Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reality Check


I'm beginning to believe there is a concerted campaign of spin going on by people who want to distract any legitimate investigation into Maura's disappearance.

Case in point: the recent new information concerning the items found in Maura's car.

Now, I assumed any logical person would look at this list and come away pretty convinced that she was not traveling to the White Mountains for a short period of time.

The comments that begin, "I don't see anything strange here. You should see my car..." or "I use 10 bottles of shampoo every day, what's weird about that" are simply ridiculous. It reminds me of the people who say "she probably hadn't unpacked from Christmas break" when faced with the fact that Maura had packed all her belongings into boxes before she left UMass that day.

Maura was leaving and never coming back. I'm willing to consider the possibility that she was traveling to the White Mountains for a couple days to short out her shit but she was done with UMass, peeps. And I believe she was done with Bill Rausch (more on that soon) and her father as well.

I believe the items found in Maura's car support the theory that she was traveling with at least one other companion in a different vehicle -- the many shampoo bottles, the extra toothbrush, etc. Remember, she had tried to book a condo with two rooms for the evening, too. And there are things that are not on this list, things she took with her -- cell phone, booze, a backpack filled with who knows how many more clothes and items, etc.

This wasn't a woman planning suicide, either. If that was her whole intent for traveling to NH, there's too much stuff in the car. But what about the sleeping pills? You can't OD on those kind of pills. And if you're going to drink yourself to death you don't do it with Kahlua. But she wandered off to die in the woods... No she didn't. There were no prints. The area was searched, extensively. And that's about the hardest way to die on purpose.

Don't look at the items one-by-one. Look at the them as a whole. They tell a story.

88 comments:

  1. Good post James. Some folks are so skeptical that it reaches levels of self defeat.

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  2. was anything left in her dorm room?

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    1. Had it confirmed that her computer was led in her dorm room. I know if I was running away I would have taken the computer if not to use but to sell.i really don't think she was planning being away long

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  4. I could not agree more James. In 2004 I was 19, going to college in Memphis, working, travelling to visit friends that lived in other towns. While my car absolutely was littered with random, meaningless belongings and was ultimately messy from being a college student practically "living out of my car," aside from the paperwork, random pieces of clothing, things like that... I would NOT have had that many bottles of shampoo, toothbrushes, etc. in my car. NOT UNLESS I WAS TRAVELING! ROAD TRIP PEOPLE. These are things you take on a trip, a permanent or short trip. Yes, some of the items may have been random things she just did not clean out of her car. However, anyone that cannot see that she packed (or more so threw together) items to leave is wrong. Just COMPLETELY wrong. Everyone is entitled to their "theory" about WHY, WHEN, WITH WHOM she was travelling. But it needs to ultimately stop that people are questioning whether or not she was leaving. It could not be clearer that was doing so. CRYSTAL CLEAR. These people are killing me....

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    1. I don't think anyone here questions that she was leaving at all.

      I think people question whether her intent was to disappear from this trip, or whether it was meant to be a getaway to clear her head so she could figure out whether she wanted to continue at school before returning to campus and making a possibly rash decision (or, conversely, what her plan was going to be if she couldn't return to school, since her academic eligibility was possibly in danger.)

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  5. Look at this as a whole, James, but look at it as a woman, especially as a woman who travels around fairly frequently as Maura did. The toiletries are not ridiculous when you look from a female perspective. If she grabbed her travel make-up case, it may well have already contained a travel toothbrush she'd forgotten, so she tossed hers in. She may have had a couple travel size shampoos in there, then tossed in her Head and Shoulders. I know you find a similar conglomeration in my travel case.

    Clothing and money are far more indicative of her plans than shampoo and make-up, IMO. Maura packed enough clothing for a few days of holing up somewhere and took enough money to hang out for a couple days, if that, considering lodging and food. If she was off to a new life, she was sorely I'll-prepared.

    And if she was off to a new life, why in the world did she bring her text books? She wasn't going to enroll in nursing school somewhere else with $280 and a false identity.

    No need for any conspiracy here. Just a different perspective, likely a female perspective that's hard for a man to fully grasp.

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    1. It's not "hard" for a male to grasp a female perspective--we're a culture knee-deep in feminist ideology and over promotion. Also, given that you are just one female, and Maura is another with a totally different set of variables and situations unfurling in her life, the point is moot.

      Maura was clearly on the go. What's missing is the puzzle pieces to complete the actual catalyst--which no doubt are being kept by her friends and father and her traveling companion.

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    2. This was my feeling as well, but then again I am also not as well-read on the case as others. I just felt that the list was only interesting given the context and that a similar load of items could be found in the cars of many females--my twentysomething self included. I am not saying none of it means anything, but I also don't think it automatically means anything, either.

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    3. The thing that I have always found interesting is that people say it's impossible to disappear and then substantiate that hypothesis by stating the KNOWN facts from the several DAYS leading up to her disappearance. Why is the assumption made that she hadn't been planning this for months or longer? The other alternative is that she was in a mad scramble to leave and didn't successfully disappear, but rather tragically disappeared, perhaps at the hands of someone who didn't want her out and about knowing too much? Just a thought :)

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    4. Totally agree, and I'm not sure why James is so troubled by women on here coming and sharing an alternative perspective? 9/10 college aged girls I know would have a very similar list of items in their car.

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    5. I agree wholeheartedly with Reedie's statement above.

      I am puzzled by your opinion, James, that a lot of people here are trying to distract things by pointing out that the group of items in Maura's car don't necessarily show that she had taken them as part of her long-term getaway. I can attest that cars of many young, active women I knew as a college student looked like this, including mine. I was a woman in college who tried to do it all -- athlete, good student, partied hard. My car was a pig sty -- multiple bags of clothes and toiletries, schoolwork, food, garbage, car repair stuff at insistence of parents....just tons of crap like I lived in the car. I used dandruff shampoo then, together with other shampoos with nicer smells...and used men's deodorant because as a sweaty athlete it worked better.

      I personally think Maura WAS running and is dead now. I just caution anyone jumping to conclusion that the amount and types of objects in her car is of great significance in proving this one way or another. Also, James, why label anyone who has this opinion, based on personal experience, as somehow trying to derail things? I think a lot of people like you have lost good critical thinking in their obsession with this case.

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    6. I can show you 9/10 college girls right now with less stuff. Today's women are so used to trumping people in arguments because of narrative control and emotional presuppositions, they can't look at any situation unbiased as a human being instead of grrl power lenses.

      Truth is Maura had been expelled from West Point, wrecked daddy's car, got arrested, and was more than likely in an emotional free fall. That we know. Why get in a car you haven't drove for weeks that was on its last legs and head to the mountains in another state without a plan? Give her some credit; she was military. And judging by her major, smart. Least not forgot runners have different mindsets.

      Maura was clearly leaving. Those items tell a story indeed--a story of a women wanting to leave.

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    7. Didn't say she was't leaving Jackson - read the post closer.

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    9. Lets not forget that Maura was trained in Military Tactics, she would have been able to survive on the bare minimal necessities. I highly doubt someone who was traveling alone and had experience with survival techniques would carry this much stuff.

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    10. Jackson, please stop with your sexist and obnoxious remarks about women. It benefits no one.

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    11. @chefsgirl I too think she was smart, her motive to try to disappear is she knew something she wasn't supposed to.

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    12. MrsForman, are you sure that one year at West Point would prepare someone to survive on bare minimal necessities? Does that first year at West Point really train someone on "survival techniques?"

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    13. @crunchychip I consider that highly likely myself .

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    14. On another blog, she made a report of being harrassed at West Point, could that be retaliation or was it legit, if it was legit, maybe someone silenced her.

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    15. When you eliminate everything else, it's all that remains @chefsgirl thanks by the way :-)

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  6. I also want to add (and I commented this on another section but will add here also) that not only does the "items as a whole" tell a story, the items that are NOT in the car are seemingly more telling. Everyone keeps commenting on the lack of clothing, sentimental items, etc that she would have taken if she was traveling for a trip whether permanent or short lived. Doesn't the LACK OF CLOTHING in the car speak more highly? Yes, she seems to have left personal belongings behind, including 2 bags that people keep commenting should have been filled with clothing and taken with her when she deserted the car. However, who's to say that she didn't take a bag of clothing with her when she deserted the car? We don't know that she didn't... only the tandem driver (I assume someone close to her) and whoever picked up Maura know whether or not she did take these things. Think logically. If there were a bag of clothing left behind in the car to add to the list, I'd be more likely to believe that something did in fact happen to her that she did not voluntarily walk into....

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    1. I agree. There is no list of beginning items to compare this with, so what is left behind could be 100% of what she started with or it could be .005%. I think the most significant fact of this case is the window that can be narrowed down to just several minutes in which she disappeared. This makes it seem orchestrated or a relatively small hiccup in a well contrived scheme. Alternatively, it's one of the centuries greatest crime anomalies. You have to be pretty extremely desperate to hop in the car with a stranger (which is worse, a DUI or getting raped/murdered?) or completely without any normal inhibitions (which would fit if she was a psychopath). I think it is much more likely that she got in a car up the road and that she knew that person. What I cant figure out is why she locked her car. Always been a head scratcher to me.

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    2. she couldve locked it, just as a normal conditioned action.

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    3. Excellent point about the lack of clothing Xx4-- seems like the list of things left in the car were expendable.

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    4. @chefsgirl Locking her car doesn't seem so odd to me. I always lock my car mostly out of physical habit; even when I make a mental note not to lock it (if I'm just hopping out to check the mail or something), I usually find that I locked it anyways without noticing. It's very likely that Maura, being on campus, was just in the habit of always locking her car, even when it wasn't necessary.

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  7. I will have to disagree with you on some of these points (nicely lol)
    While I do agree that the toiletries themselves are not surprising, I believe it's more so the AMOUNT of them that's obviously a red flag. Even if it was for a short trip (before a more permanent one), I highly doubt the amount of these things are for one person. I believe it points more to her having a travel partner.

    And the text books. When I was in college, I left my text books in my car more times than I can count. She may not have actually packed them for the trip. They very well could have been in there already.

    She may not have been ill-prepared, she may have taken the items she NEEDED with her when she locked up. I honestly think that the randomness of the items she had shows that a college girl decided to take a last minute trip, threw a bunch of crap in her car she may need and headed out with a friend.

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  8. I'm female and if I'm traveling I want to get RID of as many toiletries as possible. I have often emptied larger bottles into smaller ones or bought the smallest size available when I reach my destination. I agree with James. There is something odd and excessive about the amount and variety of Maura's possessions.

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  9. I agree, people are trying to lead the investigation in the wrong directions.
    Everything in the case, just can't be a quincendance.
    I might have random things in my car but not 3 bottles of shampoo, and several toothbrushes.
    The textbooks werent books you needed for class everyday, most likely you only needed them on occasion. They were reference books I believe.
    The boxes packed were on top of her bed. How did she sleep for the past 9 days or so. Most would hang the art back in the wall. You would need to dig through boxes so you could find things you needed. It sounds like the boxes we're packed neatly on her bed. With a note on top..
    Its obvious Maura was leaving.
    Did the Butson cashier recall if the 3 girls had bought any food?

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    1. I feel like it would be odd if a group of girls did NOT buy any food. It makes me wonder if they did buy food and it was taken when she left as a necessity.

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  10. I would also add that in college, every single girl had a plastic shower caddy thing that usually had several varieties of shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc in it. If she was leaving, she may have just dumped the caddy into a plastic bag or something. That's likely what I would have done, and that could account for multiple bottles without involving another person. Just a thought.

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    1. haha, we must've written our replies at the same time, that's exactly what I think, she just threw everything in the car.

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  11. I find the toothbrush theory to be inaccurate. She probably had a toothbrush in her car, and then packed her regular everyday toothbrush. Two toothbrushes doesn't mean much, if anything. Especially if she did leave after the accident with a tandem, then she would've surely brought at least one of the toothbrushes with her, right?

    Did Maura frequent a gym? That could explain the many shampoo bottles. Another reason could've been that she packed all her stuff at the school, but had all her toiletries and just threw them all into the car. Maybe she had to remove all her stuff from the communal bathrooms? Just a guess.

    I do believe that Maura was leaving and had a planned destination. It's speculation on whether or not she had a traveling partner. To me the lack of any substantial food is a sign. If she was going to hole away in a condo in the woods, there would be more food. So maybe she took the groceries with her if a tandem did in fact pick her up.

    I am a few months older than Maura, and I can say that at that age I wasn't not the best packer. This seems like a haphazard attempt to bring everything she would've needed to go do whatever she ended up doing, which remains a mystery. We have to stop thinking/treating her like she was some mastermind and that everything was carefully calculated. I believe she was a young girl packing in a panic.

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    1. You're the exact reason James made the post. Arguing for the sake of arguing.

      Was Maura a mastermind? Who knows. But between her and another person anything is possible.

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    2. Oh my gosh drop it please.

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    3. I'm not arguing. And how are your posts any less argumentative than mine? You have a chip on your shoulder about women than isn't helping anyone. Last time I checked, stating my opinion on what I think happened, like everyone else on this board, isn't being argumentative. Just because some of the women on here are trying to actually relate to the case based on what they would've done when they were her age doesn't make this a "feminist" anything. James obviously has his mind made up (for the most part) about what he thinks happened and not one of our comments will sway him.

      This girl was at West Point for one year (and left under suspicious circumstances). She stole money (and got caught), she crashed her car multiple times, she drank to excess, and it appears that she lied to her employer/others on a regular basis. She was a mess, not a genius.

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    4. For what it's worth — I'm a middle-aged male who happens to be on a business trip this. The results of my hasty packing and grabbing my toiletries kit are that I am now in a hotel room with — yep — three different kinds of shampoo and THREE toothbrushes. Son of a gun . . . .

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    5. You guys are distracting yourselves, you are all here for a reason, exchange in views is healthy, immature arguing over semantics is not.

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    6. Says the person (+sock) who deletes every comment they ever post, thereby destroying any dialogue.

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  12. I agree that the items in Maura's car do tell a story, but I'm not convinced it's a story that she intentionally ran away and I also think it's often disregarded that Maura was a 21 year old woman who was a college student. Was she a bit of a pack rat? How often did she clean her car?

    What I would find more interesting is a list of items from her car that was kept by the police as that list is what was released to the family before they requested the items returned. Didn't she supposedly have some sentimental items with her like a necklace and stuffed animal? And we don't know what was in the black backpack that she allegedly took with her.

    She has a lot of toiletries and her dorm room is indicative that she possibly may not have been staying in it regularly since returning from winter break. It was packed up for a reason and we don't know how long it was packed for. Was she staying with someone/or somewhere else and that's the reason she had all those items stashed in her car? She seemed packed for a road trip not a permanent one.

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  13. Could she have received death threats? Which explains the silence of the friends and the police? Packing her stuff, staying at Fred's motel instead of her dorm, going up to NH? Whoever was after her might have gotten to her.

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    1. It was more likely that she stepped on the wrong persons toes, rather than fall victim to a crime of opportunity... An ex lover? Another case of stolen credit cards/money? Who hated Maura?

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    2. Everyone thinks she left with a guy, why not a girl, it would explain lot.

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  14. Not sure about the items in the car - I think it depends a lot on her habits and whatnot. Hard to believe she brought a different kind of shampoo for someone else to use - especially if it was a guy because no college guy is going to bring his own shampoo if the girl has some or if there might be some at a hotel etc.

    As for what happened to her, agree 100% with James that she wasn't trying to kill herself especially not by exposure. I do however still think there's a fair chance she did die of exposure accidently if she wandered off the road to escape/hide. Lots of places to hop over the snow bank and leave little trace, especially for a girl with even a little military training. I guess I don't put as much faith in the "definitiveness" of the search party results as some do. I think they do very good work but they can and do miss things.

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  15. I myself don,t see any red flags in the list except for the rubbing compound.I just don,t see how to connect shampoo in Mauras car to a driver supposidly in another vehicle. Common sense tells me the other driver would have their belongings in their car.

    There was only one person seen at the car by Butch Atwood so I don,t believe there was anyone else in the passenger seat. let's suppose there was someone else with Maura. Why just extrs Shampoo.? Why was nothing else found that belonged to someone else?

    Maura had just been away for Christmas and New Years so Maybe that is where some of the Shampoo came from.

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  16. As a whole, the contents of her car suggest that she was going away for two to three days to do some minor mechanical and cosmetic work on her car, and that she wanted to look and smell attractive for someone. Considering that she was, at the very least, separated from her belongings, suggests that something in her plan didn't go as she expected.

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  17. Talk of a "concerted campaign of spin" strikes me as a tad paranoid. In this kind of open Internet venue, inevitably all kinds of opinions get expressed, sound and unsound ones, well-reasoned ones and superficial ones. Some persons, inevitably, will say things that are simply silly. But that is no evidence that they are part of some kind of organized campaign of distraction, as if simply expressing an opinion here could somehow have the power to "distract" the investigation.

    It's very easy to read too much into lists like this one. The only thing it says to me is that it supports the notion that Maura Murray did not reach her intended destination, wherever that might have been.

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    1. The list serves no helpful evidence, like pebbles in her tire treads. Her credit history would be more telling, especially after her vanishing.

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  18. Looking forward to hearing more about Bill Rausch. I find the increase of calls made by him odd, especially since it was right before Maura left. I'm not saying I believe he's responsible in any way for Maura's disappearance; he was out-of-state after all, BUT it appears that he knew something was amiss. I wonder who the calls were to and the reason for so many. My guess is that he know why she left or has a good idea why.

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    1. BILLY RAUSCH was being outed from MM's life. He bombarded her with calls endlessly just before she disappeared. She was sleeping with her coach but it was just to get back at BR ..And it made her open her eyes about what she may or may not have wanted from a relationship. Whatever, she had had enough of overpowering imposition in HER life, like "Do this" or "Don't eat that" or "Be like I want you to be"...I get a real deep feeling that Maura was like a piece of elastic being stretched to breaking point. On top of the pressure, the problem with liquor abuse, the foolishness with the credit card, the crash with dad's car. And you are not gonna make me believe that daddy dear didn't holler at her for that!

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  19. Wasn't there a cop that originally went the wrong way? Even though his parents lived in close proximity to Maura's accident. Don't remember exactly how close

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  20. I feel that Maura was trying to start a new life to escape from something. We all have skeletons in our closet and her friends did say that she was secretive. None of us really know what she was involved in or what was really going on in her life. My only hope is that one day her family does have closure. As for her being alive, I feel she is no longer with us and her life was taken on that night.

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  21. The items in the car are interesting but there is no way we can conclusively say what it all leads to. To me, there is a distinct lack of food and clothes for any sort of extended stay. So ultimately whatever her plan or destination was I don't think it was going to be what I'd consider a long trip.

    Sure, there was a lot of shampoo. But clothes, not many. But still, it's not like we found a suicide note in car. A lot is open to discussion and that's what is happening...but to conclude there's "too much shampoo" and "two toothbrushes" must mean something and everyone else is wrong is silly. We're not gonna solve this alone with an itemized list, but it's interesting nonetheless.

    In the end I think she was heading up North for a few days to clear her head. She may have been traveling alone, in tandem, or meeting someone up there. We simply don't know.

    But one thing I think we tend to insist upon is her disappearance has to be a direct result of her actions, people close to her etc etc....and I don't necessarily think there may be a direct link to this in relation to the trip etc. In other words, this could be a random event, a chance encounter if you will. I know this is constantly dismissed as improbable but this girls been gone for a decade...nothing is outside the realm of possibility now.

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  22. As a Woman, by no means what she had packed indicates a long trip. A couple of days at most.

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  23. it's not a ridiculous discussion. some of us have been twenty something women who've owned a car and all we're saying is that it's completely possible that the stuff is all innocuous. what's ridiculous to me is that she would be carrying those items for someone else. if she was going to meet up with someone there why wouldn't he already have his own stuff to bring? if they were driving in tandem, why wouldn't the stuff be in HIS car? neither scenario makes any sense.

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  24. >>"But she wandered off to die in the woods... No she didn't. There were no prints. The area was searched, extensively. And that's about the hardest way to die on purpose."

    Maybe it wasn't on purpose? Usually people who succumb to the elements don't do it purposefully. And, that the area was extensively searched doesn't prove anything either. Many "missing persons" have ended up being found in areas that were extensively searched. On past blog posts, I provided several cases where this type of thing has happened.

    The strongest evidence in this is perhaps that there were no foot prints in the snow. That could be a good argument. But the other ones aren't good. Besides, with as shoddy as the police work seems to have been, and with as many people who were probably in the area at the time, I wouldn't be surprised if there were foot prints but they just got messed up.

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    1. I would like to support and further your point. Given that weather and snow accumulation at the time, the "no footprints" is not persuasive. She could have walked up Bradley Hill Road. She could have walked down 112. She could have hopped in another car. She could have walked up Old Peters. Moreover, the area was no "extensively searched." The officer at the scene assumed that she had fled the scene and looked around the area. The police did not search until three days later, when the much talked about dog search was conducted. As we learned later, that dog search was "one step up from useless," and more than likely was tracking the diesel scent on Maura's gloves, which would have been left when she opened the window to talk to Butch, back to his house. In the words of an NH LE source familiar with their dog track operations and the contractor who conducts them - and as verified by academics - after three days, in the winter, on a wide, flat, non-organic surface, subject to cross winds and with cars passing, a dog could not track a human. In the summer, on an organic surface like grass, when it is dry ... 48 hours at the outside. As such, I have to agree with your take on this matter.

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  25. It is inconclusive to me, like so much else related to the case. It does seem likely to me that Maura was heading away for a break - but we already knew that from the email to her teachers. You mention the concerted effort at spin while mentioning 10 shampoo bottles, see the irony here? You yourself spin your own argument exaggerating beyond reason what was found - 2 bottles of shampoo. I find the argument interesting that the head and shoulders might be for a male she was with or travelling to but might it not also be that Maura used head and shoulders after exercising or working out. I know many people that use that brand when in sports showers or a gym for pure convenience. It is not unlikely a girl would use more than one brand of shampoo. If we must extrapolate a narrative from all the items then they indicate a short term break, not exactly an explosive revelation. Thanks for posting the details anyhow.

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  26. Lets imagine for a second James Renner is bang on the money (I have qualms) and Maura was off to start a new life and was perhaps running away with an unknown male, hence the multiple shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and large amount of alcohol. Then what happened to this plan? We know something happened beyond the car accident, some foul play, as all this stuff was left behind. And yet whatever happened cannot have been sudden as, bafflingly, bottles of alcohol were removed from the car. If Maura had a ride out of the area with someone either in tandem with her or by thumbing a ride then why did she leave all these items but take the alcohol? I am finding it hard to find a logical answer to this. In fact the only way I can resolve this is if it wasn't Maura who took the alcohol but the person who took Maura or involved in foul play who took the alcohol.

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    1. I agree. The liquor issue is like weird ! Where did it go? Did the cops take it and not tell? I thought that Maura had fled taking it all from the scene of the accident not wanting to face another DUI face off with cops and knowing how bad having more booze in the car would appear. But we have to consider the weight and bulk of the bottles. But I persist in thinking that SOMEONE haf a cool head despite the accident. THE CAR WAS LOCKED afterall. And the booze removed..

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  27. Maura was not panicking when she left since she thought to return an item she had borrowed from another student. She may have left a false trail of clues as well ...because she actually left her computer...she told a lie to buy some time about a death in her family...so this was someone who had made PLANS. She had had it with BR and he sensed it (which explains so many calls in the days leading up to her going off- he felt she was moving away perhaps- and she had certainly DONE with dad Fred who sounds like a royal pain in the ass. The stuff in the car ? Harmless meds. Comfort stuff she had the habit of taking. Not a lot of clothes however. Perhaps there was already some place else where she had other stuff waiting for her. Weird about birth control pills though. Perhaps she didn't need them (pregnant?) Or the strip found was not the one she was using that month.....

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  28. Perhaps Maura sent the e-mail to her teachers/ supervisors so that she could have the option to come back if she wanted to. I think she could of been heading somewhere to wait whatever she was running from out. If she felt she couldn't come back for whatever reason she wouldn't. I think she could of been leaving her options open. Maybe the accident was just an accident and once the crash happened she decided she wasnt / couldn't come back.

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  29. What you have to keep in mind here James is that Maura has a record of theft. So all the bottles of Shampoo and extra tooth brushes and other things in my opinion I think she just stole at one point. Thieves get a rush when they steal and get away with it.....and even though Maura got caught a couple times she basically never got into any real trouble with the law so why would she stop? It was her "addiction"

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  30. The items in my car tell a story, but if I disappeared and someone went through my car, would someone read this story accurately? Many of the items in Maura's car may have been simply things she carried around in case she needed them. The multiple bottles of shampoo may have been someone planning on running away for a long time and not knowing when she would be able to buy more or they could be bottles she had tried and didn't like and intended to give to the Salvation Army or a homeless shelter or someplace and just never got around to doing it. Well constructed mystery novels have red herrings thrown in, and real life mysteries offer many more misleading and misread clues. It seems everything, from what Maura packed up and didn't take in her car to what was found in her car and what was not found in her car could be important - or not important. It's not unusual for women - or men, for that matter - to have unusual items in their cars. What's unusual is that not all women (or men) disappear without a trace. It would be nice to know what Maura's frame of mind was leading up to her leaving UMass that night, but anyone who may have known this, isn't talking. Whatever she did or didn't do might make perfect sense once we know the truth. Or maybe she did things erratically and we may never make sense of it all. I have tried drawing my own conclusions about this case, but each thought falls short when examining it in light of other evidence.

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  31. Would like to add one more thing.....When I glance at the list of items in her car without analyzing it,,,,,,I AGREE 100% that Maura was packed to go somewhere. Being a woman and Always over packing myself, I really can't say if she was packed for a week, or for longer.

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  32. Didn't Maura wreck her dads car shortly after leaving UMASS? Wasn't it at the end of the rd where either you had to turn left or right? Wouldn't this of been in Amherst and not Hadley. Hadley is where Fred's motel was.

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  33. Maybe she took the missing alcohol, to hide it from the cops. So when they got there, it wouldn't be there as evidence of her drinking and driving. Open container laws?

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  34. The fact that she plead for someone not to call the cops tells me she at that time she thought she might be able to circumvent any predicaments with them with her plans. Or she mentally couldn't deal at that moment and just needed a break.

    I don't think comments here are suspicious when poeple write "look at my car." There are lots of people who DO live out of cars due to busy lives."

    But yeah, ANY shampoo in a car is odd. I travel a lot by car for work and have one set of hair stuff. Same brand.

    So, because all that shit was left, are we thinking her alleged friend (who is likely in surveillance video which is why it's not released?) picked her up to avoid dealing with her car and the cops?

    Or do you still think someone else, sinister, picked her up?

    It is suspicious that there was a vehicle hanging out in the area. Was there one of two people in the truck? Can't remember.

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    1. Rhonda Orway said it looked like there was more than one person in the vehicle. But she wasnt certain about it.

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    2. If there was two people in Freds Saturn that night when the car stopped on RT 112, we may never know who it was, everyone is too afraid to come forward, a bunch of cowards.

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  35. If Maura had bulimia (as some evidence has suggested) then she would likely carry toothbrushes with her at all times.

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    1. This is a very good point.

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    2. Yep and rotten teeth from stomach acid.

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  36. I'm with Renner. This was a planned getaway. I'm still of the strict feeling that it was not meant to be long though. She was most likely going to the white mountains to go hiking for days with a companion. What the hell else could it be. Can't honestly imagine she decided at the last minute to just up and say "my life sucks so I'm going to disappear forever." I've contemplated that for crying out loud and I got as far as hopping in my car with tears in my eyes realizing that leaving wasn't going to solve anything. It is conceivable given all the facts and evidence that there is a possibility of her wanting to do this, but if she was going to leave on purpose with the intent of not caring, why on Earth would she even feel the need to email her professors? Professors don't particularly care if you don't attend class and may notice absenteeism but only after repeated absences. I've been there.

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  37. James- have you looked into the sighting of the young woman who was visiting a church in Barton, Vermont on June 19, 2005.
    A guy named David came forward and said there was a young woman who went by the name Raquel who came to the church and said she was visiting from out of town.
    David said when the pastor started speaking about Fathers/ Fathers day, Raquel quickly left. No one from the church knew Raquel.
    David said when he saw a picture of Maura and Fred ( maura had curls in hair), he was 99% sure it was Maura, just with lighter hair and knew he had to speak up, he had 2 daughters and would want someone to do the same.
    Wonder what others in the church, thought of this woman named Raquel. Did some believe Raquel was Maura?

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  38. In the Maribeth Conway article, it says Maura had bought Vodka, Kahula, and Baileys Irish cream, the day she disappeared but none of it was found in her car. No mention of wine.
    Sharon says Maura liked to have Baileys in her coffee. In my opinion, if Maura took the Baileys with her, then most likely she was planning on having cofee at some point.

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  39. "Now, I assumed any logical person would look at this list and come away pretty convinced that she was not traveling to the White Mountains for a short period of time."

    I'm a logical person (albeit one a little pissed off by how much of a dick you're being in this post, James) who still thinks the clothing indicates 2-3 days at most.

    I'm also a logical person who never said she was "still packed up from Christmas break" because that actually doesn't make sense. But this list, while her car sounds like it was a mess, doesn't say to me that she was running away. It sounds like a weekend. Also, a key symptom of many depressive disorders and other types of mental illness is messiness - things build up because the person has no desire/motivation to do stuff. Some people even get that way in the winter.

    I think I am one of many people who greatly respects and admires the incredible work you have done and continue to do on this blog but don't be an asshole. Don't say, "Hey, what do you think?" and then turn around and get nasty about what people think. We're not the experts... you are! That's why we check in.

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  40. Perhaps the wine was from Saturday night and not From Monday. The day of Maura's disappearance.
    Perhaps the receipt that was found in Maura's car was from sat night and not Monday.
    In the Seventeen article, Sara says they were sitting around chatting, and drinking Sky Blue Malt mixed with Wine.
    The night of Maura's disappearance, Faith says on the 911 call she's not sure of any injuries but sees a man in the passenger seat with a cigarette. Mr. Westman said it was a female and the light was possibly from a cellphone. But Maura's phone wasn't on or it had no service. There couldn't of been a light from the cellphone, if Maura didn't have it turned on. Which she didn't use it after 4:37.
    An investigator and I believe Fred said the Westmans couldn't agree on a description of the driver.
    The Marriots said they heard a noise and looked out there window and saw a car with its flashers on and someone walking outside the car. They said they thought the car had backed up parallel with the rd.
    Butch arrived about 16 minutes later and said Maura was struggling to get out of the driver side door due to it being against a snowbank. Butch said he told Maura she should turn her flashers on so no other Car hit her.
    The Westmans said when Butch left they seen the interior light go on and off. Then there was a Flurry of activity around the trunk area.
    Butch left and police arrived 7 to 9 minutes later.
    Where did Maura go and was it even her driving the Saturn?
    Butch was hesitate on identifying the driver as Maura. He said the girl he saw didn't really look like the picture. Butch later identified the driver as Maura.
    Did the Marriott's notice when the flashers were turned off? They said they were on, but Butch said they weren't.
    Did the police talk to the Marriott's and the Westmans on Monday night? Feb. 9
    Mr. Westman says the car hit a tree. Crash reconstructionist says the car didn't hit a tree. In the podcast he says " there's your first problem, I'm telling you the car hit a tree." Why is he saying this if he only heard the crash from inside his house?
    In my opinion 16 minutes is a long time to sit at a car, if you are worried about a DUI.

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  41. This blog has a large following. Previous posts have always elicited varied opinions and contentious discussion. We have no way of knowing what was in the car before she packed for her trip, and there appears to be no shortage of posters who think the contents of the car are more indicative of a short road trip than an escape to a new life. I respectfully disagree with the premise of this post and question what, exactly, it was intended to accomplish.

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  42. Maybe Maura had more things in the truck that she took with her

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  43. OMG.

    PEOPLE. I was in the military. They do NOT train you for survival tactics unless you are something like Army infantry, which she wasn't. Please DROP that!

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  44. I don't think that it is totally unfathomable to speculate that a young, college age girl might have a messy car with multiple of the same toiletries, school books, and a few changes of clothes. I'm sure that if you took an inventory of the vehicles of random college girls you could very easily find a similar list of items.

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  45. One most certainly can kill him/herself with Tylenol PM. Especially in combination with alcohol.

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  46. "Look at them as a whole. They tell a story."

    But that's just it - we can't really look at them as a whole because we don't know for certain what things she packed to bring with her for that specific trip, and what things were already in the car.

    Having been a spontaneous 20-something woman once upon a time, who was also lazy about cleaning out her car, I had some pretty random crap accumulated in my car over time from multiple adventures (including a freaking evening gown - which actually came in handy once!) I also don't keep track of toiletries - if I'm traveling, I tend to buy new ones right before leaving, or at my destination. So it shouldn't be shocking for me to inform you that I am the proud owner of at least a dozen different shampoos and conditioners and other toiletries. Some of which still reside in my car because I already have my main ones in my shower, and it's just easier to keep them there instead of taking up space in my small bathroom (and I guarantee you, I will also forget they are there when I need them, and will invariably just buy more because it's easier.)

    So, the "biggest" thing jumping out to me on this list is the 3 different toothbrushes, because that is *such* a personal item that you typically don't share with another person, no matter how close (yes, I know sometimes s.o.'s do, but generally speaking... )

    If you could tell me with 100% certainty that those 3 toothbrushes were specifically packed that night, I could totally get behind it definitely pointing to the passenger/tandem accomplice thing (and, fwiw, although initially I didn't buy into it, I think the cadhier's report, which seems credible, changes that game for me.)

    But, it's also entirely plausible that at least one or two of those toothbrushes were already in the car (for instance, she might have had one in a gym bag that fell out, another that she bought while on a road trip because she forgot hers, and the third, which probably was the normal one she used in the dorm that she packed that night.) Without knowing exactly when those items were packed, it's hard to use it as "proof" that she had passengers.

    And actually, as I type this out, I think it's even less likely that those extra toothbrushes belonged to one or more other people, and here's why:

    A. If she had a passenger/s to whom they belonged, that's a strange thing to have rolling around in a car by itself. Toothbrushes are the type of thing you pack in a bag. So, the passenger what? Specifically takes out their toothbrush and leaves it behind, but takes the overnight bag with their other stuff? Or, is there the possibility here that it was in a bag left in the car that we assume is Maura's, but aren't certain?

    B. If she didn't have passengers, but rather, friends who joined her to pick her up, why would they put their stuff in Maura's car instead of the vehicle they were traveling in? I mean it certainly could be done, but it doesn't make actual sense to agree to meet up, pack a bag, put it in the vehicle you're traveling in, meet Maura, and transfer the bag (or just the toothbrush) into Maura's car, and continue driving the other vehicle.

    So, to say that any of the items listed in and of themselves (or together) definitively point to the passenger/tandem driver theory isn't convincing me. It can support a theory, but even then, I almost think that the toothbrushes (or any other single item listed) almost contradicts such a theory because it would mean that the passenger specifically removed said item from their bag (or switched their bag to Maura's car while still driving their own.) Again, this assumes that the toothbrushes were found loose, and not in a bag that we assume is Maura's but isn't.

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