Monday, December 14, 2015

The One Theory This Blog Won't Debate

I'm all for earnest discussion when it can lead to some new piece of information or perspective. But this recent debate about police involvement in Maura's disappearance - brought on in no small part by Fred Murray's coy suggestions during the Unsolved piece - is pointless.

I've spoken to John Monaghan and Cecil Smith. Both are intelligent and compassionate men. Capable policemen. And above suspicion.

Maura's disappearance has nothing to do with a shady law enforcement conspiracy theory. It is a distraction and only gets us farther from the truth.

No comment will be approved that suggests otherwise.

31 comments:

  1. Also James - and please believe me that I am not trying to be contentious - but what about Jeff Williams. You have published suggestive materials about him, his troubles and his conduct toward you. Those posts in the context of this blog are, some might argue, tantamount to the kinds of suggestions that Fred made.

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    1. Williams is an asshole but he didn't kill Maura.

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    3. The cops being the killers has become the overwhelming theory in the case over the last few months. I have always felt like that theory crossed a bit too far into realm of conspiracy theory. It has even been eluded to on the podcast that there may be some sort of cult in that part of NH that Maura just happened upon like the end of the movie Hot Fuzz or something. I have great respect for everyone who is working to solve this case or even add their perspective but for any practical person to believe this theory we need proof beyond hearsay and the Facebook ramblings of an ex cop known to be a scumbag.

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    4. I think people are just looking at all angles of the case because it has taken so long to solve it. There are good cops and there are bad cops, maybe a cop was involved and maybe they weren't. I think people as a whole just feel there was some sort of cover up involved in this case. I have also learned that when you single out a person that is exploring different avenues to get facts on this case, and he/she is called a name, then they must have struck a nerve with someone.

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  2. I agree, Saying the police killed Maura and there all covering for one or more police officers is Going Way out there. How many police were on duty and on the scene? None of these are honorable, caring, men in blue? To say this, you really need some hard evidence. The police might of done a poor job investigating but saying Murder is very strong.
    Perhaps it is time, for the FBI. To come in and see what they can do. Wonder what conclusion they came too, when they shortly investigated in the beginning of Maura's disappearance? Didn't they speak to some of Maura's family/ friends?
    Don't for the FBI to come in there has to be evidence of foul play? Since they didn't come in on the case very long does that mean, they found no evidence of foul play?

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  3. James,

    Did you previously post a breakdown of the officers' actions around the time of Maura's disappearance? Could you or someone else provide a link?

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  4. Do you think FM would submit to a lie detector test...?

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    1. IMO- No. But if he truly isn't hiding anything, then why not?
      Most innocent people try to clear themselves pretty quickly, so the police can focus there attention in a different direction.

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  5. Seriously doubt the police had anything to do with her disappearance. That said, it's not hard to punch holes in any one theory. The assertion that Maura had a partner helping her assumes the following:

    1. Another person successfully disappeared from the face of earth. No missing person report filed, at least none that I've seen that could be related to her case.

    2. Successfully pulling off a vanishing act isn't easy. It would require a lot of research and advance planning. I haven't seen any evidence this occurred -- no internet searches, no books on starting a new life, no mention of it to friends. I'm a bright guy and I wouldn't have the first clue about how to start a new life.

    It all seems so bizarre. I suspect she is deceased but with so little evidence to support any one theory it's all a guessing game.

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  6. How do we know for sure that she didn't go with the bus driver when he stopped? Did the Westmens see her before or after the bus driver stopped? Did they even see the bus at the scene? A lot has been said about the drivers condition and him not being able to abduct her in the shape he was in. What if it was a "hey come with me so you won't get in trouble" kind of thing.

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    1. While I don't believe the bus driver had anything to do with her going missing, you do bring up a good question. Did the Westmens see the bus driver stopped there? If they didn't see him there, then they most likely didn't see if anyone else stopped to pick her up.

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    2. It wasn't just because of his condition he was ruled out. The time line would make it impossible.

      If you haven't, read James' blog post from 9/13/11- he talks about Butch at length, and essentially tells people to stop wasting their time bringing his name up as a potential suspect. Butch is the one who immediately went home and called police when he realized Maura was lying about calling AAA. He called from his house phone....both his wife AND mother were home at the time. He went back out and sat in his bus while first responders arrived...multiple people have backed that up. There's just NO way he was involved, for a number of reasons. He was 400 pounds, on oxygen, and what the heck would he do with her in mere minutes...while driving a bus...to his house...to call police....with his wife and mother home?

      It honestly breaks my heart that this man's name is still being discussed. I understand that suspicion is always placed on the last person who saw the person alive, but he was MORE than forthcoming. I don't know anyone who's deep into this case (both those who follow it via internet, and those connected ie; police, neighbors, etc) that hasn't said the same thing-- there's just no way.

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    3. Thank you, Anon 9:08! Poor guy did the right thing and went to his grave with people pointing the finger at him!

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    4. I think both of you listed as anonymous for your comments! I feel badly, also, that these gentlemen passed away with people still casting doubt and suspicion upon him. I believe there is absolutely no way he was involved in anything to do with her disappearance.

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  7. The Westmans saw Maura after the SBD left.

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  8. Dishonest question for you: How could Maura get past Butch Atwood or the Westmans on a desolate road in a 7 minute time period without the police picking her up? How could a tangent driver recover in so short a time window without the ability to communicate with Maura? Why would she take her crap car if she could presumably just ride with the tangent driver in the first place? I look forward to reading your dishonest answer, or to have you dishonestly delete this question. Thank you.

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    1. What in the what? Lol

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    2. I think Mee Too is a little special.

      Even when I try to assume that he meant "tandem" instead of "tangent" those words still don't actually make sense.

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    3. I'll try my best to make a dishonest answer...In one of Fred Murray's interviews, he said Maura was walking in the opposite direction of the police car. As the first responding officer stopped at the scene, Maura had walked away in the opposite direction. i.e. they never crossed
      paths.

      2. No answer

      3. If one like Renner's theory is true, she would drive her car to some desolate place in the white mountains, abandon the car in the snow, and then meet up with the tangent driver. This would confuse the heck out of anyone looking for her, and it would be a perfect way to literally throw off her tracks.

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    4. Perhaps on Sat or Sunday Maura and tandem driver(s) went to this location and went over the plan. Maura most likely knew cell phone service wasn't the best in the area. She had hiked the New Hampshire area for many years.

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  9. I don't think this is a line of questioning that can be 100% ruled out.

    I think given a certain set of circumstances there is possibility of corruption, on some level, somehow playing a role in Maura's disappearance. It's one of the less-probable scenarios, but ruling it out entirely is foolhardy in my mind.

    Human trafficking isn't a widespread issue, but does occur in NH and in Grafton County, as these minutes from a Grafton County commissioner's meeting reflect.

    http://www.co.grafton.nh.us/wp-content/uploads/minutes/FY14/Commissioner/01July/7-9-13.pdf (on pg.5)

    There are also instances of prostitution stings all over New England with the goal of uncovering victims of human trafficking rings. There have also been instances of police involvement in these rings, not in this area necessarily, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. Police are human like anyone else, just because they've been nice to you on the phone doesn't place them "above suspicion". There are also instances like the case of the New London, NH chief being fired after telling a girl he'd drop her charge if she posed nude for him (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/nh-police-chief-resigns-photo-complaint-article-1.1309617), and numerous other such cases all over the country.

    I was also never able to personally rule out the possibility of one of the first responders having hit her accidentally and hidden the body and disposed of it later. Again these scenarios are very unlikely, but something "unlikely" may have happened on 2/9/04. Otherwise one would think we'd know where Maura is by now. I also note some of the errors and omissions on some of the official reports and documents vs witness statements. They may be nothing more than that, but I feel they must be noted.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I've also been accused by people of being "anti-cop". Most recently because my younger sister was hit and killed in a skateboarding accident by a police officer (one associated with this case at one time). However, that has no bearing on my feelings regarding this case, as I was (quietly) critical of NHSP long before that accident. I live in North Woodstock, 17 miles from Maura's accident, and aside from her case, the Patric McCarthy and Dick Dow cases, among others, have never set well with me. While I am admittedly critical, I am by no means quick to blame, and again must point out that these scenarios are more improbable. I just don't think they can conclusively be ruled out yet. Unfortunately, that is the case with the majority of theories regarding Maura's disappearance.

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    1. From the best published overview of the case, "SOCO" magazine, April 2011, by Kerry Miller.

      A conversation between Pi Terry O'Connell and NHSP detective Chuck West.

      "West had a smirk on his face when he spoke.

      'You Massachusetts people keep getting lost up here.'"


      Hmmm ...

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    2. West is a fucking asshole.

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    3. I don't understand how anyone is exempt, unless they have alibi, humans can be good and bad, a badge doesn't change that. Why don't they treat it as a homicide, then they will really investigate it.

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  10. I don't think there was anything suspicious with LE. But I do have to admit that I am a little surprised that you won't even consider hearing people out.

    Because you've been so painstakingly thorough in your investigation and looking into things that sometimes felt like a waste of time, that it seems uncharacteristic of you to completely rule a theory out. I'm not really sure why that is.

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  11. There are claims that people heard on there police scanners "person left in private vehicle" around 7. IMO- this probably was said but later than 7. Perhaps closer to when Barbara Atwood was on the phone with 911 and said " Don't know where the girl went" Its been suspected for many years Maura left in a vehicle. In an early interview Raush said " its apparent that Maura most certainly jumped in a vehicle".
    IMO- this shows the driver of the Saturn most likely left in a vehicle. I think the question is what vehicle?

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    1. Rouche was wrong about her calling him when he was at the airport, so could he be wrong again, yes.

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  12. Please consider two issues with the speculation regarding not only LE but also of BA the SBD and the other motley characters from the accident area. People who commit horrible crimes virtually never wake up one day and plunge themselves into diabolical plots. Murder involving a first time offender are crimes of the moment or passion, not well planned if at all, are very sloppily done with respect to evidence and covering tracks. Those criminals committing diabolical crimes with painstaking care almost always start at a lower end of the spectrum working up to more heinous crimes. Virtually every case of murder not associated with spur of the moment anger or passion involves repeated offenses-a serial offender. If LE or BA were involved the chances MM would have been their very first crime of this nature is just nil. Circumstances of limited time and possible witnesses means if they were involved they had committed similar acts before and were experienced. If this was the case in all of the years since MM's accident the statistics demand he / she would have committed another similar or more heinous crime. There is no evidence BA or the LE or anyone else at the moment of her accident had a past history of horrible crimes of any kind. Yes BA may have changed his statements. To call him a liar probably isn't fair. It's not uncommon for people to change statements or eleaborate. The NTSB virtually ignores witness statements--even from "reliable" sources like pilots etc. The reason is eye witnesses are not good or accurate. Sure some lie. Most are good people that think they are telling you what they saw. Human nature makes people naturally just bad witnesses. Many credible studies that show people's minds automatically "fill in the blanks"-like auto correct to make a witnessed chain of events fit a preconceived idea of what happened. Many like point out the police chief was later arrested ect. There is no reasonable person that could concur a DUI arrest would make a LE officer culpable of a heinous crime or even a bad cop with regard to work performance. You just can't get there from here so to speak. I believe Mr. Renner is correct to exclude LE as being involved at this point. Early on everyone should be considered a person of interest no matter how remote. Enough time and investigation has occurred I am satisfied LE wasn't involved. I am 99.9% sure BA wasnt. I can't get my mind around he went to look for her later. Why? Why would he assume she needed finding--frankly I can tell you it's rather common in that area for people to run off the road having had a few drinks, leave the scene and come back later when fully sober to claim their vehicle or report the incident.-especially college kids heading to ski resorts and cabin parties. The fact BA went and searched for her I would like to understand the why and how he came to the conclusion he should go looking and why he searched a specific area as opposed to others. My other thoughts regard the driving in tandem theory. A strong case can be made for this argument including eye witnesse MM purchased alcohol with friends, known poor mechanical condition of her car, refusal of help from SBD (side note..I would opine someone needing help, alone ect ect and scared would be really relived to see a big yellow school bus stop. Someone entrusted to hauling kids around would / should be a very safe person to seek help from verses a random stranger in a random car thus strengthens the tandem driver theory. She didn't need help because she knew it was close by and coming.) quick dissapearnce from the scene with no apparent struggle and dogs loosing her scent just down the road from her car. The next proper turn around if said tandem was ahead of her was about 7mins from where the accident occurred-all good arguments.

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  13. Here are problems with the tandem theory. No one saw tandem driver pick her up. If traveling with someone that has a car running poorly it would make sense to be behind them--not infront--especially if MM car couldn't accelerate well or keep up high speed. Common sense says the weakest car goes first and sets the pace. If weak car has a problem it makes sense to be directly behind them in the good car to offer assistance. If tandem car was behind MM w/in seconds of the accident the car behind would stop. People who heard the accident would have seen this car stop or callously pass. If the weak car was in the front and not the rear-maybe a more capable driver or know the roads better-said lead car would be required to keep a close eye on MM behind. The front driver would have to adjust their speed based on the performance of MM car behind--the cars would naturally be rather close together. The lead car would have had to slow substantially to negotiate the curve that MM slid off the road on and would be really really close to her-having just decelerated-as she had the accident. Common sense / human nature would be to stop immediately to render assistance and check on your friend--not drive down the road for a 7 minute round trip to come back and pick up MM--especially makes no sense when you are not on a divided or busy highway. Immediately pull over, run back and check on MM. As many merits tandem theory has-the quantity of shampoo / alcohol choices purchased ect-it has just as many weaknesses. We may have to just consider dealing with a person in MMs state-highly intelligent, cunning, manipulative- she also was having a mental break. Nothing she does can be compared to a rational person, common sense or even her past demeanor.
    The damage to the car bothers me too. I have personally been on scene responding to dozens if not hundreds of accidents and the damage to her car does not seem to fit with where the car allegedly went off the road. There is no way to say for sure as hardened snow can be like concrete and in all kinds of shapes. However, from the pictures I've seen it just really doesn't look like the damage matches the surroundings. The spider crack on the windshield is most likely from her airbag and possibly her head. I have seen literally hundreds of cars, especially compact cars like hers w raked windshields with similar high windshield damage caused by the rapidly expanding airbag. Of course a body part may have impacted the window. Her height does not preclude this as her busy could easily have traveled forward and up if she was not wearing a seat belt. I recently was involved responding to an accident where a young college age girl-very thin and wearing a seatbelt-was ejected from the car, through the open sunroof and killed. The way the accident occurred negative Gs lifted her up from behind the seat belt and her petite body slid through the belt. Does anyone know is MM was in the habit of using her seatbelt? This should be easy to ascertain from friends and family. I still think the cracked windshield was from the air bag deploying.

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