Joseph Anderson wants seven pictures from Maura’s accident scene made public. The photographs were taken by responding officer Cecil Smith in 2004, when he discovered Maura Murray’s car, abandoned, on the side of the road. Last month, a New Hampshire judge said the pictures should not be released because they were investigatory files of the Cold Case Unit and could make resolving Maura Murray’s disappearance more difficult. The judge cited Detective West’s affidavit in his ruling, which discussed how Internet trolls have been taking evidence in the case, such as pictures, and altering them to create hoaxes and false leads.
Anderson disagrees and is in the process of submitting a motion for reconsideration. Read the motion here.
In the motion, Anderson raises the possibility that police were involved in a coverup after Maura’s disappearance, specifically targeting testimony of Cecil Smith.
In the 2017 documentary series, The Disappearance of Maura Murray, which aired on the national cable television network Oxygen, questions were raised about the prospect of police involvement Murray’s disappearance, and, as observed by the Defendant, those questions have continued to proliferate in the various public forums. See The Plaintiff, Joseph Anderson’s, Affidavit in Support of his Petition for Injunctive Relief at Exh. B (the “Transcript”).
During a March 27, 2017 interview for The Disappearance of Maura Murray, Sergeant Cecil Smith, when asked if he had been able to “get the doors of [Maura’s car] open that night,” responded, “I did not, no.” See id.
Several of the Photos appeared to show the driver’s side door of Maura’s vehicle to be open, and for the photos to have been taken from inside the car. See Aff., ¶¶ 10, 11.
Cecil Smith has been the target of many conspiracy theories because of his so-called inconsistent statements. However, Smith suffered from Alzheimers, which affected his memory. I found him to be honest and kind, though others wanted to blame him for what happened to Maura. He died by suicide after podcaster Erinn Larkin suggested he was lying (though she knew of his degenerative disease).
Speaking of Larkin, Anderson’s motion contains an affidavit by Larkin. Read here.
Larkin attended UMass with Maura and has said she was passing by the accident scene at the time of Maura’s disappearance, coming back from a skiing trip. Last week her podcast distributor, Audioboom, decided to take down a recent episode of her podcast due to defamation, and is beginning to cut ties with her entirely. One recent episode of her podcast attacked a rape victim.
In her affidavit, Larkin targets Detective West, and mentions a meeting she was present at, that included West. She asked West about the pictures during the meeting and he pointed to people like her as the reason to keep them secret. She writes:
The following is West’s verbatim response, during the Meeting, to my question of why the Photos would not be released: “the more we give the more they are going to want and the more they pick apart. Absolutely pick apart. And this is why we’re not releasing any of the photographs of the accident scene, because of perception, because of how it will be
She goes on to state that when Detective West did not follow up on a tip that she sent him, she contacted a state senator. She claims the state senator was able to intervene and push West to investigate. Everyone I’ve spoken to who has sent tips to West describes him as studious and responsive.
A law enforcement official close to the case has said that detectives involved in the case have considered seeking charges against Larkin and others for obstruction of justice over their interference with the investigation. Certainly this does not help.