There is no doubt that the breakthrough announced by the Metropolitan police in the Madeleine McCann inquiry is significant. Identifying a potentially linked series of sex attacks, as detectives on the inquiry have done, has been the key to solving similarly high-profile cases of sexually motivated crimes in the past.
It was the identification of connected sex attacks that after years of failures solved the murders of Caroline Dickinson, 13, who was sexually assaulted and suffocated in a hostel in Brittany in 1996, and Rachel Nickell, sexually attacked and murdered on Wimbledon Common in 1992.
Where there is a linked series of sexually motivated attacks, there is a pattern of often escalating behaviour by a committed sexual predator. It has always been the belief of seasoned detectives that any inquiry into what happened to Madeleine should have examined in detail the presence of known sex offenders in the area, something that was not done with any rigour by the Portuguese.
It is also probable that what we are being told about the 12 crimes – sexual assaults and attempted assaults – in western Portugal, which the police are saying may be connected, is not all that detectives know. If there is a hint of DNA left behind by a suspected perpetrator in any one of these crimes, then the breakthough is more profound. The years that have passed – nearly seven – since Madeleine McCann was abducted from her parents' apartment in Praia de Luz, make it much harder for the police to find the truth about what happened to her, but not impossible.
In the Nickell case, it was the DNA left by a sexual attacker who came to be known as the Green Chain Rapist that helped lead detectives to the right man – Robert Napper – 16 years after the murder and after repeated failures and a concerted attempt to fit up an innocent man. In the Dickinson case, it was also many years later that police pulled the threads together and identified a series of sexual assaults on girls aged 12 and 13 by the itinerant Francisco Arce Montes, finally bringing justice. But there are aspects to the emerging evidence of a sexual predator being active in the holiday resorts of western Portugal that could be devastating for Madeleine's parents. Research shows that such predators do not leave their victims alive for long – a matter of hours is usual. Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood admitted that what they have uncovered means Madeleine might not have left the apartment alive.
There are also huge obstacles for the British police to get around as they pursue this lead on the disappearance of the three-year old. Diplomatic until now as they tiptoed around the sensitivities of the Portuguese police and prosecutor, senior Met officers openly express frustration at the arm's-length nature of the investigation they are trying to run. The Met still does not have its own team in place Instead, Redwood and his team are having to go through the lengthy process of making formal written applications for assistance from the Portuguese in order for the inquiries to be carried out.
"I am frustrated that the legal process is as slow as it is," said deputy assistant commissioner Martin Hewitt. "It's frustrating because we know what we want to do, but the process is the process.".
Case solved, so forget about the jemmied windows, the changing statements of the T9, the smell of death in the apartment and the car. Forget about the refusal to do a reconstruction, the locked doors that later changed to unlocked doors. And the list goes on. This is a farce. Maybe we should all pack up and go home, lock our doors, and keep our heads down, because if this case is going the way I think it is, then we are on our own, with no one to protect us against the injustices of this stinking, corrupt country!
And with that thought, I am off to bed, so I bid all truth seekers a peaceful night.
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These journos who never ask a pertinent question of the McCanns or the Police should be thoroughly ashamed - they simply aren't doing their job. This one is talking as though this is the first we have heard of these allegations but as has been pointed out by others here, it was the McCann detective Edgar who raised this back in 2009. Reporters on a national newspaper should know the background to the case. She clearly doesn't. Why have the UK Police not issued any warnings to holidaymakers on the Algarve over the last 5 years? And why does Redwood issue no warning now?
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She dosen't have to 'know' about the background to the case,
The McCanns have TOLD her what 'happened'
And that's ALL she needs to 'know'!
Just like all their dismal 'witnesses' in their libel case against GA.
They all gave their 'evidence' based solely on 'what the have McCanns TOLD me'
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Right. Does anyone remember "no credit cards", refusing medical files, the rogatory letter?
Anyway, as predicted, it's the fault of the Portuguese
"And if Madeleine had hurt herself inside the apartment, why would that be our fault?" Gerry
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Wow i cant believe it took them this long..the dogs tried to tell everyone
that seven years ago i believe.Finally!
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In the Nickell case, it was the DNA left by a sexual attacker
Which of course everyone leaves without choice.
Except in 5A, where none was found.
What a mess for the parents.
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