The Infamous Missing Page 9

It has been suggested that if Maura made any roaming calls after February 9th, then those calls would appear on page 9 of her cell phone bill (on an account she shared with Bill). It has also been suggested that the missing page may be an indication that Bill (and his mother Sharon) are concealing evidence that Maura was in touch with Bill after February 9th. To put it bluntly, the missing page is looked upon as a clue in support of the theory that Bill “flew into a rage” after finding Maura, and that he is responsible for her disappearance (and murder).

What is wrong with this argument?

If Maura made any roaming calls, they would begin on page 8 – not on page 9. A simple glance at the record demonstrates that the log does not have a page break (separation) between where in-network calls end and where roaming calls begin. You can see from page 23 of the record that Bill’s roaming calls are listed directly after his in-network calls. If there was a page break between in-network calls and roaming calls, then we would expect to see Bill’s roaming calls begin on page 24. Thus if Maura had made any roaming calls, they would appear on page 8.

Page 8 of the cell phone record demonstrates that Maura did not make any roaming calls. It also corroborates what has been written in numerous reports (including the in-depth, Boston Magazine article), that Maura’s last recorded cell phone call occurred at 4:37 PM on February 9th.

I originally reported that Sharon Rausch shared a copy of the phone records with both law enforcement and the Murrays, and that Helena Murray shared that copy with John Smith, who shared it with bloggers, podcasters, and eventually the rest of the internet. I later learned that John Smith claimed to have obtained the records (seemingly illegally) from a "friend at Sprint." After being confronted with the inconsistencies, he changed his story yet again to claim that he told people he got them from Sprint in order to protect Helena Murray (in essence, placing the blame on Helena Murray and calling her the liar). It is unclear what John was trying to protect Helena from and which (if any) account is true. But what is clear is that the records were shared with the public without the Rausch's permission, and the result has been outlandish conspiracies like the "page 9" drama. [Edited 1/2/21]

So where is page 9 of the cell phone bill? I have no idea. Perhaps it was a blank page that John Smith did not bother to scan. Perhaps it was the call log for another person or phone line on Mrs. Rausch’s account (maybe even her own). The point is, there are any number of reasonable and far more likely explanations that do not involve an elaborate cover-up of a conspiracy to make Maura disappear.

This type of willful ignorance and deliberate obfuscation of facts has plagued this case for years. The reason I think it truly matters is because the only person that would seem to benefit from such senseless distraction is the person actually responsible for Maura’s disappearance. I have to imagine the real perpetrator would love nothing more than to see endless discussions about Bill, Canada, and supposed “missing pages” of a 14 year old phone record.