Monthly Archives: April 2020

Maura Murray’s disappearance: some people who follow the case closely share their key thoughts by TheRealFinn

In this post I wanted to give people who follow the case closely an opportunity to share some of their key thoughts about the case – whether it be key facts in the case or key messages that they would want a newcomer to know. I made an open invitation (on one reddit sub and two facebook groups) and welcomed contributions from anyone.

Thank you to everyone who submitted – I thought these were excellent. Anyone wishing to add the list can contact me or email – I am happy to list by reddit moniker, initials, anonymous, or name if you wish. These are listed in the order submitted.

Fulk Stop (Reddit Moniker)

  1. Maura apparently had a fluid destination. She seems to have decided on Burlington Vermont before she left. There is absolutely no evidence that, before she left, Maura considered going to or through Woodsville. She likely decided to change course, given her fluid plans, after she left. See related post.
  2. The “whimpering call” was likely a Red Cross Employee, not Maura. See last link.
  3. Maura probably crashed into a tree, as reported, as opposed to a staged accident or other scenario. See post.
  4. There is no reason to think that Maura couldn’t have started/driven her car after she crashed. See post.
  5. The main “evidence” supporting the tandem driver theory is that Maura bought a ton of liquor and searched for hotels with two bedrooms; the former is questionable, the latter is false.
  6. Butch didn’t kill Maura. He just didn’t. And before you call him a liar, take a look at what the poor guy actually said.
  7. In theory, RF might have killed Maura. But most of what you hear about him is wrong. See Finn’s blog post for an accurate discussion.
  8. Any information about the Red Truck is probably wrong if it doesn’t appear in one of Finn’s posts on
  9. A word of advice: avoid discussions of 001/002 like the plague. It won’t be sorted out until we get the radio transmission records mentioned by Bernie Marvin in his article. Until we get that, you’re only going to get into arguments, regardless of your position on the issue.
  10. There’s no “missing hour” in Maura’s day. There’s no “seven minute window” when she could have disappeared. The Oxygen show liked gimmicks, and a “missing hour” and “seven minute window” sound good, as does the “light house” theory. In reality, no one knows when Maura left UMass, there was approximately a two minute window, and there was a period of time when the Westmans were in their office not watching the road. It’s possible that the Atwoods/Marrottes were not watching the whole time, too. So there may not have been a lighthouse at all.
  11. Stay inside. CO-VID19 isn’t a joke. Chris Cuomo, an anchor on CNN, described the nightly hallucinations he experiences due to his fever, and the constant body pains he has. It sucks, but stay safe, and stay inside. I don’t want to see any of you get sick (or worse).

Huge Raspberry (Reddit Moniker)

  1. Maura did not have a set destination in mind. She left and drove.
  2. There was an earlier accident / incident, but it did not involve Maura – it was a vehicle off the road at 6:30-6:40 and it was miles away from where Maura was. The person (female) left in a private vehicle at about 7:00 pm – which is what people hear on the scanner.
  3. There is no conclusive evidence of a tandem driver…
  4. There is no way that Witness A, B or C (or D, E,F…) would / could mistake the Franconia SUV that Bruce McKay drove for Haverhill’s SUV 001.
  5. Bruce McKay was a lot of things, but he was not a killer. (At least not of Maura)
  6. The Red Truck had nothing to do with the disappearance or the accident.
  7. It is possible that she is somewhere in the woods – just not in the area of the WBC. Possible that she got a ride, or that she got out of the area and later went into the woods where no one has searched yet.
  8. Even without the alleged sighting of someone on the road that night, RF would be a viable suspect. However, unless he confesses, charges will not be brought due to a lack of a body / evidence. The evidence that is there is circumstantial at best… “She’s a good cook”, etc…
  9. Butch did not harm Maura.
  10. Bill R did not have anything to do with the accident, or the disappearance. He (and their relationship) may have been the reason for her (or one of them) leaving UMass, and needing some time to think…the butterfly effect. But he, like Butch, did not directly cause her harm that night, or in subsequent days.

jwbnh (Reddit Moniker)

  1. The crash took place closer to OPR
  2. Londonderry ping was NH not VT
  3. LE not involved in crime. No conspiracy here
  4. Maura was at the crash scene
  5. RF is not being honest. I don’t buy his story
  6. Timeline is irrelevant for the most part as it is not 100% accurate.
  7. Maura must have stopped and asked directions because signage does not indicate rt 112 at the wells river exit
  8. BR did not kill Maura before or after he came back to NH
  9. Fred loves and misses his daughter and is not involved
  10. Maura is responsible for her bad choices
  11. ( a fulk add on ) I miss hugging my grandson. Stay safe everyone

MR (submitted in a facebook group)

  1. there is no evidence of a crash or accident occurring at the WBC
  2. the person BA describes in his initial statement does not match Maura’s description in height, hairstyle or last known apparel
  3. the first reports from FW and BA do not mention a crash or accident and do not appear to indicate any concerns in this area
  4. no one knows what time the Saturn actually arrived at the WBC
  5. there is no proof that Maura was drinking that night
  6. the roads were clear and not icy that night
  7. the moon did not rise until much later
  8. Many of the LE statements make little sense, both separately and together, such as CS getting lost on a local road that he should have known well
  9. there is no mobile phone coverage in that area
  10. we don’t know whether the Saturn was heading west to east or east to west, and similarly we don’t know the direction of the scent that the tracking dogs followed

Finn (reddit moniker: me)

1) Maura was reported to be crying a few hours before she left

We often wonder about Maura’s mood and state of mind on 2/9. The last person we know who spoke live to Maura at 1:13PM (Erin ON) reported she was “crying” and said she was leaving due to a family emergency, “something involving her sister”.

2) Maura’s calls and internet searches prior to departing seem to indicate an undetermined/fluid destination albeit heading north

If we take the totality of Maura’s phone calls and internet searches, she was looking at destinations in both Vermont and the White Mountains (Burlington VT and Bartlett NH are roughly 3 hours apart from each other by vehicle). Because of this I don’t think she had a clear destination or that she was meeting someone or heading to a party, etc. There is also ambiguous information as to whether she was leaving UMass permanently and whether she was planning to call Fred and/or Bill as indicated that night.

3) People who know Maura do not think she would have committed suicide

I am not at all closed to the possibility that Maura was suicidal mainly because I think suicide is often surprising and unpredictable. However, I personally think the immediate concern by Fred and Kathleen had to do with Maura’s accident in Hadley. I have not heard of any history of depression, suicidal ideation or suicide attempts.

4) After the first day of searching, investigators had a good sense that Maura was not in the woods.

On Wednesday, February 11th, New Hampshire Fish and Game used a helicopter with FLIR to examine the roadways for footprints leading into the woods. By the end of the day they stated with a high degree of confidence that she had not gone off the roadway into the woods within a 10-12 mile perimeter of the crash scene. They didn’t need to search every spot of woods because she would have left a track (no fresh snow). About 10 days later they did a second search with cadaver dogs to “make sure they had done everything twice”. But I don’t think subsequent searches should infer that spots weren’t searched or that they had doubts. They might have been responding to external pressure or trying to be as thorough as possible. After the second search they declared they were done unless they had new leads and indeed the May 2004 search followed the RF sighting. The July 2004 line search was to look for her belongings specifically her backpack.

5) Investigators put credence into the initial dog track

A NHSP bloodhound ran the track from the Saturn twice on the morning of 2/11 both times ending abruptly down the road apparently in the in the middle of the road. This gave investigators a theory that perhaps she had left the area in a vehicle. Although many questions have been raised about the validity of that track due to the timing (39 hours later), and the scent article (a new glove), it does seem that it was taken seriously at the time. I can’t give any confidence level but combined with other evidence it contributed to the lead theory that she had perhaps/likely left the area in a vehicle.

6) The ground search has been thorough and redundant, especially close to the crash site

It’s true that in many cases, a missing person is ultimately found quite close to where they disappeared despite numerous searches. But in this case, we should at least be aware that the searches were numerous, redundant, and with multiple technologies and techniques. In particular, the half mile/mile perimeter of the crash site has been covered quite thoroughly. In July 2004 there was a line search involving 100 trained searchers in the vicinity of the crash site – specifically to look for the backpack (as a side note both Cecil Smith and John Monaghan mention taking part in this as regular searchers – not part of central command).

I think of the search in three parts: 1) looking for Maura; 2) looking for her belongings; 3) looking for a secondary site where her body might have been left.

I am all for searches but it’s important to be aware of what has already been done.

7) All other things being equal, the red truck passed the Weathered Barn Corner ahead of Maura/the Saturn and was a very distinctive older truck with a replaced bed

8) New Hampshire law enforcement state that they have never named a suspect, but there are persistent rumors that they have or had a suspect and even some that they tried to get an indictment

9) The LE investigation is focused on NH – the police investigation doesn’t seem to align closely with many of the discussions we have online.

The family has actively asked us to keep the conversation about Maura going and has given fairly wide latitude for our discussions. But I don’t think Maura is in Canada; I don’t think BR knows where she went. When the theory was first proposed that he had tracked her down later it was pretty soundly ridiculed. In any case, we don’t know what evidence LE has, or if their investigation has been thorough or simply careless. But to the extent that they have looked at a criminal case, they seem focused on NH and as far as I can tell they are focused in the vicinity of the site where the Saturn was abandoned.

10) Maura is a real person and her disappearance has deeply affected people.

Julie once told us that Maura is a “real person” and not a character in a story. Kurtis was once asked if he had a message he would like to communicate and said that “this is deeply painful”. We’ve been asked to discuss Maura’s case and to keep the story alive but it’s important that we remember that to the people who know and love Maura this is real life.

ClintHarting12 (reddit moniker) “Points to point out” (this was posted 6 months prior to this project and used with permission)

There were some things I wanted to touch on but can’t recall which posts or how long ago this stuff was talked about

  1. About police identifying Maura:

Just like in the Hadley accident report, police had ran Maura’s plates or VIN or both and what came up was Fred Murray’s name and address in Weymouth (go back and look at that report, her Car was not entered that night by law enforcement the night she went missing).

A BOLO was put out the night Maura went missing for a missing female with a guetimated height (which happened to be pretty accurate) — based on Atwood’s brief conversation with her and subsequent convo with Cecil Smith. I have been led to believe that the height was guestimated when Maura was standing outside of her car talking to Atwood over the roof of her car. Atwood described that to Smith and the height was determined based off that — that might not be fully accurate but that is how I understood it and have no idea where that came from back in the day, but I don’t believe that was my imagination running wild.

A second BOLO came out in the afternoon of Feb 10 which identified Maura Murray. That info came from Fred Jr. whom police had contacted to try and track down Fred Sr. Fred Jr. explained to police that they needed to be looking for Maura Murray. Fred Sr. had no clue about Maura going missing until his shift ended in Shelton Connecticut after 5 p.m. that Tuesday. Fred Jr. eventually had contacted his sister Kathleen whom then had contacted Fred Sr. A phone message was also waiting Fred Sr. in Weymouth, but that wasn’t discovered by him until much later (all of this info came from family sources)

2. official account of maura’s second accident

Maura sheared off a snowbank right at the corner by the Westman’s house (west bound lane) and her car slid/spun around landing in the east bound lane facing west as a result. Dick Guy (one of the first respoders) brings up the snowbank being sheared off, while Cecil Smith states he followed the tracks of Maura’s car to determine she spun out and landed where she landed. I have never hired anyone to re-construct this. But I have no reason to doubt Guy’s or Smith’s accounts.

Both of their accounts have maura driving eastwardly at the time she impacted the snowbank

3. What the police know

From the Lead Investigator to the responding officer to even the figure head Strelzin … each person in their own way have stated they have no idea what happend to maura

Scarinza has said they hadn’t collected a single shred of evidence that supports any type of foul play (which would have to include the A-Frame house, the rusty knife, rick forcier, etc,,.. all things investigated while Scarinza was in charge)

smith has stated she could be on the beach in cancun or under the snow somewhere, he doesn;t know what happened to her

strelzin has stuck to the company lines of protecting cases in general and when it comes to maura anything is possible as to what has happened to her and they are leaving all scenarios open

translation to all of this: there are no credible suspects in the disappearance of Maura Murray and never have been

It doesn’t mean folks haven’t been looked into and leads haven;t been chased after, but it does mean that they are as clueless as we are as to what ultimately happened (while they keep what they have done from an investigative standpoint close to their vest, by no means have they been secretive about the fact they have no idea what happened to Maura)

4. Rag in the Tailpipe

We have heard Fred’s explanation for this and then Kurt’s story about his conversation with Maura about a rag being used in her tailpipe — but there is something in my humble opinion that doesn’t quite add up.

Keep in mind, no one would be talking about a rag found in Maura’s tailpipe hadn’t a first-responder leaked that tidbit of info on the old MM forums back in the day.

Police weren’t talking about that publicly and most notably, family weren’t talking about it either.

But once one of the first-responders blurted it out that a rag was found in Maura’s tailpipe, the family did some consulting and decided to address it publicly. (this is all from family source info)

The problem with this is the context of the rag in the tailpipe and what isn’t being said publicly IMO.

It is a fact (as best as I know it) that this was something Fred was confronted with by police when Fred came to the area of the accident. This wasn’t some random tidbit Fred threw in while giving info to police.

Upon being confronted with that piece of info, the question in my opinion is how would Fred respond to it?

One would need to know at what point this got discussed. Was fred backing down from his first initial response that Maura was a danger to herself, therefore, feeling the need to explain away the rag? We know police were thinking along those lines after their phone calls with Fred and Kathleen and then initial interviews with them once they got to the accident location.

Context is everything and knowing that context would help

Police used the rag in the tailpipe, the book Not Without Peril, the combination of pills and alcohol and the words of Fred and Kathleen to conclude early on that Maura had come to the White Mountains to do personal harm to herself.

Whether the rag in the tailpipe means anything or as Fred has stated was something Maura was using to hide smoke is hard to decipher considering the odd secretive way in which this tidbit has been handled over the years IMO.

Thank you to everyone who submitted – I thought these were outstanding lists.

Anyone wishing to add can email: