I’ve been slacking. The last thing I covered was those Fred Murray letters. A host of subjects were broached in the last three episodes.
Out of curiosity I watched the Disappeared episode again. Before Missing Maura Murray, the only piece of information that served my memory was the car crash. The first time I saw Disappeared I was not aware of James Renners’ participation with the investigation, along with Maura’s legal troubles –things inevitably omitted from the ID series. The way the episode was produced possesses that campy and curious feeling that leaves you dreading for more answers as the credits roll up. Anybody not familiar with MMM would speculate Maura went on a spontaneous trip. Guesses are made from there.
I actually learned a few things from the episode.
- Not Without Peril, a book about the New Hampshire mountain trail was found in her car.
- Fred worked in Bridgeport, Connecticut at the time.
- Billy and Maura dated since 2001.
- Billy bought her a cell phone for Christmas. Paid her monthly bills too.
- Maura had an AAA membership.
Years later I didn’t think a podcast would take place. MMM has become an experience. The midnight releases murmur those of Serial, which dropped around 5AM for devout east coast listeners like myself. From the melancholy piano section in the intro to the cover art of an illuminated girl running into obscurity, you are in for a story. I’ve mentioned the podcast to a few people in passing. They get the gist of the case: Maura Murray, college student, goes missing after car crash. People won’t expect inquiry absent from the Disappeared episode: Alden Olsen, the $4000 withdrawal, you-fill-in-the-blank. Speculative data that makes you go, “Oooo!”.
The cool thing about MMM is Tim and Lance are riding on the mystery roller coaster too. Their inner dialogue and sentiments are expressed: Lance getting spooked at Maura’s mugshot, tweets about the boys feeling chills during the Lori Bruno session, Tim shaking his head at Fred rebuking Renner. Also, I like their willingness to interview anyone. Due to that, the list of characters lending their voice rises. The boys are bringing texture.
I agree with Renner that people like to insinuate themselves into a case. Blog and podcasts are a part of a developing and changing narrative. Aren’t I insulating myself somehow by writing this blog? Not maliciously and taunting like Alden Olsen though. His maniacal laugh petrified me at 5AM, as Renner spoke about Olsen’s creepy involvement into the narrative. I appreciate J.R. (can I call you that?) taking a stand in his protection and safety. Alden has repeatedly engaged in classic stalking behavior, including harassing J.R. and his family. The cool thing is he wasn’t deterred from reporting the case. Personally I would have been shaking in my boots.
Speaking of insinuating, I recall that creep who put on a show for the cameras, falsely claiming involvement in the Jon Benet Ramsey case. I had just entered high school as a freshmen. 6AM wake up calls were daunting for this 14 year old, trying to eat Cherrios as the news junket flashed headlines of the day. Super tired and nourishing myself before leaving for the school bus, this creep stopped me in my tracks. I was terrified. Firstly it was weird he’d even publicly put on a parade about murdering a little girl.
This is uncommon. Any attention is good attention for weirdos. Back to the program.
Onto the psychics. I’m a skeptic. My bullshit meter is high but I’ll hear anything Tim and Lance puts on the table. The audience got a tease of their documentary with J.R. telling the story of when he cruised through a boardwalk, stopping by for a quick psychic session from an old Hungarian woman. If you visit the MMM Youtube page, you will see a dosage of reel on Lori speaking in episode 10. The Lori session appeared like a scene out of Serial, where you felt present in the room too. Right away she feverishly spewed her visions.
“Fine snow coming down.”
“Big ass truck.”
Listening to the passion behind her voice, especially on details like the White Mountains or Franconia Notch possibly being the epicenter of Maura’s whereabouts, I just want Tim and Lance to immediately search for those areas. Even recently Brian Ladd, schizo psychic dreamer, provided new inquiry on a separate location. I liked that Lori and Brian both echoed a “Ben” being involved. Possibly to be around a 30 year old white male with law enforcement connections.
We shall see.
I’d like know more about Maura. Who was her favorite band? Where did she shop at? Simple things of that nature. She might have been a sick or conflicted person, but it’s the little things that connected her to loved ones. This could be reflected the same way as how Hae Min Lee was presented through her diary entries in Serial. A teenage girl smitten for love, the adored star student from Woodlawn High. Favorite drink: Sprite. Favorite movie: Titanic.
If Maura is alive and found, she will not surrender to her old way of life. She has assimilated to a distinct lifestyle. Living off the grid or masquerading under a false identity, Maura is not the same person from 2004. Billy is not going to propose to her. Sara and Kate will not invite her to the local pub. Maura cannot walk up the graduation podium to grab her nursing degree. The crazy and sad part is that these events cannot be reenacted. The course of events shifted everyone’s lives. I wish Billy and Maura would have married. He really seemed devoted and caring. A nursing career would have sufficed.
In the last episode, a New Hampshire professor of forensic psychology, Dr. Robert Eckstein shared his analysis. I agree she was under stresses like any regular college student. The nursing program sounds like no picnic. I relate too by having those stresses. Not only with my education, in my personal life as well. Moody and irritant I’ve wanted to leave home. Doesn’t necessarily mean I wanted to disappear but I wanted to be away from reminders that brought me down.
It is possible Maura was the problem child of the Murray family, finding herself to be a nuisance to everyone. Even before Robert mentioned the possibility of alcohol abuse, I started to think she was alcoholic. Added with the rumor of being bulimic, she certainly must have masked her problems one sip and upchuck at a time. Those are very serious things. I usually procrastinate or snack to forget about my problems.
I proposed the pregnancy theory before coming across some Renner blogs recently. They focus on internet searches about pregnancy on her UMass computer.
Now that’s something any woman in her 20s dreads. We WEB MD the hell out of Google. If she was pregnant for real, then her problems just became 5 times worse.
The possibility of Maura perishing in the woods actually seems like the most plausible. Most likely she got cold feet, ran to the woods to avoid detection, scared and feeling like a fuck up for wrecking the car. Against her fragile and limited judgment, she fell asleep in the woods. This scenario is the saddest out of all the theories floating around. Even if she Gone Girl’d her way to obscurity, I would have wanted her to recognize that her problems or stresses do not define her.
“It’s like I get her,” Lori murmurs.
By the way…..there is buzz among the community about MMM continuing with a second season. I’m down. Out of all the crime podcasts, I’m mostly in favor of Tim and Lance investigating a new case. Especially as documentary film makers they have that added advantage. Personally I don’t view them taking lackadaisical approaches, while always appearing reciprocal with guests. You can tell they are best bros too. Eating orange chicken together like the real armchair detectives they were destined to be on Earth.
Call 872-25M-AURA or 872-256-2872 to leave your theory on the case.