Monday, October 5, 2015

Long Lost Articles Provide Fresh Perspective

Kudos to Clint Harting for digging up some old articles from the Patriot-Ledger from the first weeks after Maura Murray disappeared. I don't think I can upload the entire article but here are a few snippets I found most interesting:

About Maura's mother:

Lauri Murray has not left her home since Feb 9. She said her emotions have changed from feeling sad and depressed, to the point she is angry and wants to investigate her daughter’s disappearance on her own. 
“I want to talk to the last one to see her. All the information we got was that she was walking up that road and just disappeared. Nobody just disappears like that and as far as being picked up or that she ran away … I’m getting angry. She would not do this and she would’ve contacted someone. We’re pushing 10 days now and somebody knows something,” Lauri Murray said.


About a possible second vehicle:

New Hampshire State Police Lt. John Scarinza said police now believe Murray got a ride from the accident scene. There was no evidence, however, to suggest there was a struggle.
“From that point on, it’s destination unknown,” Scarinza said.

From childhood friend Katie Jones:

Katie Jones, Murray's childhood friend and a student at Western New England College in Springfield, said although they've lived a few miles apart, they never visited each other at school. 
“She was a very secretive person,'' Jones said. 
“She never even told us about transferring to UMass until after it happened. Sometimes we think there might be more to that story than we know,'' she said

From Sara Alfieri:

At about 1 a.m., Alfieri said she was passed out from drinking. Markopoulos was still up with Murray and they were talking about going home at about 2:30 a.m. But Murray wanted to go to her father's hotel, according to Markopoulos. 
“I told her just to go back to her room and meet him in the morning, but she wouldn't listen,'' she said.

From Kate Markopoulos

Their birthdays are 11 days apart. Their friendship blossomed last year when they turned 21. Then a new Murray came out - someone who could be “somewhat flirtatious'' when she drank. 
All along, however, she was focused on settling down with Rausch and starting a career, said Markopoulos. She held two jobs so she could fly to Oklahoma, where Rausch is stationed at Fort Sill. She planned to move there after graduation.




46 comments:

  1. Wow................... I've often wondered (as a mother) how you couldn't/wouldn't do ANYYTHING possible to help in finding out what the "H" happened. There is soooooo much too this story & I believe a lot we DO NOT know..........

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    1. I agree, like an iceberg we see 10% of things going on, the other 90% is out of view, by design I believe.

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  2. I haven't seen Disappeared but I feel bad for the Dad. Maura had a drinking problem. Her insisting on going to his hotel at 2:30 am indicates she was after something. Money for her New Hampshire trip? Drugs, which would explain the weird secrecy thing... or more booze (Liquor stores close at 11pm in Mass )??? She was on a downward spiral for sure, and getting ready to party and drink with her friends in the White Mountains. At her age, my friends and I went to cabins in Vermont to drink and smoke quite frequently. We drank on the way there too. I think she planned to return. Although very smart, she didn't have it all together well enough to disappear on her own. She didn't have enough money to do so. Her friends are covering up whatever happened to her, but I'm guessing it was drinking/drug related.

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    1. Great insight. The idea that she was freshly returned from a winter break spent partying and still on a bender - explains a lot.

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    2. Um...where do you think she learned that behavior from?

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    3. Tis funny, Fred at the hotel room was there, not sure when Maura got there, most likely because he was drinking as well.

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  3. I really like hearing Lauri's sentiments right after the disappearance. Makes sense she was immobile because in the Disappeared episode, it is stated that her ankle was broken at the time. That's why she couldn't immediately travel to Route 112.

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    1. She didn't have to walk there, seems plenty of people had cars, I have walked down a mountain with a broken ankle, I don't buy it. Broken neck or back yea, even with someone with a broken leg would go, I know I would, sheesh

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    2. She didn't have to walk there, seems plenty of people had cars, I have walked down a mountain with a broken ankle, I don't buy it. Broken neck or back yea, even with someone with a broken leg would go, I know I would, sheesh

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    3. I am not certain on this one, but I would suspect they wanted some one to stay at home with Maura's younger brother, plus I also wonder whether or not Laurie had a license. At any rate in the full article, Laurie talks about two of her co-workers from the nursing home she worked at doing their best to try and arrange to drive her out to the accident location. The article never followed up (or subsequent articles) on whether or not she ever made it out there or not, but I would likely say not.

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    4. The crash site was 130 miles or more away from UMass. Lauri's friends and work colleagues simply couldn't drive her there on short notice. As for the Murray family, they probably operated under different schedules. Fred, Julie, Kathleen, and Fred Jr were already grown adults; work, school, and relationships in the way.

      That doesn't negate Lauri from visiting anyway. I'm sure she eventually visited the site short after. I have to note there was Kurt, who may have been in high school at the time. Lauri likely had to stay home and take care of him, while this emergency was happening.

      She sounds concerned in the interview like any scared parent.

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    5. A broken ankle and cancer, I know my mother was pretty weak from treatments. Treatments in itself is hard to schedule, I'd give the mother a break, but I'm shocked no close friends were looking, or "affairs" were looking.

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    6. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer after Maura went missing.

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  4. This is total speculation, but Maybe Maura's trip North was related to a final weekend with someone and she was harmed by the other person as a result of her telling the other person that she had decided to end the relationship because it was harming her relationship with Billy?

    James' latest post concerning the red rag indicates that there is some sort of information which implies she could have been fleeing from someone at the time of the accident (e.g., "When she got into the accident, maybe she was driving away from this person after an argument. Or a fight."). The final newspaper excerpt indicates that she intended to move in with Billy.

    Again, the above is all highly speculative. Just making a guess at what the new information might imply based on recent posts.

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    1. Did I miss where we were told the rag was red?

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    2. There was a similar episode, in disappeared where a female employee from Honda, disappeared with a married man, never to be seen again, very similar.

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    3. Chefs girl, it was stated awhile ago it was red and from her first aid kit, I spoke to Helena Murray on this and she said it wasn't from the first aid kit, idk now for sure now after I spoke to her on FB.

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    4. chefsgirl-- Good catch. I thought the rag was red, but I now cannot substantiate that, at least after a few Google searches. I vaguely recall reading a newspaper article which described the rag as red, but it looks like my memory is off. My apologies for the mistake.

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  5. Didn't Kate say a male walked her and Maura out, she lost track of Maura, the male walked her to her car or something? In this article , it says " I told her just to go back to her room, and meet him in the morning but she just wouldn't listen." Sounds like she knew Maura took off in her dads car. But she says she lost track of Maura once they left the party at Sara's.
    When did Sara find out about Maura being missing? By news report and media
    When did Kate find out about Maura missing?
    Didn't she say at the track meet on Feb. 14?
    So no one informed Maura's two best friends of her disappearance? Her two best friends didn't wonder why they hadn't seen or spoke with Maura in several days? You would think the family would of called her two best friends at UMASS to see if they had seen or heard from Maura.
    Did Maura have any other friends at UMASS besides Sara and Kate?
    Was Maura's e-mails from the past several months before her disappearance looked at very well. Hossein the ( track coach) said this was one way they communicated. Perhaps Maura was communicating with others by e-mail.
    It still doesn't make sense to me why Maura's mom ( Laurie) didn't go to the crash site in the following days of Maura's disappearance. If it was my child. I would of been there as soon as possible. Even if I physically couldn't search, I still would of been there doing whatever I could.
    Like another poster said. We have heard so much about Fred and the sisters but what about Maura's mother side. Haven't heard much about her side of the family. Could Maura's moms side of family been trying to protect her.
    I think if we could see more of the article we could come to a better understanding of what was said in the early days of Maura's disappearance.


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    1. Keep in mind, this article was done after the fact after Maura went missing.

      The night of the dorm party, Maura actually lied to Kate and told her she was NOT going to return her father's car. But we all know Maura did anyways now and that was what Kate was saying when interviewed for the article.

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    2. I agree Clint, somewhere it said she was going upstairs to sleep( I didn't think they were in the same dorm, but that's another issue) then later on Kate didn't understand why she had to drive back then and not in the morning.

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  6. I tend to agree with the Police Officer that stated that they were under the assumption that Maura had been picked up by another vehicle without a struggle. Why was this never addressed head on?? So many years of unanswered questions, speculation, theories, when it appears that the authorities had a solid lead from the start. I love this blog as well as the podcasts.

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    1. Problem is that we know practically nothing about the direction of the police investigation. We know even less concerning what, if anything, it uncovered. In other words, it is impossible to say with any certainty what the police chose to focus on during their investigation.

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  7. Kate said when they turned 21 there friendship blossomed. Then a New Murray came out. Someone who could be "flirtatious"
    When they drank. How long did Kate know Maura? They had only been 21 for about 8 months. To me, sounds like " partying together" bonded them closer as friends.
    In my opionion, I still think Kate, Sara, Fred, and some family members no more than they are saying. Maybe they don't know what happened, but I think they know what had been going on with Maura before her disappearance.
    My number one theory was that Maura had ran away to start a new life.
    Either planned from the get go or once she wrecked her Saturn she didn't look back. Perhaps unsure if she was coming back but the wreck made her mind up
    Now I'm starting to think that Maura was
    With/or meeting up with others, and something happened at this unknown destination.( overdose, suicide, foul play) and who ever covered it up.
    Supposedly Kate was MIA for several days after Maura's disappearance. Where and what was she doing?

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    1. What if they don't know more thou, I am certainly not defending anyone here, but for speculations sake, let's say this is all we have to work with, is it solveable , absolutely.

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  8. Who was Maura's friends at West Point? Besides Billy, Julie, and her dormmate. Maura started West Point in fall 2000 and met Billy around 7-01 when she got caught shoplifting. Maura had been at West Point for about a year before meeting Billy. Did she have any boyfriends/ male friends before meeting Billy? She only attended West Point for 1 semester with Billy.

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  9. I guess I missed the memo somehow. Forgive me. But can someone explain who this Clint person is please? He's good. I definitely don't want him digging in my closet.

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    1. Clint is an investigative reporter, he has been very valuable.

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  10. If Alfieri was passed out from drinking, how did she know what they discussed at 2:30 a.m.?

    While, some of this information is intriguing, it's still information in the infancy of the investigation, which was clearly boggled in some regards.

    But at the same time, if Alfieri did say she was passed out drunk at 1am and still knew the conversation at 2:30 am, that is a very intriguing lie on her part.

    There's three types of statements people give to police: The truth, a complete lie, and hiding something. When you are trying to hide something, you mess up important facts like saying "I was passed out at 1am" and then follow it up by saying "Well, at 2:30am...."

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    1. Sara Alfieri didn't have a clue what happened at 2:30 a.m. In the article although Sara is mentioned as being passed out, the author is actually relaying the events that happened after Sara passed out from Kate's perspective.

      In the article, the only quotes that come from Sara are about the fact that her and Maura each shared a dry sort of humor that Maura's favorite movie was "Bottle Rocket" and her favorite website was "The Onion."

      Sara did go on to say it was so weird that she worked with Maura the Sunday after the dorm party and Maura didn't say a single word to her about leaving her dorm room the night before and crashing her father's car. Sara only found out that stuff after Maura went missing.

      The whole article was about just how mysterious Maura really was and that her friends really didn't know her that well at all.

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    2. I am just throwing this out there, that many vehicle accidents, supposedly in the same areas of all the vehicles, did she have a vision problem with her left eye? Also Clint how come the fact she filed a complaint against West point is never brought up?

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    3. It was Sarah's party, not a good host. What was the party for? Not Valentines too far away...anyone know? Didn't Sara work for a police department? She might be a valuable tool when Maura crashed Fred's car.

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  11. I have tried the rag in the tailpipe and it shoots out in a nano second. If someone didn't want Maura to leave etc. there are easier ways to disable a vehicle than hoping the car stalls and crashes.

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    1. I agree, like cutting break lines.

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    2. Like someone said earlier, depends on engine compression, 3 cylinders might not be much, take into account the type of year, I still think she used the rag to clean Frensia wine off her then stuffed it into the tail pipe.

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    3. Maura's aunt recently replied to a question on the Maura Murray facebook page about this--- she said it was *not* a simple rag from an emergency kit, but rather a towel she had in her trunk. Fred says this as well. Not sure if a towel would be different...

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    4. Not sure a towel would fit in the tailpipe. It'd almost have to be a small hand towel. Plus Fred is the one who stated he told Maura to put it there, because her car was smoking something fierce. And I believe he said it came from her emergency kit in the car.

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    5. That would suck he intructed her to put a towel in the tailpipe, causing it To stall, then succumbing To an untimely demise, that would suck, but it is what it is.

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    6. The tow truck driver from Lavoies found the cloth as he was getting ready to tow it, if Fred never mentioned he suggested it to Maura, I would have no doubt thinking someone tampered with her vehicle.

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    7. Just started following this case about a month ago.

      A few thoughts about the car -

      - I also ran the rag in tailpipe question by a mechanic. He said what most are saying here, the car would stall.

      - BUT I didn't think to ask him what effect it would have if the exhaust were already damaged. A car needs some compression from the exhaust to run. I found a Mazda forum comment about quieting a car with exhaust problems by putting steel wool in the tailpipe. It was described as a very temporary noise reliever.

      - The exhaust may have been damaged prior to Maura leaving UMASS.

      - The now missing exhaust system - if the exhaust were damaged that would certainly explain why it is not still on the car. With the lame job LE did, I can't believe they removed it. Is it in the trunk? Was it stolen for the catalytic converter and scrap?

      - Somewhere I read the car was smoking. Was the oil pan damaged?

      - "Maura hadn't started her car in weeks." One of her UMASS friends stated. I find this a very odd statement for several reasons - Maura lived in a single room, she wasn't with other people nonstop. How could anybody know that unless maybe Maura said it in recent days. Also, didn't Maura use her car over the holiday break? Unless Maura was back at school for the short UMASS winter session in January, which I don't believe she was, she had been back about 10 days.

      - Nursing clinicals - if Maura was concerned about getting to them, certainly the state of the car would be a concern.

      - Vasi - whoever hit him could have also easily hit the curb damaging the exhaust and maybe an oil pan.

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  12. Believe these statements by Kathleen were in the New Hampshire Sunday news.
    When speaking about the phone call that made Maura upset on Thursday Feb. 5 Kathleen said Maura didn't seem upset when she spoke with her. Kathleen said" she takes sleeping pills at night & didn't remember a later call". So, both Maura and Kathleen needed sleeping pills at night, to sleep.
    Kathleen says " she believes her sister went to the White Mountains to sort out her troubles with Billy". I think it was stress. I don't know what her and her boyfriend were going through." " I kind of think that might of triggered it. They weren't getting along at the time."
    Kathleen makes these statements early on In Maura's disappearance. It seems like Maura and Billy's relationship was shaky, and not as perfect as Fred, Billy, and Sharon made it out to be on the Disappeared show.
    On another blog, I was reading some of the things people had posted. 10-21-06- Bobbie Sue posted I haven't been on for a while, law school is driving me crazy, some of you may remember me, I was a friend of Maura's through XC... I ran for DY & so I knew her from when She was 14 and on. And then I actually was a supervisor for her at UMASS security.
    Also, Bobby Sue said " the night of Maura's disappearance, or the next her friends called the security dispatch line, when I was working dispatch. They asked if she had shown up to work and I due to policy said we couldn't give out that info. They explained why they were worried and that's when everything started at UMASS.
    If this is indeed true, who were the friends that we're looking for her?
    Has anyone spoke with Bobby Sue, to see what the person looking for Maura had said, and perhaps had she observed anything about Maura lately? She said she was One of Maura's supervisor at UMASS and knew Maura from when she was 14.

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  13. Cant help but notice you removed the portion about Fred saying Maura was on birth control....perhaps she was pregnant when she disappeared?

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  14. I knew this clique of girls when I was working in Northampton, MA. I hung out with them now and again and am still in contact with a couple people who were other members of this group.

    We have a theory, but it's been formed more by knowing a few of the people involved and less about knowing all the details.

    There were two cars along for the ride from the beginning. I think Sara was driving Maura's borrowed car and hit Petrit Vasi.

    I don't think Maura knew that this had happened and I think she was upset because her car was damaged and she was already in trouble with her father/the law.

    Once the three girls (Sara, Kate and Maura) got together and talked over the situation I think they planned to drive the Saturn to NH, dump it and then return home in the second car.

    This would explain Maura buying a large quantity of alcohol and looking for rooms that housed more then one person.

    I believe Sara, Kate and Maura alternated driving the two vehicles. I also believe that as the drinking, driving and stress of the night continued that Maura and Sara (probably, but not neccesarily) got into a physical altercation. I also believe that the mystery phone call came from the tandem car.

    I believe that Maura was driving and that Sara was in the back seat lying down. I think that as they were arguing Sara (who was known to be physical) attacked her from behind causing her to crash the vehicle. This also would explain why there was no damage to the passenger side's windshield. It would also be possible that Sara was passed out in the back and Maura simply crashed the car, although the Sara that I knew was quite the hot head when she drank.

    When the bus driver stopped to check on things I believe Maura was unconcious and he spoke to Sara. I think that they had been following Kate, who would have been past the site at the scene of the crash. She doubled back, picked up Sara and helped move Maura into the car.

    At this point, I think that the two of them probably thought Maura was ok, but probably started to freak out about the hit and run and combined with the alcohol (drugs?) decided she was dead and got rid of the unconscious/dead/injured body because there was nowhere to get medical help way out there (and it is in the middle of nowhere) and they were already spooked over the hit and run (maybe Kate was in the car as well?).

    Once an injured person was left out in those elements they wouldn't last long. I also think that the missing alcohol was moved from the Saturn or it was already in the other car. As for the body not being found it may have been moved by wildlife or it may still be there or (I doubt it) it may have been moved.

    It would be interesting to know if the coke bottle had been fingerprinted or if it was picked up without care due to this not being a homicide/missing person investigation right away.

    One thing I so know is that Sara was a smoker. Kate and Maura were not. I seem to remember reading something about a witness seeing someone smoking in the car.

    Anyway, not sure if any of this is true. It's odd to have something like this happen to someone you kind of knew a little bit.

    Last time I ran into Sara I can tell you that she is nothing like she was back then when she was kind of hot.

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    1. Did anything come of this comment?

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  15. http://elvaq.com/collegiate-news/2004/05/05/bmaura-murray0146s-mother-believes-daughter-may-be-victim-of-kidnapingb/

    Lost article with good insight from her moms beliefs

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