Standards: Part 2 - FMM and the Effect of the Obsessed on the Non-Obsessed


You can see the entirety of DW's and LG's posts here.

Here we go again…

For the most part, I’m going to allow my lawyer to handle these most recent nonsense and defamatory claim(s), but I will briefly address a few specific points.

First, the only time I recall ever mentioning what I do for a living was in my first podcast episode when I stated that I was a political consultant. JR is the one that appears to have an odd obsession with this aspect of my personal life as he continues to bring it up as a focal point of his attacks. Frankly I am happy to keep politics out of this discussion.

Second, although it is stated as if it is “news,” I have never hidden the fact that I injured myself skiing in New Hampshire the weekend before Maura disappeared. I explained this years ago on Tim and Lance’s podcast, and noted that it’s actually one of the reasons I remember the week so clearly, and distinctly remembered Kate being present on campus that week. For the record, I was not in NH on that Monday, nor that week, nor at any point for years afterward.

It is clear that he is bringing these things up in order to cast suspicion on me by subtly implying that I could have something to do with Maura’s disappearance. All I can say is that I continue to find it sickening and beyond disrespectful that someone who calls himself a journalist could use a woman’s disappearance to maliciously lash out against his critics (then proceed to feign victimization).

Unfortunately it is not a new tactic. But while attacking me is one thing, what about the people that have nothing to do with anything?

The Effect of Obsession on the Non-Obsessed

The first four episodes of Tim and Lance’s Finding Maura Murray (FMM) was released on Amazon Video on Demand last week. My understanding is that the guys intend to focus their documentary on the people that become obsessed with Maura’s disappearance. As such, the first several episodes feature author and blogger, JR. One of my initial thoughts after watching the first four episodes of FMM was to wonder: what about the people that have no interest in the case, yet become involuntarily entangled in the web of those that are obsessed (the self-proclaimed “addicts”)? This post is about the experience of just a few of those people, including a man that was featured prominently in the first several episodes of FMM and who I will refer to as “DW.”

From what I could gather, DW was one of JR’s “leads” that motivated the trip to Canada. His connection to Maura was uncovered by way of a photo that appeared on an episode of Discovery ID’s Disappeared, which featured her case in 2010. All we know about DW is that he was a high school classmate of Maura’s, a poker player, and according to an unidentified source, rumored to possibly be living Sherbrooke (Quebec), Canada (though we later learn that the address provided for DW does not exist).

In the first episode, and without any evidence to speak of, JR states that he believes DW called Maura’s cell phone on the afternoon she disappeared (and that he is behind the so-called “Londonderry ping”). He also claims that DW “dropped off the grid,” though it is unclear what is meant by that. At some point he states that DW has the “connections” to help Maura disappear, but it is unclear what is meant by that also. The bottom line is that even if temporarily, a shadow of suspicion is cast on DW and he is implicated in Maura’s disappearance.

Less than a week after the trip to Canada, JR wrote a blog post titled “Interview with DW” (below). This is just my opinion, but my read on it is that this was less of an “interview” and more of an email exchange in which DW begrudgingly defends himself and attempts to correct the demonstrably false claims that were written about him on the blog. (It also seems to prove DW had not actually dropped off the grid.)

DW writes:

"It seems that you came across a picture of me in college (htat I believe was provided by one of Maura's family members/friends for a documentary that aired years ago) and built a narrative about my potential involvement with Maura. Reading the posts/comments from strangers that speculate about my life based on ONE photo makes me nauseous.

One of your recent posts states that I was 'often playing at Rockingham Park and Seabrooke Race Track, which are very close to Londonderry, NH" in 2004. Not only was I a full time college student and not yet a poker player in 2004, but a visit to Seabrook Poker Room website tells me that both rooms didn't even exist until 2006.

I was a friend of Maura's in high school/college. We weren't particularly close, but we did share some friends in common. This is the beginning and end of any useful information I can provide."

As I was looking up the blog post associated with DW, I noticed another post that was written that very same week about a woman in Massachusetts that I will refer to as “LG.” After posting about LG and attempting to contact her numerous times, JR finds that she has blocked him on Facebook. Rather than respecting LG’s privacy, he updates the post to include a picture of LG (!) with an unidentified woman from the account that she had blocked him from viewing. At this point, LG calls the police, who instruct JR (and evidently readers of his blog) to refrain from contacting her at home and at her work.

JR does not apologize for the intrusion or harassment experienced by LG as a result of his blog post. Rather, despite never actually speaking to her, his response is to call LG a liar and imply that her desire not to speak to him was an indication that she must be hiding something relating to Maura’s disappearance. Again this is my opinion, but if LG was indeed hiding something criminal, I doubt she would be alerting the police about the matter. At any rate, after discovering that the woman in the photograph is not Maura, JR proceeds to blame LG for the entire incident and for “getting a lot of peoples’ hopes up.”

That comment about “getting a lot of peoples’ hopes up” seems particularly unfair given that LG did nothing to insert herself in the case and claims not to have even known Maura. It’s worth pointing out that many people from that part of MA are in the Missing Maura Murray Facebook group, so the fact that LG has friends in the group is not suspicious to me. In fact, considering LG blocked JR on Facebook, it’s unclear how he would even know that she had friends in that group or connections in Hanson unless he either used a fake account to view her profile or prompted someone else to stalk her account and send him the info.

In short, most people have probably never heard of LG or DW, or only recently learned (or will learn) about DW on FMM. But they are just two examples (that happened to occur in the same week) in a long list of people that have been baselessly attacked, harassed, stalked, lied about, or otherwise had their lives interfered with as a result of a certain group of people’s obsession with Maura’s disappearance. Neither of them did anything to warrant the type of intrusion into their lives that they experienced. And I think their stories are important to keep in mind given how blurry the line appears to be between what constitutes a reasonable inquiry and what constitutes an unwarranted intrusion into the personal lives of innocent people we have witnessed carried out in the name of true crime "journalism.”