to government actors, not private people who run blogs. Getting banned from a private blog has nothing to do with free speech. Please, I implore you to get at least an eighth grade education before running your mouth.

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    2. I'll do even better.....I'm gonna match your 10th grade education and ask you to review your lesson on free speech.........

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    3. Bear in mind Rose that you are arguing with two people here who are of a very like, single conviction. So it is two on one. Very like convictions, those two. The cliche "of a single mind" comes to mind. Almost as if they are one mind, two people. Or, perhaps, one person, two screen names. To wit: relatively obvious that Shiny Star Detective was feeling a little less confident in his destructive convictions than he claimed, and felt the need to set up a flower child. As proof, watch for the way he varies flower child's appearances and writing style in the future to distance the two from one another, or perhaps flower child will just go away. Renner, by the way, could confirm this, because he probably has a data service that tells him where posts are coming from. Oh Shiny Star, what a tangled web you weaved in yourself, long before you ever got here.

      ~ John Green

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    4. Hilarious!!!!!!!!!!! Love the entertainment woven into all this fictional babbling......meatballs!

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  9. FINALLY some interesting topics and discussion!!

    @Yuri - I think Maura could pull off a convincing show for those around her with the crying, and the reason for overdoing it would be so that people are sure to remember it.

    Since family/friends won't talk, I think the only way to have an idea of what Maura was really like is to ask those who knew her casually and could speak of her reputation and give an idea of what people thought of her. I think what makes Maura perplexing is the contrast between family/friends who portray her as the innocent All American Girl, and the facts which suggest otherwise. She had issues at West Point, and she's in the minority of people that would pick a receipt out of the trash and use the credit number printed on the receipt, multiple times, and then try and lie her way out of it with the police. It was also Liz, I believe, who stated on the Disappeared episode that one day during high school she took off and went into the city for the day without telling anyone. So the facts suggest it's not beneath her to lie, deceive, be secretive or impulsive.

    A couple of other things I've always found interesting is on the Disappeared episode the only people that spoke about her were high school friends. No one from the University appeared. Also to the best of my knowledge no one has ever come forward from a car dealership that could verify Fred's story.

    The behavior of everyone involved is bizarre. I can see Kate and Sara being apprehensive to say something when they were in their early 20's at the time, but now in their 30's I would think they'd be a bit more wise, speak up with what they know about that night or the days leading upto that night. It might shed some light. I don't think anyone in the family did anything devious but their behavior is atypical. Most people would want all the attention they could get for their missing loved one. I know someone whose sister went missing almost 40 years ago and she still keeps in touch with the police and would've loved to have this kind of attention.

    I personally don't believe Maura is alive. If this were the 70's then maybe, but in this day with cell phones that can take pictures and record video I doubt it.

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  10. A person can pull out $4000 from their bank directly, but Fred used ATM's to withdraw $4000 over a few days. There is a daily limit for ATM withdraws. What date did Fred start taking out his daily limit amount versus the date that Vasi was hit? The only way I could see Fred and Maura leaving the used car lot without a car, is if they couldn't get the rest of the price financed. I would think $4000 goes a long way for a simple used car and would've pushed them through the finance approval. Did Maura have car insurance? If so, the company could've covered body damage repairs without needing out of pocket expenditure, or $4000 is the steep premium of said car insurance. However, Fred stated they were buying a used car, so I refer back to what I stated regarding that aspect. Also, in response to the money being for a termination of pregnancy that I've read posted here, the procedure is only covered by medical insurance if diagnosed by a doctor that said pregnancy poses a risk to the mother. Outside of that circumstance the fee is out of pocket for the patient. It's no where near totaling $4000. I work in the medical field, but not in that arena, although part of my training. I learned about Maura in 2010 while watching Disappeared. I found this blog summer 2013 and was surprised how many facts the program didn't mention, or even hint at. I believe in privacy in general, just not here. It's counterproductive to be anything less than transparent when searching for your missing loved one. Being a mother, learning of my child's irresponsible actions in whatever manner, would in no cause tunnel vision with my undying effort to find them. This is why I believe, as some of you already posted, that family and friends knew of the trip north prior to it occurring.

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    1. Thanks for these comments Hertz. All thought-provoking.

      ~ John Green

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    2. Same comment to David. (I am reading for the latest comments in reverse order.)

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  11. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but some of the last blog posts made me look to see if Kate and Sara were members of the Facebook MM group. I saw they both have Facebook profiles, but don't belong to that group. Maybe they just want to keep a low profile, but if my good friend was missing, I'd be a member of anything that was purporting to support the cause of finding them and to hear any new developments. I don't know, maybe I'm just overthinking.

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  12. If Markapolous did make the statement that she didn't want to get "her friend in trouble", I wonder if it's possible that she was referring to Alfieri, instead of Maura. If both Alfieri and Markapolous were with Maura that night, perhaps something happened between Alfieri and Maura that wasn't supposed to have happened. Just thinking out loud.

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