Misinformation and the problems it causes

Misinformation and the problems it causes

I was just reading a CdeM Article on Joana-Morais blog posted by Astro.  But straight away I picked up on a mistake.  A mistake that is proven by the files.  Here is the article:

The PJ is forced to investigate abduction lead

Alípio Ribeiro, the Polícia Judiciária’s national director, received a telephone call from John Buck, the British ambassador in Portugal, on the night that Madeleine disappeared from the Ocean Club, on the 3rd of May

by José Carlos Marques / P. M.

At around 11 p.m., approximately two hours after the child’s disappearance was communicated, Alípio Ribeiro had to interrupt a private dinner in order to listen to the diplomat. The phone call was the first sign that the English were very interested in following the PJ’s action closely and to push the investigations into the direction of an abduction.

“The PJ lost too much time investigating the abduction”, a source linked to the investigation told Correio da Manhã. The English diplomacy’s pressure only relented when British police officers arrived in Portugal and supported the redirecting of the investigation towards the hypothesis of homicide. The biological traces that were found inside the apartment were decisive in changing the inquiry’s route, or at least, for the PJ to publicly admit to that change.

The decision to deepen the possibility of the child’s death at the Ocean Club – and the consequent reevaluation of Maddie’s parents’ statements, as well as their friends’ – was made while considering the English police officers’ opinion. The interview that Olegário Sousa – the Judiciária’s chief inspector who has been serving as the police’s spokesman in this case – gave to BBC and ITN televisions yesterday was planned with these agents.

The choice of these two television channels was motivated by the indignation that the English police officers in the Algarve felt themselves, concerning the accusations that have been made against the PJ by the British press. BBC and ITN have been covering the case with more coldness and impartiality, which is the reason why they were given privileged access to the interview.

This was the first time that Olegário Sousa publicly admitted the possibility of Madeleine being dead. A position that places the McCanns in the centre of the investigation, a situation that has been handled ‘with tweezers’ by the Portuguese police.

But the mistake is in the first paragraph, we know Madeleine was reported as missing at 10 p.m. so either the Ambassador called at 11pm (only one hour later) or at 12 p.m. (two hours later) as stated in article.  The facts contained in that first paragraph are totally wrong.  If he received the call at 11 p.m. Madeleine had only been reported missing 1 hour.

Naturally Madeleine is a British Citizen and it is obvious that whoever rung the Ambassador John Buck and his associates told them about a child that could have possibly been abducted. Does anybody think the British Ambassador is going to tell them to “speak to the holiday rep”.  It was not someone’s passport or camera gone missing it was a child.

But in his book Goncalo Amaral states this:

It’s July. The hypothesis of death, including by the parents, is being seriously considered. However, no lead has yet come to anything, and we find ourselves in a cul-de-sac. We have to re-centre the investigation around its point of departure, apartment 5A at the Ocean Club, in Vila da Luz. We officially request the help of the best experts in criminology and forensics but also the specialist dog team from the English police. A few days later, we welcome Mark Harrison, a specialist in murder, and the search for missing persons and victims of natural disasters. National advisor to the British police, he is well known for his exceptional professional experience. He has already participated in dozens of international criminal investigations.

“Is being seriously considered”, so they did think that a death may have occured and they were considering the actions of the parents being involved prior to July.  Surely if the British wanted the abduction theory to be the only one considered then they would not have given sanction for the dogs and Mark Harrison to arrive and even offer the resources of Scotland Yard as Goncalo states:

His work consists of defining new strategies for research. He gets to work immediately, supported by the Portuguese PJ and the investigators from Leicester and Scotland Yard.

The family Liaison officers who were assigned to the McCann when Madeleine disappeared have all stated NO to one important question put to them:

Was anything said or done by Kate or Gerry McCann in your presence or during your contacts that may have raised any suspicion that they had knowledge of what happened to Madeleine, besides the circumstances described to the Portuguese investigators?

So either we have 6 officers willing to commit perjury or six officers speaking the truth, what is it?  Family Liaison Officers are crucial to an investigation, they support the family in their time of need, they liaise with the Police and do all they can to help?  But they also do another important job, because they are with the family for such long periods, they monitor them and if they notice anything that seems untoward, suspicious or hear something that raises alarm bells they tell the investigation team.

After all was it not the Family Liaison Officers who suspected something was not quite right in the disappearance of Shannon Matthews and they monitored the family and reported to the investigation team about the conduct of the family?

But no matter how much, every one cries the dogs, the dogs, the dogs, one important factor must be taken into consideration, and that is:

The dogs findings can only be proved correct if backed up with corroborating evidence.

Martin Grime in his report stated this as a summary:


The tasking for this operation was as per my normal Standard Operating Procedures. The dogs are deployed as search assets to secure evidence and locate human remains or Human blood.

The dogs only alerted to property associated with the McCann family. The dog alert indications MUST be corroborated if to establish their findings as evidence.

Therefore in this particular case, as no human remains were located, the only alert indications that may become corroborated are those that the CSI dog indicated by forensic laboratory analysis.

My professional opinion as regards to the EVRD’s alert indications is that it is suggestive that this is ‘cadaver scent’ contaminant. This does not however suggest a motive or suspect as cross contamination could be as a result of a number of given scenarios and in any event no evidential or intelligence reliability can be made from these alerts unless they can be confirmed with corroborating evidence.

And we also know from Martin Grime in the PJ Files (Vol. IX p. 2480) this:

‘Eddie’ The Enhanced Victim Recovery Dog (E.V.R.D.) will search for and locate human remains and body fluids including blood in any environment or terrain. The initial training of the dog was conducted using human blood and stil born decomposing piglets. The importance of this is that the dog is introduced to the scent of a decomposing body NOT FOODSTUFF. This ensures that the dog disregards the ‘bacon sandwich’ and ‘kebab’ etc that is ever present in the background environment. Therefore the dog would remain efficient searching for a cadaver in a cafe where the clientele were sat eating bacon sandwiches. He has additionally trained exclusively using human remains in the U.S.A. in association with the F.B.I. The enhanced training of the dog has also involved the use of collection of ‘cadaver scent’ odor from human corpses using remote technical equipment which does not contact the subject. This method is comparable to the simulation of cross contamination. It does however differ in that the remote scent samples recovery does not involve subject matter and therefore is a ‘pure’ scent sample. The dog has since initial training gained considerable experience in successfully operationally locating human remains and evidential forensic material.

You see I can read two things in that, and they are:

  1. We know  the EVRD dog can detect cadaver as well as dried Human Blood from a living or deceased person and
  2. Unless a body is found during the searches you can only go on the results of the CSI dog namely Keela.

And the most crucial part of his summary is these words:

Therefore in this particular case, as no human remains were located, the only alert indications that may become corroborated are those that the CSI dog indicated by forensic laboratory analysis.


163 comments on “Misinformation and the problems it causes

  1. Something I had not realised until now, that Kate had already been shown the case files/dog evidence and spoke to the police as a witness and these questions were put to her as an arguido.

    43. In the case files you were SHOWN CANINE forensic testing films, where you can see them marking due to detection of the scent of human corpse and blood traces, also human, and only human, as well as all the comments of the technician in charge of them. After watching and after the marking of the scent of corpse in your bedroom beside the wardrobe and behind the sofa, pushed up against the sofa wall, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

    44. When the sniffer dog also marked human blood behind the sofa, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

    45. When the sniffer dog marked the scent of corpse coming from the vehicle you hired a month after the disappearance, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

    46. When human blood was marked in the boot of the vehicle, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

    47. When confronted with the results of Maddie’s DNA, whose analysis was carried out in a British laboratory, collected from behind the sofa and the boot of the vehicle, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

    it is the bit about explain any more than you already had, that has got me thinking.

  2. Bren, Imagine (heaven forbid in reality). You were on holiday in X country (feel free to imagine somewhere more exotic than Europe), your child disappears. The press relentlessly insinuates that you were involved, with bits of misinformation wildly exaggerated in the press that were probably a distortion of your original statements (or of those on holiday with you). The police then ask you to explain what appears to be irrefutable evidence of your child’s demise on the floor/ceiling/loft/cellar/car… (without showing you what that evidence may be). How would you reply?

    • Carana I think I would take the advice of my lawyer, especially if I knew that my initial actions were wrong and I knew I should not have left my children in the first place. I don’t care what anyone says, even if you have the Police follow you whilst your driving, you are cautious, in fact it does cause a little bit of fear in you, wondering if you are going to be pulled over. God knows what it must feel like in a foreign country, with language barriers, not understanding fully what is being said and having questions thrown at you that are basically saying you harmed your child.

      The more I think about this the more I am beginning to think I would be to put it bluntly “shit scared”, if I knew I was innocent that I was going to get framed for my childs death.,

  3. Forgot this bit: According to this article, GA was made arguido on 4 May 2007 in the Joana case (the case of no body, no DNA… slippery stairs, concluded after a 2-week investigation, etc.). TBH, I haven’t the faintest clue whether the people in that case were guilty or not. No idea. But I’d still be very worried that the same coordinator was in charge of my missing child. Don’t know about you.


    • Now I never knew that. The way this has been discussed on forums and blogs I thought all this really started up later on in the case. I did not realise that he was made an arguido the day after Maddie disappeared.

      • Not the kind of thing that certain blogs would have publicised. No certainty, but it wouldn’t surprise me that this issue is part of why certain FOI requests were refused.

  4. I do think that many kind-hearted people (Portuguese and foreigners) went out of their way to help search for the child, however they could. There are no doubt many unsung heroes.

  5. Carana The statements made by Kate McCann are all on file. There are none missing.

  6. Sally, sorry, I think you’re right. I remembered seeing a reference to someone waiting with Kate for a police interview and for some reason I’d thought it related to the second round of interviews (10/11 Mayish). Double-checking, all I’ve found is DP talking about being with her at the station, but the context would indicate that that was 4 May.

    On the other hand, I presume there must have been notes of interviews with the liaison officers and those aren’t in the files.

  7. I found these comments from Martin Grime quite informative

    EXPERTS say sniffer dogs can play a vital role in fighting crime – but warn it is “madness” to rely on their findings.

    The animals are used to lead police to evidence, but do not provide evidence themselves.

    One expert told The Sun: “The dogs can identify traces of blood, but it’s crazy to draw major conclusions just from what they find.

    “Any evidence they find should be used as a starting point. It’s madness just to rely on the findings of the sniffer dogs.”

    Handler Martin Grimes, who worked with his dogs on the Maddie case, admitted the animals offered no more than “a guide”.

    He said: “They can identify traces of blood and detect the smell of a decomposing body, but that is as far as they go.”

    Martin said his dogs Keela and Eddie would only give him an indication when they find what they are trained to detect.

    He said: “Blood could be invisible to the naked eye, but Keela will detect it. It doesn’t matter if it’s hundreds of years old.

    “Eddie smells for the scent of a decomposing human body. He can detect any part of a human body that is decomposing – hair, bones, flesh, anything.

    “The smell of a decomposing body is very difficult to get rid of. It can easily be transferred to clothing and on to a person.”


  8. Didn’t know where to post. I hadn’t realised the “Missing” Pink Blanket was still doing the rounds.




    According to the Oprah transcript on http://www.mccannfiles.com/id234.html

    Oprah: Well I, you know, I’d read something that said there were times even you know early on after she err went missing that you would say I want I hope that whoever has her gives her her blanket I hope that whoever has her is keeping her warm I hope that whoever has her…
    Kate: I mean it’s funny, it’s you know, I mean as a mum it’s things like that you worry about as well you know. Is someone brushing her teeth. Is someone rubbing her tummy when she’s not feeling well. You know, it’s all those things as a mother you do and you should be doing and…


    (Oprah seems to have somehow morphed into Kate. Personally, I don’t find their physical resemblance to be particularly striking, but anyway…)

  9. It disappeared? Well, the PJ did take a photograph of the bed that night with what indeed appears to be a pink comfort blanket.

    In a forensic photo taken later that day, the blanket is no longer on the bed. http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2316.jpg

    So far, I agree that the pink blanket is not on the bed in the forensic photo taken later on 4/5.)


    From PJ statements:
    On 4th May he was called at about 01.15 when he was asleep at home, requesting him to appear at the Lagos GNR post as a small girl had disappeared. After arriving at the GNR post with his colleagues Morais and two dogs (Numi and Kit), German Shepherd dogs, which made up the search team, they immediately left for P da L. They arrived at about 02.30.

    When they arrived at the scene, they entered the McCann’s apartment by the front door, and entered the living room, where there were some PJ officers as well as the MCCann couple. The just talked to some colleagues from the PJ and asked for a piece of clothing that Madeleine had worn or used recently. They were given a pink/orange blanket that the child had been covered with in her bed.

    During the afternoon of 4th May, more searches were carried out around Vila da Luz and were extended to a radius of approximately 600 metres, including the surroundings of the EN125 in the stretch closed to P da L.

    At about 23.00 the extra teams that had been requested for reinforcement arrived (Officer Rosa with Oscar and Officer Martins with Fusco, both from the search and rescue unit and Officer Fernandes with Rex and Zarus from the tracking team).

    After the officers had been updated about facts relating to the disappearance, they tried to reconstruct the route the girl might have taken with the two tracker dogs. For this purpose the dogs were given a blanket to sniff, provided by the parents, which had been used by Madeleine.

  10. From the CdeM article (ref above)

    “There are many new facts that I will hand over to the Ministerio Publico and which I believe to be enough to get this case, which should never have been shelved, reopened. This is one more detail. We need to know which blanket was Kate talking about, because the pink one stayed in the apartment. Now it is missing.”

    “All of these details will be presented to a prosecutor (procurador) and I was not able to do this earlier because the McCanns prohibited me, against the Constitution, from doing so”, he continued.

    Can anyone provide a source as to where the McCanns prohibited him from going to the AG/Ministerio Publico with any relevant information?

  11. Carana, something is baffling me about all of this and that is this:

    Madeleine was put to bed with her blanket and cuddle cat. The McCanns told the police this, so obviously the Police used the blanket for scenting purposes for the dogs but why was it not tagged and bagged afterwards? Cuddle cat and that blanket could have had traces of DNA, from the so-called abductor. These were forensic items, or should have been sent to forensics, for all anybody knows the so-called abductor could have removed them from her hence having contact with them.

    • Dunno, Bren. The police dog teams were desperately hunting for a child that might have simply wandered off or who could have had an accident somewhere in the vicinity, and they needed items that would give the dogs the specific scent they were to track.

      Would the blanket have been of any use in terms of forensics if it had already been taken all over the place with the dogs during the live search days? Was the blanket every returned? If so, who to?

      Re CuddleCat – no idea. I agree it should have been bagged.

  12. From the Sun

    Worse was to come. It emerged that police failed to send Madeleine’s bedding for forensic tests. By the time they revisited the apartment 24 hours after she was taken, cleaners had washed the sheets, blankets and pillowcase. Vital fibres from the abductor’s clothing, or even their fingerprints, may have been lost.

    Only hair samples were sent for testing at a Portuguese forensic lab. An insider there said half the evidence needed to find out what happened was not tested.

    He said: “It is obvious it would have been good if they had sent sheets, blankets, pillows and even the mattress. Some important clue could have been found.”

    Wonder when this photo was taken of the crime scene and whether it was 24hrs later.

    • Hmmmm. I’ve found nothing reliable to suggest that cleaners had come in the next day. On the other hand, I have no trace of bedding being sent to forensics.

    • Hadn’t noticed that page before. No pink objects at all. At what stage was this photo taken?

      I don’t recall having seen a translation of the text underneath the photos on that page. Anyone?

    • That photo was taken on the 4th May 2007 the link to the statement is above the photo. Also found this relating to the bedding being removed, apparently it came from a source inside the Forensic Department in Portugal.

      From Daily Mail

      A source from the Portuguese police laboratory said: “Some important clue could have been found on those items besides hair, which was what was sent to the institute.

      “They forgot that the items in the bedroom could hypothetically have had fibres belonging to a possible abductor or even a fingerprint.”

  13. If the police showed no interest in the blanket and CC for forensic analysis, the McCanns probably took them to their new apartment.

  14. Bren—- Wonder when this photo was taken of the crime scene and whether it was 24hrs later.

    This was the first picture to show the interior of Madeleine’s bedroom, from where she was allegedly abducted.

    The picture was taken through the front window after the police had completed their forensic investigations. It was released to newspapers on 12 November 2007.

    It shows Madeleine’s bed, with sheets, but does not show the cots where the twins slept. Presumably the cots, being the property of Mark Warner, were returned and reissued to other guests.

    Also worth noting is that there is no ‘high shelf’; onto which, it was reported, Kate McCann had described seeing Cuddle Cat – the significance being that it was out of Madeleine’s reach and could therefore only have been placed there by an intruder. However, it should be added that these reports came from ‘souces’ and there is no such quote directly attributable to Kate herself.


    • Sally, which photo are you referring to?

    • From memory, this photo (the unmade one with whatever lying on top) came from a tabloid. Was it actually from 5A? Or a photo of any similar flat to illustrate the tabloid piece?

  15. CC on 4th May

  16. Processos Vol IX

    Pages 2307- 2322

    Specialist Examination Report 200707060-CR/L
    Requester: DIC PJ Portimao
    Fax: 399 of 8 May 2007
    Date: 4 May 2007

    – INQUIRY –
    This is the report of the specialist examination of a dwelling situated at Apartment 5A, of Block A of the tourist accommodation building, “Ocean Club” – Praia da Luz, Lagos, from where there occurred, on 3 May 2007, the disappearance of a minor of English nationality.

    On 4 May 2007, at 15:30, a Crime Scene team from the Police Science Laboratory, comprising the undersigned, went, at the request of DIC PJ Portimao, to a dwelling situated at Apartment 5A, of Block A of the tourist accommodation building, “Ocean Club” – Praia da Luz, Lagos, in order to perform a specialist examination of the location.There follow photograph displays of the exterior of the apartment to be examined as well as detail of the entrance thereto.

    Photo 1: Orthographic map of the location with the target apartment being indicated with a red circle.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2307.jpg

    09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2308 Photos 2 and 3: Displays of the entrance (from Rua Doutor Agostinho da Silve) and of the apron [open paved area; car park] existing in the immediate area of the tourist accommodation building of the target apartment, the front door to which is indicated with a red arrow.

    Photos 4 to 6: Displays of the pathway to the main door of the target apartment, of that door with the number 5A being visible, and of the sign at the street access in front of the referred apartment.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2308.jpg

    09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2309 Photo 7: Display of the side and rear of the target apartment.

    Photos 8 to 10: Displays of the side gate leading to the apartment, of the small garden area and of the pathway behind it.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2309.jpg

    09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2310 washing machine adjacent to sink , fridge behind kitchen door
    Initially a general observation of the interior of the apartment was carried out it being seen that it comprised a kitchen, a living room, a bathroom, a master bedroom and a bedroom with two single beds and two small cots for children.

    Photos 11 and 12: Displays of the interior of the kitchen of the target apartment.

    Photos 13 to 15: Displays of the interior of the living room and of the hallway to the street door at the front of the apartment.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2310.jpg

    09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2311 photo 17: bath with shower hose Photos 16 and 17: Displays of the entrance and of the interior of the bathroom of the target apartment.
    Photos 18 to 20: Displays of the interior of the master bedroom of the target apartment.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2311.jpg

    09_VOLUME_IXa_Page_2312 Photos 21 to 23: Displays of the the bedroom with two single beds of the target apartment.

    Then began the detailed observation of the apartment interior ending with the search and recovery of forensic trace material relevant to the present examination.
    Initially the search began for latent shoe-prints it being verified that dozens existed on the floor, in the various rooms of the apartment, which invalidated the attempt of identifying those of the perpetrator. Also, innumerable tracks [footprints] that were taken to be canine in origin mixed with red- and white-coloured chemical products, as used to see fingerprints, and an enormous quantity of hairs probably of animal (dog) origin that made it difficult to find possible traces, especially in the bedroom of two single beds and two children’s cots from where the minor disappeared, and next to the aluminium window/door leading from inside the living room to the exterior area behind the apartment.

    http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/P9/0 … e_2312.jpg

  17. Thanks Sally I have posted that up as it is quite informative.

    Now all this about the McCanns and their friends going all over the apartment and ruining forensics, it seems to me that the GNR did not do a bad job of that either. No offence but unless the McCanns and their friends decided to adopt dogs after the disappearance, there was a lot of canine hair in the apartment.

    Then began the detailed observation of the apartment interior ending with the search and recovery of forensic trace material relevant to the present examination.
    Initially the search began for latent shoe-prints it being verified that dozens existed on the floor, in the various rooms of the apartment, which invalidated the attempt of identifying those of the perpetrator. Also, innumerable tracks [footprints] that were taken to be canine in origin mixed with red- and white-coloured chemical products, as used to see fingerprints, and an enormous quantity of hairs probably of animal (dog) origin that made it difficult to find possible traces, especially in the bedroom of two single beds and two children’s cots from where the minor disappeared, and next to the aluminium window/door leading from inside the living room to the exterior area behind the apartment.

    I know the dogs were looking for Maddie but did they really need to enter the apartment, surely whatever was used as a scent source could have been sniffed by the dogs outside? Sorry it seems to me as if big big mistakes were even being made the next day not just that night.

  18. carana…the photo where bren said.”.Wonder when this photo was taken of the crime scene and whether it was 24hrs later”

  19. Yes it was from the Sun article and with this caption

    Scene … Maddie was taken from this bed,
    almost certainly seconds after dad Gerry left apartment


  20. Ok, thanks, Sally. So, the tabloid one. Presume it must have been taken from outside. If that’s an authentic photo, what are the blue & goldy items doing on the bed? What’s the white blur to the right about? Can’t be sunshine just to the right of the bedhead, can it? Thought bedroom faced North, so not sure how it could be reflected sunshine from sun on window. I doubt it’s an authentic photo of that bed in that flat, TBH.

    sally :
    carana…the photo where bren said.”.Wonder when this photo was taken of the crime scene and whether it was 24hrs later”

  21. Processos Vol XI

    Pages 2945 – 2952

    Letter from DCCB (Direcção Central de Combate ao Banditismo )

    To: The Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation, Dr Amaral

    Date 27 September 2007

    { snips}


    4. It was stated by Silvia Batista that on 20-09-2007, during the morning, three reporters from Sky News, two men and a woman, were seen on the patio of apartment 5 A and that they had forced the external blind to the bedroom that Madeleine had disappeared from, probably with the intention of filming inside, and she told them to leave. But she said that yesterday 25-09-2007 a security guard was asked to come to the same apartment as there was a group of three journalists – two Spanish men and a woman, who had set up cameras on the patio next to Apartment 5 A which was occupied at the time. Their identification was not noted, but given the fact they had filming equipment, they were assumed to be reporters.

    – With regard to journalists, it was reported by cleaners working in the block containing apartment 5 A that they are often bothered by journalists trying to get access to the apartment, which has always been denied them, the journalists often tried to persuade them or offer money in exchange for access

    7. Reference is made that with some of the OC employees an attempt is made to obtain information about any strange movements surrounding the apartment initially occupied by the McCann family and we were told that apart from the journalists, they did not notice anything unusual. However, they would like to clarify that given the endless insistence on the part of these journalists, the employees did not really pay attention to details, neither did they register their identification of physical characteristics, limiting themselves to refusing access to the building and not answering any questions about the events that occurred there.

    – Yesterday at 21.16 the Portimao DIC received a phone call from a security officer who worked for the OC to say that a few minutes ago somebody had forced up the shutters of the window of the bedroom Madeleine had disappeared from. The undersigned, together with two of his colleagues went to the scene, where they saw the shutter was hanging obliquely in front of the window and noted that it had been effectively forced open from the outside. However, there were no signs of anyone trying to breach the window.

    – These facts were reported by the security guard.

    – The guard said that the incident happened between 21.00 and 21.05, when he was making his 21.00 round of the block containing Apartment 5 A and then walked down the die of 5 A, down the road to the Baptista supermarket and then returned up the same road, returning to the surroundings of Apartment 5 A and saw that in that short space of time, someone who he cannot identify as he saw nobody around, had approached the window and forced the shutters. At about 21.06 he alerted reception and the GNR.

    – Immediately before he had been talking to a colleague, opposite 5 A and 5 B and neither of them had seen anyone strange, but a few moments earlier they had seen two journalists -–a man and a woman –near the bar, with logos from a Canadian media channel stuck on their camera.

    – Given the scenario, as well as the way the shutter had been raised as well as the limiting factors that other people had already been at the site and there was no guarantee of its preservation, the procedure to examine for fingerprints was not activated by the Portimao DIC.

    – Some trips were made to Lagos in order to attempt to identify journalists and TV stations, as well as any other persons suspected, but this activity had negative results.

  22. Bren/Sally. Hmmm. I find nothing in that photo that identifies it as being that bed in that flat. I suspect it was a filler photo that could have been taken anywhere to illustrate the article.

  23. Carana about the pink blanket I think this is what happened the photos where it is shown on the bed were taken by João Franciso Páscoa Luis Trigo Barreiras http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/PJ/5A_PHOTO_REPORT.htm

    At 2.30 am on the 4th the first GNR officers with dogs arrived and they used the blanket to get a scent from. Then at 15.30 pm the next lot of forensic people arrived and took photos and the blanket was missing. Now the blanket would have been moved for the dogs to scent it so that is why it is in one set of photos and not the other. It was never replaced to its original position.

    Now the other thing is, if the police used the blanket to get a scent, was it ever returned to the McCanns or kept by the GNR for the other dogs that arrived later to use?

  24. “Now the other thing is, if the police used the blanket to get a scent, was it ever returned to the McCanns or kept by the GNR for the other dogs that arrived later to use?”

    No idea – the statements don’t make that clear. However, it would seem logical that the blanket would have been kept by the first GNR lot and was handed over to the next dog team. Unless the first team handed back the blanket to the parents and it was requested again late that night. I doubt that that would have been the case.

    Whatever the chain of custody of the pink blanket, the fact that it is present in an early police photo and not in one taken later that day does not seem to justify the idea that the pink blanket mysteriously “disappeared” during that time as a potential “shroud” for a “secret burial ceremony”.

  25. I suspect if they were using the “pink blanket” for scenting then it was bagged awaiting the next set of dogs to arrive. If the blanket had Madeleines scent on it they would have wanted to preserve that as much as possible for the dogs and would not want everyone handling it at every opportunity so that the scent from others was transferred onto it. Hope that makes sense.

  26. Rebelo reconstruction

    picture of bed.


    They spent almost three hours at the apartment where Madeleine was left sleeping with two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie on May 3.

    They seemed to be focusing on windows and patio doors where an abductor could have gained entry.

    Witnesses saw the team passing a large blue blanket through a bedroom window.

    They said the detectives appeared to be checking whether it would be possible for one person to take a child out or if they would have needed an accomplice.

    An officer also climbed out of the window.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-490610/They-believe-Portuguese-police-finally-enact-Madeleine-abduction.html#ixzz1CX1S0AGO

  27. That’s how I understand it.

  28. Thinking about this bed,

    Now I wonder if a small child could hide under those beds, if so, I have seen comments where people have said about Kate saying she checked under the beds and basically calling Kate a liar.

    If a child could hide under there, then it is obvious that what Kate said could well be the truth. Personally it looks like a child could squeeze under there. Kids have squeezed into places which we thought they never would be able to.

  29. In any event, whatever the chain of custody, whether handed back and subsequently requested back ….

    How does it sit with:

    “One of the new facts that have already been revealed by our newspaper – and that was also mentioned during the McCanns’ interview with Oprah Winfrey – concerns a blanket that disappeared from the Ocean Club and that, allegedly, was used as a shroud during a funeral. Could that be one of the worries for those who persist in preventing the discovery of the entire truth about what happened to little Maddie?

    I’ll explain: this child, like so many others of her age, slept with a certain blanket and with a certain soft toy. During that interview that you mention, the interviewer spoke to the mother, saying that she knew about her concern in knowing if the abductor covered her with “her blanket”. So far, nothing much. Now notice this, the blanket was left behind when the disappearance happened. There is documentation that proves that it was not taken with her, and there is no known testimony saying that it was seen when she was being carried away in a man’s arms.

    What is being asked is the following: Was this a gaffe by the interviewer? Was “her blanket” the one that was left behind? How did “her blanket” go back to the child? These are the questions that need an answer and at the very least, they may indicate that there is something wrong.

    Why doesn’t he mention that it was taken and used by the dog sniffer teams?

  30. Carana I don’t know, but surely if they were using the blanket as an item for scenting for the dogs they would have wanted to keep her scent on it. Someone must have bagged that and labelled it surely. They surely would not have kept giving it back to the parents and asking for it again every time another set of dogs arrived?

    Or where the sniffer dogs that initially arrived the only ones used for scenting? And surely if they kept the Pink blanket then it would obviously be logged to someone and Goncalo should know what happened to it. The officers have stated the blanket was used for scenting so why does he not know what happened to it?

  31. Ok, Sally, So that photo could have been taken on Rebelo-day. Possible.

    sally :
    Rebelo reconstruction
    picture of bed.
    They spent almost three hours at the apartment where Madeleine was left sleeping with two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie on May 3.
    They seemed to be focusing on windows and patio doors where an abductor could have gained entry.
    Witnesses saw the team passing a large blue blanket through a bedroom window.
    They said the detectives appeared to be checking whether it would be possible for one person to take a child out or if they would have needed an accomplice.
    An officer also climbed out of the window.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-490610/They-believe-Portuguese-police-finally-enact-Madeleine-abduction.html#ixzz1CX1S0AGO

  32. A friends husband of ours used to run dog training classes and he used to do the scent training class for dogs, of course they used cloths and I know when my mate had to wash the scenting cloths for the dogs she had to wash them with in a strict manner and she was not allowed to handle them at all. They used to be boiled, taken from the washing machine by tongs, placed in the dryer by tongs and then in a sealed bag by tongs.

    Everything was done so that that there was no transference of her scent onto the cloths and she also had to use latex gloves and make sure they did not fall on the floor or touch any other clothing or items.

    And that was only for dog training classes 😀

  33. Oprah

    Oprah: Well I, you know, I’d read something that said there were times even you know early on after she err went missing that you would say I want I hope that whoever has her gives her her blanket I hope that whoever has her is keeping her warm I hope that whoever has her…

    Kate: I mean it’s funny, it’s you know, I mean as a mum it’s things like that you worry about as well you know. Is someone brushing her teeth. Is someone rubbing her tummy when she’s not feeling well. You know, it’s all those things as a mother you do and you should be doing and

    Is this what Oprah had read? completely different meaning

    ..Vanty F………………………………………….
    Another friend told the magazine that Mrs McCann was tormented about her daughter’s welfare, saying she constantly said: “I hope whoever has Madeleine is giving her blankets, is feeding her properly, is keeping her warm.”

  34. Good find Sally, so in Vanity Fair Kate told a friend that she hoped that whoever had her was giving her a blanket (not the pink blanket – but a blanket in general as Madeleine was used to having one).

  35. Yes Bren, just mentioning blankets in general and keeping her warm

  36. The pink blanket…

    1. The McCanns could have taken it along with clothes and CC to new apartment after the first crime scene photographs.

    2. The dog handler never gave it back.

    If the McCanns had the blanket then it should have been taken, along with everything else to the gym where Eddie was deployed?

  37. Well according to this report on the 4th May 2007 at 23.00 the dogs sniffed the blanket again.


    During the afternoon of 4th May, more searches were carried out around Vila da Luz and were extended to a radius of approximately 600 metres, including the surroundings of the EN125 in the stretch closed to P da L.

    At about 23.00 the extra teams that had been requested for reinforcement arrived (Officer Rosa with Oscar and Officer Martins with Fusco, both from the search and rescue unit and Officer Fernandes with Rex and Zarus from the tracking team).

    After the officers had been updated about facts relating to the disappearance, they tried to reconstruct the route the girl might have taken with the two tracker dogs. For this purpose the dogs were given a blanket to sniff, provided by the parents, which had been used by Madeleine.

  38. Ahhh. Yes, good find, Sally. So, Oprah wasn’t totally off mark. One of her employees must have picked up on the everyday comfort worries in the Vanity Fair article, which was an obvious conversation topic for the show. Oprah introduced the topic as worrying about keeping her warm (probably based on that article, without direct quotes by Kate)… which then somehow got morphed by others into the idea that Kate had specifically mentioned the pink blanket, which then got further morphed into the pink blanket being a shroud for a secret burial.

    I can understand how the social media picked up on that and morphed it into whatever suited agendas. However, I have more difficulty in understanding how an interview with the initial police coordinator, who presumably kept up to date on developments, including the fact that the blanket was used to help find the child, omits the blanket issue from the police-dog perspective in interviews published as late as Dec 2010.

  39. Truth of the Lie

    Tuesday March(?May) 8th, 11.45pm, Ocean Club blocks 4 and 5

    In the hope of retracing the path that Madeleine would have taken on the night of May 3rd, we set up a search operation, bringing sniffer dogs in from Lisbon from the National Republican Guard. An identical operation had already taken place on the same night as the disappearance with dogs from the local police.

    The idea is to start from apartment 5A and to follow all the roads that lead to accommodation blocks 5 and 4. From the start we are aware of the limits of this approach. In fact, the GNR dogs are essentially trained for searching in a rural environment; in addition, the persistence of bodily odours diminishes after 48 hours.

    We get them to sniff a towel which, according to Kate, was used to dry Madeleine after her bath. When the dogs finished going along block 5, when, logically, they should have been heading for block 4, they suddenly turn to the left. They then follow the path at the back that separates the apartments from the leisure area. They go quite a long way in that direction. Even if the reaction of the two dogs coincides, the trainers cannot draw any definite conclusions: in fact, it’s already been more than two days since the disappearance. What they can state with certainty, is that Madeleine went along there, without being able to pinpoint the date. Gerald McCann confirms this claim: he took that same route with Madeleine a few days earlier.

  40. Sally I always thought it odd that a towel was used for scenting because there is a high chance that the other children could have wiped their hands and face on it. The officers state it is a blanket and I think at the moment I am going with the blanket as that seems to be the most obvious choice and would have had her scent on it more than a towel.

    Now reading that report every time the dogs arrived back on the scene to start work again they would have to smell the object again and in the report it states that the dogs were there until the 18th May, so theoretically if they were using the blanket it would have still been in the possession of the search team until at least the 18th May 2007


    The other dogs and their handlers remained on site until 18th May when at about 19.00 they returned to Cino/EPG as their presence was no longer require in P da L, although it was determined that if their use were required in the future, they would return.

  41. Extract from statement of GNR dog handler, Antonio Freitas Silva:

    The deponent states that:
    • He comes to the process in the role of Chief of the GNR Search and Rescue Team. He coordinated all the work carried out by the two sniffer dogs in the Luz zone and the immediate areas relating to the disappearance of the English minor Madeleine McCann from the Ocean Club.
    • He remembers that on the 4th of May of the current year, around 23h00, they attempted to tentatively identify and thus reconstruct the path taken by the missing minor. They gave the dogs a Turkish bath towel which was supposedly used by the child in question. This operation was realised by two different dogs

  42. There was a blanket mentioned as deposited


    List of articles confiscated/delivered to/by the PJ
    4-2-Outros Apensos; Apenso IV; vol 2. Pages285 TO 287



    Outros Apensos IV; vol 2.

    Pages 285 – 287


    Complainant : PJ

    Arguido: Robert Murat and others

    NUIPC: 201/07.0 Galgs, Section: 4th Brigade. Inspector Joao Carlos

    The undersigned officer remits the following articles to the PJ:

    Portimao 14 December 2007

    To be Deposited:

    1&2 – One envelope containing one (01) elastic band made of synthetic material, used to tie hair.

    3&4 – One envelope containing one (01) black plastic bag from C.M in Lagos and one (01) sackcloth bag, with one (01) stone [rock].

    5 – One envelope containing one (01) child’s vest.

    6&7 – One envelope containing one (01) child’s green jacket/coat with the label “Saccor”, size 4 and one (01) child’s vest, with the label “Palomino”, size 98 with a floral pattern.

    8 – One envelope containing one (01) pink and orangey brown blanket.

    9 – One envelope containing one (01) pair of “Chico” child’s sports shoes.

    10-12 – One plastic bag from the “Alisuper” supermarket containing various items of clothing, namely one (01) checkered shirt, two (02) pairs of trousers and three (03) empty and torn bin bags.

    13 – One envelope containing one (01) pair of blue and grey child’s socks.

    14 – One plastic bag containing baby toys.

    15&16 – One envelope containing six swabs with traces, supposedly blood – (Rua 25 de Abril, nº 14, P da L).

    17&18 – One envelope containing one (01) black, blue and red “Clarks” sports shoe.

    19 – One envelope containing one (01) pink child’s sock.

    20 – One envelope containing one (01) cotton bodice [corset], with a floral border, hemmed/trimmed with ribbon.

    21 – One envelope containing (01) red and white piece of child’s clothing.”

    1 – Page 287 (Marked: 1 & 2) An undated and unsigned hand-written note, very difficult to read but appearing to be written by a police officer from Aljezur, stating that on 4 (or 9) May around 06:00am (s)he found an ‘elastica para o cabelo’ (hair elastic?), abandoned/lost on the floor of (what could be) the back of the parents’ bedroom.

    2 – Page 288 (Marked: 6 & 7) On 11 Maya PJ officer collected two objects from GNR at Milfontes that had been handed in by one DJPK (nationality not given but name is Irish or Scottish). The objects were a child’s green coat (brand: SACOOR) and an undervest (brand: Palomino) with flowers printed on it.

    3 – Pages 290-291 (Marked: 8) On 13 June on the road between Lagos and Portimao near Odiaxere, a blanket, pink on one side and orangey-brown on the other. It was found at the beginning of a dirt road “as indicated by writing in a Dutch newspaper.”
    [ Note: We now know from photographs that Madeleine’s blanket was still on her bed. ]


    4 – Page 296 (Marked: 9)) A sports shoe, brand ‘Chico’. A handwritten note simply states 7 June; tennis shoe; ‘mata de baras’ (Baras’ wood) or ‘mata de barao’ (Baron’s wood); ‘Don’t move.’

    5 – Pages 297-298 (Marked: 10) On 16 June a plastic bag marked ‘Alisuper’ was handed in to the PJ by a GNR officer. He had received it the previous day from an English lady (living in PdL) who found it in ‘Green Hills’, Bensafrim. Inside were a checked shirt, a pair of shorts and torn empty garbage bags.

    6 – Page 299 (Marked: 14) An undated, hand-written note that a bag was found by firemen in ‘Matos Morenos?’ in Funchal (Funchal Ridge, Lagos?) at 15:00.

    7 – Pages 300-301 (Marked: 17 & 18) On 7 May at 19:45 a GNR patrolman spotted a ‘Clarks’ tennis shoe, colour black/blue/red, size 4-and-a-half, on a roundabout in Lagos.

    8 – Page 302 (Marked: 20)” A hand-written note on GNR notepaper says that an Englishman (HW) found something (undisclosed) in the garden immediately adjacent to apartment 4A (building not indicated) at “11 16 45 Mai 07”. Whether the ’45’ belongs to the time or the date is not clear.

    Now Pamalam has a note [ Note: We now know from photographs that Madeleine’s blanket was still on her bed. ]

    Edited removed comment as it seems the blanket is another one found.

  43. Sorry, typo in previous. Bren, please delete previous post. I was retyping from almost invisible PT text and made a mistake.

    Foi-lhes entregue um cobertor cor de rosa/alaranjado com que a miúda estava tapada na cama.

  44. So was the blanket pink and orange and not solely pink? So they were given a towel and a blanket to use.

  45. Not clear whether the blanket was pink AND orange or whether they weren’t sure of the colour (i.e. maybe pink OR orangey).

  46. This dog report talks about a towel.


    Looking at that report, two different dogs got very excited at apt. 5J.

    (I seem to remember a report about that flat, but will have to hunt. From memory, was something to do with rotting food left in a fridge – but would prefer to double-check.)

  47. All the apartments were searched by the dogs and when they arrived at apartment 5 J they began to sniff with intensity at the entrance door. During this behaviour it was noted by the PJ officers that there must be some unusual odour, but which with all certainty did not have anything to do with the odour being searched for, but there must have been something strange inside.

    After entering the apartment, it was observed that the odour came from close to the fridge, which was open and contained some rotting meat and vegetables.

    During the searches carried out in the apartments no sign of the girl was found by the dogs.

  48. Processos Vol XIII

    Pages 3517 – 3524

    GNR Report

    Subject: Report of Searches Related to the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

    Annex B – Report on the Sniffer Dog Search and Rescue Team

    At about 23.00 accompanied by a PJ inspector, the searches were begun. After Rex was given the girl’s clothing to sniff, he began to search on the ground floor of block 5 and when he passed the door of apartment 5 A (the place the girl had disappeared from) according to his handler, officer Fernandes, the dog altered its behaviour, sniffing

  49. Anyway, here’s another thing I’m confused about: Fingerprints on the window of the children’s bedroom.

    According to this “chat” interview between GA & Moita Flores in the TV guide: “The McCanns knew that I was going to catch them”, 20 October 2008

    “…MF – But I do insist on the window. The mother said that she never touched it.
    GA – That she never even opened it.
    MF – Now, when I read the process, I realised that her fingerprints were on it. And positioned in a manner that coincides with an opening movement.
    GA – It was with that, with Kate’s fingerprints on the window that I wanted to catch them.
    MF – What really made them mad was being made arguidos.
    GA – Now that you know the process, tell me… Under the old Penal Process, how do I ask Kate: “Are you lying when you say you didn’t touch the window? As a matter of fact, it was you who opened the window. We have material evidence of that.” A question like this forces the constitution of arguido because it invades her sphere of constitutional rights. I have to give her the right not to reply, instead of lying. The only solution was to make her an arguida.
    MF – Things were different in my time. She would have been under such an attack that before she realised anything, she’d be in jail.

    GA – Right, but in your time, in our old times, investigation was made with fuel. Now we all move on honey. Apart from that, this is a process that is uncomfortable for everyone. Nicely archived, nice and quiet, that’s how it looks better. Everyone was happy.
    According to the Barreiras report, Kate’s fingerprints (middle & index finger, left hand) were identified on the inside surface of the window:


Reg No 129/07
Communication of G.N.R. LAGOS

At 01:00am time on 04-05-07, I , Joao Barreiras, Assistant Specialist, proceeded with the inspection of the location mentioned below.Signature

INFRACTION: Missing Child

Date: 03-04-2007
Occasion: About 22H00

    A -884 and 885 in Processo vol 4.
At 01:00am on 4 May 2007 I, JB, assistant-specialist, began to examine the following location:

At apartment 5A, Ocean Club: Inside glass of the window in the children’s bedroom. Five prints were recovered; three of the middle finger of the left hand and two of the index finger of the left hand of the mother of the missing child. Only the inside of the glass was examined at this time due the fact that it was night and the location was sealed until there was sufficient light to allow the examination of the residence to be completed.

    Actually, I can only see 4 fingerprints, not 5… but anyway. Nowhere have I found anything to suggest that her prints were “positioned in a manner that coincides with an opening movement.”
    I suppose that one could, in theory, simply place 2 fingers on a window and slide it open, if it were not locked… but nothing confirms that.

    Then: Pic of window handle (from inside)

    That handle looks as if you have to push a button to unlock it. If so, I can’t find any mention of fingerprints on the handle. I would have expected at least a thumbprint on the button.
    That window was presumably also closed again, where are the fingerprints?

  50. From Gerrys interview on the 10th May 2007

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

    Then he closed the shutters, made his way to the outside and tried to open them, which he managed to do, much to his surprise given that he thought that that was only possible from the inside. They continued with searches outside, around the various apartment blocks, the deponent having asked MATHEW to go to the secondary reception in order to communicate the fact to the local police, since he had no doubt that his daughter had been abducted. He refutes, peremptorily, the possibility that MADELEINE could have left the apartment by her own means.


    Now I wonder if Kate helped him,and touched the window that way

  51. Don’t know. I find it perfectly plausible that Kate would have touched the window (if, indeed, she found it open), if only to poke her head outside to check for any sign of the little one.

    There are several fingerprints on the blinds, veranda window, etc., many of which seem to be partial or otherwise unidentifiable.

    But I can’t find anything to justify that K’s fingerprints were indicative of her having *opened* the children’s bedroom window.

    There are several statements relating to the window… will have to hunt.

    From memory, GA states that the cleaning lady had cleaned the window the day before, but I never found anything to that effect in her statement.

    Amy Tierney states that she saw the window open.

    Silvia Batista says something related to the window.

    Will hunt unless someone else finds the statements faster than I can.

  52. Ok, this makes it easier, though I think several forensic-related comments are still on other threads. No worries, we’ll find them.

    Before I forget, here’s another detail that I found strange:

    “On the 14th of April of 2007, in the company of my partner, June HUGHES, we travelled from Glasgow airport to Portugal for a one week holiday. ….

    We noticed that the cleaning personnel entered the apartment after one knock and did not give us time to respond. This was a bit bothersome and for this reason we would lock the door, and would leave the key in the inside lock.

    After this precaution, the next day, the same thing happened and the cleaning woman entered even though the door was locked with the key in the lock.

    We never found out how it was possible for a cleaning woman to enter after we had tried to prevent it. ”


  53. Thinking about this window, surely the cleaners would have not cleaned the windows during that week. Normally the apartments are cleaned thoroughly before the next guests arrive. Housekeeping in the week is tidy up bathroom, clean towels, quick dust etc. So it is entirely possible that Kate could have tried the window to make sure it was locked during the week, hence her fingerprints being on there.

  54. Sept interview

    The window in Madeleine’s room remained closed, but she doesn’t know if it was locked, blinds and curtains drawn. The window remained like this since the first day, night and day. She never opened it. If somebody saw the window blinds in Madeleine’s room open, it was not Kate who opened them, she never saw them open.

  55. Thanks Sally, now I wonder if those curtains were closed when they arrived in the apartment because if they were open I wonder who shut them and whether they placed a hand on the window when closing them?

  56. From Blacksmith:


    Time for a change
    From: (Blacksmith)
    Sent: 05 February 2011 11:47
    Subject: The Blacksmith Bureau


    You will note that I have deleted the Bureau. There are a number of reasons for doing so, the most important of which is that it is no longer fulfilling its purpose of assisting GA with the provision of reliable counter-information to the inadequacies of the UK media.

    One issue, however, concerns you and me.

    I have always accepted criticism from the supporters of the McCanns, most of whom are, while unpleasant as individuals, as sincere in their views as we are in ours, especially since the blog has never been aimed at forum members but at the neutral general reader. For some time, however, on the Joana Morais and MCF sites you have allowed, unmoderated, persistent personal attacks on me, mostly, it seems, from Portuguese posters, claiming, among other things, that I had no factual basis for my comments and that they were some sort of vendetta against GA or the Portuguese.

    And these comments have been amplified elsewhere.You know what a good friend of Portugal I have been. You knew perfectly well that the majority of the Portuguese information I posted from beginning to end was provided by Goncalo Amaral and yourself, with subsidiary input and documentation from others, including members of the PJ, officer De Freitas and lawyers associated with the case, for example. Furthermore I remind you that before publication of recent posts I repeatedly asked for the evidence from GA of political interference by the UK, none of which he was able to provide. At no time has anyone on those two sites made any attempt to point out to the more hysterical of your posters, even tactfully and anonymously, the true origin of much of my information.

    I could not do so myself without breaching confidentiality and good faith. As a result the clear impression has been given, and allowed to stand by you and your colleagues, that I am one of those fraudsters like Bennett and Levy – both of whom have been protected from any criticism at all on your sites – who aggrandise themselves with pretend sources, lies and rumours. I am sorry but I am not willing to accept that insult to my reputation unchallenged.

    Unless I receive a reply from you today outlining your plans to bring these facts to your readers on both sites I intend to publish this email.



  57. Too much spin and counterspin that comes from ALL directions.

  58. Well it seems to me Sally that a lot has been going on which none of us know about behind the scenes.

    Nowhere does it say 17.00 (5pm) in that email but according to a member on MCF that is the time they were given

    But this somehow looks a bit like throwing a tantrum. To write a mail at 11:47 today and expect a reply before 17:00 not knowing if the recipient is “in town” is expecting a bit too much.

    Seems a funny comment to make, surely as Blacksmith has not said any time the comment would have read something like to post up before the day is out is not fair etc…

  59. He obviously feels he has been ‘stabbed in the back’ so sod it.

    For me it was always obvious who he was working with, and gaining his information from.

  60. Who gave the Rog interviews to certain members of 3a – Blacksmith.

    Who gave them to him?

  61. I never knew where they came from… first I knew is that nicked started posting them and a couple of other members

  62. If they have been “stabbed in the back” I can certainly understand them wanting to speak the truth. There are many out there that just love to jump on people accuse them of all sorts without knowing the full facts and even when they know the full facts they conveniently forget them if it serves their purpose. And sometimes it comes from those you thought or think are friends… just goes to show you don’t know anyone from the internet and best never to trust anyone… you just never know.

  63. Much is being said about the involvement of Freitas.

    Has he been directly involved or is Blacksmith just referring to certain documents concerning Freitas that are in the witheld files?

    “with subsidiary input and documentation from others, including members of the PJ, officer De Freitas and lawyers associated with the case, for example. “

  64. I suspect they are referring to his statements, could be things in the withheld files. God knows what is going on to be honest. But whatever it is Blacksmith is not willing to let his reputation be tarnished over it.

    Now it could be just stuff and the reasons why he was not allowed to testify in court.. could be letters, communications with GAs lawyers about testifying.

  65. Well Bren we know they have more access to the files than we have – cabrita produced the Rainow report in the court.

    So has Blacksmith been passed some of these files that are still under judicial secrecy.

  66. Well this was in the Independent about De Freitas testifying in that trial

    Mr Amaral’s lawyers also sought evidence from a British policeman, Metropolitan Police Detective Sergeant Jose De Freitas, who was seconded to Leicestershire Police to help with the British end of the investigation.

    But he is not expected to appear as a witness in the trial.

    A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service has received correspondence from the Portuguese authorities.

    “This correspondence is currently being considered.”


  67. “You knew perfectly well that the majority of the Portuguese information I posted from beginning to end was provided by Goncalo Amaral and yourself, with subsidiary input and documentation from others,”

    I wonder if the information Blacksmith received was both truthful and factual and not part propoganda.

  68. J de N

    “Any potential evidence [testimonial] that I can give may be subject to confidentiality and Immunity of the English Public Interest. Furthermore, since all the services that I performed were official, the principle of State immunity is applied and it will be necessary to gain the consent of the United Kingdom authorities to waive that State immunity before I could be subject to the jurisdiction of the Portuguese courts and be able to give any evidence, whether relevant or not. The State immunity covering my official acts is that of the United Kingdom and not mine, and can not be renounced by me, but only by the United Kingdom”, wrote José de Freitas to the judge of the Civil Court of Lisbon after having been notified, in a letter that JN had access.

    The police officer suggests that his witness statement should be instead requested through a rogatory letter or through the British Ambassador in Portugal. But subjected to prior authorisation by the English authorities, who have just set a tight regime of secrecy of the process in England (read the next article).


  69. Sally the same thoughts have been going through my head, has Blacksmith been used? That paragraph you quoted jumped out at me, perhaps when their reputation was being ripped to shreds and no-one spoke out that is what made them send that email? To be honest I don’t think we will know what really has been going on.

  70. I doubt we will Bren, unless of course Blacksmith really wants to spill.

    Hard to know what to believe these days eh….there again always was

  71. Think the best thing is to believe no-one and listen and read both sides and go from there 😀

    But one thing I will say once one side starts using propaganda and not true facts then everything they have said in the past must be taken with a pinch of salt until proven. And if Blacksmith has been used a propaganda tool then it is a bloody dirty trick to do to someone.

  72. the cracks appearing

    Shadowy forces The Blacksmith Bureau

    Posted by John Blacksmith at 14:41
    Friday, 17 December 2010

    There is only one consistent thread running through the three and a half year history of the Madeleine McCann case: the “development”, to use a buzz word, of the hypothesis that the child died in the apartment and that the parents disposed of her remains with the possible assistance, active or passive, of some of the Tapas 7.

    Suggestive evidence for the case mounted steadily: the indications from the police statements that the holidaymakers were defensive rather than forthcoming in their descriptions of May 3; the clear evidence of their collusion in drawing up a sequence of events on that night; the weaknesses in the evidence of Jane Tanner, including her identification of Robert Murat as the abductor; the results of the EVR dog searches; and the eventual refusal of the parents to co-operate in the investigation.

    As we know, however, all attempts to develop the suggestive indications into a prosecution case likely to achieve a conviction failed. The Tapas 7 maintained a solid front and refused to return to Portugal to have their evidence tested; Jane Tanner was able to avoid confirming or denying that she had identified Murat since the operation in which she did so was legally unauthorised; the preliminary indications of the dogs were not backed up by unequivocal forensic evidence; once away from Portugal the parents moved from non-co-operation to building up a powerful defence case exploiting the weaknesses in the evidence.

    Despite much noise this absence of a prosecutable case is not a matter of dispute. The Portuguese prosecutor produced an incoherent summary of the case which was maddening in its lack of intellectual or legal rigour and which skated over the failures of co-operation by the Nine; nevertheless it is overwhelmingly clear that the failure to turn the suggestive evidence into a compelling legal case doomed all chances of prosecution. That remains the case today.

    Goncalo Amaral himself accepts that, at the time of his removal from the investigation, the evidence was insufficient, adding that when he was taken off the case he was about to fill in some decisive gaps, particularly in the vexed matter of how the body of the child could have been hidden. Perhaps he was, but that is speculation, not evidence.

    Amaral has been admirably consistent until recently in his attempts to keep the focus on the activities of the Nine, in particular by encouraging a movement to get the Tapas 7 back to Portugal to clarify their activities on May 3, the one absolutely glaring example of a failure to provide information to the investigation. Compared with this lead, which the prosecutor himself admitted was completely unexplored, all of the supposed leads followed up by the parents and their private detectives are insignificant.

    So there we have it. The focus has narrowed to the one gaping hole in the investigation.

    One would have thought that the next question was how can we move to fill that gap? How can we persuade these key figures to co-operate voluntarily in the interests of truth? Are there intermediaries trusted by both sides who could actually talk to the seven? Do they even accept that they have a contribution to make? Should the question of immunity be pursued? What would the McCanns like the seven to do? Could they be called in a libel case?

    For some reason, however, since the Portuguese appeal court ruling which, among other things, attested to the validity of the Amaral hypothesis or interpretation, the focus has become blurred, as the reaction in Portugal to the ambassador’s cable has highlighted.

    From the UK it looks weird. The Amaral hypothesis – which concentrates on investigating the actions of nine people – is suddenly drowning in a welter of theories which seemingly concentrate on everything but the Nine: governments, states, secret services, secret co-operation between Britain and America at Portugal’s expense. What is going on?

    Inasmuch as there is any coherent theory behind the claims being seriously put forward by Portuguese commentators and their supporters – and of course the claims are infinitely flexible – it appears to be this.

    The McCanns had government protection due to their shadowy but powerful influence with key figures in the equally shadowy corridors of power within the British Establishment. There was what Alfred Hitchcock called a MacGuffin – something utterly secret but uniting the forces of evil – that had to be protected and covered up.

    The British ambassador, representative of the Establishment, moved quickly to start influencing the investigation and influential figures, including Dodd and the Machiavellian power-broker Mitchell, were dispatched to make sure that nothing leaked out to the assembled world media.

    Despite these powerful forces the Portuguese police established a case but just as Goncalo Amaral was about to put the final brick in the wall and bring the pair down the secret forces struck. The Portuguese authorities, playthings in the tentacles of the British Empire and acting under the direct command of the evil Gordon Brown removed him from the case.

    The forensic results confirming the dogs’ searches, which had already been communicated verbally to GA, were changed by the FSS. The UK press were DA-noted into silence. A decision was taken at the end of September 2007 to bring in a figurehead, a “clean-up lady”, to wind up the investigation and ensure that the McCanns went free. As always in this sort of world the plans were executed with flawless precision.

    As far as assessing this theory there is little worth saying except that if it is true then all hopes of clarifying the Madeleine McCann affair are doomed: clearly the forces are so powerful that they will stop at nothing, including, presumably, killing off anyone who gets too close. So goodbye to that.

    Of course we are only hearing from a minority of the Portuguese, not the large majority who seem unexercised by the affair and who, one suspects, have a less Manichean view of the world. Certainly my own experience of friendships within the sizable London Portuguese community has been of level-headed realists, comfortable within their adopted society.

    But the voices that we do hear in the Portuguese media seem to call out from a simply terrifying world, a world of shadowy interests in which ordinary citizens have no power, in which virtually everyone can be bullied and corrupted, that has no legal system worth defending and, most of all, is one in which “they” will always get their own way against little “us”. Who would live in such a society except helpless victims?

    I do not know Portuguese society. Portuguese friends have told me that there is, as yet, a lack of belief in democratic institutions, a feeling that personal contact and influence are still the best way to get things done. I do know that the portrait the Portuguese television commentators paint of British capabilities and the power of British politicians is simply bizarre. As for the power attributed to nine provincial nonentities from the medical world…

    In their rogatory interviews and their responses to Rebelo regarding returning to Portugal for the reconstruction some of the seven expressed concern that, whatever they said and did, the Portuguese would twist their responses. They were going on their experiences with the Portuguese media. If the commentators now talking of the “evidence withheld by the British” etc are typical then might they not be justified in their claimed worries? Would they be in the hands of realists or fantasists? And is that going to help get them to co-operate?

  73. Oh dear Freitas is suffering a web slaughter on account of Blacksmith’s article.

    What exactly IS Blacksmith saying concerning this officer and lawyers concerned with the case.

    Did he really pluck his information about the lawyers in that last article from thin air – or has he been given the information from the files – and likewise information from the files concerning Freitas?

    I think Blacksmith should set the record straight concerning Freitas.

  74. If I am reading this right Blacksmith says this.

    I posted from beginning to end was provided by Goncalo Amaral and yourself, with subsidiary input and documentation from others, including members of the PJ, officer De Freitas and lawyers associated with the case, for example.

    I am suspecting that the information provided to him was from GA and this other person (who the email was sent to) and they passed over this stuff from the PJ, Freitas and lawyers etc.

    I am wondering if it was not stuff from the files, but personal communications between possibly lawyers and Freitas

  75. But in his last article he is specific in naming the actual lawyers and the conversation with the prosecutor, after GA left.

    If this information is factual where is it from, and is it documented in the files or was the information passed to GA?

  76. from his last article…………………..

    Very soon the Portuguese prosecutors were invited by Caplan to show the strength of their case. In order to get the parents back against their will they would have to issue a European Arrest Warrant and to do that they would have to press specific charges against the pair.

    While Goncalo, out of a job now, emitted vast quantities of steam through his ears at the pair’s apparent invulnerability, the prosecutors had to deal with Caplan on specifics and, apparently unknown to GA, they found that the cupboard was bare. What are your charges? When will you make them? What is the evidence? And the prosecutors, who had thick files of suggestive evidence and rumour indicating that it would be unwise to employ the pair as babysitters, found that legally they had nothing. The widely-trumpeted forensic evidence was shrinking before their horrified eyes.

    Since, as nice Mr Caplan no doubt reminded the prosecutors, the parents had not fled Portugal but had been allowed to leave, they were not actually fugitives from justice; and – it got worse every day – a EAW could not be used to get people back merely to question them, about inconsistencies in their evidence or anything else. No, the only way the prosecutors were ever going to see them again was after charges were laid and a warrant granted or if the parents returned voluntarily.

    Of course the parents would only return voluntarily if public opinion pushed them in that direction – but public opinion was being looked after very nicely on Track One, which was why Mr Smethurst made his comment about “expunging” the idea of parental guilt from the public’s mind. He made that comment, you might remember, on the Panorama programme which itself was a planned part of Track One with defence-inspired content, a strategy which helped ensure that the media and public would remain favourable enough to the parents not to pressure them, or their friends, to return.

    The prosecutors, facing complete defeat in this seriously unequal chess game, stalled and hung on to their last two pieces: the hope that the FSS or Portuguese laboratories might eventually give them something to use in bringing charges – check! – and the even fainter hope that the Tapas 7, half a continent away, might make a slip under further questioning.

    As for the latter the unrelenting pressure from KN to make sure that every dot and comma on the inter-governmental documents, the rogatory letters, was correct – reminding the Portuguese of the struggle they would face in issuing a challenge-proof EAW (see the Assange case defence) – led the prosecutors into a labyrinth with no apparent exit, culminating in their failure to find a smoking gun in the rogatory interviews. Checkmate.

  77. Well I can understand what he is saying. Back in the UK they were dealing with Caplan he was then instructing their Portuguese lawyers as to what questions he wanted answered and the Portuguese Lawyers carried out the instructions and then passed the answers back to Caplan.

    It is pretty obvious that the UK lawyers were going to do everything they could in their power to bring either charges against their clients or get the case archived. Caplan himself could not act but his counterpart in PT could.

  78. Guess it was the lesser of two evils, let Blacksmith be seen as some fanciful fantacist than admit publicly that information was being passed over.

  79. Well whatever Sally if they have hung out Blacksmith to dry, it does make you now wonder what the hell was going on and more importantly what is being covered up. It was only since Carana posted up an article from CdeM did I realise that GA had been made an arguido the day after Madeleine disappeared.

  80. Am catching up. Why did the CdeM article go unnoticed? And why did this GA arguido business only erupt in the Times mid-June?

    June 11, 2007
    Madeleine officer charged over another missing girl
    David Brown in Tangier
    The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was in chaos last night after the detective coordinating the hunt for her abductor was charged with criminal offences over another notorious missing child case.

    Goncalo Amaral and four other Portuguese police officers were charged over the weekend with offences relating to the inquiry into the disappearance of Joana Cipriano from a village seven miles from where Madeleine was abducted.

    The nine-year-old girl has not been seen since her disappearance three years ago but her mother and uncle were convicted of murdering and dismembering Joana because she caught them having an incestuous relationship. Joana’s mother, Leonor, has alleged that she was beaten into a confession during a police interrogation that took place without her lawyer or the knowledge of the public prosecutor.

    Portugal’s Ministerio Publico, the district attorney, confirmed last night that it had charged three police officers with torture, a fourth with omission of evidence and a fifth with falsification of documents. It did not reveal who had been charged with which offence.

    Campaign trail stops so family can grieve
    Despite the charges, Mr Amaral, the co-ordinator of the Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, has not been suspended from working on the Madeleine investigation, which started 39 days ago.

    Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were informed of the charges by a Foreign Office representative yesterday. A spokesman for the family said: “They do not remember meeting Goncalo Amaral face to face but naturally they were concerned to hear of the charges.”

    Police sources said that Mr Amaral was “very angry” about the allegations and was considering taking action against the Ministerio Publico. “He is very professional and has had a lot of success in solving cases,” the source said. “He is very upset because reporters never speak of these successes.”

    In echoes of the Madeleine case, the investigation into Joana’s disappearance got off to a false start when the Republican National Guard failed to seal off the house where Joana was last seen. Mr and Mrs McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have also expressed frustration at delays in the early stages of the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

    Last night it emerged that a witness who claims to have seen Madeleine days after she disappeared had still not been properly interviewed by police even though detectives had assured Mr and Mrs McCann that they had fully investigated the sighting.

    Mari Olli says that she saw the girl at a petrol station on the outskirts of Marrakesh in Morocco on July 9. Despite contacting Portuguese, Spanish and British police, she has still not been formally interviewed and no statement has been taken. Portuguese police admitted last week that they were still waiting for footage from the CCTV camera at the petrol station.

    A McCann family source said: “We had got the impression that they had sat down with her and gone through her statement in detail, which is not the case. The Portuguese police have complained about the lack of cooperation from the Moroccan authorities. None of it fills you with confidence.”

    Madeleine’s family reacted with disbelief to the claims against Mr Amaral. The missing girl’s aunt Philomena said: “Just about every country in the world is watching this. What do you think the [Portuguese] government would do? Would they have some kind of rogue policeman there? I doubt it. I find it highly unlikely. No way would they have him on such a high-profile case.”


  81. That reminds me… has anyone worked out whether Tavares de Almeida is still an arguido in the Virgolino Borges affair, or has that been dropped?


  82. Which now reminds me of Paulo Sargento and Hernâni Carvalho et al., who are now arguidos in another affair.


  83. Yes Carana I remember you saying he was made arguido on 4th May 2007 http://tinyurl.com/5rjgy75

  84. Yes. And I remember you saying you that that you thought it had been announced later. Which also rang a bell, as I was sure I’d also seen a later article. So we now have a 4/5/2007 CdeM article and a Times announcing it as if it were fresh news, dated 11/6/2007. Odd.

  85. I have been thinking about this Murat -v- Tanner thing. Now Keir Simmons confirmed back in February 2010 that a legal complaint had gone in.

    Also I think Joana said that some witnesses were heard. Now I wonder if this was all heard before a judge before deciding whether there is a case or not and that is why we have not heard, because a decision has been made not to press charges.


  86. Now what’s all that about?

  87. God knows Carana, nearly a year ago it was mentioned that Robert Murat was taking Jane Tanner to court. Keir Simmons checked out the facts and tweeted that. But so far all we know is that some witnesses have been heard, can’t say for definite but I think it was mentioned that GA was being a witness for Murat. Ricardo Paiva was also supposed to be a witness.

    But nobody has heard any more about this.

  88. Found it


    According to Portuguese Journalist Frederico Duarte de Carvalho’s twitter, the case which is still at the inquest phase and under the secrecy of justice, is taking place at the Criminal Court of Lagos, in the Algarve, and apparently Mr. Amaral has already testified. Jane Tanner has not yet been constituted as an arguida, nor has she appeared in court.

    Robert Murat’s criminal complaint against Jane Tanner for calumnious denunciation, has already heard some witnesses, and will continue to hear some more, one of which is Ricardo Paiva, the PJ inspector who is currently being called as a ‘liar’ by the McCanns Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte.

    So it appears GA had already testified and Paiva was due to. But no more has been heard about this so I am wondering if it never got past the inquest phase.

  89. Many of the links I’d copied in my notes for file pages no longer work as the files float around cyberspace. I should have noted the file page reference, but haven’t always done so.

    Anyway… a quick remark. Ok, several.

    I’m not a forensic expert by any means, so I’m happy to be corrected. But here goes:

    People talk about people “having X number of markers” and “Madeleine had 19 instead of 20 due to inheritance”, etc.

    This does not correspond to my (limited) understanding of the issue. Mine is the following:

    – The human genome is enormous, and forensic science selects a tiny fraction of that.

    – The term “marker” seems to be used ambiguously.

    . I can’t find the reference to a forensic reference site, which (from memory) referred to it being a comparative template (I’ll try to find it, so for the moment, discount this).

    . The popular press confuses “markers” with “alleles”.

    . A marker (see my caveat above) is often used to denote a locus (a specific area in the genetic code) used in forensics.

    . Markers (i.e., these specific locations) are used – some of which may vary from database to database for forensic purposes for a variety of reasons, including ethnicity, etc..

    . The markers for forensic analysis selected correspond to a number of criteria, including the statistical probability of individuals inheriting the same genetic components at those specific examination points (loci/markers).

    . In popular parlance, a marker may either be the specific location, or the number of alleles.

    . The confusion seems to arise when talking of “markers” as opposed to “alleles”.

    . My understanding is that at a specific locus (marker), there should be 2 alleles (one from daddy, one from mummy). On occasion, the offspring may inherit the same allele at one or more specific areas (loci) of examination.

    . Relatives also share some of the same genetic information in those locations of forensic interest. However, unrelated individuals may also share some of these genetic components.

    . The quantity of these genetic examination points differ from country to country (or lab to lab) as may do the ability to zoom in of even more specific data points.

    . I could be wrong here, but my understanding is that labs buy “kits” from companies that the labs use. If correct, these kits are deemed to be in harmony with national legislation of the labs using them. A lab may choose to use several kits, equal to or beyond the legal requirements.

    . Confusingly, there’s an additional marker (2 alleles), which only serves to identify sex: (amelo… = male/female). XX = female; XY = boy. What’s confusing is whether the press adds this component as an additional marker (or as 2 markers in the sense of alleles, or not).

    . Madeleine’s profile ( I do have it somewhere – my links are no longer valid) corresponded to the UK SGM+ of 10 markers (2 alleles per marker).

    – Madeleine’s profile displayed 19 alleles, instead of the usual 20, because she inherited the same allele in one locus (i.e. the same allele in 1 of the 10 markers) from both parents.

    – I believe that that profile was done in the UK (i.e., according to the UK standard of SGM+ which is based on 10 markers, i.e. 20 alleles to check). The extra marker (2 alleles) relating to sex was not part of the report, as if the “y” component had been present, the sample would not have compatible with a female (unless the DNA profile was mixed).

    – A PT forensic analysis on suspected sperm in 5A – which turned out not to be the case as it was at some point identified as saliva – is different. My conclusion is that the forensic analysis must have combined several different “kits” (to their credit), as the results seem to indicate 17 markers analyzed (plus the amelogenia sex identification) marker. Hence, the extra markers (alleles).

    – An added complication is the press allusion of paternity identification versus the mixed DNA forensics in the car. In paternity issues, I would presume that swabs/blood samples would be taken in sterile conditions. The number of “markers/ alleles” to conclude a positive identification would presumably depend on the number of those, possibly in a sequential order, in any given country’s system.

    I could be wrong (and this is an imagined situation), but who would wish to assume paternity if the same mouth swab had been passed in the mouths of XXX potential fathers and sent off for analysis? Any takers?

  90. Just found a few links to substantiate above:

    http://www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/str_fact.htm (different loci (markers) used in different systems)

    http://www.dna.gov/basics/analysis/str (FBI CODIS system based on 13 STR loci)

    Will continue to hunt for rest of links..

  91. Interesting… While hunting…

    Popular press and forensic genetics in Portugal: Expectations and disappointments regarding two cases of missing children
    Helena Machado xxx@ics.uminho.pt
    Universidade do Minho
    Filipe Santos
    University of Coimbra

    Two cases of missing children in Portugal (Joana and Maddie) have recently highlighted the dilemmas and contingencies associated with the technology of “genetic fingerprinting” for forensic purposes in the context of criminal investigations. The purpose of this article is to analyze the popular press’s discourses and representations around forensic genetics in the context of those two highly mediatized criminal investigation cases. The symbolical construction and representation of forensic genetics by the media presents a form of public exposure to beliefs on forensic genetics’ characteristics and potential. These are blended with popular cultural contexts that are constructed with reference to images of a super-science which may carry consequences in the public understanding of forensic science. The media coverage of both cases and their actual disclosure resembles the patterns of a CSI effect, insofar as real science’s capabilities and limitations are placed against fictionalized representations of forensic science.


  92. The Portuguese Prof, Corte-Real from the Amaral doc.

    Professor Corte-Real , who met with the FSS experts, and saw the British scientists reports and work notes, explains this issue.

    When those 15 alleles are included in a mix, where beyond those 15 we can have another 30 or 40 alleles, that means that it includes biological material from several persons.

    And there it can be much more difficult, much more inconclusive, because we may have a mixture from several persons, including hypothetically, if that happens, we may have several persons from the same family, and even that may give us the idea, in a way, that a certain missing person may be included, and that is not conclusive.

  93. Forensic investigator Professor David Barclay, who specialises in cold cases, said if blood had been found in the couple’s hire car it could conceivably have been from their twins.

    He told BBC East Midlands Today that siblings can share as many as 15 out of 20 DNA indicators.

  94. There were also several family members (parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc.,) who’d been in that car. Not to mention unrelated individuals. All can have some alleles in common.

    Beyond that, it’s like having multiple winning lottery results from several punters in which some winning numbers appear out of the total stakes, but no one has the tickets to distinguish who bet where, when or in which order.

  95. Any predictions for this weeks draw Carana:)

  96. Madeleine’s DNA profile. If you scroll down, there are pages in columns. Assuming I’ve understood this correctly, the left column, labelled as “locus”, is the marker and the next one (“final results”) gives the numerical results representing the alleles found at that marker. Down near the bottom of that list is a marker “TH” where both values are the same. I presume this is where she inherited the same allele from both parents.


  97. If you scroll down, there’s a column about something analyzed in “the” car boot. Any idea which car boot? I may have realised something, but would prefer your input first.


  98. Getting out my crystal globe. The mist is clearing… someone (perhaps a group of punters) in Europe will win the Euro lottery in the next 10 years.


    sally :
    Any predictions for this weeks draw Carana:)

  99. Hi Carana, it isn’t very clear which one of these that it refers to

    – Viatura de marca Audi, modelo A4 e matricula 10-91-PF………….(.Malinka)
    – Viatura de marca Renault, modelo Kangoo e matricula 07-20-UI……..(.Luis Antonio)
    – Viatura de marca Volkswagen, modelo Passat e matricula 57-12-HP …….(.luis antonio)

    There is information on these cars and vestiges collected – including photographs in Outros Apensos 1 Vol 1….unfortunately I don’t think these pages have been translated.

  100. Translated or not, not sure that makes of cars would be that different in these languages. None of these seem to correspond to the Scenic in any case. Anything to do with the Scenic seems to have been sent to UK for analysis, which makes me think that that car boot analysis had nothing to do with that particular car.

    I do have a reason for asking, but so far nothing useful to do with the child’s disappearance as such, unfortunately, just my suspicion about yet another press myth…

  101. Sally, to put this another way, is there ANYTHING in the PT forensics that would indicate that the “boot analyisis” referred to the Scenic?

  102. To be more precise, I mean the genetic profile of a male in the boot of “a car”.

  103. Carana :
    Sally, to put this another way, is there ANYTHING in the PT forensics that would indicate that the “boot analyisis” referred to the Scenic?

    No Carana,

    All sent to FSS

  104. Whether the PT “boot analysis” is the Scenic or not doesn’t actually change anything.. It could, however, debunk yet another myth.

  105. The only search on the scenic was the dog search Aug 07

  106. As far as I can work out, the “boot analysis” in the PT lab results do not refer to the Scenic. I could be wrong. It actually makes no difference.

    (Sally, if you have found anything different… or if anyone else has…)

    My understanding is that the PT analysis of a car boot does NOT concern the Scenic.

    A profile of a male was found, with only 5 alleles in common with the missing child. 5-6 alleles seem to be common in any unrelated profiles I’ve found.

    My guess is that the press got hold of this, assumed that the car was the Scenic (whether it is or not makes no difference) and assumed that male profile was Gerry’s.

    If so, the fact that insufficient genetic factors match could be the reason for the headlines that G is not the biological father.

    In other words, whoever got hold of the PT document simply counted down alleles in common, assumed it referred to the Scenic, assumed the male profile was Gerry’s, decided that G couldn’t have been the bio father and rushed to the press with it.

    It didn’t seem to occur to anyone that the profile found could have belonged to a different car, or that what was assumed to be Gerry’s profile wasn’t his.

  107. Yes, Sally, that’s all I’ve found as well.

    That really does make me think that someone got hold of (was given) a piece of paper and flogged it to the press without the faintest clue as to who the profile belonged to or the (lack of) significance. Must have made a fortune in the press, though.

  108. Emotionally, that must be even worse to wake up to accusations that you are not even the parent of your missing child. 😦

  109. Sally, just found this:

    15 Processos Vol XV Page 3891

    To: The Director

    Ref: NUIPC 201/070 GALGS
    4th Brigade
    Inspector Joao Carlos

    Date: 12th December 2007

    Subject: Request for Forensic Examination

    I am delivering the following to you, a component covered with fibre and a plastic component, both extracted from the luggage boot of the Renault Scenic vehicle used by the parents of Madeleine McCann, material which has already been examined by the forensic lab of the FSS in Birmingham, UK and which was returned to us, requesting your collaboration in the sense of proceeding to carry out the necessary examinations of the material in question, using the appropriate methodology, bearing in mind the detection of eventual biological vestiges that might not have been detected in the first examination that they were subject to.

    With compliments

    The Coordinator of the Criminal Investigation
    Paulo Rebelo


    So, it would seem that the Scenic car boot bits were sent to a PT lab after they had been returned from the FSS to see if the PT lab could find anything.

    The fact remains, however, that there aren’t enough components in common for it have been her father. If I’ve worked this out correctly, it is highly unlikely to have been her brother, either. From hunting around the web, I’ve found total strangers can have at least that many components in common, so it isn’t even necessarily a more distant relative, either.

    If, indeed, that result was from the Scenic, I wonder why the FSS didn’t find it. They either missed it; were only looking at specified areas of interest; or it wasn’t there at the time (i.e., somehow got contaminated at some point along the custody chain).

  110. Results from FSS re. Renault

    Objects attributed to the motor vehicle Renault ‘Scenic’ (matricula 59-DA-27)

    286C/2007-CRL1 D Nail ([human] hand)
    From this fragment of a nail from the finger of a [human] hand, a DNA result was obtained through the LCN technique which corresponded to Gerald McCann. In the same result an additional DNA component, unique and unconfirmed, was found that left no room for any other interpretation.

    FSS-GF-679 Emissao 2, Pagina 7

    286C/2007-CRL2E Nail (hand)
    From this fragment … a DNA result was obtained through the LCN technique which corresponded to Kate Healy. In the same DNA result were found two more DNA components, one of which was not confirmed; these DNA components left no room for any other interpretation.

    286C/2007-CRL10 Baggage compartment
    This object comprised two sections of the baggage compartment of the Renault Scenic, the first being a baggage compartment lined with fabric with ventilation holes (designated in the UK laboratory as CRL/10(1)) and, the second a moulded plastic extension (designated in the laboratory as CRL/10(2)).

    A mixed, low-level DNA result, appearing to be from at least three people, was obtained from the cellular material collected (harvested) from the baggage compartment lined with fabric (286C/2007-CRL/10(1)) of the motor vehicle. That sample was submitted to tests to obtain DNA profiles through the LCN technique.

    A DNA result through the LCN technique, which appeared to be from at least three persons, was obtained from the cellular material collected (harvested) from the baggage compartment lined with fabric (286C/2007-CRL/10(1)). In my opinion, this result is too complex to make a meaningful interpretation.

    FSS-GF-679 Emissao 2, Pagina 8

    The attempt to obtain a DNA profile from any cellular material collected from the plastic area on the baggage compartment (286C/2007-CRL /10(2)) was unfruitful [fruitless, in vain, useless, unproductive, unsuccessful], because no DNA profile was obtained.

    A mixed, low-level DNA result, that appeared to be from at least two persons, was obtained from a second area of the baggage compartment plastic (286C/2007-CRL /10(2)). This sample was submitted for tests to obtain DNA profiles through LCN.

    A DNA result by complex LCN that appeared to be from at least three persons, was obtained from cellular material collected on the section of the baggage compartment 286C 2007 CRL10 (2) area 2. In my opinion, that result is too complex for a meaningful interpretation.

    An incomplete, low-level DNA profile that matched corresponding components in the profile of Gerald McCann was obtained from cellular material present on the card key? (286C/2007-CRL (12)). I guess this is the fob of the car-keys

    My colleague, Andrew Palmer, submitted various hair collected from the Renault Scenic for tests, using … LCN.
    Those hairs were designated as 7B hair 1 and 7C hairs 7, 13 e 15. Attempts to obtain a DNA profile of each hair by LCN was unfruitful, because no DNA profile was obtained by LCN, possibly due to there being an insufficient quantity of good quality DNA.

  111. Did a bit more thinking & checking. That DNA result from the PT lab on the fibre boot bit (in what seems to have been almost certainly the Scenic) is, in fact, unlikely to be the origin of the “G isn’t Dad” myth, contrary to my suspicion.

    The PT test on the boot was done in December and the myth was published on
    Oct 11, 2007 (perhaps the day before, as it first appeared in the PT rags):

    “Gerry McCann denies report he’s not Madeleine’s father

    Thursday October 11 2007

    The father of Madeleine McCann has been forced to issue a statement saying the missing 4-year-old is his biological daughter.

    It comes after a Portuguese newspaper alleged Gerry McCann wasn’t her real father.

    A family spokesman said that it was ‘nothing short of lies’.

    So I haven’t got to the bottom of what that particular bit of rubbish might have been based on. The date it was published is interesting, though…

  112. That profile didn’t match any of the reference ones, by the way.

    “There were no matches between the reference sample genetic profiles and the following analysed samples:

    – Mark on the cloth fragment collected from apartament Ocean Club (counterpane of the bed next to the window of the children’s bedroom – env. 5).

    – Hair root collected in the apartament in Burgau (bedroom floor – vg3).

    – Vestigios in the lower zone of the fibre from the car boot.”



  113. Re a point I made earlier (which was simply my conclusion without proof) “- A PT forensic analysis on suspected sperm in 5A – which turned out not to be the case as it was at some point identified as saliva – is different. My conclusion is that the forensic analysis must have combined several different “kits” (to their credit), as the results seem to indicate 17 markers analyzed (plus the amelogenia sex identification) marker. Hence, the extra markers (alleles).

    Confirmed. The PT lab did indeed use 2 different analysis kits for the nuclear DNA tests:

    4- Study of the nuclear DNA

    After extraction the following genetic markers were studied using PCR:

    – Autosomic STRs: D8S1179, D21Sl l, D7S820, CSFIPO, D3S1358, HUMTH01, D13S317, D16S539, D2S1338, D19S433, HUMVWA31/A, TPOX, D18S51, D5S818, HUMFIBRA/FGA and Amelogene, using primers and amplification conditions recommended in kit AmpFISTR(TM) Identifiler (Applied Bioystems).

    – Autosomic STRs: D3S1358, HUMTH01, D21SII, D18S51, Penta E, D5S818, D13S317, D7S820, D16S539, CSFIPO, Penta D, HUMVWA31/A, D8S1179, TPOX, HUMFIBRA/FGA, and Amelogene using primers and amplification conditions recommended in kit PowerPlex(TM) 16 System (Promega).


  114. Not much free time at the moment. Hope this helps: http://www.cstl.nist.gov/biotech/strbase/coreSTRs.htm

    Basics seem to be that there is a common core of DNA loci/ “markers” selected for forensics and several other “recommended” loci/ “markers” that seem to differ from one system to another. No idea what these differences are based on: Arbitrary decisions? Statistical probabilities of ethnicity per geolocation? Costs?

  115. Bren :
    Found it

    According to Portuguese Journalist Frederico Duarte de Carvalho’s twitter, the case which is still at the inquest phase and under the secrecy of justice, is taking place at the Criminal Court of Lagos, in the Algarve, and apparently Mr. Amaral has already testified. Jane Tanner has not yet been constituted as an arguida, nor has she appeared in court.
    Robert Murat’s criminal complaint against Jane Tanner for calumnious denunciation, has already heard some witnesses, and will continue to hear some more, one of which is Ricardo Paiva, the PJ inspector who is currently being called as a ‘liar’ by the McCanns Portuguese lawyer, Isabel Duarte.

    So it appears GA had already testified and Paiva was due to. But no more has been heard about this so I am wondering if it never got past the inquest phase.

    Was re-reading this thread while looking for something else.

    Suspect it got chucked out when in one of GA’s interviews he got JT mixed up with FP at the confrontation…

    From a translation of an interview (http://nigelnessling.wordpress.com/an-update-on-the-brilliant-detective/ ) which I checked via screenshot of original article in “O Crime” 25/2/2010 (posted on JATYK)

    “There is news of a criminal complaint by Robert Murat against Jane Tanner, one of the friends of the McCanns. She was questioned at the time of the investigation?

    That process exists, yes, I was even heard as a witness. Tanner was questioned in the Maddie process yes, as a witness. First she said she saw Murat at the scene, recognized him by the way he walked. And then she said other things, later on. Besides there was a diligence in which she said that yes, it was him, and there were later recognitions and a witness confrontation carried out between them, with Murat, in which they said it was him.

    Who are they?

    Those who I remember, besides Jane Tanner, were her husband and the wife of Oldfield. They faced a confrontation with Mr Murat.”

    Well, she wasn’t mentioned in the UK press article (with the photo of 3 of the Tapas) at the time (Daily Mail?), but always worth checking the files, as she might have been sneaked in via a back door for some obscure reason:

    “Processo, Volume VIII, pages 1957 to 1958


    —- On 11 July, at 10:00, in the premises of the Department of Criminal Investigation of the Portimao Judicial Police, before me, Paulo Ferreira, Inspector, and Dr. Guilhermino Encarnacao, Deputy National Director of Judicial Police, appeared the defendant ROBERT JAMES QUERIOL EVELEIGH MURAT, already identified in the file, in order to proceed with his interrogation. Following on [prior] interrogatory work and contradictions having been seen between that which the defendant said and that of the witnesses, RACHEL MARIAMMA JEAN MAMPILLY, RUSSEL JAMES O’BRIEN, and FIONA ELAINE PAYNE, all also duly identified in the file, given that in the depositions of these people there exist clear contradictions with the answers of the defendant, this present work proceeded.


    So, nope. She wasn’t there. And that confrontation took place while he was still coordinator. How on earth did he confuse JT with FP? And maintain she was there nearly 3 years later?

    And he claims SHE is an unreliable witness?

  116. Credit where credit is due. I do find the report on the mobilisation of everyone to look for the child very touching. Search techniques may not have ticked all the boxes, but I do feel they really tried hard. That said, I suspect that leads were missed.

    Hats off to the Lisbon police (the analysis of phone records, sensible questions re the dogs, etc).

  117. On dogs…

    Given their reported abilities, HRD canines are still not the final
    answer for grave detection today primarily because of a lack of
    standardization in their training procedures and a poor understanding
    of their scenting capabilities. The DOA Database has shown
    that the odor of decomposition changes over time, therefore, an
    HRD canine trained only on tissue will potentially have a more difficult
    time detecting bone material since the lack of tissue has
    caused the composition of the odor signature to change. If a canine
    is trained only on tissue, do you use fresh autopsy material, tissue
    in active decay or mummified, dry tissue, or a combination of these
    materials? These are important questions, since the volatile compounds
    that the canine is sensing as discriminators to differentiate
    human from nonhuman, fresh from old, or even live from dead
    subjects, are currently unknown.


  118. Bren, my conclusion is that Eddie is not the key dog – Keela is.

    Eddie seems to react to compounds that COULD be related to a deceased person, but could also be totally innocent/unrelated. When he reacts, Keela is wheeled in to check for blood that could, of course, indicate the victim, a perpetrator or a random speck that is totally unrelated.

    I’m not dissing the dogs. It’s just that nothing of significance was found in this case.

  119. For those interested in the cadaver dog issue (– = quote/unquote):

    From the Casey Anthony trial:

    — On cross examination, Brewer stated that dogs can alert on bodily fluids from a living person that are now decomposing. Defense attorney Jose Baez gave the example of blood or a fingernail from a live person, and Brewer agreed that it is possible a dog would pick up on that.
    Brewer stated that they train the dogs on cars with known histories because it is possible that an unknown older car could have been contaminated, possibly by being in an accident or somebody having bled inside. As a result, Baez asked if the dog was more of a tool than a conclusive indicator of the presence of decomposition. Brewer said that was true because the dogs are “trained to find the strongest source, whatever it might be.” —


    — Baez also hammered home, obtaining Brewer’s concession, that cadaver dogs can alert to bodily fluids from a live person that begin to decompose after leaving the body.

    Brewer said that assertion was accurate due to cadaver dogs being “trained to find the strongest source, whatever it might be.” —


    All considerations of wishing to please the handler aside for the moment, the above seems to confirm what I’d thought to be the case: the dog reacts to certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that it’s trained for. From the Grime/Harrison documents this relates to VOCs associated with human/porcine decomposition. However, what the dog reacts to does not necessarily equate to a dead person.

    As far as I can work out, Eddie will react to:
    – the presence, at some point, of a dead person (cadaver);
    – something that had been in contact with a dead person at some point – cf the Sharon case: and she was found very much alive. (Cadaver contaminant):
    – anything involving VOCs (the odour of decay) of human or porcine origin.

    I’m happy to be corrected if I’m wrong, but my conclusion so far is that the dog will react to any human substance that is decaying.

    Aside from the gruesome possibilities, the reactions could include: a bleeding accident, the physical remains of love-making, a wee-wee accident, etc., that were only cleaned up some time later…. or, for example, the keepsake of a milk tooth or the ashes of a deceased loved one or some item that had been in contact with someone who had died.

    As far as I can tell, any such incident could have made Eddie react. The next stage is to wheel in Keela to see if she can spot blood – as that could help the forensic people to concentrate on where she alerts to try to find any blood-related DNA that could be of significance to a crime or a serious accident.

    I really don’t think the issue is more complicated than that.

  120. I realise I won’t be popular… but that’s ok.

    I am not dissing the dogs. If I, or a loved one, were stuck under rubble during a disaster, I would be crossing my fingers and toes that the dog was accurate. Alive or dead, friends and family need to know.

    That said, I just think the interpretation doesn’t take into account the various possibilities concerning Eddie’s reactions. I believe Eddie could have reacted accurately… (ok, possibly with a bit of guidance), but that what he reacted to is purely chemical and DOES NOT indicate anything more than a possibility without forensic back-up. See above.

  121. Carana thank you for that information, I hope you don’t mind but I would like to put that on Regrets and Ramblings blog, that is very informative, easy to understand and highly relevant. Thank you so much. If you want me to remove this comment from Regrets and Ramblings I will gladly do so, but I do hope it is OK for it to remain on that blog.

  122. – On cross examination, Brewer stated that dogs can alert on bodily fluids from a living person that are now decomposing. Defense attorney Jose Baez gave the example of blood or a fingernail from a live person, and Brewer agreed that it is possible a dog would pick up on that.


    but what would be the odds of this happening in only one apartment?

    Although it did take the cadaver dog 20 minutes before the first alert in 5a.

    How long was the dog in the other apartments 3/5 minutes?

    Why was the blood dog deployed first on the clothes inspection?

  123. Like the cars Sally, the dogs spent so little time with the other cars but when it came to the Renault Scenic Martin Grime was forever calling Eddie back who was far more interested in the wall between the two cars.

  124. Hi

    Just posted over yonder. Not quite where to post at the mo. LOL. Posting here first as it’s a forensic-doggy thread. Sort of.

    @Sally I’m not sure we’ll ever find out for sure. I tend to agree with Bren that there seems to have been more emphasis on 5A and the Scenic. The jury’s still out for me as to whether there was an element of suggestibility involved as the focus was clearly on trying to check out the PJ’s theory. However, if that were the case, I would have thought the dogs would have reacted to Murat’s home, which seemingly didn’t happen.

    Back to 5A, we know of at least one bleeding incident (the shaving one). There’s another possible one (can’t remember who that was, offhand). Some occupant’s little girl had had a nosebleed and the mother wasn’t sure whether or not she may have bled while in the apartment or not. There may well have been other such incidents as not all the holiday-makers were contacted.

    At the time, the police were only asking around if anyone had actually died there. Whilst this does not seem to be the case, there have been several deaths associated with it: TS’ grandparents, for example, and the current owner’s husband (in July 2006 in Liverpool according to http://www.mccannfiles.com/id21.html ). It is not inconceivable, in my view, that something that had been in contact with one of these people ended up in the apartment. I don’t find it inconceivable either that items were being given away or sold that that had been in contact with someone who’d died in the local vicinity. The apartment had, after all, gone from being a residence to being kitted out for holiday rentals. I remember reading about this possibility ages ago and it stuck in my mind as being plausible.

    I can understand that the PJ at the time were under the impression that Eddie only reacted to the presence of a corpse, but that assumption definitely seems to be incorrect.

    I’m not part of the anti-Grime brigade, although I agree that Grime/Harrison did seem to convey the impression of canine cadaver super sleuths when proposing the dogs, and I’m not sure whether anyone thought to ask questions at the time. To be fair, Grime kept repeating the caveat, but no one in the PJ seemed to be listening at the time – much the same as re the forensic results.

    What I find more disturbing is that Paiva STILL seems to believe that because the dog barked, the child is dead.

    @ Sally Re Keela and the clothes inspection – I wondered the same thing. To be honest, I can’t work out what Eddie actually reacted to. I did go through that video and posted comments somewhere on here. The items he tossed in the air? Those he nuzzled? Both? The written report (by the PJ – Grime said he didn’t have the details) doesn’t seem to correspond to the video.

    Not sure I have the energy to go through that video yet again – but a thought has just crossed my mind: could the sequence of events have been mixed up in the video editing process?

    Oh dear, another thought; he couldn’t have been reacting to items of dirty laundry… could he?

  125. Now something you have said there has struck me. Years ago a friend of mine had a temporary job at the local undertakers. Anyway one gentleman had died and the daughter had brought in a suit for him to be buried in. Well a day or so later the wife turned up with another suit and asked them to change it, she said that one he is wearing now was newish and she could sell it.

    My friend could not believe it, but it happened, and that suit had been on a dead body so it would have had cadaver scent on it.

  126. 1. Between 23h20 and 23h30 the two dogs were allowed to reconnoitre the entire area to guarantee that there were no existing odours – and none were detected by them.

    2. Between 23h30 and 23h40 items from the box labelled ‘common room’ were inspected by the blood dog without result.
    – At 23h41 the cadaver dog began its inspection and ‘marked’ some clothing on the edge of the area. The inspection ended at 23h52 with the clothing having been collected for later direct examination and photographic report.

    3. Clothes from the box labelled Lounge (“sitting room”) were inspected by the blood dog between 00h02 (now 3 August) and 00h05 without any result. The same clothes were inspected by the cadaver dog between 00h06 and 00h07 also without any result.

    4. Then the suitcase labelled ‘Twins bedroom’ was inspected, followed by two sets of inspections of its contents due to the large number of individual pieces it contained: the blood dog inspected [the first set] between 00h12 and 00h15, and then [the second set] between 00h22 and 00h24 – both without any result.
    The cadaver dog inspected [set one] between 00h16 and 00h17, then [set two] between 00h25 and 00h26, also without any result.

    5. An empty suitcase labelled ‘Visitors bedroom’ was inspected, along with sundry clothing packed in a box labelled Outside Clothes rack. Between 00h40 and 00h43 the blood dog inspected without any result, and in its turn the cadaver dog inspected between 00h44 and 00h45, also without any result.

    6. The clothes packed in the box labelled “couple’s bedroom 1” was inspected by the blood dog between 00h51 and 00h55, while the cadaver dog inspected it between 00h56 and 0057 without any result from either dog.
    because there were so many pieces of clothing in the box a second inspection was conducted between 01h04 and 01h07 by the blood dog, and between 01h08 and 01h09 by the cadaver dog, [again] without any result from either dog.

    7. The clothes packed in the box labelled “couple’s bedroom 2” was inspected by the cadaver dog between 01h20 and 01h22, then the blood dog between 01h23 and 01h25. Nothing abnormal was detected by either dog.

    Attached, the photo report which immediately follows and the video recording on MiniDV cassette.

    There being nothing more the activity stopped at 01h30.

  127. Question the Pj wanted answer to from previous 5a occupants in the rog requests.

    * Did any incident happen during your stay at the apartment, i.e. was anyone injured or did anyone die ?

    Why wasn’t post McCann pre dog inspection occupants questioned ?

  128. The clothing marked by the cadaver dog was from the very first box inspected…….convenient or………….check the times that the cadaver dog inspected the various boxes.

  129. Thanks for that Sally, now that makes a total of 4 boxes and 2 suitcases inspected. Exactly what Gerry signed for. Now where did box 5 come from.


    The pictures there show 5 boxes and 2 suitcases

  130. Hmmm.

    All this confusion about DNA “markers”. Bear with me on this one. I’ll happily stand corrected, but this is what I understand.

    For all intents and purposes, a marker is a specific location where the forensics people look for 2 alleles (one from mummy and one from daddy) on specific chromosomes. Different countries’ forensic labs have varying protocols on how many markers they look at.

    I’m not sure whether the UK has since increased the number of forensic markers or not, but at the time, it used the SGM+ system which examined 10 markers (20 alleles) plus the sex marker (XX = female, XY = male).


    In Madeleine’s profile, the FSS identified 19 alleles in the 10 marker locations, because she inherited an identical allele from both parents – cf Lowe report. (In other profiles I’ve examined floating around the web, it’s not unusual to find more identical alleles in the various marker locations.)

    Now, PT used a 15 marker system (i.e. 30 alleles) – plus the sex marker. (In one of the tests done in the Maddie case, they actually used 2 different, complementary, systems.) Kudos to PT’s INML.


    The more marker areas examined, the less likelihood of a chance match.

    Now… I was just re-reading Sally’s find.

    “(…) Regarding the DNA evidence, which is said to have produced matches of 15 markers out of 19, Mr Cristóvão informed us that there are people in prison, in Portugal, due to DNA evidenced that resulted from of 15-16 markers (out of 19). He added that he is convinced that it was not the body that was transported in the car, but rather something that had been in contact with the corpse. He further confirmed that there is, indeed, a blue sports bag missing – a sports bag that belongs to Gerry McCann.”


    What’s the bet someone rang the PT lab and asked how many markers they used? They’d have said 15 (+ the sex marker). But 15 markers means 30 alleles (+ the 2 alleles of the sex marker).

    And hey presto from dodgy-sauce-land, yet a new myth was born….

  131. @ Sally I think you’re right. I thought some of the post-Mc 5A people HAD been interviewed, but I can’t find any trace either.

    How odd.

  132. Danny Collins, Vanished

    An expert army dog handler acquaintance whom I approached while researching this book told me he wouldn’t have expected the scent to last more than four weeks and added that his own dog
    had become excited when an overripe chicken carcass leaked into the boot of his car…..

  133. Thank you Sally for that snippet of info.

  134. Sally, I was looking back here hunting for something or other and I realized I’d mentioned the same thing back in Jan that I hadn’t found any trace of the post-Mc, pre-dog occupants being interviewed. I’d already hunted high and low. My memory must be going. LOL

  135. Carana -The only thing we found re the post Mc occupants was the list of names and dates.that the apartment was occupied.

    It was also mentioned that any of the stains on the wall could have been made pre or post McCann.

  136. From The Times
    September 22, 2007
    Why patterns of the past point to abduction by a stranger as most likely explanation
    David Canter: The psychological trail

    Keeping an open mind on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann amid the surrounding plethora of facts and supposition is almost impossible — for the officers investigating the case, for the media reporting it and for anyone who has read about it.

    It appears that the Portuguese police may have fallen into the trap of having first formed a view of who the guilty party is, then seeking out the evidence to support it.

    It is rare for people untrained in science deliberately to attempt to refute their own hypotheses: instead we tend to reinterpret anything that happens to fit in with the notion to which we have become increasingly committed.

    The only way out of this psychological trap is to have a clear picture of what the possibilities are and to work steadily, safeguarding and collecting all the information that may be relevant to every possibility then systematically excluding the options as the relevant information becomes available.
    Related Links

    Madeleine’s final hours ‘revealed’

    In a case such as Madeleine’s disappearance, we should expect professional investigators to pull together systematic accounts of the circumstances of a variety of child abductions and see what they can learn from them.

    It does not seem to me that the Portuguese police have done this. If they had, they might have come to the conclusion that the most plausible reason for Madeleine’s disappearance remains our original conclusion — her abduction by a stranger.

    At the Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool we routinely build up accounts of the characteristics of particular types of crimes and the criminals who commit them. Most recently one of my graduate students has collected together all the information she can on those child abductions that were obviously not part of some family custody struggle.

    Her reviews shows that of the 800 or so abductions that occur in Britain each year about half are carried out by strangers to the family, but the great majority were quickly brought to an end by the abductor being caught in the act or soon after. It is thus extremely rare for people who do not know the children to be able to steal them away. There are about 50 of these cases a year in Britain.

    When a child is reported missing the police must start from the strong possibility that someone who knows the child is responsible. Subtle and exotic stories seem to have been developed about the McCanns. But for these stories to have any credence, they require the couple to be disturbed and incompetent medics who have a cohort of professional friends willing to hide the truth under intense scrutiny.

    This does not accord with what I call the first law of criminality: people who are criminal in one situation tend to be criminal in other situations. It is remarkably unlikely that parents who committed a crime so heinous would have no previous background that pointed to their evolving evil.

    Once we move away from the possibility of the disappearance having roots in the family then the options require us to think carefully about the nature of the victim.

    It is not unknown for depressed or disturbed women to steal young children, although their preference is usually for babies.

    Many paedophiles seek out opportunities for contact with children. Climbing into a locked apartment with parents visiting to check from time to time is not the sort of impromptu opportunity that a disturbed individual would choose.

    Where there is a strong sexual element in the abduction, the child will tend to be older, pubescent or in early adolescence. The horror is the tendency for younger children, of Madeleine’s age, to be abducted in a more planned way, to be trafficked.

    The options in Eastern Europe for such trafficking are so great that the question has to be asked why Praia da Luz would be regarded as an appropriate location to find victims.

    One of the most challenging aspects of Madeleine’s disappearance is the alacrity with which the McCanns embraced the media. Possibly they should have been advised that had the publicity not been so great an opportunistic abductor would probably have eventually let Madeleine go.

    Abductors who had planned to take Madeleine, possibly even as part of an intended ransom demand, would have been disturbed by the feeling that the world’s media were waiting for them to act and would be driven even farther underground.

    The McCanns may not realise the irony of calling the fund they have set up to find their daughter Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited. Carrying out a search by turning over every stone is a sure recipe for creating chaos. Habits of the creatures you are looking for need to be studied and understood. Then you can turn over the appropriate stones before your quarry has moved on or killed its prey.

    — David Canter is Professor of Psychology at the University of Liverpool. The second edition of his book, Mapping Murder, will be published by Virgin Books in October.

  137. Sally, I have no idea what product was used to highlight those presumably biological traces on the wall. I’m assuming there was a product used following the dog alerts, otherwise how could anyone – PT forensics or post-disappearance occupants / cleaning staff have missed noticing the dark blobs on the wall?

    Nothing was ever forensically identified as blood (or as anything else), and I don’t recall anything suggesting that Keela had reacted to the wall at all.

  138. Observations and Analyses Performed.

    On 4 August 2007, at 15h00, a crime laboratory team comprising the signatories
    went, at the request of DIC Portimao PJ, to a residence at [the above address] in
    order to collect trace evidence from the place.

    According to the request by the officers of the DIC Portimao present at the location,
    the undersigned should proceed to inspect, “by naked eye” [in natural light] and
    through the use of a light source that can alter wavelengths appropriately for the job,
    and to the recovery of all spots [stains; marks] existing on the floor and on the wall of the living room next to the place from where there were previously lifted and collected four floor tiles, and on the back of the blue, cloth-upholstered sofas that were next to that wall.

    We were informed by those same officers that those recoveries should be performed
    through swabs commonly used by the English police (which were given to us by those
    DIC officers) and that there should not be used any of the indication tests that permit
    to identify what type of trace evidence those spots might contain.

    It was also requested of the undersigned that they entered into contact with an
    English scientific advisor, named Jonathan Smith, who indicates the manner in which
    to proceed with the recovery of those spots.In that contact the undersigned were told that they should use in the recovery of each spot two (2) swabs: one applied directly onto the spot, and the other previously moistened with distilled water and then applied onto the spot.

    Photos 1 and 2: Pictures of the general locations of the wall and rear of the sofa from which spots were collected.
    In line with the above request from the DIC officers the search and identification of spots was done, in natural light and using a light source that altered wavelengths appropriately for the job, on the wall.
    In the search there were thirteen (13) spots, there being three (3) in diverse areas of the floor and ten (10) in diverse areas of the wall.
    Those spots were recovered with cotton swabs referred to before (two swabs being used for each spot) they having been referenced as trace evidence numbers 1 to 13.

  139. Sally, hadn’t seen your Canter post before I posted mine (I was responding to your earlier one).

    Thanks for the reminder of that article.

  140. A lack of information is almost as puzzling as misinformation. None of the chosen maddie bloggers or the news wants to mention halligen losing his appeal last month.

  141. I made the mistake of popping onto Twitter earlier. It would seem that a new myth has been born (only 4.5 years later. Sigh.): that semen was found in Madeleine’s bed. As I suspect that this will now do the rounds as trooo fact…

    1. I can find nothing in the files that would indicate that even the hairs on the bottom sheet/pillow had even been submitted to the forensic lab (if the markers all represented hair), let alone anything else. Out of the 10 markers on the bed, supposedly indicating hair, only 4 were sent. Samantha noticed that the 4 markers on top of the bed could correspond to those sent. 

    If indeed the other 6 were hairs (and were NOT sent for analysis)…. then I can see where the Maddie-was-never-in-PDL theory comes from. However, what certain people don’t seem to realise is they were not trying to establish whether or not the child was a figment of someone’s imagination – they were racing against the clock, with limited means, to seek a trace of whoever could have been involved in her disappearance in order to apprehend that person or persons as soon as possible.

    2. I haven’t found anything to indicate that Madeleine’s bed linen was taken for analysis. 

    3. There WAS a trace, originally suspected as semen, on the bedspread of the OTHER bed (near the window). 

    – 1 piece of cloth in envelope no. 5 recovered from the bedspread of the bed next to the window in the children’s bedroom. 
    Fragment of cloth, mauve/violet in colour with square motifs, circular in form about 10cm in diameter. A small fluorescent spot is observed under a Crime-light.
    (…)The above would seem compatible with the forensic police search on 4 May.

    This seems to have been tested:

    2-Nature of the sample

    Acid Phosphatase Test to detect semen on the small spot on the cloth fragment in envelope no. 5 recovered from the bedspread of the bed next to the window of the children’s bedroom: Weakly positive.

    3 – Nuclear DNA study

    Autosomic STRs:

    (…)  and the small spot on the piece of cloth (recovered from the bedspread of the bed next to the window in the children’s bedroom Env.5). 
    [The above were] Delivered by the Policia Judiciaria on 08/05/2007. 

    FIRST INML REPORT 9 JULY 2007 http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/PORTUGUESE-FORENSIC.htmThen….”…it was possible to define the autosomic STR profile of the sperm stain detected on the bedspread of one of the beds in the bedroom from where the child went missing. It has been already checked that there is no matching between the obtained genetic profile and the profile of the various samples of reference, which include the ones of the parents, friends, and others. Therefore, that DNA profile is now being forwarded to you, so that it can be inserted in your database, with the request that you check if it matches any of the genetic profiles from 3 British citizens who had stayed in the apartment in question, before the McCanns started to use that apartment on May 3rd, 2007.”
    http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/JOHN_LOWE.htmNote that the above link does not relate to the Lowe report itself, simply where the citation can be found. Then….From the INML (PT lab) summary 31 March 2008:2- Nature of the sample

    Phadebas Forensic test, for detection of saliva on the fragment of cloth corresponding to vestigio n’. 5 collected from the counterpane of the bed next to the window of the children’s bedroom: Positive.

    http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/PORTUGUESE-FORENSIC.htm#oa1v2p284And…. From John Lowe’s correspondence:” (…) The voluntary samples were also compared with ‘crime stain 1’, a DNA profile obtained by Portuguese scientists using their DNA profile system. The profile was recovered from suspected semen on a blanket in the apartment 5.

    From the available records, I conclude that 281 voluntary samples were eliminated as contributors of DNA to the list of search profiles above, since its profile does not match the profile sought; consequently, the DNA can not have originated from them.

    I conclude further that, the DNA profiles obtained from the ‘crime stain 1’ and 286A/2007/CRL9A & B coincide with xxxxx (bar code 5xxxxx). I believe that xxxxxxx was born on 29 January 2005, and if this is the case, in my opinion, the DNA profile obtained in ‘crime stain 1’ is not the result of semen found on the blanket.

    If more information is needed in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.


    John Lowe”My conclusion:- The forensic police used a Crime-Light.- Madeleine’s bedding was not sent for forensic analysis. – The dubious spot detected was on a bedspread on the OTHER bed (next to the window).– It was originally suspected to be semen (but the test only turned out as “weakly positive”).– The sample was later retested and found to be saliva from a small child, therefore highly unlikely to have been semen.

  142. Bren, formatting again. John Lowe’s comment ends after his name. “My conclusion…” is mine, not his, poor chap. 

  143. Afternoon Carana, sorted that formatting out for you.  Oh no fatal mistake to go onto twitter.  Seriously do these people read the files.  I can remember when that first broke on 3a’s my god they were salivating over it.

    Then when the forensic reports were translated it turned out not to be what they were originally saying.

  144. Thanks. 

    I’m trying to work out who these people are. 

    Some may have followed the saga in the early days, moved on, became interested in it again and tried to refresh their memories with early reports/rumours from 2007. A few may be teenagers who were too young at the time to have really followed the story but who still remember it. Fair enough.

    Otherwise, that leaves people who HAVE followed but who are either unable/unwilling to read the files or the dismantling of various myths, or who are deliberately inventing myths 4.5 years later.

    NB: If you had good weather, I hope you made the most of it. 🙂

  145. I hit submit before ending my thought… 

    I’m well aware that some simply refuse to read anything that doesn’t correspond to what they have already decided. I’m also fairly sure that at least a few people (possibly some of the same lot) invent details as they go along.

    Now, if that’s the case, how on earth is that kind of behaviour supposed to help find out what really happened to this child? Or have they totally forgotten her as anything other than a ping-pong ball in a virtual game?

    • Forgotten Madeleine, yes I think some of them have.  The object of the exercise to me seems to be blame the parents at all costs, Amaral says in his book she is probably dead (strike that according to the translation he says she is dead) , so that is it no bother looking for her.

      Don’t they realise that even if this turns out to be the case, this little girl needs to be found?  We all hope and pray she is alive and will be reunited with her family but if not she deserves the respect and dignity of being laid to rest properly.

      And all the time there is no body found, no parent would ever give up hope.  In their darkest days, when they are filled with sadness, they still have hope.  And no person has the right to take that away from them. 

  146. I think you are on the right lines when you say some of these people are unable/unwilling to read the riles.  What I find they are doing is cherry-picking, the bits that are negative towards the McCanns, prove guilt and then ignore the most relevant parts, because it doesn’t suit their argument.

    A lot of the names are from 4 years ago, and I do think once the files became available some people realised they had got things wrong and moved on, but the die hards are still there, spinning the myths and the Amaral spin to anyone that even shows an interest.

    As for the weather, it has been lovely Carana, today we have been down the beach.  Absolutely glorious and the water was lovely and warm.  Who would have thought we would be sitting on a beach on the 2nd October, I didn’t that’s for sure.

    Well the weather is good tomorrow, so back down the beach for me it is.

  147. You know we have spoken on this thread about little Joana I have never read this article.  Rhodes posted it on JATYK and it is a new one to me.


    ‘Disturbing Similarities’ With Madeleine

    Joana was last seen near church

    12:48pm UK, Monday May 12, 2008

    Alex Watts,Sky News Online

    The family of a girl who vanished just seven miles from the Portuguese resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared are convinced the cases are connected.

    On the day of Madeleine’s fifth birthday, Joana Cipriano’s relatives have urged detectives to investigate links between the two disappearances – saying there are too many disturbing similarities for the evidence to be ignored.

    Joana, eight, was sent to buy some groceries from a village store near her home in Figueira, at around 8pm on September 12, 2004.

    She bought a tin of tuna and some milk from the Ofelia store, and was last seen by a neighbour walking back near the village church, some 200 yards from her home.

    Joana never returned and, like the McCanns, her mother Leonor mounted a campaign to find her. Like them, she and her brother Joao became suspects.

    The case, which ended with the pair being sentenced to 21 years, made Portuguese legal history – it was the first murder trial where a body was never found.

    Police officers are due to go on trial later this year for allegedly beating and torturing Leonor to make her confess.

    Joana’s relatives told Sky News Online the pair are innocent and believe whoever took the girl is also behind Madeleine’s disappearance, seven miles away in Praia da Luz.

    The family, who do not want to be named, said: “This sort of thing doesn’t happen in Portugal – child abductions are very rare.

    “Whoever took Joana took Madeleine too, the distance is too small. And the police ignored everything we told them, they just wanted to solve the case quickly.

    “They didn’t look at any of the things we told them about.”

    They said the most crucial bit of evidence was a white and brown camper van, parked near Joana’s home in the days before she was abducted.

    The vehicle, with German number plates, disappeared around the time she vanished.

    They added: “There was a man living in there, but he hardly left the van. A week later the van was found abandoned in farmland in Praia da Luz. We told the police to investigate it, but they didn’t listen to us.”

    She said the man had short, curly brown hair and was about 40 years old.

    A suspect in the Madeleine case, spotted acting suspiciously near the apartment where she vanished on May 3 last year, was described as between 35 and 40, with long, straggly hair.

    Criminologist and child protection expert Mark Williams-Thomas believes there are far too many similarities between the two cases for it not to be a strong line of police inquiry.

    He says that because of the huge doubts over the Cipriano convictions, whoever abducted Joana is more than likely to be behind Madeleine’s disappearance.

    Like Madeleine’s case, the police investigation got off to a bad start, with officers failing to seal off the house where she was last seen.

    Leonor alleges police beat her to make her confess. A photograph of her heavily-bruised face was published in Portuguese newspapers.

    Goncalo Amaral, a senior detective who was sacked from the Madeleine case, is one of the five officers charged in connection with extracting the confession.

    The indictment reportedly alleges that they kicked her, hit her with a cardboard tube, put a plastic bag over her head, and made her kneel on glass ashtrays.

    Amaral faces charges of negligence and perjury, another officer is accused of fabricating a document, and the three others are charged with torture.

    • I’m not at all convinced about what is supposed to have happened to little Joana. So far there seems to be no proof she’s dead, let alone who was responsible for her disappearance.

  148. Thanks for that find, Bren.

    I wonder whether it was investigated or not. 

    “They said the most crucial bit of evidence was a white and brown camper van, parked near Joana’s home in the days before she was abducted.The vehicle, with German number plates, disappeared around the time she vanished.They added: “There was a man living in there, but he hardly left the van. A week later the van was found abandoned in farmland in Praia da Luz. We told the police to investigate it, but they didn’t listen to us.”She said the man had short, curly brown hair and was about 40 years old.A suspect in the Madeleine case, spotted acting suspiciously near the apartment where she vanished on May 3 last year, was described as between 35 and 40, with long, straggly hair.”

  149. I wonder if it was investigated.  Because the family do seem to believe that these cases are connected.  The more I am reading about the case, the more I am starting to ask serious questions.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: