This is the first of a finite number “blogcasts” I’ve begun putting them together with the assistance of Ethan, a friend of mine from high school in Massachusetts (also a member of the YouTube channel, Comic Pop!). I’m trying out this format because I think it’s a more digestible medium for some of the more relatively complex topics.
Although I did upload it to Audioboom to make it easier to download to a device (and may submit to iTunes), I’m calling it a blogcast rather than a podcast as to not heighten expectations in any way regarding the professional quality. The YouTube version includes pictures of the sources that we draw from.
Presumably if you’re reading this, you already know a fair amount about the case. But as a disclaimer: we do not spend a lot of time on background information. We more or less assume that you’ve already listened to all of the Missing Maura Murray podcasts (perhaps more than once).
This first episode touches on three topics:
1) The two BOLOs put out on February 9th and 10th
There are three things I find particularly peculiar about the BOLOs. First, the discrepancies between the heights noted in each of the BOLOs (the first being 5'7'' and the second being 5'5") suggests there may have been more than one source of information. In other words, it could suggest evidence of second witness that is thus far unknown to the public.
Second, if Butch Atwood was the only witness, then he was the only person that could have provided Haverhill Police (Officer Smith) with an approximate height. The first chance he would have had to do so is when Officer Smith arrived at his house. This is because when Haverhill dispatch returned Atwood's call (sometime after 7:43 PM), they spoke to his wife; they did not speak to him directly. So unless Atwood just so happened to mention Maura's approximate height to his wife before going outside to his bus to complete paperwork, then that information could not have come through phone conversations between Mrs. Atwood and dispatch. That information would have been obtained during Officer Smith's interview with Butch Atwood.
According to reports, Officer Smith went to the Westmans first, and then the Atwoods. Dispatch shows the first BOLO going out at 7:54 PM, which was 8 minutes after Officer Smith arrived on scene (at 7:46 PM). So the question is, how was it possible for Smith to have arrived on scene, and proceeded to interview both the Westmans and Atwood in a time span of 8 minutes? Even if we assume he went to Atwoods first, it would still seem that 8 minutes is a stretch.
Lastly, this is a bit of a digression into the third topic (evidence of driving under the influence), but if Officer Smith truly believed the driver fled the scene on foot to avoid a DUI, then why was there no mention of it in the BOLO (or any dispatch records for that matter)? I am not a police officer, but if you believe this person is on foot and on the road in the dark of night, the fact they may also be intoxicated is probably something you would want to communicate to oncoming traffic.
2) The Rag in the Tailpipe
3) Evidence of Driving Under the Influence
To be clear, I do not mean to suggest it is impossible for Maura to have been [literally] drinking and driving prior to the accident. However I do find it implausible for several reasons. First, the only witness that saw her went out of his way to state she did not appear intoxicated. Second, in my opinion, the location of the red liquid (notably, underneath the vehicle and on the headliner/door of the interior) is more suggestive of mechanical issues than anything else. And third, the context: no history of driving under the influence, the fact it was 7:00-ish PM on a Monday evening, and what would have to be a very curious decision to leave the evidence in plain sight when it would have been just as easy to take it with her or throw it over the snow bank. In my opinion, it does not add up.