Wednesday, August 23, 2017
I spent several years trying to find out what happened to Maura for my book, True Crime Addict, and here are some pieces of the puzzle I uncovered along the way:
- At the time of her disappearance, Maura was on probation for credit card fraud, having been caught stealing credit card numbers to order pizza in the dorms at UMass.
- There is no significance to the strange message Bill Rausch got on his cell phone - which he said was Maura whimpering. Police tracked down and interviewed the person who made that call. It was a Red Cross worker trying to reach him.
- Maura and Bill were not engaged at the time of her disappearance. Billy had cheated on her. And Maura was having an affair with a UMass track coach named Hossein Baghdadi.
- Hossein Baghdadi was also linked to the UMass Outing Club cabin, which may have been Maura's destination the night she vanished.
- Bill Rausch lost his job in D.C. after a woman claimed he sexually assaulted her in the office of the president of Ray Group International, in 2011. He says he was in Fort Sill at the time of the disappearance and offered to have two people contact me to verify his alibi. They never returned calls.
- There were two women who were with Maura at UMass prior to her disappearance - Kate Markopoulos and Sara Alfieri. Both have refused repeatedly to speak to journalists and have been uncooperative with police, especially about events at a party two days before Maura vanished, which allegedly occurred at Sara's dorm.
- Fred refused to be interviewed by state-police homicide detectives for 2 years and when he did, he brought 2 lawyers with him.
- Fred has told Maura's friends to not talk to the author of the book on her disappearance.
- A search warrant suggests someone called Maura's phone from New Hampshire the day she disappeared.
- On the 8th anniversary of Maura's disappearance, a mentally disturbed man released a series of videos on YouTube taunting authorities and suggesting he has inside info about what happened to the young woman.
- A man named Petrit Vasi was struck by a vehicle at UMass the night Maura had a breakdown at work. People have suggested she may have been driving the car. The official reports from the accident suggest she was not.
- A woman (commonly referred to as "Witness A") claims she saw a Haverhill police vehicle acting suspiciously the night of Maura's disappearance. This is used as the basis of a popular police conspiracy angle. I believe the vehicle she saw was simply a police car that responded to the scene. In my opinion it only distracts from the case and muddies the waters. She and the people who pushed this theory into the spotlight lost loved ones to police negligence or accidents. As such, there's an understandable desire by the parties to suspect the police. I've spoken to the police who were there that night, including Chief Williams and Trooper Monaghan and don't believe there's any conspiracy here. In fact, the police did everything they could to find Maura. It was clear she didn't want to be found.
- Bill Rausch's phone records raise more questions than answers.
- There have been several sightings over the years, mostly concentrated in Quebec.
- A bank tellers claims to have found a "Maura Murray" with same date of birth with an active car loan in New Hampshire.
- There's a popular podcast, Missing Maura Murray, and an official subReddit as well.
- My files on the Maura Murray case can be viewed by the public at Kent State University.
Friday, July 28, 2017
I have donated all my notes, documents, and interviews related to the Maura Murray case to Kent State University's Special Collections Archive, located on the top floor of the campus library. The files can be accessed by the public during regular hours.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Friday, July 7, 2017
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
True Crime Addict is about to become a TV series! Johnny Depp will produce. Richard Price has written the pilot. I'm an executive producer, as well, along with Christi Dembrowski and Norman Todd. This has been in the works for a while and I can assure you it found the very best team of people.
Some names and details are changing, as you can tell by the synopsis:
Next step is finding a home at a network. I'll update here with news soon.
Published last year, Renner’s True Crime Addict: How I Lost Myself In The Mysterious Disappearance Of Maura Murray, which had been compared to David Fincher’s Zodiac, follows investigative journalist Jimmy Hunter. His lifelong obsession with cold cases leads him to research feverishly the whereabouts of a popular college student whose car was found abandoned in rural upstate New York. While Jimmy’s all-consuming quest for the truth begins to devour him body and soul, he must also strive to keep it from tearing apart his young and fragile family.