I used a transcription program for the Q&A segment of Missing Maura Murray podcast 27: “Questions and Answers”.
As background, Tim and Lance, along with Marley Davis of the Massachusetts Public Defenders Office had scheduled a live filmed Q&A session with Jeffrey Strelzin – which was cancelled at the last minute. Some time later they received written answers to some of the questions sent. (They mention that they do not read the questions that were sent and not answered). The read through starts at approximately minute 22 so I am starting there. Thank you to the Missing Maura Murray podcast for this very valuable information. Marley Davis is the person reading the questions and answers and thanks is given to “KF”. This was published May 10, 2016.
NOTE: This was done by a transcription program; I have cleaned it up but undoubtedly there are some errors and omissions I am working to correct.
Questions and Answers with New Hampshire DA’s Office (Strelzin et al.) published May 10, 2016 – by the MIssing Maura Murray podcast
What time did Maura send the email to her professors? (21:56)
Maura Murray sent the email to her professors the day of her disappearance.
They didn’t give us a specific time. Uh, we said did Mara notify either of her bosses that she would be absent for the week and they said no, she did not. The next question was, according to the Boston globe, Maura withdrew $280 at three 40. Can you confirm this was an interesting answer? They said Maura did withdrawal $280 but it was earlier than 3:40 PM
Speaker 4: (22:31)
yup. That, that, that was interesting.
Which ATM did she use and which liquor store did she visit? (22:33)
Maura left the liquor store at 3:43 PM we are unable to comment on which store she visited.
What time was Maura seen leaving UMass? (22:47)
No witness reported seeing Maura at the time she left UMass.
Where was she last seen specifically? Did she converse with anyone as she left? Did she appear distraught? Was she carrying anything? (22:53)
We are unable to comment on the last person to see Maura at UMass.
Can you confirm which direction Maura was heading on Route 112 when she (not captured …) (23:08)
We believe she was headed eastbound on route 112.
How were you able to definitively identify Maura as the driver? (23:18)
All evidence collected to date points to Maura as being the driver.
Oh, can I say something about this question. Please? Because I am dying to put this one to bed. I mean we really can’t, based on their answer. All evidence collected is pretty definitive. They have no reason to believe it wasn’t more.
Speaker 5: (23:41)
Oh, absolutely. None at all. Like definitively without a doubt. It was more as driver. All of the evidence that they have points to Maura being the driver. The thing is is that that’s not actually what the question was.
Speaker 4: (23:52)
Right. It’s kind of a denial or not a denial, but it’s kind of a they, they skirted it. It points to her.
Speaker 5: (23:58)
Maybe our question wasn’t clear. Our question was when they got to the scene and they looked at the car and they see that it’s registered to Fred Murray.
Speaker 4: (24:09)
That wasn’t the question though. No, no. She’s saying what our question should have been. Okay.
Speaker 5: (24:13)
The point was to figure out like when they, from the time that they found the vehicle to the time they put the BOLO out, which was I think the next day, how did they narrow down that it was Maura as opposed to her sister or even Fred who had been driving the vehicle? That was what we wanted to know was what was the thing that said, this person driving this car was this person. Let’s put a BOLO out. So maybe the question wasn’t clear, but,
Speaker 4: (24:43)
and we can, we can follow up with them. Sure.
Speaker 6: (24:45)
Okay. So I see. Yeah. So there answer all evidence collected to date points to Mora as being the driver is definitely a little unclear then. Yeah,
Speaker 4: (24:54)
it’s kind of just saying that it’s kind of saying what we already know
Speaker 6: (24:59)
officially. It goes a little further than what we are. A little, no, I think a little bit.
Can you confirm as Detective Scarinza stated in the Disappearance episode that a circle of red liquid was found in the snow? Where was the circle in relation to Maura’s vehicle? Can the inference be made that the circle was caused by someone pouring out the contents of the bottle found under the vehicle into the snow? … liquid was found in the snow? (25:02)
There was an area of red liquid located under Maura’s vehicle. We are unable to comment on any inferences being made from this fact.
Where was Maura’s vehicle towed? Could it have been driven from the scene? (25:34)
Maura’s vehicle was towed by Lavoie’s towing company to the troop released to the family and then taken in for additional processing several months later.
This is interesting, right, because we always thought that it was towed back to Lavoie’s. Uh, but they said it was towed to the, to the troop.
Speaker 6: (25:56)
Yeah. Mike Lavoie’s personal garages. What we had gotten and what Fred had confirmed as well. So I think they might be skipping that step in this answer is my thought. Yeah, probably. And obviously to them it’s not a, a, a big detail something too that they need to talk about. Right.
The 911 log indicates that a call was placed from Hanover PD to Grafton County at 7:42 regarding the Atwood’s nine one one call. What time was the phone call made from the Atwood’s house to Hanover PD?
We have no comment other than what information is reflected in the log.
There’ve been conflicting reports regarding whether or not Maura appeared intoxicated. Can you confirm whether she did or did appear intoxicated?
We are unable to comment on her appearance, but there was evidence of open alcohol containers both at the scene and in the vehicle.
It has been reported that a canine unit tracked Maura’s scent 100 yards East of the crash site. It has also been reported that both Butch Atwood and Rick Forcier lived approximately 100 yards from the crash site. Can you confirm then that the canine scent was lost in front of their houses?
There was a dog track that was conducted from the scene of the crash.
It’s not really an answer, but
Speaker 6: (27:18)
yeah, I I’m confused on that one. I’m wondering why they even answered at all.
Speaker 5: (27:23)
Yeah, same with the next one too actually.
Speaker 4: (27:26)
Yeah. That is interesting. It’s like, Hey, we want to answer, but here’s what we can give you.
Speaker 6: (27:31)
Just really confirming that that, that there was, there were dogs there.
Speaker 4: (27:36)
I mean maybe you know, maybe if you read it like with an emphasis on was there was a dog track that was conducted from the scene of the crash. Maybe that’s just safer than saying that’s correct. And I don’t want to get into anything else.
What is the official word on the rag in the tailpipe?
A number of reports did document finding a rag in the tailpipe of the vehicle.
I was a little let down by the answer of this. I was excited and then I saw that it was wrapped up in a 15 words saying yep, it was there. That’s what it was.
Speaker 6: (28:05)
Well, just like that newspapers and then, uh, media reported that they, they don’t even say that it was there.
Speaker 4: (28:12)
I know, but we happen to know that the exhaust system was removed. The entire exhaust system was removed. Yeah.
Why did police request Maura’s belongings to be returned to them after being released to the family?
Investigations may often require retesting or re-examination. It is not unusual in cases that start more as a missing persons investigation which develop into more of a criminal investigation.
Okay. So is that, is that proof of them saying that this is what it is, it started as a missing persons investigation and developed into more of a criminal investigation? Absolutely.
Speaker 5: (28:50)
Yeah. I mean I don’t want to speak for law enforcement, but I think you know, whenever somebody is missing for 12 years, you know, at that point I think you have to start looking at it as more of a criminal investigation.
Speaker 4: (29:05)
It’s interesting that he capitalized missing M and persons P missing persons. I, I just find that interesting. What goes on in, in someone’s subconscious that makes them think that missing person investigation and needs capitalization.
Describe the state of Maura’s dorm room. What did law enforcement infer from the state of her dorm room? Has law enforcement stance change over the years regarding the state of Maura’s dorm room and whether or not it was significant in any way to her disappearance?
Maura’s room was orderly and some items appeared to be packed. Items were not in any sort of disarray.
Well forget the second part about items being in disarray. What we really wanted to know was, was her dorm room packed up. Um, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not it was packed up. And if so, what did that mean? Um, and I think their answer is pretty, you know, sort of puts that to bed,
Speaker 4: (30:01)
does it? No, cause I’m looking at this and it says some items appeared to be packed. So what does appear to be packed? Maybe she, cause I suppose if someone looked at my place, I have things that are in boxes that are packed up, but you know, I’m not leaving. So you could say that items appeared, some items appeared to be packed, items were not in any sort of disarray.
Speaker 5: (30:24)
Right. So I mean, so, but the, I think it sort of puts to bed the idea that her entire dorm room was packed in boxes.
Speaker 4: (30:29)
Oh, absolutely. That it was the entire dorm. Yeah, yeah. That she was ready to go. And there was like boxes that were labeled kitchen living room, you know.
Speaker 5: (30:37)
Well, it doesn’t this sort of confirm that she was unpacking.
Speaker 4: (30:41)
I don’t think it confirms anything to me. He’s just, he’s literally giving the state of her room. It seemed like some items appeared to be, some items appeared to be packed, wasn’t in disarray, and it was orderly.
Law enforcement made reference early on to a note left by Maura in her dorm room describing it as a possible suicide note later. Fred Murray stated publicly that the note was actually a printed copy of an old email from her boyfriend. Bill, can you confirm Fred’s statement to be true? If not, what was the content of the letter?
We have not recovered any apparent suicide note.
KF and I were talking about this last night that we thought it was interesting that they refuted what the cops said.
Speaker 6: (31:25)
Well, they definitely don’t assume it’s a suicide note based on this. Not only did they don’t assume it, it’s sounds like they don’t even think it’s a suicide note.
Speaker 5: (31:34)
Right. But it’s interesting that it wasn’t at the, uh, the cop that initially said that it was a suicide. It was a possible. So as I know,
Speaker 4: (31:42)
I don’t know who first said that it was a possible suicide note
In the state’s response to Fred Murray’s freedom of information act lawsuit. It says quote, “there are grand jury subpoenas that are not public and which would pinpoint the focus of the investigation” withholding specific details. Can you confirm that this means that a grand jury was convened in this case
regardless of whether a grand jury was or was not convened in this matter, Superior court and ethical rules prohibit us from making any comments on any and all grand jury matters.
And I just want to point out that this was sort of a, I mean the language that they use in their response pretty much says that there were grand jury subpoenas settled. So this was really more of a confirmation question than anything else
in the state’s response. It also States quote, there are also search warrants that are not public and quote withholding specific details. Can you confirm that searches of specific areas were conducted pursuant to a warrant? Are there any details you can discuss regarding any searches that were conducted?
Regardless of whether search warrants were or were not issued in this matter. Superior court. An ethical rules prohibit us from making any comments on any and all matters sealed by the court.
Butch Atwood’s common law wife recently told a journalist that her husband took two of the four polygraph exams alluded to in the state’s response and that he either failed the first or that it was inconclusive. Can you comment on whether this is accurate and if so, what the results of the second exam.
We are unable to comment on the results of any polygraph test.
Do you think unable means not willing or unable means literally unable?
Speaker 5: (33:33)
I think it means unwilling. Okay. How would they, you know, they’re the ones that gave the polygraphs,
Speaker 6: (33:39)
but why would they be unwilling to tell about Butch unless he was even, you know, unless there was 1% chance that he was still a suspect.
Speaker 4: (33:48)
But I don’t think that it’s, maybe we have to start thinking about it as, um, if it’s an open investigation, it’s not so much, you know, if Butch isn’t a suspect or is a suspect, it’s a fact that they can’t release no matter what you probably right. Yeah.
Have any of Maura’s missing possessions, car keys, credit, debit card, cell phone, et cetera, been located since her disappearance?
No, they have not.
So that means that the black backpack, not Maura’s
was any forensic testing concluded inside the a frame house. It has been reported that bones were found in the a frame house by the new owners and that these bones were given to the police. Can you comment on whether these bones were found to be human? What about the carpet sample reported given to police? Has it been ruled out as having any connection to Maura at this point? Have police been able to rule out the possibility of a connection between the a frame house in general and Maura’s disappearance?
We’re familiar with the house. You’re referring to. Questions surrounding the house were generated by private investigators working on the case. We have no knowledge about any information on any bones being discovered there.
there are reports that there were areas of freshly laid concrete near the crash site in the days following the crash. Has this been reported to police and have any searches been conducted of these areas?
We are unaware of any such reports and there would be some difficulty to pouring concrete in February. However, we will investigate this based on your assertion.
That’s probably my favorite or top three favorite, uh, answers. However we will investigate this based on your assertion. This shows that there, I mean, unless this is, you know, he’s, he’s full of hot air. This shows that they’re, they’re going to investigate something that we brought to their attention that they were unaware of. It’s pretty cool. Yeah.
Speaker 5: (36:05)
Let me ask you, why is it difficult to pour concrete in February?
Speaker 4: (36:08)
Because the ground’s frozen. You need to dig it up. You need to level it. You need to excavate. There’s probably snow. It’s not impossible, but it’s definitely difficult.
They’ll police have said the phone call to Billy was from the red cross. Billy’s mother is from in her stance that it is impossible to know that. Have you been able to definitively confirm that the phone call Billy received while on the plane to New Hampshire came from the red cross?
Yes, we did confirm that the phone call came from the red cross.
At what point did Maura having met with foul play become the prevailing theory over suicide or runaway or is it not? The prevailing theory at this point,
foul play is dominant amongst several theories. We don’t know whether her disappearance was voluntary, involuntary or whether she was the victim of a crime. Everything is still on the table, which is why we are treating this case accordingly.
Is there a reason the ATM footage has not been released to the public? Would we be able to view it?
The footage was obtained and we are willing to release it to the public in the near future.
I like that answer. It’s among the top couple of answers that, that uh, that stood out to me. What I would like to do is just issue a plea to anybody listening. Don’t pressure them to do it. If he says that he’s willing the that they are willing to release it to the public in the near future, let it happen for years.
Local rumors have circulated that Maura met with foul play and that her body was dumped in a number of locations including bodies of water under the foundations of houses, woodchippers, et cetera. At this time, do you believe any of the rumors to be more credible than others?
No. As explained above, all leads are still being investigated and almost anything is still possible.
Are there any that have been completely ruled out at this time?
Some rumors have been ruled out but we are unable to comment on the specifics of those rumors.
How tuned in is law enforcement to the internet chatter regarding this case?
We are receptive to receiving information from whatever the source
have law enforcement garnered any useful information from what’s been written online. Do you think the attention this case has gotten online has been a detriment to the investigation or has it been helpful at all?
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.
Is law enforcement aware of the taunting videos made by Alden Olson on YouTube? Has he been looked into as a person of interest?
We are aware of those videos.
We were hoping you could tell us your perspective on why you think this case is so popular. It seems to be very popular among the internet community slash armchair detectives. Why is this the case? People are so fascinated with
people love a mystery and Maura Murray’s disappearance is a mystery. The internet is also sometimes a forum for speculation and conspiracy theories in spite of facts to the contrary or no facts at all. The combination seems to fuel much discussion in cases like this.
I think, uh, out of how many questions did we have, we had 40 something, 42 questions. Um, I think their answers were, were very, um, standard for written answers. I feel that they probably canceled this and felt more comfortable answering things in writing so they could properly choose their wording. They were very careful about how they approached it. And I, I completely understand it cause we don’t want to, it was disappointing to not go to them and, and, and have the cameras there and record their, their, uh, their answers. I think at some point they realized, listen, this is the, we can’t say anything that’s gonna come out. You know, even if you mess up, you’ve, even if you have a Freudian slip that could go out there to the masses and conclusions could be drawn that shouldn’t be drawn this way. They were able to control it and give us more factual, responsible answers.
Speaker 5: (40:26)
Yeah. And I also do know that the, uh, the, the questions had to be vetted. Um, and that the answers, uh, also were vetted, so vetted by home. Well, when I spoke to, uh, I think it was Strelzin when I spoke to him, he said that they were waiting to get the answers either back from somebody else or, um, that it was, that he was, they were waiting to get the answers from somebody else basically. So
Speaker 4: (40:53)
I think that this is a step in the right direction with our communication with, uh, with law enforcement. I, I’d like the, uh, relationship that’s been formed and, and the relationship that we’re currently establishing and nurturing at any time, if any of the law enforcement mentioned Strelzin, uh, Gadi if they’d like to come on and discuss the case in a, in a controlled environment, we’re more than happy to do it. The more information, and they said it in their answer there, they’ll investigate any, any leads that are given to them that are credible. They, you know, we gave them something and they’ll investigate it, uh, based on our assertion. Um, if it’s, if they come on and it’s in a controlled environment and someone hears it and they know something or they, they connect the dots, uh, that, that couldn’t be connected before for whatever reason, I think that would, that, that might go a long way to, uh, to, to help the investigation. So I’m just putting that out there. Absolutely.
Speaker 3: (41:53)
Well, great. Uh, I am, uh, thrilled that we got these answers. Um, and I know that we have an open line of communication and we can submit more questions at some point in the future. So maybe that is something that we will do. So, Marley, I really just want to thank you on behalf of myself, Lance K F the rest of the podcast listening audience, and, uh, we just want to say thank you and, uh, these answers have been very helpful. Thank you very much for coming on. Thanks for having me guys.