The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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Notable Commentary Mm11

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Notable Commentary

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Notable Commentary Empty Notable Commentary

Post by Verdi 27.05.19 22:37

A new thread to bring together important commentary relative to the case of missing Madeleine McCann, from official sources directly or indirectly connected to the case and unofficial observations by informed professionals.

To set the ball rolling what better than the official documented report by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida:

A report by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida to the Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation where he concludes, after analyzing all the evidence gathered, that the child is dead and the parents were responsible for cadaver occultation, and the entire GROUP was lying since the first day of the investigation.

10th September 2007

MADELEINE BETH MCCANN was born on the 12th of May of 2003.
She is missing (disappeared) since 03 of May of 2007, a fact that occurred in Praia da Luz, Lagos.
She is the daughter of Gerald and Kate McCann and her birth was desired and planned. However it must be referred the difficulty of the mother to get pregnant, from which resulted the necessary treatments and their 'costs'. [I presume he refers more to the emotional and social costs than monetary ones].

She was born after fertilization 'in vitro', but in face of the DNA profile of the minor, she is the daughter of the couple McCann.

It is a scientific fact that the medical treatments to overcome some of the causes for a non-pregnancy raises the probability of, in a normal pregnancy, twins may be born.

In this case we can see that a pregnancy, although desired and planned, turned into a family situation of five instead of three persons. And then, to take care of one child is not the same as taking care of three, all very young.

At around 24h on the 3rd of May of 2007, through a phone connection from the Lagos GNR to this 'piquet', was communicated the disappearance of a minor, a British subject.
We went to the local to proceed to the necessary judiciary inspection.

Before the fact of the disappearance of the minor, the investigation 'designed' the several possible sketches.

From the beginning the parents of the minor attributed the fact (disappearance) to the action of a third party, defending the KIDNAPPING.

Even though it was a possible scenario, the actions of the family were in the sense of conducting into that direction, through the publicity of the fact in a way that was never seen before.
In fact, in the following day, the British televisions 'opened' the news already publicizing the disappearance/kidnapping of the minor.

The defence of this scenario was, for the Media, the truth of the facts under investigation.
Time went by without the confirmation of this scenario by the presence of any of its necessary assumptions. It was never requested any sort of ransom in exchange for information or the child herself.

However and in front of the depositions of one of the friends, Jane Tanner, one could presume to be before such frame.

Meanwhile the diligences continued in order to recover all types of information and always in the perspective of working over all the possible scenarios.

The information recovered, in the beginning, with the family and friends, was uncertain and 'worked up', by the group, in order to give strength to the version presented and defended.
According to the parents and the GROUP, they went for dinner and all of them left the children, sleeping, in their respective apartments.

The elements of the group had a meeting where they agreed on certain rules that sustained the version that they accompanied continuously the children, while they dined.

It is annexed a manuscript of an element of the group that gives consistence to this thesis.
These principles that, in this way, were shared by all the group makes that all the GROUP is always exculpated in the eyes of the British public opinion, making it impossible that any abnormal occurrence that occurred could take more than 30 minutes, once they all agreed to be that the timing they used to look for the children.

The version that someone in the group that every 15 minutes or every 30 minutes went to the apartments to check if everything was alright falls down!

From the declarations of the group results a total incoherence, in the face of which it's obvious, that everyone lies.

We may verify that one of the elements of the group wanting to provide consistency to the group's version, gives it a personal touch: the checking on the children were done in two ways, one just by listening if anyone was crying and in case there was silence than everything was well and the other one, by really checking.

On his turn to verify the children, one of the elements of the group, Mathew, acted on this manner, and he even told Kate that everything was okay but without specifying. Kate remembers this detail.

The truth, however, is that this statements made the investigation to wander, losing time and resources.

It is not admissible (understandable) that this information was given in the beginning and maintained all along the time, in spite of the fact that anyone could verify the losses that it caused to the investigation.

After all this time the version is maintained paired with the public and 'hammered 'statement that what they want the most is 'to help the investigation'.

The investigation had to assume the incorrect information and move forward.

From tsuch the results are that:

' If anyone went to check the children and if everything was alright the disappearance could only have occurred between 21:30h and 22:00h;

' If the information didn't take into account that witness (' ) then the disappearance occurred between 21:00h and 22:00 h, enlarging the period ( assuming the father is telling the truth);

There is however another question about the timing, which is:

' The last time the child was seen outside of the GROUP, by someone that can prove that moment, it was around 17h:35m, when the parents went to fetch her from the Creche, which can enlarge the gap of time, between the disappearance and the alarm, to four hours.

Continuing with the analysis of the information presented, we have an element of the GROUP that became a witness, pretensely important, Jane Tanner, because of what she communicated: she SAW someone at dinner time crossing the road from the place of the disappearance, in the direction of Robert Murat's house.

This information swerved (directed) and mobilized the work of the investigators for a long time. This can be the example how information that is not correct can, not only delay, but could have also lead to the loss of the little girl.

Through the insistence on the information, several scenarios of the disconformities of that with the reality were traced, but it didn't prevent the realization of an intense and long work around that arguido.

We can also verify the discrepancies about the subject on the declarations of Gerald and Jane. How to pass at scarce 2 / 3 meters from each other without seeing one another, they can be positioned in such a reduced space, and between them they cannot see the same person passing by; or rather, one sees but not the other.

Even the local where, assumingly, they crossed each other is not well defined by any of them.

The moment chosen by the witness Jane to make her statement about what she had 'seen' and the explanation for that moment is unreal, that is, it is not easy to accept that any witness (from the group) when seeing someone with a child in the arms getting away from the McCann's place, hadn't immediately acted or spoken, being certain that the description of the person was being consecutively altered, 'perfected'. So, there isn't much credibility on this deposition.

Until now we have been analyzing small distortions in the information initially transmitted, being noticeable 'small' alterations (distortions) of the truth, and relating it with the investigation and with the directions it forced it into.

The investigation didn't follow the command or the will of anyone; the family and Group's information that on this type of crime is fundamental, was always distorted.

The fact that the individuals were foreigners prevented, until now, that direct information about the persons of the GROUP were obtained.

The parents of the minor live in a society, the British, known through the press, as very demanding. The professions of both parents, medicine, completed by the fact that the father is a surgeon, increases this degree of pressure and consequent tiredness.

In a society identified internationally and in the Media as very demanding and with many and tight rules to establish those standards of exigency, it makes it obligatory that people rest; make a professional retreat; take their holidays.

Gerald McCann's profession is a cardiovascular surgeon.

On many moments of his professional career he had to make decisions in thousandths of a second, which gives him certain 'coldness' and, certainly provokes an increased tiredness.

The enjoyment of a period of holidays supposes a rest through non-ordinary practices and freedom and exemption from schedules.

The social life in such a holiday, in the present case, was facilitated by the fact that they travelled as a group.

But that social life may, in a certain way, be touched by the presence and constant needs of accompanying the minors.

This evidence and need was clear in the deliverance of the children by the respective children's centres and creches (according to their ages). The holiday time was not shared between parents and children.

The day, 03 of May of 2007, had gone by, until dinner time, in a natural way according to the adopted style.

After getting the children from the Children's centres and the creche they went to the apartment, little after 17:35h.

But' Kate went running for half an hour at the beach and then went to the apartment and' Gerald went to play tennis.

While the tennis play was taking place another element of the group that had been in touch with Kate, in the apartment, in a period of time that could have taken between 30 seconds, according to Kate, and 30 minutes, according to Gerald.

In thirty seconds we may ask if everything is well and if anything is needed, little more.
In thirty minutes we can go ahead and make something that is needed from us'

They put the minors to bed and to sleep, around 19:30h. They stood at home until 20:30h, going to the Tapas restaurant afterwards. Of the group they were the first to arrive.

Although the entire group was at the table and starting the meal, they began the 'visits' to the children in a way that is neither coherent nor acceptable; that could not be confirmed and only the group defends it, in a sort of 'unique version'.

Although they say in the 'Autos' that their strategic position in the Tapas restaurant allowed them, the McCann, to see the apartment where they'd left their children, minor, sleeping, the exam of the local reveals it is false.

It must be noted, also, that by the stated in the 'Autos' everything points to their position at the table with their back to the apartment.

On that NIGHT, around 22:05h, according to her version, it was Kate that went to the apartment to check the children, coinciding with the end of the dinner, at which she had arrived at 20:30h.
So, she returned to the apartment about one and a half hours later, the time lapse while she didn't see her children.

It took her about 10 minutes. She returned to the restaurant and communicated to the remaining elements the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine.

It must be noted that Kate knew that, going back to the restaurant as she did, she would leave the twins, Amelie and Sean, in the same dangerous situation.

It is not understandable why she didn't use the cell phone to call Gerald or the group or, even simpler, that she didn't go to the balcony from where she could be perfectly heard by the elements of the group.
The authorities, the GNR, were alerted around 22:40h and, he population alerted, started the searches for the minor.

The divulgation of the facts weren't kept within the authorities and the normal channels. On the following day the British and Portuguese TVs were advertising the fact.

The GROUP was together. The search was circumscribed to the interior of the apartment.
Before any search by the authorities at the surroundings the notice about an eventual kidnapping was already running along.

By reasons, they said, of counselling and support the parents asked for the presence of a priest, at around 02:00h/03:00h on the 04 of May.

On the informal depositions they made, during the judiciary inspection made at the local, the information immediately induced the thesis of KIDNAPPING.

Simple things became disinformation: the question of the opened or closed window; the shutter up or down; the balcony door opened' the front door, locked or open.

Despite everything, until a certain time in the investigation the family sustained the thesis of kidnapping. However, in a date that cannot be precise it was suggested to the family that they should consult a person that could, eventually, indicate the probable place where the cadaver of little Madeleine could be found.

This fact became inexplicable to the elements of the investigation once it were the members of the family that raised the hypothesis of death of little Maddie.

Nevertheless, before the Media they kept (and keep) declaring their hope on finding their daughter alive: the first time that the hypothesis of the death of the little girl was raised it was, effectively, suggested by the McCann.

Although maintaining all the lines of the investigation opened it was, nevertheless, decided to advance in the direction of a new inspection to the local where the girl disappeared.
The inspection technique is frequently used in the United Kingdom and consists on the use of dogs especially trained.

As it's natural it is the dog's olfact the 'sense' used. In the case of this 'sense' the difference between the human and the dog is 5 million cells to 200 millions.

It must be highlighted that the resource to this kind of inspection is frequent in the UK and the success rate is 100%.

One of the dogs is trained to detect the odour of cadaver and the other to identify vestiges of human blood.

We refer now that the location of the cadaver odours signifies that physically the body (cadaver) is not on the place, marked by the dog, but certainly it has been there, as long as the dog signals it.

As it can be verified from the 'Autos', in the inquiry, the dogs inspected the locales and objects with the results described below.

All the inspections were recorded in sound and image and were directed by our British colleagues that accompanied the dogs.

Among the great number of objects and locales inspected, the dogs marked the following places:
1. Apartment 5 A, Ocean Club resort, the place from where the child disappeared
1.1. Cadaver odour
* Master bedroom, in a corner, by the wardrobe
* Living room, behind the sofa, by the side window
1.2. Blood dog:
* Living room behind the sofa, close to the lateral window (on the same spot signalled by the cadaver dog);
2. Front garden to the apartment 5A
2.1. Cadaver dog
* Flower bed (the dog handler commented on the 'lightness' of the odor)
3. Apartments where the rest of the group were staying
* NOTHING was detected by the dogs
4. Actual residence of the McCann
* NOTHING was detected on the house by any of the dogs
5. At Aldeia da Luz
* NOTHING was detected by any of the dogs
6. Clothes and belongings of McCann family
6.1. Cadaver dog:
* 2 pieces of clothing of Kate McCann
* One piece of Madeleine McCann
* Madeleine's soft toy
* The odour was detected when the toy was still in the interior of the actual residence of the McCann
* It was confirmed in out of the house conditions
7. Vehicle used by the McCann family
7.1. Cadaver dog:
* Marked the key of the car
* Marked the interior of the booth
7.2. Blood dog
* Marked the car key
* Marked the interior of the booth
8. Car used by a family friend that was staying in the same resort, in some of the same days
* Nothing was detected by any of the dogs
9. All the cars used by the arguido Robert Murat and the people that are close to him
* Nothing was detected by any of the dogs.

(In a total of 10 cars the cadaver dog and the blood dog only marked the car of the McCann family, rented at May 27th)

The places and the pieces marked and signaled by the blood dog are being subjected to forensic exams, part of which are already concluded.

Not less relevant is the refinement of the results that point towards Madeleine's DNA as being present at the apartment 5A behind the sofa, a place marked by the cadaver and the blood dog. In every place marked by the blood dog it was confirmed there was DNA.

The Media enhancement given to the case and their search for information has contributed to an evolution on Madeleine's parents declarations.

All the information that was made public, contributed for the remixing of the story, adapting it to eventual police questions, and to attempts to justify the indicia and consequent proof that was being collected.

Let's see: the media forwarded the hypothesis that the children could have been sedated to be kept asleep and allow some rest to the parents.

Distant in time Kate's father, the grandfather of the minor, Brian Healy, admits to the press that Kate could have administered some medication to the little girl, Calpol, to help the child (children'') to sleep, contrary to what his daughter Kate had stated.

Kate, through the PJ inspector that acted as 'liaison' with the family [NOTE: that is Ricardo Paiva], asked why samples weren't taken from the twins in order to test that hypothesis. She knew well enough at that time, more than 3 months later, that such exam would be inviable.

She went further and said that we ' the investigation ' should verify that the kidnapper had sedated Madeleine, to accomplish the action and he had also sedated the twins 'to consummate the act' however she didn't say that at the right moment.

And we know that the sedatives have timings to act and timings to be expelled, that varies between six and 200 hours.

The medical knowledge of the McCann is enough to know such, even if their professional activity never passed by performing toxicology exams.

When the media informed that blood had been detected 'in the car and in the apartment', Kate and members of her family come to the public with the simple excuse that it had been someone, with access to the apartment, to place the evidence.

Now they even admit it was a member of the criminal investigation to place the 'false' evidence (blood and cadaver odour in the apartment and in the car).

Kate in an attempt to justify the blood went even further, informing that on that occasion, Madeleine had, sometimes, nasal haemorrhages.

On the day that a house search was performed, in the residence of the McCann, on the master bedroom, written papers were found as well as a bible, written in English. It was opened on the pages whose copies are annexed here, with the translation.

KIDNAPPING is a situation with which, unfortunately, in the United Kingdom, most of the public opinion is used to, due to the rate of this kind of crime.

Intelligent people should have a minimum of knowledge that the publicity is harming to the investigation of a kidnapping crime and especially to the safety of the kidnapped person.

They should have waited for the decisions from the police authorities, there is strong evidence that the crime scene was altered, some furniture was moved around.

Those changes are indications of simulation.

On the night of the disappearance of the little girl Madeleine the family was contacted by a lady that identified herself with documents that credited her as somebody that worked with minors in the United Kingdom.

She identified herself with documents/certifications used in the UK, into hospitals and centres for the care of minors. She offered her help in whatever was needed.
No doubt this person could have been of valuable help, even about procedures, but she was dismissed.

From everything that was gathered, the facts point in the direction that the death of Madeleine McCann occurred, on the night of May 3rd of 2007, inside the apartment 5A, of the Ocean Club resort, occupied by the couple McCann and by their three children;

There is a coincidence between the marking of cadaver odour and blood, according to the Laboratory Report (partial) annexed to the 'Autos'.

Such markings, occurred behind the sofa of the living room (cadaver and blood odour/DNA), which proves that indubitably such piece of furniture was pushed back by someone, after the death of Madeleine McCann occurred. Because of the weak (small) vestiges recovered at such place, it is to admit as a strong hypothesis that the same was subjected to a wash, at the time the death occurred.

In the same way, the soft toy used by the dead child, found at the head of the bed where she usually slept (see photos about the initial forensics) reveals that someone put it there in a moment posterior to the death, once the bed doesn't have cadaver odour. This is, there occurred an intentional modification in order to simulate a 'picture' that doesn't correspond with the reality;

It must be added that the cadaver odour signalled a strong odour in the bedroom where the McCann slept, which can indicate the moving of the corpse from the actual death scene (living room) to the non visible part of the bedroom;

Furthermore a strong reaction for cadaver odour was made on Kate's clothes, which can indicate that she was in touch with the cadaver;

There was also a strong reaction of cadaver odour in the car used by the McCann (since May 27th 2007), which in conjugation with the blood dog and the forensics present in the 'Autos', that indicate the presence of Madeleine McCann's DNA in the booth of the car, are in order not to exclude a strong hypothesis that this car may have been used to transport the cadaver, 24 days after the death;

It can't also be neglected the indication of the cadaver and blood dog, on the car key, having the laboratory confirmed the existence of Gerald McCann's DNA. This last signalling was obtained by the dogs after the key was put far away from the car and in a place not visible.

From everything that was exposed from the AUTOS, we conclude that:
A) The minor Madeleine McCann died in the apartment 5A of the Ocean Club resort, on the night of May 3rd of 2007;

B) It was performed a simulation of kidnapping;

C) In order to avoid the death [alarm] of the minor before 22H00, it was created a situation of the children's surveillance by the McCann while the children slept;

D) Kate McCann and Gerald McCann are involved in the occultation of the cadaver of their child Madeleine McCann;

E) At this moment, there seems that there aren't strong indicia that the death of the minor didn't happen due to a tragic accident;

F) From what was obtained until now, everything points out that the McCann, as self-defence, didn't want to deliver immediately and voluntarily the cadaver, existing a strong possibility that the same was transported from the initial place of deposition. This situation is susceptible to raise questions about the circumstances under which the death of the minor occurred.

So we suggest that the 'Autos' be sent to the Sr. Procurador Geral da R'ublica [General Attorney], in order to:

G) New interrogation of the Arguidos Kate and Gerry McCann;
H) Evaluation of the measure of restraint to be applied in this case;

On the course of the house search to the residence of the McCann, a manuscript was found, a sort of diary, already photocopied, possibly authored by Kate McCann, and admitting that the same may contain elements that may help to reach the material truth of the facts, WE PROPOSE THAT:

I) The photocopies of such document to be presented to the M.Mo Judge regarding its apprehension, if legal, translation and eventual recovery of elements to bring into the 'Autos' for future investigation.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Additional analysis by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida

Post by Verdi 27.05.19 22:40

Additional analysis by Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida

Dated 3rd September 2007.

The police work in the course of an investigation is oriented to the inspection of the place where the crime occurred, and to the recovery of clues, trace evidence and information - documentary and spoken [obtained from people].

The constant analysis of those factors, crossing/joining science with the other things collected that evolve into the reconstruction of the event.

It falls to the investigation to determine the causes and circumstances in/under which the event occurred.

During the present investigation, in accordance with the premise(s) succinctly enumerated, the recovery of items has delineated the investigation.

During the investigation the official case file papers included notice of situations that had been investigated, considering that they could have driven the case to a conclusion.

We are not faced with changes to the objective of the investigation. The end [aim] is always the same, the discovery of the truth.

There remains, still, part of the investigation that explores all the legalities, to answer all the doubts that can be found.

In this way, recently, two dogs, unique in the world, were used.
One of the dogs detects the odour of a cadaver and the other detects the odour of human blood.
Recourse to [In using] these dogs one had to consider the information gathered by scientific means [methods] which confirm the olfactory capacity of dogs being 200 million detector cells, compared with 5 million in humans, also having to consider the training factor.

The use of those dogs, for official record purposes, was recorded on video - image and sound. The work in which the dogs were used included:
- in the apartment 5A that was used by the family at the date of the events;
- in the apartments that were used by of the rest of the group of friends at the date of the events;
- in the residence presently being used by the family;
- in the vehicle used by the family;
- the clothing of the family;
- in the vehicles used by arguido Robert Murat and those used by persons familiar with him [family, friends and associates];
- in the residence and garden of arguido Robert Murat;
- in diverse areas in and around Praia da Luz.

This work resulted in 'alerts' by both dogs:
- cadaver odour [was alerted to]:
* in the lounge, next to one of the windows, of apartment 5A;
* in the current residence of the family, a soft toy of the girl Madeleine;
* on various pieces of clothing;
* on the key of the car used by the family;

- blood odour;
* in the lounge, next to one of the windows, of apartment 5A (the same place
alerted to by the other dog;
* on the key of the key used by the family;
* inside the boot area of the car used by the family.

Before [in front of/faced with] these facts authorised collections were undertaken and the 'pieces' were subjected to laboratory examination, in a manner to confirm the existence of trace evidence and to proceed with its consequent analysis.


In following this investigation path it is, absolutely, necessary to proceed with other work, especially to perform a canine inspection of the clothing of members of the group of friends.

Already all of these people are [back] in the UK, carrying on their normal life.
If it is true that, initially, they accompanied the McCann couple, the truth is that presently they show signs of "already they have been [become] sufficiently weary [tired/bored/annoyed] with the situation".

On the other side [hand] there is the necessity to perform work that allows us to know [find out] (!!!) objectively [in an objective way/manner] who is the person Madeleine Beth McCann, which, truthfully, can only be done in the place she lives: - the home and the school.

It is known that the educators / teachers / nannies / domestic employees know the children, another facet [feature/angle] that refers [ alludes] to the side of life in the absence of the parents, when they [the children] are in their 'social' circle with other children of their own age, with the same interests, crucial moments in the formation of the personality, of the person.


From the perspective of the investigation, heedful of the items gathered up to now, we are in a situation in which the death of Madeleine Beth McCann occurred on 3 May 2007, inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club resort in the town of Luz, Lagos.
The work done by the dog team, in Portugal, brought conviction of this slope [ angle] / proposition [ theory] of the investigation, not that it had been ignored previously, but because they [the dogs] could have determined the place where clues / trace evidence could be recovered that could be, scientifically, proven.

To be certain of/in this angle of the investigation, we had to be in the presence of a death whose circumstances had to be determined, there having been a fan [spread, range] of hypotheses [possibilities] in which such [death] may have occurred, through accident, negligence or crime of homicide.

In this way, defining all the circumstantial-ism [taking into account all the circumstances and all the circumstantial evidence], we may be, still [ yet], in the presence of other delictual practices, whose punishment is foreseen [prescribed] in the penal law, such as the hiding [concealment] of a body and the simulation of crime.

The circumstances of relative isolation, they having found themselves outside [away from] 'their' space / natural habitat, in a foreign country, conditions the behaviour of the group, rapidly turning it [the group] into, possible, perpetrators of / accomplices in the event that occurred.


Therefore I venture to suggest to you, Sir, that it should be raised for the consideration of the Prosecutor named in the Inquiry, the preparation of two rogatory letters to the British authorities, with anticipated fulfilment, to know [find out]:

1. Considering the manifest will [desire/intention/decision] of non-cooperation with the judicial authorities and police, disputing that they have already done and said everything, it is asked that:
1.1 there be authorised inspection by the dogs of the clothing used by the group of friends of the McCann family, that were in Portugal when the event occurred;
1.2 in the face of the results obtained through the police work if one may inquire of [question] people that are shown necessary and useful to the investigation;
1.3 inspections by dogs be recorded in sound and images [video-taped];
1.4 the same team be nominated for the work as performed the same type of work in Portugal;
1.5 it be determined [ permitted] the seizure of anything that, in the understanding of the investigation, shows itself to be useful for the discovery of the truth or is in any way of interest as material proof [evidence] or should be subjected to laboratory, or other, examination.

2. for the discovery of the truth it is the opinion of the investigation, due to the lack of knowledge about you, your lives and social standing, that:
2.1 entrance to the McCann residence be authorised;
2.2 where shown necessary and being in the interests of the investigation, the taking of pictures of the interior, in any room/building, be authorised;
2.3 it be determined [permitted] the seizure of anything that, in the understanding of the investigation, shows itself to be useful for the discovery of the truth or is in any way of interest as material proof [evidence] or should be subjected to laboratory, or other, examination;
2.4 in the interest of better understanding the personality and affections of the young girl Madeleine, questioning proceeds of:
2.4.1 the teacher of the school that the girl attended;
2.4.2 other persons / teachers with she kept company, in instruction or after-school / extra curricular activities;
2.4.3 the person/people employed in/at the McCann residence;
2.4.4 other persons, non-family, who may be identified and whose association [experience] with the girl Madeleine may contribute to the above objectives.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Craig Murray: The Strange Case of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the McCanns

Post by Verdi 28.05.19 1:36

The Strange Case of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the McCanns

20th April 2016

I have a confession to make. Back in 2014 I posted that I was going to write something further on the subject of the McCanns. In the end I did not, because I was surprised by the strong emotional reaction I received, from a number of decent people, who were enraged that I might be prepared to write something not to the McCanns’ advantage. But I regret being so pusillanimous, particularly as so much discussion has been suppressed by the extremely aggressive stance taken on threats of libel action on this story.

So in the full knowledge that some decent people will be outraged, here it is.

This week there have been two more developments. The Home Office has announced that it will fund still further the police investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance, on which £10 million has already been spent. Plus the appeals court in Lisbon has overturned the libel verdict against the Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, who led the case and formed his own firm convictions at to what happened. The 500,000 euro libel award to the McCanns is now cancelled.

None of these sums of money would matter in the least, and practically nobody would grudge any expense, to have Madeleine McCann alive, safe and happy. There can be nothing worse for a parent than the loss of a child, whatever the circumstances. If the McCanns genuinely do not know what happened, that must be agonising beyond belief. My grandparents had a nineteen year old son, an uncle I never knew, missing in action in World War 2 and the pain never left them, even when his fate was resolved.

And yet, and yet… It is because our children are so precious to us that we treat them as such. I recall an incident on Jamie’s first birthday, which we spent in a hotel in Italy. I was in the room with Jamie. My then wife had gone out to the car. The birthday cake was delivered to reception and had to be paid for. Jamie was fast asleep. I dashed out of the hotel room, down two flights of steps to reception, literally threw the money at them and ran back up the stairs. I was away under two minutes but have never experienced such adrenalin, nor would wish to again. An overwhelming instinct had kicked in telling me I had done wrong in leaving the baby unattended, even so briefly.

I find the McCanns’ behaviour indefensible. There appears to be a disconnect in the public mind in the UK which prevents people from realising just how far the McCanns were from their children. This is a useful graphic just to see the layout, (do not worry about the other info on it).

Notable Commentary Maddie2_09_map

The McCanns could not actually see their apartment from the tapas bar due to the wall around the pool. To get back there, they had to use the gate and walk around that wall, which made it a 75 yard hike. And the apartment had double doors onto the street on the opposite side of the block from that facing the pool.

I do not see how anybody understanding this geography can consider that it was normal parenting for the McCanns to leave two one year olds and a three year old, alone in the apartment in these circumstances – for hours, and repeatedly several days running. It is something I would absolutely never dream of doing with my own children. If nothing else, had any of the children been crying and in distress – and the chances of that with three tiny children are pretty high – there was no way they could hear them.

The claimed abduction is not the only thing that could have happened. Cholic. Vomiting. Sore nappies. Coughing. Choking. Bad dreams. Overheating. All kinds of thing can distress children. So far as I can judge, it is not that I am weird in my own views, rather it is absolutely accepted in British society that you do not leave 1 year olds without care of an adult. Why are the McCanns an exception?

Which leads me on to the question of why they received such exceptional treatment from British authorities, directed straight from No. 10, to the extent that Blair and Brown eventually gave them a PR representative? I used at one stage to be Resident Clerk in the FCO, a now abolished post effectively of night duty officer. I can tell you from horrible personal experience that the FCO deals with gut-wrenching cases of lost or dead children abroad frequently. I spent one of the most terrible three hours of my life, through to a cold dawn, on the phone with a hysterical bereaved mother desperate to explore any avenue that might give a possibility that the boy who had just drowned in Brazil was misidentified as her son. On average, I am afraid such tragedies get substantially less than 1% of the public resources that were devoted to the McCanns.

I am going to come straight out with this. British diplomatic staff were under direct instruction to support the McCanns far beyond the usual and to put pressure on the Portuguese authorities over the case. I have direct information that more than one of those diplomatic staff found the McCanns less than convincing and their stories inconsistent. Embassy staff were perturbed to be ordered that British authorities were to be present at every contact between the McCanns and Portuguese police.

This again is absolutely not the norm. On a daily basis more British citizens have contact with foreign authorities than the total staff of the FCO. It would be simply impossible to give that level of support to everybody. Plus, against jingoistic presumption, a great many Brits who have contact with foreign police are actually criminals.

The British Ambassador in Portugal, John Buck, had been my direct boss in the FCO. he was Deputy Head of Southern European Department when I was Head of Cyprus Section. He and his staff were concerned by contradictions in the McCann’s story. The Embassy warned, in writing, that being perceived as too close to the McCanns might not prove wise. They demanded the instruction from London be reconfirmed. It was.

I know of people’s misgivings because I was told directly. But material was also leaked to a Belgian newspaper confirming what I have said. It was published by the Express, but like so much other material which is not supportive of the McCanns, it got taken down. Fortunately that last link preserved it. It also shows that the FCO continues to refuse Freedom of Information requests for the material on the interesting grounds that it might damage relations with Portugal.

For the avoidance of doubt, I do not believe there was a high level paedophile ring involved. I make no such argument. Nor do I claim to know what happened to Madeleine McCann. But I do believe that the McCanns were less than exemplary parents. I believe that New Labour’s No.10 saw, in typical Blair fashion, a highly photogenic tragedy which there might be popularity in appearing to work on.

And I believe there is a genuine danger that the high profile support from the top of the British government might have put some psychological pressure on the Portuguese investigators and prosecuting officers in their determinations.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Mark Harrison: Report 23rd July 2007

Post by Verdi 28.05.19 2:12

This report by Mark Harrison, of the NPIA, led to the deployment of the specialist dogs Eddie the EVRD and Keela the CSI.

Mark Harrison MBE, National Search Advisor. 23rd July 2007

Personal Profile

I am the National Adviser in relation to Search for all Police agencies within the United Kingdom for Missing persons, Abduction and Homicide. My role involves advising on searching for persons that are missing, abducted or murdered, using enhanced search techniques and technologies. I attend and review cases providing advice and support on search plans, strategies and resources. I have extensive national and international experience in such casework. I am a visiting Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Southampton.
In compiling this report I have driven and walked around the relevant areas of Praia Da Luz during the hours of darkness and then during daylight hours. I have conducted reconnaissance flights using the Civil defence helicopter. Consultation has been made with various colleagues and subject matter experts in the development of this report.

This report considers solely the possibility that Madeleine McCann has been murdered and her body is concealed within the areas previously searched by Police in Zone 1 around Praia Da Luz. Other scenarios or possibilities may on request be considered and be subject of a further report. I also make comment on the recent claims made by a Mr Krugel as to the whereabouts of the missing child.

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Initial Action
On Friday 20.07.2007 a request was made by the Portuguese Judicial Police to the NPIA for search advisory assistance. As a result of this the following terms of reference were produced.

Terms of reference to provide assistance to the Portuguese Judicial Police.

1. Assist the Judicial Police and GNR in assessing new or previous areas searched and give opinion on the best methods and assets to provide assurance as to the absence or presence of M McCann's concealed remains.
2. Act as a "critical friend" to the officer in charge of search planning and management and offer immediate and enduring peer review until case resolution or search suspension.
3. Assist in the development of framework models such as scenario based searching to aid homicide disposal searching.
4. Consider further opportunities or areas for search in order to locate M McCann as applicable to the latest intelligence and inform tion provided.
5. Where appropriate, provide independent and impartial advice on the enabling and disabling factors of specialist resources available either within Portugal or elsewhere in body detection.
6. To assist in decision support where requested by testing and challenging claims made by persons offering unorthodox search methods or devices to aid locating M McCann.
7. Where appropriate and requested, assist in advising on procedures to procure any non Portuguese specialist assets that are deemed to be relevant and useful.

Mr Krugel's Claims Regarding the Location of Madeleine McCann

A Mr Krugel, at the McCann's request, attended Praia Da Luz last week from South Africa alleging he could assist in locating Madeleine McCann. I have spoken with the Police officers that accompanied him and viewed the documentation Krugel has supplied to the PJ.
The limiting factor in coming to a view is that Krugel did not allow anyone to view the handheld device he had with him or observe him using it. He was unable to provide any validating scientific data or documents to support the claims he made or the device he alleged to have with him.
In short he would appear to claim he has uniquely developed a handheld device that can find a missing person alive or dead in any given terrain over any elapsed time period.

In debriefing the officers who accompanied Krugel it is possible to hypothesise what he may have been doing and using.

In consultation with a colleague Dr Wolfram Meier-Augenstein we feel he may have been attempting to give the impression he had developed and was using

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a "Remote Laser based gas sensing device". However his claims regarding the distance of detection, up to 20km and the use of a hair sample are highly unlikely and would be a great innovation in the scientific world. Further provenance of this technique could be sought from Prof. Miles Padgett who is a Professor of optics in physics at the University of Glasgow (m. tel +44 141 XXXXXXX)

One obvious challenge to the claims of the device capability is that if Krugel claims that by taking 3 separate location readings he is able to triangulate to an area then one would assume that as an area was identified further reading and triangulation inside that area could be conducted repeatedly until an "X marked the spot?
Of most concern is the poor quality of his report which merely shows a google earth image of an area to the east of Praia Da Luz and includes open scrub land, beach and sea. As Krugel was not prepared to allow the device to be viewed or provide any specification data of readings or equipment and the fact that no known device currently exists commercially or academically then I can only conclude that the information he has provided is likely to be of low value.

GNR Searches Conducted within 7 days of Madeleine McCann's Disappearance.

On Saturday 21.07.2007 I met with Major Luis Seqeuira, GNR Portimao who was the search coordinator for all search activity that was under taken in the physical search for Madeleine McCann.
Major Seqeuira has not benefited from any formal training or accreditation in the management of searching for missing persons. The search officers with the exception of the search and rescue team dispatched from Lisbon had not benefited from any formal training in search procedures. The teams available and deployed by Major Seqeuira were drawn from unit of the GNR, Civil Protection, Fire Brigade, Red Cross and Urban Police. Each team numbered
around 10 and between 80 to 100 personnel were involved in search activity.

The searches were based on a strategy of searching in "rescue and recovery mode? to locate the missing girl alive or if dead, not as a victim of crime. This search phase lasted for 7 days from the date M McCann went missing.

The search was split into 3 zones radiating out from Praia Da Luz in a northward direction. The first zone extended 3km to the EN125 road at Espiche. W?hin this zone, sectors were drawn using the natural boundaries that exist and included the entire village. Officers were briefed and debriefed before and after deployments and records of activity collected. Each sector was repeatedly searched on 3 separate occasions over the 7 days using officers conducting line searches and supported by air scenting dogs.

The next Zone 2 was extended out to a radius of 7km to the boundary of the N120 road at Bensafrim. As the sectors were larger and in order to support the line searches 2 GNR officers on motorcycles and 6 GNR officers on horse
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-back were deployed. These sectors were all searched on 2 separate occasions over the 7 day period.
The outer zone 3 was extended to 15km at Barragem de Odiaxere a dammed lake. This zone is in a mountainous region subject to flash forest fires.
Therefore Fire officers who routinely patrol and have local knowledge of the area were tasked to drive the tracks, visit empty properties to look for the missing girl. Additionally the fire brigade used a boat to visually inspect the surface water of the lake.

Re Visiting Previously Searched Areas.

In considering the two scenarios that Madeleine McCann has been murdered and her body disposed of by a person on foot or in a vehicle, I have reflected on the areas within zone 1 that have been previously searched or subject to forensic examination.

Mark Warner Creche at Praia Da Luz.

This is the location of the last confirmed sighting by a person independent of family members of Madeleine McCann. Although this location was within the original search area it may well benefit from a further search using enhanced detecting methods for human remains. This will depend on the size of any outside grounds and concealed areas inside the building.

McCann's Apartment.

The apartment in which the McCann's had stayed may present further
opportunities to search. The use of a specialist EVRD (Enhanced Victim
Recovery Dog) and CSI dog (human blood detecting dog) could potentially indicate on whether Madeline's blood is in the property or the scent of a dead body is present. In relation to the dead body scent if such a scent is indicated by the EVRD and no body is located it may suggest that a body has been in the property but removed. This search process could be repeated in all the apartments that were occupied by the friends holidaying with the McCann's.
Murat's House and Garden.

The property has been forensically examined to recover any surface trace evidence however the house and gardens may benefit from a fully invasive specialist search to preclude the presence of Madeleine McCann.
A method previously employed on similar cases has been to use the below assets.
Deploy the EVRD to search the house and garden to ensure Madeleine McCann's remains are not present. The dog may also indicate if a body has been stored in the recent past and then moved off the property, though this is not evidential merely intelligence.
Deploy the CSI dog to search the house to locate any human blood.
This will act in support of the forensic examination already completed.
An inhibiting factor will be on areas where Luminol has been used.

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Deploy geophysical instruments in the house and garden to detect any burial of a body or concealment in voids.

These specialists should be supported by physical search teams exploring and accessing all areas where concealment of a child's body could be made typically 0.5m.

Murat's Vehicles.

All vehicles Murat has had access to have been forensically examined to recover any surface trace evidence however they may all benefit from a full search by the EVRD and CSI dogs. They may be able to detect whether a dead body has been transported in one of the vehicles for intelligence purposes or detect human blood deposits that can be recovered and
examined in a laboratory for Madeleine McCann's blood.

Open Area to East of Praia Da Luz.

This open area between the village urban limits and the Boavista golf club to the east and includes a plateau on which sits a trig point and mobile phone mast.
This area has been previously searched by officers and dogs walking through the area to check for Madeleine McCann's visible remains. However considering the new scenario of Homicide and concealed deposition this area affords many opportunities to dispose of a body. Within this area there are old empty properties, wells, thick vegetation, pockets of soft sand and natural fissures in the cliffs. Whilst there is no intelligence she is buried or concealed in this land it would be a natural place an offender may choose dose to the Village using the least effort principle. A proportionate response may therefore be considered to conduct a search of this area using a team of Victim Recovery Dogs (VRD) that are specifically trained to located concealed human remains.
Prior to undertaking this task it would be beneficial to consult with a Forensic Anthropologist with knowledge of this region of Portugal to give opinion as to the likely state of any remains to be found. Further research could also be conducted with regards to the natural scavenging predators in the area.

An inhibiting factor is that since the disappearance of the child an old empty house adjacent to the Trig Point on the Rocha Negra has been demolished and all rubble removed, If she was concealed within this property the search would be unlikely to detect her now.

Praia Da Luz Beach and Shoreline.

The beach and shoreline are bounded by high cliffs and shallow waters. The beach has fine granular sand and provides easy digging. However the beach is extensively used by tourists and locals and af?rds minimal areas of cover from view for concealment. It may be considered appropriate to use the VRD dog team supported by geophysical GPR to sweep the beach. This would be

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a considerable time and cost undertaking and should be weighed in the absence of specific intelligence.

Search Duration.

If all the described assets were deployed it would be likely all assets would complete their searches within one week.


Currently only costs for the EVRD and CSI are available.
The daily rate for this dog team is 1000 Euros. Flight travel costs for handler and dogs could be 2750 Euros. Veterinary costs: U.K. and Portugal to comply with Pet Passports scheme 450 Euros. Accommodation, subsistence and vehicle transportation would incur extra charge.
Costs for a VRD dog team to conduct the open area search are not available at the time of writing. Such a team could be sourced from several countries within Europe or USA that have this capability including the UK. However the UK is limited to those teams whose dogs have "pet passports" due to UK quarantine restrictions.

Costs for a geophysical search team to conduct the search of Murat's house and garden are not available at the time of writing. These could be sourced from a commercial surveying company, a university or military within Portugal. Alternatively enquires could be made within the UK.


The sea in general circumstances would be immediately attractive to an offender as an easy way of body disposal and so must be considered.
The searches of the coastline was conducted by the Maritime Police and Coastguard. They searched the sea for any body buoyant on the surface and checked the coves and caves.
It could be considered appropriate to conduct research into the tidal flows and movement of the sea in this region and hypothesise where a body may travel if entered at certain points. It has been observed the depth of the sea appears shallow at the relevant area of coastline and this may become an inhibiting factor for any offender wishing to dispose of a body in it.
Overall Summary.

This report has highlighted the extensive and professional efforts made by the Portuguese authorities regarding the search to locate Madeleine McCann alive. It has now begun to consider further opportunities to re search locations in order to address the possibility that she has been murdered and concealed nearby. This would be a proportionate and appropriate response given the elapsed time since her disappearance and previous experience in such similar cases. Should the investigators wish to discuss and develop the issues raised

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in this initial assessment I would be happy to do so. Should further advisory ?in country? support be required of the National Search Advisor following this initial assessment phase formal approval must be sought from the NPIA.

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This section describes the training and abilities of victim recovery dogs (VRD), the enhanced victim recovery dog (EVRD) and Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR).


Search Asset Profile

Victim recovery dogs (VRDs) are also known as body or cadaver dogs. They are used in many countries to assist the police in locating concealed human remains. In the UK, police dogs are used that are trained and licensed to a national standard.

Pig carcasses are used to train the dogs in the UK as it is not legal to use human cadavers. This is an established training method and enables the dogs to successfully detect human remains in operational case work.

Enhanced training to produce a EVRD.

The training of a VRD provides an alert response using Ivan Pavlov's theory of producing a conditioned reflex, in this case barking, to the presence of detected decomposing human/pig flesh, bone, body fluid and blood. The dog will bark, whether or not it is able to get to the source of the scent. The benefit of this reflex is that the dog will respond whenever the target scent is present.
This enables the dog to be used in an investigative role, assisting experts in other fields, such as, geophysics.

An EVRD dog received additional training on human cadavers which were buried on land and submerged underwater. This took place in America and facilitated by the FBI at the University of Tennessee.

The scent detection threshold of the dog is greatly enhanced. In operational deployment and in training, the dog is successful in detecting human remains, body fluids and blood, to cellular levels that can be recovered by low copy
analysis at forensic laboratories.

The proven capability of the EVRD is to :

Search to locate very small samples of human remains, body fluids and blood in any environment or terrain.

Identify sub-surface depositions to a depth of approximately one metre below the surface of the ground, depending on the scent permeability of the ground.
This depth is increased substantially when the ground is 'vented' prior to deployment.
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Locate and give an alert to cross contamination by a cadaver. This is particularly valuable when the dog is used to assist in searches where the discovery of a body has prompted the investigation. The dog may locate secondary deposition sites and any areas of contamination, e.g., items of vehicles used to transport the body.

The generation, storage and migration of natural gases and body scent.

Gases from decomposing human remains may be dissolved in groundwater depending on the pressure, temperature or concentration of other gases or minerals in water. Dissolved gases may be advected by groundwater, and only when the pressure is reduced and the solubility limit of the gas in groundwater exceeded, do they come out of solution and form a separate gaseous phase.

'Scent', (cocktail mixtures of gases), from organic decaying remains can move through bedrock by diffusion, which is relatively slow, but if the bedrock is fractured, (eg, by bedding planes, joints and faults), the diffusion rate is increased. Gas and scent from organic decaying remains also migrate through rocks via intergranular permeability or, more particularly, along discontinuities. The hydrostatic head imposed by groundwater flows may also influence gas/organic scent emissions.

Determination of the migration pathway of gas/body scent depends on the geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological conditions and an understanding of the victim deposition site. Factors such as the surface and
groundwater flow paths, drainage, topography, runoff, precipitation rates, permeability of the soil and bedrock and hydrogeological domains, location of seeps and springs need to be determined if gases/human remains migration
pathways are to be determined.

The age of the source does not affect the process of scent movement but it will effect the concentration, as will the rate of decomposition. Body scent may be transported by 'leachate plumes' to emerge at the ground surface.

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Figure 61 : Schematic illustration to show the influence of groundwater flows and the migration of body scent, which may be carried away from the grave site, as a lecahate plume, to emerge on the flanks.

(Note (by me) : Diagram and explanatory indicators shown here but I cannot capture it as a screenshot)

Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

This consists of a radar antenna transmitting electromagnetic energy in pulse form at frequencies between 25 MHz and 1 GHz. The pulses are partially reflected by the sub-surface geological structures, picked up by a receiving antenna and plotted as a continuous two-way travel time record, which is displayed as a pseudo-geological record section. The vertical depth scale of this section can be calibrated from the measured two-way travel times of the reflected events either by the use of the appropriate velocity values of electromagnetic pulse through the ground.

The depth of penetration achieved by the radar pulse is a function of both it's frequency and the conductivity of the ground.

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The equipment benefits in use by detecting anomalies in the ground and is particularly effective through sand and concrete. However it is limited in undulating terrain or areas where it is an anomaly rich environment such as a
wooded area.

This equipment whilst readily available in the Commercial Surveying Industry and University Geophysics Departments requires expert interpretation of the imagery for grave detection.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Joao Carlos: Intercalary Report - 31st January 2008

Post by Verdi 31.05.19 16:04

Intercalary Report by Inspector Joao Carlos - 31st January 2008

Intercalary Information

With the aim of comprehending and linking the circumstantialities found in the process files in a better way, this intercalary report was elaborated.

The case refers to the disappearance of an English girl, Madeleine Beth McCann, the daughter of Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, who would have been 4 years old on 12th May 2007.

With regard to place and time, the events occurred on 3rd May 2007 during the time period, according to witnesses, between 21.05 and 22.00 at the Ocean Club resort, in Luz, Lagos, where the girl's family, together with seven other people, who were friends of theirs, were spending their holiday.

The group's arrival in Portugal, via Faro airport, took place on 28th April, arriving from the UK. They travelled in two different groups, given that they live in different areas of the country. The journey from the airport to the resort in Luz was made in a small vehicle provided by the Mark Warner company which was responsible for the management of the resort.

During check in they were allocated different apartments, all of them in block G5, close to each other and this had been an imposition or at least a suggestion made by the whole group.

The McCann family occupied apartment G5A, located at the left corner of the residential block, which can be said to be the most accessible apartment and with visibility from the outside.

This was a group that was in certain way homogenous, given that seven of the members were doctors, trained in various specialities, added to which they all had young children with them. The McCann family consisted of the parents as well as Madeleine and the twins, Sean and Amelie, aged two years old.

This holiday trip was organised by the Payne family, namely by David Payne who had previous experience of Mark Warner tourist resorts.

This group shared, concomitantly, a friendship that dated from before the holiday, based upon professional relations and other leisure trips.

With regard to the disappearance, the intervention of this police force occurred at about 00.10, by means of a communication received from the Lagos GNR, informing of the disappearance of a girl, which led to the immediate departure of the police to the scene (folios 2 and ss). Jointly with various diligences carried out to establish the facts, a photographic report was made of the scene (folios 12 to 23) as well as the diffusion of the disappearances, with photographs and a description of the girl, both to the authorities and to the press, after authorisation from the Public Ministry (folios 32 - 33B and 459).

During this night and the during the early morning intensive searches were carried out by this police force, GNR officers equipped with sniffer dogs and by local people organised in groups and employees of the resort. These searches were extended over the following days over a radius of 15 km2 by GNR officers and tracker dogs, locals, marines (folio 821 marine control Portimao), civil protection officers, the use of a helicopter as is documented in the report on folios ''' (sic) In spite of titanic efforts, time and methods used, the search for the girl was fruitless.

As the investigation was oriented in two initial objectives, the location of Madeleine and the discovery of the truth of the facts, we proceeded to the questioning of the parents and the whole group of friends (folio 34) as follows:

Gerald Patrick McCann - Apartment 5A
Kate Marie Healy - Apartment 5A
David Anthony Payne - Apartment 5H (1st floor)
Fiona Elaine Payne - Apartment 5H
Dianne Webster - Apartment 5H
Russell James O'Brien Apartment 5D
Jane Michelle Tanner - Apartment 5D
Matthew David Oldfield - Apartment 5B
Rachel Mariamma Jean Mampilly - Apartment 5B

In synopsis, from the witness accounts obtained, it is important to emphasise the statements of Gerald and Kate as well as those of Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield.

With regard to the former, their daily routine was marked by normality, nothing strange or of any relevance was detected during the days before the disappearance. After leaving the children at the cr'he, the twins near to the Tapas restaurant (inside the resort) and Madeleine at the main reception, they dedicated themselves to ludical and sporting activities.

With the exception of the first day, all day time meals were taken in the apartment.

At night the group would dine in the Tapas restaurant, leaving the children asleep in their respective bedrooms, without an effective control, although the Payne family had baby monitors.

The children's supper, described as high tea, took place as a group, regardless of age, at a recreation area next to the Tapas restaurant between 17.30 and 18.00. Once this meal was over, they were taken to the apartments, where they were bathed and prepared for bed, at about 19.30.

On 3rd May, the daily routine was followed as normal, the McCanns returned to the apartment at about 17.30/18.00 accompanied by their children. After this time and until 19.00, they bathed the children, fed them again, giving them light products, they played a bit and then went to bed, the parents stating that the three of them were asleep at 19.30. Gerald remained at the tennis courts until about 19.00.

The parents then consumed some drinks and got ready for dinner, leaving at about 20.30 in the direction of the Tapas restaurant (a journey on foot of a little more than one minute). Upon leaving, as usual, they left by the patio doors, which could not be locked from the outside and which was just pushed to, the reason being that it was the shortest route to go to the restaurant and for consequent return, whether to check on the children or for definite return. The checking of the children by that route was a daily practice and which seems to us to have been carried out daily, carried out at half hourly intervals, although as the case files show, in truth these were extended to periods that were superior to one hour.

The McCann couple was the first to arrive at the restaurant table and engaged in a casual conversation with a couple who were not part of the group, but who were also British, whose surname was Carpenter. As time passed, all of the other members of the group arrived.

At about 21.00 Matthew and Russell went to check on the children, having first listened outside the window of Madeleine's bedroom, located at the front of the residential block on the ground floor. Upon his return, Matthew did not report having noticed anything unusual. Russell stayed in the apartment as his daughter was ill.

At 21.05, given that Matthew's check did not involve him entering, Gerald went to the apartment. He left through the second reception area, headed up the road for twenty, thirty metre and entered through the metal gate, next to the bedroom, which leads to the garden/patio. He entered the apartment through the sliding patio door, which according to what was mentioned earlier, was not locked. He walked through the living room and headed for the children's bedroom, noticing that the bedroom door was wider open than normal, as it was normally left pushed to. He presumed that Madeleine had got up for some physiological need. He entered the bedroom and saw his three children sleeping calmly. He went to the WC and left by the same means. Upon coming out of the gate he met Jeremy Wilkins, known to him from tennis practice, also British, who was pushing his son in a push chair and who was also on holiday at the OC. He conversed with him for a few instants and returned to the Tapas restaurant at about 21.15.

At about 21.10 Jane Tanner, Russell's wife, given his absence went to check on the state of her daughter. She left by the reception and went up the road that runs along the entrance to the block. She was not seen either by Gerald or Jeremy although she did see them, she saw Gerald from the side, however Wilkins was facing the place that Tanner passed.

At the exact moment that she passed them, she perceived, at the top of the street, an individual on foot who was carrying a prostrate child, barefoot and in pyjamas, heading in the opposite direction to the entrance to the apartments. She thought it was a father carrying his child.

She only told of this situation sometime after the discovery of the disappearance and made the association, saying it was Madeleine, as the pyjamas were identical. A photo fit was made without facial features, the description and clothes of the individual were also spread by the media, to see if anyone could clarify what was happening there (folio 1592) ' no response was obtained.

Coming back to the narrative, at about 21.35, half an hour having passed, Kate decided to go and check on the children, but Matthew volunteered to this as he was also going to his own apartment to do the same. He took the normal route and entered by the patio door of the McCann's apartment which was open. When he was in the middle of the living room, which had a slight light, he saw the twins in their respective cots, given that the door was ajar, however he did not enter the bedroom and therefore could not confirm whether Madeleine was sleeping in her bed.

Upon his return he said that everything was fine. When he was questioned at police HQ he added that the children's bedroom had more light than would be probable if the windows were closed and the lights off. He cannot clarify the state of the window nor the existing luminosity.

Half an hour later (22.00) according to their reports, Kate went to the apartment to check on the children. She entered by the patio door which she closed upon entering and she saw that the door to the children's bedroom was open wider than the way she had left it when she went to dinner. Upon closing the bedroom door, she felt a current of air which led her to observe the bedroom with greater care and this is when she noticed that her daughter Madeleine was missing. The bedroom window was wide open as were the curtains. The bed was practically intact, her daughter's soft toy was at the head of the bed.

In a state of alert and with waves of panic, she searched the entire apartment, not managing to find the girl, which led her to go, in an upset state, to the Tapas restaurant, saying that her daughter had been taken. Clear allusion to an abduction, justified by the fact that the window was open, they said. During this time, the twins were in the bedroom, alone and sleeping. Furthermore, they never woke up during this night, in spite of all the commotion.

Informed about the disappearance, the whole group went to the McCann's apartment, accompanied by OC employees, who searched the apartment and the adjacent area several times, without results. The call to the GNR took place at 22.41, according to the list in folio 3051.

With the arrival of the GNR, the officers of that force again searched the whole apartment including the electro domestic appliances, no useful results were found inside or outside the apartment. On that night the commander of the Lagos GNR received, supposedly from Gerald, four photographs of the girl, folio 2294, poster type, 10 x 15, in two different poses, identical to folio 30, their printing/developing must have been done at a moment before the events.

Diligences were carried out to establish the origin of these images, folios 2295 and 2296.

After 00.00 a team from this police force arrived at the scene and immediately began diligencies, namely fingerprint inspection which only revealed the collection of prints from people who had legitimate access to the apartment. The bedroom was also examined by Scientific Police Laboratory, which collected numerous vestiges for continuous examinations, which up until now have not contributed to a full clarification of the facts.

During the course of the collection of elements, on the next day a mobile GNR post was placed in front of the residential block with the aim of receiving/treating and channelling information related to the disappearance, all investigated by this police force in a methodical and strict manner, some were added to the inquiry, others were placed in annexes so that it was possible to visualise what was done.

Apart from the information collected by the mobile post, hundreds of other pieces of information from civil society and from the authorities were received by email or telephone and were treated in the same manner.

None of this information to date had attained the required result of locating the girl and clarifying the facts under investigation.

The British media were alerted to the disappearance, on the night of 3rd May, Sky news opened its news report at 07.00 on 4th May with news about this case. A huge media presence without precedence was mobilised, accompanying all the police work, speculating and imagining scenarios, some of them possible, some of them fantasy.

Given this introspective picture, we can be sure that as well as the abduction situation, all other possibilities were open, as they are now.

This thesis - abduction - was exhaustively investigated, all information leading to this in every sense, was examined. No ransom was ever demanded.

We clarified two situations, with the valuable help of the Dutch and Spanish authorities which led to the detention of three persons who were trying to extort money from the family in exchange for false information about the girl and who were proven to be fraudulent. These facts can be found in two Apenso volumes annexed to the files.

We proceeded to question all the OC employees, folios 848 and 856 whose statements did not reveal anything of any relevance in spite of the parsimonious attention used.

We carried out diligencies in 443 rooms in P da L, folio 198, nothing useful was found.

For the rest, we heard witness accounts relating to incidents with children, which were not possible to link to Madeleine, in particular the case of a Polish couple who were on holiday in Portugal and who were seen taking photographs of a girl who looked like Madeleine. But once again nothing of relevance was found with relation to them as can be seen in folios 213 to 216.

Photo fits were elaborated based on the indications of witnesses who reported situations that they characterised as being 'strange', most concretely of individuals who were seen in the proximity of the apartment during the day, but again, nothing that could be related to Madeleine.

Particular attention was paid to individuals connected to the criminal underworld, those connected to crimes against children, diligences, which to date have not enabled the collection of any relevant data.

In order to perceive the Babel of information, we can say that some of the incidences about the disappearance, in particular with relation to sightings, placed the girl at the same time and date in different locations in our country (folios 524 and ss) as well as in places around the world separated by thousands of kilometres, from Japan to the States, passing through Indonesia, Singapore and the African continent. As regards the latter, a sighting was transmitted from Morocco, near to Marrakesh, at a petrol station, by a Norwegian woman. In spite of efforts the images were never obtained, therefore it was partially dismissed.

We has reports of sightings in public transport and on motorways all over Europe, in some of these cases it was possible to confirm that these were girls accompanied by their parents and in some cases, girls with physical similarities.

The images from petrol stations along the main roads of the Algarve were seen, the result was negative, Gerald and Kate were shown stills from these images, such as those in folios 129 ' 133, showing a similar looking girl but who did not correspond to the missing girl.

At a determined moment, and because as is known in these cases, it is necessary to have a perfect knowledge of the scene, in order to facilitate procedures and plan actions duly, suspicions fell on an individual who lived metres away from apartment 5 A, Robert Queriol Murat. The suspicions referred to are found in folios 308, 328, 442, 461, 957, 960, 961, and 968-1000.

During the initial phase, before the deepening of the investigation, this individual fulfilled the conditions to be made a suspect. The intrinsic elements of his condition as suspect can be analysed in the previously mentioned pages.

In order to confirm or discard the suspicions about Robert Murat, searches were carried out and telephone interceptions were made, folios 995-1013 of the suspect and of individuals who interacted directly or indirectly with him, namely those who had daily contact with him or with whom he maintained telephone contact. In spite of an exhaustive and methodological investigation of Murat and the persons close to him, no elements were collected that could connect him to the crime being investigated. Apart from the analyses of communications and forensic examinations of their computers which did not reveal anything useful, various searches of his home were made with the use of sniffer dogs, the subsoil was examined, physically and using detection methodologies, again with no useful results.

The cars of those connected to him were examined, no results were obtained.

The homes and vehicles were minutely inspected by the Police Scientific Laboratory, no relevant vestiges were found.

The analyses of the telephone and electronic communications (attached in annex) and the resulting correlation, gave no results.

At the police HQ the suspect denied any involvement in the events. The inquiries made in relation to the other individuals who had personal or professional relations with Murat did not bring up any data worthy of investigation.

In truth, during the searches various objects were taken for analysis without any incriminating result having been found yet.

As reported on folio 1606 and following pages, a new element appeared, brought by an Irish family, who told of a sighting on 3rd May 2007 at about 21.55 of a man carrying a child who was walking down a road that leads to a zone near to P da L. They did not manage to recognise the man, however Martin Smith, in subsequent information, folio 2871, said that judging by the bearing it could have been Gerald McCann, which upon initial analysis did not seem very viable to us given the time period indicated. However, new questioning of Martin Smith by the Irish authorities was requested in order to check the reliability of his information. A reply is awaited.

Concerning the theme of searches referring to the construction work underway in P da L, folio 1650 and ss we collected the statements of the workers, employees and the engineer in charge who did not detect anything unusual and who focussed on the impossibility of hiding a body, even a child's body.


Meanwhile, I come to the knowledge of this police force about the information relating to the use of the dogs, folio 1989 and following pages, specialised in the marking of human blood remains and human cadaver odour, from the UK.

This is an inspection technique commonly used in the UK, sometimes with positive results, consisting in the use of two specially trained dogs.

One of the dogs is trained to detect cadaver odour and the other to detect human blood traces.

Opting to use this resource, a large number of objects and places were examined, where, in some cases, the dogs were seen to show the behaviour of identification and signalling, as follows:

1. Apartment 5A, OC resort from which the girl disappeared

- Cadaver odour dog
* in the couple's bedroom on the floor next to the wardrobe.
* In the living room, behind the sofa, next to the lateral window of the apartment.

2. Patio area, in front of apartment 5 A

- Cadaver odour dog
* in one of the flower beds, the dog handler commented upon the weakness (lightness) of the odour detected.

3. Apartments where the rest of the group was staying

* Nothing was found by either dog.

4. Residence of the McCann couple at the time of the date of inspection

* Nothing was found by either dog in the villa.

5. In the locality of P da L

* Nothing was found by either dog.

6. The clothes and belongings of the McCann family

- Cadaver odour dog
* on two pieces of clothing belonging to Kate Healy.
* On a piece of clothing belonging to Madeleine.
* Possibly, on a soft toy belonging to Madeleine (cadaver odour was detected when the toy was still in the residence (on the date it was occupied by the family)).
* Signalling was confirmed in a scenario outside the villa.

7. In the vehicle used by the McCann family

- cadaver odour dog
* signalled the car key

- blood dog

* signalled the vehicle's key.
* signalled inside the vehicle's luggage boot.

8. In a vehicle used by a friend of the family who was staying at the same resort, coinciding for a few days.

* Nothing was found by either dog.

9. In all the cars used by Robert Murat and people close to him

* Nothing was found by either dog.

(Of a total of 10 vehicles the cadaver odour dog and the blood dog only signalled the vehicle hired by the McCann family on 27th May).

The places and objects signalled by the blood dog were tested forensically by the reputed British Laboratory (FSS) whose final results are not yet available. However, there are indications that would show that these will be inconclusive, in other words they do not corroborate the dogs signalling without leaving any doubt.

Based upon the action of the sniffer dog team which reveals the eventual existence of a cadaver in the apartment and in the car used by the McCann family and with the aim of enabling Gerald and Kate to safeguard their position in the process they were constituted arguidos, in the face of the mere possibility of their involvement with the eventual cadaver. During the course off their interrogation as arguidos they denied any responsibility in the disappearance of their daughter.


During the process phase we are in, according to the results of the information already in the case files, we proceeded to elaborate the thematic annexes (apensos) that contain all the information relating to sightings, suspects or suspicious situations, temporary analysis reports and reports on communications and examinations as well as information subject to international cooperation.

The investigation continues in the sense of checking all credible information received in the meantime on a daily basis, with particular relevance to information with regard to paedophiles and the authors of sexual crimes which has already exceeded 150 individuals.

Reports and diligences will always be carried out in a methodical manner, taking into account the investigation actions and conclusions already carried out in the irrenounceable and unforgettable hope of discovering the truth of the facts.

In the wake of what has been mentioned, a proposal was made for the elaboration of a Letter of Request to the British authorities, enunciating the diligences, which are pertinent in our opinion and which could be fruitful for the case.

For your consideration.

Portimao, 31st January 2008

Inspector Joao Carlos

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Francisco Moita Flores: In the Maddie case someone lies

Post by Verdi 31.05.19 16:22

Francisco Moita Flores: In the Maddie case someone lies - 3rd May 2019

The Portuguese former PJ inspector Francisco Moita Flores participates in the documentary 'The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann' (DKiss). Today marks the 12th anniversary and there is still no trace of the small child.

by Julián Alía

Twelve years later, Madeleine's whereabouts are still unknown. On the night of May 3, 2007, she disappeared from her hotel(apartment) bedroom in Praia da Luz (Portugal), where she was staying with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann, who had gone out to dinner. The police inspector Francisco Moita Flores, about to turn 70, already retired and now connected to the world of literature and television, followed the case from the beginning, and now, is one of the faces of the documentary 'The disappearance of Madeleine McCann', which broadcasts tonight at DKiss at 10pm.

- What is your theory about this case?

- I have no theories, because according to a professor that I had: 'he who does not know, theorizes'. I was in Greece when the case happened and the first news I saw was on an English channel. I saw some detectives talking, who were supposed to have been hired by Maddie's parents, pulling out theories about what might have happened. It was so absurd what they said that I called a colleague to investigate the parents and the group of friends, which is something you have to do in a criminal investigation: investigate those closest to the victim.

- Why were they absurd?

- It is unthinkable that a group of parents go to a foreign country and abandon their children at home to go to dinner eighty or one hundred meters away. That was the first error in the investigation: all those theories of fantasies based on a network of paedophiles that abducted children. In a criminal investigation there must be no theories. We must raise hypotheses and questions for the events that occurred. Theories are for romances and movies, but a criminal investigation is very pragmatic, very practical, very empirical, and is not compatible with moral judgments. Those who theorize so much instead of focusing on the facts it's because they do not know how to investigate.

- How come twelve years later we still do not know what happened?

- The Judiciary Police has made mistakes. The first was to not consider the parents as suspects for the crime of abandonment and exposure that they did with their children. This crime is known in Portuguese law: crime of exposure and abandonment of minors. This is the main mistake that was made, and from this point on everything has been manipulated.

- Do you think it will be resolved?

- I do not think it's going to be resolved. The only way to solve this case would be to do a reconstruction of that night, because if you read the case files you realize that within the group of eight people who were there, there are people who are lying, and some, blatantly.

- How did you live the case?

- I experienced it with a lot of tension, obviously, for being such a mediatic case, but also with the necessary distance to be able to analyse it, because it has been a case that the public opinion has fallen in love with. Thanks to this distance I have been able to see the errors and the virtues of the case. One of the mistakes, as I said, was the sequence of theories that were impossible. It is impossible for an abductor, whoever he is, to enter quietly through the door, pick up the girl and go out with her in his arms through that specific window.

- Do you ever get used to these situations?

- Yes, you get used to dealing with crimes every day; it is our routine. But Portugal is the safest country in Europe and in the 40 years of democracy we have, besides Maddie, only 3 other children have disappeared. There was never a network of paedophiles, abductors ... That never existed in Portugal, it is an invention that has been made to protect the parents of Maddie and their group of friends.

- Why did you leave the police?

- I have been a policeman for many years and I have always been studying, but the moment came when I had to decide whether to pursue a university career or to continue with the police work and I chose the university option.

- Was it then when you started in the world of literature and TV?

- No, the writer's career has always been parallel to that of the police. Now I'm retired, but I'm still writing fiction.

in El Correo, May 3 2019 (Spanish)

[Acknowledgement: Joana Morais, CMOMM forum member xklamation]

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Paulo Reis: The "Niggle" and the Strange Tale of Robert Murat

Post by Verdi 01.06.19 22:55

The “Niggle” and Strange Tale of Robert Murat

Was it a Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice?

PJ Reis and Associates

"Basically, I'm just an ordinary, straightforward guy who's the victim of the biggest f***-up on this planet - if you'll excuse the language."

Robert Murat talking to David Jones, Daily Mail, 02 June 2008


One thing that is obvious from the CD of evidence released by the Portuguese authorities in July 2008, in what was an inexplicably selective disclosure, is the identification by Miss Jane Tanner of Mr Robert Murat as Madeleine McCann’s “abductor”. She picked him out in a surveillance exercise on Sunday 13th May 2007 and persisted in her allegation against him and did not withdraw it until her interviews with the Leicestershire Police in April 2008. You have to dig deep into the CD and other sources to pull everything together, but here is what happened and it is incredible.


In the early hours of Friday 4th May 2007, Miss Tanner approached GNR Officer, Nelson da Costa (statements at folios 417, 1340 and 3285) and told him that she had seen an “individual” running and carrying a “child” who was “clearly” wearing pyjamas. The Officer did not consider the sighting credible because when he asked Miss Tanner to describe the “individual” she was unable to do so: excusing herself because it had been very dark. The Officer wondered, if it had been so dark, how she had been able to “clearly” see the child’s pyjamas.

A later exchange between Jane Tanner and the GNR Officers was translated by Sylvia Maria Correia Baptisa (an employee of the Ocean Club). Jane Tanner told the GNR, via Miss Baptista, that she had seen a “man” crossing the road, (North of Apartment 5A) possibly carrying a child. Miss Baptista (statements at folios 355,1289 and 1975) found this story “strange, because she was convinced Miss Tanner had not been in a position to see the area concerned.

In the late morning of Friday 4th May 2007, Miss Tanner told the PJ in Portimao about seeing a “person” striding “purposefully out” across the top of the road near to Apartment 5A carrying a small child. This alleged sighting took place less than an hour before Madeleine was reported missing at around 10.30pm on Thursday 3rd May 2007. Miss Tanner said the alleged “abductor” was between two and five metres away from her and that she had a clear view of this “person” whom she described as follows:

Brown male between 35 and 40, slim, around 1.70m. Very dark hair, thick, long at the neck. (Noticed when the person was seen from the back). He was wearing golden beige cloth trousers (linen type) with a "Duffy" type coat (but not very thick). He was wearing black shoes, of a conventional style and was walking quickly. He was carrying a sleeping child in his arms across his chest. By his manner, the man gave her the impression that he wasn't a tourist.

Miss Tanner’s statement continues:

Concerning the child, who seemed to be asleep, she only saw the legs. The child seemed to be bigger than a baby. It had no shoes on, was dressed in cotton light-coloured pyjamas (perhaps pink or white). It is uncertain, but the interviewee has the feeling that she saw a design on the pyjamas like flowers, but is not certain about it.

Concerning these details, the interviewee states not having known what Madeleine was wearing when she disappeared. She has not spoken to anyone about this. Concerning the man, she has only mentioned it to Gerald, but without going into details and with the police.

The interviewee has been invited to draw a sketch which we attach to this document. Questioned, she stated probably being able to identify the person that she saw if she saw him in profile and at the place where she saw him.

Strangely, in three interviews, she only once refers to seeing a “man”. This lack of specificity is disturbing. Why does she consistently refer to the alleged abductor as a “person” and not a “man” and to the “girl” as a “child”?


If you walk out of your house and fall over a cat, your autonomic memory recall will not lead you to say that you “fell over an animal”; your recollection will be specifically of a “cat” and possibly a “fat black cat with white legs” or a “bloody cat”. In forensic linguistics (see the brilliant analysis of the ransom note in the case of JonBenet Ramsey on the truth is usually spontaneously recalled from memory to a specific event, object, activity or time and not to a generality: in the present context the noun “person” indicates that the specific image of a man was not accessible in Miss Tanner’s memory. It suggests an invention of something that did not happen being contrived from the imagination. The rule is that “truth is from memory but lies are from the imagination”. Of course, linguistic analysis proves nothing, but it does raise serious questions about Miss Tanner’s credibility.


Later on 4th May 2007 Miss Tanner was asked for more detail about the “abductor”. This resulted in a graphic from the PJ’s computers (which is not on the CD) and to the famous “Egg Man” sketch that was based upon it. The “Egg Man” is a frontal view, without glasses or a moustache and short hair at the back of his head but with strands hanging over the front of his face, with a parting. It is nothing like Robert Murat.

Notable Commentary 1stPicture

Miss Tanner subsequently told the Leicestershire Police that she could not have improved upon the “Egg Man” because the PJ did not have computer software that could draw profiles. This is an implausible excuse and she gave a detailed verbal description that is unlike Mr Murat. The “Egg Man” sketch as well as her verbal description of the “abductor” were not consistent, nothing like Mr Murat, yet this did not prevent her, later on, picking him out as the person she saw on the night of 3rd May 2007.


In her second statement to the PJ (on 10th May 2007) Miss Tanner said (see the summary translation at folio 3994 of the CD) she “believed it (ie the child being carried by the abductor) was a girl and therefore her pyjamas were light coloured (White or pink)”. She did not say she had seen pink pyjamas, nor that they had a pattern or frill on the legs. This very significant detail – which precisely matched the clothes that Miss Tanner later learned Madeleine had been wearing - only came much later. Miss Tanner assumed, because the man was carrying a girl, the pyjamas would be pink! But why did she assume it was a girl when she has consistently admitted she did not see the child’s upper body, hair or face? This circularity puts us on notice that Miss Tanner’s statement is not credible.

In her interviews with the Leicestershire Police, in April 2008, Miss Tanner again repeats the circularity of what came first: the actual sighting of pink pyjamas or her imagining this colour because she believed (or assumed) the “child” was a girl:

Detective Constable Sophie Ferguson asked:

“And then think about the child again, as much as you can see of that child in that split second, and tell me what you saw?”

Miss Tanner responded:

“Well, again, I mean, and this is….. I think initially I couldn’t really bring, I could only really remember the feet. But the day after, when we had, they, at the interview, the person that was interviewing was really pushing me to try and, you know, remember any more details, and the one thing that I could really think was, erm, a turn-up of some description.

And I don’t know whether this made it into my statement, (SHE MUST KNOW IT DID NOT) but there was, and this is the thing that convinces me it was her, there was, erm, sort of the pyjamas were, there was some sort of, I thought it was a turn-up, but some sort of design on the bottom of the pyjamas.

And I did say it in my first statement and in my second statement . I can remember saying it again and, erm, the translator in there, because I said I don’t know whether this made it into my first statement or not, but the translator sort of went ‘Oh yes, I can remember you going like this’, because I was moving my hands up, but I was sort of talking about something at the bottom of the pyjamas.

Because, from my own point of view, and I think, you know, Oh was I trying to, I can think that I would think ‘Oh maybe a little girl would be wearing pink pyjamas’, so, you know, if you were subconsciously putting things in your head, I can think pink pyjamas, yes, but I wouldn’t think of some detail around the bottom of the pyjamas as a specific thing to, to mention.

The bottom line is that Miss Tanner admits that she:

   Only saw the feet or legs of the child and did not know whether it was a boy or a girl

   Assumed the “child” was a girl

   May have imagined seeing pink pyjamas by “subconsciously putting things in your (her) head”

But she maintained that she could not possibly have imagined (and therefore must have seen) “some sort of …. turn-up or design” or “detail around the bottom of the pyjamas” that was included in her first and second statement. The problem is that this description was not mentioned in her first statement (made on 4th May 2007) but was critically important because it perfectly described the clothing that Madeleine had been wearing.

Miss Tanner claimed not to have known, at the time of making her first statement, what Madeleine had been wearing, because she had “not been in the room” when Kate McCann had given the description of them. Again, in the forensic linguistic field, the use of words such as “therefore”, “since”, “hence”, “as”, “so” or “because” put the analyst on notice that the explanation may not be truthful. However, she cannot deny having been told about this detail before 10th May 2007, so its inclusion in her second statement really counts for nothing.

The words “because” etc are usually associated with “pseudo denials” such as “I did not take the money, because I did not have the keys to the safe”. Truthful denials and truthful assertions are usually totally committed and do not need to be subconsciously supported by words such as “because” or “therefore” etc. “I did not steal the bloody car” is more likely to be truthful than “I did not take the car because I cannot drive”. Liars often fret that their stories may be disbelieved and subconsciously add unnecessary reinforcement, often introduced with the linking word “because”. Miss Tanner uses “because” a lot!


Miss Tanner (again the summary at Folio 3994) stated “….. I did think it strange that “the child” (not a specific recall to a “girl”) has a blanket/sheet to cover it”. She has since denied that she ever said the girl was covered by a blanket and it is possible that the translated summary statement is erroneous. But that is what it says.

Miss Tanner’s apparent use of the present tense “has”, when relating a past event, is a classic symptom of deception, as is the unspecific noun “child”. Also, the use of the pronoun “it” is not consistent with an accurate focused retrieval from memory: the pronoun “her” would have been more indicative of the truth whereas “it”, when supposedly recalling the sighting of a young girl, is not.


Both Miss Tanner and her husband – Russell O’Brien – admit that in her early conversations with the PJ about the “abductor” she had “not wanted to believe” or “did not give much importance” to what she had seen and may have, to use Russell O’Brien’s words, “underplayed” the sighting. She says she “avoided mentioning” precisely what she had seen to Mr and Mrs McCann “therefore she didn’t want to increase their suffering” (Folio 3995). Again, the word “therefore” appears.

We know her explanation is not true because the chronology agreed by the Tapas 9 (including Mr and Mrs McCann)—by tearing pages out of Madeleine’s picture book before the PJ arrived—specifically describes Ms Tanner’s alleged sighting. She did tell them about seeing a “person” with a “child” but she did not tell them about the child’s pink pyjamas, with a design on the trousers. And the possible reason for this omission may have nothing to do with preventing the McCann’s “suffering” but results from the story being embellished after the event to match Madeleine’s clothing.


Extreme care has to be taken with applying linguistic analytics to any statements and especially to those that have been translated. What is unacceptable, in both the PJ and Leicestershire Police interviews, is that the English versions (before translation) are not in the CD. Good practice would dictate that the statements should have been first written (or tape recorded) in English or in the witnesses’ native language (so they can properly agree them) and then translated into Portuguese for proceedings in that country. Both versions should have been retained. This does not seem to have happened with any of the statements now in the CD.

It appears that the PJ made the translations of their interviews with the Tapas 9 in real time, while the conversations were taking place, and did not keep a record in English of what, precisely, was being said. Similarly, there is no record in the CD of the English versions of the Leicestershire Police interviews with independent witnesses. The bottom line is that the content of virtually all of the statements in the case could be denied and this may be one of the reasons why the Portuguese prosecutors decided to shelve the case. It is alternatively possible that full transcripts in English of the Tapas 9’s interviews by the PJ are available but they are not to be found in the CD.


We can measure how confident and concerned Miss Tanner was, at the time, by the reaction of her husband and other searchers. None of them went tracking off in the direction she claims she had seen the “abductor” striding “purposefully out”. In fact, no one (including the Portuguese sniffer dogs) seems to have taken her sighting seriously. This is unsurprising as she did not take it seriously herself!


On 6th May 2007, a female CID Officer in the Leicestershire Constabulary (Folio 307 of the CD) faxed the “Portugal Incident Room” stating that Lori Campbell, a reporter from the Sunday Mirror, had been in contact. The Officer reported:

“Lori has been speaking to an Interpreter who has been helping the Portuguese authorities with the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance. He has only given his name as “ROR” (sic) and has not given any background information about himself.

Lori has become suspicions of Rob as he has given conflicting accounts to various people and became very concerned when he noticed his photo being taken by the Mirror’s photographer. ROB stated to Lori that he was going through a messy divorce in the UK at the moment and that he had a 3 year old daughter just like Madeleine, who he is separated from at the moment. He made a big show of telephoning his daughter in front of reporters and Lori felt he was being too loud and making a big thing of speaking to his daughter on the phone. The things that ROB has said to Lori have raised her concerns about him.

Could you please call Lori who is still in Portugal to establish further details to identify ROB in order to eliminate him from your enquiries on 07917 XXXXXX”

The Leicestershire Police were impressively quick in forwarding Miss Campbell’s information to the PJ, in stark contrast to the way they handled some other matters. For example, in mid May 2007, Katherine and Arul G***** contacted the UK police. They are both doctors and friends of some of the Tapas 9. They made statements claiming that, while on an earlier holiday with Mr and Mrs McCann and Fiona and David Payne (two of the Tapas 9), Mr Payne, in the presence of Mr McCann, had made disturbing remarks about Madeleine in what might be construed to be a sexual and perverted way.

These potentially critical statements were not reported to the PJ until many months later and then only after the Portuguese Officers had heard rumours and had specifically asked to see them. Although the statements are indexed in the PJ files, they are not included in the CD. This omission has to be deliberate.

Miss Campbell’s report must have hit the hot buttons, because Mr Murat came under suspicion and the PJ intercepted his telephone (see folios 1017 and 1267), picking up some interesting chats with Martin Brunt of Sky TV (see folios 1675 and 1692) but little else except for a conversation with “Phil” a British Police Officer whom Mr Murat asked about the ways mobile telephone signals could be traced to specific locations. Mr Murat’s interest seemed to be whether such tracking would prove he was at home during the critical hours of Thursday 3rd May 2007 and thus tends to support his innocence. There was nothing from the PJ’s surveillance to implicate Mr Murat. However, things were to change and change very quickly.


In the early afternoon of Sunday 13th May 2007, Miss Tanner spoke to “some of the people that Kate and Gerry brought in” (believed to be Control Risks Group (CRG) whose two senior investigators—Kenneth Farrow and Michael Keenan— arrived in Faro on the British Airways flight from Gatwick that morning) and told them about her sighting of “the person”. It is probable (but this is not clear from the CD or from the Leicestershire Police interviews) that she told CRG (as she had earlier told the Portuguese Police) that she could identify the “abductor” if she were to see him in profile and in context.

The involvement of CRG is important. The company was apparently retained as part of a “crisis management” team by Bell Pottinger on behalf of Mark Warner. Some CRG specialist were probably in Luz before 13th May 2007 but Mr Farrow is the ex-head of the Economic Crime Unit in the City of London Police and Mr Keenan an ex-Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police with specialist fraud and investigative experience.


After speaking to “the people that Kate and Gerry brought in”, Miss Tanner received a telephone call from Bob Small (a senior Leicestershire Police Officer, who was assisting the PJ in the Algarve) who told her that the “Spanish Police” wanted to see her! Yes: he did say, according to Miss Tanner, “the Spanish Police”. It is likely, by that time, that covert plans had been made (on some pretext) to induce Mr Murat to walk across the top of the road, north of Apartment 5A, where Miss Tanner said she had seen the “abductor” and was thus the precise context in which she believed she could make an identification.

Mr Small told Miss Tanner to not to discuss anything with anyone, including her husband. She claims she followed this instruction to the letter: but is it realistic to believe she did not tell him anything: or is she lying on this point? If she is being untruthful, why?

Mr Murat was under suspicion but had not been made an “Arguido”. He been around the Ocean Club a lot from 4th May 2007 onwards and had interpreted the PJ’s interviews with Catriona Baker, Stacey Portz , Leanne Wagstaff and Amy Teirney (Folio 457). It is possible that between 6th May 2007 (when his name was mentioned by Lori Campbell) and 13th May 2007 the news that a local suspect had been identified had reached the ears of the “Tapas 9”. It is even conceivable that they knew the suspect was Mr Murat. Unlike her husband and others of the “Tapas 9”, Miss Tanner had never been introduced to Mr Murat.


Arrangements were made for Miss Tanner to be collected by Mr Small and his PJ colleagues in a car park near to Mr Murat’s home: this was probably around 7.30pm on Sunday 13th May 2007 while Dr Amaral waited for news in a meeting room at the Public Ministry, preparing to pounce if Miss Tanner’s identification was “successful”.

Miss Tanner dramatizes that she was “worried sick” that the “Spanish Police” were about to cart her off to destinations unknown and got her husband to walk with her to the rendezvous with Mr Small. If, as she claims, she did not discuss the identification operation with her husband, what precisely did she say to him? What did he think was going on? Who looked after their kids and what did they tell them? It is beyond belief that Russell O’Brien and some of the other “Tapasniks” did not know what was afoot.

Why the police arranged Miss Tanner’s pick up so near to their main suspect’s home was at best foolish and was asking for trouble. On their way to the car park - and just outside his home - Robert Murat (who had met Russell O' Brien on the morning of Friday 4th May 2007) stopped, got out of his green VW van and chatted, showing the couple posters he had made to “Find Madeleine” and generally rattling on about nothing in particular. This was the first time Miss Tanner had been introduced to Mr Murat, but given the events that were about to follow it is amazing she did not cry out “That’s him… that’s the ‘person’ I saw: the abductor”. But she didn’t say a single word.

In April 2008 she told the Leicestershire Police that she was concerned that there “was some strange conspiracy going on” (to abduct her) and that Mr Small had “scared the daylights out of her”. She continued: “But that made me even more suspicious because it was like, so I think at that point, I think I actually spoke to Stewart (Stewart Prior the lead UK Police Investigator in Luz)”. She knows she had spoken to Mr Prior and thus had no reason to believe that she was about to be abducted. Her histrionics in this regard are absurd.

The discussion Miss Tanner had with her husband about the identification charade are very important. He had already met Mr Murat and would be able to identify him and point him out to her. Was it pure coincidence that he accompanied Miss Tanner to the pick up by Mr Small? Was it bad planning that the pick up was just outside Mr Murat’s house? Was it misfortune that they happened to bump into Mr Murat? Or is the whole sequence far more sinister?

Miss Tanner was taken away by Mr Small and the PJ and she says Russell O’Brien wrote down their car registration number, presumably so he could rescue her if the Spanish Police abducted her. Miss Tanner was driven to another location and hidden in the back of an undercover surveillance vehicle (a refrigerated van) which was driven to a position near the side entrance to Apartment 5A, facing north.


Miss Tanner then, apparently, saw three people walk across the top of the road: but Mr Murat was the first to do so. It is not clear exactly what she told the PJ at the time but, however she would like to spin the story now, it was enough to make them believe Mr Murat was the “abductor”, notwithstanding the fact that he looked nothing like the “Egg Man” or her verbal description. The sighting was reported to Dr Amaral and the Public Ministry and plans made to arrest Mr Murat.

Mr Murat’s home was searched on 14th May 2007. He was made an “Arguido” 15th May 2007 and his face was on every TV screen in Europe, including those at the Ocean Club.


A report on Sky News caused Rachel Mampilly to scamper into the Tanner’s apartment saying she recognised Mr Murat from her sighting of him at the Ocean Club on the night of 3rd May 2007. Fiona Payne corroborated this and Russell O’Brien added that he had met Mr Murat, while the search for Madeleine had been taking place on the night and early morning of 3rd and 4th May 2007, and had entered the interpreter’s telephone number into his mobile’s memory at that time.

Miss Tanner claims that she had not told her friends anything about her outing in the refrigerated van and that their reactions to Mr Murat’s exposure on Sky News were spontaneous. However, in her April 2008 interviews with the Leicestershire Police, Miss Tanner stated that her friends suggested that she should speak to Mr Small about Mr Murat. How did they know she had Mr Small’s contact details if she had not discussed the identification charade with them? Miss Tanner stated:

“Cos I’d got, I’d got his number from the day before (for/from?) them and you know, they sort of, you know, to say, oh is this, is this relevant and also I wanted to tell him that I’d seen him (Mr Murat) on the way to doing the surveillance as well as, yeh, just for that so it’s just to make the point really that I think at that point, they didn’t know that Robert Murat had said he wasn’t there on that night”.

Later in the interview, Miss Tanner said:

“…. Get to the truth of the matter and the truth is, you know they, when they asked me to ring Bob Small to make these statements, we didn’t even know that he’d, erm, hadn’t, hadn’t said he was there on the night and they didn’t know that I had done the surveillance………… I mean when I got back, I didn’t even tell Russell what I’d done cos I took everything seriously what the police said in terms of, you know, not telling anyone”


Miss Tanner telephoned Bob Small and relayed her friend’s concerns, but it is not clear whether or not she told him about the compromising, supposedly accidental, encounter with Mr Murat- outside his house – “five minutes” before identifying him as the “abductor”. In most jurisdictions this encounter would have invalidated Miss Tanner’s identification evidence. It would also have raised suspicions that there had been a deliberate plot for her to bump into the prime suspect (accompanied by someone who knew him) so that she would see what he was wearing and, based on such knowledge, identify him as the “abductor” some “five minutes” later.

Whether this suspicion is true or incorrect, it does not alter the fact that the identification exercise was gross incompetence by all involved. Mr Murat denied being at the Ocean Club on 3rd May 2007, which made his position even more serious because it conflicted with evidence from the “Tapas 3”.

There is nothing in the CD to indicate whether the supposedly accidental encounter was reported to Mr Small, although the subsequent reaction of the Leicestershire Police (in the interview with Miss Tanner in April 2008; see below) suggests that it was. The critical unanswered question is whether or not Mr Small reported the evidentially corrupting incident to the PJ and to the Portuguese judiciary and if he did why they accepted Miss Tanner’s evidence without demur.


On 15th May 2007, Mr O’Brien, Fiona Payne and Rachael Mampilly made statements to the PJ putting Murat in the Ocean Club late on 3rd May 2007 (folios 1957). Their evidence appears to conflict with that from both Portuguese Police Officers and Mark Warner’s staff (Folio 1330 et seq) who say Mr Murat was not there that night. Activity on his own and his mum’s computers tend to confirm that he was at home, among other things, looking at mild porn sites (Folio 1166)


Towards the end of May 2007, Mrs Gail Cooper (Folio 3997 and 3982) gave a statement to the Newark Police claiming that when she had been on holiday “in a villa near Apartment 5A” she was visited by a strange man who said he was collecting money for an orphanage near Espiche.

On 11th July 2007, a formal confrontation between the Tapas 3 and Mr Murat took place in Portimao. He stuck to his guns: they stuck to theirs' and it became a standoff. In this meeting Miss Tanner was able to get a very good look of Mr Murat and apparently continued to maintain he was the “person” she had seen carrying the “child on 3rd May 2007”, despite the fact he looked nothing like the “Egg Man” The PJ seemed to believe Mr Murat.

At some point, Brian Kennedy, the McCann’s financial backer and double glazing magnate, arranged for Gail Cooper to meet Melissa Little BSc (Hons), PS, FBI Diploma, which resulted in the sketch of “Monster Man” who had a long pointy face, moustache, long hair at the back of his head, but no glasses (Folio 3979).


On 22nd October 2007 (folio 3905) Gerald McCann emailed Robert Small with two sketches both prepared by Melissa Little, one of which (“the second sketch”) became known as “Bundle Man”. The first sketch is similar to “Bundle Man” but it is in black and white and has a nose (“Nose Man”).

Notable Commentary 2ndPicture

Mr McCann wrote to “Bob” Small as follows: “Sketch 1 was the rough outline…… “She (Miss Tanner) was not really happy with the face and therefore Melissa decided to leave it blank”.

The differences between the two sketches may appear marginal, but they are critical, because the black and white “Nose 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”. Yet no one acted on this gross inconsistency and he remained an Arguido.

No wonder Miss Tanner was “not really happy with the face”, when it totally destroyed her identification of Mr Murat.


On 13th January 2008, Brian Kennedy interviewed Albert Schuurmans who is the head of the Roscoe Foundation, based in the Algarve. Mr Schuurmans gave a statement to Mr Kennedy, or to his representatives , claiming (misleadingly, as it happens) that there were no orphanages in Espiche: thus making Mrs Cooper’s sighting potentially very sinister.

At around this time, Gail Cooper discussed her sighting with the British media but added further detail and described seeing “Monster Man” acting suspiciously on a three separate occasions: firstly when he was walking in heavy rain on the beach at Luz, later that day when he called at her apartment claiming to be a charity collector and two days later when she saw him hanging around a children’s outing arranged by Mark Warner. She told the reporters she had found the man “disturbing”. It should be noted that in none of her alleged sightings did she see him “striding purposefully”.

Miss Little prepared a second sketch showing Mrs Cooper’s “Monster Man” striding out and in a very similar pose to that based on Miss Tanner’s most recent recollection. The pose is strange because none of Mrs Cooper’s three sightings saw “Monster Man” “striding purposefully”. It is also significant that Nose Man has no moustache. Miss Little seems to have exercised a high degree of artistic licence.

Notable Commentary 3rdPicture

But whichever way you look at these pictures it is obvious they are not of Robert Murat and nothing like the “Egg Man”.


On 16th January 2008, Gerald McCann emailed Stuart Prior, Superintendent with the Leicestershire Police, with a PowerPoint presentation (folio 3966) stating “as discussed”. An hour later, Mr Prior forwarded the package to Ricardo Paiva of the PJ asking for instructions and stating, among other things:

The PowerPoint attached (Folio 3968) was completed by the McCanns but the statements were all taken by the UK police

   Miss Tanner’s description was taken from the press and from the summary of her statement

   There is some urgency around this as we need to decide prior to the Gail Cooper artist’s impression appearing in the UK press

   How are you going to deal with the possible press issues?

   What are you planning around Mr Kennedy and the private investigation firm?

He concludes: “I will need to get back to the McCanns as he has asked to be updated. How would Paulo (Mr Rebelo) want his conducted and what information I am to provide to them. They are very excited about this potential lead”

The Power Point slides highlight the similarity between “Bundle Man” and the “Monster Man”. Mr McCann states:

   Miss Tanner spent a full day with Melissa Little, a qualified Police Sketch Artist since 1986 to compile this likeness of the suspect

   Melissa met Gail Cooper in a separate session

   After spending hours with both witnesses, Melissa Little states “there are many similarities between Miss Tanner’s man and Gail’s”

   Miss Tanner believes that there is an 80% likelihood that this is the same man she saw carrying away the child, believed to be Madeleine

Significantly, nowhere in the PowerPoint pack is there any mention of the very precise sighting by the Irish Smith family (who identified Gerald McCann as the likely abductor), nor has there been (as far as can be found in the files) any attempt to follow the Smith’s evidence, except by Mark Harrison the UK Police search expert, (Folios 2224 and 2262) who on all of his search plans marks only two sightings… that of Miss Tanner and that of the Smith family. Mr Harrison obviously takes the Smith sighting seriously.


On 17th January 2008 Detective Constable 4168 of the Leicestershire Police interviewed Gail Cooper and emailed the Operational Task Force. Mrs Cooper tried to explain the News of the World’s additions and embellishments to her police statements with the phrase; “It never crossed my mind”….. and the Officer reported that she “mentioned a man called Brian Kennedy who was working for the McCanns and …. had sent an artist down to do a sketch of the man she saw at the villa “(Folio 4005).

On 18th January 2008, Stuart Prior emailed Ricardo Paiva about the Gail Cooper statement:

“as discussed. I have given Gerry a brief update just saying that the other descriptions are different to the artist’s impressions completed by Gail and identified by Jane. That the witnesses appeared genuine which indicates a number of charity collectors in the area prior to Madeleine being taken. (This makes Mr Kennedy’s evidence very suspect)

We have not spoken to Jane at all and will not share our files with anybody, except yourselves, unless you request this from us. It appears there were at least three charity collectors if not more in the area in the weeks before Madeleine being taken.

I am told that the artists impression by Gail Cooper is likely to hit the press over the weekend and I will update you on the effects of this next week although we are not involved in this in any way at all”

Later Mr Prior refers to an email from Michael Graham of the Leicestershire Police who reported “I (Mick Graham) have spoken to Charlotte Pennington this morning and she has no additional information to give……….. She has been spoken to by a Private Investigator (Noel Hogan) working on behalf of Metado 3. Charlotte assures me that she has only relayed to him the same information that she has already given to the PJ and to me (as per email dated 7th August 2007).

On 20th January 2008, the News of the World published a long article on Mrs Cooper’s alleged sighting and printed the full facial and striding out sketch of “Monster Man”. On 21st January 2008, Clarence Mitchell, the McCann’s spokesman held a press conference releasing details of “Monster Man”.

The News of the World concluded “The sketch by qualified police artist Melissa Little, bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier picture, based on Miss Tanner's story”. This is unsurprising given both selections had – using considerable artistic licence - been made by the same artist—Melissa Little and paid for by Mr Kennedy to assist the McCanns. Why did Mr Kennedy not get the fragrant Melissa to compile a “purposefully striding out” image of the Smith sighting? And why did Miss Tanner not immediately correct her misidentification of Mr Murat?


In her April 2008 interviews - with Detective Constable Sophie Ferguson of the Leicestershire Police -Miss Tanner admitted that Robert Murat was not the “person” she had seen carrying a “child” on Thursday 3rd May 2007. It is not known what had caused her to change her opinion, especially when at the confrontation in Portimao on 11th July 2007 she had been so confident in her identification of Mr Murat. Possibly, it was that the PJ had shelved the case against Mr and Mrs McCann, making the identification a moot point.

Miss Tanner excused her misidentification of Mr Murat:

“I wasn’t really taking it in because I was worried sick I was about to be abducted by the people…..”.

Miss Tanner’s drama is highly implausible, because before she set out on the Identification Charade she had spoken to Stuart Prior, whom she knew to be a Leicestershire Police Officer, to confirm Mr Small’s bonafides. But she continued to excuse her positive, but mistaken, identification of Mr Murat:

“But it was a bit odd because there was a car, where we were parked, there was a car that moved just at that point that he appeared and then two other people walked by so I didn’t really…… but I didn’t even recognise it as the person I’d been talking to five minutes before. Well you know half an hour before so, erm, then we went, I think because it had gone a bit wrong, because this car had been there and then we tried to set it up elsewhere but again I couldn’t really see, I couldn’t really see that well and you know it didn’t look, it didn’t jog any memories”

Detective Constable Ferguson’s lack of a reaction suggests she was fully aware, but not at all concerned, of Miss Tanner’s supposed accidental encounter with Mr Murat “five minutes” before picking him out as the abductor. It seems that Miss Tanner realised this encounter was “dodgy” and thus changed her reactive description of “five minutes before” to “well, you know, half and hour before”.

However, the Officer tried to get Miss Tanner to benchmark her mental image of the abductor with pictures she had subsequently seen of Mr Murat in the newspapers:

“Now you are left with that mental image in your head about the man carrying the child. And you said, you described his hair quite well. Having seen MURAT then and obviously in the papers since, could you link the two of those?”

Miss Tanner prevaricated and struggled to respond:

“I don’t think so. I mean, I don’t, phew, I don’t, I don’t think it, no, there doesn’t, there’s no, but then the person I see in the paper doesn’t really look like my recollection of the person I met on the way to meet Bob SMALL. Its really annoying because normally I would have probably taken more notice but I was so worried about what I was going to do, because I didn’t know at this point at all, I didn’t really take any notice, but I think it was too short and I remember it being, being long into the neck and not so. Again, I don’t really, when I saw Robert MURAT outside his house he looked quite little to me, but then when you see him on the telly he seems quite big, so I can’t, again, I don’t think the build, the build was right, I don’t.”

Detective Constable Ferguson:

“So you don’t feel, in your heart of hearts”

Miss Tanner:


Detective Constable Ferguson:

“You don’t feel it was the same person?”

Miss Tanner responded:

“No, I don’t, no” and later said: ”I don’t think it was him that I saw. But I just thought that it was”

Miss Tanner’s responses are disturbing for many reasons but perhaps the most worrying is her evasion of Detective Constable Ferguson’s question which called for a comparison of the “abductor” with Mr Murat’s photograph in the newspapers. The request to make the comparison with the papers was irrelevant and insipid. It would have been much more relevant, and potentially revealing , for the Officer to have invited Miss Tanner to compare the “abductor” sighting with her confrontation of Mr Murat in Portimao on 11th July 2007 and then to ask her why she had not corrected her misidentification at that time. Proper questioning would have put Miss Tanner’s false identification to the test.

But even probing glaring discrepancies played no part in the Leicestershire Police interviews of the “Tapas 9”. The interviews were superficial and as one Officer explained it they were “just ticking the boxes”. But why?

In any event, Miss Tanner avoided giving an answer to the insipid question that was asked and instead deflected to a comparison of her supposedly accidental meeting with Mr Murat “five minutes” before picking him out with his television appearances. This was not the question she was asked to address.

If she had really seen Mr Murat on the evening of 3rd May 2007, in the course of abducting Madeleine, this would have been, as Detective Constable Ferguson correctly implied, the indelible benchmark in her memory. The fact that, either consciously or more likely subconsciously, Miss Tanner did not, or could not, make such a comparison throws further doubt on her evidence.

Russell O’Brien, who had originally stated he had spoken to Mr Murat at the Ocean Club on the night of 3rd and 4th May 2007 (and had entered his phone number into his mobile handset at that time), changed his story when technical evidence proved that this was incorrect. Mr O’Brien said:

“Well, I do not wish to change, you know, my original statement. The original kind of statement. But we have, you know, the niggle that unintentionally we have, that have got a time wrong and that it was on the following morning”

So, Mr Murat’s life was destroyed and the Tapasniks have a “niggle” they may have got it wrong! Is Mr Murat unlucky or what? But why, oh why, when his lawyers must know every fact in this article and more, does he not take action (possibly involving the Independent Police Complaints Commission) against the Tapas 9, the LP, PJ and CRG? That is among the biggest questions of all.



A number of people have asked me what is happening to the detailed reports, especially relating to a forensic examination of the crèche records, prepared by of one of the investigative firms with which I have been working. The Leicestershire Police has never formally acknowledged receiving the reports and has not responded to emails and telephone calls. They are thus in a position where they could deny ever receiving the reports.

I understand that the reports have not been forwarded to Portugal and that the crèche records have still not been forensically examined. This again raises the possibility of a “cover up” or gross incompetence by the British authorities, including the politicians, Police, Home Office, Foreign Office and Forensic Science Service.

But the subject will be pursued and all the relevant reports and papers will be handed over – soon... - to the head of the Public Prosecutors Office with a formal request to re-open the investigation based on new evidence which will be presented. So please be patient.

Paulo Reis
April 23, 2009

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Dr Martin Roberts: A Nightwear Job

Post by Verdi 01.06.19 23:08

A Nightwear Job

March 9, 2016

Notable Commentary M%2Bnews%2BLG
As published in the Telegraph

In the very nearly nine years since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, and the eight since the parents had their arguido status formally withdrawn, one simple question has passed publicly unanswered, probably because the answer appears obvious and the question therefore not worth the asking. I shall ask it nevertheless:

Who took the McCanns' 'official photograph' of Madeleine's pyjamas?

The image in question was 'released' to the world's media in the late afternoon of 10 May, 2007, following a press conference that day. It was no doubt assumed by many that, since the PJ released the photographs (there is more than one), the PJ themselves must have taken them. Yet a film distributor who arranges the release of a 'blockbuster' is hardly likely to have spent the previous months/years actually doing the filming.

With this seed of doubt in mind, one might consider what the PJ did with their photograph(s), adhering all the while to the worldwide practice, among law enforcement agencies, of 'continuity', whereby the progress of evidence through the system, in whichever direction, is recorded at each step along the way. Whereabouts, then, did they file this particular 'diligence' of theirs?

Within the relevant Forensic report (23 November 2007) are references to the following images, together with cognate views of a pair of pyjama trousers:

Notable Commentary M%2B13_VOLUME_XIIIa_Page_3484

A far cry from earlier publicised representations you will admit.

Why on earth should the PJ have seemingly undertaken the same photographic work twice, involving two quite different sets of pyjamas?

The forensic record (of garments correctly pictured alongside a scaling reference, i.e. a ruler) is that of a pair of pyjamas supplied on request by M&S (UK), afterwards forwarded to the Forensic Laboratory in Lisbon by Goncalo Amaral, together with a covering letter dated 7 June. It has nothing whatever to do with the official photograph released in early May. In fact the clothing pictured has more in common with that featured in the retailer's own contemporary stock photograph, a copy of which was sent to the Algarve Resident, again on request, and which the 'Resident' published on 8 May - two days before the official release.

Notable Commentary Alg%2BRes
As published by the Algarve Resident

During a press call at the Amsterdam Hilton, on 7 June, Kate McCann took pains to explain that the pyjamas being exhibited at that time were in fact Amelie's, and that Madeleine's were not only bigger but did not feature a button-fastening t-shirt. Only a couple of days earlier the same pyjamas, again described as 'Amelies' and 'a little bit smaller', were presented on 'Crimewatch', but without reference to the button discrepancy.

It stands to reason of course, that, Madeleine McCann's pyjamas having been abducted, a surrogate pair would have been required for photographic purposes, in the event of there being no extant photographic record of the clothing in question. But appropriate photographs were to hand. They already existed. One version, as we have seen, was published by the Algarve Resident, another by the BBC. The McCanns' 'official' version was consistent with neither of these. With the PJ yet to physically access a representative set of pyjamas, why should they have been called upon to photograph anything else for immediate release?

There is no record of their having done so. Ergo they did not. So who did? And where did the pyjamas come from that enabled them to do it?

Addressing the second of these questions first, the garments featured in the PJ release cannot have come from M&S locally, since all their Portuguese branches had been closed years before. Had they come from M&S in the UK they would obviously have resembled the pair sent to (and genuinely photographed by) the PJ. A pointer to their origin is, however, to be found within the case files.

Alongside a suite of photographs taken at Lagos Marina by Kate McCann is an introductory memo, written by DC Markley of Leicester Police on or about the 8 May and headed up, 'Information from the Family'. Here also one finds the only copy (in black and white) of the McCanns' official photograph of Madeleine's pyjamas (Outros Apensos Vol. II - Apenso VIII, p.342). Rather than its being a PJ production, afterwards passed to the McCanns, it seems the photograph was actually a McCann production fed to the PJ, an observation wholly concordant with the fact that it was actually the McCanns who first revealed this photograph to the press, on Monday 7 May, three days before the PJ released it (as reported by Ian Herbert, the Independent, 11.5.07).

Any illusion that the image in question was the result of a McCann representative's commissioning their own studio photograph of 'off-the-shelf' UK merchandise may soon be dispelled. It is an amateur snapshot. Taken in ambient (day) light, against a coloured (as opposed to neutral) background, it is slightly out of focus and displays detectable signs of parallax. It is not something even a journeyman professional would admit to.

And yet, bold as brass, it represents 'information from the family'.

Perhaps it was produced by a member of the McCann entourage that descended on Praia da Luz over the long weekend 4-6 May? Then again, perhaps not. As Kate McCann explains in her book, 'madeleine' (p.109):

“Everyone had felt helpless at home and had rushed out to Portugal to take care of us and to do what they could to find Madeleine. When they arrived, to their dismay they felt just as helpless – perhaps more so, having made the trip in the hope of achieving something only to discover it was not within their power in Luz any more than it had been in the UK.”

On Kate McCann's own admission, to a House of Commons committee no less, neither she nor husband Gerry were any more capable of keeping cool under fire during this time. Having earlier (August 2007) told her Pal, Jon Corner, "the first few days.…you have total physical shutdown", she went on to advise the House that, despite being medically trained, she and her husband "couldn't function" (John Bingham, the Telegraph, 13.6.2011).

Well someone on the McCann side of the fence managed to function in time for the parents to appear before the media on 7 May with a photograph that, so far, no-one seems to have taken, and of clothing which, other things being equal, ought not even to have existed anywhere inside Portugal, except, perhaps, in the clutches of a fugitive abductor. But, of course, other things are anything but equal.

Non mihi, non tibi, sed nobis

A month after the world's media were first shown a picture of something resembling Madeleine McCann's 'Eeyore pyjamas', a real set was being touted around Europe. Described by Kate McCann as 'Amelie's' and being 'a little bit smaller', they were held aloft for the assembled press brigade, without any one of them questioning the pyjamas' origins either. Being 'Amelie's' was quite enough, apparently, to justify their also being in the McCanns' possession at the time. Since when though? Gerry McCann did not return home to Leicester from Praia da Luz until 21 May, time enough for him to have raided his daughter's wardrobe for something he might need on his European travels, but way too late to have met any 7/10 May deadlines.

It seems, then, as if the two ingredients required to achieve an earlier photograph of 'Madeleine's' pyjamas (the photographer and the subject) were both missing. So how was it done?

What at first appears to be a riddle is soon solved when one realises that the pair of pyjamas which accompanied the McCanns around Europe was the very same pair that starred in their 'official photograph' taken earlier. Kate McCann took public ownership of them before the television cameras the moment she referred to them as 'Amelie's'. On close inspection these pyjamas (Amelie's) are revealed as identical to the pair previously pictured in both the Daily Mail (10.5.07) and the Telegraph (see top of page here), down to the stray threads dangling from both upper and lower garments. This means that 'Amelie's pyjamas', for want of a better description, were also present with the McCanns since the start of their Algarve holiday.

Notable Commentary Madjam_468x695
As published by the Daily Mail

Suddenly the question ceases to be 'Who photographed a representative pair of Eeyore pyjamas?' and becomes, instead, 'Who photographed Amelie's pyjamas?' Furthermore, if everyone was feeling so shell-shocked as to render them incapable from the Friday, when did they have the presence of mind to take the requisite pictures?

We begin to edge toward a sinister conclusion once we take particular account of the literal background against which these particular pyjamas were photographed.

A coarse woven tale

Unlike the various studio renditions of Eeyore pyjamas to which we have been introduced, the McCann's official photograph(s), versions of which were published by both the PJ and the UK media, present the subject laid out against a blue textile, rather than the more customary piece of artist's board. This blue upholstery, for that is unquestionably what it is, helps define who, among the Tapas 9, might have been the photographer.

The Paynes, the Oldfields and the O'Briens can be ruled out. Only the Payne's apartment incorporated any soft furnishings in blue, but of a different quality to the plain open-weave material on display here. During the early morning of Friday 4 May, 2007, the McCanns were re-located to alternative accommodation in apartment 4G - another in which blue soft furnishings were conspicuous by their absence (it was appointed in beige throughout).* Added to which the concern, lest we forget, is with photography involving a pair of pyjamas known to have been in the McCanns' possession from the outset.

In his statement to Police of 10 May, Gerry McCann as good as exonerated himself of all blame concerning picture taking:

‘Asked, he clarifies that:

apart from the personal photos already delivered by him to the police authorities after the disappearance of his daughter MADELEINE, he has no others in his possession.

He adds that it is:

his wife KATE who usually takes pictures, he does not recall taking any pictures during this holiday, at night.’

Notwithstanding accounts of how, from the Friday onwards, the McCanns, their nearest and dearest, all fell mentally and physically incapable (of anything save visiting the pool, the beach bar, and the church on Sunday morning), Kate McCann early on made a very telling remark, concerning photography, to journalist Olga Craig:

"I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph of her" (The Telegraph, May 27, 2007).

That statement alone carries with it a very serious connotation. However, we still have a distance to travel.

The more contrastive of the two images reproduced here displays what appear to be areas of shadow, when in fact there are no local perturbations at the surface of the fabric to cause them. Similarly, the dark bands traversing the t-shirt appear more representative of what is actually beneath it. These visible oddities suggest the material is in fact damp and 'clinging' to the underlying upholstery.

There is, as we know, an anecdote of Kate McCann's, which sees her washing Madeleine's pyjama top on the Thursday morning. As re-told in her book, she does so while alone in the family's apartment:

"I returned to our apartment before Gerry had finished his tennis lesson and washed and hung out Madeleine’s pyjama top on the veranda."

Size matters

As previously stated, Kate McCann was careful to bring the attention of her Amsterdam Hilton audience, to Madeleine's pyjama top being both larger and simpler than the version she was holding in her hands at the time. She was inviting them instinctively to associate garment size with complexity - the larger the simpler in this instance. It would mean of course that Madeleine's 'Eeyore' pyjamas, purchased in 2006, would not have been absolutely identical with those of her sister Amelie, purchased whenever (but obviously before the family's 2007 holiday on the Portuguese Algarve).

On 7 May, the Sun reported that:

"The McCann family also disclosed that on the night of her disappearance Madeleine was wearing white pyjama bottoms with a small floral design and a short-sleeved pink top with a picture of Eeyore with the word Eeyore written in capital letters.
"The clothes were bought at Marks and Spencer last year."

In his 7 June covering letter to the Forensic Laboratory in Lisbon, Goncalo Amaral conveys the following specification in relation to the pyjamas he was intent on sending for examination:

"The Pyjamas are from Marks and Spencers, size 2 to 3 years -97 cm.

"The pyjamas are composed of two pieces: camisole type without buttons"

Since these items could only have been supplied to the PJ in mid-07, they must have represented that year's style, as it were, for 2-3 year olds. Madeleine would have been four years old by this time. However, Kate McCann would have people believe that 'Amelie's' pyjamas, sporting a button, were designed to fit an even younger child. Had Kate purchased the appropriate pyjamas for Amelie in 2007 of course, they would not have had a button at all.

They must therefore have been purchased in the same epoch as Madeleine’s own, i.e. during 2006, when Amelie would have been a year younger and somewhat smaller even than when the family eventually travelled to Portugal the following year.

The significance of all this becomes apparent once we consider those photographs which show how the pyjamas held aloft by the McCanns at their various European venues encompassed half Gerry McCann's body length at least. Photographs of the McCanns out walking with their twins in Praia da Luz, on the other hand, illustrate, just as clearly, that Amelie McCann did not stand that tall from head to toe. Even In 2007 she would have been swamped by her own pyjamas, never mind the year before when they were purchased.

In conclusion, the McCanns' 'official photograph', first exhibited on 7 May, appears to be that of a damp pair of pyjamas, too big to have been sensibly purchased for Madeleine's younger sister that Spring, and most certainly not the year before. The subject is set against dark blue upholstery of a type not present in any of the apartments occupied by the McCanns or their Tapas associates immediately after 3 May. Kate McCann has explained, over time, how she was alone in apartment 5A that morning, in the company of a damp pyjama top (having just washed it) and how, from that afternoon by all accounts, she 'couldn't bear to use the camera', an automatic device (Canon PowerShot A620) belonging to a product lineage with an unfortunate reputation for random focussing errors.

Madeleine was not reported missing until close to 10.00 p.m. that night. If Madeleine McCann's pyjamas were not in fact abducted, then nor was Madeleine McCann.

Martin Roberts

*See the extended search videos here:

Grateful thanks are due to Nigel Moore for collating a number of highly relevant photographs and media reports in connection with this topic.

Notable Commentary McCann%2BPyjamas
Notable Commentary Lies%2Bof%2BJohn%2Band%2BKate%2BMcCann
1) Forensic photograph of couch in apartment 5A
2)Pyjamas belonging to the McCanns

Not definite, but . . .

H/T Grande Finale

If a fellow thought that the Metropolitan Police Service was a functioning entity, he might call for the arrest of the McCanns based on what is written and depicted here. Ed.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Post by Verdi 02.06.19 1:03

A closer look at Charlotte Pennington

Nigel Moore
31 January 2008

Charlotte Pennington, who was employed as a nanny at the Mark Warner Ocean Club at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance, would appear to be blessed with an uncanny knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although, from Kate and Gerry McCanns’ perspective, it could be said that the opposite is true. As if by magic, Pennington appears with a ‘sighting’ at just the right time to support the McCanns’ theories on what happened that fateful night of May 3rd.

The fact that she claims to have worked as a fairy since the age of 14 may go some way to explaining her remarkable abilities.

So, what did she see?

She says was there with Madeleine at the kid’s club on 03 May 2007, the day of Maddie’s disappearance. Thus providing herself as an ‘independent’ witness to the fact that Madeleine was still alive on 03 May 2007.

She was there, inside the McCanns’ apartment, within five minutes of the alarm being raised, and claims to have witnessed both Kate McCanns’ emotional state and the words spoken. Thus supporting the belief that this was the time of the abduction and that Kate could not have acted that amount of grief.

She was there to see Robert Murat hanging around the Ocean Club. Thus supporting the McCanns’, particularly Kate’s, desire to imply that Murat was involved in some way. It was reported, on 27 January 2008, that they believe he may have acted as a ‘look-out’ for a gang of paedophiles.

She was there to see Robert Murat speaking with a suspicious looking man, the following day at the local supermarket, who now appears to match the description and artist’s impression produced for Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’. Thus further connecting Murat with an ‘abduction’.

And, finally, she was there to see a suspicious man kicking something in a boat, 2 days after Madeleine’s disappearance. Thus supporting one of the McCanns’ theories that the abductor escaped by water – probably to Morocco.

But do Charlotte Pennington’s crucial testimonies stand up to scrutiny? Unfortunately, like a great deal of this case, they are riddled with inconsistencies.

Pennington, who also works as a part-time actress – having briefly played the part of Libby Bailey in the New Zealand soap ‘Shortland Street’ – would be familiar with the need to arrive on cue.

But then, as we all know, sometimes actors get their lines wrong…

Time with Madeleine on 03 May 2007

The Daily Mail published details of an interview with Miss Pennington on 25 September 2007, in which she dismissed claims that the McCanns were not seen for six hours leading up to Madeleine’s disappearance.

She said: “I was helping give the children high tea. The twins were there and Madeleine and both parents.

“It was supposed to finish at 5.30pm but because they were a big group and really social, it didn’t finish until about 6pm. There was nothing out of the ordinary at all.”

However, speaking on the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary ‘Searching For Madeleine’, aired on 18 October 2007, she says:

“On May the third, it was just Madeleine I was reading a story to. I later saw them around lunchtime. That’s the last time I saw them together as a family.”

So, which is true? Did she last see Madeleine and the McCanns at 6.00pm or at lunchtime? And why the discrepancy?
The Daily Mail report of 14 October 2007, reporting on Madeleine’s movements at the kid’s club, only mentions nanny Catriona Baker being with her that day. The report states that Maddie was placed in a small group of children between the ages of 3 and 5 years with Miss Baker.

Charlotte Pennington was employed as a nanny in the Ocean Club resort’s Baby Club, looking after children aged four to 12 months. So, why would she have been looking after Madeleine, who was not a member of her Baby Club, and reading her a story that particular day?

Pennington describes how she heard of Madeleine’s disappearance from a woman who had come to collect her child from the evening creche, where she was working. The woman had recounted to her how she had just bumped into a man who had been shouting a name.

Pennington continues: “She didn’t get the name, but she said it sounded something like ‘Abbey, Gabby or Maddie’. We automatically went into lost-child procedure. In these situations, the first thing we do is investigate the scene.

“We knew that one of the other nanny’s charges was called Maddie. We told the head of department what had happened and she took us straight to the apartment.”

Here Miss Pennington clearly states that Madeleine was ‘one of the other nanny’s charges’, referring to Catriona Baker. Yet she says in her two previous statements that she was with Madeleine that day. If that was true, why didn’t she automatically make the connection that this was ‘Maddie’, the girl she had read a story to that very day and had been with until 6.00pm when the McCanns arrived to collect her and the twins?

In the Dispatches documentary, Pennington says: ”They were a very social group and they seemed all to be really respectful, nice, loving parents. Madeleine, I found out to be, quite bright… errm, quite shy… errm, very sweet, very beautiful girl.”

The statement suggests an intimate knowledge of the McCanns and, more specifically, Madeleine. Yet, it appears, Pennington was unable to connect the names ‘Abbey, Gabby or Maddie’ to herself and Madeleine.

This would seem to imply that Pennington never actually had charge of Madeleine on any day and, therefore, did not know her at all, apart from her name being connected to the charge of another nanny.

So where does her intimate knowledge of Madeleine’s personality come from?

And why is she making strong implications that Madeleine was in her charge when she clearly wasn’t?

The moments after Madeleine disappeared

Talking from her mother’s home in Leatherhead, Surrey, she told the Daily Mail: “I was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone. When we were coming out we saw Kate and she was screaming:

‘They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her!’

“I was standing right in front of her outside the apartment’s back door, in the alleyway. I was very close to her. It might not have been the first thing she said. But she definitely said it. I was one of three Mark Warner staff who saw her shouting it. They have all given statements to the Portuguese police saying that.”

In terms of the timeline, this is a very interesting quote. She says she was in the McCanns apartment ”less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone”.

She said previously that the woman who came to collect her child from the evening creche, from whom she first found out a child was missing, arrived just before 10.00pm.

So, by the time the woman reached the creche, according to Pennington’s account, a chain of events had already taken place:

Kate had discovered Madeleine missing; she had searched the apartment herself; she had run to the tapas restaurant to raise the alarm with Gerry and their friends and she had returned to the apartment and waited for it to be thoroughly searched by Gerry and their friends.

There would then have been a passage of time before the man, presumably Gerry, had gone out into the streets shouting out Maddie’s name (which incidentally, the McCanns have insisted they never called her – it was always ‘Madeleine’).

And then, finally, there would have been a passage of time for the woman to arrive at the creche, collect her child and then tell the staff what she had heard outside.

That whole process would surely have taken longer than five minutes to complete, and finish, before 10.00pm. Pennington’s statement suggests the alarm was actually raised sometime well before 10:00pm, but this would then have major repercussions on the McCanns stated timeline. Indeed, it would make the raising of the alarm at 9:30pm, as was stated in some early reports, seem much more likely.

Pennington’s account of entering and leaving the apartment is also confusing in relation to her position and Kate’s. She says at first that ”When we were coming out (of the apartment) we saw Kate and she was screaming ‘They’ve taken her’.” This seems odd because it appears to imply that Kate was outside the apartment – possibly just outside the patio doors. But why was Kate outside the apartment screaming ‘They’ve taken her’ when everyone else was inside?

Pennington continues: ”I was standing right in front of her outside the apartment’s back door, in the alleyway. I was very close to her. It might not have been the first thing she said. But she definitely said it. I was one of three Mark Warner staff who saw her shouting it.”

So where was Pennington when Kate was screaming? Was she just coming out of the apartment and presumably beside Kate or was she standing in the alleyway with three other members of the Mark Warner staff?

Pennington’s account on the Dispatches documentary does not make it any clearer. She says: ”I went straight round to the apartment. I sort of walked in, did a quick scan around and been told ‘No, no, she’s not here, she’s not here’.

”Kate McCann was outside and she was very distressed. She was saying things like ‘They’ve taken her’ and ‘She’s gone’ and ‘Where is she? Where is she?’.”

One wonders, by this time, to whom Kate was talking, or screaming.

And for who’s benefit.

But there is one more crucial sentence from Miss Pennington that poses a huge and shocking question mark over our understanding of the events of that evening.

She says: “There were no children in the room. The twins had been taken out already, I think by one of the McCanns’ friends.”

Remember, Pennington ”was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone.”
So where were the twins?

By 10:50pm, we know the twins were back in their cots as the first local GNR police officers attending the scene remarked on how strange it was that the twins did not wake during all the commotion and screaming.

So, it begs the question: Why were the twins not there when Pennington arrived in the apartment?

If Pennington’s statement is correct, then it leaves three possible scenarios:

1) The twins were moved out of the apartment, in the immediate aftermath of Madeleine’s disappearance, and then returned to their cots later. If so, why were they removed? And where did they go and who moved them?

2) The twins were moved prior to Kate’s alarm call, perhaps because they wanted to clean the bedroom and were then returned to the McCanns’ apartment before the GNR arrived? If this were true, where did they go and who moved them?

3) The twins were never put to bed in the McCanns’ apartment that night. They either regularly slept elsewhere on the holiday or they slept elsewhere on that particular night and were transferred back before the GNR arrived. But why would they be sleeping elsewhere? And again, where did they go and who moved them?

If the twins were not in the apartment, this would certainly explain Kate’s decision to run back to the tapas restaurant, apparently abandoning the twins alone in the unlocked apartment.

However, if Pennington’s statement is correct, and we are to believe the twins were moved in this way, then it would now seem even more extraordinary that the twins did not wake.

And the implication of that appears to be obvious.

Sighting of Robert Murat

Miss Pennington’s Daily Mail interview confirms reports from the McCanns’ friends that Murat was at the scene. “He was outside the lobby just before we started on our big search,” she said.

“He was adamant that he wasn’t there. But he was. He was there in the road, he was just looking. It was about 10.30. He was just watching.

“I didn’t know his name then. But the next day he was our interpreter and I met him then. He didn’t take part in the searches, but he was there.”

It is difficult to understand how Pennington can so clearly identify Robert Murat – a man she admits she did not know previously – in a chaotic scene where, by all accounts, there were people all over the place. A ‘big search’ implies there were lots of people there and this was night time, under street lamps that do not appear to be very powerful.

Can she really be sure this was Murat and not David Payne? The Payne’s reportedly left their two children in the kid’s club, with Madeleine and the twins, under the charge of Catriona Baker. So, it is quite likely that Pennington had never met David Payne previously either.

The Sun further confuses the account when it reports: ‘Charlotte said she saw him (Murat) near the McCanns’ holiday flat at around midnight. Yesterday it was claimed police used Murat as a translator — giving him access to the crime scene — as he was a long-time informant.’

This account, which does not come with a direct quote, does, however, appear to be sourced directly from Miss Pennington. Yet, it clearly contradicts her previous statement that she saw Murat at 10:30pm, in the street outside the lobby, just before they were about to launch their ‘big search’.

So, where did Pennington see Murat? Outside the McCanns apartment at midnight or outside the lobby at 10:30pm?
The two diverse accounts surely cast a major doubt over Pennington’s testimony.

Murat, the suspicious looking man and ‘Creepyman’

A few days after Madeleine’s disappearance, Charlotte Pennington reported seeing Robert Murat chatting to a man outside the Baptista supermarket in Praia da Luz.

Initially, the sighting was used to further imply that Robert Murat was involved in some way. It was suggested that this man fitted the description given by Jane Tanner of a man she allegedly saw walking ‘urgently’ away from the McCanns’ apartment on the night of 03 May 2007.

On 20 January 2007, the McCanns’ released an artist’s impression of a man Gail Cooper allegedly saw acting in a ‘creepy’ way during the weeks before the McCanns arrived in Praia da Luz. Suddenly, Pennington’s ‘sighting’ was dug up, brushed off and represented to the public as a crucial piece of crucial, long-lost information.

In the space of 24 hours, the man who Murat was chatting to had suddenly been transformed from Jane Tanner’s ‘abductor’ into Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’.

Firstly, the Daily Mail reports that: ‘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 following day, the Daily Mail makes a stronger connection when it reports that: ‘Nanny Charlotte Pennington’s description of a person she saw with Mr Murat also matches the man shown in the artist’s impression.’

Later, The Sun, appearing to run a direct quote from Pennington, pushes the connection further, when it reports: ‘And Charlotte Pennington, a nanny at the McCanns’ holiday complex, says a suspicious man she saw in Praia da Luz was “similar” to the drawing.’
So, in what way is Pennington’s sighting ”similar” to the description and artist’s impression of Gail Cooper’s ‘Creepyman’?
Pennington describes a man ”between 27 and 35, with medium build, very dark eyes and a Portuguese or Spanish look”.
Cooper, in describing ‘Creepyman’, says: “This man was very unpleasant and creepy. I’d put his age at 38 to 45. He was very scruffy and had a 70s-style black Mexican moustache. He wasn’t Portuguese—I think he was North African, either Tunisian or Moroccan.”

So, in what possible way could these two men possibly be described as ”similar”?

From the two descriptions, they have absolutely nothing in common whatsoever.

Yet newspapers, or perhaps more pertinently Metodo 3, seem intent on connecting the two. Newspapers will run with it because it’s a good angle and will sell papers, Metodo 3 because that is what they are being paid by the McCanns to do. They have an agenda.

And that agenda is to propagate the abduction theory to the exclusion of all others.

The sighting of the boatman

Two days after Madeleine’s disappearance, Miss Pennington claims to have seen a mystery boatman kicking at something in the middle of the night.

Pennington said she spotted the man in a small dinghy, just off the Praia da Luz seafront, kicking at an object stored in the boat’s hull.

The Daily Mail continues: ‘When she moved closer to investigate, the man – whose name she has given to Portuguese and British police – stooped out of sight then hurriedly rowed away. Miss Pennington said the man was wearing a reflective yellow jacket with a hood but she could not make out his face.’

So, what are the concerns here?

Firstly, the report says Pennington spotted the man in a ‘small dinghy’. However, the very next sentence describes a ‘boat’ which was apparently big enough to store a reasonable size object in its hull.

Secondly, one wonders why a person, who it is implied may have had Madeleine stored alive, or dead, in a box in his dinghy/boat, would choose to wear a bright yellow, reflective fisherman’s jacket.

Thirdly, the sighting took place ‘in the middle of the night’ when the seafront is pitch black. Those people searching for Madeleine, on the night of 03 May 2007, have described how they could only see as far as their torches shone and it was actually quite a frightening experience.

So, how could Pennington see anything, let alone a man apparently some distance away that she had to move closer to try and see.

And what was Pennington doing in the middle of the night, in the pitch black on the seafront? Did she have a torch?

Fourthly, Pennington admits she did not see the man’s face and that he stooped down and quickly rowed away. So, how could she possibly know who he was, in order to give his name to the police?

The first published reports of the sighting claimed that Pennington was shocked to see the man again the next day, still wearing his bright yellow, reflective fisherman’s jacket. She claims that she recognised the man as someone ‘whom she had come to know over the preceding week’. But how? How can she recognise and name a man just from a jacket, seen from distance, in the pitch dark?

It should be remembered that Praia da Luz is a small fishing village and the sight of a fisherman’s jacket, in such a setting, would surely not be unusual. In fact, it would be a surprise if it wasn’t commonplace.

Where was Charlotte Pennington?, 30 June 2008
Where was Charlotte Pennington?

Nigel Moore
Monday 30 June 2008

The question: ‘Where was Charlotte Pennington when Madeleine was reported missing?’ would appear to be one of the few questions surrounding the case that can boast a straightforward answer.

In a case that has become characterised by the frustratingly unsatisfactory quotes of unnamed friends and sources, Ms Pennington has afforded us the rare luxury of being able to listen to her own words from her own mouth – at least until the Dispatches documentary ‘Searching for Madeleine’ was removed from YouTube and Channel 4’s own 4oD service.

On that documentary, Ms Pennington recounted the following story: “I was working that night at something called ‘Drop-in Creche’. We had one child left and… errm, the mother came in, picked up the child and just mentioned ‘Hang on a minute, I’ve just seen a guy who’s run past me, who seemed really distressed and I recognised him as being a guest at Mark Warner, but he was shouting out something like ‘Maddie’ or ‘Abbey’ or ‘Gabby’.”

She then continues: “I went straight to the apartment. I sort of walked in, did a quick scan around and been told ‘No, no. She’s not here, she’s not here’.

“Kate McCann was outside and she was very distressed. She was saying things like ‘They’ve taken her’ and ‘She’s gone’ and, you know, ‘Where is she? Where is she?’

“She was crying and there were tears down her face and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see.”

So, in Ms Pennington’s own words, her movements would appear to be crystal clear and unequicocal. End of story.

Yet, in Danny Collins recently released book ‘Vanished’ a completely different picture is painted. We are used to reading slight variations of stories connected to the case, to the point where double-vision is a regular occurence, but we are less used to somebodies movements being directly and confidently contradicted in print.

So what does Mr Collins say about Ms Pennington’s movements and what is the significance of them, if true?

Mr Collins states that rather than being in the communal ‘Drop-in creche’, Ms Pennington was actually babysitting in a ‘nearby apartment’ and was brought to the McCanns’ apartment by the sound of Kate McCanns’ screams from the balcony of apartment 5A.

He claims that Ms Pennington was the first person at the scene and that she told police that Kate ‘clutched at her’ and ‘sobbed in panic as she tried to answer the young childminder’s questions’.

Whilst Ms Pennington does indeed describe the frenzied state of Kate McCann, she does not mention the undoubted importance and significance of being the first person to arrive at the scene.

However, if Ms Pennington’s own account is true then it would have been impossible for her to have been the first person at the scene as the incident she describes clearly indicates that the alarm had been raised some time before she was made aware of it.

She does state in the Daily Mail article of 25 September 2007 that “I was in the apartment less than five minutes after they found that Madeleine had gone”.

However, that would seem unlikely given the fact that after Kate had reportedly discovered Madeleine missing she would have had to inform the rest of the group by returning to the Tapas bar; allowed time for a further search of the apartment by Gerry and their friends; allowed time to consider what to do; allowed time for Gerry to decide to go out onto the streets and then do it; allowed time for the woman to hear him and later report what she had heard to Pennington and then time for Pennington to ascertain which apartment was involved, gather herself and then actually reach the apartment. It would seem unlikely that that whole process would have taken ‘less than five minutes’.

In the same article, Ms Pennington further describes how: “We knew that one of the other nanny’s charges was called Maddie. We told the head of department what had happened and she took us straight to the apartment.

“There were no children in the room. The twins had been taken out already, I think by one of the McCanns’ friends.”

Leaving aside discussion around the distrubing suggestion that the twins were not in the apartment at that time (Where were they and why and how did they return by the time the GNR arrived?), Ms Pennington states that she attended the McCanns apartment with her head of department – yet again clearly suggesting that she wasn’t the first person on the scene.

So, who to believe? Ms Pennington herself or the words of a Spanish-based veteran investigative journalist? Faced with such a choice the natural inclination would surely be to side with the individual who was actually there and witnessed it. Yet, the level of detail in Collins text suggests his knowledge extends beyond that of a blindfold, a stick and a piñata.

Mr Collins also has something very significant to say about the occupation of the apartments by the McCanns and the Tapas Seven.

Mr Collins states that the McCanns were in apartment 5A, as we all know, but that Jane Tanner and Russell O’Brien were next door in apartment 5B. This appears to directly contradict Clarence Mitchell’s statement that Rachael Oldfield was next door on the evening that Madeleine is alleged to have been left crying, unattended.

What Mr Mitchell actually said was: “Equally, one of the friends, Rachael Oldfield, was in the apartment next door in a bedroom adjacent to the wall where Madeleine was in her bedroom and she heard no crying at all all night.”

The natural assumption from Mr Mitchell’s statement is that Rachael Oldfield was ‘in the apartment next door’ because that was her apartment. After all, what would she be doing in somebody elses bedroom, on her own, whilst all the other members of the holidaying party were out enjoying themselves? All night.

Of course, making assumptions is a dangerous thing to do. But it does seem peculiar that Mr Mitchell has specifically identified Rachael Oldfield – why not simply say that the Oldfield’s were next door and heard nothing? If she heard nothing all night, then she must have been there all night. If so, where was her husband?

If Mrs Oldfield was alone, it would suggest she was alone for a reason. After all, we have been told, first hand by Kate, that they were operating a system. She said: “We all knew what we had to do, what we would do and.. you know, it worked as a system we had going and it just seemed totally right somehow”.

Could it be that Mrs Oldfield was babysitting? That the ‘system’ involved one member of the group babysitting all the children? There is, it must be stated, no evidence to suggest this is the case but, at one point, there were curious reports of all the children sharing the McCanns’ apartment on the night of 3rd May. But was this true or just another flight of fancy?

Mr Collins states that Mark Warner only rented out the ground floor apartments and that the holidaying group were all based on that floor, contradicting previous reports that the Payne’s were located on the floor above. Collins says that the Payne’s were ‘further down the walkway’ and that the Oldfield’s were based the furthest away from the McCanns’ apartment.

So what significance does this have to the whereabouts of Charlotte Pennington on that evening? Possibly, a great deal.

Mr Collins tells us that Ms Pennington was babysitting in a ‘nearby apartment’ when she heard the screams of Kate McCann. He tells us that Mark Warner only rented the ground floor apartments and so, therefore, we are compelled to ask: Was Ms Pennington babysitting for one of the Tapas group and, if so, which one?

If we are to believe reports, the Payne’s were the only couple to own and use a working baby-monitoring device, so would therefore have had no need of a babysitter. The Oldfield’s were the furthest away from the McCanns apartment and it would therefore seem very unlikely that Ms Pennington could have heard the screams of Kate, if she was babysitting inside the Oldfield’s apartment.

So, that just leaves the apartment of Tanner and O’Brien, next door to the McCanns, where Kate’s screams would have been easily heard.

Yet, if Collins is correct in the statements he has committed to print, then two questions immediately spring to mind: Why was Pennington employed as a babysitter, when the group had a communal checking ‘system’ that supposedly ‘worked’? And if Pennington was babysitting the children of Tanner and O’Brien, then why was Russell O’Brien reportedly absent from the group until just before 10:00pm?

Of course, the possibility that there was another family occupying an apartment in the middle of the Tapas groups apartments must be considered. However, it is very curious that if there were such an apartment, and such a family, then why have they never been identified, mentioned or even remotely hinted at?

The fog that surrounds the mystery continues to show no signs of lifting.

The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you've got it made" - Groucho Marx
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Notable Commentary Empty Dr Vernon Cole: Are Madeleine McCann's Parents Guilty Of Neglect? (And Is This Really The Biggest News Story In Britain?)

Post by Verdi 10.06.19 1:05

Thousands of people go missing every year but the media doesn't usually bother.

However, the disappearance of a three-year-old British girl from her parents' holiday accommodation in Portugal has become a massive news story.

I suspect that the media has persuaded us that the Drs McCanns deserve our sympathy because they are nice middle class parents and Madeleine is a pretty photogenic child. The fact that there are lots of pictures available helps.

Family and friends have used a compliant media to build the story into a variety of mass hysteria matching that which followed Diana's death.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been considered such a good story that British television has consistently led with it as the main news item for weeks. Most newspapers have kept the story on their front page.

But has this really been the most important news story? For example, on May 17th, one of days that the two week old story of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was considered the most important news item in Britain, here are some of the news stories that were considered less important:

* Gordon Brown was officially announced as Britain's next Prime Minister

* The World Bank met to consider whether or not to get rid of its President Paul Wolfowitz

* The Government announced that it would close a fifth of all Post Offices in the country. (A total of 2,500 villages and communities deprived of their link with the outside world.)

* The Israelis launched air strikes on Palestinians in Gaza

* The British Army and the Government decided that Prince Harry would not serve in Iraq because it was too dangerous for a member of the Royal Family to fight there. (Despite this, Harry decided that he would stay in the army though it was not made clear precisely what he would do.)

* War criminals Tony Blair and George Bush met in the USA to defend their war record. Blair described Bush as a great leader.

* British soldiers continued to fight wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (though without members of the Royal family).


When three-year-old Madeleine McCann disappeared she was alone with her younger siblings in a ground floor holiday apartment rented by her parents. They had gone out to dinner.

Let's get this straight.

The Drs McCann didn't have to rush out in an emergency. They could, presumably, have hired a baby sitter. They chose not to. They chose to leave their three very small children in a flat in a foreign country while they went out to have a good time in a restaurant.

What is going on here?

Why haven't the parents been interviewed by social workers?

Is it now legal for British parents to leave their tiny children alone while they go out for fun?

The McCanns left three children alone. The oldest was three-years-old.

The last time I looked, teenage mothers got into trouble if they popped out to the shops to get a pint of milk and a loaf of bread and left their children alone.

Under British law parents can be charged with neglect or abandonment if they leave their children alone if it is unsafe to do so.

It clearly was unsafe to leave these three small children alone. One of them is now missing.

The McCanns chose to go out to have a good time leaving three small children alone in a flat in a foreign country.

These were not impoverished teenagers who didn't know any better. They are thirty-eight-year-old doctors.

What sort of example were they setting?

What sort of example are media commentators who excuse them setting?

Where are the interfering, busy body social workers when they're really needed?

Most media commentators seem to think that the McCanns did nothing wrong. The arguments seem to be that parents must be able to leave their small children alone in the world and that parents are entitled to lead lives without having their children around them all the time.


People who become parents take on enormous responsibilities.

Small children are vulnerable. They fall over. They wake up frightened. They see ghosts in shadows. They fall out of bed. They are vulnerable.

Small children are vulnerable.

But society rewards parents in many ways for their decision. And having children is a choice.

If the Drs McCann wanted to have romantic holidays in the Algarve without having their fun evenings spoilt by children they shouldn't have had any children.

(And they could, remember, have hired a baby sitter.)

They chose to have children. And they chose to take them away to Portugal. And they chose to leave them alone while they went out to dinner.

Personally, I'd arrest the pair of them for child neglect.

Whatever happened to Madeleine they must take a huge amount of responsibility.

Personally, I don't think either of them are responsible enough to work as doctors.

Responsible parents don't leave their children alone in a foreign country.

Being a parent is a 24 hour responsibility.


The media and the public seem to regard this pair as victims.

But in my view there is only one victim.

Madeleine is the victim.

Whatever has happened to her is clearly awful.

I feel so, so sorry for her.

But the parents?

Sorry, but I just don't think they deserve our sympathy.

The parents have now taken indefinite leave from their jobs.

(I wonder if they're still getting paid for any NHS work they aren't doing? Just a thought.)

They and their family and friends seem to have become media celebrities. Other celebrities are falling over themselves to get involved.

The parents are alleged to be hiring a professional public relations adviser and two London lawyers. A trust is allegedly being set up to handle the money being raised. Why? What the hell is going on?

Why do they need lawyers and a publicity adviser?

And why do they need a trust?

These aren't impoverished people. They are both doctors.

Their combined annual income is probably the best part of £200,000. Personally, I would not be surprised to see the Drs McCann on Celebrity Big Brother next year.

A cynic might say that at least they won't need to bother getting babysitters for whatever children they might have got left by then.

They could just leave 'em at home alone.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2007

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

Post by Verdi 14.06.19 15:45

Notable Commentary Scree141

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

Post by willowthewisp 14.06.19 19:11

Verdi wrote:Notable Commentary Scree141
Ten yrs later from this letter, July 2009, there has been No confirmed sighting of the well being of Madeleine McCann, since reported as missing by Her Parents Kate Gerry, 3 May 2007.

Various stalwarts have espoused consistently to the MSM of the Likely hood that Madeleine "Simply" wandered away?

Even a Former Metropolitan Assistant Commissioner, Mark Rowley stated it was Not on their current line of Investigation,(Bungling Paedophile Burglars), Purple Jacketd Woman, whose Husband was alleged to have been a "Paedophile, now dead", living in Bulgaria, eh Big Jim, 90% Arquido, 2007?

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Notable Commentary Empty Re: Notable Commentary

Post by Verdi 10.07.21 12:54

Notable Commentary 1-2210

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Madeleine McCann – Portugal – 2007

Maddie how she may look now – Photo Regressed to age 9

Notable Commentary 57800210

Madeleine McCann disappeared on the evening of Thursday, 3 May 2007. She was on holiday with her parents and twin siblings in the Algarve region of Portugal. The British girl went missing from an apartment, in the central area of the resort of Praia da Luz, a few days before her fourth birthday, and has still not been found. Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have said that they left the children unsupervised in a ground floor bedroom while they ate at a restaurant about 120 metres (130 yards) away


Madeleine disappeared from a ground floor apartment, where the family was staying, on the evening of 3 May 2007. The apartment had been rented by the holiday company Mark Warner for the summer season as part of its Ocean Club. The layout of the Ocean Club may have contributed to the disappearance of Madeleine as its buildings are spread out across the village, such that anyone can wander in and out of the holiday areas.

Her parents reported to the police that they had taken Madeleine to their holiday apartment at 18:00 Western European Summer Time, to prepare Madeleine and her two-year-old twin siblings for bed. Then they left at 20:30, leaving the apartment unlocked, to dine with friends approximately 130 yards (120 metres) away at a tapas bar within the Mark Warner Ocean Summer Club. The McCanns said that they were taking turns checking on their children. At 20:55, one of the McCanns’ dinner companions, Matthew Oldfield, approached the bedroom window of the children to check if he could hear any noise in the room and at approximately 21:05/21:15 Gerry checked on the children. At 21:20 Jane Tanner noticed a man carrying a child going down the road next to the apartment of the McCanns. Slightly further down the road, Gerry was chatting to Jeremy Wilkins, whom he had met at the resort, and neither noticed Tanner as she walked past them to join the rest of the group at the tapas restaurant. At 21:30 Matthew Oldfield went to check the children but saw only the twins through the open bedroom door.

At around 22:00, Kate returned to check on the children and found Madeleine’s bed empty and the bedroom window open. An Ocean Club nanny, Charlotte Pennington, who was one of the first people to arrive at the apartment, said that Kate screamed both “They’ve taken her, they’ve taken her!” and “Madeleine’s gone!”. Kate said that the police were called within 10 minutes of finding her daughter gone. Gerry said it was one of their friends who alerted the resort manager and the police.

The GNR’s spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Costa Cabral, said that the first call to the police (PJ) was at 23:50. According to the Portuguese police’s missing person notice, the disappearance had occurred “by 22:40”. The police stated that officers arrived within 10 minutes of being alerted, and an investigation unit began work within 30 minutes. Staff and guests at the complex searched until 04:30 while police on the Spanish border and all airports in Portugal and Spain were notified

Madeleine McCann’s right eye

Notable Commentary Eye10

Early stages

Following the disappearance, police carried out a search of the surrounding area with sniffer dogs, but it was called off on 11 May having produced no results. The Portuguese police Polícia Judiciária (PJ) said they were unsure whether Madeleine was still alive. They also examined photographs taken by holidaymakers to see if any suspects could be identified. The Maritime Police searched the coast including the caves. In the countryside, possible places of concealment were explored. The City Council helped the investigation by searching sewers and waterways. On 6 May it was revealed that the PJ had asked for the help of the SIS, the Portuguese secret service. On 7 May, it was reported that the PJ was looking for a 1.7-metre tall man with short brown hair and wearing a blue coat with a whitish collar.

The Portuguese media reported that the PJ were pursuing two lines of investigation: an abduction by an international paedophile network or an abduction by an adoption network. On 18 October 2007, British forensic scientist Professor David Barclay of Robert Gordon University was reported as saying the layout of the complex made it ‘a pervert’s paradise’.

On 17 June, after Madeleine was found to be missing, Chief Inspector Olegário de Sousa said that the presence of so many people in the apartment from which she disappeared, had complicated the work of the scientific team. He added that this could have destroyed all the evidence and could prove to be fatal to the investigation.

Murat and Malinka

At 07:00 WEST on the morning of 14 May 2007, searches began at Casa Liliana, a villa owned by Jennifer Murat, a British citizen, near the apartment where Madeleine disappeared. Police and scientific teams sealed off the house, and at 16:00 the swimming pool was drained.

Three people, including Jennifer Murat’s son Robert Murat, were questioned at the main police station in nearby Portimão. Robert Murat, a frequent visitor to the villa who has dual British-Portuguese nationality, had drawn the suspicion of Lori Campbell, a Sunday Mirror journalist, who informed the police. Murat’s former classmate Gaynor de Jesus said: “I do know that he has been the official translator for the police.” Murat had said that he was deeply concerned about the case because he had recently lost custody of his own three-year-old daughter, who looked like Madeleine.Subsequently, speaking at a Cambridge Union debate on 5 March 2009, Murat accused a journalist of trying to convince the Portuguese police that he was acting suspiciously, in order to break the story.

Robert Murat was given arguido (suspect) status on 15 May; before being given this status people are treated as witnesses. It was not clear if Murat or the police asked for the arguido status which gave extra rights such as the right to remain silent. However, a factor in Murat being made a suspect was three members of the Tapas Seven, Rachael Oldfield, Russell O’Brien, and Fiona Payne, saying that they saw him in the Praia da Luz complex during the evening Madeleine disappeared. Chief Inspector Olegário de Sousa told a news conference that an unnamed 33-year-old (believed to be Murat) had been interrogated, but not enough evidence was found to justify arresting him. Sousa said police had searched five houses on Monday and seized “various materials” from the properties which were being subjected to scientific tests and had questioned two other unnamed people as witnesses. Murat stated that he was being made a scapegoat so that the police could be seen to have found a suspect.

It was reported on 16 May that two cars used by the Murats had been examined, and computers, mobile phones and several video tapes were taken from their villa. It also emerged that a British architect, who built the villa in 1993, was ignored when he called police about a hidden basement within the property.

The police were understood to have taken in for questioning Sergey Malinka, 22, a man of Russian origin, from whose property officers also took away a laptop computer and two hard drives. Malinka had set up a website for Murat and the two exchanged frequent phone calls since Madeleine’s disappearance – the reason the authorities started suspecting him. Chief Police Inspector Olegário de Sousa reiterated there was insufficient evidence to make any arrests. Police said that Malinka had been questioned as a witness for approximately five hours, which did not, having regard to the “dynamic” nature of the investigation, mean that he could not become a suspect.

Malinka spoke negatively of the coverage of the case in the Portuguese media, which had alleged that he was a convicted sexual offender. He denied he had contacted Murat, and said he was “completely innocent”. Inconsistencies in his account of his relationship with Robert Murat emerged: he had said he had not contacted Murat in a year but Murat’s mobile phone records allegedly show he called Malinka at 23:40 on the night Madeleine vanished. On 19 May, Portuguese detectives flew to England to interview Dawn Murat, the estranged wife of Robert Murat, and detectives re-interviewed other witnesses connected with Murat
Murat was interviewed for a second and third time on 10 July and 11 July to clarify what detectives described as details and possible contradictions from his previous statement in the light of new information.On the second day detectives from the Polícia Judiciária questioned three friends of the McCanns who were dining with them at the time of the disappearance, Rachael Oldfield, Russell O’Brien and Fiona Payne, “to go over their accounts of events on 3 May”. The three were also brought face to face with Murat. As a result of the interviews, police examined discrepancies between statements from the three friends and that from Murat, in particular claims from the friends that they saw Murat outside the holiday complex on the night of the disappearance when he had stated that he was at home with his mother.Murat’s mother, Jenny, subsequently corroborated his alibi.
Police, including British detectives, resumed searching Casa Liliana on 4 August.Vegetation was cleared and the grounds were searched but despite the use of hi-tech scanning equipment and a British sniffer dog, no evidence was found that linked Murat with Madeleine.

Reports in the Portuguese press suggested that Murat had met Gerry whilst the latter was campaigning for the Labour Party. Murat denied this on 13 September, describing the reports as “absolutely ridiculous” and saying “I’ve never met the man before”. Murat had his computers and other possessions returned to him by the police in late March 2008. He was cleared of any involvement in the disappearance, and his arguido status was lifted on 21 July.

McCanns as suspects

The Polícia Judiciária (PJ), on 6 September, officially interviewed Kate for a second time, at the police station in Portimão with the McCanns’ Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, present. The family’s spokeswoman Justine McGuinness said, “Kate will answer every question put to her – she has nothing to hide.” Pinto de Abreu made a formal application for the couple’s status to be changed from ‘witness’ to ‘assistant’ in the investigation. This is a technical move which would allow the McCanns to have more information about the progress of the investigation.When Pinto de Abreu emerged with Kate from the police station in the early hours of 7 September, after more than 10 hours of questioning, he said Kate “was interviewed as a witness and she still remains a witness. The investigation is ongoing and we cannot say any more.

Kate returned for further interview later on 7 September and was formally declared a suspect by the Portuguese police. During this interview Kate used her right to remain silent. After questioning, Kate was released from the police station just before 16:00 without being charged. Gerry was interviewed at the same police station during the afternoon and evening of 7 September and afterwards Pinto de Abreu announced that Gerry had also been named as a formal suspect.Before she became a suspect Kate said “The police don’t want a murder in Portugal and all the publicity about them not having paedophile laws here, so they’re blaming us,” and Gerry said “We are being absolutely stitched up.” Pinto de Abreu said that claims by relatives that police had offered Kate a plea bargain if she admitted to accidentally killing her child were wrong and the result of “a misunderstanding”.

The UK Foreign Office is providing the McCanns with assistance. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said on 9 September “I am clear that the Portuguese police have the objective of solving this crime, and most importantly finding Madeleine, and that is what we in our support of the McCanns have tried to do as well.” The McCanns flew home on 9 September via Faro and East Midlands airports.

During the evening of 10 September, Sky News crime correspondent Martin Brunt, commenting on the analysis of samples returned from the Forensic Science Service, said that “According to police, it shows the presence of Madeleine’s body in the boot of the family’s hire car five weeks after she disappeared.”[71] Shortly afterwards, however, the national director of the Polícia Judiciária, Alípio Ribeiro, cautioned that the tests had not been conclusive and forensic science experts pointed to the dangers of contamination. Earlier, McGuinness had said that Kate told detectives there was “no way” Madeleine’s blood could have been found inside the car, which they had hired some 25 days after the disappearance, and continued to protest her innocence.To enable the McCanns to carry out independent scientific tests, the car was being kept in the garage of tycoon John Geraghty at his villa near Praia da Luz.

Sousa stated that at the end of the investigation the case file would be handed to the public prosecutor. The papers were given to the local prosecutor, José Cunha de Magalhães e Meneses, on 11 September. Meneses decided that there was sufficient evidence to pass the case to a judge, who had the power to approve any charges and also decide, within 10 days, on other actions that could have included placing the McCanns under house arrest in the Algarve, ordering further interrogations and authorising further searches.The judge appointed was Pedro Miguel dos Anjos Frias, Portimão‘s ‘juiz de instrução criminal’.

In addition to Meneses, a district prosecutor, Luis Bilro Verão, was appointed on 11 September 2007 to oversee the investigation. On 12 September Attorney General Fernando José Pinto Monteiro said that further police action was necessary after which there could be a reassessment of possible bail conditions for the suspects.
Anjos Frias authorised, on 12 September, the seizure of Kate’s diary and Gerry’s laptop, thought to be at the McCanns’ Rothley home, and other items. Leicestershire Police are expected to visit the McCanns, to attempt to implement this warrant. Social workers visited the McCanns on 13 September, at their request. Anjos Frias ruled on 19 September that the McCanns would not be reinterviewed for the time being.

The McCanns have been quoted as believing that their phones have been tapped from fairly early in the investigation. Clarence Mitchell, on 17 September, resigned as director of the Central Office of Information‘s media monitoring unit to become the McCanns’ media spokesman. In his first media appearance, the following day, he said that there was an innocent explanation for any potentially incriminating evidence the police may have found.Then Gerry said that he believed his daughter’s kidnapper had been hiding behind a door in their holiday apartment as he checked on his children.

In an effort to rebut accusations that she was on medication at the time of the disappearance, hair from Kate was tested in November. Toxicology tests showed no evidence that she had taken drugs in the past eight months. The twins were also tested for sedatives. No traces of sedatives were recorded. A team of four Portuguese detectives and scientists were briefed by the Forensic Science Service, at Leicestershire Police headquarters in Enderby on 29 November, about the forensic tests that the Birmingham laboratory had carried out. The results were understood to be inconclusive. In early February 2008, Alípio Ribeiro, the national director of the PJ, said that there “perhaps should have been another assessment” before the McCanns were declared arguidos.

It was reported on 10 April that parts of the McCanns’ interviews with the Portuguese police had been leaked. These were reported to include a statement that Madeleine had remonstrated with her mother for leaving the children unattended when they had been crying the previous night. Clarence Mitchell said that the leak was a “deliberate smear” and commented that it was curious that this should emerge on the day that the McCanns were in Brussels promoting a child welfareinitiative. The Polícia Judiciária said that it was entirely false that the contents of the report included material from the inquiry. They also regretted Clarence Mitchell’s “unfounded comments”.

In the judgement from the Tribunal da Relação de Évora, by Judge Fernando Ribeiro Cardoso on 29 April, it was revealed that the McCanns were being investigated for allegedly neglecting their daughter and that the police inquiry covered the possibilities of homicide, abandonment, concealment of a corpse and abduction. A judge in Portugal, on 15 May, extended the secrecy on the prosecution files for a further three months.The McCanns were cleared of any involvement in the disappearance, on 21 July, and their arguido status was lifted “due to lack of evidence that any crime was committed by the persons placed under formal investigation”.

Other suspects

The Portuguese police disclosed information, on 25 May 2007, about another possible suspect: this was a reference to a middle-build Caucasian, approximately 178 cm (5 ft 10 in) tall. However, the height of the man was subsequently corrected to that given on the Portuguese press release as 170 cm (5 ft 7 in). The man, aged between 35 and 40, was seen at 21:30 on 3 May, by a close friend of the McCanns, but this information was only made public two and half weeks later.According to Chief Police Officer Olegário de Sousa, the man was carrying a child, or something which might have resembled a child. He fitted the description of a suspect being hunted by Spanish police for the kidnappings of Sara Morales, 14, and 7-year-old Yeremi Vargas, in the Canary Islands.

Detectives tried to trace a British man who left the harbour in his yacht shortly after the disappearance, after having moored there for two years. A witness reported seeing a man carrying a child in his arms down to the marina, hours after Madeleine disappeared. On 29 May, detectives questioned four boat owners, three of them English, whose vessels were moored at the marina in Lagos, a town about five miles (8 km) from Praia da Luz.

A trace of DNA was found, on 1 June, in the bedroom from where Madeleine disappeared. The DNA did not match that of the McCanns, their three children nor that of Murat. The PJ handed the sample over to the national forensic science laboratories, the Instituto Nacional de Medicina Legal, and stated that there is a new suspect.In early August there was a suggested link with Urs Hans Von Aesch who had been on holiday in the area around the time that Madeleine disappeared. Von Aesch, a resident of Benimantell, Spain, who was implicated by Swiss police with the disappearance of five-year-old Ylenia Lenhard from Appenzell, Switzerland, had recently committed suicide.

The occupants of the flat above that from which Madeleine disappeared reported an intruder who apparently had entered with a key. There had been a similar burglary in the complex some weeks earlier. On 17 August, search warrants were signed for the home of a new suspect.
Briton Raymond Hewlett, who had been jailed for sexual offences against young girls, was, in May 2009, a person of interest. Hewlett denied any involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance and agreed to meet investigators working for the McCanns. Subsequently, he claimed to have seen Madeleine before her disappearance but required payment if he was to help the investigators. He did, though, voluntarily give police in Germany a DNA sample. Hewlett died, of natural causes, in December 2009.

In August 2009 it emerged that, 72 hours after Madeleine disappeared, two British men were approached, in Barcelona, by a woman who reportedly asked “Are you here to deliver my new daughter?” The woman, who was described as a ‘Victoria Beckham lookalike’, had an Australian accent and spoke fluent Spanish or Catalan.An E-fit picture was released showing a woman with short, spiky hair.Two detectives from the Metropolitan Police flew to Spain, in November 2011, it is thought to investigate that incident.

In February 2011, a private investigator said he had identified two key suspects in the Madeleine disappearance and believed she had possibly been taken to the United States.A 36-year-old man told a newspaper that he had informed police that McCann was taken by a Portuguese paedophile ring that hunts children in the Algarve region then proceeds to smuggle them out of the country.McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell told media that the paedophile ring lead had to be taken with caution.
Other aspects of the investigation
On 7 June, 2007, Spanish police received a phone call from a man claiming to know the whereabouts of Madeleine, using a mobile phone registered in Argentina. The call was described as “credible”.

In June, Spanish investigative journalist Antonio Toscano claimed that the four-year-old was abducted by a French sex offender, as part of a Europe-wide paedophile network. Then, on 28 June, Toscano claimed that Madeleine was alive and well in Europe but Madeleine’s parents refused to meet with him. Determined to leave no stone unturned, police also examined hundreds of reports from psychics and clairvoyants claiming to know the location of Madeleine. The police said that they decided to check them all in case they might contain a message from the kidnapper.
The investigation was thrown into confusion on 10 June when the detective coordinating the hunt, Gonçalo Amaral, head of the regional Polícia Judiciária, and four other Portuguese police officers, were charged with alleged offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano, from a village seven miles (11 km) from where Madeleine disappeared.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, on 13 June, received a letter that suggested that Madeleine was buried on a hillside, near Arão, nine miles (14 km) north-east from Praia da Luz. After a search of the area, however, the Portuguese police abandoned this lead on 15 June.

In early August, the British police team brought in to assist found microscopic traces of blood on the wall of the apartment from which Madeleine disappeared and that had not been detected by the Portuguese police. Using specially trainedsniffer dogs and ultraviolet technology they discovered the blood despite the apartment having been cleaned and reoccupied.Samples of blood, hair, and fibres were sent to the UK Forensic Science Service in Birmingham for DNA analysis. Examination of the scientific evidential material is continuing and initial findings, described as “significant”, were sent to Portugal around 4 September.

Following the publicising of the discovery of the blood spots, Sousa stated “The family are not suspects. This is the official position.” Then on 11 August, Sousa added that new evidence had given “intensity” to the possibility Madeleine had been killed. Sousa confirmed on 15 August that the sniffer dogs, which could only pick up the scent of a body which had been in situ for more than two hours, had detected the scent of a dead body. John Barrett, a former Scotland Yard dog handler, said that the dogs used to detect a ‘death smell’ on Kate’s Bible and clothes were brought in too long after Madeleine vanished since the crucial scent lasts for no longer than a month.

The position of the police was clarified on 16 August by Alípio Ribeiro, national director of the Polícia Judiciária, who said that although there was a strong hypothesis that Madeleine was dead, this could not be confirmed and the investigation was nowhere near a breakthrough.António Cluny, president of Portugal’s public prosecutor’s service, said on 24 September that “Without the little girl’s body everything is extremely complicated”. He went on to stress that all options from abduction to Madeleine’s death were still open.

The Portuguese police investigation team was reduced in October 2007. Following the removal of Gonçalo Amaral as investigation coordinator, other departures decreased the number of people working on the case from a peak of 200 to just six detectives which, with holidays, could mean as few as three working on the case at any one time.Paulo Rebelo, an assistant national director of the Polícia Judiciária, took over responsibility for the case on 8 October.

Ribeiro confirmed, during October, that Portuguese police officers were planning to fly to the United Kingdom to assist in the re-interviewing of the friends who dined with the McCanns at the time of the disappearance. To prepare for the re-interviewing, Joannes Thuy, a spokesman for the Portuguese public prosecutor, said on 15 January 2008 that Eurojust had been asked to be the go-between for the Portuguese and the UK authorities. As part of the preparations, Detective Superintendent Stuart Prior, of Leicestershire Police, flew to Portugal for discussions with his counterparts, in early March.The interviews, carried out by Leicestershire Police and attended by the Portuguese Police, began on 8 April.
Alberto Costa, Portugal’s Minister of Justice, told a parliamentary committee hearing in Lisbon, on 13 February, that Portuguese police were “at a stage now where we are approaching the conclusion of the process.” Luis Antonio, theestranged husband of Murat’s girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, was questioned by police for a second time in early February.

The Portuguese police planned to hold a reconstruction, of the events of the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, in May 2008. They asked the McCanns, their friends, and holidaymakers to attend. However, the reconstruction was cancelled after the friends declined to participate
Alípio Ribeiro resigned as the national director of the PJ on 7 May, citing media pressure. His replacement was José Maria Almeida Rodrigues, a senior detective based in Coimbra.

Criticism of the parents

The parents have been criticised for leaving their children alone while they ate at a nearby restaurant despite the availability of a babysitting service and a creche. There has also been criticism of the parents in the Portuguese media.Diário de Notícias insisted that the McCanns were suspects and claimed that on the night Madeleine disappeared they had not checked on the children, contrary to what they told police.The Daily Telegraph has reported “Portugal has been stung by suggestions that the investigation has been handled ineptly, and while there is much sympathy locally for the McCanns they have also been criticised for leaving their children alone.”

Police questioned the couple on 10 May 2007 about why the three children were left alone in an apartment, with the patio doors unlocked, while they dined at the restaurant. In an interview with the BBC on 25 May, the McCanns acknowledged the criticism, and spoke of the guilt they felt. In reply to questions posed to them on 6 June at a press conference in Germany, when radio reporter Sabina Müller suggested that their behaviour was not normal for people whose child had been abducted, they denied involvement in any abduction of their daughter.

On the 10 Downing Street website a petition to the Prime Minister was started on 12 June 2007 requesting that Leicestershire Social Services fulfil their statutory obligation to investigate the circumstances which led to Madeleine and her siblings being left unattended in an unlocked, ground floor hotel room. In response, Leicestershire County Council said it was “discharging [its] duties in… a full and professional manner” but the family has declined to comment on the petition.The petition was rapidly rejected, with the reason given being the language it contained.

Following criticism in the Portuguese media of the behaviour of the McCanns, on 21 July 2007, the Crown Prosecution Service lawyers held “informal discussions” to consider whether any offence may have been committed under the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, which deals with ill-treatment, cruelty, neglect and abandonment of children under 16. The family said the calls to prosecute the McCanns were hurtful and unhelpful.

The lawyer of Robert Murat, Francisco Pagarete, criticised the McCanns in late November. He said that they “deserve to be cursed” for leaving their children alone.


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