A new look at one of the North Country's Coldest Cases
Awesome, I loved UM. I didn't even know they produced any new material. I know that chances of the case being solved simply by this feature isn't too great, especially since they aren't a popular show anymore, but every little bit helps. That's all we can hope for right now, as much exposure as possible.
It sounds more like this is a small feature for Unsolved Mysteries' official website, which has been around since the late 90's. The show has not produced any new material on TV since 2002 (other than updates to old cases) but Unsolved.com does get updated postings of cases. So they must be doing one for Maura, despite her case never being on the actual show.
That is a father who definitely loves his daughter. I always wonder about the comments where people say off camera during the ID episode that he was a careless emotionless person, but on camera it was quite the opposite. First of all, I can see that but can only categorize it as human. It's not like if someone died Very close to me that I'm going to appear distressed every single second of the day. That's possible, but I havent known 1 person to be like that for days. 2nd of all, yes its certainly possible he knows what happened to her and that she could be alive and that's the simple reason for his off camera expressions. My opinion: In this latest clip, he seems very uncertain and if that's an on camera expression, he must have a masters in theatre. His explanation seems worrysome. He appears to be still searching for answers. The high pitch endings to his sentences give it away. My theory on Fred is that he loves his daughter, but doesnt know if she's dead or alive. Even given the shady withdraw, and all the other weird observations, I still can't see him as someone who is in on a cover-up.As for the running off camera, exercise makes you think. Exercise releases endorphins to make you feel better, exercise helps relieve tension and stress. Perfect hobby for taking your mind off something, or at least soothing what you can't get off of your mind.
Is that new video of Fred?? I've never seen that. I really wish he'd just come clean about all the things he's been deceptive about. Does he owe us anything? No, he doesn't. But he has to see how his own actions are what have caused people to look at him with suspicion. I think he's a man with a lot of pride and a lot of demons, a combination that leads to great inner turmoil. He will go to his grave with what he knows. If he spilled his guts tomorrow it would satisfy us, yes. But I don't think it would help find Maura, but for the fact that it would free us up to quit talking about what really happened that weekend in Amherst.
I don't think he's been deceptive with regards to the disappearance. But he absolutely doesnt have to answer personal questions that are no one's business.
I disagree, Fred was deceptive. When a person goes missing your suppose to look into the days prior to there disappearance. The days prior to Maura's disappearance are bizarre and makes no sense. You come to town with 4,000 to buy a car, and don't buy a car and no one has came forward to say they seen Fred and Maura car shopping that day. IMO, Fred was deceptive in regards to Maura's disappearance. He made it out to the media/ public, that Maura was this All American Girl, that life was Perfect,no reason to runaway, when in reality Maura was struggling. Fred made Maura and Billy's relationship out to be perfect, when it was in shambles, he explained the rag in the tailpipe away, didn't do a formal statement for 2 years, and he Never spoke of an important sighting. Fred took the Butson sighting by the cashier seriously but failed to mention this to the public/ media. Others might of seen these three girls, and been able to give info that would help in Maura's disappearance. IMO, Fred made himself look guilty, even if he's innocent.
I have to agree with anonymous 638's thoughtful response to anonymous 536's bold face but unsupported assertion that Fred was not deceptive. His motivation for being deceptive or reticent may not be ill and could even be honorable. But in light of the many instances of apparent deceptive or reticent behavior or statements (e.g., the weird story about driving all over MA to lots of ATMs to withdraw $4k is almost certainly a fabrication, and it was made much later to mask/camouflage the doubts surrounding the strangeness of taking the $4k in cash to buy a used car not worth much more than that but then holding off for a week) it is hard to say that his offered statements are "off" because he's just staying out of irrelevant areas that are nobody's business. Same with the story of picking up Kate in a "student lot," which almost certainly contains at least some element of fabrication. 536, if you have a substantive rather than insistent argument, I'd like to hear it.
not sure if you have heard James but the brother-in-law of Jay Cutler has been missing for more than a week and his circumstance immediately made me think of Maura's. He was driving in Utah -- basically in the middle of nowhere -- and he crashed his car into a rock. His car was found with the air bag deployed but he wasn't anywhere to be found and there hasn't been any trace of him. It will be interesting to see if we get answers with his case if it could help maybe shed some new light for Maura.
I thought the same thing when I heard about him going missing!
So they found his body today. No word on the cause of death yet.
@Stef - looks like they are thinking he died of exposure.
I read that. Thanks for the update. Sad situation. Poor guy.
1 of 2Maura had obtained the forms for her dad's car to file for the insurance to repair the damage from the accident. (Question: Why would she even bother getting those forms if she had no intention of coming back. It seems unnecessary)It has been released to the public, although I cannot prove, that Maura was due to receive paychecks in the coming week. (Question: Why would she plan to take off for good with more money becoming available in mere days? - This lends to the idea that her leaving was less "planned" and more of an emotional "taking a break" which gives weight to the idea she had intended to come back, or at least stay in contact with someone, at some point)The contents of her car. We know that a lot of 'necessity' type items were in her abandoned car. (Question: If she truly was running for good and the accident was 'staged' as some infer, why not grab necessities? Further, if she had intended to leave for good, I would be more interested in what she left behind at the dorm than I would be in what was left in her car.)Butch Atwood, in one of his interviews, used the word "insistent" when describing how Maura asked for him to not call the police. She claimed she was fine, no injuries and that AAA was on the way. - We, and Butch Atwood, know that she could not have placed a call with AAA, and that is the reason he gave for calling 911 when he arrived home. But Maura did not know this. (Question: Would Maura have believed that cops were coming any minute? This is an important question because, if she believed she had convinced Mr. Nice Bus Driver Man to not call the cops, she was not in a tremendous hurry to leave her car and the idea of her frantically leaving the scene and not thinking things through and making a horrible mistake of taking off into the frozen wilderness doesn't gain traction. Rather, she would have thought things through, while not wanting to hang around for another nice neighbor, she would have made her escape with less thoughtlessness) Forcier's claims to have looked over work records and realized that the night he came home and saw a young person running was the same night Maura went missing. He states he returned home between 8-8:30, the accident scene was cleared (as reported by the police) towing the car at 8:49 and the final officer leaving the scene by 9:30. (Question: would this not have afforded a window that Forcier would have seen the commotion as he was arriving home? If so, would that not have been enough for him to connect seeing this young person, police commotion up the road, to the missing Maura well before "weeks/months" later? If anything this timeline weakens his sighting as valid)
2 of 2In the 911 call the neighbor making the call said they saw a man near the car. This in itself isn't a huge deal, because facts like these get misrepresented a lot. However, it does make one wonder, Maura's silhouette would not have been mistaken for a man's. (Question: How likely is it that the 911 caller would have mistakenly seen a person and thought it was a man and it really was Maura? Or Sarah? Or were they witnessing Maura leaving with someone? It adds weight to the possibility that she willingly left with someone she was at least comfortable with if not acquainted with.)The 911 calls. In a recent post here, Renner references the window that Maura would have had to disappear in, being 3-7 mins. This is based on when the 911 calls came in and when the officer states he arrived. (Question: What happens to the possibilities of what happened to Maura if she had more time at her car after the accident? We know for sure when the calls to 911 were placed and we know when the police have record of the officer arriving. But how possible is it that the 911 calls came in, not immediately after she crashed, but 5 minutes after? Or 10 mins after? How likely is it that she crashed, had 15 mins before Atwood even drove by, and his bus passing by is what caught the attention of the neighbors that called 911? What if hearing the crash isn't what prompted them to call? When you look at the possibility of her having more time at the car, what does that do to our theories? Could the police officer been off regarding the time he showed up? Even if by 5 minutes? That makes a window of 5-12 mins, or 13-17, or 18-22 mins - a lot can happen in that time frame. We are basing so much off of the eye-witness reports that have changed themselves - not by much, but changed none-the-less, and how many times have we ourselves felt certain that only 5 mins have passed and it really has been 10?)
There are police logs with all of these times listed. We don't have to go by witness accounts--we can refer to the logs.
Oh, I misread that comment. Disregard.
My goodness ... thank you for this thoughtful post. I very much enjoyed reading it and thinking about the points you made. I am particularly interested in the last one. I too believe that the estimate of a 3-7 window is subject to a lot error range. I will post more on that when I get the chance. Thanks again.
To the author of the original comment in this thread, if you would not mind doing so, could I ask you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
The police logs are WRONG. And the witnesses you speak of must be the Westman's and Atwood, unreliable to say the least. The passerby witnesses have more info than has been supplied by the on scene ones.
John, can you post the unaltered logs you have had access to? You said they'd be posted on the MMM site and they never were. What happened?
Not sure why my analysis was not posted. It pretty much empirically shows that the time frame was 10-17 minutes. If anyone wants to see it, feel free to email me at email@example.com
re-read & re-read :P ... facts support the saturn didnt wreck there. it s t o p p e d there. and Im betting then farm she knew who she rode away with...
Anonymous @736 ... not sure if that was directed at me ... there are a number of John's around here. I don't remember saying that I would post something on the MMM site as I have never posted anything there. Also, I don't believe there are altered version of the logs out there, although I know that has been alleged. I do have a copy of the logs, but I don't know that I have a copy you would classify as "unaltered." I am happy to send it to you. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did the Marriott's see the flurry of activity before or after Butch arrived. If the timeline is off a bit, then that puts Maura and the red truck even closer to one another. It took the police about 19 mins to arrive from the time of Faith's 911 call. How far away is the police station from the accident scene? If you pass the intersection by Butch's house( believe Bradley Hill Rd), wheres the next spot to turn around and how long would it take to get back to the crash site?
Apologies James, you did post my analysis. It is below, not on this subthread. I must have replied in the wrong place.
Has it been forensically proven that the spider crack is from a head hitting the windshield? Or was that disproved? Or was it indeterminable? These are the type of "facts" that get out of hand if just stated as such.
No, it's from the air bag deployment. But I can see why he would be worried that might have happened.
I don't think that is from airbag deployment. Do you have some evidence that it is? In 2013, while I was writing for James here, I made a post called "Crash Test Dummies." It shows a crash test of a car. The head of the dummy hits the windshield about where the spider crack is.
Not me. But some valid points tho ;)
Wow ~mj u have a great point..Does anyone know what time UM will air..
(Part 1 of 2) A couple of years ago, I laid out a pretty exacting time line and did a lot of calculations for time ranges between known events. At that time, I stated here and elsewhere that the time frame in which Maura vanished (i.e., the time between Butch Atwood's departure from the Saturn scene and Officer Smith's arrival at the scene) is MUCH wider than 3-7 minutes. That said, if I am missing, overlooking or botching something in this analysis, please do let me know.We pretty much know Smith got to the scene at 7:46 +/- 1 minute. The dispatch log shows his arrival at 7:46. This is exactly consistent with RO (the woman who saw the mysterious red truck lurking about, as if its driver were looking for someone they thought might be here) who said that at 7:45, at the Stage Stop she saw a police car come flying by, with its lights on, east on 112. That police car was probably also seen by a hospital worker near Goose Lane and 112, although the time frame for that sighting is not known (by me). The fact that Butch got through to dispatch at 7:43 also supports the idea that Smith arrived at the time stated in the log, because, presumably, if authorities had arrived, Atwood would not have continued with the call. I have checked this personally: you can see the site from Atwood's house, although it is not free of obstruction. He would have seen had a police car arrived. As such, we can very reliable use 7:45 as the earliest possible moment Smith arrived at the scene (perhaps he delayed a minute while looking around for Maura before reporting back to dispatch) and 7:47 at the latest (small inaccuracies in reporting times, etc.) That, really is the widest reasonable range in times we can put around Smith's arrival.As for the time of Maura's crash, I won't go too far into details, but I have a reliable range. I got this from looking at reasonable time ranges for the several actions that FW had to complete between hearing the thump and getting through to dispatch at 7:29, as the logs indicates. I also looked at the reasonable ranges around the actions that Butch Atwood had to complete before he could have gotten through to dispatch at 7:43. In short, a reasonable analysis of these time ranges indicates that Maura could have crashed as early as 7:17 and as late as 7:27. It is more likely than not that she crashed at 7:22 or after, as a number of longer time frames have to have occurred to get all the way back to 7:22. So, being conservative, lets say Maura crashed between 7:24 and 7:27.If you simply analyze time frames for the earliest and latest times that Butch could have completed talking to Maura and driven away are before and after this period, respectively. Thus, the earliest we can conclude that he talked to her is 7:29 because Faith Westman never indicated that she had seen Butch's school bus at the scene and had she looked out the window while he was there, the bus would have prevented her from seeing the Saturn. Thus, Butch must have arrived after Faith Westman left the window to call the police. The latest possible time Butch could have concluded talking with Maura at the scene, while still having enough time to get through to dispatch by 7:43 is about 7:38, but that is pretty tight considering that he had to back his bus into his driveway.
(Part 2 of 2) Given these ranges, the shortest period of time between Butch's departure from the scene and Officer Smith's arrival is 7 minutes (7:38 to 7:45) and the longest time is 20 minutes (7:27, or the earliest reasonably estimated time that Faith Westman could have left the window to call the police) to 7:47, the latest time that Smith could have arrived). As such, by simple, easy reasoning, it looks like Maura had 7 to 20 minutes alone at the scene. Given that I did this analysis using longest and shortest ranges for time frames of actions that necessarily had to happen, it is highly likely that the actual range is shorter. This because everything had to happen slowly for 7 to be the answer and everything had to happen quickly for 20 to be the answer. Trimming the range to account for the fact these estimated factors will likely countervail, this can be said: most likely, Maura had between 10 and 17 minutes at the scene, after Butch departed and before Smith arrived.As a side note, this analysis shows that the accident could have happened much earlier than is commonly thought. If you think through what Faith had to do after hearing the "thump" and before getting through to dispatch (go to the window, look at the scene for a time, walk away from the window and toward the phone, potentially tell her husband what was going on, call the police, get transferred to dispatch, and - given that fender benders at the curve were not unusual - likely not be rushing through this) it is reasonably possible - if not highly likely - that he accident could have occurred as early as 7:16. This can also be jibed with Butch's story and the point in time we know for him: when he got through to dispatch.Think about that. Given what we know from RO about when she saw the red truck, that encounter almost certainly occurred between 7:10 and 7:27, just a mile away. She said she felt the driver was looking for someone, thought she might be that person, concluded she was not, and moved on ... east toward the scene on 112.
Didn't the neighbor (Tim Westman) say on the podcast his wife heard the car accelerate before impact? This would indicate they're well aware of the timeframe. Hmmm.
7:05 pm 911 scanner call and first accident. The 1 hr. and 21 min. missing from the GCSD police logs is exactly during this time....SO CONVENIENTLY..!
There is a lot of dead space in the logs ... it is a very sparsely populated area.
GCSD Missing time, changed and given to the Murray family to appease them.
Hi - I am new to this whole case and your blog. a few things i wanted to raise. If someone is missing - for example IF she is found living happily somewhere, has she committed a crime? because to me, unless she wanted to be famous as a missing person e.g. like a Madeline McCann kind of case or she COMMITTED a crime so didn't want to be found, would you just move away? if i for normal reasons of unhappiness or embarrassment of something i done etc etc i would just up sticks and move, not cause an elaborate scene. so if she did stage this scene and left then to me it shows she DID hit that guy near her campus and maybe thought he wouldnt pull through so wanted to get away with it. But can young female friedns be trusted enough to help and to never utter a word??? i dont know if i would trust my girl mates enough to do that for me and they would most likely tell me no! so i guess what im saying is, for what reason would she want to go missing? its different from moving away and out of town. also i was wondering James, do you follow the kelly nash case in Georgia? i would love to hear your insight on this.London UK
Anon @ 9:25 - stating what they heard prior to and during impact does not solidify the time frame. It actually highlights my question, because the 911 callers have done interviews and have a detailed memory of the evening, sounds they heard etc... Their 911 calls coming in are being used as a hard time of the accident. Which can be done - but taking a fresh look at this cold case requires that we challenge all that is not absolute fact. And honestly, we do not have absolute fact of what time the accident occurred. I myself have associated sounds with an event after the fact, as I am sure many have done. Thank you John Green for your breakdown.
Can someone elaborate on the red truck? Where was it seen? Is the suggestion that whoever was in the red truck might have known Maura or abducted her, or both? Where the plates from NH? Did anyone in the area own a similar red truck?
According to the witness who saw the red truck it had a Massachusetts license plate. It was seen on the same route Maura was on just before the accident in fact it's been suggested that the red truck would have been passing the scene of the accident. The witness who was walking to the store said the truck passed her then slowed down and then stopped in the middle of the street, as the witness got closer it sped off. The witness then saw the truck in the store parking lot and just as she walked into the brightly lit lot of the store the truck again sped off in the direction of the accident. The witness asked the cashier if anyone was in the store in the last few minutes and the cashier said no. According to the witness approx. 20 minutes later she saw the police go by presumably headed to Maura's accident.
Rhonda Orway thought the plates said Massachusetts. Rhonda said the truck acted like they were looking for someone. As she was walking towards the Stage Shop, the truck stopped in the middle of the rd, once she got closer, the truck took off. Once she arrived at the Stage Shop( about mile from accident scene) the red truck was in the parking lot and once she got into the lighted area, the truck took off towards the accident scene. IMO, there's a good chance Maura knew the person in the red truck.
A resident of Woodsville named RO lives a short distance east of the Stage Stop gas station/convenience store on 112, which itself is one mile east of the Saturn accident scene.RO told Renner, authorities and - I believe - the famous poster from the early days on Topix, named Weeper her story of encountering the red truck. A short version of her story can be found in the last paragraph of the second part of my two part post above. Commentary by her can be found on this blog, in response to James initially dismissing the relevance of the red truck, but then - persuaded by multiple posters - agreeing that it must be kept in mind as possibly significant.In my view RO was highly credible.There are rumors about people who owned or had access to a red truck, but they are just rumors and I'm not willing to put them forward here.
John- what do you think about Kathleen and Tim having a red truck?
Hi anon @ 7:22.I'ver heard that as a rumor, but never saw or heard that it was confirmed. How do we know that? The last statement of my prior comment, by the way, has to do with people other than the principal characters, by the way. It is not at all a reference to that rumor.So, my thoughts are entirely speculative. If I knew that T&K had a red truck, I'd go back to who was driving the car and the room being packed up. The hair issue alone (see below) make the "not driving" part at least worth thinking about. The puzzling contradictions in what we know about her "itinerary" (e.g., calling around for a place to stay in northern New England and taking her books possibly suggesting a vacation/get away and taking not leaving for good) make it at least worth thinking about that she did not pack up her room. (The explanation that her room may have remained unpacked from holiday break is probably not a good one unless it can be shown that she switched dorm rooms between the fall and spring semesters.)But like I said, it is just speculation. It would be worth pursuing further if (1) it can be confirmed somehow that T&K had a red truck (does that proof exist? Do you have it?), (2) RO's statement can be validated ... meaning that it can be shown she was not one of Sam Ledyard's many alternate online personalities infusing this discussion with lots of false information, and (3) upon directly being asked about it Kathleen or Tim don't have a good answer.
I came across a short clip on you tube, called Feb.9, 2004- Maura Murray is missing- its 1:37 sec. Long. Its Kathleen and I believe Tim talking with a reporter, next to a red truck.This clip is from early on in the investigation. It only shows the front of the truck for a brief moment. IMO- it looks like its there truck, there being interviewed by.On you tube type in Maura Murray 2004 and you should find the clip.
"How do we know that?"We don't. Speckled speculation. The "source" above cites the video which anyone can observe. Eyewitness accounts? Well, we do have at least one poster here who participated in searches. Perhaps John Smith saw a red truck at one?
One thing I find really interesting is that the school bus driver described Maura as having shoulder length hair in one of the interviews however I have looked at all the pictures of Maura and have only seen one, maybe two of her with her hair down. She usually wore it up. The other thing that is strange is that after seeing a picture of Maura at first he said that was not the same girl it was only after time had passed and upon further questioning that he said it was Maura. Could the person in the Saturn not have been Maura?
I've been thinking this. Like, she was accosted and one of the capturers stole her car. Which would make Fred's tailpipe explanation weirder but whatever.Was she captured elsewhere and one of the people drove her car to a random spot, it's been noted that road isn't a main drag, to crash it?An acquaintance of mine was abducted and driven 2 hours east. She was assaulted and left for dead. Her car was found in a parking lot near her house so when they took her from home, they took her car as well, then drove her in another car east. She's fine btw.If this were a true abduction, and it happened some place other than 112, it is not weird to me that some strange person drove her car and purposefully wrecked it, knowing the other perp would soon pick the driver up.Actually, that makes more sense than ANY thing we've said thus far regarding the weirdness in Maura's crash on 112 and QUICK disappearance.
Having had a thoughtful exchange with MJ, I got to thinking of something and wanted to share it: a list of things about the case that we have no "most likely" answer for. By that I mean something about which either zero convincing explanations exist or too many minimally convincing explanations exist, thus making them all uncertain.* Why was there a rag in the tailpipe?* Why did Lavoie the tow driver, upon finding this rag, give it to Fred instead of the police?* Why did the driver of a red truck appear to a credible witness to be searching around for someone one mile west of the scene before speeding away toward the scene, around the time of the Saturn accident or not long before it?* Why, as a hospital worker driving on Goose lane allegedly reported, did a police vehicle with its lights on pass her and turn left (west, away from the scene on 112), then return heading east, a short time later?* Why was Maura's room packed up? (I point out that we don't even know for a fact that Maura herself packed it up.)* Why did Maura keep the Corolla on Saturday night (according to Fred, in his statement to UMASS police) in order to attend a drinking party in her dorm, when this would require her to have to return the car to Fred early the next morning?* Why, in his statement to police, did Fred say he or he and Maura picked up Kate in a student lot to take her back to the ABC for drinks, when - clearly and according to UMASS officials and many students I interviewed - there is no lot where it would have made sense to pick up Maura in light of multiple, obvious and common places for student pick up very near Kate's dorm?* Was Maura really driving the car? (Really, we don't know that she was.)* What destination or interim destination put her on 112, which is not involved in the best route to any of the speculated upon destinations, including those she searched, called about reservation at or printed out directions for? Was she lost? * Why are Kate and Sara quite evidently omitting or distorting facts about the events of Saturday night?* Why is the Murray family AGAINST attention being brought to the case?* Why did Officer Ruddock hang up on Renner when he asked why Maura was not issued a DUI summons or arrested after the Corolla crash?* Why did a long time tow driver in Hadley, who UMASS parking services referred me to, first eagerly offer to help identify the the second tow driver (who towed the Corolla from Fred's hotel to the auto repair place, not the tow driver at the accident scene) based on the towing manifest, but subsequently dodge my calls with lame excuses after I faxed the manifest to him?* Why, if for any reason at all related to the case, does such a concise and suggestive alignment in time exist between the Vasi hit and Maura's Thursday upset?* Why did Maura choose to take the things she took (that we know of) with her?
It is a reasonable suspicion that Maura was not the driver that night. It has just been assumed because she is missing and her car ended up on that road. If we are talking odds, what are the odds an individual will get into an accident twice in a period of a few days?
If some or all of these questions are answered, then perhaps it'll bring us a step closer to finding out what happened to Maura.Did the insurance adjuster say when he went to look at Fred's corolla, he saw the Saturn and it had damage to it? Did Maura/Fred/Kate/Sara or someone else they know, know a tow truck driver? Could the Saturn of been being towed when it crashed? Could someone of towed it from Amherst to Haverhill? Either the car came off the tow or was purposely pulled off and then crashed? I remember some people saying the rag in the tailpipe, could of been a sign to other drivers, the car was being towed.
I don't think the question is why was there a rag there? I think it's, why did her father give the reason for it by making an assumption?Unless he's serious and he told her to do that, which is odd as fuck.
Maybe she was being chased by someone/people.
"* Why is the Murray family AGAINST attention being brought to the case?Because attention could hurt the act of finding answers if there is a dangerous perp out there responsible for her disappearance.Look how things are muddied just by people here discussing and opining.Look how many opinions are formed without firsthand relationships of these people.
"* Why did Officer Ruddock hang up on Renner when he asked why Maura was not issued a DUI summons or arrested after the Corolla crash?"To not address how they looked the other way, something that DOES happen.
*Why did Officer Ruddock hang up on Renner when he asked why Maura was not issued a DUI summons or arrested after the Corolla crash?*The most likely answer is that officer Ruddock cut Maura a break. Cops do this all of the time for traffic/drug violations. Of course he is not going to admit it to James. I'm actually glad he hung up instead of lying and giving us more nonsense to dissect.
For what it is worth, according to Renner, Ruddock said that Maura would have gotten a summons. He hung up when Renner asked why he did not issue a ticket that night, which is normally how you would initiate a summons.
The more I think about it the more it makes sense that she may not have been in the car at all. Also the car being towed would explain the rag, it would be pretty far fetched to tow the car up there to ditch it though. But the rag could be left over from a previous tow after the wreck that actually caused that damage. I agree with John Smith that that damage was not caused by a tree. I am in the car business and I'll tell you now I'm 90% sure those air bags did not deploy at that location on route 112 but at an early time and place. Getting hit with an air bag is not something you walk away from or are coherent enough to carry on a conversation afterwards or even 10 minutes later, its like getting kicked in the face. I've never been truly convinced that she didn't hit Vasi. Is Ruddock the last truly confirmed person to have seen her that is not friends or family? Did anyone besides Fred see her at the hotel after wrecking the Toyota?
Also good to see you back John Green I enjoy your fact based commentary. While I may indulge in it from time to time the conspiracy theory has been taking over this case the last few months.
" * Why are Kate and Sara quite evidently omitting or distorting facts about the events of Saturday night?"Home in on these clues:1) "I don't want to get Maura in trouble." That's MY current #1 clue.2) The girl at the Haverhill crash scene had her hair down.3) Did any other of Maura's girlfriends smoke? It's possible the girl at the scene of the accident was smoking. Maura, it's been written, did not smoke. Was there any evidence of smoking at the scene? I've never seen it online. But's it's a question.
I believe it has been said, Sara was a smoker. Not sure if there was evidence at the scene but the cashier from Butson's( sighting an hr before wreck)said the 3 girls bought smokes and alcohol. Supposedly( don't think its been 100% verified) but Maura's back window was cracked and a burn mark in floor board. Also, on the list of items found in her, there was an empty cellophane wrapper. Not sure what it was from.
Hi Mac.I agree with you that (1) is quite suggestive. I also agree with you that 2 is as well. On that point, consider that Maura is said to have often wore her hair up and most of the pictures we have of her, particularly the candid ones show it up. So, we can conclude she most often wore it up. I think it is VERY unlikely in that context that she wore it down while driving on a long trip.So, back to (1). If we knew for a fact that Maura was not driving the car, that statement would take on much amplified significance, particularly if the Buston's sighting were validated (although I have to say I have my doubts about the legitimacy of that one.) Perhaps, for instance, Maura and her friends were involved in something that may have gotten any of them "into trouble." Makes me think of how often, when people say "I want to help you" it is themselves they are trying to help. "I don't want to get MAURA in trouble."o 0 ("or me")
Thanks Zach ... I appreciate the nice words. I think I recognize you in your writing style and it is nice to see you too.
Wow. Some people can't see the forest for the trees. I'm open to the possibilities here. If she's alive, she's gone undetected. Stranger things have happened. But how does a bigger window of time have a meaningful impact on the basic theories of 'ran away', 'abducted' or 'died from exposure'? It would seem she merely got a head start on everyone before meeting her fate.As a woman, I just wouldn't plan to disappear in this manner. Nor would anyone in my life abide it. Maybe she has amnesia or something?
Look at all the details that are known (or not known) +John Green. We know MM's fav movie was Bottle Rocket... we know she drank white russians w/ FM & KM... we know she had umpteen bottles of shampoo in her car... all useless info. What I would realllllly like to know is why the surveillance videos of the liquor store purchase have never been released OR discussed (as far as I can find) by anyone. Was it MM on those tapes??? Did the videos show other people with her???Was MM in disguise??? Add that to the why why why list (???)
I don't know why. I feel like James has had some insight or theories about that. Is there something in the videos they are holding back so as to verify against anticipated tips?
Why didn't the police release the video? They didn't show it to family/ friends either.Perhaps its the video from the Butson sighting. Fred tried to see it but was told they didn't have cameras but the cashier said she was talking about the video from the bank inside the store. Apparently it pointed down the aisle the 3 girls were on. The alcohol aisle.In 04 a lot of stores didn't have cameras like they do today. The camera was for the ATM/ bank but also pointed down the alcohol aisle.
i can see Butson's maybe not having top notch security video in 2004 but a state liquor store would. LE found the liquor receipt in the saturn so surely they know date & time. ...I betcha she wasnt alone.
James- is there another witness that was only known to LE that said Maura asked someone to call a tow truck?
If theorists really do believe Maura went to Canada, specifically Sherbrooke, I wonder if they are aware there is a monastery there, Abbaye St. Benoit Du Lac, that might have provided refuge. In fact, my father knocked on their door 35 years ago when my sister went missing.
I'm curious to see this feature just because of the interview with Fred Murray. When he was interviewed by previous media outlets that covered the case (20/20, Disappeared, Maury Povich, etc.) they were all under his conditions of which specific things could be asked and which aspects of the case could be covered.Fast-forward to today and now we know (not all) but the majority of the things about Maura and those days leading up to her disappearance that he fought so desperately to keep from the public's knowledge, as well as the fact that he refused to speak with law enforcement for years about said things happening those previous few days. It may end up being a non-issue. He'll most likely just state things we already know. But I think it will still be interesting to see how he acts being interviewed when the public now knows that his behavior has been very questionable at almost every turn ever since his daughter went missing.
Not that I believe she called, but regarding the convo with the bus driver and her alledging saying she called the cops, remember, 911 works in areas without service. At least that is what I've been told by anyone.
I can assure you it does not. What you might be thinking of is the fact that if there is service available, no matter the carrier, the call must be placed. But if there's no service, period, it can't be placed. I know this from a personal experience in the Smoky Mountains when a young man was suffering from a severe allergic reaction. While I helped him, I asked another bystander to call 911. Nobody had service and someone ended up running down the road until they got it.
I am starting to believe that Maura was not the person driving the Saturn that night. The bus driver said the person had their hair down, Maura rarely wore her hair down, and after seeing Maura's picture he initially said it wasn't the same girl and I tend to believe that first recollection is usually the most accurate.
Yep. sooooo, again, back toooooo WHO are they afraid of? (who/what keeps family & college friends from being completely transparent?) ORRRR are they all in cahoots w/ helping her stay hidden from A) a bad guy OR B) risking now in legal actions (false reports, impairing an investigation, knowledge of a crime, withholding evidence, etc) If MM is alive & the fam/friends know this -they owe the public nothing. *private matter* Just put an end to the cold case. If not ~ they need to & should want to give every detail possible into helping LE solve her demise.
The secrecy in this case might have something to do with the stigma of alcoholism. I'm fairly sure Maura had Fred's car because he wasn't in any condition to drive. (At least that's what my colleague thinks!)
Butch said that Maura said she had called AAA, and pleaded for the police to not be called. If this wasn't Maura at the scene, then the person at the Saturn had to know Maura had AAA.
Excellent point! This is exactly why I brought all those questions out... To get the benefit of everyone's minds searching for clues - and this is the one of the best points to support it was Maura driving.
Not necessarily that would be a pretty common thing to say after an accident if you didn't want the police to be called. Also I think Sharon mentioned that they bought Maura the AAA membership for Christmas so if it was someone she knew chances are pretty good they knew she got that as a gift from her soon to be mother in law.
looks like people are stealing other peoples thoughts and using them as their own. totally shows the intelligence of this audience.
Funny thing, I've heard others say that.You make a good point.
hmmmmmm so people cant be of the same opinion? have solved it yet. get over yourself.
"It is a reasonable suspicion that Maura was not the driver that night. It has just been assumed because she is missing and her car ended up on that road. If we are talking odds, what are the odds an individual will get into an accident twice in a period of a few days?"The person missing is also the person reported driving the car. It is unreasonable and silly to suggest that it is "reasonable" that Maura was not the driver. You then support the premise with a false dilemma fallacy and a suppressed evidence fallacy, and even a little gambler's fallacy. Is it really unreasonable to suggest that someone who crashed a car who was potentially drinking, would crash another car in a road less travelled by the individual than her first accident, and there is even more evidence of drinking? - The answer is no it is not unreasonable. In fact the only unreasonable argument is to say odds are very low she crashed because she crashed a couple days before and because of this chances are it wasn't her that crashed.
Did the police test the gloves found in the Saturn for DNA?
A lot of discussion about RO and the red truck has occurred against this post. I thus thought I cut and paste a comment that RO herself (I believe it was really her) posted on this blog site under a Renner post discussing the red truck in April of 2013. She said this:"The red truck was going in the direction of the accident when it stopped in the middle of the hill in front of my house as I was walking...the lighting was poor there, and I thought to myself that maybe they either 1) thought I needed a ride or 2) that I was someone else. As I approached the stagestop, the truck was in the stagestop parking lot. I could tell there was someone watching me and as I got in the light of the pumps, the red truck pulled away, again, towards the accident. When I went into the store, I asked Wini if some people came in the store just now and she said no and I said well, there was a red truck that stopped in the hill with MA plates and then took off and was in your parking lot as I approached. We both shrugged it off as someone looking for someone else. Twenty minutes or so later, the PD went flying by. I continued to visit with Wini until she closed up at 8 and then started walking home. As I was approaching my driveway - in the middle of the hill again where it was dark - the ambulance went by - going towards 302/10 as if it was leaving the accident scene. It slammed on its brakes when it saw me and pulled into the Bunga Road (which is on the other side of my house). Then a state police officer pulled up and rolled down his window.....I said hello and he said oh, its you...and I said yep, just me...he asked if I had seen anyone else walking and I said no, and he left and the ambulance followed him. At that point I did not know of the accident and in fact, I didn't hear of it for a couple of days later when Wini called and told me and reminded me of the truck. Her and I spent numerous times looking for this truck to no avail. Now, the reason I was sure it was MA plates is because when it stopped in the hill, I looked at the plate and tried to memorize it (thinking to myself, oh great, I am going to get kidnapped or something). Obviously, a few days later the only thing I could remember was the MA plates. Hope this helps clarify things for you. Whether it had anything to do with Maura disappearing, I have no idea. WS Robinson"Incidentally, the post against which RO made this comment is one of the best examples of how James has used this blog effectively. A lot of people got him to revisit the red truck by offering analyses to him on a prior post. You can find the entire discussion here:http://mauramurray.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-red-truck-revised.html#comment-formFunny thing ... I forgot all about the ambulance speeding by away from the scene, with its lights on.
Do I saw this. Seems like Fred, like me, really really wants to know what the first cop at the scene actually did. I know Renner dont like the idea of a cop being a possible suspect but it cant be 100% out. It is also very interesting what Fred didnt mention about Maura. Who is he protecting? Not Maura, she is gone. Her reputation? Well that dosent matter much now.
[Part 1 of 2] Here is my best proposed guess as to what happened in order to answer as many of these questions as possible and make the story "fit" with as many of the facts as possible. Let's assume Maura's car was in fact on its last legs and "smoking something fierce". Maybe she did only drive it locally. Let's assume she hit Vasi with her car. She panics and drives off back to her dorm post. Remember, AT THAT MOMENT, she has no idea if the victim dusted themselves off and walked away, or if she killed him. (this explains catatonic state). Maybe she doesn't want to tell her dad the whole story, but rather says she hit a deer/tree and that her car just won't run anymore. Maybe she only told her 2 friends "the real story". He comes up that weekend with the true intention of buying her a new car (this explains the last-minute arrangements on a prospective purchase). Remember this whole weekend she still might not know the fate of who she hit. Then comes Monday morning. The story of Vasi hits the papers. Now she panics. Someone will see the damage to the car. He could die any moment. Prison time. I'm finished. I have to drop out of UMASS. But she needs to get THE CAR out of Amherst FAST. But how is she going to return to campus? (explains tandem driver). Maybe this wasn't a well thought out plan. Make a few calls for a place for the three of them to stay. Maybe she then says the hell with it, I know the Bartlett area, let's just go there. They wait and leave once it gets dark. Maybe her car was so bad that she didn't want to drive it on I91 or any other major interstate. Maybe they instead took a route (Route 5?) where she could pull over if her car couldn't make it any further. (this slower route explains missing time between departure and crash). If you were traveling between Amherst and her destination, it probably makes no sense that she'd be on Route 112. But if she couldn't drive the car on the highway, this may make perfect sense. Maybe her car finally gave out at the crash site and she crashed (or she was drunk and crashed, whichever). Once again, PANIC ensues. Where are my friends in tandem car? She crawls over to the passenger side and tries calling them (this explains witness sighting). No service. Now what? In her clouded mind, she thinks for certain the game is up in a few short minutes. DUI, possible vehicular manslaughter if Vasi dies.
[Part 2 of 2] BA stops. He likely made it known he lived just down the road. No wonder she refused his help. What good is it if she's 100 feet down the road when police arrive. She's still screwed. So she declines and pleads he doesn't call police. The car is smoking something fierce. Someone is going to smell the smoke and call police. Oh wait, dad told me to shove a rag up there when that happens. I need to buy as much time as possible for my friends to realize I'm not with them and come looking for me and I can't have people calling the police. WHERE ARE THEY? I think she eventually realizes she can't wait any longer and she needs to get out of there fast. For reasons I will explain shortly, I think she got into a passing car where she met her fate. By the time her friends (in a red truck?) come back to look for her, she's gone. What can her friends do at this point? They can't just turn around a drive home. They can't tell the police what they know. So maybe after searching the best they can, they drive on to their destination. Maybe Maura will call them soon or arrive there. But she never does. After a few days, and having never told anyone they were up there, they leave. This all might explain why FM was so interested at the outset when he learned there were 3 girls on the Butson's video. But then he confronted the friends, who then finally told him "the real story". This might explain why he didn't at first 100% suspect foul play but later (and I think rightfully) believed that someone grabbed her. I mostly agree with his statement that what happened before the crash "doesn't matter", except for one major consideration.....her state of mind. I think her state of mind was such that if given the choice between a DUI and possible prison time for vehicular manslaughter (if Vasi died) or getting into a car of a passerby, she chose the latter. Keep in mind she might have been intoxicated and had just a few short moments to make that decision. I agree with James that this wasn't a planned abduction. But for every serial killer, regular killer, interested killer, uninterested killer, or whatever other type of person who was capable of dangerous thoughts, this was a storybook scenario with a victim served up on a platter. You have a young, attractive, drunk female who is DESPERATE to get in the car with you. No need for a struggle. All you had to do is ask and she's yours. For all we know, someone might have asked if she was OK and she begged for them to take her away.
Anonymous@Dec11 what u stated made sense absolutely..that can vry well be what happened here I like your scenario..
It would be great to have a complete timeline of witness accounts then separate timelines omitting certain witnesses accounts, e.g. a timeline with everyone except the first cops' information, everyone except Butch's and so on.
It is obvious that FM does not consider this forum...with all it's wild speculation, backed up by nothing...a legitimate resource. What happens to all the far fetched theories if Maura had nothing to do with a hit and run? Seriously? And how can anyone cast aspersions on someone's reputation with no solid evidence? If Maura is indeed a victim of a predator, she is a victim twice (or thrice) over by careless speculation as well. Where does one go to get their reputation back?