As many of you know I also run the Headlines-Today blog along with JJP. Today a comment was left on that blog about the cadaver dogs in the Casey Anthony case being heard in the United States of America.
I won’t go into the details of the said case, because that is irrelevant but during the investigation stage, cadaver dogs were used and there are many of twitter that are using the Cadaver dogs used in this case, to prove the connections in the McCann case and how the parents could be involved and the reason why they conclude that Madeleine in not alive.
A reader and commentator of Headlines Blog, Carana, has been very helpful and made many informative posts along with another reader Sally. Their knowledge of the contents of the files and how they can lay their hands on information just like that is astounding and to them I want to say Thank You because without them I might still have been running around with niggling doubts as to whether I could still be wrong in this case. Without being biased they have both provided fact upon fact that proves that Madeleine is nothing other than a missing child and the parents are not responsible for causing her any harm and disposing of her body.
However back to the comment I would like everyone to read this comment, everyone who is saying because the dogs were correct in the Casey case it proves Madeleine is dead. Now here under cross examination is the proof that cadaver odour can come from a decaying substance which has left the body, which includes decaying fluids emitted from a live person. Carana wrote:
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.
Carana then makes another post saying:
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.
Like many have been saying, the indications of what the dog marked and where it marked are only corroborated by proper forensic examination. There are plenty of valid reasons why the dogs may alert to a Cadaver scent, Martin Grime said so himself, when he said:
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 I will continue to repeat what he said until it is understood that because Eddie alerted in that Apartment and to those clothes and the car it does not mean that Madeleine McCann is deceased. And Carana’s last comment is what everyone has been saying they are NOT dissing the dogs they are merely pointing out that the dogs are only indicators, forensics and science are the evidence.