Saturday, December 23, 2017

Erinn Larkin Interviews Fred Murray

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.


  1. Fred implicates Tim Carpenter, while Carpenter said Fred needed to be looked into. This is extraordinary stuff and suggests there is a lot of rot in the center of this familial apple. I've also been a little curious why in light of recent revelations about Bill Rasch's alleged violence toward women, Fred has never implicated Bill in the disappearance. The whole thing is quite mind blowing.

  2. Thanks for the updates and for continuing to pursue this mystery.

  3. James, you've done some amazing work in looking into this case and while I do feel sorry for Fred, Julie, and Kathleen, I think they need to stop looking at all of these things as personal, when in reality, it's the way you dive into EVERY POSSIBILITY. At this point, I'm not sure how they don't GET THAT. I'm also a little dumbfounded as to how Fred can stand by that Maura "didn't do this, or didn't do that". I know my Father's personality, but I couldn't tell you if he would choose to walk into a wooded area or out in the road. Sounds like hogwash to me.

  4. Keep up the good work James. But please don't be hindered by those who don't want their gravy train to end. This case can be solved.

  5. Without the publication of True Crime Addict and the blog maintained by Renner this case would never have received the amount of coverage it has. I believe that Maura's dad knows where she is. Fred Murray does not agree with ANYONE (cops, Renner, etc) that gets too close to the truth or questions him. He mentioned the Loon Mountain Three in the interview and questions why they haven't been interviewed. You are her dad - GO FIND THEM - it is a small town - It would probably take about 5 minutes to track them down. Instead he keeps weaving these wild stories about what may have happened. I think Maura had a wreck - she was drunk - she called her dad and he either came and picked her up or sent someone to pick her up. When Atwood called the police it became a story and now it's too late to turn back. Something this big can't stay hidden forever. It's only a matter of time until Maura shows up somewhere. She didn't walk into the woods and the odds of a predator driving by and grabbing her within a time frame of a few minutes is about a billion to one. I'm not buying it.

  6. almost everything about FM rubs me the wrong way. his explanations, his demeanor, his quips. ~ FM driving from 2 states away, TO bring M $4000 CASH, in raging snowstorm to shop for a "used car" in 2 0 0 4 (alotta cake for a used car 14yrs ago) is where this debacle began.

  7. Hey, don't knock your Asperger's! Both my husband and one of my sons are "on the spectrum" and their uniqueness is an asset more than a handicap, though they can--socially speaking--be a little quirky. I suspect it's what enables you to focus and ferret out the information that the average person would overlook. Your blog has kept a case alive that otherwise might have been quietly forgotten, and your dogged determination is what brings in the new leads and tips.

    1. FYI James glad you have your comments up and running again. I hope you continue to do so because that is what keeps everyone connected and moving forward.

    2. Keep an open mind while questioning yet not being nasty to others is a good place to start.