The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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Leave No Stone Unturned

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by crusader 13.04.22 7:49

^^^  Exactly, It was a masterclass in getting their mugs in the media.

They look like they are doing a Royal walkabout.
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Post by Verdi 20.06.22 1:56

The Reconstruction

So, I've presented the Portuguese police desire for a reconstitution of events leading up to Madeleine McCann's disappearance, in order to rationalize the inconsistencies of the McCanns and their group of friends contradictory statements

I have presented Kate McCann's version of the truth, her wavering account of why a stylised reconstruction of events was essential, as opposed to an official police re-enactment designed to develop the investigation

I have presented, in video form, the McCann team's own production - their version of events to coincide (vaguely) with their vacillating witness statements.

I have presented, in video form, the Panorama Madeleine McCann 2013 Special reconstruction of the evening of 3rd May 2007.  So far removed from evidence and fact it belongs in the library categorized as science fiction.  Geeez-us, it wasn't even filmed at the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz so what exactly was the purpose - to jog memories?  Actors filmed at an unknown location?

It's late, I can't put this all together at present - tomorrow is another day.

Just think about it - why did the McCann's think it such a good idea to bring in specialist dogs and film a reconstruction (when it was apparently not an immediate reality - or more to the point, a possibility), then insist on their own filmed reconstruction and then later refuse, adamantly, to participate in a reconstruction proposed by the Portuguese police months down the line?

They didn't think it would help the search?  Didn't that criteria also apply when they were so anxious for the secondment of trained dogs and a televised reconstruction so early in the day?

Watch this space ....

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Post by Verdi 20.06.22 13:32

Lest we forget..

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Post by Verdi 21.06.22 1:55

Gerry and Kate McCann were made aware by the Portuguese police, the proposed reconstruction could not proceed without the full cooperation of all their holiday companions.

The group declined to participate, despite the fact a reconstruction was deemed necessary to assist the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

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Speaks volumes ....

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Post by Verdi 21.06.22 13:12

Gonçalo Amaral wrote:Madeleine McCann died in apartment 5a and her body was concealed

Gonçalo Amaral was vilified mercilessly by team McCann and the British media and press, not only unreasonably faulted as regards professional integrity but also as an individual - a person.  There was no foundation for the random attacks, team McCann's only rationale could be Snr Amaral was getting too close to the truth.

Has such a situation ever occurred before on such a grand scale, involving the diplomatic corp, politicians and media/press on mass?  A situation that not only allows but encourages a nation to actively destroy the life and reputation of a well respected police officer who was just doing his job? I can quite understand a felon being cocky and hitting out at the police, trying to reverse the 'situation they find themselves in' but the McCanns and their support network took their situation to a whole new level.

Snr Amaral was not victimizing Gerry McCann, Kate McCann or any of their group of holiday friends - he was following the evidence and seriously questioning the contradictory witness statements presented before the investigation.  Snr Amaral was not trying to hastily conclude an investigation for any reason, if anything he treated the McCanns with greater consideration than they deserved - they misled the investigation with false words and an unprecedented attack against the Portuguese police force by way of the British press and media.

Routine policing!

Remembering Snr Amaral's documentary and two books reflect the Portuguese investigation during his time as case coordinator - I think, taking the case back to basics, Snr Amaral's documentary is probably the most important source of factual information condensed into a readable/watchable video - subtitled for the English.  How any reasonable minded individual can distort the documentary into a personal attack against the 'prime suspects' Gerry and Kate McCann beggars belief.

The investigation, not Snr Amaral as a lone crusader - he was case coordinator which speaks for itself, followed the evidence.  That and that alone was the reason Gerry and Kate McCann were designated arguidos by the Portuguese police.

Enjoy..

Truth of the Lie, documentary with Goncalo Amaral

53:19 minutes


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Post by Verdi 22.06.22 13:32

There has been much talk over the years, primarily emanating from the McCann faction, that suggests Gonçalo Amaral failed his duty as a senior police officer by concentrating on the potential of Gerry and/or Kate McCann's culpability rather than looking for the abductor, the paedophile, who stole their child from her bed.

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Well, if we revert to the documentation of the Portuguese police investigation, an entirely different story emerges..

The investigation, during more than 13 months, followed all the credible indices related to different hypotheses and, in an impartial manner, continued to analyse, correlate and synthesize them, looking for an explanation for the happenings of the night of 3 May 2007.

Assuming that the minor's disappearance was due to the acts of third parties, the PJ explored various lines of investigation, not excluding any hypothesis considered plausible or hypothetically acceptable.

From the documentation, you will observe that during the investigation various possibilities were contemplated.

As such, consider:

1. abduction, for sexual exploration or other (e.g, later adoption, child trafficking, organ trafficking), without homicide;

2. abduction, followed by homicide with (or without) hiding of the corpse;

3. accidental death, with later hiding of the corpse;

pages 7 and 8

The Hypothesis 1 and 2 were considered in the double notion of the illicit of abduction (if that happened) that could have had occurred due to feelings of revenge by the
Kidnapper(s) towards the parents (intended abduction) or by taking merely the opportunity of the child being at a vulnerable situation (opportunity abduction).

As a remote hypothesis, the possibility of the minor leaving the apartment by her own means was explored – that would be highly unlikely physically – and after, because of an accident or by a third person intervention, she would have disappeared.

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Post by Verdi 22.06.22 13:49

There are two important, outstanding, words contained in this video broadcast by the Australian media .... 'taken' and 'abducted'.

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Fifteen years after the event and still the press and media fly in the face of evidence.

On this point, there is no evidence to suggest, let alone prove that Madeleine McCann was 'taken'/'abducted'.

Is it a  classic case if you repeat often enough not only will you convince the audience, you might even convince yourself - or is it a case of 'here you have it, we don't give a toss whether you believe or not'?

Mark Williams-Thomas makes one or two valid points, it pains me to say, but to continue following the abduction lead defies common decency and above all else - justice!

Again the McCann faction is given an extra layer of protective clothing - the bullet proof, not so Fair Isle, jully whoomper.

no

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Post by Verdi 28.06.22 13:29

The Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been under fire since the very beginning - May 2007.

The British authorities, the British press and media, haven't missed an opportunity to mercilessly attack the Portuguese nation with tales of police ineptitude and government corruption - what a laugh that is, coming from the UK !?! Not only that but the gruesome twosome, Gerry and Kate McCann have the bare-face audacity to challenge the Portuguese nation through the European Court of Human Rights bigshock

It's tantamount to warfare.

And all because ....

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Post by Verdi 28.06.22 15:41

According to saintly Kate McCann, Amaral's [sic] behaviour (read the PJ investigation) was hindering 'the search' for Madeleine - that would be 'the search' the McCann's themselves couldn't/wouldn't pursue because there was plenty going on behind the scenes.

Well Ms Healy/McCann, perhaps you would like to explain exactly how a studio appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show helped the search?

Oh yes I remember - the oracle....

Kate McCann wrote:For his next trick, Amaral produced a ‘documentary’ based on his book, which was screened in Portugal on 13 April. A friend in Luz who phoned to tell us about it the next day was very upset, describing it as ‘awful’.

I’ve always been considered quite a gentle person but these attacks stirred up terrible emotions in me. It was as if my whole body was trying to scream but a tightly screwed-on lid was preventing the scream from escaping. Instead I was just howling internally. My punch bag certainly came in handy at times. Amaral’s documentary was the last straw. On 20 April we took the decision with Isabel Duarte to sue him.

While she did the preparatory work, we were off to the States again – to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. We had been asked if we’d consider being interviewed by Oprah not long after Madeleine was abducted but we’d had a lot on our plates then and there was no particular objective it would have served. This time we had our age-progressed image to publicize, and the global reach of Oprah’s massively popular show would give us a fantastic opportunity to stamp this on the worldwide public consciousness.

It wasn’t until we arrived in Chicago that it really hit me what a huge deal this interview was for our search for Madeleine. Oprah has more than once been described as the most influential woman in the world. Certainly when she speaks, as they say across the Atlantic, America listens.

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Post by Verdi 30.06.22 1:59

The following day we learned that the little girl was not Madeleine. In spite of her fair colouring, she was the daughter of the woman carrying her in the picture. It didn’t seem to matter how good we thought we were at keeping our emotions in check, news like this always brought us crashing down.
------
On 2 October, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, removed from our case a detective named Gonçalo Amaral, the coordinator of the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. Until then I’d barely heard of Sr Amaral. In the five months he held this job I never met him. Gerry did only once, very briefly. The reason for his removal, it was said, was that he had made controversial remarks about the involvement of the British authorities in the investigation. By the following summer, we would be hearing a lot more from the mystifying Sr Amaral.
-----
Meanwhile, in Portugal, Gonçalo Amaral, removed as coordinator of the investigation in October 2007, reared his head again. On 30 June he retired from the police force altogether. His reason for doing so was, he said, to regain his ‘freedom of speech’. Nine months after his removal from the investigation, Amaral’s association with it appeared to have increased remarkably. As speculation about the closure of the case mounted, he, along with several of his ex-PJ friends, began to appear in newspapers and on television. His purpose appeared to be to convince the Portuguese nation that Madeleine was dead. He had, he said, written a book about the case that would be published very soon.
-----
Amaral and his chums had evidently been poised to take full advantage of the long-awaited lifting of judicial secrecy. Now they really went to town: we had staged a kidnap, or Madeleine had died in our holiday apartment and we had hidden her body; we had influenced the British police and organized our campaign to mislead investigators into searching for a living child, and so on and so forth. No longer gagged by the law, Amaral was talking more and more openly to journalists and turning up on television chat shows. A friend in the Algarve kept us updated on his activities. It was unpleasant and distressing to hear what he was saying, but we had to know what Madeleine was up against in Portugal. And it was incessant. With the best will in the world, it is hard for anyone to absorb this stuff day in, day out and remain completely objective, especially when it is never challenged or balanced by an alternative viewpoint.

It is impossible to convey, particularly to people outside Portugal who were not aware of Amaral’s behaviour, just how difficult this smear campaign was both to withstand and to counter. And we desperately needed to counter it: we have always believed that the information that can lead us to our daughter is likely to come from Portugal. This is where the crime was committed, after all. Blackening our names was one thing, but if people there were taken in by Amaral’s theories, they were going to think there was no point in looking for Madeleine, or in passing on any information that might be relevant. We are quite sure that Amaral’s posturing has reduced our chances of finding her.

Why on earth would a former police officer want to convince the world that a missing child was dead – with no evidence whatsoever to support his claim? The only conclusion we could draw was that he was attempting to justify his actions while in charge of the investigation and at the same time promoting his forthcoming book to cash in on our misfortune. It just beggars belief.

I spent many days in tears, sobbing at the injustice being done to Madeleine by the very people who should have been helping her. There were times when I felt so incensed by the conduct of Amaral and his friends I thought I simply wouldn’t get through the pain and anger. It was utterly frustrating that there didn’t seem to be anybody in Portugal prepared to stand up against this man. Surely there were intelligent and knowledgeable people in positions of authority who could see through these offensive allegations. Why were they all staying quiet? Was it because it wasn’t their problem? Were they scared to speak out? Perhaps Amaral had tapped into some kind of national subconscious desire for this to all just go away. The country was already reeling from a child-abuse scandal involving Casa Pia, a state-run institution for orphans and other disadvantaged children (when this finally came to court in 2010, six men, including a TV presenter and a former UNESCO ambassador, would be convicted) – the first such case ever to be tried in Portugal. Perhaps it was more convenient and less troubling to lay Madeleine’s disappearance at the door of her foreign parents, put an end to the matter and move on. Who knows?
-----
On 24 July 2008, three days after the inquiry was closed, Gonçalo Amaral launched his book about our daughter’s disappearance. For this to have been possible, confidential information relating to the investigation would have to have been passed to his publishers, and any number of people involved in the production of the book, well in advance of the lifting of judicial secrecy. Needless to say, it repeated his theories, dressed up with fabrication and speculation. What it failed to include was any evidence – something one would expect to be rather important to a police officer – or any detail that didn’t suit his story.

Dear God. I’m finding it really difficult to believe you’re there at the moment. The more our suffering and pain continues and the more we are tested, the more I find myself doubting your presence, which is really scary. Without you, we have nothing; certainly nothing more than a slight chance so it’s almost impossible to give up on you. Please God, if you can’t bring Madeleine back imminently, please give us a sign, something positive.

Gerry and I talked about taking legal action against Gonçalo Amaral but we had concerns about the time and effort this would involve. We did not want to be diverted from our own investigation just as we had put the restrictions of the case behind us and we feared that any resolution through the Portuguese courts would take too long. For the moment we hoped the fuss would die down and Amaral would let up.
-----
I felt some sympathy with them over the challenges they faced, and it was clear that Paulo Rebelo, who replaced Gonçalo Amaral as coordinator of the investigation, had tried to make up for some of the initial inadequacies by checking back for anything that had been overlooked. But the discovery of each missed opportunity was another twist of the knife in my chest.
----
It didn’t take me long to figure out what had happened. After taking away my journals in August 2007, the PJ had had them translated into Portuguese. To my horror, back in July excerpts had already been published in a pro-Amaral newspaper in Portugal – just three days after the launch of the former officer’s offensive book. Now that version had been sold or given to the News of the World and translated back into English. I knew only too well from my interviews with the PJ how words and meanings could get lost in translation, and it was obvious this was what had occurred here.
-----
As 2008 drew to a close, Gonçalo Amaral was still parading his unsavoury theories around Portugal and beyond. By the autumn it had become clear that he was not going to go away. We were beginning to realize that the harm being done to our search for Madeleine, especially in Portugal, was outweighing our reluctance to be distracted from it. We needed to put a stop to this serious damage. We had already spoken to our legal team on several occasions about taking action and knew that the only way of assessing our chances of success would be to seek advice from a Portuguese libel lawyer.
-----
On Monday, 7 April 2009, we discovered that a pro-Amaral article had appeared in Público, one of the most respectable newspapers in Portugal. Since it had, in the main, steered clear of the Madeleine ‘story’ and was well regarded by the country’s opinion-formers, this was a worrying development.
By coincidence, that weekend Gerry and a couple of our holiday friends had been in Praia da Luz, where significant events and sightings potentially related to Madeleine’s disappearance were being reconstructed, using actors, and filmed for a Channel 4 documentary we were working on (at last – a re-enactment people would see). I had stayed at home with Sean and Amelie – there was no need for me to put myself through this. I desperately wanted to return to the village when the time was right, but we did not feel we could go there as a couple until we could do so safely and quietly, without our visit turning into a media-fest and causing yet more disruption. As it was, the press, suddenly forgetting that the world was in economic crisis, were claiming that disgruntled workers blamed us for redundancies at the Ocean Club and the downturn in the local economy in general, and made much of Gerry being ‘heckled’ in Praia da Luz. In fact, maybe two people in a good-sized crowd shouted something at him. Those holding pictures of Madeleine, which they pressed to their hearts to show their support, didn’t warrant a mention.
-----
For his next trick, Amaral produced a ‘documentary’ based on his book, which was screened in Portugal on 13 April. A friend in Luz who phoned to tell us about it the next day was very upset, describing it as ‘awful’.

I’ve always been considered quite a gentle person but these attacks stirred up terrible emotions in me. It was as if my whole body was trying to scream but a tightly screwed-on lid was preventing the scream from escaping. Instead I was just howling internally. My punch bag certainly came in handy at times. Amaral’s documentary was the last straw. On 20 April we took the decision with Isabel Duarte to sue him.
-----
On 2 October, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, removed from our case a detective named Gonçalo Amaral, the coordinator of the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. Until then I’d barely heard of Sr Amaral. In the five months he held this job I never met him. Gerry did only once, very briefly. The reason for his removal, it was said, was that he had made controversial remarks about the involvement of the British authorities in the investigation. By the following summer, we would be hearing a lot more from the mystifying Sr Amaral.
-----

Isabel suggested that first of all we should apply for an injunction against Amaral’s book and the DVD of his documentary with the aim of preventing the distribution and further repetition of his damaging theories. The next phase would be to sue Amaral for libel. It was an inspiring meeting and I will never forget Isabel’s words to me as she leaned across the table, looking me straight in the eye: ‘Today is a very important day for your daughter.’

Later the same month, Amaral was given an eighteen-month suspended prison sentence in connection with a case in which three of his officers were accused of torture. The mother and uncle of another missing child – eight-year-old Joana Cipriano, who had disappeared in 2004 from a village seven miles from Praia da Luz – had been imprisoned for her murder, although no body has ever been found. They claimed they had been tortured into confessing (the police maintained that Sra Cipriano had fallen down the stairs). The officers concerned were cleared but the jury found that Amaral had falsified statements relating to the torture case. His conviction was upheld in the Supreme Court in March 2011. Joana’s mother is still in jail.

Falsifying statements? It was difficult to understand why anyone would believe the theories of a police officer found guilty of such malpractice. While coordinating the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, Amaral had been an arguido. How on earth had he come to be put in charge of an inquiry into the disappearance of another missing child?
-----
Later the same month, Amaral was given an eighteen-month suspended prison sentence in connection with a case in which three of his officers were accused of torture. The mother and uncle of another missing child – eight-year-old Joana Cipriano, who had disappeared in 2004 from a village seven miles from Praia da Luz – had been imprisoned for her murder, although no body has ever been found. They claimed they had been tortured into confessing (the police maintained that Sra Cipriano had fallen down the stairs). The officers concerned were cleared but the jury found that Amaral had falsified statements relating to the torture case. His conviction was upheld in the Supreme Court in March 2011. Joana’s mother is still in jail.

Falsifying statements? It was difficult to understand why anyone would believe the theories of a police officer found guilty of such malpractice. While coordinating the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, Amaral had been an arguido. How on earth had he come to be put in charge of an inquiry into the disappearance of another missing child?
-----
We were exasperated. We now knew that there had been hundreds of paedophiles on the Algarve at that time and if, God forbid, one of them had been involved, Hewlett seemed a less likely candidate than a lot of others. He was in his sixties, for a start, much older than the man seen by Jane and other witnesses. But to the press that was irrelevant. They had a name and a photograph and they were off.

We were desperate for somebody to investigate Hewlett, not because we thought he had anything to do with taking Madeleine but because we wanted to eliminate him from the inquiry and quickly put an end to the media speculation. But the UK authorities told us they couldn’t help. (‘It’s a Portuguese investigation . . .’)

My main worry was that Hewlett, who had terminal throat cancer, would die before anyone took an official statement from him. Then the media would take the line that it was probably him, Madeleine was dead, game over, and we would be left with an uphill struggle to prevent this theory from becoming established. All the hard work we’d done recently to motivate the public to believe in our search again, and to undo the harm being done by Gonçalo Amaral, would be ruined. Sometimes it seemed as if we spent as much time trying to clear the path for our investigation as we did actually investigating. I wasn’t sure I had the strength for another battle. It was so frustrating.

Sure enough, the tabloid interest in Hewlett raged on until July. In the meantime, he was questioned in connection with a case dating back to 1975, but not by Leicestershire or Portuguese officers. He also spoke to the tabloids, but refused to see our investigators unless we paid him to do so. He died a few months later.
-----
In the meantime, we had been caught up in the byzantine workings of the Portuguese legal system. To date there have already been six separate decisions made on our request for an injunction, entailing four separate court hearings. The injunction against Amaral’s book and DVD was initially rejected on the basis that any damage had already been done (decision 1). Isabel appealed on our behalf, as we strongly believed that damage was still being done, both to the search for Madeleine and to our family’s human rights. The Appeal Court agreed that our case should be reconsidered (decision 2) and on 3 September 2009 four of our witnesses went to court to testify. Five days later the judge granted the injunction and ordered that Sr Amaral’s theories must no longer be repeated (decision 3). He and his publishers would be required to ensure that all unsold copies of his book were removed from shops and warehouses across Europe and deposited with Isabel Duarte or face daily fines. As expected, Amaral in turn appealed against this decision.

Amaral’s appeal was heard in December in Lisbon, over five days that ended up being spread over three consecutive months. Gerry and I felt it was important, essential even, for us to attend to represent Madeleine. She needed somebody there for her. She was the victim in this, not Gonçalo Amaral. I also needed to see the whites of Sr Amaral’s eyes. We flew out to Portugal on 10 December
-----
On 2 October, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, removed from our case a detective named Gonçalo Amaral, the coordinator of the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. Until then I’d barely heard of Sr Amaral. In the five months he held this job I never met him. Gerry did only once, very briefly. The reason for his removal, it was said, was that he had made controversial remarks about the involvement of the British authorities in the investigation. By the following summer, we would be hearing a lot more from the mystifying Sr Amaral.
-----
In the meantime, we had been caught up in the byzantine workings of the Portuguese legal system. To date there have already been six separate decisions made on our request for an injunction, entailing four separate court hearings. The injunction against Amaral’s book and DVD was initially rejected on the basis that any damage had already been done (decision 1). Isabel appealed on our behalf, as we strongly believed that damage wasstill being done, both to the search for Madeleine and to our family’s human rights. The Appeal Court agreed that our case should be reconsidered (decision 2) and on 3 September 2009 four of our witnesses went to court to testify. Five days later the judge granted the injunction and ordered that Sr Amaral’s theories must no longer be repeated (decision 3). He and his publishers would be required to ensure that all unsold copies of his book were removed from shops and warehouses across Europe and deposited with Isabel Duarte or face daily fines. As expected, Amaral in turn appealed against this decision.

Amaral’s appeal was heard in December in Lisbon, over five days that ended up being spread over three consecutive months. Gerry and I felt it was important, essential even, for us to attend to represent Madeleine. She needed somebody there for her. She was the victim in this, not Gonçalo Amaral. I also needed to see the whites of Sr Amaral’s eyes. We flew out to Portugal on 10 December.

Not sure how I feel about seeing Mr Amaral – for the first time ever, I hasten to add! I know I’m not scared but that man has caused us so much upset and anger because of how he has treated my beautiful Madeleine and the search to find her. He deserves to be miserable and feel fear.

We were warned of the threat of a demonstration against us outside the courtroom, and our Portuguese advisers, worried about our welfare and negative publicity, felt it might be a good idea if we stayed away after all. But if we backed out, the bullies would have won. We’d come here for Madeleine, and we had no intention of letting her down. Besides, we couldn’t think of anything anyone could do to us or say about us that would be worse than what we’d already suffered. In the event, this ‘demonstration’ consisted of two middle-aged women, friends of Gonçalo Amaral.

And so it was that on 11 December 2009 I first laid eyes on Sr Gonçalo Amaral. It was also the first time he had laid eyes on me. It is extraordinary that he could have said and written so many awful things about a person he had never met. He had obviously spruced himself up in recent months. The moustache, gold chain and bulging tummy familiar to me from unflattering newspaper photographs were nowhere to be seen. Now he was sporting a smart haircut, nice suit and hat, and – an intriguing touch – a diamond earring. I wasn’t afraid, but I admit that my heart beat a little harder and I clutched my wooden holding cross tightly as he walked past, flanked by his entourage. Here was the person who had been entrusted with finding our little girl and who had failed her – not simply by being unable to find her when he was in charge, but by then speaking out in a way that in effect hindered other people, ourselves included, from finding her.

I couldn’t stop staring at him. It was as if I were trying to look inside his head. If the intensity of a stare could penetrate bone, I’m sure I would have managed it. What made this man tick? How did he rationalize his behaviour? How did he manage to sleep at night?
-----
The trial was adjourned until the following month. Amaral’s lawyer’s secretary had suspected swine flu, and that meant Amaral’s lawyer had to be ‘quarantined’ too, we were told. Still, we had come for Madeleine’s sake, we had been there, and that felt important. We had already decided that we’d take this opportunity to visit Praia da Luz, so all was not lost.

I had promised my daughter and myself that I would return to Luz, and it had taken a long while for me to be able to do so both safely and in peace. In the middle of winter the village was tranquil. Gerry and I were able to seek solace at Nossa Senhora da Luz, I spent time at my rocks on the beach and we caught up with friends. To this day I still return quietly to Luz from time to time to feel Madeleine close to me.
-----
To this day I still return quietly to Luz from time to time to feel Madeleine close to me.

We were back in Lisbon on 11 January 2010. For some reason I couldn’t put my finger on, I was more anxious about the proceedings this time. But Isabel is a match for anyone, and I was reassured to have her on our side. In the corridor outside the courtroom, there was something about the way Amaral’s cronies greeted him, with much sycophantic back-slapping, that made me distinctly uncomfortable
-----
The prosecutor in our case, José de Magalhães e Menezes, gave an objective account, reiterating that there was no evidence either that Madeleine was dead or that Gerry and I were involved. A little while later, up popped Ricardo Paiva, who surprised me by remaining quite calm, even if he did contradict himself during his testimony. Paiva said he believed Gonçalo Amaral’s assertion that Madeleine was dead and that Gerry and I had staged a kidnap.
-----
During a break in the proceedings, I was going down the big stone staircase to the ladies’ as Gonçalo Amaral was coming up. Thoughts of what I ought to say or do to him flashed through my mind but I stayed strong and passed him without comment, our shoulders briefly coming within a foot of each other
-----
In the course of the appeal trial we heard from representatives of Amaral’s publishers, the producers of his documentary and the TV channel that had aired it. A university professor of criminology and several PJ officers were also called. The two final witnesses the following morning were the general manager of the documentary production company and a journalist from Correio da Manhã, a pro-Amaral tabloid that gave house room to his claims on a regular basis.

After lunch, we returned to the courtroom for the summing-up of each of the lawyers. This was a horrible experience and one which, stupidly, I wasn’t prepared for. The summaries of the defence appeared to be focused more on attacking Gerry and me personally than on what we were actually here to resolve: the damage wreaked by Amaral’s book and DVD. Amaral’s lawyer also seemed intent on turning it into a UK-versus-Portugal battle, suggesting that we acted as if we owned their country. Clearly the defence were trying to incite the Portuguese people and keep public opinion on their side. It was ridiculous and unfair.

I was totally drained by the time we boarded the plane and, unusually, fell asleep within minutes of taking my seat. We arrived back in Rothley just before 2am. It was good to be home.
-----
In the course of the appeal trial we heard from representatives of Amaral’s publishers, the producers of his documentary and the TV channel that had aired it. A university professor of criminology and several PJ officers were also called. The two final witnesses the following morning were the general manager of the documentary production company and a journalist from Correio da Manhã, a pro-Amaral tabloid that gave house room to his claims on a regular basis.

After lunch, we returned to the courtroom for the summing-up of each of the lawyers. This was a horrible experience and one which, stupidly, I wasn’t prepared for. The summaries of the defence appeared to be focused more on attacking Gerry and me personally than on what we were actually here to resolve: the damage wreaked by Amaral’s book and DVD. Amaral’s lawyer also seemed intent on turning it into a UK-versus-Portugal battle,

suggesting that we acted as if we owned their country. Clearly the defence were trying to incite the Portuguese people and keep public opinion on their side. It was ridiculous and unfair.

I was totally drained by the time we boarded the plane and, unusually, fell asleep within minutes of taking my seat. We arrived back in Rothley just before 2am. It was good to be home.

I love you, Madeleine. We will keep fighting, regardless of how many battles we have to face. Please God, good will overcome this evil. Love you, honeypie. We all do – so much. xxxxx

On 18 February, after an unsettling morning of waiting, we received the judge’s decision. We had won. Amaral’s appeal was rejected (decision 4) and the injunction against his book and DVD stood. Thank goodness for some sanity and thank goodness for Isabel.

On 1 March, we heard from a Portuguese friend that Amaral had been interviewed on television by Miguel Sousa Tavares, a celebrated journalist and writer. Our friend was delighted. Finally, an interviewer had asked Amaral the questions crying out to be asked of him for two and a half years. The interview was apparently quite aggressive, and Tavares had given Amaral a rough ride, but the points made were all pertinent and justified. It had been a long time coming. If only there were more people brave enough to challenge individuals like this.

Devastatingly, however, by the autumn everything had flipped again. On 19 October 2010, we were hit with a bolt from the blue. Clarence was told by a Sun reporter that yet another decision from the Appeal Court had reversed the injunction and lifted the ban on the sale of Amaral’s book and DVD (decision 5). We hadn’t even been aware that another judgement was about to be made, and neither was our lawyer. This broadside just came from nowhere. How many appeals was Amaral going to be allowed? How could other judges come along and overturn a decision made by three courts before them?

The latest verdict was that Amaral’s poisonous allegations did not damage our investigation in any way and nor did they affect our human rights. Common sense tells us otherwise. How could spreading the word that a child is dead not damage the search for her? There was more waffle about the injunction contradicting the constitution of Portugal and undermining democracy by prohibiting free speech. Does this mean that a person could go out and start accusing their next-door neighbour of being a serial killer? As I understand freedom of speech, it does not equate to freedom to slander and libel someone with impunity.

It was impossible to comprehend. I felt utterly beaten. In a sixth decision in 2011, our appeal against the reversal of the injunction was rejected. We are at a loss to understand why, but we struggle on. We plan to appeal against this latest decision and a libel case against Amaral is pending.

We were still reeling from this when along came Wikileaks. At the end of 2010, the Guardian published details selected from thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables leaked by the controversial whistle-blowing Wikileaks website. Among them was one of two messages that concerned Madeleine. It was a note of a meeting on 21 September 2007 – two weeks after Gerry and I were named as arguidos – between Alex Ellis, the British ambassador in Portugal, and Alfred Hoffman Jr, the outgoing US ambassador, in which Ellis tells Hoffman that the British police ‘developed the current evidence against Madeleine’s parents’.

The cable was three years old and what it contained didn’t amount to much, either. It related to the British police sniffer dogs that barked in our holiday apartment and near our car. In the sense that this work was carried out by the UK police, then yes, their actions did lead to us being declared arguidos by the PJ, but the British officers did not actually develop evidence as such, because there was no evidence to develop.

So this was old news: we didn’t pay it much attention and in the UK it created no more than a ripple for a day or so. To our dismay, however, the Portuguese press, galvanized by Gonçalo Amaral, lapped it up. Off he went on another round of the interview circuit – he even held a press conference on the matter – seizing this opportunity to air his allegations once again. It was absolutely soul-destroying.

What probably galls me the most about Amaral’s interviews is the way he presents himself as a person who, perhaps above all others, really wants to find Madeleine and get to the bottom of her fate. I cannot begin to express how much this outrages me. His conduct in relation to the search for our daughter has led us to believe otherwise. There is nobody in the world more desperate than Gerry and me to find our daughter and to discover the truth – the whole truth – about what happened to her. What does he think has been the focus of our existence since 3 May 2007?

At that point it was almost two and a half years since the prosecutor had closed the file and removed our arguido status. How many more times will we have these disgraceful slurs thrown at us? How many more times will they be pushed down the throats of the Portuguese public?

Gonçalo Amaral has been convicted of falsifying statements and has coordinated investigations into the disappearance of two little girls, neither of whom has been found. Why is this man being allowed a platform from which to peddle his absurd and offensive ideas? They say what goes around comes around. For Madeleine’s sake, I certainly hope so.

shhhh You know who!

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by Verdi 30.06.22 14:10

Please excuse any repetition or other confusing presentation of the above ^^^.

My laptop was playing up, it's the grasshopper syndrome.

You know what they say about a bad workman - sorry workLGBT.

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by Verdi 12.07.22 16:57

Witness Statement of Gerry McCann - 10th May 2007 [snipped]

----- The day MADELEINE disappeared, Thursday, 3 May 2007, they all woke up at the same time between 07H30 and 08H00.
While they were taking breakfast MADELEINE addressed the mother and asked her ?why didn't you come last night when S*** and I were crying??. That he thought this comment very strange given that MADELEINE had never had this kind of talk [had never spoken like this] and, the night before, they had maintained the same system of checking on the children, not having detected anything abnormal. When he questioned her about the comment, she left [withdrew herself] without any explanation.

----- On Wednesday night, 2 May 2007, as well as he and his wife, he thinks that DP also went to his apartment to confirm that his children were well, not having reported to him any abnormal situation with the children. On this day he and KATE had already left the rear door closed, but not locked, to allow entrance by their colleagues to check on the children. He clarifies that the main door was always closed but not necessarily locked with the key. He does not know if the window next to the front door, and that gave access to the children's bedroom, was locked, given that he assumed that the outside blinds could not be opened from the outside. Still on this night, KATE slept in the children's bedroom, in the bed next to the window, because he was snoring.

----- He cannot say exactly, but he thinks that on Monday or Tuesday MADELEINE had slept for some time in his bedroom with KATE as she [K] had told him that one or both twins had cried making much noise.

----- Returning to Thursday, after breakfast, about 09h00, KATE and the children left by the rear door, he having left by the front door, which he locked with the key, having also closed and locked the rear door from the inside.

----- They made their way on foot by the usual route to the creche next to the TAPAS where they left the twins, and, while KATE stayed to play tennis he took MADELEINE to her creche, through the short-cut, where they arrived at 09h15, and , since it was obligatory, he signed the child's attendance register. On returning, not by the short-cut, he went to the supermarket where he bought milk, he presumes, making his way to his apartment, entering by the front door, that was locked by key, when it was 09H40/09H45.

----- He remained at home for about 15 minutes, dressing in tennis clothes, left by the front door, that he did not lock, and made his way to the tennis courts by the usual route, they being next to the TAPAS. He played tennis for an hour with the instructor and other students among whom was an individual he had met during the holiday called "JEZ", and with whom he had established a friendship albeit as a simple acquaintance. "JEZ" has two small children whose exact age he does not know. As to his wife, he had seen her next to the pool but had never spoken with her.

----- The tennis class finished at llH15, he stayed in the pool area talking with his wife and other persons, whom he does not remember. At 12H00, he combined with KATE, as he recalls it, that she would make lunch and he would collect MADELEINE. He thinks that it was KATE who took the twins home. Since it was he who went to collect MADELEINE, he is sure he used the short-cut

----- At 12h30 they started lunch, the meal having lasted an hour until 13h30. After that time they made their way to the resort play area, the deponent left by the front door and the rest of the family by the rear door that, once again, he shut and locked from the inside. As to the front door, he does not know exactly if he locked it.

----- That they stayed in the play area for approximately an hour until 14H30/14H35. After that they left the twins next to the creche at the TAPAS, they signed the register and the three (deponent, KATE and MADELEINE) made their way to the creche at the main reception, where they arrived at 14H50 and delivered MADELEINE, not being able to say precisely who signed the register.

----- The deponent and KATE returned to the OCEAN CLUB by the short-cut and at the secondary reception they asked the lady employee if there was a vacant tennis court they could reserve. They were told there was a vacancy between 14H30 to 15H30. As it was already 15h00, they began to play immediately. At 15H30, the tennis instructor arrived, who instructed each of them until 16H30.

----- The stayed in that place, talking, until 16H45 at which time the twins went to the meal area. At 17h00, as usual, MADELEINE arrived accompanied by the teachers and the other children. After her arrival, MADELEINE ate, [the meal] having ended at 17H30.

------ After 17H30 they went to the apartment, the deponent having entered by the main door, which he did not lock while he was inside the residence. KATE and the children entered by the rear door, after this had been opened from the inside by the deponent.

------ That they bathed the children, the deponent having left at 18H00 for a tennis game only for men, at which were: DAN, tennis instructor; JULIAN, with whom he had played tennis several times; and CURTIS, with whom he had also played.

------ During the afternoon of that day the rest of the group members, including the children, were at the beach, [they] having returned at 18H30, the time at which he saw DP next to the tennis court. DAVID went to visit KATE and the children and returned close to 19H00, trying to convince the deponent to continue to play tennis, to which [entreaty] he did not accede as he had already been plying for about an hour and had to go back to to his wife. Nevertheless, RUSSELL, DAVID and MATHEW stayed to play.

----- At 19H00, he made his way to the apartment, finding KATE and the children playing on the sofa. About 10 to 15 minutes later, they took the children to the bedroom and they all sat on MADELEINE'S bed to read a story. At 19H30, the twins were already in their respective cots and MADELEINE in the bed next to the bedroom door. He does not know if they were asleep but from the silence he presumed that they were. As it was still early he took a bath, he thinks that KATE had already had one, they talked a little and drank wine or beer.

----- At 20H35, they left the apartment in the direction of the TAPAS. Before they left and because the children's bedroom door was ajar as always, he opened it a little more, listening from the outside and, as there was complete silence he did not enter, returning the door to its previous position, with a space of about 10cm.

----- He is certain that, before leaving home the children's bedroom was totally dark, with the window closed, but he does not know it was locked, the external blinds closed but with some slats open, and the curtains also drawn closed. Asked, he relates that during the night the artificial light coming in from the outside is very weak, because, without a light being on in the lounge or the kitchen, the visibility inside the bedroom is much reduced. Despite what he said in his previous statements, he states now and with certainty, that he left with KATE by the rear door which he consequently closed but did not lock given that that is only possible from the inside. Referring to the front door, while he is certain that it was closed it is unlikely that it was locked as [because] they had left by the rear door.

----- They took the usual route to the TAPAS, where they arrived a little after 20H35, not having passed on the route anyone known nor detected anything abnormal. Asked, he said that the dinner bookings were made since Monday, it was already the intention of the group to take their meals there. They were the first of the group to arrive seating themselves at the biggest table, as usual, that was situated in the middle between other tables under an awning with a transparent plastic surface at the front. He relates that they were seated at the table in a position that allowed the deponent to see almost the entire rear door of his apartment through which they left and entered and which gave access to the lounge.

----- Before that, among the other people whom he does not recall, there was at one of the small tables the CARPENTER couple, who he also met playing tennis and with whom he spoke until other group members began to arrive. He does not recall the order of arrival but has the idea that MATHEW and RACHEL had been the first to arrive after him. As time passed other group members were arriving until all nine adults [were there]. At 21H00, MATHEW stood up from the table saying that he would go to see the children. But he did not say that he would go to see the children of the deponent, only after the disappearance of MADELEINE he [MO] having told him [GM] that at 21h00 the external blinds of the children's bedroom window were shut. At 21H05 MATHEW returned, the time at which the deponent left the table to go to check how his children were.

----- He followed the normal route up to the rear door, which being open he only had to move [slide] it, that being the way in which he entered [was entering] the lounge, he noted that the children's bedroom door was not ajar as he had left it but half-way open, which he thought strange, having then put together the thought of MADELEINE having got up to go to sleep in his bedroom so as to avoid the noise produced [created] by her siblings. In this way he entered the children's bedroom and established visual contact with each of them, checking and is certain of this, that the three were sleeping deeply. He left the children's bedroom returning to place the door how he had already previously described, [then] going to the bathroom. Everything else was normal, the blinds, curtains and windows closed, very dark, there only being the light that came from the lounge.

----- He adds that he never entered any other part of the residence [his bedroom or the kitchen] where he was for only two or three minutes, leaving yet again through the rear door that he closed but did not lock. He clarifies that he returned without seeing the children of any other family because he had not been asked to by them.

----- After going through the side gate, and while on his way to the secondary reception entrance, less than 10 metres from the gate, he saw JEZ coming up the street on the opposite pavement bring with him a baby carriage with his youngest child. He crossed the road in JEZ's direction who would come up on the right-hand side [when viewed] from the ascending direction, both having chatted for 3 to 4 minutes, about tennis, holidays and children. While he maintained the conversation with JEZ he saw no-one from the group, nor detected any suspicious individual or vehicle. Because he had been specifically asked, he relates that during this period of time he did not see with certainty JANE pass that location, although it is clear that he was speaking when in front of JEZ, his back to the other pathway on which his apartment is situated. He relates also that JEZ never said to him that he had seen any person given that he was in front.

----- Following on, he returned to the TAPAS between 21h10 and 21h15 the dinner having gone as normal. As the movement of people at the table was frequent he does not know if, when he returned, anyone else was absent, namely JANE. At 21h30 he drew KATE'S attention to the fact that it was time for her to go to see the children, MATHEW having immediately volunteered to substitute given that she was talking. Three to four minutes later MATHEW returned saying only "it is all calm", he having entered by the rear door, given that he did not have the key and it was usual for them to enter in that way.

----- After MATHEW arrived and before KATE left, he does not recall if anyone else was absent, although it was very probable that such had happened. He thinks that, on that night none of the adults nor children were ill. Asked, he relates that the daughter of RUSSELL and of FIONA would have been ill on Tuesday.

----- Half and hour later without anything to signal, it being 22h03, he turned to alert KATE that it was time for her to go to see the children. She immediately made her way to the apartment by the usual path, she having entered by the rear door. About 10 minutes later, he started to worry about her lateness and, at the moment he prepared to stand and to go to see the reason for her lateness, KATE appeared running, completely distraught and crying, saying that MADELEINE had disappeared and that she was sure because she had looked throughout the house.

----- The deponent ran to the apartment accompanied by the rest of the group who, at the time, were seated at the table. When he arrived at the bedroom he first noticed that the door was completely open, the window was also open on one side, the external blinds almost fully raised, the curtains drawn back, MADELEINE'S bed was empty but the twins continued sleeping in their cribs. He clarifies that according to what KATE told him, that was the scene that she found when she entered the apartment.

----- Then he closed the external blinds, made his way to the outside and tried to open them, which he managed to do, much to his surprise given that he thought that that was only possible from the inside. They continued with searches outside around the various apartment blocks, the deponent having asked MATHEW who went to the secondary reception [where] the event was communicated to the local police, since he had no doubt that his daughter had been kidnapped [abducted]. He refutes, peremptorily, the notion [idea/hypothesis] that MADELEINE could have left the apartment by her own means.

----- The deponent had had the wrong idea that MATHEW had seen the bedroom external blinds closed when he was there at 21H30, the reason for that was that he thought the disappearance would have been happened between 21h30 and 22h00, it being that, actually, he is [?] convinced that the abduction occurred in the period understood to be between his visit at 21h05 and MATHEW'S visit at 21H30. Only about 01h00 on 4 May 2007 did he learn through RUSSELL that his companion, JANE, at 21h10, could have seen an individual crossing the top of the road with a child in his arms, that may or may not have been his daughter MADELEINE. Asked, he relates that he does not recall to have described exactly the type of pyjamas (colour, designs, etc.) that MADELEINE had worn at the time she disappeared. The photo of his daughter MADELEINE, after having printed several in the reception of the hotel, was delivered to the police (PJ) who were at the location, as well as to other persons who were there.

----- Asked, he stated that besides her own apartment MADELEINE only went to the apartment of DP and FP, since it was common that they frequented each others' apartments.

----- That, between Monday and Wednesday, not knowing the precise date, when they left the residence by the main door, to place the children in the respective creches, MADELEINE left [went] running to the left to the extreme opposite of the residential blocks where they were lodged, playing with the twins. That they had gone down to the furthest point away from those blocks, not knowing exactly how, the three children got into the gardens at the rear [of the blocks]. Then they followed the inside corridor [pathway] at the rear, next to the hedges [fences] up to the street that led to the secondary reception.

----- He denies peremptorily that anyone of the group could be directly or indirectly involved in the disappearance of his daughter. He presumes that, when his wife alerted him about her disappearance, all the group members were seated at the table. He relates that, also during the dinner, none of the members complained about being ill or manifested any strange behaviour, there was a relaxed atmosphere.

----- During the holidays he did not hire or ask to borrow any motor vehicle, nor had he used a taxi or other form of transport. He clarifies still that the only time MADELEINE accompanied them to the beach was described above, though she had gone to the beach in Luz three more times, one of those to go sailing, but always in the company of creche employees. Two of the visits occurred after the date on which she was there with her parents. That, with respect to those episodes, never was anything said to him by MADELEINE that anything strange had happened.

----- Asked, he relates that on Thursday, 3 May 2007, there was nobody outside the group seated at the table, nor does he know any person with the name IRWIN.

----- With respect to the bed where his daughter was on the night she disappeared he says that she slept uncovered, as usual when she was hot, with the bedclothes folded down. With respect to the other bed next to the window in the children's bedroom he says that it showed no signs that anyone had put their feet on it, namely, dirt or shoe prints.

----- Concerning the half-hourly checking of the children, it had been inspired by the MARK WARNER system called "baby listening", as referred to previously. On the night of the events he ate fish at dinner, and sausages and potatoes as a starter, drinking white wine. Usually, between 20h30 and the end of dinner, they would drink more or less a bottle of wine per person.

----- Asked, he says that KATE never told him anything about her having "a bad feeling [presentiment]" with respect to this trip.

----- He has no suspicion, nor has he any enemies, something that applies equally to his wife, KATE. That, in the course of his profession, he had never committed [made] any error, nor was he guilty of anything, except one time during 2000 in which an unknown individual entered the hospital where he worked, making incoherent threats without justification and calling his name.

Nothing more said ... read, ratified and going to sign

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Bright red volley ball type bag

Post by Chessmaster 19.07.22 18:49

Can anyone tell me why he didn’t return from Portugal with this red bag but clearly took it with him onto the plane? If anyone can shed light on this would be great?

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by crusader 19.07.22 18:51

Which red bag?
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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by Silentscope 19.07.22 19:26



If Chessmaster means the Red Rucksack, Gerry has it on his right Shoulder getting into the U.K. Bottom left in Video.
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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by Verdi 20.07.22 0:59

AP Archive

Midlands Airport - Saturday 28th April 2007

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Alamy Archive

Midlands Airport - 9th September 2007

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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty post moved

Post by crusader Yesterday at 10:17

HiDeHo wrote:July 26th 2007

SUMMARY (approx)

Gerry returns from Washington

Kate leaves PdL around 3.15pm and arrives at the airport just before 4.50pm

Gerry's arrives from Washington about 4.40pm

Kate's phone doesn't ping until 6.24pm back in PdL (hour and quarter approx from Faro Airport)

Gerry overshoots PdL to Vila do Bispo (7 miles west of PdL at 7.05pm (approx 90 min drive from Faro Airport and 21 minute drive from PdL)

Returns back to Budens at 7.10pm (9 minute drive )

Arrives back in PdL at 7.50 approx (14 minute drive from Budens but took 40 mins)

25 minutes between Budens and PdL unaccounted for.


I don't get this ^^^ If Kate went to the airport to pick up Gerry and arrived back in PDL at 6.24, who drove Gerry to Vila do Bispo?  He returned to PDL 7.50.

What did Kate travel to the airport for if not to pick up Gerry?
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Leave No Stone Unturned - Page 18 Empty Re: Leave No Stone Unturned

Post by Verdi Yesterday at 16:58

I have moved your post over here to an active thread [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], your chosen thread has been dormant for twelve years.

Gerry McCann's trip to the US of A is shrouded in mystery, particularly the journey back and forth.  Aside from media reports and McCann's blog entries (to follow) and hints the flight tickets for him and Justine McGuiness, his campaign manager who accompanied him on the trip, were donated by Richard Branson  i don\'t know  there is little known about his schedule.

That aside, I have always had doubts about the reliability of tracing a persons whereabouts by mobile phone calls, no doubt another useful tool in any police investigation that might be used as a guide but to use the data as conclusive evidence in a serious crime investigation I think to be a travesty.  I wouldn't be too happy if convicted on such evidence.

For information..

What Your Cell Phone Can’t Tell the Police

By Douglas Starr
June 26, 2014

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On May 28th, Lisa Marie Roberts, of Portland, Oregon, was released from prison after serving nine and a half years for a murder she didn’t commit. A key piece of overturned evidence was cell-phone records that allegedly put her at the scene.

Roberts pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2004, after her court-appointed attorney persuaded her that she had no hope of acquittal. The state’s attorney had told him that phone records had put Roberts at the scene of the crime, and, to her lawyer, that was almost as damning as DNA. But he was wrong, as are many other attorneys, prosecutors, judges, and juries, who overestimate the precision of cell-phone location records. Rather than pinpoint a suspect’s whereabouts, cell-tower records can put someone within an area of several hundred square miles or, in a congested urban area, several square miles. Yet years of prosecutions and plea bargains have been based on a misunderstanding of how cell networks operate. No one knows how often this occurs, but each year police make more than a million requests for cell-phone records. “We think the whole paradigm is absolutely flawed at every level, and shouldn’t be used in the courtroom,” Michael Cherry, the C.E.O. of Cherry Biometrics, a consulting firm in Falls Church, Virginia, told me. “This whole thing is junk science, a farce.”

The paradigm is the assumption that, when you make a call on your cell phone, it automatically routes to the nearest cell tower, and that by capturing those records police can determine where you made a call—and thus where you were—at a particular time. That, he explained, is not how the system works.

When you hit “send” on your cell phone, a complicated series of events takes place that is governed by algorithms and proprietary software, not just by the location of the cell tower. First, your cell phone sends out a radio-frequency signal to the towers within a radius of up to roughly twenty miles—or fewer, in urban areas—depending on the topography and atmospheric conditions. A regional switching center detects the signal and determines whether to accept the call. There are hundreds of such regional centers across the country.

The switching center determines the destination of your call and connects to the land lines that will take it to cell towers near the destination. Almost simultaneously, the software “decides” which of half a dozen towers in your area you’ll connect with. The selection is determined by load-management software that incorporates dozens of factors, including signal strength, atmospheric conditions, and maintenance schedules. The system is so fluid that you could sit at your desk, make five successive cell calls and connect to five different towers. During a conversation, your signal could be switched from one tower to the next; you’ll also be “handed off” to another tower if you travel outside your coverage area while you’re speaking. Designed for business and not tracking, call-detail records provide the kind of information that helps cell companies manage their networks, not track phones.

If I make a cell call from Kenmore Square, in my home town of Boston, you might think that I’m connecting to a cell site a few hundred feet away. But, if I’m standing near Fenway Park during a Red Sox game, with thousands of fans making calls and sending texts, that tower may have reached its capacity. Hypothetically, the system might send me to the next site, which might also be at capacity or down for maintenance, or to the next site, or the next. The switching center may look for all sorts of factors, most of which are proprietary to the company’s software. The only thing that you can say with confidence is that I have connected to a cell site somewhere within a radius of roughly twenty miles.

Aaron Romano, a Connecticut lawyer who says that he has seen many cases involving cell records, has done a series of calculations to show how imprecise these locations can be. If you suppose that a cell tower has picked up a signal from ten miles away, you’re looking at a circle with a radius of ten miles, which has an area of three hundred and fourteen square miles. Cell-tower coverage is divided into sectors. Most towers have three directional antennae, each of which covers one third of the circle. Including that factor gives you a sector of 104.67 square miles. “That’s a huge area,” Romano said. “So how can anyone say, with any degree of certainty, that a handset was at the scene of the crime?”

Some technologies can locate you precisely. If you carry an iPhone, you’re also carrying a G.P.S. transmitter, which links to a ground station and then to several satellites, which can find your location to within fifty to a hundred feet. You enable the G.P.S. when you use certain software, such as Google Maps. Similarly, if you make an emergency 911 call, your company will use three towers to triangulate your location; if you’re using a smartphone, it will use G.P.S. to pinpoint where you are. If you’re the target of an ongoing investigation and law-enforcement agencies want to track you, they can ask a phone company to “ping” your phone in real time. (They also use that technique when trying to find a kidnapping victim.) Those methods are not what’s captured by phone-company cell-tower records of the sort that helped put Roberts in prison.

When investigating a crime that occurred in the past, police tend to have two options: seize the G.P.S. chip and download the locations, or obtain the cell records. Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision made it mandatory for police to obtain warrants before searching the cell phones of people they arrest. But the case law on getting cell-tower information is split. In most jurisdictions, police can obtain your call-detail records without a warrant. The disparity in requirements between the two could encourage police to rely increasingly on call-detail records, Hanni Fakhoury, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said.

Put another way, if I’m making a cell-phone call from my couch and someone commits a murder in a bar half a mile away, my cell records may serve as corroborating evidence that I took part in the crime. That might be true if I’d claimed to be in another state at the time, but those records cannot place me next to the body. What they don’t show is the precise location of a cell phone. Yet prosecutors often present those records as if they were DNA.

A few years ago, the F.B.I. established a unit specializing in cell records, called C.A.S.T. (Cellular Analysis and Surveillance Team), with the mission of analyzing cell-location evidence. The Bureau declined requests for an interview, but C.A.S.T. agents in recent cases have asserted a different theory of how cell networks operate. Testifying at a trial for murder and robbery in Florida in June, 2013, Special Agent David Magnuson said that the instant a call is received or placed, it’s the phone that decides which tower to go to—not the software that adjusts network load—and that, “ninety-nine per cent of the time, it’s the closest tower.” Although he conceded that cell records can be imprecise, he described them as “like a historical digital fingerprint.”

He added that the F.B.I. checks its information by doing periodic “drive tests,” in which it measures radio-frequency information emitted by cell towers to see if the coverage area agrees with its models. Independent experts I spoke to called this testimony into question—both the accuracy of the estimates and the validity of the drive tests. Conditions are so changeable that, even if a drive test confirms the model on a particular day, it may not on another, and certainly not on a day years in the past. It’s a probabilistic statement, not a scientific one.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled that an F.B.I. agent could not testify about the location of a defendant’s cell phone because the analyses did not rise to the level of trusted, replicable science. Other courts have found for the defendant after the defense attorney discredited the prosecution’s expert witness.

Lisa Marie Roberts’s original lawyer wasn’t one of them. There were reasons to suspect her: she had a tumultuous, sometimes violent relationship with the victim, Jerri Williams. Cell records showed that at 10:27 on the morning of the murder, Roberts’s phone connected to a tower within 3.4 miles of Kelley Point Park, where Williams’s body was discovered. Her attorney felt that was enough to convict her.

But she was making that call while driving a red pickup truck more than eight miles away, as confirmed by a witness. The system had simply routed her call through the tower near the park. It also emerged that new DNA evidence placed another suspect, a man, at the crime scene. And another piece of evidence helped: moments earlier, Roberts had received another call that came through a different site. The two towers were 1.3 miles apart. She could not have traveled that distance in the forty seconds between the calls. And so her cell records, in a sense, helped to save her.

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Post by crusader Yesterday at 22:17

Thank you Verdi.
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