Another Saturday night means another episode of The Disappearance of Maura Murray on Oxygen.
Episode three proceeded into the continuation of Kathleen Murray’s interview with Maggie. Basically Kat discusses her unhappiness with her life back in 2004. Drinking was how she functioned with her problems. Perhaps Maura knowing Kat’s slip ups with sobriety brought sadness to herself.
One interesting quote that caught my attention during this interview was that Kat sometimes dreams about Maura escaping her old life. In her dreams, Kat becomes angry with her sister for choosing the runaway scenario. Naturally this is a reaction any family member should feel for their missing loved ones. Kat, along with the remaining Murrays, would likely feel bitterness —among a host of strong emotions— towards that scenario because whatever was happening in the family unit didn’t suffice enough for Maura to intentionally leave.
Once again Bill the boyfriend is brought up. Bill chose to not correspond with Maggie but his friend, Bob McLean, spoke on camera about the disappearance. Tim and Lance from Missing Maura Murray joined Maggie for the Bob interview.
Bob doesn’t have suspicions about Bill’s potential involvement in Maura going away. Bill’s reticence seems rather normal to his friend because he eventually married and began having kids. From the many news clips I’ve seen involving the case, Bill was interviewed directly in the 20/20 and Montell Williams episodes. Back then he made proactive efforts to find Maura. Naturally through the years Bill needed to move on. He’s not the same early 20’s guy with the glasses speaking on camera.
The next sit down involved Fred. The deeply personal question Maggie asked him before the commercial break left every viewer taking a deep breath.
Did he sexually assault Maura, his youngest daughter?
“Of course not,” Fred answered passionately in his defense.
The hard question was brought up because James Renner speculates this issue in True Crime Addict. This intimate issue is one of the reasons James speculates Maura wanted to escape the men in her life.
Maggie was very courageous for asking such a serious question. Fred’s response still held a level of decorum for a salacious question not worth answering.
The speculation about abuse, the $4000, and more are conversation topics that goes to a side street leading to a dead end in Fred’s words. The white noise is “slowing us down” because people aren’t relying on facts of the case to form constructive action.
Fred’s determination in finding Maura reminds me of another forlorn father trying to bring back his own daughter: Drew Kesse.
Jennifer Kesse was a Florida financial analyst who disappeared on January 24, 2006. From that fateful Tuesday morning when Jennifer didn’t report to work and failed to answer phone calls from her loved ones, the Kesse family reported Jennifer missing.
Unconcluded is a podcast that focuses entirely on Jennifer’s case. I recommend Unconcluded for people interested in true crime or missing person cases. Jennifer’s parents, Drew and Joyce Kesse, have appeared on the podcast. This is a rare and special event because not many relatives will simply show for any show.
Drew’s testimony in searching for Jennifer on Unconcluded is so powerful. Drew and Fred both contain that same determination and agony for their missing daughters. This is a club no relative wants to be included in.
Drew has stated before that Jennifer is not an object. This is meant for the opportunists, selfish, and bored people who speculate and seek their own interest that doesn’t garner the proper attention on Jennifer’s case.
The same should be said for Maura.
Halfway through this episode, Art, Maggie, Tim, and Lance work through the case timeline. Art mentioned that he once operated as a dispatcher. His comment was directed towards Faith Westman’s 911 call and the narrative dispatchers are supposed to jot down. This made me rethink Faith’s description of possibly seeing a man smoking a cigarette alongside Maura.
Now I think that Faith might not have realized or seen Maura accepting a ride and slipping into the car of the person smoking the cigarette. Faith could have confused the stranger’s car with Maura’s Saturn.
I really think this is a telling point but I could be wrong on this account. This scenario clicked and made sense in my head when I watched the timeline sit down last night.
In my last blog regarding episode two, I mentioned the record store employee, Roxanne, was interviewed during Tim and Lance’s Canadian trip. Roxanne was tracked down and interviewed by Maggie in episode three. Roxanne discussed the alleged meeting with Maura, then later shown age progression photos of what Maura could have looked like at around 30 years old.
In my opinion, Maura doesn’t resemble the age progression photos. I couldn’t recognize her if it saved my life. Anyways, Roxanne now thinks she might have confused the interaction with another stranger.
Elizabeth Greenwood, author of Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, discussed on the show that the chances of planning a disappearance more likely takes years in advance. In this case, Maura would have planned the escape during her teenage years. This seems far fetched for most young girls to execute. Teenagers like myself wondered what we wanted to accomplish during and after high school. Life is unpredictable for easily impressioned individuals, especially for teenagers and young adults.
Elizabeth isn’t the leading research expert in missing person cases involving manufacturing your own escape but I put some stock into what she had to say. Last year I read an excerpt from Playing Dead but never got around to finishing the book. Elizabeth has even appeared on the podcast Criminal this past year.
This week on The Dr. Oz Show, Julie Murray emotionally clarified that Maura’s view of the world was narrow at 21. Maura’s reasons for fleeing UMASS to New Hampshire remains unknown but it reflects a young woman’s impulsive desire, a desire that didn’t assure her utmost street smarts and safety.