Maura Murray vanished from the side of the road in Haverhill, New Hampshire, on February 9, 2004. At the time, she was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For the basic facts of the case, nothing beats Wikipedia. Start there.
Okay. Now a quick history lesson on this blog. My name's James Renner. I'm an author and journalist from Ohio who has written about unsolved mysteries for many years. I started this blog in 2011 as a way to generate new leads and clues about Maura's disappearance while writing a book on the case, which comes out May 24, 2016.
Before I became involved in the case, Maura was made out to be the "All-American Girl." But Maura, like all of us, was more complicated than that. Here are a list of things I've uncovered in my research that provided new perspective:
- At the time of her disappearance, Maura was on probation for stealing credit card numbers and someone's identity to order food.
- She was about to be engaged to Bill Rausch, whom she met as a cadet at West Point, but had been cheating on him with her UMass track coach. He claims Maura spoke about running away to Mexico to start a new life.
- Her father, Fred Murray, refused to be interviewed by homicide detectives for 2 1/2 years and when he finally agreed to meet, he brought lawyers.
- Fred Murray has lied to police and reporters about the events leading up to his daughter's disappearance.
- A search warrant suggests someone tried to call Maura from New Hampshire just before she disappeared.
- Maura's friends, Kate Markopoulos and Sara Alfieri have not been honest about a late-night party at UMass, two nights before Maura disappeared.
- Maura left West Point to avoid an expulsion after she got caught stealing from Fort Knox.
- Maura and Bill's phone records from the weeks surrounding the disappearance only lead to more questions.
- On the anniversary of Maura's disappearance, a man named Alden Olson uploaded this disturbing video to YouTube. After I identified Olson, he posted pictures of my 3 year old son online and threatened me. Prosecutor Steven Gagne declined to press charges, saying they'd have a much better case if Olson showed up at my door.
A couple more things.
From the beginning, I have shared the police reports and documents I've gathered with everyone. You can read through everything here.
There is also a very addicting podcast dedicated to the case, called Missing Maura Murray.
There are several other blogs and websites but the best are:
You should feel free to comment on this blog, as well. Because of the number of trolls who gather around this case, I have to approve every comment. Comments will not be approved if they reference uncharged suspects or are threatening or mean.