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How Jane Tanner got Lost in a Crowd on an Empty Street

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How Jane Tanner got Lost in a Crowd on an Empty Street

Post by Verdi on 08.05.18 0:23

Monday, February 20, 2012

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: How Jane Tanner got Lost in a Crowd on an Empty Street

One can accept that on a night out with friends, drinking wine and chatting - maybe some folks are not perfectly correct with the exact time someone came and went. However, some things should be pretty clear and easy to remember about the night of and the day after a horrific event. Of all the Tapas 9 claims as to how things went down on the evening of May 3, 2007, Jane Tanner´s 9:15 (approximate) sighting of a man hurrying along Dr Augusthino da Silva with a child draped in his outstretch arms is the most unbelievable and unsupportable.

Let's ignore for now the issues of the lighting and whether Jane would be able see the details of the man and child's clothing so well. In order to prove whether she could or she could we would have to test her ability with a number of crime reenactments with the present lighting and, if one was able to see what she saw under those conditions, then one would have to use quite a bit of scientific and technical skill to build a set with the calculated lighting of that night and time and see if one could still see those details. I cannot obviously due that at this time, so I cannot make any absolute determinations on her ability to see what she said she saw.

However, I can comment on what Gerry and Jeremy (Jeremy Wilkins, also called Jez) said they didn't see - namely Jane.

Retired British police officer, PM, and I reenacted the scenario and I learned something very interesting. If Gerry's claim that he crossed the street, the Rua Dr Gentil Martins to speak to Jeremy is true (in his later statement, not his first which only said on his way back to the Tapas, he "crossed ways" which should mean "ran into," not ran across the street to talk to), then it is indeed possible for the two men to have neither seen Jane nor any man carrying a child across the street at the corner whilst they were conversing.

PM took thirteen steps to cross from one side to the other and I saw him out of the corner of my eye from the spot Gerry says he was standing with Jeremy. If, as Peter reminded me as we discussed the way men chat and the way women chat, that men tend to talk less face to face than women do, but more at angles, looking about themselves and not at each other, it would be totally possible for the men to have their backs to the street behind and never see a man quickly walk by, even if it took him thirteen strides. Interestingly, if they are looking down at a baby in a pram or off to the left side of the street, they might actually have not seen Jane go by either.

But, Jane denies that is how it went down and Jeremy agrees with her. Both state Gerry and Jeremy were on the same side of the street Jane walked up and Jane claims she was right on top of them when she walked by. Now, I would say, if this was true, it doesn't matter where these men were looking while talking; at least one would see Jane, and, more likely, both of them would see her. And, if they were positioned in such a way that both of their backs were to Jane as she came up behind them, they would have seen the man with the child crossing directly in front of them. If they had their backs to the man behind them, they couldn't have missed Jane walking straight at them. No matter exactly how they were standing, it is hardly believable that neither man would notice the only other person on the street trotting right up to them, past them, and on to the end of the street. Anyone on the street at that time of night at a time when Praia da Luz is very empty would very likely catch one's attention, so Jane didn't get lost in the crowd.
Let’s double check their position with Jane’s Rogatory Statement which she had months to get the “facts” straight.

No, I, phew, again, I would probably guess Gerry’s back was more towards me, because I would have thought if I’d have seen him I would have definitely probably stopped and said ‘Oh you’re in trouble, you’ve been long, we think you’ve been watching the footy’, you know, but. Because I think that’s almost when I went to acknowledge them, that’s almost what went through my head, you know, is to sort of give a bit of abuse about the fact he’d been so long, but. So I would imagine his, maybe his back was to me, but. And, again, in that way, that would make more sense, because I don’t know Jez, so it’s not like I would have gone ‘Oh hi Jez’, you know, that way, so. Yeah, I, I honestly, I can’t remember now which way they were. But I do, I stand by the fact I’m sure they were nearer than right over here.

Let’s see: she is “probably guessing” that Gerry’s back was towards her or she would have made a comment. Hmm...if his back was towards Jane, he would have seen a man right in front of him running off with his own child. Jane THINKS that’s ALMOST when she went to acknowledge them, that’s ALMOST what went through her head….so she would IMAGINE, maybe his back was towards her…yeah, that “WOULD MAKE MORE SENSE,” …yeah, “HONESTLY,” she can’t remember now, BUT, she does, “STAND BY THE FACT, I’m sure they were nearer than right over here.”
All of this lack of clarity in Jane's statement shows major signs of deception, of someone attempting to create a story. If it were simply true, she would not need to imagine any of it or develop the scenario as she is talking. Add to this, an odd comment in her original May 4, 2007 interview:

She (Jane Tanner) passed them KNOWING that Gerald McCann had already been in his apartment to check on his children

.
This is a clearly impossible for her to state, yet Jane Tanner KNOWS that this is so. Since Jane claims to have left the Tapas quite soon after Gerry, there is no way she could know he had been in to see his children already or whether he had run into Jeremy Wilkins and simply got caught up in conversation and hadn’t yet gone in. We are talking about a matter of a couple of minutes; therefore, it would be highly unlikely Jane could know if Gerry had popped into the apartment already or not. For Jane to KNOW this, Gerry would have to have told her prior to her interview.

But, you might point out, as Jane did:

... if I was trying to make this up, don’t you think I would have made damn sure they saw me?

Yes, I guess you would... if you could have, Jane. The problem is Jeremy Wilkins didn’t see you and, if Gerry was standing with his back to you, then Jeremy was most likely facing you and would have seen you clearly coming up the way. Or, if you want to go back to men both standing sort of at angles and not looking directly at each other, both men would have seen you AND the man carrying the child as you walked past them into their view and the man crossed the road directly in front of them. Tricky bit of a problem, eh?

Jeremy Wilkins says he and Gerry were standing right by the gate on the apartment side of the road.

I met him near the stairs of a ground floor. There was a gate leading up to some stairs.

Jane says she walked right up to them and passed them. Jeremy Wilkins says he never saw her or the man. Gerry says he never saw her or the man which he must say or he has to call Wilkins a liar. I think he solves this problem by moving their location to the opposite side of the road where it is possible for them to both have not seen Jane or any man with a child. Then he doesn’t have to go up against Wilkins, but merely state he remembers where they were standing a bit differently.

It is Kate who sums the whole situation up quite interestingly in her book, Madeleine.

Either way, exactly where they were standing is not crucial. What may be important is that all three of them were there.

Indeed! What is important is all three of them were there. What does it really matter if all three of them are there? What does it matter if Jane Tanner saw the man five minutes later when she returned and neither man was on the street? It matters because Jeremy Wilkins gives Gerry an alibi. No, not Jane. Jane Tanner is not that useful in giving Gerry an alibi because she is one of the Tapas 9. Jeremy Wilkins is the LAST UNBIASED WITNESS who saw Gerry before Madeleine was found missing and before the Smiths’ 9:50-9:55 sighting of a man carrying a little child toward the beach.

No one outside the Tapas 9 can verify that Gerry returned to the table after his 9:15 check on his children or that he remained at the table until Kate gave the alarm. Jeremy Wilkins, being with Gerry at the time Jane sees “the abductor carrying off a child,” gives Gerry an airtight alibi for the only time that he can get one for that evening during that time frame.

Considering Kate and Gerry downplayed any importance to the Smith sighting until far later when they agreed it could be the abductor but ONLY if it was the same man Jane saw and Kate insists that it is mighty important the three of them were there when Jane saw a child being carried off, I repeat, the only reason this should be a big deal is that Jeremy is Gerry’s alibi.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

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