Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New Article Explores the Dangers of Investigating Cold Cases Like Maura's Disappearance


I have a new article for Cracked.com today, in which I talk about some of the weird things that have happened to me while investigating Maura's disappearance and other cold cases.

Check it out.

21 comments:

  1. Hello this is my first time ever reading and hearing about this story. I have read every last one of your post about Maura Murray disapperence and it is quite fascinating. I know I am late but my theory is she ran away from her family. Her dad seems like a pedophile( reading some of your blogs that's what I sensed but I may be wrong). Maura purposely crashed those cars to stage a murder so that the family wouldn't have any scrutiny when asked where she was. They needed an alibi so the car crashing was a good one. The second time she crashed her car she probably walked to a getaway car and whoever it was in that car took her to her destination. Her dad doesn't want to speak because he is part of the reason to why Maura wanted to get away in the beginning. You do very great sleauthing. Is there any chance you can do some sleauthing on the Elisa Lam disappearance?? She was a Chinese Canadian women who was rumoured to have a bipolar disorder and one day she decided to take a trip to Santa Cruz and ended up dead at the Cecil hotel in LA. Her last known footage was in an elevator which can be found on YouTube. She was found dead in the hotel water tank. The autopsy revealed that her bipolarness did it however the story has many holes in it. You should research that and crack the case.


    Another interesting case is Kendrick Johnson who went missing in Valdosta Georgia . He was later found in a rolled up gym mat. Many believe that two boys murdered him because he was talking with one of the boys girlfriend. Also it is rumored that the boy who killed KJ father works with the FBI. The autopsy revealed foul play in his death however the Valdosta police will not go further in the case.

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  2. Great article... Again.. Please never stop writing. :)

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  3. Took drive past crashsite looking for "good-place-to-ditch-car". Found snowplow turn. Turned around started stopwatch. 7:28 seconds later was 100 feet from Butch Atwoods house. Stopped in road. This is where you could first see crash. But no way in hell Butch could have seen a vehicle in that spot. The corner is close to 90 degrees and road isn't flat. And his house blocks the view of the inside lane from both directions. They waited...backtracked...picked her up...pulled a u-turn...and left. Less than 8 min. The cops came from the other way.

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  4. If you're ever thinking of another case to look into, I know some that you may find interesting: Joyce Mclain. She was murdered in 1980, at the age of 16, in East Millinocket, Maine. Unfortunately, after all this time, her killer has never been found. Supposedly, a detective who worked her case believes he knows who killed her; but as far as I know, a name has never been released. Her grave was exhumed in 2008, and reports claimed that new evidence was found... but nothing seems to have come out of this. The TV series "Cold Justice" was interested in investigating this case, but Maine's AG shot down the idea claiming it might compromise any chance of finding the killer (an absurd thing to say; if they haven't caught the killer after 3 decades, chances are they won't).

    Also, another case that comes to mind is Jeremy Bright. He disappeared after attending a fair (Coos county fair) in Myrtle Point, OR. Police are all but certain that Jeremy was the victim of foul play, and his sister knows who he was last seen with. Those people are persons of interest but no one has been able to get any useful information out of them. All the family wants is to know where Jeremy's body may be so they can give him a proper burial. At this point, from what I understand, the family isn't even looking for revenge. They just want closure. Police are certain that the persons of interest know exactly what happened to Jeremy, but they aren't talking... and perhaps due to legal reasons, police can't get them to talk.

    Jeremy's case I'm certain is solvable if the right people (who are still alive) would talk. I'm not so sure Joyce's is solvable.. but I hope it is.

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  5. Great read. Thanks for the heads up!

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  6. I read Cracked every day. How did I miss this?

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  7. Great work on the case. To me this is similar to the case of Bradyn Fuksa. It turned out it was a suicide all along.

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    1. The Bradyn Fuksa case remains unsolved. Can you supply a link to your assertion that he committed suiced?

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    2. They found his body on May 5. Don't have the link, found it on YouTube and Google.

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    3. http://www.kshb.com/news/region-kansas/olathe/remains-of-missing-olathe-resident-bradyn-fuksa-found-in-wyoming

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  8. Maura Murray reminds me of Paula Welden--lost in the wilderness, but with indications that something more might be going on.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/welden_paula.html

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  9. Would you be interested into looking at the Kyron Horman case next? I would love to see you or anyone investigate and blog about it. Thank you.

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  10. So I watched a so called documentary online. I think it was on the ID Channel. A few disjunctive things jumped out. First the documentary said she had a cell phone that someone else paid for, but later the documentary said she would use prepaid cards to call people. Which one was it? Was it both? If so why? She had received an upsetting call while at work before she disappeared, had that phone call been traced? Do her friends know why that might have happened? Her belongings where given to her boyfriend. Where he belongings searched and or catalogued by the police for clues? If so what are those clues? If not, then why not? What exactly did she take with her on her trip exactly? Was her car searched for finger prints/ blood/ hair/ etc. at any point after her disappearance? If not, then why not? She was in the nursing program, so did she have access to any medical drugs that would be used for the treatment of sick people? If she did was any of it found to be missing after she disappeared? How about any medical equipment? Did she have any psychiatric problems? Did she have any roommates? Was she known to use any recreational drugs? If she did do we know where she got them? She bought a lot of booze, did she have a drinking problem? Was the credit card fraud her only criminal offence? Did she have any other documented behavioral problems documented by any of the schools she went to? Just some of the things I thought of while watching that show.

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    1. Two other things about the documentary:

      Billy Rausch stumbled over the words "Canadian border." Is this a clue that Maura fled in that direction?

      Fred Murray was "searching" in dress pants and loafers. He's a hiker and must own suitable outdoor wear. How seriously was he searching?

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  11. I thought the gal in the pink and black suit, tending to the wounded girl looked like Maura, probably too young, but....http://abcnews.go.com/US/teens-mauled-separate-shark-attacks-north-carolina-beach/story?id=31762489

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  12. Um, surely by now someone else has commented that "Alden" - the guy in the deeply insane and creepy video - posted on MM Topix for what I think was YEARS - do you have a reason (and not, you'll note, "WHY do you think...?") to believe that he is not directly connected to Maura's disappearance? I've followed all of this since 2004.

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  15. So I watched the Maura Murray documentary and was immediately surprise by a few things. Maura’s father, Fred Murray, seemed very suspicious. Let me explain. I work in insurance and was surprised when he said that he told his daughter not to worry about crashing his brand new car and that the impact to him would be minimal.
    Here’s my problem with this statement, from all accounts Maura Murray was at a party that night, and there is a likelihood that she was intoxicated at the time she crashed her dad’s new vehicle. According to the documentary, the damages exceeded 10K. If she was intoxicated, Fred’s insurance claim would have been denied on account of that not being a covered peril under his insurance. Also, it was a brand new car, did the police investigate to see if Fred even had collision coverage on the vehicle? Did Maura file a police report? If so, was a copy ever done, and did the police do an investigation to find the cause of the crash? Also, to say the impact would be minimum would be flat out lying… His insurance rates would have gone up. It would be considered an at fault claim, and if she was intoxicated it would have been considered high risk to cover, and potentially even loose coverage all together…
    Maura was obviously very stressed out about crashing her dad’s vehicle, is it possible that she was stressed because she feared her dad? A few other things caught my attention. The book that was found in the vehicle. The book was called not without peril. The book speaks about 150 years of misadventure on the presidential range of New Hampshire… From the documentary, we find out that both Maura and her father Fred were avid hikers. Is it possible the reason Maura was going to New Hampshire is because her father Fred invited her to go with him to go hiking, but in reality he was still angry and had other plans… Oh, and the word “peril” is also an insurance term… It seems to me like the book could be a double meaning (somewhat of a calling card).
    Another thing that I found odd was how involved Maura’s father was in the case. He even tried to access the police files. Usually suspects will try to interject themselves in cases to try and find out if the police has information on them, or to lure them the wrong track…. Seems to me like Fred was going a bit far. I read the letter he wrote and it seems that he blames the police of being irresponsible… but he doesn’t really know what the police have since he never got a copy of their files… It seems very fishy. I feel like Fred Murray knows more than he’s letting on. He did not seem like a grieving father, in the documentary he never sheds a tear…. The only emotion I saw was anger! Another thing, I also noticed he was going in the forest and hiking and looking around to find her… Just seemed odd… A lot of loose ends in Fred’s story. I hope they find Maura, but I don’t think they will find her alive.

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  16. James, I’m hoping you can answer a questions for me. I’ve been following this case recently, but it seems that when Maura’s vehicle was found it seemed that the accident had been staged. Do you know if this was ever looked at? It seems like the damage she had on her vehicle would look more like a rear end collision than that of hitting trees.
    Also, I’ve wondered if she was travelling in tandem. I had listened to several video interviews with Maura’s father Fred, and something that he said in an interview stood out for me. He told Maura to put a rag in the tailpipe of her Saturn because he was afraid she would get pulled over because “it was functioning on only 3 cylinders and there was a lot of smoke coming from the tailpipe”.
    This would certainly answer why there was a rag in the tailpipe. It almost seems that Maura’s father Fred was trying to make it seem like suicide. I’ve heard a story recently where a mother and child died when trying to defrost their windows. The reason they died was because there was ice in the tailpipe and they died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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