Earlier this week, a letter from Sharon Rausch to the Murray family was posted online. In it, Sharon threatens to sue. The letter was sent years ago, after the cell phone records of Billy Rausch and Maura Murray were made public. Astute readers noticed an interesting turn of phrase that Sharon used in the letter:
“Billy has nothing to hide, however, I am most appalled that he is now, in addition to being heartbroken over Maura’s missing, being revictimized in her missing…”
“Maura’s missing.” It’s a weird way to talk about what happened to Maura Murray. Not “Maura’s disappearance” or “Maura going missing.” It’s just not something people normally say. It’s a kind of linguistic tic.
Sharon does it again, in a diary post, here:
Peabody’s first post appeared on the Websleuths messageboard on December 29, 2004, less than a year after Maura disappeared. It’s a link to a poll about the top news stories of that year, asking readers to help get Maura’s story to the top.
May 4 is Maura Murray’s birthday and, in 2005, Peabody posted this message about another woman who went missing that day.
“I have never forgotten about Joanna’s missing – partly because as with Maura Murray, my future daughter-in-law, there have been no leads.” It was signed, “Peabody.”
Other posters immediately noticed that Peabody had apparently outed herself as Billy’s mother, but then Peabody walked it back and clarified, insisting that they were actually Sharon’s friend and just reposting the message from another site:
But Peabody also uses Sharon’s odd turn-of-phrase “Maura’s missing” instead of “Maura’s disappearance” throughout their posts:
Peabody was active on Maura Murray’s websleuths messageboard for years, supporting Billy Rausch and sometimes trying to attack the credibility of my book.
But, in recent weeks, a new Twitter account has been trolling people who raise questions about the calls Billy made during Maura’s disappearance. And they have that same linguistic tic.
Carlo DeWit seems to only tweet about Maura Murray (mostly in relation to Billy Rausch), Sharon Rausch, Trump conspiracy theories, and Ohio news (Sharon Rausch lives in Morrow County, Ohio).
The “KM” Carlo posted about there is short for “Kathleen Murray,” whom Sharon threw under the bus after Kathleen was questioned by police way back in 2004. At issue was why Maura suffered a breakdown while working the security desk a few days before her disappearance. What prompted the breakdown. Police thought it may have been a call from her sister, Kathleen.
In a diary post by Sharon Rausch, she talks about the issues she had with Kathleen, early on. “Kathleen always insisted that she never talked to Maura at that time. The NH police emphatically told Kathleen they knew better and told the media that the family was withholding information. In fact when Maura’s cell phone bill arrived (Maura’s cell phone bill was paid by Billy and/or her family, and sent to them) it showed the last call during the time in question to be Thursday, February 5, at approximately 10 p.m. for twenty minutes to Kathleen.”
Except, what Sharon knew at the time – and nobody else did, until her son’s phone records were released online – was that Kathleen was not the last person to speak with Maura Murray before her breakdown. She spoke to Billy around midnight, just prior to when her supervisor found her in a catatonic state.
Here’s Carlo talking about the same issue:
Billy Rausch, himself, also uses fake social media accounts to steer the narrative in his girlfriend’s disappearance. When his girlfriend sought a restraining order last year, it was revealed that Billy was using fake Twitter and Reddit accounts to dox people who were critical of him. Read that article here.
What does it all mean? I’m not sure. But I have never heard of something like this in a missing persons case to date. At best, it’s weird. At worst, it’s a concerted and organized attempt to point the investigation a certain way.
Credit is due to a few sleuths who figured this all out, including “MzGags”. Tim and Lance discuss the Peabody oddities on their patreon episode.