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Post by Lance De Boils 27.07.20 17:22

Well here we are more than 13 years later.
Looking back to some of the earliest questions that I don't recall ever coming to satisfactory answers or conclusions.
The intention of this thread is to go back in time and take another look at the lesser discussed points and questions posed. (Let's not discuss things like the photos or shadows or other well discussed points elsewhere on the forum. Unless helpful to the posed point here.)
I'll start by numbering 4 points/questions. Please feel free to add more numbered questions or explanations and answers.

1. I recall that there was a discrepancy or anomaly with the Kelly's bar receipts. I definitely raised it before, but can't remember now. Anyone else?

2. Why did Philomena et al take off for a holiday in Turkey very soon after her niece go missing? What was the real purpose?

3. Is it a mere coincidence that O'B, JT & the Wilkins were connected - at least by mutual friends. Regardless, they didn't bother to join the search themselves? Why not, when "My Months with Madeleine" (could be my misquote) was written after?

4. What ever did the missing post contain? It was sent from Madeira to The McCanns but never arrived. Very strange.
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Post by Lance De Boils 27.07.20 21:06

No takers yet? Ok, photos it is then! (Joke!)
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Post by Tony Bennett 27.07.20 21:16

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Well here we are more than 13 years later.
Looking back to some of the earliest questions that I don't recall ever coming to satisfactory answers or conclusions.
The intention of this thread is to go back in time and take another look at the lesser discussed points and questions posed. (Let's not discuss things like the photos or shadows or other well discussed points elsewhere on the forum. Unless helpful to the posed point here.)
I'll start by numbering 4 points/questions. Please feel free to add more numbered questions or explanations and answers.

1. I recall that there was a discrepancy or anomaly with the Kelly's bar receipts. I definitely raised it before, but can't remember now. Anyone else?

There was no receipt on the bar bill that in any way related to nine members of the Smith family stopping off for after-dinner drinks at Kelly's Bar after their meal at the Dolphin. The meal at the Dolphin was true and finished at about 9.30pm. You would have to ask why a family of nine with people aged 50+ down to under-10's would decide to go for drinks after having a restaurant dinner, presumably served with drinks. The Kelly's Bar manager was asked if s/he could remember a party of nine coming in for drinks for a short time between 9.30pm and 10.00pm  and the answer was 'No'. The evidence would suggest that this was one more part of the Smith family's invention of their alleged 'sighting' of a man rushing towards the beach carrying a young blonde-haired girl. The other evidence that the Smith sighting is bogus is available on the 12 threads 'SMITHMAN 1' to 'SMITHMAN 12'.      

2. Why did Philomena et al take off for a holiday in Turkey very soon after her niece go missing? What was the real purpose?

Because she'd already booked it and paid for it.
 
3. Is it a mere coincidence that O'B, JT & the Wilkins were connected - at least by mutual friends. Regardless, they didn't bother to join the search themselves? Why not, when "My Months with Madeleine" (could be my misquote) was written after?

Probably not a coincidence. The role of Wilkins on the events of 3 May 2007 was significant. The versions of Wilkins and Gerry McCann about what was said and when and for how long they spoke between 9pm and 10pm on 3 May 2007 was riddled with inconsistencies and outright contradictions. I think it could have been invented, like the alleged visit of David Payne to the McCanns' apartment earlier than evening. O'Donnell's article was not true journalism but a 'puff' for the abduction narrative   

4. What ever did the missing post contain? It was sent from Madeira to The McCanns but never arrived. Very strange.

It never happened. No package was ever sent. Marcos Aragao Correia went to the Madeira civil courts to sue the Portuguese Post Office for not delivering the letter. His claim failed and he had to pay 100 euros court costs. This was an elaborate attempt to justify his getting involved in the Madeleine McCann case.

He lied about Madeleine having been raped, killed and thrown into a lake.

He lied about having had a vision of a young blonde girl being strangled by a stranger.

He lied about 'paying for the Arade Dam searches for Madeleine's remains out of his own pocket.

This serial liar was paid by the McCanns and Brian Kennedy (a) to represent murderess-of-her-own-child Leonor Cipriano and (b) to prosecute Goncalo Amaral. He admitted all of this in a newspaper article.

You will find all this and much much more about Marcos Aragao Correia in one of my many articles about him on the forum.

One of them caused him to send me a blistering email saying he was going to sue me for libel.

He hasn't done so yet 


See replies in red

____________________

Dr Martin Roberts: "The evidence is that these are the pjyamas Madeleine wore on holiday in Praia da Luz. They were photographed and the photo handed to a press agency, who released it on 8 May, as the search for Madeleine continued. The McCanns held up these same pyjamas at two press conferences on 5 & 7June 2007. How could Madeleine have been abducted?"

Amelie McCann (aged 2): "Maddie's jammies!".  

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Post by sharonl 27.07.20 21:44

It is irrelevant whether Smith had any bar receipts, or whether there were any anomalies because, firstly his alleged sighting was just a red herring and secondly Madeleine had already disappeared 4 days earlier.

Philomela probably just went on holiday as planned.  I don't see anything suspicious about this.

I don't think that its a coincidence that the Wilkins were connected, but i do find it odd that the children, Wilkins' included, were all under the age of four and were mostly girls.  As BO says, there were 10 3 year old blonde girls.  

Wasn't O;Donnell linked to the BBC, Crimewatch and so on?  Probably linked to Mitchell too. That greatly reduces her credibility in which case her article can be discarded.  It is full of holes anyway.  At one point she claims that there were 10 little blonde girls at the creche, the maximum was 7 and IIRC, in Madeleines group just 5.  Then she claims that the tennis photo was taken on Thursday. Its just typical BBC drivel.

There was no missing post, just another lie from the McCanns' barking mad lawyer.
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Post by Lance De Boils 27.07.20 23:00

1. Thank you Tony. It's coming back to me now. Will look again and read up on how far I'd got - I remember studying the bar bills etc, but  I miss much from my memory now - Other forum members including your good self have gone on to far more detailed analysis and discussion.  But I had been away for years and my middle-aged mind doesn't help!
I'll look for the correct posts and threads to read. So unless anyone would like to add more pointers? (Not a new Smithman thread though.)
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Post by Lance De Boils 27.07.20 23:12

2. I'm less convinced about this answer. I couldn't even contemplate holidays with other family and others at this point of the hunt for Madeleine. John McC was very quick to give up his job. This "holiday" was taken when all was hitting the fan. And, considering their desire for everyone to put up posters everywhere, selling t-shirts, wrist bands. Then the film of Moroccan children with posters, luggage tags with the appeal...
...So where was the campaigning in Turkey with at least 4 members of the Mc family? Did they put posters up? Raising awareness? No. They became invisible.
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Post by Lance De Boils 27.07.20 23:19

4. Oh THAT nutter! Ok nothing more to be said!

3. Plenty more to add in time.

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Post by Lance De Boils 28.07.20 20:06

5. Was it established who the "soothing couple" was?
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Post by PeterMac 30.07.20 7:31

2. Why did Philomena et al take off for a holiday in Turkey very soon after her niece go missing? What was the real purpose?

Because she'd already booked it and paid for it.


It was a school trip, for the children in her Ullapool secondary school.  She went as a teacher, and her husband Tony Rickwood, went along for the ride.
It is not known how much the teachers and 'hangers on' have to pay, and how much is subsidised by the childrens' parents' contributions.

A long time ago a letter was sent to the Governors of the school and copied to local MPs which included the following.


During research the following disturbing facts were revealed.
Philomena McCann is employed as a teacher at Ullapool High School, where we
believe she is in charge of “Modern Studies”.
Philomena McCann is married to one Tony Rickwood.
Rickwood is a skilled photographer of some note.
He not only takes and publishes on the internet ‘normal’ photographs of high quality, but
he also has a particular and worrying “hobby”. It is that of transforming photos of young
women to give the impression of their drowning in swamps, or in quicksand.
He publishes these on various sites, of which mercifully we were previously unaware,
including deviantart.com, quicksandfans.com, deepsinking.org, and possibly others.
Rickwood uses the pen name of Auroraman, - he is keen amateur astronomer - and on
the deviantart site also signs his work as scopertonosol ( incidentally an anagram of
coolest pornos )
The overtly sexually deviant and perverted nature and intention of these photos is clear
from the comments attached by persons who visit or inhabit these sites.
On its own this might not be a matter of comment by a third party, but it was noted during
the initial phases of the McCann case and then detailed in Kate McCann’s book
‘madeleine’ that Philomena McCann left Portugal, flew home and then went on a long
holiday to Turkey. This was in June 2007
I believe I am correct in saying that this was a school trip to a coastal resort, as detailed
in the school prospectus.
( quote: “senior school trips to Turkey as part of this week in 2006, 2007, 2008 and
2009”.)
I believe I am also correct in saying that Rickwood was part of the group. (It was in fact
separate emails sent by him and Ms McCann to the resort which alerted researchers to
his use of that particular pen name and led to his identification.)
It is therefore likely that he had with him a camera, and took photos.
I do not know the provenance of any of the photos of the girls and young women he has
used in the deviantart photos, and I can make no observation as to whether they are or
may have been your pupils.
I can also make no observation about whether Philomena McCann shares her
husband’s perverted interest.
It is however doubtful whether after several years of marriage that she can be totally
unaware of it.
Whether it is appropriate - if he did - for a man with this clear sexual deviance and
perversion to accompany adolescents from your school, without the knowledge of their
parents, is of course a matter entirely for the Head-teacher, the Governors, and the
Local Education Committee to decide.
I have copied this letter and the appendices to those persons.
***

Circulated in confidence to
Head teacher - Mr Peter Harrison
Chair of the Board of Governors
Charles Kennedy MP
Rob Gibson, MSP.
David Martin MEP
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Post by Lance De Boils 30.07.20 10:11

Just 3 points:
It was me who looked the deviant art pictures many years ago.
One thin
school trips
Why Camerons went.
Teachers with love to take their places. A 5* all inclusive holiday abroad. (That is usually unheard of- astonishing. ))
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Post by Lance De Boils 30.07.20 10:16

"The overtly sexually deviant and perverted nature and intention of these photos is clear"

I think that line should not have been used in the letter. In my opinion.
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Post by PeterMac 30.07.20 10:33

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:It was me who looked the deviant art pictures many years ago.

It was indeed, and now I can acknowledge that valuable lead which then led to a number of other 'revelations'
about Rickwoods expertise in Astronomy and his knowledge of digital images.

That it turn led to the 'revelation' that some aspects within EXIF could be very easily manipulated
and that in turn led to the 'revelation' that 

  • the timing of the visit by GM to the UK
  • his return to PdL with CM
  • the apparent coincidence of sister Philomena's arrival in Pdl on the same evening
  • and the date of the release of the Pool Photo with CM's insistence that we look at the "time" [and the date]


were not all entirely as coincidental as some might have thought.
And that in turn prompted more detailed research into comparative photos and weather charts and satellite imagery
which in its turn led to the 'revelation' that the only possible day for the creation of the Pool Photo was Sunday 29 April.

One thing led to another

There are many who have worked hard behind the scenes and have turned up apparently unconnected bits of the picture.

To all of you, many thanks
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Post by Lance De Boils 31.07.20 20:03

Thank you for the acknowledgement.
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Post by Lance De Boils 15.08.20 14:10

Ok, it's a Saturday lunchtime and I've cracked open a beer.

This is 13 years later and the position I've found myself in.

It's all pile of shit.

There's no convincing me that Madeleine was abducted by a stranger. Her body MIGHT have been "unexpectedly removed," but if so, K&G and at least one other couple knew she was deceased before this time and how it had happened. In that case they knew who "took her." The stranger abduction was entirely staged.

The company was absolutely fraudulent.

The 2 or 4 or (how many?) were in the know.

All in my opinion, obviously.

Challenge me otherwise with actual evidence. Give it a try. After 13 years, there's very slim chance.
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Post by PeterMac 15.08.20 15:56

One of the extraordinary things is that after 13 years, the intervention of three nations' police and criminal investigators, the 'assistance' of at least three different Private investigation agencies, the combined might of all the acolytes, sycophants and apologists, the background presence of the most feared firm of Libel Lawyers in the world, and many many others, there is still not a single piece of evidence that an abduction took place.
Nothing.
There is moreover not a single coherent theory suggested which could account for an abduction within the extremely tight parameters of time and place imposed on the scenario by the main protagonists.

What we have is evidence of a death, of the presence of a corpse, of subsequent removal, and a litany of excuses and falsehoods from a badly written and poorly thought out script.

Posters on this forum have made and continue to make valuable contributions to the understanding of the whole story.
By concentrating on tiny details and picking at them until they are fully exposed, we have worked in the way a major crime investigation is organised.  Teams and individuals are handed dozens, often hundreds of small tasks, (TTBD = things to be done) and gradually the 'blanks are filled in' so that the SIO is able, with luck, to see the bigger picture.

And as we have also seen, from apparently tiny observations new lines of enquiry emerge.

The revelation of TR's interest in things adolescent and digitally manipulative sparked a renewed interest in the pool photo, which up to that moment had focussed on whether or not the image itself had been tampered with.
That in turn led to research of similar images taken during the week, to research into weather reports and satellite records, and a realisation that whilst the image itself was genuine, the date recorded on it had been altered.
And from there the forensic trace back to the likely forger and the identification of the messenger were suddenly clear.
That people's individual expertise has been brought to bear on different aspects is one of the reasons I have found this case so fascinating for so long.
Thank you all.
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Post by Lance De Boils 15.08.20 17:44

Good post Peter.
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Post by Lance De Boils 16.08.20 16:48

I am in agreement with most of what you wrote, but I am still not convinced of one thing: "whilst the image itself was genuine, the date recorded on it had been altered." Please help me to fully understand. Because it could have passed the exam for photo tampering, but if it was a photo of a photo, it WOULD pass the tests.  
Help!
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Post by Verdi 16.08.20 21:26

PeterMac's e-book

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Post by PeterMac 16.08.20 21:29

Don't know where to start with that one.
The EXIF Metadata show the type of camera, and a thousand and one other things.
So to take a photo of the photo would mean printing it out in high resolution on photo paper in large format, and then taking it again on exactly the same camera, without parallax errors or reflections . . .

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Unlikely. Occams Razor would suggest taking the easy route of changing the date but leaving everything else 

The full EXIF is here, if you want to check.
**
Full EXIF details:
 
XMP
Create Date 2007:05:24 17:41:20+01:00
11 months, 23 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes, 4 seconds ago
Creator Tool Adobe Photoshop CS Windows
Date/Time Digitized 2007:05:03 13:29:51+01:00
1 year, 13 days, 11 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds ago
Date/Time Original 2007:05:03 13:29:51+01:00
1 year, 13 days, 11 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds ago
Derived From Document ID adobe:docid:photoshop:f6b0285f-0a0a-11dc-b952-be0bcc6c30e7
Derived From Instance ID uuid:63e9333c-0a0c-11dc-b952-be0bcc6c30e7
Document ID adobe:docid:photoshop:367c54b5-0a0d-11dc-b952-be0bcc6c30e7
Flash Fired False
Flash Function False
Flash Mode Auto
Flash Red Eye Mode True
Flash Return No return detection
Focal Plane X Resolution 10816.9014084507
Focal Plane Y Resolution 10816.9014084507
Format image/jpeg
History 
Metadata Date 2007:05:24 17:41:22+01:00
11 months, 23 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds ago
Modify Date 2007:05:24 17:41:22+01:00
11 months, 23 days, 7 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds ago

EXIF — this group of metadata is encoded in 9,316 bytes (9.1k)
Aperture Value 4.0
Color Space sRGB
Components Configuration YCbCr
Compressed Bits Per Pixel 2
Compression JPEG (old-style)
Create Date 2007:05:03 13:29:51
1 year, 13 days, 3 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds ago
Custom Rendered Normal
Date/Time Original 2007:05:03 13:29:51
1 year, 13 days, 3 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds ago
Digital Zoom Ratio 1
Exif Image Size 3,072 ? 2,304
Exif Version 0220
Exposure Compensation 0
Exposure Mode Auto
Exposure Time 1/1000
F Number 4.0
File Source Digital Camera
Flash Auto, Did not fire, Red-eye reduction
Flashpix Version 0100
Focal Length 21.7 mm
Focal Plane Resolution 10,816.90141 pixels/inch
Interoperability Index R98 - DCF basic file (sRGB)
Interoperability Version 0100
Make Canon
Max Aperture Value 3.5
Metering Mode Multi-segment
Camera Model Name Canon PowerShot A620
Modify Date 2007:05:24 17:41:22
11 months, 22 days, 23 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds ago
Orientation Horizontal (normal)
Related Image Height 2,304
Related Image Width 3,072
Resolution 180 pixels/inch
Scene Capture Type Standard
Sensing Method One-chip color area
Shutter Speed Value 1/1002
Software Adobe Photoshop CS Windows
Thumbnail Length 8,182
User Comment 
White Balance Auto
X Resolution 72
Y Cb Cr Positioning Centered
Y Resolution 72

APP14
APP14 Flags 0 [14]
APP14 Flags 1 (none)
Color Transform YCbCr
DCT Encode Version 100

IPTC
By-line Title HO
Caption-Abstract CORRECTING SOURCE IN IPCT: Picture released by the McCann family 24 May 2007 and was taken 03 May 2007, the same day Madeleine McCann (R) went missing from the family's holiday apartment in the southern Algarve region. The photo also shows Madeleine's father Gerry and sister Amelie. Madeleine was abducted as she slept with her brother and sister in a hotel apartment at the Ocean Club Resort while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. AFP PHOTO/HO
Category CLJ
City Lagos
Copyright Notice ImageForum
Country-Primary Location Code PRT
Country-Primary Location Name Portugal
Credit AFP
Date Created 2007:05:24
11 months, 23 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes, 24 seconds ago
Headline -
IPTC Application Record 243 Par1325555
Language Identifier EN
Object Name CORRECTION-PORTUGAL-BRITAIN-CRIME
Original Transmission Reference POR01
Source FAMILY HANDOUT
Special Instructions CORRECTING SOURCE IN IPCT
Supplemental Categories Crime
Time Created 15:21:29+00:00
Writer-Editor lfb

JFIF
JFIF Version 1.2
Resolution 180 pixels/inch

File — basic information derived from the file.
Bits Per Sample 8
Color Components 3
Encoding Process Baseline DCT, Huffman coding
Exif Byte Order Little-endian (Intel)
File Type JPEG
Image Size 3,072 ? 2,304
MIME Type image/jpeg
Y Cb Cr Sub Sampling YCbCr4:4:4 (1 1)

Composite
This block of data is computed based upon other items. Some of it may be wildly incorrect if the image has been resized.
Aperture 4.0
Circle Of Confusion 0.006 mm
Date/Time Created 2007:05:24 15:21:29+00:00
11 months, 23 days, 8 hours, 22 minutes, 55 seconds ago
Field Of View 19.6 deg
Focal Length 21.7 mm (35 mm equivalent: 104.2 mm)
Hyperfocal Distance 18.82 m
Scale Factor To 35 mm Equivalent 4.8
Shutter Speed 1/1000
Thumbnail Image (8,182 bytes binary data)

ICC_Profile — this group of metadata is encoded in 3,144 bytes (3.1k)
Blue Matrix Column 0.14307 0.06061 0.7141
Blue Tone Reproduction Curve (2,060 bytes binary data)
CMM Flags Not Embedded, Independent
Color Space Data RGB
Connection Space Illuminant 0.9642 1 0.82491
Device Attributes Reflective, Glossy, Positive, Color
Device Manufacturer IEC
Device Mfg Desc IEC [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Device Model sRGB
Device Model Desc IEC 61966-2.1 Default RGB colour space - sRGB
Green Matrix Column 0.38515 0.71687 0.09708
Green Tone Reproduction Curve (2,060 bytes binary data)
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Measurement Backing 0 0 0
Measurement Flare 0.999%
Measurement Geometry Unknown (0)
Measurement Illuminant D65
Measurement Observer CIE 1931
Media Black Point 0 0 0
Media White Point 0.95045 1 1.08905
Primary Platform Microsoft Corporation
Profile CMM Type Lino
Profile Class Display Device Profile
Profile Connection Space XYZ
Profile Copyright Copyright (c) 1998 Hewlett-Packard Company%00
Profile Creator HP
Profile Date Time 1998:02:09 06:49:00
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Profile Description sRGB IEC61966-2.1
Profile File Signature acsp
Profile ID 0
Profile Version 2.1.0
Red Matrix Column 0.43607 0.22249 0.01392
Red Tone Reproduction Curve (2,060 bytes binary data)
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Viewing Cond Illuminant 19.6445 20.3718 16.8089
Viewing Cond Illuminant Type D50
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Fireworks or Damp Squibs? Empty Re: Fireworks or Damp Squibs?

Post by Lance De Boils 16.08.20 22:36

Ok! I'm happy to take your word for it! smilie
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Post by Verdi 17.08.20 2:01

I'm more interested to know the true provenance of this EXIF metadata for this particular photograph..

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It seems mighty strange, at least to me, that this is the only photograph EXIF data that's been traced and revealed by internet super sleuths.

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Post by PeterMac 17.08.20 8:02

I printed it off myself.
Put the big photo on your computer screen, find how to reveal the EXIF (there are different ways depending whether on Mac or PC)

But yes, strange that it was 'grabbed' so early on in its entirety, and now in second and third generation copies as most are.


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Post by Lance De Boils 21.08.20 11:24

Just querying what evidence the Met have gone on that completely exonerates the most obvious subjects? Why is that the case?
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Post by PeterMac 21.08.20 16:22

Their official brush off is to the effect that "The Portuguese Police dealt with that side of things, so it won't be opened again" which is such obvious carp when they were also saying they were going to 'take the investigation back to the beginning' that it leads us to believe that a clear directive has been given. As Colin Sutton has said.
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Post by Verdi 22.08.20 1:28

Transcript of interview between AC Mark Rowley (MR) and broadcast media for use from 21:00hrs on Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Q: Six years’ on of Scotland Yard’s involvement, a team of largely 30 people, £11/12 million you’ve spent, what have you achieved?

MR: We’ve achieved an awful lot. I think you know that we have a track record for using cold cases on serious old cases, and we solve many cases that way. This is no different in one respect but is particularly complicated. I think people get seduced perhaps by what they see in TV dramas where the most complex cases are solved in 30 minutes or 60 minutes with adverts as well.

What we started with here was something extraordinary. We started with 40,000 documents. We’ve got the original Portuguese investigation and six or eight sets of private detectives who’ve done work and we did appeals to the public, four Crimewatch appeals, hoovering as much information as possible. Sifting that, structuring it and working through it is an immense effort. It’s much more ‘hard slog’ in reality than it is inspiration. That takes time and it takes systems. That’s what we’ve been working on. And what you’ve seen in the bits which have been reported publically is those appeals, when we’ve announced suspects, when we’ve made particular announcements, slowly crunching through it and focusing our attention and making progress.

And of course at one stage we had 600 people who at one stage have been of interest to the enquiry, that doesn’t mean that they are suspects, people who
were suspicious at the time or have a track record which makes us concerned about them, sifting, which focused the enquiry increasingly and when you’re doing this then across a continent and with multiple languages and having to build working relationships with the Portuguese, you put that together and that takes real time.

So we’ve achieved complete understanding of it all, we’ve sifted out many of the potential suspects, people of interest, and where we are today is a much smaller team, focused on a small remaining number of critical lines of enquiry, which we think are significant. If we didn’t think they were significant we wouldn’t be carrying on.


Q: So when you talk of success and progress, it’s really a case of eliminating things? You’re not getting any nearer to finding out what happened?

MR: So our mission here is to do everything reasonable to provide an answer to Kate and Gerry McCann. I’d love to guarantee them that we would get an answer, sadly investigations can never be 100 per cent successful. But, it’s our job, and I’ve discussed it with them, we’ll do everything we can do, reasonably, to find an answer to what’s happened to Madeleine. And I know, Pedro, the senior Portuguese colleague I’ve worked with and his team, have a shared determination, to find an answer. That’s what we’re going to do.

Q: You’ve described it as a ‘unique’ case. Why is it unique?

MR: I think it’s unique in two or three respects. First of all the way its captured attention in different countries is quite unusual. You’ll get a very high-profile case in a particular country, the way it has captured interest across countries, I think is significant. The length of it. And it’s unusual to have a case like this where you’re doing a missing persons investigation, where ten years on, we still don’t have definitive evidence about exactly what’s happened. And that’s why we’re open minded, even if we have to be pessimistic about the prospects, we are open minded because we don’t have definitive evidence about what happened to Madeleine.

Q: You say you haven’t got definitive evidence, do you have any clues at all which might explain what happened to her?

MR: So, you’ll understand from your experience, the way murder investigations work, detectives will start off with various hypotheses, about what’s happened in a murder, what has happened in a missing person’s investigation, whether someone has been abducted. All those different possibilities will be worked through. This case is no different from that but the evidence is limited at the moment to be cast iron as to which one of those hypotheses we should follow. So we have to keep an open mind. As I said we have some critical lines of enquiry, those linked to particular lines of enquiry, but I’m not going to discuss them today because they are very much live investigations.

Q: Do you have some evidence, in your six years of investigation, have you unearthed some evidence to explain what happened?

MR: We’ve got some thoughts on what we think the most likely explanations might be and we’re pursuing those. And those link into the key lines of enquiry we’re doing now. As I said, those are very much live investigations and I know that’s frustrating when you’re doing a programme looking back but it’s hard to talk about that now, it’s going to frustrate the investigation.

Q: I know it’s not your money, it has come from the Home Office, but how do you justify spending so much on one missing person?

MR: Big cases can take a lot of resource and a lot of time and we have that with more conventional cases which Scotland Yard gets involved with that run over many years. I think it’s worth noting that this cold case approach we do, every year we’re solving cases that have gone cold years ago. I think in the last year it’s 35 rape cases, and two murder cases. Some of those reaching back to the 1980s.

The cold case approach does have some expense, it is time-consuming, looking back at old records, but it does help solve old cases and you give families and victims an understanding of what went on. It’s worthwhile. This case is unusual, it’s not in Scotland Yard’s remit to investigate crimes across the world normally. In this case, in 2011, the Portuguese and British prime ministers were discussing the
case and agreed that Scotland Yard would help and recognising that it’s not what we’re normally funded for, we were given extra money to put a team together to work with the Portuguese and that’s what we’ve been doing ever since.

We’ve tried to be careful about public money and we started with that massive sifting and we’ve narrowed the enquiry, the funding has reduced accordingly. And we will stick with it as long as the funding is available, as long as there are sensible lines of enquiry to pursue.

Q: You’ve talked about 600 people. You at one point had four suspects. Can you tell me the story about how they came into the frame?

MR: So, one of the lines of enquiry, one of the hypotheses was could this be a burglary gone wrong? Someone is doing a burglary, panicked maybe by a waking child, which leads to Madeleine going missing.

Q: Most burglars would just run out.

MR: Possibly.

Q: Difficult for the public to understand that potential theory, given that every child wakes up.

MR: In my experience, if you try to apply the rational logic of a normal person sat in their front room to what criminals do under pressure, you tend to make mistakes, so it was a sensible hypothesis, it’s still not entirely ruled out, but there was also lots of material about people acting suspiciously, a potential history of some recent thefts from holiday apartments. Working through that it was a sensible thing to
pursue, and we had some descriptions to work with, and that led to us identifying amongst the 600, a group of people who were worth pursuing, have they been involved in this activity, have they had a role in Madeleine going missing? Because what the hypothesis was, then we’ve got some searches, we’ve worked with the Portuguese, they were spoken to, and we pretty much closed off that group of
people. That’s one example of the journey I spoke about, you start with this massive pool of evidence, you understand it, structure it, prioritise it, you work through and you try and sift the potential suspects, and then you end up where we are today with some key lines of enquiry.

Q: As I understand it, the key to your suspicion about those four suspects was very much to do with their use of mobile phones and one of the criticisms of the original Portuguese police investigation was that they didn’t interrogate the mobile phone data as thoroughly as they could have done. How important was it for you as that part of your investigation for you to pick up and thoroughly investigate
the mobile phone data?

MR: So that phone data is always something we will look at and we wouldn’t have had it available if the Portuguese had not got hold of it at the time so we need to be careful about criticism. But we had the data available and we worked with the Portuguese and that was part of the background to do with phone data and various sightings. There was enough there to say, not to prove the case, but there was something worth looking at in more detail and that’s what we did.

Q: How old were the suspects because I think you interviewed them originally through the Portuguese beginning of July 2014?

MR: By the end of the year we were happy to have brought them out and we were moving on to other parts of the investigation.

Q: Do you have any other suspects at the moment?

MR: So, we have got some critical lines of enquiry that are definitely worth pursuing and I’m not going to go into further detail on those. Another I would say though is, these lines of enquiry we have to date, they are the product of information available at the time and information that has come from public appeals that we have done.

Four Crimewatch appeals, and other media channels have been
incredibly helpful, including yourselves, and thousands of pieces of information have come forward, some useful some not, but amongst that have been some nuggets that have thrown some extra light on the original material that came from the time and that is one of the things that has helped us to make progress and have some critical lines of enquiry we are pursuing today.

Q: The question of other suspects, is there anyone like those four who have been dismissed, is there anyone who has the “alguido” status?

MR: I’m not going to give that level of detail away, we have got some critical lines of enquiry and we are working with the Portuguese on that, we are both interested in. Disclosing any more information on that will not help the investigation.

Q: You said the burglary gone wrong theory is not completely dismissed. What are the other theories? You have spoken in the past, Andy Redwood spoke in the past about focussing on the idea of a stranger abduction, is that still the focus, or a focus?

MR: Whilst we’ve got some lead ideas there is still a lot of unknown on this case. We’ve got a young girl gone missing 10 years ago. Until we get to the point where we have solved it, we’re unlikely to have definitive evidence as to exactly what happened at the time. All the hypothesises that you or I could come up with, they all have to remain open and the key lines of enquiry open today focus on
one or two of those areas but we have to keep them all open until we get to that critical piece of evidence that narrows it down and helps us to be more confident as to exactly what has happened on the day Maddie went missing.

Q: Over the years you have appealed for a number of what could be called suspicious-looking men, watching the apartment, watching the apartment block. Knocking on the doors touting for a bogus charity. You have issued E-fits, have you been able to identify and eliminate any of those?

MR: Some of them have been identified and eliminated but not all of them.

Q: The theory of a sex predator responsible for Maddie’s disappearance is something the Portuguese police have focussed on. How big a part of your investigation has that been, because there were a series of sex attack on sleeping, mainly British children in nearby resorts. So how important has that been to your investigation?

MR: That has been one key line of enquiry. The reality is in any urban area, you cast your net wide and you find a whole range of offences and sex offenders who live nearby and those coincidences need to be sifted out; what is a coincidence and what could be linked to the investigation we are currently dealing with and just like we do in London we have been doing in Portugal so offences which could be linked have to be looked at and either ruled in or ruled out and that’s the work we have been doing.

Q: Andy Redwood, the first senior investigating officer, said in one interview his policy was to go right back to the beginning, accept nothing, but one thing you appear to have accepted is that this was an abduction. It’s in your first remit statement, it refers to ‘the abduction’, which rather suggests right from the start you had a closed mind to the possibility of parents’ involvement, an accident or Madeleine simply walking out of the apartment.

MR: Two points to that, firstly the involvement of the parents, that was dealt with at the time by the original investigation by the Portuguese. We had a look at all the material and we are happy that was all dealt with and there is no reason whatsoever to reopen that or start rumours that was a line of investigation.

The McCanns are parents of a missing girl, we are trying to get to the bottom of. In terms of Andy using the word abduction, she was not old enough to set off and start her own life. However she left that apartment, she has been abducted. It is not a 20-year-old who has gone missing and who has made a decision to start a new life, this is a young girl who is missing and at the heart of this has been an abduction.


Q: One of the biggest criticisms of the Portuguese investigation, which they acknowledge as well, is that they did not interrogate the parents from the start, if only to eliminate them. When you started your investigation, you appear to have done the same. Did you formally interview the McCann’s under caution, ever consider them as suspects?

MR: So when we started, we started five or so years into this and there is already a lot of ground been covered, we don’t cover the same ground, what we do is pull all the material we had at the start, all the Portuguese material, private detective material, with all the work that had been done, what that evidence supports, what rules these lines of enquiry out, what keeps them open and you progress forward.

It would be no different if there were a cold case in London, a missing person from 1990, we would go back to square one look at all the material and if the material was convincing it ruled out that line of enquiry we would look somewhere else. So you reflect on the original material, you challenge it, don’t take it at face value. You don’t restart an investigation pretending it doesn’t exist and do all the same enquiries again that is not constructive.

Q: The first detective in charge of the case said he was going right back to the start of the case and accepting nothing. It seems very much he was suggesting that it was going to be a brand new investigation.

MR: It’s a brand new investigation, you are going in with an open mind. You are not ignoring the evidence in front of you. That would be a bizarre conclusion. You would look at that material, what does it prove, what it doesn’t. What hypothesis does it open what does it close down and you work your way through the case.

Q: Just to be clear you did not interview the McCanns as potential suspects?

MR: No

Q: Let’s move to today, recently you were given more funding £84,000 to £85,000, how is that going to be used?

MR: As you understand we started with a full-sized murder team of 30 officers, that was a standard operating approach at the time. So we start with that team and work through the massive amount of investigation. The Home Office has been funding that and of course it is public money so they review that from time to time and as the enquiry has gone on we suggested we could run it with a smaller group of people and that is what happened. That recent level of funding reflects that it’s keeping the team going for the next six months and we will want to keep this running as long as there are sensible lines of enquiry and keep asking the Home Office to fund it as long as there are those open lines of enquiry.

Q: I know you don’t want to go into detail but are there more forensic tests, is that what is going on?

MR: I’m not going to talk about detail of the type of work going on but there are critical lines of enquiry of great interest to ourselves and our Portuguese counterparts and there are some significant investigative avenues we are pursuing that we see as very worthwhile.

Q: Are you still waiting for answers to new ‘rogatory’ letters. I understand how the system works if you want something in Portugal, you have to send ‘rogatory’ letter and get that approved over there. Are there letters in the post?

MR: That process you describe reflects the first four or five years of our work there, sifting through mass amounts of material, putting together with new evidence that comes from appeals, generates new enquiries and the legal requirements the Portuguese have is quite labour intensive in terms of dotting I’s and crossing T’s and working through that detail. Where we are now is much narrower much more focussed.

Q: Is there anyone you are still looking for?

MR: Where we are now is much narrower and much more focussed.

Q: There was a report recently that there was an international manhunt in regards to a person you were interested in talking to, maybe not even a suspect, maybe a witness?

MR: There are odd headlines and odd stories in newspapers on a regular basis and most of those are nonsense.

Q: You say in your statement, you are getting information on a daily basis, new information, what sort of information?

MR: First of all it is indicative of the level of interest in this case, not just in this country but across the world. The team are getting emails, phone calls, new information all the time and it ranges from the eccentric, through to information that on the surface looks potentially interesting and needs to be bottomed out and are constantly sifting through them.

Q: Are you any closer to solving this then you were six years ago?

MR: I know we have a significant line of enquiry that is worth pursuing, and because of that, it could provide an answer. Until we have gone through it, I won’t know if we will get there or not.

Q: What area is that enquiry?

MR: Ourselves and the Portuguese are doing a critical piece of work and we don’t want to spoil it by putting titbits out on it publically.

Q: How confident are you this will solve it for you?

MR: It is worth pursuing.

Q: What does your instinct say about what happened to Maddie?


MR: If I start going in to my instinct having read the material of interest we are dealing with at the moment it would give away what we are looking in to so I’m not going to answer that. But what I would say from my experience of dealing with cold cases and these types of investigations is that this time, even sadly after 10 years of Maddie being missing there are nuggets of information and lines of enquiry that are worth pursuing and it is possible they may lead to an answer. As long as we have the resources to do it, and as long as we have those sensible lines of enquiry because if we can provide an answer to a family in this horrible situation that is what we must do.

Q: Do the significant lines of enquiry suggest to you Maddie is alive or dead?

MR: As I said earlier on we have no definitive evidence as to whether Maddie is alive or dead. We have to keep an open mind that is why we describe it as a missing person enquiry. Of course we understand why after so many years people would be pessimistic but we are keeping an open mind and treating it as a missing person enquiry.

Q: You’ve said you are realistic about what you are dealing with, what do you mean by that?

MR: We are realistic about the prospects and the assumptions people will make 10 years on when a little girl has gone missing but there is no definitive evidence and as long as that is the case we have to have an open mind and treat it as a missing person enquiry.

Q: If she is alive, she is nearly 14, do you have any idea what she might be doing, where she might be, the circumstances she might be living?

MR: That is such a hypothetical question I cannot begin to answer.

Q: There is a chance she may still be alive.

MR: We have to keep an open mind, it is a missing person enquiry, we don’t have that definitive evidence either way.

Q: How confident are you that you will solve the case?

MR: I wish I could say we will solve this. We solve more than 90 per cent of serious cases at Scotland Yard. I wish I could say I could definitely solve it but a small number of cases don’t get solved. What I have always said on this case and I’ve said to Kate and Gerry. We will do everything we can that is possible to try to find and answer. I hope to find an answer but can’t quite guarantee and as a
professional police officer and dealing with the families in awful situations it always hurts you can’t guarantee success, but we will do everything we can to try to get there.

Q: How long might it keep going, your investigation?

MR: It is impossible to be exactly clear. We have a small number of ongoing lines of enquiry, they are critical and we need to deal with those and see how long it takes.

Q: You talk about lines of enquiry because last year the ex-commissioner said there was one piece of work still to be done and when that was completed that would be the end of the investigation. You are rather suggesting things have moved on since then and there is more to pursue, is that true?

MR: We have a small number of lines of enquiry and that’s what we are focussed on.

Q: But he was the boss and he was quite specific ‘one piece of work to do’, you are saying something different?

MR: We have a small number of lines of enquiry, that is what we are pursuing today.

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