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The evidence from two highly trained cadaver dogs who found the ‘smell of death’ in several places in the holiday apartment where the McCanns were staying - and in a car they hired three weeks later.
As suspicions grew in the minds of the Portuguese police that Doctors Kate and Gerry McCann might know what had happened to their daughter, and might even have been involved in some way in her disappearance, the police turned to the British police to help them determine whether Madeleine might have died in Apartment 5A in Praia da Luz, where her parents had been staying from 28th April to 3rd May, the day she was reported missing.
They turned for advice to experienced Leicestershire detective Mark Harrison, who, after a week’s visit to Praia da Luz in July 2007 - in which he analysed all the evidence - advised that the Portuguese police should proceed on the working assumption that Madeleine had died in the McCanns’ apartment, and her body hidden or otherwise disposed of. He then brought in a top police dog handler, Mr Martin Grime, who had two highly-trained springer spaniels under his command: ‘Eddie’, who could detect human cadaverine, the so-called smell of death, and ‘Keela’, in effect a ‘blood-hound’, who could detect the presence of blood.
Dogs, it should be noted, are known to have a sense of smell 10,000 times as strong as that of humans,[a statement also made in the very first minute of this video you have posted, DCB - TB] which is almost beyond comprehension given that we ourselves have such a highly developed sense of smell. The two dogs, trained and used successfully by top police dog-handler Martin Grime over many years, had the ability to use their faculties in two highly specific areas.
Eddie, who has been called ‘the cadaver dog’, can detect the presence of human ‘cadaverine’, a special chemical released from a dead body, usually after the body has been dead for at least two hours (sometimes as short as an hour-and-a-half). It’s important to understand that Eddie is trained only to scent the presence of the special type of cadaverine released by a human corpse. The scent of death from animals is a different form of cadaverine. Keela is a dog trained specifically to detect the presence of blood. She is therefore what is popularly known as a ‘blood-hound’. She has been trained to ignore decomposing body materials other than human blood, freezing with her nose as near to the blood as possible without touching the item, to enable scientists to recover the sample quickly and efficiently. She can even pick out traces of blood after clothing or weapons have been washed many times; when Keela was working on the Abigail Witchalls case, she found eight pieces of blood-stained clothing in just one day.
Claims have been made by the McCanns and their team of legal and PR advisers about the alleged unreliability of cadaver dogs, including suggestions that they have on occasions mistaken pork for cadaver scent. But cadaver dogs have an excellent track record and have been used successfully in several murder trials. They are able to detect the smell of death up to dozens of feet below the surface and even after a body has lain there for years. Spectacular examples of their work can be viewed on many websites on the Internet. In addition, Mr Harrison and Mr Grime, who trained Eddie and Keela, patiently explained that the dogs had traced the ‘smell of death’ - human cadaverine - on around 200 previous occasions. They had never once been wrong.
An article in the Daily Telegraph gave us these details about the dogs:
“The spaniel can sniff out blood in clothes after they have been washed repeatedly in biological washing powder, and can detect microscopic amounts on weapons that have been scrubbed and washed. When faced with a ‘clean’ crime scene, Mr Ellis and PC Martin Grime, Keela’s other handler, will first send in Frankie, a border collie, and Eddie, another springer spaniel, to pick up any general scent. Then they wheel in the ‘big gun’. ‘We take Keela in and she will find the minutest traces of blood’, Mr Ellis said. ‘It’s not like looking for a needle in a haystack any more. The other two dogs will find the haystack and Keela will find the needle’.
“Keela, a 16-month-old springer spaniel, has become such an asset to South Yorkshire Police that she now earns more than the Chief Constable. Her sense of smell, so keen that she can sniff traces of blood on weapons that have been scrubbed after attacks, has her so much in demand by forces up and down the country that she is hired out at £530 a day, plus expenses. Thought to be the only one of her kind, the crime scenes dog earns nearly £200,000 a year. Her daily rate, ten times that of ordinary police dogs, puts her on more than the chief constable, Meredydd Hughes, who picks up £129,963.
“A South Yorkshire police spokesman said: ‘The dogs are the only two in Britain who are capable of finding human blood in small quantities. They are trained to seek buried remains and are put to search on areas which look disturbed, such as broken branches, rubble or turned over earth’. At the end of last year, the FBI sought the dogs' help in a ten-year-old murder investigation in the United States.
So what did Mr Martin Grime’s cadaver dog and blood-hound find?
According to the official police summary report released in July this year - and confirmed by video evidence of the dogs in action in Praia da Luz, widely available on the Internet - Eddie, the cadaver dog, found the ‘smell of death’ in the following places. We quote the exact words of the report:
a) in the McCanns’ apartment, Apartment 5A, Eddie the cadaver the dog detected the scent of a human corpse (human cadaverine):
(i) in the couple’s bedroom, in a corner, around a wardrobe,
(ii) in the living room, behind the sofa, close to the external window of the apartment,
(iii) on the veranda, and
(iv) (a lighter scent) in the garden of the apartment.
Also, a ‘lighter’ scent of death was found in the flower beds in the back yard, near the foot of the steps leading down from the patio.
b) on family items of clothing, Eddie found the scent of a corpse as follows:
(i) on two items of Kate McCann’s clothing, and
(ii) on one item of Madeleine’s clothing - a T-shirt.
c) in addition, Eddie the cadaver dog was taken to the house that the McCanns rented, in a different part of Praia da Luz, after they left Apartment 5A. Eddie found cadaverine on what was said to be Madeleine’s favourite pink soft toy, ‘Cuddle Cat’, which Dr Kate McCann always had with her when being interviewed by the media - but which Eddie detected lying in an otherwise empty cupboard. Here it should be noted that, earlier, Eddie had found Cuddle Cat in the living room at the McCanns’ rented home, tossed it in the air, but not actually ‘marked’ it by barking. He later marked it when the police re-located it in the cupboard.
d) on top of all that, Eddie, sniffing the car from the outside only, detected cadaverine in the car the McCanns hired on 22nd May, less than three weeks after Madeleine ‘disappeared’ - a Renault Scenic:
(i) on the car key
(ii) around the door of the front driver’s seat.
These findings, supported by other forensic evidence, show that a dead body must have begun to emit cadaverine in Apartment 5A - the McCanns’ apartment. That body must have lain dead in that apartment for at least 90 minutes, probably two hours or more. Once that ‘smell of death’ - cadaverine - had begun to be produced, it could then be transferred to other locations such as the hire car, Madeleine’s clothes, Dr Kate McCann’s clothes and Cuddle Cat.
That means that a corpse - that must have been dead for approximately two hours (in order for cadaverine to have been produced) - must have been in direct contact with all of these locations - floor, wardrobe, car, clothes etc. If the body had subsequently been moved, it would still emit cadaverine as it was decomposing. Meanwhile, Keela, the blood-hound, found the smell of blood - note, blood, not just ‘body fluids’:
a) in the living room, behind the sofa, close to the external window of the apartment (exactly where Eddie had found the scent of human cadaverine), and
b) in the McCanns’ hired Renault Scenic:
(i) on the car key
(ii) in the interior of the car boot.
We should note three very important things here. The dogs alerted to the smell of death/blood, separately, in exactly the same places in the apartment. Eddie the cadaver dog only alerted to the smell of death to the McCanns’ apartment, out of all the other ones he was taken to.
Similarly, the McCanns’ car was the only one in the car compound that Eddie alerted to.
Let us be very clear about where the dogs’ evidence takes us.
Records have been checked by the Portuguese police, going back years.
No-one else has ever died in Apartment 5A.
No-one else has ever died in the Renault Scenic.
There was a dead body in Apartment 5A.
There was a dead body in the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns.
That dead body could only be one individual - already dead - who could have been in both Apartment 5A and in the Renault Scenic.
It must have been Madeleine McCann.
Source: Tony Bennett
The Doberman Gang on McCann Gallery
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