Fred Murray’s Open Letter to James Renner #1

March 15, 2016

Originally posted on John Smith’s Blog


My family and I will forever be thankful for the kindness and support of all compassionate people from around the world for these many years now. You’ve helped us struggle through some trying times more than you could ever know. Not everybody is as decent as you are however, so this is to provide you with some insight as to the base level to which a rank opportunist can sink. I’ve never responded to any of this type of fiction before because you don’t need to defend yourself when you’ve done nothing wrong but this particular aspersion is just way over anybody’s edge.

I’ve recently been shown two very early comments by the author of a blog about my daughter, Maura, that represent the most insidious and reprehensible tactic that I can possibly imagine. This is from November 3, 2011, “she came to his single bed motel at 2:30 in the morning,” and was reinforced on March 19, 2012, with “sleeps in the bed.” Again, the bed reference is singular, indicating two people in one bed. The insinuation here is one hundred percent clear and could be interpreted as an obvious ploy by the blogger to create a scenario in which the reader can be influenced and encouraged to envision something unspeakably horrible.

To contrive an allusion to the worst thing that a person could possibly be accused of in the history of mankind is beyond despicable. Is the blogger trying to create a sinister character to embellish the “narrative” he hopes to peddle? Is he attempting to shape his “story” toward the direction he wants it to go for promotional purpose? Mark Twain used to agonize for hours over the inclusion or exclusion of a single word because of it s powerful effect on the image he was building.

The reality is that this canard is manufactured and is unreservedly false. The motel in question is still there and would be very easy to check if you were interested in getting this right. There were two beds in each room in the old section in 2004 and staff has attested to this. There still are as nothing has changed since and I can even provide the actual room number. The blogger was in Hadley, Massachusetts, and should know this, so to misrepresent this fact appears to be haphazard research at best or an intentional ruse at worst. If you had to bet your last dollar on this, which would you pick?

Remember now, he isn’t just talking about me here but also my daughter. If he can find it within himself to promote something like this, then absolutely anything else wouldn’t need even a second thought. He is only limited by the bounds of imagination concerning how he chooses to dupe his unsuspecting readers.

These immortal lines from the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954, “I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness,” and “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” are as apt here as they were there.

What kind of “journalism” would you call this? Can it even be called journalism? Could this be a vindictively designed retribution for noncooperation? What kind of publisher would print this? What a black eye to a once proud profession a guy like this is. If my daughter could be here with me today she would ask, “Dad, are you just going to let this creep get away with that?” If he made this allegation to anyone who actually knows me they most likely would laugh in his face and call him a really special kind of punk. Anecdotal contributions from the community on this matter include such phrases as “two minutes in a phone booth with this puke,” and “whack him in his fork tongued mouth” which seem to indicate the locally pervasive public sentiment.

The inaccuracies throughout are too numerous to detail here but to show that this “style” is no accident I direct you to the “What we have learned so far” section of the blog. There are five references to me and each one is false, inaccurate, and orchestrated to distort and deceive in how it relates to me personally and can be readily discredited. One is a particularly easily demonstrable example of an attempt to mislead. You don’t have to be overly sharp to find a clear indication of this in Maura’s phone records for Saturday, February 7th, 2004, which he carelessly presented on his blog on Sunday, January 11, 2015, thus undercutting the main bulwark of his own position concerning our not looking for a used car. The Reliance Auto Sales call at 4:13 p.m. refutes his stance on there being no evidence of this search. I also hold unassailable tangible proof obtained that day from there and elsewhere for support.

This would all be absolutely laughable and quickly forgettable if it weren’t so perversely sneaky and rampantly full of ill intended innuendo. Can you agree with me that exploitively misusing someone’s missing daughter as the means toward enhancing your hoped for professional advancement is reminiscent of Glen Campbell’s lyrics, “there’s been a load of compromisin’ on the road to my horizon?”

It seems you folks are being led through a carefully crafted tale with me as its intended foil. It appears as if the blogger could be redeploying a form of the infamous “Big Lie Theory” which postulates that if you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. This is from Mein Kamph, “and thus, in the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more readily fall victims to the big lie rather than the small one.” This scheme reveals his insultingly abysmal regard for the reasoning capacity he arrogantly estimates his targeted audience to possess.

The motivation, well, let’s all take a wild guess. Maybe this devious exercise will be enough for this literary tomato can to get his old job back at that lightweight tabloid in Cleveland.



I’ve included a reference to a critique of a previous performance by this fellow for your perusal. Something to consider: Excerpt from Society of Professional Journalists. Code of Ethics ->

Code of Ethics

Minimize Harm

Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.

Journalists should:

Balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.

Recognize that legal access to information differs from an ethical justification to publish or broadcast.

Realize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than public figures and others who seek power, influence or attention. Weigh the consequences of publishing or broadcasting personal information.

Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity, even if others do.

Balance a suspect’s right to a fair trial with the public’s right to know. Consider the implications of identifying criminal suspects before they face legal charges.

Consider the long-term implications of the extended reach and permanence of publication.

Provide updated and more complete information as appropriate.