October 19, 2009

10/8/09: William Hurley, Boston, MA

On Thursday, October 8, 2009, twenty-four year old William Hurley jumped at an opportunity to see his first Boston Bruins hockey game with friend and coworker, Brendan Venti. After getting off work in Quincy, Hurley took the train to Venti's home in Brighton and from there boarded public transportation with Venti and another man to the game at TD Banknorth Gardens in Boston. Hurley mentioned he was tired. After the first period, Hurley's long day of work as a greenskeeper at the Weston Country Club in Weston, Mass. had caught up with him and he said he was too tired to stay.

He called his girlfriend of 2 years, Claire Mahoney, who offered to pick him up as he was unfamiliar with the area. While on the phone with Mahoney, Hurley asked his exact location and a passerby yelled "99 Nashua Street." Hurley's cell phone battery then went dead. Mahoney said, "I got to 99 Nashua Street a minute or two later and he was nowhere in the area." She said, "I beeped, I yelled, I looked around, I walked around. I drove around for an hour. I was right around the corner but when I got there Will was gone."

Mahoney then headed back south to the Quincy apartment they had been sharing together since December and waited for Hurley to return home. She called hospitals and friends to try to locate him to no avail. As each hour passed, she began to grow more panicked and finally called both the Quincy and Boston police who advised her to wait the standard 24-hours before filing a missing person's report. On the following day, Friday, she filed the report at both stations and she and her sister, Katie, began hanging up missing persons fliers around the TD Garden and surrounding area. To Mahoney and William's friends, the disappearance was "stunningly out of character."

Boston police spokesman, Joe Zanoli, told CNN, "there is no indication of foul play at this time, however, that doesn't mean it necessarily hasn't happened. We just don't know. At this point of the investigation, it appears he just vanished. Whether that was on his own accord or not has yet to be determined."

Search and Recovery

After William Hurley went missing Claire Mahoney and William's mother, Lynn Martin, who had arrived from North Carolina on Monday spoke to people in the area where William had gone missing. "We've been talking to people in that area-transit cops, and barkeepers, and anybody who might have been around, even homeless people who may have seen something", said Mahoney, "but there was nothing, absolutely nothing." Also on Monday police searched the area and put two boats on the Charles River to search the water near the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, located on Nashua Street. Police have said, "they have found some things of interest, but nothing concrete." They had nothing definitive to report regarding their search in and around the area of the TD Garden.

According to one news report, Hurley's smashed cell phone was found during one of the searches.

Nearly a week later, on Wednesday, October 14, the body of William Hurley was found in the Charles River at around 2:30 a.m. near the Nashua Street Jail by Boston police on routine patrol. Water patrol was called in to recover the body that was 25 feet from shore around 200 Nashua Street. A state park is directly across the river. Suffolk District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark said the body had been in the water a couple days. Police are ruling out robbery as William's keys and wallet were found on his person during the recovery.

Suffolk District Attorney, Daniel F. Conley said, "There are no obvious signs of foul play on Mr. Hurley's body." Preliminary autopsy results confirm there doesn't appear to be any physical injuries on William's body. Investigators are awaiting toxicology results to determine the specifics. Although preliminary results showed no trauma to his body, investigators are waiting on the toxicology report to see if William consumed alcohol or any other substances. Results will take up to 3 weeks. Vendi, the friend who attended the hockey game with Hurley, said he hadn't had much to drink. Mahoney also said he sounded fine on the phone during their conversation although he mentioned he was tired.

Police are viewing the businesses footage of surveillance tape in the area. There are many cameras in the area.

According to reports, there are no fences or barriers surrounding the water’s edge near where Hurley’s body was found.

About William Hurley
Hurley was a Navy veteran from North Carolina who had been stationed in Florida. Hurley met his girlfriend, Claire Mahoney, when he had made a stop in Boston on Saint Patrick's Day while he was a Navy sailor in 2007 and later moved from Florida to Quincy,MA to live with her in December. They had discussed marriage but decided to hold off until they had saved more money. Mahoney had graduated Emmanuel College and was currently studying for a Master's Degree in teaching at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She described William as "a happy person, just an easy-going guy."

Brendan Venti described William as the type to never be late to work and said he is a quiet guy with a dry sense of humor. He also said there were many sleepless nights while William was missing and that he prayed some clue would turn up to end the mysterious vanishing.

Additional Facts
Name/age: William Hurley, 24
Residence: Quincy, MA
Hometown: North Carolina
Last seen: 8:30 p.m., Thurs., 10/8/09, Boston, MA
Physical Description: white male, 5'8", 155 pounds, thin build, blond hair, blue eyes. He was last seen wearing white Nike sneakers, blue jeans, a green T-shirt
Recovered: 2:30 a.m., 10/14/09, Charles River, Boston, MA


Monique777 said...


Police confirmed they found the frozen body of William Hurley, 24, about 25 feet from the shore in the river...

I don't know how he could have been "frozen", the Charles River average water temp. for October is 52-58F. But this is what they're reporting.

Robert Nard said...

Lisa thanks for posting this,you are a God send to the family's trying to get this information out. Monique I think the writer was just using it as a phrase for cold body. I have concerns with the flow of the river. You mentioned it elsewhere and here is what I think.
The Charels river flows into Boston harbor as I understand it. Hurley should have been found down river from his entry point. If those points true and police say he was found in front of the jail, we are to believe Hurley walked past the Hospital, crossed the street, walked past the jail, moving away from both the hospital and the jail. Why? His ride is coming from the other direction. He is walking away from his ride. He knows this. He can clearly see the freeway behind him. Did he enter behind the hospital and float against the currant? Did he enter in front of the jail and not float anywhere? Or did he enter somewhere up river past the jail and float down to the jail? That would seem to be a lot of traveling for someone just waiting for a ride.

Lisa said...

Occasionally a case comes up where I can't help but comment. This whole thing makes no logical sense to me, namely:

1) Hurley didn't know the area, so it seems unlikely he would go walking off. 2) He had a ride coming (making walking off even more unlikely). You'd think he would stay in the vicinity, probably out in the open where she could easily spot him. 3) He had only ingested a minor amount of alcohol, so it is unlikely that he would have accidentally fallen in. Plus, the river was about a 20 minute walk from his last location. 4) It seems odd that he had taken multiple modes of transportation to get to this game only to leave after the first period.

Monique777 said...

@ Just Logic

Thanks for pointing out the "frozen" body as meaning they meant cold body. Sometimes I take everything very literally when I'm in scientific mode.
About the current in the Charles river; it is very slow due to the dam. I haven't studied it but a local said a body can float forward and then backward due to the tide and dam causing a body to be at the entry point many days later. I'm not sure if this is true in that the ocean water is kept out of the Charles river by the dam and the dam keeps the river at a constant level. I asked the local to explain but haven't heard back yet.I'll let you know when I hear back.

I can't imagine William was a Bruins fan or an Anaheim fan (their opponent) in that he hadn't even lived in Boston for a year and wasn't from Cal. He may have become bored and tired and also knew he had to be up at 5 am the next day and so he left after the first period. He may have felt sick to his stomach (causing him to get away from public traffic) or walked to shake off the tiredness and possible intoxication. Maybe that's how he ended up at 99 Nashua (a couple blocks away). It's really hard to make sense of why he traveled away from the Garden, all we know is he did.

It's really hard to know what happened to William at this point but after watching his mother and girlfriend speak about it on video, my prayers go out to both of them.

The Mommy said...

Hi there, and thanks for the great post.
I would just like to point out that the river is not a long walk from where Will was last seen. Don't let Google Maps fool you. It's actually directly behind Spaulding Rehab, so it would have taken him only about a minute to walk there from 99 Nashua. It's also pretty dark and rather sketchy back there at night; a lot of odd folk hang around the Garden. Because of Will's close proximity to the river, I don't think it would have been difficult at all for someone to nab him. I'm hoping that's not the case, but it's certainly a very real possibility.
RIP Will. I'm keeping his loved ones in my thoughts.

Devin said...

Thanks as always for your hard work Lisa! I usually get a lot from the comments also and I did today-it is great to hear from someone who knows the area a bit -I agree RIP William Hurley. whatever the cause these cases are so sad! best to you Lisa and thanka again-I agree with justlogic and others you are a godsend for getting information out about these cases!!

Bootsie said...

Thank you for your interest in this case. Will is my great-nephew and our entire family grieves for him. I don't think his mother and fiance or any of us can put this to rest until we know what happened. If Will was murdered we want the murderer brought to justice. Thanks for any help you can give to the Boston police or MA state police. I pray for the other families who have lost children. No heartache can be greater.

Lisa said...


Thank you for your comment. Will's story is truly heartbreaking and my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Please know that my website and I are at your disposal. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. My e-mail address is footprints.blogmail@yahoo.com.



Monique777 said...

@ Just Logic
I heard back about how the river flows exactly and posted it under Missing...at SFK. It's a long winded email I recieved and so my response is really long. Also some other stuff he said about the area that's interesting.

This is William Hurley's obituary:

My heart goes out to all of William's family and friends. I was under the impression he was an only child, but my prayers also go out to his mother, girlfriend, his step-father, Gene Martin, his brother, Mason Martin, his sister Amanda (Hurley) Blank, many aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins. I thought it was important to mention his father and siblings because none of the papers do. God Bless.

Doc Conjure said...

Hey, Lisa:

I was watching a program called "Medium P.I." last week, about a Psychic Detective and she worked a case where the 17 year-old son was found in the water. The case was reopened but not yet solved.

I can't remember the name of the victim. Sorry.

If it helps any, the psychic claims that it was bad drug deal and they pushed him in the water.

I think it happened in either NY or NJ. Sorry I don't have more info.

Robert Nard said...

The flow theory sounds reasonable, I was looking at satellite, photos of the area and it seems plausible, but it seems to me the greater portion of churn would be closer to the dam. News photos of the search seem to show LE searching down river closer to the hospital and beyond,as though that is where LE expected the flow to take him. Of course those photos were only a small snap shot of the search,and not the entire search. Yes,the cell phone report remains questionable. Who reported it first and what was their source?

Monique777 said...

Even if the flow is back and forth and all around (didn't know it was so complex before a dam and lock), I still think he was abducted and put in the water at a later time. He had no reason to go near the river-none. He may have possibly walked to Spaulding to be near a structure or to use their phone, but he wouldn't walk away from the street to the river when his girlfriend was trying to spot him. It would seem more likely he'd stay put in the parking lot he told her he was in.
The one source (link) is Channel 7 that says his cell phone was found smashed.


I emailed them to have them verify or confirm this and they never emailed back.I didn't ask them to name a source or accuse them, just wanted it verified because this is the only link.I am still not confident this was the case unless the police were keeping it quiet from the media and some how it leaked out to Channel 7. There is also just one link that mentions they looked into staining at Spaulding (and found it wasn't blood.) This was before he was found with no body trauma. Maybe the police initially treated it as a homicide investigation?

Sure wish William would have rec'd the same treatment as Morgan Harrington. The discrepany is blaring.

Robert Nard said...

As well as in Annie Le's case.Her family wasn't told to wait 24 hours. The FBI was on her case in 24 hours.
They need to dump the,boys will be boys mentality.

Lisa said...


I think the case you saw was 17-year old Kieran McCaffrey who disappeared from Massapequa, Long Island, NY on Superbowl Sunday in2008. He was playing video games at a friend's house all day and when he was told he could not sleep over, he walked home. His body was found in a canal five weeks later. I will look into this a bit further, thanks for the tip.

Robert Nard said...

I just came across the story below,this young man vanished with friends very close by on 9-25-09. His body was found in the water on 9-29-09.


Doc Conjure said...


Yes, it was Kieran McCaffrey. Did you happen to watch the show? As a result of the psychic's information the case was reopened. Aparantly she sensed pills and that it was drug-deal gone bad which ended up with McCaffrey being pushed into the water and then drowning. If I can find the show online, I'll try to post the link.

Doc Conjure said...

I found this preview clip of the show about McCaffrey:


Unfortunatly I check the listings and the show is no scheduled to air again anytime soon. I'll keep digging to see what I can find.

Unknown said...

Its all ready November 4th and still nothing.. I just can't believe the tox report isnt back yet..

Unknown said...

I am just curious. Does anyone know the nationality statitics on the victims?

Anonymous said...

re: lynnhdaniels

It would be really hard to tell that as that isn't something
the media would report. There are a lot of stats we couldn't possibly get to find
greater connections with the victims - which can be frustrating, but has to be respected as a privacy issue to the familys.

The easiest stats to start with that are reported are locations, dates, ages, race and other
physical similarities (for the most part - unless theres no picture) - among other things, like
activities they involved themselves in (the arts, sports), college majors, and jobs. IF you compile those though there is great variety and nothing too outwardly conclusive.

Religion is especially tricky. With a few select cases there will be a media report on funeral services, or an obituary will sometimes have this info, which can give you an idea on the general religionthey may have practiced. (But then again, religious belief is personal and who's to say that perhaps the religious service to lay these men to rest may be more reflective of the family rather than the complete ideology of the individual.)

I could run a list that would be pages upon pages long with questions I have about connections between these men, certain details and interests. No way to get that info though. These cases are long overdue to being assigned
to a task force which law enforcement could interview family and friends and then better understand more of the personal similarities.

What I find interesting, although we only have really the short media reports to look at, some connections are striking, and
the fact that there is limited info written about each case, there seem to be so many numerous similarities.

Some of these cases let you see the young men in a more personal light because the parents
are really focused on finding justice and want the positive light to show through on their
sons. For instance there is a lot (maybe the most) on Chris Jenkins, not only the facts of his disappearance but also a good perspective of what kind of person he was. I really respect that the Jenkins family really went
out of their way to aqquaint others about who he really was - and that he, like the others, are
more than just clippings from new articles. Some of these men's vibrant personalities and stories
though will never be known to us.

I'm really kicking myself, I still need to order and read
Jan's book still. (((My mama cut up all my charge cards..)))

Doc Conjure said...

Att Sam:

The level of detail (or dedication) to which you are suggestiong is usually and more properly reserved for when and If there is hard evidence of a crime.

In most, or even the majority, of these deaths, this is not the case.

In some of the deaths it seems as if reasonable explanations are being purposefully overlooked by indivduals openly subsribing, or secretly subscribing, to a conspiracy theory.

In other cases the death does seem to suggest that something strange is going on, that the death may be the result of foul play.

However, one thing that I don't think anyone has brought up here at all, which suprises me.

-Occam's Razor- (The simplest explanation is likely to be the correct explanation.)


In cases where there is literaly no evidence of a crime, and cases in which alcohol is involved, then Occam's Razor would suggest that the more likely explanation is accidental drowning.

Just to clarify for those who may misinterpret:

A drowing death + alcohol (or other intoxicants) + no evidence of foul play = Accidental

This is how Occam's Razor works and it is a good tool to cut through "mysteries", and quite frankly, B.S.

Of course the thing to remember is that Occam's Razor simply points to the more likely explanation and can't be used in and of itself as any evidence.

Anonymous said...


we have discussed O's R a bit here, maybe more on SFK.

I can't find it, or where I saw it, but I swear Lisa had a really good explanation of it in relation to these cases.

My thing is, the majority of these cases look like they're supposed to look like accidental deaths - instead of all actually being such.

It's been said before, but if these were young women instead of young men, there would absolutely be law enforcement involvement.

The biggest missing piece to the puzzle with many of these men is their disappearance. The fact that there is the seperation from their friends and then they ultimately end up in a body of water. I mean there might be a little more sense to the accidental theory if their friends had KNOWN they were taking a walk, home, or wherever else - but instead there are these overlying questions of when and why they left in the first place.

Doc Conjure said...

Att: Sam,

Yes, I understand that a lot of people think that these disapearances are somehow meant to look like accidents. But the only thing I can point out is that such belief is pretty much evidence that a person has made their mind up before any investigation.

About the "seperated from friends" aspect. Let me state that if someone is going to drown then they need to be at the water.

So basicly, using logic and Occam's Razor, I can dismiss that assertian that there is something to the "seperated from friends" aspect, merely because such must take place if a person is to accidentally drown.

So we can establish that if a person is to accidentally drown then they must be seperated from the group of people they are in, or otherwise their chances of survival increases. (If a person doesn't seperate from the group but ends up in the water with the group around, then their chances of survival are high.)

Now, about the claim about if the deaths were of females then the authrorities would treat the cases differently...

Well, first let me state that something "is what it is" and "is not what it is not". Therefore, we are not dealing with the mysterious deaths of females. That's a no-brainer we can all agree on. So how are we to interpret the fact that the deceased are all males? We simply cannot overlook the statistics that males, and younger males at that, are more likely than women to die from accidental deaths. Add liquor or other intoxicants as a factor and the accidental death rate also increases. Let's also not forget that many of the deceased walked to/from the bars they were last seen in. This is a behavior that is rare for females to engage in, hence another possible reason why we have no female victims.

So, with all honestly, there is an explanation for the observations and facts connected to these cases that doesn't invoke a conspiracy. It would be improper to reject more natural explanations in favor of a theory that contains more assumptions than it does facts.

Which reminds me. Recall that with Occam's Razor, it's the explanation that has the least ammount of assumptions, hence the simplest explanation, that is likely correct.

The SFK Theory does not stand up to Occam's Razor.

I'm willing to concede that some of these deaths might be murders, but at this time I find absolutley no evidence to reasonably belive any theory that unites all 80+ deaths as serial killings or murders.

Now please keep in mind that my logic is based on the facts that I know from the case. There may be certain facts that are being withheld for the time that may cause me to alter or even disgard anything I have written above, but from what is currently known, it would be improper to invoke a conspiracy at this time.

Now, please keep in mind that there is a small number of cases where the evidence may suggest a murder. What the evidence doesn't suggest is that all of these deaths are murders that are linked in a vast conspiracy theory.

I find it more likely for the deceased to be of a mixture of accidental deaths, suicides, and a few possible murders.

And one more time I must stress that Occam's Razor isn't proof, it's just a tool that allows us to seperate the likely from the unlikely explanations.

Lisa said...

First, I thank everyone for being skeptical. I think justice is far better served by debating these questions. You really can't get to the truth of anything without looking at both sides of the coin, so to speak. So I appreciate your rational debate---it is so refreshing!

I can't seem to find my comment on Occam's Razor, but I do have a few concerns with the Razor being applied in this instance, so here are my thoughts on the subject:

First, please note that the Razor itself is open to some interpretation. The meaning of it was garnered from the writings of 14th century philosopher/theologian William of Occam on the subject of parsimony, a "less is better" approach to the economy.

While Occam's Razor is widely used in science for comparing two theoretical models, there are some problems with its use at times. This was touched on in Wikipedia, "Simplicity principles can be useful heuristics in formulating hypotheses, but they do not make a contribution to the selection of theories. A theory that is compatible with one person’s world view will be considered simple, clear, logical, and evident, whereas what is contrary to that world view will quickly be rejected as an overly complex explanation with senseless additional hypotheses. Occam’s razor, in this way, becomes a 'mirror of prejudice.'”

In addition, "science has shown repeatedly that future data often supports more complex theories than existing data. Science tends to prefer the simplest explanation that is consistent with the data available at a given time, but history shows that these simplest explanations often yield to complexities as new data become available."

But for the sake of argument, let's assume it is okay to use the Razor as a guideline here. Acording to Webster's dictionary it is, "a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily, which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities."

My personal interpretation of this is that 1) the simpliest explanation is preferred over a more complex one, and 2) if you are looking for an explanation to something unknown, you should start with what is known.

The simpliest explanation is that all/most of these kids drowned. After all, drowning is not a well-known method used by killers, and we know drunken drownings do happen. But in chalking it up to an accident, we would not be comparing "apples to apples"--death by accidental drowning has been studied while drowning by murder has not. So justice is best served by analyzing ALL possible theories in detail---without assuming all the cases are related.

In short, you are both right. Sam is calling for a look at a wide array of details; BITM is saying not to jump to conclusions.

Regarding #2: what do we know? If you look at drowning statistics, it is true that the majority are male, age 18-25, and a good deal of them occured after drinking. But it is also true that many drownings happen during a recreational activity (boating, swimming, etc.) in warm weather. The weather in the majority of these cases was cold. We are also seeing a pattern ("profile") amongst these cases that is fairly unusual. And in many of the cases, accident or suicide as a cause of death just defies logic. So again, we need to take a closer look at what is known and go from there.

I am not saying that all of these cases are related, but I would not be surprised if some of them are. I would also not be surprised if some of them turned out to be accidents or, sadly, suicides. There has been a weath of questions raised, so in the interest of justice, we need to take a closer look. And it does also seem as though these drownings are on the rise. These statistics have not been sufficiently studied, but if there is an increase, regardless of the cause, we need to know why.

Doc Conjure said...


Thanks for your input. I would argue that applying Occam's Razor to these deaths as well as to he SFK Theory or any other theory uniting multiple deaths, does not reflect a "world view" stance, so therefore is appropriate.

If you could find the comments on Occam's Razor, then I would be interested in going over them. Perhaps you might change my opinion, who knows?

Robert Nard said...

Lisa great post. Boy in the Machine great post. O/R theory over simplifies a very complex issue. The statistical data does not support a simple drunken drowning theory. Are all 80+ cases murder? No. Is this a large gang or cult conspiracy. No. The single largest problem with getting the data necessary to isolate the murders from the accidents is, LE investigation methods practices and procedures. It begins the moment LE first receives a report of a missing male and continues to a sadly inadequate search and autopsy. There is a boys will be boys, and boys can take care of themselves mentality, complicated by a belief that all drunken men brought it on themselves. This simply is not so. Murders are disguised as an accident or suicide every day. These events can, and do go years without discovery, until some other event or some other fact comes to light, raising new and unanswered questions. The FBI saw no connection for years, in roadside deaths. They are now pursuing a long haul truckers serial killers theory. 500 potential victims and 200 suspects. Deviants thought vans made great mobile crime scenes in the 70s and then decided big rigs were even better, no great leap. Though the FBI states they have had this theory for ten years, they denied any such theory for years before the big press release. Budget dictates the investigation, nothing else. You have to have something obvious or troubling to justify the added expense of additional testing. Sadly men just don't rate it. We need more data.

Anonymous said...

I myself have a difficulty in concentrations on here with the cases. I'm constantly shifting focus - either to individual case details or then to the possibilities of similarities-
which sometimes helps me better understand each case and other times is distracting.
All I can think to do with the Nationwide theory is entertain certain interpretations of what they're looking for and see how they could plausibly apply. No way to confirm/deny them - but it gets the brain trotting a little.

In all honesty, we really don't know what's going on here. A big problem is that a lot of people look at the victims
lists on various sites and think they are absolute, especially people who have just heard of
the nationwide theory. I myself never really fully grasped it, Nationwide has their own evidence
under lock and key. I do find them generally to be sincere people, and they aren't obtaining any sort of profit so they must themselves believe what they claim to believe.

Researching each case individually and really trying to get a sense of each situation is better spent time, but there are times that you can feel like you hit a brick wall after having scoured the limited resources and milking out all you can out of it. Sometimes dumb luck and random search engine imputs though brings
out some eerie clues to the events that you would have otherwise never thought of. If were finding them, imagine what investigative
systems could come up with.

Many of these victims are probably not be related. I think, Lisa, you've done a really good job in compiling such a
large list so that we all get a wide array of situations instead of a stict set of criteria. Of course some of these
are not going to fall into the same pattern. Some cases could be suicides and actually accidental. Other cases
may be individual - no strings attached - aspects of foul play. In any case, like you said, much more needs to be done to provide answers to this underlying problem of the absence of absolute certainty. Also I agree with you, BITM, your skeptisism and logical
eye is admirable - even if we may not see eye to eye - its a good pinch to get conversation going and work cooperativly.

justlogic, I'm glad you mentioned the Highway Serial Killers Initiative. It could all be something very similiar to
these cases. With the H.S.K.I, all the cases relate to a similiar victimology and areas where bodies are found (roadsides, motels..). Since the investigation launched its been proven that nationwide there are multiple individual killers. \
With these drowning deaths we have the same eerie premisis, similiar victimology and the places where they are finding bodies
(bodies of water).

All we can to do now is continue to do what were doing and utilize the sources we have to further find evidence that can help push a legitimate investigation forward

Lisa said...


Good point, but I think I read the "world view" part differently---not so much as theory relating to the world as a whole, but to our our own personal view of the world around us.

"A theory that is compatible with one person’s world view will be considered simple, clear, logical, and evident, whereas what is contrary to that world view will quickly be rejected as an overly complex explanation with senseless additional hypotheses. Occam’s razor, in this way, becomes a “mirror of prejudice.”

In these cases, a body found in the water is assumed to be an accidental drowning. Seems logical. But the police are not unbiased when they arrive at the scene. They are used to seeing the effects of alcohol on behavior and all of the havoc it can cause, so they arrive with that already in mind. Their view of the world colors what they see, so any other theory presented seems overly complex and is quickly rejected. Rejecting hypotheses without testing them poses a problem. And that is one of the reasons I don't think Occam's Razor is an appropriate tool here.

Doc Conjure said...


Wow. I was all set to reply to you with my belief that you are incorrectly invoking the "world view" clause, when I stumbled upon this web site:


Lisa, you are right but for the wrong reasons. The reason why we can't apply Occam's razor is not because of a bias against other theories, but because the other theories are "Conspiracy Theories". That's the real reason why we can't use Occam's Razor here.

For example, here's what the webiste above reads regard the assasination of JFK:

"But does the fact that one explanation is simpler mean it's correct? Conspiracy theorists can produce all manner of circumstantial evidence that points to many different plots. But according to Occam's razor, this extra evidence would be considered irrelevant in the face of the lone gunman explanation. In this case, Occam's razor only serves to fuel the debate when it's used to discount conspiracists' theories."

Basically here's the reason we can't use Occam's Razor:

Conspiracy Theorists cannot accept the simpler explanation. They debate it at each and ever turn.

So, I just wanted to clarify you were right, but for the wrong reasons.

Doc Conjure said...


On second thought, it dawned on me that a conspiratorial view of reality is a "world view", so I would agree with you on that factor.

Of course we both understand that Occam's Razor is not proof and cannot rule out any explanation as sometimes the more "fantastical" ones are proven right.

Thanks again for the work you do in maintaining this blog and documenting these cases.

Lisa said...


You'r right, conspiracies do make up some people's world view, but that was still a great point and I hadn't thought of it in that way before.

My big caution with Occam's Razor is just that it be used carefully. I have heard of a few criminal trials, for instance, where the simplest explanation was applied (usually based off of some pre-conceived notions) and people were wrongly convicted. I think there is sometimes a temptation to boil it down to the simplest level, but it is taken too far or people's own bias gets in the way. With that said, I do think Occam's Razor is a useful tool and a good reminder not to overlook the simpler explanations or to lump all these cases together as related.

Monique777 said...

I agree, there is something to looking at each case individually without bias. But after doing this, one has to look at all cases together to see the trend. Without the trend, each may appear as an unusual and mysterious drowning. A fluke of sorts when using OR.But multiple flukes raises red flags.

When I speak of a trend, I am referring to the geography of all the victims.Nothing has been more convincing there are many men who have met foul play by looking at the geography as a whole. While I am open to another explanation for this trend, right now there has not been one presented.

I don't think anyone believes the list is perfect. There must be accidents and suicides listed along with some of the men who have met foul play missing from the list.

It is refreshing to have an opposing opinion and also really refreshing to be stepping back from the SFK theory. I respect what people have investigated so far but find what little I do know about the SFK theory seems one of the most complex theories around, aside from Detective Mike's.

And if each and every case is investigated with complete throughness by an objective person and found to be accidental, I will buy this yet still be stumped by the geography.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Also the thing that "brings evidence" to the SFK theory is the "dod"-dealers of death with the current/former member zsmiley (sp.?) and Jeremy Addison also is it true that Patrick McNeal's death/homicide is TOTALLY CLOSED and NOT SFK RELATED- I heard that somewhere and I'm aware of a lot of the findings that had it re-classified as a homicide but what did they say exactly happened. Also it's not just the drowning it's the disappearance of personal items-that is silver in color crucifixes/cross necklaces NEVER RECOVERED, and it's not just Water/drowning cases, Lisa what about that one subway station case in NY I think it was were the victim's sister said that she got that it could have been accidental but that didn't explain where the silver crucifix necklace that her brother always wore went, the fact that it was missing-and a lot of the victims-especially in the Midwest are Catholic BUT it's never once in all these years been that those drowning victims, no matter the years apart attended the same Catholic school in the cases where they did attend that school, I say catholic because everyone familiar with a lot of these drowning deaths know that at one point it was basically once a year or more with the Lacrosse,Wisc. drownings starting in 97 and that's what raised suspicions there, while it was years later where people were thinking maybe it extends further than one college city.
.. Also the places the cell phones are found i.e. not on the body-in pockets, right there in the grass/sand near the water banks. Not even near the river/lake that the young man drowned in, and in some cases the phones could be, if we aren't thinking accidental death anymore, strategically placed in different parts of that town, that is on a different street-but there's rarely any cases where the phone has been found in a place where the person/victim was present with his friends...meaning that the phone most likely wasn't lost by that person it was taken, or left there by that person when something happened to them at that location that is in some cases because in others there were phone calls made like they thought someone was following them, but then their body was found in the water no phone EVER found NEAR the PERSON WOULD'VE FELL IN and the hats,etc. in some cases Aren’t AT Those spots either are they it's like they were placed/dropped somewhere differently and then the person was perhaps forced into the water but why no fingerprints on the phones or the clothes that don't belong to the victim? Wouldn't the thing you fight hardest to KEEP WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO be your CELLPHONE-if not for making calls if the disappearance is voluntary and the drowning accidental, then for the GPS device in case you decide that you will eventually want to be found?

Anonymous said...

That's part of the reason I think in particular that Nick Garza's death wasn't an accident nor a suicide, do you get the points that I made and could someone refresh my memory on the two Half-Moon Lake cases that were almost one right after the other as well as the subway station death. Sorry that was so long but a lot of that was stream of consciousness writing.

Anonymous said...

Also the smiley faces didn't sell me on the theory the other writing did the one's that refer to Gary Snyders poems. Also it's interesting that Suffolk could be a duplication thing considering there's also Suffolk County NY but that's just an observation because personally I don't know what to think of the Duluth-Duluth-5 years exactly later thing I mean seriously if your going to look somewhere one that why not look at the state in between those two, and as for bodies not being found after 2 yrs aren't all 3 of those adjacent states death penalty, that or we shouldn't even assume that they're dead, especially since it seems for once it was pretty quick timewise of LE to connect those two maybe that spooked the kidnapper. Then again I can attest that it wouldn't take as long as people think to make that trek from GA to NC-if the person went straight to NC, because as someone who has driven in GA I know that coming into GA it's easy as hell to speed and by speed I mean I know friends who live there who have gotten away with going as high as 95 mph there on 95N and South and there wouldn't be a cop in sight-and certainly not late at night exiting that state. Sorry but I would like somone else's opinion on Justin Gaines & Kyle Fleishman's dissapearances. Which yeah if they were girls instead of guys and "foul play" were suspected but hey it's a game of what-ifs also what about the I-94 murders of "exotic dancers/prostitutes/similar looking girls from Las Vegas (in some cases Canada?) being found there. So what if the sfk theory is somewhat accurate then we have a serial killer killing "athletic guys" in bodies of water while one's at the same time there's one dumping the bodies of "exotic dancers/beatiful blond girl with hard lives" on the same stretch of highway but the girls are on land...please say that someone else is familiar with the I-94 bodies of early to mid-twenties girls where in one case at first the boyfriend was the suspect then her body wasn't found in Nevada but was found on the side of the road in Illinios I believe? Yes I know the US has a lot of serial killers but man I find that both saddening and intriguing that all of that connects to I-94, I'm not saying that I think it's the same person or group but it's still weird.

Anonymous said...

Fleishmann completes a cross

connect the dots on a map
Canton,NY- Adam Falcon

Clarksville ,Tennessee- Jessiah Jameson

Chicago,Il-Jesse Ross

Charlotte,NC-Kyle Fleischmann

Kyle Fleischmann was last seen alive the same day as Matt LaCrosse

Jesse Ross(Vibe Radio) was last seen alive less than 2 months after Luke Homan(Vibe Bar) disappeared in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the work of all people who share information with others.

College Research Papers

Unknown said...

The reason Occams Razor does not work in this case is there are too many oddities. If it was the simplest reason. Phones would be found in pockets. Men would not be found in water in towns they are not familiar with. There would be a logical percentage of women be falling the same fate even though women are less likely to die by this type of misadventure. We should still see a higher percentage of women. And last but not least we should see as many young men of lower IQ'S and in lessor physical condition getting drunk and ending up in the water. But I can't even find ONE case of a local drunk or junkie be falling this same fate. How can Occam's Razor explain that?

Unknown said...

It's a clear pattern- college men 20-26, same build height, weight, attractive, athletic, top in their class, many engineers.

Latest from Boston:


YouTube - Steph Young on Mysterious Drownings rovides details and chroniclogical order of alleged abductions and deaths.

Google - Eponymous Rox for the book

Another theory is Smiley Face Killers. Suspected gang of serial killers working together in various northern states bordering Canada highway- including Great Lakes region.

Bill W said...

The TV show about Mr. Hurley doesn’t address the issue of a high tide pushing his body upstream.

Unknown said...


Really Want To Help said...

Hello All who are following this case and talking about it! It was just recently aired on TV with the Smiley Face Killers", which is how I tuned into it. I am not from the area, so I don't know anything about the location and river flow.

As an outsider to all of this, here is my feeling. Could it have been a crime of opportunity? Meaning he was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Another blogger mentioned that the area he was walking around in was "seedy". 8:30 p.m. is not that late in the evening. Especially when there is a game going on with thousands of people attending. I would think that at that time of night people would still be seen walking around on the street, parking lot which would detract from a crime taking place in the first place. It's not like it was at 2:00 a.m. in the morning when it would all be a ghost town, seedy characters would be out and about and the window of opportunity would be wider.

He did not know the area. He did not know what he was walking into and at the time of day was probably not even aware that he needed to be aware of his surroundings. If he did not know the area, he would not know how to get to the hospital or police station or that they were even there in the first place. He asked someone where he was while he was walking because he couldn't tell his girlfriend where to pick him up from, so there was no logic as to where he was going. He didn't seem to have a plan to meet her at "XYZ" at a certain time. Walking around aimlessly because he is mad and upset? Or the date rape drug found in his system causing this confusion, agitation lack of orientation? In which case it was already in his system when they got to the stadium because he was already agitated and upset. Where they drinking en route to the stadium? Did he have a drink at work before he left and went on his merry way? What is the timeline of events for him on this day from morning until evening?

Did anyone ever try to find this passerby who gave him the address of 99? Did anyone talk to him to see who else might have been around in the area at the time of his disappearance? Did he observe anything strange going on in the area at the time? Did he notice anything unusual going on? Would there have been anyone else that would have seen him there after they did? This person may have been the last person to see him alive and then he disappeared off of the face of the earth for 6 days. HMMN??? The information that they now have ... he is disoriented and doesn't know where he is, he is alone, he is in a seedy area, he is impaired by something. Could they have taken advantage of these circumstances and had something to do with his disappearance? You could have easily turned around and circled back and attacked from behind! Here's another disturbing fact. Since his girlfriend arrived at that address minutes (2) later and could not see him, call him, hear him find him there. Did this passerby give him the correct address or did they make it up intentionally misleading because they had an alterior plan in mind already? Could have been watching and stalking him for some time before they crossed actual paths. Was the girlfriend definite that she was at that address and not somewhere else that was similar looking would of course also need to be checked out and confirmed. The show did have her take them to where she was expecting to meet up with him. It was hard to tell from that where and what it looked like around there. But, I do remember it looking like a huge parking garage. And they all look the same! Especially when you are under the influence of something. It would be very difficult to tell one from the other ... or just even if you weren't feeling well at the time. It would be one big maze that you were trying to find your way out from and not being able to do it by yourself without help.

Really Want To Help said...

No one has yet spoken about what happened throughout his day ... at work, his commute, his relationship with his girlfriend etc. Something happened that day before he got to the stadium. He was agitated and upset. There were texts back and forth between him and his girlfriend from him from the stadium. He did not like the other friend that joined them. His girlfriend just told him to have fun. Then he left the game at half time. Why? Was it the annoying guy that made him leave early? Did he want to meet up with his girlfriend and he knew she was getting out of her class? The TV show mentioned that he was not very comfortable at the game because of the back and forth texting ... A timeline would help sort all of this confusion out a little bit more clearly. Maybe even answer some of the questions we have about this case?

He did have a black eye suggesting that someone punched him and that he had contact with another being before he wound up in the St. Charles River. Was this the last person to see him alive? He was definitely alive when he received the black eye because of the markings it left. Had he already been dead, you would not have seen the bruising that way.

MiguelV413 said...

Wow this needs to be solved.

Dr. Gilbertson said...

William received the address 99 Nashua Street from the guard at the parking lot there. The lot is flat, one ground-level surface. You can see from one end to the other without difficulty. Police spoke with the guard and cleared him. William's broken cellphone was found the next morning to the left of the guard shack, perhaps 40 yards away in the location of some bushes. The distance, darkness and minimal street lighting in that location all facilitated abduction.

William was not upset until he was in the game and seated next to someone whom he did not know; someone whom he reported in his text to Claire that was really making him angry. I wonder what the other guy was saying or doing to William to cause him--a normally peaceful and upbeat guy--to get so mad that he "wanted to kill this guy"(?).

Tides do not affect the movement of material or human bodies in that section of the Charles River due to the presence of locks and dams. Only the water passing through the locks changes in elevation, not direction.

Video of William shows him walking pretty straight at first. Then, as he stands there, he begins to wobble. As he walks away, he can be seen on camera to exponentially stagger and walk in wider and wider weaves. Five feet back and forth at first, then 5 yards. Crazy!

Now, I'll ask some questions. The video is color. What kind of pants do you think he was wearing when he came out of TD Garden? What was he wear gin when recovered from the Charles River?

Really Want To Help said...

So, the substance kicked in in between walking straight and then starting to weave and stagger? Or was his staggering because he was looking down and texting as he was walking? If your looking down, you don't have that point of contact that you are walking toward. Maybe coupled with a few drinks and that would cause his staggering? He had 18 mg. of the date rape drug in his system from the toxicology report done. Up to 10 mg. is deemed normal because everyone has some in their system naturally, but he had over that limit. There was no other substance mentioned on the show, "Smiley Face Killers", to have been found in his system. His mom and sister were asked if he did drugs. I don't know why. But, they said no. Was that an area were drugs were sold? Or did they detect something in one of their reports?

I have not seen the video and the little bit that they showed on the show was not enough to tell anything at all about how he was walking. So, I can't comment on this question, but that is not to say that someone else does not know this answer.

Thank you for describing the area and supplying the details. So, he could have been approached by someone, punched in the face to render him unable to help himself and then dragged and thrown into a vehicle that then drove off? The punch in the face could have knocked him out giving them enough time to grab him, throw him into a van and then drive off? Possibly all in 2 minutes when Claire arrived at the address looking for him and no longer able to find him. Did Claire see any vehicle driving off from the area as she was approaching. Maybe speeding, driving away tires screeching? The security guard did not see any vehicle that was out of the ordinary for the area? He did not hear anything ... tires squealing, confrontation, fight, screaming, help? Does he know what vehicles were in the area that are always there? Dropping off something? Picking up something? Maybe it didn't stand out because it is always there at that time. Has anyone else ever gone missing at that location in a similar fashion or in a close proximity? It would have been someone who knew the area ... know that there is no lighting that that is the place to do it if your going to do it.

Is it possible that he fell asleep from the beer and the drug and was lying in the bushes unconscious when Claire arrived there? Thereby not hearing her honk or calling out to him. How cold did it get there that night overnight? I don't know he wakes up hours later in the dark in the quiet and starts walking and is then confronted by ??? In which case it would be the security guard that had the next shift that would maybe have noticed some strange activity, noise, person walking by at an odd hour. I don't know how long their shifts are. So, it could even be the security guard after that that may have something interesting to report. What are the side effects of the date rape drug? Does it make you sleepy and knock you out? For how long? Probably a function of the dosage? So, with 18mg. they should be able to figure out how long he was knocked out for? They have the dosage (approximately) and his weight.

kelkel said...
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Unknown said...

Who was the 3rd guy that went to the game with them? Why is his name never brought up, or anything about him investigated?? William was upset enough to text his gf stating he wanted to kill this guy. SOMETHING IS UP WITH THAT.