A Catalogue of Errors

rebeloTime and time again, we are told to believe what emerges from Portugal in respect of negative criticism of the McCanns and their friends.  If the Portuguese papers quote something from a Police Source that is critical of the McCann family and their friends, then it is to be believed.

But and yes there is a big but, if a comment is made in a Portuguese paper that is critical of Goncalo Amaral and his team during those first months of reporting, it is to be classed as spin.  It is to be ignored because it is not true and is being said to tarnish the reputation of a ex-detective.

So what is it then? Do we only believe what comes out of Goncalo’s mouth or do we look at it logically and try and find out the truth.

During the latter parts of 2007, once Goncalo Amaral was removed from the case, there was many criticisms of his conduct during the investigation and the way he co-ordinated the investigation.

Back on the 20th October 2007, when Paulo Rebelo took over the investigation, Police sources according to Expresso said:

“It was a hideous amount of work”, because the process’ paperwork was “anarquically spread out”, according to a source with PJ, who criticises the inexistence of a centralising figure in the former team, who “would know how to distribute the work”.

Chief inspector Antonio Teixeira and inspector Portel, both from the Lisbon Directory and homicide experts, are two well-know names in a team that includes another four investigators (from robberies and data crossing departments). “They are reviewing the process. There was a lot of important information that was despised in the investigation”, the same source says.

The following day, on the 21st October 2007 the Correio da Manhã reported the following:

Over the last few days, as the new Rebelo team has been gaining knowledge of the inquiry, the theory has been spreading that the investigation is weak, and with few clues. Yesterday, ‘Expresso’ cited sources at the PJ that said they had found “important material spread all over, which had not been included in the investigation”, and that the new team in Portimao “had a hideous amount of work to do” in order to organise the files. Worse: That the new team considered “there was a lot of important information that was despised in the investigation”.

This was then reported in the Daily Mail on the 22nd October 2007, where the article said:

Meanwhile, a police source quoted in a Portuguese newspaper said: “There was important material lying all over the place that hadn’t been considered by investigators.

“A lot of key information was discarded. The whole process is being reviewed. Putting all the papers in order has been a massive task.”

Officers have been working round-the-clock to log on to a computer all information relating to the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine from the holiday complex in May.

With thanks to Pedro who did the translation of Goncalo Amaral’s interview with TVI on the 9th November 2011, we hear of how the Portuguese Police were not geared up to missing/abducted children cases, Goncalo Amaral states:

I did, we did, we did, notice that in the Joana case that has been done, also in the Madeleine McCann case, we tried to do that, we tried more, we tried to do one thing as soon as the Joana case which was a studied case: why pj has not studied this case? That is a criticism, it was a important criticism, notice, there is a guide of supporting families, missing children, long term disappeared, which is built in the USA with cops, social security technicians, relatives of missing children, which don´t know about their whereabouts, here in Portugal nothing of that has been carried. The pj has not yet the careful of, it should have, the attempt of reuniting all the cops who are technicians, people who worked during years in several cases, to reunite them, even with relatives, let´s thinking, let´s see what is wrong, what is possible to do it again, I wrote some ideas there, I´m not the truth of a, I´m not saying that this is true, this is my opinion, now, there are others to give their opinions.

So Goncalo Amaral is trying to tell the world that there is no real system in Portugal for when a child goes missing.  And I can remember him making a comment on Bom Dia about the Police being more adequately trained and having more resources to find a stolen car than a missing child.

Sorry but whether there is adequate resources or not, it doesn’t give you a reason to be lackadaisical  in your investigation.  Those comments from those three papers, stemmed from one comment based on the mess that was left behind by Goncalo Amaral.

The mess that Paulo Rebelo found the investigation in.

I have read comments, suggesting this Police Officer, was given the task of shelving the case. When now on reading the files we know that Paulo Rebelo and his team had a mammoth task ahead of them, not just investigating what happened in Madeleine but trying to see if there was anything that could lead them to who harmed Madeleine and who took her.  A task that involved trying to find that all important lead that could lead to the Police solving the case and finding Madeleine, in amongst the mire of blunders and errors that happened whilst under the watch and  leadership of Goncalo Amaral.

Goncalo Amaral, the man who goes on TV and criticises the Portuguese Police but refuses to admit that under his leadership the investigation was a shambles; what with crime scenes not being sealed, officers not being able to understand forensic reports and apartments being re-let, along with reconstructions not being conducted due to the inconvenience of closing down airspace and tourists.

Those are only a few errors made in the investigation under the leadership of Amaral, there are many, many more and Madeleine McCann has been the person who has paid the price for this catalogue of errors. And the saddest part is, there is even concern that Joana Cipriano may have also been a victim of Police failure.

You see in that interview held on TVI the reporter highlighted that Joana Cipriano did not even return home after running an errand.

GA: everybody saw the media show, the police must to know to have a rear and to know to analyze all information that comes, the investigators are on the ground, and they cannot be worried about what may appears in the tv´s, internet, newspapers, to have a rear, facing that analysis of information, which is important to analyze in the case of Joana, what she told at that time that the child had returned home, is the journalist which interrupts and says: no, no she didn´t returned, that is important.

So could Joana Cipriano, be another victim of Police failure under the leadership of Goncalo Amaral?

Further Reading about Police Mistakes:


16 comments on “A Catalogue of Errors

  1. Erased in the hope that Disquus was in a good mood. Hmm, nope.

  2. “They are reviewing the process. There was a lot of important information that was despised in the investigation”, the same source says.

    Despised”? What did the original say?Google translation is by no means perfect. Words can have several meanings in other languages and sometimes the meaning depends on context. “Despise” has a pejorative connotation in English, but the original term (depending on what that was) could have been “was not taken into account”, as in not viewed from above as being significant.

  3. My understanding of Portuguese is really basic.

    That said, I suspect that the Google translation of “despised” was probably “depreciado”, which could mean “under-estimated”, insufficiently taken into account… etc. 

    Forget the connotation for the moment, imagine a bird flying above looking down.

  4. In all of this Carana I have always wondered by Rebelo never came out publicly and backed up Goncalo Amaral.  Even after he took his leave of absence (Rebelo) he said nothing in defence of Amaral.

    Which makes me think what is written is the truth, he sort of inherited one massive cock-up.  And looking back on it, with Amaral being made an arguido the day after Madeleine disappeared, he should never have been put in command.

    His mind must have been on other things and the fear of whether he would be charged and lose his job. 

  5. And that Dodgy tracker dogs article, I think refers to what was written in Section B of the archiving dispatch that has NEVER been translated by any of the PT posters.

    • Could you remind me of the link to that section B, please? 

    • That NOTW article is a bit dodgy itself. One of the reports does say that competing and concentrated smells in the area were not ideal conditions. But it’s not correct that search and rescue dogs were brought in only 5 days later: the first team arrived within hours, with more being brought in as soon as they could get there. 

      It was a mammoth operation and everyone and his brother joined in the search to try to find her. I find the article unfair, actually.


      • Yes the article is a bit unfair, but some of the points made in it are correct re the letting of the apartment, and witnesses going home before giving statements.  

        Unfortunately Carana, errors were made and they were made whilst under the leadership of Goncalo Amaral. 

        I can remember seeing a Sky News clip, they had a piece of tape across the road outside the apartment.  There was no copper on duty there making sure nobody entered and I saw one of the Sky Reporters, think it was Anna Botting, lifting up the tape and going underneath it and taking a few steps inside the cordoned area to do her report.

        I was amazed to see that, to be honest, because I can remember a muggy down our local shops and the Police had the area taped off and you weren’t even allowed into the chemist, if you were picking up prescriptions the police would get it for you. 

      • My comment about finding the article unfair referred to the NOTW article on the search and rescue teams. Not only are some aspects inaccurate, but I found the tone unpleasant. 

        I can understand how upsetting that kind of “reporting” must have been for them when they tried so hard. I was quite touched when I first read the overall report by the Group Commander Antonio Dias de Matos. He sounds a sweetie. 

  6. This is from News of the World


    Cops in bungle rumpus
    The News of the World
    21 October 2007

    DETECTIVES who took over the Madeleine McCann case have blasted the first investigation team’s flawed inquiry.

    A Portuguese newspaper yesterday quoted a police source as saying they found key papers were not filed properly and vital information was disregarded.

    The source added: “There was no central figure who knew how to distribute work.

    “Blunders by the original investigators include failing to secure the crime scene and to carry out proper, controlled searches of the area.

    Another leaked report claims the new inquiry team is also fuming over the length of time it is taking to get DNA test results back from forensic experts at the lab in Birmingham.

  7. […] da Manhã  article dated 21st October 2007, as mentioned in a previous post on this blog called ‘A Catalogue of Errors’. “important material spread all over, which had not been included in the […]

  8. […] And is this one of the examples that was mentioned in an Correio da Manhã  article dated 21st October 2007, as mentioned in a previous post on this blog called ‘A Catalogue of Errors’. […]

  9. […] the leadership of this ex-detective there were errors after errors in the Madeleine McCann investigation… and what does he do.. oh yes he blames the officer who replaced him for not following up […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: