Friday, December 28, 2012

What I Believe

I posted some answers to frequently asked questions on Topix earlier tonight and it kind of reveals my hunches about this case after studying it for a few years. Thought I'd share it here, too.

1. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew that night. If you look at the case from a probability standpoint, the chances of her being abducted in front of three homes in the seven minutes she was alone is nil. Maura was street smart and would never get in a vehicle with someone she did not know out there at night. I believe a plan was hatched that weekend and begun the night she disappeared. The accident was an unforeseen hitch in the plan and it had to be amended on the fly. Unfortunately, it turned whatever she was doing into national news as a missing person case.

2. I do not believe she ever looked for a new car that weekend.

3. I believe several people close to her know where she was going that night.

4. Maribeth made many mistakes in her reporting that I am attempting to correct on my blog and in the book. No disrespect. Every article you read in the paper has a mistake or two. But she got hoodwinked along the way by her sources.

5. The Golden Egg business is bunk.

6. I believe there is a good chance Maura Murray is alive. If I find her I do not intend to give up her location. But I do want the visual proof that she is alive and well.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Book

Work on the book has finally started. It is tentatively titled Perilous.

I will finish my reporting in March and hope for an early 2014 publication date.

300-350 pages.

If you have any information that should be shared, now would be a good time to contact me.

Look for new updates in the coming months.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why It's Probably Not Israel Keyes

On Sunday, confessed serial killer Israel Keyes committed suicide in an Alaskan jail. He was awaiting trial there for the February abduction/murder of 18-year-old Samantha Koenig. He had also confessed to the 2011 murder of Bill and Lorraine Currier, a middle-aged couple who were killed in their Essex, Vermont home. Following his suicide, the FBI have released a timeline of Keyes' travels across the country and have asked the public to help them figure out which other crimes he may be connected to.

Since then, there's been a lot of speculation about whether Keyes may be a good suspect for Maura's disappearance. I do believe he should be looked at, if only to rule him out, but I think it is very unlikely Keyes had anything to do with what happened to Maura Murray.

Keyes, like many serial killers, was highly organized. He stalked his victims and the crime scenes for some time before acting, to make sure he could commit the rapes and murders without being caught. Even though he was traveling across country, his murders were not "crimes of opportunity." They were meticulously planned hunts.

It is extremely unlikely that Keyes happened to be driving by the scene of Maura's accident in rural New Hampshire in the seven minutes she was alone and decided to abduct her in clear view of three homes. It would be too much of a coincidence in timing. And Keyes had no control of the scene.

A much more likely explanation is that Maura was traveling in tandem with someone she knew and left with them after they turned around to pick her up after she crashed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

**UPDATE** Another Young Woman Vanishes in New Hampshire

Authorities are currently searching eastern New Hampshire for missing college student, Elizabeth Marriott, who vanished last Tuesday.

From the Boston Herald:

A commuter student and marine biology major at the University of New Hampshire, Marriott was last heard from at 8:55 p.m., when she told a friend in the Bay State she was heading to another friend’s house in Dover after class,
Sad end to this one. The body of Lizzie Marriott was recovered earlier today.

29 year old Seth Mazzaglia has been charged with the murder of Lizzie Marriott. Seth is an aspiring fim actor who knew Marriott from college.

Earlier reports that Lizzie's body was found appear not to be factual. There is an ongoing search for her remains.

The Boston Herald has updated their covereage here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Alden Olson = Beagle = Creep

We finally have positive identification on the creep who released those taunting videos on the anniversary of Maura's abduction disappearance last February. Family members have identified the man in the videos as Alden Olson, DOB 1/23/51.

Olson is well known to police in the area of Greenfield, Mass and Chatham, though his last known residence was Hadley. A few years ago Olson was charged with threatening to murder a relative. He frequents online chat rooms, specifically the Topix community, and has posted threats under the handles Dirtbag, Beagle, and Storagehead.

The reason for his obsession with Maura Murray's disappearance remains unclear.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fred Murray on Montel, 2004

Here's a short clip of Fred Murray and Billy Rausch from the Montel Williams Show, which aired in 2004. Sorry for the poor quality. If anyone has the complete episode, please contact me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Credit Fraud

The full report is now available to view in the downloads section. You can also click the picture to access it.

At the time Maura went missing, she was on probation for this. If she had stayed out of trouble for three months, this conviction would have been erased. The accident the weekend before she went missing may have caused this charge to stay on her record, essentially ending her nursing prospects.

There is motive here. Motive for anger. Motive to run. Motive for many things.

Note: Her name has been redacted by Amherst PD.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Documents are up!

You can now access the majority of the records I have received relating to Maura Murray's disappearance (clink on that "documents" link that now appears to the left).

I still need to scan the records related to Maura's credit card fraud in Amherst. But that make take another week. I'll post when the link is live.

Honestly, I have yet to read through every page of these reports, myself. So if you find something particularly interesting, let me know.

Documents Begin to Post

I've begun posting links to the records I have obtained, but it is slow going. You can read through as I post by clicking the new "Documents" to the left of your screen.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Public Records

I will be uploading all the public records I have obtained related to the Maura Murray disappearance over the next 24 hours. Be patient. I will be fiddling with the design and layout as I work.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Returning Soon

I'll be posting again, soon. I've been busy scanning over 1000 pgs of documents.

I will be finishing interviews in the fall and it looks like the book should be out in Feb, 2014, in time for the 10th anniversary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Lisa Pruett Case

One of the things I've been busy with lately is trying to get Cuyahoga County to re-open the investigation into the 1990 murder of Lisa Pruett. It's a strange case, a modern day witch hunt where a group of teens hijacked justice and tried to get an innocent man convicted. The murder remains officially unsolved.

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Maura's Double

Thanks to everyone who passed along info about Maura's look-alike today. No, it is not Maura, though the resemblance was striking. The woman has no connection to Maura or Hanson or Amherst. Just an uncanny resemblance.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beagle Threat

In case you missed it, Beagle briefly put up a new video, in which he manipulated video footage of my four year old son in a very creepy way.

I get criticized some times for trying to profit off someone's tragedy, when all I'm interested in, really, is finding an answer. These critics say I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Next time, maybe they'll remember that by putting my name out there, I not only open myself to these criticisms, but also to threats like this.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Tour

There will be limited updates until I return from this crazy book tour.

I'll be in Boston, briefly, on Saturday if you're in the neighborhood....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why They're Not Talking...

I've gotten a lot of emails lately from readers asking me about my thoughts on why Fred Murray, Liz Drewniak, Sara Alfieri, etc. aren't speaking to me. For Liz and Sara and other friends, I think the answer is probably that they wish for people to remember Maura in a positive light and were afraid that this book would uncover some of the large mistakes she made (credit card fraud, affairs, etc.) before her disappearance. I get that. And to a point respect it. Though, I think in cases like this the more info that is shared the easier it is to solve. And now, after all, the cat is out of the bag. Besides, I don't think anyone believes Maura was a "bad" person, even after all we've learned. She was flawed. Just like all of us. But perhaps one of those flaws contributed to what happened to her.

There is another possibility for the silence. There are some people who believe that a person cannot be mentioned in a book or newspaper if the reporter has not spoken to them directly. I've met career politicians who believe this as well. But it's not true. Fred, Liz, Sara, and others who have not replied will, of course, be in the book. Their background, statements, and quotes have been provided through records and interviews with those who know them. But my goal here is to tell the most complete story and to provide the most comprehensive look at this case in the hope that it may shed light on Maura's fate.

And for that, I hope to hear from them before publication.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What was in Maura's Car?

I've been a little side-tracked with the release of The Man from Primrose Lane, but I'm trying to get back up to speed.

For today, a short post for those who haven't yet seen this.

Photographer Amelia Kunhardt has posted some wonderful pictures she took for an article that ran in The Patriot Ledger of Quincy. The photos were taken shortly after the family was given most of what Maura left behind in her car. Looks to me like Maura had prepared for a short trip. There doesn't seem to be enough clothes and stuff here if she had planned to leave UMass forever.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Allen and Patricia Prue Allegedly Stalked, Murdered Melissa Jenkins Together

Just when you think you've heard it's the sick story of Allen Prue and his wife, Patricia.

From ABC News:

Prue told police he wanted to "get a girl" on Sunday night, and after he was confronted with evidence, confessed to the murder, documents stated.
The documents depict a grisly scenario, stating that Prue told police he began to strangle Jenkins after she got out of her car to help him, and that Patricia Prue jumped in and assisted in the strangulation.

Police were able to trace a call made to Jenkins back to a prepaid cell phone purchased by the Prues.

I don't know. Is this the Prues only murder or are they practiced stalkers?

Allen Prue ran a tow truck biz and once plowed Jenkins' drive.

It's at least worth taking a look to see if he was in the Swiftwater/Bath area on the days Maura Murray and Brianna Maitland went missing. We'll see how this plays out.

Kudos to the Vermont police for the quick resolution in this case!

***UPDATED*** BREAKING: Arrest made in Melissa Jenkins case.

Details are scarce, but last night Vermont police arrested Allen and Patricia Prue and the arrests appear to be related to Melissa Jenkins' murder. Police plan to hold a press conference at 10 a.m. 


The Prues have been charged with the murder of Melissa Jenkins. They apparently knew her from plowing her driveway years ago. No motive yet given. Watch the presser here.

There probably is no connection between Melissa Jenkins murder and the disappearance of Maura Murray. The fact that Beagle posted on the Barnet messageboard seems to be yet another strange coincidence for this sick individual.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beagle posted on Barnet, Vermont messageboard before Melissa Jenkins was murdered there.

A young teacher named Melissa Jenkins was abducted on the side of the road in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, two days ago. Her body was discovered yesterday in nearby Barnet.

An astute reader pointed me toward the Barnet, VT "Topix" messageboard. On February 22, a creep using the familiar handle, "Beagle," posted a new topic about Maura Murray's disappearance, a month before Jenkins' body was found there.

Beginning in February, on the anniversary of Maura's disappearance, Beagle posted a series of sick and disturbing videos on YouTube glorifying the event. He also posted a picture of himself in what appears to be a "road crew" outfit. 

Is this another strange coincidence? Or was Beagle familiar with the location where Jenkins' body was found?

The Red Truck

Lots of talk on other boards concerning this rumored "red truck with Massachusetts plates" that was seen near the accident the night of Maura's disappearance. I have been unable to verify this, other than a passing mention in the police logs that night that is not directly connected.

If anyone saw the red truck that night (or knows the name of someone who saw it) please contact me.


Silence from Fred Murray

Long before I learned anything about Fred Murray--other than he was a father who was searching for his daughter--he made it well known that he didn't want a book written about Maura. Immediately, he asked Maura's closest friends to not speak with me. I thought this behavior was quite odd at the time and still do, actually. What father wouldn't want information out there that could help find their missing daughter?

Unfortunately, there has been no direct response from Fred, himself, after emails, letters, and phone calls to his direct line. Which, I suppose, isn't too surprising. I've spoken to a number of other journalists and TV news crews. In the past, he has demanded total control over the content of the program or article and he probably knows he can't get that from me.

Last week, I spoke to his lawyer. I proposed a sit-down in the lawyer's office and an interview on camera, so that there would be no twisting of words or spin of any kind about what he has to say.

It's been a week and I've not heard back.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Is Melissa Jenkins Murder Connected to Maura Murray's disappearance?

Sad story from Vermont tonight. A young mother, Melissa Jenkins, was apparently abducted from the side of the road in St. Johnsbury, VT, yesterday. Her body was reportedly discovered this evening in nearby Barnet, about 20 miles from where Maura Murray was last seen. This case also brings to mind the strange case of Brianna Maitland, who vanished from Montgomery, VT, a month after Maura's disappearance. In each of these cases, the young woman's vehicle was later found abandoned beside the road.

It's tempting to blame one man for all these tragedies, and there are certain commonalities in these crimes. Has a serial killer "reactivated" or are each of these tragedies a sad story of their own?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rest in Peace

There are certain aspects of what I do that I don't particularly enjoy. When delving into a missing persons case--or homicide, as I believe this is--my chief concern is finding the victim and what happened to them. That means ruling out as many scenarios as I can so that the possibilities of what led to the victim's death slowly get parceled down to the truth. A lot of what I do in these cases is put to rest the rumors that muddy the water and keep good leads from being taken seriously. Without help from Maura's friends and family, it is hard to determine what is germane to this search and so I've cast the net very wide.

Which leads me to Heather Rausch's suicide. Obviously, it was something that needed explored, as is apparent by taking the time to read the forums where rumors about this first popped up.

Today, I read Rausch's suicide letter. I won't go into detail other than to say this woman was deeply sad and that she cared for her parents a great deal. The note makes no mention whatsoever of Maura Murray or her disappearance.

I'm always troubled by the idea that those who have already suffered tragedy sometimes seem to be the first to suffer again. The Kennedy family is one example. My sympathies go out to the Rausch's.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Phone Records Conflict With Fred Murray's Version of Events

Sprint provided law enforcement with Fred Murray's cell phone records Feb 20, two days before Fred's signed statement about his recollection of the events of the two days leading up to Maura's disappearance.

In his statement, Fred says he didn't learn of Maura's accident until after she got out of bed in his motel room at 10:30 Sunday morning. But according to this page of the cell reports, someone made three outgoing phone calls from his cell phone at five in the morning that day.

So are we to believe Maura returns to his room after two a.m. Makes phone calls from his cellphone. Sleeps in the bed. And he either doesn't know she's there or is unconcerned with why his daughter came back to his motel room in the middle of the night instead of sleeping in her dorm? Something about this is not adding up.

Police Obtained Fred Murray's Cell Phone Records, Murray Statement Gives New Details on Last Weekend

Records obtained through a public records request reveal some new information about this unsolved disappearance.

I have a lot of questions about the purpose of Fred's trip to UMass that weekend. In earlier interviews, he has said that Maura had a car picked out. As we see here, that doesn't seem to be the case. Again, there's no direct evidence the purpose of Fred's trip was to purchase a car. Even Kate, who was with them that weekend, cannot recall the topic coming up.

According to this statement (which Fred provided on Feb 22) Maura slept in the bed in his hotel room the night of her first accident. Fred didn't formally sit down to be interviewed by homicide detectives for another two years and when he did, he brought two lawyers with him.

It also seems like Fred accompanied Maura and Kate to the liquor store, though it's unclear if this was when/where Maura purchased her liquor that was found in the car after she disappeared. In fact, he changes his statement about this while dictating it.

You will also see cell phone reports obtained by law enforcement from Sprint for Fred Murray's phone. It's very telling that these reports came from Sprint and not Fred, himself. The numbers listed to the side of the call correspond to towers but I have been unable to yet uncover exact locations.

(click to embiggen)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Morrow County withholds information related to suicide that occurred at Rausch residence.

Troubling news from Morrow County, Ohio.

According to neighbors, in April, 2007, Heather Rausch (Billy's adult sister) committed suicide in the Rausch's Marengo residence. A terrible tragedy for a family already suffering loss-- Maura was close to the extended Rausch family and even stayed in the home during the Christmas holiday before she disappeared.

In an attempt to verify details about this tragedy, though, I've received some very odd pushback from local authorities. During a visit to the Morrow County Sheriff's office last week, I was given a report by police in which the scene was described. In the report, the officer mentions that a note had been tucked into her waistband. When I requested further information, including statements and details about the note's contents, I was told the case was still open and the office could not release any information because detectives were still investigating it for possible criminal charges.

This is the first time, as a journalist, that I've ever heard of an "open" suicide investigation.

Before you begin spinning conspiracy theories, my hunch is that I was told the case was "open" so that they would not have to provide the records. I am going through other channels to see if the case is actually being worked on. However, I spoke to Morrow County prosecutor Charles Howland (no fan of the First Amendment) today and was told in no uncertain terms not to expect the records anytime soon.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Details Remain Unproven

Here are a few details about Maura's case that I am still trying to find some kind of evidence to support. As of this moment, I cannot prove these things are true. I cannot find support documentation or unbiased sources to support these clues. If you can help, let me know. I will continue digging.

1. Was Maura's car really unreliable? Did it run on "three cylinders?"
2. Did Fred visit UMass the weekend before her disappearance to look for a new car for Maura?
3. Was Fred Murray working February 9, 2004?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Shadow of Death

In 1993, journalist Philip Ginsburg released a book on the Connecticut River Valley Murders, a series of up to 13 homicides--all stabbings--that occurred near the town of Claremont between 1968 and 1988. The book is titled, The Shadow of Death, and I found a first edition hardcover on Amazon for next to nothing.

The narrative Ginsburg pulls together is great. It's simply one of the best true crime books I've ever read, if not THE best. He takes great care to introduce us to a variety of strange characters, from junk yard creeps to the detectives trying to catch a serial killer.

Over the course of 20 years, police and profiler John Philpin came up with many theories about the predator. Some thought there might be a connection to local hospitals, as three of the murdered women worked in the medical field: Bernice Courtemanche, Ellen Fried, and Barbara Agnew. Agnew's boyfriend at the time distributed X-ray equipment to hospitals.

Of course, they never did catch the killer, though a number of suspects are discussed (Ginsburg uses fake names for them). The murders appeared to end abruptly in 1988, after Jane Boroski managed to escape her attack. She's the one who provided the sketch of the bad guy. It's assumed the serial killer either stopped or moved away.

The cases have appeared in the news again recently. A few years ago, a PI and a reporter tried to make a case for Michael Nicholau, a Vietnam vet with a violent streak who lived in Mass. But for many reasons that doesn't shake out. I also learned that one of the suspects in Ginsburg's book--Paul Oakes--committed suicide just last year as he was about to faces charges for sexual misconduct.

Those close to the case, though, suspect the real serial killer has yet to be named.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Man from Primrose Lane

Hunting serial killers can be an expensive hobby. I've visited New Hampshire four times this past year and the reason I was able to do that is from the advance I received for this book, which will finally be released across the U.S. and Canada February 28. This is my first novel, and if it is successful I can devote more time to these unsolved mysteries.

The Man from Primrose Lane tells the story of a true crime writer who goes looking for the man that killed a strange hermit who always wore mittens, even in the middle of the summer. It's a story about obsession, about the search for answers. It's a love story. It's about crime but it's also about science. And science fiction. Read more about it here.

If this story sounds like your kind of thing, you can find the novel at your local bookstore or online for your Kindle, Nook, or e-reader. Hope you like it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

West Point Stalls

I'm reaching out again and asking for a little help getting at some public records. Is there anyone out there with experience in FOIA law? Officials at West Point are pulling out all the stops in an attempt to keep us from seeing Maura's records. I'm also attempting to access records for another cadet and a teacher.

I'm specifically in need of a first amendment attorney.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Theory No One is Talking About

A lot of theories have been bandied about over the course of the last eight years about what happened to Maura Murray in those seven minutes she was alone on the side of Rt. 112. I've always said I don't buy that she was kidnapped by some serial killer. The probability that a serial killer happened to be in that particular area at that particular time is too much to believe.

There's the possibility that she met someone up there, that maybe they were driving in tandem to or from some location and after her accident that person turned around to pick her up. I like that one a lot. After all, Maura had some ultimate destination in mind and I highly doubt she'd travel into the North Country without meeting up with someone.

But what about this. What if she really did just walk away in an effort to distance herself from the crash before police arrived? She didn't need a DUI, that's for sure. Maybe she went East on 112 or up Bradley Hill Road? I've been out there on a February night. Locals don't expect to encounter a runner in that area at that time of night. Some of those pick ups and plows speed along that stretch of road, driving on autopilot. What if Maura was simply hit and what we're dealing with here is an accident where someone hid her body to avoid prosecution for a dumb mistake?

If that's the case, someone, somewhere, would have had to explain the damage done to their vehicle when they struck and killed Maura Murray. I'd be very interested in any reports of people "striking a moose" or having front-end repairs done to their vehicle around Feb 9, 2004.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Creep's Videos Are Now International News

The U.K.'s Daily Mail ran a story today on The Creep's sadistic videos related to Maura Murray's disappearance. Check it out.

Als, Fox 25, Boston, got a criminologist to take a look at the videos (see below). Needless, to say, the Creep even frightens a man who has studied criminals for 30 years.

Strange videos continue to surface in Maura Murray investigation:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Request for info...

Take another look at this quote from Nancy Smith at the appeal hearing:

Ms. Smith: I'm concerned about that, because, again, this is, to the extent this is a small community, the people know... the people, the identity of those people is fairly well known.
Is it possible that their person(s) of interest could be from a family that is well known in the area? That's one way to read that statement.

The strange thing is, this piece of information jives in an interesting way with that report I heard awhile back about brothers who worked at Loon Mountain being questioned by police.

Along this train of thought, is there a reason why the AG office was representing this case? I mean, it's a Grafton County case, right?

If you have any information that could help connect some dots here, I would be interested to hear it. Email:

Keep in mind, I will not allow comments on the identities of uncharged suspects. I'll read them, and do some research, but they will not be posted.

Fred Murray Vs. New Hampshire State Police

Here's the video, in three parts, from the hearing in front of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, thanks to reader Nick.

What was said on record...

On April 13, 2007, Sgt. Todd Landry and Assistant AG Jeff Strelzin appeared in Grafton County Superior Court to answer questions about why the investigatory file on Maura Murray should not be released. Assistant AG Nancy Smith represented the state's interest. Timothy Ervin represented Fred Murray. Here are some highlights:

Ms. Smith: What is the most recent activity? How recently has activity occurred in that matter?

Sgt. Landry: Just two -- three days ago, I was in contact with the law enforcement out in Ohio in regards to some human remains that had been found and they wanted to obtain dental records that we had in this case.

Ms. Smith: Do you have opinion as to whether this case is more likely than not to result in criminal charges?

Sgt. Landry: This may lead to criminal charges. My experience says it could go either way.


Ms. Smith: ...revealing the material that's been withheld might enable a person of interest to use what other witnesses have said to cover their tracks or to divert attention or muddy the waters. Is that something that you have had happen to you in other cases that you are investigating?

Sgt. Landry: Yes.

Ms. Smith: You have indicated that revealing material that has been withheld could endanger people that have talked to you, by providing that information to persons of interest...

Sgt. Landry: Yes.

At this point, Fred Murray's attorney, Timothy Ervin, tells the court that they are no longer seeking several categories of information due to concerns about privacy should the info become public record. These include tax records, polygraph examinations, criminal record checks, medical records and military records.

On cross-examination Timothy Ervin pushes Sgt. Landry to reveal whether or not there is a person of interest in the case and Ms. Smith objects:

Ms. Smith: I'm concerned about that, because, again, this is, to the extent this is a small community, the people know... the people, the identity of those people is fairly well known.


Mr. Ervin: Has [your investigation] generally focused on individuals.

Sgt. Landry: Individuals?

Mr. Ervin: Correct.

Sgt. Landry: Yes.

Mr. Ervin: Is the investigation currently ongoing as to those individuals?

Sgt. Landry: Yes.
Following testimony by Strelzin, Murray's lawyer leaves and Strelzin, Landry, and Smith provide "in camera" testimony about the specifics of the investigation ("in camera" means in the judge's chambers). Those records remain sealed to this day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why the records were not released. ***UPDATED***

Check out this video of Fred Murray's appeal for records in front of the NH Supreme Court. Assistant AG Nancy Smith says some interesting things while explaining why the records should not be released. Here's some highlights:

While we don't in any way suggest it's the case here, what we are being asked to do in this case would open up the state of New Hampshire and law enforcement investigatory files at a pre indictment phase to the suspected perpetrator as well as everyone else in the world.

We do have information that we are pursuing that this may involve a crime.

Knowing exactly where we determined the last place she was could be valuable information to that person.

This is very much an active case.

The link above sends you to a NH government website that automatically downloads a streaming asf file. Can some tech savvy reader please convert this and place on YouTube so everyone can see it?

Police provided secret testimony to Superior Court Judge

In the more than a thousand pages of documents from Grafton Superior Court, what is missing is as interesting to me as what is included. According to court records, New Hampshire State Police provided information about the disappearance of Maura Murray to the judge under seal during Fred Murray's lawsuit against the state police.

From the "motion to seal" by Senior Assistant AG, Nancy J. Smith:

Respondents respectfully request the opportunity to present information specific to this investigation to the court through in camera testimony without the petitioner [Fred Murray] present, and that the record of such testimony be sealed.

There are details throughout the other reports that hint at the information presented under seal. In his affidavit, Detective Todd Landry is hesitant to speak about the criminal records checks his office conducted.

Identification of specific individuals regarding whom records have been requested would pinpoint the focus of our investigation, thereby damaging it....I can address this item with further specificity by in camera affidavit or testimony.

Also sealed is information about a "one-party intercept" which could mean a wiretap or a secret audio recording of some kind. Nancy Smith categorizes it as a:

one-of-a-kind type of item that the Supreme Court recognized cannot be described specifically without irreparably disclosing what it consists of. SAAG Strelzin can address this item with further specificity by in camera affidavit or testimony.

My hunch is that state police have an idea of what may have happened to Maura Murray and who might be responsible. The inclusion of SAAG Strelzin is very telling. After all, he is head of the AG's homicide section. Whatever the evidence is, one thing is very clear: they didn't want Fred Murray to see it.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WMUR posts Maura Murray videos on YouTube.

On the anniversary of Maura's disappearance, WMUR casually posted several videos covering the case back to 2004. I really like it when local news channels do this. It adds to the historic record and is an excellent source of information. Some good comments from Fred, Sharon Rausch, and Maura's sister Katherline (often misattributed as Kathleen--seen above).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Who is R.F. Shannon?

In one of the Creep's latest videos, an antique stuffed bunny rests on the edge of what appears to be an old munitions box stamped with the above insignia. The camera slowly pans in to this insignia.

Many people figured this to be a reference to a chemical weapons facility in Maryland. The numbers stand for the Korean War-era detachment this R.F. Shannon was a part of.

Young Woman's Skull Found on Roadside in Vermont

The skull of a young caucasian woman found on the side of the road in Danby, Vermont was likely the victim of homicide, according to WCAX. Authorities are combing the area for the rest of the skeleton. It appears the remains are quite old.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What we've uncovered so far.

A lot of new visitors have found this blog recently. For those playing catch-up, here's some links to the biggest pieces of the puzzle we've uncovered so far:

Maura was mad that Billy Rausch was seeing other people.

Mr. 1974

The Creep continues to post cryptic videos on YouTube, even showing his face to the camera. Links to his old blogs suggest he is a man who has spent a lot of time homeless, sometimes living in his van, though he says he's held a job as a Walmart greeter.

In a recent post, he refers to himself as "Mr. 1974." Strange. What happened in 1974 that is so important to this man?

Part of the purpose of this blog is to generate information. I like to pose questions sometimes because I know my own imagination limits how I think about problems. Bouncing ideas off you guys sometimes gets us closer to the truth...or at least someplace new.

It was a reader named Matt who pointed me to the unsolved mystery of John William McGrath, one of New Hampshire's most wanted criminals.

In 1962, 17-year-old John William McGrath murdered his entire family in Newport, NH. He took the rifle his uncle had reclaimed from a dead Japanese soldier in WWII and shot his two younger brothers, who he was babysitting at the time. Then he sat and waited for his parents to return home. When they did, he shot them too.

From the Concord Monitor:
But the same McGrath had been seeing a doctor at the state hospital in Concord for two years as an outpatient for reasons not explained in the news accounts. And in writings found after the murders, the police discovered repeated references to death, an executioner and darkness. "Perhaps death is the answer to the question of existence," read one of McGrath's passages that Hunter has collected in his files.
After the murders, he drove 45 minutes to Concord and turned himself in at the mental hospital. He was found insane and committed to a psych hospital.

At the hospital, he proved to be a bit of an academic. He wrote book reviews. He painted murals of New Hampshire covered bridges on the walls in the hospital. He was given permission to take computer classes at NH Technical Institute. When he started stealing drugs, though, he was sent to prison. But in 1972, he returned to the mental hospital.

In 1974, he simply walked away from the hospital grounds and was never seen again. He would be 67 years old, now.

For more information, visit:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ATM: Open Question **UPDATE**

Can anyone find a quote from police or prosecutors stating that Maura Murray was seen on the video at the ATM and that she was alone? Direct quote. I'm attempting to back track this detail to a primary source.


You guys are great. Thank you.

Scarinza, himself, states that she was seen in still photographs captured by the atm and that she was alone. So, no dice on the theory growing on these boards that she wasn't seen between Sat. and her disappearance.

The Creep ups the ante.

The Creep continues to post cryptic and taunting videos on YouTube. I'm not going to post them anymore, but they're findable.

Is this guy crazy or is he an official person of interest? Obviously he's not yet been arrested for harassment or obstruction of justice. We know John Healey, the PI working with the Murray family, spoke to him at one time.

It certainly seems like there's a screw loose. But there are some scary details that merit a closer look at this man. That Bretton Woods pass, for one. That places him or someone he knew in the vicinity of Maura's disappearance at the right time. Also, I don't like that this man has a road crew uniform, which he wears in the latest video. That's the sort of costume that might fool a young woman into dropping her guard.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fred Murray releases statement regarding Creep's videos.

This is coming from MyFox Boston 25. You can watch the segment they did on the Creep's videos by following the link.

According to MyFox Boston 25, the Murrays released this statement today:

“The family is deeply saddened to learn and view that a seemingly clinically disturbed individual would post misleading and cruel videos online… the family respectfully requests the public to ignore and disregard this hideous information and allow investigators to pursue leads of substance and credibility.
Everything about this case is just strange.

Is this the Creep?

For years, there has been an ongoing conversation about Maura Murray's disappearance on the Franconia, NH Topix page. One of the frequent commenters there is a fellow called "Beagle." Beagle has said a couple times that he was questioned in Maura's disappearance.

Here's a copy of his user profile pic. There are some similarities to the Creep. What do you think?

The Creep's Videos

A lot of people are saying this guy is probably just a "troll" but I'm very concerned about the pass from Bretton Woods. If it's unconnected to Maura's disappearance, why would somebody keep it for 8 years?

Anyway, late last night, this creep took down the videos and closed his YouTube account. Coward.

Thanks to Lance Reenstierna and the fine folks at Lucky Quarter Productions, we have copies.

By the way, the music playing in the background is Chopin's Waltz 3 op.34-2

They're up on my YouTube account and embedded below:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another video.

I don't know what exactly is going on here.

Obviously, someone had something they want to say.

Perhaps they could be a little more direct. Clue us in.

Anyone recognize this man?

(embedding was disabled)

***Developing*** What the hell is this?

This video was posted on YouTube earlier today. Bear with me. I'm trying to get answers.

Obviously, whoever posted this is implying that this is a pass that Maura, or somebody with Maura, purchased two days after she disappeared. If she was headed to Bretton Woods, it would go a long way toward explaining why her car was found where it was and why she was heading East on 112.

But where did this pass come from and who posted it on YouTube??

Hard 8

It was 8 years ago that Maura Murray disappeared.

Work continues on the book. Lots more research to do. But with your help, we've uncovered a lot of new information in the last year.

On this anniversary, I'd like to once again extend an invitation to Fred Murray to sit down with me for an interview. We can do it on camera, so that your words cannot be spun or manipulated. I'm sure you have a lot to say about your daughter and it's very confusing to people why you would not want a book out about her disappearance, especially when it could lead to more info in the case and get your family closer to a resolution.

The same invitation goes out for Liz Drewniak, Billy Rausch, and Julie Murray who have also remained quiet in the face of their loved one's disappearance. The longer we wait, the more time passes, the more likely it is that the statute of limitations on any crime that may have occurred will run out.

You know how to find me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Does Maura's cousin know "true" story of disappearance?

Remember Barb and Patricia Curran? It was their high school pictures I discovered in an adult magazine outside Fred Murray's house in Weymouth. Barb (McDougall) and Patti (Davidson) are Maura's cousins and they spoke to Nancy Grace about the disappearance in 2006. They both still live in the Weymouth area and maintain contact with Helena Dwyer who runs the Maura Murray website and the Maura Murray Facebook page.

After I posted the report about the tip that links Maura to Toronto, a reader sent me an email which included, as an attachment, a report given to Lt. Scarinza of the NH State Police in 2009. The report was written by a CPA named James Leone. Leone knows computers. He understands how to track an IP address. He was contacted by the moderator of a forum devoted to finding what happened to Maura Murray. Someone had posted the supposed "true" story of what happened to Maura. Here's the post:

Maura Murray is NOT a Missing Person

Maura Murray has the right as every independent adult does to leave with her new boyfriend and start a new life. Maura is living a content and satisfying life in the Province of Quebec.

Maura's father Fred Murray never quite forgave her for being asked to leave West Point. It was his personal bragging point that he had two daughters at West Point. Maura's dismissal damaged Fred's ego and he never completely forgave her.

Maura's being asked to leave West Point and all the ensuing criticism by her father was the beginning of a certain line of thought for Maura, culminating in her leaving on Feb 9, 2004 to start a new life unencumbered by the constant criticism of her father. Maura's relationship with William Rausch was near its end. Ac- cording to Maura's sister Kathleen, they were having 'serious problems.' Maura had met someone new, who unlike William Rausch had no West Point connections and therefore was not a constant reminder to her of her failure at West Point.

On the night of February 5 2004 Maura took a break from her job at the security desk at a UMass dormitory to go and briefly get coffee and some food.

Sometime between 12 MN and 1 AM Maura driving her Saturn struck and critically injured the UMass student Petrit Vasi leav- ing him for dead.

Around 1 AM - 1:20 AM Feb 6 Maura had a complete emotional breakdown brought on by this hit and run accident. Maura's breakdown was witnessed by a student who reported this to Maura's supervisor, who then came and saw that Maura needed physical help to get back to her dormitory. The supervisor then physically helped Maura back to her dorm and recommended counseling.

Between 2 and 3 AM on the morning of Sunday Feb 8 Maura had a second motor vehicle accident wrecking her father's new car.

Fred Murray's new car was towed around 3 AM to his Hadley motel room. Maura arrived at Fred's motel at the same time as a passenger in the tow truck. Fred was not happy with Maura to put it mildly. What happened in this motel room we'll never know but I do know for a fact that there was some physical violence on the part of Fred Murray. Fred Murray has a history of domestic violence. The next day Maura left for good.

Maura needed to disguise the evidence of the Petrit Vasi hit and run by staging another accident for the purpose of covering up the damage to her car from the Vasi hit and run. She and her new boyfriend travelled in tandem to Route 112 in NH (He was already in Southern NH). The accident was staged, she left her Saturn, walked down the road to where her boyfriend was waiting for her in his car. She disappeared, her only wish is that she be left alone to live her life in peace. She is happy and contented and just wants to be left alone.�

A frequent commenter who called themselves "Observer" responded to this post with:

This is very interesting, it somehow has the ring of truth to it. This is common knowledge in certain circles of people who are close to the family.

The moderator wanted to know who "Observer" was. So she contacted Leone.

Using the IP tag that accompanied the "Observer" messages, Leone traced the poster to a specific server in the area of Taunton, Mass. They figured if "Observer" was posting in this Geocities forum, they were likely posting in other forums related to Maura's disappearance. A quick check of the Franconia, NH Topix forums found a long conversation about the mystery. Three people were posting on Topix from Taunton, Mass, too. But one commented much more than the other two. On Topix, this poster went by the handle "Citigirl."

From Leone's report:

I have been told that second hand the following: "Citigirl" is Patti Davidson (one of Maura Murray's cousins).

Calls to Patti Davidson have not been returned.

It's worth noting the email address used by "Observer". It was

Bizarre Theory of the Day: Maura Manages Curves in Toronto **UPDATED**

Admittedly, I don't know if there's much to this but I'm going to talk about it because it illustrates the strangeness of investigating a cold case. This is a little convoluted, so bear with me.

Years ago, a source close to the Murray family posted on another forum. This person said they were a registered nurse living in Nova Scotia and was some kind of distant relative of Maura. An astute reader pointed out to me a LinkedIn profile for a "Kate Dwyer" living in Nova Scotia. Helena Dwyer-Murray is the administrator of the Maura Murray Facebook page and website. The Kate Dwyer in Nova Scotia was an RN and listed Maura Murray's webpage under her "interests" on her LinkedIn profile.

And here's where it gets weird.

In Kate Dwyer's connections is a Maura Murray who lives in Toronto and manages a Curves. That piqued my interest for a couple reasons. 1. Maura allegedly had some connection to the Curves at Amherst. 2. Toronto is a place many runaways end up. It's been a well-known hiding place since Vietnam.

So, I called the Curves in Toronto. There are several. I asked for Maura. I was told to call a specific number. When I called that number, I again asked to speak to Maura. The woman on the other line asked what this was about. I said I'd like to talk to her about UMass. The phone was given to another woman. "Hello?" she said. "Maura?" I asked. "This is James Renner." The phone then went quiet. A moment later, the owner of Curves came on. She was curt, but polite. When I asked for Maura again, she said there was no Maura there. She said there was only a Maureen and I had the wrong number.

Not sure what to make of it. But it's the sort of thing that happens all the time.

Just heard from Kate Dwyer (who, it turns out, is no relation to Helena Dwyer). LinkedIn makes those connections itself, based on common interests (her listing the Maura Murray page likely did this). She was quite nice and had this to say:

No worry if I thought it was one and the same Maura, I'd have driven to Toronto to check it out...sorry, Kate

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Where can a Murray hide? How about Ireland?

Faced with credit card fraud, a cheating boyfriend, getting kicked out of school, and a troubled home life, did Maura decide to start a new life far from her troubles? And if so, how has she managed to fly under the radar for 8 years?

Is it possible to drive to Canada and take a plane to Ireland, where there are Murrays on every street?

You need a passport to enter Ireland. But does Ireland have to report entry to the U.S.? That's still something I'm researching.

The reason I ask: a source close to Fred Murray claims he or a close family member planned a trip to Killarney, by way of Dublin. Not sure when the trip was to take place or how close it was to Maura's disappearance, but the family had some interest in Killarney as a destination.

Tell ya what. If I ever decide to disappear, this would be a nice place for a long repose.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Search for Maura Involved Multiple Cities & Investigators

In Lt. Landry's affidavit to the court in 2006, he lists all the detectives and agencies that have investigated Maura's disappearance. There are some surprises here:

- Haverhill PD
- New Hampshire State Police
- New Hampshire Fish & Game
- Exeter Police
- Oxford County Sheriff's Dept.
- Grafton County Sheriff's Dept.
- Vermont State Police
- UMass PD
- Amherst PD
- Hadley PD
- Rochester PD
- Sullivan County Department of Corrections

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Records Show Scope of Police Investigation

Two bundles of public records arrived today, documents related to Fred Murray's civil court case against the New Hampshire State Police.

Murray petitioned the court to gain access to the complete police files of his daughter's disappearance. His argument was that the police were not working on locating Maura. In the end, he was only granted 50 pages worth of material (more on that soon). But, in denying his request, the NH State Police had to explain a bit about their investigation to date for the first time.

According to Lt. Landry, at the time of the court proceedings in early 2006, the file on Maura Murray consisted of 2,938 pages of info as well as evidence, tapes, and newspaper clippings. Also included in the files:

- Fred Murray's cell phone records
- phone records of family members and friends
- personnel records
- military records
- Grand Jury subpoenas
- search warrants
- credit card info
- criminal record checks
- witness interviews (including 19 written statements and 3 transcribed interviews)
- 2-page statement of Fred Murray
- lab reports
- unknown photographs
- copies of Websleuths forum conversations
- one-party intercept memoranda (possible wire taps)

And, most interestingly, 4 polygraph examinations.

Also in the report is an affidavit from assistant AG Jeff Strelzin, who tells the court that he believes there is a 75% chance that criminal charges will be filed in this case.

Code of Silence at West Point.

A few weeks ago, a reader passed along to me a list of cadets who went to West Point with Maura and her sister, Julie. For the last few days, I've sent emails to these people, some who knew Maura well. Dozens of emails. Not a single person has responded. Apparently, protection of an institution trumps sharing information that could be helpful to understanding what led Maura Murray to that road in New Hampshire, in 2004.

The United States Military Academy is no stranger to obfuscation and secrecy, though. They've often protected their own. And even today, female cadets often find themselves in perilous situations. Read more here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Open Question

What happened between 2000
and 2004?
This is the face of a woman who has gone through some kind of hell.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

UMass Code of Student Conduct Might Have Been the End of Maura's Nursing Career

American universities have found a way to skirt the court system and basically double-charge students when they commit a crime. Not only will they face fines and possible jail, but, even if the charges are dismissed in a court of law, they might still be kicked out of school. Yeah. Because denying the kid a college degree will really help them from committing more crimes.

Anyway, the code of conduct at UMass is just an absurd example of this.

Here's an except (provided by an astute reader):

E.Students may be accountable to both civil authorities and to the University for acts which constitute violations
of law and of the CSC. Disciplinary action at the University will normally proceed during the pendency of criminal
proceedings and will not be subject to challenge on the ground that criminal charges involving the same incident have
been dismissed or reduced. When a student has been charged by a civil authority for a violation of law, the University
will neither request nor agree to special consideration for the student solely because of his or her status as a student.
2.Representing one's self as another person with or without that person's permission, or representing one's self improperly,
and not by error, as any other member of the community.
6.Unauthorized accessing of the records of any individual, whether such access is obtained through paper records, computer files
or systems, where such information is protected by the University regulations concerning privacy and confidentiality.
Looks like Maura's dream to be a nurse wasn't going to happen. If she did end up committing suicide, UMass should own up to some culpability.

Everyone deserves a second chance.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Note for Maura, If You're Out There

I posted this before, but I guess I should repeat it in light of these new developments.

If Maura is out there, somewhere, living a new life, I certainly don't want to blow her cover. It's her right as an adult to disappear.

If she can contact me and can offer some proof of her identity, I'll happily stop searching. I'm sure others would like to know she's alive so that they can stop searching, too. That doesn't mean she has to reveal her location.

But right now, the possibility still exists that she was murdered, or that she was the victim of an accident of some kind that led to her death. This is still very much a confounding mystery. So I'll keep digging until we know otherwise.

Mysteries frustrate me.

Did you live in the Kennedy dorm at UMass in 2003/2004?

If so, I'd like to speak with you. Please contact me at

Thank you!
-James Renner

Was Maura About to Be Expelled from UMass?

I didn't think about this until a recent comment from a reader, but is it possible that Maura was about to face disciplinary action from UMass related to this improper use of a credit card?

It's notoriously difficult to get records from universities, but hopefully someone within UMass can help us answer this question. Obviously, UMass would have been alerted by Amherst PD about this charge. How would that have affected Maura's job with campus security?

I wish Maura had just gone home to her Aunt Janice and gotten her head back together. We all make mistakes. She could have gotten through all this and have still been successful.

** Note to readers: The police have redacted the written signature. But it is on the receipt.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Maura Used Stolen Credit Card Number, Charges Would Have Been Dismissed in Feb.

Another rumor can be confirmed. Maura Murray was caught using a stolen credit card number in early November, 2003, according to documents received today from Amherst Police.

According to the police reports, in early November, a female student at UMass discovered some odd charges on her credit card statement. Someone had been using her credit card number to order take-out from Pinocchio's Pizza. After calling the credit company, this student called Amherst Police who then contacted Pinocchio's and two other area pizza restaurants. After checking their records, Pinocchio Pizza managers found that the orders had been delivered to Maura's dorm room. That very night, shortly after Pinocchio's was made aware of the fraud, Maura called and again tried to use the same number. Officers enlisted the deliveryman in a sting in which he would present the bill for Maura to sign. When she did, the police approached her dorm room.

The police quickly explained why they were there and took her picture (above). Maura at first gave no explanation. Eventually, she admitted using the card number, which she said she'd found on a discarded receipt in the trash.

According to the documents, the charges against Maura would have been dismissed in February, 2004, around the time she disappeared-- if she managed to stay out of trouble until then.

Here's the heartbreaking part. Maura was doing this for food. And the theft only amounted to $79.02.

To me, this hints at desperation. Life was coming down on Maura and for whatever reason she was not asking for help. Did the accident the weekend before her disappearance frighten her into running away? Did she mistakenly believe that being cited for the accident would keep these charges from being dismissed?

Why wasn't she asking friends for help? I'm sure she could have turned to any of her friends from Hanson and they would only have been too happy to help her out.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Need help in Norfolk County

Some records are starting to come in, which I'll be sharing soon.

However, I need someone on the ground in Norfolk. If you have some free time and want to help out, please contact me at


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Public Records

Just sent out several requests for public records to the following offices:

- Grafton County Superior Court
- New Hampshire Supreme Court
- New Hampshire Attorney General's Office
- Weymouth Police Department
- Quincy District Court
- Norfolk Superior Court
- Eastern Hampshire District Court
- Amherst Police Department

These requests mark the midway point of my research. I'll use the results as supporting documentation and as a jumping-off point for further interviews.

And I'll share scans as they come in.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Common Sense *UPDATE*

Think about all the 21-year-old young women you know. Would any of them really take a break from school and drive hundreds of miles into the country without telling a soul? I'm a man of probability. And the odds overwhelmingly suggest someone knew of Maura's plans. So why haven't they come forward?

I want to highlight this reader's comment. Sometimes we overlook the little details.

If she was simply going to drive north and walk off into the woods to commit suicide, why would she have called places to inquire about lodging and bring along a suitcase?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rick Forcier rocks out.

Lot of talk about Rick Forcier, lately. He was the guy who lived in the trailer at the corner near the scene of Maura's accident. Prof. McDonald's wife thought he was an albino (though, perhaps he just hadn't been out in the sun in a while). And it is true that Forcier would not let police search his trailer and didn't want the Murrays walking around his property.

Like I said before, I'd forget Forcier. Everyone who lives in the area had nice things to say about him. Would he really have picked Maura up just to drive her 100 feet down the road to his trailer? No. Also, his trailer was later searched by police after he sold it.

I firmly believe the most likely scenario is that Maura had planned to meet someone up in NH all along and that person contributed (directly, or indirectly) to her death. The key to her disappearance is finding out who she planned to meet.

Anyway, here's a music video from Forcier. Just another example of the strange and cool characters you're likely to meet in the North Country.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Aren't You Posting My Comments? A Reminder.

Before any comment is posted, I review it. If at all possible, I will approve it and you will see it posted usually the same day. You don't have to agree with me in order for me to post your comment. I welcome discussion. However:

Your comment will not be approved if:
1. You make accusations against people without supporting evidence.
2. Your comment does not serve any purpose other than to be mean.
3. Your comment is about something we've already proven to be untrue (ie, "Maura left a message with Billy and it sounded like she was moaning,")

If you are new to this blog, please take some time to get up to speed by reading through the previous posts from last year. Many of your questions will be answered.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New City number identified.

The New City number that shows up on Maura's cell phone bill belonged to Billy Rausch. Apparently he got the plan in New City and kept that number while stationed in Oklahoma in 2004.