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.