Thursday, January 14, 2016

**UPDATE** Are We Really Still Debating the Crash?


It boggles the mind that we're still debating the circumstances of Maura Murray's car accident in Haverhill. Did she hit a tree? Did she hit another car? Was the car towed earlier in the day? We answered these questions many many years ago.

Maura most likely impacted the north side of the curve across from the weathered barn, as explained by an EMT who was on the scene shortly after the accident.

Dick Guy saw that the snowbank on that corner was sheered off that night. It explains the damage to the car and - more important - the placement of the car, as hitting that corner would have spun her around and deposited the vehicle where it ended up - on the south side, facing back the way she'd come.

Nobody ever said she hit a tree. Early on, it was thought she hit a tree. There's confusion about this, I think, because the family puts a memorial ribbon on a tree near the accident site. But, no, she never hit a tree. She couldn't have. The snowbanks were too high.

She never crashed into another vehicle, earlier in the day. There would have been evidence of this - paint, metal, something from the other vehicle on Maura's Saturn.

The accident, itself, is the least mysterious part of this entire case, in my opinion.

**UPDATE**
Yes, Cecil Smith's report states that he was told by the dispatcher that Maura's car had hit a tree. That was the assumption going to the accident site. Smith's report says there was evidence this is what happened. However, when found, Maura's Saturn was partly in the Eastbound lane. Anyone familiar with the crash site in Winter will understand how impossible it would be for the car to have crossed over the five-foot high wall of snow and ice to impact a tree twenty feet away and then cross back.

This is why Dick Guy first took issue with the report and spoke up about the evidence he saw at the crash site that night.

I have since spoken to several Haverhill officers and witnesses. The overwhelming majority do not believe she hit a tree. There was no tree that showed damage from impact. It is physically impossible.

In my mind, debating this point is akin to debating the magic bullet that killed Kennedy.

37 comments:

  1. Front end tree (or pole etc) impacts often create a U or C shaped indent visible through many "layers of the cake" top to bottom (hood, lights/grille, bumper etc). It's just speculation based on a 2 dimensional image, front only, limited angles I know but... the dent in the image(s) seems to be a top only, hood only indent over the headlight. Looks more likely snowbank than tree. OR a previous dent from other crashes.... we can go on and on.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where there photos taken at the scene? I'm personally not inclined to take the word of an EMT on how an accident occurred. Perhaps I'm a bit cynical. I'm waiting for more solid evidence before I make up my mind.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Answer to two of your questions

    1)Fred said he retrieved the spare key in the saturn to start it

    2) Fred called for a rent a car in order to get home from Amherst

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, jwb. Two put to bed.

      Now for the others.

      Delete
  5. Well to be fair, Tim Westman did indeed assert that she hit a tree and even claimed there was scarring on the tree in question.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That simply is a lie he has said, the question is why.

      Delete
  6. Mac Parsons, an interesting comment. You seem to tick off most of the major points
    I have a thought; how much of the "confusion", inaccurate memories, sloppy record keeping are simply due to the police assuming that the driver got a ride from someone and would contact them for the car back in the near future? Whoever would turn up because it really wasn't that mysterious - accident, ride, pickup car tomorrow. I keep feeling that, while there may be some side 'issues' with the police, at the beginning this was just not a huge red flag event. The police hold on to the car, it's at Lavoies. When they hear from someone, track down the plates, still no red flag - a college kid on an adventure. Even by the end of the week they are not terribly concerned, sure Fred, take the car.
    Perhaps their biggest miscalculation was to not take this seriously from the start. By the time they did a lot of opportunities had been lost.
    I think the biggest problem with solving the mystery, or 'finding out what happened' is that James, you, John etc. don't have full access to the case records. Even without some complicated, dramatic surrounding story, some of the most very basic info is not known - lab reports, forensic reports etc. and what is known is often contradictory (which I have a feeling is not really all that uncommon).
    Just some thoughts...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "You seem to tick off most of the major points I have thought ..."

      First, with whom am I corresponding? It really would be a courtesy to make up an alias so the readers of this blog can follow the conversation more clearly. This is a Missing Person Case that's clear as mud already, thanks. Fear not, no one is going to show up at your door.

      I'll proceed regardless.

      I present nothing new in that post above. All of it is regurgitation years old from multiple sources. There's probably more carryover of BS in there too, I simply don't know, 'cuz, just as the rest of us, I can't access the info they have.

      That out of the way, yes, I think you're right: A cut and dry DUi, kid flees, abandoned crapped out car, may return. Do a cursory search, log it, go home.

      BUT ... protocol was NOT strictly followed. Go back and read, they're there. Are the police to blame? Sloppiness, HELL YEAH. For her disappearance? HELL NO. But ... it just goes to show how serious the event DID turn and how precious hours were burned.

      We know that our public infrastructure is in BAD need for supplies, equipment and maintenance. NH had issues with the expensive to outfit their men and women with body cams. Read more about that. So, LE is only as good as the sum of its parts. Throw in poor communication, despite "The Age of Information" (PFFFFFFTTTTT!!!!! more boasting really), more routine calls and a little alcohol and you have a dep't ill-equipped to handle something of this magnitude. I SURE WISH SOMEONE WOULD FINALLY COME FORWARD AND ADMIT THIS. Because everything I've read confirms this.

      What this case SCREAMS is that any time a person goes missing all hands should be on deck. YES, treat it as a homicide. Let's look at this coldly for a moment. If MM had been found that night, you know how much money and time could have been saved? Do any of us realize how much time is diverted from OTHER PERFECTLY SIMILAR CASES that won't get the attention they deserve because of this case? We will never know and that's probably a good thing. MANY, many people untold have suffered because of this case. The family wants closure. Haverhill wants closure. The budget hawks in NH want closure. The police want closure.

      I'm not saying that someone's covering someone else. There's plenty of suspicion anyway. I'm saying that this investigation caught people completely by surprise. Hey, stuff happens.

      Unfortunately, the collateral damage is Maura Murray.

      Again, if this was YOUR kid ...

      Delete
    2. Yes, we should all respond with our real names, just like your BFF who loves THE TRUTH does right? Don't be a hypocrit. I'm sure this comment won't be approved but I wish it would. I respect James for trying to avoid all the ridiculous drama. But your buddy says HELL YEAH the police are involved. He says the police are CORRUPT. He says they are covering a CRIME. I use caps since that seems to speak to you.

      You support him then you support that. Period. He has said point blank he thinks the police are covering a crime by someone "higher up" and posts photos of police as his "number one suspect". I don't think you're so stupid not to see this so why do you act like that's not what he's saying when it's abundantly clear?

      If it was MY kid I know who I would and wouldn't support. Do you??

      Delete
    3. Also "fear not, no one is going to show up at your door"? Maybe not at your door yet, but anyone who's been remotely involved can tell you they've been doxxed, threatened, harassed and some by your good buddy. So forgive us for wanting to stay anonymous to avoid that. I stopped using my alias the first time someone sent me a gore photo to log my IP. Kudos to Renner for putting up with that shit but not all of us are interested.

      Delete
    4. "If it was MY kid I know who I would and wouldn't support."

      I do. Make The FBi get off the phone with the Hanson newspaper and take the case as the LEAD agency.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for clarifying, James. God, I swear, sometimes I feel like the pod cast is just throwing everyone for a loop rather than 'looking at all possible angles'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sad to say I agree too. I had high hopes but I feel like those guys are too nice and not cautious enough about who they decide to trust. :(

      Delete
    2. Are Lance and Tim Mike Wallace? No. Are they, James Renner, John Smith and others getting badly needed attention to this case? Yes.

      We may disagree with what's noise and what's not. I'm 99% certain LE takes a dim view of online chatter. If this is what's needed to shake evidence of the tree, so be it.

      Net: "He who casts the first stone ..."

      Delete
  8. James, re: your update.

    You established that what then-Sgt. Smith wrote in the report, about evidence of the car hitting trees being present, had to be "impossible". That he would write that despite it being impossible is incredibly interesting to me for some reason.

    You also offer no possible explanation for why he might have done that and then go on to insert that Haverhill PD and residents also don't think that this is what happened.

    All this (and how absolutely adamant Mr. Westman is that the car did hit a tree AND that the snowbanks were practically non-existent) makes me question this aspect of the case even more.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why do you think her windshield was cracked?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are multiple possibilities. LE maintains it was an interior hit. Head? Unlikely due to height. Something inside.

      Here's a creepy possibility: She was forced out of her vehicle and she kicked the glass in desperation.

      I'm not 100% sure it was her in that car on that road. There's enough anomalies to suggest that it was another gal of uncertain age dumping the car. There is at least one local who acted suspiciously at the time of the accident and was well-known to Haverhill Police. She had dark hair, darker than Maura's, worn-shoulder length.

      The following notion is a bit of a stretch because it was night and poorly lit, but Butch Atwood could not at first confirm it was MM he saw that night. When shown her picture, he said "No." He didn't describe the woman at the scene with auburn hair worn up as MM normally would. He described a gal with black hair wearing it down.

      Delete
    2. From the propulsion of the air bag. Which damn well hurts, like breaking a nose.

      Delete
    3. The crack is directly proportional to the amount of force exerted on the windshield.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    5. The damage to the windshield is most likely from airbag deployment. The location and extent is consistent.

      Delete
  10. As someone who used to live in Northern NH, I will say this: I had a few spinouts that were so weird and random (in terms of where I ended up, what I hit/missed, etc.) that looking at the scene afterward you'd never be able to guess precisely what happened. I'm talking doing 720s, sliding sideways, backwards, picking up speed during a spinout, etc. And I was not necessarily going very fast when these happened (although probably over the speed limit).

    My point is, any of these experts can give you a *good idea* what a "likely" or "probable" scenario was for the crash, but it would take a supercomputer until eternity to analyze the infinite real world number of possibilities for how a car ended up in a particular spot when spinning around on an icy road. Anyone who says they're 100% sure doesn't really have a good grasp of the kinds of tricks physics can play in those conditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this story. Did you leave rubber on the road?

      The roads weren't icy that night, mostly clear with snow banks either side as described above.

      Delete
    2. This! A car crash behaves in odd ways. I've spun out several times and gotten very lucky, but there are all sorts of factors. Did you brake, did you wrench the wheel, etc. Even then it's not real reliable. Look at fire investigations. So many things that used to be common sense has been thrown out over the past 15 years or so. It's the same guesswork with a car accident such as this. And most importantly unless you think a third party is involved in the crash then it doesn't matter one little bit.

      But for some ridiculous conspiracy theories it doesn't matter how the crash happened, tree or no tree. Either way, she crashed.

      Delete
    3. Maybe she swerved from hitting a deer, or a person, then hit ice.

      Delete
    4. The only possibility is that the driver impacted the snowbank on the apex of the curve with the left front causing the car to spin around counter-clockwise to end in the eastbound lane pointed westward. This is physics.

      Delete
  11. IMO- this keeps coming up because some people want to lead the investigation towards a cop cover up or cop covering for someone in the community.
    Fred says Maura's past doesn't matter, only after the accident matters. So were suppose to take a leap of faith and believe Maura's past has nothing to do with her disappearance because Fred said so. When a person goes missing, your suppose to look at everything because you Never know what might hold the clue to finding them. Even if its not your missing loved ones proudest moments. Which most of us, have some...
    Most likely, the police thought this was another person who ran from a DUI, and they would show up later, so there was no need to treat it as a Missing Person case. I don't think they realized what this case would turn into.
    Some people want others to believe that a police officer(s) Harmed Maura and covered it up. Within 30 minutes to an hour, they came up with a plan to wreck Maura's car down the road, stage the scene, and had a female who resembled Maura out there, in case someone came by. And they put a rag in the tailpipe to muddy the waters. Although Fred explained the rag away.
    Why does it have to be that an officer harmed her and not of helped her get away? They say the chief was drinking and driving that day/ night so if he was on scene why can't it be that he helped Maura get away and not of harmed her?
    There's several aspects to this case and the accident scene is just one part.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the most lucid comment that I have seen in a while

      Delete
  12. I feel that is still a coverup, I doubt that the police would even help someone get away that they knew, let alone a stranger. If he was drinking, maybe it was her alcohol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jason, what do you believe is being covered up? A botched investigation?

      Delete
    2. Absolutely,even where they kept the car after it was towed, to a personal residence, they didn't even look into Mauras phone records, the track coach wasn't even interviewed by police, and that's just at the top of my head.

      Delete
    3. LaVoie towing the car to his residence was his decision. There is no evidence that this was a directive from an official that would have been part of the investigation.

      Delete
  13. There is something that makes no sense to me. This Truthseeker/Smith guy is insinuating a cover up, that the police, especially the chief is involved. Well why would officer Smith arrest the chief for a DUI, but not a murder? He and everyone else that's in on it would risk their careers and jail over this? Makes no sense.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I disagree that significant issues about the Saturn crash don't require resolution.

    http://notwithoutclues.blogspot.com

    In the interest of discourse, I hope James will post this message and link.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Green, one thing regarding your post is about the car falling off of a tow truck. First of all, modern cars with plastic bumpers are towed with wheel lifts, not the traditional hooks from the past as there is nothing by which to attach said hooks and this manner would greatly damage the vehicle's bumper. I am unsure of what the "tow joint" you speak of is.

      Delete