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The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
Welcome to 'The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann' forum 🌹

Please log in, or register to view all the forums as some of them are 'members only', then settle in and help us get to the truth about what really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann.

When you register please do NOT use your email address for a username because everyone will be able to see it!




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Post by Jill Havern 04.06.19 13:37


There is new material which adds to the MMRG's hypothesis that Madeleine McCann probably died on Sunday 29 April, four days before her disappearance was reported. Please check in here again for a further update, coming soon - Jill Havern

A short paper by the Madeleine McCann Research Group (MMRG)


The Madeleine McCann Research Group (MMRG) was set up in 2009, around the time that I created what was to become the most popular Madeleine McCann discussion forum on the internet: ‘The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann’ (CMOMM).

Seven years later, we are just two months away from the likely closure of Scotland Yard’s investigation into Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, known as Operation Grange.

Many were hopeful that this investigation, begun in May 2011, would lead to the truth about Madeleine’s disappearance being established, and to the arrest and conviction of the persons responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance.

These hopes have been dashed.

Over the past seven years, MMRG members have contributed to the vast amount of research that has been pursued on CMOMM, and our publications have been published there.

CMOMM has a section on its forum titled: “McCann Case: The most important areas of research’.

New research in this section points to Madeleine’s death being on the Sunday or Monday and not Thursday 3rd May.

We now wish to take this research a stage further, and below is a short paper expressing the views of the Madeleine McCann Research Group.

Jill Havern, forum owner


The views of the Madeleine McCann Research Group, August 2016

Before we explain our conclusions in detail, we have over the years seen many fine researchers come and go on the forum. Some of those who have followed the Madeleine McCann case for years have begun to despair of the truth ever being discovered, while other forum members have complained of ‘going over the same minutiae over and over again and getting nowhere’.

This is emphatically not how we see it. On the contrary, since the astonishing BBC Crimewatch programme in October 2013, which was yet one more recycling of the same old McCann Team’s account of how Madeleine was allegedly abducted, there has been renewed interest in the case, and in the forum, and some very productive research has been carried out, in which we have played our part.

We feel we are now able to set out some key findings about what really happened to Madeleine McCann. In doing so, we are supported to a greater or lesser degree by many of the finest Madeleine McCann researchers, both on the forum and elsewhere.

In this short paper, we set out our key findings and the reasons for them. We also try to deal head-on with the main objections to our theory.

We adopt as excellent summaries of the main lines of evidence: (1) the interim Portuguese police report of Tavares de Almeida dated 10 September 2007 and (2) the book ’The Truth of the Lie’ published in July 2008 by Dr Goncalo Amaral.

However, and with the very greatest respect, the force of evidence means that we must part company with them on the date of Madeleine’s death, which both de Almeida’s report and Amaral’s book say occurred within four hours of her being reported missing. We explain in this paper why her death must have been earlier.

The claim that Madeleine had died - and died days before the McCanns reported Madeleine was abducted - has been very starkly set out in the third of three films by film-maker Richard D Hall: ‘When Madeleine Died?’. We agree with the central claims of his films and now wish to add more specific conclusions on where the evidence leads.

We believe that there are a considerable number of people who know what really happened to Madeleine but will not speak of what they know. Until they do speak, we will never know everything. But we believe we now have sufficient knowledge to be able to state with confidence what we say below. That knowledge is derived from multiple sources and is based on the voluntary efforts of many people, not least those who have set up websites of information and discussion about the case, voluntary Portuguese- English translators and so many others who have given freely of their time and expertise.

Our views are unlikely to change unless significant new evidence emerges.

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Post by Jill Havern 04.06.19 13:39

Here are our main conclusions: 

1. There is no doubt that Madeleine died on that holiday

The 17 alerts by two cadaver dogs, used by dog top handler Martin Grime, to the odour of a corpse and to blood or body fluids, in locations associated with the McCanns or on their clothes, is prima facie evidence that Madeleine died (or was killed) in the McCanns’ holiday apartment. No-one else was reported to have ever died in that apartment.

That conclusion is greatly enhanced by the McCanns’ first and subsequent reactions to these dramatic findings, which we have set out in detail elsewhere. When they were told that the smell of death and blood had been found in their apartment and hire car, they hurriedly came up with a series of improbable explanations for this:

  1. blood spatters on the walls could have been caused by mosquitoes crashing into the wall
  2. Madeleine had nosebleeds
  3. Madeleine has grazed her knee climbing up the steps to the aeroplane
  4. The dogs has alerted to rotting meat, not the odour of a corpse
  5. The dogs had alerted to dirty nappies, not the odour of a corpse
  6. Kate McCann had certified six deaths in the two weeks before going on holiday, that’s why the ‘smell of death was on her clothes’
  7. Kate McCann used to carry Madeleine’s favourite cuddly toy, ‘Cuddle Cat’, to work with her whilst she visited homes to issue death certificates, that’s why the smell of death was on Cuddle Cat.

Later, the McCanns completely changed their tune. Kate McCann said that the dogs were only alerting to the conscious or unconscious signals from the dog handler, Martin Grime, a claim that basically accused Martin Grime of gross professional incompetence.

Gerry McCann tried to claim that cadaver dogs, and sniffer dogs generally, were ‘incredibly unreliable’. He tried to prove this by quoting from a legal judgment in the United States, in the case of Eugene Zapata, accused of murdering his wife. A cadaver dog had alerted to the odour of a corpse which suggested that Eugene Zapata had moved his wife’s body twice. A judge refused to hear the dog handler’s evidence, saying that sniffer dogs’ evidence was too unreliable. Gerry McCann gleefully quoted this case to try and prove his claim that cadaver dogs were unreliable. Just months after this, Eugene Zapata made a full confession which proved that the cadaver dogs’ evidence had been 100% correct. Despite this, Kate McCann had the effrontery to mention this case in her 2011 book on the case, ‘madeleine’. However, she (of course) failed to mention that the dog had been right all along.

The initial DNA samples taken from the body fluids discovered in the McCanns’ apartment and in their car showed a 99.99% certainty that they belonged to Madeleine McCann. However, a subsequent review of the samples determined that they had been ‘contaminated’ by government Forensic Science Service staff. They then said that the samples could have been from Madeleine but also that this could not be stated with any certainty.

The conclusion that Madeleine died on the holiday is also strongly supported by a wealth of circumstantial evidence. To even list, let alone explain, all the circumstantial evidence would take pages. It includes such things as:

A A huge number of contradictory statements by the McCanns, their friends (David and Fiona Payne and Fiona’s mother Dianne Webster, Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner, and Matthew and Rachael Oldfield), and others closely associated with them.

B Numerous changes of story by the McCanns, their friends, and others closely associated with them.

C Kate McCann’s refusal in an interview under caution to answer any one of 48 questions put to her by the police 

D In the same interview, she was asked a 49th question: “Are you aware that in not answering these questions you are jeopardising the investigation into your daughters disappearance?” Kate McCann answered: “Yes, if that’s what the investigation thinks”.

E Spending vast sums of money - much of it from the public - on expensive lawyers (including Michael Caplan QC, the top barrister who successfully stopped General Pinochet being extradited to Chile) and PR advisers, when none of these could have realistically helped to find Madeleine

F The McCanns’ body language, including their obvious lack of raw emotion after the loss of their first child


Madeleines’ 4th Birthday – Just 9 days after her parents reported her disappearance and claimed that she had been abducted by a paedophile gang.

G Analysis of their statements, which inadvertently reveal many clues about what really happened to Madeleine

H The huge involvement of the government and security services in this case, including Gordon Brown’s personal interventions in the Portuguese investigation at the request of Gerry McCann, and the involvement of MI5, Special Branch, and the government-backed Control Risks group. Tony and Cherie Blair also gave personal support to the McCanns, while David Cameron set up the five-year-long Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine’s reported disappearance. Operation Grange, which has cost around £13 million but has got absolutely nowhere

The appointment by Tony Blair of his most senior PR officer, Clarence Mitchell, the Director of the Media Monitoring Unit at the Central Office of Information, and responsible directly to the Cabinet Office, to head up the government’s PR initiative in support of the McCanns. This support continued even after the McCanns became the Portuguese police’s prime suspects when the McCanns were arrested and made official suspects on 7 September 2007. Mitchell once boasted that his job was to ‘control what comes out in the media’. He most certainly has done that in the Madeleine McCann case.

J The McCanns refusing to give their holiday photos to the police. Instead, they used the Head of Risks at PR company Bell Pottinger, Alex Woolfall, and their cousin, Michael Wright, to edit, crop and delete photographs from the McCanns’ memory cards before they were given to the police, on 9 May. They refused to hand over their photographs without first selecting exactly what they wanted the police to see and what they didn’t want them to see. In addition, the Portuguese police appear to have received the images on a black-and-white program which only reproduced them as grainy ‘greyscale’ images which made them very difficult to analyse.


K Employing disreputable and dishonest private investigation agencies, such as Metodo 3 and Oakley International. Some of the men the McCanns employed were out-and-out crooks, like Antonio Giminez Raso from Metodo 3 and Kevin Haligen of Oakley International, both of whom spent four years in jail for crimes, respectively, of corruptly assisting a major drugs gang, and major fraud. In addition, Antonio Giminez Raso was caught bribing people in Morocco to falsely claim that they had seen Madeleine. These bogus stories were then fed to the media. In early 2009, Brian Kennedy, the Cheshire businessman who led the McCann Team’s private investigations, helped to create a bogus private investigation company, ALPHAIG Ltd. He did this to create the entirely false impression that two former police officers he employed for a period, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley, were lead detectives of a company called Alpha Investigations Group. This impression was wholly false.

L Arranging two bogus week-long searches of a dam in Portugal, the Arade Dam, pretending that they knew nothing about this search, when in fact they had paid a lawyer, Marcos Aragao Correia and men form Metodo 3 to conduct the search.

M Deliberately creating stories about claimed ‘sightings’ of Madeleine which they knew to be false.

N Within weeks of reporting Madeleine’s disappearance, the McCanns planned events to mark her disappearance, far in advance. For example, on 3 June 2007, just one month after Madeleine went missing, Gerry McCann was planning a ‘big event’ to mark Madeleine’s ‘abduction’, telling the press: “We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing…It wouldn’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that.” He wanted Elton John to front a major fund-raising concert. Less than a month later, on 28 June 2007, Dr Gerry McCann said: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”. How very true, over nine years later, has that prophecy come true.

All of these circumstances simply serve to confirm the alerts of the dogs and show that the McCanns’ account of events was not correct and that Madeleine was NOT abducted.

2. How did Madeleine die? 

We cannot say. We do not believe there is enough evidence to define one way or the other.

However, in our view it is very unlikely that her death could have been a simple accident, otherwise the McCanns would have taken her to the local hospital.

We suggest, given what we know, that there are two main possibilities:

A.  a deliberate violent act against her (not necessarily by one of the McCanns) , or

B.  death due harmful medicine or drugs.

There are indications which point in either of these directions, but not enough information to say which.

C. A third (but we say unlikely) possibility is that she did suffer a genuine accident, but that the McCanns did not produce her to the local hospital because there may have been indications that Madeleine had previously suffered some form of harm or abuse.

3. Madeleine could not have died after 6pm on Thursday 3 May

Tavares de Almeida and Goncalo Amaral suggested Madeleine might have had an accident, perhaps a fall, and been killed as a result of that fall - after about 6pm on Thursday 3 May. But those who claim that Madeleine died after 6pm have to explain how the McCanns were able to pull off an audacious abduction within the four hours between 6pm and 10pm (when the alarm was raised) on Thursday 3 May.

Here is what each of the two men actually wrote:

Tavares de Almeida’s view

This was how Tavares de Almeida expressed the investigation’s preliminary conclusion – I will just reproduce his first six points:

“From everything that we have discovered, our files result in the following conclusions:

1 the minor Madeleine McCann died in Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May 2007

2 simulation - a staged hoax - of an abduction took place

3 in order to render the child’s death impossible before 10.00pm, a situation of checking of the McCann couple’s children while they slept was concocted

4 Dr Gerald McCann and Dr Kate McCann are involved in the concealment of the corpse of their daughter, Madeleine McCann

5 at this moment, there seems to be no strong indications yet that the child’s death was other than the result of a tragic accident

6 from what has been established up to now, everything indicates that the McCann couple, in self-defence, did not want to deliver up Madeleine’s corpse immediately and voluntarily, and there is a strong possibility therefore that it was moved from the initial place where she died. This situation may raise questions concerning the circumstances in which the death of the child took place.

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Post by Jill Havern 04.06.19 13:41

Goncalo Amaral’s view

These are the relevant extracts from Goncalo Amaral’s book (AnnaEsse’s translation):


“On the fateful day of May 3rd, the attendance register at the play centre indicates that Madeleine arrived at 9.10, accompanied by her father. Her mother came to fetch her at 12.25 for lunch and took her back at 2 o'clock. After jogging on the beach and going to fetch the twins, she collected Maddie at 5.30pm. From that moment on, no other person saw the little girl, apart from her parents and their friends. What happened then in the apartment remains a mystery.


“We finally decide to question her (Kate McCann) as a witness, but not to pose questions on the events after 5.30pm, the time at which she returned to the apartment with her three children.


"It is now important to present a summary of this case, based on our deductions: reject what is false, throw out what we can't show with sufficient certainty and validate that which can be proven.

“Point 5. The body, the existence of which has been confirmed by the EVRD and CSI dogs but also by the results of the preliminary laboratory analyses, cannot be found.
“The conclusions my team and I have arrived at are the following:
“1. The minor, Madeleine McCann died inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Vila da Luz, on the night of May 3rd 2007;

“2. Kate Healy and Gerald McCann were probably involved in the concealment of their daughter's body.

“3. The death may have occurred as a result of a tragic accident…”

If she died after 6pm on Thursday 3 May, what would the McCanns and their friends have had to do in the four hours between 6pm and 10pm?

We will refer to the theory that Madeleine died from an accident (or worse) after 6pm on 3 May as ‘The PJ Theory’.

If Madeleine died after 6pm on 3 May, what would the McCanns have had to do?

First of all, what is known for sure about the period between 6pm and 10pm?

Do we know for sure that Madeleine was with her family in her apartment at 6pm?

Well, that depends on whether or not one accepts as gospel the claims of Gerry and Kate McCann, Catriona Baker and Charlotte Pennington that Madeleine was at a high tea in the Tapas restaurant from (according to Gerry McCann) 4.45pm onwards to about 6pm.

But for the purposes of this paper, we shall assume that she was there at 6pm..

Later on, the evidence suggests that the McCanns and their friends dined at the Tapas restaurant. There is agreement from the McCanns, their friends, other holidaymakers and Ocean Club staff that they were all settled at their table at around 8.30pm to 8.45pm.

So, if she had died, say shortly after 6pm, as suggested by both Goncalo Amaral and Tavares de Almeida, what would the McCanns have had to do first?

A preliminary point to raise is: were the twins present when, according to the PJ theory, Madeleine died? It seems unlikely. But, according to the PJ theory, they must have been.

So we suggest that all these things must have all happened, in approximately this order:

A. They would first have to decide if Madeleine really was dead, or could be revived or resuscitated. This may or may not have taken some time to decide.

B. They would have to deal with the initial shock of what had happened. Doctors, despite being trained not to show emotion over the circumstances of their patients, are also human beings, and in this case parents. There would have been a severe emotional reaction and initial panic, and maybe a series of irrational responses, before they could properly gather their thoughts and begin to come to terms with the shock of losing their daughter and start planning how to cover it up. How long this initial phase lasted can only be guessed at.

C. (If the twins were there) The McCanns would have had to make swift arrangements to move them out of the way whilst they decided what to do. That would take some time and probably they would have had to take them to one of their friends’ apartments.

D. There would then have to be a rapid decision-making process during which all the following decisions would have to be taken:

(i) Do we take her to hospital?

(ii) If so, what are the risks?

(iii) Can we pass this off as a genuine accident?

(iv) Is there any other reason why we dare not risk going to hospital and possibly facing a post-mortem?

(v) Would we be investigated by the police?

E. Then (assuming that they then decided that they are not going to inform the authorities of Madeleine’s death) there are more decisions to be made about what to do with Madeleine’s body:

(i) Hide it straightaway?

(ii) If so, where?

(iii) Or ’phone a trusted friend first and ask for advice?

(iv) Where can we get a car quickly so as to hide it?

(v) Have we got anything we can carry her body out in, without anybody thinking there might be a body in it?

(vi) Can we get all this done before 8.30pm, when we’re supposed to meet our friends for dinner?

Maybe they would have had other related questions.

F. Then there would be another very tricky question to answer:

(i) Who do we tell about this?

(ii) Just our very good friends David and Fiona?

(iii) Just our other good friends Russell and Jane?

(iv) All four of them?

(v) Matt and Rachael as well?

(vi) What can we say to the staff, to our other friends we’ve met on holiday?

G. They then will have to consider what possible excuse they could have for not having Madeleine anymore?

(i) They could say that Madeleine must have wandered off somewhere

(ii) They could say that they took her down to the beach and she got swept out to sea

(iii) Or could we get away with faking an abduction

Maybe other ideas might be discussed.

H. Let us presume at this point that they decided to tell all their friends: Dave, Fiona, Russell, Jane, Matt, Rachael (I assume at this point that those who say that Madeleine died after 6pm fully accept that the McCanns must have let all their Tapas 9 friends know what had happened to Madeleine - and that they all agreed on a plan - though I am aware that some still maintain that maybe, in this scenario, the McCanns didn’t say anything to any of their friends, none of whom therefore knew that Madeleine was dead).

I. In such a scenario, the McCanns would probably contact their friends on their mobiles. Or quickly nip round and knock on their doors.

J. Could they have discussed this desperate situation bilaterally? Surely not. They would surely have to have a meeting about it – at the very time they were all getting the children ready for bed and beginning to dress up for dinner.

K. In such a scenario, how likely is it that all six friends would have agreed within, say, 5-10 minutes that they would all play their roles in a fake abduction? We suggest that it is unlikely in the extreme. Even had they all rapidly agreed to go along with an abduction hoax later that evening at 10pm, there would be all manner of questions and suggestions.

We also need to bear in mind that on the basis of the PJ theory as it stands, this was a holiday to a place the McCanns had never been to before. AS far as we know, they knew no-one in the area who could help them. They had no immediate access to a car, and so on. Madeleine would have been happily playing with her brother and sister, her friends in the Lobsters club, and her Mum and Dad for six days.

L. So the McCanns and their friends would be rapidly tossing these sorts of ideas around:

(i) Where are going to hide the body?

(ii) What about down the beach?

(iii) In the sea, using a boat?

(iv) In a derelict house in Praia da Luz?

(v) Get hold of a car and drive the body somewhere well away from Praia da Luz.

M. Then, again assuming that they had all agreed to a plan of action, there would be loads more questions about (a) the apartment and (b) how to execute the hoax.

N. The apartment. If there had been a bad accident, or something equally bad had happened, who would clean the room?

(i) How would it be done?

(ii) Was there any blood to clear away?

O. Then there would be questions about how the abduction hoax was going to be performed.

(i) Who will raise the alarm?

(ii) What shall we all do after we raise the alarm? – Do we go frantically pretending to look for her?

(iii) Or do we ring the police?

(iv) Do we inform the Ocean Club?

(v) When shall we do all this?

(vi) Do we need someone to pretend to see an abductor?

(vii) Who will do it? Jane perhaps?

(viii) What time shall we get her to say she saw someone?

(ix) Where shall we say she saw the abductor?

P. What about a description of the abductor? Jane would need to have a believable description to give to the police.

Q. Then we come to them all sitting down for dinner at 8.30pm to 8.45pm. Do those who suggest Madeleine had died after 6pm honestly believe that all nine of the Tapas 9 could have, with every appearance of calm, nonchalantly sat down for dinner that night as though nothing had happened?

R. With the body already hidden by that time? - somewhere where no-one could find it?

S. The room forensically cleaned of any blood?

T. Cleaned the curtains of blood spatters and any other traces of what really happened?

U. The abduction hoax ready scripted and ready to carry out?

V. All of them back to their apartments and showering or washing and getting changed for dinner?

W. Getting all the children changed and ready for bed and asleep before they set off for dinner?

All of this seems highly unlikely.

X. Could they chat away merrily to the Carpenter family and their children, for example (as indeed they did that night), knowing that their first-born daughter had suddenly died within the past three hours? That also seems unlikely.

Y. Some suggest that maybe the body wasn’t hidden before 8.30pm, but lay there while they were eating, with someone - presumably Gerry McCann – later carrying his dead daughter to a temporary or final resting place somewhere after that.

Z. Some even suggest that Gerry McCann went back to the apartment during the meal, picked up his dead daughter, clad in her pyjamas, and carried her for about half a mile or more through the streets of Praia da Luz, being seen at 10pm by the Smith family, who negligently failed to do anything about their extraordinary sighting for 13 days afterwards.

That theory would require Gerry McCann to have made an extremely risky, not to say crass, decision to walk for some 15 or 20 minutes across the village, carrying his dead daughter, at the very moment that his wife and/or others was raising the alarm.

AA. Finally, they would have to arrange the ‘crime scene’, that is, the children’s bedroom, to make it look like an abduction had occurred - moved the beds. placed the two cots in position, placed a bed by the window, opened the shutters, windows and curtains to make it look like an abductor had broken into the apartment. In this respect, the fact that the only fingerprints found on the opened window was that of Kate McCann is highly significant. .

In addition to all these considerations, for Martin Grime’s cadaver dogs to have alerted to the scent of a corpse, no longer present, some three months after the McCanns had vacated their holiday apartment, Madeleine’s body must have been lying in the McCanns’ apartment for at least 90 minutes, probably two hours or longer

If we stop and pause for a moment to consider the above list, it is truly hard to conceive how they could possibly have made all these decisions, and carried them out, whilst all sitting down together for dinner in a public place at about 8.30pm until 10pm as if nothing had happened.

But we suggest that instead of having four hours to plan an abduction hoax, they actually had four days. That’s 24 times as much time to think, plan and carry out a hoax abduction. Now let’s examine why we say she died on the Sunday. . 

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Post by Jill Havern 04.06.19 13:44

4. What indications do we have about when she died?

This issue was very fully addressed in Richard D. Hall’s third film about Madeleine McCann: ‘When Madeleine Died?’ Without necessarily agreeing with every specific point he makes in that documentary, we adopt his main conclusions, so far as they go. The following are some of the main factual issues we have taken into consideration in arriving at our conclusion that Madeleine McCann died on Sunday 29 April:

A.  The complete absence of any of Madeleine’s DNA in Praia da Luz

No DNA of Madeleine was found in the McCanns’ apartment, nor on her clothes nor on objects she had used or come into contact with on holiday, e.g. towel, pillow, bedding, hairbrush and toothbrush. This is consistent with her having been dead for some time before she was reported missing. It would also be consistent with the apartment having been forensically cleansed before the alarm was raised and Madeleine’s clothes and other items having been removed or disposed of.

B. The absence of any genuine photographs of Madeleine taken after lunchtime on Sunday 29 April (see also below)

We know for certain that three photographs were taken of Madeleine playing happily in the Ocean Club playground in Praia da Luz in the late afternoon or early evening of the first day of the McCanns’ holiday - Saturday 28 April (this disposes of the views of some people who have claimed that Madeleine was never on that holiday). There is good evidence that the so-called ‘Last Photo’ of Madeleine was taken at lunchtime on Sunday 29 April and not at lunchtime on Thursday 3 May as claimed by the McCanns. Only one other photo of Madeleine was taken that week, the so-called ‘Tennis Balls Photo’. There is real doubt as to whether that is a genuine photo of Madeleine - for a start two different people claim to have taken that photograph and on two different days. To sum up, there is no photographic evidence that Madeleine was alive after Sunday lunchtime (apart from the Make-Up photo - see below).

C.  Severe doubts about the evidence given by the McCanns and two Mark Warner creche nannies, Catriona Baker and Charlotte Pennington, regarding a ‘high tea’ which Madeleine is said to have attended between 4.45pm and 6pm on Thursday 3 May

It was the strong conviction of Dr Goncalo Amaral and his team of investigators that, based largely on the evidence of Catriona Baker, Madeleine was alive and present at a high tea at the Tapas restaurant on 3 May 2007. Catriona Baker was in sole charge of the ‘Lobsters’ creche of seven children (including Madeleine) the week the McCanns were in Praia da Luz.

Amaral and his team (rightly) rejected all claims by the McCanns that Madeleine was alive after 6pm on 3 May because, obviously, they were made by someone who was not ‘independent’. He and his team also (rightly) rejected claims by Dr David Payne that he saw all three of the McCanns’ children alive on a visit he and Kate McCann said that he had made to the McCanns’ apartment at about 6.30pm on 3 May. Not only was Dr Payne not independent, being a very close friend of the McCanns, but there were 20 or more significant contradictions between the accounts of Dr Payne and Kate McCann about what took place at that meeting, how long it lasted etc.

We do not set out here all the multiple contradictions about the alleged ‘high tea’ on 3 May; these have been more than adequately analysed in many places on the internet. We are sure that this ’high tea’ did not take place; the contradictions about it are too many and too serious.

All other claimed sightings of Madeleine on 3 May are equally unproven and open to serious doubt.

D.  The absence of any undisputed confirmed sightings of Madeleine on or after Monday 30 April

Here we rely mainly on the analyses by long-time Madeleine McCann researcher ‘HideHo’, who has examined all claimed sightings of Madeleine from Monday onwards, and found each one to be either vague, otherwise unsubstantiated or uncorroborated, or subject to contradictory evidence. We refer in particular to her article on CMOMM posted on 28 September 2015, on the lack of credible evidence that Madeleine was seen alive after Sunday, link here:

E.  Multiple contradictions and inconsistencies in the accounts of the McCanns and their friends about the events of that week from Monday onwards

This was confirmed by Kate McCann’s own account of the events of that week, in her book, ‘Madeleine’, which did nothing to remove all the question marks about the many contradictions and inconsistencies about what really happened that week. These have been fully analysed on CMOMM over the past few years.

F.  The unconvincing and vague evidence given by creche nanny Catriona Baker about what Madeleine was actually doing in the crèche all week

Her accounts lack any real detail of what Madeleine actually did in the creche that week. Besides that, the times shown for Madeleine being in the creche do not even agree with what Kate McCann says in her own book about the events of that week. In addition, there are also many contradictions in the statements of Catriona Baker and other creche nannies. There is, further, evidence that Catriona Baker was already known to the McCanns. Chloe Corner, daughter of Jon Corner; Madeleine’s godfather, had been a Facebook friend of Catriona Baker well before 2007. Catriona Baker also had a holiday at the McCanns’ home a few months after Madeleine was reported missing, suggesting a close relationship between them..

G.  Clear evidence that the McCanns’ pattern of behaviour changed after Sunday in the following ways:

1. Taking breakfast every day after Sunday in their own apartment and not with their friends in the restaurant

2. Similarly, taking lunch in their own apartment every day after Sunday and not with their friends on the Payne's balcony.

3. Never being seen out together with the twins from Monday onwards

4. The McCanns using different doors when entering and leaving their apartment.

5. Keeping the shutters, windows and curtains in the childrens’ bedroom shut all week, allegedly ‘to keep the heat out’ – even though the room was not used during the day and was actually chilly at night-time. The explanation for this conduct is inexplicable unless, for example, the room was empty and being cleaned.

H.  Doubtful or contradictory stories about what they did with Madeleine after Sunday, for example:

(i)  claiming to have gone on a trip to the beach with the children one day - despite the creche records saying the children were in their creches at the time and promoting stories about things that she had allegedly said or done

(ii)  contradictory stories about an alleged incident of the children crying at night-time: on Thursday: (a) it was the twins (b) it was Madeleine (c) it was Madeleine and Sean and (d) it was Amelie on the Wednesday not the Thursday

(iii) contradictory stories about which of them read the children a story on the Thursday evening.

All of these, we say, are wholly consistent with something very serious having happened to Madeleine McCann on the Sunday.

I.  The problem with the ‘Tennis Balls Photo’

J.  The ‘Tennis Balls Photo’ purports to be a photograph of Madeleine collecting tennis balls from a tennis court where adults have just been playing tennis. It is said to prove that she was alive and well on the Tuesday that week. There are however multiple problems with the authenticity of this photo. As we saw above, two different people say they took the photo, and they disagreed about which day it was taken on. Other problems with the photo have been discussed in many places on the internet. We do not therefore accept it as evidence that Madeleine was alive on Tuesday.

Evidence that the children of the McCanns and their friends were cared for in one room from Sunday night onwards

After Dr Amaral was removed as the investigation co-ordinator in October 2007, he was replaced by Paulo Rebelo. On at least one occasion, Rebelo suggested that he had ‘firm evidence’ that the McCanns and their friends had not been leaving their children and checking on them regularly each night as claimed, but that, instead their children were all being cared for in one of the friends’ apartments each night. Perhaps even more significantly, he said that there were seven children being cared for that way each night. The McCanns and their friends had eight children with them on that holiday. Why did he say seven children, and not eight? Support for this claim was found when it became clear that every night from Sunday to Thursday, one or other adult had not been at the Tapas restaurant for dinner each night (see below), either because one of the adults or one of the children was stated to be ill.

K.  Photographs taken of Madeleine’s pyjamas – before 3 May - in Praia da Luz, and the mystery of the ‘brown tea stain’

We refer here to a masterly study of issues concerning Madeleine’s pyjamas by Dr Martin Roberts. In his analysis, Dr Roberts publishes disturbing evidence that Madeleine’s pyjamas may have been photographed on a blue hessian background, similar to that of the settee in the McCanns’ apartment, earlier during the day (3 May) when the alarm about Madeleine was raised. He notes, as Kate McCann herself admits, that she washed Madeleine’s pyjamas on the morning of 3 May. He queries, as many others have done, why anyone would need to wash a minor ‘tea stain’ off a pair of pyjamas just two days before the McCanns were due to return home, and then photograph them. Most people going on a week’s holiday don’t plan on washing clothes. Dr Roberts’ article carefully analyses a series of photos of Madeleine’s pyjamas, and of other similar pyjamas, published after she was reported missing. He demonstrates that photos of Madeleine’s pyjamas were taken inside the McCanns’ own apartment and while the pyjamas were drying. Rightly, Dr Roberts queries what was the point of the McCanns taking these photographs? We agree with his explanation, which can be viewed here:

‘Washed Up’ article:

‘A Nightwear Job’ article:

[size=18]5.  Specific indications that Madeleine died on Sunday 29 April [/size]

We have set out why we believe that Madeleine died, and why she could not have died after 6pm on Thursday 3 May, as claimed by Portuguese detectives. We have given, above, some general considerations as to when Madeleine may have died. It is time for us now to be still more specific about why we think she died on the Sunday that week. Here are our main reasons:

A.  The change of routines from Sunday night onwards and the absence of independent and corroborated ‘sightings’ of Madeleine from then onwards (see above)

B.  The probable forgery of the ‘Last Photo’

The ‘Last Photo’ shows Gerry McCann, Madeleine and her sister Amelie by the Ocean Club swimming pool. The McCanns say the photo was taken at 2.29pm on Thursday 3 May. However, we are persuaded, largely by evidence on the two ‘Last Photo’ threads on CMOMM, that the Last Photo was taken at lunchtime on Sunday 29 April. A raft of evidence, but especially comparative weather records for the week, point in that direction. There is no other photo of Madeleine which with certainty can be said to have been taken after then, which we regard as hugely significant. If that analysis is correct, this shows evidence of cunning planning and deception, amounting to perverting the course of justice.

C.  The absence of confirmed photos of Madeleine on the holiday from the ‘Last Photo’ onwards

This points us in the direction of Madeleine having come to serious harm shortly after that photo was taken.

D.  The involvement of Robert Murat

In our view the involvement of Robert Murat in this case is another significant pointer to Madeleine having died on the Sunday. Here are the relevant considerations we have in mind regarding Murat’s involvement:

1.  There is evidence that he and Gerry McCann may have known each other before the McCanns’ holiday in Praia da Luz in 2007

2.  Robert Murat was a well-known long-term resident of Praia da Luz, his mother having lived there for much of her life

3.  He was on an extended stay in England (Devon) when the McCanns went on holiday to Praia da Luz in 2007

4.  On Monday 30 April, he was hastily summoned to Portugal, allegedly by his girlfriend, but possibly by others - Murat’s account of the ‘phone call or calls that led him to take a hasty flight to Portugal is not convincing

5.  He took the early morning flight to Faro, Portugal from Exeter at 7am the very next day, Tuesday 1 May

6.  When he was asked at an interview under caution in Portugal on 15 May 2007 what he had been doing in Portugal during his first four days there (1-4 May), he lied about his actions in at least 17 material respects. Later, when re-interviewed by the Portuguese police on 10 and 11 July, after police had interrogated his mobile ’phone, and discovered that the account he had earlier given of his movements was false, he completely changed his story, claiming he had been ‘too tired’ on 15 May to tell the truth. What possible good excuse could there be for lying so many times about the fate of a missing child?

7.  There is evidence that the British Embassy in Portugal arranged for Murat to become the main translator for the Portuguese police in the days following Madeleine being reported missing. Quite why the British Embassy would promote Murat to do this job is uncertain, unless he had a significant prior connection with the Embassy, and was co-operating with them in some way

8.  His conduct whilst a translator in those early days after Madeleine was reported missing was bizarre and suspicious. He was observed trying to sneak a look at confidential documents. He kept pestering the police with plausible suggestions about lines of enquiry that they should be following. His conduct during his translations was so outrageous that an inspector sent an urgent report to Dr Amaral, complaining about his conduct. Shortly afterwards, he was removed as a translator.

These and a number of other considerations about Robert Murat lead us to think that he was summoned to Portugal during Monday 30 April because something serious had happened to Madeleine the previous day, and that his help was needed to cover this up

E. The ‘Make-Up Photo

A very strange photo of Madeleine was published two years after Madeleine was reported missing. It appeared in a short film made by Madeleine’s godfather, film-maker Jon Corner. It showed Madeleine in make-up. She had had blue eye shadow put on her. She had a gold-coloured necklace put around her neck. She had a pink hair bead on her. When the film was published, the McCanns claimed she had been ‘playing with Mummy’s make-up box’, but that story didn’t stand up to scrutiny. There was evidence that the photo was not taken in England as claimed, but in Portugal.

A comparison was made between the Last Photo and the Make-Up Photo. On both, Madeleine was wearing a pink hair bead. On both, her hair length was the same. In the Last Photo, which appears to have been taken on Sunday, she was happy and obviously smiling at something that amused her. But in the Make-Up Photo, she was looking very sad. We think there are good grounds for suspecting that the two photos may have been taken on the same day, and that Madeleine’s very sad appearance could be connected in some way to her having died later that same day.

[size=18]6.  Evidence that an abduction hoax was planned over a period of four days [/size]

It follows from all that we have said above that, if Madeleine did indeed die on Sunday 29 April, those who knew she had died must have carefully planned an audacious hoax over a period of four days, so cunning and clever that most people still believe that she was abducted. Here, quite apart from the matters dealt with above, are several other specific indications that an abduction hoax was indeed planned over a four-day period:

A.  The presence of the Director (and his deputy) of a Bell Pottinger subsidiary company - the PR company, Resonate - in Praia da Luz during the days before the alarm was raised

The relevant facts are these. Immediately following the reported disappearance of Madeleine, the holiday company who arranged the holiday, Mark Warner, brought their PR company, Bell Pottinger, to Praia da Luz. Its Head of Risk, Alex Woolfall flew there the very next day (4 May) and he was later joined by another top Director of the company. But it later emerged that the Director and his deputy from a Bell Pottinger subsidiary company, Resonate, had flown out to help Mark Warner just days before, possibly on Monday 30 April. No satisfactory explanation for this has ever been provided. Were they sent ahead of Bell Pottinger as a kind of advance party because something serious had already happened to Madeleine? (The McCanns incidentally paid the amazing sum of £500,000 to Bell Pottinger to keep Madeleine’s name on the front pages of Britain’s newspapers for a year. That money appears to have come from donations made by the general public.

B.  The conduct of Nuno Lourenco

On Friday 4 May, the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner gave a description of a man she said she had seen, carrying a child, at 9.15pm on the night Madeleine was reported missing. She described a man of medium height, with long black hair, wearing cloth clothes and classic shoes, who ‘didn’t look like a tourist’. The very next day, early in the morning, a man called Nuno Lourenco rang the Portuguese police and said that, six days previously, a man was taking photographs of children on a beach had tried to kidnap his child at a tiny village called Sagres. He also described the man as ‘of medium height, with long black hair, wearing cloth clothes and classic shoes, who ‘didn’t look like a tourist’.

The Portuguese police became convinced that this must be the man whom Jane Tanner’s evidence suggested had abducted Madeleine. Lourenco supplied the police with a photograph he said he had taken of the man’s car. From this, the police were able to trace the man who was driving the car. It was Wojchiech Krokowski, a man from Poland on holiday with his wife for the week. When examined in detail, Lourenco’s claim that his daughter was nearly kidnapped by Krokowski falls apart. Quite apart from anything else, why did he delay for six days reporting a man taking photos of children on a beach and who later that day tried to kidnap his daughter? Lourenco had evidently planned to call the police and already knew of the description that Jane Tanner had given to the police. This suggests that Lourenco was part of a group of people who planned to deliberately sabotage the Portuguese police’s investigation and send them off in entirely the wrong direction. He had carefully ’fitted up’ Krokowski. As a result, Goncalo Amaral’s team wasted valuable time on only the second full day of their investigation contacting the German and Polish police and INTERPOL. They even got the German police to search the plane for Madeleine at Berlin Airport. It was a wild goose chase.

C.  Hairs of the same haplotype as Robert Murat and Jane Tanner found in Krokowski’s apartment

Further to the above point, hairs of the same haplotype as Robert Murat and Jane Tanner were found at Krokowski’s apartment when it was searched by the police. Whilst this doesn’t prove that Jane Tanner and Robert Murat were in Krokowski’s apartment that week, it certainly raises at least the possibility that they were. Was there a meeting of some kind there that week? Is that when Jane Tanner was briefed to give a description of Krokowski when she was questioned by the Portuguese police?

D.  The strange booking on Sunday night of the Tapas restaurant for the evening meal of the McCanns and the Tapas 7 all week

This booking appears to have been made on the Sunday night. There are two different versions of who made the booking, which in itself is strange. The reason given by the McCanns and their friends for making this booking is even stranger. They claimed that they were leaving their children on their own and checking on them, but still wanted to be able to see their apartment from the restaurant. This was meaningless. The children were sleeping at the back of their apartment, so there was nothing for the McCanns to see from the Tapas restaurant. All kinds of dangers could have befallen the children while the parents were absent It is our view that the booking of the Tapas restaurant may well have been connected in some way with Madeleine already being dead or having suffered a fatal injury. After Madeleine was reported missing, the McCanns were able to claim that they had been eating at the Tapas restaurant each night, but were checking their children every half-hour. But this Tapas restaurant booking represented a change of plan. They has eaten in the Millennium Restaurant on the Saturday evening. What was the real reason for the change of plan?

E.  The damage done to the shutters by Gerry McCann on the Sunday or Monday morning

Repairs to the shutters of the McCanns’ apartment were needed on the Monday; Ocean Club staff came to mend them that day. We find this a curious incident. Is it possible that the McCanns and advisers were already planning to claim that the shutters had been jemmied open and smashed by the abductor on Thursday? (as indeed they did so claim). If so, they would need to demonstrate that the shutters were previously in good working order.

F.  Evidence that a group planned in advance how to create a major news story on the morning of Friday 4 May

It is a fact that from about 8am on Friday 4 May, the news of Madeleine’s reported disappearance rapidly became the top story in both Portugal and Britain for weeks - and has continued to make international headlines ever since. Was this an accident? We do not think it was. On the very night when the McCanns and their friends should have been distraught, following Madeleine’s sudden disappearance, some of them were busy contacting the TV and print media and claiming, even in the very first hours after they had raised the alarm, that the Portuguese police were incompetent and not organising a proper search for her. The McCanns seemed to know influential people in the TV media and were successful in contacting them in the early hours of the morning and getting headline news about Madeleine’s disappearance onto the early Friday morning bulletins.

It was very early - Madeleine might very well have been found alive and well later that Friday - but on that very day, many media editors immediately despatched reporters to Praia da Luz. What was it that galvanised them all into sending reporters there so soon? One example illustrates our point. An ex-pat living in Spain, Jon Clarke, had created a successful newspaper for ex-pats, the Olive Press. He was contacted by one of Britain’s mainstream press in the early hours of the morning, before the media storm broke at about 8am on the Friday morning. Although it was a five-hour journey from his cottage in the countryside around Ronda, Spain, he managed to reach Praia da Luz. Portugal. before mid-day, boasting that he was ‘one of the first journalists on the spot’. How did his editor in Britain know so early that this was going to be a major international story?

7. The main objections to our theory

Here we set out, briefly, some key objections to our theory - and provide our responses:

A.  “Nobody could keep up the pretence that their daughter had been abducted - knowing that she was dead - for so long (nine years now)

ANSWER: It has happened many times before in many other similar cases.

B.  “This hoax couldn’t be true; there would just be too many people who would know that Madeleine had died on Sunday. By now, if she had really died, someone would have broken ranks and revealed the truth”

ANSWER: Again there are many instances in history where large groups of people who know about a serious crime work together to keep the crime a secret. To give but one recent example, dozens of people, including police and celebrities, knew that Jimmy Saville was a serial paedophile. But they all kept silent. It was not public knowledge, until earlier this year, that Sir Clement Freud - who twice invited the McCanns to his Praia da Luz home for eats and drinks in the weeks that followed Madeleine’s disappearance - had been a serial paedophile for decades. But many people did know about Freud’s conduct – and likewise kept it secret for decades. Besides that, when journalists tried to question the McCanns’ close friend David Payne about the events of their holiday in Praia da Luz that week, he refused to talk, saying: “We have a pact of silence”. In the very early weeks after Madeleine was reported missing, John Stalker, an experienced and respected detective chosen to work on the alleged ‘Shoot to Kill’ policy in Northern Ireland, stated that in his opinion: “My gut instinct is that some big secret is being covered up”.

C.  “There are too just many sightings of Madeleine all week; all those people can’t be mistaken”

ANSWER: Look at the analysis of these sightings by HideHo that we referred to above. None of them stand up to serious scrutiny.

D.  “Mrs Pamela Fenn, a widow who lived above the McCanns, heard Madeleine crying between 10.30pm and 11.45pm on Tuesday night

ANSWER: We reject her evidence for several reasons. She did not make her statement until 20 August - over three-and-a-half months after the event. No-one else heard a child crying loudly for 75 minutes that night. She said she spoke to a friend of hers, Edna Glyn, while the crying was going on, but neither of them did anything about it. Later, Robert Murat claimed that Mrs Fenn had ’phoned him, not Mrs Glyn, about the alleged crying. Mrs Fenn’s statement was trailed in advance in the British press in articles which showed every sign of being planted by the McCann Team’s PR agent, Clarence Mitchell. She claimed in her statement that the crying she heard was that of a child ‘more than two’ - but no-one can distinguish between the cry of a two-year-old (the McCanns’ twins) and three-year-old (Madeleine). In short, there is multiple evidence, beyond what we’ve said here, that her statement was fabricated.

Madeleine McCann Research Group, August 2016

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