Friday, August 26, 2016

My Current Thoughts On the Mystery

This blog has been quiet for a while but that doesn't mean I've stopped working on this case. I've interviewed a couple people this week, off the record, and it's caused me to take another look at some of the strange circumstances surrounding Maura's disappearance.

I become more and more convinced that Maura's destination that night was the UMass Outing Club cabin, in Bethlehem. I firmly believe she was traveling in tandem with another vehicle. That leaves two possibilities in my opinion: 1. This other driver took her to the cabin and then Maura went on to a new life. 2. This other driver disposed of the body after killing her or after she died unexpectedly from complications after the accident.

I lean toward #1. But just a little.

But lately I'm hung up on the pieces of this case that still lack satisfactory answers:

- Bill Rausch mentioned to me once that he knew Maura was shopping for a used car that weekend because he had a contact at a used car dealership near UMass that got him a good deal, before. I'd like to know who that contact was.

- At the time Maura's car crashed in Haverhill, Bill was on the phone with Bob McDonald, a professor from West Point. I'd like to know what that conversation was all about.

- What in the world does Sara Alfieri know? According to the Murray family spokesperson, she told Fred Murray a story about Maura that she won't tell anyone else. And in the days after Maura disappeared, Bill was repeatedly calling Kate Markopoulos until he phoned Sara Alfieri. Then the calls to Kate stop.

- Did Hoss Baghdadi tell police about the Outing Club (which he was active in) and the cabin in Bethlehem?


  1. 4 Bingo's outta 5.

  2. Hmmm... I'm with you that I think the UMass Outing Club Cabin was her intended stop. I believe it was a stop BEFORE starting a new life -- maybe she was having a final rendezvous with Hoss OR another lover we haven't heard about. Or some girlfriends. Emphasis on before because I'm leaning more and more toward her using some sort of network that made the disappearance so complete. Sure it was pre-social media but still, I have to believe she has a new identity.

    While the second one is definitely plausible there are two things I'm caught up with: first, I don't think it's that easy to dispose of a body. Second, I don't think there could have been too many complications from the accident and WERE THERE I think the person would have gone to the authorities/family since there would be no reason to keep it from them. "We were going on a trip, Maura got into an accident, Maura died."

    That's not to say I discount theory #2, I can just poke more holes in it than I can #1.

    Very eager to see what is coming in the fall/whether your interviews yield anything.

    On Rausch, I'm convinced we're never going to hear from him. The book (you) unearthed some really good stuff but he's never really been forthcoming.

    In my daydreams Maura comes out of hiding and tells her story eventually but I guess that's pretty insane of me to believe since if she DID disappear, and disappeared as well as she did, she had a really good reason to vanish.

    Thanks for the post, James!

    1. Did you see the spider crack on the windshield? A head hit that shit hard. While I don't think bad complications arose from it, just saying. Why would a tandem driver HIDE an innocent death or ailment?

      She emailed teachers something that gave an impression she would return.

      I think if Maura is alive, there are reasons she wants nothing to do with anyone in her old life. Whether it's family or college friends/college life....who knows.

    2. There was no hair or blood on the windshield. The drivers head did not cause the damage to the windshield. JMHO

    3. The crack in the windshield is from the airbag without a doubt. I have seen many cars after accidents where the airbag goes off and it looks just like it. Her car hit on the front corner and her body would have been thrown to the driver side window if she hit any glass at all.

      Not to be graffic but I have seen cars where someone has hit the windshield. There is always blood in the car and usually hair in the spider web. Head wounds bleed like mad and she would have been very dazed if she did smash her head into the windshield. Just hitting her face into the airbag would have stunned her. It is not a good feeling and it left me dazed for a few days.

    4. That's not completely true. I rear-ended a slow moving car going 40-50 mph and flew forward and broke the window with my head. Somehow I didn't split my head open and didn't bleed. Had one hell of a headache though.

    5. I have spidered a windsheild with my head before and had not so much as a bump or scratch. It depends on the age of the windsheild and if it has any weak spots from previous nicks from stones and such. Maura's car was indeed older and hadn't exactly been well maintained.

    6. I hit my head on the windshield when I was rear ended. There wasn't any cut or blood. However, the windshield cracked and shattered. And I had a nasty concussion. I think she may have hit the windshield.

  3. Did the driver's head really hit the windshield to make a spider crack? That's a pretty hard hit to do that.

  4. I would imagine Sarah came clean about the track clubs youthful shenangians. (and they're thanking God the internet age didn't exist. These days, pornhub is full of college sex parties)

  5. Nancy, while I lean more towards Maura being alive than her being dead, I would not be surprised if her remains are out there somewhere, undiscovered and undiscoverable. Looking at the missing on The Doe Network everyday, I have no illusions about how easy it is to dispose of a body.

    As I said, I lean towards Maura being alive. But barely. The thing that jumps out at me more and more over the years is the growing list of potential motives for foul play in Maura's life.

    1. Good point -- definitely lots of motive. I guess I just like to think that if someone ever kills me and tosses me in the New England woods (in which I live!) I will be found.

  6. Ancientexplorer1989August 26, 2016 at 1:52 PM

    i feel like there's a lot of good information that's been unearthed by renner and others. i just feel like no one has put it together completely as of yet because there are small missing details still out there obstructed by red herrings. i recently read on reddit that "The NH AG in charge of homicides, Strelzin, is on this one. They don't just put people on "cold case probable homicide duty" for giggles."

    If that is true, and who knows ^, then maybe the police have been sitting on some bombshells for quite awhile but the investigation is so serious and ongoing that no one's been able to uncover it as it's been kept under lock and key. i'm sure the police know a ton, but maybe they're faced with the same situation as us- not every puzzle piece is properly aligned.

    i waver back and forth on my theories every day, but overall, this blog post that renner wrote sums up most of what I think as well.

    The # of people remaining silent throughout this ordeal is shocking to me. Either they really don't know anything of value and simply don't care to be bothered anymore and have their names reentered and interwoven into this farther than they have been, or we're dealing with a class of people who lack any and all empathy and morality.

    this is the kind of case that can intrigue one to the point of near mental illness. i was in that spot for awhile, obsessing over it constantly. I've stepped back, but it somehow always creeps back into my head and i have another bout with it re-examining everything. and it's never far from my mind no matter what's going on in my life. :( I really wanted to go comb the woods around that whole area for exercise and because "why not", but i'm not an experienced hiker and don't want to wind up like gerry largay, so i'll continue to be a bystander continuously combing over digital info hoping something will arise someday.

    1. It's interesting to me that you should mention Gerry Largay within your comment. So, you assume she just got lost in the woods, eh?

      Here's what I think: I think she thought the whole thing out, down to the last details. She knew where she was. She had mapped out the areas she'd be hiking through in advance. She knew the typography. She knew where she could "get lost," away from a cell phone tower, and deep enough into a heavily wooded area where she'd never be discovered - at least not for years, which is what she basically admitted in her journal entry in which she wrote, "When you find my body please call my husband George and my daughter Kerry. It will be the greatest kindness for them to know that I am dead and where you found me -- no matter how many years from now. Please find it in your heart to mail the contents of this bag to one of them."

      Interestingly enough, she set up her deathbed in the woods under two Hemlock trees, with overhanging branches that prevented her from being seen from the air. Which I think is a clue, given that the Hemlock Society is a right-to-die organization.

      I think her husband knew what she intended to do. I think her friend Jane Lee knew, which is why she left, due to some vague, undefined "family emergency". And rather than risk bringing shame and disgrace upon her memory, and her career as one who saves lives, she had decided to take her life into her own hands and end things when and where she wanted to.

      That's my theory on Gerry Largay, who ended up costing the State of Maine a pretty penny in their effort to find her. I'm just glad no one lost their life searching for her. But I'd say the husband was complicit, and if he were to admit that, he should be forced to pay a chunk of the cost spent looking for her.

  7. I can't get over all the calls Rausch made that day, during the time of accident and after. Too coincidental. Then they finally stop?

    1. That does point to the college friends knowing more and helped her to escape something.

    2. I believe the calls were because Rausch was controlling. I had a friend who has a boyfriend who did similar things. If she didn't as wet, he would incessantly call me. Then move into a mutual friend. We would not answer because we didn't feel we had to answer to him and he was a jerk. That may be the simple reason Sara and Kate didn't rush to answer his calls.

  8. Glad you're still on the case James. I think you'll crack it someday.


    1. I still believe Maura was fleeing, running, or flat out panicking when she left the "party" heading to Fred's hotel room. Since no one will talk, I wonder if it was a party; maybe a meet up with Sara and Kate that went wrong. I can't help but wonder what her close friends thought of her after she was caught stealing the credit cards to order pizza. Maybe she stole from them too? Who knows....just a thought.

    2. No one ever discusses the Grand Jury that was called. I went back and read all of about it here, again, and can't help but think the police know more--a lot more--than we do, and they have an idea of Maura's ultimate fate. They just lack evidence. After watching all the Forensic Files on Roku, I came to the realization that some cases take time. Some, lots.

    3. I'd love to see James snag an interview with Julie Murray's beau. In the book you had a gut feeling he made an ominous call to you once, and he knows more. I hope that shakes out one day. Somebody close to Sara, Julie, Kate, Fred, or Katheleen has bound to have been told something we aren't privy to.

    1. I think the case will be cracked when the send search parties out again.

  9. James, I have missed your post here for the last 3 or 4 weeks and I was so glad to read this one just now. Wow!! You made here. Hoping you're able to get more information about this that you can publish. Good work as usual.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. your talking point #5: 1 was questioned as a suspect (?) lemme guess~ his 1st name ended in, nos...

  12. IMO - THERE'S a very good chance Maura was heading to the UMASS cabin. A perfect spot, to be away from prying eyes and to lay low for several days.
    Could Maura of already made it to the cabin, dropped her things off, and then went out to dispose of the Saturn.
    I also, think it's possible that Maura could of been a CI for UMASS.
    When was it announced that there would be an investigation into grilling assaults and harassment at West Point? Didn't this announcement happen on the
    THURSDAY that Maura had her breakdown at work?
    It's odd indeed, that Billy was calling Maura's phone repeatedly before she disappeared, called Kate several times, and then spoke with Sara which was the last phone call to any of them.
    IMO- I think Maura is alive and in hiding. I also, think the Saturn was originally damaged in Massachusetts. Ironically, Maura hadn't been able to drive the Saturn for 2 weeks and she had only been back to school for 2 weeks. Either something happened to the Saturn right when she got back to school, on her way back from Christmas vacation, or its a lie and the damage was done closer to her disappearance. I also, find it strange that one of her last emails to her friends, was about all the hit and runs at UMASS.
    Did Fred, family, or friends know about Maura's credit card charge before her disappearance. Perhaps, wrecking the Toyota sent her into a frenzy, thinking all her trouble would come out and she'd face the original sentence for the CC Fraud because she had wrecked the Toyota.
    In the Disappeared show, Fred said he spoke to Maura on Sunday night at 11:26 pm and told her that she needed to get the 3 forms from the Police Station or wherever you have to get them. Wasn't there only 2 accident forms found in the Saturn?
    Also, on the Disappeared show, it's Said that Maura spent a lot of holidays and summers with Billys family. Why not her own family?
    I believe if we keep digging, look at different angles, than maybe the pieces of this puzzle will fall into place and Maura's disappearance will be solved.

  13. Mr. Renner, why do you think she was in tandem with another vehicle? Is it because you've exhausted the other possibilities and that's all we're left with? Do you think the red truck was the other vehicle?

    I've always thought the list of things left behind in her car argued against the tandem driver theory. If I were driving in tandem with someone and I crashed my car, and for who-knows-why we decided to abandon my car and continue, I wouldn't have left that stuff in it. Some of the stuff in the car was random junk that everyone has in their car, but a lot of it was luggage that was packed for a trip. Wouldn't she have grabbed the bags she had packed (and probably the booze too)? It would have taken literally about 5 seconds to grab her duffel bag and throw that in her new ride.

    I think the stuff left behind in her car indicates she wasn't planning to be gone very long and was going to come back soon, the way she would have if a passing car had offered to take her to the next public place where she could use a pay phone. But that's just my take on things. :)

    1. In the very short time she was stranded at her crashed car, the only logical possibilities of her quickly vanishing are:

      1. A thug drove by and coerced her then killed her
      2. The tandem vehicle a friend was driving noticed she wasn't behind him/her or he/she was behind her and picked her up.
      3. A creep who lives in the area grabbed her and quickly gagged her
      4. Cops are the culprits

    2. IMO-The duffel bag, could of been from the weekend prior to her disappearance. Fred said, that Maura had worked out at his hotel room on Sat. Afternoon. Could this of just been her Gym/ working out clothes.
      I played sports through high school and college and most of the time I'd carry a duffel bag with a change of clothes in it. Also, alot of times people who play sports/workout, will have a pair of tennis shoes that they wear out and about and then another for doing physical activity. I know, I had a pair for practice and a pair to wear out and about.
      There wasn't enough clothes for a week in the Saturn. So either Maura planned on wearing the same thing over and over, she didn't need any clothes, or she had them waiting for her at another destination. All of 4,000 or some of it, could buy some new clothes. We the public, don't know how much clothes were left behind in her dormroom.
      Also, Sharon said that she had loaned Maura 2 suitcases, so she could carry her Christmas gifts home. We're these 2 suitcases found in Maura's dormroom?

    3. I agree. There's no evidence of a tandem driver. The red truck is nothing more than a red truck until there's proof. Bruce Atwood said she looked drunk. Why take a crappy car and drive drunk knowing there's a sober tandem vehicle in better shape than yours just ahead???!!! That makes no sense.

      Besides, when you are alcoholic and bulimic, you want to hide with your disease, not people. If she ran off it was to be by herself and indulge her demons, which she couldn't do in a dorm room. And we know from Disappeared she had run off and left friends worried at least one other time in high school. It would not surprise me if she did that regularly.

    4. Isn't it entirely possible that she originally expected to return when she was sober and get stuff but then for whatever changed her mind and decided to stay missing, and it's just gone on from there? The idea that her statements that she would be back in a few days and the stuff packed in the car bind her to that course of action is, to me, ridiculous,

  14. I was reading over some old articles,that were from, the early days in Mauras disappearence and several things were interesting.
    Has anyone tried to speak with Lindsay P., who was a UMASS student, who had the same class schedule as Maura? She was present when UMASS, and 2 detectives had a meeting at the school about Mauras disappearance on Friday Feb.13,04.
    Quote from the Daily Collegian 2-17-04..... Lindsay P. Said "ALSO, her dormroom was all packed up, like she was planning on moving out." This is a quote from another student,who knew Maura,at least through there classes together.
    Quotes from the article in the Global 2-17-04 by Ralph Ranalli
    "As best as they can determine, Murray got a ride from someone in a car,shortly before police arrived at the accident scene on Wild Amnmonoosuc road, said her BF, US Army Lt. WILLIAM (Billy) Rausch"
    "It seems apparent that she most certainly jumped in a vehicle"Rausch said. "An older couple who lives here put her at the Saturn, 1 minute before the police arrived."
    "NO one saw her do so, but residents on the St. Saw her standing on the Rd before police arrived and search dogs lost her scent less than 100 yards from her wrecked car, Rausch said."
    Quote from the Globe Correspondent 2-15-04 by Peter DeMarco...
    A witness told police that Murray seemed to be intoxicated.
    Quote from the Associated Press by Kate McCann Sunday 2-22-04.
    Police are investigating a message on Mauras phone from a friend,that she had talked to the day before she disappeared.
    Which friend did Maura speak with on Sunday, and what was the message?
    Another quote.. "a witness who told police, Murray appeared intoxicated but uninjured, and called autHorities against Mauras wishes."
    In several articles, it is mentioned that Maura appeared to be intoxicated.
    Quote from Globe Columnist 3-2-04 by Brian McGlory
    "Yesturday, Thrasher said"that Maura had fastidiously packed all her belongings into boxes before she left school,even removing art from the dormroom walls.
    Mean while, One UMASS friend has seemingly withheld info, from police, saying "she doesn't want to get Maura in trouble."
    "Maura was seen at 7pm in the White Mountains, hamlet of Haverhill,NH , an area where she had hiked and camped with her father."
    IMO- these articles early on, show insight into Mauras family, friends reaction to her disappearence, apparently a witness thought Maura was intoxicated after the crash. This was mentioned in 3 different articles. A classmate, thought her room was packed up like she was not coming back. Police thought she packed in a hurry and left town quickly. To me, all this is very telling.
    Shouldn't there of been records at the dormitory of Mauras comings and goings and who had visited her lately. Has it been verified that Maura did leave on Monday and not something happening to her on Sunday in Massachusetts. Was Maura I'd going into her dormroom on Sunday?
    IMO- Maura ran away, starting a new life or something happened to her in Massachusetts and the scene in New Hampshire was set up.

    1. I thought he said she DIDN'T appear drunk.

  15. I'm starting to think what happened in Fred's motel room was Fred reaming Maura as a parent would for being irresponsible blah blah. I think it's very possible he TOLD HER to get lost due to his disapproval for her. While he likely wouldn't have meant it literally (people say regretful things when they're upset), that would be the last straw for her. It would also explain why he refused to cooperate with cops and the possibility that he inferred to NH cops Billy is to blame.

    Though I still kind of think she isn't alive.

  16. I swore I'd never buy your book, but I have a long bike commute to work and had earned two credits for free downloads on Audible, so I downloaded your damn book. And I listened, and I couldn't put it down. I understand why you've come at this case in the way you have now, and you do have reasons (documented in the book) for making assertions that I have found offensive in the past. I have trashed you online on two occasions, and I sincerely regret that after listening to your book and am going to delete my comments (if I can) this morning. More later, but suffice it to say, I no longer a vocal opponent of you and wish you well.

  17. As I ponder the tandem driver scenario, I only see it as nefarious. But not to Maura, only to me looking at the case in hindsight. If there was "anyone" else romantically in her personal life at this time, they may hold the key and have not been on anyone's radar at all in this case.A boyfriend with connections or important parents/prestige? Maura had spent the recent holidays with the Rausch family. Was this a reconciliation with Billy? If so, and one throws in a pregnancy angle, we now have a jealous motive. Why? One of the most common murder motives. And if she was out for a week for an abortion, all for the wishes of someone else to keep quiet, and Maura changed her mind that day not to do it, someone would be very upset. A man with something to lose most probably. At the last moment he contacts her to meet up, as she has already left UMass to clear her head. This POI may be on the ATM & liquor store video with her, and LE releasing it may spook the suspect and further wreck this case. He wants her to calm down and tries to change her mind back to his original plan. In NH, after the accident, she does not change her mind, and something bad goes down. Maybe at or near the cabin even. This person may be living a new life now far away. I do not know what evidence could come forward now that could pursue this angle. Again, you mentioned people close to her, Billy, Sara, Kate, Hoss, Bob McDonald, and maybe an unknown boyfriend (track member?). Herein lies the truth........

    1. And this person made the call causing the Londonderry ping.

  18. To Anon 8/28 6:25 AM, I understand what you're saying. When I started looking into this case I read a lot of negative things people said about James, and I was expecting to have the same experience. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I listened to James Renner on the Missing Maura Murray podcast I was pleasantly surprised (sorry James :)) to find him extremely thoughtful, reasonable and logical in the way he sorted out the evidence. Of all the people on that podcast, I think he's by far the most detached and dispassionate, and thinks more logically and carefully than anyone else.

    I also wanted to comment on the tandem driver theory, because that's what James believes. I have a few hurdles I can't get over with it, and maybe someone here can help me.

    1) If she were going on a trip with someone else, wouldn't they all drive in the same car? Even the smallest economy car nowadays is designed to seat five adults plus luggage. Why would she take her rickety death trap of a Saturn? I guess it could be that she and her other party were coming from different directions, but I just wanted to ask.

    2) I presume the tandem car theory implies that she was in the process of disappearing. Aren't there much, much easier ways to disappear than to vanish from the scene of an accident? All you have to do is find a remote trailhead deep in the White Mountains with a parking lot. You get a map of the trails in the area, and make some notes around a point several miles along the trail leading from the trailhead parking lot. Make sure it's in extremely rugged terrain, where someone would be likely to fall off a cliff or down a trail, where it would be almost impossible for a search party to get to. Leave the map in your car and walk away. Have someone pick you up from there, hitchhike, or whatever, and ride into the sunset. The car won't be discovered for days, if not weeks, and nobody will even question that you're dead. I've heard of many cases of people doing something like this. If Maura wanted to disappear, wouldn't she have done something like that instead?

    3) The stuff left behind in the car. Why wouldn't she have grabbed all her luggage when she jumped into the vehicle of her accomplice? It wouldn't have taken more than a second. Especially after spending so much of her limited resources on booze it's really strange she would leave any of it behind.

    I hope someone can help me out with some of these. I'm here to learn from you all. Thanks. :)

    1. The "trip", during school week, may have actually been an effort to dispose of her vehicle, if you believe that her vehicle may have been involved in the Vassi accident. Her friends, driving in tandem, would provide her a ride back to school after completing the mission. Maura's accident in New Hampshire, I believe, was unplanned; however, she was now identified, in her mind, by Atwood at the scene of the accident. Maura didn't know the medical condition of Vassi at this time, in fact, for all she knew, he could have died. She also didn't know if her vehicle had been captured on video or by witnesses at the scene of the Vassi accident. In my opinion, she was following a tandem vehicle, most likely a friend or friends, who eventually noticed at some point that she wasn't travelling behind them anymore. Most likely, the tandem vehicle pulled over in an effort to let her catch-up, and after several minutes, probably turned around and back-tracked until coming upon Maura. This process could have easily taken ten minutes, depending on how long the tandem car waited, and how long the distance to back-track and find her. Maura, panicking at this time because most likely, Atwood had called the police, jumped into the tandem vehicle with whatever she could and took off before the police arrived. Once Maura had time to go over things in her mind, I believe that she decided that that there was a good chance that her vehicle would be connected to the Vassi accident, which by the way could also be the cause of the damage to the Saturn, and since she was unable to dispose of the Saturn as planned, she and her friend or friends, decided that the best course of action was for Maura to disappear. Someone had to help her during the next few days, most probably a family member, though I don't believe Fred was initially kept in the loop. Someone provided shelter until Maura and others devised a plan for her to live an extremely low profile existence, but I don't think they envisioned the type of attention this case would generate, essentially keeping Maura in the shadows this entire time. JRK

    2. If we believe the tandem driver theory, I think the simplest "combination" explanation for all three questions is that:

      1) she & the other person were coming from different places,

      2) the accident was really an accident (not staged), &

      3) in the aftermath she was shaken up & she rushed to get into the other person's car before cops got there, grabbing only what was absolutely essential or the easiest to grab.

    3. The Haverhill accident wouldn't have been part of the plan.

    4. how do you know it wasn't a s t a g e d accident?

  19. A Quote from the Globe Columnist Article by Brian McGlory on 3-2-04...
    Authorities are looking at 4 scenarios.
    Least Likely- Suicide
    2nd unlikeliest- intoxicated, ventured out in the woods and was overcome by the elements.
    *No Footprints, dogs lost scent, helicopters equipped with heat seeking devices were no help.
    3rd- In that brief period of time, she was picked up by someone who abducted or killed her. AUTHORITIES believe the odds of a violent criminal, coincidentally coming across her on the rural rd. Are as remote as the location itself.
    4th- Picked up by passerby, taken to a bus station and fled the area. Possibly of little idea of the anguish she has left behind.
    Interesting- this article was wrote about 23 days after Maura's disappearance.
    What led the authorities to believe that the best explanation of Maura's disappearance is that she was picked up and possibly taken to the bus station?

    1. Because they wanted the case to be detoured far away from the Haverhill NH location.

  20. I think another question to ask is why would Maura have needed to completely disappear without a trace for 11 years? As an adult, she could've stopped communicating with whoever she chose. Neither Billy nor her dad lived anywhere near her. And it could be presumed if she's still hiding today, she would know someone is looking for her. Why not call authorities and tell them she's ok? They're under no obligation to tell her loved ones where she is. (That in fact, happened in a case from
    Disappeared. The man called authorities, they closed the case, but refused to tell his family where he was.)

    I think there's a real misconception about the dad. Just because Renner isn't a fan and others think he's not being forthcoming, that doesn't mean anything. By all accounts Maura loved her dad and was close to her siblings. To me, it makes no sense to run off and never contact anyone again who is close to her family. She had already endured a deep family humiliation by being kicked out of West Point and she overcame that with her family's help. I think that so often 'facts' are added and manipulated in this case to fit a certain theory, but Maura as a human and her relationships with others are completely ignored. But if she's alive, it is those very characteristics you'll need to find her.

    Why, if she's hiding out still, does she feel like she needs to after all these years?

    1. I agree with you completely Anon 9:32 AM. I don't believe she would let everyone wonder what happened to her all this time. The crash on 112 isn't a good enough reason. There was no proof that she was drunk or broke the law that night. A breathilizer and sobriety check are required the day of the incident to have proof. People elude the police in this are all the time to avoid a DWI. I believe that's why the case was treated as it was in the beginning.
      I think college friends didn't want to talk about the things that went on because they didn't want to get in trouble themselves or have word get out that they had been involved in drugs/orgies etc...
      I honestly believe that Maura accepted a ride from someone who seemed trustworthy and met with foul play. I don't think the person who picked her up was a serial killer or had ever done anything like this before. I think it was a matter of a sexual advance that wasn't taken well and things escalated into accidental murder or having no choice because she could identify them.

    2. If she was running away from abuse it is a perfect reason to stay gone for 11 years, especially if your abuser holds political clout and is influential. Abusers don't stop pursuing. It's about control. Ever seen sleeping with the enemy?

  21. I have been waiting for an update from you!
    I agree with you on both your theories.
    I want to believe #1 is true because the alternative isn't such a fascinating ending. I mean who doesn't like a story with so much mystery and in end she's living her life as someone else.
    But I am leaning to #2 because that's just how stories like this one goes. I do think she was meeting someone and something went bad and everything else afterwards was created out of chance, bad witnesses ect and just after the fact cover up.

  22. Do you get the impression Julie and Kathleen are close at all? or do you think the family members live separate lives and possibly get together once in a while.

  23. Don forget she also had a now deceased relative who owned a home in Bethlehem. A lot of things seem to point to Bethlehem. Coincidence?

  24. -"A 2010 report was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that had tracked the suicide rate in 84 national parks from 2003 to 2009. It was found that there had been a total of 194 suicides, along with 92 unsuccessful attempts, and that mostly these were carried out with firearms, jumping from high places, or drug overdose."
    Sometimes people do decide to end their lives peacefully in nature or national parks/forests. IMO what is uncommon is elaborate plans involving get away drivers, secrete identities, and such. I'd also rank the probability of a bad guy lurking in a remote area waiting on such an opportunity almost as astronomical as the tandem driver theory. That's not to say any of these are impossible but i still rank suicide as the most probable outcome despite the lack of footprints. Also Tylenol PM in the car could be for insomnia but I can also give two separate links of people committing suicide by consuming large amounts of the active ingredient in Tylenol PM and submerging themselves in cold streams (see Jenny Bennett and Rebecca Greene).

    1. The tandem driver theory is not astronomical at all, To compare that to the lurking bad guy theory is ridiculous.

    2. James, look into the story of Lori Eric Ruff. I think you will find it interesting as it relates to Maura.

    3. Just to be clear when I say bad guy lurking I don't literally mean a shady character waiting in the woods with a trench coat and a dagger. Kidnapping by a "local dirtbag" is what I mean. Why do you think the tandem theory is so much more probable then her getting picked up while fleeing? You could be right, but simply calling the comparison ridiculous doesn't do much to convince me.

  25. It just dawned on me last night that the reason police haven't released Maura's ATM photos is because there is some sort of injury to her face? That would change the nature of her case to assault victim as well as missing? Could that be why they haven't released it to the family?

    1. No, police are on record stating there is NO evidence of any type of foul play or anything sinister happening to Maura Murray. Fact.

    2. Clint, if that's the case, why are they sitting on all the evidence? I say let the family see what they have. After 12+ years, that's the least they can do!

  26. I know many people have discounted.the vasi theory but I still cant think of anything else that makes sense. It would explain why she had to get herself and her car out of Dodge for a while until the investigation dies down, it would also explain the.breakdown at work and of her friends saying she.doesn't want to get her in.trouble.
    When I think about all the other theories out there I always.end up back at the.vasi one. Maybe as some people have said it wasn't actually her driving.

  27. I finally got around to buying True Crime Addict today. I was waiting for a client to show up for a meeting so I logged onto audible and purchased your book. I was surprised by some of the older titles I had in there that I had forgotten I purchased, particularly one called Her Fearful Symmetry because I don't remember ever reading it. But I downloaded your book and started listening and smiled when you started talking about Stieg Larsson because I am fascinated by his personal story and by his insightful way of portraying his characters strengths and weaknesses in The girl with the dragon tattoo. Anyway, you mentioned synchronicity, but you called it fearful symmetry, and I just thought that hearing your first chapter and your mentioning fearful symmetry was an example of my own fearful symmetry, having just found that title in my library :) Also, your wife must be one heck of a lady! Okay, back to listening to your book now!

  28. So glad you are still on the case, James!

    I think of this case all of the time, especially before I go to bed. It drives me batty but I just can't shake it. When is the one clue that will blow the case wide open going to be discovered??

    These are my unanswered questions:

    Why don't we know the identity of the person (a man, I presume?) on the track team that cops interviewed?
    Why aren't Maura's associates more forthcoming?
    What happened to Maura's backpack? Was the Pemi Overlook backpack hers?
    Why hasn't her family declared her legally dead?
    Was Maura definitively the driver?
    Was anyone behaving strangely in the days following Maura’s disappearance?
    What’s the reason that cops haven’t released the ATM or store footage?
    Who was the source of the Londonderry ping?
    Was the accident real or staged?
    Why was the car taken to a different garage and why was Fred asked to handle the rag?
    Why was the rag brought up so early in the investigation?
    Do investigators have one or more suspects in mind?

    If the scent dogs are to be trusted, Maura either entered a nearby home or a vehicle where her scent was lost. If it was a home, more search warrants may prove fruitful. If it was a vehicle where would it be headed and was it planned or did something go awry?

    I'd look strongly here at who might have the MOTIVE or OPPORTUNITY to harm Maura. If she was killed by a stranger the case will be harder to solve. It would take finding her body or having someone who knows that person and suspects something to come forward. Anyone who regularly drives that route at that time of night, lives nearby, and/or monitors police scanners. Also, anyone suspected in other stranger rapes or attempted abductions.

    The rumors about West Point (a possible rape) seem to provide a motive for someone who knew Maura to have harmed her; same with a possible pregnancy, her working undercover for UMass, or being in a secret relationship. Did she have much contact with unsavory characters?

    I think Maura could be alive but that's not the theory I'm leaning towards at present. If she is alive, more private detectives on the ground in Canada might lead to answers.

  29. James, another question you once asked but seem to have forgotten about:

    You found that four lie-detector tests had been given related to the case. You have learned that Atwood took two.

    Who were the other two tests given to?

  30. I say to the NH DA- throw the spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks. It's been over 12 years now so what could be the harm at this point?

  31. James-Your subscribers really bring up many excellent points. And a good investigation examines ALL possibilities, no matter how inane or hurtful, or unpopular they may be. You have one smart crowd here!

  32. Were there two pairs of leather gloves found in the Saturn-one pair belonging to Maura and another pair belonging to a pair of rather large hands?

    1. I always wondered about the multiple phone chargers/adapters that were in the car.