A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
Thank you for posting a poll like this; it should be interesting to see the results.
she started a new life
Funny, I can't pull the trigger on any of the options.......
I'm in the same boat as Lerch 2013. After following the case for years, I still don't have enough hard information to settle on a scenario. Too many unknowns.
This is why the case needs a restart. A true detective will work from beginning to end as many times necessary until there is a solution. Let's find it.
Anyone else having an issue with trying to vote on mobile? Maybe I'm not ready to vote anyhow. When I first became aware of Maura's case when watching Disappeared, my instant reaction was "that poor father, this girl is obviously dead". How crazy to discover that the show didn't accurately portray events leading up to Maura's disappearance. After reading here, I felt she could've run off. The whole Canada thing got me going. I honestly never got the impression that Maura committed suicide. Even with the White Mountains being sentimental to Maura and the notion she vanished on her way there, I just don't feel she committed suicide. It's also hard to believe that she crashed and then was abducted so quickly, but stranger things have happened. I too am interested in seeing the results.
I couldn't vote on my phone either but I could vote on my tablet
I've changed my mind, from a suicide to running away. Starting to think some of her actions prior to leaving were a ruse to make it look like suicide.
i am betting 99.9% that she was murdered.
Do you think she was murdered right after her disappearance, or do you believe there's a good chance that Maura was indeed the young lady mouthing "help me" to an employee in a small store? What is your opinion of the man who stated he saw a female fitting Maura's description running several miles away from the crash site?
I believe she was murdered within a few days of her disappearance in NH within 20 miles of where the Saturn was found. I still am confused by the whole story given by that witness RF about seeing a person running down the road. also when he came home he should have been staring right at all the lights and commotion within a couple hundred feet of his house.
From my point of view, Forcier's story is unbelievable. Even if he did not get home until after LE cleared the scene, I cannot believe that he was unable to make the connection between what he allegedly saw and Maura until months later. Maura's disappearance was immediately publicized in print, on the radio, on television, and on the internet. Further, given that his mobile home was near the accident scene, there would seem to be a possibility that one of his neighbors or an acquaintance would have discussed the case with him. It makes no sense that Forcier was unable to form a connection until months later when he looked at his records. I believe that Forcier wanted a few moments in the spotlight and figured out a way to get it. That happens sometimes with high profile cases.He also refused a search of his mobile home. There are, however, about 10,000 legitimate reasons why a totally innocent person might not want LE snooping around there place. It's easy to sit from behind a computer screen and say "why not just do it and clear your name." I think it is a much tougher pill to swallow when the police are actually knocking at your door. If I recall correctly, the police searched the home later after he sold it and it was moved. Nothing ever came of this search, at least nothing which has been made public. I realize I've stated my position on this matter several times before, and I also realize I've got beyond the scope of Miss Understood's post above. The only thing I can say in response is that this is one of the few things I feel strongly about in the case.
The only way I can see Forcier being tied into this is if he hit her on his way home and it took him some time to clean up and dispose of the body. I don't know why he'd come forward two months later to say he'd seen her if that were the case, however.
Jack-- I agree with you that it is unlikely Forcier was involved in causing her disappearance.On a related note, I think the idea that someone accidentally hit her and then disposed of the body makes a lot of sense. Rt. 112 is not busy, especially on winter evenings. Thus, there might have been time for someone to retrieve her body after hitting her without being noticed.The fewer people involved in a criminal enterprise, the fewer people who might talk. If Maura was killed by a person who was driving alone, and then the same person disposed of her body, then it makes sense that the case has never been solved. I still lean towards an abduction, but there are a lot of things about a hit-and-run followed by body disposal scenario that make sense.
I really do not think she would put her friends and family through another year of scrutiny. When its easy to just pick up the phone , call NH cold case tell them shes alive. There is no reason 11 years later for her to keep scrutiny on her friends and family. Friends and family reay should be more transparet and answer the hard questions to not keep scrutiny onthemseves and the state of NH should realse the case files to her Dad and public.
Perhaps it's too late, but I wonder if a fourth option — death by misadventure —) should have been included (unless we included that in the "murdered" option).
I agree with misadventure. I think she panicked after crashing the car, ran off and took a tumble and her remains are stuck someplace where nobody's looked. It seems unbelievable based on how many searches there have been, but it's possible her body is in an inaccessible or hard-to-reach location.
Definitely a valid scenario. Why do you think Fred initially stated suicide then settled on "a local dirtbag took her" versus him stating your scenario as a possibility or simply stating "hey, I just don't know what happened to my daughter"?
I definitely think she planned on running away. I think her friends and her father knew this, and that's why I still believe it's tied to the Vasi hit-and-run. In my opinion Fred was too quick to say she was suicidal. Even if that were true, I wouldn't tell the police that because I'd be afraid they wouldn't hunt for her like they would if they thought there was a kidnapper/murderer on the loose. I don't see a girl that's all by herself running into the frigid, pitch-black forest and trekking through several feet of snow to climb a mountain to die with her book. Nope. Fred's written statement was disjointed and seemed intentionally vague. The line about he knew she was going to call him to give him the information he needed from the police report because "I knew she wouldn't let me down again," was totally bizarre. Was not calling at a specific time as bad as driving drunk and smashing his new car (possibly into a person)? To me it reads like he was trying to back up their story that she wasn't on the run and must have been abducted because otherwise she would have called him with the case number from the police report! Also, his statement about not worrying about what happened in the days leading up to her disappearance has always been significant to me. This morning I was reading the dispatcher's log from the original 911 call reporting the accident, and I thought it was interesting that the caller said she could see "a man" smoking a cigarette by the car. Not "a person," not "the driver," not "someone." She assigned a gender. Maura was tiny; I don't know that you would mistake her silhouette for a man.
Butch Atwood positevly identified a girl. He said it was Maura when showed a picture of her. He had conversation with her. She was alone . Then he even called the police when he got in his own house.
That doesn't mean a man wasn't there before or even during her encounter with Butch Atwood. Even the first officer on the scene said he thought Fred was driving the car. Also, Fred has given multiple versions of how he learned about the accident. He's been quoted as saying he heard it first from Kathleen and he's also said he heard it first from the police. The Kathleen story makes no sense at all. If the car was registered to him, how would his daughter hear about the crash before he did?
Kathleen could have heard first if she was at the "family home" (the phone number associated wiith the registration) when they called, while Fred was on the road, in CT, or elsewhere.
The officer probably ran the plates then assumed Fred was driving as it was his car. I think Carnival Barker is pretty dead on.
I just can't make heads or tails of the case after all these years. There are a lot of things that bother me. What has always been eerie to me is she was standing near the back of the car one minute, the next she was gone....poof....no one saw her picked up or running away, she was just gone. I personally feel the odds that she was picked up by some serial killer just minutes after she wrecked would be astronomical. I mean, what a coincidence that would be. If she was following a friend, they would have to turn around and come back for her and give the people around the scene another chance to get a look at her. If someone was following her, well ok then. No turnaround, just pick her up and keep going straight. For some reason, if she takes off on foot, because she doesn't feel comfortable following Butch to his house, why not just tell him no thanks and then proceed to another home nearby? Either way, she's either picked up or runs away. To me, she was picked up by someone following her. Either a friend, or coincidentally, Mr. Bad Guy. I don't know what happened to Maura, but that Disappeared episode sure makes me think of a worst case scenario.
Yes @fromanotherstar I believed she was followed aswell it happened so quickly it makes me thinks the worst but in all my past post's I stated the same thing I don't think she is alive..I could be wrong but I dnt think so in this case..The answer is there its a matter of putting the puzzle together..this will be solved for sure..
I think she ran away. I think if she committed suicide they would have found the body. Murder is possible but I lean toward runaway.
I lean toward runaway. I just think if she committed suicide they would have found the body. Murder is possible but I'm going to say runaway.
Yeah its hard to hide your body once your dead :-)
Wait, the list is incomplete! I think she wandered away wet and drunk and died in the woods---we need a misadventure option!
No foot prints in the snow, that is not an option.
What's so frustrating about this case is that every theory could potentially work, yet no theory completely works. My guess is that she's dead. Although she clearly was experiencing personal distress, I do not think she was suicidal. Nor do I think a random 'local dirtbag' got her. However, this whole thing reeks of homicide. Please keep in mind this is pure speculation on my part.
I dont know, there was no struggle to indicate she was forced into a car, very slim possiblity, if it was a killer how come he stopped killing and no previous murders, I dont buy it.
I'm quite shocked that more people think she ran away to start a life
Probably by default more than anything. There is absolutely no evidence that she was murdered. Nothing points to it other than her disappearing for 11 years. Some of what we know can support a suicide theory or running away. Since they are both a way of escaping they have common factors. I am on the fence about all of them but murdered is at the bottom of my list.
I'm not surprised. Renner thinks she ran away and most of his posts substantiate it so it follows that most of his audience would feel the same way.
You know, when you look at the facts lightly, it's easy to say she died. When you really look at the characters and the facts, you know there is a lot more to the story and add the fact that it's been 11 years and so many people are still captivated by it and talk about it, and use full names online and yet none of these people want to just say what they know to clear their reputations, it becomes apparent that there is a secret worth protecting. What could that secret be? Even at this point if either of the two girls know she is alive somewhere hiding from something in her past, could it still be worth their reputations? Neither name is particularly common, what is it like not having a facebook? a twitter? a linked in? do potential employers ask about your missing friend? Fred has no reason to protect them. Why hasn't he pointed the finger at them to get more info? If they were involved in drug deals or prostitution chances are statute of limitations is done and the evidence is gone. Basically at this point it has to be a secret that is REALLY worth protecting, life or death etc. I don't think if these people thought she was dead that they would still be protecting it after all these years.
Very well said, Melios.
Even staute of limitations is expired on hit and run causing bodily harm. I dont know about civil liability. I would be more concerned about knowing something and not coming forward.
I don't think there is much more to this story. I see the runaway theory as a joke. Why would she have a party while running away. When you run away you go from point a to point b as quickly as you can. You don't stop for boos on the way and if you did you don't send the group in. If you wanted to have your friends help you they should have driven your car south and parked it in South Carolina while she went across the border.
Maybe that's what happenedc but she told then to take her car north as she goes a different route!
I believe that she ran way to start a new life. Initially I had voted that she had committed suicide but after more consideration think that she was running from a lot of problems that had been building up. There are also many strange characters involved and the recent news of this stalker is frightening. James has mentioned that there have been other stalkers as well including the infamous creep who posted that video on the anniversary of her disappearance. Hopefully with new information coming to light there will be an answer to what happened that night
I think she wanted to get away for a few days but due to having an accident and fearing a OWI ran off and died in the woods of exposure.
I agree except for the exposure part. I think something much more evil took place.
You've posted several comments along these lines recently. Seems you know the area where Maura had her accident/abandoned her car. Are you hearing possible details as of recently, or have you been hearing things about Maura's fate, all along? Any chance this case will be solved?
Miss Understood, Can you please answer my question asked just above? Just out of curiosity, did anyone see the 20/20 program last night about a young man busted selling LSD to an Undercover, all charges forgiven for the young man becoming a CI and turning in someone higher up the dealing chain? It took place at UMASS Amherst. He got the higher up arrested. Sadly, the young man overdosed months later. The gist of the story was that the young man's parents weren't informed of him being busted/turned CI, as per the college policy of informing parents of such situations if the student was under age 21, which indeed this young man was. It was interesting insight into how campus police determine CI's, etc. I personally don't believe Maura was one, but have seen that possibility discussed here.
I wonder if Maura was a binge drinker (common at college) or a functioning alcoholic. Maura's accident in NH was said to occur due to a sharp curve/turn on the road she was traveling on. Plus it was during coldest part of the year (black ice maybe?). Those factors could easily be catalysts of a crash for a sober driver. How did she manage to drive that far along in her trip without crashing prior to where she did crash? Sure, it could just be luck, I guess. Just wondering if she was a functioning alcoholic and maybe not able to get her emotions in check due to that fact. This is just something I've been pondering.
The police found a cup with red wine in it in the car. If I recall correctly, some of the red wine was spilled over the car's interior. Unless there was somebody riding with her, then it would appear to be almost a certainty that she was drinking at the time of the accident. If she traveled up I-91 to Wells River, to Rt. 302 in/thru Woodsville, to Rt. 10, and then finally on to Rt. 112, Rt. 112 would have been the most twisty road she had been on during her trip North. Maybe she was drinking on the drive up and the juice really started to kick-in once she reached the vicinity of Woodsville. Also, if I recall correctly, Butch Atwood did not think she was intoxicated at the time he encountered her. They did not speak for very long. Of course, it can be very tough to tell with someone who has built up a tolerance, especially if one does not know the person and only has a brief conversation with them.
I don't think being a "binge drinker" and a "functional alcoholic" are mutually exclusive, although obviously it depends on your definition. Based on some peoples' criteria, I would have fit both of those descriptions in college, and could potentially also fit them now.The reason I bring that up is that I knew very few people who were legitimately emotionally busted due to their "excessive" drinking habits in college. I knew a couple people who were exceptions (i.e. people who had clear-cut extreme problems), and it is definitely a possibility, but from my experience it's not the kind of thing people generally worry too much about at that age. I'm 32 years old and don't especially trip about it at my current age.Side note (semi-related): I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do not believe Maura was legitimately intoxicated at the time of the second crash. (I actually believe this about both crashes; I feel more strongly about it in the case of the first crash, and I could be convinced otherwise in either case, but whatever. That's where I stand at the moment, for better or worse).Intoxicated or otherwise, following either an accident or an escaped brush with the law (in this case I'm talking about the first crash, to be clear) people change their behavior in the short term almost 100% of the time. To get in two different drunk wrecks in such a short period of time is pretty unusual--even if the "behavior change" didn't involve cutting out drinking while driving, Maura SHOULD HAVE BEEN so, so much more cautious on the road in terms of speed, defensive driving, etc. following the first crash. Maybe she's the odd exception though (because this case is so bizarre that of course she would be).I don't have an overarching point in all this, but anyone who's ever been in a car accident or has had a substance-related near-miss with the law can probably understand why the concept of two drunk crashes in such a short time frame is unusual, except for maybe in the case of an EXTREME drinking problem. I'm just tossing it out there.
Jhonez, I think you make some good points. We all hear stories in the news about people who get two DUIs in two days, but, objectively speaking, the chances of having two drunken crashes in a three day time span have to be pretty slim.
Thought Id share this : 37 years later in a Florida Canal tonight then 15 year old Dana Null and her boyfriends car was found.http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1995-03-09/news/9503090696_1_teens-son-s-disappearance-sheriffThe above article is from 1995. The teenage couple disappeared in 1978. For 5 weeks the canal was search by divers and sonar. The 1969 Dodge Coronet was pulled from the Canal tonight Thursday 1-22-2015. The were no identifiable remains ( Its assumed florida aquatic wildlife and time ) . But the family has closure.I shared this because its articles like this that bring me back to , thoughts that she knew Butch Atwood was probably going to call the police. She didnt want to face an OUI charge and with a buzz on she took off hoofing it probablly diving over snow banks as emergency lights came towards her.I wish friends and family of hers would be more transparent. 11 years later the 5 strange days , the circle of silence odd. I keep teetering on this bizzare case. A few years back I read a back pack was found. Was that a Hoax?
A man named Tom found a black backpack near the Pemigewasset Overlook one year after Maura's disappearance.
sam was it ever linked to her?
I too am wondering about the backpack.My 1st guess is she was murdered. My second guess is accidental death from exposure the the elements. My 3rd guess is ran away to start a new life.I think one of the keys to the case is the rag in the tailpipe. According to my husband, there is only one reason to stuff a car's tailpipe, and that is to sabotage it. If someone was trying to sabotage her car, someone was targeting her and wanted to kidnap and/or kill her.Second clue is other vehicles nearby (red pickup?) and the report of A MAN smoking near the accident scene. Other POSSIBLE clues are the reports of dogs reacting to the scent of a cadaver and the odd behavior of one of the neighbors. But I think the first two clues are the most indicative of what might have become of Maura.What ever happened to the stained carpet and knife that were turned in? Could their be a police cover up? Ineptitude? Why don't we have answers to some of these basic questions.Mr. Wrenner, we're counting on your digging to see what is revealed...
My theory: She definitely committed suicide. FACTS: 1. She bought enough booze to kill a horse, and made sure it was palatable to ingest a large quantity by using her fave drinks. She made another drink before walking off (pink stuff in snow). 2. She emailed her Prof. with the lie story, either to delay any search effort, or in case she changed her mind...then she'd still be ok with the school. 3. She reached out to her boyfriend at the last minute in the throes of hypothermia shivering in the woods (he said she sounded shivering and moaned lightly). Since there was no cell coverage down by the road where she crashed...likely she walked far enough or HIGH enough to acquire a cell signal to make that call before she succumbed? 5. The search area was 5 miles. If the search was thorough, and nothing was found, then she simply walked farther than that? She was in great shape, and used to hiking distances. SPECULATION: Catalysts for suicide at that time: Depression. 1) It's been reported that she didn't want to move to Oklahoma...maybe she didn't know how to get out of it, and felt helpless/ hopeless? 2). The $4000...a payoff for some bad act (there have been allusions to fraud, etc.)? Maybe she got a DUI from the first crash, and the $4000 was for the fine? Her friend said they were drinking at the party...then she drove and crashed dad's car. Feeling shame? Was that what she was crying about at her desk at work? Personally, I believe there are nefarious issues regarding her dad...but that's just me. There was no cell coverage at the crash site, so the "meeting someone" theory doesn't work for me. She wouldn't have been at a pre-determined meeting place in order to meet someone, and she couldn't call anyone either...because she crashed in the middle of nowhere. She didn't want the bus driver to call anyone...because it would interfere with her plan. I think she just decided..."hell, this is as good a place as any to walk off and do it."
Overall I think you raise some good points, but "3. She reached out to her boyfriend at the last minute in the throes of hypothermia shivering in the woods (he said she sounded shivering and moaned lightly). Since there was no cell coverage down by the road where she crashed...likely she walked far enough or HIGH enough to acquire a cell signal to make that call before she succumbed?" --- Mr Renner and others have confirmed that the call Billy Rausch received was not from Maura.
The call to Billy was from Red Cross, not Maura. Plus no pings so umm no.
I was just wondering about what happened with the carpet sample, and looking at the FB site for Maura run by the aunt/not aunt. Here's what the aunt/not aunt posted just a week ago about the carpet:[normally I would snip/screenshot, but I had to cut and paste text since my snipper is not working]: Helena Dwyer Murray: In April of 2009 when Fred was meeting with NH Authorities, he brought up the carpet. Those present had no knowledge of what he was talking about. Prior to that the following appeared in a Hanson Express article (sorry, I don't have the date at the moment): "There is confusion over who has custody of the carpet. Private Investigator Healy was ill the weekend of the search, but said that police were not at all interested in the evidence and would not take the carpet into their possession. Healy said the carpet is in the custody of an investigator who no longer "has business relations" with the group. Private Investigator Don Nason, who is the current president of the volunteer organization and was present at the search of the A-frame house, said all evidence was turned in to State Police. "We don't have the proper storage facility to hold evidence," he said." t that point both samples were with the person who originally took them at the search. The authorities were given his information.June 29 at 9:47pm ·
I think I would hire a lawyer and get that dug up wth is wrong with people losing evidence not taking it....this poor girl couldve been murdered the police, FBI should be ashamed of themselves such incompetence.