Saturday, September 12, 2015

Catch-22

I've done a couple interviews lately and some people have pointed out the Catch-22 that has entangled itself around this blog and book. Namely, if I truly believe that Maura ran away from her family, why am I doing their work for them and tracking her down?

I have a few answers to this, none of which are particularly decent.

1. I simply have to know at this point. It's a solution to a difficult mystery.
2. I want to know what Maura Murray would tell us about Fred and family.
3. I want to prove she's alive but I will happily keep her location secret in exchange for that knowledge. Which is another way of saying, give me what I want and I'll go away.

So. Is it a worthy pursuit?

Why do you search for Maura Murray?

66 comments:

  1. James, I really think that you are on to something with the run away theory. I am not sure who you interviewed but why are some people defensive of the thought that she might be alive. It must have been something pretty awful that took place if Maura had run away from from her family for this length of time.We know that Vasi didn't die so she couldn't be charged with vehicular homicide.

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  2. "give me what I want and I'll go away," is actually a line from Storm of the Century, a spooky Stephen King mini-series from 1999.

    I just wanted to mention this, even though it brings no relevancy to your post. Just thought it was interesting, nonetheless.

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  5. It makes sense to me. Imagine suddenly stopping the investigation just because it could be leaving to an unexpected answer.
    I love NCIS and Gibbs rules.. My Gibb's gut says that she premeditated leaving on her own accord... Crashed the car to cover up evidence of the hit and run. She covered her bases at school so people would believe she was handling a personal matter, returned the jacket so that person wasn't asking about where she was. And the computer searches were intended to make it look like she could be going to any one of those places... Confusing an investigation.
    Gibb's rules say there is no such thing as coincidences ... That 8-10 minutes when she disappeared by happen chance isn't likely. And she said don't send help ... I take that to mean she needed time to get away...

    I don't recall, but has the car drivable after the accident?


    It bugs me that her car is still sitting in police custody... It's just weird.

    Thank you for the great work and honesty throughout your investigation. Please! Keep going! You got my vote of confidence!

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    2. Accident forms for MA and NH are likely different. From my experience with accidents in MA, some police departments have required me to fill out the report (and have handed me the form) and some have filled it out themselves. Since I haven't had an accident in Hadley, MA or Amherst, MA, I don't know which way they go on accident reports (or how they did it back in 2004). If Fred asked Maura for 3 forms, there could have been a third accident in MA that we don't know about or he asked for an extra in case she made a mistake on one (or so he could proof it and offer suggestions to make her look less at fault - I do believe most of us would spin it in our favor, if possible).

      One think *I* don't understand is I believe I have heard/read that when Maura's car was found in North Haverhill, NH, the airbags had deployed *and* there was a spider-crack in the windshield from the inside, leading to speculation that Maura had hit her head on the windshield. Doesn't the airbag prevent someone from hitting the windshield in a crash? Did the bus driver report seeing blood on Maura's forehead? Was blood found in the car, or only what was reported to be wine?

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    3. The windshield crack was most likely a result of the airbag deployment.

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    7. Per the Motor Vehicle Crash Operator Report in MA you are advised to send one to the police department, one to your insurance company and one to the RMV. This could be why Fred told her to get 3. On the form it states:

      Where to send completed reports:
      Mail or deliver one copy to the local police
      department or state police in the city or town
      where the crash occurred.
      Mail one copy to your Insurance Company.
      Mail one copy to the RMV at the following
      address:
      Crash Records
      Registry of Motor Vehicles
      P.O. Box 55889
      Boston, MA 02205-5889

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  6. Just to be clear I'm not actually "searching" for Maura Murray. I come to this blog because it is about as obvious as the day is long that this chick skipped town and I find the "search" for her to be interesting. I also find it to be interesting that even in the face of the evidence that this chick ran off that people think it was a serial killer or some such deal. While a serial killer or some other such calamity can't be ruled out at this point, the evidence is what it is and she's out there somewhere, probably living in some small town somewhere and going to the local PTA meetings, or working as a barmaid.

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    2. I'm not searching either. I have been fascinated since day one, when I first heard about it in the local media. I live in Western Massachusetts and my family has property in Haverhill, NH, not far from the site Maura was last seen.

      From the earliest reports, I have assumed she "skipped town" over something that made her distraught. I have only just recently found this blog and have a renewed interest in the case. In fact, I found this blog through podcasts by two men who are planning a documentary.

      The information in this blog (and the podcasts) contains all new revelations to me. I did not know about Maura's past brushes with the law nor that her family hasn't been particularly active in the search for her.

      If she did run away and assume a new identity, she must be doing a great job of staying out of trouble. Whatever caused her to run may have been a wake-up call to her, and I'm sure she would have matured in the past 11 years.

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  7. I have seen Maura in Northern Va. She noticed me staring and was gone...

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    1. I would like to hear more about this. Could you email me? jameswrenner@gmail.com

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    3. Isn't that where Julie Murray is located? May have likely been mistaken identity.

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    4. Strange coincidence, I just found out yesterday that sis JM is relatively near there, maybe MM was visiting her?

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  10. I believe you said in your interview with Tim that Fred was waiting at the dormrooms for him to bring his Pickup truck to load her stuff. What kind of pickup truck did he have? Does it look like/ or similar to the one witnesses saw?

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  11. I believe if you keep at it Maura will be found eventually. It would be nice if she would come forward and tell her story. I think more people will understand than scrutinize her than maybe she realizes.
    Perhaps she thinks she might have to pay back for the searches. Maybe if she knew she wouldn't have to, just maybe shed come out.
    Maura's mom died on her birthday, Do you think Maura could of went and saw her mom that day on her B-Day. Then her mom felt peace to pass on? Its just odd she died on her Bday.
    Do you believe it was Maura that several different people saw at Julies house but Julie answered and said Nope just me?


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    2. I believe there's been several instances over the years. One I think was in 2011, police responded quickly , driving to a home, only to discover Julie Murray at the door.

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    5. That's a good question. I'm not sure if she let the police in to check. When I read it , it sounded to me like they took her word for it. If you type in the search engibe, Maura Murray sightings at Julies it'll bring these sightings up. Apparently this happened several times.

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  12. To me, the search entails accepting whatever truth you might find. People make compelling arguments for multiple scenarios. I simply can't run with just one, because to an extent there are many possibilities that may have occurred. Sure, I have my own opinion and ultimately everyone else does, too. But until we have a credible proof she's alive or dead, we're all on the same page here with our speculation.

    In the end, I don't look at this under the scope that she is missing, there's no body, so therefore she must be alive. There's a lot of possibilities here. However, being we are past 10 years missing now, I can't say that I would be shocked if she was eventually found deceased.

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  13. What would be very ironic is if Fred were actually telling the truth that Maura's reasons for heading North have nothing to do with her disappearance. He could know this precisely because he was in on her plan (whatever it was) and therefore knows for a fact that it went off the rails somehow (kidnapping, getting lost in the woods, etc.). The problem is he can't just expect people to accept that without explanation.

    Like some others (I wouldn't say a majority or a minority - I have no way of knowing that) I have a gut feeling that Fred's reticence about Maura's troubles has much to do with a sense of privacy and "decency" (not wanting to expose his daughters perhaps unseemly private life to the world), The trouble is, at what point - after how many years - do you say "oh, to hell with that - here's what was going on, let's find her"). The fact that he has not changed his tune gives credence to the feeling that he wither a) knows why she left and can't say for any number of reasons b) knows where she is c) both or d) he's really, really obsessive about privacy and clinging onto the image of Maura as a "good girl." Given what we know, I'd think it could be any of those things.

    To answer the question, even if you believe Maura ran from her family and is still alive, is attempting to track her down publicly a worthy pursuit. In this case, yes, because there are literally dozens of different plausible scenarios. It would be a far different story if there was a documented history of abuse or threats to her life or anything like that. For example, it would certainly not be okay to do a blog like this about a battered woman who perhaps faked a disappearance to escape her abusive husband. But then again even in that scenario, it would be worth looking into whether she actually disappeared or the husband just made it look that way.

    At the end of the day, more than solving a mystery, I think we all want to make sure that Maura is okay - whether that means living a new life in safety or resting in peace. I think we all feel like we owe it to this compelling woman (and for some reason, yes she has compelled us) to follow up and make sure she's okay - whatever that means.

    And if she is alive somewhere, I think we'd all like to know how she's doing because she did not seem to be doing well before she left. Some people go through a stage like that in their youth and some people don't grow out of it. It would be interesting to find out which camp Maura fell into (I tend to believe, no matter how low she sank, she'd tend to remain "functional.")

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  14. For me, it's like you, because it's a mystery, and I'm drawn to mysteries. Furthermore, because I want Maura to be alive, but I think this is unlikely. I think she either committed suicide or succumbed to the elements and simply hasn't been found. But there is another likely scenario that drives me to wanting this case solved: there is also a good chance that she was the victim of foul play. And especially if this latter possibility is true, then she deserves to be found and the person who did this to her needs to be brought to justice. And I suspect that you also have it in the back of your mind that there is always a chance that she is a homicide victim, even if it's not your primary theory.

    But, if Maura is alive, and if you did find her, that does not mean she'd tell you anything about her family, or why she ran away. She might just ask you to go away and keep her location a secret. In fact, she might even ask that you don't even reveal that you've found her, so that people don't know for sure that she's still alive.

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  15. Call William Dear! He is the best PI and might have some lawyer friends in MA.

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  16. I have only read about this story for a month or so, and have not read everything on this blog about it. However, to those who say she ran away,do you think she has contacted her father, sister and they know where she is but are not saying; or do you think she has not contacted anyone from her past?

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    1. I think she has probably made contact with someone & threatened to drag them into any repercussions if she is exposed.this would explain her friends & familys reluctance to look for her.

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    2. I think after the disappeared show aired, Maura possibly reached out to a family member/friend and told them to stop looking. I think there's a very good chance that at least one or two family members know where she is and if not, they have an idea of where she is.



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  17. Do you think the police have video of Maura at Butsons? The video would of came from the ATM surveillance camera? When the police say they have ATM video could it be this sighting there talking about?
    In Fred's statement to UMASS, he said Maura and Kate were looking at wine? Did they buy wine with Fred Sat. Night? They were looking at wine Sat. Night and Maura had a case of Franzia wine in her car at the time of her disappearance.

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    1. I was thinking about why the police won't release the ATM video. And thought perhaps because its the footage of her and two friends. On the 20/20 episode where it was Maura and Brooke, in Brooke's case they knew about a blue van, they didn't tell the family or public.
      Theres something on the ATM video they don't want the public to know.

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    1. The dozens of comment deletions you make on every post make reading comments and gleaning information difficult. It's really irritating. Is there a reason you delete everything you say?

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    2. For the most part people are asking the same questions after I just post them, the same questions need to be asked over and over on the same page, that is irritating.

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  23. I was reading through the documents given to Fred and several statements/ things in there, were interesting to me
    I thought it was said Kathleen was the one who informed Fred of Maura being missing. I think at one point Fred said the police told him.
    In the documents it says On the evening of Feb. 10 the police contacted Freddie Murray
    ( Maura's brother) thinking it was the person who owned the car, which is Maura's father.
    So did Freddie call Kathleen, then Kathleen call Fred?
    On Feb. 10, a BOLO went out for Maura Murray, which said upon the officers arrival, found the car, no driver, apparently involved in an accident, with a rag stuffed in the tailpipe. This was said by the police and before Fred arrived in Haverhill.
    Early on in the investigation, the media accounts reported that state police had concluded Maura had
    1. Gone missing voluntarily
    2. Committed suicide
    3. Succumb to the elements
    The state police concluded that Maura had not been the victim of foul play or been abducted against her will.
    In the documents, it says authorities are exploring 4 scenarios.
    1. Least likely- committed suicide- no note. Good grades, good relationships
    2. Unlikely- intoxicated, she ventured into the woods and was overcome by the elements
    3.- brief window of time- she was picked up by someone who abducted or killed her. Authorities believe the odds of a violent crime, coincidentally coming across her on the rural rd are as remote as the location in itself.
    4- picked up by passeby, taken to a bus station and fled the area,- possibly with little idea of the anguish she left behind.
    In another part of the documents, Fred says the police dept. Is to small and they need outside help. For example, I had to go to the bus station myself and look into this possibility. So police think she could of left from a bus station and Fred had to look into this possibility. Could Maura of left from a bus station?
    There's also a part that says " Mr. Murray no longer believes maura is in the area, adding to his frustration that the police lack the resources to do more. He wants the FBI involved, but there has to be evidence of foul play involved first. Is this why the guy gave Fred a knife that was said to be used to harm Maura. Because he knew for the FBI to get involved there had to be evidence of foul play, and Fred knows without the FBI hell never find Maura. Its almost Like Fred knows she isn't in the area no longer. He doesn't m
    Fred was wanting reports and call logs 4 months after Maura disappeared. Did he feel the police were that incompett or was he wanting to see what witnesses had said and what the police know.
    I think the police know a lot more then what they have led on.

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  24. Did Freddie smoke? If there was a man at the crash could it of been Freddie ( Maura's brother) ?

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  25. For me it's a fascination with the mystery, as well as trying to make logical sense of the puzzle, the facts that we know (or think we know). I just want to know.

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  26. I agree when not release the ATM footage? Maybe they don't have it? The police botched this from the beginning thinking she ran off to avoid cops due to drinking and driving and they figured we will track her down "Tmr" and didn't do police work the night of the crash!

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  27. Maura leaves UMASS around 3:40 makes two stops. Liquor store and ATM . She most likely was on the road by 4:10.
    From UMASS to Haverhill, NH is about 2 hrs and 10 mins . She wrecked around 7-7:30. Took Maura between 3 and 3.5 hours to the crash site. What is she doing for the extra 1-1.5 , perhaps at Butsons with 2 friends( she was seen an hr before wreck) then headed to McDonalds. If this was Maura, then it would explain where the 1-1.5 went.

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  28. In many ways,the disappearance of Maura Murray is a near-perfect puzzle. It seems that there should be enough information available to solve that puzzle, but there are tantalizing gaps in the evidence.(At least, in the publicly disclosed evidence.I think we have to assume that law enforcement knows much that they are not revealing, and legitimately so.)Many persons, myself included, are simply fascinated by that puzzle.

    That's a legitimate reason for curiosity, but there are broader,more significant reasons. A crime may have been committed against Ms Murray.If she disappeared with the knowledge of family members, then those persons have committed the crime of making false statements to investigators. A competent adult has the right to disappear, but no-one has the right to waste public resources and mislead investigators by misrepresenting such a disappearance. If family members are genuinely ignorant, compassion demands that they get a chance to learn what really happened to Maura Murray.

    I don't know if anyone has explored this possibility, but it seems to me that there are only a limited number of ways for someone to disappear and create a new identity in this post-9/11, security-conscious, identity-theft conscious age.The simplest way would be to join some group that lives communally,such as a convent or religious cult. Northern New Hampshire and Vermont are home to a number of groups of that kind. It would be a difficult possibility to investigate.Such groups tend to be secretive. Without pre-existing evidence, investigators would have limited power to ask for information about the members and internal structure of such groups.

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    1. Some years after the disappearance, Maura's sister Kathleen was apparently involved with members of The Missisiquoi Council Abenaki Nation, an unrecognized tribe based in Swanton VT where she was arrested in 2011. Fits the description of the type of group but the timeline is probably off - I'm not sure she had her contacts there at the time of the crash..

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  29. Hey listen all you have to do in this so called catch-22 scenario is to post a response on this blog. "There is no longer a need to continue searching for Maura." That is all that would be required. You've already outlined explicitly what that would mean Mr. Blog Owner/ Writer Dude. So there is your answer, write what I've articulated above and maybe put a link to your little catch 22 explanation. Full on idiots and those suffering from the darkness of a coma wont be able to figure out the goings on, but I thing everyone else would break the code.

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  30. Was Billy planning on proposing to Maura on Valentines Day?

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  32. I'm interested in the case because, as so many others have said, there are a number of different things which could explain Maura's disappearance, but none of them can be ruled out because we know practically nothing about what, if anything, substantive the police turned up during the course of their investigation. While I lean towards thinking she was either abducted or knocked on the wrong person's door, I really have no more (or less) evidence to support my theories than the posters who think there was a tandem driver and she ran away to start a new life, or the posters who think she simply succumbed to the elements in the woods. Unfortunately, as the years go by, the chances increase that the case will never be solved.

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