I'm fascinated by a now-ended TV series on Investigation Discovery called Disappeared. The series told the stories of the many, many, many people who have just vanished without a trace over the past few decades.
Out of hundreds of episodes, one haunted me. It was the story of a 21-year-old college girl named Maura Murray.
Maura got in her car one day and started driving toward the White Mountains. She wrecked her car in a snowbank at this spot on Route 112 in Woodsville, New Hampshire:
She was last seen standing by her wrecked black Saturn. A bus driver stopped to ask if she needed him to call the police. She asked him not to call the police and said she'd already called AAA. (No cell phone service is available in the area, so that couldn't have happened.) The bus driver got home a few minutes later and called the police. When the police arrived at the scene three minutes later, they found a locked, empty car and no sign of Maura.
The story has stuck with me for several years. Occasionally, I'll check to see if they've found her yet and find nothing. But my most recent check found that there's now an entire podcast dedicated to solving Maura's disappearance:
Turns out, that Disappeared episode haunted quite a few people. Since it aired in early 2010, the Internet has been buzzing about the case. Amateur sleuths everywhere are working hard to solve the case...probably harder than the detectives being paid to to do it. Maura wasn't perfect. In fact, she got into a little trouble before disappearing. This is a shot of her taken by the police after she illegally used someone's credit card to buy food:
There have been stories that her body was buried beneath a local guy's house. There have been questions about whether she started a new life somewhere. There have been all kinds of rumors, innuendo, and facts...all of which are brought out and dissected on the podcast. What will really be amazing is if the Internet can actually solve this case, once and for all.
Did Maura run from the scene and start a new life?
Or did someone harm her?
What do you think?