A Female Perspective

Crime, Podcasts, True Crime

Episode 21 of Missing Maura Murray was a refresher. KF, a secret researcher, appeared on the first episode of 2016. One of the topics of conversation which stood out was the July 2004 article of Maura’s disappearance in Seventeen magazine.

Before we get into the weeds I have to say I was a formerly devoted Seventeen subscriber circa 2004 to 2007. So my first crosswalk with Maura probably didn’t first happen in the Disappeared episode. 2004 is my favorite year in pop culture. As a preteen at the time, I relished whichever pop star and movie maven appeared within the pages. I was curious on who actually appeared on the July issue. Any guesses on which young starlet? The Olsen twins appeared individually in separate covers. Vanessa Grigoriardis’ article is highlighted in the bottom right, proving even more confirmation the report existed in publication.

True crime stories did appear monthly. Seventeen was the kind of magazine I ravished right away as I read the whole thing in one sitting, fresh out of the mailbox. Anyone who knows me really well through discussion boards or commemorative posts are aware I have followed true crime since childhood. Those stories of real life cases were always gripping because they were unexpected tales in the midst of scanning beauty accessories and reading dating tips. Without a doubt I must have read the article. However it’s interesting how my memory doesn’t serve me right. During June of 2004 I vacationed to Central America. Perhaps my magazine arrived after I left the States. I suspect when flying back home weeks later I finally caught up with the July issue. Last fall when Tim and Lance were interviewed on Crime Writers On Serial, I remember hearing Lara Bricker say the case was hot in New Hampshire. On the surface the word seems to have flown pretty quickly among local media, newspapers, etc.

The reason people seem fixated on Maura is because she had the capacity as a legal adult to go off the grid. Adults have the ability to leave or escape on their own. Children do not vanish under their own volition; at least most of the time. Mostly we suspect foul play when a child goes missing. With her criminal hiccups months prior and car accidents, I always mentally sway left to right on whether she truly ran away. Her case is so unique because of the route 112 collision. Without that single piece of mysterious desertion in the middle of rural north country, armchair detectives are doing a Where’s Waldo at every turn.

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On my last MMM blog I literally stated that “every man on the street is a threat.” KF -and every other female in the planet- have encountered a brush of fear around interactions with men. It’s kinda crazy how guys do not consciously think of being in danger whenever they walk outside, however, this is the mindset for every female. A young woman as attractive as Maura, especially in a vulnerable state with freezing temperatures and darkness surrounding her, she was bait.

Based on the popularity between armchair detectives and the circumstances of this weird case, I’m kinda surprised her disappearance didn’t hit the national airwaves right away. Heck even Fred wasn’t alerted until 24 hours after the crash. Maura’s own high school friends believed her disappearance was a joke. The Away message on her AIM literally cautioned for emergency contact on the UMASS police. I appreciated hearing that as a former AOL user myself. The unforgettable, screeching dialup noise as you signed onto the internet will always stay with me. AIM was everything. Archaic compared to advanced technology, these were the few resources in reach.

Every guest until KF was a male. MMM pumped with testosterone between the appearances of John Smith, James Renner, Cold N. Holefield, Dr, Eckstein, and Clint Harding. I’m going off on a tangent but I love hearing these New England accents from Fred Murray and John. Also, I appreciate the fashion sense behind those swanky hats that Tim and Lance wore during the impromptu Tim Westman interview. Men down south simply cannot sport sophisticated New England attire.

Billy Rausch was her college boyfriend. Long distance relationships can be complicated especially considering Facebook, Skype, and Facetime didn’t exist back then. Email chains and phone calls were the main modes of communicating. It was really humbling to hear how as teenagers Adnan and Hae surreptitiously called each other in Serial. You forget how landlines operated back then due to their complete obsoleteness today. Since they were forbidden from dating, one person would call a weather hotline while the other dialed the recipient’s number so that the phone wouldn’t ring out loud–the beep hatched their plan.

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During freshmen year I’d borrow my sister’s Razor cell phone while hiding in the bathroom during private conversations. I experienced my very own college boyfriend from ages 19-21. We would ride the city bus after school. Before crashing at his place, we’d grab a bite at Taco Bell or Wendy’s. Fortunately we lived a couple of blocks away from each other. A year later I moved closer to downtown. Things got strained. I can’t imagine going through a long distance relationship. It wasn’t all roses for Maura and Billy. They didn’t share the simple daily nuances as a young couple should. With rumors of cheating between both individuals, it’s no surprise they lingered for intimacy.

This all reminds me of my Breadcrumbs entry. As a private and reticent person, I don’t share where I’m going with anyone. Maura didn’t specify where she was heading on February 9, 2004. The downfall of her disappearance is the unknown destination. The very same circumstance could happen whenever I walk out the door as I withhold identifies and places in my direction. There were many instances in 2015 where I met many strangers. I found myself in unfamiliar locations, wondering whether if I got myself in a seedy situation, where would I run for help?

Predicaments, predicaments.

Meanwhile there have been developments with Fred Murray reaching out to Unsolved. John Smith has petitioned for the FBI to get involved with the nearly turned 12 year old case. Recently I found a Youtube channel, BrainScratch, which features a soft spoken, sorta armchair detective by the name of John Logan. Maura’s case is covered in two parts. Interesting enough as I was drafting this blog, James releases a how-to-guide on reading up his investigation of the disappearance.

Podcast N Chill, right?

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12 thoughts on “A Female Perspective

  1. Maybe, a unrestrained(unbuckled) driver preoccupied and above the legal limit misses the turn and smashes into the snow bank deploying the air-bags.(the road was dry, but snow was roadside) In the crash her body lunges forward and up and she hits the wind shield with her left eye area. Grabbing all the booze(that wasn’t spilled) & dealing with the bus driver in the dusk, she gathers her items and a passer by offers help. She takes it and is gone. That fit’s into my why does the Alden Olsen video shows a “Maura” like” woman drawn with a black left eye. Also, the police didn’t check the wind-shield for epithelial trace evidence. Maybe the rag was Maura’s ruse. I’m not saying AO did it, but how did he conjure up that childish drawing with a black eye? Why did he pull his video’s?

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    1. Good points. Along with checking the epithelial cells, police should have conducted a DNA check on the soda bottle. It is possible AO drove by the crash site. The bruise could indicate she was hurt by the crash or someone (AO?) assaulted her.

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  2. Lots of good points. I do agree that we tend to look at it from solely a male perspective. Maura was a vulnerable young lady stranded alone with no cell phone reception, any male passing by in a car would have jumped at a chance like that.

    Oh, and as a New England guy who moved to the south you are spot on about that certain NE charm you can’t find elsewhere.

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      1. The accent and swanky hats are part of the NE charm. I’m from NH, relocated to NC now. Still following the case after all these years.

        I’m always interested on other people’s thoughts on this mystery, and your analysis was refreshing.

        I still tend to think she was murdered. Her last days reek of poor judgement and the aftermath of the accident continued that trend, just in a more desperate and vulnerable state.

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      2. Thanks! I think she was murdered too. Ever since Disappeared the case reeked of foul play. My mind wants to sway with her being alive. Maybe that poor judgment finally resulted in her being proactive. Skip town, leave loved ones, live by your own rules.

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  3. I have to say as a woman older than you that the fear you attribute to all women is a feature of your generation. Not that l have not had some frightening experiences in my life (i once was in a room when someone shot 2 bullets thru the window) but i have traveled to new places, walked alone in strange cities late at night, lived alone in the Bronx for 6 years after college all unafraid.

    I am sad to think that unafraid young women are going the way of the landline, this isn’t right.

    Look at crime stats, American women, men and children have never in history had a lower chance of being a victim of a violent crime.

    Being afraid something bad might happen really doesn’t make a person any safer. As a good friend’s mom used to say about worrying about things that haven’t happened yet,”Don’t borrow trouble.”

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    1. I’m speaking of the worry and precaution women carry more than men everyday. Men do not feel as endangered when they’re walking down a street. Something as subtle as a catcall makes us feel uneasy.

      Indeed, the U.S. crime rate has lowered in the last couple of decades. The media is saturated with 24/7 news channels though. Generations ago the public wasn’t constantly fed with crime stories. Missing people cases weren’t as circulated back then.

      As much as I believe in my own safety, my parents always think the worst case scenario. No matter what I do with my life, as a young 20something woman, they’re going to worry about my well being.

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      1. I understand the type of worry that young women carry today, and l am trying to communicate the fact that this is not something experienced by all women throught history, it is a phenomenon of young women of your generation. I think it’s very sad. Worry is not the same as taking reasonable precautions – precautions may be helpful but generalized worry is not.

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      2. PS
        Previous generations of women also did not take random remarks as they walked in the street (“catcalls”) to be something threatening or even cause to feel uneasy.

        This is something specific to your generation of women.

        You have a mind interested in investigation – perhaps looking into the manufacturing of the video 10 hours in NYC (actually only 2 small areas) might be of interest.

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