A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
FM's letters seem emotional, but overly verbose. There is a disjointedness that makes me think no one with any business writing experience proof read the letters. In a way it makes them seem a little more sincere. Love the podcasts, but I think Lance and Tim are playing with fire trying to coax that Alden Olsen into an interview. There is a reason you don't pet pit bulls chained to a tree. However keep the podcasts coming it is great to hear them. Wonder if they've ever thought of interviewing posters like John Green?
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My new favorite comment ever "There is a reason you don't pet pit bulls chained to a tree." Love it:)
very funny :)
I don't think that's laughable at all- I think having former cons examine cases is a good thing! I was just reading about this subject the other day, there have been so many cases solved, from murders to robberies, that were aided by criminal input. When you're having an issue with your computer, you call your friend who knows IT to help you trouble shoot, because he knows what to look for. While of course this is oversimplification, many experienced criminals have inside knowledge and share similar thought processes that can truly help the police. While I'm not sold on the fact this was the working of a serial killer, I think Maura took a ride from the wrong person in desperation, and something went wrong. Whether it was a hardened criminal, or someone's first time is unknown.
To be clear, Ted Bundy actually didn't help "find" the Green River Killer. Gary ridgeway was "found" through DNA evidence and paint specks actually...about 12 or 13 years after Bundy was executed.However. Bundy DID had Gary ridgeway pegged. The information he have Bob keppel and other Washington investigators was scarily accurate. He actually told them they should stake out a fresh grave if they found one as he was sure the green river killer was returning to the bodies...he was and if they'd found a fresh grave, they indeed might have caught him much earlier. It wasn't Ted's fault his information didn't help because Gary ridgeway was pretty random (prostitutes, normal guy, good job, etc)...it literally took DNA to catch him. But I agree that Ted Bundy had it right...scarily right. He thought of himself as the serial killer expert and he just may have been. I think there's a lot of people in prison who could give a lot of good information...scary speculations.
Listen no one has made any effort to see if she had any local "boyfriends" either that she had been contemporaneously involved with or who she was casually involved with. So I honestly doubt anyone will look into what you've brought up.
"boyfriends" is plural.
Anon- In regards to your post "no one has made an effort to see if she had any local 'boyfriends'" --- how are you so sure of that? That's one of the first things law enforcement will look for in cases like this. Going through computer and phone records, etc. Remember in the big picture of things, we know VERY little of what law enforcement have and have not done, and what exactly they know, as most of the records were not released...Fred couldn't even get them! I'd be shocked if that had not been thoroughly examined with a fine tooth comb.
Blogs like this one is where we come to challenge each other and I'm glad you have in your post above. We can only speculate as to what the police have or have not done with a lot of this case. From what I've seen not much has been done really by people outside of the police force, and even inside the police force, to pursue this angle. This assertion may wind up being incorrect in the future or even now, but as it stands no positive evidence exists on this blog or elsewhere that I have read that indicates it has been pursued. Therefore with a lack of evidence conclusively ruling out a particular line of reasoning, the line of reasoning stands, it doesn't make that line of reasoning true mind you, it just means that it can't be ruled out.
I didn't think its known Maura had a black eye, thought it was just suspected she might of . A real easy way to solve that question is to see the ATM video but the police won't make it public. I know personally, if I saw a young woman with a man mouthing " help me" , I'd been on the phone immediately with police, getting a car desrciption, and trying my hardest to get a tag number. This person got no tag number, and possibly no desription of the car. I definetly think they should take a hard look at Alden , because of his tauntings. Its possible but is it plausible? I would think Maura would of took a ride from the bus driver before taking a ride from him.
Fred said " cases get solved from tips from 2 to 3 days or they go cold forever". I find this statement odd and hypercritical. He didn't do a formal statement for 2 years but critizes the police. At this time he hadnt done his formal statement. Fred failed to mention this in his letter and that hes withholding important information. Like the Butson sighting and what maura was doing for the past five days before her disappearance. Doesn't Fred know the days leading up to someone's disappearance could hold the key to what happened to them? I'm sure he does and that's why he has repeadly said the past doesn't matter. Im almost positive Fred knows if he said what she was up to, it'll lead to some very important clues. I find it strange that the guy handed Fred over a knife and not the police. I could be wrong: but didn't this guys brother ( who he said harmed Maura) married a woman who's mother had disappeared at the Route 112 intersection years before Maura did and not to far from where she did? The woman who disappeared showed back up 6 or 7 years later ( not positive on how many years but I remember it was years) She was dropped off at the Route 112 intersection and walked away to start a new life. If so, what another quincendance. Why would he say a beer bottle was found but he knows that's not true? Why didn't he say a box of wine. Fred said in the letter " Deep within themselves, your citizens are nervously and anxiously awaiting your response to this threat". Just an odd thing to say especially in a letter to the governor Fred said he wanted help and has no help looking for Maura but he has lots of people who want to help find her but he wants no part of it. If you don't believe a "Local Dirtbag grabbed her " then he doesn't want to speak to you. Its not like he gave up on her being Alive 11 years later, he gave up two weeks after Maura disappeared. Why didn't himself, family, or friends go door to door within the first 2 to 3 days? To see if anyone saw anything.. Fred said " I have to search all by myself with no informational resources available, I'm left here to desperately search for Maura all by myself. Take for example, her computer, if I could get it back, I might be able to discern who she contacted on the last afternoon, and perhaps discover a new direction to follow." I find this statement very interesting.The police didn't get the computer for several months, it sat in Tim carpenters closet, so why didn't Fred already have someone look at the computer? Why didn't he tell the police to look at it? It makes me think Fred knows/thinks Maura's computer could hold some key information. Now that the police have the computer, you want it back! He had the computer for months, did nothing with it, now that the police have it, you think it might lead in a new direction? Did he think that the computer might point in a different theory than The local dirtbag grabbed her? I think its a high possibility Fred wrote this letter to find out if the police suspected Maura of anything. If they didn't she could re- appear. He don't want to give the police information, but whats to know what they know. I also didn't think you could tell the FBI no. If Forcier really saw someone thay night could it if if been Rhonda Orway? Suspicious red truck in area, sighting an hour before the crash with two friends at Butsons (Fred knew about it) One witness orginally said she saw a man smoking in the passenger seat, Butch was hestitate on identifying Maura at first, ththesere all quincendances too? These were all witnesses at the very beginning, not witnesses months later. Strange quincendances before and after Maura disappeared.
it's clear that Fred was being manipulative in his statements. He knew what was really going on, if where to have been up front no one would look for her. He possibly knows who she ran off with and defenantly knows why, he just doesn't know to where.
Coincidence. Haha...not quincendence.
Exactly what I thought. For an airbag to deploy someone had to be sitting in the seat. And yes it goes along with the witness saying she saw a man smoking in the passenger seat. I also think Fred knows why but not where.
Fred definetly could of been in the passenger seat or driver seat.I believe early on in the investigation one of the first responders said it looked like Fred could of been driving. Fred's phone went silent for hours the night Maura disappeared and he didn't start to use it again until the next morning. I recall somewhere around 9 am.
If the airbags deployed durring THIS crash then there is no way Maura was involved in the Petrit Vasi hit and run. The airbags being deployed was the only factor that made me believe she was not involved in the Vasi hit and run. If Maura did hit PV the airbags would have definitely have been deployed. I just don't believe she drove that distance with deployed airbags.
Airbags wouldn't deploy if she hit vasi. I live out in the country in Texas and have been in a car and truck two times when it hit a large deer, nose when I was driving. No airbags deployed. The force is simply not enough to deploy the airbags. The deer was thrown into the air butThe car kept going until we braked and came to a slow stop to check on the deer. When do people keep saying this about the air bags?
Hey, Sweet Polly, I am the Annomous poster that you answered to above. I'll start using my initials because I've posted here a few times now. No need for more confusion:) Back to the point... I really thought a Human hitting the windshield of a car would set off the airbags, however I have never been in a car crash while airbags have been available. I'm in my 40's and VERY lucky in this respect. I'm shocked that a car could hit a deer, (a fairly large animal ) without the airbags deploying. I would think that kind of accident would endanger the lives of passengers/ driver enough that a safety feature like an airbag would be put to use. Sounds like I was wrong. I'm sure there's all kinds of mathematics and science that goes into the deployment of airbags. I do think this is an interesting question in the MM dissappearence. What is the weight , speed etc...that would set off an airbag in the model car (saturn) MM was driving that night? Or the night Petrit was hit? If this has been discussed before, please let me know where I can read that conversation.
Great point about registration!! Police call people to whom the car belongs to and let them know they have their car in the impound bc it was left on the side of the road after some sort of accident that the driver ran from...and then they would ask the car owner a bunch of questions...
Maybe James or the guys can give a little mention of this or comment about this as this is huge on when people like police officers started looking for Maura. Were they ever looking for Fred, after all it was his car, technically.
Under documents, part 1 of docs given to Fred through records requests, the traffic accident report states that witness (referring to Atwood) there was a young female alone in the car. Also, a subsequent search of the vehicle indicated the driver to be Maura. This I guess being her school textbooks, various forms in dash, receipts, etc.
My husband was hit by one of his high school students right in the center of the front of his car going at a very slow speed (5 mph, give or take). It hit the airbag sensor and immediately deployed. You most certainly can have airbags go off with not a whole lot of effort if you hit the sensor just right.
Another thought is perhaps Maura was running from Fred, and he thought her computer, had information on it that he didn't want the police to discover. Maybe he wanted to see the police information because he knew Maura was running from him and possibly other people/things so he wanted to see what they had because he knew he wouldn't find Maura on his own. Remember the police orginally said "she ran away to start a new life." Fred knew this, I think its possible he thought the police might know more than they were saying.To me the only reason you'd quit searching is because you have an idea on where she is and what happened. Could it be Maura reached out and told them to quit looking, she doesn't want to be found. Why not participate in a documentary, a book, say whatcha know. All anyone has done is tried to uncover the Truth and there angry about it. Everyone and every family has skeletons in their closest. I'm sure a lot of people who had a missing loved one would love to have this publicity and so many people interested in it.
Her friends know, Fred knows, but the public doesn't. If Fred had told all of what he knew at the time, then there wouldn't be any public search. There wouldn't be anything to figure out. It was a chick who ran off with someone and she didn't tell her old man where she was going. Why do you think Fred has stonewalled for all of this time? Because he knows what's up pure and simple. He can't come clean now because he'll have to foot the bill for all of the searches conducted on the public's dime. So I don't suspect he'll budge. Yep he knows why she ran off and with whom she ran of with, he just didn't and likely still doesn't know, to where she ran off.
I agree with this. Whatever it was that Sara "told Fred but won't tell anyone else" is key to all of this.
Maybe Fred gave Sara the £4000 to keep quiet.
anon 3:45pm, Ive looked at that, It could be a Red Herring. If it were important why would Fred keep it from us? Also why would Mauras friends confide in Fred...that initself is baffling, which makes me think where ever this so called chat occured, is making it up.
Color photos were common then, color printers not so much. We're probably seeing the printed/faxed version of a photo, which may be all the police have left?
Not including the bus driver when was Maura last seen alive & by whom? I'm still not convinced it was Maura the bus driver saw
I agree with you here. Maura looks a lot different in her mug shot then in her smiley pictures. The mugshot is the closest picture we have to the time of her disappearance. I'm sure the family has pictures of Maura on Christmas break, why didn't they post some of those. Perhaps to hide what Maura was truly looking like at that time.
Does anyone know WHY THAT PHOTO ( the one that looks like a mugshot , taken outside her dorm) is in Black and White? Or released to the public in B/W? It was taken around 2004 right? Police have been using color photography for at least 50 years now right? Black and white photography is something only used Now as artistic expression. NOT to identify a criminal? I do not believe the original photo is in b/w, the police wouldn't take a b/w. So where is the Color original? It almost looks like a zerox copy?
I guess campus police were going through a film noir phase.
How long did Maura
How long did Maura attend West Point? Did Fred smoke?
It's crazy after so long we are still here with so many unanswered questions! James engage your bloggers just my opinion.
Lana- missing info from LE (crazy) I guess they don't feel anyone else can help( to proud).
Bingo. There always seem to be a ton of posts which say something like "the police never did _____________; I can't believe how incompetent they were." In reality, it's basically impossible to say what, if anything, the investigation uncovered when we know absolutely nothing about it. For me, one of the most puzzling pieces of information relates to the very little that we do know about the investigation. Specifically, the portion of the state's brief in Fred Murray's lawsuit cited in Renner's post from July 11, 2013(http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2013/07/investigation-into-mauras-disappearance.html). While it's clear that the state was hedging significantly--e.g., "the information may have been determined not to be relevant to Maura Murray"--it's still an interesting tidbit. After so many years, though, it seems likely that anything they found concerning criminal conduct was clearly unrelated to Maura, or, at the very least, impossible to link to her disappearance with enough substantive evidence to "get the ball rolling" in a certain direction.
I wonder if the police tested the Coke bottle for DNA. I find it strange there was a coke bottle in the car when Billy's mom said Maura was a Diet Mountain Dew drinker.( I know it could be Maura's but I think this could possibly point to someone else being in the car, too) In the picture with Kathleen holding Maura's shoes, surrounded by her stuff from the car, in the background is a bag with a Diet Coke bottle sticking out. (Believe this bag isnt part of Mauras things) Was Kathleen or Fred the Coke drinker?
These letters are so cold. Every word appears to be a calculated effort, and they seem insincere. Does Fred actually write/talk like this normally?It seems to me that using simpler, plainer language would make Fred seem more like a grieving Dad who wants someone to hear and understand. In these letters he sounds cold and manipulative, wanting to show off his vocabulary while concealing something.Have these letters ever been analyzed by a psychologist for insight into the author?
Freds comments appear to be from a dad that feels that nobody feels the pain as he does and that is accurate.NOBODY feels the pain of a loss etc than a family member and that can be extremely frustrating to the person going trough the situation. We all grieve differently right? I really don't get the comment that these letters are cold or calculated sorry and I am not a big Fred supporter because I believe something happened that caused Maura to run and Fred knows why but will not talk about the past, I honestly believes he loved his daughter but will not open up tp personal stuff such as why he was in amherst etc..
Maura's friend Liz Drewnick, on the Disappeared show read the last e-mail to the girls. Which said " Dane Cook is playing at UMASS and We went to get tickets but it was sold out again. I did some research, and he is playing at Storrs,CT Feb. 12. Tickets are 10 bucks. Its not to far from UMASS." In this statement Maura says "We went to get tickets" who went with her to get these tickets? Did the police check into this? I think its possible that Maura and someone else ( possibly Kate)was heading to see this in CT on Feb. 12 and then Maura would head to her next destination. Have the search going on for yourself in New Hampshire while your in CT at a Dane Cook show. Could this be what all the alcohol was for? Another thing is Sharon Raush said " with the facts we know, 1. maura succumb to the elements, or 2. Someone harmed her. We are convinced with the items found in her car and no note , she wasn't planning suicide". Why isn't there a 3. Alive and started a New Life They never say its possible she's alive, when they know its a high possibility Maura ran away to start over.
Well, Sharon doesn't seem to completely dismiss that third theory in the Disappeared episode because she mentions towards the end that Billy was faced with the possibility of Maura leaving town with another guy and she said that Billy replied, "I hope she has because that would mean she's still alive."So in THEIR minds, running away is possible. But in their hearts, they feel something bad has happened to Maura.
Any college kid from New England likely has friends at UCONN in Storrs... She wouldn't have been under the radar there... She may have had tickets for Dane Cook but I'm guessing her decision to go north was last minute and would've cancelled out her plan to go to UCONN...
What Sharon said was" You know , when Maura went missing. There was many things said, one of those things was Maura ran off with another boyfriend. When Billy was confronted with this, Billy you know said I hope she has, if she is with another man, then she is Safe.". not aliveTowards the end of the Disappeared show Sharon says with the facts we know Maura succumb to the elements or someone harmed her.She didn't say with the facts we know Maura sucumb to the elements, someone harmed her, or she is Alive . With the facts they knew, they knew it was a high possibility Maura ran away.
If most college kids have friends at UCONN, then the police should of checked into this. Maura possibly could of had friends at UCONN that No one knows about but Kate, Sara, and her family. If it was known who went with her to get the tickets for the UMASS show that was sold out,then this person could possibly give some insight on whether she had planned to go, if she had tickets, and who all was going to go to the show with her. Im not saying if she had made plans to go, the plans didnt change but Its something that should of been looked into 11 years ago. It was her last email to her friends. In this case, anything is a possibility.
Didn't know where else to post this. Have you heard of Madison Holleran? Beautiful, Ivy league track star, over achiever, great student with an over bearing father. She jumped to her death off a building. I immediately thought of Maura. I just think the runaway theory makes even more sense after comparing the two cases.
When Maura disappeared Fred was working in Bridgeport,CT. Maura's last email to her friends from back home, said Dane Cook was playing in Storrs, CT on Feb.12.
I don't see a connection there & I live in the middle of these locations... UMASS and Storrs, CT (UCONN) are close... Less than 90 minutes... Bridgeport (Shelton) and Storrs, over 90 minutes... Bridgeport and Amherst, approx. 90 min... Connecticut to Woodsville, NH, however, 4+ hours in winter
There are two thing that I'd like to point out. One, on this very blog in 2011 the author of this blog posted that Maura's friends had stated that she had a "secret boyfriend." Also the author of this blog indicated that he might know the identity of this individual in that 2011 post. What ever happened to that? I can't seem to find an official follow-up to that post.Two, another post in 2011 by the author of this blog indicates that the Maura had been telling people she wanted to run away.The two above mentioned facts really do go along way in explaining so much what was actually happened in this case. The secrecy, the recrimination, the family's reticence in dealing with the public. It would seem very likely that Maura just strait ran away with the "secret boyfriend."
James, what do you make of the mapquest directions to Burlington and Stowe, VT? Since Maura's route seemed to have differed from that plan, did she change routes on a whim (indicating there was no huge scheme to purposefully disappear forever)? Was she smart enough to plant the directions to throw off the search for her? Or was the plan to ditch the car in a remote area and continue to one of those destinations?
Has the weight of the items she had with her been determined? If so, do we know how much of it might have been in her passenger seat? I've had enough weight from "stuff" in my passenger seat to trigger the seatbelt alarm, & I assume if I'd crashed during that time the airbag would have also been triggered.
Has it ever been confirmed that Fred rented a car on Sunday? Fred even said that his concern was how he was going to get back to work because car places were closed.
My thoughts on the rented car too...Where was his car getting fixed? Where did he rent a car from?
Fred is so tight lipped. What I was curious as well as the rental is he lived in Connecticut, but his car papers on the Saturn was in Mass. The Saturn was not under Mauras name, why I dont know.
Far as I know, Fred was WORKING in Connecticut but he lived in MA. That's no thing. And a college kid's car in their parents' name is 100% normal.
When did he pick up his car from the place that fixed it in Umass? How long did he have the rental? Oh and what friends of Maura's searched for her? Just curious...
Was the letter Maura Murray is not a missing person the first time a possible link between her and Petrit Vassi was made?
I believe there's several reasons why Maura ( if alive ) hasn't been found:1. The family isn't looking for her and hasn't brought or wanted media attention in years2. Her friends aren't looking for her3. The public was misled on how Maura was looking at the time of her disappearance . There is only one photo made public of what she looked like around the time of her disappearance which is her Mugshot photo4. If she went to Canada know one went there looking for her for years until James went a year or two ago. People in Canada wouldn't of known she was missing until recently.5. She most likely changed the way she looked, probably looks different than what she did at 21 There was a sighting an hour before her wreck but wasn't public knowledge for years, perhaps the police didn't know about this either. Freds the only one who knew and he kept it to himself. I think if this sighting would of came out in 2004 more witnesses would of most likely came forward I think if the ATM or liquor store video would of been released, there would of been a better chance of Maura being found. I believe its going to take someone who knows the case, to recognize her and report it. Also getting the case out there where more people know about it. Or for Someone to come forward and say what they know. Which At this point is probably a slim chance of that happening.
First did you forget I was responding to your comment. "James posted missing person pics in Canada, ads in paper, yet not 1 sighting. How is she doing this? There's been more sightings of Big foot then her". Second I never patronized Canadians and Never said there was No sightings in Canada. So get your facts straight.I said If she went to Canada no one went there for years until james did a year or two ago to investigate these sightings. Yes i believe if she went to Canada, shes been able to stay hidden because No family/ friends/ or investigators went there for years. I Never said the shows didn't play in Canada and there wasn't any sightings of Maura there. So get your facts straight. All those shows played where I live to, that doesn't mean more people know/ are interested in the case. Did her family and friends go looking when these sightings came in? I don't think they did.
Maura knew sometime Sunday she was leaving. On the disappeared or 20/20 show(can't remember which one) but it said she was doing searches Sunday night until about 3 am ( which would of been early Monday morning) On Monday she continued her searches in the afternoon somewhere around 1 up until she left UMASS
She made several stops plus it was icy... 91 also has lots of speed traps in northern mass and the limit is 65 but used to be 55 at one point... Today it would take 3 hours from Amherst to Haverhill so I don't think 4 hours in winter in a shitty car is unusual... Although, it would take four hours if she first went east toward her hometown then north on 93 past Londonderry (hence the ping)...Also, the false trail just doesn't make sense to me because Maura was using a stolen credit card to deliver food to her own dorm room... That was not very smart on her part in terms of common sense. I think she was impulsive and looking for last minute places to stay (the phone calls to New Hampshire and Stowe VT don't seem to be "staged" )
Read the responses by the police about releasing investigation information. I think it is titled "Affidavits of Landry, Strelzin, and Smith and info about ongoing investigation." It is quite clear the police believe something criminal happened to Maura. Their reasoning for not releasing certain information is so that "justice can be achieved for Maura Murray" and to avoid "endagering the viability of any future prosecution."It further states, "...revealing information publically would alert a person to the interest and make it harder to gain his or her cooperation and to enable that person to ise what other witnesses said to cover their tracks or to muddy the waters..." Clearly the police have some idea that is not Maura running away. I would like to hear more about what is known about the police investigation.