Friends of the Murray family are concerned that they have been duped by a man with a magic machine and no one seems to know how much he’s been paid or if those funds came from the GoFundMe account that the public donated to.
Apparently, a man named Dr. Arpad Vass has consulted on the case and has used his patented, totally-scientific, never-to-be-duplicated “Inquisitor” device to attempt to locate the remains of Maura Murray. Don’t worry about the science – it’s way above your heads ladies and gentlemen – but it works like this: all he needs is a fingernail clipping from a family member that he places into the machine and then it leads him to the location of the remains because DNA works like that. Word is Fred Murray gave him a fingernail for his machine and voila! – new spots to search with dogs and shovels.
Here’s how Dr. Vass explains the his magic machine on his totally legit website. “The Inquisitor is a handheld device created by Dr. Arpad Vass which searches large areas for a family reference sample match. No one else in the world has anything like it. It’s already creating a ‘seismic shift’ in how missing people can be located. He says it can detect a single drop of blood that is over twenty years old. He’s put it to the test at graveyards. Example: if you say your great, great, great grandfather is buried amongst 20,000 gravestones, Dr. Vass and [sic] put a sample of your DNA (fingernail clippings) in his machine and with about 85% accuracy, his machine will point right at where your grandfather rests in his grave.”
Can the Inquisitor’s findings be used in a court of law? No. But that’s only because the laws are stupid. “This is cutting-edge technology which our court system has yet to receive with open arms,” says Dr. Vass. “Remember that DNA analysis in 1985 was being rejected by law enforcement and judges as unproven science. We predict there will be a day when all judges in the land will issue search warrants based on the results of the INQUISITOR.”
Can we see how it works? No. “Due to the proprietary nature of this technology used in the search process, we allow only essential personnel to be present. News media, onlookers, photographers, and film media need to be cleared by us. Some of our equipment is proprietary and we prefer not to share guarded company secrets with the world.”
How much does this magic cost? “If there is a reward substantial enough to cover out costs their [sic] could be little or no charge to the people attempting to find an individual. If there is no reward available either through a GoFundMe page or from person funds, then we have no alternative but to charge fees upfront.” Reportedly, he charges $300 an hr, plus expenses.
Are you thinking that Dr. Vass’ name sounds familiar? You may remember him from his testimony in the Casey Anthony trial. He was one of the prosecution’s top witnesses after he said he was able to detect traces of decomposition in the air inside the trunk of Casey’s car. Before his testimony, attorney Jose Baez warned the judge of Vass’ dubious claims. “This is not science, this is guesswork,” he said. By allowing Vass’ testimony, the doctor stood to make millions of dollars from the publicity of his pseudo-science.
After Vass testified, his science was denounced on the stand by a chemist from the National Center for Forensic Science, who found that the air showed signs of gasoline, not a decomposing body.
Though Vass closely guards the secret to The Inquisitor device, the patent explains that it utilizes Faraday cages and quantum mechanics.
Dr. Vass did not return calls requesting comment. Neither did the Murray family.
Journalist Maggie Freleng, who helped create the original GoFundMe for the family, along with Lance and Tim, said she didn’t know where the funds were going, as they gave the money to the family when asked: “It was always the Murrays’ money to do as they want to find Maura.”
UPDATED: Here’s a quote from a poster on Reddit, who donated money to the GoFundMe account:
“As someone who did donate to the GoFundMe I would be disappointed if it comes out that the Murray’s used it to pay this man.
Frankly, I regret donating to it. When I donated I was under the impression that it would be used/managed by Maggie, Lance, and Tim to fund specific searches and associated costs. After donating it quickly became clear that they didn’t really know what to do with it after the GPR company donated their services.
But honestly if they did give money to this man, it’s no surprise at this point. They have worked with questionable people from the very beginning and continue to do so.”