Earlier this year, Joe Anderson sued the Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire after he was denied access to crime scene photographs of Maura Murray’s accident that were taken by officer Cecil Smith, in 2004.
In October, a hearing was held in Merrimack County Superior Court where the detectives and prosecutors involved in Maura Murray’s case presented arguments about why these records should not be released. In an interesting twist, the precedent they cite – the Murray exemption – was created when Fred Murray, Maura’s father, sued the state of New Hampshire years ago during a similar request.
In their Objection, they argue that the release of these photographs will result in more “false leads and cruel hoaxes.” Recently, someone went to great lengths to derail the investigation and fool detectives by creating a fake name, phone number, and false eyewitness testimony.
But Detective West also says releasing this evidence could embolden the harassment of police officers by the careless bloggers and podcasters who have claimed police, including Cecil Smith, were involved in Maura’s disappearance. Smith later died by suicide.
He also states that several witnesses who have been contacted by bloggers and podcasters are fearful of their safety because of the rabid online following and doxxing that occurs.
One point of interest: Detective West is quoted in the objection as saying, “It is reasonable to anticipate enforcement proceedings could be pending.”
Read the documents here: