Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why the Portuguese Reopening of the McCann Case is but a Political Farce

By Pat Brown

It has been an incredibly busy last couple weeks in the alternate universe of Madeleine McCann and I say alternate universe because the shenanigans that have ensued in recent days - the Met's "startling revelations" on CrimeWatch, the discovery of a blonde girl "abducted" by a near enough Gypsy family, and, now, the reopening of the McCann investigation in Portugal based on "new evidence" found a of couple years back, you know, far before New Scotland Yard came up with its new discoveries - all of this hokum which makes little sense unless you understand the politics behind it which most of us do not.

Let's see what these new developments mean:

1) Jane Tanner really did see a man carrying a child away from the McCann's vacation flat - although an innocent tourist with his own child - which proves that the McCanns aren't lying about their prime suspect's existence.

2) The discovery of a little blond girl living with a Roma family proves that little blonde girls are targeted for Gypsy abductions - only now it turns out that that little blonde girl IS Roma; hence, gypsy do not need to steal little blonde girls, they can make them themselves.

3) Portugal has reopened the case based on "new" evidence they unearthed a while back. In other words, the UK isn't going to make us look like total putzes; we actually were already ahead of them when they did CrimeWatch.

4) Goncalo Amaral is going to be the scapegoat. This is actually a fairly old ploy used by police departments aiming to redeem their public reputation; blaming the previous administration. In other words, when a case goes cold and there is a public uproar, nothing usually happens until the old guard leaves. Then, whoever takes over can simply point fingers back at who used to be in charge and say, "It didn't happen on my watch." And, "Now that you have better people in the job, we will show you how great we are." There will be a flurry of activity and then, after a reasonable stretch of time has passed, the case will have a "conclusion," one that points toward an abduction, proves Amaral was wrong, and, sadly, Madeleine will never be recovered because the suspect that was found by the new administrator is dead and we only have a vague statement of what happened to Maddie (something like an accident during the abduction that will give the parents some peace of mind). Mind you, nothing will be proven. The Portuguese police will not make that information public rather like that mystery man of Tanner's that the Met says exists but won't tell us who he is and why he was quiet for six years.

Now, here is the most important point: NO ONE has any new evidence and I will tell you why.

I have worked on enough cold cases to know why they remain cold. Here is what happens: the police department follow a particular theory believing it to be correct. If it isn't, they reach a dead end with no evidence to back that theory and prove their suspect or motive to be the right one. Then, when the cold case analyst comes in (or Scotland Yard or the new Portuguese investigators) whatever evidence existed years ago is surely long gone. Blood, clothing, memories...gone. The only way one can say they have new evidence is if the body of that long missing child is found or photos showing her demise are found (like sexual sadistic serial killers sometimes have locked up in there homes). But, has Maddie's body been found or has their been a raid on someone's home netting souvenirs from the captivity of the little girl? No.

New evidence is not a bunch of tips from citizens or psychics. Sorting through tips is usually a huge waste of manpower because in a case like this where an abduction would likely only involved one lone creep, no one has a clue who he is or what he has done including his mother or his wife. Therefore, all of those tips are pure garbage, taking hours and hours for investigators to sift through, and hope that some needle in that haystack happens to be someone who really saw something or knows something. Very few colds cases are ever solved by tips brought in by appeals to the public; mostly this is done to make it look like the police are doing something and that they care. It also makes the family and the public feel good, but it rarely has results.

So, where is this new evidence coming from? If the McCanns aren't involved in the disappearance of their daughter, there are only three possibilities for abduction: sex predator, child sex ring, and abduction for adoption. Now, I think our little blonde Maria found with the Roma family pretty much gets rid of that theory. If you want a little blond child, you can adopt one from a desperate woman who has too many children to care for. I have been trying to tell people for years, blonde children and blonde teens do not need to be abducted for adoption or to prostitute out; they can be gotten without kidnapping.

So, that gets rid of the stupid abduction for adoption theory. Let's go to the sex ring theory. Did you just read what I said about not needing to kidnap little blonde girls for adoption? Same goes for sex rings. There are enough drug using, poor, and criminal parents who will let you use their blonde child for prostitution or porn, so, again, abduction is not necessary.

That leaves only one plausible reason for anyone to abduct Maddie, the only reason I have been stating for years could be the only alternative to the McCanns' involvement; a child sex predator. And that is the EXACT theory the early Portuguese police focused on and why Murat became an arguido; they thought he was a creepy dude who lived near the McCann flat and could have been watching the area, slipped in and kidnapped the child, rape and murdered her, and then buried her on his own property or elsewhere. The police followed that very good theory and came up with zilch. Why? Because, probably, as Goncalo Amaral would say, this was a red herring and steered the investigation in the wrong direction. By the time they swung around to another possible theory, that of the McCann's involvement, much evidence went missing. Not all, though - they still had the dog evidence of cadaver and blood in the apartment and the rental car and they had all the conflicting stories and bizarre behaviors of the McCanns and their friends. Then, the McCanns fled and the case was shelved.

Now, open that case again and go back and try to find any evidence that some child sex predator abducted Madeleine McCann six years ago and you will come up empty barring stumbling across her body or those photos. Certainly, you are not going to find "new evidence" in the files, maybe a possible lead or two, but certainly not evidence. And, two years after Portugal now says they found some "new evidence" they are opening the case? Does this make sense? Why not two years ago? I can tell you why; they were hoping that New Scotland Yard would waste a bunch of time and money and then go away. But, instead, they came up with this big CrimeWatch media extravaganza and their "new evidence" eliminating one suspect and e-fits they claim aren't Gerry for the public to opine about. Portugal was looking badly, so time to one up them by reopening the case and claiming it is because of evidence already found prior to Scotland Yard's involvement.

This is politics. This is saving face. This is an attempt by Portugal to come out of this whole mess with some dignity. Maybe I will be wrong; maybe there will be some amazing turnabout and the McCanns and their friends will be brought back to Portugal for a reconstruction and they will become arguidos again. I would like to be wrong. I would like to see this happen. But, in my experience, once politics rears its ugly head, justice and truth become victims along with the missing child, the dogged detectives, and the public.

BREAKING NEWS! THIS JUST CAME OUT IN THE UK MEDIA! I am stunned. I can only hope this means I might be wrong about the politics and there really IS something being done by law enforcement to finally prosecute the McCanns.

Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years

The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports
The Sunday Times Insight team Published: 27 October 2013
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Madeleine disappeared from the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007Madeleine disappeared from the Praia da Luz resort in May 2007 (Adrian Sheratt)
THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

A team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by the McCanns to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

Click to enlarge
10 months after the three-year-old had disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, and the McCanns were beginning to despair over the handling of the local police investigation. They were relying on the new team to bring fresh hope.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed “hypercritical” of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public. Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns’ Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl’s disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5’s former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns’ friends was dismissed as less credible after “serious inconsistencies” were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about “anomalies” in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: “A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report.”

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard’s fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund.

A source close to the fund said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if it became public.

Kate and Gerry McCann: now officially not suspects, say the Portuguese authoritiesKate and Gerry McCann: now officially not suspects, say the Portuguese authorities (Adrian Sheratt) Oakley’s six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were “helpful and sincere” and concluded: “The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner’s sighting”. The evidence had been “neglected for too long” and an “overemphasis placed on Tanner”.

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes.

The pictures of a man who may have taken Madeleine were drawn up in 2008The pictures of a man who may have taken Madeleine were drawn up in 2008 (Adrian Sheratt) The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard’s investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night creche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

One of the Oakley investigators said last week: “I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme . . . It most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things . . . And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours,” he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist’s impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann’s 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight “key sightings” and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most “crucial”. Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist’s impression. The Smiths’ were the only exception. So why was such a “crucial” piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted — and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns’ evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine’s sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith’s account. He had originally told the police that he had “recognised something” about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton’s team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm’s work was considered “contaminated” by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full — so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

“[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved . . . It just wouldn’t be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because . . . the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting,” said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that “all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary” and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: “Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund’s sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible.”

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert

Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann available at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.

By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
(5.00 based on 5 reviews)

Published: July 27, 2011

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007? Was she abducted as the Gerry and Kate have claimed or did something happen to Madeleine on May 3 in the vacation apartment and the incident covered up? Criminal Profiler Pat Brown analyzes the evidence and takes the readers through the steps of profiling, developing a theory that is intriguing and controversial.

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