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Where is MAURA MURRAY

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Shack

Sherborn, MA

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#8442
Dec 2, 2008
 
Philip...when I wrote "ditto" to Sophie..it was not in ref. to her post to you...
You know thatI know nothing about Maura's life before, during or......perhaps investigators
went back to those days/weeks...I dunno..I hope.
Quija

Concord, MA

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#8443
Dec 2, 2008
 

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sophie bean wrote:
whiston wrote:
"She had alot of problems in her life from her early years."
Uh, no, you can't say that and then when challenged just say "and that's all I'm saying about that." That is slander. It's all very well for the usual suspects to squeal "RAWWWK! There's no evidence of foul play" but to flip it and suggest that there's "evidence" of a supposedly troubled past without the least reason for us to believe it other than "whiston SAYS it's so" is simply unacceptable. It is not the kind of remark that you can casually make with no evidence to support it and NOT expect to be roundly criticized.
Are you really saying that the fictional "problems" from her early life relate in a significant way to both her disappearance AND her family's ficitonal "secrecy"?
If not, what ARE you saying?
Hi all,
I believe that whiston has only stated that which he has backup for. I know he hasn't stated anything that is fictional in this instance. If no-one will tell us that Maura was for certain a victim of foul play, then perhaps we need to keep exploring how Maura's earlier life events affected her last week at Amherst....
Quija

Concord, MA

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#8444
Dec 2, 2008
 

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It's late and I'll probably repeat myself here, but if we don't hear clearly that Maura was for sure a victim of random foul play, then it's important to analyze what was happening with her in Amherst. I guess that means off-campus friends, family, jobs and professors, possible stalkers, mechanics, tow truck drivers, new male friends, as well as any behaviors that had become a pattern with her over the years. There had to be something that caused her to leave in a malfunctioning car that she previously refused to drive, on a trip that she had never taken alone, at dusk in the winter, with sparse personal items, and without telling anyone her destination.
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8445
Dec 2, 2008
 

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I started looking into the rag-in-the-exhaust-pipe scenario today by contacting some people who work on and race cars. I was told that depending on the size of the engine, the rag or towel might prevent the engine from starting. A 1996 Saturn engine is pretty small, so the engine likely would start, but it would stall the engine within a relatively short period of time. The car probably wouldn't travel more than a mile before stalling out.

Seems like whomever decided to cram the towel up the pipe probably works on cars and knows quite a lot about them, particularly Saturns and the other models that use the same engine.

I'm assuming that the purpose behind obstructing the exhaust pipe was to cause the car to stall within a mile of the place where the towel was inserted. Now it's time to play the what-if game.

Let's assume that Maura stopped at a gas station in Woodsville to fill up and when she finished, she left her car unlocked and went into the store to buy a soft drink and use the bathroom. Let's further assume that someone with malicious intentions took advantage of her absence to check out what was inside her car, reached in and pulled the trunk-release lever, grabbed the towel or rag in the trunk, stuffed it into the exhaust, waited for her to drive off, and then followed a discreet distance behind her until her engine stalled in a less public area. Then he pulled in behind her, got out of his vehicle, and began to role play as the Good Samaritan helping the damsel in distress ending with the pitch, "Gee, I don't know lady. I can't get it to start. Why don't you get in my car and I'll give you a ride back to town and see if we can get somebody out here to take a look.

If she agrees, she's at his mercy and he can return later for the Saturn and dispose of it according to his whims.

If someone towed Maura's car that night using a rope or chain, there should be an area beneath the front bumper where the rope rubbed away the paint. The rope or chain would have to have been attached to the axle during the tow because it would have detached the front fender if attached to it.

Does anyone know if such a mark was visible on the Saturn, or if anyone noticed any rope fibers attached to the axle?

If we want to start building a profile of the person who kidnapped her, we may want to consider including the following traits: lives alone and is knowledgeable and experienced regarding automobiles, automobile repair, and the geographical area where the Saturn was found.

Although those in the know apparently have decided that Maura's and Brianna Maitland's cases are unrelated, they aren't without common denominators and one of them may be car trouble.
mcsmom

Marlborough, CT

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#8446
Dec 2, 2008
 

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Mason, when blown up the photo of Maura's car front bumper looks like it has paint chips questionably from a towing chain.
There was in 2004 a Saturn dealer in Amherst on Rte 9. They have since moved.
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8447
Dec 2, 2008
 

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RE: partial quote from Whitewash #8425 @ p. 419
White Wash wrote:
part 2

During the first stages of the investigation into the accident, photographs were taken of tire tracks in the snow leading into a stand of trees on the side of the road and showed that the vehicle struck the trees with enough impact to deploy both airbags. Williams noted that taking photographic evidence and documentation at the scene of an accident are standard operating procedure.
Smith later began to question neighbors about the accident. After questioning a school bus driver who stopped to enquire if Maura needed assistance, Smith learned that a woman in her 20's had been seen at the vehicle. According to a statement given the police, the witness stated the woman's speech was slurred and she had to hold on to something while she stood.
"She begged me not to call police," according to the witness' statement.
I'm not challenging the authenticity of the quoted material because I'm confident that you would not misrepresent statements published by the Journal Opinion. I have been under the impression, however, that the SBD driver is on the record specifically denying that he told Sgt Smith the young woman was intoxicated. Both statements cannot be true. This material contradiction creates further confusion regarding the events of February 9th.

I'm also under the impression that when he was shown a photograph of Maura Murray he said the young woman driving the Saturn was not Maura Murray. Now, I'm wondering if he is going to change his mind about that too.

I'm also feeling a bit exasperated regarding the conclusory opinion that the vehicle's speed and the force with which it impacted the trees, as shown by tire tracks in the snow, were sufficient to cause the airbags to deploy. No one ever would mistake me for Einstein, but Jeeze Louise, how is it possible to defend such an opinion when there is no damage to the vehicle that is consistent with having struck a tree. Sorry, but I doubt that speed and force at impact can be determined by looking at tire tracks in the snow.

Methinks the police are feeling uncomfortable with the heat in the kitchen.

The more detailed information about what the police were doing has reassured me quite a lot because I was wondering why they weren't doing things that I now realize they were doing. There never can be too much accurate information. Now, maybe we can get somewhere instead of spinning on dry.
goat

Ridge, NY

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#8448
Dec 2, 2008
 
you guys have been talking to each other for a while. if possible can anyone tell m last weeper post
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8449
Dec 2, 2008
 

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mcsmom wrote:
Mason, when blown up the photo of Maura's car front bumper looks like it has paint chips questionably from a towing chain.
There was in 2004 a Saturn dealer in Amherst on Rte 9. They have since moved.
Dare I bet the ranch, such as it is, that they had a maintenance department and wouldn't it be loverly if one of their employees in late January and early February of 2004 purchased a red pickup truck adorned with temporary NH plates?

Joined: Dec 2, 2008

Comments: 6

United States

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#8450
Dec 2, 2008
 

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I believe this was the last post from Weeper (10/1/08):

http://www.topix.net/forum/city/lincoln-nh/T6...

If you're just getting started and don't have time to dig through the thread, I'd recommend these as starting points, if you haven't seen them already:

- The Wikipedia article (basic timeline, largely compiled by Advocate, from this forum and others):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maura_Murray

- A more descriptive version of the timeline, also by Advocate (there's 1-2 pieces of information in there not included under the Wiki, if I remember right):

http://docs.google.com/view...
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8451
Dec 2, 2008
 

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Quija wrote:
It's late and I'll probably repeat myself here, but if we don't hear clearly that Maura was for sure a victim of random foul play, then it's important to analyze what was happening with her in Amherst. I guess that means off-campus friends, family, jobs and professors, possible stalkers, mechanics, tow truck drivers, new male friends, as well as any behaviors that had become a pattern with her over the years. There had to be something that caused her to leave in a malfunctioning car that she previously refused to drive, on a trip that she had never taken alone, at dusk in the winter, with sparse personal items, and without telling anyone her destination.
Part 1
I generally agree, but like Weeper, I believe it's important not to lose focus. I think the logical subject matter to begin investigating in Amherst is the disturbing phone call Maura received. First, I'd like to know if she took a break from her job at the dorm anytime between 11:45 pm Thursday and 12:15 am Friday. If we cannot get a firm yes or no answer, I'd like to know if it would have been unusual for her or anyone else working the same job to take a break and have someone cover for them while they are gone. Second, I'd like to know where she was working relative to the intersection of Triangle and Matoon where the fortunate Mr. Vasi was discovered unconscious at 12:20 am. I say fortunate because he has fully recovered (I believe) from being struck by a car and suffering severe head injuries that left him in a coma for a month. I don't believe any witnesses ever contacted police and, since Mr. Vasi could not recall anything about the incident, no charges were filed. Nevertheless, if Maura hit Mr. Vasi, she would not have known that he would recover and she never would be charged. Therefore, she likely would have been as upset as her supervisor described her to be after the phone call.
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8452
Dec 2, 2008
 

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Part 2
BTW, the accident may have been unavoidable because Mr. Vasi admitted that he'd been drinking and he might have stepped in front of the vehicle that hit him. Still, it's against the law to hit and run even if you aren't at fault. Most kids and some adults, including myself, do stupid things from time to time and Maura may have panicked and fled, assuming she was involved. Back at work, she would have been a freaking mess of worry, concern for the welfare of a man whom she might have killed, and gut-wrenching fear that she would be going to prison instead of marrying her sweetheart. And then the telephone rang.
Was it someone who said, "I saw what you did and we've got to talk? Or was it someone she knew, perhaps a friend who accompanied her, calling to give her an update that would have done nothing to calm her down?
The phone call may have been about something else but whatever the subject matter we know that she was so terrified that she seriously considered quitting school and running away. By Sunday evening, however, she seems to have calmed down enough to modify her plan to taking a week off. Maybe she felt better because Mr. Vasi's condition was upgraded from critical to serious and the police had not come knocking on her door.
I want to respect her privacy and the only two reasons I believe justify our searching through her private life. First, we want to know if she ever left Amherst because we do not have conclusive evidence that she did. Only one witness saw the woman who drove the Saturn. When shown a picture of Maura, he did not believe Maura was the woman he saw. Given the evidence of staging that we've discussed, who among us can say without doubt that Maura left Amherst? Second, who among us can say without doubt that someone from her past is not responsible for her disappearance? Perhaps it's true that, like the character played by Janet Leigh in Psycho who decided to stay at the Bates Motel, Maura may have decided to escape to New Hampshire where she ran into the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever may have driven her to go to New Hampshire may not have played any role in what happened to her after she arrived.
Too many unanswered questions remain and we are left with only three choices. Keep trying to fit the same puzzle parts together in novel ways; collect more puzzle parts to see if they provide us with some Aha! moments; or quit.
The primary goal is to find Maura and, if she no longer is among the living, maybe we can make a difference for someone else who, without our persistence, may face a date with destiny at the Bates Motel.
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8453
Dec 2, 2008
 

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Part 3
I forgot to add that the dent in Maura's car appears to have been caused by the corner of a bumper that was several inches higher than the front bumper on her car. This likely eliminates the possibility that she may have hit Mr. Vasi, but an expert or two need to examine the photographs and render an opinion before we can nudge that question into the answered column.
My guess is the investigation team already has completed that task, which I also believe to be the case with the blood-stained piece of carpet from the A-Frame.
Maybe we need to reach a consensus on how and when to move on to looking into other matters. We are sort of an internet grand jury without the power to issue subpoenas and without the veil of secrecy that protects grand jury witnesses from being dissected in the court of public opinion and thereby encourages them to speak the truth.
There are some things that the defense investigators are not going to want the public to know and they aren't going to share that information with us because this is not a private forum. Yet, why should we continue to try to find answers to questions they already have answered?

I think we need to discuss this. Or, maybe we should just do our own thing and follow the bouncing ball wherever it goes while exhibiting appropriate sensitivity to private matters.

Super duper top secret backchannel, anyone?
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8454
Dec 3, 2008
 

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Quija wrote:
Like whiston, who has Amherst questions that haven't been answered completely, my main question right now is:
IS IT A FACT THAT MAURA'S DISAPPEARANCE IS CONSIDERED A HOMICIDE?
Or, was the Major Crimes Unit - Homicide - called in to her case due to pressure or a standstill?
Weeper has said that homicide is the PI's consensus.
IMO we need to know this. IF IT WAS A RANDOM OR OPPORTUNISTIC CRIME BY SOMEONE NOT IN MAURA'S "BEFORE" LIFE.... then what we discuss here is fruitless (never used that word before). In that case it's up to LE or word of mouth through locals. How could we "solve" the case from a distance, not knowing the local criminals?
If it's less than 100% certain that Maura met with foul play, then it's still important to explore everything as we've been doing now for almost five years.
I keep feeling we don't need evidence --- we just need someone to tell us that THERE IS definite evidence of foul play. And I have no idea who could do this or if there's any acceptable way for them to do it.
There is no simple answer to your question because anyone alive who knows the answer ain't saying.

Think in terms of who has the burden of proof and what is the burden of proof. Cops and prosecutors know they have the burden of proving every allegation they make beyond a reasonable doubt and if they accuse anyone of killing Maura Murray they are going to have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she's dead and the accused did it.

Can death be proven beyond a reasonable doubt when the allegedly dead person's body hasn't been found?
Yes.
How?
Circumstantial evidence.
What's that?
Think of circumstances as individual letters of the alphabet that don't have independent meaning. You have to put them together and infer what they mean as a whole.
She's been missing for almost 5 years.
She hasn't contacted or attempted to contact anyone in her family.
She disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
She isn't the sort of person to intentionally disappear and stay disappeared.
etc.
As opposed to wishful thinking, can you articulate a reason supported by the evidence, or lack of evidence that she is still alive.
If I told you that she's alive and she's going to give a press conference tomorrow at noon, would you believe me?

I want to believe that she's alive, but I cannot articulate a solid reason based on the evidence to believe that she is. My thoughts have turned to who killed her, when they killed her, why they killed her, where they killed her, where are her remains, and what can I do to identify the person or persons responsible so they do not do this again.

It's an individual decision and not everyone might agree, but reading between the lines it sure looks like the cops and the investigators believe she was murdered.

Most folks want to keep hope alive, as I do, but I don't think she's coming home.
W
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8455
Dec 3, 2008
 

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More food for thought

I donít know if there is a way to do this, but there should be. Is it possible to obtain a computer print-out of all the temporary license plates issued by the State of New Hampshire to people residing in the county where Maura Murray disappeared and the counties adjoining it that would have been valid during the period of February 7 through February 14, 2004?
Why? As a witness walked E/B on the 112 toward the convenience store located near the Goose Lane intersection, she saw a red pickup truck with temporary NH plates parked in parking lot. When she entered the well lit area of the parking lot, the driver saw her and pulled out of the lot heading E/B on the 112 toward the Weathered Barn. A few minutes later she saw the black Bronco (Sgt Smith) with its emergency lights on pass by the store headed E/B on the 112 (responding to the 911 calls about the Saturn in the snow bank). We can infer that the red pickup would have arrived at the scene of the accident after the SBD and before the Bronco. This is within the short window of opportunity when the female driver of the Saturn disappeared. If we could identify this person, get a current address, and run a record check on him, we might be several giant steps closer to solving Mauraís disappearance.
Mason

Paducah, KY

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#8456
Dec 3, 2008
 
In response to Curious #4467 @ p. 222

Brian referred to a jacket with an eagle on it. Another possibility might be an eagle tattoo.

Cheers
WHITE WASH

Worcester, MA

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#8457
Dec 3, 2008
 
Of course you can challenge it.
And I will tell you I obtained this
statement from HPD from an official
report filed with the courts.
What I reported was the SBD official
statement to police.
Just my personal opinion that he was
pressured to changed his statement to
the press.
Mason wrote:
RE: partial quote from Whitewash #8425 @ p. 419
<quoted text>
I'm not challenging the authenticity of the quoted material because I'm confident that you would not misrepresent statements published by the Journal Opinion. I have been under the impression, however, that the SBD driver is on the record specifically denying that he told Sgt Smith the young woman was intoxicated. Both statements cannot be true. This material contradiction creates further confusion regarding the events of February 9th.
I'm also under the impression that when he was shown a photograph of Maura Murray he said the young woman driving the Saturn was not Maura Murray. Now, I'm wondering if he is going to change his mind about that too.
I'm also feeling a bit exasperated regarding the conclusory opinion that the vehicle's speed and the force with which it impacted the trees, as shown by tire tracks in the snow, were sufficient to cause the airbags to deploy. No one ever would mistake me for Einstein, but Jeeze Louise, how is it possible to defend such an opinion when there is no damage to the vehicle that is consistent with having struck a tree. Sorry, but I doubt that speed and force at impact can be determined by looking at tire tracks in the snow.
Methinks the police are feeling uncomfortable with the heat in the kitchen.
The more detailed information about what the police were doing has reassured me quite a lot because I was wondering why they weren't doing things that I now realize they were doing. There never can be too much accurate information. Now, maybe we can get somewhere instead of spinning on dry.
WHITE WASH

Worcester, MA

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#8458
Dec 3, 2008
 
In in an interview with the Westmans
Faith stated Sgt.Smith came looking
for the driver.
Just my PERSONAL opinion this has been
added to give the story a GREAT SPIN!
Quija wrote:
<quoted text>
White Wash,
Really good that you posted this article. Many people have not seen this. This article was dismissed by a small, but vocal, group at a previous forum. They expressed so much skepticism that I was pretty much pulled in to ignoring the statements here. However, I now believe that each phone call attempt by Cecil Smith to reach the Saturn's owner is true. He called all over the place! He called Laurie's house too. He called UMass/Amherst before the end of his shift on Tuesday. This side of "the story" needs to be heard.
The only thing that I can't get to mesh with this is Cecil Smith's alleged comment to the Westmans, "Where is the girl?" ("the girl with the towel in the tailpipe") Can anyone explain this? Miscommunication? Bad memory of conversation? Or what?
WHITE WASH

Worcester, MA

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#8459
Dec 3, 2008
 
Sorry my point was the photographs all
being viewed on line ect where taking
standing up looking down on Maura's car.
To show the actual damage one would need to sit or kneel at the damage height to get the actual view.
WTF-the-original wrote:
<quoted text>
WW I don't know if I understand the question.
The only thing I can think of is called parallax shift but I don't know if that is what you are looking for.
Bill
WHITE WASH

Worcester, MA

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#8460
Dec 3, 2008
 
The plows would still need to leave enough room to do what along the road?
Pull off!
Yes the snow banks where High and Hard that year.
But if you know the area you know that was plowed back to the tree line.
mcsmom wrote:
Bill, Sharon stated in the old forum that the snow banks were head high when she was there on Feb 11th 2004.
Quija

Concord, MA

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#8461
Dec 3, 2008
 

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Mason, Firecat, White Wash --- you've brought some new (and needed) life and focus here in these recent posts. Firecat, your reminding me of paint chips on front bumper, questionably from towing... that was chilling.

Mason -- IIRC the plates on the red pickup truck were identified as Mass. plates by RO. But everyone has noted that they look similar to temp. NH plates. I don't believe RO budged in her description, though, IIRC>

The towel in the tailpipe is explained if Maura left her keys in the car while, for ex., going in to get gas. We need to know her habits and if she grabbed the keys automatically or not.... we have heard that she has previously locked herself out of the car, but that doesn't have to be related to habitual behavior at a gas station or convenience store.

The Saturn stalling within a mile or has been stated by 3 other people who are familiar with auto mechanics or consulted with same, so I can go with that. One poster here wondered (off-line) if an exhaust pipe with a leak or hole would make much difference in the distance the vehicle could go.

The perp/good samaratin scenario is a good one.

Butch Atwood was quoted differently in many articles:
--She appeared intoxicated.
--She had a hard time getting out of the car and standing up (uh, yeah, try it when you have to push a door into a snowbank) after one or two accidents.
--It could've been her but her hair was down.

Then, as White Wash said, his comments moved toward her not appearing intoxicated. It could've been from political pressure, and/or his discomfort with having any responsibility in leaving an impaired girl alone. I still think he wanted to look good in his actions.

I got dismissed on the old forum years ago when I wondered if UMass Security could run a computer check for students with red pickups that matched the description --- because UMass is like a good-sized town. But I liked Mason's idea about checking mechanics...
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