True Crime Labrynth: Maura Murray

Something Bad Happened’, Oxygens 5th episode of ‘The Disappearance of Maura Murray’, aired on October 21. Although there is still no sign or trace of Maura(yet), the team has gotten more answers thus far than EVER! Jeff Williams, (Former Cheif P.D of Haverhill) finally speaks out, and we also hear more from Frank Murray and other important figures in the search for Maura. There are more in-depth discussions between Lance Reenstierna, Tim Pilleri, Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick. They are all putting every single investigative skill that they have to work. The way all of their minds brilliantly work together shows the dedication to thoroughly and expertly find answers. I am interested to see if James Renner may reevaluate his stance on what HE thinks happened, now that new interviews have been given. What is Maura’s family thinking right now? Do they have a glimmer of hope now, at least for some sort of closure?

This episode contained a lot of information and covered a lot of areas. Maps and timelines were explained, some theories were dismissed and some new ones were introduced. Cecil Smith still seems like a suspicious character, but sometimes people just APPEAR that way on camera or under scrutiny. Officer Monahan, whom sat down with Maggie Freeling and Art Roderick during episode 3, stated, on camera that when he arrived at the scene, officer Cecil Smith was there, WITH BUTCH ATTWOOD, who was “searching the woods”. This key detail seems so important as I haven’t heard Cecil Smith discuss this yet. Most documented accounts say Attwood went home and stayed there. Monahan seemed the most truthful in his accounts, with Smith seeming LESS reliable than Jeff Williams did. I really don’t think he was on the scene. I agree with Maggie that the police department isn’t involved DIRECTLY, (although the way they handled the entire case was a mess). Smith and Attwood remain on my radar as possible suspects.

I still don’t think Maura committed suicide. The packing of her birth control, her books, even taking a test the day prior- all seem to indicate that she planned on continuing her studies. She was emotionally unstable and depressed, but I think she may have been strong enough to get through it. The fact that her scent is lost by tracking dogs in the middle of the street makes me think that whatever blipped Maura off the radar happened right there. Could Attwood have put an unconscious Maura into his (unsearched) school bus? Or even an awake Maura, telling her to hide in there until the next day to avoid being in the cold? He and his wife could have HELPED her escape if she told them it was DV related, as Renner has suggested. I do wish that they would have used the tracking dogs with Maggie getting into a vehicle and then sitting in it at the Attwood location and other local ‘hot spots’, just to see if they can still follow the scent to her, even with that short little car trip.

Briana Maitlands’ disappearance was compared to Mauras, and the facts of both women’s case are eerily similar. Both disappeared, leaving a crashed vehicle and not many clues. Briana disappeared on 3/19/2004 in Montgomery, Vermont. She was small framed, dark-haired, attractive and athletic. As the map below shows, Maitland and Murrays abduction sites were not that far from each other. Just as chilling as the similarity of appearance, is the diagram that shows other missing person cases in that area.


The disappearance of 10-year-old Holly Piirainen who disappeared in 1993, her body found 3 months later, and 16-year-old Molly Bisch, abducted in 1999, 10 miles away from Holly’s abduction site, her body found three years later, further illustrates how easily someone can disappear without a trace. Is there something behind the conspiracy theory of a serial killer? There are so MANY unsolved disappearances and murders all over the world that, statistically speaking, murderers probably walk amongst us often. Serial killers are typically experts of camouflage, successfully raising families and having ‘normal’ lives, never being found. They are true wolves in sheep’s clothing.

John Smith, a former police officer, has gone to extreme lengths to try and get answers for Maura’s family. Smith followed up on a few theories of his own (not dismissing the potential for a serial killer). His search brought up 2 local brothers who lived 1 mile from where Maura disappeared. Speculation was that they took Maura from the scene and killed her at their residence. Apparently, one of the two men said that he thought the other may be involved in Maura’s case. He actually called Fred Murray and said he found a knife with blood on it, in his brothers’ vehicle. John Smith obtained the knife, it was then given to Fred Murray, and Fred gave it to the police. The police initially refused to take it into evidence, however, eventually, they accepted it. In 2006, the owner of the newly vacated home of the brothers in question allowed John to do his own investigation of the property. Cadaver dogs flagged human remains in an upstairs closet, carpet samples obtained are in also in police custody, with the knife. The police department states that the “testing is not available to the public at this time.” I’m assuming that this is to preserve any evidence should they file criminal charges of a suspect.


In 2016 Mr. Smith was joined by Tim and Lance for a segment on their podcast. They all returned to the home of those brothers, and during that search, (inside the same closet that cadaver dogs flagged a body), they (possibly) found blood on the interior wood frame. While talking to Maggie, Smith tells her that he still possesses the wood chips they took from the scene. Oxygens team brings in a forensic DNA specialist to sample these chips, to test for blood and, maybe an eventual DNA match. As the credits roll it appears that the test may be suggestive of blood. Ending the episode on this note leaves me desperate for what is yet to come next week, and hopeful that this is the breakthrough that finally leads to closure.


FYI-In recapping these episodes there will be spoilers- and theories of my own. None of these theories are accusations and I, in no way, have enough information to point the finger at anyone. All pictures in this blog are owned by Oxygen.

For more information, or to help find Maura, please refer to the following links.

As always, if you have information on Maura Murry, Please refer to the information listed on her flyer.






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