Monday, December 14, 2015

The One Theory This Blog Won't Debate

I'm all for earnest discussion when it can lead to some new piece of information or perspective. But this recent debate about police involvement in Maura's disappearance - brought on in no small part by Fred Murray's coy suggestions during the Unsolved piece - is pointless.

I've spoken to John Monaghan and Cecil Smith. Both are intelligent and compassionate men. Capable policemen. And above suspicion.

Maura's disappearance has nothing to do with a shady law enforcement conspiracy theory. It is a distraction and only gets us farther from the truth.

No comment will be approved that suggests otherwise.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Maura Was Not Abducted By A Random Killer. Here's Why.

Eleven years in, and it boggles the mind that there are still people who believe Maura was kidnapped by an opportunistic killer on Route 112.

There are two kinds of abductions: organized and disorganized.

An "organized abduction" is where the killer takes care and precaution related to the site of the crime. They find a way to lure the victim to them (John Wayne Gacy bringing the kids back to his home), they take care in grooming the victim over days to gain their trust so that they can remove them from a public location (as in the Amy Mihaljevic case) or they stake out a specific hunting ground and wait for the victim to come to them (I'd put Ariel Castro in this category, as he trolled the same couple blocks of West Cleveland). These are the type that are hardest to catch because there are usually no witnesses (due to the care they took in setting the whole thing up).

A "disorganized abduction" is where an opportunist killer sees a chance to take a victim on the spur of the moment and then takes it. No planning involved. These are the sort that are most often caught because they are reckless and don't think to mitigate the crime by staying out of sight of witnesses.

Now, there is no way Maura's accident was planned. And if it wasn't planned, there's no way she was abducted by an organized killer. So in order to buy into this theory, you must believe she was abducted by a disorganized killer. It would have been very disorganized, actually. The scene was, after all, in direct view of three homes, in which people were occasionally looking out of their windows to check on Maura. Think of it like three lighthouses whose beams light up the accident scene at least every thirty seconds or so.

But to believe Maura was abducted by a disorganized killer, you must believe he had the best luck in the world - that he happened to be driving along that stretch of road on a Monday night, alone, and just happened upon Maura at the right moment - in a window of 3 - 7 minutes before police arrived. Then you have to believe he somehow got her into the car in one of those 30 second windows when nobody was looking. There would have been a conversation (you need a ride - sure - okay, I'm Dan from down the street, hop in and I'll give you a lift - ok, I'll grab some things). And remember, someone had already offered a ride (the bus driver) and Maura had declined. A private investigator sat at the sight on the anniversary of her disappearance in 2005. You know how many cars drove by from 7 - 8 p.m.? Seven. It is not a busy road that time of year.

But, James, abductions like this happen all the time, even if they are statistically unlikely. No, they don't. Women are abducted all the time, yes. But they are abducted because they were either stalked by an organized killer (not the case here) or happened to wander into a place where a killer was waiting (again, not the case here). I challenge you to find one case that lines up with this one - where a woman gets into an accident, in plain sight of several witnesses, and disappears in a 3 - 7 minute window.

Some have suggested she walked into the woods for a bit or walked down the road and caught a ride, later. But there were no footprints leading into the woods. No footprints along the side, leading down Route 112. A police dog lost her scent a few feet from the accident. She didn't walk away.

So, what then?

I again return to the only explanation that fits the evidence -- Maura got into a car at the scene of the accident in one of those 10 - 30 second windows where nobody was looking. And the only way this could have happened was if Maura knew the driver and there was no time wasted for conversation. (get in - ok). Enter the tandem driver, who would have been driving ahead of Maura. If they were ahead and saw the accident in their rearview, and were past Bradley Hill Road, the next place they could turn around was Route 116. It takes approximately seven minutes to drive to Route 116 and back to the scene of the crash.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

**UPDATED** Records Show Maura Murray Quit West Point to Avoid Likely Expulsion


I finally had the chance to lay eyes on Maura Murray's cadet records from West Point. They mostly confirm what was long-rumored, that she left the military academy to avoid disciplinary action and expulsion.

According to the reports, Maura was accused of theft in August, 2001. This was likely the incident at Fort Knox, where she was caught stealing makeup from the commissary. An Honor Investigative Hearing was convened by order of the commandant, an indication that they had enough evidence against her to "take it to trial" before the Cadet Advisory Board. In fact, they found there was a preponderance of evidence showing that she was guilty of theft. Maura pleaded guilty. The Honor Board then recommended Maura be separated from the Corps of Cadets. This recommendation was forwarded to the Superintendent. The Superintendent's decision was to come by the end of January, 2002. But Maura officially withdrew from West Point on January 2, 2002.

Other points of interest:

- Maura signed documents that kept medical information and disciplinary news from her parents
- She went through cadet basic training and was additionally trained in survival swimming, self defense, and combat
- She was pulled out of class 7 times in 2001 to appear before the Honor Board
- She had generally good marks but failed Statistics & Probability at the end of 2001
- She may be semi-fluent in German

**UPDATE**
So what does this have to do with Maura's disappearance? Is it just airing dirty laundry for no reason?

I think confirming this information does a few things for the case.

1. It shows a pattern of behavior for Maura that begins with the theft at West Point and continues to the stolen credit card and identity fraud at UMass. This is a complicated human being (as we all are) and she is shrewd -- leaving before being expelled to... start over. She's a survivor.

2. It shows how the family and Bill Rausch spun the media. Go back and look at what Fred and Bill said about Maura leaving West Point. Now, if they did it there, what have they spun about the weekend leading up to Maura's disappearance? Did they lie? Did they simply omit? Would you do the same if you really believed your loved one was abducted by a dirtbag?

3. It shows that Maura was no push-over. This was a trained cadet. Trained in survival and defense. She didn't commit suicide after losing West Point. She changed her life and moved on. Do you still believe she went up there to end it? Do you still think she could have been overpowered by a random killer?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Readers Notice Bill Called Visa Fraud Center the Day After Maura Disappeared

About three hours after Bill Rausch presumably learned that Maura was missing, and immediately after he spoke to someone at the Haverhill Police Department, he dialed: 877-253-6575. : 877-253-6575.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Family Spokesperson Says Fred Left $4,000 in Account That Maura Could Access After Disappearance

Two days before Maura disappeared on a drive in the White Mountains, her father came to visit her at UMass with $4,000 in cash. He has said the money was for a car but they never bought a car and nobody else remembers her talking about looking for a car that morning. Fred withdrew the money in a very odd, rushed way - visiting several ATMs (perhaps as many as eight) instead of getting the cash from a teller or simply writing a check.

Recently, Helena Dwyer-Murray gave a little more info about the missing $4,000 on Facebook. Here's what she had to say:


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The True Face of Maura Murray

One of our readers, a talented artist named Suzanne, took it upon herself to interpret Maura Murray's mugshot and make it less "creepy."

Her original watercolor painting is a reflection of the "true" Maura we've seldom seen, a woman capable of things we can only imagine.



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Former NH State Trooper With Troubled Past Says Maura Was Murdered, Buried Under Suspect's House




Earlier today, a Facebook profile linked to a former NH State Trooper posted a number of alarming claims on a page run by Maura Murray's family.

James A. Conrad claims Maura was murdered, her body buried under a suspect's new house, and that the state police and prosecutor's know this but lack the evidence to dig her up.

Take a look at some of these screen captures from the ongoing group discussion.

This profile purports to be the same James A. Conrad who threatened to kill fellow state troopers during a series of events that occurred in 2007 when his wife was separating from him. A trooper himself, at the time, he gave an emotional resignation at the barracks after being accused of entering his ex's home and then threatened to pull another trooper's gun to force them to kill him, a form of suicide known as death-by-cop. All this according to court records.

At one point Conrad was even chased by police. When they pulled him over, they found he was driving his personal vehicle with what appeared to be a police scanner.

In 2008. Conrad was award a $1.5 million judgement by a jury after suing the state for wrongful imprisonment during this encounter.


This information -- about Maura being murdered and buried under a house -- is new and goes against much of what we've learned in the last few years. But Conrad has taken to social media saying he has first-hand knowledge of details of the investigation and that this is what the detectives believe happened to Maura Murray.