this is hard to do justice to because it’s stuff i’ve picked up over years of casually reading true crime articles and, regretfully, the comments on those. so i’m not going to source this but here’s how i’ve understood it:
maura murray disappeared in the early 00s and is currently a missing person. for reasons still unknown to me, her case is widely known and obsessed over — i’ve never gotten a straight answer, i get a lot of generic “it’s fascinating” responses as an explanation, and i personally think it’s a mixture of missing white woman syndrome that was later combined with websleuths (an awful website even worse than reddit for armchair detectives) obsessing, so it just sort of snowballed.
james renner is an author of books on true crime who i’ve seen unfavorably compared to aphrodite jones (think nancy grace rather than actual reporters). he has become one of the better known authors on books about maura murray, but they don’t seem to be very good, frankly. the real issue is that he apparently has alluded to her father being the reason for her disappearance without evidence and because he has basically made his career on her. he would randomly show up (and maybe still does) on unresolvedmysteries to argue or defend himself. so now there’s two camps, people who support his work and people who don’t, and then there’s people sick of hearing about it, etc.
i hope someone corrects me on anything i might’ve gotten wrong! i know this is a bit rushed but i think it mostly covers it.