Monday, November 23, 2015

Maura Sightings Keep Leading to Sherbrooke Area of Quebec

If you follow the "official" Maura Murray Facebook page, moderated by a distant through-marriage relative (and also a man who may or may not exist), you likely have not heard that there are people who believe they've seen Maura since her disappearance.

The sightings actually begin an hour before her disappearance. That's when a cashier at Butson's Supermarket in Woodsville says Maura and two female friends came in to buy some wine coolers. Fred learned about this sighting early in the investigation and caused a scene in the store when he demanded video footage from a manager (there was likely no video footage that showed the register or entryway). But the family never released this info and did not acknowledge it until after it was published on this blog.

Years later, someone posted an anonymous report on a messagboard that suggested Maura hit Petrit Vasi with her car the night she had a breakdown at Melville hall, four days before her disappearance. That was the final push Maura needed to ditch her identity and start a new life. "Maura is living a content and satisfying life in the Province of Quebec." It appears a nurse, or someone who trained as a nurse, may have written that post, by the way.

Most interesting was this response to the post by someone called "Observer"

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 Observer avatar was traced to an IP address in a small town in Massachusetts where Fred Murray's cousins live.

This was followed by the post by "Tourist in Canada" on a Topix messageboard:

I saw Maura Murray alive and well in Sherbrooke Quebec, I approached her and said "Hi Maura". She turned toward me and said "Hi" then gasped and looked like she was going to pass out from shock. I have no doubt this was Maura Murray. She is apparently alive and well and living in Canada. When I saw her she was with very handsome young man.

In June of this year, we heard from a witness who was just ten years old in 2004 when a distressed woman showed up at his family's house near the Back Lake section of Pittsburg, New Hampshire, just across the border from Sherbrooke, Quebec.

At the same time I heard from a woman vacationing in Florida who was convinced she saw Maura in a vehicle at a gas station. The vehicle's plates were from Quebec.

In 2013, I traveled to Sherbrooke, Montreal, and Quebec City with Lance and Tim (the podcast guys). We showed pictures of Maura to people throughout those cities. A manager at a fitness center was 100% sure she'd seen Maura in there. And a record store employee said we missed Maura by a few days.

Now, with any cold case, there are always sightings of missing people, some whose bodies turn up years later. But, in my experience, these sightings are scattered throughout the country, and can be chalked up to look-a-likes. Maura's sightings are not scattered. They're localized around Sherbrooke, Quebec.

123 comments:

  1. Sorry to post this here, but my computer was acting funny and seemed like it would not allow in the other thread. If this duplicates. I apologize in advance.

    jjholy made a great point about the timing of MM's trip and the snow says at UMASS

    It's been a while since I remember reading about the "snow cancellation". When was the cancellation in comparison to the day she left?

    If she did need a break to decompress then taking advantage of the snow days, which were unusual, by emailing professors might have looked like an easy exploit. Professors would be too busy dealing with the snow days (and all of the students trying to get extra time for deadlines, which totally happens in those situations) to worry about her taking a few extra days for a 'legitimate' bereavement excuse.

    So, I can't believe I've never thought of this before, but this makes perfect sense to me. She was doing what most young people do by exploiting a situation for more time off of school. I know, I've done it myself and so have most of my friends (we occasionally get huge snow volume in Indiana).

    Would a suicidal person take advantage of a situation and make excuses to professors for extra days off on the back of snow days, pack up her room, take toiletries, buy alcohol for mixed drinks, try to get lodging, print off mapquest directions, take school books, running gear (think I remember running gear being in the car), and take a sentimental teddy bear and necklace of suicide as the goal? My mind does not drift in the direction of suicide when looking at these things.

    Also, what about the things that should have been in the car if she was bringing toiletries. How about a weeks worth of clothing? curling iron? Flat Iron? Makeup?

    My guess is she grabbed them as she left the car along with the alcohol. If you were spooked by the cops or Butch Atwood why grab those things and bolt off into the woods? Or why go meet you fate in the cold dark night with a back pack full of booze, clothes, makeup, and hair product? This is of course speculation, but those things were missing from the car and would have been there for a young girl going on a trip.

    If suicide was the goal none of that $#!T would have been in the car from the beginning.

    I think she must have been picked up by a friend or been so close to the destination that she just grabbed what she needed and ran.

    She did know the area, I believe. If you look on Google Maps and follow that road in the direction MM was going you will eventually get to Jigger Johnson campground. In a letter that Renner posted she made note of Jigger Johnson area and a place she was familiar with and thought it was particularly nice. She definitely know the area.

    thoughts?



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    1. You can check the climatological data for those days in the vicinity of Amherst on Weather Underground. There was enough snow and freezing rain on Friday the 6th that I am not surprised they cancelled classes. But there was really nothing that would have stopped any New Englander from driving on Saturday the 7th.

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    2. In regards to Maura in Sherbrooke, it is estimated we are video taped without us being aware on cctv cameras, If I recall 20 times a day, perhaps she will be seen on a random cctv video. Surprised she hasn't been, actually it's impossible unless she's in jail or on a fishing vessel.

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    3. If the eyewitness are willing to sign an affidavit it should be considered, otherwise dismissed no proof.

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  2. Is this what this forum has come to? Rehasing things that have already been rehashed?

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    1. You have to Rehash things in order to find the truth. How do you think police find the answers to cold cases, they go back and look over everything.
      Until there's an answer, everything around Maura's disappearence needs to be looked at and looked at again. You never know what might be the break, to solve this case.

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    2. Anonymous rehashes the overly rehashed rehashing complaint, the most rehashed sentiment of them all.

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  3. She would be a prime candidate for a runaway seeking a new existence. She just disappeared SO quickly, it's hard to imagine she could've escaped EVERYONE.

    Do we think those eyewitnesses to the accident saw her get into a car and when they told people, they were told to not say that because Maura wouldn't want people to know where she was?

    It'd also explain why a distressed woman wouldn't want cops called.

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  4. While I'm not one to discredit a kid, who has no motive to lie, Pittsburg is like 2 hours from where she left her car.

    So whomever picked her up, if it wasn't a killer, drove her north a good ways.

    Now, I have given hitchhikers rides, but no more than 5 or so miles.

    Winter and walking would've been rough.

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  5. If the Butsons sighting is to be believed then there would have had to have been another vehicle in order for the other two girls to get back to school. Do we know if either Kate or Sara had a vehicle? We know from the blog that Mauras sisters husband had a red truck.

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    1. I learned from someone who was on the woman's track team at the time that Kate had a very unreliable car at UMASS, parked in a remote lot. This person heard that Kate simply abandoned the car at UMASS after she graduated.

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    2. So Kate's the one, who had a very unreliable car, and it was parked in a back lot. If something happened to Maura's car like a hit and run, perhaps this is where they had the car parked.
      Wonder if Maura had been letting Kate, borrow her car?

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    3. Not only Butsons in Woodsville but the McDonald's as well, which is in the same parking lot, they usually have video tapes, but that was almost a decade ago.

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  6. Well they're all around Quebec except for the Florida sighting [Quebec playes though]. Seems unlikely maura would drive to Florida from quebec if she's trying to lay low. Maybe a coincidence. I really hope these sightings are her - I want to know what happened!

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  7. If anyone knows Canadian immigration laws, please correct me. But is it possible to just "move to Canada" because you feel like it? Wouldn't an American citizen need to go through immigration procedures in order to start a new life? If so, Maura may have needed to provide some or all of the following: proof of identity (passport, drivers license, birth certificate), proof of income, substantial filing fees, and a permisible reason for immigrating (e.g. marriage, job).

    My husband went through U.S. immigration and there was a huge amount of paperwork needed, and several hundred dollars in fees at each stage.

    I know the idea here is that Maura's "living under the radar" but that may have been quite difficult to do without legal status in the first place. I am just assuming Sherbrooke does not have much illegal immigration. I don't know what opportunities or social infrastructure exists there for people without legal status. I don't know how easy it would be to get a job or a place to live without proper Canadian status. If she couldn't work legally, with proper status, then she'd be living at an income level far, far below what she was used to. I have a hard time believing that's what she had planned.

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    1. You are 100% correct. She would only be there unknowingly to the FBI if she was there illegally. Any paperwork she filed for residency or citizenship would have flagged the US.

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    2. My take on this. In 2003, she could have been there without a passport and without any governmental awareness of her being there. The border was open. You could enter Canada with a driver's license, so long as you did not run into a problem at the border.

      Around 2009, the border was closed. Now you need a passport to enter Canada.

      While she could have been there without any governmental knowledge in 2004, she could not have gotten a job unless she had a Visa, or became a citizen, perhaps by marraige, either of which processes likely would have pinged her records with the Social Security Administration and other agencies, thus making her visible in governmental data to investigators.

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    3. Yes all countries have lengthy immigration policies and Canada is very strict with a lot of their rules. ESPECIALLY DUIs.

      If she's there, it's very likely she found a man and she herself is living under the radar.

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    4. I live in Canada and am only actually hearing about this case now. Canada immigration is not leniant. You cannot just move here and decide to live and work without proper paperwork. It needs to all be filled out and approved before getting to the border. However, just visiting Canada you can do but they do limit you on how long of a stay you are allowed. If she decided to disappear after entering Canada there would have been a nationwide arrest warrant for her.
      As well yes it is true that before 2009 you could enter Canada with just a drivers licence, however you cannot cross the border on foot. You need to be on some sort of vehicle. Bicycles do not count either. Even with a smashed up vehicle she wouldn't have been able to cross it would have been flagged not only with Canadian authorites but as well with the American authorities.

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  8. OMG! I just wish you could prove this beyond a shadow of any doubt! Good work James!

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  9. This is sort of a random question, but was Maura's gas tank full or low at the time of the accident? If full, it would quiet those who question whether the accident was staged.

    There aren't many places to get gas out there, so if the tank was full, she most likely filled up in Woodsville and the accident was unintentional. With less than $300 in her checking account, she didn't have money to spare. If the tank was full, it would also lend credence to the theory of the rag being put in the tailpipe by someone at the gas station who then followed her a short distance to the accident site.

    Given Maura's financial state, I think the amount of gas is only meaningful if the tank was full. She may well have gotten gas in Woodsville and could only afford half a tank, for example, but I don't think there's any way we could discern that now.

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    1. I have heard that her tank was near full but I have seen no proof of that.

      There was a gas station/convenience store called the stage stop a mile back on her supposed route down 112. I do, however, point out that we don't know for a fact that she did not approach 112 from the South, on any of several roads that connect down to Route 116. If she did this, it would suggest she had made an interim stop.

      The Stage Stop, incidentally is where the local resident was headed on foot when she saw the mysterious red truck whose driver appeared to be looking for someone. According to that person's account, this incident happened in the 30 minutes prior to the Saturn accident and not afterward.

      East of the scene, you are correct that there are few and far between gas stations. West of the scene, however, there is the aforementioned Stage Stop, as well as at least one in Woodsville (about 5 miles back) and others in Haverhill proper, south of there.

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    2. I like your thinking. But what if, in Woodville, her tank was empty? She could've put any amount in.

      I think because she had potential legal problems, relationship problems, father problems, she packed her college stuff and purposefully left an email (who does that, really), told teachers she'd be gone, allegedly pleaded for the bus driver to not call the cops...

      I think all of that leads to run away and purposeful accident.

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    3. Perhaps Maura's tank was already full, when she left for her trip.
      She most likely, wouldn't of used to much gas yet. If full , probably would of had a little over a half of tank left.
      As I recall, my friend in High schools mom had a Saturn in 2003 , and she could travel about 5 hrs on a full tank.

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    4. Picture of the Saturn show the Needle close to full.

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    5. My theory about the rag in the tailpipe is that perhaps she put it in there herself. Carbon Monoxide along with drinking and driving could have led to a staged accident.

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  10. Maura Murray never left those woods. How did she travel from the crash site? If someone was trailing her to pick her her up, why not directly behind het car to get her out of there asap? Why far enough behind to allow several vehicles to stop / pass her by? Or did she hide in the woods and met up somewhere down the road? Highly inlikely. Everything points to her not planning to run away. If you are an adult or even almost an adult and you want to cut ties with your family, you can do so, just pack your bag, move away and start a life somewhere, no need to disappear. Disappearing like that takes a lot of skill, perfect timing, supplies, cash, assistance to travel undetected, accomodation somewhere new, new documents etc... This is beyond Maura in my opinion. There are also better, lower risk ways / areas / setups to ise to dissapear than doing it on a relatively busy / unpredictable road, several yards away from someone's house. Saw a riddle / rhyme on Reddit seemingly related to MM. Also the coordinates Renner got, seems like even the trolls know what is most obvious. I am pretty certain she succumbed in the woods. Just too far fetched for me to believe she made a dissapearance stick.

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    1. I agree. When traveling tandem with friends just on simple road trips, we never lost sight of their vehicle unless it was on, say, a highway or freeway. If they got off, or if it was in a more rural area, you'd be tailing.

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    2. ..except that if she never left the woods, they would have found her body when they were searching for her in the days after she disappeared. They searched the area extensively, because the obvious concern was that she could have wandered off into the woods and succumbed to the elements. If she was there, they would have found her or her body.

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    3. When Chandra Levy disappeared, LE had a lead from her computer that she had gone to a nearby park. While it was a large urban park, it was still far less acreage than the area surrounding the crash site. The urban park was searched by military cadets in an arm-in-arm grid search, and Chandra's remains were not found. It was I believe a full year later that a man and his dog found her bones/clothing by chance while turtle hunting. So we can't say Maura's body would have been found if there.

      However, two things argue against Maura running off into the woods and dying. No footprints were found in the snow. Secondly, the dogs lost her scent not far down the road. James has gotten bizarre information telling him that LE "expected" the dogs to lose the scent where they did. That makes no sense. Wherever Maura was at the farthest point from her car would be the freshest scent. If the dogs could pick it up at the trash site, the could pick it up down the road. Losing the trail indicates she got into another car. The question is whether the car belonged to a friend (tandem driver theory) or whether it belonged to a stranger.

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    4. It as dark so an eyewitness to the crash wouldn't have seen her walk off from the car. Thats whats unfortunate for us. If she was picked up, the tandem car would've had to be out of sight.

      Has anyone asked tho neighbors if they remember what other cars drove by?

      the only thing bad about the story where the 10 yr old remembers a distressed woman wanting shelter is Maura has a common look AND it wasn't a rarity for people to disappear or run from bad people.

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    5. ...except that you can't compare Chandra Levy and Maura's cases as though just because a body was involved and it was outside that they are the same thing. They only searched HALF of the main section of the park where Chandra was eventually found. That means that they had a lead she went into the park, but they did not in any way do an arm-in-arm grid search of the entire park as you're comment would imply.

      Regarding Chandra's case:
      "Though police had previously searched over half the 1,754-acre main section of the park (2.74 mi2, 7.10 km2), the wooded slope where Levy's remains were eventually found had not been searched as it was very remote."

      So, I have no idea nor can I find any indication of the exact size of the wooded area surrounding where Maura's car was found to be able to conclude whether the park was "far less acreage", but the fact that they didn't search the entire park, and specifically did not search the area where her body was eventually found, means they didn't "miss" finding her body by any means. They just didn't search the area it was located in.

      I'm not saying it's impossible to miss a dead body, but one that is fully intact and has yet to decompose, and was not buried or hidden by another person would be very, very difficult to miss if you were searching it. Especially considering they brought in dogs, and also did air searches in addition to ground searches in Maura's case. The chances of her wandering off/running off into the woods and dying of exposure without her body having been found is extremely unlikely.

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    6. Maura could apply for a student visa, to allow her to continue her studies in Quebec. Apparently she spoke a bit of German, not sure about French. The track coach said she wanted to run away, but Mexico, quite a difference.

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  11. Do you think Maura (if alive) could still be in the Sherbrooke, Quebec area? Or could she be on the move. No one had been to Canada to look for her prior to James and the podcast guys. Could you all of stirred something up and caused her to be on the move?
    Perhaps getting a PI over there, could circulate some leads.
    If alive, Maura could be reading this blog to find out info and where the search/ leads are
    Very interesting that the people at the record store said that this woman was carrying a backpack, softspoken, and expressive with her eyes. Maura was described as soft spoken and expressive with her eyes, by people that knew her.
    Wonder if the two record store workers, have ever seen this woman again.
    The person that said they saw her and said Hi Maura, and she said Hi back and then turned pale white. Was this someone who knew her from back home/ college or just recognized her from seeing/ hearing about her disappearance? Has this person seen this woman again?
    Did this woman give any one a name?
    Did this young person remember anything specific about this woman? Name, why she was running, a backpack, softspoken, etc. Did the Aunt give you any information about this woman? Who and why she was running? A name, where had she been staying?
    Anything that might give an idea on whether this was Maura or not?
    Fred took the sighting an hr before the crash at Butsons, pretty seriously but failed to mention it to the media/ public. Why? If this would of been known 11.5 years ago, more people might of came forward with information. Apparently, they were seen at McDonalds. Someone could of possibly seen the vehicle(s) they were in.

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    1. If alive and desperately wanting to evade people looking, it would make sense that thered be people people purposefully saying she is dead with vague stories attached.

      The email hacking, if that's what happened to podcasters, is intriguing .Does point to someone messing with them to try to scare them into ceasing the search and leaving her alone.

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  12. Great post. I think some more work needs to be done there. I also have no doubt that she was sighted with friends at a supermarket. It aligns with my personal theory to what happened. I also have no doubt she is in Canada with all the information you have uncovered. The Tallahassee sighting is intriguing. Who would she be meeting there? James, have you contacted Fred's former neighbors for information? It shouldn't be too hard to do some footwork and figure out who was living there at the time. I think that should be your next step. They may have information about his travels and whereabouts. It may be an important clue to figure out what really is going on.

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    1. Tallahassee could be just a typical cold case sighting and it wasn't her. No one would go there unless a job awaited. lol My aunt lives there.

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    2. I think since cops are stating opinions about BIlly, they probably think it is likely she ran away. But then there's that one dude who said she's in a house dead in NH. Red herring from cops to help her escape?

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    3. Yeah I think that officer is just trying to get back at LE, if there was anything like that, they would print it to make it look like they're doing something.

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  13. Butsons had turned into a Shaws shortly before Maura's trip. A shaws bag was found in her car.

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  14. Sir, I have followed this blog with great interest for about 2 years now. I certainly admire your in-depth research a great deal. One thing I need clarification on, if you will. I've never really understood the significance, if indeed there is any, of the off-campus party that is referred to frequently. It is a party that apparently to have more of close friends don't want to discuss. Would you be so kind as to tell me how that figures into the case, I'd like to have a better understanding of this. Thank you in advance, Lynn

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    1. Its the weekend before her disappearance, it should be looked at, then determined any value to her missing, such as a stalker etc. To think its not important is throwing the case in the garbage can.

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  15. "Now, with any cold case, there are always sightings of missing people, some whose bodies turn up years later. But, in my experience, these sightings are scattered throughout the country, and can be chalked up to look-a-likes."

    Well, there is another possibility: people sometimes just flat out lie. Sure, look-a-likes are possible, but just as there are people who try to inject themselves into a case, there are always people who lie and act like they know where the missing person is or claimed to have seen him/her.

    I encourage everyone to Google "Kari (sometimes spelled Kerri) Lynn Nixon". This was a girl who disappeared near her home in a very short time (it's estimated that it must've happened in a matter of minutes). Friends and family were torn on whether she simply ran away or if she was abducted by someone. Apparently she had even talked about running away to a friend. To top it all off, there was even a woman who claimed to have not just sighted Kari, but even talked to her and interacted with her.

    Well, unfortunately, 7 years after her disappearance, the guy who abducted, raped, and murdered her eventually confessed to the crime. She was buried only a few miles from her house. So that means all those "sightings" from that woman, and all the speculation regarding whether she ran away or not, were just non-sense.

    As I've said before, anyone who has followed enough of these types of cases has a very good idea of what happened to Maura. I think James does too, but he just doesn't want to see it.

    And, btw, we all ask, "What are the chances that someone just so happened to be in place to abduct Maura undetected?" Well, I could simply respond by asking, "What are the chances that someone would just so happen to be able to abduct Kari undetected, in such a short time frame, and only a few blocks from her house?" My guess is that what happened to Kari is statistically very low.... but it happened. Now Maura... I think if she didn't succumb to the elements accidentally, then it's obvious she was abducted.

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    1. I do agree with your points, except a victim who is abducted in/near her home is way more common and an easier opportunity-- more easily stalked and movements known.

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    2. Nail on the head. Sometimes we won't accept something as simple as murder because it is just that, too simple.

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    3. AMEN. I believe most people feel this way, but because this is James's blog, the majority of comments here are from people who agree with his theories. Fair enough! But if you follow conversations outside this blog, you see many commenters who share a much more simplistic view of Maura's disappearances.

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    4. People definitely run away all the time. And given how she was at a sleepy town on a sleepy road, it is kind of unlikely she was abducted.

      It does look like she met up with someone down the road and right before she got to where her car was left, she placed the rag with hopes of stalling it?

      It does seem planned.

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    5. "AnonymousNovember 23, 2015 at 8:18 PM

      I do agree with your points, except a victim who is abducted in/near her home is way more common and an easier opportunity-- more easily stalked and movements known."

      Ok, but you didn't Google and read about the case I suggested, did you? Because Kari was abducted randomly. Her abductor said he had gotten into a fight with his wife, and was driving, and he happened to see her walking by herself. He then said he held her at gun point, and told her to get in his car. Just a few minutes prior to her abduction, Kari talked to some friends on that same road. After Kari's friends left, a car had come onto the road just a few minutes later and the driver said no one was there.

      So Kari's abductor just so happened to be in the right place, at the right time, just out of pure coincidence. If it happened to Kari, why can't something similar happen to Maura?

      "AnonymousNovember 23, 2015 at 8:20 PM

      Nail on the head. Sometimes we won't accept something as simple as murder because it is just that, too simple. "

      Yeah, a "mystery" is just so much more enticing. But, I think a lot of it has to do with people also want to believe the best case scenario. I actually do too. But you know, I will gladly wear egg on my face if it turns out everything I state is wrong and she's alive. But until we find her or find what happened to her, I see no reason to think she's still alive.

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    6. That was a tragic case but at the time, it seemed obvious that the family was holding on to wishful thinking that she would have run away instead of something more sinister happening to her.

      Kari Lynn Nixon was 16. She had just finished her sophomore year of high school. She was underage, with no money, no life experience, happy and extremely close with her family. There were no real hardships or dysfunction in her family while she was growing up either. Running away never made any logical sense for her since day one. And that ended up being the case.

      Maura, on the other hand, never really had any of those blessings. Or at least very few in comparison. But she was a legal adult with survival skills from West Point. Her being able to successfully run away is not out of the realm of possibility.

      I'm not saying Maura couldn't have met with foul play but the odds of her being able succeed at running away compared to an under-aged teenager are pretty high.

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    7. Andy,

      The point I'm trying to make is that Kari was someone who was abducted out of opportunity, and it happened fast. And also, that she is also someone who there is an eye-witness who claimed to have seen her and even interacted with her. So the point I'm trying to get across is that just because someone disappears fast without any eye witnesses, doesn't mean that person ran away. And just because there are eye witness sightings, that doesn't mean they are reliable.

      "..it seemed obvious that the family was holding on to wishful thinking that she would have run away instead of something more sinister happening to her"

      I could say the same thing about Maura. I think it is obvious that she either succumbed to the elements accidentally or she was the victim of foul play.

      "She was underage, with no money, no life experience, happy and extremely close with her family. There were no real hardships or dysfunction in her family while she was growing up either."

      That you know of. Remember, one of the reasons we know so much about Maura is because we're now in the age of the internet and there are people like James who've dug deep into this case. There wasn't anyone like that in Kari's case. If not for people like James and the internet, I wouldn't have thought Maura had dysfunction in her family either.

      "But she was a legal adult with survival skills from West Point. Her being able to successfully run away is not out of the realm of possibility."

      Never said it is outside of the realm of possibility. Just that it is very unlikely.

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  16. This is highly improbable as the FBI got involved (by request). The FBI easily can communicate with Canada (and does) about inquiries such as this. If Canada confirmed her being there at any such time, the FBI would not release her information, but would inform the police and the case would be closed, and a statement would be released something to the effect like, "Maura Murray has been found and is away on her own volition. We are not releasing any other details at this time."

    The only way I see around this is if she is hiding from the government of Quebec. But that is just so difficult unless she obtained some sort of fake profile in the early 2000s when it was much easier than now.

    Any other government employees (I, myself, am one), please respond to me with any other scenarios you might have experienced that I've not mentioned.

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    1. That is true.

      2 things that are mysterious:

      Why is it still open?

      Why is there no pronounced death? Don't they do that if people have a strong inklings someone has been dead for enough time?

      it's SO weird that there's a albeit problematic former NH officer who claims she's dead and in NH.

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    2. If she met the right man, She could live completely off grid.

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    3. The FBI was only involved very briefly just after her disappearance and only in Massachusetts. NH would not request help from the FBI despite Fred's pleading.

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    4. ^^^ the FBI still has a file on her whether NH LE wants their help or not. Any info would subsequently be passed on.

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  17. James, i've followed this story and your blog for the past 3 years. I love your wring and you've brought such depth and desire to find Maura Murray...... but what is going on right now? you keep switching theories and bringing up topics you've discussed ages ago. Is this for the purpose of all the new readers?

    In changing your theories so frequently I can't help but question your authenticity/credibility.

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  18. ^ she could of easily married a Canadian Man; assumed his last name and eventually get dual citizenship.

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    1. Not necessarily. If she entered Canada as a tourist and then settled there permanently, she would be an illegal immigrant and would likely need to return to the U.S. and then re-enter Canada legally in order to adjust her status. That's how it works in the U.S.

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    2. She could indeed have married a Canadian man, thus gotten a new name and thereby have become eligible for rapidly becoming a Canadian citizen. However, to work in Canada would likely require the equivalent of a US SSN. Both getting that, and establishing Canadian citizenship would have reflected as activity in her records at both the Social Security Administration and the IRS, if not several other federal agencies, including the INS.

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    3. if she was in Canada illegally for long enough to meet a man, date him, and get married, that would have come up when they applied for a marriage licence and she would have been arrested/deported. if she is with a man, they are certainly not legally married unless she is using the stolen identity of a Canadian citizen

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    4. No, you don't rapidly become a Canadian citizen being married to one. And they check EVERYTHING. You have to submit state and federal police checks, among many other things. They also try to confirm it is not a marriage of convenience e.g. just to get into the country. As you said John, all the US agencies would have been alerted she was still alive. Her arrest record would have also maybe caused her issue in Canada.
      It took my ex-wife (from Missouri) over a year to get permanent residence status in Canada after we were married (and another 3 to get citizenship.)
      Of course, perhaps all the U.S. agencies were notified, the local police know exactly where she is, but have no requirement to let anyone know. (Though I personally doubt that. I think is she is in Canada she is doing it under the radar, unless she got fake I.D.)

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    5. she could have received fake id and info before actually leaving for Canada. this has happened before there are people out there that hide people for their safety so if she did flee to Canada a fake id and SS# birth cert. would have done the trick.

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    6. and perhaps the disturbing call she got at work that sent her crying to her room with her boss escorting her was someone telling her they had it all ready and it needed to happen soon.

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  19. In 2004, it wasn't as hard to get a new identity. It was a lot easier than people want to believe. I would probably be skeptical too, but I've seen it first hand. In 2003 I met a guy who was going by a different name than his own. He had vehicle loans, credit cards, legitimate job where he cashed checks, and he also got in trouble under this name. For several years, I didn't know the name he
    went by, wasn't his real name. He went by this name for years.
    So yes, its very possible, especially if 4,000 was to help with it.

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  20. Feel like I am trapped in a fishbowl and it just keeps swirling around and around. I am getting sea sick..!

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    1. There's nothing we can do. Just remember that. If alive, she could be ANYWHERE.

      Delete

  21. I went to Canada around that time. My passport was expired at the time, but my husband used his to get in. I was still able to use my license in those days. The passport requirement for US citizens traveling to Canada didn't begin until around 2009 I believe. But if she did travel to Canada during this time, she could have used either. I'm not sure if passport info is logged but I recall that they only glanced at my license and handed it back.

    I only mention this because I think in those days it would have been entirely possible to get into Canada without there being any record as long as they weren't suspicious of her. All you had to do was tell them you reason for visiting and how long you intended to visit. I can believe that in those days she could have disappeared there.





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    1. Hmm, several of my friends in Canada told me that US citizens could cross the border without a passport UNTIL 9/11. They say 9/11 changed security measures drastically. Maybe you got lucky? Many see women as less of a threat, your passport (though) expired proved you were accepted in the past, and you had the same last name as your spouse, who did have an active passport. Just a possibility :) Maura probably could have eventually found a way in if she really wanted, but I don't believe she ever tried.

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    2. Kel, it changed in 2009 or so, possibly inspired by 9/11. But through 2008 or so, you could cross without a passport. I imagine the screening procedures were more stringest after 9/11 and lines of cars crossing at major highways were longer.

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    3. Yes, I don't think we are doubting she could get across the border, more about her being there illegally for eleven years without pinging the FBI.

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    4. John, Wow, if that's the case Canada was a little late responding to 9/11... Talk about procrastinating! I get that passing new laws takes time, but 8 years for stricter security? Get it together Canada! Haha :)

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    5. Haven't been to Canada and I know it's apples and oranges, but I walked over the border to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 2006 with no license or passport on me. I waited in line for ten minutes...They didn't ask my name or anything. It was easier than checking out a library book. Coming back in was no different and I was noticeably intoxicated. I was shocked how easy it was.
      Maura told her track coach she was thinking of running away to Mexico. Just Sayin'.

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  22. I wonder if $4000 could buy a new identity.

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    1. find it highly unlikely that she is alive. I believe she most likely met with foul play, either by the hands of an opportunist or by someone known to her. Is there a good chance that she knew the person who did this to her (her companion on her trip) ? I think this is more likely. IMO I think she went on a trip to escape Personal difficulties and these personal difficulties were unrelated to her disappearance. Find out who she went in the trip with and I think we have it.

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    2. Maybe her dad wanted it to help her, but (IF she did in fact run away) she wanted complete separation.

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. I maintain the $4000 cash for a new used car is a b s o l u t e l y bogus. Im suspect the $4000 was even Fred's money. I think Fred was the delivery boy. If y'all can solve the $4000 mystery - it is the missing piece & you will solve this case.

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    1. What the hell is that supposed to mean..? "Delivery Boy"

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  25. After working on this case for 11 1/2 years now and being a local here in NH having heard all the talk, chatter, rumors and even LE saying they are treating it as a homicide I have come to one conclusion.

    Maura is dead and was murdered by people that are known but yet to be identified to the public. This is bc there is no body or any substantial evidence or any cooperation with LE to bring a solid case against the perpetrators of this crime.

    It is My belief that Maura's body was dismembered and parts of her body were placed in different locations and disposed of in some horrific ways as to cover the evidence and make it nearly impossible to have any viable source to be tested.

    Although I still feel there is enough evidence out there that IF found will be the catalyst that will start the Domino effect and bring this case closer to resolution.

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    1. OK, looong time reader and I'm beyond tired of the cloak and dagger so I'll bite.

      You're as good as anyone to ask:

      1) There's speculation Mr Murray has tried to control interviews. Since you 100% believe he had nothing to do with his daughter's disappearance, what's your take on this?

      2) According to locals around Haverhill who've been interviewed, accidents at that bend are common. So, why hurt this particular girl?

      3) What possible "opportunity" existed here? Did Maura flash her wallet revealing the $4000? Sex trafficking? A lone wolf horndog?

      4) Though I'm not from around that neck of the woods, what the hell is going on up there? The economy has never been great there but this happened well before the 2008 meltdown. I kinda like to know what's going on in my backyard.

      5) February up there is prime ski season. Any other suspicious activity prior to and after her incident that has raised flags? Usually when there's gatherings of people to an area, petty and serious crime ensues. Opportunity knocks.

      6) Do the cops now know who trolled Lance and Tim? If not, why?


      Thanks in advance.

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    2. Yes, John, we know. Are you going to start saying 11 3/4 years soon?

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    3. If it will annoy you......Yes I will. Stick to the facts..!

      The total number of days between Monday, February 9th, 2004 and Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 is 4,307 days.

      This is equal to 11 years, 9 months, and 16 days.

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    4. Utterly fascinating, Miss Understood. You used the plural 'perpetrators'. I've been suspecting more than one perp for a while now. Oddly, when the psychic Lori Bruno suggested more than one perp, it simply made sense to me 'as a woman' (not because I'd ever believe a psychic).

      If I were stranded on a lonely road, tipsy, avoiding a DUI, vulnerable & realizing I'd just blown it yet again...I'd trust a couple before I'd trust a lone man. Whether 2 men or a man and a woman...I go with the numbers.

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    5. Wait... Miss Understood, you're a man? With a female username, I guess it's no wonder you're so misunderstood. And to think, all this time I thought you were a pig who wears too much makeup... Guess the joke is on me! :)

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    6. Anudder question if you don't mind, MU.

      7) What about the footprints found behind The Marrotte's house? Did LE determine the possible owner of those?


      BTW, I'll give you the courtesy of sticking to my name so you can follow who is who, rather than this VERY annoying habit some here possess of not offering some sort of iD.

      Thanks again.

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    7. Didn't know they found footprints behind the Marriott's house. Did they find them that night or several days later, when they searched.
      Also, Miss Understood- you said they searched this person home, (15 miles from the crash site) who supposedly harmed Maura, and dismembered her and it was said they found no evidence of this happening in this home. Could this of still happened yes and if it did then its time for this sicko(s) to be caught.
      Sticking to facts in this case are crucial.
      Fact is Maura's Family/Billy/ friends have been untruthful
      The witness statements from around the crash site, makes no sense
      The Murrays are the one who told Faith it wasn't someone smoking but it was a cellphone light or car charger light.
      Maura's phone was never shut on, so it couldn't of been a light from her cellphone
      Was the car charger found plugged in when the police found the car? If not then it couldn't of been from the charger.
      Fred goes and tries to get video from the But son sighting but fails to mention this sighting to the public/ media. Which at that time almost 12 years ago, knowing about the sighting could of been very helpful.
      The red truck in the area with Mass plates, was dismissed too quickly. Quincendance red truck with Mass plates in same area Maura disappeared, pretty close to the time of the crash.
      IMO, if a dirtbag did harm Maura, then her family/ friends did her no justice by being untruthful.

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    8. Miss U, I think this theory is likely as well... But I can't yet cast aside other theories such as death by misadventure or running away. Is there a small percentage in your mind that entertains either of these theories as possibilities? I know most will say searches would have found a body, but not necessarily. And I know she loved her Dad, but maybe she was running from Billy and the law, and the only way (in her 21 year old mind) to get away from her troubles was to scrape some money together and take off.
      Again, dirtbag theory makes sense but doesn't explain what she was doing in NH.

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  26. The concentrated reported sightings don't mean the sightings are of Maura.

    In the Jennifer Kesse disappearance, a high number of sightings were reported in one particular area. The reason: there was a woman in that area (a prostitute, IIRC) who very much resembled Jennifer.

    Sightings of missing people very rarely turn out to be the missing person, even when details seem to add up, even when witnesses say they are 100% certain. I even remember a case where family members viewed a videotape and misidentified a stranger as their missing family member. People WANT the missing person to be alive and well. The simple truth is that when someone has been missing for more than six months with no bank activity, no paper trail, no phone activity, the chance for a good outcome is remote. Not impossible, but very slim.

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  27. The border between Canada and the US is undefended. Its illegal to cross the border anywhere but at a border check point but there are long stretches where there are no border guards, no security and at most there might be a chain link fence differentiating Canada from the US. There are countless stories of people who have accidentally crossed the border by wandering across in an unsecured area. Maura could have done this purposely quite easily.

    My first thought at Maura being in Quebec was: how good is her french? because absent tourist areas, it can be difficult to get by without having a fairly decent command of french. Its one thing to go visit for a few days but to live and work there and only speak english is going to be extremely difficult.

    The exception to that would be if Maura ended up working on one of the native reserves there. The reserves are predominately english and a lot of non-natives work on the reserve because its basically cash under the table, no need for a social insurance number and they don't take tax deductions, etc.

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    1. I now live in Quebec, and despite studying French in school in another province for 7 years my French is bad (mostly the understanding when someone is speaking) and I almost never have to speak French. (And usually when I do the other person switches to English because they realize I am an anglophone.)
      Maura would have no issues being in Quebec in terms of language. Right beside Sherbrooke is Lennoxville which has an English language university.
      I do agree she could have gotten into Canada more easily than some suggest.
      As mentioned a number of times, if she were in Canada she'd need a sugar daddy to pay bills because she'd wouldn't have a legal job nor government-paid health care.

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  28. Was Maura fluent in French when she disappeared? She could get by in Montreal without it but Sherbrooke is definitely a solidly French town with 89.9% of the residents having French as their mother tongue.

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  29. Not to long ago, I was speaking with a detective who works in the Fraud department.
    There was this woman, who had her identity taken. When this detective started researching this, he traced who was using her social to a prison up north.
    The woman who was using her social entered Prison, under a false name/ social security number. The further they investigated they realized the woman in prison had been doing a scam with her best friend. They both had got caught and went to prison. The woman's best friend was in another prison, in another state with the same social as her best friend.
    Two women in 2 different prisons in 2 different states under the same name and social, which didn't belong to them.
    They were doing there time under false names. If this woman wouldn't of realized her social had been used, these best friends would of gotten away with it.
    Its not as hard as people believe to reinvent yourself into a different person.

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  30. It's all very interesting...made more so by loose facts that fall short of being cohesive.

    There was a forensic psychologist on the podcast who did a psychological autopsy of Maura. Narrowed her behavior down to an episode of hypomania. (An overachieving, Dean's List making, bulimic, semi-alcoholic track star...living in a pressure cooker). He thought her departure was more a case of no 'impulse control' than a master plan. We all know the type. Some of us have 'been' the type. Big deal. I agree with him.

    The chances Maura met a serial killer are pretty low. It's always a low probability occurrence...until you meet one. Then it's 100%.

    So...who are Israel Keyes victims? Nobody knows. Not even they knew his name or history. He certainly wasn't asking for their names. A beautiful, young woman traveling alone could be stalked for hours and no one would be the wiser. Throw in some liquor, a desolate road, and a minor crash. It's almost too easy.

    I'm guessing him (or someone like him) came on the scene that night. I agree with Fred M. on that count.

    So, my prayers are with the family...that they know the truth someday.

    Should it be that Maura is alive and well and living in the suburbs...I shall pop open a champagne bottle and toast you Mr. Renner.

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    1. i've looked briefly into the possibility that Israel Keyes could have abducted her, and it's probably unlikely. eerily, he was driving around Manchester, NH in October of 2004 which is about 40 minutes from Haverhill. So he knew the area (also was familiar with Vermont and NY). But he apparently didn't return to an area where he had killed a victim. So if he had killed Maura in Haverhill in February 2004 he wouldn't have been in the same general area in October of 2004. He also stated that his victims didn't receive much, if any, media coverage about their disappearances/murders. I guess you could argue what is meant by "much" but Maura still received a good amount immediately after she disappeared.

      however, can you really trust a serial killer? someone who clearly doesn't care about others, could definitely play mind games with authorities. So how can we be sure he didn't kill two people within the same area. And, it's not true about the media coverage for his last victim, the teenager in Alaska; it was all over the news in the area and then went to the national level. But even so, I tend to believe he wasn't involved.

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    2. Regarding Keyes, he was in Utah Feb 6th-13th. https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2013/august/new-information-released-in-serial-killer-case/keyes-timeline

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    3. I'm glad it's not Israel Keyes. That guy was horrifying.

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    4. Serial killers brag about their victims like hunting trophies. Messed up.

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    5. 40 minutes from Manchester to Haverhill -- more like 120+ (made it many times)

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    6. Israel Keyes had relatives that lived on Plain rd. in Bath NH

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    7. I have read that Israel Keyes did go back and visit the crime scenes/victims. He mentioned on one of the FBI tapes that he had plans to return to Vermont at a later date and burn the old house where the left the Currier bodies. He even drove back to Essex a few days after murdering the Curriers and saw all of the crime scene tape at their home and police swarming the neighborhood. I have always suspected that it was Israel Keyes who abducted Maura but then, I think that it is possible that she is still alive(I hope).

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    8. @David Blake - hmmm guess google failed me on that one...said it's about 40 minutes

      @Vivian Roberts - interesting, i haven't read that. i suppose there's a lot of differing information and certain points left out depending on who is covering the story.

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  31. Eyewitness testimony is unreliable and has surely sent many innocent men to prison.

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  32. Miss Understood - what makes you believe Maura was dismembered?

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    1. Local talk about scumbag players that would think nothing of doing these kind of things. There have been people implicated and LE is looking into that now.

      Delete
    2. Hopefully these "local talk" ers had the guts to convey such suspicions to LE before spreading rumors around the dinner table AND kept open minds as to their possible identities.

      Is/are the supposed perpetrator (s) assumed to be local, outsider (s), (an) outsider (s) with local ties, or (a) repeat drifter (s)?

      We know from case chatter that two police chiefs in the general area have engaged in unethical activities over a wide span of time. One was removed and subsequently sued. More recently, a third well south of the interest area also was accused of unethical behavior involving young women. Do locals talk of such activity in the interest area by members of LE?


      Anyway, more questions:

      8) Does anyone know where MM last filled her car? She must've paid in cash since there's been no mention of anything such, just the booze. She paid credit on that, right?

      9) The penultimate wipe out: Where?

      10) What do you make of the assertion by an insurance investigator that the damage on MM's Saturn was the result of hitting a person? Specifically, the poster of this information asked an insurance industry friend, whom had no prior history of the MM case, to look at the Saturn pix online, and the agent made that conclusion based solely on the pictures. Thin stuff for sure, but that supports your assertion that "no way did that car hit a tree" on the night of MM's Haverhill accident, but does not jibe with LE's statement that the windshield crack was surely caused from inside the vehicle. Since we have fairly much concluded the crack could not have possibly been caused by someone's head making contact that high up, could another object in the car have caused it, such as a liquor bottle? Or, is it possible as the agent suggests, that an impact from outside, possibly of a body thrown over the car, could cause outright damage, or even latent stress that eventually broke the glass afterwards?


      BTW, this case sorely needs a simple timeline graphic so we can spare ourselves endlessly repeating known facts. Just sayin'. Perhaps a retiree or someone with lots of time on their hands could supply one.

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  33. Having worked as a nurse in Montreal and having been through Canadian immigration procedures circa 2005, easier said than done for Maura. Being an RN in QC is a tightly regulated profession administered by a quasi-gov. board that requires an exhaustive background check and educational credentials. So impossible to pull off without having legal status in Canada.

    Foreign students have to fork between $16-20k/year to attend a nursing college. No small feat for Maura considering she stole credit card info for a pizza. Unless she received sustained outside help. Upon graduation, permanent residency is far from guaranteed as willing foreign students are entered into a "Federal Skilled Workers" pool where the odds as very slim to be selected. On top of that, QC has their own immigration policies that are difficult to meet unless you speak French and willing to relocate to very remote areas of which Sherbrooke is not.

    Furthermore, there's no such thing as immediate legal status through marriage, as the "sponsored" spouse has to wait outside of Canada until permanent residency is approved. The backlog was 2 years in 2005 and a colleague of mine waited 3 years in Mexico to finally be reunited with her husband in QC.

    In light of that, if Maura is indeed in the Sherbrooke area, she is probably so under illegal status working menial jobs as the bar seems too high for her to be a legally employed RN in QC.

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    1. Even low "menial" jobs requires you to have a social insurance number or a permanent resident card. You cannot obtain either without an extensive background search. Very unlikely she is working anywhere

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  34. I read this comment from John Allore. His sister was murdered in the 70's. Nobody was ever charged. I felt this could explain why the Murray family has clammed up over the years

    “No one knows anything so they fabricate everything based on absolutely no evidence… Over time they [the media] start operating in their own interests. They were suggesting she [Theresa] was a runaway, she was a drug addict, she was a lesbian… My parents got so fed up with it that they began to worry about how it would affect me and my brother who were 13 and 17… So they just shut down and stopped talking to anyone.”

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    1. Unlike Theresa Allore, Maura's fate is unknown. We know for a fact Theresa was murdered, just not by whom. With Maura, we only know she voluntarily left UMass, Amherst and Massachsetts, and her car was found in NH with no evidence of what happened to Maura. Maura's family hasn just turned down interviews and such, they have been actively spreading false information. Big difference to the Allore case.

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    2. They have not spread false info.

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  35. If Maura simply crashed by accident and was picked up by a friend driving in tandem, why would she have left her bags containing all her toiletries, bra, favorite book, etc in the car? She (presumably) took her purse and phone; it wouldn't take much extra time to simply grab the other bags before hopping in the friend's car.

    Leaving her belonging behind also does not make any sense with the scenario of a staged accident. Why pack all that stuff in the first place if you know you're going to leave it behind? It wouldn't have been necessary. You could stage an accident just as easily WITHOUT bothering to pack up several bottles of shampoo, etc.

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    1. Perhaps it was just a bag she carried around with her, that had gym clothes/ change of clothes in it.
      There wasn't panties/ or socks found except one sock with a cow design.
      IMO, it wasn't very much clothes, Just enough for a day or two.
      We the public don't know how much of Maura's clothes were left in the packed boxes in her dormroom and how much she took with her.
      No one knows exactly what was in her car, when she left UMASS and what she left with from the crash site.
      IMO, if she wasn't planning on running away, and was just getting away for a week, she would of had a bag packed with a weeks worth of clothing, not just a day or two. As I recall, she had 2 pants, 1 shirt, and a sweatshirt or two. Not a lot for a young woman for a weeks getaway.

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  36. I want to know WHY and HOW Faith and Tim did not see HOW Maura leave the scene. There is NO WAY they took their eyes off what was happening right outside their window. Also WHY did 911 disconnect the call with Faith, the person who had a complete unobstructed view of the scene.

    Also WHY did Tim not go out to see if he could help a Young girl that had just been in an accident right outside their house. It explains a lot about what He said during his interview.

    I have a ton of issues with their account and actions that evening.

    WHAT....WHEN...WHERE....WHO.....WHY......WTF

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    1. WHO WHY WTF sums it up for me...
      Miss Understood, do u think it could have been someone other than Maura in the car?
      Also, I think Fred said on tv that it seemed like she was headed to Bartlett... Do you think she intended to just hang out in NH for the weekend or do you think there was a bigger plan intended?
      Thank you for your insight on the case! What you say always gets me thinking!

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    2. I definitely think that there is a very big possibility that IT WAS NOT MAURA @ the Weathered barn scene that evening.

      If the 7:05 pm call is to be played out, then there is a good chance that Maura was taken at the 1st accident and there was a person at the WB scene with the car that looked similar to Maura, hence Butch Atwoods comment "I guess that could be her" which he later changed when asked again at a later date.

      Faith and Tim have no clue whether or not it was Maura Murray at the scene bc they only saw the person from inside there house on a dark night. That is unlees of course that Tim did step outside to check on the drive, although Tim denies going out to check that evening.

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    3. As annoying as this seems, it's very possible, since folks have said there have been quite a few wipeouts there over the years. Just one more car ... what's the difference? Who could've known it turned into all this? The dispatch call cut short too. Damning.

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  37. For those for those asking about border crossing into Canada, it's really easy. There is no fence or wall blocking the two borders. I used to live in Abbotsford, BC which was only 10 mins front the Sumas/Abbotsford border. My seep dad often took us for weekend drives and I was very surprised that we could've gotten out of the vehicle and cross the border with no problems. No one could e stopped us at all. So Maura easily could've slipped over the border. Also German is close to French. Depending on where she ended up, she could've looked like a tourist who couldn't speak French. Canadians are known for wanting to help others

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    1. We don't have gates by the border but any border crossing agent will verify this, there are a lot of cameras and securtiy that you cannot see. You may be able to cross that border on foot but you will be found. I have known a few border jumpers that as well thought it to be easy to cross the Canadian border but you aren't getting far.

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