Wednesday, February 7, 2018

On the 14th Anniversary

Friday marks the 14th anniversary of Maura Murray's disappearance and she still remains unfound. At 7 p.m., on the Missing Maura Murray Facebook page, Julie Murray will talk a little bit about Maura and the case and share some memories of her sister. Tune in if you can.

So, after all this time, where are we?

Well, this case is a mess, and it needn't be. But at the moment, there's this conspiratorial mood that has settled in around the case - people suspect the police were involved, people suspect the A-frame house has something to do with it, people suspect a random dirtbag picked her up. Some, including her own family, believe Maura's sister Kathleen or her husband had someone to do with it. Having met Tim, I don’t think either one of them had anything to do with it.

This case, when it's done, is going to be elegantly simple.

The only explanation that makes sense with the evidence we have is that Maura was not traveling alone that night. She was traveling with a tandem driver.

Her friends from UMass have never been forthcoming with police.

Remember - Maura bought more booze than one person needed; she was inquiring about places that had multiple bedrooms; she turned down a ride; she disappeared in less than a blink of the eye; she gave up calling condos and motels without reserving a room (because her traveling companion did it before she did). She didn't tell anyone where she was going (c'mon). Anyone who doesn't buy the tandem driver theory has to explain all of that away.

I also believe the Butson's sightings, where Maura was seen buying more booze with two young women before the accident. The Oxygen series, and others, have suggested this can't be, because the police didn't see her on the videotape. But they never bothered to do enough research to discover that the only video cameras in Butson's at that time were pointed only at the bank kiosk, not the registers.

There's a lot of stuff like that that has been spun to others' agendas. When you read those things, please consider what a simpler explanation might be.

What we know now is that Maura's boyfriend, Bill Rausch, has been accused by a number of women of sex assault, physical assault, and harassment. And after he arrived in New Hampshire to join the search for Maura Murray, he kept making dozens of calls every day, until the weekend after the disappearance. Then, he went completely silent for 5 days. None of that sits well with me.

If Maura was traveling in tandem, nobody's alibis for the night of the disappearance matter anymore - because she likely made it to a cabin or wherever she was heading.

I want to believe Maura is out there, alive, and happy. I hope she is. But the likely answer is that she is no longer alive. And I believe that if she is dead, she was murdered by someone she knew.

Don't look to rogue cops or weird stains in abandoned houses or fortuitous kidnappers. Look closer to Maura.


58 comments:

  1. So what happened to that(those) friends who know why she went there? Why would they remain silent? If they suspect she’s dead, they re shitty people for not talking.

    If they think she may be alive, it’s more understandable. Actually her being Alive and them thinking she is is the only explanation for silence.

    Especially if bill was threatened by bill.

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  2. For me, Bill allegedly insinuating Maura is dead by saying any girl he hooks with dies is alarming.

    Because there is no hard evidence for any of the theories. And that's a big one.

    To the person above, I take it the end of your comment is a typo.

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  3. I WISH people would, privately and in seriousness, as Kathleen about her familial estrangements. Because that kind of longterm behavior usually points to unhappy childhood memories.

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    1. It is rather curious. I've also wondered what the real story is regarding the estrangement. When Maura went missing the family (especially her father) wouldn't speak a bad word about her. Even with all the information that has come out about her issue with stealing that lead to her leaving West Point, wrecking her dad's car, the credit card theft, etc., she is still portrayed as almost saint-like. But Fred took a very different approach towards Kathleen even from the start of the media attention. He publicly said she has issues, falls off the map, and so forth. I've found it rather odd that he goes to great lengths to protect Maura and her other sister's reputations and images, but does not extend this same treatment to his eldest daughter.

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    2. It would appear Kathleen is the scapegoat of the family -- due to her issues and she simply couldn't compete with the other two girls. Fred has high standards in sports and academics it seems IMO. Kathleen does seem to be cut from a different cloth.

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    3. To Sunshine, it's pretty unfair to insinuate siblings should follow the same paths and be the same people. I only have 1 sister and from day 1, she was the scholar and I was the dancer (though no where near pro level). I had teachers ask me why I wasn't smart like her. But I had high self-esteem and would laughingly reply "sorry, I'm the dumb one." I wasn't dumb, just a solid B, sometimes C, student to her perfect A.

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  4. I kinda like the tandem driver theory - it does make some sense, but there are a few weird issues with it. Why would she tell Butch she called AAA and not that her friend would be coming? And if this driver turned around and saw what had happened, why would they bail so quickly leaving the car behind? If there was a friendly tandem driver, I would have to think that he/she and Maura would attempt to figure out some way to get her car running again rather than just (very) quickly shuffle off leaving it (and other possessions) behind. Think about it... when your car battery dies, or something just isn't running properly, do you just walk away immediately? No, you attempt to look at things, even if you have no idea what you're looking at/for.

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    1. If you are on the run and don't want to be found, you leave just as she may have. She may have been intoxicated as well, and the mindset would be to flee. By the way: most all the booze was gone from the car that she had bought. I would guess packed into the 2nd vehicle. I would doubt a serial killer would take the time to help her load the booze...

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    2. This is why I said I like the tandem driver theory in a way. Part of it makes sense, part doesn't (at least to me). I suppose, in a different way of thinking, if she was fleeing and the car was having other issues and ended up dead, it was just time to cut her losses and move on. My thought above was more of what I'd think a rationally-minded person would do... but perhaps she wasn't in her rational mind. However, still why tell Butch AAA and not a friend was coming? I'd think if she was creeped out by him, a friend coming might be worth more than AAA which could take hours.

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    3. That's always bee a question for me too. I, you, and Maura herself knew her car was dying. The only explanation for fleeing without thought to what could happen to her car in the time she was gone was if she was drunk driving or even tipsy at that point. She had booze in the car. She was already in trouble.

      Yes, it makes sense she'd flee.

      If a tandem driver was with her, I WANT TO KNOW why she even took HER car in the first place. Unless she wanted to be left somewhere and would drive back alone a couple days later?

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    4. I can see why James likes the theory where a friend or false friend led her to her demise. Because if she had no intention of returning to her car, she would’ve had to rely on whoever was with her and have them drive her home. Clearly they didn’t happen. So what did happen. The eternal question. Not gonna lie. Bill finding them and doing harm to her and then threatening whoever might have been with her with death threats is not an impossibility. Why was Sara terrified or seemingly so?

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  5. "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." -Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)

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    1. That's an excellent adage, generally speaking. With Maura's Murray's disappearance, it's not helpful. All the major scenarios (murder by a random stranger, murder by an acquaintance, disappearance into the woods, intentional disappearance), are more-or-less improbable, but none is strictly-speaking impossible.

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    2. Well depending on the approach you take, very little is considered impossible. However, if you are applying Borel’s Law which is the mathematical logic behind detective work, whether it is understood or not, then phenomena below a certain quantitative occurrence rate are so improbable they do not occur, which is another way of saying they are impossible . :) I believe this application of the word impossible is what sur Arthur Conan Doyle meant, especially considering he was a spiritualist and so even the paranormal was not outside the scope of what he considered to be “impossible.”

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    3. Those are significant and reasonable points, but again, I'm not sure how helpful they are in the Maura Murray case. By definition, low probability events, even extremely low probability ones, are expected to happen sometime over a long enough time span. Everything that has been proposed to date is a very low probability event, yet somehow MM disappeared. I think that this is the reason for the continued fascination with the case. MM's disappearance is the real life equivalent of a classical "locked room" mystery novel. I don't know if anyone has ever tried to make a Bayesian analysis of the various scenarios. I think that might be very instructive.

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    4. Interesting idea. If someone were to do that, what probability statements would you suggest the paradigm is constructed of? The top four theories? Just asking because as you said, you don't believe anything is impossible in this case, suggesting the analysis would be indefinite :) The only other thing I would say about that is that typically a Bayesian is done with unknown parameters. We have the parameters down to minutes and locations. I do 100% agree with your locked room statement. The thing that saddens me most about this and that I have to remind myself of too, is that this isn't just an intrigue. It's about someone's life. Sometimes I get so caught up in the mystery and angles that I lose sight of the subject, Maura.

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  6. I think the Tandem Driver theory has some credence. Nobody's been able to disprove any of these theories with a reasonable doubt EXCEPT for the one absent factor...the "mysterious" unidentified individual that was following/being followed. The more I think about it being a Tandem driver, the more I see a tandem driver being someone she "met" along the way. I just get that feeling. When you add all of the inconsistent timing to the equation, that sort of creeps into your psyche.

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  7. Regarding Kathleen, it could be the simple explanation of her never measuring up to Fred's standard and he basically rejected her.

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  8. The tandem driver theory makes a lot of sense to me- except for the fact that Maura’s car was running so badly. Why would two people drive in tandem so far with one car in such a bad state?

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    1. Maybe they weren’t tandem the whole way, maybe she met up with another car somewhere to show her how to get to where they were staying. I’ve done that with people who are not familiar with an area if the directions are complicated.

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  9. people tend to discredit the tandem driver from umass theory because she was seen alone at the atm - but think about it for a minute or two - i've been in tandem drives both as the lead and as the follow - you kind of naturally alternate throughout the drive. When one stops to get cash at an atm - you don't stop, get out and follow them up to the atm machine - you park beside or pull over on the street and wait for them. If you both stop at a place - ie buxton's - you go in together and get what you want and come out. if they did stop at buxton's that would give them the opportunity to move some of the booze to the 2nd (lead) car. The wine which was found in Maura's car stayed with her - since she appeared to be drinking it - they leave they and start off - maura following the other car. she spins out on the corner - the lead car notices she is gone - not following - turns around and comes back for her and she gets in their car and vanishes... it makes some degree of sense - because she left some things in her car - either planning to come back for them later or just wanting to get rid of them. Or in the case of the gloves - just thinking i won't need them their car is warm and running .

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  10. Dave's comment is the one that makes the most sense to me about the tandem driver. The only thing that doesn't make sense is why she wouldn't take her bag with her. Even if they were planning on coming back, it had clothes and stuff in it that you would think she would want and most girls would not leave that behind.

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    1. If MM didn’t want to put the tandem driver (who also could have been drinking and driving), saying AAA could easily have been a way to get Butch to move on. And since she knew he was likely to call the police, she and the tandem driver may realized they only had minutes to get MM away from the scene to avoid her picking up a DUI. FM is the person who is saying that her car was in bad shape. Did anyone ever verify his claim that it had a blown head gasket or had dropped a cylinder? Since FM’s car advice of stick a rag in the tailpipe was super bad, is there evidence to match his claims about the car’s condition before the accident?

      -SWWS

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  11. Because our information is incomplete, all possibilities remain on the table.

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  12. I just started to follow this case. I had to create a facebook page to follow the anniversary vigil, seems facebook does not like my real name. Did anyone notice the blue fog / cloud during the live podcast? strange. Anyway, I decided to go through the police logs to see why there are discrepancies, ie: was there another bolo issued that same night? So I come across the original bolo issued by police on 2/10 and here is the description:
    long black hair past shoulders
    5'5" tall
    dark coat
    So this case starts by describing someone that is not Maura, so who was driving the car?

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  13. It kind of pisses me off how casually some of your theories are immediately dismissed as crackpot bullshit by Lance, Tim, and the folks on the Oxygen show, James. Lest they forget, YOU'RE the reason we're all so hooked on this case. This blog is essential reading when it comes to the MM case, so give its author the respect he deserves.

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  14. We know that Maura's Saturn was unreliable. She and her father were planning to replace it. So why would she risk driving it into isolated areas in the middle of northern New England winter if another vehicle were available? Why wouldn't she just travel in that vehicle? Any "tandem driver" scenario has to be able to answer those questions before it can be considered plausible. There's nothing wrong with constructing ad hoc hypotheses to explain mysteries like the disappearance of Maura Murray, but then you have to be able to anchor those ad hoc hypotheses to some piece of tangible evidence. I don't see that happening with the "tandem driver" scenario.

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    1. What is the source for the idea that Maura's car was unreliable? It comes down to one person, doesn't it? One person who has lied about so many other things.

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    2. According to her father in the disappeared episode, he said something along the lines about the vehicle being in bad shape.

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    3. The other available vehicle may have been coming from another direction. Wasn't there a cell ping from somewhere further north? So maybe the tandem driver was meeting up with her instead of starting off at UMass?

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  15. If you assume the tandem driver was dropping her off and returning to some where it is a little strange but if you change the tandem driver to continuing onto somewhere else it makes sense. I have issues with the father. What supposedly loving father would buy himself a new car when hers was in such bad condition, why not get it fixed or replaced? I too am a newcomer to this mystery but I wish the show would have pushed more or included more about her prior to this accident. It seems strange that she was so "perfect" while at home then blows everything when she leaves-thrown out of school, stealing, drinking, partying,one blog said promiscuous, wrecking cars etc she was self destructing. It almost make me wonder if she did not set the whole thing up leaving items in the car to escape? Has any one checked mental hospitals? Could this be a mental illness then she was released and moved on with her life without her dysfunctional family and boyfriend?

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  16. I've been following this case for a long time. I'm not giving up on the Vasi hit & run yet. I searched this blog & went back & read through that post and all the comments.

    On the night of Vasi's hit & run accident Maura was working her security job. We know that she became upset and I believe it was her supervisor who described her state as "catatonic." The only other explanation that has been given in this case for her state of mind that evening was a disturbing phone call from her sister, Kathleen, and that she was falling back into substance abuse again post rehab. While I can understand that might be upsetting, I cannot "buy" catatonic.

    But, if Maura while on break was involved in a hit and run accident - well, yes that does explain a "catatonic" state of mind.

    This theory has been eliminated by many because the paint chips/glass shards on Vasi's clothes don't match Maura's car. Until a forensics examiner comes to that definitive determination, it's still a viable theory for me.

    This makes me think of the OJ case - the black glove. "If it doesn't fit - you must acquit." We all know that glove was OJ's -- so, sometimes appearances don't tell the whole story.

    We know Maura's father got $4K and came up to Amherst the next day. The explanation? Maura needed a new car. We know that's a lie. Why would anyone go looking for a car after a huge snow storm? When all the cars on the lot would be buried after the storm and conditions to test drive a vehicle would be poor? And, the friend they had dinner with that night recalled no conversation ref: car shopping.

    Maura's Dad came up to give her the money to go off and hide and to come up with a plan.

    Why would she leave? What they came up with? Maura wrecked her Dad's new car. A reason for her to be upset and run off.

    Why did she wreck her car in NH? Ans. She had to. It was damaged from the Vasi hit & run -- so, she needed to get out of the state with her car & wreck it. Mission accomplished.

    Why was the alcohol purchased, opened and splashed in the car? Ans. To make it look like a DUI and run from the scene.

    Why would she abandon her car? Ans. It was all part of the plan.

    Why didn't she tell the bus driver she had friends/family in a tandem car? Ans. That was NOT part of the plan. She was trying to disappear. Mission accomplished.

    Why did Fred upon being contacted by NH police state that his daughter was "suicidal?" Ans. It was all part of the plan. Maura needed to ditch her car - the evidence in the Vasi hit & run and go into hiding. They created a narrative that she was upset & potentially suicidal - so their search efforts focused on her wandering off in the woods and dying.

    Why wouldn't her father cooperate/speak with the police immediately following her disappearance and for 2+ years? Ans. He needed to stay quiet. He had nothing to gain - nothing - from speaking to them. He knew the plan and he wasn't searching for his "missing" daughter.

    In the days following her disappearance, why did Fred start "searching" at the crack of 10:00 am - instead of daylight, as was reported as "odd." Ans. Simple - he wasn't looking for Maura. He knew where she was.

    Why did Bill's active phone go "off the grid" for 5 days? Ans. Because he was with Maura - trying to figure out "what does this mean for us?"

    Why were Maura's friends uncooperative and unwilling to help investigators? Ans. Same as Fred - they knew where she was - in hiding. Nothing to be gained by talking to the police. They were not searching for her.

    I think Maura Murray is alive somewhere living under a different name.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. and I think you are spot on, Anon. sure would explain why FM hasn't petitioned to have her declared deceased, wouldn't it.

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  17. What did Fred do with the $4,000.00? Did he put it back in the bank? Spend it? Or, give it to Maura?

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    1. He kept it in her account for some time but it was reportedly never touched.

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  18. The rag in the tail pipe makes zero sense to me. I once had a 1980 Sunbird (about the same horsepower as Maura's Saturn). I had a new muffler put on and somehow there was an obstruction to the air flow. I remember it not having much power when I picked it up. When I tried to go up a hill it barely made it to the top. Mind you, the exhaust was still coming out but it was limited. If I recall correctly the guy who towed Maura's car said the the rag was jammed up inside the tail pipe pretty good.

    Now, a rag is not like say a potato, a potato is solid but a rag is porous so it will allow some flow of exhaust but IMO based on experience it would not drive as well. Even if Maura's car was working on all 4 cylinders then there is no way this car would have gotten far but 3 would have been even worse!!

    I recall Fred stating that he advised Maura to stick the rag in the tail pipe so as to reduce the amount of smoke coming out. Again, no way she would have driven that far with a rag stuffed that tight in her tail pipe. So she either put it there after she wrecked (red towel would have been better to be placed hanging from the window to alert people that the car was not drivable) or someone placed it there and if so it was done not very long before she wrecked.

    Based on the amount of gas she had in her tank when she wrecked she definitely stopped to get gas not long before she wrecked. Also, keep in mind that there is no proof she filled the tank up. She may have only put in $20 and it went to almost full meaning she could have filled up anytime from the nearest gas station from where she wrecked to as far back as how far she could have gotten based on her filling it up all the way and driving to the crash site.

    This could tell you when it was possible for someone to slip a rag in her tail pipe. Also, keep in mind someone could have suggested to her to put a rag in the tail pipe when she stopped for gas knowing she would not get far. This could explain why the rag was from her trunk. It would not be hard to calculate given the MPG on the Saturn as far as what gas stations she would have stopped at.

    If her car was running on 3 cylinders it's more likely she got gas very close to the crash site. It makes sense that Maura tried to start her car after the wreck. If the car would not start at all I wonder if the rag blew out a gasket or something else. Unless once the airbag is deployed there is a mechanism the won't allow the car to start again. I am not that familiar with a Saturn to answer that. If not then I would assume the car should at least turn over. If she was driving in tandem and a car was behind her then she would have most likely grabbed all her stuff to transfer over to the other car. If the other car was in front and didn't notice for a while then she grabbed what she thought she immediately needed and hauled ass down the road to get out of there and meet up with the other driver in hopes "he" would eventually notice Maura was not behind him and turn around.

    Going back was not an option IF there was only one person in the other car since if the police were there when they got back Maura would have to explain she was driving and she was drinking. If there was more than one person in the other car and at least one wasn't drinking they could have said they were driving but who wants to get cited for a wreck when they weren't the driver just to pick up some personal items? Maura's keys, cell phone and the alcohol were missing correct? If so then she IMO was alone when she abandon her car. She most likely got to about Butch's house and was picked up and IMO by someone she knew.

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    1. I'm convinced the RagintheTailPipe is a Murrayism. Fred's vocab is a little like pre-UrbanDictionary. The Squaw Walk. The Hot Place. Id bet the 'house FM knows exactly what the rag stunk in the pipe signifies.... makes me think of the 'ole New Jersey Neck Tie saying.

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    2. RTN "Unless once the airbag is deployed there is a mechanism the won't allow the car to start again."
      Supposedly there is, until you take the key out and put it back in the ignition. RTN

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  19. My problem with the tandem driver theory is this: Where was this driver when Atwood stopped? If Maura was traveling in tandem, you would think the second driver would be nearby. I don't recall any of the other witnesses saying anything about a second car either.

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    1. I think you need to think that through a little more. If she was following the lead car may have been a half mile ahead, she grabs some stuff, sees Atwood, starts walking and they pick her up down the street total time 15 to 30 min. If they were following they may have seen Atwoods lights, pulled in a drive, waited a few min. And picked her up. Even the wreck location may have been preplanned.

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  20. She wasn't picked up by a tandem driver. She was picked up by the one bad guy or guys in the area who thought she was a hitchhiker and they took her to a remote location where the story ended.

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  21. What if someone was in the car with Maura at the time? Whether they had good or bad intentions? And was it really Maura driving that car?
    If it was bad intentions and it was her, maybe that’s why she crashed due to her being scared and there was a struggle. And maybe someone was following them in tandem? Hence Faith Westman seeing what she thought was someone smoking a cigarette? Or was it the glow of her mobile phone light?
    If she was grabbed and murdered, surely she would of ran? she was a very good runner? And what are the odds that someone would be trawling the roads looking for someone in a rural area at that time of night? Unless she was extremely unlucky.
    Maybe the whole thing was staged? As in leaving all her stuff behind in the car, rag in the tailpipe, but why take the alcohol? Could have been made to look like a suicide OR she just walked into the woods and died due to the cold?
    And was the tandem driver someone she knew and picked her up to take her wherever they were headed?
    Finally, why did Butch say Maura’s hair was down? In pictures she always had it up. Unless it fell down in the crash? And like I said, was it really Maura?
    So many questions.

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    1. I can't answer most of those, but driving with hair up - especially in a bun - can be quite uncomfortable, because the headrest and updo in combination can push your head forward. I only wear my hair up sometimes, but I always take it down when I'm driving because it's much more comfortable!

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  22. I have a few questions which intrigues me...

    1) Was someone in the car with Maura? Or was it really Maura driving that car? As Butch said the woman's hair was down? In pictures Maura always had it up... Unless it fell down in the crash, if it was her...

    2) If it was Maura driving and someone was in the car with her, did she crash intentionally or unintentionally? If unintentional, was it because she got scared and there was a struggle? Or was she with someone she knew? As Faith Westman reported what she thought was a glow of a cigarette? Or was it the glow of her mobile phone? And if she did crash intentionally, that would of took guts, as it 'could' of ended badly...

    3) Why did she turn down help from Butch and lie about calling AAA? Only to then get help from another stranger she didn't know? To me it seems she was waiting for someone else to come and pick her up...

    4) Why did she leave all her stuff behind and only take the alcohol? If she wanted to die, why take the alcohol? The cold weather would have killed her eventually in the woods? And she would of eventually got tired and exhausted from the alcohol she was apparently drinking? So I doubt she would of gotten far...

    5) If her crash was unintentional, and there was a tandem driver, was it someone she knew or wasn't it? As it seems unlikely a killer would be trawling the roads on that rural road at that time of night looking for someone? She would of had to have been extremely unlucky. As first she crashes, then happens upon a killer? That's too much of a coincidence. And wasn't she a track runner? Wouldn't she have run quite fast to get away from whoever? She could of easily ran into the woods and hid?

    6) If she has run away, my bets would be on someone she knew OR someone she knew from that dorm party, who helped her get away...

    7) Was the death in the family email, really her saying "goodbye" ?

    Or the biggest question/mystery is, was Butch really involved in her disappearance?.....

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    1. 1) butch was unreliable at best and an outright liar at worst - i trust nothing he saw or said - except that he stopped there that night and that a 911 call was made from his home
      2) I think she was alone in the car - there was no evidence of a passenger
      3) exactly why i think there was a tandem driver / car - as scary as butch was, he was still a bus driver - so some degree of trust / respect there and turning him down vs going with a complete stranger.
      4) she did not leave "all her stuff" - the authorities / family said she had a black backpack with her. And that she often used it to carry clothing for overnights - I'm guessing they did not find the backpack at the school nor in the car - so the assumption is that she took it with her. Also the clothing left in the car seemed like odds and ends - 1 sock, sports bra, sweater / sweatshirt, tshirt, gloves... Either not a complete list or she is the strangest packer in the world.
      5) if it was a tandem driver it was someone she knew - either family or school. If it wasn't a tandem driver she truly was wrong place wrong time - i don't think it was a planned "i'm going to kill someone" thing - i think that if wasn't a tandem driver, it was a crime of opportunity - a guy (most likely) who managed to surprise her and overpower her - and saw it as an opportunity for a quickie - and when she refused things went south.
      6) yes, if she ran, she had help. either from family or umass
      7) could be - but why the "i'll be back in a week" and was the "death in the family" a clue that no one in the family has cracked yet?

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    2. Was there DNA testing dine on the airbags? This could prove whether or not Maura was driving the car.

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  23. My only problem with the tandem driver idea is that it adds a needless complication to Maura's plans. Okay, she and one or more of her gf's were on a road trip to the north country. I can go there with you. So why take two cars when everybody can all pile into one car together? I mean even if we believe that Maura's car ran reliably - and we have reason to doubt that it did - why two cars when one would have been adequate to get everyone where they were going? I'm not saying I don't believe it, I just need to be shown a reason why she\(they)'d do it before I can completely accept it.

    Now having said all of that, I have a possible solution that I don't believe I've seen discussed.

    Does anyone remember the actress Natasha Richardson? She died of an epidural hematoma, which is a traumatic brain injury, that she suffered as a result of a skiing accident. It killed her two days after the accident. Well what if Maura was injured far more severely than she realized? Being drunk, she may have been anesthetized against any pain, and any disorientation resulting from the injury would appear to be normal, because again she was drunk. So she stumbles around for a few hours, maybe a day or two, then passes out, never to wake up.

    The question then becomes what happened to the body. Well if her friends were with her, as in the tandem driver theory, maybe they disposed of it somewhere in order to avoid being blamed and made a pact to never speak of it again.

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    1. I had/have this as a possible theory. I posited it on Websleuths and was pretty much shot down. I tend to think this or something fairly simple, ran into woods and froze etc.

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    2. Remember, she left messages with all her instructors at school about a death in the family and she was going to be out for the entire week. If she was with a tandem driver ( or even drivers) they may have only planned to stay for a day or two, hence the need for her own car...

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    3. lots of reasons for 2 cars - maybe they wanted to stay longer, shorter or had different agendas. My college roommates and i would take two cars to same events / outings 90% of the time - and the 10% we didn't we wished we would have...

      your theory is possible but they would have to believe beyond a doubt that they would be blamed or could be blamed for her death - not likely that they thought that far ahead if there was a death... more likely they freaked out and panicked - seen that happen before to people (not dead, but pretty sick )

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    4. Medically speaking, if you did have that type of injury, you shouldn't be drinking and you are much more likely to fall and have another brain injury, so that type of theory makes sense.

      I think the answer to your other point about why wouldn't they all just pile into a car together is that either the driver was not coming from her direction or the rumor that I've seen mentioned once or twice that she had a boyfriend from the area or working in the area or one with friends of his own in the area was true. Either could fit (although the friend/local theory does make you wonder, considering the LM3, and her friend not being from the area himself makes more sense when you consider her accommodations search). Maybe she just had to wait for him to come looking for her or maybe she just jogged to where they were meeting or his friend lived.

      Five miles or a few more for her would be certainly doable, if annoying. If the sighting walking quickly along the road almost to 116? between 8 and 8:30 (big window) was her, then maybe she was headed to where she knew he would be. (Of course then, why didn't the lady coming from Loon Mountain Club see her? She got to the accident site @7:50. Did one take Bradley Hill Road and the other take 112? Did the tracking dog get enough scent from the gloves? As always, so many questions...)

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  24. Does anyone know who got the lie detector tests? Court documents reveal that there were "four examinations" with the polygraph. My bet (our hopes...) would be they were Fred, Kate, Sara and Katherine. Would be interesting to know more about this....

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  25. Has anyone considered that it wasn't Maura driving the car the night of the accident? For the sake if argument let's say Sara and Kate had something to do with it. Is it possible one of them was driving Maura s car and had set everything up to look like Maura was leaving but in fact had different plans for her. Was there ever DNA testing dine on the airbags of Maura s car? If not, it might be an avenue to look down, if it wasn't her behind the wheel, it could change this case.

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  26. I think JR is calling it a tandem driver 'theory' but I believe he knows slightly more that he is willing or can reveal at this time.

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  27. Been following this case for a couple years and I definitely now believe it was a tandem driver. To think that this killer just happened upon her at that very moment just doesn't seem likely. Somebody was in front of her, she crashed and they waited for her to jog up to their car and get in. Thus why no footprints in the snow and why the scent dogs lost her on the road. The boyfriend met up with her and likely killed her during the 5 days he didn't use his phone. And that's why he stopped looking for her after that, he knew she was dead

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