I want to set the record straight about an email I posted on Twitter from Sharon Rausch to Helena Murray pertaining to a member of the community who illegally obtained (and subsequently shared) Bill and Maura’s phone records in 2008. The hosts of a recent podcast misinterpreted the email and claimed Sharon threatened to sue the Murrays. Neither Sharon (nor anyone in the Rausch family) ever threatened to sue the Murrays. Their claims are 100% false.
Sharon willingly shared these phone records with both law enforcement and the Murrays. In fact, she was the one to call Linda Salamone and discover that Maura was looking for a condo in Bartlett. It is abundantly clear that she does not have (nor has ever had) anything to hide.
Her concern was with regard to the invasive tactics being employed by the online community, and the prospect of her son’s phone number (and the phone numbers of both military personnel and private citizens) being posted online. And she was worried that if Bill had to change his number, then friends and co-workers that were stationed all over the world may have difficulty reaching him. Given that, and given the proximity in time to another family tragedy, it would seem Sharon’s protective instinct here is more than reasonable.
The email was written to Helena for the purpose of potentially posting it on the Murray family website’s public forum. That is why she says “You make the call :-)” at the end. I do not know whether the letter was ever posted. But the point is, the Rauschs never threatened to sue the Murrays. There is no rift. In fact, if you read the letter, it quite clearly states, “I will also do whatever lies within my ability to assist any member of Maura's family to seek legal action if their privacy is illegally violated.”
She offered to help Maura’s family; not sue them.
In Part 2 of my interview with Fred Murray, he refers to Mrs. Rausch’s attention to detail, organization, and note-taking as “invaluable” during the search effort (and for years after).
Several weeks ago, I reached out to one of the podcast hosts and made them aware of the error, and kindly offered to answer any question they may have. They have not responded or corrected the misinformation. So while I do not know what their intent was, it seems as though the only purpose for drumming up controversy with these manufactured feuds is to create division and offer up more reasons for people to “take sides.” This type of behavior is not only hurtful, it is precisely the reason that people close to Maura are no longer willing to speak out publicly.
I also heard from Sharon after she got wind that there were questions being circulated on social media. She very respectfully said she “will never engage anyone on social media.” She also said that in spite of the heartache, she would be glad to take part in the community if she thought it would help or make a difference. At this point, she does not believe that it will.