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Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

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Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by phil_burton on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:00 pm

Hi guys - apologies for what might seem a dumb question.

Can someone explain the key points around "smithman" please?

I know there are lots of topics on this subject, but I just want a from-the-beginning overview because it's an area of this case that I lack understanding on.

Was he the photo-fit produced from the Smith family sightings? If so, how did that come about? I thought the Smith family had distanced themselves from commenting on the case?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by comperedna on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:10 pm

My goodness Phil, you are opening a can of worms! Why not just put Smithman into the search facility. There will come up enough to keep you reading off and on for days.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:34 pm

@phil_burton wrote:Hi guys- apologies for what might seem a dumb question.

Can someone explain the key points around "smithman" please?

I know there are lots of topics on this subject, but I just want a from-the-beginning overview because it's an area of this case that I lack understanding on.

Was he the photo-fit produced from the Smith family sightings? If so, how did that come about? I thought the Smith family had distanced themselves from commenting on the case?

Thanks in advance
1. 'Smithman' is named after Martin Smith and his family, from Drogheda, Irish Republic

2. Martin Smith and his wife for years prior to 2007 owned a flat in the Estrela da Luz complex built by fellow Drogehda man Gerry Fagan. Martin Smith had met Robert Murat 'several times' and had known him for at least 2 years

3. He and 8 other members of his family were on holiday in Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007

4. On 16 May 2007, 13 days after the date Madeleine was reported missing, it is alleged by the Smiths that Martin Smith's son Peter 'phoned him and said: "Dad, am I dreaming or something, but did we see a bloke carrying a child ['Smithman'] on the evening of 3 May in Praia da Luz"

5. His father, Martin, said words to the effect of: "Gosh, I think you're right son'. Apparently the rest of the family suddenly remembered this as well

6. On 26 May 2007 3 of the Smiths made statements in Portugal to the PJ: Martin, his son Peter, and his daughter Aoife

7. They all said the following:

* it was dark
* the street lighting was poor
* we only saw him for a few seconds at most
* we couldn't see his face properly, and
* we'd none of us be able to recognise him of we saw again.

8. Martin Smith said he could be sure it wasn't Robert Murat

9. Despite this and many other inconsistencies and ouright contradictions, Goncalo Amaral believed their sighting was genuine   

10. On 9 September 2007, the McCanns flew back from Portugal

11. Some 11 days later, Martin Smith told the police that he felt '60% to 80% sure that the bloke he'd seen over 4 months ago was Gerry McCann, based on the fact that Gerry McCann was carrying Sean on his left shoulder

12. That's what practically every other right-handed male does when carrying a tired infant

13. Amaral was again very impressed but never got round to intervieiwing Smith again because he was removed from the investigation on 2 October 2007

14. Sometime during late 2007 or 2008, Brian Kennedy from the McCann Team contacted Smith

15. Sometime probably in the spring or summer of 2008, Henri Exton from Oakley International (fraudster Kevin Halligen's company), acting on behalf of the McCann Team and Brian Kennedy, went to see the Smiths. A shroud of secrecy surrounds this visit

16. It is claimed by Exton that at this meeting he drew up two e-fits of 'Smithman' with the help of at least two members of the Smith family

17. The McCann Team began promoting Smithman

18. In May 2009, a Channel 4 documentary which reproduced the McCanns' version of events suggested that Tannerman and Smithman were one and the same

19. The McCanns promptly listed 'Smithman' as one of their suspects on their 'Find Madeleine' website, adding a 30-second tape recording of a man with an Irish accent describing Smithman

20. Dr Kate McCann in her book 'madeleine' featured Smithman on SIX pages of her book, again suggesting very strongly that Tannerman and Smithman were one and the same 

21. On 14 October 2014, DCI Andy Redwood of Operation Grange surprised almost everyone by producing the two efits and saying, in terms: "This man seen by an Irish family is now our central focus - our lead suspect". A very large number of people suggest that the two e-fits are so different from each other that they cannot possibly be the same man

22. Most people on here and elsewhere think the Smiths really saw someone. Some think it was Gerry McCann carrying Madeleine, who was dead. There are a variety of other theories about who 'Smithman' might be.

23. I maintain that 'Smithman' was a fabrication, along with Tannerman and 'Sagres Man', and my theory has recently been developed and discussed here:

https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t10602-was-wojcek-krokowski-sagres-man-with-a-camera-the-template-for-both-tannerman-and-smithman

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by phil_burton on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:45 pm

Thanks Tony, much appreciated

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by phil_burton on Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:46 pm

@comperedna wrote:My goodness Phil, you are opening a can of worms! Why not just put Smithman into the search facility. There will come up enough to keep you reading off and on for days.

Not trying to open a can of worms I promise - just needed the basic points to understand why it causes such debate!

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by comperedna on Sun Nov 30, 2014 3:59 pm

OK, Phil. I withdraw my comment.  Wasn't being meaning to be nasty.  Tony did the business for you.  Great.  The subject does seem to cause people to get heated! :-0

One of the main reasons I always wanted to teach youngsters to be able to debate and argue without getting angry was to prevent them either resorting to fisticuffs or worse, or to prevent them storming off in a huff as some grown up people on here have done over discussion about the Smiths. You are right to feel it is a key topic.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by sharonl on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:01 pm


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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Guest on Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:44 pm

http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/MARTIN_SMITH.htm

The Smiths' own statements are a good starting point, Phil. The ones in May and also Martin Smith's in the September after seeing GM on the plane steps. Also the correspondence between the various police departments about the Smiths gives more background information, for example, about Brian Kennedy's approach.

All in the link above to the PJ files.
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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by phil_burton on Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:56 pm

Ok, I might be opening the proverbial can now...

Picking up on Tony's point that he believes the Smith statements may have been a fabrication...a fabrication by who? And to what ends?

Tony suggests that the Smiths may have known Murat, so am I on the right lines to think that the fabrication may have been in order to take revenge against the Mccanns/tapas 7 for fingering Murat?

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by plebgate on Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:19 pm

If you read Tony's other posts on Smithman thread,  I think you will find a possible explanation there.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:20 pm

@phil_burton wrote:Ok, I might be opening the proverbial can now...

Picking up on Tony's point that he believes the Smith statements may have been a fabrication...a fabrication by whom? And to what ends?

What we need to do in unravelling this mystery of mysteries is to look carefully and thoroughly at the facts that are available to us.

These are the ones that seem to me to be relevant:

1. The Smiths say they saw a man carrying a child at 10.00pm on Thursday 3 May

2. All 9 of them were there on the morning of Friday 4 May as the police and villagers were everywhere looking for Madeleine

3. None of them thought of reporting their sighting to the police

4. Some of them went home on 4 May; Martin Smith and his wife stayed on until 9 May

5. Day after day not one of them did anything about reporting their sighting to anyone

6. Robert Murat - who was well known to Martin Smith - was pulled in for questioning and declared a formal suspect on 15 May

7. The very next day, so the Smiths claim, Peter 'remembered' the sighting and they told police about it

8. The one and only thing that Martin Smith was sure about was that the man he said he saw was not Robert Murat



Tony suggests that the Smiths may have known Murat, so am I on the right lines to think that the fabrication may have been in order to take revenge against the McCanns/Tapas 7 for fingering Murat?

It's not a 'suggestion' of mine at all, it is a hard fact admitted by the Smiths. What Martin Smith has admitted to, specifically, is that:

* he had met Murat on several occasions and

* he had known him for at least 2 years.

Another interesting fact is that initially Martin Smith denied knowing him as well as that.

There is a substantial body of evidence that, during the early days after Madeleine's reported disappearance, there was a concerted attempt to 'frame' Robert Murat.

This appears to have involved government agencies such as MI5 and Special Branch, government-related companies such as Control Risks Group, Det Chief Supt Bob Small of Leicestershire Constabulary, Jane Tanner - who I.D.'d Murat as the abductor on 13 May - and three members of the Tapas 7 who all claimed they'd seen Murat hanging around the Ocean Club on the evening of 3 May (but later changed their minds and said they'd been mistaken). These three were Rachael Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien.

In those circumstances, one hypothesis is that the Smiths fabricated their 'sighting' in order to help Robert Murat, who had just been declared a suspect the day before   

 


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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Rob Royston on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:12 pm

OK, so Murat was declared am arquido the day before and it made them realise that they had seen something suspicious. They decided to report what they had seen, where's the "fabrication" in that?

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Woofer on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:47 pm

@Phil Burton - Just so you can get both sides of the story, the Smiths did report the sighting to the Portuguese police 2 days later according to Irish Central News and another national newspaper.  Wouldn`t want you to think this forum is biased in any way.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/irish-couple-key-witnesses-as-british-police-launch-new-enquiry-into-madeleine-mccann-case-227647711-237782841.html

"The Smiths gave descriptions to Portuguese police two days after the disappearance but no e-fits or sketches were ever produced until now."

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:49 pm

@Rob Royston wrote:OK, so Murat was declared am arquido the day before and it made them realise that they had seen something suspicious.
Come off it!

After saturation coverage of Madeleine's disappearance day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute almost, for THIRTEEN WHOLE DAYS - on Irish TV as well - and having (so they say) seen a suspicious-looking bloke carrying a young blonde girl of Madeleine's age through the cold dark streets of Praia da Luz at 10.00pm clad in nothing more than pyjamas, NOT ONE OF THE NINE does or says a single thing about their alleged sighting - until the very day after Murat - the bloke Smith's met several times over the past two years - is made a suspect?

And then only because Peter Smith calls his Dad to say: "Was I dreaming or something?"

And then Martin Smith says: "I didn't see the bloke very well - but I just know it wasn't Robert Murat".

To quote Wendy Murphy:

I'm not buying it

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:58 pm

@Woofer wrote:@Phil Burton - Just so you can get both sides of the story, the Smiths did report the sighting to the Portuguese police 2 days later according to Irish Central News and another national newspaper.  Wouldn't want you to think this forum is biased in any way.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/irish-couple-key-witnesses-as-british-police-launch-new-enquiry-into-madeleine-mccann-case-227647711-237782841.html

"The Smiths gave descriptions to Portuguese police two days after the disappearance but no e-fits or sketches were ever produced until now."
@ phil_burton

Woofer has recycled this claim on here ad nauseam.

What she has failed to point out is that these two newspapers printed this claim on 15 or 16 October 2013.

This was more than six years and five months after Madeleine's reported disappearance.

Not once in the previous six years and five months, either in statements to the police, to the press, or anywhere else did any one of the Smiths ever previously claim that they had tried to report their sighting to the Portuguese Police.

This claim appears to have been provided to the newspapers by sources - in order to promote the revelation by DCI Andy Redwood of Scotland Yard on the BBC Crimewatch McCann Show Special on 14 October that 'Smithman' was now his 'central focus'*.

(* Although he provided us with two images of different-looking blokes).

Wouldn't want you thinking we allow posters like Woofer to come on here and mislead us in any way

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Woofer on Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:23 pm

Tony - just wanted to make sure both sides are explained or else it will look as if the forum is biased towards your ideas alone.  None of us know for sure - it is down to individual opinions.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Rob Royston on Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:17 pm

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@Rob Royston wrote:OK, so Murat was declared am arquido the day before and it made them realise that they had seen something suspicious.
Come off it!

After saturation coverage of Madeleine's disappearance day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute almost, for THIRTEEN WHOLE DAYS - on Irish TV as well - and having (so they say) seen a suspicious-looking bloke carrying a young blonde girl of Madeleine's age through the cold dark streets of Praia da Luz at 10.00pm clad in nothing more than pyjamas, NOT ONE OF THE NINE does or says a single thing about their alleged sighting - until the very day after Murat - the bloke Smith's met several times over the past two years - is made a suspect?

And then only because Peter Smith calls his Dad to say: "Was I dreaming or something?"

And then Martin Smith says: "I didn't see the bloke very well - but I just know it wasn't Robert Murat".

To quote Wendy Murphy:

I'm not buying it
Even if they had just reported their sighting yesterday, it still does not make it a fabrication. Mrs Smith asked the man if the child was sleeping so she did not find it an unusual situation. Of course Murat's arrest was the catalyst to them reporting the sighting, but it does not mean they invented it.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by worriedmum on Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:24 pm

@Woofer wrote:Tony - just wanted to make sure both sides are explained or else it will look as if the forum is biased towards your ideas alone.  None of us know for sure - it is down to individual opinions.
agree
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Smithman was seen!

Post by 10:03 on Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:48 pm

Smithman gave the sighting time away in the files. After he passed the Smiths he looked at his watch for his alibi time and remembered it. Overconfidence being his weakness when trying to get the perfect alibi he foolishly gave the time away. The official timeline is completely wrong and 9:50 he was seen according to the McCanns reconstruction. In their dreams! 

"By the way, he clarifies that that news had been communicated to all the friends who were in the Tapas by KM subsequent to her having personally been to her flat to check that her children were well. 

The question asked, he relates that she had gone there alone to do that at 21:50." (Matt Oldfield)


Around 22H00, they left Kelly's Bar. The group headed, on foot, for their apartment. 
— Questioned, she responds that she knows the time that they left. (Aoife Smith)



the last at 21:51, when Kate, Madeleine's mother goes to the apartment, before alerting to the disappearance. (2014 timeline)

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by XTC on Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:00 pm

@Woofer wrote:@Phil Burton - Just so you can get both sides of the story, the Smiths did report the sighting to the Portuguese police 2 days later according to Irish Central News and another national newspaper.  Wouldn`t want you to think this forum is biased in any way.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/irish-couple-key-witnesses-as-british-police-launch-new-enquiry-into-madeleine-mccann-case-227647711-237782841.html

"The Smiths gave descriptions to Portuguese police two days after the disappearance but no e-fits or sketches were ever produced until now."
Are we sure that Madeleine is  " blonde?" The twins were bonde - almost white haired.

The FSS couldn't be sure from memory when choosing hairs to test by colour.

Also in twilight and dim lighting could you categorically say the child seen was blonde?

The reporting of the Smith sighting is interesting in its timing.

This Daily Express link is related to the timing of the Smithman sighting and when the sighting was told to the PJ.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/210032/Madeleine-McCann-Did-the-camera-hold-vital-clue


The Estrela de Luz complex had CCTV which by the time the PJ got to it the tape had been over recorded.

Theoretically had the sighting been given to the PJ within 24 hours could it have been possible that The Smith family
and the child and carrier have been seen on tape complete with times of the two parties?

Two days or sixteen days later depending on the length of the tape would be  too late.

Reporting the incident within Twenty four hours or less could have sent the PJ straight to it.

Unfortunately like SY's and JT's bundleman this person has not come forward.


A puzzle.

Opinion though.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:07 pm

@XTC wrote:
The Estrela de Luz complex had CCTV which by the time the PJ got to it the tape had been over recorded.
Exactly so.

That CCTV could have demonstrated whether or not the Smiths were telling the truth about their family all pitching up back at their Estrela da Luz complex at just after 10.00pm that night - after allegedly calling at Kelly's bar for a swift pint of best/Guiness or whatever, having just finished a meal with drinks at the Dolphin Restaurant

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Guest on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:06 am

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@XTC wrote:
The Estrela de Luz complex had CCTV which by the time the PJ got to it the tape had been over recorded.
Exactly so.

That CCTV could have demonstrated whether or not the Smiths were telling the truth about their family all pitching up back at their Estrela da Luz complex at just after 10.00pm that night - after allegedly calling at Kelly's bar for a swift pint of best/Guiness or whatever, having just finished a meal with drinks at the Dolphin Restaurant
Tony, do you think it strange for a family group on holiday to have a drink in a bar after leaving the restaurant they had been eating and drinking in?

If so, why?

My family always do this. One of the special and precious part of the holiday is socialising in the evening.  And that means prolonging the night if you can. it's something special and 'holidayish' which you don't get to do at home. My children's education has benefited a lot from evenings such as this (I mean in an intellectual conversation sort-of-way in a relaxed environment) smilie
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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by jeanmonroe on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:45 am

My 'question' regarding the 'wiped/over recorded' CCTV 'footage' from the hotel would be....WHY?

The hotel would have 'known' about the 'disappearance', i'm guessing, within minutes, certainly within an hour, because of all the 'search' parties/police, EVERYWHERE!

Very likely 'inquiries' even in that hotel.

But by 'then' no CCTV 'footage' available from that hotel?

thinking

NOT 'likely' i'd suggest!

Did someone, er, 'visit' that hotel asking if they had any CCTV 'footage' that might NOT be 'helpful' and 'offered' to take any 'footage', there might be, to the police, to save the hotel staff time, doing it?

thinking

Yeah, yeah, it's late here and i'm probably 'dreaming'.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by macdonut on Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:02 am

The 12 day delay in reporting the person they saw does seem incredible given that they were in PDL for a few days following Madeleine going missing.  I read that a reason given for this was that "the reported abduction times didn't originally match".  This also seems unlikely.  I know that if I'd seen a man carrying a small girl apparently in a "deep sleep" at any point on the day that a small girl had been reported missing I would have gone immediately to the police.  Yet we're led to believe that not one of the Smith's made the connection until 16th May?

However, I can't think of any clear motive the Smith's would have to lie to the police.  If Martin Smith hadn't made the second report when he saw GM walking down the plane steps, I might have agreed with Tony's suggested hypothesis.  If he was trying to help put his friend Murat in the clear, then the job was done with his original statement when he made it clear the person he saw wasn't Murat.  Under this hypothesis, the second report was pointless.

I actually believe the second report adds weight to those who believe the Smith sightings were genuine.  Unless he was part of some uncoordinated attempt to put GM in the frame, I can't think of a reason for the second report other than it was genuine.

Also, if I was going to make a false report to the police, would I involve so many members of my family?  It was reported that his 13 year old grand-son was interviewed in Ireland.  I find it difficult to believe that he would have coerced a child into making a false statement simply to exonerate someone he knew.

Finally, did he really know Murat better than he has stated?  If so, I feel the police and/or the media would have done enough digging to uncover such a friendship through e-mails/phone calls etc etc.

Personally I think that, on balance, the Smiths are genuine, although there must be more to the delay in reporting their sighting than we currently know.

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Re: Smithman - A Question by phil_burton

Post by Tony Bennett on Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:20 pm

Dee Coy wrote:
Tony, do you think it strange for a family group on holiday to have a drink in a bar after leaving the restaurant they had been eating and drinking in? If so, why? My family always do this...
OK, maybe your family do.

On the specific question of whether the Smiths did go to Kelly's bar on that night, these are the available facts:

1. They paid for their meal at the Dolphin Restaurant at 9.27pm (see receipt in PJ files)

2. They claim they left Kelly's bar at around 9.50pm to 9.55pm

3. There is no receipt from Kelly's bar that matches the claim that they all went there and had a drink

4. There is no proof of the time they reached their apartment in the Estrela da Luz complex that night as the CCTV tape was wiped

5. No-one at Kelly's bar had any recollection of a family of nine people inciuding children trooping into the bar late one night in May

6. Peter Smith's wife was feeling unwell that night as she was several months pregnant and due to fly home early the following morning - not the sort of circumstances which would lead the group to prolong their evening out - they needed to pack, and she needed to rest      

7. Allowing for a few minutes from paying the Dolphin bill, to leaving the restaurant, and then pitching up at Kelly's bar (if they did), they couldn't have been in Kelly's bar for longer than around 20 minutes at most.

All the above facts, taken together with the numerous inconsistences, changes of statements and outright contradictions surrounding their claimed sighting - never mind doing nothing to report it for 13 whole days -  make me doubt very much that it ever happened.

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