True Crime Analysis, Breakthroughs, Insights & Discussions Hosted by Bestselling Author Nick van der Leek

Month: May 2020

The Smith Sighting is Absolutely Crucial to finding Madeleine McCann’s Abductor – both the abductor and Madeleine were seen at close quarters by several members of the Smith Family on the night of May 3rd at around 22:00

The individual seen by the Smith family is regarded as the prime suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Read the original police statement here.

Read about my investigation into the Smith sighting and simulation of the abduction, during my visit to Praia da Luz Portugal on the night of May 3rd, 2019 in DEEPER INTO DARKNESS.

Behind-the-scenes: Chronicles of a Photojournalist in Namibia

In September 2015, a few months after working on the book RESTORATION on the Oscar Pistorius case, I was still working as a freelance magazine journalist. I recorded some footage during an assignment to Namibia which produced two magazine articles [see links below].

Recently, while looking for video footage on a discarded hard drive from Portugal last year, I came across some video from the sortie into Namibia. It gives you a little insight into my backstory and what I was doing before I got into true crime writing fulltime.

Article published in Country Life magazine [with images]

Article published on Country Life website [incorrectly attributed to Nicol Grober].

Lori Vallow: 6 Victims, 3 Perps, But Who Did What?

The Lori Vallow case is so complicated, flow charts are emerging all over the place. Some show her five marriages, others show the victims and relationships between them. I’ll show you some of those charts in a minute.

To be clear, part of what makes this case so confounding is the relatively unclear nature surrounding the status of multiple victims. There may “only” be two victims, or as many as five victims, or six, or, if Lori’s sister’s death in 1998 turns out to be suspicious too, seven.

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The missing children add another element of uncertainty to the prosecution. If they are dead, where are their bodies?

In the Gannon Stauch case we saw how much effort went into finding one 11-year-old boy, and at one point it seemed the authorities were almost beaten. In this case there are two children, 7-year-old Joshua and 17-year-old Tylee. It was really their unexplained disappearance that got Lori onto the radar of the authorities.

In the Stauch case we saw the stepmother relationship possibly playing a role in filicide. In this case there’s a stepmother scenario with 7-year-old stepson Joshua, but Tylee is Lori’s daughter by blood. It’s possible death of her own daughter, who was a companion with her mother through 17 years of different husbands and family sets ups, that’s going to be a crucial key to finding out where Lori’s head was at.

In the Watts case we saw how the unwanted pregnancy probably led to the deaths of the unwanted mother, and the children became collatoral damage. We may see something similar here, where Joshua became the “debris” of a family setup she wanted extinguished, and then Tylee was seen in the same way.

At this point I want to compare the Vallow case to the Watts case. Many of us have regarded Watts as the absolute scum of the Earth. It was also hard to imagine a case more wicked or heartless than this one, and the sentencing judge, and some of the agents and cops involved, said the same thinking. If the number of victims in this case are roughly accurate [plus-minus six], then we have roughly twice the body count as in the Watts case. Possibly multiple children, multiples spouses and multiple accessories.

To take the intertextual allegory even further, imagine if…

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