Continue on with Maura thread.
Continue on with Maura thread.
I am hoping that you websleuthers will not give up on discussing Maura's case. Maura's family believes that the numerous "hits" here on websleuths has been a help in convincing the media to feature Maura.Originally Posted by WindChime
Also, there is very interesting reading and a time line on www.mauramurray.com
For you new comers many photographs of Maura can be found at www.spbowers.com\mauramissing.html
While we wait for various developments to play out--Judge Vaughn's ruling in Grafton County on Mr. Murray's suit, the 20-20 program to air, the new PI & retired police team to dig into Maura's case--I have been sifting backing through posts and news articles.
1) DocWho wonders in his 11/13/05 post if Maura's "death in the family" excuse in leaving UMA was really just to buy time, and how she could have returned to campus without someone questioning this lie or her family finding out.
2) In the CNN interview with Soledad O'Brien on 2/17/04 Lt Rausch is adamant and totally certain that the "chilling voice mail" he received on 2/11/04 on his cellphone at the Okla City airport (sic--he says Tuesday morning which was 2/10 ) "what I believed to be Maura whimpering and crying in the background."
3) Other than the $280 from the ATM withdrawal, did Maura have more money or could she have sold her jewelry or schoolbooks etc to raise cash?
Her Father in the AP/Globe interview of 2/21/04 says "to take a break or start a new life, she would need money...she hasn't used her ATM card (again)...she hasn't spent a dime" implying that she did not have any more money than the ATM withdrawal.
4) Two years later and all we have are unanswered questions.
Often, even though it may be hard for some to understand, people leave:
Such cases as the one below are why it is not inconceivable that a nice young lady might choose to leave. Note that the time involved is 16 years. That is why in a previous post I mentioned that Maura has not been gone all that long in terms of this type of case, even though I am sure it seems like forever to her family.
. . . An Angels Camp mother of three who vanished nearly 16 years ago has been found alive and living a new life in Colorado, an investigator said yesterday.
Patricia Lea Whaley disappeared April 20, 1990, after telling her family she was headed to a doctor's appointment in Lodi, causing family and law enforcement in Angels Camp to speculate whether Whaley had been kidnapped or killed.
Whaley's van was found in a Lodi parking lot, along with her purse and identification. But no trace of where Whaley had gone was discovered until last Thursday when Calaveras County Senior District Attorney's Investigator John Crawford plugged Whaley's name and Social Security number into the department's new Accurint computer search program . . .http://websleuths.com/forums/showpos...74&postcount=1. . . The investigator contacted law enforcement in Colorado, who assisted in locating Whaley.
Crawford said the find was bittersweet.
Whaley, he said, does not want to see or be contacted by her family . . .
Thread located at:
Last edited by docwho3; 01-25-2006 at 09:01 AM.
According to www.mauramurray.com Maura's case will be featured on the Nancy Grace Show Friday January 27
We have been advised that Nancy Grace will be airing a story on Maura, which is scheduled for this Friday, January 27th, 8-9PM ET. Please check your local listings for more information and viewing times. Nancy's website (listed below) does not contain information about the show, but several people that are to appear live advised us of Friday night's show (thanks!).
Its very ununsual for a Judge to decline to order the release of documents, especially when they could be turned over redacted if there was a concern of injury to the investigation. I don't think Maura's family had anything to do with her disappearance, but the decision from the Judge sounds like the police suspect them.
So. There IS something in the records he doesn't know. That much seems certain.
Someone, or some piece of physical evidence, something that he doesn't know about.
All along I kind of thought there wasn't anything - but there is.
What a frustration for him.
I have numerous questions about this case, and I am wondering if perhaps the answers are out there and I just haven't located them. Some of them may not seem that important to you, but they may be. Perhaps someone can help me answer them.
What is with the letter that is said to have been left in her room? The one ?TO? or
?FROM? her Bill Rausch? I have found conflicting accounts of this. It's a pretty black and white question, doesn't seem like there should be conflicting accounts about it. If there was a letter from him, what did it say? I read somewhere that all letters found in her room to and from Bill were just of the mushy variety.
What was her reason for transferring from West Point and how long before her disappearance did she do that? West Point is a very elite school, one that is outstanding to have graduated from. GO ARMY BEAT NAVY!
Where is Bill Rausch now? Still at FT Sill Oklahoma or has he been stationed elsewhere? Is he seeing anyone else? This may seem like a nosey he said she said sort of question, but I think it may be important to know if he has moved on.
Those are my starting blocks.
I don't think that Maura disappeared on her own accord. There is something very wrong here, and it has nothing to do with her family.
I know she lied about why she took off for a week, but to think that her family would have automatically found out about that is crazy. She had her cell phone with her so she was reachable by her family. She was 22, it's not like she needed a note from her dad to miss class. Perhaps she just needed time away alone to think. It seems to me that she was losing her way. I think she was confused about what she wanted out of life, and she was scared of that. So why did she pack up her room? Maybe she wasn't sure what was going to happen when she got back. Maybe she didn't think that she would opt to stay at UMass. and just wanted to have everything ready for when she got back. Honestly it sounds like she was "stir crazy" just before she left because she knew she had to get away and think FOR A WEEK, and just wanted to have everything set for whatever her week of decisions led her to choose to do. In the end, I don't think she had that choice.
These are some of my rantings, I am sure I will have more.
Pray for Maura
Help - question: Has it ever been confirmed that she packed up her room before she left? I thought that people close to her said her room looked packed up because she had just moved in a couple weeks before and hadn't unpacked yet.
This seems like an important point to clarify.
I was wondering the same thing! Most Cadets, graduated or not, have it drilled into their heads to be neat freaks (I am married to a class of 99 graduate, and dated a class of 02 Cadet while he was still a Cadet, he transferred out). If she hadn't had the time to unpack and put things on her walls, etc, then I can easily see where her room might look as though she had packed before leaving.
Originally Posted by tuppence
The point of packing or unpacking was discussed quite a bit.
One set of exchanges on the subject are found
Starting at post #186 of the part 2 discussion of Maura Murray
and going to about post #198
Also some of my remarks in that exchange refer back to some posts
that start at post #120 going to post #128
Whether or not anyone agrees with my own particular thoughts on the case:
In the posts 120-128 I cite sources and provide links for the facts used in the posts and
the underlined links may prove helpful in discussions about various asects of the case.
your questions are crucial.
Sharon, Lt Rausch's Mother, did detail and rebut the early stories in the papers that Maura left a suicide note on top of her stuff in her room--there were only letters from Lt R to her.
See her note as a link to an article in the Daily Collegian late (Sept?) 2004.
Peabody on this site in November replied to me & DocWho about her leaving West Point in Jan 2002 because she did not want to do the five years of regular army duty required upon graduation.
Lt Rausch graduated from the Academy in summer 2002 and is still stationed at Ft Sill doing his regular duty.
I have questioned both on this site and on the MauraMurray site whether she in fact really wanted to be an "Army wife" if you know what I mean. Her sister Julie graduated in summer 2002 as well, and had introduced her to Lt R, so Maura certainly understood that if she stayed with Lt R she would in some way be continuing with Army life even if she was not herself RA.
I have supposed she was having a crisis about these issues and wanted to get away for a few days after cracking up her Dad's car--but was in conflict and had ambivalent feelings about returning to or leaving UMA.
But we don't know after two years what really happened to her, and her reasons for leaving UMA or her state of mind may be unrelated to whatever happened to her after the accident with her 96 Saturn in NH.
ok so Maura left in January of 02. I can understand not wanting to finish out her WP career, it's a big commitment. Also, as my husband says, West Point is an Excellent school to have come from but it's not always an Excellent school to be grinding your way through. And he is a die hard optimist who believes that life is what you make of it and everything can be either good or bad, depending on what you want it to be. Not only are the academics very high standard, the honor code is high, very strict, and very expected. Also you are doing full time training to become an officer of the United States Army. Those coming from WP are expected to be the best of the best. Because her boyfriend got through WP, he had to have a high level of integrity. I don't believe that if there was anything "shady" about her that he would have wanted to be with her. I also don't believe that he could not have known. If he made it through West Point, he is not lacking intellectually.
I checked through my AKO account and he is still stationed here at Ft Sill, just in a different unit than my husband.
I don't believe, for the life of me, that Maura just up and left on her own accord.
The girl had nothing, barely any money, etc. AND she had a strong sense of responsibility. Because she didn't graduate from West Point, she would automatically owe them money for the time that they had educated her. This can easily be deferred until which time she finished school elsewhere and could pay it so that wasn't a pressure point, but it is a responsibility that I don't believe that she would just walk away from.
I don't see anything being wrong with her father just assuming the worst. I mean he knows her better than most people do and knows she wouldn't just flee. Some people refuse to let go to someone who has disappeared, but there are some that are just realists. Their form of functioning is to just grasp at the realistics of the situation.
What do you guys think?
Actually it is not known how much money she had above the $280 from the ATM--she might have had more we just don't know.
If you look on the MauraMurray website at posts by mickeyg162, a girl named Megan who was a mate of Maura's and Julie's at WP, she too asks about Maura having more money and possibly a plan to get away and keep going.
I was totally unaware that the cadets who leave early have a loan or debt to repay--could you elaborate or steer us to the usma website for details?
That would make a difference to me in terms of her psychology--she is doing two jobs, financially independent, on full scholarship at UMA, paying her own way including plane fares to Okla City, about to get help from her Dad for another car and then cracks up his car doing an estimated 10K in damages perhaps worrying about the insurance claim & coverage feeling guilty and responsible for the new financial liability. By all accounts she was very frugal and all this money worry on top of everything else she was feeling?
BTW I did my advanced training in artillery school at Ft Sill way back in 1971.
You are entitled to your belief of course but she had faced a really tough schedule in WP and then even trying to switch careers and schools which only made that load worse or, at the very least, the same amount of hard work due to the uninterrupted load she took to make the switch. That is enough by itself to make one consider taking other measures to reduce pressures, such as leaving the way she did. And if she had already decided to leave while at WP she at least knew that she could not do so without going through the legal procedures. She did that and,according to peabody, even tried hard to do extra studying beyond her WP schedule to be able to switch to nursing & all this was, according to peabody, mostly uninterrupted work.Originally Posted by armywife210
You yourself have mentioned how hard that work can be at WP without doing extra as she attempted to do and I have not mentioned any possible track activities she was involved in on top of that. In short, although many people are quick to say they don't see her just up & leaving without really stating what facts support that view, there seem to be many facts that point towards her having left of her own will, from the pressures she was under, to her lies to the school and employers, as well as failing to notify her relatives or her boyfriend of her plans to leave or to at least explain to them about the fake "death-in-th-family" excuses or to even inform them about it at all to her having taken most of her money out of her account, to her having taken some things with her, and according to L.E. she left her room packed up ready to leave, including having taken down pics from the walls (altough that point has been in some dispute on this forum.) And then there is the book being marked in the chapter about life or death decision, marked with a pic of her little brother and a halmark card. It seems the signs of willful leaving are everywhere in this case so if it should turn out that foul play was done (as unlikely as that seems)then Maura herself muddied the waters with her death-in-the-family leaving stunt.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have read that having been said by family of a missing person and then the missing person turns up, sometimes years later and is fine. I recently posted about a case that took 16 years to resolve. (I added the bolding to the quoted material.)Originally Posted by armywife210
I am not so sure that it is "grasping the realisitics of the situation" to assume she is dead in this case. It may actually be more comforting in this instance to not have to think your loved one might have decided to leave but I can't say it strikes me as being "realistic", especially given that by far statistics show that most of the time a missing person has not been abducted or been the victem of foul play. So unless we see some forensic evidence of foul play I would think they would want to hold on to the very real possibility that she is alive, especially given the facts that she seems to have planned to disappear for at least some amount of time.Originally Posted by armywife210
I do think that the possibility of foul play should not be ruled out unless or until she is found but willful leaving should not be ruled out either without some actual evidence pointing to foul play.
You asked "what do you guys think?" and that's what I, for one, think. I hope it helps.
Last edited by docwho3; 01-31-2006 at 12:15 PM.
I have no idea where to find info that if you leave WP you owe for the time you attended. However, my husband who graduated from WP told me that you can leave West Point anytime before your first class of your junior year, after that you are committed. If you do choose to leave before your junior year you owe money for the time you attended. At the time that he was there, he stated, it was something like 50,000 a year. However all credits transfer easily to other schools, as West Points credits are beyond standard, and when you transfer out you can defer that debt until at which time you graduate elsewhere and can pay it. It is charged in very low monthly payments with little to no interest. It is certainly nothing to break a sweat over. While 50,000 is a lot, it's comparable to all elite colleges and it's not as though she owed it immediately. She wouldn't even start paying until she graduated and then she would pay it off just as everyone else pays off their student loans. The time at West Point was not wasted, nor was the money. Her core classes that she would have taken at UMASS would have been simply done at WP, thus leaving her less at UMASS.
I am wondering though how it is perfectly legal to just leave on your own accord when you have any kind of debt. Also, a person cannot legally just up and change their identity and leave their old life and identity behind without leaving a paper trail unless they are in some kind of witness protection program. So for this reason alone I do not understand why LE is not putting forth more energy to find her. I don't believe that she left on her own accord, but even if it did this is reason for LE to be searching.
As a side note, my husband just told me that he does know LT Rausch, in fact, he works with him. Due to so many changes within the Army system lately (battallions joining other brigades, etc) I didn't even realize this. Apparently they hold the same position except my husband is at a higher level. Because their current positiions have to do with finances and budget within the unit, they work together.
Originally Posted by hydemi
your posts have added some new life to this discussion.
While the 75K or whatever she owed was deferred for another year or two, it was till there as a future liability however easy the terms.
What a coincidence that your husband works with Lt Rausch.
I see you have registered on the MauraMurray website--good luck trying to make sense of those heated debates most of which point accusing fingers at all the neighbors in the area especially the busdriver who tried to help her.
I believe she probably left the scene on foot (no evidence whatsoever that she was picked up by a passing motorist) and may very well have been seen by the construction worker four miles east or somewhere in the vicinity.
He is the "last" person to see her in this view of the case, and is therefore in my view the leading "person of interest" in any ongoing investigation.
And I believe that the mysterious Wed am phone call received by Lt Rausch on his cellphone while he was going through security at the Oklahoma City airport was most likely from Maura, not from the American Red Cross unit in Ohio as stated by police--see Sharon's posts on the Maura website.
Many have asked about checking her social security number for usage--we assume it has not been used--but I personally think (many will disagree) that in this day of the internet and online "anything goes" she could have obtained new documents for a new identity.
Yes, it is a future debt, however what student doesn't have that debt????? Unless ofcourse they do finish WP, in which case they do still have that debt through a 5 yr commitment to the United States Army.
How many students have turned up missing? We certainly cannot say that they all fled due to stressors in their lives and a student loan. I am still paying my student loan off, I pay 58 bucks a month. If I had to pay that for the rest of my life it certainly wouldn't stress me out. Even 100 dollars a month would be nothing to sweat even WITHOUT a college education.
I respect all of your ideas, and certainly am not meaning to come of as though I dont.
This is what I think happened..
Maura, for whatever reason, decided to go on a little self discovery trip by herself. She needed to refocus her life. She felt as though she was letting her father down with all of her recent problems, and that was weighing on her. I think she was an overachiever and expected only the best of herself and that can be stressful as well. She took her cell with her so she certainly wasn't cutting off communication. She had just gotten a triple A membership and maybe that gave her a bit more confidence about driving a car that wasn't mechanically sound. She lied to her professors about why she was needing to leave. Come on, the oldest excuse in the book is that a relative died. She only took enough clothes for a week, and she took her books. She had to have known that if she were going to get money for the books that the best place to do it was at the university that teaches with those books. That is where she would get the most money for them. She took them to study so she wouldn't get behind. She took her favorite book because to some a favorite book can be read and reread. She thought she might want it.
I believe that she tried to tell Bill because she had tried to call him a few times. She didn't want to email it. She was checking her voicemail, waiting for a return call I am sure.
When she rounded that corner and got into that accident, she didn't panick, hiding and trying to avoid LE. If you reread what the bus driver said, he said that he offered to have her come in to his home and warm up while he called for help. Well a big ol scary looking guy might unnerve me a bit too. She said she already called triple A because she didn't want to go inside with him and was trying to give him the message that someone is going to be here any minute so don't get any ideas. A more clean cut type person came around that corner and she got in with him. She didn't know that the bus driver had already called for help anyway. I don't know if it was farther down the road that she got a ride, or right at the accident scene. She wasn't hiding from LE, she was afraid of the big guy. She locked her car when she left. She didn't trust that big guy. Why would she lock her car if she wasn't coming back for it? Would it really matter to her if something got stolen? I think she was just going to get a bit farther down the road until she got a cell signal, that might mean the next town, where she could call for help.
I think that your posts are very interesting. To me, this story really is an unsolved mystery. I still think that someone may have been with her. I'm wondering if she told the bus driver that she had already called for help because the other person with her had already gone for help. The reported amounts and types of alchohol bother me. It makes me think she was buying for more than herself. Also, the fact that the car was not in good enough shape to drive long distances, makes me think that someone else could have been with her.
I also have a question about LE. I read that they told the family that they didn't know that a girl was associated with the car because it was registered to her father. But, if they talked to the bus driver that night, and they they went looking for her, how could they not know a young woman was involved. If anybody could shed some light on this I would greatly appreciate it.
I agree with most of what you say.
The new stress financially speaking was not the student loan, of course, but the two car accidents and the cost of repairs & claims etc.
Again we do not know how much money she had with her.
Everyone has assumed from the get-go that she got a quick ride except, it seems, her Dad initially and SearcherMe on the Maura site who spent endless hours investigating the roads for evidence of her travelling on foot.
and of course she was on foot if the contractor sighting story is true.
And it appears the temperature that evening was in fact in the 30's not ten or twelve as reported--so her going on foot would be more credible
There really is no evidence of her planning to leave UMA before that weekend after the first accident with her Dad's car.
She was mapquesting that night (Sunday, 2/8/04) right when she talked to her Dad at 11.26pm to ask about him getting home to Weymouth.
Please keep digging and posting! I only care about finding out the facts which will ultimately lead to finding her.
As badly as I am sure Maura felt after those car accidents and that added expense, I can't see that being much of a significance in some emotional breakdown that would lead to disappearing on her own accord. I can see the first accident being a stressor for her crying at work, but not for disappearing. This girl is a very level headed girl, even in the midst of crisis I dont think she would make such a rash and thoughtless move as to leave her life and loved ones behind wondering endlessly.Originally Posted by hydemi
The reason that people have assumed that she was picked up at the scene was because the dogs were unable to track her beyond the bus drivers driveway.
Whether she was picked up there or down the road, my scenerio still stands. And I think that the weather wasn't much of an issue either way because she was probably dressed somewhat warmly, she was an avid runner and ran for miles daily regardless of the temperature.
I agree with you about the planning of the trip completely.
Thanks for taking my thoughts into consideration!
Before I comment further let me say welcome to the recent posters. I am glad to read your thoughts. I may at times argue a different view but I respect you and your thoughts and thank you for posting them.
My main problem with the theory of a stranger abduction of Maura is that it requires that a murderous stranger happen along at just the narrow 10 minute (or less) slot of time from when she was sighted to when the cops got on the scene. He or they nab Maura and drive off quickly, thanking their lucky rabbits foot all the way for their good fortune.
The odds against that happening would seem to me to be higher than would be the odds that she already had someone following the same route with the idea of helping her leave and to be there following the same route in case the car should break down. Also the stranger abduction theory requires that we pretty much ignore the money she withdrew from her account and the other things she did that were indicative of her going away.
Side note: It is entirely because her death-in-the-family excuse is the "oldest trick in the book" that she knew it would not work but it might just mislead/lull investigators into thinking this was only a temporary outing and that she would soon return. They might not look so hard for her and she might have had time to complete her disappearance. Everything I have read about Maura indicates she was not the least bit stupid and certainly would have figured a better lie to tell about taking time off if she felt it was needed.
In this case the "stupid" lie suited her purpose.
However, I can't completely rule out a stranger abduction so I think it is good to look at all possible angles of the case.
Actually the "crying at work" occurred Thursday night after midnight, which would be around 1am on 2/6/04 at Maura's dorm security job. She was said to be so upset that she was escorted back to her dorm Kennedy Hall by a supervisor. At first police thought the cause of her being upset was a cellphone call Maura had with her sister Kathleen who described a big fight she had had with her boyfriend, and Maura urged Kathleen to stick it out & stay with him. This occurred around 10pm according to Maura's cellphone bill received for Feb 04 by Sharon Rausch whose son Bill shared a cell account with Maura.
So this account of her being upset is another mystery (some even think it was staged or faked).
Yes, she could have been picked up by a passerby including the construction worker or an accomplice as Doc supposes somewhere down the road from the accident scene in Woodsville.
Yes, she ran all the time in cold weather so temperatures in the 30's should not have bothered her. She left brand new gloves on the front seat of her car, evidently little worn, which were used for the scent dog on Wednesday possibly not doing the trick very well because she hadn't worn them much.
While I agree with Doc that the greater odds still favor the original police theory of her running away of her own accord--the main argument that she was harmed has been that everyone just knows she would never go away without contacting her family or Lt R or anyone else in her life for two years--
we still are just theorizing as to her plans for leaving UMA for good and where she might have gone and how she pulled off starting a new life.