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Post by Verdi on 22.08.18 13:02

‘Pray like mad,’ begs tearful Kate McCann

Steven Swinford - 4th May 2008

THE mother of Madeleine McCann broke down in tears before a packed church yesterday and urged the congregation to "pray like mad" for her daughter's safe return.

Gerry and Kate McCann marked the first anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance by attending a service at their local church in Rothley, Leicestershire.

In an impromptu speech Kate said: "Please stay with us, stay with Madeleine and keep praying. Pray like mad."

In an interview before the anniversary the couple revealed they had been given new hope in the search by the "massive" response to their appeal for fresh information last week.

Their team of private investigators are combing hundreds of recorded calls and e-mails for further leads.

Gerry said: "The lines have been overwhelmed; we've had to call additional operators in.

"Who knows what is going to be the key piece of information? The abductor does not live in isolation; the abductor was in Praia da Luz; the abductor needs food and water."

The couple took the opportunity to reject claims that they appeared cold and unemotional in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance.

Kate recently viewed footage from last year and said she could not recognise herself.

Gerry added: "One week on \ Kate went to an Anglican service. I was working that day, being interviewed. And Kate was being carried; it looked like she was going to die."

The couple believe that the anniversary could be one of the last chances to put Madeleine's image in the public eye.

Kate said: "The media attention will wane after Madeleine's fifth birthday later this month. Media-wise it could be our last chance."

Brian Kennedy, the home improvements tycoon backing the McCanns, admitted yesterday that he flew to Portugal last November and spent an evening with Robert Murat, apart from the McCanns the only other official suspect. A source close to Kennedy said he was "gathering information".

Kennedy's lawyer, Ed Smethurst, approached Murat through a mutual friend and said that Kennedy wanted to offer him a job.
But the job offer never transpired. Kennedy spent the evening with Murat and his lawyers at his aunt's house in Praia da Luz, discussing Madeleine's disappearance.

He left with a "flea in his ear" after being confronted over reports that Metodo 3, the McCanns' private investigators, had suspicions about Murat.

Is it common parlance in Christian circles to 'pray like mad'?  What is she praying like mad for - a miracle?  Dream on!

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by willowthewisp on 22.08.18 14:16

Hi Verdi, I take it that the Portugal PJ case had been put on hold,(Lack of evidence) November 2008?

When Brian Kennedy had met up with Robert Murat,(job offer, assignment completed,Martin Brunt,contract,Sky News?),as if the case had not been filed by then,weren't they interfering with a Police investigation?

how has Mr Brian Kennedy been allowed to have so much significant involvement into person's he,d never met,with a very large magnet of people from Carter Ruck,Adam Tudor etc?

Have you seen the film,"Man on Fire" Denzil Washington,La Hermandad!

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Post by Verdi on 22.08.18 16:54

Have the McCanns really chosen the best private detectives to find Madeleine?


Last updated at 22:15 02 December 2007

£50,000 a month in fees. A sleepy office 700 miles from the crime. Outrageous claims of progress. Have the McCanns really chosen the best private eyes to find Madeleine?

The heavy oak front door swings open and a dog sidles through the gap, sniffing at the marble stair outside.

It is not a bloodhound, as one might expect to find at the headquarters of what is currently the world's most high-profile and - allegedly - tenacious private detective agency, but a black poodle called Royale.

A woman is calling it as I step past and inside. She stares at me, puzzled, then scuttles off, leaving me alone in the art nouveau entrance hall, which smells of cigars and stale perfume.

Silence reigns. No buzzing telephones. No banks of computers. No staff obviously waiting for, or working towards, the breakthrough - even though they are "very, very close to finding those responsible", according to the boss.

At one end of the office suite, overlooking the street, is a dark and empty room with huge, buttoned leather armchairs.

An old man, with a mournful face and a grey three-piece suit to match, is standing in the shadows watching me. He cannot speak English, it seems.

A large number of box files are piled on a side table, at least suggesting some recent activity.

It is only then, above the paperwork, that I see it, the first evidence of the reason for my visit. It is a small poster bearing the word 'Missing'.

Below that is the now iconic face of four-year-old Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, seven months ago.

Occupying the first floor of an elegant block in central Barcelona, this is the office of the Metodo 3 detective agency.

It claims to be the biggest in Spain. Now they are arguably the most famous on the planet, having been hired in early autumn by Madeleine's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann.

Outside the realms of fiction, private eyes rarely have any kind of public profile. But the McCann case is different.

Metodo 3, and in particular its director Francisco Marco Fernandez, is generating the kind of publicity enjoyed by sleuths such as Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.

"Our staff interviewed the McCanns for ten hours, enough time for us to tell if they were trying to fool us," he told a Spanish newspaper on taking the case.

"My specialists assure me they are not hiding anything. I would not risk the prestige this agency has gained over 23 years without being convinced there is a case. For me this is a special case."

That is something of an understatement. With 40 men and women allegedly on the trail between the Atlantic coast and Saudi Arabia, Metodo 3 is being paid £50,000 a month, earning them £300,000 over the six-month contract.

The bill is being picked up by the Find Madeleine Fund, which has so far raised £1.1m. Some £700,000 has already been spent on the inquiry and publicising Maddie's disappearance.

The Madeleine McCann case has shown the Portuguese police to be a laughing stock. But is Metodo 3 any more capable of solving the case?

You might ask why the McCanns chose a Spanish agency 700 miles away from the scene of the crime. One reason is that it is illegal in Portugal for a private investigation to be carried out on a case that is being pursued by the police.

A jail sentence of two years can be imposed for what could be construed as an obstruction of justice.

Off the record, the police say they will tolerate Metodo 3 - as long as they don't interfere with evidence or speak to witnesses. Some obstacle.

Nor have doubts over the private sleuths' abilities been lessened by their repeated extravagant, if not reckless, pronouncements.

The latest inflated claim was made last month to a BBC Panorama team, when Francisco Marco, son of the firm's founder, proclaimed: "We're 100 per cent sure Maddie is alive."

He added: "We're sure she was abducted and we are very, very close to finding those responsible."

The claim caused an embarrassed Clarence Mitchell, the McCann's official spokesman, to brief the media that the private detective had simply got "carried away".

They were not nearly as close to a breakthrough as had been depicted.

The question has now become one of the agency's credibility.

"With an average of 2,000 cases per year, we have established ourselves as the Number One company in the Spanish market," boasts Metodo 3 on its website.

It lists its areas of expertise as being: insurance, financial, legal, franchises, fraud, mutual insurance, patent and trademark falsification, information protection and due diligence.

However, there is no suggestion of missing persons, or even cases outside the commercial sphere. Indeed, in a 2003 interview, Francisco Marco said:

"As we're not specialists in dealing with private individuals, we stayed away from this area.

"Our focus is companies. Many detective agencies deal with private matters such as infidelities but we want to make this for business people and businesses... Since detective work is mostly in the private field (family, infidelity, etc) we decided that our target was the business area. And there is where we have been ever since."

It emerged last week that five senior members of the company were once arrested in a phonetapping-scandal linked to leading politicians and businessmen.

Their offices were raided and police seized guns, ammunition, listening equipment, cassettes and transcripts of taped phone calls.

But the 1995 case was dropped by a judge after defence lawyers levelled accusations of police entrapment.

Manuel Marlaska, a journalist from Spain's best-known investigative magazine Interviu, says: "They are the most prestigious detective agency in Spain.

"But the work they are doing now seems strange. They do not have any experience of working with such a high-profile case as that of Madeleine McCann.

"Most of their work is to do with investigating company fraud."

This is perhaps reflected in the fact that all of Metodo 3's senior directors are lawyers rather than former policemen.

One well known missing persons case that the firm has been linked with is that of Francisco Paesa, an arms dealer and double agent.

Working with the Spanish government in the 1980s, Paesa had sold missiles to Eta, the Basque terrorist group. The weapons were secretly fitted with surveillance devices and, as a result, important arrests were made.

Paesa also helped expose Luis Roldan, the corrupt former head of the Spanish Guardia Civil. The arms dealer then faked his own death in Thailand and his family lodged a death certificate in a Spanish court.

The authorities were not convinced that he was dead, suspecting that their double agent had disappeared with the money stolen by Roldan.

But Paesa was tracked down by Metodo 3 - acting on behalf of a client who claimed to have been defrauded by him - in Luxembourg, living under the name of Francisco Pando.

While they got their man, this was more of a fraud case with added glamour, not a possible child murder or abduction involving paedophiles.

Despite the fact that no reference to them appears on its website, Metodo 3 has claimed involvement in 23 cases of missing children.

The firm boasted that it had cracked them all, including the rescue of a teenage boy from the clutches of an "evil pervert".

But these claims have never been substantiated and without more detail are impossible to verify. Spanish police say they can neither confirm nor deny the claims.

What then of Metodo 3's performance so far in the McCann case?

In October, its boss Francisco Marco declared he was 'convinced' Madeleine had been "kidnapped to order" by a Moroccan paedophile gang and spirited out of the country. He now knew she was being held in the Rif mountains.

This sparked a rash of sightings of blonde girls in Morocco, to which Metodo 3 agents were sent.

Morocco's interior ministry eventually felt moved to declare that Metodo 3's reports had no credibility and the agency's theories were also questioned by a prominent British crime profiler.

Metodo 3's insistence that Madeleine was abducted by a paedophile gang who stole the child to order showed a "distinct lack of understanding of paedophiles and how they work", criminal analyst Mark Williams-Thomas warned.

Mr Williams-Thomas, who worked on the Sarah Payne murder inquiry, said: "If Madeleine was abducted by a predatory paedophile the likelihood of her surviving after 48 hours are slim.

"But if she is alive she would not be out in the open and spotted by general members of the public. She would be hidden away. Even in these remote areas of Morocco, nobody could risk her being seen."

There was one further question: why on earth would Metodo 3 announce a possible lead before it had been thoroughly checked out?

In fact, why was Francisco Marco apparently showing his hand at every turn?

He has gone on the record as being 'certain' that Madeleine was seen on May 4 in northern Portugal.

Recently Metodo 3 were briefing the media that they believed Madeleine had been abducted by British expat suspect Robert Murat, his German girlfriend Michaela Walczuch and her estranged husband Luis Antonio.

Ms Walczuch says she has an alibi. In this tangled mass of claims and contradictions the private detectives are beginning to resemble the discredited local police they were brought in to replace.

However, Metodo 3 has also clearly got under the skin of the Portuguese police. On the day that I visited the firm in Barcelona, a police source described the Spanish agency as 'small fry' adding 'they are irrelevant'.

When I visit, the Metodo 3 nerve centre could not be more low key.

After whispers in a back room a thirtysomething man eventually appears and tells me that no, the agency will not be responding to police brickbats. In fact, there will be no statements at all: "We are not attending the press today."

I am politely ushered out, as Royale, the disobedient poodle, is finally collared and persuaded to return. The ace manhunters have at least got their dog.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Verdi on 22.08.18 17:19

Madeleine: Pictured in handcuffs, the McCann detective once held over phone tapping


Last updated at 18:16 25 November 2007

The private detectives hunting for Madeleine McCann were once arrested in a phone-tapping scandal linked to leading politicians and businessmen.

Five senior members of the family-run firm Metodo 3 – including director-general Francisco Marco, who is liaising with Kate and Gerry McCann – were held amid claims of industrial and political espionage.

Mr Marco's mother, Maria Fernandez Lado, 57, who founded the agency 23 years ago, was pictured in handcuffs after being arrested as she handed a client a cassette allegedly containing a phone-tapped conversation.

In a raid on Metodo 3's Barcelona offices, police seized handguns, ammunition, listening equipment, cassettes and transcripts of taped phone calls.

But the 1995 case was dropped by a judge after defence lawyers levelled accusations of police entrapment.

However, The Mail on Sunday's findings – including transcripts of conversations in which Mr Marco's mother allegedly offers a tapping service – will bring into question the suitability of the firm in running the McCanns' investigation.

It is not known if the McCanns are aware of Metodo 3's past. But a fellow private investigator said last night: 'They have portrayed themselves as the best investigators in the world. The truth is they are nothing of the sort. Their murky background is riddled with controversy.'

Metodo 3 hit the headlines three weeks ago after lawyer Mr Marco boasted that he would find Madeleine, below, in months.

He said his agency was '100 per cent sure' Madeleine was alive and 'not maybe...but very close' to finding the four-year-old's abductor.

It was reported that the firm has up to 40 detectives on the case. However, company accounts reveal a section of Metodo 3 made a net loss of £61,500 in 2005 and had a full-time staff of just 12. They claim they now have 27.

The McCanns commissioned Metodo 3 on a six-month contract as Portuguese police targeted them over their daughter's disappearance and appeared to lose interest in finding her alive.

Gerry McCann has privately voiced his trust in Metodo 3, which was hired by the couple's multi-millionaire-backer, Brian Kennedy, a double glazing tycoon.

Yet in a police investigation Mr Marco's mother, known as Marita, was arrested as she handed over a recording of a tapped phone call.

She was also taped in an undercover sting allegedly claiming: 'I did tapping... fundamentally for people I had known for a long time.'

Also held were her husband Francisco Marco Poyuelo, 60, Francisco Marco, 35, his brother Francisco Gabriel Fernandez Lado, 36, and employee Oscar Trujillo, 40. The detainees were held in custody for 48 hours but were never charged after an investigating judge threw the case out.

Detectives had persuaded a businessman to meet Marita posing as a client. It was a clear-cut case of police entrapment.

However, a police report and a transcript of a conversation claims Marita allegedly offered to illegally tap phones for £15,000 to £21,000.

In the police transcript Marita allegedly told the 'client': 'Phone tapping...It's very dangerous at the moment. It's very dangerous, very dangerous. But not dangerous for me!'

Police had launched the operation after Spanish phone giant Telefonica suspected an employee was involved in illegal tapping and industrial espionage.

Officers monitored worker Sergio Sancelestino's phone calls and discovered he had close links to Metodo 3. A police report stated: 'It was established that Sergio Sancelestino maintained frequent contact with the management of the Metodo 3 detective agency, and that they could be carrying out illegal phone-tapping, obtaining large financial rewards for those jobs.'

Undercover police claim they watched as Metodo 3 and three Telefonica employees tapped a telephone.

Police swooped as Marita handed over a tape, then raided six other addresses. But four months later the case was 'archived' and the judge said there was no evidence Metodo 3 had been involved in phone tapping or profited from it.

Francisco Marco yesterday claimed that the allegations made against his company had been provoked by their own investigation into state corruption.

He said: 'The judge said it was all made up by the police.' He added his firm was very healthy.

The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said the agency retained their confidence and was not acting illegally for them. Meanwhile, it was reported in Portugal that police had looked at whether the McCanns had 'sold' Madeleine.

The theory was later dismissed.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Verdi on 22.08.18 17:29

McCanns could face charges over security firm

David Brown: The Times in Praia da Luz
September 25, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann could face criminal charges for using a private security company to investigate the disappearance of their daughter, a senior Portuguese judge has said.

The couple have been secretly receiving advice for more than four months from Control Risks Group, which employs former members of the British intelligence services and special forces.

News of the investigators' role has led to deep concern amongst the authorities in Portugal, where it is illegal for private detectives to become involved in criminal cases.

A source close to the McCann's legal team has confirmed the involvement of Control Risks Group but insisted it is simply providing advice on the hunt for Madeleine rather than becoming actively involved in searches in Portugal.

He said: "You can assume that they are doing some things that the Portuguese police can't do. Nothing illegal is being done in Portugal."

Antonio Martins, president of the Association of Portuguese Judges, told the 24 Horas newspaper: "It is still up to the state to carry out criminal investigation. That kind of activity has no legal standing. Anything that results from private investigation has no substance."

The judge said that Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, from Rothley, Leicestershire, could be charged with "obstruction of justice" if prosecutors find evidence of a parallel investigation. The couple are already official suspects in the disappearance of their daughter from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz 145 days ago.

A high-ranking officer in the Polícia Judiciária, which is investigating the disappearance of Madeleine shortly before her fourth birthday, said that the investigators could be arrested if they are found operating in Portugal. "If they come here they will be running a serious risk of being arrested," he said.

Carlos Anjos, President of the Judicial Police Inspector's Union, accused to Mr and Mrs McCann of using "diversion tactics". Mr McCann had previously said that they had decided not to use private detectives.

"This is just another McCann strategy who today say one thing and tomorrow something completely contrary," said Mr Anjos "This can only be another diversion tactic from the McCanns."

Meanwhile, the only other official suspect in the case yesterday denied a report that he was seen outside the Ocean Club resort on the night Mrs McCann claimed that Madeleine had been abducted from her bed.

Robert Murat, 33, has insisted he was at home with his mother at their villa 100 yards from the resort where Madeleine was staying. Mr Murat later worked as an official translator for the police investigating Madeleine's disappearance.

Charlotte Pennington, who worked as a nanny in the Ocean Club resort, said: "He was outside the lobby just before we started on our big search.

"He was adamant that he wasn't there. But he was. He was there in the road, he was just looking. It was about 10.30. He was just watching. I didn't know his name then. But the next day he was our interpreter and I met him then. He didn't take part in the searches, but he was there."

Miss Pennington, 20, from Leatherhead, Surrey, said she was one of the first people to go into the McCann's two-bedroom apartment and was interviewed by Portuguese detectives for more than four hours.

Mr Murat insisted today: "I certainly was not there that night. She [Miss Pennington] never saw me. At no point that night was I there outside that apartment. I can confirm that I did translate for her but I did not say anything more."

Mr Murat said that he had not been accused of being seen at the resort by police until three friends who were staying in Praia da Luz with the McCanns returned to Portugal to give evidence against him at the police headquarters in Portimao.

Portuguese police brought together Mr Murat, from Hockering, Norfolk, and Rachael Oldfield, 36, Dr Russell O'Brien, 36, and Dr Fiona Payne, 34, to compare their versions of events on July 12. The friends told Mr Murat that they saw him at the Ocean Club on May 3.

Mr Murat said: "It was the first I heard of it. I don't know why they don't look at the people who were outside the apartment that night. They must have a list."

A Portuguese newspaper claimed yesterday that British sniffer dogs had searched the British homes of the seven friends who were dining with the McCanns while their daughter was allegedly being abducted.

The unconfirmed report in Jornal de Notícias said that a "cadaver" dog had detected the scent of a corpse on clothing in one of the homes. It was claimed that Portuguese prosecutors are to write to the friends asking them to return for more questioning.

A spokeswoman for Leicestershire police, which is leading the British end of the investigation, said: "As the inquiry into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a Portuguese police investigation it is not appropriate for us to comment on it.

"Our role is to assist the Portuguese authorities, when and if they request it, with UK based enquiries. But because it is a Portuguese investigation, and because of the judicial system there, we are not able to disclose the nature of those enquires."

A source, who has knowledge of the Leicestershire police inquiry, told the Evening Standard today that officers thought it unlikely that that the couple would be charged.

"It is very unlikely that British police would question the McCanns on behalf of Portuguese now. That would have to be done there," he said. "It looks like the case is moving away from the McCanns and officers here feel it is unlikely they will be charged. It is not clear how much longer Leicestershire police will be involved in the investigation."

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Verdi on 23.08.18 0:50

First Madeleine McCann book to be published

The book ends with the return of the McCanns to the UK

By Megan Levy and agencies

8:11AM GMT 31 Oct 2007

The first book on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is set to be published next week by one of Portugal’s best known crime reporters.

Hernani Carvalho’s book, Maddy 129, traces the 129 days between four-year-old’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz to her parents being named as official suspects in the case.

Mr Carvalho told the Daily Mail that his investigation, with co-author Luis Maia, produced a "series of questions" about the timing of Madeleine’s disappearance.

The book did not present a theory about what happened to Madeleine, but analysed what Mr Carvalho said were discrepancies in the case.

The book ends with the emotional return of Kate and Gerry McCann to their home in Rothley, Leicestershire on September 9, which marked the "the end of a cycle", Mr Carvalho said.

“After all the information about the case, what stands out is a series of doubts and contradictions, facts that do not fit,” he told the Daily Mail.

"We don't have a theory about what happened to Madeleine. What we have is all the things that are said to have happened and do not match up.”

Mr and Mrs McCann are formal suspects, or arguidos, in the police investigation, however they have strenuously denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Verdi on 23.08.18 13:05

Madeleine: Now British police ask if twins are 'at risk'

Last updated at 08:11 11 September 2007

The McCanns are under investigation from British police and social services to assess whether their twin son and daughter are at risk.

Given the gravity of the allegations facing the McCanns, social services have no choice but to examine any possible risk to young children who have endured four months in the glare of the media spotlight.

The couple awoke yesterday after their first night back in the village of Rothley since they flew home on Sunday without Madeleine.

When they realised, last Thursday, that Mrs McCann was to be made an official suspect in the disappearance of her daughter, they vowed to remain in Portugal to clear her name. However, during 13 hours of interrogation, Portuguese detectives threatened her with the terrible ultimatum of confessing - or losing her twins.

Officers said they would charge both her and her husband in connection with the case, and claimed that bail would be denied while they awaited trial.

This would have resulted in the twins perhaps being taken into care by Portuguese social services for at least a year.

Hurriedly, the McCanns arranged to return to Britain - only to find that Leicestershire police were discussing them social workers.

John Coughlan, Joint President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, explained: "In cases such as this, social workers working for the host authority need to make a sober assessment of the facts in the case.

"At the meeting they would try to establish what they know and what they don't - and would use that to try and determine whether there is any real risk to the children.

"If they decide that there is a risk, they would then consider what they are going to do about it, step by step."

He added: "In most cases, social service workers do not come crashing down the drive and snatch the children. They are much more likely to take a more measured approach."

Technically, if social workers conclude that there is a real risk to the twins, they could move to take the two children away from their 39-year-old parents.

In this case, the Leicestershire social workers are unlikely to have a great deal of reliable information about the McCanns' behaviour.

As the Portuguese police force would not hand over information that may be used in a criminal prosecution, the British social workers may therefore decide to carry out an initial interview with the McCanns before taking further action.

Nevertheless, Mr McCann's sister Philomena revealed that the family are preparing for the worst.

She said: "Madeleine's godmother is down at Rothley right now and she is prepared to step into the breach if Gerry and Kate are asked to return to Portugal.

"The family are more than willing to look after the children and they will not become wards of the state here or anywhere else."

Yesterday the McCanns were visited at their large modern home by a police "crime reduction officer" who explained that he gives information about "personal safety".

The visit raised fears that the couple could be targeted by members of the public who believe they are responsible for Madeleine's death.

Back in Portugal, a police source said phone calls to and from the couple form "a major strand" of the inquiry.

For more than a month, the couple have been under round-the-clock surveillance, with their calls recorded and their e-mails intercepted by the Portuguese police.

Now it is alleged that something said on the phone has added to detectives' conviction that Madeleine died the night she went missing.

The Mail has discovered new details about the conclusions drawn by the British scientists.

Portuguese police believe the crucial forensics supports their case that some terrible harm came to Madeleine in the apartment.

A source in the UK said last night the results of toxicology tests were "significant", indicating that police are focusing on some sort of medication or poison in the apartment.

The McCanns have repeatedly denied accidentally overdosing their daughter on sedatives to help her sleep while they went out to dinner.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Jill Havern on 24.08.18 10:00

By Tony Bennett, Secretary of the Madeleine Foundation

On Friday 12 March this year, The Madeleine Foundation wrote to the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, making a number of points in relation to any proposed review of or re-investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

One of our key points was that any review or re-investigation should not be carried out by Leicestershire Police, as we believed them to be wholly discredited in terms of their failure to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance without fear or favour. According to a report in the Daily Telegraph last week: “A Home Office spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that the Home Secretary had a private meeting with Kate and Gerry McCann. Leicestershire Police stand ready to co-ordinate and complete enquiries if further information comes to light in the UK; or if requested to do so by the Portuguese authorities, who continue to lead on the overall investigation’.” We strongly advised the Home Secretary to select an independent police force to carry out any review or re-investigation, not Leicestershire.

The Daily Star report

Yesterday's [18 March] Daily Star carried this report (below), announcing that West Yorkshire Police had been approached by the Home Office to carry out some kind of re-investigation into the Madeleine McCann mystery.


18th March 2010 - By Jerry Lawton

THE police team who found hoax kidnap victim Shannon Matthews are to probe Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team (HMET) will study Portuguese police files.

Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both 41, are said to be “delighted’’ at the move. It follows a meeting with Home Secretary Alan Johnson at which they begged him to relaunch the official search for their daughter.

He asked the Child Exploitation Centre And Online Protection Centre to appoint a new investigating force. They have called in HMET, whose officers found Shannon, then aged nine, alive 24 days after she vanished in Dewsbury, West Yorks, in February 2008. Detectives worked out her disappearance was a plot to claim reward money dreamed up by her mum Karen, 34, and stepdad’s uncle Michael Donovan, 40, who were jailed for eight years.

Portuguese and British police forces have been at odds since Madeleine vanished from her family’s Algarve holiday apartment in May 2007, days before her fourth birthday. A source told the Daily Star: “It’s hoped we can clear the decks and start over again.”

The case was archived as unsolved in July 2008, and the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, have had to hire private detectives to search for her.

[ Source: ] (article whooshed)

Is this move to be welcomed?

After all, a source is quoted as saying: “It’s hoped we can clear the decks and start over again”

The report in the Daily Star included this quote: "The Home Secretary Alan Johnson…asked the Child Exploitation Centre and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to appoint a new investigating force. They have called in the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team of West Yorkshire Police".

The relationsip between the McCanns and Jim Gamble of CEOP

It’s clear from this, if the Star report is accurate, that the decision to appoint the West Yorkshire Police Force was made by CEOP. And that means it was made by its Chief Executive, Jim Gamble.

CEOP is an unusual type of organisation. It has the powers of a police force, yet is not subject to the usual types of regulations covering the actions of a police force. Notably, CEOP is exempt from the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. It is something of a law unto itself, though answerable, certainly, to the Home Office, who appointed Mr Gamble.

There appears to be an unusually close relationship between the McCanns and Jim Gamble.

Most recently, Jim Gamble invited Dr Gerald McCann to speak at a CEOP-organised conference on abducted children. Held on 26 January at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Bloomsbury, London, the closing speech of the conference at 4.00pm was given by Dr Gerald McCann. The welcome address was of course given by Jim Gamble himself. The press release about the conference hailed its purpose as: “To explore the issues associated with a variety of child abduction cases, predominantly focussing on sexually motivated stranger abductions”.

Mr Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ chief public relations adviser, admitted on 19 February in a Channel 4 interview that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was ‘a complete mystery’. In addition, the final Portuguese Police report in July 2008 said that they had been examining two alternative theories side by side: (a) abduction and (b) death in the McCanns’ holiday apartment. Given the absence of any compelling evidence of an abductor, still less an abduction by a ‘sexually motivated stranger’, it is reasonable for us to ask: “Why was Dr Gerald McCann chosen to make the final address to this conference?"

Late last year, Jim Gamble featured in the worldwide dissemination of what was called a ‘viral video’, titled ‘A Minute for Madeleine’ which, once again, drew attention to the fact that Madeleine was still missing, and urged people to search for her. Speaking at a news conference to launch the video, Gamble said:

“The person we are looking to reach is likely to be a partner, family member, friend or colleague of the person or people who were involved in Madeleine’s disappearance. The video is a message aimed at prompting the conscience of the individual to remind them that it’s never too late to do the right thing.”

He went on to compare the disappearance of Madeleine to the snatching off the street at the age of 11 of Jaycee Lee Dugard case, who then spent 18 years in captivity in a Californian backyard before being found by officials. The commentary in the video is by Gamble, who asserts that ‘Madeleine is now six’ and then shows an artist’s impression of what she might look like now. He went on in the video to emphasise that ‘someone out there’ is holding a secret and should come forward.

Incidentally, the ‘Minute for Madeleine’ viral video brings out the uncanny resemblance between the CEOP logo and the coloboma defect in Madeleine’s right eye. This similarity can be seen very clearly towards the end of the video as the CEOP logo is seen to move ever closer to Madeleine’s right eye ( Link: Home page on ).

At the same time, he toured TV studios with the McCanns giving interviews on SKY NEWS and on ITV’s ‘Good Morning’. The McCanns and he had clearly pre-arranged what each would say, as Dr Gerald McCann parried a question and said ‘Jim will be answering that”.

On the ‘Good Morning’ programme, Gamble came out with a strange statement: “It is the first time [a viral video] has been done…it has the potential to get to the person we are looking for. We are not looking for someone who has seen this girl particularly. We are looking for the person who knows or strongly suspects the individual or individuals involved in Madeleine's disappearance - the person who for a long time has perhaps struggled with their conscience keeping a terrible secret”.

Why did he not want the person who has ‘seen’ Madeleine, only the person who might ‘know something’ about those involved in Madeleine’s disappearance?

Will the West Yorkshire Police conduct a fully independent re-investigation into all possible explanations for Madeleine’s disappearance?

We’ve seen that there is a close nexus between the McCanns and Jim Gamble, who has personally selected the West Yorkshire Police to carry out this re-investigation, We question therefore whether that police force will truly be given a remit to ‘start from scratch’ and be permitted to examine not only the abduction scenario but also the possibility that Madeleine died in her parents’ holiday apartment. For example, will the West Yorkshire Police talk to Goncalo Amaral, the original senior investigating detective in the case, whose book ‘The Truth of A Lie’, which outlines the evidence that Madeleine died in Praia da Luz, has sold half a million or so copies throughout Europe?

Before taking up his current job as the head of CEOP Gamble was a superintendent in the Police Service of Northern Ireland and then became Head of the National Crime Squad. Whilst there, he set up the National Crime Squad's specialist response cell - the Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) - and was involved in the creation of the first international law enforcement partnership to combat child abuse online - the Virtual Global Taskforce.

As head also of NCIS (the National Criminal Intelligence Service), he headed the highly controversial Operation Ore investigation into those downloading images of child sexual abuse. Operation Ore is a topic we may revert to in a future article. It was criticised by some for wrongly accusing individuals of downloading child portnography just because they had accessed a certan website with a credit card, whilst others were certain that Operation Ore had discovered a number of prominent people who had been viewing extreme child sexual abuse but was refusing to prosecute them.

Mr Gamble says he first became involved with the McCanns as a result of receiving a letter from them which ‘deeply moved’ him and prompted him to offer to help. But his views have been controversial. He has suggested a number of times that even people viewing extreme images of child sexual abuse should not be sent to prison, which prompted this response from Michelle Elliott, director of the childrens’ charity, Kidscape. She told the BBC: “They are just as guilty as the people taking the photos. If they didn't view, the child wouldn't be abused. Therefore I think those people deserve prison”.


The fact that Jim Gamble has an extremely close understanding with the McCanns, actively promoting the theory that Madeleine was abducted by a paedophile at every opportunity, and is the person who has recommended West Yorkshire Police Force to carry out any review or investigation, is of very great concern.

Whoever is entrusted with re-investigating this difficult, sensitive and highly controversial case must be given a full brief to go wherever the evidence leads, and not simply adopt the abduction theory and continue merely to follow up a procession of claimed ‘sightings’ of Madeleine.
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Post by Verdi on 24.08.18 16:12

Former Portuguese detective claims Madeleine McCann was cremated in latest slur during TV interview on the case

Goncalo Amaral claims she was hidden in British woman's coffin and cremated
Former detective claims church where parents prayed is key to solving the case
Comes hours after Kate and Gerry McCann revealed they still hope to find her
McCann vowed to continue to fight Amaral through courts over previous claims

By Tracey Kandohla For Mailonline and James Dunn For Mailonline

Published: 01:56 BST, 1 May 2017 | Updated: 12:05 BST, 1 May 2017

ormer Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral has claimed Madeleine's body was cremated in a TV interview that will add to her parents' anguish.

The detective, one of the leading investigators early in the case, made the wild statement hours after her parents vowed to take him back to court over other claims.

Amaral made his latest statement on a TV documentary to be aired tonight on the 10th anniversary of her disappearance from the Praia da Luz resort in Portugal.

It comes just hours after a moving interview with her parents, in which they revealed they have still not given up hope on seeing Madeleine again.

Amaral said she may have been hidden in another British woman's coffin as she was cremated, and said the church where Madeleine's parents prayed was key.

He said: 'We had information three figures went into the church via a side door at night. They had a box and there was to be a cremation of a British woman.

'It is possible the child's remains were in this box and cremated as well. The parents had the key to the church,' reports The Sun.

The claim is the latest spark in a long dispute between Amaral, who was booted off the Madeleine case, and Kate and Gerry McCann.

Amaral, 57, claimed in The Truth Of The Lie that Madeleine died at the McCann's holiday house and Kate and Gerry covered it up.

The McCanns won a libel case against Amaral in 2015, and he was ordered to pay them 250,000 euros (£209,000) each in damages.

But this was overturned on appeal and that decision upheld in another court this April, meaning Amaral is now able to sue the McCanns for damages potentially totalling tens of thousands of pounds.

During the interview, BBC presenter Fiona Bruce asked the McCanns: 'One of the police officers in Portugal has been a thorn in your side for many years, he was thrown off the investigation but then he wrote a book ... and you fought it through the courts.

'At the moment you've lost and he's won. Is this the end for you now, are you going to continue to fight him?'

Mr McCann replied: 'I think the short answer is we have to because the last judgment I think is terrible.

'I think it's also important to say that when we lodged the action was eight years ago, and the circumstances were very different, where we felt there was real damage being done to the search for Madeleine at that time, particularly in Portugal.'

Mr McCann added that it was important to challenge Mr Amaral in the European courts on behalf of the wider family, including his children.

Agreeing that Mr Amaral's claims needed to be challenged, Mrs McCann said: 'I find it all incomprehensible to be honest

'It has been very upsetting, and it has caused a lot of frustration and anger which is a real negative emotion.

Olive Oyl - The Daily Tablet

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Post by Jill Havern on 25.08.18 9:00

Brits launch Maddie probe


BRITISH police are to launch a new probe into missing Madeleine McCann after massive failures were found in the Portuguese investigation.

Our top child protection cop Jim Gamble has completed a fresh look at the three-year-old investigation for the Home Office.

He told ministers there were huge holes in the original inquiry that need to be revisited if they want to "come close" to reaching UK standards.

It will come as a bitter pill for Portuguese investigators who have fended off criticism since Maddie disappeared in 2007.

Portugese police left 'gaping' holes

But parents Kate and Gerry McCann, both 41 and both doctors, are "delighted" [my emphasis] at the move.

Failures in the original investigation are said to be "so gaping" that British authorities feel it is their duty to look at it again.

This time police will review all the leads using technology and standards expected in a homicide or kidnap case in the UK.

Mr Gamble, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, found a basic failure to collate information and join up links that should have been made.

Telephone records were not properly analysed, missing early opportunities for leads.

And Kate and Gerry McCann were named as Arguidos, or formal suspects, by Portuguese police - something that the review says would not have happened if the probe had been carried out in the UK.

Mr Gamble found no evidence sufficient to make them suspects. His findings have now been formally submitted to the Home Office with recommendations to re-investigate.

The damning review has now set the Association of Chief Police Officers the difficult task of trying to decide who takes on the mammoth task. It is already predicted to be "an extremely costly" investigation that, even if done properly, will probably never be solved. [my emphasis]

Damning: Jim Gamble

A source said: "It is something that has to be reviewed. It is only right that the McCanns are given the satisfaction that everything that could be done has been done. It now comes down to who is up to the job."

The Home Secretary Alan Johnson is expected to announce that the new probe will NOT be carried out by Leicestershire police, the McCanns' local force. The review has highlighted failures within their handling of the case and ruled them out of the review. [my emphasis]

Instead ACPO are now asking around their top cops to see who could take on the very difficult and complex investigation.

The source added: "It will be extremely costly and sadly is unlikely to result in a positive outcome. [my emphasis]

"As much as we would all like this to end with good news for the McCanns, the fact is there have been a lot of missed opportunities and no-one will ever be able to reclaim the time and evidence lost."

Two thousand pages of evidence released earlier claimed Portuguese detectives failed to follow up leads.

Home Secretary Alan Johnson ordered officials to examine the "feasibility" of British detectives having a fresh look at all the evidence back in March.

Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, met Mr Johnson to plead for help in their search for their daughter who vanished aged three from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal.

GOT a child abuse story for the News of the World that you'd like covered up? Email or call 020 7782 1001

These 12 questions were formally sent to the Home Office on 19 March 2010 by the Madeleine Foundation:

1. On what date or dates has the Home Secretary Alan Johnson had meetings with one or both of the McCanns?
2. Who else was present at these meetings: in particular, was any lawyer or other adviser for the McCanns present?
3. On what dates did meetings take place between one or both of the McCanns and staff of the Home Office?
4. Please identify all the staff who met with the McCanns and again identify whether the McCanns had legal or other representatives with them.
5. On what date did the McCanns first approach the Home Office asking for a review or re-investigation by a British police force into Madeleine’s disappearance?
6. Is the Home Office carrying out what the Daily Telegraph called ‘a scoping exercise’ to evaluate what form any review or re-investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance may take’ and, if so, on what date did that scooping exercise
7. Why, according to the press, was Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, Mr Jim Gamble, given the role of advising the Home Office as to which police force should carry out any review or re-investigation?
8. On what date did the Home Secretary ask Mr Gamble to perform this role?
9. On what date did Mr Gamble make his recommendation?
10. Did he, as reported, recommend West Yorkshire Police to carry out a review or re-investigation?
11. Has West Yorkshire Police, as reported, been asked to carry out a review or re-investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann?
12. If so, what is the brief or remit that the Home Office has given to West Yorkshire Police?

Image courtesy of Himself at the McCann Gallery

Related link:
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Post by Verdi on 25.08.18 16:00

Experts say Madeleine McCann's body is almost impossible to find

24 Apr, 2017 7:34pm

We'll likely never know what happened to Madeleine McCann because she may have been dumped in one of hundreds of ancient wells not far from the spot she disappeared, experts claim.

The remote area around the Ocean Club resort in Portugal, where the three-year-old British girl vanished from her holiday apartment in 2007, has been described as the perfect place to hide a body, those connected to the case say, according to

"It's almost impossible," retired Scotland Yard detective Colin Sutton told Channel Seven Sunday Night program of Praia da Luz, in the Algarve region of Portugal, where the McCann's were staying.

"It would be impossible without specific information or intelligence which enabled you to focus a search in a particular area.

"It is a large area, with a very low population, of scrubland, of ancient wells. There are areas there where humans probably don't go from one year to one decade even to the next. It would be really easy to secrete something there and be really confident that it wouldn't be found."

The area is home to as many as 500 wells and has been described by forensics expert Professor Dave Barclay as "the most hide-a-body-able place I've ever been in my life."

"I'm sure the reason this case has run as long as it has and still arouses fantastic interest even now is because every single one of the explanations, the possible explanations is implausible, and yet we know one of them must be correct," he told the program.

"It might be solved if Madeleine's body is found and there is evidence either on the body or in the location where the body is found that would point to somebody but otherwise, I don't think it will ever be solved.

"There is just no physical evidence whatsoever that we can use at this time, even to eliminate some of the theories."

A local reporter said bones might be found "five to 10 years from now" only if a person who lived in the area decided to clear out one of the hundreds of deep wells to put it back in operation.

In two fresh theories aired by the program, Detective Sutton said an employee of the holiday resort where Madeleine was staying likely had information investigators wanted.

Professor Barclay also suggested the little girl may have wandered out of the apartment looking for her parents, who were dining at an adjoining tapas bar, and could have been run over by a car. The driver may then have tried to dispose of her body to cover up the accident.

"There is an employee, somebody who worked within the Ocean Villas (sic) complex who it is felt has some information or some knowledge which might be of assistance," Detective Sutton said.

Madeleine McCann would be 14 on May 12. Since her disappearance, there have been 8685 reported sightings of her across 101 countries, according to the program.

"People say to me 'Maybe she's been stolen to order' (and I say) 'Don't be ridiculous," Madeleine's father Gerry McCann said of the theory that she had been abducted as part of a sex trafficking operation.

"But actually compared to everything else that's happened, that's a possibility."

The program claims a wave of crime on the Algarve in the lead up to Madeleine's disappearance had been whitewashed by Portuguese authorities, including 12 incidents of an intruder breaking into the properties of UK families within a 60 kilometre radius of the McCann holiday villa, half involving a man hopping into bed with little girls.

Nannies working at the resort had also reportedly been given "rape alarms" and told it was not a safe place.

"The fact that there were random paedophiles going around taking children out of holiday apartments probably would have been quite a disincentive to families turning up for their holidays," Professor Barclay said, suggesting it might also explain why UK police had not given up the $20 million investigation.

Gerry McCann described allegations made by Portuguese detective Goncarlo Amaral that British intelligence agency MI5 know what happened to Madeleine but are covering it up as absurd.

"It's caused a lot of upset and has damaged the search," he said.

Madeleine's mother Kate told the program she had initially been reluctant to go to Portugal on holiday because she didn't want to travel with three small children - Madeleine and her twin baby siblings - but had been convinced by friends.

The McCanns cling to the hope that their daughter "might come out of the woodwork" like other children who have been abducted and held against their will for years and say they will never give up the search.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Jill Havern on 26.08.18 10:48

Can the McCanns be thinking straight?

By Terence Blacker: The Independent
May 2010

Three years have passed since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and her parents are determined that the search for her should not slip out of the world's headlines. To keep the story alive, they have just released a moody video, complete with a musical soundtrack, which includes a photograph of the three-year-old wearing make-up and gazing into the camera. It is that image which, predictably, has featured in the media,

It seems a bizarre and unsettling development. Clearly, Kate and Gerry McCann have been living through a nightmare of unimaginable horror and perhaps, even after three years, they are not thinking straight. If so, someone should surely have pointed out to them that, in a case over which paedophilia casts an obvious shadow, it looks downright weird when a photograph which has the effect of sexualising the missing child becomes part of the campaign to find her.

Obviously, the make-up game and the photograph were innocent at the time but, when the private picture is released into the public domain in these circumstances, something altogether nastier kicks in.

What was the point of this exercise, apart from getting more news coverage? At a time when there is justified concern over Primark selling Little Miss Naughty padded bras for eight-year-olds and allegations that Playboy brands are being aimed at the primary school market, the circulation of this can only feed prurience of the very worst kind.

Maybe it was a misjudgement, but it confirms a niggling sense that the McCanns' publicity–at-all-costs campaign has seriously lost its way.
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Post by Jill Havern on 26.08.18 11:02

By Emily Andrews
Last updated at 2:57 AM on 11th May 2010

This is the heartbreaking moment when the parents of murdered schoolboy Jimmy Mizen were met and comforted by Kate McCann at a service in memory of young victims of knife and gun crime.

McCann, who of course is still tormented by her own loss - the disappearance of her daughter three years ago - shared a sympathetic hug with Barry and Margaret Mizen on the steps of Westminster Cathedral.

The Mizens showed immense courage as they spoke of their ‘incredible pain’ at the service staged on the second anniversary of their son’s death and attended by Prince Charles.

Full story in Daily Mail
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Post by Jill Havern on 26.08.18 11:35

Madeleine McCann: Is this the man who snatched her?

THIS is the sensational picture of a suspicious man on the beach which could lead to a breakthrough in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

By James Murray
PUBLISHED:  00:00, Sun, May 16, 2010

Snapped inadvertently in the background of a holiday photo, the mysterious man strolls along after a rain shower, staring out to sea at Praia da Luz.

The picture was taken at the Portuguese resort days before Madeleine, then three, vanished during the evening of May 3, 2007.

Briton Gail Cooper was having lunch with family and friends in a beachside cafe and taking photos when she saw him wandering along the beach, apparently in a world of his own.

“It was odd to see him walking around the beach alone in showery, cold weather.” she said.

Mrs Cooper, 53, added that a few hours after the snap was taken, the same man visited her at her rented villa 20 minutes’ walk from the beach. The £2million holiday property was in a quiet road near the Mark Warner complex where Madeleine and her family were staying.

During a tense conversation on the doorstep, the man sought cash with what she called “an obviously made-up story” that he was collecting money for an orphanage in a nearby town, where the children of Britons killed in a car crash were being cared for.

Just under a week after the unnerving encounter, when Mrs Cooper had returned home to Britain, Madeleine was taken from her holiday apartment.

Alarmed, Mrs Cooper contacted British detectives because of her ­concerns about the man on the beach and handed over the photograph, taken by a ­member of her holiday party.

Months later private investigators working for Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann asked Mrs Cooper to work with an FBI-trained artist to create a drawing of the man she had seen at the beach and villa.

She described him as having protruding teeth, a handlebar moustache and wind-blown dark hair. In the photo the man is ­turning slightly towards the sea, so it is not possible to tell whether he has a moustache.

However, he does appear to bear a resemblance to a man the McCanns’ friend, Jane Tanner, saw walking with a child in his arms at about the time Madeleine disappeared.

Ms Tanner saw him crossing a road yards from the McCanns’ apartment and it is widely believed that he was the man who abducted Madeleine. She also worked with an artist to ­create a drawing of the man she saw. It did not include facial features as she did not see his face.

The man Ms Tanner saw, ­walking in the glare of an orange street light, was wearing light coloured trousers and a dark top and appears to have slightly hunched shoulders.

The man in the photo was also wearing light coloured trousers, a dark top and appears to have slightly rounded shoulders.

Mrs Cooper, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said last night: “I am 98 per cent certain the man in the photo was the same man who made the strange visit to our ­holiday villa. His hair looks neater in the photo, but he is quite far in the background.” The picture was given to detectives in Leicestershire who are liaising with detectives in ­Portugal, but Mrs Cooper said she was never told whether the man had been identified.

“I believe it would be useful for the investigation if he was to come forward,” she added. Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are hoping that new Tory Home Secretary Theresa May will call for a review of all the evidence in the case.

If you can identify the man in the photograph please call the Sunday Express on 0208 612 7073 or contact the website ­ (not the Police then, James?)

Gerry McCann, wearing his similar 'showery, cold weather' attire
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Post by PLL on 26.08.18 12:14

That's suspicious. He's not carrying the doll on blurred pic...

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Post by Verdi on 26.08.18 12:55

I've heard of soft focus but this is ridiculous - isn't focus used to enhance an image, not completely obliterate it?

Using a digital device, be it mobile phone or camera, is it possible to take such a blurred picture - unless of course it's deliberate !?!

Gail Cooper's got some explaining to do come doomsday.

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Post by Verdi on 26.08.18 13:00

Having said that, just reverse the image, you can see how former DCI Andy Redwood's revelation moment was inspired..

Looks like Mr Redwood has also got some explaining to do!

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Post by Jill Havern on 27.08.18 9:50

Madeleine McCann and the Scots sex beasts on the run

30 Scots sex beasts on the run abroad News of the World (Scottish)


By Jacqueline McGhie

Cops admit the whereabouts of many of the pervs - including paedophiles and rapists - are "unknown".

Yet all of them have been convicted of sex crimes here.

And last night the shocking figures were BLASTED by campaigning mum Margaret Ann Cummings, 33.

Speaking almost six years after her eight-year-old son Mark was murdered by evil Stuart Leggate, 34, she asked: "Why should 30 sex offenders, who committed crimes in Scotland be free to go where they please? They are dangerous and manipulative men.

"It is hard enough to track the monsters who live here, never mind when they have scattered abroad."

News of the sickos' exodus comes after it emerged last week that a killer paedophile was in Portugal in 2007 when three-year-old tot Madeleine McCann was snatched.

Twisted Charles O'Neil, 47, has refused to meet detectives working for Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry McCann.

And here's another Scots beast on the run after refusing to meet with official detectives who were working on his daughter's case. The 'twisted' McCanns refused to answer police questions or take part in a police reconstruction choosing, instead, to get out of dodge Portugal.

Related: The Gaspar's Statements

“One night, when all the adults, that is, from those couples I have mentioned above, were all sitting around on a patio outside the house where we were all staying. We had been eating and drinking ‘Berbers’.

I was sitting between Gerry and Dave and I think both were talking about Madeleine. I can’t remember the conversation in its entirety, but they seemed to be discussing a particular scenario. I remember Dave saying to Gerry something about ‘she’, meaning Madeleine, ‘would do this’.

“While he mentioned the word ‘this’, Dave was doing the action of sucking one of his fingers, pushing it in and out of his mouth, while with his other hand he was doing a circle around his nipple, with a circular movement around his clothes. This was done in a provocative way. There seemed to be an explicit insinuation about what he was saying and doing. I remember being shocked by that. I always felt it was something very weird and that it was not something anyone should say or do. I looked at Gerry, and also at Dave, to gauge their reactions.

“I looked around as if saying: “Did someone else hear that, or was it just me?”.

read full statements here:
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Post by Verdi on 27.08.18 22:15

'Look for her here' Missing-person hunter weighs in on Maddie sightings worldwide

THERE’S one place in the Maddie case the cops need to reexamine, according to an expert on missing people.

Michael Havis / Published 29th April 2017

Since Madeleine McCann vanished from Portugal in 2007, sightings of her have been reported all over the world.

Daily Star Online asked Frank Ahearn, who tracks missing people for a living, to examine some of the major sightings.

He’s so good at sniffing out clues that he also gets paid to help those who want to disappear do so without leaving a trail.

And his verdict is that the only place that matters is the Praia Da Luz resort, where Maddie had slept in her room that night.

He told Daily Star Online: "When you’re looking for someone too much information is a problem... You have to go back to scratch.

"I would ignore everything. We don’t know what’s truth anymore and we don’t know what’s fiction. I would just go back to the day, the scene.

"The problem with sightings is typically they’re never accurate. They almost help propel the story that she could be in Belgium or Spain."

Mr Ahearn also noted that more distant sightings entailed a more elaborate plan, including fake identities and travel documents.

He continued: "The thing I ask first is ‘does it become very elaborate? Has she been abducted and is travelling the world?

"Do I think that whoever abducted Maddie had a passport ready and documents to take her out of the country?

"You’ve have to remember, kids keep screaming and crying no matter how much you tell them to shut up.

"I wouldn’t think so far out. I would concentrate on first looking at it from a solely domestic point of view."

And though Mr Ahearn usually deals with adult disappearances, he knows that people can show up even after years.

"I just worked a case actually two weeks ago where this guy walked out on his family several years ago," he told Daily Star Online.

"They didn’t know if he was alive or dead... I located him working in a supermarket. He was a practicing professional who just had a nervous breakdown.

"Absolutely she might show up, it happens all the time. I mean there are several cases in the United States so I think you only have to have hope.

"Nobody really knows what happened. I think you just have to have hope that there’s that possibility, because that is a realistic possibility."

Mr Ahearn, who wrote the bestselling book How To Disappear about his work, spoke ahead of the 10th anniversary of the disappearance.

It comes after police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann revealed they were working on a "critical" lead.

Is this trash the last straw or the straw that broke the camel's back?  They really pulled out all the stops for the 2017 tenth anniversary finale didn't they.

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Post by Verdi on 28.08.18 12:40

Your Stories

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Madeleine McCann: Timeline

Take a look at the timeline of events and the story background to Leicestershire toddler Madeleine McCann's disappearance on 03 May 2007. Listen to the interviews...

Four-year-old Madeleine McCann from Rothley in Leicestershire disappeared from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve on Thursday 03 May 2007.
She is believed to have been taken from her bed while her parents were eating at a nearby restaurant. They regularly checked on her and their two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.
At the very end of May, Madeleine's parents visited the Pope and received his blessing.
Since the initial weeks of speculation, little in the way of hard and fast fact has emerged.
What follows is a month by month account of the main events from June to the present.

BBC News wrote:"Kate and Gerry McCann have spoken movingly of the night their daughter Madeleine vanished, a year after the three-year-old disappeared. "

Timeline of Events:

June 2007

Gerry and Kate McCann make an appeal on Crimewatch for help to find their daughter.
0n 03 June - It is four weeks since Madeleine McCann went missing. Ben Jackson looks back over BBC Radio Leicester's coverage of the Leicestershire toddler's disappearance...

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Hostile questioning from a journalist provokes the McCanns to deny involvement in Madeleine's abduction.
On 13 June - It is announced that the tributes and toys left at the Rothley war memorial will be cleared away. The ribbon-strewn scene in the village is by now a familiar image in television news bulletins.
On the same day many competing in the Rothley Road Race donate the money they raise to the Madeleine Appeal. BBC Leicester's Ben Jackson spoke to Madeleine's Great Aunt, Janet Kennedy...

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Pupils at Madeleine's playschool make a film to raise awareness of child abduction.
On 22 June - It's the 50th day since the disappearance, This is marked in 50 cities.

July 2007 

A woman who claimed to be collecting money for Madeleine but instead used it for drugs is jailed for three months.
Author J. K. Rowling asks bookshops worldwide to display posters showing missing Madeleine.
The Prime Minister is assured that everything is being done to find Madeleine.
The tributes and ribbons placed around the war memorial in Rothley are all removed.

August 2007

The police in Portugal announce that they have found nothing in the house of Robert Murat, an official suspect.
Tests are carried out on suspected traces of blood found in the McCann apartment.
On 10 August - Madeleine has been missing 100 days.
The McCanns announce they are to sue a Portuguese newspaper which claimed they killed their daughter. They say, "We are deeply hurt by the allegations."

September 2007

Kate McCann is officially declared a suspect.
Family and friends rally round Kate. The grandmother of Madeleine declares this development 'absurd'.
On 09 September - Kate and Gerry McCann return to their home in Rothley amidst huge media interest. They say they are determined to clear their names.
The villagers of Rothley again declare their support for the McCanns.
The McCanns say that the money raised to help find Madeleine won't be used to clear their names.
On 19 September - Portuguese prosecutors say there is no new evidence to justify the questioning of the McCanns.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate

October 2007

The police chief investigating Madeleine's disappearance is taken off the case.
On 21 October - Gerry McCann says he welcomes the announcement that the friends, who were on holiday with them in Portugal, are to be interviewed again. 
BBC Leicester's Jack Izzard has recently been in Portugal covering the story. He has more about the re-interviewing process...

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Writing in his internet blog, Gerry says he wants them to be eliminated from the enquiry as soon as possible.
He adds that he and his wife will continue to hope that one of the lines of investigation leads to Madeleine being found safe and well.

On 24 October - Kate and Gerry McCann  indicate that they may take legal action over some media reports about the disappearance of the daughter.
The couple give their first broadcast interview since being declared suspects in the case. 
They tell Spanish television that some of the coverage had been ludicrous and hurtful.

On 25 October - The parents of Madeleine McCann have released an artist's impression of the man they believe abducted their daughter. The sketch depicts a man of southern European or Mediterranean appearance walking with a child in his arms. 
It is drawn by an FBI-trained forensic artist using details from a friend of the McCanns, but the face is blank because the witness wasn't certain about some details.

The fighting fund set up to help find Madeleine McCann was used by her parents to make two mortgage payments, their spokesman says. Clarence Mitchell says: "The fund has always had the ability to assist the family financially if necessary."
He says Kate and Gerry McCann stopped using the fund in September when they were made formal suspects in the case.

Aerial view of the McCann's apartment complex

November 2007

On 01 November - Gerry McCann goes back to work at  Glenfield hospital, Leicester.
Listen to BBC Leicester's Julie Mayer's report from the hospital and to Gerry McCann's statement to the press...

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On 03 November - Six months since four-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared. The following  evening  families in  Rothley are invited to attend a special church vigil.
Rothley's four churches come together to pray for Madeleine and other abducted, trafficked or exploited children. Kate and Gerry McCann spent almost an hour at the service in the church of St Mary and St John near their home.
In the six months since the disappearance the village of Rothley has found itself in the media glare - at times that's made life quite difficult for those who live and work there.
Sam Spillane runs her business from the heart of the village. She spoke to BBC Leicester's Ben Jackson about how she and her neighbours have learned to deal with that intrusion.
Percy Hartshorn chairs Rothley Parish Council - he explains how the village is managing to weather the storm and is hopeful for a positive end to what's been a challenging time...

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On 29 November - Forensic experts from the UK and Portugal meet at Leicestershire Police headquarters to discuss DNA samples collected during the inquiry.

A beacon of hope

December 2007

On December 22 - Mr and Mrs McCann send a public message to Madeleine: "Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again."

January 2008

Early in the month there is much speculation that a film about Madeleine is going to be made. Gerry McCann plays down  the story.
On 20 January - The McCanns release police sketches, based on a statement given by a British holidaymaker, of a man they believe may have abducted Madeleine.

February 2008

On 23 February - Portuguese justice minister Alberto Costa says the police investigation into the young girl's disappearance is nearing its end.

March 2008

On 19 March - Mr and Mrs McCann accept £550,000 libel damages and front-page apologies from Express Newspapers.

April 2008

On 07 April - Portuguese police arrive in Britain to observe as the friends of Kate and Gerry McCann are interviewed by local police about the night Madeleine went missing.
On 08 April - Gerry and Kate McCann are asked to return to Portugal to take part in a large-scale re-enactment of the hours surrounding Madeleine's disappearance.
On 11 April - Madeleine's parents responded angrily to publication of leaked transcripts of interviews with Portuguese police last year.

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On 14 April - Portuguese police investigating Madeleine's disappearance deny leaking details of statements made by her parents to officers.
On 30 April - Kate and Gerry McCann speak movingly, in an ITV1 documentary, of the night their daughter Madeleine vanished, a year after the three-year-old disappeared.
To find out more about the latest developments, click the link below...

Missing Madeleine McCann from Rothley

Background on the Story

Madeleine's mother, Kate, discovered that her daughter was missing at approximately 21:30 on Thursday 03 May.
Listen to an interview with Valerie Armstrong, the landlady of a pub in Rothley, who co-ordinated the silent vigil for Madeleine:

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Listen to an interview with Kerry Needham, whose son was abducted 16 years ago at the age of 21 months, and has never been found:

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BBC Leicester's Kay Wright looks back at the first seven days of the search for Madeleine and child psychologist, Clode Knight speaks about the effects of Madeleine's abduction:

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Portuguese law prevents the police from revealing details about an investigation while it's ongoing, so Kate and Madeleine's father, Gerry, made an emotional appeal outside their holiday apartment for Madeleine's return.
Kate said that they were very grateful for the support they'd received from the townspeople in Praia da Luz:
"Gerry and I would just like to express our sincere gratitude and thanks to everybody, but particularly to the local community here, who have offered so much support.
"We couldn't have asked for more, so I just want to say thank you, and please continue to pray for Madeleine – she's lovely."

Ribbons for Madeleine in Rothley

The reaction at home

The reaction in Leicestershire was heartfelt, as family and friends of the McCanns expressed their concern.
Local people have left messages, yellow ribbons, candles, flowers, toys and pictures at the war memorial in the centre of Rothley as gestures of support for the McCanns.
Kate's father dismissed the criticism levelled at his daughter and her husband for leaving their children alone:
"You couldn't meet a more considerate, caring set of parents. I'm proud of my daughter and I'm proud of her choice of husband. They really care for their kids and they would never do anything to jeopardize them."
Public acts of sympathy and remembrance were held across the county, including a prayer vigil outside Glenfield General Hospital, where Gerry works as a cardiologist. A colleague said: "Their anguish must be great and we're all hoping for good news soon."
Emotion also ran deep in the McCanns' home village of Rothley. Neighbours, friends and well-wishers came together on Tuesday 08 May to hold a silent vigil by the war memorial, and yellow ribbons were tied around the railings.
Valerie Armstrong, the landlady of the Royal Oak pub in Rothley and a friend of the family, said the entire village is sending the family its support:
"The whole of the green was full and I didn't dare turn around because it was very emotional. It just shows that this is what people wanted to show the family – that the village are behind them and they really do care."

"Everything possible is being done"

But alongside the compassion, friends and family of the McCanns have been voicing criticism of the Portuguese authorities. The British Ambassador for Portugal, John Buck, stepped in to defuse the tension:
"I have been in touch closely over the last few days with cabinet ministers in Portugal, with the Prime Minister’s office, and with Portuguese police authorities. They all assure me that everything possible is being done to ensure the safe return of Madeleine."

Madeleine's Fund

On 16 May 2007, nearly two weeks after Madeleine's disappearance, Madeleine's family launched the Madeleine fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned appeal.
The money donated is being used to help find Madeleine McCann, support her family and bring her abductors to justice.
Contributions can be made to Madeleine's fund by post, with cheques payable to 'Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned', and should be posted to:
'Madeleine's Fund' c/o The International Family Law Group 26 Southampton Street Covent Garden WC2E 7RS
Internet donations can also be made into the following account, and will be processed free of charge:
'Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned' Sort Code 60 40 05 Account Number 32130058
If you would like to download a 'Bring Madeleine Home' poster or if you would like to add your message of support for the McCanns, click on the links below:

last updated: 30/04/2008 at 17:36
created: 10/05/2007

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Verdi on 29.08.18 1:57

’Maddie body was hidden in coffin’ – shock claim by cop

MADELEINE McCann was cremated after her body was hidden in a dead woman’s coffin, it will be claimed today.

By Jerry Lawton / Published 1st May 2017

Former police chief Goncalo Amaral says the coffin was in a village church.

He has told a Portuguese TV show to be aired today: “We believe the dead child may have been laid at the feet of a British woman who was due to be cremated.

“There were three figures seen going into the church at night with a box.

“It is possible the remains of the child were inside. The cremation took place."

Amaral, who had worked on the Madeleine case, won a court fight with Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry after he claimed in a book that the missing youngster was dead.

He is now heaping more misery on them two days ahead of the 10th anniversary of the three-old’s disappearance from a holiday apartment in Portugal.

Last night the McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the former detective’s claims were “cruel”.

He said: “They are nonsense and are almost laughable."

The McCanns originally won a libel victory over Mr Amaral after his claims about the case in a book.

The ruling was overturned by appeal judges and their decision was upheld by Portugal’s Supreme Court.

Kate, 49, and Gerry, 48, said this weekend they now plan to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed a millionaire was so desperate to help find Madeleine he kept a private jet on standby to rescue her.

Brian Kennedy, who made £63million by selling the Everest double glazing firm, agreed to help fund their search.

The dad-of-five, the former owner of English Premiership rugby team Sale Sharks, set up an unofficial HQ and paid for private investigators to scour the globe for the missing youngster.

He also kept a private jet on standby ready to fly to the scene of any possible sighting.

Mr Mitchell said the closest they got to scrambling the jet was 12 months after Maddie disappeared when a girl matching her description was found in Morocco.

But the mission was cancelled after “it became clear she was not Madeleine”.

Yesterday Kate said there was “still hope” her daughter would be found alive.

She told the BBC “real progress” was being made by the Metropolitan Police.

“We need to take heart from that," she said.

“There is still hope we can find Madeleine."

Yesterday it was revealed a prime suspect in the case was a woman who was seen near the McCanns’ apartment in the resort of Praia da Luz.

Detectives are understood to have scoured Europe looking for her and are ready to “move in” and interview her in what they believe is a “hugely significant” lead.

Last week Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said his detectives are still pursuing “critical lines of inquiry”.


It's all an elaborate charade to dupe the public and they fall for it every time - hook line and sinker!

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx

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Post by Jill Havern on 29.08.18 8:05

This is interesting given that the McCann Team released 'information' to the press back in March 2010 that it had been agreed that West Yorkshire Police would be carrying out a re-investigation. There was probably an intense argument about all this within Whitehall and ACPO. For a change, the McCanns (at the time) weren't getting things all their own way...

Cuts hold up Maddie UK probe

Who'll pay, ask police

[RIDDLE: Madeleine vanished in 2007 PHOTO: PA]

By Lucy Panton, 29/08/2010

A NEW probe by British cops into missing Madeleine McCann is being held up in a row over funding, we can reveal. Police forces face cuts of tens of millions of pounds to their budgets leaving no spare cash to pay for what would be a costly re-investigation.

Home Secretary Theresa May held a meeting with Kate and Gerry McCann early this month to discuss the search for their daughter.

Senior officers at Scotland Yard have been consulted about taking on the case. But despite the apparent early progress we can reveal that there are two key stumbling blocks. No police force can afford to take on the job which could take at least two detectives away from other duties for as long as a year.

A source said: "The real issue that needs to be resolved is who is going to pay for it? No police force can afford to agree to take on the case without knowing where the funding will come from.

"The other issue which is as important to resolve is to ensure that British officers will have full access in Portugal.

"At the moment there is no agreement in place that the Portuguese authorities are going to allow and co-operate with a British re-investigation.

"The review has highlighted the need for a thorough re-investigation starting from scratch. The Metropolitan Police have been consulted and are likely to be given the job, but not until all the problems have been ironed out."

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, appealed directly to former Home Secretary Alan Johnson and now Mrs May for extra help.

Madeleine was three when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in May 2007. This year we broke the news that the Met's Homicide Command have been approached to discuss taking on the investigation.

Jim Gamble, head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, told Labour ministers there were huge holes in the original inquiry.The treasury are set to slash eight per cent of the policing budget for the next three years threatening jobs.

Source: News of the World
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Post by willowthewisp on 29.08.18 13:45

Hi Jill Havern,South Yorkshire Police or there mates,Metropolitan Police Force wouldn't really matter?

Just look at the Cliff Richard "Privacy Case",where a BBC, Journalist,Bullied,Blackmailed Two Police forces,battering them to an inch of life to reveal an Address they told the Journalist to be at in Berkshire,where they had obtained a "Warrant" to enter the premises,justice Mann,not Dan Johnson,Fact.

Should be renamed the "Cover it up squad"due to the chicanery they have become ensconced to,decades of it involving young children,"Grooming Gangs" 1400 Young Girls apparently around some perverts from Parliament,but upon investigation,there was no evidence,aka Madeleine McCann case?

Nearly forty years later Police re-enactment of MP Jeremy Thorpe and Mr Norman Scott paying to bump off his Lover,would Norman be proved right in today's Court same system?

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Post by Verdi on 30.08.18 12:40

Detective leading hunt for Madeleine sacked after blast at UK police
· Inspector says McCanns swayed British officers
· Family lawyer attacks 'absurd' comments

Paul Hamilos in Madrid and Brendan de Beer in Portimão
Wed 3 Oct 2007

The Portuguese detective heading the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was yesterday removed from the case and demoted from his post as chief of the police in the Algarve town of Portimão, following an outspoken attack on his British counterparts.

Inspector Gonçalo Amaral has been transferred to the nearby Algarve city of Faro after criticising the British police in a leading Portuguese newspaper.

Mr Amaral, 47, has been a controversial figure from the outset of the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine on May 3 from an apartment in Praia da Luz, where she was on holiday with her parents. Mr Amaral had become a target for criticism in the British press; he has reportedly investigated only two child murders in his 26-year police career. He also faces a criminal hearing for allegedly concealing evidence, after a woman jailed for the murder of her daughter claimed his officers beat her into making a confession.

Yesterday, in an interview with the respected Diário de Notícias, Mr Amaral accused British detectives of only investigating those leads that Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, wanted following up. "[The British police] have only investigated tips and information developed and worked on for the McCanns, forgetting that the couple are suspects in the death of their daughter Madeleine."

Mr Amaral criticised the British police decision to investigate an anonymous tip-off emailed to Prince Charles's website claiming Madeleine was abducted by a former employee of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns were staying when she disappeared. Mr Amaral said the lead "has no credibility for the Portuguese police". National police director Alipio Ribeiro last night confirmed that Mr Amaral had been removed from the case and demoted, saying it was a "decision I took myself".

Carlos Pinto de Abreu, the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, told news website Portugal Diário yesterday: "The McCanns cannot confess to something they did not do and cannot and should not lie only to please the police." He said the comments by Mr Amaral were "false and absurd" and that Kate and Gerry had answered all the questions put to them by the police. Mr Abreu advised the police "to talk less and work more to find the girl".

The Portuguese minister of justice, Alberto Costa, described the cooperation between the Portuguese and British police as "beneficial", saying "we need to focus on the job in hand and not on commentary".

Mr Amaral still faces scrutiny over the case of eight-year-old Joana Cipriano, who disappeared from Figueira, not far from Praia da Luz, three years ago. Joana's mother, Leonor, was jailed for 16 years, even though the body of her daughter has never been found and she has since retracted her confession. Mr Amaral was not present at the time of her alleged beating but is accused of covering up for his colleagues, which he strenuously denies.

At the weekend Mr Amaral was criticised in the British press for allegedly working 4½-hour days, enjoying "boozy lunches" and failing to investigate most of the 252 tip-offs his officers have received.

British authorities have been working with the Portuguese from the start of the investigation. Forensic tests were conducted on behalf of the Portuguese police at a government laboratory in Birmingham. Portuguese police leaked to the local press that the evidence indicated DNA from Madeleine was in the boot of a rental car the McCanns used after her disappearance, and led to them becoming formal suspects. However, Mr Ribeiro said the forensic tests were inconclusive.

Portuguese police were yesterday in Huelva, south-west Spain, 30 miles from the border. Despite rumours that they were there to investigate a journey the McCanns made to Huelva in August, the Spanish police said that they had invited their Portuguese counterparts to celebrate the patron saint of police, Angel Custodio.

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Post by Jill Havern on 31.08.18 8:30

7th October 2010
Death mystery of Nelson man after Maddie hunt

A FORMER soldier who left Pendle to search for missing toddler Madeleine McCann died in mysterious circumstances after returning home to Nelson, an inquest heard.

Ex-paratrooper Colin Sahlke sold all his possessions around May 2007 to raise £5,000 to fund a trip to Praia de Luz with pal Steve Taylor, so they could join the hunt for the missing youngster.

The pair, who united while working at a shower factory in Nelson, met Madeleine’s father Gerry before they searched the coast and waste ground around the resort for clues.

But Burnley Coroner’s Court was told that by the time Mr Sahlke returned to East Lancashire, he was drinking heavily and lived latterly in a flat in Carr Road.

His body was found by his landlord on April 19 after he got no response at his front door, the inquest heard.

Dr Zuhir Twage, a consultant pathologist, conducted post-mortem tests on the 48-year-old, which showed he had a blood alcohol level equivalent to having drunk 12 cans of beer.

But Dr Twage also found a significant amount of morphine in his system and said that this, combined with the effects of the alcohol, had caused the death.

Former partner Christina Ellis, who had ended their relationship shortly before Mr Sahlke's death, said that while the deceased had a recognised drink problem, he never smoked or took illegal drugs.

The inquest heard that Mr Sahlke was on a number of prescription medications, including the painkiller Tramadol, but nothing which contained morphine.

Recording an open verdict, East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor said there was no evidence as to how Mr Sahlke had come to take morphine, but he could not ignore the medical finding.

“We will never have that explanation that we would want,” added Mr Taylor.

Before he set out for Praia de Luz, Mr Sahlke told how he still felt the loss of his 18-year-old daughter Debbie, who had died in a car crash six years earlier.

He had two other daughters.

And, as with Brenda Leyland, the McCanns have never publicly showed any concern for Colin Sahlke's 'mysterious' death despite him selling all his possessions so that he could help find their missing daughter.
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