all 36 comments

[–]Johnnyboy3169 3 points4 points  (24 children)

It looks like they have both monkeys, which is why it was not on the inventory list.

[–]finn141414[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Right I mean John just has one. My guess is that the police returned the other (Joseph) to the family but that’s just a guess.

[–]emncaity 0 points1 point  (22 children)

Okay. But I'll just ask this: How does anybody know exactly how this monkey got from the car to BR?

If it was in the car, it was evidence. If it was evidence, presumably it's on a list and/or was photographed. So possibly the problem is that we just don't have the LE/AG file where that was recorded. But why would it be treated so differently from the other items that were in the car? Wouldn't it be right to assume that whatever was in the car made it to that possessed property list in June? If not, why not?

Anybody see what I mean here? Are we depending on somebody's word here? Did it all just end up as a story and an "oh, okay then"?

The obvious significance is this: If BR ended up with that monkey by a couple of days into the search, and nobody can really verify that it was in the car at the WBC, then what is the only other way he ends up with it?

I'll apologize here if the answer is easy and I've just missed it. It's just that I keep running into dead ends when I try to trace this back -- no firm sources, no verification, no documentation where there should be.

[–]finn141414[S] 0 points1 point  (21 children)

I'm not quite following. So basically I personally have no idea what happened to the monkey (Joseph) that Maura was said to have taken in the Saturn. If you have a source that it was given to BR let me know. I see the "PS" in Sharon's letter but I think that is symbolic in meaning. I don't think it means that she has either of the monkeys.

That said, there is a confidential inventory list of the items originally taken from the Saturn that we don't have. We only have the items that were returned to the family. We have no idea what they originally took or kept as evidence.

[–]emncaity 1 point2 points  (20 children)

" I don't think it means that she has either of the monkeys."

That seemed like a reasonable reading when I first saw this, too. More of a fantasy scenario, painting a picture of what it was like there. But maybe not.

It's exactly the point that we have no idea which items were (allegedly) handed over to BR. Even accepting the proposition that the staties did release some items to BR, the fact that no specific list is public makes the ambiguity a cover for a claim by BR that any specific thing was released to him. I don't know that I can say it better here than I just wrote in reply to another thread, so I'm just going to quote myself, as ridiculous as that is:

>> I mean, hell, her son could've walked in the door with all the stuff allegedly given to Maura by the Rausches, and he could've said "yeah, the NHSP let me have these," and we'd have not one clue whether that was actually true or whether, in a meeting with Maura, he had retrieved every one of those items. I'm just kinda furious about the lack of concern with how significant this distinction is -- whether there is irrefutable evidence of exactly what was allegedly handed back by the NHSP, or whether BR could've claimed anything and nobody would've known any different.

I'm not saying he did do that. I'm saying that I don't understand how an investigation doesn't treat that question seriously. I've said before that it hurts the innocent as well as the guilty. If Rausch is innocent, they removed one opportunity after another for him to prove that innocence. No, he doesn't "have to" prove innocence for the purposes of criminal law, but by leaving so many areas uncovered and fudgeable, they leave the shadow of doubt on him even if he's innocent, while at the same time making it so much harder to build a case if he actually did commit a crime. It hurts in both directions at the same time to do an investigation this way. <<

One source that says BR had the Joseph monkey was this article dated Feb. 19th:


But again, we have no curiosity from the reporter about where the "NHSP released items to BR" claim came from. No verification, no second-sourcing, apparently just the statement of an interested party at the motel, without a clue as to the potential significance of a person who is in a category disproportionately likely to be an offender in a case like this (significant other) having a personal item from the car of the victim, when you would assume all such items had been taken into evidence immediately.

Another Redditor says he/she asked once in an AMA whether the family had, or had seen, an "initial inventory" done by LE of the items in the car. They said they remembered no such thing.

All this might be a big nothing, of course. But if BR had items in his possession that were clearly from Maura, and those items did not appear on an inventory or in those photos from Lavoie's garage, that seems to me to be a very serious thing.

[–]finn141414[S] 0 points1 point  (19 children)

That is a really great catch that BR had the monkey. These early newspaper articles have a wealth of information but I can only read about 50 at a time max before my brain and eyes need a break. But every time I do read through I find valuable info.

I do agree to the extent about the ... apparent sloppy way the car inventory was handled. Even years past Maura's disappearance people saw objects strewn in the car, apparently untested.

In terms of the original inventory - recently someone thought that it had been posted on a Crimecon website a couple of years ago - then was suddenly down just ... as Crimecon was overtaken by events (not suggesting it was taken down nefariously if indeed it was the original inventory - which we don't know). Unfortunately nobody captured the file to verify either way. Maybe we can try to chase that down.

[–]emncaity 0 points1 point  (18 children)

These early newspaper articles have a wealth of information but I can only read about 50 at a time max before my brain and eyes need a break

You can say that again.

They certainly didn't handle all the items as evidence. No question.

If anybody has a screenshot of that original inventory and can verify authenticity, finn says (s)he'll pay a hundred bucks American cash for it, so get on it already. And send me a copy.

I just can't see how a thing like this isn't one of the most critical questions anybody is looking into. Could be a big nothing, of course. But if BR had items from Maura that were not on whatever initial inventory was (we hope) done, and that were not (inexplicably) handed over to him by the NHSP or the family, there's only one place he could've gotten them. If he's innocent as Mary and all the saints, it could only help to run this down and verify it.

[–]finn141414[S] 0 points1 point  (17 children)

Funny! Yes I would pay $100 bucks. You heard it here first. I think the inventory list is invaluable for many reasons. It seems to me that at present, we have a list with the least significant items found in the car - and no idea what is included on LE’s confidential inventory list.

[–]emncaity 0 points1 point  (16 children)

And it's a list from June, well after things were allegedly handed out by NHSP. That story involving BR and the monkey was published on Feb. 19th.

I'd be fine with LE keeping confidential whatever items on the list need to be kept that way, if specific known-only-to-perp items are on it. But everybody knows about the freaking monkey. This isn't a secret anymore. Only question is whether it was or was not found in the car and handed over to BR. (I understand there was jewelry involved too, but I haven't followed up on that.) So far, it's just a matter of an early story that took on the quality of verified truth, that may or may not be true -- like so much else in this case.

[–]SwanSong1982 0 points1 point  (15 children)

If HPD felt there was no evidence of a crime, would they have done an inventory? They were nonchalant about preserving the car and its contents from the beginning. When Fred viewed the car on Friday, weren’t some of the things on Lavoie’s garage floor? I just don’t think HPD kept anything. I mean, the rag was still in the tailpipe!

I don’t understand why you’re worried about the monkey. To me it’s in the category of what Sharon and Billy thought was special, as the monkey, AAA card, leather gloves and jewelry were all gifts from one or the other. None were on the list of items retrieved in June.

Where’s the rag, box of wine, soda bottle. I actually have forgotten if we know where the Baileys, Vodka and Kahlua are. And what’s up with the broken exterior mirror on the floor?

Who knows what else is missing.

[–]emncaity 0 points1 point  (14 children)

IMHO this is likely to be exactly the problem: The decision to look at this as a DWI walkaway means they lost the scene and the evidence, and if there was no initial inventory (family members allegedly once said in an AMA that they couldn't remember one), this would be the most likely reason why.

This is why I'm worried about not only the monkey but anything of Maura's that BR says was given to him by NHSP: Anything he says he was given by NHSP, but was not on an initial inventory and/or was not among the items allegedly photographed at Lavoie's, he would have gotten directly from Maura, unless they missed those items in the inventory and/or photos. (None of this really has anything to do with the June property list, since it's clear that BR had the monkey and whatever other items he had much earlier than that, within no more than 10 days after the incident.)

Yes, there is the alternative explanation -- that these were just things that had a connection to BR and family, and so were given to them. I agree that's entirely possible. But even in that scenario, there should be some kind of corroboration or documentation. What's bugging me is that if you trace the story back to the source, there's just no attempt to verify anything at the time. As far as I can tell, somebody just believed somebody and printed it, even when the alternative possibility was so significant.

Don't know about those other items. Good question. One of those things where having the LE file would really matter, so it wouldn't be a matter of "maybe they have that" -- we'd actually know, for once.

[–]Gultcher 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Why did John Smith think that he had been given Joseph and that the monkey he had been given was left in the Saturn? Was he simply mistaken?

[–]finn141414[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My interpretation is that he took a picture of the monkey in his possession to make the point that she had left a monkey in the Saturn. I agree that picture (where he has the name Joseph on the pic of harry) is confusing but that’s my guess as to the point he was making. He was kind enough to answer my questions but I didn’t ask him that specific one in part because I felt I could intuit what he likely meant.

[–]ThreatManagmentCo 1 point2 points  (6 children)

When was this email dated... when did she write it?

[–]finn141414[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I’ll try to figure that out. Right now I’m drawing a blank about where I got this ... maybe old forums?

[–]ThreatManagmentCo 0 points1 point  (4 children)


[–]finn141414[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children)

u/fulkstop can you help us find a date on this? (I was seriously multitasking the day I posted)

[–]fulkstop 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Finn, it was published on October 3, 2005 and written for the article (which was in parts) so the closest we will get is within a week of October 3, 2005.

[–]finn141414[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Excellent thank you!

[–]fulkstop 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. I will look into it now.

[–]frozenlemonadev2 0 points1 point  (2 children)

According to Scott Wahl's AMA, the gray monkey was mailed to John Smith in 2006. They don't know what happened to the brown one.

[–]finn141414[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yes, John was my source so I’m glad Scott has accurate information.