As always, I would prefer not to dignify any of James Renner’s nonsense with a response. However – once again – I want to correct the false statements in his most recent blog post.
“Andy” is one of many people I have spoken to over the years. He was a member of the UMass swim team (not the “pool team”) that I reached out to upon learning he may have been friendly with Maura before she disappeared. The private Facebook messages that James Renner posted are the full extent of all correspondence I ever had with Andy. The conversation (a total of 5 messages) concluded with me thanking Andy for politely answering my question. There was no follow-up “interrogation.” There was no follow-up at all, because as Andy clearly states, he did not know Maura. At no point did I suggest that Andy had anything to do with Maura’s disappearance and any claims that Andy was part of a “hoax” is 100% false. The only one making such slanderous implications is Mr. Renner.
As far as I know, Andy was never associated with any rumors about orgies. I certainly never asked Andy about orgies. And anyone who listens to my podcast knows I strongly doubt both the credibility of the “orgy rumors,” as well as the credibility of the anonymous “prominent businessman” that Mr. Renner cited when he published them. These rumors and these lies are gratuitous and offensive and say far more about the perverse inner monologue of the individual promoting them than they do about anything real concerning Maura Murray. I sincerely hope people will refrain from dragging Andy any further into this distracting, unhelpful drama.
For anyone interested in hearing Julie’s statement about these orgy rumors and how she feels about her missing sister’s sexuality being exploited for salacious clickbait, that statement can be heard here.
To read the Murray family's press release about Mr. Renner's blog, titled, "Murray Family Responds to Newly Launched Website Spreading False and Malicious Claims," that statement can be found here.
Amanda Knox’s “Labyrinths”
In other news, Amanda Knox will be covering ethics in true crime and featuring Maura’s case in the second season of her podcast, Labyrinths. For anyone that is unfamiliar with Amanda, she was a 20-year-old American exchange student in Italy that was falsely accused, tried, and convicted of murder in 2007. Her ordeal was depicted in a 2016 documentary, Amanda Knox.
Despite being a peripheral figure (and secondary victim) in the murder of Meredith Kercher, the tabloid media honed in on Amanda right away. Rather than reporting on physical evidence, overtly sexist prosecutors, and questionable police tactics, the media instead chose to endlessly speculate about Amanda as a femme fatale involved in a “sex game gone wrong.” Her story demonstrates that the way the media frames a criminal case can have a profound impact on the types of leads that are generated and where law enforcement focuses its attention and resources. In Amanda’s case, the results were devastating to justice – both for Meredith, and for Amanda and her then boyfriend Raffaele, who both served four years in prison before their release and ultimate exoneration by the Supreme Court of Italy in 2015.
I look forward to hearing Amanda’s perspective.