Obviously getting expert information is just good investigative journalism, but let’s face it, 40 experts were interviewed in the £20 million Netflix documentary series. Do those 40 experts, individually or collectively, solve the case or even advance it towards where it needs to go?
Experts can give a narrative credibility whether in court, in a documentary or in a news story. One expert or 40 doesn’t, however, suddenly recast reality. Credibility isn’t reality. Reality is what it is.
Saunokonoko’s expert, Mark Harrison, was tasked to build a report based on the theory that Madeleine was dead and her remains were somewhere. It’s important to contextualize how Harrison came onto the scene. Who employed him? When did he come onto the scene? How did he investigate that was different and useful, and what ultimately did he find out?
Well he wasn’t employed by the McCanns. It wasn’t Harrison who first suggested using cadaver dogs and Harrison wasn’t the first to suggest Madeleine had died on May 3rd, either. He was brought in to investigate that possibility, rather than that he came in and introduced everyone to that possibility.
Kate McCann herself had hinted as much through a dream she said she’d had in late July 2007. This is very important, that the shift in this direction came from the McCanns although South African boyyhunter Danie Krugel seemed to be the first to a) recommend the use of cadaver dogs and b) suggest Madeleine was no longer alive.
Krugel’s visit and Kate McCann’s dream – that Madeleine was no longer alive – seemed to sort of coincide, didn’t they?
Understandably the Polícia Judiciária didn’t take Krugel’s advice to heart immediately, but when Kate tearfully called them up giving the impression for the first time that she thought Madeleine was dead, clearly they started to consider it. And the change in the McCanns attitude to the case in late July caused the cops to shift the focus of their investigation.
It seems when Harrison made the same recommendations as Krugel, he was able to provide guidance. He made specific recommendations – use cadaver dogs, and use specific dogs from the South Yorkshire Police Department with a track record in international cases. And so, that’s what the Polícia Judiciária did.
In Gonçalo Amaral’s book [published in August 2009], he emphasises this damaging claim from Harrison which contradicts the spirit of the Netflix documentary ten years later:
After a week of intense work, Harrison presents the results of his study to my coordinating group. Even if we were expecting it, his conclusions confirm our worst fears. The most plausible scenario is the following: there is no doubt that Madeleine is dead, and her body is hidden somewhere in the area around Praia da Luz. He praises the quality of the work carried out by the Portuguese authorities in trying to find the little girl alive. According to him, the time has come to redirect the searches in order to find, this time, a body hidden in the surrounding area.
Harrison also produces a map which, based on his research [of the witness statements, and of the McCanns themselves] suggests Madeleine’s body may be in one of these five areas.
But Harrison’s map is fundamentally flawed. Can you see why? Here’s a hint. At the time Harrison made his recommendations, the Tannerman sighting was considered both credible and “the most credible” sighting. We know the Tannerman sight suggested the abductor was heading east, away from the apartment, but we also know the Tannerman sighting has since been debunked.
And here’s another. This is the view from the Rocha Nechra [red circle on the far right] towards Praia da Luz…
In Kate McCann’s book, chapter 6th dealing with the morning after Madeleine’s disappearance [May 4th], a neighbor is mentioned across the road on the east side of the apartment [across the Rua Dr Gentil Martins]. This unidentified, anonymous neighbor tells the McCanns she saw a car going up the Rocha Negra at night. Kate notes there is a track going up the Rocha Negra but it’s not meant for vehicles. So what was a vehicle doing up there? There are several photos showing the McCanns running this same track.
It’s important to note that in the photo on the right, we can see a long way back to houses and apartments behind the McCanns. This also means folks in those houses and apartments have line of sight – over several miles to them.
Writing about the morning of May 4th, Kate – referring to strange lights late at night on the Rocha Negra – conjures “visions of Madeleine being disposed of somewhere on the overhanging cliff…” Kate actually uses the word “conjures” as well. Conjures visions. When Kate tells a police officer about it, he’s dismissive.
He has good reason to be dismissive. If someone as far away as the apartment block could see suspicions goings-on on the Rocha Negra, even at night, was it really the ideal place to surreptitiously “dispose of” someone?
And those words don’t particularly suggest Kate thinks her daughter is alive, does it?
If Harrison’s map was based on the testimonies of the Tapas 7 [including Jane Tanner] and the McCanns, and the map focused on the east side of Praia da Luz, what was the fundamental flaw?
Playing us for fools? For twelve years? I know, I know, it’s a ridiculous [say that with a Scottish accent, it sounds stronger] and ludicrous thing to say.
So how about putting the question otherwise.
Have the McCanns been laughing at us for twelve years?
Have they laughed, smiled, chuckled or sneered during interviews over the past many years?
Below is another edit from the same interview, a follow-up answer to the “did you kill your daughter?” question.
Notice how the media have tried to cut this clip below [viewed almost 900 000 times to date] right where both Kate and Gerry are smiling, and Gerry reaches up to scratch his nose. Instead the edit flips back to the interviewer, who is herself beaming after asking whether the parents killed their own child.
Sometimes it’s easier to appreciate and catch the micro-expressions where the interview is frozen into separate screengrabs. Take note of the deadly series import of the question that’s being asked, and the serious potential implications of the question, versus the lighthearted, dismissive expressions and arguably an almost sneering contempt in the response.
Notice how, at about 3:30 in the video below, Gerry compares losing Madeleine and getting over her to “getting over student debt” and “getting back into the black.”
Donations to the Find Madeleine McCann fund fell from almost £2 million to £650,000 in just one year, it was revealed yesterday. Only cash received in libel payoutsto friends of Gerry and Kate McCann – dubbed the Tapas Seven – enabled the search for their daughter to go on, latest accounts show.
Around £260 an hour flooded into the Fund as a wave of public sympathy swept the UK after Maddie’s abductionin Praia da Luz in the Algarve in May, 2007. It had £1.4million in bank donations alone in the first ten months of the search.
But contributions fell away after the McCanns became one-time suspects.And the Fund’s income dropped to £629,181 in the year up to 31 March 2009 – while spending rose from £815,113 to more than £1 million. Outgoings covered investigators, publicity and the pair’s legal fightagainst Portuguese policeman Goncalo Amaral.
Below is a brief summary of how much the Find Madeleine Fund made in less than the first year [ending March 2008]. Just 13% of the total raised was spent on doing what the fund claimed to be raising money for – search and detective fees. By contrast, PR and legal expenses [bear in mind the McCanns were never tried in a criminal court] more than eclipsed the money spent on search and investigation, and after that over a million pounds in “profit” [income] remained.
The fund currently has £728,508 in it which was largely contributed by the public. If the McCanns lose the case, they’ll be forced to use money out of it to pay compensation…Furthermore, the Kate and Gerry have reportedly used money from the fund to cover the costs of hearingson past occasions as well. Retired Detective Chief Inspector Mick Neville, who investigated the case last year, called the most recent developments “tragic”. “It is tragic that funds to try to find her could be lost because of this legal action,” he said. “There is every reason to believe she may be alive.”
When last did we see a documentary on Madeleine McCann that a) genuinely presented new, game changing evidence or b) was an authentic investigation with no “hidden” agenda? When last did we see a Madeleine McCann documentary that was unbiased, one way or the other?
Typically when the suspects in a case are “exonerated”, or cleared, or no longer part of an official investigation, any aspersions implying their guilt mean the producers can be sued for defamation. If it can’t be proven or tested in court, and if it hasn’t been, then the odds favor the accused/former suspects. And so does the money.
A documentary sympathetic to those at its center is also easier to make if those at its center are friendly in some way to the producers. Friendly meaning family, friends or witnesses participate in a particular narrative which in turn makes those in the narrative appear better than perhaps they otherwise would. A good example is Steven Avery in Making A Murderer Seasons 1 & 2. And let’s face it, sympathy tends to come before facts in True Crime Apologia.
In the opening to episode one of the documentary, an anonymous reporter refers to shutters broken virtually in the first minute…
On May 5th 2007, just two days after the incident, the Telegraph reported:
Jon Corner, a close friend of Mrs McCann and godparent of the twins, said she telephoned him in the middle of the night distraught. He said: “She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. She told me, ‘They have broken the shutter on the windowand taken my little girl.’
“They had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal, but when they went back the last time they saw the damage. First they saw one of the window shutters had been forced, and then they saw the door was open and the bed was empty – and Madeleine was gone.
This is why it’s laughable how the Apologia dresses itself under the guise of being a genuine investigation with no bias. OBVIOUSLY it is biased, and obviously those it supports provide some form of resources, whether archival footage, or access, or reinforcement or otherwise.
The new Netflix documentary kicks off its first frame by implying that there is still a case to solve, and information out there, because Madeleine is still out there.
Of course this is PRECISELY the same narrative the McCanns have maintained since day one. It was only three months after the incident that the cops began to consider that Madeleine was dead, and cadaver dog searches strongly confirmed these suspicions.
The call by the Netflix film for “any information” on Madeleine McCann is also misleading. In 2016, nine years after her “disappearace” over 8000 “sightings” had been recorded, which suggests that the number is closer to 12 000 currently. Whether there are 20 sightings or 200 000 sightings, the result is the same. The only difference is the reality becomes more and more muddled behind a curtain of false information and fake leads. Of course if you can claim that MAYBE the missing person is still alive because you’re still investigation, and 199 999 have still to be checked, then a technical legal argument could be made – in theory – that evidence COULD exist somewhere out there proving she may be alive.
Of course the parents can claim that any lead, whether it’s a “sighting” in Antarctica or Vladivostok, that’s not followed up shows police incompetence and evidence of an “incomplete” or “unprofessional” or simply an “insincere” investigation. But the converse is that the investigation into the McCanns wasn’t unfettered or without interference. An obvious example of interference is kicking off the lead detective in the case, attacking him and undermining him in the media, suing him and silencing him. Much of this assault was directly by the McCanns.
Of course the title of the 8-part documentary communicates the message even more clearly. It’s not called THE DEATH OF MADELEINE MCCAN, or even THE ABDUCTION, just the “disappearance”.
For as long as Madeleine is “disappeared” and not dead, it remains officially a missing person’s case [the most expensive wild goose chase in true crime history], rather than a murder investigation. If Madeleine is dead, and someone is responsible for her death, it must suit them just fine that a narrative is still being circulated exorting the public to “never give up hope”.
I’m thrilled that the producers of this film have decided to shine a massive magnifying glass on the popular theory that 1) Madeleine McCann is still alive 12 years after her “abduction” and 2) that the toddler was abducted by sex traffickers/pedophiles.
For some time I’ve felt this theory deserves a really good airing in the mainstream, and for folks who believe it to put up their hands, wave their flag of allegiance so we can see it, and make their voices heard.
It should be noted in Kate McCann’s book she makes the case for some sort of pedophile assault on her three-year-old child:
To date I’ve written a trilogy on the McCann case dealing with why Madeleine is certainly dead, how and why she died, and how and where her body was initially hidden before being finally disposed of.
In the DOUBT trilogy I didn’t want to contaminate the original hypothesis with conspiracy theories, of which there are many, just as there are in the JonBenet Ramsey case.
Just as in the JonBenet Ramsey case, the pedophile scenario invokes some sick, shadowy outsider breaking into the family home [despite the risk of others being home], and then abducts the child etc but forgets to leave any evidence of himself. No footprints, no fingerprints, no fibers, no DNA, no witnesses seeing him breaking and entering, or exiting. Zero. Zip. Nada. Oh but he exists.
In the Ramsey case the pedophile intruder breaks into the home to have sex with his victim, kidnaps her from her bed, bludgeons and strangles the little girl, but then forgets to have sex with her and escapes through a window and levitates over snow without waking anyone up. If no one heard or saw him, if his abduction was successful for all intents and purposes, why did he abandon the victim that he risked it all for before doing what he’d come to do?
Instead of removing his clothes and performing sexual acts, as is his nature, in the Ramsey case the strange pedophile attacker apparently elects to sit down to write a three-page Ransom Note [which takes roughly 20 minutes] using materials inside the house. This is what he chooses to do with his alone time with the victim. For a dude meticulous enough not to leave any trace of himself, not even a single fingerprint on the three-page note, leaving the note is a huge mismatch to the surrounding parapsychology.
As early as 2002 Oliva was identified, investigated and apparently cleared as a suspect by the cops in Boulder. Of course, confirming Oliva as an official suspect or not is quite complicated. The information is there, it’s just muddy and muddled, that’s all.
In the 2002 jailhouse interview that was part of the “48 Hours Investigates” broadcast, Oliva denied hurting or killing JonBenet. He also said he had never used a stun gun on a child. But Oliva did admit to an obsession with the Ramseys’ youngest child. “I believe she came to me after she was killed and revealed herself to me,” he said. “I’d like to see a memorial set up for her. I haven’t seen that, anywhere.”
In an interview with the Daily Camera after the 2002 CBS broadcast, then-Boulder Police chief Mark Beckner said Oliva remained a suspect in the Ramsey case.
Smit is convinced that a pedophile came into the Ramsey home and killed their daughter. “I’ve probably got 25 good leads. And I probably have another 50 pages of other leads to follow,” he says.
Among the files he’s keeping on sex offenders in Boulder, Gary Oliva’s name stands out. Police said that in 1991, months after he sexually assaulted the little girl, Oliva tried to strangle his mother with a telephone cord. And in December 1996, Oliva, then a fugitive and a homeless drifter, may have been less than a block away from the Ramsey’s house.
Why aren’t the Boulder police taking these leads more seriously? Police have dismissed Oliva because his DNA doesn’t match evidence at the scene.The Ramseys say police have a double standard: While some suspects have been cleared because their DNA doesn’t match, they have not been cleared for the same reason.
Just this week, police said Oliva is not a suspect. Sources say his DNA doesn’t match evidence at the scene.
In fact if anything, Murat participated in the investigation as a volunteer translator, far more than can be said about the McCanns who were [like the Ramseys] less than co-operative with the local authorities, to put it mildly. In fact on the evening Madeleine vanished, the only people not looking for the little girl were Kate and Gerry.
The false “tip-offs”, meanwhile, started as early as May 2007, the same month as Madeleine’s disappearance. One of those tip-offs came from the Tapas 7 [the McCanns’ pals] who mistakenly identified Tannerman as key abductor suspect. Even though Tannerman had played tennis with Gerry, and came forward to say “hey, it was me” it took six years for him to be officially cleared.
Murat formed an important part of the false tip-offs extravaganza during the crucial first days of the investigation.
But because Murat lived quite close to the crime scene [like Oliva], he remained a sort of default choice as prime suspect, aside from the original prime suspects of course. As long as the crime remained unsolved, suspicions hung like a cloud over Murat.
Based on the Netflix trailer, it seems Murat will be mentioned as part of the pedophile narrative not so much implicating him, but implicating 1) the pedophile conspiracy narrative and thus giving it some substance and 2) accusing the authorities [presumably the Portuguese cops] of an improper investigation, thus undermining their allegations [including those identifying the parents as arguidos/suspects].
I have made passing remarks in my three narratives to debunk the pedophile/abductor theory, starting with the obvious. If a stranger abductor wants to steal a child, the easiest way to do that is in a public area like a beach or a park. What an abductor won’t do nine times out of ten is break into a locked or secure home, grab the child [leaving traces of himself], and then break out again, all with the threat of being caught in flagrante delicto.
But more important than imputing the typical profile of a stranger abductor, is looking at the behavior of the parents following the abduction. In the Ramseys’ case, following the murder of their daughter by a random kidnapping pedophile, what did they do – they sent their other child to another nearby residence and never seemed particularly concerned for Burke’s safety. By January 1997, within a month of his sister’s murder, Burke was back at school and his father back at work, back to business as usual.
He continued going to the same school, and security protocols at the school were casual, to put it mildly. Not the sort of thing a parent convinced their child was attacked by a neighborhood monster still-at-large would do, and of course, Burke Ramsey himself wasn’t in the least bit frightened either. No nightmares. Not much concern that his sister had been killed in the basement. In fact when Burke was asked why he wasn’t at school during those first weeks, it wasn’t to hide away from an attacker, but the press.
In the McCann case, it’s not often reported that the McCanns continued to stay in the Ocean Club hotel for an additional two months following the “abduction”. Besides that, their other two children continued to be dropped off at the Ocean Club creche [Kids Club] as per normal, immediately following the abduction.
When the McCanns left to see the Pope in May 2007 [less than a month after Madeleine’s “disappearance”, they left both their children behind in the pedophile paradise of Praia da Luz before continuing a whirlwind tour of Europe.
They have left their two-year-old twins in the Algarve with Mr McCann’s sister, Trish Cameron, and her husband Sandy, deciding they were too young to take on the trip to Italy. The couple are also due to visit Spain, the Netherlands, Morocco and Germany to raise awareness of their daughter’s disappearance.
In fact the pictures the tabloid media were able to get of the couple in the weeks following the abduction were all at the same resort where Madeleine was “abducted”. All the pictures of the McCanns in the aftermath were taken as they went to drop off their other children at the creche first thing in the morning, so that they could concentrate on attending to the PR surrounding Madeleine.
But that’s not the most ridiculous aspect of this conspiracy. That is reserved for the idea that all evidence to the contrary, Madeleine is still alive. With zero confirmed evidence of Madeleine being sighted in twelve years, Madeleine still being alive is based on less evidence than that she isn’t.
Based on cadaver traces alone [in apartment 5a, in the garden below the apartment, in the villa, on Madeleine’s cuddlecat toy, and inside the rental vehicle’s trunk] it’s clear someone died. If it wasn’t Madeleine, was it someone else [in the apartment, in the rental car, in the villa…]?
It’s this narrative that Madeleine is still alive that’s the reason I believe this documentary actually has the tacit support of the McCanns despite appearances to the contrary. The fact that the documentary is coming out a month before the 12th anniversary of her disappearance isn’t an accident. It’s been carefully planned and executed. So much of this case is about precisely that – appearances and PR. And after losing their latest lawsuit, the McCanns need some fresh impetus to their bogus “there is always hope” spiel.
Top British police officer Jim Gamble claims that they’ll find Maddie within his lifetime,according to Daily Mail reports.
“There’s huge hope to be had with the advances in technology. Year on year DNA is getting better,” Gamble has said, “Year on year other techniques, including facial recognition, are getting better. “And as we use that technology to revisit and review that which we captured in the past, there’s every likelihood that something we already know will slip into position.”
It’s been suggested that Maddie is still alive and was taken by human traffickersbecause of her financial value as a “middle-class British girl”, Metro reports. The long-awaited documentary is expected to be released on Friday, despite opposition from Madeleine’s family.
Her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, have repeatedly refusedto take part in the show, according to The Guardian. They’ve also reportedly urged others to refuse doing interviews with production house Pulse Films, who’s making the series.
In POST TRUTH, the 100th True Crime Rocket Science [TCRS] title, the world’s most prolific true crime author Nick van der Leek demonstrates how much we still don’t know in the Watts case. In the final chapter of the SILVER FOX trilogy the author provides a sly twist in a tale that has spanned 12 TCRS books to date. The result may shock or leave you with even more questions.
SILVER FOX III available now in paperback!
“If you are at all curious about what really happened in the Watts case, then buy this book, buy every one he has written and you will get as close as humanly possible to understanding the killer and his victims.”- Kathleen Hewtson. Purchase the very highly rated and reviewed SILVER TRILOGY – POST TRUTH COMING SOON.
TCRS MERCH available now – just in time for Christmas!
Book 5 – ALL NEW! “I have thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook…” – Connie Lukens. Drilling Through Discovery Complete Audiobook
Read the entire 9-Part TWO FACE series, the most definitive book series covering the Chris Watts Case
Visit the TCRS Archive of 100 Books dealing with all the world’s most high-profile true crime cases.
Join the TCRS Community on Patreon for as little as $1 per month. Multiple daily posts, interesting discussions, amazing audiobooks narrated by the author, ongoing series and powerful, informative weekly podcasts.
Subscribe to the Growing TCRS YouTube Channel
Book 4 in the TWO FACE series, one of the best reviewed, is available now in paperback!
“Book 4 in the K9 series is a must read for those who enjoy well researched and detailed crime narratives. The author does a remarkable job of bringing to life the cold dark horror that is Chris Watts throughout the narrative but especially on the morning in the aftermath of the murders. Chris’s actions are connected by Nick van der Leek’s eloquent use of a timeline to reveal a motive.”