According to Bill, he was "out in the field" helping with some kind of training exercise at Fort Sill. But apparently, there was cell phone reception out there because he's busy calling Maura all morning. She's not returning his calls. Then, at 2 p.m. EST, Maura sends this email to Bill:
Subject: hey hey
To: "Bill Rausch"
I love you more stud
I got your messages, but honestly, i didn't feel like talking to much of anyone, i promise
to call today though
Bill ignores this and calls her cell phone again. Maura doesn't answer. So at 2:18 EST, he calls Kate Markopoulos's room at UMass, twice in one minute. Seconds later, Maura calls Billy back but he's still connected to Kate's room so the call goes to voicemail.
Bill then immediately calls Maura's cell again. Three times. She doesn't answer.
A couple take-aways: there was some stress between Maura and Bill that day. And Maura is only prompted to call him once he calls Kate. Did Kate tell Maura? Why wouldn't she talk to Maura if Maura's boyfriend was calling from Fort Sill - obviously Billy really wanted to get a message to Maura. Was Maura in Kate's room - is that how she knew he was calling at that moment?
But what happened next? That is the question.
Again, phone records show that Bill is petty consistently making phone calls that day (he made a LOT of calls, to West Point professors and former girlfriends and family members) and that alone suggests he could not have been in the White Mountains, where cell phone service is scarce to this day.
A year ago, I asked Bill about his alibi. Here's the email he sent back.
As previously discussed with you and confirmed by authorities in NH while I was on the ground searching for Maura after she went missing, I was at Fort Sill, OK the day Maura went missing to include the weeks in advance. The last time I saw her was during the holiday season.Understanding that you need to confirm, please reference the information below.- From June 2003-June 2004 I was assigned as the Executive Officer (XO) to Charlie Battery, 1-19th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, OK.
Two individuals who can confirm that I was at work when Maura went missing and that I was unable to leave until the Army gave me permission are:1. Senior Drill Sergeant Robert Ramos -- assigned to Charlie Battery, 1-19th FA and in charge of operations and all Drill Sergeants assigned to the unit.2. LT Nate Mayfield -- roommate at the time
As the Los Angeles Times put it:
As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.On his RallyPoint page, Rausch is listed as working for the IOTF in 2006.
Prior to this Rausch was stationed at Fort Trotten as part of the 301st battalion, part of the 151st Theater Information Operations Group, which was tasked with "synchronizing related capabilities comprised of five core functions: electronic warfare, military deception, psychological operations, operational security, and computer network operations."
Psychological operations is known as PSYOPS in the field. PSYOPS create spin, "to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own." In the past they have attempted to infiltrate American media as well, most notably getting caught at CNN and NPR.
You can read more about this sort of thing in this article from Christopher Hitchens at Slate.