http://whathappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/What really happened to Madeleine McCann?The BBC Crimewatch programme, 14 October 2013, analysedTen things that may help you to think again about what may have happened to herby our blog correspondent
The familiar story of what happened to Madeleine McCann was rehashed once again on a BBC Crimewatch Special on 14 October 2013.
The only difference between the original story and the one presented to the nation on Crimewatch was this.
The McCanns’ claim that Madeleine was abducted from the their apartment in the Portuguese village of Praia da Luz between 9.10pm and 9.15pm on the evening of Thursday 3 May 2007 has now been changed to between 9.10pm and 9.55pm.
This is because Scotland Yard claim now to have ‘found’ the man the McCanns’ close friend Jane Tanner claimed to have seen carrying a child near the McCanns’ apartment at about 9.15pm on the evening she was reported missing.
There are a great many reasons for doubting either the McCanns’ original version of events in that Portuguese village 6½ years ago or this new ‘Crimewatch’ version of events.
Here we just list ten facts which may help you to think again about what may really have happened to Madeleine.
We strongly suggest that you read further about this case. Along the way in this article, we’ll make suggestions about good places where you can read more.
1. Kate McCann’s refusal to answer any of 48 questions
When Portuguese Police pulled Kate McCann in for questioning on 6 and 7 September, she was asked 48 separate questions to help the police establish what really happened to Madeleine. One of the questions was this simple one: “When you entered the apartment at 10.00pm to check on the children, what did you see?”.
Despite the fact that she was the mother of a missing child and desperate to find her, she refused to answer a single question. Many people cannot understand how a mother of a missing child could refuse to give the police all the help that she could.
The BBC Crimewatch programme never even mentioned this important fact.Further reading: You can read the full list of questions that Kate refused to answer on the BBC website, here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7542939.stm2. Top British cadaver dogs finding the scent of a human corpse in 11 places associated with the McCanns
In August 2007 (three months after Madeleine McCann was reported missing), following advice by Lee Rainbow, Britain’s top police criminal profiler, working for the National Police Intelligence Agency, and another senior British police officer, Mark Harrison, the Portuguese Police decided to use the services of internationally-known police dog handler, Martin Grime (now employed by the F.B.I. on murder investigations in the U.S.).
His two dogs, Eddie, a cadaver dog, and Keela, trained to alert to even the tiniest spots of dried blood, found the scent of a human corpse at 11 locations in Praia da Luz associated with the McCanns. Blood or body fluids were also found at four of those locations - in the McCanns’ apartment and in their hired car.
They did not alert to anywhere else in the village. The chemical emitted from a human corpse is known as ‘human cadaverine’. It is usually only emitted from a corpse after a body has been dead for around two hours. The scent is so powerful that dogs can detect it months or even years after a corpse has been removed from a location. No-one else has ever died in the holiday apartment hired by the McCanns. It could only be the scent from Madeleine’s dead body.
The scent of a corpse was found in these locations:
1) In the McCanns’ apartment: under the window in the living room, in a wardrobe in the parents’ bedroom, on the veranda, and in the garden.
2) On the following items of clothing: two of Kate McCann’s clothes ,and on a red T-shirt belonging to one of the children.
3) In a car hired by the McCanns: in the boot of the car, and on the car key, and on Cuddle Cat, the pink soft toy that Kate McCann carried around with her.
Blood and body fluids which may have been Madeleine’s were found in the McCanns’ apartment and in the hired car.
The McCanns have never properly explained these dogs’ alerts. They have claimed that sniffer dogs are ‘incredibly unreliable’ - despite their increased use in many fields today - including the detection of drugs, explosives and even medical illnesses. In her book on the case, ‘Madeleine’, Kate McCann ridiculed the skills of Martin Grime, an internationally-respected police dog handler. She claimed that the cadaver dogs were not alerting to the past presence of a corpse but to ‘conscious or unconscious signals from Mr Grime’.
The BBC Crimewatch programme never even mentioned the important evidence from one of the world’s top dog handlers.
Further reading: You can see a video of Martin Grime with his cadaver dogs in Portugal, alerting to the scent of a corpse, here:
This film was made public by the Portuguese Police in August 2008 and published by the Sun newspaper.
3. Changes of story
Any one change of story by a parent who is asked by the police to explain why their child has gone missing is always suspicious. In this case there are many such examples. Here are just two:
Within hours of Madeleine being reported missing, the McCanns had ’phoned relatives and the media in Britain. They told them, dramatically, that an abductor had jemmied open the shutters, forced open the closed window, and had stolen Madeleine.
Within 24 hours, however, the McCanns were forced to change their story, because there was absolutely no sign of forced entry. Now they claimed that they had left their patio doors unlocked by mistake, and that the abductor had entered that way. To this day, they can’t explain why the shutters and window were open when Kate McCann arrived at their apartment at around 10.00pm
In his first statement to the police, Gerry McCann said that when he checked on the children at just after 9.00pm the night Madeleine was reported missing, he entered by unlocking the key to the front door of the apartment. In his second statement, six days later, he changed his statement to say that he entered by the patio door.
The BBC Crimewatch programme didn’t mention a single one of these important changes of stories.
Similarly, there are numerous contradictions between the witness statements of the McCanns, their friends and others - again, far too many to list.
One of the most important is an alleged visit made by Dr David Payne, one of the McCanns’ friends, to the McCanns’ apartment at around 6.30pm on the day Madeleine was reported missing. This is important because (if true) this would be the last time Madeleine is supposed to have been seen alive by someone other than the McCanns. But two wholly irreconcilable accounts of this visit have been given.
Kate McCann says that as she was taking a shower (her three children playing quietly on their own), David Payne knocked on the door. She says she quickly put a towel around her, and answered the door. She says that he asked if she wanted to bring the children down to watch Gerry McCann playing tennis, and she said ‘No’. She sent him away. The whole incident lasted just ’30 seconds’ accordi8ng to her.
By contrast, David Payne says that he strolled in through the open patio doors, and chatted to Kate and the three children for at least several minutes, maybe longer, up to half-an-hour.
Like so many other contradictions in this case, they can’t be explained simply by ‘poor recollection’. There is real doubt therefore as to whether this visit ever occurred.
The BBC Crimewatch programme failed to mention this contradiction or any other of the many contradictions in the case.
Further reading: A good analysis of the main contradictions in the case can be found on the website of Canadian researcher ‘HideHo’, at this link.
‘Hideho’ has also made dozens of YouTube videos covering the contradictions in the case and much else about Madeleine’s disappearance. A good place to start is this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YADIaa-a33o - then follow the links to other HideHo YouTube videos using the name ‘HideHo4’.
5. Hiring some of the country’s most expensive public relations experts and lawyers from the outsetDuring the past few years, the McCanns have used at least 8 high profile public relations companies or individuals, and around 20 high profile lawyers. These are considered to be the best (and most expensive) in the country. It is hard to see how any of them could positively help to find a missing child. Many people wonder why so many public relations staff and lawyers are needed, just to look for a missing child. The role of public relations companies and lawyers, of course, is to promote the reputations and defend the interests of their clients - not to find missing children.
Just three days after Madeleine was reported missing, the British government, headed by Tony Blair at the time, appointed the Director of its Media Monitoring Unit, Clarence Mitchell, to head up the public relations operation to support the McCanns. In September 2007, he left the government to work full-time for the McCanns. Six years later, he is still employed by them, at a total cost estimated at £300,000 or more - paid for out of the McCann family’s private company, Madeleine’s Fund.
The lawyers they have hired include Carter-Ruck, the country’s best-known libel lawyers. They have used them several times to suppress, by means of threats of libel actions, anyone who questions their account of events. A reliable estimate of the amount the McCanns have spent on public relations and advisers is £6 million.
One case they brought was against the Portuguese chief inspector, Dr Goncalo Amaral, who made the McCanns suspects in September 2007. He was removed from the Madeleine McCann investigation after complaining of British government interference in his enquiries. He later resigned from the police force and wrote a book, ‘The Truth About A Lie’, in which he said the evidence pointed to Madeleine having died in the apartment and the McCanns having hidden her body.
The McCanns sued him in 2009. At the time of writing (October 2013), the final trial of the action is being heard in the Civil Court in Lisbon. There have been 25 days of legal hearing spread over four years in this bitter dispute, which has cost each party tens if not thousands of pounds.
Although the McCanns succeeded in banning sale of his book in Portugal for 13 months in 2009-10, it went back on sale in October 2010, has been translated into nine European languages, and been read by millions.
The BBC Crimewatch programme failed to mention these legal proceedings, and did not viewers that the McCanns had tried but failed to ban Dr Amaral’s book.
Further reading: An English translation of Dr Amaral’s book can be found on the internet here:
6. Setting up a fund to raise money from the public, within days of Madeleine being reported missing
Within 13 days of Madeleine being reported missing, the McCanns had set up a private limited company, controlled by themselves - not a registered charity - to raise money from the public. This was claimed to be to ‘fund the search for Madeleine’, although family member Brian Kennedy, who lived in the McCanns’ home village of Rothley, admitted on camera that it was ‘mainly for legal expenses’. At the same time, they set up a website to process donations. Yet it was possible that Madeleine might be found by police at any time. Why was it necessary to request all this money from the public?
Since the Fund was set up, the Fund has received millions of pounds from generous British donors. But despite promises by the McCanns that their fund would be ‘transparent’, they have been very secretive about how the public’s generous donations have been used. Much of it has gone to pay public relations advisers and lawyers.
The BBC Crimewatch programme has linked to the McCanns’ website, promoting the McCann family’s fund.
Further reading: Irish chartered accountant Enid O’Dowd has published an in-depth analysis of the McCann’s Fund. You can read it at this link:
7. The lack of any independent evidence of an abductor
Despite the passage of 6½ years, there has never been any independent evidence (that is, from anyone other than the McCanns and their friends) that there was an abductor.
The McCanns relied for years on very dubious claims from their friend, Jane Tanner, that she had seen someone walking away from the McCanns’ apartment at around 9.15pm on the night Madeleine was reported missing. There were many good reasons for regarding her account as fabricated.
In the Crimewatch programme shown on 14 October, DCI Andy Redwood from Scotland Yard claimed that the person Jane Tanner said she saw seen was in fact a man taking his child home from an evening crèche in the village run by Mark Warners at the nearby Ocean Club. Conveniently, Redwood said the man was wearing clothes virtually identical to the description given by Jane Tanner, and carrying a girl in pyjamas virtually identical to those Madeleine was wearing.
Now Scotland Yard have decided to focus on another alleged ‘sighting’ of another man said to have been seen near the beach by an Irishman emerging from a bar at 10.00pm that evening. Even if that Irishman is being truthful, if this man he says he saw carrying a child was the abductor, he would have had to have walked nearly half-a-mile from the McCanns’ apartment to the beach, which would have taken him several minutes. It would be the first time ever that an abductor wishing to take away a child did not have a car ready and available to be able to drive off immediately.
Apart from these two claimed ‘sightings’, there is no other evidence apart from the statements of the McCanns and their friends.
No forensic evidence of a stranger in the McCanns’ apartment has ever been found.
Nobody heard an abductor.
Nobody saw anyone near the McCanns’ apartment between the times now said by the police to be the ‘window of opportunity’ for the abductor: 9.10pm to 10.00pm.
The BBC Crimewatch programme failed to mention the lack of evidence that Madeleine was abducted. Instead, they told viewers that they had been looking for the wrong man for 6½ years - and should now look for another man. But there are severe doubts about the Irish man’s story.
Further reading: A free e-book written by Michael McLean, a retired former police superintendent, examines the lack of evidence that Madeleine was abducted, and much else. There’s an introduction to it here:
and you can read the book directly at:8. The McCanns’ use of disreputable detective agencies staffed by criminals, supposedly to ‘look for Madeleine’
The first detective agency used by the McCanns was the Barcelona company, Metodo 3, which already had a controversial history. Several of its top staff - including the owner - had been arrested over a major telephone tapping scandal in the 1990s. Its current owner, Francisco Marco, was arrested earlier this year for involvement in a new telephone tapping scandal. A number of Metodo 3 staff were arrested for tape-recording the conversations of top Spanish politicians.
During their work for the McCann Team in 2007-8, Metodo 3 employed two investigators, Antonio Giminez Raso and Julian Peribanez, allegedly to look for Madeleine. Antonio Giminez Raso, a former police chief who left the police force under unexplained circumstances before joining Metodo 3, spent four years (2008-12) remanded in prison on charges of theft and misconduct in public office, arising from his involvement with a 27-strong vicious criminal gang. Julian Peribanez has recently admitted to illegally taping the conversations of Spanish politicians and is awaiting sentence.
In addition, the owner of Metodo 3, Francisco Marco, lied in December 2007 by falsely claiming that his men were ‘closing in on Madeleine’s kidnappers’ and that Madeleine would be ‘home by Christmas’.
The next company hired by the McCanns, allegedly to look for Madeleine, was Oakley International. This was a one-man band company owned by fraudster Kevin Halligen, who was remanded in custody in October 2009, suspected of serious fraud. He eventually admitted his crimes, and was recently released after spending four year in jail.
Furthermore, members of the McCann Team set up a bogus company, Alphaig, to give the false impression to the press and public that the two detectives they hired in late 2008, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, were running a thriving detective agency, ‘Alpha Group Investigations’. It was a lie.
Not one of the various detective agencies and individuals employed by the McCanns had any experience whatsoever in finding missing children. Both Metodo 3 and Kevin Halligen were specialists in money-laundering and fraud.
The BBC Crimewatch programme failed to mention any of this very troubling history of the McCann Team hiring a succession of disreputable detectives, some of them even criminals.
Further reading: For articles about Kevin Halligen, visit this link:
For an article about the ALPHAIG deception, see here:
An article about all of the McCanns’ private investigators is here, on The Madeleine Foundation website:9. The strange behaviour of the McCanns
So much could be said about this.
Those who have observed the McCanns’ body language have noted all of the following:
· Lack of genuine sorrow and emotion in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine’s disappearance
· Their ability to sleep normally after just five days sand carry on with many of their normal day-to-day activities, such as jogging
· Their ability to be focused on their campaigns from Day One
· Leaving their remaining two children in the care of others whilst they went campaigning over Europe and even to America and North Africa. to keep up the publicity about Madeleine
· Appearing to be cold and calculating
· Putting on a long face for the cameras but laughing and joking when the cameras are not on them
· Lack of eye contact with their interviewers
· (Gerry) touching his ear or the back of his neck when asked difficult questions.
Then again there are so many strange things they have said, such as:
Gerry, asked by Portuguese TV interviewer Sandra Felgueiras to explain the cadaver dogs’ alerts to a human corpse, replied: “I can tell you that we have also looked at evidence about cadaver dogs (Gerry laughs) and they are incredibly unreliable”.
Planning for the long-term future: Gerry McCann said: “We want a big event to raise awareness she is still missing…It wouldn’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that (3 June 2007) and “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”.
Trade-marking Madeleine’s eye defect (15 July 2007): Gerry McCann said: “The trade-marking of Madeleine’s eye defect was a valuable marketing ploy”.
Referring to Madeleine’s death: Gerry McCann (11 December 2009: “There is no evidence that we were involved in Madeleine’s death” and Kate McCann (interview by CTN, 2008 ) "It really isn't easy…"Some days are better than others. ... There's days when you think, 'I can't do this anymore,' and you just want to press a button, and we're all gone, and it's all finished, and we're all together and gone… "
Confusion is good : Gerry McCann, (24 August 2007, Scottish TV interview): ““And, in fact, one of the slight positives in all of this is that there is so much rumour about what did and didn't happen, it's actually very difficult, if you're reading the newspapers, watching TV, to know what is true and what's not”.
The BBC Crimewatch programme never referred to any of the above matters.
Further reading: The McCanns’ body language can be seen on countless TV interviews and documentaries. Excerpts of many of these appear on YouTube. A good place to start is the YouTube video, ‘McCanns…body talk’ by ‘MrNotbornyesterday1’ at this link:
Several similar analyses of the McCanns’ body language can also be seen on YouTube.10. The active involvement of the British government in helping the McCanns It would be only natural for any government to offer consular assistance to a couple whose child had disappeared abroad. But the extent of government help in the McCann case has been vast and entirely unprecedented. We will just give the briefest summary of the extent of it.
The Head of Tony Blair’s Media Unit, (Clarence Mitchell), who reported direct to the Cabinet Office, was appointed the McCanns’ chief spokesman three days after Madeleine was reported missing - and has remained their spokesman for the last 6½ years
After ceasing to work for the McCanns full-time, Mitchell became a PR consultant at Freud Communications (owned and run by Matthew Freud, Rupert Murdoch’s son-in-law).
Two years later, Mitchell was handed the job of David Cameron’s Deputy Director of Communications, working under former News of the World Editor, Andy Coulson (now awaiting trial on ‘phone hacking charges).
There are a number of references to staff from MI5 (not MI6) being sent to Praia da Luz in the early days of the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.
Contrary to normal diplomatic procedures, the British Ambassador to Portugal rushed to Praia da Luz and immediately began interfering with the Portuguese investigation, even preventing the Portuguese Police seizing some of the McCanns’ clothes as evidence.
Gerry McCann had many personal telephone calls with Gordon Brown in the weeks after Madeleine was reported missing. At the time (May 2007), Brown was the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was the duty of the Foreign Secretary, not the Chancellor, to assist a British person abroad. Gerry and Kate also spoke to Tony Blair.
Gordon Brown then put pressure on the Portuguese Police to release the description of an abductor based on the claims of Jane Tanner - which Scotland Yard has now ruled out as not being the abductor.
On 27 June 2007 (just 55 days after Madeleine was reported missing), Gordon Brown became Prime Minister. He was notified by the Portuguese government that Goncalo Amaral would be removed from his post before Amaral himself was told. It is also on record that Brown discussed the Madeleine McCann case personally with Portuguese President Jose Socrates during discussions in 2007 on the European Union’s ‘Lisbon Treaty’.
On 12 May 2011, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave way to pressure from Rebekah Brooks, the Chief Executive Officer of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, and ordered the Metropolitan Police to begin a review, with an initial budget of £2.5 million, of the Madeleine McCann case. Some 2½ years later, after a re-investigation began in June 2013, the Met’s enquiry has now cost around £6 million - and is likely to last many more months, if not years.
Much more could be written about the involvement of government agencies at the highest level in supporting the McCanns.
The BBC Crimewatch programme did not deal with why the McCann family had received this wholly disproportionate level of government help. .
Further reading: An article about Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ chief public relations spokesman, can be found here: http://clarencemitchell.webs.com/ A short YouTube video which explores how Rebekah Brooks forced the British Prime Minister to set up the costly current Scotland Yard re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance is here:
Another publication by the ‘What Happened to Madeleine McCann’ blogspot, in the interests of the truth about Madeleine’s disappearance – October 2013