Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Motion to Reconsider was Denied. The judge considers all materials submitted

The bad news is my motion for reconsideration was denied. The good news; the judge, in his discretion, considered all materials submitted. Including Erinn’s descriptions of the photos provided to her by an anonymous source. That means, for purposes of an appeal, all materials (including the descriptions of the photos) will be treated as evidence by the appellate court. The descriptions, in essence, will be treated as accurate and were not challenged.

Petrit Vasi Still Remembers Nothing

Back in 2009, someone named “Petrit” posted on Topix. The odd thing is, his location showed up as Saint Paul, Minnesota, and later as Boston, Massachusetts. So I had always assumed that it was a troll.

Just this week I emailed Vasi with screenshots of the Topix posts and asked if he made them.

I thought for certain he would say it wasn’t him. I don’t particularly care for the Vasi theory to be honest. My goal was to figure out who has been behind some of the elaborate hoaxes in this community that go back to as early as 2009 with the original Canada post, and continue to present day.

But, to my surprise, he said it WAS him.

Since some people like the Vasi theory, and since my email establishes that the 2009 post was actually him (and that his knowledge hasn’t changed since then), I feel compelled to share this with the Community.

I’m asking the judge to reconsider releasing Maura Murray’s accident scene photos — with Erinn Larkin’s help.

As you know, my first attempt to make the crash site photos public was unsuccessful. I lost the first motion in court.

After I had filed the first motion, however, Erinn Larkin contacted me and offered her assistance for the next stage of my suit.

Well, I took Erinn up on her generous offer.

Today, I filed a “Motion for Reconsideration” – it’s just what it sounds like it is. I basically asked the judge to reconsider denying me the photos. So I had to give him some better reasons to give me the photos, and that’s where Erinn comes in.

Erinn’s affidavit, which is a written statement that’s signed under the penalties of perjury, provides evidence that I want the judge to look at while reconsidering whether I should have the photos.

In the text of the affidavit itself (i.e., without the Exhibits), Erinn relates an anonymous source’s description of the ACTUAL PHOTOS – this source saw the photos, took notes, and related the info to Erinn.

The descriptions raise some questions and answer others, such as: “Were police in the Saturn the night of Maura’s disappearance?

Then there are the exhibits to the affidavit – documents that Erinn attached to it.

The exhibits include:

  • Never before seen pictures of the Saturn, including pictures taken inside the Saturn, that were included in the Black Box Report, which Erinn did a two-part podcast on, as well as some interesting text from the report describing the pictures. That’s in Exhibit A to her Affidavit.
  • The actual false tip emailed to the Cold Case Unit and the Murray family this summer. This false tip included a fake confession that was apparently made using photoshop. The judge denied me the photos partly because he was afraid that after the photos were released to the public, someone could change them using photoshop to make more false tips. That’s in Exhibit B to her Affidavit.
  • An Affidavit from Witness B, describing her observations. That’s in Exhibit G to her Affidavit.

My conclusions.

I just want to note that I personally have not drawn any conclusions – good or bad –about police conduct in Maura’s case in light of Erinn’s  Affidavit.

I have never EVER theorized that Cecil Smith had anything to do with Maura’s disappearance, and even in light of Erinn’s affidavit that is not a conclusion I draw.

Having said that, I trust that the information Erinn provided is accurate and, although I don’t know the identity of her confidential source, I know that because Erinn says the source is trustworthy, the source is trustworthy. Period.

Thanks for your indispensable help on this Erinn.

I look forward to the discussion that will come from this.

***EDIT***

Due to to confusion, I have been asked to emphasize that the “false tip [that] included a fake confession” referenced above was fake.

Are there any lessons or leads from Maura’s October 2003 trip? (revisited)

A few summers ago we took a family trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. To get there we drove up Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula and then ultimately back down Michigan. There were some favorites: Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Pictured Rocks on the Upper Peninsula, Mackinac heading back to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Sometimes if we get sentimental we google Sheboygan or Grand Marais or Sault Ste Marie or even Kalamazoo – places that are hundreds of miles apart. But the linkage: they are sites on a memorable trip.

In October 2003, Fred and Maura took a trip to climb four “4,000 foot” peaks.

So likewise, I would suggest that if we look at the totality of Maura’s calls and internet searches leading up to her departure on 2/9/04, they seem to closely match the trip taken with her father Fred in October 2003. Specifically, at approximately 4AM on the day of her disappearance (2/9/04), Maura did a computer search for directions and overnight accommodations for Bartlett, NH and Burlington, VT.  That afternoon she called two numbers to inquire about lodging: Bartlett, NH (1PM) and Stowe, VT (2:05PM) although neither resulted in a reservation. In her car she had mapquest directions for Burlington, VT which we now understand to be transcribed directions on a note card.

What does this mean? To me it suggests that she didn’t have a specific destination or purpose. In other words, I would conclude that she wasn’t meeting up with someone in Middlebury or Montpelier or Plymouth (examples) – no job interview, no doctor’s appointment. I would suggest that she was thinking of places she remembered or liked from the October trip – just as I might look at hotel rates in Sheboygan along with Sault Ste Marie.

The October 2003 trip could also show us something about her familiarity with some of these areas. According to Julie, Maura and Fred came up 93 from the South Shore (MA) and stayed in Bartlett. They visited in the order 1) Owl’s Head; 2) Mount Mansfield; 3) Camel’s Hump and 4) West Bond – Fred’s 48th 4,000 foot peak. [The blue route is map generated – to follow this sequence they likely went back up 93 after Owl’s Head]. We also learn from a newspaper article that they visited the town of Burlington that weekend: “Murray’s father said he also discovered a note card that mentioned Burlington among many personal belongings she had packed in her car. The two last visited the Northern Vermont city on Columbus Day Weekend when they hiked nearby Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield.” Boston Globe 2/21/04

To add to this, we can include other favorite sites or places of some importance: Mount Tripyramid – a childhood favorite, Mount Washington – said to be her all time favorite – along with Mount Carrigain – the site of the infamous coordinates (covered later), and Mount Madison – the specific place where MacDonald Barr perished from the chapter of Not Without Peril.

So this might tell us something about Maura’s destination and familiarity with the areas. Does any of this give us any plausible leads to find Maura? To start, Burlington has, in effect, been searched:

New Hampshire State Police Lieutenant John Scarinza said yesterday that for several days police have been checking motels and hotels in several Vermont communities. Investigators know of no one Murray might know in the Burlington area, he said.

“Vermont State Police, Burlington police, and other local agencies have canvassed motels in Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Shelburne, and surrounding towns to see if she checked in anywhere around,” he said. Boston Glove 2/21/04

The site of the coordinates emailed to Tim and Lance was first searched by two community members 6/30/17 before it was covered again by the Oxygen cast and crew.

The same hiker commented on the four sites from the October 2003 trip:

All of the peaks listed (Mansfield, Camel’s Hump, West Bond, and Owl’s Head) are all on the New England 4000 Footers list, which is probably why they were a destination for her and her father at all. While I have no idea if they were ever searched specifically in relation to Maura’s disappearance, they are extremely popular due to peakbagging and are some of (if not) the most visited wilderness areas in all of New England, despite the remoteness implied by some of these areas. Even Owl’s Head sees multiple peakbaggers every day (I see it in the Facebook groups), and that’s a 20 mile hike. I’m doubting there’s anything in any of these locations myself (being at least familiar with all of NH’s 4000 footers myself and having already gone on a wild goose chase to one of them), but YMMV, as the hikers say. u/BreathingPermafrost

A dog handler who contributes to the reddit sub describes some potential techniques for approaches large scale areas:

Not sure what kind of searches have taken place before but my gut tells me, bring some well trained HR dogs to search these areas. There are so many K9 handlers out there that would do it for free- professional SAR teams are almost always entirely volunteer. We have a passion for this. If someone put a team together I’d come up in a heartbeat. I made the offer to organize some time ago but wasn’t taken up on it.

Most SAR dogs wear a GPS collar. SAR people also carry a GPS. You take a dog to an area, think of the human searchers as words on a page, and dogs as the highlighter around it. We don’t have to go dig around in the woods as much because the dogs are doing for it us. Anyway, all that information from the GPS can be downloaded and tracks are mapped. You can see where the dog went, areas missed, etc. and calculate probability of detection. This is what I’d like to do in these areas.

Besides what most people normally think of HR dogs finding (a decaying corpse), they can find bones. They can find objects that were in contact with decay (although in MM’s case, not sure if too much time has passed), for exp. one of our dogs trains with pieces of a rocking chair someone committed suicide in. u/kristin1441

Do we have to be sure of a theory before we search? As one searcher commented:

I think the needle in a haystack applies to the pros too. It’s been proven before.
There’s a lot of ground and it’s so uneven. There’s also tons of fallen rocks and trees, steep drop-offs, and the rocky river bed.
This amounts to lots of opportnuities for both peril and shelter.  Being confident means nothing without results though…

Could Maura have wandered into the woods? An overview of searches done in the Maura Murray case

This post will attempt to provide an overview of the searches that have taken place for Maura Murray since she disappeared February 9, 2004.  It will focus on search efforts by land, air, and dog teams rather than, say, property searches executed by law enforcement or other investigative work. 

In summary, the following search operations have taken place:

– New Hampshire State Police through New Hampshire Fish and Game conducted 5 searches in 2004.

– The New Hampshire League of Investigators conducted three large searches, the first in 2006.

– Friends and family searched for the first few weeks after Maura’s disappearance.  A team involving Fred Murray, Rick Graves, and others, searched “every weekend” for the first year.

– Boots on the Ground has been conducting annual searches since 2017.

– Many other searchers have been going out formally or informally, individually or in teams or groups to search for Maura.

The Night of Maura’s Disappearance 2.9.04

There was a “cursory” search for the driver of the Saturn on the night of Maura’s disappearance 2.9.04.  Lieutenant John Scarinza of the New Hampshire State Police reports that police made a presumption that the driver of the Saturn wanted to avoid contact with the police:  

“… the initial accident investigation led police officers to believe this was simply a case of someone who had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and wished at least initially that night not to have contact with the police.” (ID Disappeared)

There were still some efforts to locate the driver of the Saturn by police (Cecil Smith), a NHSP officer (the aforementioned Lt. John Monaghan), local neighbors and some members of the Fire Department and Emergency Services.  In total the foot search that night covered the game trail, Old Peters Road, and up and down both sides of 112 and was conducted for “about an hour” (APN interview). Indeed, the Fire Department arrived at 7:56PM and left at 8:49PM.  

Resident Butch Atwood took his personal vehicle and drove a loop to Mountain Lakes for “about 15 minutes” (it is estimated he left around 7:55PM)..  Lt. Monaghan arrived at the scene, spoke to Cecil and then drove towards Swiftwater, into Woodsville, and looked at Mountain Lakes then ultimately drove off to attend to other matters.  I estimate that he left the scene around 8:02-5PM although this is up for debate. Cecil Smith was on the scene from his arrival (noted in the dispatch log as 7:46PM) until he was called to another case at Lime Kiln Road at 9:26PM.  During that time he took seven photos including the tire imprints in the snow in addition to other duties such as talking to neighbors and making several calls.

On Tuesday, February 10th after executing a search warrant of the Saturn, police identified Maura as the driver.  After later speaking to Fred Murray as well as Kathleen Murray Maura’s sister, the case shifted to one of missing endangered and a search effort was organized.  The large scale search effort began about 36 hours after her disappearance on Wednesday, February 11th.

OFFICIAL SEARCHES BY NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE POLICE (FISH AND GAME)

Starting Wednesday, February 11, 2004, the NHSP conducted five official searches for Maura.  The search operation was supervised by Lieutenant Jonas Todd Bogardus (“Todd”) of New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division out of Littleton.  Bogardus served as Team Leader for Fish and Game Law Enforcement’s Advanced Search and Rescue Team. In total these five searches covered “12 miles of roadway, 1-2 miles into the woods with dogs and even places up to 50 miles away that they knew Maura loved to visit.” (Oxygen)  They never found any trace of Maura or any item belonging to her.

Wednesday, February 11th

Official Search 1: Wednesday, February 11th (36 hours after Maura’s disappearance)

Personnel: Supervisor: Todd Bogardus of NH Fish and Game; NHSP bloodhound, helicopter equipped with FLIR, local and state police, state Fish & Game officials

Range: The NHSP bloodhound ran the track from the Saturn twice; helicopter covered 10 miles of roadway

On the morning of Wednesday, February 11th, the NHSP began its search supervised by Todd Bogardus of New Hampshire Fish and Game.  The team was brought in 36 hours after the crash on a clear cold morning. The temperature had remained steady since Maura’s disappearance and there was no new snow on the ground.  Bogardus reports on Oxygen there was “about a foot and a half to two feet of snow with a thin crust on the top”. He noted that anyone walking off the road would have easily left a footprint.

The team also used a helicopter equipped with a FLIR unit (forward looking infrared).  They searched the immediate area and “toned out” several miles away from the area. Bogardus notes: “had she been out there and giving off any heat signal we would have been able to pick that up.”

Bogardus indicates they covered the significant area at least 112 and outlying roads over probably 10 miles distance.  At the end of that day they had “no human foot tracks going into the woodlands off of the roadways that were not either cleared or accounted for”. Bogardus goes on to say that “at the end of that day the consensus was she did not leave the roadway”.

That same morning, a NHSP bloodhound was brought in to run the track from the Saturn.  The dog was given gloves as the scent article. The dog ran the track twice, both times ending down the road.  Bogardus notes that both times the dog ended “at the intersection of Bradley Hill Road which is just within sight of the crash site”.  (However, it is believed that the track effectively ended in the vicinity of the Atwood residence/see map). Bogardus notes on Oxygen “It’s possible she may have been picked up by a vehicle there.”  Indeed, according to multiple newspaper accounts, it seems clear that at the end of the first day of searching, the predominant theory was that Maura was picked up by a vehicle.

Could Maura have been missed by the helicopter and the additional search efforts?  On Oxygen Bogardus responds to that question:

  • Maggie Freleng: we’ve heard from people we’ve interviewed that it’s hard to find a body in these woods because they are so thick.  Do you agree with that?
  • Todd Bogardus: I do agree it’s hard but I can tell you I’m not a big believer in people levitating and going long distances.  So she had to have left the track for us if she went into the woodlands. I’m fairly confident to say she did not go into the woods when she left the area

Official Search 2: February 19th (10 days missing)

Personnel: Supervisor: Todd Bogardus of NH Fish and Game; 3 canine teams (2 New England K-9 Search and Rescue Group; 1 New Hampshire State Police); state police, fish and game officiers, helicopter

Range: 2 square mile area along the Wild Ammonoosuc River and Route 112; searched both sides of 112 within a half mile radius

(MF: in case they missed something a second search was organized 10 days after the crash to inspect the woods – this time with three cadaver dogs who were trained specifically to find human remains)

TB: yes – those dog teams went into the woodlines and searched (in) different segments on both sides of route 112 within the half mile radius … any time we’re searching we’re looking for people yes but more importantly we’re looking for clues

Burlington 2/20/04

Around the same time, police examined Maura’s computer and discovered that she had searched for directions to Burlington on her computer.  On 2.20.04, “Vermont State Police, Burlington police, and other local agencies have canvassed motels in Burlington, South Burlington, Colchester, Shelburne, and surrounding towns to see if she checked in anywhere around,” he said.”

April 2, 2004

On April 2, 2004, Gary E. Lindsley reported.“Although an official air and ground search was declared concluded by New Hampshire Fish and Game and Troop F State Police officials in February, K-9 teams from the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association will resume their search of the Haverhill area this weekend.” Rausch said one of the teams is Marilyn Greene, a team trainer and private investigator, and her K-9, Buddy, from Guilderland, N.Y. “This weekend, like last weekend, K-9 teams from the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association will conduct a search of the area surrounding the accident site.”

Official Search 3: May 8 (89 days missing) 

Personnel: Supervisor: Todd Bogardus of NH Fish and Game; 15 fish and game officers with 6 dogs from,New England Canine and Upper Valley Wilderness Response team; a helicopter

Range: Searched woods about  miles east of accident site on Route 112 (this followed the CW sighting)

On May 8, 2004, Mike Recht from the Associated Press reported, “About 15 Fish and Game officers, joined by the New England Canine and the Upper Valley Wilderness Response team with six dogs, searched the woods for Maura Murray, a University of Massachusetts student, about five miles east of the accident site on Route 112.[This search was conducted in response to the construction worker’s report that he saw a hooded figure running along Route 112 near the location where it intersects with Route 116.]

“As a result of this new information, a search was conducted on May 8. Canine teams with six dogs and 15 Fish and Game officers searched the area where Forcier may have seen Maura running. No new leads were reported.” A dozen people resumed the search yesterday on foot and in a helicopter. Scarinza said that was more than enough manpower to scan the rural terrain. It was likely the last time a search crew will venture into the woods. If Murray had wandered off the road, finding her would be easy because there is about 1½ feet of snow on the ground, Scarinza said. and it has not snowed since Feb. 9.

Official Search 4: May 17th (98 days missing)

No information

Official Search 5: July 13th (156 days missing)

Personnel: Supervisor Todd Bogardus; 100 searchers including state police trooper ans conservation officers

Range: One mile radius of the accident with “line searches”

Nearly 100 people, including 60 state troopers from as far away as Exeter, conservation officers, and volunteers from search-and-rescue organizations, spent the day on line searches

“Another ground search was initiated on July 13. More than 100 searchers, including state police troop-ers and conservation officers, spread out across a one-mile radius of where Maura’s car was found. No reason was given for why this search was conducted except to say police were looking for anything Maura may have left behind, such as the black backpack she was believed to have been carrying when she left the scene.”

Searches by the New Hampshire League of Investigators

The New Hampshire League of Investigators, ten retired police officers and detectives started working on the case in 2006 pro bono.  In total they conducted three large searches. 

NHLI Search 1 of 3 – 10.21.06

The first NHLI search was a two day search (Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22, 2006).  They searched “within a few miles of the site of (the accident).”. They used dog teams from the Connecticut Canine Search and Dukes County Search and Rescue out of Martha’s Vineyard.  

They selected six areas including a wooded area near the search site, gravel pits, and the Mountain Lakes area.  One site was a sand pit not far from Maura went missing (I am not sure if this is the same as the gravel pit). It was noted that some of the site selection was based on “information Fred Murray and other people (had) provided.”  The A-frame was searched at this time, presumably as one of the six sites.

NHLI Search 2 of 3 July 2008

In July 2008, volunteers led another two-day search through wooded areas in Haverhill. The group consisted of dog teams and licensed private investigators

Additional Details Learned about the NHLI Searches

In 2018, Guy Paradee of the interview did an interview under the auspices of the 107 degrees podcast.  He reports that there was a hit by a cadaver dog down Old Peters Road “well within the 5 mile radius of the Saturn’s disappearance”. Guy reports that they found some items at the site of the dog alert and when neither the Haverhill police of the AG’s office responded, they dug and found some things, notably human clothing and some sort of rubber/latex square.

 We further learn from the interview that they did a grid search of the 5 mile radius.  He describes that they “took tape, did grids of the whole five mile area we were going to search.  The teams consisted of the dog handler and dog, one of (NHLI member who was armed), and each team had a video camera and still camera.

IIt was noted in 2019 by Maggie Freleng that:

Yes, back in the day Terry O’Connell and some of the NHLI searched French Pond with divers and sonar. The ammonoosuc river is actually not really a river, it is incredibly shallow, maybe 1 inch. I was there in the winter, same time Maura went missing, a body would be seen and dogs with GPR went all up and down the road that follows it for 5 miles. They would have smelled a body.

Fred Murray Team

Every weekend for the first year searching with Fred consistently.  Did a circle, moved out. Estimated searched about 15-20 miles perimeter around the crash site.  About 4-6 people including distant cousins/relatives who would go out to support. “beat the hell out of those woods – gravel pits, etc.”.

Almost every weekend since Feb. 9, he has made the eight-hour round-trip drive from his home in Weymouth, Mass., to the Woodsville section of Haverhill. He searches the vast forest or knocks on doors and questions neighbors who might have seen something. He also hands out fliers with Maura’s picture.

His daughters and Maura’s boyfriend, who is in the military, were able to help at first, and occasionally some volunteers join him. Last weekend, a couple from Vermont, the Maitlands, whose own daughter disappeared in March, searched with him.

During the winter, he searched the snow for footprints. The snow is gone now, so he searches the woods alongside the road. He even climbs through culverts under the road, head down, looking for any clue.

He even searched the Kancamagus Highway — one of her favorite places about 25 miles away — should she have contemplated suicide, though he is quick to point out, “I don’t think she did.”

Since February night, Murray has been searching fir his daughter, crawling through every bridge and culvert, pressing the police, checking bus stations and asking bus drivers if they saw his daughter. He has checked topographical maps to identify where a vehicle might have gone, checked with neighbors as to what was accessible, and searched.

Decision in My Suit for the Crash Site Photos

The Superior Court decision in my suit for the crash site photos was filed today.

The short of it: I lost the Motion. But I still have options, such as Motions for Reconsideration and Appeals.

I will discuss those options after I have had time to read the denial in depth. But I wanted to get this to everyone right away.

Thank you, everyone, for your support.

Complete and Unredacted Decision of the Superior Court

Details of the early family search for Maura Murray: approximately 2/11-3/2/04 by TheRealFinn

In the first ~3 weeks following Maura’s disappearance, in addition to the official search headed by Fish and Game, a group of family members conducted their own search on foot and by car. They drove from Canada down to Massachusetts and from Vermont over to Maine – distributing flyers and checking hotels, motels, hospitals, bus stations, etc. Closer to the Weathered Barn Corner they drove and/or walked every road, trail and wooded are in the vicinity of her accident – with most focus given to 112 and Bradley Hill Rd. They searched east because of the dog scent and because, as Bill Rausch notes “police told us she was heading east”.

I have compiled two maps/graphics to provide an overview of this search.

This graphic shows an overview of the family search:

This graphic focuses closer to the Weathered Barn Corner heading approximately 5 miles to the east:

Further reading:

Overview of all searches for Maura “Why searchers don’t think Maura ended up in the woods”:

https://notwithoutperil.com/2020/01/26/could-maura-have-vanished-into-the-woods-an-overview-of-searches-in-the-maura-murray-case/

Compilation of information from Bill Rausch “What we’ve learned from Bill Rausch” (source of the direct quotes)

https://notwithoutperil.com/2020/07/20/what-weve-learned-about-mauras-disappearance-from-bill-rausch-on-reddit-may-2020-to-present-by-therealfinn/

“Steers the narrative” almost always means “has an opinion that differs from mine” – Post by TheRealFinn

“Steers the narrative” almost always means “has an opinion that differs from mine.” – Redditor

People talk a lot about “narrative steering” in this community.  It seems to be shorthand for “I don’t like you” or “I don’t like your theory” or “I don’t like the topic of your recent post/blog/podcast”.  Most of the time it’s used purely as an insult “he’s a steerer from way back”  whereas other times it is used almost incomprehensibly “They are not “official” steerers, just clueless/illogical coincidence theorists that get triggered.”

The steerer designation also suggests that our discussions are very, very important.  Whether or not the case is solved depends on stopping the steerers!  Undoubtedly Cold Case is tracking us closely, ready to arrest any of us who say the wrong thing or make a post that tries to change the topic.  But in fact, by all indications, LE doesn’t care much about our discussions calling them simply “not detrimental” to the extent we spread awareness of the case.  

With that introduction, I jotted down my “top 10 reasons why police are not going to show up at your doorstep for “narrative steering” in the Maura Murray case” — and to be clear, I am not speaking of calling up someone with a fake lead but rather of the online discussions in the case:

MY TOP 10 REASONS WHY POLICE ARE NOT GOING TO SHOW UP AT YOUR DOORSTEP FOR “NARRATIVE STEERING” IN THE MAURA MURRAY CASE

1. Narrative steering as used in the MM community has no real or consistent meaning.

I scoured the professional literature for a definition of narrative steering and came up with very little.  I acknowledge that in debate, politics and other fields we have various types of spin and propaganda.  But in this community it has come to mean either “I don’t like you” or “I don’t like your theory” or “I don’t like the topic of your post/blog/podcast”.  There might be relevant uses of the term (a recent episode of the Prosecutors Podcast had an interesting discussion in another case).  But that is not this.

2. We have developed false dichotomies

One common use of the narrative steering insult in the community seems to be the dichotomy between Maura as “All American Girl” vs. Maura as an “extremely flawed person”.  I think most people recognize that the truth is somewhere in the middle and that when Maura went missing she was a 21 year old college student with ups and downs in her life.

If we want to call those who see the good in Maura as “steerers” then we should do the same at the other extreme – those who are intent on exposing her skeletons, mistakes and family secrets. 

3. UMass vs. New Hampshire is not a real thing

We also hear that there is a dichotomy between “Amherst” and “New Hampshire”.  Somehow we are told that whenever someone tries to discuss “U Mass” they are met with significant pushback.  But really, people who want to discuss UMass should discuss UMass.  There are no rules of any group or sub as far as I know that “Amherst” is off limits.  Simply go to a reddit sub and go to “create a post” and write about UMass and then discuss it.  It’s really that easy.  However, if you propose a theory you might be asked to back it up with evidence. And being asked to provide evidence for your theories is also not “steering”.

The truth is that many of the people accused of “steering” away from UMass have actually frequently discussed many aspects of Amherst and UMass.

I’ve seen suggestions that this dichotomy refers to people who think she was/wasn’t at the Weathered Barn Corner. I respect many people who make the case that we have scanty evidence that Maura was the driver, or that Maura left Amherst, or that Maura was seen by Atwood. Now I personally think that it was Maura at the WBC and that my time is best spent with that assumption. These are complex decisions about how different people weigh and interpret evidence and use inference. But it’s not steering.

If you think it was not Maura in New Hampshire, then develop that case. I (as a surrogate here for the community) could be persuaded but reasserting over and over that there is no proof beyond the ATM video just keeps us at a standstill.

4. People have a right to disagree; people have a right to ask for your evidence

Here is the tricky part: people do not have to agree with you.  I know that is a difficult concept.  People are free to disagree with the theories of others.  People may insist that you provide evidence for your theories. They may also provide evidence to contradict the theories that you put forward. This is not “steering”.

5. People have a right to talk about what they choose

Related to the previous point, people have the right to research what they think is important (and to NOT research topics they deem not important).  If someone wants to talk about the accident timeline, they can.  If someone wants to talk about Vasi, they can.  If someone wants to talk about Butch Atwood (rest his soul), they can.  But people do not have to engage with your post or podcast.  There is no law that people interested in looking at search maps have to engage in a post about the damage to the Saturn.  

I personally try to avoid discussions of the accident timeline and tree vs. snowbank.  I figure that there are other minds on these topics combined with too much animus in getting in the fray.  And my interests and aptitudes are elsewhere.  I guess that’s my right.  I also have personally eliminated/resolved many things in my own mind although I could reconsider if new evidence emerges or if someone offers a compelling new theory.  

6. Don’t go “real life” here

In a different case, someone made a set of suggested guidelines for the community and one was “don’t go real life”.  That statement is a joke in the Maura Murray community where we are gnawing at one another’s limbs in some perverted version of Dante’s 6th Circle .  When I stumbled upon this case in 2017 I never dreamed that people would be friending me with fake accounts, scouring my personal photos, running credit and background checks, and far worse – and I am just me.  One reddit poster had an interesting observation as to why this community has gone cannibalistic:

This is […} symptomatic of what seems to be happening in this community. Without very much to discuss regarding the actual case, people have to look elsewhere for drama/conflict/content to discuss. And if they can’t talk about the case itself, they turn to the next best thing–they look for drama and intrigue among the people talking about the case.

Redditor 2020

We probably could benefit from a good “community sociologist” to try to decode what is happening here. But investigating each other is just silly. Investigating the volunteers and posters is silly. Now, whether or not you can post these things depends on the specific guidelines of whatever group or forum or subreddit. But people can and will push back and that does not make them steerers.

7. No leads generated by the online community have panned out

We talk about narrative steering as if our discussions are extremely important to the course of the investigation.  But in fact, Strelzin et al. indicated in Missing Maura Murray episode 27 “Questions and Answers” that no leads from the online community have actually panned out – at least by that time:  

“The attention this case has garnered has generated some leads, although none have panned out when investigated.  However, efforts to keep people’s attention focused on the case are not detrimental if they have the potential to generate new leads.”

Missing Maura Murray episode 27: Questions and Answers

Let me reiterate: no leads from the online community panned out when investigated.  We’ve had family forums, topix, websleuths, facebook, reddit, twitter, and probably others not to mention tv shows and podcasts … and yet nothing panned out.  And so where do we get the idea that talking about x vs y is a matter of top secret security clearance? I hate to break it to everyone but “not detrimental” doesn’t suggest that they take these discussions extremely seriously.

8. Law enforcement is not going to knock on your door for your topic of choice

Likewise it is inferred that law enforcement is watching us and will charge people guilty of narrative steering with obstruction. [I’m not speaking here of someone faking a lead or witness]. Again, I don’t get the feeling that law enforcement cares a whole lot about what we’re discussing.  Who here has sent them an email?  Did you get a response back?  As someone pointed out: they didn’t even call Linda Salamone for 9 months – and we think they care that we are “steering the narrative” in 2020?

9. This community is not made up of professional steerers and CIA agents

I found one person who tried to list the types of steerers in the Maura Murray case – technically this person gave 3 but then mentioned the 4th so I added it:

  • 1) circle of friends/professionals/DC people that run the steer for EL/BR and possibly other agencies
  • 2) non-affiliated with EL/BR, and mostly just covering up upper agency “stand-down”.
  • 3) Also it seems there are steerers that are not affiliated with each other, but are exercising their agendas (1 and 2) separately without knowledge of each other. 
  • 4) Then there’s a separate circle of clueless coincidence theorists obsessed with “civility” instead of truth.

No, this community is not made up of a network of professional propagandists.  Some people have ties to the family.  Some are interested in true crime.  Some like puzzles.  Some have other reasons for being involved.  There are definitely all different types of people but … this is a missing persons case not a national security operation.

I used to live in DC but moved away over a decade ago. I somehow don’t think the National Science Foundation’s atmospheric science division is interested in “steering the narrative” in the Maura Murray case.

10. Keeping the conversation going is probably the most important thing

There IS value to the community.  We might come up with a clue or lead.  We might do searches and find Maura or one of her possessions.  We might share a post that reaches someone who didn’t know they had a valuable piece of information.  We might put pressure on someone involved in Maura’s disappearance.  We might put pressure on LE to do more or release records.  We might help the family simply by our interest, dedication and encouragement. There IS value but we are simply not as important as we think we are.

Someone I respect a great deal phrased it well:

This case should be a collaborative effort to help the Murray family find their missing loved one. A select few have lost sight of that principle. They’ve been blinded by hate, greed, and obsession. It’s become a circus of endless drama. Redditor 2020

Honestly, a post asking about Maura’s favorite color is probably just as valuable to the big picture as one looking at suspects. We are just keeping the conversation going in the hopes that it leads to something. Elevating our conversations to national security status is a little silly.

What we’ve learned about Maura and her disappearance from Bill Rausch on reddit (May 2020 to present) by TheRealFinn

Starting around May 2020, we’ve been lucky to have the participation of Bill Rausch on reddit. Bill was Maura’s boyfriend when she went missing in February 2004 and has been sharing his recollections of Maura, her disappearance, and the subsequent search. In mid July I collected and organized his answers. I basically copy/pasted his answers to questions, took out filler and organized into categories. I will attempt to keep updating this.

Please bear in mind that he is answering questions asked. In some cases you will see I have pasted multiple responses to the same question.

Google doc of the same:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sbGJgG0lDdQnw5Ar7y7ma2LBrnUY5CLtTOjFwrF2L5M/edit?usp=sharing

I organized Bill’s comments into the following categories:

  • On Maura as a person (there is a more in depth section about this but I wanted to start with this)
  • On Fred
  • On Maura’s mindset/destination
  • On whether or not Maura was planning to return
  • On the condition of the Saturn
  • On her love of New Hampshire and of hiking
  • On Maura’s friends at UMass
  • On why Maura drove to Fred’s motel
  • On car shopping/car dealership
  • On the call with Maura after the Hadley accident
  • On Maura’s dorm room
  • On the “email/note” said to be left in the dorm room
  • On the whimpering call/Red Cross call
  • On why so many calls to Kate on Sunday morning
  • On the Holiday Inn North Conway
  • On the necklace and watch
  • On the jacket Maura was wearing in the ATM video
  • On the backpack/duffel bag (this is the pic of Kathleen at the motel)
  • On why LE thought she had a backpack and dark coat
  • On accessing the phone records and voicemail
  • On the phone record/roaming charges
  • On the phone records
  • On Maura’s computer/habits
  • On Butch
  • On general theories and suspects
  • On whether it was Maura in the Saturn
  • On his itinerary (OK to NH)
  • On hitchhiking
  • On a good samaritan theory (picked up by good samaritan)
  • On the FBI
  • On the police investigation and release of records
  • On the search
  • edit new: On the gloves (as scent article)
  • On a specific sighting he remembers
  • On survival training
  • On West Point
  • On the theory that Maura is in the woods
  • On whether she was drinking and driving (and re HB)
  • General facts and characteristics about Maura
  • General Feelings and “why he’s participating on social media”

COMMENTS BY BILL RAUSCH ABOUT MAURA AND HER DISAPPEARANCE ON REDDIT FROM MAY 2020 TO THE PRESENT (LAST UPDATED 7/20/20)

On Maura as a person (there is a more in depth section about this but I wanted to start with this)

She was a lovely young woman, inside and out.

Maura was the loveliest of girls, she really was. 

… her fun personality and her competitive spirit. Two things that melded perfectly together 

She was lovely in every sense of the word. And fun. Silly even!

She was as bubbly and brilliant as they come.

Maura placed great value on kindness in others.

Maura was one of the loveliest, brilliant, and badass girls you could ever know.

Beyond cute, 100%! re tomboy, she def was and elegant at the same time. She would literally jump from a tree top into the Saco river one day, and the next day be the most radiant woman at any formal event. She was one of a kind.

Maura was loved by everyone who knew her and her love for us was as lovely as you might imagine. I believe if not for that accident, she would be here today and none of you would know her name. She would be happy and so would her family. She would be a great mother and partner to whomever was lucky enough to have married her, maybe even me.

On Fred

Fred is a rockstar. I still wonder if people realize that he drove to NH every weekend for years and years searching for Maura.

On Maura’s mindset/destination

You asked about her mindset weeks leading up to her accident/disappearance. During our time together over the holiday’s we had a really lovely time together. She was happy and we both enjoyed seeing family and friends. She was already planning for the upcoming summer when we planned to spend more time together. We communicated daily and the only time I realized she was upset was after she called me not long after having an accident in her dad’s car. While she was initially upset, she seemed fine by the time we got off the phone.  I wish something would have tipped me off to her taking a trip to NH and most of all, I wish she would have never been in that accident. If that accident doesn’t happen, I believe strongly that Maura would be with us today.

I was in OK the weekend before she disappeared so I wasn’t physically with her to gauge her “mindset.” I was worried about her after the car accident in the Corolla, which she called and told me about. She did not suggest or mention getting away. I was aware that Fred was visiting and they were car shopping that weekend.

While it’s possible she was going to meet someone, there’s no evidence to suggest she was. I’ve always assumed she was taking a break in a place she loved (her love of NH being something she often wrote me about), but I could be completely wrong

I agree that everyone seems to be at a loss for why she left UMASS. IMO that might be why there are so many wild theories out there, esp as people start to replace facts (Maura loved her father more than anyone) with fiction (Maura was running away from her father!!!) in promoting certain theories over others.

I can say confidentially that Maura was likely not mentally ill. She did however have issues and challenges. Things that have and should be considered in her disappearance. Mental health is a serious topic and those suffering should not be ashamed bc they are not alone.

On whether or not Maura was planning to return

I’m unsure if you are suggesting Maura ran away. It’s clear to me that she wasn’t running away and the evidence in her car, her emails, her letters, phone calls, etc all point to her returning to school. I can appreciate that this is prob debated on this sub. I don’t believe Maura did anything wrong. I’m unsure if folks here understand how bold and independent she was. She def shouldn’t have been driving the Saturn but am I surprised she did? No.

On the condition of the Saturn

The car had several issues and wasn’t reliable. She knew she shouldn’t be driving it. I can’t speak to if or why she did or didn’t try to drive the Saturn after the accident.

On her love of New Hampshire and of hiking

It was her home away from home. 100%. Not only was it a place with fond childhood memories it was a place that remained a key part of her life. From HS to college, USMA to UMass, etc. Those 4,000 foot hikes, NYE parties with her friends there, and the list goes on. 

She had several fav spots and her father/siblings prob know more than I do. That said, we had a v special trip that included a hike to the top of Mt. Washington, a horrible storm, and a literal race back to the bottom (no comment on who won). Several photos from that hike are here: https://twitter.com/RauschB/status/1047810431283355648

Maura’s connection to the White Mountains was real. NH was a special place for her since she was a child going camping and hiking there with her family.

I do not recall combining a trip/stay at UMass with a trip to NH. We went to NH on extended trips several times. Once or twice with Fred. Here’s a photo of the three of us on one of those 4,000 footers. https://twitter.com/RauschB/status/1258011895849725954

Maura was an above average athlete. She was a record holder at her HS, D-1 college recruit and all around badass. We never found ourselves in a situation that we couldn’t handle physically.

There was a broad passion she had for hiking that included a goal of hiking all the 4,000 ft mountains in NH. Something other folks are also passionate about: http://4000footers.com/nh.shtml

Additionally, it’s a great work out, she loved being outside and for me the views from those mountains were beyond beautiful. The hikes we went on were special. Everything we did together was special from going on canoe trips, to hiking Mt. Washington. I felt like she was revealing more of herself to me every subsequent trip and in my opinion NH was a home away from home for her. She loved it there and I loved being there with her.

On Maura’s friends at UMass

Kate was Maura’s closest friend at UMass. It’s my understanding that Sara was not as close to Kate or Maura.

I knew Kate better than Sara.

One correction, Kate was a Senior and Maura was a Junior.

Bottom Line: Kate has been helpful, has given interviews, and wants to know what happened to Maura.

On why Maura drove to Fred’s motel:

That said, I’ve never found it odd Maura went back to Fed’s hotel room. I never stayed in my barracks/dorm at West Point when my folks visited. I always stayed with them in their hotel, even when I’d peel off with friends at night. Same goes for Maura from what I recall. A hotel room with your folks beats a crummy dorm room any day of the week IMO.

On car shopping/car dealership

I bought my 1999 Saab 9-3 in 2002, not far from UMASS. I owned it until 2009 when I traded it in on a new car. 

On the call with Maura after the Hadley accident:

She told me she had been in an accident. She was never afraid of Fred.

On Maura’s dorm room:

Maura and I last saw each other over Christmas break, correct. The email Maura sent her HS friends that someone recently posted is a good source for that. I did go into her dorm room during the search. That was the first time I had been on campus in 2004. The first time I heard the theory of Maura not unpacking her room was during an hours long phone call I had with the Texas Crew Productions team prior to the release of the Oxygen series. According to the link below, classes at UMass started on Wed. Jan 28, 2004. https://www.fivecolleges.edu/academics/academic_calendars/academic_calendar_03-04

I specifically recall a large suitcase (I recognized) on her bed. I believe there were boxes and/or other bags as well. I recall nothing being stacked “two high” on the bed. I believe UMass police had already been in the room altho I’m not certain of that (seems like a fair assumption). I remember at least one officer going into the room with us, altho both may have.

I want to say she had a printer in her room, although I cannot say for certain she did and do not specifically remember seeing one in her room.

to be clear I do not know if Maura packed up her room or never unpacked. Our initial assumption was that it was packed up. I had not heard the theory/idea that Maura never unpacked until an hours long convo with the producers of the Oxygen special who asked me if it was possible she never unpacked.

I believe I’m the only one on reddit that was in her dorm room and I do not know if Maura packed it up or if she never unpacked it. 

Some believe it was packed up. Others believe it wasn’t unpacked as she had just moved into the room ~1 week earlier.

On the “email/note” said to be left in the dorm room

There was no “recently received personal note” on top of boxes when I was in her dorm room. I did find an email from ’02 tucked into the pages of a basketball program that was beside her desk

There was no note [that I am aware of]; however, there was an email. IMO the note NHSP refer to is prob the email. Why would they call it a note and not an email? I have no idea. It could be a generational thing with the older officers considering a printed out email a note. It could be an effort to support their theory she was suicidal. Or there could be a note they didn’t tell me about – this seems unlikely as they shared everything else with us. Or I’m a liar and I’ve convinced my parents, the Murray’s, the McDonald’s and Maura’s friends there wasn’t a note when there was in fact one or convinced them to lie and join me in the conspiracy.

I did discuss the email with LE while answering their questions about the topic of the email. I talked to them about anything and everything that we/they could think of to try and help. I was at the police station nearly everyday, if not everyday, while I was in NH and we were in direct communication during the search.

I recall standing beside her desk when I read/saw the email. I not recall if it was on her desk or perhaps on top of boxes beside her desk.

On the whimpering call/Red Cross call:

Looking back, I don’t know if it was Maura, altho I believed it to be at the time. I received the VM while going through airport security at the Roy Rogers airport in OKC, the morning of Feb 11.”

I never spoke with the alleged caller from the Red Cross. I took the police at their word. In hindsight, given shortcomings in their investigation, I regret not “trusting but verifying” what they said.

I don’t recall if or how police made or received a copy. I do know they listened to it bc I remember standing/sitting beside one or both members of the NHSP involved in the search and playing them the VM several times.

Yes, I believed it was Maura. Folks should really check out the Discovery ID episode. Both my mother and I speak to the VM and what it sounded like. Given that no one spoke on the VM it was impossible to say it sounded like her or anyone else. I did believe it to be a woman (again watch the ID ep). What was going through my mind? Practically speaking I wanted to pass the information along. I believe I called my parents and the NHSP (folks on here can reference my phone records) immediately. I already wanted the plane to fly faster than it ever had before and this made that feeling even stronger. When the NHSP said it wasn’t her, it didn’t change much as it pertained to our search. We were laser focused on finding Maura and nothing could knock us off track, if that makes sense? For years I continued to believe it was her. I replayed the VM a million times on my phone and in my mind like I did with everything else that reminded me of Maura. I wasn’t able to stop listening to the VM and other things until I deployed to Iraq in 2006 where I was forced to focus on things that didn’t allow me time or mental head space to think about Maura or much of anything else.

I can’t say what the NHSP do or don’t have (the recording). I have thoughts on what they should have but I would be speculating to say they def have the recording.

Looking back, I don’t know if it was Maura, altho I believed it to be at the time. I received the VM while going through airport security at the Roy Rogers airport in OKC, the morning of Feb 11. The Discovery ID episode does a good job of providing details re when I received the VM, and what I thought of it at the time using my own words. My mother also discusses the call. You can watch that ep on the Murray’s website at www.mauramurraymissing.org/media, if you scroll down a bit.

The NHSP informed us they tracked the call back to the Red Cross. We did not independently verify this, altho I wish we had given the issues/problems with the police investigation we later discovered (LE not interviewing witnesses, not calling phone numbers Maura called the day she disappeared, refusing help from the FBI, etc).

I received the VM at the airport on Wed morning while going thru security. Of that, I’m certain.

I don’t recall how they took it into evidence. I know I played it for them on speaker several times at the station. My mother might remember, but unfortunately I do not. I would hope they have a recording of it.

I’m open to anything being possible. That said, I remember taking my phone off the x-ray machine belt with my bag, belt, etc at the airport and seeing the notification I had a VM and then listening to it for the first time moments later.

After I spoke with Fred on 2/10 I was hyper alert for any incoming calls or new VMs. I do not recall skulking any. I also recall receiving the VM in question after going thru security at the airport.

With regard to LE having my phone, again, totally possible altho I do not remember it. I do recall playing the whimpering VM for LE at the station; however, I do not know if they recorded it or took my phone to make a copy. Again, totally possible.

On why so many calls to Kate on Sunday morning:

I was worried about Maura after she called me crying having just wrecked Fred’s Toyota.  I called Maura and her best friend to see if she was okay.  You ask “why so many calls” but for me I ask why I didn’t try harder to see if everything was alright given she drove to NH on Monday without telling anyone.

On the Holiday Inn North Conway:

I stayed at Wells River with my parents, Fred, the McDonald’s, and members of the Murray fam. I do not recall if I stayed at the holiday inn with Maura in the past. It’s possible. I also do not recall why I called that holiday inn. Perhaps bc Maura and I stayed there in the past or maybe looking for a hotel before everyone decided to stay at wells river. I’m unsure.

On the necklace and watch:

the necklace was a gift. Not nearly as lovely as her but the best I could afford back then!

I believe the watch (I bought it at the cadet store at West Point) was with her necklace and possibly diamond earrings I gave her as gifts.

On the jacket Maura was wearing in the ATM video

No, I do not recognize that jacket.

On the backpack/duffel bag (this is the pic of Kathleen at the motel)

 I believe the unaccounted for backpack was one she had from West Point. The bag to Kathleen’s right isn’t Maura’s backpack from West Point.

On why LE thought she had a backpack and dark coat

We assumed she took her backpack bc it was unaccounted for. Same goes for assuming she was wearing her dark winter coat. I believe we confirmed that was unaccounted for as it wasn’t in her dorm room. There may be additional reasons others have uncovered over the years I’m unfamiliar with.

On accessing the phone records and voicemail:

My mother was the account holder which is why she called Sprint for access to VMs. We printed off the phone records at the police station bc LE were waiting on a subpoena.  

Access to Maura’s VM was gained after and bc she disappeared. We learned of the three men at the party after Maura disappeared.  These are the facts according to the Murray statement that align with my memory of what took place.

Bottom Line: There was no “cheating VM.”

On the phone record/roaming charges:

Sprint had a national network. Roaming calls were calls made off the nat’l sprint network vs regional areas which other cell providers used at the time. This was a big factor in selecting Sprint as a carrier when I first got my phone at West Point (hence the New City no.) bc after graduating I would be moving somewhere outside the NY tri-state area.

On the phone records:

My mother and I provided Maura’s phone records (and mine) in full to the NHSP, Helena Murray, producers at 20/20 and others.

NH has not released her phone records to anyone with or without redactions. It’s my understanding Renner received them from John Smith.

On phone signal availability

I don’t think I had signal at the motel, altho Im not 100%./I also do not recall a specific place we went to make calls. The folks we needed to communicate with the most were all together at the motel./I believe the motel had landlines, bc I remember doing a radio interview from my room. I assume we used those phones as well.

The evening of the 11th we met Fred and LE at the police station where we received an update from LE. This was when we were told that Maura would prob show up in a day or two, we asked a few questions, and gave some answers to LE questions./We all stayed at the Wells River Motel every night. From what I remember each room had a different theme, e.g. lighthouse, etc./I remember having limited to no cell reception nearly everywhere we went during the search. The number of calls made/received were dictated by cell coverage vs our desire to make/receive calls. It made things difficult during the search which is why we would meet up several times throughout the day (with each other) to provide updates, check ins, etc./I do not recall LE taking my phone for a day altho that’s certainly possible.

On the roaming charges

I did not participate in any helicopter flights/searches during this time and the phone records were for my phone and Maura’s phone only. There is no third phone.

Someone mentioned on another thread that the phone records show a roaming call from Burlington, VT on 2/11 which is interesting bc my parents drove us straight to Haverhill after picking me up at the airport./IMO that’s a good baseline for understanding that the roaming location for calls clearly does not match up with my physical location.

On Maura’s computer/habits:

Maura and I communicated via AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), and she also used AIM to communicate with HS friends. It’s possible she also used Yahoo messenger but given LE do not mention AIM, it leads me to assume they confused the two.

On Butch:

I met Butch but frankly have nothing negative to say about him given there’s no evidence to suggest he’s responsible. He’s also not around to defend himself. 

On general theories and suspects:

While I have thoughts on what may or may not have happened after Maura’s accident, I do not have “a suspect.” I want to emphasize that IF I did I would not mention that person’s name publicly or privately for risk of destroying their lives. Something I haven’t enjoyed being on the receiving end of.

I don’t think it’s likely but anything is possible and everyone/everything should be looked at as Julie has said. I witnessed police make many mistakes; however, that suggests they were incompetent. It’s a big bridge from incompetence to being involved. re Butch Atwood, again I do not want to comment on him despite having met and spoken with him in 2004.

From what I’ve read, many people are puzzled by the short time frame she disappeared in – you’re def not alone.

Many people talk about “what are the chances” when discussing this case. I totally get why folks do that but look at it from my perspective. What are the chances that your boyfriend or girlfriend will go missing without a trace? Prob not high and yet it happened to me. It happened to Maura.

On whether it was Maura in the Saturn:

While I do not believe someone other than Maura drove the Saturn to NH, I admit that nearly anything is possible. 

My mother and I have never believed that Maura wasn’t at the accident scene bc there is no evidence to support that.

On his itinerary (OK to NH):

I don’t recall the airline or the layover city off the top of my head. My parents picked me up at the airport after driving there from Ohio and the three of us drove north to Haverhill, NH to see Fred/LE and check into the hotel.

While I’m certain I left from OKC (something that is confirmed by the person who drove me) and arrived in CT (something my parents can confirm as they picked me up), maybe folks here can determine where the lay over was?

In this instance, there is an actual person who drove me to the OKC airport. That person is happy to share that fact, as my parents are happy to share that they picked me up from CT in their car, that we stayed at Wells River not a holiday inn, etc.

Yes, I stayed at Wells River which is where EVERYONE stayed.

I do not remember my connection so it’s possible, perhaps likely, it was DFW. That said, I recall vividly going thru security at OKC and then listening to the VM there. I’ll be the first to admit my memory isn’t perfect, but I’ve confirmed I flew out of OKC and that I arrived in CT. Just as folks in this sub know details of Maura’s case better than me, I certainly know what I do and don’t remember better than others

My whereabouts while in Haverhill have been confirmed by LE, Fred Murray, Rob and Christine McDonald, my parents and others. All evidence, to include my phone records, validates this fact.

On hitchhiking:

I’ve shared the story of Maura hitch hiking many times before.

I was driving my dad’s truck the time she recommended picking someone up, and after the hike mentioned in the ep, the I believe the vehicle Maura flagged down was a truck. I don’t recall if she flagged it down bc it was a truck or it just happened to be one.

On a good samaritan theory (picked up by good samaritan)

For all the talk of theories, the idea that someone with good intentions giving her a ride somewhere has fallen by the way side. I love the idea of reconsidering it. Obviously, the best way to rule that theory out is to get the word out on Maura’s case to ensure that EVERYONE knows who she is so we can find that good samaritan if they exist. 

in the first few days we wondered if she was picked up by a stranger who gave her a ride someplace (we were willing to consider any theory frankly, that we could action on). After a couple weeks and later months our assumption was that we’d covered so much ground with posters (5,000+ btw) and done so much local, regional, and nation media (print, tv, radio) that we felt if a good person picked her up they would have come forward saying they’d seen her.

On the FBI:

re FBI, NHSP also refused to ask them for help after receiving a tip Maura was seen at a gas station off an exit north on I-91 in VT. My father and I drove there to investigate and the woman who called in the tip had left work and we were unable to interview her – at this point we had already met several neighbors near the accident scene who had not spoken with police so we were conducting our own interviews and then sharing them with LE. We returned to ask NHSP to invite the FBI into the investigation given the tip coming from VT, they refused.

After that we contacted a family friend at the FBI in the midwest who contacted his counterpart in NE, which generated an offer from the FBI to NHSP for assistance. NHSP refused.

during the days/weeks after Maura’s disappearance we made a significant effort to have the FBI take over the case and the NHSP would not entertain the idea. It was our understanding at the time that a formal offer was made by the FBI and refused by local law enforcement.

Apologies if this isn’t relevant, but every time I see FBI and Maura’s name in the same sentence I think back to right after the accident and our efforts to get the FBI involved being actively rejected and it’s still disappointing to this day.

I don’t know if LE is involved, and there’s no hard evidence to suggest they are. There is a TON of hard evidence that shows they totally dropped the ball in taking Maura’s disappearance seriously and it seems that trend has continued which is really disappointing. This is something that should get more attention IMO and def a topic I want to spend time talking on more at length given the best medium. I still don’t know what happened, just like most of you. I find it interesting that so many people are attached to theories

On the police investigation and release of records

I’m sure they have their reasons (some good some not so good maybe), but it’s regrettable they haven’t released more. Esp given all the shoes Fred wore out over the years looking for Maura. Give the man something for goodness sake. And re notes, phone records, etc to your point fulk – we gave them all that stuff. Denying a FOIA request for something that was public seems strange to me. That said, I’m not suggesting they are bad folks bc I don’t know their reasons. I do know they the dropped the ball doing their job while I was there. That said, special thanks to you and to Erinn for submitting those requests. 

In the days following Maura’s disappearance everyone who the police asked to speak with talked with them and shared what they knew. This is a fact. I was there, and everyday we would take multiple trips to the police station to check in. The Police should have spoken with Julie, but they didn’t. IMO they made numerous mistakes, esp in the early days. Fred spoke with the police everyday and it was not until years later when he sued the state for answers that the direct conversations stopped. Now they are ongoing again with Julie.

Bottom line, there isn’t as much secrecy as you suggest. Yes, people have made personal decisions to speak with some bloggers and not others. Post on some sites not others. That’s their choice and it’s my choice too. I was silent for a long time and just now am joining the convo. I want to focus on Maura tho and avoid the drama. If I get off course, you can set me straight.

On the search:

I arrived in NH on Feb 11, 2004 and helped search for Maura along side the Murray’s, my parents, and Maura’s friends. I consider all of those individuals to be extremely honorable and respectful people who knew and loved Maura dearly. Few have done more to find Maura and I am proud to be associated with them.

we drove and/or walked every road, trail and wooded area in vicinity of her accident to include 116. From what I recall, we hit the stretch of 112 between the accident scene and the 112/116 intersection the hardest along with the smaller road (the first right turn after the scene heading east). It was ~6/8mi in length from what I remember. Pls check that bc I’m going off memory here, not my notes or google maps! The thought was that bc the dog scent went east from the car and the police told us she was heading east.

Surprised folks don’t know more details about the actual search. We hit darn near every business in NH with a flyer. From VT to ME and Canada down to MA. In fact, we were going through flyers so quickly, a printing press co. in OH cranked out an additional 5k and overnighted them to us in NH – the local office store in NH couldn’t keep pace with flyer production. Heck, one big reason (there were many) the McDonald’s came up to help was bc we wanted more boots on the ground to intensify our search.

We walked most of the ~20 mi between the accident site and Lincoln.

We drove from Canada down to Mass and from VT over to Maine.

In short, we searched everywhere we knew or could think to search. That said, we obvi didn’t search far or fast enough.

We obviously didn’t find anything during our search, to include the authorities.

To be clear, we were able to see our own footprints in the snow from the search for days after going over a period of ground. I’m familiar with the type of conditions you describe from growing up with winters in Ohio and my time at West Point. The conditions you describe were not present in the area near the accident scene. While the conditions could have been different prior to our arrival, the fact remains that none of our footprints were masked over in the way you describe for many days.

I’m not a footprints expert but I know the snow was untouched almost the entire way east on the sides of the road and the snow was deep. When we would stop one day and return the next we could see where we searched/walked the day(s) before.

FYSA: The River was covered in snow/ice in the days after her disappearance altho you could hear the water running underneath it. We walked Rt 112 on foot heading east and did not see any foot prints in the snow between the rd and river. As someone mentioned, there was a section or two where the river and road were side by side but even there we did not see footprints in the snow or a break/gap in the snow and ice on the river. 

I think I remember a McDonald’s sighting but nothing really comes to mind. If it’s helpful the way we were organized was generally at least one person at the police station, and teams of folks going out on specific routes to search, knock doors, hang posters, etc. Fred coordinated most everything altho obvi there was plenty of cross talk. Fred knew the area better than us (my folks are from Ohio, the McDonald’s lived near USMA) – of course, everyone in the Murray fam knew it better than us as well. Bc cell coverage was unreliable and unpredictable no one left on random trips. So if a tip came in (usually to police) and we heard them discuss it, we’d go check on it. If several of us were at the station, two would peel off. If only one of us was there (usually my mother), then she would try to get hold of someone who could go chase it down. At the end of each day we would do a debrief of sorts over dinner or at the hotel once everyone was back together. Then we’d talk about the next day, come up with a plan, talk about Maura and do our best to smile and laugh thinking of her and how lovely she was hoping she was okay and determined to find her.

in the first few days we wondered if she was picked up by a stranger who gave her a ride someplace (we were willing to consider any theory frankly, that we could action on). After a couple weeks and later months our assumption was that we’d covered so much ground with posters (5,000+ btw) and done so much local, regional, and nation media (print, tv, radio) that we felt if a good person picked her up they would have come forward saying they’d seen her.

Our search continued well beyond those intersections. I referenced our search of Bradley hill rd and 112 to and from those intersections bc I recall going back and forth on that stretch of road/woods exhausting every inch on foot.

The thing about our search (most searches I’m guessing) is that we covered areas closest to the accident scene more frequently than further away. Logistically you start in the center and work your way out. That’s how we got up to Canada and down to mass. Into VT (it was v close) and over to ME. I think I talked about that in the ID discovery episode.

FYSA: We searched Jigger Johnson and found no evidence Maura or anyone else was or had been there.

To confirm your assumption, she was familiar with North Conway.

I don’t recall taking photos. I can ask the others if they did.

I don’t recall walking the entire distance on 116 you ref Altho we drove it numerous times and also searched some of it on foot.

[On 116/112] It doesn’t have a road number on it but yeah that looks right. I think there was an intersection a bit before you got to 116 but other than that there were no roads from that immediate right after the Saturn until 116. We covered that area on foot as good as anyone could IMO.

The 6/8mi is what I have in my head as the distance to be from the accident scene to where 112 intersects with 116. I remember us doing over that area over and over and over again on foot. Most of it wasn’t residential and obvi the river ran along side 112 and we check it for footprints as well as best we could.

[On Bradley Hill] We hit all of that road as well. I remember more houses being on that road. Obvi we knocked on all those doors. The stretch of 112 was more isolated which is why it stuck out. It felt like there was more to cover on foot well off the road into the woods and the river was snowed over so we focused a lot of effort there. We didn’t walk on it Altho had we seen footprints we prob would have. I remember you could hear the water running underneath of the snow/ice.

On the gloves (as scent article)

The gloves I’m thinking of were a gift from me to her Christmas, 2003. She wore them a few times I’m aware of, likely more. If she wore them enough for a K-9 to pick up her scent, I cannot say as I’m not an expert on that topic. 

On a specific sighting he remembers:

The VT sighting could have been significant, and LE were aware. I’d like to think they followed up but given the other mistakes LE made, I just don’t know. It was prob ~1-1.5 weeks before we understood how many balls they were dropping and started to spend more time on leads before handing it over to LE.

The one I’m referring to – which motivated us to beg NHSP to ask for help from the FBI – was right off an exit on I-91 so likely a different one. We def hit every gas station, hotel, business, and any place that would let us put a flier up. I found a stack of the originals the other day.

It was a reported sighting (LE should have a record of it) after the accident. I don’t remember much other than how fast we drove up there (v fast). It took a bit of time, maybe 10-20min altho I should say it felt like forever like most drives to a specific location. It was a typical gas station, right off the exit. The shop wasn’t that big. Wasn’t a new gas station. I don’t recall if it had a garage (there may have been one). Maybe four pumps.

On survival training:

At the risk of disappointing some folks who I’ve seen comment a lot on her “military training,” the 1.5 years at USMA did not provide her with any specialized tools for winter survival. Re Maura leaving West Point that’s something I’ll be taking a deep dive into given that’s how we met and I can provide personal and professional insight into the situation.

On West Point:

Maura was recruited by Harvard out of High School, a pretty good university.

West Point consistently ranks as one of the top public universities in the nation, has a top 5 engineering program (Maura was majoring in Chemical Engineering), and outranks many ivy league universities in certain academic areas.

Maura did not fail out of West Point.

Bottom line: she was not kicked out and most likely would not have been had she wanted to stay.

Time under the code and severity of the offense are two key factors in determining the outcome of a cadet who violates the Honor Code. In Maura’s case the theft took place ~13 mo under the code and stealing makeup would be considered a minor infraction. To be clear, any violation of the Honor Code warrants separation; however, the process and factors Clint describes strongly supports the fact that Maura would have remained at West Point had she wanted to. Of course, we know that she did not.

Clarifying a few names 

Dr. Rob McDonald and his wife Christine knew me and knew Maura. They helped with the search.

I know a Bob McDonald; however, he has no connection to Maura, the search, etc. and he is a different person to Rob McDonald.

Bob McLean is a West Point grad I knew at school.

On the theory that Maura is in the woods:

16 years on I struggle with how she’s not been found yet if she stumbled off from the accident location given how much attention that area has been given. Does that make sense? I should note, I’m not wedded to a theory – I just want to know what happened and where she’s at. 

On whether she was drinking and driving (and re HB)

Could she have been drinking and driving? Sure, it’s totally possible and some could even say they think it’s probable. I don’t know and I wouldn’t say that’s an attack on her. Saying she was an alcoholic would be an attack IMO bc there’s no evidence to support the theory, but I haven’t seen anyone promoting that idea (I could be wrong).

I don’t see how saying (over and over) she had an “affair” with a GA humanizes her bc it’s a lie. He wasn’t married. In the same vein I don’t see how it humanizes Maura to say that she and Kate had an “orgy with respectable business men” which was said by a common poster on this sub.

General facts and characteristics about Maura

She graduated (high school) in 2000.

We met in 2001 while we were both Cadets at West Point and started dating not long after that.

Yes. I believe she was a week into the new semester [at umass] (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

[she was a] Junior. [at UMass]

I was fortunate to get into West Point and even more fortunate to have met Maura there. She was about as badass as you might imagine, altho always smiling while crushing whatever she was doing.

(commenting on a picture posted) I remember how much everyone adored her from the moment they met her for the first time. I specifically remember her talking with my cousins son about baseball for ages and recall my other cousin ragging on me for how badly Maura would prob beat me in basketball one-on-one (he was a great player as well). It was an unforgettable weekend.

She was a lovely young woman, inside and out.

Maura was the loveliest of girls, she really was. 

… her fun personality and her competitive spirit. Two things that melded perfectly together 

She was lovely in every sense of the word. And fun. Silly even!

She was as bubbly and brilliant as they come.

Maura placed great value on kindness in others.

Maura was one of the loveliest, brilliant, and badass girls you could ever know.

Beyond cute, 100%! re tomboy, she def was and elegant at the same time. She would literally jump from a tree top into the Saco river one day (that’s a great story btw), and the next day be the most radiant woman at any formal event. She was one of a kind.

She was quiet, I would agree with both of them in that regard.  If anyone here is a basketball fan think of Kevin Durant or Tim Duncan. Both are amazing talents, extremely assertive, and quiet! They are also champions who overcame adversity.

She could legit ball. Have you heard the story of her winning a free throw competition at Boston Garden? She was a #badass. Def miss playing one on one ball with her.

The Murray’s would prob be the best folks to confirm if Maura took solo trips to NH. She was very independent and travelled by herself regularly to visit me, her friends, etc. She went on hour long runs by herself. So, while I was surprised she left school without telling anyone it wasn’t unbelievable to me if that makes sense?

Assertive is a word you could use accurately IMO. She was extremely confident of her abilities while not being aggressive. Her light heartedness made her assertiveness that much more appealing to me and many others. Julie talked a little about this with Erinn in a FB Live Q&A they conducted Monday. Julie talks briefly about pre race interactions with Maura during track and how light hearted Maura was while Julie was extremely serious. Then Maura would go out and smoke the competition. Heck, 33rd in the country in the 2mi as a Sophomore is a HUGE deal. So saying she was competitive is incomplete in my mind. Long answer, I know.

Her hero? Easy, Fred. I’ve noticed many folks on line totally being unaware or misinformed of their relationship. Maura talked a lot about her Dad with me and he was someone she looked up to and someone who loved her unconditionally. Heck, his effort searching for Maura is unmatched as far as I know relative to other missing persons cases. Something that isn’t surprising if you know Fred.

Her smile and laugh are what anyone would remember most. She would smile and laugh (or giggle) at the perfect moments in time. Always.

We made each other mix cds constantly for the other person to listen to and would often recite lyrics to some of our fav songs when writing each other. I read an old letter the other day where she starts it off, “I think I’m back in my phish phase!”

She loved twizzlers and fire balls! Many a reference to both of those in old letters as well. We liked to cook altho given we were in our early 20s I wouldn’t describe either of us as excellent cooks! 🙂

Thank you again for asking. What disappoints me most about this “community” is the misinfo about Maura. She was an extremely intelligent, super athletic badass who accomplished more in her time with us than most people do in a lifetime. That includes treating people with respect and love in a way I’ve seen few others emulate.

Maura was loved by everyone who knew her and her love for us was as lovely as you might imagine. I believe if not for that accident, she would be here today and none of you would know her name. She would be happy and so would her family. She would be a great mother and partner to whomever was lucky enough to have married her, maybe even me.

General Feelings and “why he’s participating on social media” 

There’s nothing more powerful than Maura’s written word (I have loads of letters from Maura that show how amazing Fred was as a father), and I witnessed how remarkable he was first hand.

I realize that Maura had morphed into a fictional character that did not accurately reflect who she was as a person. I talk about this on Erinn’s podcast btw. So, here I am attempting to share my personal experience and memories of Maura to inform a community that has told me that want to know who Maura actually was.

My hope is to speak candidly about who Maura was as a person vs this character she’s been made into by people on the internet. In doing so, perhaps it can draw more awareness to the case and possibly help Julie [or anyone] find Maura and bring her home. It’s that simple.

If she perished in the woods I would say her life, liberty and pursuit of happiness has been taken from her.

Bottom line, we never had issues with VMs, phone records, etc during the search. Only years later have both topics been manipulated into conspiracy theories (e.g. “pg 9”) and lies via reddit posts, blogs, tweets, etc.

While Maura’s disappearance is heartbreaking, there are moments when I find myself having pleasant memories even in the midst of a sad moment. This is a good example, bc I remember being at the house in Hanson and her going through old photos and seeing one similar (maybe the same one?) and her laughing at her “Texas flag shorts” and cool car!

For me, bc Maura was someone I loved, I tend to think of the positive and happy times. For others, it seems they get fixated on her troubles. Obviously, reality is and was somewhere in between for Maura like it is for most folks. I think it’s telling that everyone who knew her speaks highly of her and for those interested in her case that is a great way of understanding her IMO.

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 Mauramurrayevidence@gmail.com – 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 https://notwithoutperil.com/
  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: Mauramurrayevidence@gmail.com