Appreciating the dark side of life since 1975.

Brightside Booklist + The Case of Maura Murray

Brightside Booklist + The Case of Maura Murray

All-American girl, Maura Murray, has a fiancé and no enemies. She receives a weird phone call and packs up her dorm, leaving everything behind. She emails her professors and says she has had a death in the family. Maura withdraws $280 from an ATM and stops at a liquor store.


is spotted with her car after it slid into a snow bank on a fairly deserted road near a wooded area. By the time the police get there, she’s gone. No footprints. No other evidence found at the scene.

Did I mention no footprints?

Maura Murray

Maura Murray disappeared in 2004 and hasn’t been seen since. This case has gone nowhere and there are still unanswered questions like what’s up with her weird relationship with her dad? Why have people “forgotten” key pieces of Maura’s story? Why doesn’t some of her family want to talk to investigators?

There are several theories about what happened to her, but they’re just theories. Did she flee somehow and change her identity? Did she wander into the woods and disappear? Did her dad do something to her?

The current, and most likely, theory is that someone picked her up in a vehicle and drove her away because…no footprints.

Who, though? Why? It’s killing me. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HER.

She was featured in an episode of Disappeared on the ID channel and I’ve watched a few of times. I’ve read websites focused on her case and I even joined an online club dedicated to trying to figure out where she is/was/who knows.

Maybe you could say I need a hobby, but I think this IS my hobby.

So,  when I found the book True Crime Addict by James Renner I was more excited than a person should be when browsing library shelves. Let’s just say that my five-year-old was completely nonplussed when I shrieked at him about my good luck. Whatever, he doesn’t get it.

True Crime Addict by James Renner

Anyway, this guy basically lived my dream of immersing himself in Maura’s case. He retraced her steps, interviewed strangers, friends and tries to pull ANY information out of her family. As a former reporter, he’s had some practice in hunting people down and he’s pretty good at it.

Ultimately, everyone is frustratingly vague and the case starts to affect his personal life (this part was NOT my idea of living the dream). He also weaves in a story about a member of his family that had a criminal history of his own, adding insight into why he has become so obsessed with reporting crime stories.

As you probably gathered, there is no resolution at the end of the story (I NEED TO KNOW, ALREADY!), but it was very readable. The insight into WHY it’s been so difficult to figure out what happened to her is fascinating, almost as fascinating as the disappearance itself. The answers to Maura Murray’s story are held by those who know her best and it’s so strange to “meet” real life people in this situation that have no interest in talking.

You guys, it’s weird. This is one of the best true crime books I’ve read in awhile and YOU should read it, too, so we can discuss. PLEASE. Or if you HAVE read it/know her story/are obsessed as I am, what do you think happened to her?


Click here or here for past Brightside Booklist reads. Trust me on these.



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