Wednesday, November 9, 2016

UMass Had Direct Ties To Sherbrooke

Back in 2013, I traveled to Canada in search of Maura Murray, along with Lance & Tim from the Missing Maura Murray podcast. There have been rumors for years that Maura was living in the Sherbrooke area of Quebec. You can read more about that, here.

Our intrepid new helper just found this link between UMass and Sherbrooke. At the time Maura disappeared, UMass had an exchange program with Université de Sherbrooke. They wonder if Maura may have met an exchange student at UMass in the fall of 2003 and formed a lasting bond that helped her escape.

Regardless, it's an interesting direct link, so I thought I'd share.

27 comments:

  1. Just not going to give it up are you?

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    1. Right, because quitting always works.

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    2. James, what you wrote here about UMass and Sherbrooke one of the most astounding facts about this case that I have read so far. It is starting to fall into place. It makes sense. I just wrote you yesterday that I am trying to get someone to go to Sherbrooke with me and help me look there. Please keep following this lead for us. Best regards, Adrienne Mintzer

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    3. Not to be a smart ass here, but ... nothing like posting one's intentions online before the act ... and tipping off your target!

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    4. Hi Adrienne, I live in Toronto but would be interested in going to Sherbrooke with you to do some investigating. Let me know.

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  2. This is the best news that I've heard all day!

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  3. The program page is for the 2017-2018 school year. Was the program in effect in 2004? A prerequisite is four college-level semesters of French, and Maura didn't speak French. IIRC, she spoke a smattering of German. Minimum class standing is that they have to be a junior. When, in Maura's timeline, would Maura have gone to Canada with this program as a junior? How could she have done her nursing clinicals during this? It's a full-time program, so this would have taken her away from her goal and cost Fred and Maura money that they probably didn't have. When would she have quit her two jobs to do this? Sorry, I don't see this as a valid lead.

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    1. She wouldn't have gone to study. She may have met an exchange student from Sherbrooke as UMass and decided to go there, possibly being helped by this student. If she didn't want to be found, a French-speaking bilingual city isn't going to be anyone's first guess. If I really wanted to disappear, I would pick a place I have never mentioned in my life.

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    2. I dont think he is suggesting she entered the program. He said she could have met an exchange studeny from sherbrooke at umass that helped her escape

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  4. Wow what an interesting connection!! Keep it up, James

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  5. I would think but I really do not know for sure, if Maura had asked for transcript to be sent or applied/inquired about a student work/visa exchange programs, there would have been a record trail. Given the short period she was in school before she disappeared, there would not be enough time to do this. But since UMASS is an international college, she would have had been able to obtain information on getting a work visa or information on living abroad.

    If she did go off with someone from Canada who was in the exchange program (or a least receive help/information), how would she be able to stay under the radar up there. She would have eventually needed Identification(passport, birth certificate etc.) to work and (if she able to) get on there health care system. Applying for citizenship/changing identity etc or asking for her birth certificate would leave a paper trail as well. Is there a cross-referencing of records from Canada to the United States? If yes, would the family or law enforcement be able to obtain her records? If no, than I guess its conceivable that she could have done this and stayed in Canada. Either case, she would have needed help

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    1. Not everything is done officially. If she knew someone from the area, she may have been referred to someone willing to give her a job under the radar or otherwise help her. Identity theft is a possibility, so we can't rule out Sherbrooke just because there are no official records. I wouldn't leave any clues about where I was going.

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    2. For the 25th time... in this forum.. Cash jobs are KING in Quebec. Everybody and their cousin, works cash jobs. Works well, for both employees & employers.

      French is not needed for most factory or warehouse jobs in Quebec. Or even farm jobs. You can live under the radar in Quebec, your whole life. And live a comfortable life. I lived in Mont St. Hilaire for 350 a month. All inclusive. And in Montreal, for 550 a month. 2 bedroom. All inclusive.

      You can get by perfectly, by just knowing the basics of broken French words.

      Quebec is pretty much a different country, all in itself, from the rest of Canada.

      I could see her moving to a border town between Ontario/Quebec. Even in Ontario, cash jobs are big, because of high taxes. Cornwall, Brockville, Kingston & Belleville... could of been destinations, a little drive from Quebec. And to law low for YEARS.

      Very easy in Canada. Especially, if you're a pretty white girl.. you blend in...... anywhere!

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  6. A 4.5 hour trip from UMASS to Sherbrooke, & her car was found around 10ish miles away from the halfway point...
    An alternate route which would add only 35 minutes to the trip would be to go through Vermont, making the Montpelier/Stowe area a good halfway point...

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    1. She wouldn't have been able to get across the Canadian border without a passport, as this took place after 9/11/2001. I don't think her passport was missing, if she even had one. And I'm sure the police would have checked if she had used her passport to get across the Canadian border.

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    2. BS. A pretty white girl, with a smile, can get into Canada in 2004. No problem! Even today, at these low risk check points.

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    3. My husband lived in Toronto as an American in 2002-2003 and didn't even have a passport. His girlfriend at the time went to school there and he worked as a bouncer in a club.

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    4. Passports were not required until about 4 years ago. I made the crossing from VT and NH into Quebec without a passport at least 20 times between 2008 and 2010. Drivers license was just fine and most times they didn't even ask to see it.

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    5. Yep. The law didn't take effect until later. I was able to use my license as my passport had just expired. This was 2006. I believe it was I phases that the rules took effect: I remember first it was if you flew into Canada/Mexico then later if you crossed by car/foot.

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  7. Sharon said that she had loaned Maura a suitcase, so she could bring her Christmas gifts home in it. Was this suitcase found in Maura's dormroom?
    Who was the guy who walked Maura and Kate out of the party Sat. Night?
    Had Maura had any Classes with an exchange student since being at UMASS?

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  8. I agree. It's time to let that go. Like you said at the end of your book, someday someone will come across her remains somewhere and that will be it. Just like the Wetterling case.

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    1. "It's time to let that go."

      Right, because this is how successful investigations always work.

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  9. Adrienne did you find anyone to go to Sherbrooke? I'm less than 2 hours away in the province of Québec. James? You planning a trip and looking for someone bilingual?

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