This is a new interview with Fred Murray, by blogger Erinn Larkin. Anyone interested in the case should listen to it.
** A Personal Note **
This is a difficult link for me to post to. Erinn Larkin has contacted me for years. She was on the track team at UMass with Kate Markopoulos and she has taken an interest in the case for some time. We've been at odds off and on for some time, and most of her blog and her podcasts are based on picking apart my research. I got to meet her personally at CrimeCon. We shared a couple drinks at the bar around the corner and spent most of the time talking about our hero, Bernie Sanders, who she worked for in the last election. We left on good terms but that quickly degraded (don't ask me why, I couldn't say for sure) to the point I had to ask her to stop contacting me.
A couple weeks ago Erinn let me know she had spoken to Fred, and the nature of their conversation. Her interview does some really great things, and some not so great things. She says I am the single source of unsavory allegations against Fred. She and Fred know this is not true. Allegations began many years ago on the family forum before it was shut down. During the course of my research for the book, I had to ask the question because of this. They both know one of my two family sources. And they both know nothing was alleged in the book and I've never said anything to the effect in interviews. My opinion on what may or may not have happened doesn't matter. I did my job as a journalist. Maggie did, too. And I can tell you, neither one of us liked that part of the job.
Further, I believe Fred version of the truth is wonky. I think astute readers will pick up on this, especially his version of when and how he spoke to investigators.
All this said, Erinn really did a good job. She got Fred talking directly, unedited, something we've never had. And Fred spills some secrets, finally - especially about the nature of the party at Sara Alfieri's dorm. After nearly 14 years, some basic answers are coming to light. We wouldn't have that without Erinn.
I asked my wife for her advice on this situation (a habit I'm trying to get into before making any important decision). I wanted to file suit for libel. I had a good case, especially after some off-the-cuff remarks Erinn made on Facebook. But Julie asked what I hoped to get out of that. Some kind of vindication? That seems pretty unimportant. And self-serving.
The obsessive part of the community around this case has fractured into different sects, like a religion, and the "Renner-hating" crowd views everything I write through a bizarro lens, discounting every new tidbit because of its author. I don't want to do the same thing with Erinn's contribution. I mean, I want to. I really really want to. But I'm trying to be better.
So I'm sharing this interview that disparages me because it also reveals some very important information about the case and I think sharing it might get us closer to a resolution. Erinn got some good info here and it's not being heard (at the time of this post, it has just over three hundred clicks). I know by posting this, it will be heard.
In my book, True Crime Addict, I begin by taking a psychiatric test that basically tells me I scored the way a sociopath would. It was like a cloud over the rest of my adventures. Some of my readers picked up on something I failed to catch, because I was so close to it. They realized there was another explanation for the way the test came out - that I'm on the autism spectrum, like my son. What would have been called Asperger's at one point. They were right. At 39, I'm finally realizing why my brain works like it does. It's why I'm obsessive about things. Why I can be abrasive when asking simple questions. Why loud noises are like pins in my ears and why I liked piling quilts on top of me as a kid.
Maybe it was something I said, or the way I said it, that poisoned some of the relationships I had during the course of looking into Maura's disappearance. Probably it was.
I guess my point is, as a reader, it's up to you to filter out all the petty, personal animosity that makes so much noise around this case - and focus on the facts. There are some new facts here. And for that, Erinn did okay.