Friday, February 13, 2015

What Is the Connection to Killarney, Ireland?

When I visited Fred's old house in Weymouth a few years ago, I discovered a few very odd things. Firstly, at the time of Maura's disappearance, the bank had a lien on the home due to unpaid taxes. Fred was living there with his brother. And one or both of them were hoarders of the nth degree. Windows looked in on a kitchen where dog food cans and empty 24-pack boxes of Coors were piled four-feet-high - literally to the kitchen countertops.

There was an outbuilding that had recently collapsed, and near it were piles of old mail and magazines addressed to Fred. Among them was the adult magazine in which I found xeroxed photographs of young girls tucked inside the pages -- the girls turned out to be Fred's cousins.

Next to the magazines was a municipal map of the small town of Killarney, Ireland. At some point near the time of Maura's disappearance, a member of the Murray family took a trip there. It seems an odd place and location to travel for a vacation and I've always wondered about this. It's another question that could easily be answered by the family but to date they've said nothing about it.


  1. Killarney is one of Ireland's major tourist destinations. After Dublin, it is probably THE major tourist destination. In summer, it probably has more Americans and Germans than locals. In this kind of mystery, one has to look at every aspect, but if somebody is going to visit Ireland at all, Killarney is a very natural destination.

  2. I wanted to offer some additional facts about this, as well as my conclusions. See part 2 below for the conclusions.


    • Daniel Murray, the owner of the house and Fred's brother, died in 2006.

    • My understanding of collector's liens in Massachusetts is this: (1) after 14 days in arrears on property taxes, the tax collector can issue a collector's lien, which means taking ownership of the property, but not possession, (2) a lien is on ownership, but it is not a seizure of the property, and thus, in the case of a home, the former owner has a right to continue living there during some statutory period while they try to pay off the tax bill, (3) once that statutory period is up, the tax authority can seize the property, meaning that in addition to owning it, they seize it, evict the former owner and unless they decide to, the tax authority no longer has to accept a tender of the back taxes by the former owner, and (4) thereafter, typically, a sherriff's sale occurs.

    • The notice served on 22 Walker on February 6, 2004 (which Renner posted here was the first thing: a lien, not a seizure. You can tell this by the "14 days" language in the text, as well as the statutory refs, although the specific statutes have been modified since then and the reference to section 4 is no longer valid.

    • Having visited the neighborhood, I can tell you that it is a comfortable and nice middle class place where most of the neighbors have a pride in the appearance of their homes. As such, the value of the property at 22 Walker - even with the derelict structure still standing on it - is easily much greater than the amount due on the lien. This suggests that the house was abandoned and that nobody was interested in living there.

    • In talking with two neighbors in the vicinity of the house, one directly next door, I learned that the house had been vacant and abandoned for quite a few years as of the summer of 2013. It was - for certain - eventually seized by the tax authorities. We know this because eventually the residents were able to get the city or county to securely board up access to the house to keep out squatters who were living there.

    • The house could not have been thus boarded up when James visited in 2011, and thus said squatters could have been living there between 6 and 9 years, depending on whether the house was abandoned before of after the seizure and depending on what exactly the relevant statutorily defined period is between issuance of the lien and seizure.

    • A neighbor on Richmond Street remembered the Murrays and stated that a relative of theirs still lives "across the street" from 22 Walker.

    ... see some observations/conclusions based on these facts in part 2, below ....


    • It is possible that the original collector's lien was issued when Daniel became sick/incapacitated and could no longer pay the bill.

    • Nothing would have stopped Fred from living there for a period of years after the issuance of the February 6 notice. It does not imply that Fred was "losing his home."

    • Given that a second mortgage or sale would easily have cleared up the tax bill, it suggests that Daniel was way over-leveraged, upside down on the house, and that he or his estate upon his death simply abandoned it.

    • One obvious possible explanation for James' discovery of the adult mag with the pictures of Fred's cousin slid inside is that a homeless squatter found the pictures in the house and got off on associating them with a dirty mag he had, maybe voyeuristically getting off on going through the stuff in the home. James, what was the date on the magazine?

    • I find it interesting that Maura grew up for a time in one house, and disappeared quite near another house that both: (1) had tiny amounts of taxes overdue, (2) that were far less than the value of the properties, even as they went derelict and unusable, (3) that had been nonetheless subjected to collector's liens and eventual seizures by tax authorities, (4) that there is a character mysteriously associated with one of those houses who now is in federal prison for medicaid fraud out of a bogus Brockton acupuncture clinic, who at one time had some kind of property fraud scheme going on. It probably means nothing, but it is hard not to notice this.

    ~ John Green

  4. John,

    Did you look at other properties in the vicinity of Maura's disappearance to see what their tax status was in 2004? It seems somewhat common to pay taxes late and be pegged with #'s 1 and 2 before getting current. I just don't see much remarkable in points 1 - 3 as a whole. This process is common across the country for unpaid taxes. You can probably pick any 2 points in the US at random and find houses in the vicinity that have similar tax statuses.

    And yes, your # 4 is interesting yet equally unremarkable in reference to Maura's disappearance as it only applies to the house relatively near the area she disappeared from. There does not appear to be any other connection to Maura.

    Your Old Peters Road/Maura connection is interesting but really lacks substance. I was hoping you had found something more when I started reading your post. Something beyond property tax status is going to be needed to make this theory a thing. Good Luck, I hope you are still researching.

    1. Hi Bill.

      Thanks for your comment.

      I "abutter reports," which are lot maps with lot numbers on them, for all the properties on Swiftwater, McGuire, OPR, and 112 between Swiftwater and BHR, including a house on the corner of BHR and 112 with an address on BHR. Many properties have the same map in their abutter report, so there were a total of 5 to 7 maps total that covered this area. The maps had no info about owners or tax status. So I then had to go to a public computer and drive in Haverhill Town Hall to get the latest transaction report for each lot, looking them up one by one. After these were cross referenced, I had a list of the owner and last owner of every one of those lots. Then it was back to the Tax Collector's office to get the status of each property. Incidentally, some of the lots back on OPR are still owned by the ML association.

      The house in question was the only one with a collector's lien issued against it.

      Your statement that "you can probably pick any 2 points in the US at random and find houses in the vicinity that have similar tax statuses" is likely incorrect. According to the tax collector in Grafton County, they are rare. There are typically many actions taken by a tax collector before they issue the lien, including notices, threats to report to credit bureaus, etc. This because they have discretion. Note, in MA, for instance the statutory language says "can" issue a lien, not "must." Tax collector's measure their success in terms of total percent of taxes due collected + interest on tax debts - operational costs. If the tax due is late but they feel they will get it, engaging the cost of issuing the lien and the legal issues it can raise is something they don't do.

      Moreover, both of these properties had long outstanding debts that eventually resulted in seizure of the property - and they both were clearly abandoned by their owner over VERY tiny debts compared to the worth of the property. So even if your point about lien's being quite common were correct (which I believe I have demonstrated that it is not), a noteworthy similarity between the properties remains: both were abandoned and seized over a debt that is tiny compared to the worth of the land, even with a derelict structure sitting on it.

      Finally, I did not state that I had any theory about the house on OPR. I explicitly said that I offered it as an observation. Not sure why you felt the need to characterize what I said as a "theory" and address it on those terms, but thanks for your comment.

      For whatever it is worth, sources I have in the Tax Collector's office and Haverhill PD told me that the day the lien was issued - and thus the property became owned by the county - the CCU and someone for Haverhill PD entered and searched it.

      Bill, have you heard from Sam lately? I wonder what he would say about this?

      ~ John Green

    2. John,

      No I haven't seen anything of Sam in some time, I am sure he will make an appearance eventually.

      Perhaps theory was inaccurate. I do know from the past you have a serious interest in OPR and you have mentioned it a time or two in your recent postings. That indicates to me that you do have some sort of theory, even if you haven't posted one as such.

      I am not a researcher so it goes to show that perceptions are faulty and people lie. I didn't think it was "cool" to have a tax lien, but I guess in NH it is, because I hear it frequently. I am not a property owner here, but owned several properties in NY and the lien action was swift, even if they did drag it out after that. They would attach the lien quickly, then it would take many years before they actually got around to selling it at auction.


    3. Hey Bill,

      Thanks for the comment. I have in fact talked a lot about the red house, so I see your point.

      My view: it is at least as interesting and as equally probably irrelevant as and Rick F.

      I never found a tangible connection, but tantalizing possibilities lurk. It is just there, being interesting.

      You might be right about tax liens. I shared what I know about them in NH and generally. Perhaps room exists for both our informations to fit in the same scenario? Specifically, the tax collector does not issue them often, but maybe she was telling me generally that it is really hard to have your property actually taken by us in words that were not precise. Thus, she may issue more than she suggested to me. (I have to be clear this was a person in the office, not the tax collector himself). But many get issued with the realization that people just don't give a shit and pay up when they get the lien.

      I think through this useful discussion we can agree on a salient point: it is exceedingly rare for a house to be abandoned with a tax lien on it and eventually be seized, when the tax amount due on it is very small compared to the value of the property even with the cost implied by structure on it that has crumbled due to neglect. Both properties had been owned a long time and likely were not upside down.

      Consider the ways in which people get behind on their taxes:

      (1) They don't have the money to pay them, in which case the short solution is either sell or get a second mortgage. Even if upside down (and neither was), adding a couple thousand to cutting your losses with the bank is preferable to destroying your credit and finances.

      (2) They die with no heirs, in which case intestate laws dispose of the properties in accordance with certain procedures. Note that the person who owned the OPR house had an two direct heirs and a wife who is still alive (though incapacitated). One of those heirs or the trustee of the wife's affairs had to say "f___ the property" when - by paying a little attention - they easily could have made at least a few thousand dollars and maybe a lot more by selling.

      (3) They die with heirs ... cut to the last sentences of above.

      Do you agree with me - in this context and more specifically - that not many residential at all, at least in zip codes that are not being swallowed up by socioeconomic destitution (e.g., in Detroit), are found in such a state, physically and financially? It is very rare I think.

      I would even offer this: the condition of both houses suggest and inheriting owner who has some bizarre, very atypical interest in owning the property for a while, but not one that is great enough to take simple actions that would perpetuate that ownership and work to their clear financial advantage. It suggests the disorganized thinking or the inherent dismissive disposition toward legal processes typical of a criminal.

      Alas, I could find no firm connection. It is just like just about everything else we have ... interesting, possibly relevant but more likely not.

      For whatever it is worth, in my opinion, weird people may tend to have weird interests in a propriety defined by the above conditions. In each case, there is a known weird person lurking. One of them ties to Maura closely and the other does not, despite the latter being her age, having crossed paths with her in terms of institutional involvements, and living within 22 miles of the Londonderry Tower in February 2004.

      Thanks for your input. Your constructively critical assessment sharpened my thoughts on this. Happy to hear more thoughts. Happy to share more and discuss more with you my email if you'd like (john888green@gmail ... an offer that applies to everyone else.)

      ~ John Green

  5. James, Thank you for the regular postings. It is appreciated.

    John, Thanks for your postings on this, it brings it more into focus.

    FM seems to be a dichotomy of sorts. Could the dissolution of his marriage caused him to move in with his brother and sink into a slovenly existence for a time? A cheating wife would be a catastrophic blow to the ego for most men, especially ones that choose to protect social images over realities.

    I would lean towards it not being related. We have detailed county maps of Sevierville County in Tennessee. That is because the Smoky Mountains are a favored destination and we use the maps to navigate the mountain roads to avoid traffic. So it may be used for planning in a vacation. I don't think MM would leave something like this behind.
    And if you're helping your daughter run away would you toss out your escape plan and be@t-off mags to the open dump in the back yard?

    Who knows. It would be neat to hear she is living in Ireland.

    Has there been any identification of the bodies found near some woods in Brockton behind a VFW?

    1. looks they have been id'd

  6. It looks like they're not Maura's....

  7. Perhaps an search of the Murray family might shed some light

  8. Am I the only one that thinks it's strange that Maura's "official" facebook page run by "the family" seems to focus on posting stories about a lot of other missing people, but the second someone posts about Maura, they pretty much get shot down for having any ideas? Just finding that odd right now...

    1. Her family had her dead and buried in their own minds within days of her having gone missing, so it is par for the course that anything that deviates from that paradigm is seen as being preposterous. What would be strange to the point of bigfoot being elected president and dogman vice president would be if they entertained any ideas save the ones they have thoroughly vetted and of course any such ideas had better have as the central proposition that Maura was murdered by a roving stranger intent on killing whomever he ran in to and, wouldn't you know it, Maura was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    2. A hack actor barely able to read his western movie cue cards and the daft kid from mad magazine (as figure head for a bunch of Nixon cronies) got elected president. Don't speak too soon John.

    3. My own feeling ...

      Maura was in the RIGHT place (or pretty close to the place she purposefully intended to be for a damned good, if unknown reason) at the WRONG time, but once she left UMASS that day, there may not have been a right time.

      ~ John Green

  9. @melios I've noticed that and also don't understand how it's not updated more about Maura, even if it's just refreshing the facts, keeping the case alive.

  10. I see mixed messages coming from the family. Fred makes the statement about telling Maura that he and she can work it out (something to that nature and then her brothers song suggests that she ran from her troubles. Then you hear Fred with the scumbag and squaw walk comment along with Citigirls statement that they believe she is dead from what they know.

  11. The thing that I can't get out of my mind is when Citigirl got in my grill for asking for her help in supplying me posters to plaster the area . She told me that she has spent thousands and that I needed to go print them myself. She got angry and huffy that I asked for a supply of posters to help their relative. BIZZARE to say the least.

  12. This poor woman just died in the White Mountains. Horrible conditions.

  13. There is a surprising lack of stories/updates/features on her story around the anniversary of her disappearance this year. I think that is rather telling in itself. So sad. I hope every year that the little bit of publicity she gets around that time would bring forward new info or new witnesses.

  14. To me this all points to the family knowing what happened to Maura. They never plead for information or anything like that. All they do is try their damndest to shut down any talk about mauras life before she disappeared. Too bad law enforcement has taken no notice of this. This case would be solved by now if they had.

    1. You might be right Rose as that has crossed my mind before . They seem certain that she is dead. Either they have info that she is dead or they know she ran away and are protecting her personal demons.

  15. In the court docs I do remember something to the fact that they know of Mauras last location. Some say it must be the car but I feel it must be another local. JMO

  16. If Maura's family's hiding something and/or protecting her disappearance, you would think they would delete the fb page to stop drawing awareness. But they're not deleting it.. Yet there not making much effort. Everybody knows that social media is such a crucial part of today's society. For example..
    I've followed the disappearance of Brittanee Drexel since I've first seen that episode on Disappeared as well and even though they don't have any new leads, they know the answers lay within the last few minutes of who she was with/texting. A friend of the family created a new fb page "Brittanee Marie Drexel still missing" and they update it consistently of images and info about last people she was seen with or that know something. Daily. Its great to see how many people follow it but even greater how it's constantly bringing awareness, and also in hopes of someone talking soon.

    My point is that if Maura's family had nothing to hide and really wanted to find the truth, they would encourage her best friends and siblings to talk. Even if it's 11 years later. I wish Maura's friends would open up more in some way. I think her sister Kathleen knows more than Fred.

  17. So wait, this statement:

    "At some point near the time of Maura's disappearance, a member of the Murray family took a trip there."

    Is this speculation, or a known fact? If speculation, what exactly makes you think that? And if it's fact... a.) who was it, b.) was it before or after Maura disappeared, c.) how is that known?

    1. Exactly what I was wondering,or thinking.

    2. I find this story to be extremely sad. Maura's family appears to be rather dysfunctional. It's hard to believe she's still missing given the fact that even bodies eventually turn up. No one disappears for years and comes walking in the door of a relative still alive. For that reason I find it useless to speculate about her being alive in Ireland. If that's a correct understanding of the Ireland posting.

      I have no idea what the tax lien has to do with the investigation into her disappearance. What am I missing on that? The sighting of Maura by the ten year old seems bogus to me. If that were true then why didn't his aunt report that to the police? Any woman running from some men would make me call the police immediately.

      I've been following Maura's disappearance for about three years. Her family is not interested in finding her. Why? What did her father do to her as a child that makes her disappearance so convenient? I pray Maura is somewhere that she is in peace and no longer being harmed. I have been following Brittany Drexel's disappearance for two years and find it to be simply horrifying. She just disappeared from the middle of Myrtle Beach which I just don't understand. Unlike Maura's disappearance Brittany was not in an isolated area.

      It's so sad to think that some in our society are evil predators that see a young woman as their prey. I can't imagine the horror that these two young women went through. I hope that someday someone will find the truth about both of these innocent girls. I wish someone would feature these cases on national television to bring them both to the attention of everyone in America. SOMEONE knows what happened to these women. SOMEONE must come forward and tell us why they're gone. The truth is out there and we need to find it.

  18. I think the connection with the tax lien and the case is that his house was delinquent on taxes yet he had 4k ready to buy a car. Some question whether Fred was even buying her a car because Maura never mentioned it to anyone including her friends.

    I wonder if the 4k was a payoff to keep Maura quiet from coming forward about mis conduct (Fred) towards Maura. Pure speculation on my part

    1. And Fred had a new car himself, jwb.

      I don't think the $4,000 was a payoff to keep Maura quiet or to buy her a car, but a means for her to escape. For whatever reason, is a major key to her disappearance. The way Fred removed money from several ATM is such a bizarre way to pay for a used car for Maura. I don't think the money was for a car at all. I believe she had the $4,000 when she left for Haverhill. Did Maura take the money from Fred's hotel room or did he give it to her?

  19. I find Maura's case to be haunting. I search online occasionally in hopes of some kind of news regarding her. Did the police search for her in the woods when they 1st got to the location where her car was wrecked? I have been unclear about this.

  20. Great blog Killarney is one of Ireland's major tourist destinations. After Dublin, it is probably THE major tourist destination. In summer, it probably has more Americans and Germans than locals. In this kind of mystery, one has to look at every aspect, but if somebody is going to visit Ireland at all, Killarney is a very natural destination.Thanks for sharing...........

    Student Accommodation in Huddersfield | Student accommodation close to Huddersfield University