Monday, November 30, 2015

Maura Was Not Abducted By A Random Killer. Here's Why.

Eleven years in, and it boggles the mind that there are still people who believe Maura was kidnapped by an opportunistic killer on Route 112.

There are two kinds of abductions: organized and disorganized.

An "organized abduction" is where the killer takes care and precaution related to the site of the crime. They find a way to lure the victim to them (John Wayne Gacy bringing the kids back to his home), they take care in grooming the victim over days to gain their trust so that they can remove them from a public location (as in the Amy Mihaljevic case) or they stake out a specific hunting ground and wait for the victim to come to them (I'd put Ariel Castro in this category, as he trolled the same couple blocks of West Cleveland). These are the type that are hardest to catch because there are usually no witnesses (due to the care they took in setting the whole thing up).

A "disorganized abduction" is where an opportunist killer sees a chance to take a victim on the spur of the moment and then takes it. No planning involved. These are the sort that are most often caught because they are reckless and don't think to mitigate the crime by staying out of sight of witnesses.

Now, there is no way Maura's accident was planned. And if it wasn't planned, there's no way she was abducted by an organized killer. So in order to buy into this theory, you must believe she was abducted by a disorganized killer. It would have been very disorganized, actually. The scene was, after all, in direct view of three homes, in which people were occasionally looking out of their windows to check on Maura. Think of it like three lighthouses whose beams light up the accident scene at least every thirty seconds or so.

But to believe Maura was abducted by a disorganized killer, you must believe he had the best luck in the world - that he happened to be driving along that stretch of road on a Monday night, alone, and just happened upon Maura at the right moment - in a window of 3 - 7 minutes before police arrived. Then you have to believe he somehow got her into the car in one of those 30 second windows when nobody was looking. There would have been a conversation (you need a ride - sure - okay, I'm Dan from down the street, hop in and I'll give you a lift - ok, I'll grab some things). And remember, someone had already offered a ride (the bus driver) and Maura had declined. A private investigator sat at the sight on the anniversary of her disappearance in 2005. You know how many cars drove by from 7 - 8 p.m.? Seven. It is not a busy road that time of year.

But, James, abductions like this happen all the time, even if they are statistically unlikely. No, they don't. Women are abducted all the time, yes. But they are abducted because they were either stalked by an organized killer (not the case here) or happened to wander into a place where a killer was waiting (again, not the case here). I challenge you to find one case that lines up with this one - where a woman gets into an accident, in plain sight of several witnesses, and disappears in a 3 - 7 minute window.

Some have suggested she walked into the woods for a bit or walked down the road and caught a ride, later. But there were no footprints leading into the woods. No footprints along the side, leading down Route 112. A police dog lost her scent a few feet from the accident. She didn't walk away.

So, what then?

I again return to the only explanation that fits the evidence -- Maura got into a car at the scene of the accident in one of those 10 - 30 second windows where nobody was looking. And the only way this could have happened was if Maura knew the driver and there was no time wasted for conversation. (get in - ok). Enter the tandem driver, who would have been driving ahead of Maura. If they were ahead and saw the accident in their rearview, and were past Bradley Hill Road, the next place they could turn around was Route 116. It takes approximately seven minutes to drive to Route 116 and back to the scene of the crash.

281 comments:

  1. James, I have to admit, having it all broken down so well as you did in your post, above, makes me rethink my belief that she was abducted at random. I've always thought that was the case, but I have to say this makes me rethink it quite seriously. You make some excellent points, here. I would like to mention one case that reminds me a bit of her. Back in 1976, I believe it was, a young lady from Knoxville, Tennessee, disappeared at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains. Her name was Trenny Gibson. She was on a school authorized to trip with her classmates, I don't know how many, but there were quite a few of them, at least 20, probably more. I did not Google and look up all the exact facts again before posting this. Anyhow, she walked with various groups of her friends and classmates throughout the day on their trip after they arrived, but somewhere on the way back down from Clingmans Dome, in daylight, she just disappeared. No trace of her has ever been found. The only clues were a beer can and a couple of cigarette butts found on the trail. It is theorized that they possibly belong to her abductor. As Trini had a good relationship with her parents, and it was broad daylight, and she was with other classmates off and on during the day, it is hard to imagine that she was abducted, but it seems that she was. Actually, the Trenny Gibson case is harder to believe than Maura Murray's is, because of the fact that she was with so many of her fellow students and the fact that it was daylight.

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    1. Although this case is similar to Maura's, it could easily fit the definition of an organized killer with a specific hunting ground. It seems unlikely due to it being in a public place surrounded by classmates, but people being abducted from public places is not an uncommon scenario. The thing that makes Maura's abduction so likely to be random is that the location of the accident is extremely unlikely to be a killer's hunting ground. It's remote enough that there would be few, if any, viable victims but "unremote" enough that she was seen by at least three people between the accident and disappearing.

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  2. James, I hope you can answer this for me. I also have a question: were there any tire tracks at the scene of the accident, in the snow, that would have pointed to evidence of a tandem driver?

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    1. I'm sure there were tracks. It all happened in the open road.

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  3. I've always wondered James, if it was a person she was traveling with that picked her up, there does not seem to be any phone records displaying her calling anyone out of the ordinary to plan this(Except the call to Domino' Pizza). So, could it had been planned in person which could mean someone from school. Did she used the phones at school.? Which you could further surmised that she knew her phone calls would be seen; which means a more thought to hide what you are doing. Or it was someone maybe she met getting gas or a restaurant she stopped in; someone she felt immediately comfortable getting into a car. Your right there are really no other scenarios that fit. To John Green, nice to hear from you again on the blog, appreciate your insight..

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    1. There was a credible sighting of Maura at Butson's Supermarket in Woodsville, NH not long before the accident. James documented this sighting in December of 2014. She was seen with 2 other women, and members of the UMass track team have said that Kate Markopolis was not seen on campus for several days around Maura's disappearance. I believe that Kate was possibly the tandem driver. I think the planning for the trip was what actually happened on Saturday night in the dorms rather than the "party" whose details no one remembers.

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    2. Aaron, could well be. Although unintended, the Haverhill crash may be The Red Herring. On foot until whoever went up i93N catches up, and, ((( poof ))). The Red Truck with an eagle on the back window? Was that the family truck?

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  4. I'm sorry, no one with an open mind can be so absolute about this. She doesn't have to have been snatched. She could very easily have just taken a ride with the wrong person. A regular old scumbag that thought he'd try his luck with a slightly drunk girl and perhaps it got out of control.

    Who knows? No one.

    But your premise is flawed.

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    1. But she'd already turned down a ride from one person who drove by. Why turn down the first and ride with the second?

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    2. Why would she accept a ride from a stranger when she already declined one from Butch Atwood? Maura was an intelligent girl. I highly doubt she would get into a car with a stranger on a dark road. She may have been tipsy but I doubt she was hammered. Your logic is more flawed that James' is.

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    3. My logic is flawed? No. It's not. It's really not.

      You're suggesting someone needing a ride always gets in the first car that stops? Every time? Without fail? It couldn't possibly have been that she didn't like the look of Butch Atwood, who was offering to do the one thing Maura didn't want (call the cops)? She 100% definitely would have taken that ride, without fail, every time?

      Nonsense.

      If I was Maura, I was slightly DUI, and an old bearded bus driver who I didn't like the look of and who was talking about calling the cops offered me a ride, is there a possibility I'd wait for the next car?

      Yes, there is a very good chance I would.

      So to rule it out is, as I said previously, a flawed premise.

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    4. Just so that we are clear because I see a lot of posts about Mr. Atwood offering her a ride. Where did he offer to take her? I was under the impression he either told her he was calling the police - and she said she called AAA. I also heard he might have offered her the chance to wait on the bus for help.

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  5. Who is the most likely candidate as the tandem driver? Does everyone involved have an airtight alibi for that night?

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    1. I tend to believe the Butson's sighting. Friend or family, I don't know.

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    2. I agree 100% JR. Friends or family. I also believe the mastermind gave her loose instructions to put it in the ditch "about 10 miles off the interstate. " She set her trip odometer and at 10.1 miles she put it in the ditch at the first convenient spot. The rag was a planted red herring to make it look like suicide (carbon monoxide poisoning). She was followed and picked up immediately after butch atwood left. They then did a u turn and got back on the interstate going north. What happens after that, I couldn't tell you because the evidence trail disappears.

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    3. I think it was Kate. Possibly with Sara along for the ride. They definitely know more then they've let on.

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    4. If only anything solid could come from the sighting! I believe Kate and Sara as well. Especially with the talk of Kate having been gone a few days too then just showing back up after the fact. Did she not get interviewed about her whereabouts during those days?

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    5. I like your thinking Laura. You seem to have been able to pick out the clear red herrings. If Maura ditched her car on NH 112, what vehicle did she have to get to Canada? I think she did buy a car, and if that is the case there would have to be 3 total drivers in order for her accomplices to return to Massachusetts. I also believe that 3 college girls could not carry out this plan alone. They at a minimum received instructions over the phone, but I believe she had one significant person with her every step of the way. Could the police be treating this as a criminal investigation now, not a missing persons case? If so, secrecy and putting out their own red herrings is their only chance of making an arrest.

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    6. The Big Question here is ... why would the other two girls stick their necks out this far?

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  6. I agree with the criminology you put forward in your argument James. However I am 60/40 Alive to dead. There are possibilities that Maura is deceased but the case points towards her being alive. The family and friends seem to have played a strange game with misinformation, disinterest and silence. It does seem there is something to cover up by this behaviour. I think the friends Kate and Sara know a lot more than they have ever revealed. The only reason I can think for this is that Maura herself wants not to be found. The other less likely is that someone else does not want Maura to be found because Maura did come to harm at the hands of others, and Kate and Sara know who this is and have either chose to protect this person or are scared to speak out.

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    1. I think the fact that a person she knew intimately said she spoke of running away is important.

      I kind of think people who don't want to believe she ran away think that because it makes finding her virtually impossible.

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    2. I agree, kate and sara know more. I also dont buy the party story either.

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    3. I completely agree with this. If there were tandem drivers, I think Kate and Sara are the most obvious people it could have been, especially with the Buxton's sighting. I also agree with Lobo that the party story is probably bogus and something else happened that night that possibly led to MM's disappearance.

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    4. I agree, Kate and Sara no more than what they have said. I believe there was no party.
      Would be interesting to know what day/ time Fred withdrew the money from 8 different ATMs.

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  7. "I again return to the only explanation that fits the evidence -- Maura got into a car at the scene of the accident in one of those 10 - 30 second windows where nobody was looking. And the only way this could have happened was if Maura knew the driver and there was no time wasted for conversation"

    "Some have suggested she walked into the woods for a bit or walked down the road and caught a ride, later. But there were no footprints leading into the woods. No footprints along the side, leading down Route 112. A police dog lost her scent a few feet from the accident. She didn't walk away."


    These statements contradict one another. According to Rick Forcier he said he saw someone running miles away from the crash. If we are to accept his sighting as true the "best supporting evidence" contradicts your theory.

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    1. How do they contradict? The other driver picked her up at the scene.

      As to Rick Forcier, he came forward with the sighting weeks later. The person he saw could not be identified as female let alone Maura. And I discount it completely. He's the type of guy who exaggerates and inserts himself into stories, according to family and friends.

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    2. James Seriously - you can't through away Rick Forcier's sighting, and then hold the sightings in Canada as creditable. I know its your playground your rules, but we need to have some common logical boundaries.

      The whole theory above is a huge False Dilemma Fallacy. you act as the only theory that works is tandem driver. Consider that she crashed a car near a curve that has had many car accidents - and if she ran away it was to stay away from the law so someone with any brains would enter the woods far enough away to not leave a trail of footprints. You have to assume that someone who went West Point would be able to think of that.

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    3. Then the whole thing rests on Forcier's statement. But remember, he never got a look at her. And he came forward weeks later. And, most importantly, a body was never found. Fish and Game and over 100 volunteers checked the surrounding area twice. Seems less likely.

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    4. It's not Rick Forcier's statement per se. The fact LE did not discount his sighting as unreasonable for her to have covered so much distance undetected makes me feel that they deduced that it could have happened which is the reason why the area was searched twice. What this does show is it was possible for Maura to run away from the crash scene undetected.

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    5. I agree, Rick Forciers sighting isn't very credible. He lived in the area, where the crash happened, so if he would of saw someone running 5 miles down the rd around 8 pm, he should of been able to put two in two together fairly quick, instead of it taking him several weeks.
      Plus Maura would of had to be halling ass to make it that far in a short period of time with snow on the ground.
      I find it odd that so much was put into Ricks sighting but Fred/family Never mentioned the Butson sighting. A sighting that could of been very important 11.5 years ago...

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    6. Anon @ 11:24, really good point about sightings and which one was emphasized and which one was not. Rick Forcier's "sighting" plays into the whole "local dirtbag" theory, think that is why it was mentioned.

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  8. In alot of missing persons cases, you can look at them and be almost certain something bad happened. But in this case, how can you look at the untruthfulness of friends/ family, days leading up to Maura's disappearance, the small window of time, no footprints, And the Butson sighting, and not think there's a high possibility Maura ran away from everything. If she didn't run away, and was harmed, then I don't think it was by an oppurtunist killer who came by in the 3 to 7 mins with no one seeing them, but it was by someone she knows or someone right there in the vicinity of the crash site.
    IMO. She ran away from her troubles and people in her life.

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  9. James.....

    There are more than just the 2 options for the circumstance surrounding the disappearance of Maura. Not sure WHY You are so adamant about this but there is a bigger picture and it needs to be viewed from all angles to rule out any other possibilities. jmho

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    1. I have to agree ... see my post below for my take

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    2. Can you be more specific on what the other options could be?

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    3. Agree with Miss Understood! None of us know enough to rule out any of the possibilities of what happened to Maura. Heck! When I was Maura's age, I was involved in a single car accident on a two lane mountain highway. Within minutes, two young men stopped and offered me a ride. I had been to a party (not proud of this) and I was scared of the police so I got in their car. I was lucky. They were good guys who took me home but Maura may not have been as lucky. I think it's accurate to say that Maura wanted to flee the scene of her accident and avoid the police. What happened after that is anyone's guess. I just don't get the blame game when it comes to Maura's family and friends. It might make Maura's story more intriguing but it's done little to shed light on Maura's disappearance over the years, IMO.

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  10. 3 witnesses....Faith, Tim and Butch

    And not one of them saw the driver leave the scene. THAT IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT.

    There is no way that one of them did not see something. Tim seems to know everything about how the accident occurred even though He did not actually see it happen. But YET when it comes to seeing the driver leave the scene, flee the scene or vanish. NOBODY HAS A FUCKING CLUE.

    Common sense folks......go by some and rethink what You know bc there is no way the story of Feb 9th 2004 is accurate at all.

    The car NEVER HIT THE TREE.....SO WHY DOES THE ACCIDENT REPORT STATE THAT..?

    Time to put the thinking caps back on and come to the realization that SOMEONE IS OUTRIGHT LYING and COVERING FOR SOMEBODY.

    Who could be that important or have the power to to be able to orchestrate such an event. THINK THINK THINK

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    1. http://www.websleuths.com/forums/showthread.php?t=295143


      Do you post here? They gave great convos as well.

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    2. "Who could be that important or have the power to to be able to orchestrate such an event. THINK THINK THINK"

      I'm assuming you're implying a police coverup. Please share more!

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    3. Does anyone think it's possible that:
      -There was a period of time when Faith, Tim, & Butch all looked away?
      -Maura could have moved down the road so she was out of the line of sight of anyone looking out a window?

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  11. Paige Renkoski case might fit as disorganized abductors/killers.

    Paige Marie Renkoski
    30 Years Old


    February 2, 1960 to May 24, 1990

    Paige was born in Lansing, Michigan, February 2, 1960. She went missing on May 24, 1990 on her way home from the Detroit Metro Airport having dropped her mother off and picnicked briefly with a girlfriend and baby in Canton. She headed west on 1-96 toward her home in Okemos, planning to attend her boyfriend’s baseball game. She was last seen near the Fowlerville Exit(15 minutes from home) talking to two African-American men in an agitated manner, one of the men’s hands on her arm. The car door was open, keys in the ignition, car running, purse and shoes in the car. One man, headed east, saw her looking into the windshield of her car when the maroon mini-van pulled up behind her. This all happened on the Thursday before Memorial weekend on the very busy Interstate 96 at 3:00 in the afternoon. In spite of considerable publicity for many years, television programs, billboards, all types of media coverage and extensive searches, her case has never been resolved. Her mother continues to work with the police, POMC. Victim’s Alliance and various missing people organizations. She is presently attempting to establish state-wide protocols for collecting DNA from family members in missing person’s cases for submission to the national DNA database.

    Paige was a beautiful, vivacious young woman who had returned to college to complete her degree in teaching. Opening a daycare and working with children, especially the deaf, was her goal. She loved best being surrounded by friends, holding their babies and zipping around town in her little red Toyota MR2. She jokingly told her grandmother, Grace Wait, that she had finally met the love of her life, Mr. Two!

    Paige is fondly remembered by her mother, Ardis Wait Renkoski of Okemos, sisters, Tami (Leo) Renkoski/Mackeller of Allegan, Sheril Martin of Atlanta, GA, Michele Hollis of Traverse City, nephew Alex Fawaz, nieces Danielle Fawaz, Taylor Hollis, Nikki Hollis, aunts, Arthene LaSallle, Judi Wiseman, Maxine Wait, many cousins, friends and a special, faithful childhood friend, Molly Motherwell. Deceased are her father, Carl Renkoski, grandparents and uncle, Clare Wait.

    A memorial brick with her name has been placed in the Children’s Garden on the campus of Michigan State University, a whimsical, happy place where family and friends can remember Paige. A Mass in her memory is said every February 2nd and May 24th at the St. John’s Student Center in E. Lansing. Her friend, Molly, Development Director of Public Radio WEMU in Ann Arbor, continues to pay tribute to Paige every May 24th. Paige will be forever loved and missed.

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    1. This is an interesting case. Thanks for sharing. It proves, though, that if it was disorganized, there would likely be witnesses.

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    2. You make a compelling argument. However, I still think a disorganized killer could have been inolved. There are very few certainties in this case.

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    3. Just because there would likely be witnesses doesn't mean that there would for sure, 100% be witnesses. But let's assume that there HAD to have been at least one witness if she were abducted. That doesn't mean that whoever that person is is able to, feels comfortable, and/or even realizes it was Maura they had seen-the latter assuming that said witness would have be driving past and likely not local/didn't hear about her disappearance soon enough after the fact to connect the dots.

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  12. On the disappeared episode Fred said it was so dark that night that you could barely see your own hand in front of your face, so where there no other lights except car headlights? In which case she could have got into another car a little up the road without the neighbors seeing, especially if she moved fast without wasting time, so why do people think it's difficult to believe no one saw anything? And yes I think it's more likely to have been someone she knew and was waiting for to come to her rescue

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    1. Fred did say this, so how did he know how dark it was, when he wasn't there. Its dark enough to not see your hand in front of your face but the Westmans and the Marriott's saw activity from the windows of there home.
      I agree, I think she was waiting on someone to come to her rescue and the other driver probably stopped out of sight.

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    2. In rural areas, street lights don't really exist unless there is an intersection and even then, it depends.

      Also, I think SOMEONE did see her get into a car. I think it's likely they figured since there was no struggle, she planned it.

      Ok, maybe not. That would be awful to leave the family on the lurch.

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  13. She could have hitched an actual ride from a stranger from the scene without harm. Continued hitchhiking, and the 3rd or 4th ride she accepted could have been a disorganized killer. Not sure why we always assume her 1st ride has to be the weirdo with minimal odds of running into. If she took multiple rides, she is then multiplying her odds of running into someone crazy.

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    1. And none of those other drivers have ever come forward?

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    2. I agree James "No one has came forward" About really ANYTHING!

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    3. The person that did come forward her sighting wasn't known for many years. I believe about 10 years. Fred tried to get video but never mentioned it to the public and Never asked the public/ media for there help, to see if anybody else saw or remembers anything about these 3 girls.

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    4. I've wondered this as well. It only takes one extra driver to make this scenario possible. What if the driver from whom Maura accepted a ride was not a local person, but there on vacation? or visiting family? That person would likely never have seen the local news reports on Maura's disappearance. Even if the person was local, several people I know almost never watch the news anyway. And, wherever that person dropped her off (maybe a long distance away) is where she could have met with foul play. Or accepted another ride. Depending on how far away from Haverhill this 2nd location was, the locals would have no knowledge of Maura's disappearance.

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  14. Very well said, James. I don't have any good theories about whether she is alive after purposely disappearing, or dead from the elements or suicide-- but I feel pretty sure that she wasn't the victim of a homicide for all of the reasons that you stated.

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  15. I agree that Maura walking into the woods or being abducted are unlikely scenarios given the evidence suggesting otherwise, but a couple points (one I'm sorry for repeating but it's an actual firsthand experience):

    When I was 15 years old two men attempted to abduct me. Within seconds they stopped their car and the guy in the passenger seat leapt out at me. This was within 50 feet of someone's front door, a lit row of homes, and within 200 feet of a very busy main road. If the guy grabbed me, stabbed me, tazed me or whatever he would have had me in their car in under a minute. Again, I don't think this happened to Maura, but I'm absolutely certain it can happen to a person in seconds.


    There are thousands of cases of extensive searches for missing people where there was no scent picked up by dogs or tracks found on the ground. Many of them were found dead weeks, months or years later. I think there is enough evidence to say this probably not what Maura did, but there are so many cases of it happening I wouldn't use no scent/tracks to discount the possibility.

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  16. Thing about her wandering into the woods is that, while this particular area is not heavily populated in the winter, it is incredibly popular in the summer. Something would have been found by now if she wandered into the woods in this area. That on top of the fact there were no tracks. I won't say she wasn't picked up, but I believe the butson's sighting as well.

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    1. "Something would have been found by now if she wandered into the woods in this area"

      Unless the abductor still has her. Sometimes perps bait the cops by dropping clues years after the fact.

      Of course, I hope she's alive. But there'd be heavy dues to pay if so.

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  17. I'm in agreement with you James, but just to possibly inform your view on the no scent/tracks/FLIR issue you can get a huge list of missing people from author David Paulides. Don't even go by what he writes, just get the names of the people and look up the facts yourself.

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    1. Did he ever find Bigfoot?

      Joking ... he may be a con, but he's VERY interesting. Some knucklehead is trying to discredit him on Amazon. It's quite humorous, but mostly pathetic.

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  18. I don't agree with the reasoning that precludes the disorganized killer. It ignores statistical science.

    The odds of a jet that took off over the ocean crashing into the water are vanishingly low. But if you become alerted to a situation where a jet that took off over the water vanished, the odds are not so low that it crashed into the water. In fact, those odds are significant. This because we did not pick a plane to analyze before it took off and say "what are the odds that it will crash" but instead we picked a plane from a set of planes that already experienced very unlikely outcomes (vanishing) and NOW are saying "its too unlikely that it crashed." It is a flawed analysis.

    The situation with Maura is more like the second than the first scenario. Yes, the odds are very low that any one person will be abducted. But we came to know of Maura's existence after she vanished and specifically because she did. In other words, we know about her because something that is very unlikely (vanishing) had already happened to her. We can't now say, "it is so likely that any given person will be abducted, therefore she could not have been." She was no longer any given person when we became aware of her: she had vanished.

    As such, "it is too unlikely for Maura to have been abducted" is flawed reasoning. Instead, the real reasoning is this: "how unlikely is that someone who has vanished was abducted?"

    I do understand your preemptive claim that the window Is so small and related challenge to find another case. But (1) I dispute the 3-7 minute window and believe that it could be as long, (2) regardless of the time window size, it could be that she was stalked for a short period of time (i.e., after stopping for gas and getting followed), or that she trusted someone with lights on their SUV a short distance down the road (e.g., a volunteer fireman with a scanner and light rack), and (3) a not-complete-stranger, semi-planned abduction is a possibility that you overlook.

    But even dismissing those objections, your reasoning still does not hold up. Lets say it was 3-7 minutes and lets say that if she was abducted it had to have occurred within that time frame. Here is a list of people who were abducted in public places (with even more people close by) in very narrow time frames: Brooke Wilberger, Molly Bish, several of Ted Bundy's victims, including the two at Lake Sammamish, and Amber Lundgren. Someone who wants to abduct can be opportunistic. Again, the flaw in your reasoning is that you don't account for the fact that a would be abductor could be driving around the back roads for many hours looking for the right situation ... the Route 29 murdered in Virginia did this ... another example.

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    1. I'd sure like to know the findings from the A-Frame house....it's all been pretty tight lipped.

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  19. So here's a question I've not thought about until I read this post...

    If there was a tandem driver, why were they driving two cars? Presumably Maura would've just ditched the Saturn at some point if she were running away for good. Why not just ride with whoever the tandem driver is?

    And why wouldn't she be leading the other driver? She's the one who had been to that area and decided where to go.

    Mm, questions questions. The problem with Maura is you can't really argue against any (not insane conspiracy) theories as being unlikely because they are all unlikely. Nothing about this case is normal or simple or statistically likely. Any outcome is the unlikely outcome.

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    1. "And why wouldn't she be leading the other driver? She's the one who had been to that area and decided where to go. "

      We do not know IF there was a tandem driver and that they were unfamiliar with the area. There is no real evidence to prove there was a tandem driver so there is no way to be sure this person would not be familiar with the area.

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    2. Perhaps to cover damage up to Maura's car.
      Or it was there last together, and the tadem driver would come back, while Maura continued on her way.

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    3. Do you believe the sighting at Shaw's?

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  20. You're speaking in absolutes, which you cannot. She coudl have ran down the road and then into the woods. They didn't look that far that evening. And quite honestly, I don't even believe the arriving officer looked that hard because he later admitted he thought it was a drunk ditching their car.

    As for a random killer, are the chances low? Yes. Does it make it impossible? No. You yourself stated earlier in your blog about the couple in the A frame house who were questionable people. Is that theory out the window now too?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She could have been abducted by aliens, too.

      This line of reasoning of yours leads nowhere.

      Delete
  21. If you go on YouTube, there is a video titled, "Maura Murray's last drive." The person who shot it attached a camera to their dashboard and drove the exact route Maura drove to the crash site.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvH41yylgq8

    The distance is a little over 3 1/2 miles. I've watched that video several times and the thing that always stuck out to me the most was that this is a very secluded area. You only pass about a dozen homes during those last 3 miles. Everything else is just woods, woods, woods and more woods.

    I guess nothing is impossible but the chances of ANY kind of killer being in such a secluded area like this, in the one spot that's very visible to more than one house distance wise, to abduct Maura at this exact moment are so extremely slim. I think she was more likely to be struck by lightning than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time for a "dirtbag" to grab her.

    Again, it's not impossible. Just highly, highly, HIGHLY unlikely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, I think she was more likely to win the lottery and then be struck twice by lighting.

      Delete
    2. ... unless the red truck caught up to her. The driver saw it, sped up into that bend, and crashed.

      Delete
  22. Isreal Keyes. Walked his victim across a highway and into a parking lot on a busy street, put her in his truck and took off. A weapon gives you the upper hand. I am not sure what I believe happened to Maura but I certainly think anything is possible. I would be hard pressed to find many people that I know in NH that do not possess a gun. I do believe that there had to be some previous stalking if only for a few moments. Maybe she caught the eye of a predator when stopping for gas, saw that she was alone and it continued from there. You pull up to the accident, you show a weapon and no conversation is necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  23. James,

    It is kind of ridiculous for you to discount Maura hitchhiking and no one coming forward yet you believe there was this mysterious tandem driver who also hasn't come forward. You have said that the odds are against Maura coming across a random stranger who she would have accepted a ride from because no one watching the scene noticed anyone other than Butch Atwood stopping yet no one saw the "tandem" driver either. This lands credence to Maura walking away from her vehicle. Since none of use were on that road the night Maura went missing the roads could have easily been plowed thus Maura wouldn't have left foot prints.

    As for the whole John Wayne Gacy analogy growing up in the Chicagoland Area I am very familiar with the Gacy case and even know an officer who was on Des Plaines PD when Gacy got arrested. (He took no part in the investigation and arrest). He said when investigators looked back and were uncovering the bodies it is amazing he was never caught sooner. His last victim was apprehended in broad daylight for his place employment and Gacy even had a photo receipt placing him at the location prior to the Boys disappearance. In fact many of Gacy's victims were abducted in public places under the pretense of a job offer.

    ReplyDelete
  24. And another thought... I tend to agree that RF's claims aren't viable yet for some reason at the time, Scarinza thought they were. Believed he really saw Maura. I'd like to know if he still thinks RF was telling the truth and saw her that night and what he would say in response to those who don't buy RF's story.

    ReplyDelete
  25. James, I am pretty much on board with your theory on Maura's disappearance. I think that what scant evidence exists, more likely points that way. However, just a few weeks ago on the podcast you said that information you recently received made you 60/40 that she came to foul play. This post seems to point back towards your original sentiment. Why the back and forth? I'm sure you can't divulge too many specifics. Thanks for your efforts!

    ReplyDelete
  26. So, a decade later, here we are.


    Loose ends and red herrings.

    1) Pre-accident: The route. A phone turned Off. Just a snow getaway? Meanwhile ... is a red truck traveling from Mass north on Rt i93 that afternoon? A ping ... from the truck? A stop at an ATM. The booze. A "sighting" at Shaw's? The first accident. The nearly full gas tank. A red truck with northeastern plates. A local witness verifies this truck.

    2) The Accident: MM accelerates as she hits the bend. Which way? Three households note.

    3) Emergency Response: Dropped emergency protocol. The Monday night meeting of local officials. Ten missing minutes. Passing vehicles. Two responding officers; two vehicles, first an SUV, second a cruiser. Complete local emergency response. A responder is asked to leave. BOLO. A runner headed east?

    4) The Scene: Inconsistencies in vehicular damage. Not trees. A rock? The red light. The rag. Accounted personal possessions.

    5) The Initial Investigation: Disappearing footprints. Disappearing scent. Footprints behind The Marrotte house. Jewelry? Was there a backpack?

    6) Reality Sets In: The family response. MM's unusual behavior six months prior. The very odd last week of MM's life. Limited information. Unsuccessful searches. Someone else's garments.

    7) The Dust Settles: A family red truck. A weird police chief. Odd local behavior. Recanted stories. Mouths shut. The FBi. MM's burned possessions. A rusty knife; unsubstantiated accusations. A failed cadaver search. Media coverage. A frozen black backpack. A sighting in NH, realized too late. A case goes cold.

    8) A Case Goes Viral: Much online noise. Frustrated Law Enforcement. A northeast underworld. The Connecticut Valley Killer. Israel Keyes. More victims. Trolls. Accusations. Unsubstantiated inside information. Unsubstantiated connections. Conspiracy theories. Undercover investigators.

    9) "Can the Internet Find Maura Murray?" Family websites. Enter an author. A cold family response. A national search goes international. Much more noise. A Wretched Anniversary. Threats, allegations, caution. Unverified sightings of MM. A podcast. More information, conjecture and happenstance. Anonymous fame. Enter the psychics. No resolution.

    10) Remains of the Day: Unidentified remains continue to appear around the northeast. Can a set of those be Maura Murray's? Does only one side of the family know the story?


    Up in The White Mountains, an owl guards his haven.

    A family waits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find this to be a very odd comment, just not sure in exactly what context.

      "Up in The White Mountains, an owl guards his haven.

      A family waits."

      Delete
    2. I don't understand the owl comment. Can you please explain?

      Delete
    3. Sounds like a David Lynch movie.

      Delete
    4. Waxing poetic there. It's a ref to anyone up there who cares, not predatory. Nothing, noone specific. This case could be a Lynch script, couldn't it?

      Delete
  27. Have we discounted the idea that someone may have seen her the last time she stopped & followed at a safe distance? Then that person "happens to drive by" the accident? If we believe much of Maura's behavior was due to lack of impulse control and that she may have been desperate that night, what's to say she wasn't impulsive & desperate enough to accept a ride from a stranger?

    Bear in mind I'm not married to any one theory. I just like playing devil's advocate & asking questions to see if they poke holes in other theories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Mr. Renner's point is that she had already turned down an offer of a ride from a stranger. Why accept an offer from a different stranger just a few minutes later? I agree that it's more likely that she accepted a ride from someone she knew.

      Though, I disagree with ruling out her walking into the woods and succumbing to the elements. In many cases, remains have been found months or years after disappearances, even when thorough searches have been performed. From what I've read, I don't know that the searches that were done in this case were particularly "thorough", especially considering the terrain.

      Delete
    2. "Why accept an offer from a different stranger just a few minutes later?"

      That's just one of the problems with the abduction "theory". But, what if the Bad Samaritan brandished a weapon?

      Delete
    3. Why if Maura did catch a ride from the area, the person is a murderer. There's a 50/50 chance if Maura caught a ride from a stranger, they were a good Samaritan or murderer.
      This person may not realize the person they gave a ride to is missing or that it was Maura.
      She had declined Butch's offer, who was on a school bus and another bus ( I believe Barabara was a bus driver too?) Was in there driveway. Why would she get into a different strangers car? I'm a little younger than Maura and I was always taught Never to take rides from strangers.
      If she had just passed the stage shop, she should of known she could go back there, use a pay phone to call for help. She had calling cards.

      Delete
    4. I thought Butch just invited her to wait it out in his house, not offered her a ride?

      I have read every single thing on this blog, but it's possible I'm remembering this incorrectly...

      Delete
  28. Back up. Suppose there were tandem drivers.

    MU is on to something. Give the gal a beer. Here's how it could've played out:

    The girls hatch a day out. (Kate? I think, is the one who returns later in the week.) Two or three girls; one or more cars. Maura's is bad but not as bad as another's. Aimless, just out for a couple of days. Bill's being dumped; write a short note as an alibi. So don't worry, just need a little time with friends. Profs told otherwise. Bring the books to keep up. Shop online for a room, Good Luck in high ski season. OK, wing it. Throw together some stuff and figure out the details later.

    The road. "I know some cool places," says Maura. They hit a joint or two, get booze and continue on. (The clerk who serves them at Shaw's finally comes forward ... over ten years later, when things have cooled down.) First a stop. The girls attract some unwanted attention. Speeding? Something Else? Was a vehicle hit? Things get ugly so they leave. MM's car is forced off the road and the group is attacked (or attacked earlier). One girl leaves the situation and returns shaken to UMass.

    A car, or truck, follows MM's car, now being followed however closely. MM's car loses it and the chaser flies in front. The truck, realizing his mistake, backtracks but finds no girls or car. It waits. It trolls the backroads. Then, MM's car approaches The Weathered Barn. The perps give chase.

    Approaching the barn, the driver of MM's car recognizes the perps and speeds up. The car wipes out.

    The scenario we all know plays out. But, it's Kate or Sarah who are approached by Butch Atwood.


    This would explain more things hanging in the ether.

    1) The reason the dogs lost the scent? Wrong girl. Her scent was there, but was mixed with another's. Maura's.

    2) Forcier didn't lie after all. This girl left the scene and got help, just not from Butch. Forcier did see this girl. Help was down the road; maybe luck.

    3) The Shaw's clerk did see the girls that night. Then, the night turns black.

    4) The ping. Two possibilities here. "Do you have a room? Oh shoot, I just lost the connection." The Innkeeper tries to follow through with no luck, out of range. Or, more ominously, "Help -- !" Line goes dead. Caller tries back. No luck. Tries MM's phone. Off.

    5) The rag. A primitive attempt to disable MM's car. Didn't work 'cuz the perps were stupid.

    6) An empty black backpack is left without an owner on the Pemi Overlook. Its contents are destroyed.

    7) Days later, a girl is gone and one or two survivors are terrified. Too terrified to talk too much, it might endanger Maura. 72 hours later, it's too late anyway. Gone. The woods, someone's property or sold into slavery.



    Net: The movements of either of these girls that night may provide The Missing Piece. Get phone records, everything.

    Lastly, NH locals know Maura Murray's face well. They may not know Kate's or Sarah's.

    Who would've done it? A drifter. A gang. Some crazed local. A hunter. Someone who knows how to dress a carcass. Maybe a bad cop.

    Why? There's $4000 to be had. Some cute gals. And, booze. What a party.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they were chased off the road, I highly doubt Butchs help would have been declined. It also doesn't account for why she said don't call the police, that she had already called AAA. I think Kate was there, she helped Maura disappear, Kate lied to Fred about her involvement, Fred knows she ran off intentionally but doesn't have the resources to find her himself so he is utilizing law enforcement to do so for him. I think he is probably also the reason Maura disappeared.

      Delete
    2. Why would she accept a ride from Butch? I don't mean to be unkind, but an obese, weird looking dude in a school bus? No thanks, she's got it, AAA coming, go away creepy guy... Mostly, if she were looking for help, you don't get in a random car on a dark, rural road, you go to the house across the street, towards the lights to ask for help. You also don't get into a random car, you get into a car with someone you recognize, however minimally.
      Maura doesn't want another chance for more trouble, DUI, and she knows her friend will realize she's no longer following, turn around and come and get her. Ditch the car, it's a mess anyway.
      I like the Kate and/or Sara take, but it could have been someone else she knew. Maura is splitting and she will start with a few days away with a friend. It took a couple of days for everyone to realize she was "gone". Fairly quickly the story blows up and going back gets harder and harder, especially if Sara (?) will tell Fred the truth.
      She packed up her stuff in her room, she was outta there. The stuff left in her car is not all that remarkable. An accumulation of workout clothes, toiletries, crap. She has money. The turned of phone may have been simply to save the battery. After a day or two with the friend, she's off on her adventure. From there she could have gone to Canada, she could have gone anywhere. She could have met with misadventure, she could be living a great life, she could be an alcoholic cocktail waitress... But I think that night she got into a car (red truck) of someone she knew.
      Here is my biggest problem - the rag in the tailpipe. Fred knew about it. A lot of us bad kids who grew up know that you can disable a car by shoving a potato into the tailpipe. The car will stall out and in short order not run. While the rag may not have been as tight a fit as a potato, she could not have driven from MA to where she was with it in there. She, or someone, could have put it in at the gas station, the liquor store, at the scene of the "crash". Why? And how did Fred know it was there?
      Just my thoughts...

      Delete
    3. "Why would she accept a ride from Butch? I don't mean to be unkind, but an obese, weird looking dude in a school bus? No thanks, she's got it, AAA coming, go away creepy guy ..."

      I thought the same right away when I first learned of him. It's a stereotype, right? Only Clark Gables and Betty Grables need apply. Poor Butch!

      Chef: That's the prob with my notion. BUT if the guy or persons waited until Butch was gone or she was threatened prior ... eeesh, this makes the runaway theory more plausible! Who knows.

      But, clearly the girl was NOT comfortable with Butch.

      (I'm old enough to remember when the name Butch was synonymous with bullies.)

      Delete
    4. I keep mulling this particular point. If you HAD to take a ride from someone, I would probably pick the person driving a bus over a random car. Why? I would assume the bus driver has passed background checks, driven others alone and is known in the community. You can't really infer that from a random car. The only way if get into a person's car if I had no good choice would be if it were a woman because it would make me feel a bit safer (I'm female). But if the bus driver offered first I'd accept. Maybe I'm in the minority though.

      Delete
  29. Ok, going by your definition of "organized" and "disorganized" killer, I think we can agree that she was not murdered by an organized killer.

    "But to believe Maura was abducted by a disorganized killer, you must believe he had the best luck in the world - that he happened to be driving along that stretch of road on a Monday night, alone, and just happened upon Maura at the right moment - in a window of 3 - 7 minutes before police arrived."

    Yep, happened to Kari Lynn Nixon (google her). She was alone and a random driver just so happened to see her and things happened very fast, within a few minutes. And I must ask, what were the chances of that happening? Probably too low to seriously calculate, but it still happened.

    "No, they don't. Women are abducted all the time, yes. But they are abducted because they were either stalked by an organized killer (not the case here) or happened to wander into a place where a killer was waiting (again, not the case here)."

    Nope. Not in Kari's case. She was abducted by a random person, and he was not simply waiting for someone to abduct and she happened to draw the short stick.

    "I challenge you to find one case that lines up with this one - where a woman gets into an accident, in plain sight of several witnesses, and disappears in a 3 - 7 minute window."

    Sure Kari's case. But more to the point, in one sense all cases are unique. I mean, can you think of another case like Kari's? I can't. But yet, here we are. See, in a very real sense, there is a "first time for everything". In almost every case that exists and have been solved, you may find cases similar to them, but they aren't identical. So what you're asking is sort of unrealistic.

    Also, maybe I'm just weird. But do you think it's typical that someone just stares out their living room window all day or something? I mean, someone could be in an accident in front of my house right now and I wouldn't even know it. I suspect the eye-witnesses weren't just glued to their windows.

    But let's say they were. Well, it wouldn't be very dark at this time, which already obscures their view (I don't know anyone who can see as well in the dark as they can during the day). Furthermore, everyone knows when it's dark outside, and your lights are on in your house, it's hard to really view the outside world because of the reflection of the light. In other words, these eye-witnesses probably didn't have the best view.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kari's case is interesting, but her killer was driving through a populated area where there would be victims. We're also talking about the abduction of a child, not a grown woman.

      Delete
    2. James, at the end of the day, I really hope you're right that she ran away and started a new life. I would much rather be proven wrong than right about this case.

      But to your objections:

      "Kari's case is interesting, but her killer was driving through a populated area where there would be victims."

      Not necessarily. Her killer wasn't looking for a victim, he just so happened to see her and she was vulnerable. See, it could've been that when he was driving, he couldn't seen no one on that road, or he would have seen a man, or he could have seen a group of people, etc. He could have even driven by when Kari was talking to her friends, and decided it wasn't worth the risk. But instead, he randomly happened to see her, alone, and took advantage of the opportunity. But it's not a given that a victim would've been found.

      "We're also talking about the abduction of a child, not a grown woman."

      Debatable on whether a 16 year old would necessarily be considered a child. But either way, her killer said he held her at gun point and told her to get into the car. Many adults have been taken in similar fashion as well, even men.

      But also, regarding the eye-witnesses, like I said, it was dark which would obscure the view of the witnesses. But then as John Smith is saying, there could be a whole different level here... and that is, perhaps the eye-witnesses are lying. Why they would be, I don't know. But you're assuming everything is on the level.

      Are you starting to see why the abduction/crime of opportunity angle is not so easily dismissed? I'm pulling for your theory... but if we're talking statistics, people are the victims of foul play a lot more often than being able to successfully pull off a disappearing act.

      Delete
  30. You continue to be confused about ex ante and ex post probabilities. It's like pumping 10.000 gallons of gas and then claiming that it's a miracle ... No, the probability is actually 100% because you defined the event after it already happened, not before. Low probability events happen every day. I pumped 12.832 gallons of gas today. Using your logic, you could write in your next book that my claim is outlandish because the probability of this even is so low!

    For a different example, you have tens of thousands of direct ancestors. If any one of them had died before having children ... no James Renner. Thus, there's no way you actually exist, because there's only an infinitesimal chance that some ill fate didn't befall even one of those tens of thousands of ancestors.

    Thus, the question you need to ask is emphatically *not* the probability that this series of events would happen to some person at random (very low, but so is pumping 12.832 gallons of gas), but the relevant probability conditional on the unusual circumstances we already know occurred.

    Math...it's a tricky concept.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. You know why? Because using your examples, we still don't know that you pumped 12.832 gallons. We still don't know that they didn't die before having a James Renner. We don't know what happened to Maura, so we have to look at it as if we don't yet have the outcome. It's ex ante still. We don't know if it's abduction/disappearance/runaway/suicide/ etc. We can't even prove there was a crime. So... it doesn't quite work that cleanly for this case. Sorry.

      Delete
    2. Yes, but we DO know she disappeared and has been missing for 12 years. So the correct question is not the chance that a string of bad luck would befall a young woman at random, but **out of young women who have disappeared and been missing for 12 years**, what fraction of THOSE were murdered. And there I would say the chance is quite high.

      Delete
    3. James, he's right. See my post about the vanished jet. Saying the window is too small is like focusing on the jet after it vanished over the ocean (something unlikely already happened to it) and saying "but jets have a vanishingly small crash rate, so it could not have crashed into the ocean."

      Delete
    4. YES!!!!! To everything Anon at 8:48 said!! Finally, someone gets it!

      Delete
    5. Statistically speaking, the overwhelming majority of the long-term missing (which is to say those missing more than six months) are dead.

      Delete
  31. We continuously look at a random encounter like this as "improbable" but how many hundreds of thousands of lone women fell victim to a male in a situation like this? Far more people are victims of foul play than ones who voluntarily vanish. There's no denying that. No body doesn't necessarily equal a run away. This could go many different ways based on the scant evidence we have, but I will absolutely not dismiss foul play simply because it's "unlikely" and occurred in a small window of opportunity.

    Time and time again we view a murder scenario as some impossible event based on the idea that some Ted Bundy type is out trolling around looking for people to kill.

    It doesn't necessarily have to play out that way at all, in fact I find that quite unlikely, too. However, her being killed by a stranger could have very well originated from a sexual motive, or even an accident.

    Quite simply, the idea she died at the hands of a stranger doesn't mean it was some cunning Zodiac Killer copycat, the original intent probably wasn't murder, but perhaps that's how it ended.

    Considering the circumstances, she just had an accident, she was likely intoxicated, neighbors were aware, cops were likely en route...If another vehicle did pull up and offer a ride, Maura was likely scared and frantic and willing to do anything to flee the scene. I doubt it would have taken much persuasion to get her in a car...

    ReplyDelete
  32. The tailpipe tells me no random strangers were involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. A planted red herring.

      Delete
    2. I agree, Red Herring, the one thing that would point to an abduction, Fred explained away.

      Delete
    3. Id be interested in any & all theories about the rag/tailpipe. Thats another piece that has bugged me since the beginning.

      Delete
    4. Absolutely. It brings Fred in in a bizarre way, unless Fred is covering for her running away for some reason.

      Delete
  33. PLANNED ABDUCTIONS USUALLY HAPPEN BECAUSE SOMEONE WANTS SOMEONE GONE (JEALOUS PARTNER) OR WANTS SOMEONE TO THEMSELVES (CUSTODY)

    ACCIDENTAL ABDUCTIONS HAPPEN RANDOMLY BUT JAMES IS RIGHT. THAT IS A VERY SHORT WINDOW.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Abductions involve a known person as abductor. There may very well be very shady towns all over the country. But that night was such a small window regarding time that it kind of can't be some random perp

    ReplyDelete
  35. I have an acquaintance who was taken from her home, suspiciously when her kids weren't there, and dropped off 2 hours east. She was found about 30 hours later, battered.

    This wasn't planned.

    ReplyDelete
  36. James, have you read about the Orlando case, Michelle? She was the people's court chick. It's from 2011. Still no answers and her ex, who everyone thinks knows, swears he doesn't.

    ReplyDelete
  37. There was also no sign of struggle. Yes, she did exit the car and walk around it (the woman witness said this?) but the strongest man on the planet grabbing her wouldn't elicited a struggle and it would've likely been captured in footprints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think it's fair to rule out a possible struggle...even if it were minor. Sure, there was no blood on the scene, but if she decided to take a ride, or there was some type of "snatching" where she was caught really off guard (add in possible intoxication), we likely would have no idea. And why would there be obvious footprints? It most likely would have happened in the road, which was plowed- and even if there was a light dusting on the road, the police did not immediately LOOK for footprints, as it wasn't viewed as a possible crime at the beginning. Think of all the cars (and people at/around the scene) when they finally DID decide to look into it more.By then any sign would be long gone, unless there was blood involved.

      Delete
  38. So do we now think someone picked her up, drove her north/some direction, and dropped her off some place she felt safe but away from it all?

    ReplyDelete
  39. If we're considering the possibilities of disorganized/unplanned abduction then what can be said about the brothers who worked at Loon Mountain and owned a red truck? The red truck was seem that night possibly with more than one person in it (brothers). Acting suspicious. And they just so happened to pull a no call no show at work that night? If you're disorganized you'd be pulling a no call no show bc of a "crime of opportunity" so to speak. Have they been cleared? Weren't they looking for red trucks the next day in connection to the case?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a rumor and unverified. And now you need two people to keep a secret.

      Delete
    2. Hasn't it been your contention that Fred Murray, Kate Markopoulos, and Sara Alfieri and some unnamed secret boyfriend were all in on Maura's disappearance? Because in case you can't count, that's THREE people, James, with only one being family. The Loon boys would have better odds of keeping a secret, especially if multiple felonies are involved.

      Delete
    3. James thank you for clarifying. Which part is the rumor? I know there was definitely a red truck around that night that may or may not be involved. Is the rumor that the brothers didn't show up for work?

      I agree then you do need two people to keep the secret. That falls along the disorganized abduction. But maybe if they each did equally illegal things to her they would both be inclined to keep quiet? Bc neither could really confess without outing the other.

      But then Anon @ 6:49 makes a good point...if Kate, Sara, and/or Fred or any combo of these three are involved then that's multiple people keeping a secret too.

      Delete
    4. They're not doing a very good job of keeping the secret, though.

      Delete
    5. "And now you need two people to keep a secret."

      Certainly, most likely, but that would apply in a disappearance too. Lookit Whitey Bulger.

      Delete
  40. I know that in terms of statistics it is most likely that Maura Murray is dead. However, if all I had was her spirit to talk to and she wanted to know why I suspected she might have run away even if that were not the case, my response would be the first email about the death in the family. There are actually two lies contained within that email.

    The first lie is that someone in Maura Murray's family had died. The second lie was the time she requested to be gone from campus. Maybe the show Disappeared had it wrong and she did not write "a week."

    According to the Dane Cook email read on Disappeared she had asked friends to accompany her to UCONN to see Dane Cook on Thursday February 12th meaning that she would have to be back to campus by Wednesday February 11th. And since UCONN is south of UMASS and Maura Murray went north on her trip, if she had meant to see that show she would have had to come back south and stop at her dorm room beforehand.

    Since she was courteous enough to notify her work and professors about missing class, did she also notify those people she originally emailed that she was no longer going to attend that Dane Cook comedy show?

    It is these types of questions that make me wonder sometimes because after nearly 12 years, it is probably a case of murder. But there are other times were it looks like a case of circumstance.

    ReplyDelete
  41. If it was an accident the time window is too short for a tangent driver. Hypothetically, makes no sense to drive separately if coming from same starting point. Additionally the further the starting points the less likely she would be found, as this was an accident. Meeting from hundreds of miles away no way to communicate puts the tandem driver in an almost impossible position, to guess where the accident took place. No Maura was driven up there after buying a week's time to get reliable transport to clinicals. She was offered a ride and then was told she was going as passenger to the place she planned on studying a week until dad bought her a reliable vehicle. They were runners. Driver was drunk hiding up the road. Butch saw her in passenger seat. She quickly gathered some things and traveled up the road on foot to avoid DUI. Driver left quickly so not seen.

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  42. I can't help but think about that quote she wrote in her year book I think it was about defeating all odds and laughing it up. That doesn't really make her sound all that sensible does it. I think she was fascinated with the whole idea though about taking risks which is why not without peril was her favourite book. So would she have driven all that way in a dodgy car alone and without back up and could it be possible she got into a strangers car and just hoped she would defeat all odds. If it was one of my kids I would say definitely not and know that something terrible must have happened but without knowing her in person then who's to say, anything could be possible.

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  43. James, I would say that I am among those who have the highest levels of respect for you and what you have done. Moreover, I have repeatedly defended you here and elsewhere against troll detractors' stupid comments and helped you to ward off red herrings for weirdly intentioned people. But in this case, you are simply wrong. Your claim that it is too small a window for someone who vanished to have been abducted simply defies statistical reasoning. Something highly unlikely already happened in Maura's case. This is why we know about it and think about it. The population in which the likelihood occurs is not randomly selected coeds who went for a drive. The population is randomly selected coeds who vanished completely without an explanation. Among such mysteriously vanished people, the odds of short window abduction are not so low. They are considerable. Does not mean it happened that way, and maybe you are right that it did not. But to dismiss the possibility on flawed statistical reasoning damages your credibility. Again, if a plane that took off and went over the ocean vanished mysteriously, it would make no sense to not look for the wreckage in the ocean on the the theory that planes have a vanishingly low rate of crashing. It would be even more nonsensical to not look for the wreckage because the sequence of events for a plane to crash more often than not involves multiple failures and/or mistakes in a "perfect storm" scenario for the plane to actually go down.

    I think you have to get right on this and admit the error in your reasoning. It simply does not hold water. If your reasoning were accurate, the searches for the bodies and killers of Brooke Wilberger, Molly Bish and many others would never have occurred ... because it was too unlikely that they were abducted.

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    1. No. Again, your example of the missing plane in this case doesn't fly. We wouldn't know if the plane was even missing. We don't know if this is a disappearance. Murder. Runaway. Suicide. You don't have the other side of your equation the same way you would with that Malaysian Airline. We're not there yet.

      Further, Molly Bish's killer staked out that beach and waited until the witness was gone. Same with Brooke. So, very different cases. And we know the outcomes. We don't even know if Maura's case is a crime.

      Delete
    2. I think it's fair to say it's not probable but not a hundred percent impossible that she was abducted

      Delete
    3. John's argument is spot on. You start from the fact that Maura did go missing and has been gone for 12 years. Then among THOSE cases you examine the chance of a homicide, runaway, etc... Not the chance of a string of misfortune for a young woman plucked at random off the street.

      In fact, one could equally well apply your argument to your scenario. What's the chance that a young woman at random stages her own disappearance and successfully stays under the radar for 12 years? I'd say that's low too.

      I too appreciate all the elbow grease you have put into this case, but on this score you are simply wrong. Your argument is a common error in statistical reasoning.

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    4. "Again, your example of the missing plane in this case doesn't fly" Good Pun I like it.

      What I believe Mr. Green is trying to state is if you look at the subset of all the people in the world that have disappeared it raises the probability of the event of "disorganized killer" crossing the path of the disappeared. Just like if I said "in all of America the odds are extremely low of being murdered in your home" - this is true however if I looked at only the subset of people that were victims of Breaking and Entering the odds will shift to being more favorable.

      However - to be fair we must also look at the set of people that potentially flee the scene of a drinking and driving crash as to not get caught. You wrote yourself that there was only 7-8 cars an hour and first responders are expecting an accident so no one is looking into the woods as they drive to the scene.

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    5. "I think it's fair to say it's not probable but not a hundred percent impossible that she was abducted"

      Lemme fix that to read, "I think it's fair to say it's possible MM was abducted but not a 100% possibility."

      Delete
    6. "I too appreciate all the elbow grease you have put into this case, but on this score you are simply wrong. Your argument is a common error in statistical reasoning."

      Until information is forthcoming, you can't say JR's wrong either. Killers don't care about statistics as much as you say. Statistics can help catch them, though.

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    7. You cannot base your statistical analysis in the disappearance because we are not trying to find out if she disappeared we are trying to find out how. It needs to be based on the accident. We find out statistically how many young women vanish after a car accident. That's Monty Halls first door. After we establish that we get the statistics on how many of those vanished and were never found, how many vanished and were found dead, then how many vanished and were found alive. There is another door revealed. That is how you arrive at the statistically low probability that James is speaking of. You can never use the word you are defining in a definition and that is what you are doing by basing your analysis in the disappearance.

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  44. There is one thing You have to remember....The NHSP CCU has now classified this as a possible homicide and this is the avenue they are pursuing at this point. They would NEVER put this into print unless they were pretty damn sure that is what actually occurred.

    Another thing is that I have talked to people who have called or emailed NH CCU with info regarding this case and that info has been taken but said to be irrelevant but they will look into it. Also some of the people were even dismissed w/o the NH CCU taking their info at all.

    This says to me that they are only concentrating on what they have for evidence and info and working from that. It says that they are confident that the info they already have is the solution to this case and any other possible clues are just being tossed to the side.

    WHY.......Because they know what happened and who is responsible but just do not have a solid enough case to press for an indictment and an eventual conviction.

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    1. So your saying you know for sure that we are wasting our time with all these theories because the ccu already know everything about what happened to her but haven't acted yet. I didn't know that!

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    2. Agree. A couple years ago when Fred went to court to try and have Maura's case file released to him, it was denied, because there was to be pending arrests made that dealt with the case. Interesting to say the least.

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    3. Not true at all ... MU does keep the door open to JR's theory but only a little. Obviously this person ; wants to sway JR to this conclusion. As far as we've been told, MU is closer geographically and personally to the situation so is in a much better position to respond. THAT said, we've been bamboozled before.

      There's long been a suspicion a cop or similar did this. What I find interesting is that psychics have even pointed to a cop. I'm no big believer in ESP or tarot readings either but struggle to have an open mind.

      All things being equal, this case lacks the EVIDENCE required for a "slam dunk". JR, MU and others closer to this than us have better info but can't reveal all they know, which is a rather frustrating tug of war that we have here. JR has stuff we can never know and he hopes WE produce something the cops HAVE to know if this is ever gonna get solved.

      "Will the Internet Find Maura Murray?" Until she walks in the door or hikers find her remains, the answer is a 100% no. See what I did there?

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    4. Mate they don't have enough evidence because they are operating on a confirmation bias?

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    5. "Mate they don't have enough evidence because they are operating on a confirmation bias?"

      Perhaps, but even assuming that is a reach, despite MU's assertions. Could be the quality of the evidence is what's lacking. Such as, a body, DNA.

      Which brings me to this: Since it "appears" her backpack was recovered, could DNA be lifted from that? Again, I'm making a Big Leap here ...

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  45. I think the chances of an opportunistic killer are indeed very low.

    That being said, I believe it's possible that she may have been hit by a car (this is what my mind keeps going back to). The witnesses have said there were in fact several cars that passed before the police arrived.

    I also keep thinking of several cases in my area which make me think of different scenarios that may have happened to Maura:

    -A young college student was out with friends, stopped back by his apartment and then disappeared. He was gone for over a week when his body was found right next door in an empty building. He had committed suicide. If the landlord had not returned to search the building, I wonder when he would have been found.

    -A college student failed to show up to her second job. When family and police went to her apartment, they found her dog shut in a room and her belongings still there (purse, phone). No suspect ever named. TWO YEARS later some hunters found her remains in a remote area one state over.

    -A teen who had been in with the wrong crowd was last seen on a street corner after being dropped off. Her sister received a troubling text that evening but never got to talk to her. She has been missing since 2010 with no good leads.

    -A college student from my grad school disappeared. I actually set up the Facebook search page where people shared positive messages for him. He ended up reading it, decided people did care about him and called his parents. He was on the West Coast (we are in the Midwest) where he had gone to start over.

    I bring these up not to say that any of these necessarily match up with Maura, but rather to show that people do "just disappear" for a multitude of reasons.

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    1. "That being said, I believe it's possible that she may have been hit by a car (this is what my mind keeps going back to). The witnesses have said there were in fact several cars that passed before the police arrived. "

      Considering the snow/ice and dark conditions of that night, it wouldn't surprise me at all if she took off on foot and was victim to a hit and run. Something like this - an accident gone awry - is more likely to me than an abduction.

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    2. "I think the chances of an opportunistic killer are indeed very low."

      If that infinitesimal window existed for this case, then the chance skyrockets to near 100%. The perp has to be right exactly once.

      I think a window existed here. She couldn't fend him/her/them off.

      I'm not married to the notion, however. I still give JR pull because as he wrote, events prior to her disappearance are unconventional in such a case.

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    3. I don't discredit the killer theory totally. I just think the odds are low as I mentioned. In addition to the cases above I forgot to mention that a few years ago a teen had taken drugs at a party and walked home along a fairly busy suburban road. Someone hit him and thought he was a deer. Days later when everyone was looking for the boy, this driver came forward and said he thought perhaps he may have hit him. After a search they found his body in the ditch, hidden from everyone who had passed that way. That scenario seems really possible to me here, and might explain a lot.

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  46. My brother Butch worked for the State of NH, DRED, Franconia Notch when this happened. Him and another employee were out emptying trash cans throughout the notch and up rte 3 north to the few scenic pull-offs that had picnic tables and great views. These pull-offs were large enough for tractor trailers as well. While emptying the cans Butch and his co-worker encountered a very bad smell but working on the garbage truck they almost left thinking it was that creating the odor. Upon further investigation they came across the remains of Pamela Webb, her body was only about 75 into the woods beyond the picnic tables. Only Her upper body was located here. Her KILLER has never been found.

    http://doj.nh.gov/criminal/cold-case/victim-list/pamela-webb.htm

    http://archive.bangordailynews.com/1999/05/14/ex-trooper-found-not-liable-in-murder-of-n-h-woman/

    http://kidnappingmurderandmayhem.blogspot.com/2015/01/maines-unsolved-homicides.html

    http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2009/12/07/unsolved_crimes_in_new_hampshire/

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    1. Yet down here in CT we have the park named "Devils Hopyard". Eeesh ... sorry you guys have to deal with this so much. We're here in the sticks, and we have lots of garbage people dump, but so far, thankfully, no body parts.

      Delete
    2. As long as we're on the topic, lemme say this:

      New Hampshire is a WONDERFUL state to play in. Don't think for a second this is the norm, it isn't. So, go enjoy a hike, a campout, whatever you do. THERE AIN'T NUTHIN' MORE REFRESHING THAN GOOD TIMES OUTDOORS.

      (((I'm off my soapbox.)))

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  47. Sorry, but I disagree and here's why: The fact that she left her birth control behind. If she was merely running away she would have most certainly taken that above all other things. This tells me she was planning on returning to her car at some point to collect her things. She never was able to return. Dogs most definitely lost her scent in a place where she most likely got into a car. She was desperate to get away from the scene temporarily and trusted the wrong person who probably looked and seemed harmless to her. If she had disappeared, like you so persistently insist, she would have been heard from by now. Her troubles have long been over. I can't fathom why you can't see this!

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    1. Your point is valid but if she was pregnant (as some have suggested) and it was an older pack, she wouldn't necessarily need the BC anymore.

      Delete
    2. Untrue on the final line. People who flee abusers stay anonymous forever, at least in my experience being friends with people who "ran away" from a life.

      I'm not too sure I believe that is M's case, but it is VERY possible, esp 10 years ago, to have run away to Canada.

      Delete
    3. I disagree with you. Have you ever thought that many of the items were planted in the car to make it look like a suicide? The two things that stand out to me are the rag in the tailpipe (a clear sign that someone was trying to give themselves carbon monoxide poisoning) and the book Not Without Peril. She either definitely committed suicide or it was a cleverly planned disappearance. I tend to side with a cleverly planned disappearance due to Fred refusing to declare her dead, the spatial relationships of the crash site, and the suspicious behavior of some of her closest friends and family. If I chose to stage a car accident to appear as a suicide, I personally would stick a rag in the tailpipe, have opened alcohol, an open bottle of Tylenol (which I believe was in there), and essential items such as medications, toothbrush, etc. I don't believe her troubles have long been over, because if she ever surfaced her closest friends and family would be going right to jail.

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    4. The tailpipe is insignificant. Fred explained the reason for the rag. Stupid advice? Yes. Everything else you're saying is speculation. The accident scene was not staged. If the birth control was old or she was pregnant, again speculation not based on fact, she would have thrown it out or left it behind in her dorm room. You're relying on speculation way too much. Another thing. Maura talked to her sisters and father daily. She was very close to her family and there is no evidence she was abused. She also adored her little brother. She would not abandon them for long.

      Delete
  48. Have you ever stopped to consider that I don't want to be found?

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  49. "The NHSP CCU has now classified this as a possible homicide and this is the avenue they are pursuing at this point. They would NEVER put this into print unless they were pretty damn sure that is what actually occurred." - I would feel better if it read unsolved homicide. "Possible" can mean a lot of things. If they knew what happened as you state the word "possible" would not be there.

    Why would the Cold Case Unit tell someone a tip is irrelevant, but they would look into it? That makes no sense. Either they take the information and look into or take the information and not look into, but they aren't going to give you statement unless the "tip" is something ridiculous like "Maybe she was on the Edmund Fitzgerald"

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    1. Actually it does make sense... at least in my mind anyway. If what John is saying is true, it sounds like the CCU already know that this is a homicide and even have a good idea of the person or people who were involved in it. If that's the case, then I can easily see how they think something unrelated to the homicide and the people involved would be irrelevant.

      If she was the victim of a homicide, then I sure hope it is true that they at least have a good idea of who was involved. I've got to believe that the CCU knows stuff that the general public does not know...

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    2. I am not sure why they changed it to that status, they just did it.

      As far as the tipsters calls......basically the NHSP were very short with the callers and said they will take the info but it did not seem viable.

      Just going by what I was told. Maybe You could call the NHSP and ask them WHY..!!

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    3. Where are they saying potential Homicide? Still a Missing person on their web page.

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    4. Doesn't it need to be listed as a criminal investigation/ homicide so they don't have to release information under the Freedom to know act. The one Fred used, to try and see what information the police had. Fred went to court not to long after Maura disappeared.
      The police said they didn't need to release the information because they found other crimes while investigating Maura's disappear ance that weren't directly related to her disappearance but could lead to criminal charges.

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    5. Truth Seeker: Not to be a dick, but why'd you change your status? BTW, thanks for kicking the discussion here up a notch.

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    6. ANYWAY ... perhaps the cops feel they'll get more traction by changing the case status. It's easy to sit here frustrated with the possibility of tossed evidence, but we haven't been dealing with this directly for over ten years. But if it were me, I'd hope I'd have the mind to get it ALL down ... 'cuz you never know.

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  50. I have been working with missing persons cases for 15 years and I can tell you without a doubt that people can simply vanish in the blink of an eye. Tara Calico, Toni Danielle Clark, Kristi Suzanne Krebs, Michael Negrete, Robin Graham, Patricia Spencer and Pamela Hobley, Stacy Arras, Ann Gotlb, Jodi Huisentruit, Amy Lynn Bradley are all good examples of teens or adults that disappeared within minutes of being seen. I'm pretty sure this post is a manipulation and if it is then I have fallen for it ;) My gut instinct is that she was the victim of foul play.

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    1. None of these people disappeared in a blink of an eye, and lack the weird circumstances preceding Maura's trip.
      Tara Calico: Disappeared along a route she biked often, a perfect killing ground for an organized killer, large window of opportunity.
      Toni Clark: Obvious hit and run, accidental drowning. She was not running away from problems and had not lied to people about her whereabouts prior to leaving.
      Kristi Krebs: Obvious emotional breakdown, no crime suspected
      Michael Negrete: Large window of opportunity, very populous area, lots of potential suspects
      Robin Graham: About 1,000 drivers could have past her before she was abducted. To believe Maura was taken like this, the killer would have had to be the one specific person who passed the scene in the 5 minute window after the crash.
      Patricia Spencer & Pamela Hobley: Large window. Again, they were heading into a business district with lots of potential people passing by. These suspects would have had familiarity with the area - locals - and therefore comfortable with being seen.
      Stacy Arras: That was a location able to be staked out and controlled by a killer. Dangerous location.
      Ann Gotlib: She disappeared from a friggin mall. Lots of opportunity.
      Jodi Huisentruit: That is a clear organized stalker case. Lots of planning. She had an unbroken routine.
      Amy Bradley: New Hampshire is not Curacoa.

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    2. The tandem driver theory is much more likely to be the truth but who? Solving that will be the missing peice of the puzzle.

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    3. James, on Jodi Huisentruit, she did have an unbroken routine, but it was broken the morning of her disappearance. She was late to work, was contacted by a co-worker. Jodi explained that she had overslept, and never ended up arriving. That could open up the possibility of a disorganized, opportunistic abduction. While unlikely, I just wanted to note her case is not so clear cut as an organized abduction.

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    4. Many women go missing everyday. NH and Vermont have many unsolved homicides and missing people. LE is inexperienced at solving these cases because they see maybe one a year. The eighties were a particularly busy time for some killers in this region. Besides you can't prove there was "only a five minute period of time" she wasn't being watched. It was dark too. Also why did no one see her get into the so-called "tandem car" either?

      Delete
    5. James, look up the disappearance and murder of Kelsey Smith in Overland Park, KS. Kelsey was abducted in broad daylight from a busy Target parking lot. There were no witnesses. In fact, the abduction happened so quickly that law enforcement actually couldn't even make out what happened when they first reviewed the parking lot security footage. It was only after they reviewed the footage multiple times that they could see what transpired, truly in the blink of an eye.

      Now, there were no weird circumstances leading up to Kelsey's murder. But we do not know for a fact that any of the weird circumstances in Maura's life actually explain why she has been missing for 12 years. Some known facts point to why she skipped town, but that's as far as it goes.

      Delete
    6. Ok James how about
      Brittanee Drexel: Lied to her mom and said she was going to be spending spring break at a friends house and instead took off for Mertyle Beach, SC. Was in phone contact with her mother and disappeared right off the main road. No one saw anything gone in a blink of an eye.

      Lee Cutler: Drove from Buffalo Grove, IL to Baraboo, WI. Didn't tell anyone of his intentions or where he was going. Sauk County Sheriff's Department found his car abandoned at Kettle Moraine State Park with a make shift campsite with an empty bottle of Tylenol PM (same medication you said you can't OD on) and an empty box of Corricedine. The Baraboo river extensively searched and no body was found. The only personal effect found were his pants, belt, and wallet. Lee disappeared at the end of October. No trace of him since.

      There are two people gone in a blink of an eye.

      Delete
    7. James, I believe all you've done here is prove angselliss' point. Several of those cases involve abduction from more crowded areas, therefore leading to more potential suspects and witnesses. Maura disappeared from a much more secluded area with a much smaller suspect and witness pool. The fact is the above people either disappeared themselves or were abducted in a short period of time and are being used as examples of such... Not as examples of what must have become of Maura.

      I don't know what happened to Maura and that's the only thing I can be certain of in this case. Until she is found safe or otherwise I think it'd behoove you to refrain from stating absolutes and then attempting to defend them with mostly nonsensical rebuttals.

      Delete
    8. My wife used to live in the same apartment complex as Jodi Huisentruit around 7-8 years ago. I grew up there. Wasn't a stalker, but it was planned. They knew her schedule loosely, but the small town mentality led people to dismiss the commotion in the parking lot. The police also bungled the investigation as well - they had never had a murder like that in a small town. She didn't just disappear in a blink of an eye, and all evidence points to a struggle (blood, bent key in the door, heel marks, etc). There is no evidence of a struggle in Maura's case. The perpetrator confronted her, and argued with her. He knocked her out, then disposed of the body in a rural area. The issue with Jodi's case is in order to have a case in court, you have to have a body. Cornfields don't tell secrets.

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    9. "Until she is found safe or otherwise I think it'd behoove you to refrain from stating absolutes and then attempting to defend them with mostly nonsensical rebuttals."

      I wouldn't cast stones. Give Renner credit for keeping this case in the public eye. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... the book. Disagree with the theory, not with the writer.

      Every missing person case should have this sort of exposure.

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  51. I just can't believe that Maura is hiding some where though. Maura was a smart girl, but not very careful. She didn't hide her eating disorder very well, she was caught stealing from the commissary, caught using someone else's credit card, and caught crashing two different vehicles within days of each other. You don't just change your habits over night.
    Whose to say she wasn't meeting someone and that someones plan was to do harm to her??

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    1. This is one of my biggest issues with the theory she's still alive, and you phrased it very well. Riddled in with the fact there have been no halfway decent sightings over her (you cannot be a complete recluse for 12 years, and this is a pretty famous case), and of course the issues of changing an identity, crossing a border undetected, and the fact others would have to be involved to this to happen. Someone almost ALWAYS slips up. She wasn't some mob boss like Bulger who had a ton of income and confidants at his disposal to make a smooth getaway and crossover. She was a young girl, and (most likely) young, immature people would have been aiding her as well, and I just don't see how someone wouldn't have slipped up by now, and what the motive would be for them to keep quiet...especially as you mature and realize and severity of what happened. It just seems like something more sinister is at play, as the bread crumbs run dry after the crash scene...and a person who was involved with criminal activity and a possible murder/abduction would have the biggest reason in the world to remain silent.

      I hope Maura is reading my comment, living a new life. But I think that's highly unlikely.

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  52. In the case of Maura Murray, coming to any solid conclusions about anything is going to be tough. That is probably why there is so much discussion about it.

    I think if you come out and write that you think Maura Murray ran away and a few years from now, some hikers come across her clothes, shoes, or backpack, you would end up looking foolish. This has happened before a few times.

    On the other side if you write that you think she was murdered, then reflect on the packed up dorm room, the phone calls, the emails, and how quickly she disappeared from the side of the road, she might walk out into the public eye someday also making you look foolish. I do like how many females are convinced since she left her birth control that she did not run away because she would have taken that with her. Since the person that disappeared was female, I think that is important. Seeing that written so many times alone has made me think that along with the 12 years she is not alive.

    I think that is why people enjoy hearing most from individuals who have information about Maura Murray's case. People want to formulate their own opinion about Maura Murray and what happened to her.

    But if someone were to ask me what I think happened to Maura Murray my answer would be the following: I do not know.

    Since I never took statistics and probability in college would that answer work, statistically speaking of course?

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  53. Where has the NH SP stated that it is a homicide? On the CCU website she is listed as a missing person. In the narrative they say they are treating it as suspicious. No one, at least in the data listed online says anything about a homicide. It would make sense they are treating it as suspicious, because they know almost nothing about the nature. That does not mean homicide.

    Bill


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    1. "in July 2008, volunteers led another two-day search through wooded areas The group consisted of dog teams and licensed private investigators. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said in February 2009 that the investigation is still active. "We don't know if Maura is a victim, but the state is treating it as a potential homicide. It may be a missing-persons case, but it's being handled as a criminal investigation."

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    2. Oh. Not the state police but the department that says they are at 85% sure the case is solved. That was 11 years ago.

      So again. They know nothing about what happened to her. They are treating it as a criminal investigation which is the only way they can treat it. Treating it as if she was murdered. That absolutely doesn't mean she was.

      Bill

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  54. The fact that Maura vanished in a matter of a few seconds or so is a chance event of opportunity.....So there is a possibility that a person driving by could have been the one that also had an opportunity. And bc none of the witnesses saw her actually exit the scene it is a perfect time for a disorganized crime or even an organized crime to take place. It has been stated as FACT that at least several vehicles passed by the scene during the event. Atwood stated that He at least saw 3 after he parked his bus, yet he was unable to identify a single one.

    It is either that or there is one major cover-up of epic proportions in Haverhill, NH and all the way into the reaches of the NHSP.

    The discrepancies and inaccuracies that follow this case seem to be almost unable to comprehend and furthermore the fact that others do not see it is a statement of pure denial.

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  55. There is never going to be a case exactly like Maura's, and to refuse to believe that foul play is a possibility is very short sighted in my opinion. But given all the research you have done you must feel very strongly to to stay dedicated to your theory. I do respectfully disagree with it and stick to my instinct that this is most likely a crime of opportunity and she is a victim of foul play. I of course hope she is alive but find that to be very doubtful.

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  56. It seems pretty simple to me to see someone having issues with drinking and bad judgment and driving decisions. This was her second crash and after she sees Butch pull into his driveway she knows she has to run to avoid police involvement. And guess what she probably did leave a trial someone where she entered the woods and she probably knew that so the only way to completely avoid them is for her to go deeper and deeper into the woods.

    People look for answers and other outcomes - and people say abduction - tandem traveler. Okay I can try to keep an open mind but please tell me why a tandem driver is needed? and to go where? And why if she had another ride why apparently wasn't visible but close enough to sense something was wrong - how come she didn't just tell Butch - don't call LE I have another ride. I understand why she could want to flee the scene if she was under probation and didn't want to get into trouble, but I have a hard time believing she planned to start a new life before the accident over some probation. I

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  57. It's more like 20 minutes to Route 116 and back to the crash site if gone beyond Bradley Hill Road.

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  58. If I was Maura and I was intentionally trying to get away, knowing that I crashed on a curvy road with a hilly topography, I would walk to the other side of the road, opposite my car, and take off that way. The trajectory of vision by eyewitnesses would be impaired by the curve and the hills. Even absent hills, witnesses would most likely be looking at the car, not across fro it. It may sound simple, but was the other side of the road checked that night?

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  59. I think the contradiction is this: you say It can't have been opportunistic/ disorgazed because there'd be too many witnesses. However, you point out only 7 cars passed by in one hour. So far fewer would have passed during our brief window. I'm only playing devil's advocate here. I don't think she was abducted. I've read too many cases of areas thoroughly scoured; then a skeleton is found in the same searched area years later. I don't know how it can happen, just that it does. What I'd love to know is how many rarely used summer cabins are in the general area and can their chimneys be searched?

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  60. James, your organized vs disorganized theory is not 100% correct. There are many cases where the offender is, to use the FBI's term, mixed. The offender shows aspects of both. The offender sets out for abduction and murder but does not control the scene. They basically drive and troll around until they find a victim of opportunity. In recent years there has been much research that shows flaws in the organized vs disorganized theory. Even John Douglas, who basically created these terms, has conceded these two categories are too rigid and many offenders fit in to both. On a different topic, have you looked much at the Connecticut River Valley Killings. Happened in this exact area and has many similarities.

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    1. I notice the CT Valley Killer mentioned as a theory in the comment section of almost every post. I would guess they were unrelated. The last connected attack from the C.T.V.K. was in the mid 1980's...so it would have stopped for 20 years before Maura. Let's say the killer was almost 30 (which is about the average age for a serial killer, statistically), that would have placed him at least in his 50's. I think the CTVK is either dead or incarcerated for a separate crime.

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  61. I don't understand why no one offered her to come inside their houses I believe this goes deeper then a serial killer/kidnapped I believe she was part of something that goes deeper and they had her killed I don't have an explanation for this it's a crazy theory I know but maybe she was involved in an fbi sort of thing and knew to much so they staged this.

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    1. Exactly right....You would think the Westman's would have offered assistance or a warm place to be until LE arrived. But faith was the last person to see Maura or (the driver) at the scene. Makes You wonder how that person disappeared right in front of watching eyes, Faith's and possibly Tim's.

      So why did they not see the person leave the scene, or did they, or did the driver go the the door of the Westman's house that evening asking for help.?

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    2. There are many people in the world that would not invite a stranger into their homes and there is nothing unusual or wrong with that. It depends on the person(s) and how comfortable they are with strangers in their home and / or getting involved with an accident, police, etc. Nothing abnormal about that.

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  62. The NHSP believe there is a possibility Maura is the victim of a homicide. They would NEVER publish this unless they were pretty certain there was a very good chance that is what really happened. Otherwise this changes the whole case and the direction in which they would proceed.

    "n July 2008, volunteers led another two-day search through wooded areas in Haverhill. The group consisted of dog teams and licensed private investigators. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery Strelzin said in February 2009 that the investigation is still active. "We don't know if Maura is a victim, but the state is treating it as a potential homicide. It may be a missing-persons case, but it's being handled as a criminal investigation."

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    1. "They would NEVER publish this unless they were pretty certain..." is a very strong statement. In my opinion, it's also extremely untrue, or at least misleading.

      The fact that it was/is treated as a potential homicide is just good police work; if it can't be ruled out as a possibility, regardless of how slim that possibility is, than the police are supposed to treat ANY unusual disappearance or death as a possible homicide. That it no way indicates that they are leaning towards homicide, or they have any sort of evidence that points that way at all. It just means they can't categorically say it didn't happen. That is why the very last sentence you quoted there is worded the way that it is.

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    2. I agree 100% Antonia. It just refers to the case protocol they are following.

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    3. I agree 100% Antonia. It just refers to the case protocol they are following. An ex cop should know that :)

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  63. Dont forgot what we've been told is fact (on the record). She declined help from Butch Atwood. He was driving a school bus for god's sake -not much more innocent than a school bus. She told him not to call police-she had called AAA. She did not want help. Period. So the next car or 2 or 3 she decides to get in??? * makes no sense at all* And if she was grabbed - she took time to lock her car??? The dogs lost her scent quickly. If she walked, she didnt walk far - so again 20 steps later she decides NOW its okay to take a ride...? Just doesnt wash. She knew who she got a ride from.

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    1. I could understand why she didn't want help from Butch Atwood. He lived nearby. The cops would come and bust her for drunk driving or at least carrying open alcohol. So she accepts the next ride that comes by as she knows they will take her quickly away from the scene.

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    2. I to understand why she didn't take Butch's offer, his own wife said he was an intimidating man at 350 #s and a huge mustache. Also, if he came along just after the accident she was probably hoping the car would start and she could avoid the whole mess by sleeping it off in the next motel. Witnesses said it was after Butch left the scene she was digging around in the truck of the car and probably realized how serious the situation was.

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  64. Robert Loud has connections to the Haverhill, NH area

    Police seek victims of police impersonator
    By The Associated Press
    "He's all over the state of New Hampshire."

    Robert Loud, 51, was arrested Friday in Nashua, three days after a Merrimack woman raised questions about being pulled over in the city.

    The woman in the Nashua case said an unmarked police cruiser with flashing blue lights pulled her over on the Daniel Webster Highway Tuesday afternoon.
    A man in a police uniform said he stopped her because a tail light was out. He had the woman sit in his car while he searched hers,


    Sprankle said Loud told investigators he stops suspected drunken drivers at night and drives them home after searching their cars.

    He said officers found a huge collection of police gear at Loud's home, including ammunition, handcuffs, radios, flashlights, police clothing and hats, about 20 real police badges and about 1,000 patches from various police departments around the country.
    They also found various magnetic police seals that can be affixed to car doors to make vehicles look like police cars, he said.
    They found no weapons or items such as pepper spray, Sprankle said.
    He said Loud has been convicted of impersonating a police officer in the past. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Department investigated him in 1993, Sprankle said, and state police also investigated him in connection with car stops on the Everett Turnpike in Nashua.
    Police are asking anyone who believes they may have been stopped by Loud to call (603) 594-3554. They also are interested in talking to anyone Loud may have driven home.
    "Our concerns are two-fold," Sprankle said, "for his safety and the citizens' safety, dealing with an individual representing himself to be the police."

    Just another possibility to throw into the box of puzzle pieces.


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    1. Ewww.

      On the surface, "What a dope."

      Then, YIKES. Practicing for bigger things? How long was he doing this?!?

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  65. I have two questions for those who think the rag was put in the tailpipe to make people think she'd committed suicide:

    1. Wouldn't the fact that her body wasn't found in the car tell us, without a doubt, that she did not commit suicide that way?

    2. Does the car itself need to be in an enclosed space for carbon monoxide poisoning to work? Or is it enough for the fumes to back up into a car with windows rolled up?

    Thanks!

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  66. Every scenario is unlikely for multiple reasons, but one of them MUST be true.

    In my heart, I do not feel that she is alive.

    If a disorganized killer picked her up, he would not have to work hard to cover his tracks in this situation.

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  67. I think it was placed there so she could explain why she crashed vs admitting she was drinking. I think that's why she locked her car too, hoping they'd just tow it and not smell the spilled liquor inside.

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  68. Does anyone know if Butch was ever shown the pictures of Kate or Sara to see if they matched the description of who he saw on the night of the accident ? I seem to remember him saying that the woman he saw at the accident scene did not look like the picture he was shown of Maura. Also, I wonder if the rag in the tail pipe was some sort of signal to a potential tangent driver

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  69. James, everyone who is devoted to finding the answers to this frustrating mystery seriously thanks you. If it weren't for your constant posts igniting more thoughts, the comments wouldn't trickle in with amazing insights. Keep these posts coming. With each post, we become further to finding out what happened to her. These last few months have given staggering answers, shockers, and clues. The combination of all of these things should help veer us in the right path, and very soon I suspect. I just have a good feeling about it.

    Jake

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