Tuesday, February 24, 2015

This is Not a Family Looking for Answers

God forbid I should ever know what it's like to lose a loved one. Everyone grieves in their own way. But the Murrays have responded to the disappearance of their youngest daughter and sister in a very unusual way from the beginning and it is apparent to me that they simply do not want answers in this case any more.

I think of the parents and siblings of people like Holly Bobo and Amy Mihaljevic and Molly Bish, who have been relentless and involved with the search for their loved one. And then I consider the Murrays.

- Their is no organized online effort to find Maura. The "official" website is run by a woman who has no direct relation to the family (even though she calls herself an "aunt").

- Maura's mother was never involved with the searches in the weeks after her daughter disappeared.

- Some of Maura's siblings had very little to do with the searches.

- Fred's efforts to find his daughter were staged in the first year of the search. According to his former son-in-law and two volunteer searchers, Fred would sleep in, then go for a jog, then get breakfast, and then organize a short search for Maura, then return to the bar and hotel. When the cameras showed up, he acted manic, as if he needed to find her NOW. But when they left, he fiddled around. "If that were my daughter, I'd have been up at the crack of dawn," said his son-in-law.

- Most families of the missing release any and all information, in an effort to find their loved ones. The Murrays are very select about releasing clues, especially sightings. A cashier in Woodsville believes she saw Maura with two friends at the grocery store an hour before the accident. Fred knew about this credible sighting for 10 years. While they released other unlikely sightings, they never released this one.

- Maura's brother, Kurt, wrote a song in 2010, dedicated to Maura in which he says he believes she ran away to start a better life after something bad happened.

- Before I began this blog, Fred made it clear he did not want a book written about his daughter's case. He has asked several of Maura's friends to not talk to reporters.

- Instead of cooperating with police, Fred refused to speak to state detectives for two years and when he did, he brought two lawyers with him. He sued the state to get records in an effort to find out what they knew but refused to share info with them.

- Fred lied about the events of the weekend before Maura went missing. He lied to police and reporters, especially about how and when Maura arrived back at his motel and the sequence of events that occurred after she got there.

Fred's actions suggest his motivation to find his daughter was to find her before the police did.

This is not normal behavior.

62 comments:

  1. I agree 100% with everything in this post. I have a question though, I read on here how John Green believes he has proof that Fred did not pick up kate in the student lot on that Saturday night as he stated. Also in his post he said that if anyone wanted to know reasoning behind his belief, to email him. I did but no response. I'm curious to know what he belief on this.

    I know it's been brought up in previous blogs but since then, has any other friends or colleagues ever said to have seen kate or sara in classes mon/tue or know anything of there whereabouts then?

    Thank you:)

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    1. John's "proof" is based on his direct knowledge of the UMass campus and how the pickup point makes no sense as a result.

      He has graphics, but having not been there myself I can't visualize it to a degree that I find it to be absolutely convincing. To me, just looking at the maps, his angle made sense from a "common sense" navigation perspective, but wasn't in itself necessarily definitive proof of a lie on Fred's part.


      As to the second part, that is one of the A#1 questions. It's been said somewhere/somehow that Kate and/or Sara were MIA for some period following the disappearance, but I've never personally seen anything either confirming or denying that.

      I suspect LE has that information, for what it's worth, but as far as general public case info goes, as far as I know it's a mystery.

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    2. Knowing his penchant for lengthy comments, maybe he's still writing his response. :)

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    3. Jhonez,

      You may have missed on the map that there were some notes annotated. Two UMASS officials agreed with the reasoning, as did 15 students I talked to who had lived in the southwest area. Students get picked up and dropped off either in the driveway in front of their dorms or at the bus stop. In the case of Kate being picked up by Fred, you could also imagine her meeting him at Maura's dorm. But there is simply no way that Fred drove to an unmarked lot, the entrance to which is difficult to find because you have to make a left off of N. University, then go down a driveway behind another lot. Moreover, as those UMASS officials told me, in 2004, there really was no signage to tell you where the lot was. This as opposed to at least three places that were far easier to get to for Fred, far easier to get to for Kate and that made sense as meeting points because they were points, as opposed to being big parking lots. "We'll meet at the driveway in front of your dorm," "we'll meet at the North University bus stop," "we'll meet at the driveway in front of Maura's dorm." Compare to: "we'll meet in a big lot, somewhere in it, that is harder for me to find and for you to get to, and then once were there, just look for a car that is cursing looking like it is looking for someone and jump up and down and wave." If you consider the entirety, there is no way on god's green earth, other than wildly unlikely scenarios.

      There is a slight, probably unintentional suggestion in your message that the reasoning was primarily geographic in nature. But really, when you spend time at the campus, you can see that it is obvious. So I started buttonholing students and asking them if they had lived in the SW area and if so where the pick up and drop points were if you were meeting someone. NONE said anything about any lots. Two UMASS officials likewise said it makes no sense. It does not.

      I really think Renner should put the map back up as it was annotated with all this information and people keep asking me about it by email. Renner feels that without a why as to why Fred lied, he can't put it up. But, that same reasoning did not apply to the $4000 suspicions, which involves some things that seem unlikely, but is not an objectively provable deception. I can explain a very good theory as to why Fred may have said this in his statement, at least as strong theory wise about any explanation over the $4k, but at least revolving around an argument that excludes all but the remotest of unlikely possibilities.

      ~ John

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    4. John, I have heard you, and others talk about the point of Fred possibly lying about the drop off location, but I must be an idiot because if don't have a clue about its significance. Could you elaborate?

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    5. Yeah that was unintentional, I was just putting out a short version going on basic recollection. I remember there being annotations but not exactly what they were referencing.

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    6. Hi Lerch.

      I assume you meant to write "pick up location."

      Just to be clear, when I talk about it, I am out and out asserting that he did not pick up Kate in lot 22, and if it was not lot 22 or any other lot, barring really, really, really unlikely circumstances that he almost surely would have mentioned if he mentioned pick up points at all.

      I started writing out what I think happened. But I am not going to post that here. In connection with project I am starting now, there may be a private blog at some point. Anyone who can prove they are not one of a group of trolls who have much polluted the conversation and evidence will be welcomed in.

      A general statement of its importance, by metaphor, amounting to a teaser. Back in the 17 century, the world's leading thinkers, mainly religious philosophers, had all these different earth-, human- and "God"-centric explanations and models for Venus in retrograde. All big thinkings about big theories that washed with then current belief systems. But once you get into the business of letting belief systems dictate the relevance of facts, dogma, bias and reality-by-mass-hysteria are born. Galileo, meanwhile, di things like rolling balls down inclined planes at different angles and distances and precisely recording times. He thus came up with observations that showed the truth of the matter was that the earth was revolving around the sun, severely pissing off the big thinkers who began with theory and distilled facts therefrom.

      Thus teaching this: if something is a weird fact, but solidly known, and it does not fit given theories and beliefs, perhaps those given theories and beliefs are wrong.

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    7. Jhonez, if you want, I can send you the map. Just promise not to distribute it. Email me if you want it.

      ~ John Green

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    8. Cheesegrater, that was an unnecessary comment. Perhaps you have a penchant of your own?

      ~ John Green

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    9. Oh, and Kristin, I am happy to send the map to you too. Just email me if you want it. Again, just confirm that you won't share it with others.

      ~ John Green

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  2. If I were a parent of a missing child, I would stop at nothing to keep my child in the public eye. You just never know who might know the one key bit of information needed to solve this case. Absolutely do not agree that law enforcement should be permitted to withhold any information on cold cases such as this, at this point, a conviction is probably not within the realm of possibility....So, put all information out for the public to review and see what it brings, if anything.

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  3. Can't help but feel that the police know more than they are letting on either because they have a suspect but not enough evidence or because a crime hasn't been committed

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    1. I agree. But, given that there have been no grand jury proceedings, my best guess is that all of the evidence is circumstantial and simply not enough to support charges. N.H. law enforcement tends to operate in a pretty secretive manner, but the total dearth of information which has been released to the public with regard to Maura's case is noteworthy.

      Of course, it is also possible that the authorities simply have no idea what happened to her and no viable suspects. But, if that were the case, then what would they have to lose by releasing information and asking for the public's help? Are they concerned that some of the information could, if released, give rise to civil liability (defamation)? Perhaps certain pieces of material could be redacted in order to alleviate that concern.

      If anyone who posts has knowledge about what could be released by the authorities without fear of civil litigation, I'd be most interested in hearing about it. I know that some states view certain information gleaned during the course of a police investigation as confidential, and provide a cause of action for the accidental release of such information. I do not know whether New Hampshire is one of those states.

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  4. I'm assuming they are behaving this way because they know what happened to Maura. It makes more sense to me that she is alive, and they know that. Would they still be keeping the charade up if she was dead?

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  5. Because the family knows. Whether they're protecting her or themselves or both is more difficult to determine now, but the truth will come out eventually

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  6. This case seems far from what is in the Wikipedia article. Other young women who are missing such as Tara Leigh Calico had both her parents die as she has not been found yet never the less her parents never gave up searching for her. It seems that there is a conspiracy of silence among all of Maura's friends and family to protect her from family secrets that might have caused her to seek a new life in the first place.

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  8. I think Catlady and Heidi hit it there - the family knows and is protecting, being elusive, ignoring...to protect Maura or more likely themselves. They do just enough to appear to not know or to appear they want to find her without actually doing much. This way they keep her secret and do not have to face the reasons she left or what happened before she left...maybe that information would be embarrassing to the family, especially her parents, maybe even criminal...

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  9. I have been interested in Maura's case since watching the episode of Disappeared featuring her story and I stumbled upon this site by accident about a year ago. Today I was meeting my mom for lunch in the lobby of the hospital she works at and I saw a woman who bore a resemblance to Maura Murray. The likeness was enough for me to snap a few pictures with my cell phone which is completely out of character for me!

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    1. Could you send the pictures along to jameswrenner@gmail.com I'd like to see them. You should also send them to the cold case unit (email up top). Where was this?

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    2. I just emailed the pictures to you. I could be totally wrong but I would rather err on the side of caution. This was in the Cleveland area.

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    3. Although my best guess is that she is dead, if she did in-fact run away, it would make sense for her to wind up working in a healthcare-related field.

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    5. What do you think James? Do they look like her? Can you post the photos?

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    6. Some of us would REALLY love to see these pictures!

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    7. I have sent the pictures ot James who is investigating this and while I would love to get all of your opinions on them I personally don't feel comfortable posting pics online in case it might NOT be her. I will leave it to James to decide to post or not.

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    8. I passed the pictures along to cold case and another department. I'll give them some time to look into it before posting the pictures. I think it's a very interesting sighting.

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    9. wondered if the look-alike was working at the hospital, was a patient, or just visiting? if it's an employee, we should keep an eye to see if any women of her same general description suddenly leaves that job. because if i am Maura and alive and well and not wanting to be found, i would be certainly be reading this blog. if this Cleveland siting is legit, she will probably get out of town.

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    10. Hey Sookiefang ... thanks and I think your discretion is smart. If you want, you can't send them to me at john888green@gmail.com. I'd love to see them. But I realize you don't know me, so you could not necessarily trust that I would not post them. I would not and would not share them, but you have no way to know that.

      ~ John Green

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  10. Is it possible she's in witness protection? or possibly got amnesia from the accident?

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    2. Just FYI ... see Amy Bradley, disappeared after crashing her jeep in Washington State, after a cross country trip from NC. She was spotted a few times afterward but has never been found in ... more than a decade I think.

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    3. John I believe you're thinking of Leah Roberts.

      But yeah that is another extremely strange disappearance, and about as good a comparable as I can think of.

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    4. You have the wrong missing person John. Amy Bradley went missing on a cruise ship as it was in docking procedures off of Curacao. She has been sighted many times over the years and has been forced in to some sort of human trafficking.

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    5. Leah Roberts is who you are thinking of.

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    6. Yep ... Leah Roberts. Appreciate the correction. I think Amy Bradley disappeared from a cruise liner and there are some mysterious pictures indicating that she may have been snared by pirates who sold her terribly terribly terribly into sexual slavery.

      ~ John Green

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  11. @amy I thought about that too.. If someone's in witness protection, we would never know what actually happened because they would keep the case "open" right?

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    1. It would explain why the family isn't actively searching for her. With the drugs and everything she was doing prior to disappearing maybe she was involved in some kind of drug sting to turn people in instead of doing jail time? I don't just if she's still alive, she's somewhere and someone knows something and no one can keep a secret that long.

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    2. I am no expert on the witness protection program - although a troll once tried to tell someone that I was in it, humorously enough - but I think when someone goes into it, they are a witness. That is, you get put into the program because you testified at a trial where there is reason to believe that the defendant's associates pose a danger to you for testifying. But the being a witness part is public record. Moreover, from what I know that program does not stage circumstances by which you are no longer known of (such as staging your death), they simply move you somewhere, get you a new SSN and identity and job, etc. Then again, I don't really know how that program works.

      ~ John Green

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    4. You cant just be in the witness protection program for something so low-level. Even big witnesses in high profile cases don't qualify. I know from personal experience. HIGHLY unlikely.

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    5. @Amy What drugs was she involved with prior to her disappearance other than alcohol?

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  12. I have to agree with the original posting by Renner.

    Who knows, I guess not looking is the new looking.
    To share a minor scare I had with one of my twins: When they were about 3yrs old and just able to make their own choices, one of my girls wanted to go out in the back yard and get into the kiddie pool, but I told her to wait about ten minutes. The next thing I know she had disappeared. I looked everywhere in the yard, sheds, house, cabinets, under blankets, closets, EVERYWHERE. I am not prone to hysterics, but I know I checked every conceivable place and she was gone.
    I instantly started to lose my mind. I ran scream through the house, yard, woke my wife up to help look. she searched through the house again and I jumped in our car and sped through the neighborhood screaming out of the window of my car and praying out loud. I was in a total panic that I can't relate it to anyone unless they have kids. When I got back to the house my wife was in the front yard with our missing daughter. She said that she basically reappeared when she was running through the house looking for her and to this day we still can't come to grips with where she was.

    It is as if she dematerialized and then rematerialized. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and can never imagine being calm, with a missing child.

    I would stop at nothing, sleeping only when necessary and never give up. That small incident was too much for me. Even retelling it is upsetting.

    I guess everyone is different, but these peeps have always behaved very oddly IMO.

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  13. I think one could argue the point about whether the Murrays' behavior is normal or not. I tend to think it is not "normal" in the sense of being surprising, given the context and common reactions to similar situations. But I can accept the reasonableness of arguments otherwise.

    Assuming that it is not "normal" in the above sense, the question becomes what factor or factors could explain the deviation in their behaviors from what would seem more likely. That could go in a lot of directions. There may be very good reasons for it.

    Thus, I think I object slightly - with all due respect to Renner - with a suggestion that comes across, intentionally or not, from his post. To wit, broadly concluding that the behavior is "not normal" casts an implied accusation: that they have something to hide. But I feel that if the missing factors that are driving the behaviors were known, their reactions might then seem "normal." Thus I prefer to say that, really, their reactions are simply hard to conceive of in some instances, given the context, but given all the holes in knowledge about what happened to her, why she went north and what exactly may have been going on in Amherst, I think the implicativeness (intentional or not) of the subject post should be avoided.

    ~ John Green

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  14. Keep in mind her brothers song early on suggesting she was a away and Freds comm
    ent also Fred asking her to come home to bang it out. They had suspicions of run away early. If they later became aware that she might have been murxered tben why continue to un appreciate those that stick arround trying to help. Not asking for a thanks but the bashing from he Muray camp is just weird.

    I think they are hiding and prorecting something

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  15. I duno man i have always sympathized with the dad. He returned to the area so many times. He brought a law suit against the state ( which in my opinion enough time has passed) that decision should be overturned. Sbes on video alone , Butch Atwood interviews her alone. I think her and her Dad had a bigger fight than its down played. I think he knows all the personal reasons why she was in.NH that night. But he just doesnt seem to be sinister its to.ellaborate for a simple hard working guy. Hes a huge factor in why she took off. His odd behavior could be out of guilt. If she is still alive logic dictates present day friends and family know. The dad has been so critical of NH LE that this case isnt just cold its closed. The real push should be on the state of NH and open the files to anyone who wants to help. Theres an old saying be carefull what you wish for . Give the Dad the files , but also to the public. 11 years later i feel the state of NH is being spitefull. Mistakes were made , but there should be a statutute of limitations on releasing info on missing persons. I think 11 years no answers qualifies. You want to respect the families wishes ? Release thoose case files.

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    1. Agreed, Except the reason has nothing to do with the reality........ She is never heard or seen again, thats the reality

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    2. Agreed, except the reason has not much to do with the ultimate reality......the ultimate reality is she has vanished

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  16. Maybe she changed her identity to hide from her past.

    Maybe her family knows about it, and want to keep her hidden.

    Why hasn't this been given more serious thought? I learned about Maura Murray today, and this was the FIRST thing that came to my mind.

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  17. My question is what happened to the 4000.00 Fred brought with him. Did he have it still or did maura have it? The money could of been used for a new identity. And maybe the phone càll was letting her know it was all ready and maybe that's why she was so upset because she knew she wasn't coming back. Find it odd after the phone call she went to her dorm and packed up. I knew a guy that lived under an assumed name for eight years( he was in trouble and changed his name) five of those years we never knew his name wasn't his own. He was able to get loans, I'd, etc under his false name. So yes it can be done and 4000 would be enough to start over. Next question is did they search the area where the witness said he saw a lady running?

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  18. Did she have any male "friends" she could have been trying to go visit? It's bee established that she didn't mind having an affair, so it would seem that exploring any of her "extracurricular" relationships might be a good avenue to search.

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    1. No
      Besides it wouldnt matter, they wouldnt have known she crashed( no cell service) so they couldnt have come " get her".....

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  19. True enough that the "family" or those being public about Maura's case 1) don't seem to like questions much and 2) seem to actively discourage / downplay various possibilities / scenarios, both of which strike me as quite odd, but NH LE has been almost incredibly non-forthcoming about this case, withholding what I would assume to be information that should be accessible to the public for the purposes of oversight and accountability. Two seemingly opposite sides to a very strange picture.

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    1. Before I would blame the NH LE my first question would be this: How come that Fred Murray had known about the Butson's sighting that happened just an hour before the "accident" for 10 years and kept that knowledge for himself? There is not a single FACT that proves that a crime occured. It is easier to blame "dirtbags" to kidnap your family member or blame NH LE instead of thinking what a toxic family must have dominated this family. If I would work at the NH LE and would have no idea what happened, I would not releasing anything into this murky mess of dynamics.

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  20. Do you not think it's a little weird that no phone calls were made while she was driving in her car??? When I drive alone for an extended period of time I'm on the phone bullshitting with my sister or a friend to help pass the time...BUT if I had company in the car then I wouldn't be on the phone needing to pass the time

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    1. I am not sure about the entire length of the trip, but I remember it being mentioned that even now, that highway has nearly zero cell reception. Then, she had told the bus driver that she had contacted AAA but a lot of people sort of use that as a solidifier that she didn't want help, because if there isn't reliable service in 2015, there's no way there was reliable service then.

      I'm the same way. If I'm driving a distance, I talk on the phone (or, now, I listen to podcasts), so I totally see what you're saying, but I think that, for at least a portion of her drive, there's no way a call would have even gone through. If I'm wrong about that bit, correct me, but that's kind of what I've come to understand lately.

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  21. Could she be living in a Jaycee Dugard type situation?

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  22. Could she be living in a Jaycee Dugard type situation?

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