On Episode 27 of the “Missing Maura Murray Podcast” titled Questions and Answers (published 5/10/16), hosts Lance Reenstierna & Tim Pilleri (along with special guest Marley Davis of the MA public defender’s office) discuss their recent contact with police and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office. For many years journalists and amateur sleuths alike have tried to make contact with officials involved in Maura Murray’s case to get ‘on the record’ answers to questions with little luck. Despite it now officially being labeled a cold case, to the frustration of many, police have said they cannot reveal information since it is still an open investigation.
As Marley perfectly describes it, because police have been so tight lipped, there has been massive amounts of speculation in this case. The group contacted the NH Attorney General’s Office, and (shockingly!) they agreed to an on camera interview to answer some questions and clear up confusion and speculation. I can only imagine how excited they must have been. The interview was scheduled for early March 2016 in Concord, New Hampshire. It was then pushed back by officials to the end of March, and again to April 7th. On April 6th at 7:30 pm, the team received a disappointing email. They were told “a question had arisen” (likely hire-ups not feeling comfortable with this), and they needed to cancel the in person interview. They did however, promise they would respond to the questions via email within 48 hours. It took over a month before this was fulfilled, and very few of the questions were answered (Note: The NHAG’s Office was given a list of questions prior to the interview, as due to the nature of the case they wanted to screen the queries).
Since any type of official response is so rare, I thought it was important to transcribe the questions Tim, Lance, and Marley had sent to the Attorney General’s Office along with their response and make it accessible to read through as a part of unofficial ‘evidence’ of the case. They did say that the amount of questions that were officially answered to what they originally sent was small, and they did not read the unanswered questions on-air in order to avoid even more speculation. Below are all the questions and answers, typed out for reference. The questions were only a small portion of the podcast, and it’s an all around fascinating episode for many reasons (one of my favorites), so I highly encourage people to listen to it, as well as the other podcast episodes. You can listen to Episode 27 of the Missing Maura Murray Podcast on here Youtube, and check out the Maura Murray Documentary and Podcast Official Website or Twitter for more information and complete episode lists and links.
1. Question one was described as “A walkthrough of official time line” specifically: What time did Maura Murray send the email to her professors stating that she would be absent for the week?”
POLICE ANSWER: Maura Murray sent the emails to her professors the day of her disappearance. (They did not give the time).
2. Did Maura notify any of her bosses* that she would be absent for the week?
POLICE ANSWER: No she did not.
(*Note: ‘Bosses’ refers to her employers. Didn’t want anyone to get confused thinking she hadn’t notified anyone, as we know she emailed her professors stating she would be gone for the week due to a death in the family, which did not exist.)
3. According to The Boston Globe Maura withdrew $280.00 at 3:40pm. Can you confirm?
POLICE ANSWER: Maura did withdraw $280.00, but it was earlier than 3:40pm.
4. Which ATM did she use, and which liquor store did she visit?
POLICE ANSWER: Maura left the liquor store at 3:43pm. We are unable to comment on what store she visited.
5. What time was Maura seen leaving Umass?
POLICE ANSWER: No witness reported seeing Maura at the time she left Umass.
6. Where was she last seen, specifically? Did she converse with anyone as she left? Did she appear distraught? Was she carrying anything?
POLICE ANSWER: We are unable to comment on the last person to see Maura at Umass.
7. Can you confirm which direction Maura was heading on Route 112 when she crashed?
POLICE ANSWER: We believe she was headed eastbound on Route 112
8. How were you able to definitively identify Maura as the driver?
POLICE ANSWER: ALL evidence collected to date points to Maura as being the driver.
The podcast hosts have an interesting discussion about this question, stating they are “dying” to put this to rest (likely because many conspiracy theories involve there being a driver other than Maura), and how they should have rephrased the question as they meant to ask how police were able to put out a BOLO [“Be on the Lookout”] for Maura, even though the car was registered to Fred.
9. Can you confirm – as Detective Scarinza stated in the “Disappeared” Episode -that a circle of red liquid was found in the snow? Where was the circle in relation to Maura’s vehicle? Can inference be made of circle being caused by someone pouring out the bottle found under the vehicle into the snow?
POLICE ANSWER: There was an area of red liquid located under Maura’s vehicle. We are unable to comment on any inferences being made from this fact.
10. Where was Maura’s vehicle towed? Could it have been driven from the scene?
POLICE ANSWER: Maura’s vehicle was towed by Lavoie’s towing company, to the Troop, released to the family, then taken in for additional processing several months later.
Podcast hosts discuss this answer. Fred Murray himself has stated that the car was towed to first to Lavoie’s PERSONAL garage – not ‘The Troop’ – they believe police are skipping this step in their answer. John Smith talks about this on Missing Maura Murray Podcast Episode 20: Fred’s Despair . “The first time Fred ever saw the vehicle in New Hampshire was on Friday morning. He went to Lavoie’s personal house. It was in his garage with his own personal car. It was not brought to his shop, which I find another big oddity.”
11. The 911 Log indicates that a call was placed from Hanover PD to Grafton Country at 7:42 pm regarding the Atwood’s 911 Call. What time was the phone call made from the Atwood’s house to Hanover PD?
POLICE ANSWER: We have no comment other than what information is reflected in the log.
12. There have been conflicting reports over whether or not Maura appeared intoxicated. Can you confirm whether she did or did not appear intoxicated?
POLICE ANSWER: We are unable to comment on her appearance, but there WAS evidence of open alcohol containers both at the scene AND in the vehicle.
13. It has been reported that a canine unit tracked Maura’s scent 100 yards east of the crash site. It has also been reported that both Butch Atwood and Rick Forcier lived approx. 100 yards from the crash site. Can you confirm then, that the canine scent was lost in front of their houses?
POLICE ANSWER: There was a dog track that was conducted from the scene of the crash.
Podcast hosts mention how this isn’t really an answer, but more like “We WANT to answer this question…but this is all we are allowed to give you”. Interesting!
14. What is the official word on the rag in the tailpipe?
POLICE ANSWER: A number of reports did document finding a rag in the tailpipe of the vehicle.
15. Why did police request Maura’s belongings to be returned to them after being released to the family?
POLICE ANSWER: Investigations may often require retesting or reexamination. It is not unusual in cases that start more as a Missing Persons investigations which develop more into a criminal investigation.
Podcast hosts question if this may be proof that police as inferring this has developed more into a criminal investigation at this point?
16. Describe the state of Maura’s dorm room: What did Law Enforcement infer from the state of her dorm room? Has Law Enforcement’s stance chanced over the years regarding the state of Maura’s dorm room and whether or not it was significant in any way to her disappearance?
POLICE ANSWER: Maura’s room was orderly and some items appeared to be packed. Items were not in any sort of disarray.
17. Law Enforcement made reference early on to a note left by Maura in her dorm room describing it as a “possible suicide note”, later Fred Murray stated publicly that the note was actually a printed copy of an old email from her boyfriend Bill. Can you confirm Fred’s statement to be true? If not what was the content of the letter?
POLICE ANSWER: We have not recovered ANY apparent suicide note.
18. In the State’s response to Fred Murray’s Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit, it says “There are Grand Jury subpoenas that are not public and which would pinpoint the focus of the investigation”… withholding specific details, can you confirm that this means a grand jury WAS convened in this case?
POLICE ANSWER: Regardless of whether a Grand Jury was or was not convened in this matter, Superior Court and ethical rules prohibit us from making any comment on any and all Grand Jury matters.
19. In the State’s response it also states “There are also search warrants that are not public”. Withholding specific details, can you confirm that searches of specific areas were conducted pursuant to an arrest? Are there any details you can discuss regarding any searches that were conducted?
POLICE ANSWER: Regardless of whether search warrants were or were not issued in the matter, Superior Court and ethical rules prohibit us from making any comments on any and all matters sealed by the court.
20. Butch Atwood’s common law wife recently told a journalist that her husband took two of the four polygraph exams alluded to in the State’s response and that he either failed the first, or that it was inconclusive. Can you comment of whether this is accurate, and if so, what the results of the exam were?
POLICE ANSWER: We are unable to comment on the results on any polygraph tests.
Note: It has long been rumored, before Butch’s wife even confirmed it, that Butch took two polygraphs. The first was allegedly rendered ‘inconclusive’ due to a slew of medications he was on at the time for serious health/heart conditions. It was repeated, and he allegedly passed.
21. Have any of Maura’s missing possessions- car keys, credit/debit cards, cell phone, etc., been located since her disappearance?
POLICE ANSWER: No, they have not.
22. Was any forensic testing conducted inside the A-Frame house? It has been reported that bones were found in the A-Frame house by the new owners and the bones were given to the police. Can you comment whether these bones were found to be human? What about the carpet sample reported given to police? Has it been ruled out having any connection to Maura? At this point have police been able to rule out the possibly of a connection between the A-Frame house in general and Maura’s disappearance?
POLICE ANSWER: We are familiar with the house you are referring to. Questions were generated by private investigators working on the case. We have no knowledge of any bones or information being discovered there.
23. There are reports that there were areas of freshly laid concrete laid near the crash site in the days following the crash. Has this been reported to police and have any searches been conducted of these areas?
POLICE ANSWER: We are unaware of any such reports, and there would be some difficulty to pouring concrete in February. However, we will investigate this based on your assertion.
24. Though police have said the phone call to Billy was from The Red Cross, Billy’s mother remains firm in her stance that it is impossible to know that. Have you been able to definitively confirm that that phone call Billy received while on the plane to New Hampshire came from the Red Cross?
POLICE ANSWER: Yes, we DID confirm that the call came from The Red Cross.
25. At what point did Maura having met with foul play become the prevailing theory over suicide or runaway, or is it not the prevailing theory?
POLICE ANSWER: Foul play is dominant among several theories. We don’t know whether her disappearance was voluntary, involuntary, or the victim of a crime. Everything is still on the table, which is why we are treating this case accordingly.
26. Is there a reason the ATM footage has not been released to the public? Would we be able to view it?
POLICE ANSWER: The footage was obtained and we are willing to release it to the public in the near future.
*Note: As of publication, the ATM footage STILL has not been released to the public, despite the fact police told the podcast in April 2016 they would be willing to release it. It is now a year and a half later. The non-release of this is a huge source of speculation and conspiracy theories, such as police won’t release it because it is someone other than Maura in the footage (which doesn’t make sense, considering police *have* recently shown the stills of the footage to her father Fred Murray, who said it was in fact Maura). I hope the police will release it so these rumors can be put to rest…or perhaps the new Oxygen Channel Show/ Documentary about Maura Murray will be able to obtain the footage?
27. For years local rumors have circulated that Maura met with foul play and that her body was dumped in a number of locations including bodies of water, under the foundations of houses, woodchoppers, etc. At this time do you believe any of the rumors to be more credible than others?
POLICE ANSWER: No. As explained above, all leads are still being investigated and almost anything is still possible!
28. Are there any that have been completely ruled out?
POLICE ANSWER: Some rumors have been ruled out, but we are unable to comment of the specifics of those rumors.
29. How tuned in is Law Enforcement to the internet chatter regarding this case?
POLICE ANSWER: we are receptive to receiving information from whatever the source.
30. Have Law Enforcement garnered any useful information from what is written online? Do you think the attention this case has gotten online has been a detriment to the investigation or has it been helpful at all?
POLICE ANSWER: The attention on this case has generated some leads, although none have panned out when investigated. However, efforts to keep people’s attention focused on the case are NOT detrimental if they have the potential to generate new leads.
31. Is law enforcement aware of the taunting videos made by Alden Olson on YouTube? Has he been looked into as as Person of Interest?
POLICE ANSWER: We are aware of those videos.
*Note: We now know that despite the bizarre videos, Alden is not a suspect (though he was briefly looked into due to the videos), as he was nowhere near the area.
32. We were hoping you could tell us your perspective on why you think this case is so popular. It seems to be very popular among the internet community/ armchair detectives. Why is THIS the case people are so fascinated with?
POLICE ANSWER: People love a mystery and Maura Murray’s disappearance is a mystery. The internet is also sometimes a forum for speculation and conspiracy theories, in spite of facts to the contrary, or no facts at all! The combination seems to fuel much discussion on cases like this.
[END OF QUESTIONS]