Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Request for info

About a month after I began my research into the disappearance of Maura Murray I received a call on my cell phone from an "unlisted" number. On the other line was a man who, only based on the timbre of his voice, I assumed to be either African American or rather large. He said he was in a relationship with someone who knew Maura.

"There is something you should know," he said. "But I need her permission before I tell you."

I told him to call me back when he could.

I never heard from him again.

It seemed important and legitimate. I would very much like to hear from this man again.

28 comments:

  1. If it was on a cell, which is likely, they blocked their number using *67 before they dialed you. There's really no such thing as an unlisted number with cell phones. Do you remember when they called you? You might be able to go back to your phone bill for that month and pinpoint the moment they called. With this information, your cell phone company might be able to help you out.

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    1. It doesn't seem like JR chases any of these "leads" down the rabbit hole. Did anyone actually go to the Curves and verify that it was not the missing Maura Murray working there? If it were me, I would do everything humanly possible to find the origin of that call. I'm tired of JR dangling these carrots and then not following up.

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    2. Hi Allen, having your number show up as 'unlisted' is actually easy to do. Unfortunately, I had an 'unlisted' person calling me many times, i wanted them to stop..but my cell phone carrier was not able to trace it back to who it was

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    3. I have to agree with Anonymous on January 3. Although Renner is doing far, *far* more for this case than any other lay investigator that I know of, it does seem that many of these leads could/should have been followed through better if he wants to have a hope of actually solving this case.

      It's clear at this point that the information that we have does not contain definitive answers. Even with all Renner knows about the case, he hasn't arrived at any answers beyond a few speculations--intelligent ones, granted--about how Maura was driving in tandem with someone, etc. That's not a lot.

      There will be no solving this mystery without some serious legwork. That trip to Curves, for example--or at least calling all the Mauras/Maureens in QC. And what about trying to interview Vasi's family? I'm sure they, unlike Maura's camp, would be eager to talk to JR, especially if they knew it could lead to identifying the person who disabled their son.

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  2. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/video?id=5592360

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    1. That video has been out for a while.

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  3. Very interesting! It makes you wonder if 'her permission' is Maura or his significant others's. Also, he said 'in a relationship with someone who *knew* Maura. Knew being the past tense.

    What's more interesting, but kinda scarey, is how did he get your cell phone number, if you don't have it listed?

    I really enjoy reading all your blogs and updates, and I hope its been safe for you. I'm really looking forward to the book coming out!

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    1. "What's more interesting, but kinda scarey, is how did he get your cell phone number, if you don't have it listed?"

      It's probably not far-fetched to assume that JR has left contact info with potential sources for this case. That information could have then found its way to the caller. For that matter, it could be a disgruntled source from any of his previous cases who wanted to throw a wrench into his current investigation. We won't know unless JR re-establishes contact.

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  4. Yeah, you should really try to do what the first comment says, and call your phone company for help if you know the date of the call. If not the number, they maybe be able to give you the location of the private call, which tower it came from.

    And do you have any idea how this person would get your number? Maybe it was a joke of some sort.. hope not though!

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  5. "On the other line was a man who, only based on the timbre of his voice, I assumed to be either African American or rather large."

    So not only do all black men sound alike, all overweight men sound black. No wonder we're no closer to solving the problems of racism and obesity in this country!

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    1. Racism is about unequal treatment of a particular race. Obesity is about being overweight.

      What, pray tell, does either topic have to do with the ability to recognize the ethnic background or physical characteristics of a person on the other end of the phone?

      There is no shame in stating a fact. If you're telling us you can't generally tell whether the person you're talking to on the phone is black (or white) and/or very large, you're lying.

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    2. Here is an article by a black man in "New Black Magazine" in which he points out the distinctiveness of intonations based on race. http://www.thenewblackmagazine.com/view.aspx?index=301

      Also, everyone possesses vocal intonation ranges, able to make their voices deeper or higher, within a range. There is much work on how people raised in any given environment will mimic (which is what children do) the adults around them. There certainly therefore exist cultural stereotypes that people voluntarily - if to some degree subconsciously - fulfill via their intonations and in other ways. In that context, while James might have said it a little better, I think your attitude of outrage is not in proportion to the reality of the situation.

      John Green

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  6. what will your book include and why are you doing thisinvestigation??

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  7. Wow, watched the ABC video. No one looked like a liar to me. Wow. Just, flabbergasted as some of the opinions on here.

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  8. Sorry, the cop looks like he's hiding all kinds of information and covering his ass for incompetence.

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  9. I think the email Maura Murray sent to her friends the weekend she disappeared is important because in it she says she missed seeing Dane Cook and was looking forward to trying to see him again on thursday, February 12th in Storrs, Conn. She mentions in the email it is near Providence.

    Before Maura disappears she sent an email to professors and her work telling them there was a death in the family. If she had not sent that email, wouldn't everyone just think she probably went to Storrs, Conn?

    The timing of Maura's disappearance is also interesting. UMASS is unique in the way they take winter break. They do not come back to school until late January. Maura had just missed seeing Dane Cook the first weekend she was back to campus. The next weekend was when her father visited her for the very first time that semester.

    I have often been one to congratualate Maura for disappearing of her own free will, but just the other day I read a story about a woman who disappeared on New Year's Eve. She had been partying at a concert and after decided to try to walk the 3 miles back to her hotel. Either she became lost or disoriented because yesterday searchers found her body behind a snowbank. Police do not think it was foul play. She simply succumbed to the elements. Maybe that is what happened to Maura Murray?

    Everyone who has a theory is right and everyone is wrong because no one knows what happened to her. The case is so interesting because even if she did disappear on her own, she can never tell anyone about it. Everyone is dying to know what happened to her. That is too bad.

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    1. Are you talking about the women who was murdered in Canada? Two people have been arrested.

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  10. It looks like Kate Dwyer is making some headway as far as getting answers to some things.

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    1. Where can I read about this?

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  11. I saw a documentary on tv yesterday about Maura. I live in The Netherlands. Really hope you Fins her after all those years

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  12. Part I of II

    Somehow I'm unable to post a comment, but here goes again. Apologies if this comment gets posted more than once. I'm on a new computer, and I may be doing something wrong. I've also edited out some of the more inflammatory stuff in case that's why it's not going up.

    I've been following this case for a while, and I think the following scenario makes the most sense:

    I think Maura, and this is just a personal opinion, was responsible for the hit and run on campus. She had a drinking problem, and, worse, she had a drinking and driving problem. She arrived back at her job that night shaken but all but collapsed upon receiving a phone call from someone. I think she wasn't sure how badly she'd hurt that boy and then somehow received news that he was critically injured and would possibly die. Her supervisor had to help her out of the building, according to what I've read.

    I think her dad might have known about this incident and wanted to protect her by getting rid of her car. He made a big deal on the Disappeared episode about how junky and unsafe her old car was, I think, protesting a little too much about that being the reason they were looking for a new car for her. And although her car was drivable, she drove his car during his stay. I think the plan was to buy a replacement car like the very next day and get rid of the one that was in the accident. But what threw a major wrench into the plan was Maura wrecking her father's car. She was a very troubled young woman, and I think she was a serious alcoholic. She most likely was drunk when got into his car and drove. It sounds like her father may have been very angry and disappointed with her at that point. He asked her to file a report at the local police station so he could submit an insurance claim. Maura, for obvious reasons, was terrified of going to the police station to file the report, as she feared being caught for the hit and run (and it still looked like the victim might die at that point). (I go back and forth as to whether or not I believe her father knew about the hit and run. Not sure if he would have asked her to file the police report if he had known about the hit and run incident. It is possible Maura didn't tell him about it but did exaggerate any problems she was having with her current car so her father would get her a replacement.)

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  13. Part II of II

    Maura was possibly bulimic, most certainly a serious alcoholic, had been reportedly thrown out of West Point for honor code violations, and she had been stealing from fellow students at her current school by using their credit card numbers to order pizza, of all things. And she's (I think) just hit a person in her car while driving drunk and thinks he will probably die. The accident in her father's car was a turning point for her. She packed up her dorm room, sent emails to professors lying about a death in her family, and hit the road, I think, to go wait out the police investigation into the hit and run and to get her car out of town, lest there be any evidence or the victim regain consciousness and be able to describe her vehicle and prompt the police to be on the lookout for such a vehicle.

    Here's why I think she was planning on returning: (1) she called several places in an area she knew well to inquire about renting a place to stay and (2) she took her textbooks with her. Here's why I know her father wasn't traveling with her: she bought a large quantity of alcohol and was drinking it in the car while driving. No father would have allowed that kind of reckless behavior.

    I think the third accident was indeed an accident, and it might have had something to do with the rag in the tailpipe, which is one of the oddest elements of this case. From what I have read, the rag was hers, right? So whoever put it there would have had to have access to her car before putting it in the tailpipe? If it wasn't hers, it could have been some sick person where she stopped to get gas who put it there in an attempt to make her car stall out. But I believe the police think the rag was hers and that she herself put it there. The bus driver stops and offers to call the police, and Maura firmly says no. He leaves, and she dumps her drink out and takes off, believing he will call for help anyway and she will be arrested for DUI, and there will perhaps be scrutiny about the car. Did she lock the car when she left it and take the keys with her? At this point, perhaps she wanted to disable the car so no one would take it and remembered what her father had told her about putting a rag in the tailpipe. But she had to get out of there because she was drunk and panicking. I think that witness probably did see her running down the road.

    I have not seen convincing, definitive evidence that anyone knows what happened to her at this point. Sadly, I think she is not with us anymore. It appears she tried to call her boyfriend at some point in the morning (is that timeline correct?), but why didn't she leave a coherent message in his voice mail? What a shame they can't definitively trace that call back to her because it would prove she survived the night, right? My fear has always been that she took off into the woods to sober up so she could return to her car the next day and got lost or disoriented and succumbed to the elements. But I have read reports that the temperatures wouldn't have been severe enough to kill someone. It all depends on what she was wearing and in what condition she was and how long she was out there.

    She may have accepted a ride from a bad person, though. In the Disappeared episode, the reporter mentions a gas station attendant who saw an older man with a young woman resembling Maura who mouthed "help" to her. My question is, why didn't she then do something? Is the attendant lying about the incident, or is she just a cold, unfeeling person who didn't care a girl was being held against her ail?

    A perfect storm of unanswered questions. I think the biggest factor in her disappearance is the fact that she was panicking after that third accident (and she was most likely drunk and a little disoriented after the crash) and was desperate to get away from the crash scene and hide from police. The decisions she made at this point are why we don't know where she is today and why she is probably, tragically, not with us anymore.

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    1. I couldn't agree more with this comment, especially Part I.

      Renner posted that he didn't think Maura was responsible for the Vasi hit-and-run, and I disagree. The hit-and-run fits perfectly into this whole saga; what's more, it would account for a lot of unknowns.

      I think Fred knew about the hit-and-run at the time or soon after. (Perhaps he learned about it the night Maura went to his motel room.) It could explain why he wanted Maura's car crushed, why he sued the District for FOIA information, and why he's behaved so evasive and odd all along. Even if the hit-and-run wasn't--as I suspect it was--Maura's doing, I am very *very* convinced that Fred knows more than he is telling. In fact, that's one of only three things I'm sure about in the whole case. The other two are:

      --It wasn't a stranger abduction.
      --It wasn't a suicide.

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  14. I think an idea for a book on Maura Murray would be to write about all the different theories associated with her case. I think if she were alive today she would really enjoy that type of a book.

    I had a theory based on the rag in the tailpipe. Maura crashes the car, but then she sticks that rag in the tailpipe. But she forgets about the talcom powder(corn starch) that is emitted from the airbag. So when police send the rag to the lab, they find talcom powder on it proving the only person that could have put it there was Maura Murray.

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    1. I personally always thought it was Maura who stuck that rag in her tailpipe to begin with. There was a theory going around that a bad guy saw her at a gas station, and he stuck that rag there himself. However, that never sat well with me. Mainly because one of the residents that lived close by where Maura crashed her car, reported seeing Maura get out of her car accident, and go to the trunk of her car and get something out of it in a flurry. The rag from her emergency car kit was missing, I always believed it was Maura who placed that rag there.

      If any of you watched 'maura's last drive' on youtube, you would notice that this area of NH, contrary to what you may read in an online article, is actually NOT that remote. It is in a residential area, with many houses close by. I doubt a bad guy intentionally placed that there, knowing it would stall, with so many houses and people close by.

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  15. Hopefully she's found soon, I couldn't imagine having to go through something like this.

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  16. This just doesn't sit well with me. First off, why not just get permission before even calling you? And if it was that important, screw the permission! I mean seriously, what else could this poor girl have gotten into? Seems she had the worst luck ever.

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