Podcast Clarifications

I’m going to address all of the Bruce McKay questions/timeframes/maps in the next post. But this post is intended to clarify some information mentioned in the podcast, as well as to answer some of the questions I received. This includes questions about H2 and call 4754, in addition to some general questions about UMass residential halls. I also found documentation confirming the daily starting/ending shift times of security hall monitors, which is included below.

H2 AND CALL 4754:

H2 Location Feb 9th (7:46 PM – 9:26 PM): To be clear, I have every reason to believe Cecil Smith was at Maura's scene. The point of bringing up call 4754 was to point out that there appeared to be something faulty about the times in the log. This is bolstered by the fact that the next call Smith was dispatched to should have taken 20 minutes to drive to (according to Google Maps), but according to the log, only took him 9 minutes. Even if he had been speeding, it seems unlikely he would have been able to arrive that quickly. I go into more detail about this call in a Sept 22nd post titled “Call #4754 and the 7:00 PM Timeline.”

The only thing I will add that I haven’t mentioned yet is that at 2:43 AM on Feb 10, H6 (I believe Officer Byron Charles) called dispatch to inquire about the time that H2 was at Maura’s accident. He does not provide a reason for this, but as far as I can tell, there are no similar instances like this one in the log. It could mean nothing at all. But it could also mean there were questions concerning the stated times in the log early on.

Call 4754’s H2 as Potentially Hebron’s ‘H2’: A few people have noted that the “h2” in call 4754 may have been a Hebron officer and not a Haverhill Officer. It’s a good question and thus far, I haven’t been able to rule it out. But there are a few things that indicate to me that the ‘h2’ referenced in call 4754 is not a reference to “Hebron 2.”

Hebron is part of Grafton County, and included in the GCSO logs. You can look at Hebron’s town log for Feb 9-10 under “Police Logs & Reports” tab. I find it highly unlikely there would be overlap in Grafton County’s town coding system because the entire point is to differentiate officers and jurisdictions and avoid this type of confusion. There are also no other instances of overlap, or examples in which the same code is used for two different officers/towns. So while I haven’t been able to track down Hebron’s town code, the Haverhill town code is clearly “H.”

Also many towns have a town code that is actually a number. This is a good time to note that Franconia’s code is “44” not “K” – my mistake for misstating that in the podcast. So for example, Bruce McKay was ‘44K’ and Mark Taylor was ‘44T.’

Of course it’s possible the ‘h2’ in call 4754 is a simple typo and nothing more. That would be one heck of a coincidence, but it is possible. If anyone has knowledge or information about Hebron’s town police code, please let me know!


Residential Areas: I noted that there were five residential areas. By that I meant that in 2004, there were five residential areas (specifically, Southwest, Central, Orchard Hill, Northeast, and Sylvan). By the time I graduated in 2007, there was one more residential area (known as “North”). At present, there are seven residential areas.

Single Rooms: To be clear – there were some single dorm rooms offered at UMass. They were primarily reserved for upperclassman and some (specifically in Sylvan) were “suite style” in which 6-8 people shared a common living room and bathroom, but had a single room.

That said, I was specifically referring to Kennedy Hall in Southwest. Kennedy Hall is a “first-year” dorm. And to the best of my recollection, there were no ‘single’ dorm rooms in Kennedy (other than rooms occupied by the ‘RA’ or Residential Advisor). You can view a typical room in Kennedy below or by clicking here. And this video shows how tight some of the rooms were in Southwest.

It would have made sense for Maura to live in a first-year dorm because despite junior-level academic status (determined by number of credits earned), she was only beginning her third semester in the residence halls. As I recall, seniority in the residence hall hierarchy was a function of how many semesters a student lived in the residence halls (not necessarily how many credits they’ve earned or their grade level). In other words, she would have had a seniority status on par with most first-semester sophomores.

As I recall, the housing situation my first year (2003-2004) was particularly messy. At the start of the fall semester in 2003, 150 students (including several people I knew) were living at the campus hotel, and 400 others were housed in dorm lounges or ‘forced triple’ rooms while they waited for a permanent placement, which would ultimately take weeks or months.

So whether Maura had a single room or not isn’t really the point. The general point I’m trying to make is that there are a number of plausible reasons that, in the words of the NH State Police, "some boxes appeared to have been packed.” Given the fluidity of the first few weeks of the semester, the check-in/out procedures at UMass, the chance she may have ultimately been reassigned, or looking for off-campus housing, or wound up with a roommate – it makes much more sense to me that she had yet to unpack. Otherwise we have to believe she unpacked everything for the semester during that first week, then turned around and packed everything back up. I believe a more accurate reflection of the state of Maura’s dorm room would be to say "some boxes appeared to not have been unpacked.”

UMass Residence Hall Check-in/Check-out: Like many other procedures, this operation has been moved online since 2004. But back in 2004 (and as late as 2007), the way you let UMass and Residence Life know you had returned to school was by checking-in/out with the RA and receiving/returning your dorm key in person.

Kate’s Dorm: This is relatively inconsequential but I believe Kate lived in Central (not Southwest). So I misspoke when I said Kate and Maura lived in Southwest.


Hall Monitor Hours: I found a report of an outside review of UMass’s Residence Hall Security Program (from 1980s to 2013). Everything you want to know about UMass Security procedures is in this 22 page review, including the hours that residence hall security monitors are on staff, which is Sunday to Wednesday 8:00 PM to 12:00 AM; Thursday 8:00 PM to 2:00 AM; and Friday & Saturday 8:00 PM to 3:00 AM.