Timestamps on the 911 Calls:
Several people noted that there are no timestamps on either of the 911 call transcripts. According to Detective West, Faith Westman’s call came in to Grafton County Dispatch at 7:27 PM and Butch Atwood’s call came in to 911 at 7:42 PM. The information Atwood communicated in the 911 call at 7:42 PM is likely what prompted Fire and EMS to be dispatched at 7:42:30, which was about 15 minutes after Westman’s call to Grafton County Dispatch.
Why does it matter? According to Atwood, he was talking on his front porch when he was attempting to get through to 911. He could “see the road, but could not see Murray’s disabled car.” And according to every statement and report on the subject, it was only after hanging up with 911 that Atwood reports Haverhill Police arriving at the scene.
So in order for Art’s timeline to be accurate, and for Smith to have arrived around 7:35 PM, Atwood had to have called 911 while police were already on scene. Is that possible? Of course. But it is one more data point that has to be contorted in order to make the “7:35 PM timeline” work. It seems like there is a much simpler explanation, and that is that Smith arrived at approximately 7:45 PM or 7:46 PM, as reported in the two official records we have.
Witness A’s Route:
I also want to make a correction regarding where Witness A was passed by SUV #001 the first time. According to Witness A, she was passed the first time somewhere on Swiftwater Road between Briar Hill Road and Sawyer Hill Road. She was passed the second time at the corner of Goose Lane and Route 112 (see screenshot below from Cold’s blog post). I apologize for the confusion. (And thanks to Cold for so humbly pointing out this error.)
Why does it matter? First, contrary to my prior statement – this means that Cecil Smith’s route (Route 10 > Swiftwater Rd. > Sawyer Hill Rd. > Rt. 112) is in fact consistent with Witness A’s recollection of where she was passed by the SUV the first and second time.
However, it also means that the SUV could not have been driving terribly fast if Witness A was able to catch up to it over the course of the trip. I was a little confused by Maggie and Art’s argument (on Episode 75 of the MMM podcast) that seemed to imply that because Witness A was passed twice, it meant that the SUV was driving excessively fast. My interpretation is that it means the exact opposite.
The difference in distance between Witness A’s route and the SUV’s route is a difference of .6 miles. For the SUV to have passed Karen again at the corner of Goose Lane and 112, it would only have been driving about 4-5 miles per hour faster than she was.
[Note: Yes, that conclusion was arrived at using a math equation (Distance = Rate x Time). But in this specific case, we have a fairly precise difference in the distance traveled on each trip. That means we can get a pretty good estimate of the difference between how fast each was driving (if not the precise speed each was driving).]