Discussion in '2000's Missing' started by bessie, Jan 9, 2015.
FYI........ for those who do not know, Butch Atwood passed away several years ago in Florida.
I don't believe anyone ever said a red cross employee was "weeping" on Billy's voicemail. Billy heard sounds that he thought sounded like whimpering in his voicemail. The call was traced to a calling card used by the Red Cross. I have had calls and voicemails from a poorly connected call that made strange sounds and I could convince myself they are just about anything. I am certain that in his emotional state he could have taken whatever sounds they were and called them whimpers. If I recall correctly, the message was analyzed and they were not able to determine the origin of the noise. What I find even more strange is that he deleted the message shortly after he discovered it in his voicemail.
To me this indicates that the police were/are either untrusting of Fred Murray or (unlikely) are involved in some sort of cover up. Many inconsistencies. Regardless of the true reason for her disappearance there are quite a few strange actions and reports in the aftermath.
I don't think it was shortly after that he deleted it. Eventually he did because every time he went to check his voicemail he'd have to hear it before going on to the new ones. That had to be very difficult for him. But that was some time later.
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Happy Birthday Maura (a day late)......wherever you are
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I followed this case for a while, and after reading "Finding Me" by Michelle Knight, one of the girls who was held captive all those years, I can't help but wonder how many other missing people are still alive and being held captive?
I wonder about that too. I used to think it unlikely, but then came the Jaycee Lee and Ariel Castro case and now it does not seem far-fetched. And think of this too: if Nathaniel Kibby had not let AH go, she could still be there with him indefinitely. What about Elizabeth Smart? It was her father who put Mitchell's name out there as the man who took her. He solved the crime, not the police. The police did not want him to go to America's Most Wanted. Another one is Shawn Hornbeck. He decided to leave one day after his kidnapper got another kid. Would he still be there had that not happened? So let's break this down for a moment:
Castro's women escaped on their own.
AH was just let go.
Shawn Hornbeck escaped on his own.
Elizabeth Smart was recovered but it had absolutely nothing to do with any police work.
The only person who was recovered due to police work was Jaycee Lee Duggard, and even that was really just pure dumb luck and was not the work of a cop who was investigating her case.
All this tells us a few things. First of all, kidnapped people who are still alive are very close by to where they were last seen, likely within 100 miles at the most. Kidnapped people who are still alive will never be found through police work. The police are terrible at this. Look at AH. The man who kidnapped her drove that same route every day home from work at the same time the kids got out of school and went behind Mount Washington (where her cell last pinged) on his way home and still LE steadfastly refused to study who drove that route at that time and investigate them. Again, it was just pure dumb luck that he let her go. I am not doing this to "bash" LE; I am pointing this out purely as a fact that must be taken into consideration when we sleuth these cases. The police simply do not have the skills or talent to solve these crimes. Both Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry were linked to Ariel Castro, and the cops never even once interviewed him. Okay so that's that. I can give countless examples as to how LE messed up in every single last one of these cases (the worst being Jaycee Lee Duggard) but it would take up too much space here. The point is simply that one of these cases where the person is still alive will never, ever be solved by police work.
Some other things: very often when it is children who are kidnapped, they are out in the open within a year, and have access to the internet, to phones, and to other people. It takes almost no time at all to turn a child into an obedient victim. This means that LE needs to take a different approach after this amount of time has passed and start making direct appeals to the child. These appeals will have to be carefully phrased and crafted in a way so as not to spook the perp, but it can still be done. Shawn Hornbeck actually went on the website his family set up and asked them if they would want him back, and he even used the name Shawn! Parents just assume their child knows they want them back, but the kidnapper has caused so much damage at this point, that it is important for the family to constantly remind their child of this.
Think of Maura's case for a moment here. You know that creepy guy who posts the youtube videos? Well, police have cleared him as a suspect, but have they actually searched his home? No, of course not. They just went and talked to him. I am not saying that means this guy is not just some loser desperate for attention, but I would not put a single smidgen of credibility into the police work on these cases. I do not think that the police are bad or stupid or incompetent; they simply do not have the skills needed to really find kidnapped people. The fact that people were eliminated by police as having nothing to do with Maura's disappearance means absolutely nothing to me. We know from the AH case that police do not do what I would consider to be extremely basic, namely setting up surveillance and seeing who regularly drives that route at the time the person was taken. They did not think Mitchell was a good suspect even though he had once worked at the Smart home and had a history of trying to recruit "wives" in downtown Salt Lake. Even though Garrido had already once kidnapped and raped a woman, police saw zero reason to actually enter his home and scope it out in the 20 years he was on parole. He told them everything was fine, and since he said so, that was good enough for them!
Look, I know it is not politic here to "bash" LE, and that is not what I am trying to do. What I am hoping we can learn from this is that LE simply does not have the necessary resources to deal with these cases and solve them. I think it is in part where so much frustration on the part of the families stems from. They know that LE will never solve the case because it is apparent that police methods will never work in these cases. This is certainly one reason why it depresses me that LE insists on holding back key information. I understand their reasoning behind it - they think they will need it to solve the case someday. The problem with that is that they will never solve the case, so it makes little sense to me to not release it to the public. Take AH for example. They refused to say where the letter was mailed from. Well, based upon what we now know, the letter must have been postmarked locally. See, people were thinking that AH could be anywhere in the world, but really she was very close by. Had people known that, then I am sure that Nathaniel Kibby's name would have been on a list as a possible suspect.
These cases are simply far too difficult for law enforcement to solve on their own and sadly LE is not self-aware enough to understand that. They can keep key information to themselves, but it will go absolutely nowhere in solving the case.
~ true BillNH, my simplistic statement was based on the premise that most who follow the case would get the point - that the CALLER was never truly determined and the fact that it could have been MM remains open IMO. Whether it was interpreted as weeping or whimpering is inconsequential In My Opinion.
~ At about the time that Maura went missing I had also used calling cards. It required that I call the 800 number, enter a PIN selected by me and then enter the number I was calling. In My Opinion, this method, "at that time" reduced most chances of random cross connecting to an identifiable originating number, as that is exactly the source of the revenue for the card. However, the fact the originating number was traced to the Red Cross is a very good indication of a cross connection as it is not likely that a person at that number would have left a voice (not data) message that had the kind of imprint that could be so easily interpreted as a person not exactly paying attention, 'whimpering' and then disconnecting. As I recall, the description of the voicemail was that there was a lag after the VM connected and the 'whimper' started and ended and then the VM sequence ended.
~ I am not in an emotional state and I can still accept it as whimpers simply because it wasn't proven that it wasn't. IMO
~ We have no exact data on WHEN he deleted it and I only see a question there as to the fact that LE examined it, had a copy of it and there was no reason to preserve it.
Since there was no definitive analysis that identified the message as absolutely originating at Red Cross, since there is no definitive identification of the message as stray radio, voltage or digital interference and not voice, and since the exact origin of the "noise" could not be determined, In My Opinion, it still leaves an open question.
All we have is a "possibility" it could have been a cross connection with line noise or even a miss-directed vm from an unknown source, but none of that means that it was absolutely NOT MAURA.
So I still wonder why it is so easily discounted.
I had always understood it to be a calling card purchased by the Red Cross to donate to someone in need: homeless, lost, etc. I didn't think it was a Red Cross worker calling. Why would a Red Cross worker use a calling card? It could have been Maura making that call. She could have "picked up" the card somewhere the way she helped herself to other things.
I was wondering that too. I have never in my life had a job where I used a calling card to make business-related phone calls from work. Why would someone who deals with people in emergencies and crises go through the hassle of using a calling card whenever contacting people? Also, whenever I have received a call from a person calling me in some sort of official capacity to talk to me about something serious, they always leave a message. It seems more likely to me that Maura "picked up" as you say, a Red Cross calling card in one of her many encounters around medical professionals and medical service areas where such a card could be easily just floating around.
I am very close in age to Maura and I graduated college in 2004 and there are a few things from that time I recall quite clearly. First of all, texting was not really a thing yet; people still mainly made phone calls. Calling plans sucked back then. If you went over your minutes just a little, your $80 phone bill was suddenly $200 and a complete headache for a college student. For this reason, people still heavily used landlines and calling cards. A lot of students just had a regular landline with no "plan" and used calling cards. Another thing about back then was that if your cell phone died or you dropped it or something, you were able to move on with your life much easier than today.
The other thing I find strange is that the Murray family must have known relatively early on that the "explanation" for that VM was that the Red Cross worker had called Billy. Well why then was this not cleared up until Renner got the exclusive scoop? Wouldn't clearing it up lend more weight to their "grabbed by a creep" theory? That VM was one of the mysteries of this case that many people saw as evidence that Maura ran away, so then why on earth would the family no go to the press and make that clear? Or at least put it on the facebook page?
I would love to ask a Red Cross worker from then if they regularly used calling cards. I somehow highly doubt it.
For clarification: the call was traced to Red Cross, and Billy's mother assumed that meant the Red Cross calling card she gave Maura. In fact, it traced back to a Red Cross office and Lt. Scarinza spoke to the employee who made the call.
Thank you James. I totally missed that detail and it stuck in my craw for so long.
It must be on your blog.
It is very strange to me that Scarinza would not have made a public clarification of this fact. To many people, the "Maura weeping voice mail" was evidence that she was alive and in severe distress.
I am also not entirely buying this, sorry. So would a Red Cross employee, someone who is trained to assist people in times of serious personal emergencies, really make a phone call and not leave a clear and concise voice mail? Just some weeping sounds? Really? If I ran that office, then whatever employee did that would be fired. Hear me out for a moment. These people's jobs are to help people who are likely going through something like a sudden death in the family. Surely those people would leave a clear and professional voice mail. Let's really think about this for a moment. Billy gets leave. He is traveling and someone from the Red Cross calls him as part of a program they have to assist military families. This person leaves a cryptic, "whimpering" voice mail. Now I am going to have to assume here that this was the first and last time the Red Cross ever called Billy. I am assuming this because had the red cross called Billy later and had he spoken to them, then when they got the phone bill it would have been the same number, so it all would have been cleared up for them and that part of the story would have never even made it into media reports because it would have been a complete non-event. So, this is what we have:
1. A "red cross" employee calls Billy.
2. He or she has the job of helping people in serious family emergencies.
3. He or she most unprofessionally leaves no voice mail, but instead leaves something like a whimpering sound.
4. This employee knows that the person they were trying to reach is likely going through an emotionally devastating time.
5. The Red Cross never calls Billy back. Had they, it would have been clear what happened.
6. Maura's family and friends for weeks and months after the disappearance believe it likely it was her.
7. Sometime after 2012, Lt. Scarinza tells Renner the "true story" about this.
8. No one in the family ever once goes to the media to make this clarification.
Like so much in this case, this just stinks. It is simply one more "fact" that when really broken down, does not add up.
Even if I were to give the benefit of the doubt and say that it is entirely true, then that makes me wonder what other media reports that were mysteries at the time have subsequently been cleared up with nary a peep from the family. For all we know, they have known for years what the breakdown at work was really about, or why Maura went up there. It is so unfathomably perplexing to me that the family is adamant about not clearing things up that they know now to be wrong.
Either Maura's family or Sharon Rausch had contacted the red cross the night before Billy received this mysterious phone call while he was at the airport. They had contacted the red cross that Tuesday night (the night after Maura had gone missing) to specifically request emergency leave for billy.
So It would stand to reason that first thing Wednesday morning, the red cross would be attempting to get a hold of billy.
About the weeping/wimpering sounds.
It could've very well been what Sharon and Billy believe they heard on that phone message, but they are the only two people to claim that. Police also analyzed that same message and what they heard was cell phone static.
So either someone is fudging the truth when cameras are rolling to spin a narrative (See blood-stained knife, dogs alerting on a-frame house all questionable incidents that never involved actual police investigators), or someone is deaf and somewhat incompetent (see police investigators in this case which they would qualify for if they really couldn't distinguish between someone in distress and simple phone static).
SO to summarize really this whole case in a nutshell.
Either a bunch of people (interested in this case for many years) have been played -- thanks to clever spoon-fed media spin
Police investigators in this case have left a whole lot to be desired in terms of their abilities to solve puzzles.
Just a minor correction, because I also believe that the call billy got came from the red cross --- the calling cards that Maura received from Sharon Rausch over the holidays WERE NOT from the Red Cross or had anything to do with the Red Cross.
Scoops you make a good point. You make damn fine point actually. So Sharon herself contacts the Red Cross on Tuesday and then on Wednesday Billy gets a call "traced to the Red Cross" and the family puts out there to the media that this very well could be Maura? Seriously? I mean, look, we're all people of at least average intelligence. If you call a number and that number calls you back the next day, then that is your answer. You're right that maybe some weird thing happened on the other end of the phone, like the employee had voice mail issues. The reason I thought the whole thing was fishy was because the family used this event as evidence that Maura was alive in media reports and the never once cleared it up. Sheet, they even had an explanation: Sharon had given Maura some Red Cross calling cards.
Why would they do that? Why give the public a red herring like that?
Okay, this has to be a lie from the start. Let's break this down, shall we? So as Scoops points out, Sharon called the Red Cross on Tuesday and the whimper VM came on a Wednesday. So here we are, 48 hours after the disappearance and Billy gets a whimper VM. Now are we honestly supposed to believe that call was not traced very soon after Billy got it? I get the NH LE were a bit slow here, but I do not believe call went untraced for very long. First of all, as a call to a cell phone, Sharon could have traced it almost immediately. So even if LE was not interested, then surely the Murrays and Rausches at once called the cell phone company and asked which number called, which would have been traced to the Red Cross.
So then were those media reports just some b.s. they made up? They must have put two and two together rather fast. Was this just something they put out there to keep the public interested? Well, at the very least they knew the truth many years before Renner did, and yet they never once bothered to correct it.
Me? Well, the answer seems clear to me. Whatever is going on, to them the lie about this phone call is far more beneficial than the truth. So I suppose it is not out of the question to consider what that might be. For whatever reason, the family wants it out there that Maura might very well have still been alive and in distress on Wednesday. They have known for more than ten years that the call was not from her and they never thought it prudent to clear that up. Well, I think that is odd. I am sure someone will come here and tell me I am being "judgmental" or something but that is strange to me. If my brother went missing, then I would be obsessed with making sure that only things which were factual were made public. I would never stop hoping that the facts would lead me to him. Gee, this sounds awful lot like the opposite of that; it sounds just like falsehoods leading us away from Maura.
I am still open to anything, but I the more I see things like this, the more I am convinced that the family knows where Maura is and what happened to her. They are more than welcome to publicly clear all this up at any time and prove me wrong.
We definitely agree that the family knew more than what they portrayed to television cameras and newspaper reporters with tape recorders rolling.
However, I don't think they know exactly where Maura ended up. I think they wanted police resources to be used fully to help locate her, even after police resources were starting to wind down.
I think, IMO, out of desperation, they began stirring up the media, to try and revive the investigation.
When they weren't orchestrating media coverage with things like the A-Frame house search and talking about local dirtbags ... in various forms and formats, independently, they were confessing that they no longer felt Maura was alive.
With all that said, I think the family did what it felt it could do to try and find Maura. And if ever faced with that same situation (God Forbid), I wouldn't doubt for one second that I would use any and all available resources to my advantage (whether it meant fibbing some or not) to try and stir up interest in finding my missing loved one, especially if I felt the investigation was headed for a dead-end otherwise.
Regarding unsolved murders and missing persons cases, police in New Hampshire have historically left a whole lot to be desired. Generally, it's best not to ascribe malice where simple incompetence would suffice.
I can't speak for other unsolved cases in NH and how police handled them, because I haven't been following that stuff, but in the case of Maura Murray, I haven't found anything that speaks of police fumbling the investigation.
IMO, I don't think the actual police investigation into the Maura Murray disappearance came anywhere close to the dramatics that played out in the media about the case.
This all started as a basic driver abandoning car after a wreck.
To clear up some more on the infamous Red Cross phone call, it's best to hear from one of the main sources herself, Sharon Rausch, Billy's mother.
I put together her own details (typed by her) as she tried to explain away things. I actually got this from websleuths.
Very interesting stuff stated here in what was a Question and Answer type forum that Sharon did herself.
She pretty much dispels many rumors (like Maura having red cross calling cards) that ironically she may have had a hand in creating herself.
"It is not true that we have been unable to verify this: we were told on Wednesday 2/11 evening in the Haverhill Police Station by NH SP Det. Todd Landry that the call came from The American Red Cross. I disputed that information at the time by saying that they had never been given my son's cell phone number. The American Red Cross was called late evening Tuesday 2/10 *after* we learned of Maura's missing. The purpose of the call was to aid us in procuring Emergency Leave for my son to go to NH to search for Maura. ARC took my contact information and my son's commanding officer's information. They did not ask for nor receive any personal information regarding him. They have never called him.