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Author Topic: Quick clarification: "death in the family"  (Read 97 times)


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Quick clarification: "death in the family"
« on: December 13, 2019, 04:57:01 pm »
Original post by finn141414
(I'm adding this because this question comes up frequently; if anyone has any additional details or has the text of these emails, I will add/edit this post).

On the day of her departure 2/9/04, Maura sent emails to 1) the nursing faculty professors and 2) the art gallery. The email to the nursing faculty at 1:24PM indicated that she was heading home for the week due to a death in the family and would be in touch when she returned. I have no specific information about the email to the art gallery. I have it listed as the same time (1:24PM) on my own timeline. I don't know if the art gallery email used the same wording "death in the family". It's also possible that it was the same email sent to all recipients but I don't believe so.

In 2017, Tim Pilleri confirmed that the email mentioned "death in the family":

    Tim Pilleri (September 24, 2017) Just heard from the lovely Maggie Freleng that this is officially what Maura put in her email. "Death in the family." This information came from Chuck West of the New Hampshire State Police Cold Case Unit who did not show Maggie and Art the email but read it in front of them.

Here is an article also mentioning the email to the nursing faculty and the reference to the wording "death in the family" (see bold):

    Massachusetts Daily Collegian February 17, 2004

    Missing student a mystery to police, classmates Erica Lovley and Ferron Salneer

    Police are investigating the disappearance of a University of Massachusetts student who was last seen at the site of a car crash on Monday, Feb. 9.

    According to the Boston Globe, Maura Murray, 21, of Hanson, Mass. crashed her car into a snow bank last Monday in Haverhill, N.H. The accident was her second in three days; Murray had recently crashed her father’s car on Saturday of the previous weekend.

    Murray disappeared from the site of the crash after a resident tried to help and who had called the police, despite Murray asking him not to, the Globe reported. Murray was gone upon arrival of police, her car left abandoned and undrivable, the Globe said.

    Chief Jeff Williams of the Haverhill Police Department does not think foul play was involved.

    “Our concern is that she’s upset or suicidal, something the family was concerned about,” he told the Globe on Friday.

    The accident took place along Route 112, about five miles away from Wells River, Vt., and a mile away from Swift Water Village by the Connecticut River.

    Police used dogs, a helicopter and Fish and Game Officers to perform an immediate search around the crash site area and found nothing. The search has since been called off.

    Murray is a junior nursing major, a Dean’s List student who works in a local art gallery.

    Two UMPD officers, Detectives Chris Thrasher and Brian Davies and two counselors from Mental Health Services visited a junior nursing class, Parent-Child Nursing, on Friday afternoon. Joan Cully, administrative director of the Office for the Advancement of Nursing Education and Eileen Breslin, dean of the school of Nursing were also present at the meeting.

    In addition, an email was written by Breslin, and released to the UMass nursing community. According to the email, Murray sent an email to her faculty Monday afternoon at 1:24 p.m. indicating she was heading home for the week due to a death in the family and that she would contact everyone when she returned.

    Lindsay Pemberton, a junior nursing major, has the same class schedule as Murray and was present for the meeting on Friday. Pemberton told The Massachusetts Daily Collegian that staff in the nursing department spoke to Murray’s family, and were told that there were no recent family deaths.

    “Also, her dorm room was all packed up, like she was planning on moving out,” said Pemberton.

    The email to the nursing community also stated that Murray called her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch, Tuesday morning. At the Friday meeting police said that Rausch only heard someone breathing on the other line. The police were unable to trace the call.

    According to Sharon Rausch, the boyfriend’s mother, Murray had e-mailed her boyfriend on Monday afternoon, saying she needed to speak with him.

    Murray’s family, including Rausch, and his parents, have flown to New England and are passing out fliers along the New Hampshire-Vermont state boarder, hoping someone will recognize Murray.

    “She was really quiet and didn’t hang out with any of us,” said Pemberton. “She was a sweet person, but she didn’t get personal with anyone.”

    Murray and Rausch met at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. As of yesterday afternoon, the Haverhill police have had no leads in the case and hope that Murray will try to contact a friend or family member.

    “The case is under investigation and we are not discussing it at this time,” said the Haverhill Police Department.

Comment by BonquosGhost
A couple of clinchers here.....

First, the line....

On the day of her departure 2/9/04, Maura sent emails to 1) the nursing faculty professors and 2) the art gallery. Someone forgot she had 2 jobs, the other working for UMPD police campus security, and they never received an email. Who would cover Maura's shifts that week for the police?

Second is this line.....

The email to the nursing community also stated that Murray called her boyfriend, Army Lieutenant Bill Rausch, Tuesday morning. At the Friday meeting police said that Rausch only heard someone breathing on the other line. The police were unable to trace the call.

This is a second confirmation that the whimper call came to Rausch on Tuesday morn and NOT Wed morn. Relative and very important, as no one had contacted anyone yet about the Monday eve crash. THEN, it says by Friday police hadnt been able to trace the call, yet Sharon said that police told them when they arrived Wednesday that it was the Red Cross who called Billy. At this point a pure 100% lie from LE to them. They said they spoke with THE Red Cross person who called Rausch, which seems insane on how they would track down THE Red Cross phone person with an untraceable prepaid calling card......

Comment by finn141414
Yes, I listened to the new mindshock this morning which mentioned that she hadn't emailed her campus security job. That's a good catch. I suppose it's possible she didn't have a shift in the coming week but I have no idea - maybe someone has insight into that.

I also noticed the Tuesday mention. You're absolutely right on that. [I thought of including only the relevant paragraph about the email because I spotted that and thought - well, I know what we'll be talking about here instead ...]. But yes, this is the second reference in addition to CNN.

Comment by JimEasy
I don’t know what to think of Mindshock... their MM stuff seems wandering and conspiracy prone but generally truth seeking... but it’s the same channel with Bigfoot (believer here - but mentioned regardless), missing 411 (again, troubling because I can’t explain it and daughters are wanting to be told monsters aren’t real and for the first time it’s ever mattered & I’m not sure of the answer.), then there’s the flat earth stuff, mind control, Illuminati, etc. that just doesn’t lend any credibility to their channel. IDK.

Comment by sinenox
    and that she would contact everyone when she returned

Interesting point. I had always wondered a bit if the "death in the family" she was alluding to might have been her own, if she was suicidal. But if she then went on to say that she would contact folks when she returned, then that would seem to disprove that hypothesis.

Comment by finn141414
Happy cake day!

Yes very difficult to know what to make if that phrase. At the end of the day, there was no death in the family, and she was not “heading home” so can we give weight to her additional statement that suggests she planned to return? I could go either way.

Comment by progmetal
This excuse has bothered me, immensely. Why would Maura use this drastic measure to exclude herself from her responsibilities?

We have to look at this excuse differently. The context of it can have multiple interpretations, but one particular part that stands out is no one is going to question it. From the email she sent to Bill, the line: I got your messages, but honestly, i didn't feel like talking to much of anyone. Does this speak volume? If so, it might give us a something to think about from Maura's standpoint. However, why use this excuse if your agenda was to avoid anyone from corresponding with you? It would seem to have the opposite effect. If a friend or a colleague was told of this personal tragedy, wouldn't the draw for sympathy come into play? Maura's intention was to leave in secrecy but why not regard it as a Personal Matter rather than using a death in a family? If your intention was to leave without the inquiry or concern of others, surely you'd use this as a last resort but she went right for the most believable excuse. As I stated, who would question but how does that deter the inquiry?

I think the context of this excuse gives me the impression Maura was hiding something, that deeply bothered her to the point of going on this impromptu trip. By analyzing the choices and mindset of Maura, we can better understand and grasp the reasons behind the trip that would forever change many lives.

Comment by finn141414
good points

her call to Erin O'Neil was at 1:13PM (11 minutes before this, or less depending on the duration of the call). So we know during the call to O'Neil that she was "crying". [As a note: I think in this call she said she had a "family emergency" and was going home now I'll need to go back and check].

One of my thoughts was that, IF she said "death in the family" to the nursing faculty but "family emergency" to the art gallery, it would suggest that she knew that they had different criteria for excusing absences.

Comment by fulkstop
    One of my thoughts was that, IF she said "death in the family" to the nursing faculty but "family emergency" to the art gallery, it would suggest that she knew that they had different criteria for excusing absences.

According to the School of Nursing Handbook, 2004-2005 (p. 75-6) , "[a]ttendance at all scheduled clinical practice is mandatory. Absence for any reason must be explained and will be evaluated by the instructor, who will decide whether an alternative experience must be arranged." (emphasis added).

She had to give an explanation, and then it was up to the nursing faculty whether they would excuse it. In that context, "death in the family" makes perfect sense.

Comment by finn141414
Excellent. I was thinking of looking for the official policy so helpful.

Comment by progmetal
She would receive support from the nursing staff as oppose to her job in the art gallery. So, she knew what was expendable and what was a priority. Though I just don’t understand why she used “a death in the family” excuse if her intention was to leave without notice or anyone making inquiries? That’s why I proposed calling it a “personal matter.”

Comment by BonquosGhost
"Death in the family" is usually the accepted excuse for a nursing student to miss clinicals. They are super strict on this policy. Check out the stress this student has, and this is 2018...


Comment by progmetal

I didn’t know they had strict policies for nursing students. Interesting. So, does this make you wonder if Maura actually had a legitimate reason for this trip to the White Mountains?

Comment by BonquosGhost
I watched my wife's oldest daughter recently go thru a college RN program and it was insane. She was super smart and graduated, but the stress/work was off the charts intense and difficult. I remember her saying she couldnt get out of clinical schedules unless it was literally a death in the family. To your other point here....I am unsure on that.....

Comment by progmetal
Something had to been serious enough for Maura to call off, especially since she used the excuse a death in the family. What was bothering her?

Comment by finn141414
Honestly, I don’t think we have the answer yet. I still feel that the Oxygen explanation for her upset on Thursday is unsatisfactory. Then we have the idea that she was upset about the Hadley accident - but I would argue that the Hadley accident was more a symptom of her state of mind than the cause of her distress.

Comment by progmetal

The Hadley accident was due to her state of mind when she left the dorm room party. What was on her mind? Why did she feel obligated to return her father's car? Did she feel guilty about something, maybe not spending enough time with Fred or because she wanted to demonstrate responsibility?

Yes, the Thursday night incident was unorthodox, especially since she had two phone calls with two people, whom, were close confidants. I'm convinced more than ever, something was bothering Maura and this trip she took, was by no means, done out of spontaneity.

Comment by finn141414
My first instinct (when I started looking at the case a couple of years ago) was that Maura was trying to broach something with her father and maybe that is why she felt an importance to returning to the motel that night. It just seems that she hadn’t told him what was bothering her on Thursday and maybe was building the courage? Just my instinct.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2019, 03:03:50 pm by MauraMurrayEvidence »

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