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THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007 Mm11

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THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007 Empty THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007

Post by Jill Havern on 04.05.19 19:10

UPDATE 7 August 2019

Since this article was written, new information has come to light. An informant who stayed at Salsalito in 2006 has informed us that Salsalito was regularly used by celebrity pop stars for holidays. Among them, we have been told, was Cliff Bennett of 'Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers'. We are seeking further information about this. We are already aware that Salsalito was used to promote 'adult holidays', whatever that may mean - MMRG


THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007

by the Madeleine McCann Research Group

April 2019  

Executive Summary:  Cheshire businessman Brian Kennedy was appointed by the McCanns in, or before, September 2007, to run the McCanns’ private investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. In November 2007 he, together with the McCanns’ co-ordinating lawyer, senior Freemason Edward Smethurst, travelled  to Portugal, where they attended two very important meetings. MMRG believes that these two meetings hold vital clues as to what really happened to Madeleine McCann. This article reveals what is known about these two meetings and attempts an understanding of their real purpose, examining in detail events before and after this historic meeting.



B  BRIAN KENNEDY MEETS THE PORTUGUESE POLICE – DAYTIME, 13 NOVEMBER 2007                                                                                                                                                

C  THE MEN FROM METODO 3                                                                                      


E  THE ARADE DAM PLOT                                                                                            

F  BRIAN KENNEDY MEETS WITH ROBERT MURAT, HIS FAMILY AND LAWYERS – EVENING, 13 NOVEMBER 2007                                                                                 


H  HOW NEWS OF THE SALSALITO MEETING EMERGED                                           









This article focuses on the action of Brian Kennedy in attending two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007. According to the McCanns, they appointed Cheshire businessman Brian Kennedy to run their ‘Find Madeleine’ campaign on Friday 14 September 2007, just one week after they had been made formal suspects over the disappearance of their daughter. He was then responsible for carrying out their private investigations. 

Although this article suggests that these two meetings were attended by Brian Kennedy on Tuesday, 13 November 2007, it has not been formally admitted by any of those present at the meeting that the second meeting was on the very same day as the first. However, it seems highly likely that they were. Brian Kennedy and Edward Smethurst would hardly fly out to Portugal for a police meeting, then fly back only to fly out again days later for another meeting with the Murat group. If not that very day, it must surely have been the following day.

The first in time of these was with the Portuguese Police at Portimao Police Station. The second was with Robert Murat and three other members of his family at the home of Ralph and Sally Eveleigh, Robert Murat’s uncle and aunt. 

We will deal now with the first one. 


There were several weeks of preparation, at least, leading up to this first of two meetings on 13 November.. Brian Kennedy brought with him to the meeting two private investigators from the disreputable Spanish detective agency, Metodo 3, who had been hired by Brian Kennedy some weeks earlier, in or before September 2007, to ‘look for Madeleine’. Metodo 3 was eventually closed down in 2011 after several corruption scandals involving criminal conduct, including illegally recording meetings of top politicians at a premier Barcelona restaurant. 

At that time, Brian Kennedy had - maybe still has - a villa in or near Barcelona. Maybe he already had had contact with this controversial private detective agency before 2007. 

The immediate cause of this meeting taking place was a telephone call from the Spanish Police to the Portuguese Police on Friday, 19 October. 

A report of this ’phone call is given in the Portuguese Police files which were controversially released to the general public on a DVD in August 2008 - much to the anger of the McCanns, because it revealed a great deal of information, embarrassing to them and their friends, about the detailed police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.  

Here is the actual report in the files, translated by a Portuguese volunteer interested in the Madeleine McCann case. 


“On the 19th of October, we were contacted by Alberto Carbas, Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Commissary-General, based in Madrid, who passed to us the information that the McCann family had contracted a Spanish private detective agency known as ‘Metodo 3’. The costs of their investigation into Madeleine McCann were being covered by a Scottish multi-millionaire whose name is Brian Kennedy. His objective was to find Madeleine.
“We were asked if we were available and interested in meeting with a representative of Metodo 3 and the Spanish Commissary General and Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Police in Spain. The purpose of this proposed meeting, they said, was to find out the truth, but they stated that they would not interfere in police work. At most, they said, they would ‘complement’ our investigation.  They firmly stated that they are not working directly for the McCann family, but for Brian Kennedy. They didn’t ask for any information regarding the investigation, nor was any offered to them, for obvious reasons”.


The claim that Metodo 3 was ‘not working directly for the McCanns’ was highly misleading. Brian Kennedy had attended a meeting with the McCanns and a bevy of lawyers at a meeting in London on Friday, 14 September 2007 and agreed to help them by searching for Madeleine and trying to find out who had abducted her. One of the lawyers had driven to the McCanns’ home in Rothley, Leicestershire, to take them to and from the London meeting. 

Moreover, in running this private investigation, he worked hand-in-hand with the McCanns’ co-ordinating solicitor, Edward Smethurst, a high-ranking Freemason from Lancashire - as we shall see in a moment. 

This part of the report was interesting: 

“On the 19th of October, we were contacted by Alberto Carbas, Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Commissary-General, based in Madrid, who passed to us the information that the McCann family had contracted a Spanish private detective agency known as ‘Metodo 3’…We were asked if we were available and interested in meeting with a representative of Metodo 3 and the Spanish Commissary General and Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Police in Spain”. 

It seems clear that this meeting must have been arranged by one of Brian Kennedy’s men from Metodo 3, Antonio Jiminez Raso. He was one of the men who attended with him in Portugal on 13 November 2007. He had also once been employed as an Senior Inspector in the Kidnapping and Drugs Unit of the Catalonia Regional Police Force, so no doubt would have had connections with  the Kidnapping Unit of the Commissary-General in Madrid. 

However, as we now know, Antonio Giminez Raso was arrested on 18 February 2008, just three months after he attended this meeting in Portimao on 13 November 2007. He was arrested on very serious charges, including assisting a violent drugs gang in their attempt to steal drugs from a boat in Barcelona harbour, and corruption in public office. Although he had been a trusted Senior Inspector in the Catalonian Regional Kidnapping and Drugs Squad, by the time he was engaged by the McCann Team in 2007, he had either been dismissed from the police or resigned from them. It seems though that he must still have had contacts or influence inside the Spanish Kidnapping and Drugs Unit, hence his being able to persuade (himself or through inside contacts) the Chief of the  Kidnapping and Drugs Unit in Madrid to contact the Portuguese Police on 19 October. How convenient it often is to have friends in high places! 

We now know that Brian Kennedy flew out in November 2007, less than four weeks after this ’phone call from the Spanish police, to attend a meeting with the Portuguese Police at Portimao Police Station. The meeting at Portimao Police Station must have been arranged following the ’phone call from the Spanish Police on 19 October. Since Edward Smethurst accompanied him to the meeting with the Murat family in the evening of 13 November (and probably to the police meeting as well - see below) it is highly probable that the two men flew out from England together. It is likely that they flew to Portugal at least the day before.

Below are the Portuguese Police’s accounts of a meeting between them, Brian Kennedy, three members of Metodo 3 and (probably) Edward Smethurst. They began with this introduction: 


“We held a meeting on 13 November, with Inspectors Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Paiva [from the Portuguese Police] present, with Brian Kennedy, Director of the [Metodo 3] detective agency, Francisco Marco and one of his advisers, plus Antonio Jimenez, ex-chief of the Kidnapping Unit of Catalonia [Note: Other information suggests that Edward Smethurst was also present]. Brian Kennedy insisted that his motives were purely charitable, aimed at finding the truth, and generally helping missing children. He said he was interested in discovering the truth even if the McCann family, the friends, or any other person is found to be involved in the disappearance”.


Here is the full report of the meeting, dated Wednesday 14 November 2007, kindly translated into English by a Portuguese volunteer, and preserved for us by ‘pamalam’ on the mccanpjfiles site, at this link: 


Volume XIII Pages 3434 - 3436 

Service Information 2007.11.14

To: Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation
 From: Joao Carlos, Inspector 

Concerning the investigation of the disappearance of the British minor, Madeleine McCann, I present you Sir with the following:

On the 19th of October, we were contacted by the Commissary General, located in Madrid, by the Chief of the Kidnapping Unit, Alberto Carbas, who passed to us the information that the McCann family had contracted a Spanish company known as 'METODO 3', composed of Spanish private detectives. This business, or in other words, the costs of the activities of this business, were being covered by a Scottish multi-millionaire whose name is BRIAN KENNEDY and whose objective was to locate the British minor.  

With this information, we were asked if we were available and interested in meeting with a representative of this Spanish business, and also with the Commissary General and Chief of the Kidnapping Unit of the Police of our neighbouring country, whose operation is in Madrid.  

The meeting had as its objective to receive on behalf of the private detectives, from that moment and for their own wishes, relevant information with the aim to ascertain the truth, and to state that they would not interfere in police work, and at most they would serve as a complement to some useful information. They firmly state that they are not working directly for the McCann family, but for Brian Kennedy and that their sole purpose is to locate the missing child, or to gather the inescapable truth of what happened. 

They did not ask for any information regarding the investigation, nor was any offered to them, for obvious reasons as this is found incorporated in the Portuguese penal process.  

On the 13th of the current [month], in the presence of the signatory and inspectors Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Paiva, a meeting was held, in this department, with Brian Kennedy, the director of the detective company, Francisco Marco and an advisor of this same company, Antonio Jimenez, ex-chief of the Kidnapping Unit of Catalan. From the beginning, Brian Kennedy was questioned, and ascertained that the meeting only had this scope - of transmitting that his objective in all of this was purely charitable in that he is interested [in helping to stop] the bad treatment of minors and in missing children. He affirmed that he only was interested in discovering the truth and nothing more even if the McCann family, the friends, or any other person is found to be involved in the disappearance.  

During the course of this meeting, the director of METODO 3 gave us a small book (attached), with information relative to the disappearance of the minor. This information, as we were told, was received via telephone and that they had already opened a line in Spain, specifically to receive and deal with information.  

In this book, written in Spanish, we can analyse three pieces of information:  

1. In the first case, we observed that there was report of facts which occurred in August/September of 2006, and which appears to us somewhat extemporaneous, as it cannot now be related to the material under investigation.

2. In the second point, we should remember that the computers of Sergey Malinka were searched and that nothing of suspicion was found there or related to paedophilia.

3. In that which concerns the third point, we are currently carrying out diligences with the intent to confirm or disprove the related information.  

With nothing more to report.
Joao Carlos, Inspector 


Item 1 to which Brian Kennedy and the Metodo 3 investigators referred was the evidence of Margaret Hall. We will not reproduce it here, but this is the link for those who wish to see it: (Incident 1 - Evidence of Margaret Hall) 

Item 2 refers to allegations apparently made by Kennedy and Metodo 3 against Sergei Malinka, referenced here: (Incident 2 - Question marks about Sergei Malinka) See File No. 3439 

Item 3 refers to an alleged sighting of Madeleine McCann by a lorry driver, whose report suggested he had seen a lady looking like Michaela Walczuk handing a large package, which could have been a child, over a fence or wall several miles east of Praia da Luz. There were multiple indications that this sighting was a complete fabrication. The link for those who want to see the extent of the Portuguese Police enquiries on this alleged sighting is here: (Incident 3 - Alleged sighting by lorry driver)

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Post by Jill Havern on 04.05.19 19:11


First we need to say a word about the two men who accompanied Brian Kennedy to this historic meeting on 13 November: Francisco Marco, boss of Metodo 3, and his sidekick and lead co-investigator, Antonio Jiminez - or Antonio Jiminez Raso to give him his full name. Both men were rogues and indeed criminals..

To summarise, Francisco Marco was the boss of Metodo 3, a firm founded by his mother and with a long record of suspected criminal activity. His mother was arrested and held in custody pending an investigation into a telephone tapping scandal. The firm closed in 2011 when  Marco and several of his colleagues were implicated in illegal taping of conversations between senior political figures in a top Barcelona restaurant. Some of them admitted their guilt early to avoid long sentences. 

As for Antonio Jiminez Raso, he was arrested on 18 February 2008 and spent the next four years in jail awaiting trial on charges of drug dealing and corruption in public office. He was lucky to avoid conviction when the judge decided not to convict him and his twin brother because there was ‘insufficient proof’ that he had colluded with a notorious, 27-strong, extremely violent, criminal gang. The judge dismissed him with a warning: “You got far too close to members of this gang”. He had allegedly plotted with the criminal gang to steal 25 kilograms of cocaine from a boat in Barcelona harbour.



The PJ’s report on the meeting, which is amongst the documents contained in the police files,  indicates that right at the start of the meeting, Brian Kennedy was keen to stress that his intentions were ‘purely charitable’, because he “felt concerned about cases of child neglect and child abduction”. The Director of Metodo 3, Francisco Marco, presented information to the PJ about three situations, allegedly received via their ‘hotline’. 

A man in the shadows 

The first of these concerned an incident that the British media had already referred to, at the end of October 2007. A woman who had been baby-sitting at the Ocean Club, in Apartment G5A in August/September 2006, said she spotted a man ‘hidden in the shadows’, the same day that Madeleine disappeared. A story about this had surfaced in the Sun on October 31 - less than two weeks before this meeting. 

According to the newspaper, “The nanny - identified only as M.H. - reported the frightening incident to the police in England after the hunt for Madeleine started in May, but did not speak to the police in Portugal”. Clarence Mitchell added that: “This evidence supports what we have always said, that Maddie was taken from her bed by an abductor”. The Portuguese Police had in the meantime, however, already ruled out this report, because the detectives considered that there was no proof that it was in any way related to Madeleine's disappearance. 

Was Sergey Malinka a paedophile? 

The second piece of information was about the alleged existence of images of paedophilia on a computer at the home of Sergey Malinka, witnessed by the fiancé of a British woman, four years ago, when he was at Malinka's house. According to this witness, he questioned Malinka on the subject and he explained that the computer ‘belonged to a client’ and that he would report it later to the authorities. All of the computers at Malinka's house were seized and examined, but the Portuguese Police report said that nothing of any relevance or suspicion was found. This would appear to have been a ruse by Brian Kennedy and the Metodo 3 men to switch the PJ’s focus onto Robert Murat’s friend Malinka. 

A strange incident on the border with Spain 

The third piece of information referred to was a detailed witness statement, according to the Metodo 3 report, about a woman handing what the witness was convinced was a child, wrapped in a blanket or a sheet, over a fence, to a man, next to two parked vehicles, near a town 100 miles from the Algarve, close to the border with Spain. The witness, a Portuguese lorry driver, M.G., looked at several photos and picked out Michaela Walczuk [Robert Murat’s girlfriend, now his wife], saying that her picture was the one that most resembled the woman he had seen. 

The British media published a version of this story on 19 November 2007 (six days after the ‘Salsalito Summit’), but with different details. The METRO free paper boldly wrote: “A witness spotted Murat's German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuch, in a car with Maddie, on 5 May, in central Portugal”. On the same day, the Daily Mail published a similar story: “According to a source, a new witness identified Michaela Walczuch as the woman seen with the missing child, in central Portugal, 160 kilometres [100 miles] from where she disappeared on May 3rd”. 

As usual, Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' public relations adviser, had a few things to say to the media: “We are not going to comment on any line of the investigation except to say that we are encouraged by the fact that our investigators seem to be making progress. Kate and Gerry are not ruling out any possibility”. 

The Portuguese Police studied this incident and questioned the Portuguese lorry driver, but the facts that he described to the police were somewhat different to those reported in the British press. The lorry driver said he saw a woman handing something to a man, over a fence, wrapped in what looked like a blanket. He said the object wasn't heavy, because they did it easily and the fence was around 1.6 metres high (5 feet). Asked if it could have been the body of a child, he responded that nothing he had seen would indicate that. 

Questioned also about the positive identification of Michaela Walczuk, according to Metodo 3's report, the witness told the Portuguese Police that he couldn't see the woman's face, because he was driving his lorry at 45/50 mph, and the couple were at some distance. He only chose Michaela's photo from amongst the others Metodo 3 had shown him because she had the same hair colour and similar build. 

The actual facts which emerged from the lorry driver, then, did not seem anywhere near sufficient to justify the press headlines claiming that he had positively identified Robert Murat’s  girlfriend. There is also a degree of mystery about how and when the lorry driver in question came forward wi5h this information. There is a reasonable suspicion that he somehow got into contact with Metodo 3, and it was they (Metodo 3) who contacted the PJ. Was this one more deliberately false lead set up by the very dodgy Metodo 3 men? On the evidence we have, the whole claim could be yet one more fabrication in a case laced with multiple fabrications. 

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Post by Jill Havern on 04.05.19 19:14


It is possible, even probable, that during his visit to Portugal, Brian Kennedy may have planned the so-called ‘Arade Dam Plot’ with the two Metodo 3 men, Francisco Marco and Antonio Jiminez Raso.  

Just four weeks after their 13 November meeting with Brian Kennedy and the Portuguese Police, Francisco Marco and Antonio Jiminez Raso met at the Arade Dam, Portugal, together with a highly controversial Portuguese lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correia. We know this for a fact because Marcos Correia later wrote about this meeting in detail. 

The lies of Marcos Aragao Correia  

Let us first explain who Marcos Correia was, because he played a key role in the Madeleine McCann case during 2008 and 2009. 

He was a young, qualified lawyer from the Portuguese island of Madeira, an island in the Atlantic Ocean of around 270,000 people, several hundred miles from Portugal itself. It would be fair to call Marcos Correia both strange, and a liar. His early career showed little promise, and he soon formed a Portuguese human rights group, perhaps to gain more attention for himself.  

It appears he may have got involved with the McCanns and Brian Kennedy around September or October 2007. He initially gave the media two different reasons - both of them lies - to explain why he became interested in the Madeleine McCann case.   

His first false claim was to tell the media that he was in touch with Portugal’s criminal underworld who, he said, told him that Madeleine had been abducted by a paedophile  gang, who had raped her, then killed her, then thrown her body in a ‘murky lake’ somewhere in Portugal. He then used this false account to explain why, in January 2008, he had financed a search for Madeleine’s body in the lake of the Arade Dam.
Much later, he frankly admitted that this was a complete lie. Instead, he claimed, his interest in the Madeleine McCann case had come about in the following way. He said that on Saturday 5 May 2007, just two days after Madeleine was reported missing, he had, in the evening, attended his first-ever Spiritualist Church meeting on the island of Madeira.  

That night,  he claimed, after returning home from the meeting, he had had a strange vision - of a very tall, big blond man, strangling a young girl who, he said, looked around 3-4 years old. Correia said later that he heard soon afterwards about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and connected the vision with her abduction by this big, blond man. Hence, he said, he became interested in helping to find Madeleine. But this barely plausible story was also revealed - by Correia himself – to have been another complete lie. He then gave the media a third different account of how he first became seriously interested in the Madeleine McCann case.  

These appalling lies appear to have been a way of disguising how he really became involved in the Madeleine McCann case. We can be sure that at some stage, Marcos Correia must have had contact with the McCanns and/or Brian Kennedy in order to agree to work for them.  

The curious incident of the Recorded delivery letter 

In November 2007, just before Brian Kennedy flew out to Portugal to meet with the Portuguese Police, the media reported a curious court case on Madeira. The case had been brought by Marcos Correia. He was claiming damages against the Portuguese Post Office for allegedly failing to deliver a Recorded Delivery letter to the McCanns in Rothley. The judge decided he had failed to prove his case and ordered Correia to pay 100 euros (around £85) costs to the Post Office. 

Marcos Correia said he had sent a Recorded Delivery letter to the McCanns because he thought he could help the search for Madeleine and wanted to offer his services.  

A plausible explanation for this series of events is that the McCanns and Brian Kennedy had already asked for his help, and agreed to employ him, before he brought these proceedings in the Madeira Court. Is it possible that the court case was merely a ruse to pretend that he had had a genuine previous concern about helping with the search for Madeleine, when in reality he had already been contracted to work for the McCanns and Brian Kennedy? 

Marcos Correia engaged by the McCanns to ‘get’ Goncalo Amaral 

We now know that Brain Kennedy, at some stage, also contracted for Marcos Correia to represent in court the notorious murderess, Leonor Cipriano, who together with her brother murdered her eight-year-old daughter, Joana - a case, incidentally, solved by Goncalo Amaral. Each of them were handed 16-year jail sentences for this appalling crime. 

In April 2008, Leonor Cipriano sensationally dropped her lawyer, who was representing her in a criminal complaint against Goncalo Amaral and four of his fellow detectives. She claimed that Amaral and his men had tortured her into making a confession and had then covered this up by lying about what happened in a report. Instead, she appointed the strange lawyer from Madeira, Marcos Correia, to represent her.  

How exactly this was arranged, we may possibly never know, though we do know that it was on 8 April 2008 that Marcos Correia was allowed into Odemira Women’s Prison to meet the convicted murderess. How was this arranged? 

In the event, Goncalo’s men were found innocent of torture, but Goncalo Amaral and a colleague were found guilty of filing a false report of what happened at the police station. The event tarnished Goncalo Amaral’s reputation. No-one was found guilty of any torture of Leonor Cipriano. But when the court announced the conviction of Amaral, giving him an 18-month suspended sentence for ‘filing a false report’, Marcos Correia exulted: “The target was hit”.  

Much later, Correia admitted in a lengthy magazine article that the McCanns and Brian Kennedy had paid him to take on Leonor Cipriano’s case against Goncalo Amaral. He also admitted to being paid by them to pretend to search the Arade Dam, an event we’ll now summarise. 

Searching for Madeleine’s bones in a ‘murky’ lake 

On 10 December 2007 (four weeks after the Salsalito Summit’, the two Metodo 3 men, Francisco Marco and Antonio Jiminez Raso, met at the Arada Dam with Marcos Aragao Correia. To get to this meeting, each would have had to travel several hundred miles; Correia from Madeira, and Marco and Jiminiz Raso from their home town, Barcelona in Spain. We can be sure that either Brian Kennedy, or the McCanns’ ‘Find Madeleine Fund’, would have paid for all the expenses for these three trips, and given these three men their instructions. 

Just seven weeks after the meeting at the Arade Dam, in a blaze of publicity, Marcos Correia turned up at the Arade Dam with a team of British divers, announcing that they were to be conducting an extensive search of the Arade Dam to see if they could find Madeleine’s remains. Correia trotted out to the media his lies about being informed by the Portuguese underworld that Madeleine had been killed and her body thrown into a ‘murky lake’. Correia explained that, based on the information he had been told, and using a ‘vision’ he had received of the lake and a series of maps, he had established with near certainty that Madeleine’s body must have been thrown off a tower at the Arade Dam - and that was where the divers were going to look for her remains. 

The whole story was clearly a total pack of lies. The Arade Dam ‘search’ was pure theatre for the media - who gobbled up all that Correia had to say, recycling his lies for public consumption by the millions who were still enthralled by the enduring mystery of what really happened to Madeleine McCann. 

Correia added that he had organised this search of the lake as a ‘Good Samaritan’, financing it all out of his own pocket. That was more lies. He admitted much later that the McCanns and Brian Kennedy had paid not only him but also the team of divers, who had charged a reputed £1,200 for their week’s work.  

All that the divers found were some bones and a few other objects. The media reported excitedly that the bones had been handed to Metodo 3 detectives for analysis. Of course, the bones should have been handed over straightaway to the Portuguese Police, not to the McCanns’ own private detective agency. It seems, however, that at the 13 November meeting with the Portuguese Police at Portimao, Brian Kennedy may have successfully persuaded them that he was just a good honest bloke, sincerely trying to get to the truth of what happened to Madeleine out of the goodness of his own heart. In this way, it seems that the McCann Team were allowed to break the Portuguese law forbidding parallel, private investigations into crimes already being investigated by the PJ.  

The bones were found, in the end, to be merely animal bones. But in public relations terms, the week-long search for Madeleine’s bones was a huge public relations success. It brilliantly confirmed the abduction narrative. No-one could have guessed at the time that this was a complete set-up to deceive the public, accompanied by multiple lies. 

Having found nothing of interest, Marcos Correia and his diving team then staged a further week-long search of the Arade Dam at the beginning of March 2008. That was still more useful publicity for the McCanns, who continued to pretend to have had no involvement in organising the search - that is, until over a year later, Marcos Coreria admitted he’d been paid via Brian Kennedy - both to organise the dam search, and to take up the criminal case against Goncalo Amaral by murderess Leonor Cipriano. 


Now we can return to examining Brain Kennedy’s second important meeting that day, which took place at ‘Salsalito’, the home of Ralph and Sally Eveleigh, in Burgau, about three miles from Praia da Luz. They were the aunt and uncle of Robert Murat. Robert Murat’s mother, Jennifer Murat, was also there. The Murats were accompanied by Robert Murat’s lawyer, Francisco Pagarete. 

Brian Kennedy had with him the man the McCanns had appointed as their ‘co-ordinating lawyer’, Edward Smethurst, a Lancashire lawyer who was a very prominent Freemason in the Lancashire Province of Freemasonry, and a former Grand Master.  

So there were these two groups of people at the meeting: 

The Murat Team 

Robert Murat
Jennifer Murat
Ralph Eveleigh
Sally Eveleigh
Francisco Pagarete (lawyer) 

The McCann Team 

Brian Kenendy
Edward Smethurst (lawyer). 

So what was this high-level meeting all about? 


Let us recall first the brief history of this case until 13 November 2007. 

On 15 May 2007, Robert Murat was declared the first official suspect in the apparent  abduction of Madeleine McCann. One of the contributory reasons for this was the insistence of British government ‘criminal profilers’ who maintained that Robert Murat was a ‘90% fit’ as the likely abductor of Madeleine.  

On 7 September 2007, both of the McCanns were also declared official suspects, accused of covering up the death of Madeleine and hiding her body.  

From 13 May 2007, various members of the McCanns’ group of friends, the so-called ‘Tapas 7’, had deliberately pointed their fingers at Robert Murat as the likely suspect who was guilty of abducting Madeleine. 

On 13 May 2007, Jane Tanner had ‘adamantly’ identified Robert Murat (at an identity parade) as the person she had allegedly seen carrying a young child away from the McCanns’ apartment at about 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May.  

On 16 May, the day after Murat was made an official suspect, three members of the Tapas 7, Fiona Payne, Rachael Oldfield and Russell O’Brien, all gave statements to the police saying that they had seen Robert Murat in the vicinity of the McCanns’ apartment after 10pm on Thursday 3 May. This contradicted Robert Murat’s version of where he was that evening.   

On 11 July, these three Tapas 7 members returned to Portugal to encounter Robert Murat at a ‘confrontation’ with Robert Murat, staged by the Portuguese Police at Portimao Police Station. It was reported that the room was so small that the knees of the four people were practically touching each other. The three repeated their accusations that they had seen Robert Murat around the McCanns’ apartment after 10pm. Robert Murat continued to deny them.  

During the following months, the McCanns and friends continued to maintain that the Portuguese Police were right to have made Robert Murat their chief suspect, albeit that they also pleaded publicly that he should be investigated ‘fairly’.  

During this period, Robert Murat’s conduct came under intense scrutiny by both the police and the public. He had suddenly flown from Devon to Faro, Portugal, on the early morning flight from Exeter Airport on Tuesday 1 May.  

Robert Murat becomes an interpreter for the PJ, for one week  

On the morning of Friday 4 May, Murat had pitched up at the Ocean Club reception, met with the Portuguese police, and offered his services as an interpreter. Being bilingual in English and Portuguese, and already accredited as a Portuguese interpreter for Norfolk Constabulary, Robert Murat’s offer to interpret was swiftly accepted. For example, he translated into Portuguese the witness evidence of several of the staff of holiday company Mark Warner and of the Ocean club. 

But one week later he was removed from this post, after Inspector Varanda sent Goncalo Amaral a damning report explaining how Murat had been trying to sneak a look at confidential police documents, asking multiple questions about how the investigation was proceeding, and pestering the police with multiple suggestions of how to pursue various lines of enquiry. His behaviour was ‘completely inappropriate for a translator’, said Varanda. 

Murat’s 17 lies 

On 15 May, when he was made a formal suspect, Murat was questioned about his activities after landing back in Portugal at 9am on Tuesday 1 May. However, when re-questioned by the police on 10 July, and after being confronted with evidence from his mobile ’phone antenna ‘pings’ which proved he had been lying when first questioned, Murat confessed that his statement on 15 May was untrue, and proceeded to give the police an entirely new statement, in which he admitted that at least 17 things he had said in his first statement were untrue. Murat’s excuse to the police was that on 15 May he was ‘too tired’ to be able to remember the truth. No-one believes that poor excuse. It was clear that he had been lying - but why?  

We would suggest that it is reasonably clear from the above that both the McCanns and Robert Murat were connected - in some way that we do not yet understand - with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.  

For example, if - as many suggest - Madeleine may have suffered a serious event of some kind late on Sunday, or even died then, did somebody call him over the following day to help - maybe to hide her body somewhere? - after all, he had property interests in Portugal and said he was considering further developing an estate agency called Romigen. 

Is that why he lied about he was really doing after he returned to Portugal on the morning of Tuesday 1 May?  

Was it a coincidence that Murat was in the right place at the right time to help with translating witness statements on the morning of Friday 4 May? 

Why would Murat, whilst he was engaged in interpreting for the PJ,  take such a keen interest in what was happening in the initial investigation, even trying to sneak a look at secret police documents? 

Why were the British criminal profilers so keen to suggest that Robert Murat was the likely abductor? 

Why did Jane Tanner identify Robert Murat as the abductor? - an identification she repudiated after the 13 November meeting at Salsalito (see below)? 

Why were three of the Tapas 7 so keen to implicate Robert Murat as the likely abductor, placing him near the scene after 10pm the night of 3 May 2007 (discussed below)? - and why, after the meeting on 13 November, were they suddenly willing to say they had been mistaken, with the press even suggesting that they may have confused Robert Murat with either Angus Symington or Tapas 7 member David Payne? What made them change their minds?      

Also, why was it that when asked a simple question by a journalist in the very early days about whether he already knew Robert Murat, Gerry McCann hesitated, looked away from the interviewer, avoiding eye contact, looked down, coughed, and said “I’m not going to comment on that”? Why did he not just say’ “No”?

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THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007 Empty Re: THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007

Post by Jill Havern on 04.05.19 19:16


Brian Kennedy’s involvement in the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been controversial. An article by Mark Hollingsworth in the Evening Standard in August 2009 claimed that “The involvement of Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick in the operation was counter-productive, notably when they were questioned by the local police [in Portugal] for acting suspiciously, while attempting a 24-hour ‘stake out’.”  The Evening Standard article also showed that, later, the relationship between Metodo 3 and the Portuguese police had ‘completely broken down’. Hollingsworth claimed that key witnesses were questioned ‘far too aggressively’ by Kennedy’s investigators, so much so that ‘some of them later refused to talk to the police’. Interference with witnesses to that extent could amount to a criminal offence. We are not aware that any other nation allows people to interfere with potential witnesses in an investigation in such a way as to cause them to refuse to testify, as Mark Hollingsworth in his article claimed had happened in this case.  

Less than two weeks after the meeting between Brian Kennedy, his entourage and the Portuguese Police at Portimao Police Station, the Portuguese press was abuzz with a rumour that Brian Kennedy had had a further, secret, meeting with Robert Murat that very day (13 November). This was extraordinary news. Murat was the chief suspect for having allegedly abducted Madeleine. The McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends had been accusing him of lying about his whereabouts after 10.00pm in Praia da Luz. Brian Kennedy earlier that day had been telling the PJ that they should follow up a claim by a lorry driver that he may have seen Murat’s girlfriend handing Madeleine over a fence near the Spanish border. What business could Kennedy and Edward Smethurst possibly have with Robert Murat? He was basically alleging that Robert Murat’s girlfriend may have been passing Madeleine in a bundle over a fence (Allegation 3 above)! 

It was Francisco Pagarete, Mr Murat’s Portuguese lawyer - the one whom he was so anxious to see when he flew out to Praia da Luz on 1 May - who first confirmed on the record that a second meeting involving Brian Kennedy on 13 November 2007 took place at Mr Murat’s uncle’s house in the Algarve. He told the BBC: “[Brian Kennedy] came here to give his support to Robert and to say he doesn’t believe Robert was involved in this story in any way or in any sense. And he asked if Robert could help the investigation for the finding of Madeleine in any way”.  Mr Pagarete added that Mr Kennedy had ‘promised to stay in touch with Mr Murat’ but ‘had not contacted him since’. Mr Pagarete also confirmed that Edward Smethurst was at the meeting.  

If all of this tale is correct, then in the daytime on 13 November, Kennedy and his Metodo 3 men were virtually accusing Murat and his girlfriend of abducting Madeleine, but then  by the evening were sitting down to a cosy dinner with Robert Murat himself, and his family, offering his ‘support’ to him, telling him he wasn't involved, and asking him to help find Madeleine!  

One could hardly make this up. What a woeful tale of deliberate lies surrounded these two meetings on 13 November 2007!  

The Portuguese paper Jornal de Notícias appeared to have some additional information about this meeting. Their report, early in 2008, said: “The meeting - a dinner that Brian Kennedy asked to be discreet and far away from the eyes of the press - took place in the end of last year at a house of Murat's relatives in Burgau (Vila do Bispo). At the dinner were Robert Murat and Kennedy, their respective lawyers, Jennifer Murat and the aunt and uncle of Murat”  [NOTE: This would be Ralph and Sally Eveleigh, Murat’s uncle and aunt].   

The Eveleighs ran ‘Salsalito’, the eight-room guest house at Vila do Bispo, Burgau” - which specialised in holidays for adults without children.


What was discussed at this meeting that Kennedy didn’t want the press to know about? 

Let’s take Portuguese lawyer Francisco Marco at his word for a moment. He says that Kennedy and Smethurst came over so that Kennedy could
A – tell him that he and the McCanns don’t think he had anything to do with the Madeleine McCann case
B – to give Murat their ‘support’
C – to ask him to help find Madeleine. 

Why on earth would lawyers been needed for him to say those three things? 

Indeed, why would it even be necessary to visit them at all? Surely this could all have been said in a five-minute ’phone call? 

No, surely something much, much bigger must have been at stake for five people plus a top lawyer from each country. 

For months the McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends had been at loggerheads with Robert Murat. Yet, after this meeting, peace soon broke out between the two camps.  

Less than four months later - on 8 March 2008 - the McCanns were awarded £550,000 in libel damages.  Later, on 17 July 2008, Robert Murat netted an estimated £600,000 in libel damages, followed shortly by an estimated £100,000 libel damages each to his future wife Michael Walczuk and his friend Sergei Malinka. Then on 16 October 2008, the Tapas 7 gratefully accepted a total of £375,000 libel damages between them. These twelve people had netted a grand total of £1,725,000 between them. 

The McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends began to make public statements that they no longer believed that Robert Murat had anything to do with Madeleine’s disappearance (see below). 

There was one other matter that seemed to have been settled by this ‘Salsalito Summit’.  



On 16 May 2007, precisely 13 days after Madeleine McCann was reported missing, an Irishman, Martin Smith, from Drogheda, telephoned the Irish police. He and his family, numbering nine in all, had all - apparently - collectively remembered that day that they had seen a man, heading towards the beach in Praia da Luz, carrying a blonde child, looking like Madeleine McCann, at around 10pm on 3 May, the very time that the McCanns themselves had been raising the alarm about Madeleine being missing.  

Martin Smith and his two children fly to Portugal 

Of one thing, Martin Smith was remarkably sure. He said that the man he and his family had seen was definitely not Robert Murat, because he knew him well. How well, we still do not know. His call to the Irish police was made a whole 13 days after Madeleine McCann was reported missing. Why the delay? The Smiths were at a loss to explain, giving several different reasons why they only acted the day after Robert Murat was declared a suspect. This was despite hourly coverage of Madeleine’s disappearance on the TV media, and wall-to-wall coverage in Portuese, British and Irish newspapers. The Smith family visited Praia da Luz three times a year and may have had a ‘timeshare’ at the Estrela da Luz, where they stayed. Most of the family were in Praia da Luz itself until 9 May - six days after Madeleine was reported missing - yet said nothing to the PJ.  


The Portuguese Police decided to follow up this report by asking the Smiths to fly over to Portugal to make statements. Martin Smith went with his son, Peter, an adult, and his youngest daughter, Aoife, aged just 12. The three of them gave the police descriptions of this man which to an astonishing degree resembled earlier descriptions (a) of a man allegedly seen by Jane Tanner at 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May and (b) of a man (subsequently identified as Wojchiech Krokowski) who allegedly tried to kidnap the daughter of local man, Nuno Lourenco, on nearby Sagres beach on Sunday 29 April. 

Jane Tanner had told the police about her alleged sighting on 4 May. The following morning (Saturday 5 May), Nuno Lourenco had telephoned the Portuguese Police, just as his plane was taking off, bound for Poland, at the end of his holiday. The descriptions of the two men were near-identical, so much so that Goncalo Amaral contacted INTERPOL, and the German and Polish Police, to intercept Krokowksi and question him. 

Although the three members of the Smith family gave details about the man’s age, his hair colour, his build, and the clothes and shoes he was wearing, they admitted that they’d only seen him for a second or two as they walked up past him through a weakly-lit street in the darkness. Each of the three told the police that there was no way they would ever be able to recognise him again. 

Martin Smith claims the man he saw was Gerry McCann

On 20 September 2007, Martin Smith made another remarkable telephone call. This call, again to the Irish Police, was to tell them that the man he and his family had remembered seeing on 3 May 2007 was actually Gerry McCann!  

He said that he had been watching the TV news on 9 September - 11 days earlier - and could tell by the way Gerry McCann was carrying his son Sean off the plane and the general way he walked that he was the man he’d seen 143 days earlier on 3 May. He said he had ‘agonised’ before making this telephone call. 

It was a remarkable claim, and an amazing change of mind. All those 143 days ago, he had briefly seen the face of a man in the dark. Now, on the basis of a few seconds’ television footage, he said he was ’60-80% sure’ that he had seen Gerry McCann at 10.00pm on Thursday 3 May. Not by his face, but by ‘the way he was carrying his son on his left shoulder’. 

It is this claim that has led a handful of people who closely follow the Madeleine McCann case to regard this as absolute ‘proof’ that the Smiths had seen Gerry McCann carrying Madeleine the very night she was reported missing. 

The McCluskeys make a similar claim about ‘recogising’ the McCanns 

However unlikely it was that Martin Smith had really ‘recognised’ Gerry McCann from this short TV clip, it became clear later that another man, Richard McCluskey had, just a few days earlier, made a near-identical, claim based on the same TV clip. He had seen a man carting a child early on Saturday 5 May, and told police about it. Now, four months later, he claimed to Leicestershire Police that seeing Gerry McCann carrying Sean off the plane on a TV clip ‘remind him’ of Gerry McCann.  

His wife Susan was even more definite. She claimed to police, on the basis of the same TV clip, to have ‘recognised’ Kate McCann as the woman she’d seen with the man-and-child back on 5 S May 2007.    

Richard McCluskey and his wife had been on holiday in Praia da Luz during the same week the McCanns were there.  

On 9 May 2007, Richard and Susan McCluskey made statements to Leicestershire Police about a ‘dark-skinned’ man they had seen in the village of Alvor early (1.50am) on Saturday 5 May 2007 (two days after Madeleine’s reported disappearance). whom they thought were acting suspiciously.  

Mr McCluskey said that he’d seen the male alighting from a white van and walking along a road carrying what appeared to be a ‘motionless child’. He then said he saw a distressed female run down a road and approach the same white van. His wife Susan had confirmed the sighting. The Portuguese Police swiftly investigated the sighting and soon established that the couple in question were a Ukrainians from Alvor with a blonde daughter who attended the ‘A Flor’ crèche in Portimao. 

But on 12 September 2007, Richard and Susan McCluskey again contacted Leicestershire Police. Susan made this statement: 


I am the above named person and I live at an address known to Police. In early May 2007 myself and my wife were on holiday in Portugal. I have already provided a witness statement in relation to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. I would like to add the following; 

The events of the past week or so, with the McCanns being very much in the news, have triggered my memory in relation to the incident. 

In my original statement I described a distressed female who ran down a road towards a white van I had described.  

Having viewed recent news footage of Mrs McCann I am now almost certain that she is the female I described as being in a distressed state. I say this because of her slight build, high cheekbones and her eyes and hairstyle. 

I've agonised for days over whether or not to contact the police about this because it is a terrible thing to accuse somebody of. It had just not crossed my mind that the child’s parents could in some way be involved in her disappearance. 

I have watched a good deal of news coverage about the McCanns over the past week or so. Another thing which has played on my mind is the coverage of Mr McCann walking off the aeroplane holding one of his young children. The way he was holding the child over his left shoulder reminded me of the man carrying the child from the white van in Portugal. 

Although I could not describe the male I'd seen in Portugal because he had his back to me, it was the particular way Mr. McCann held the child that made me think. He held the child over his left shoulder with his left arm supporting the child’s weight. 


So, in this instance - which happened eight days before Martin Smith made his statement identifying Gerry McCann as the likely abductor - Susan McCluskey was ‘almost certain’ that the woman she’d seen at 1.50am on Saturday morning, 5 May, was Kate McCann.  

Richard McCluskey in his statement added that ‘the way Mr McCann held the child…over his left shoulder’ made him think that the man he’d seen on 5 May could have been Gerry McCann.  

Of course, they were both totally wrong. The people he’d seen in Alvor over four months earlier were a Ukrainian couple. 

The amazing Smith-McCluskey coincidences

 The coincidences between the new statement of Richard McCluskey on 12 September 2007 to Leicestershire Police, and Martin Smith’s eight days later to the Irish police, were astonishing.    

Both men were apparently influenced to make these respective telephone calls by watching TV footage of the McCanns returning from Portugal.  

Both men made a big play of the fact that Gerry McCann was carrying Sean on his left shoulder. This is normal behaviour, especially for a right-handed man. 

Both men delayed speaking to the police - Richard McCluskey by three days, and Martin Smith by 11 days. 

Both were careful to explain that they had ‘agonised’ before contacting the police.  

Susan McCluskey was ‘almost certain’ that Kate McCann was the woman she’d seen in the early hours of Saturday 5 May. Richard McCluskey said the man ;’could have been’ Gerry McCann.  Martin Smith was ’60-80% sure’ that Gerry McCann was the man he and his family had seen at around 10pm on Thursday 3 May. 

What can explain these remarkable coincidences?  

One suggestion that has been made is that both Martin Smith and Richard McCluskey had been prompted by a third party to make these claims about ‘recognising the McCanns’.  

Who might that ‘third party’ have been? The finger of suspicion must surely point at Robert Murat. 

Martin Smith had been quick to react when someone he knew well had been made the chief suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine. He ‘phoned the police the very day after, telling them, in terms: “We saw a man carrying a child in Praia da Luz on 3 May at about 10pm. But it definitely wasn’t Robert Murat”. Did Murat tell, or prompt, Martin Smith to make that ’phone call. On the face of it, this must at least be a realistic possibility. 

From 15 May onwards, Murat was a watched man, under suspicion. Jane Tanner had identified him as the likely abductor. Three of the Tapas 7 had claimed he was hanging around near the McCanns’ apartment after 10pm on Thursday 3 May. At a confrontation in Portimao Police Station on 11 July 2007, Murat had had to deal with the three face-to-face. They stuck to their story that they saw him near the McCanns’ apartment around 10pm on  3 May, thus accusing him of lying, when he repeatedly denied it.  

Could it have been Robert Murat, or someone acting for him, who had prompted both the McCluskeys and Martin Smith to identify the McCanns as possibly having killed their daughter and tried to hide the body? That was, in effect, what both McCluskey and Smith were saying.  

Who benefitted from this sudden attack on the McCanns by McCluskey and Smith? Was not Robert Murat the true beneficiary? Was Robert Murat trying to take the heat off him and switch the PJ’s focus onto the McCanns? 

Is it possible that, just as Martin Smith already knew Robert Murat so well that he instantly knew the man who walked past him wasn’t him, so did the McCluskeys also know Robert Murat.    

And here’s another crucial question. Did Robert Murat perhaps know exactly what happened to Madeleine McCann? - indeed, was that the very reason he was called over to Praia da Luz during Monday 30 April? If so, did he feel very angry with the McCanns? Did he use the opportunity of the McCanns being made suspects on 7 September to get two of his friends or contacts (Smith and McCluskey) to make life more difficult for the McCanns?

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THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007 Empty Re: THE ‘SALSALITO SUMMIT’: Brian Kennedy’s two meetings in Portugal on 13 November 2007

Post by Jill Havern on 04.05.19 19:18


Finally let us take a look at the events that followed the Salsalito summit.

Another summit meeting – at Rothley Court Manor, 17 & 18 November 2007

First, on the very weekend following the ‘Salsalito Summit; the McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends, various lawyers and public relations advisers, the crucial figure of Catriona Baker, Madeleine’s crèche nanny, and some of the Metodo3 men, no doubt including its Director, Francisco Marco, all gathered at the exclusive Rothley Court Manor Hotel in Rothley, a few hundred yards from the McCanns’ home in Rothley, Leicestershire. This took place during Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November. 

Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ chief public relations adviser, was also present. When news of this secret meeting leaked out to the press - not until 11 December - Mitchell  dismissed it as ‘just friends meeting up’. Of course, it must have been much, much more than this.  

Catriona Baker was there 

Catriona Baker was a crucial witness. It was her evidence that attested to Madeleine being in the ‘Lobsters’ crèche with her each day of that week. It was her evidence - said to be ‘independent’ - about Madeleine being present at a ‘high tea’ at between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday 3 May, that persuaded Goncalo Amaral and his PJ team that Madeleine ‘probably died by a fall in the flat sometime after the McCanns returned to their apartment that evening’. 

But as evidence has been studied over the years, the likelihood that she could have died sometime after 6pm Thursday 3 May now looks very small indeed. The very idea conflicts with several key lines of evidence. If she died on that holiday, it must have been much earlier that week. 

Catriona Baker was present at the Rothley Court Manor, staying with the McCanns that weekend. Photos from the weekend suggest that Catriona Baker had a very close relationship with the McCann family, which evidence suggests may have developed well before their 2007 holiday.  

A Panorama documentary 

Then, the very next day, Monday 19 November, the BBC Panorama documentary on Madeleine McCann, narrated by Richard Bilton, was transmitted. Millions watched what we now know was a totally slanted presentation of the evidence surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance.  

A tale of two sketches by forensic artist Melissa Little  

Meanwhile, the McCann Team and Brian Kennedy were working feverishly away towards another burst of publicity about a suspect abductor. This did not hit the press until Sunday 20 January  2008, when the now-defunct News of the World (NOTW) published a sensational, ‘exclusive’, front-page story about a straggly-haired, mustachioed man, whom the NOTW hailed as the new ‘lead suspect’ in the supposed abduction of Madeleine McCann. The story, happily for the McCann Team, coincided with a burst of publicity the very next week about the search for Madeleine’s bones at the Arade Dam (see above). These were two fascinating, headline-grabbing stories that put Madeleine on the front pages for more than a fortnight.  

The story had, in part, been manufactured by an extremely doubtful claim by a Ms Gail Cooper about a straggly-haired man seen collecting for a local children’s charity in and around Praia da Luz. 

But it had also been manufactured by some work being done by Brian Kennedy with Jane Tanner.  We can trace this work as follows. 

The first sketch - of the man said to have seen by Jane Tanner  

On or about 23 October 2007, five-and-a-half months after Madeleine’s reported disappearance, the Portuguese and British press were suddenly awash with an artist’s sketch of the man said to have been seen by Jane Tanner at about 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May, the evening Madeleine was reported missing. The sketch presented him from the side, that is, there was no representation of his face, for Jane Tanner had admitted that she never saw the man’s face.  

It was a mystery why this sketch was produced 5½ months after the event. What could be achieved by it? Had it been published two or three days after Madeleine’s disappearance, it might have been effective in achieving responses. 

Who drew up this sketch? It was Melissa Little, who was described, or should we say ‘hyped’, by the McCann Team as ‘an F.B.I.-trained forensic artist’. Her real name is Melissa Dring, an artist noted for recreating portraits of historical figures for whom there is no record of their appearance. Possibly her best-known historical re-creation is that of authoress Jane Austen.  

We know now, from the files released by the Portuguese Police in July 2008, that on Monday 22 October 2007 [Folio 3905], Gerry McCann emailed Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Small of Leicestershire police with two sketches, both prepared by Melissa Little, one of which (“the second sketch”) became known “Bundle Man”, that is, the man said to have been seen by Jane Tanner on 3 May 2007.

 The first sketch was similar to “Bundle Man” but was in black-and-white and had a nose. As one commentator long ago pointed out: 

“The differences between the two sketches may appear marginal, but they are critical, because the black and white man (see folio 3906) does not wear glasses, nor does he have facial hair! Since Mr Murat cannot see a barn door without his glasses and is never without them, this sketch would appear to rule him out as the ‘abductor’. No wonder  Miss Tanner was “not really happy with the face”.

The second sketch - ‘Monsterman’ 

We now know that Melissa Little also drew up a sketch of the new suspect highlighted by the News of the World, on 20 January 2008 - who became known as ‘Monsterman’, ‘George Harrison man’, or ‘Cooperman’. This sketch of hers appeared three-and-a-half months later. 

It seems very possible that Kennedy and Melissa Little may have worked on both sketches at the same time - because Jane Tanner was subsequently to tell the media that ‘Monsterman’ could be the very person she had seen carrying a child near the McCanns’ apartment at 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May.  

Indeed, in an email sent by Gerry McCann himself to Leicestershire Police in January, he wrote: “Miss Tanner believes that there is an 80% likelihood that this [sketch of ‘Monsterman’] is the same man she saw carrying away the child, believed to be Madeleine”. 

But how could she be so sure? On what basis could she be 80% sure when she had frankly admitted that she hadn’t seen the man’s face at all? Now she was comparing her recollection of that man (whose face she hadn’t seen), back on 3 May, with a man whose face was presented in detail: moustache, straggly hair etc.

Surely all the people involved (Jane Tanner, Gerry McCann, Brian Kennedy and Melissa Little) in claiming that ‘Monsterman’ could be the very same person as the one Jane Tanner had seen on 3 May must have known that they were perpetrating a fraud on the public?  

Jane Tanner admits that Robert Murat wasn’t the man she said she’d seen on 3 May 

Furthermore, neither the sketches she reproduced for ‘Bundleman’ nor for ‘Monsterman’ looked remotely like that of Robert Murat, yet back on 13 May she had adamantly insisted to police that he was the man she had seen carrying a child on 3 May.  

By the time the NOTW article appeared on 30 January 2008, it was clear that Jane Tanner could no longer maintain the fiction that the man she saw on 3 May was Robert Murat.  

The McCann Team change their official view about Robert Murat 

But well before then, it seemed that the McCann Team were already preparing the ground to abandon their attempt to frame Robert Murat. 

The ‘Salsalito Summit’ was on Tuesday 13 November 2007. Just three days later (Friday 16 November), an article appeared in the Daily Mail in which the first indications were given that the McCann Team were going to reverse their framing of Murat. 

The article began:  


“The woman [Jane Tanner] who believes she saw Madeleine McCann being abducted revealed yesterday that she has never named Robert Murat to police as the man she saw. Instead, she thinks he was ‘Mediterranean-looking. She admitted: ‘I simply don't know if I could identify again the man I saw that night. I've never pointed the finger at Robert Murat because I simply don't know if it was him or not. I would say the man I saw was more local or Mediterranean looking, rather than British. He had dark, almost black, long hair and had swarthy skin. He was dressed in that sort of smart casual way European people dress”. 


As we have already seen, the claim that she’d ‘never pointed a finger at Robert Murat’ was untrue - as she had of course positively identified him from that police van back in May. Craftily, she was quoted as saying that she had never actually named Robert Murat as the suspect, which was probably true. Indeed, Clarence Mitchell said exactly the same when confronted by a well-informed reporter in February 2009, just after the McCanns had won Round 2 of their legal fight against Goncalo Amaral.  

It must surely be more than a coincidence of timing that this Daily Mail article appeared within three days of the ‘Salsalito Summit’. We suggest that the summit meeting dealt with all the major differences between the Murat and McCann camps. The air was therefore cleared. The hatchet had been buried. Now the way was clear for the McCanns and the Tapas 7 to ‘exonerate’ Murat. Who would have briefed the Daily Mail about this sudden change of heart? Almost certainly - Clarence Mitchell. 

On Monday 19 November: The METRO free paper boldly wrote: “A witness spotted Murat's German girlfriend, Michaela Walczuk, in a car with Maddie, on 5 May, in central Portugal”, while on the same day, the Daily Mail published a similar story: “According to a source, a new witness identified Michaela Walczuk as the woman seen with the missing child, in central Portugal, 160 kilometres [100 miles] from where she disappeared on May 3rd”. As we have seen, these issues were raised by Brian Kennedy at the Salsalito Summit. 

The Daily Mail articles of December 2007 and January 2008

On 31 December 2007, the Daily Mail published an article claiming that several witnesses had identified Robert Murat as being seen in the vicinity of the McCanns’ apartment and the Ocean Club after 10pm on Thursday 3 May. Those named as having identified him included the three members of the Tapas 7 (Rachael Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O’Brien), crèche nanny Charlotte Pennington, Jayne Jensen, a fellow holidaymaker, two ‘unnamed tourists, and an unnamed barrister.


The very next day (1 January 2008), the Daily Mail carried a prominent story featuring Kate McCann’s claim that she still believed that Robert Murat was involved  in Madeleine’s disappearance. It said that eight people had identified Robert Murat as being close to the McCanns’ apartment the night she was reported missing. These two stories had all the hallmarks of another story crafted by Clarence Mitchell and drip-fed to a friendly newspaper in order to promote the latest line from the McCann Team.

Extracts from the report, written by Vanessa Allen, included the following: 


“Kate McCann is suspicious about Robert Murat's alibi for the night her daughter Madeleine vanished, it was revealed yesterday. The mother of three has confided to friends that she believes there are questions about the British expat that need to be answered. Mrs McCann's doubts emerged after the Daily Mail reported that seven witnesses claim to have seen Mr Murat near the McCanns' holiday apartment on the night of May 3rd. 

“He has always insisted he was at home all night at the villa he shares with his elderly mother in Praia da Luz, near the Mark Warner holiday complex. A friend of Kate and her husband Gerry said: ‘Kate has always felt there are questions concerning Murat and a body of evidence contrary to what he is saying. Gerry doesn't know whether he is involved but Kate has always been suspicious’.  

“Mrs McCann, 39, has avoided publicly voicing suspicions about Mr Murat. She and Gerry, also 39, even called for calm after he was made an official suspect on May 14 and appealed for him to be treated fairly. 

“Mr Murat, a property consultant, insists he did not learn about Madeleine's disappearance until the next morning and was not aware of the massive search going on less than 100 yards from his villa, Casa Liliana. But a source close to Mrs McCann said: ‘We now have a number of people who have come forward quite independently of us and volunteered information directly in contradiction to what he has said’. Three friends of the McCanns, Rachael Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien, told police in July  [NOTE: That should of course be May - MMRG] that they saw Mr Murat near the Ocean Club holiday complex while they were searching for Madeleine. They are said to have given statements to Portuguese police saying he introduced himself to them [that night] and said: ‘I am Robert. Can I help in the search?’ 

“Charlotte Pennington, 20, a nanny at the Mark Warner complex, has said she saw Mr Murat on May 4, when he was working as a police translator, and recognised him as a man she had seen near the Ocean Club at midnight. The Mail told yesterday [31 December] how holidaymaker Jayne Jensen, 54, also recognised the 34-year-old as a man she saw smoking a cigarette on the street corner opposite the McCanns' apartment.  

An unnamed British barrister who was on holiday in Praia da Luz at the time is understood to have corroborated what Mrs Jensen said, but not made a formal statement. Two other tourists also called the hotline operated by the McCanns' private detective agency, Metodo 3, to report similar sightings. Mr Murat, who has a young daughter from a failed marriage, vehemently denies any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. His mother Jennifer, 71, has accused Metodo 3 of bribing witnesses to change their evidence. But a source close to the McCanns said: ‘He is her son and most mothers would protect their children. Either she knows something or she is mistaken’.” 


So by 1 January, Murat was back in the frame, at least according to Dr Kate McCann and the Daily Mail, with Dr Kate McCann strongly hinting at ‘questions which need to be answered’ and ‘doubts’. But judging by another Daily Mail report just a week later (see next paragraph), this New Year’s Day story appeared to be merely a prelude to the McCann Team’s gradual abandonment of Robert Murat as the chief suspect.   

On 8 January, the Daily Mail ran a story which reversed their New Year’s Day article. Here’s what Vanessa Allen wrote this time: 


Madeleine witnesses ‘may have mistaken this friend of the McCanns for Murat’ on night she disappeared  

“Doubt was cast on the evidence of several key witnesses in the Madeleine McCann disappearance last night. Those who said they saw suspect Robert Murat outside the family's holiday apartment on the night she vanished may have named the wrong man, it was revealed.  

“Detectives believe the witnesses who said they saw the British expat could have confused him with a friend of Kate and Gerry McCann, David Payne, who was out searching for the missing three-year-old… 

“A series of witnesses have given statements claiming to have seen him around the Ocean Club apartment complex in the hours after Mrs McCann, 39, raised the alarm. They include three friends of the McCanns, Russell O'Brien, Fiona Payne and Rachael Oldfield, who later confronted Mr Murat at a police station after he was made a suspect and said he offered to help them search that night.  

“Mark Warner nanny Charlotte Pennington said she saw him hanging around outside the Ocean Club's reception at about 10pm. British holidaymaker Jayne Jensen, an unnamed British barrister and two unidentified British tourists all claim to have seen him around the complex that night.  

“But none of them knew the 34-year-old property consultant before that night. Police are examining the theory that they could have confused him with Dr David Payne. The medical researcher, who is 41, was searching around the complex that night and - in a street lit by orange streetlights - could easily have been mistaken for Mr Murat. Mr Murat's lawyer Francisco Pagarete told the Daily Mail: ‘Robert has always said the witnesses were mistaken. He was not there that night’.  

“A source close to the inquiry said: ‘The similarity between the two has rendered many witness accounts virtually worthless’. But he added: ‘What is baffling is that Mr Payne's wife and two of his friends are among those who claim to have seen Mr Murat outside the McCanns' apartment that night. You'd think a wife would recognise her own husband’.” 


The story had changed dramatically, within a week, from ‘Eight people saw Robert Murat that night’ to ‘They all probably mistook him for Dr David Payne’. At least the Daily Mail told its readers at the end of the article how utterly absurd it was to suggest that Fiona Payne might have mistaken Robert Murat for her own husband.

 On 21 January, there was another Daily Mail article, this time suggesting that Robert Murat was now being considered by the McCanns as an ‘accomplice’ of the abductor, not the abductor himself. The Daily Mail headlines were as follows: 


Robert Murat ‘seen talking to man matching artist's impression of Madeleine suspect’ 

Robert Murat spoke to a man who looked like the new suspect’ 

‘New e-fit of man seen ‘acting strangely’ around complex prior to Madeleine's disappearance’ 

‘McCann family friend says sketch 'strongly resembles' man she saw carrying a child wearing pyjamas identical to Madeleine’s on the night of the abduction’. 


The heading and sub-headings cunningly linked this new ‘sighting’ of Gail Cooper’s (‘Monsterman’) to Jane Tanner’s original claimed sighting of an abductor, thus continuing to lend credibility to her alleged sighting. But the article also brought Robert Murat into the picture, for the Mail went on to report:  


“Robert Murat was spotted chatting to a man who resembled the ‘oddball’ in the new sketch released by the McCanns and who is suspected of abducting Madeleine, it has been claimed today. Charlotte Pennington, a nanny at the Ocean Club holiday complex where the McCanns were staying, told police last May she saw Murat chatting to ‘a man aged around 27 to 35, average height, very dark eyes and of Portuguese or Spanish appearance’. She told detectives she saw expat Murat, who lives with his mother near to holiday complex, talking to the man outside the Baptista supermarket in Praia da Luz”.  


The Mail went on, somewhat dramatically:


“An international manhunt is now underway for the man seen near the resort in Portugal. The sketch was based on the evidence of a British tourist [Gail Cooper] who came forward saying she had seen a ‘creepy man’ lurking around the resort pretending to collect money for a fake orphanage. The dramatic development comes amid fears that he may have been acting with an accomplice in a paedophile gang to ‘case’ the holiday complex in the days running up to her disappearance. 

“Grandmother Gail Cooper, who was staying just 500 yards from Gerry and Kate McCanns' holiday apartment, told police how she came face to face with the ‘disturbing’ man hanging around the resort three times. Based on her descriptions, an FBI-trained artist produced a likeness of the suspect whom British and Portuguese police and Interpol were desperately trying to trace last night. The sketch bears a striking resemblance to an image of a man seen by family friend, Jane Tanner, carrying a child away on the night Madeleine vanished on May 3”. 


Barely six days later, it appeared that the McCann Team had come up with another new slant on the story. On 27 January this bold headline appeared in the Sunday Express: “McCanns say Murat not kidnapper”. Now, bizarrely, the McCann Team seemed to be saying that he could have been a ‘spotter’ for a whole gang of paedophiles. The report ran:  

Kate and Gerry McCann are certain that original suspect Robert Murat is not the man who snatched their daughter Madeleine. But private detectives searching for the missing four-year-old still believe he may have acted as a ‘spotter’ for a kidnap gang targeting the McCann family. The couple have now revealed how they never thought the expatriate was responsible. Despite doubts over his alibi, they have ruled out the 34-year-old after a major probe in Praia da Luz. A 10-strong squad of investigators mounted an undercover operation finding ‘strong’ proof he was in the vicinity after Madeleine’s disappearance. Several witnesses gave statements to Spanish detectives from the Metodo 3 agency, claiming they had chatted with Murat after the alarm was raised by Kate at 10pm. The couple's lawyers sent petitions to senior Portuguese police to re-interview him. 

“One theory is that Murat - going through an expensive divorce - may have been paid by a paedophile gang to select a child. A friend of the McCanns said last night: ‘Privately Kate and Gerry have always believed that Murat was not the man who took Madeleine. However, they do not think he should be cleared, because there is enough evidence to suggest he could have been a spotter for a gang. Murat has told the police that he was not at the apartment on the night she went missing but lots of people saw him and he went round introducing himself saying, ‘Hi, I'm Robert’. He still has a lot of questions to answer”.  

For months the McCann Team had lent weight to the notion that Robert Murat was the probable abductor. This was a major shift in their position. Now he had been demoted to ‘an accomplice.   

And in the weeks and months that followed, other media articles gradually began to explain, ever more emphatically, that the McCanns and their friends no longer considered Murat a suspect. 

All of this, we suggest, flowed directly from the two camps having settled their differences at the ‘Salsalito Summit’.  


There was a clear conspiracy by both the British secret services and the McCann Team, and possibly some journalists, to frame Robert Murat. This succeeded in getting Murat made the lead suspect.  

The finger-pointing at him by the McCanns and the Tapas 7 continued until the Salsalito Summit on 13 November 2007. 

We also saw in September how the battle between Robert Murat and the McCanns seemed to escalate when both the McCluskeys and Martin Smith made almost identical claims - to having identified Kate McCann as a woman seen in Alvor, and Gerry McCann as a man seen in Alvor on 5 September (Robert McCluskey and at Praia da Luz on 10pm on 3 September (Martin Smith) carrying an apparently lifeless child.  

Weeks after the ‘Salsalito Summit’, stories in the press - almost certainly planted by Clarence Mitchell - gradually began to take the heat off Robert Murat.  

Undoubtedly the two teams had to sort out their differences. The lawyered-up head-to-head meeting between the two camps at the Eveleigh’s luxury villa in Vila da Bispo, Burgau, on 13 November 2007, appears to have settled the issues between them. 

If only we had an audio recording of that meeting.   


 MMRG, April 2019 

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