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

Tag: Madeleine McCann (Page 1 of 3)

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.

“Gerry didn’t [couldn’t] explain corpse odor in Apartment 5A”

This damning article on cadaver traces was published on August 6th, 2008 in Portugal’s Diário de Notícias. To read the original report, click the link, then right click and hit “Translate to English”.

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Isn’t it strange that you only find negative coverage of the McCanns in the foreign media coverage?

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Crime Rocket is in Portugal – follow #DeepIntoDarkness to find out why

True crime never rests, true crime research never sleeps. If it seems like CrimeRocket is on hiatus, well, I’m sharpening the saw elsewhere.

For ten days I’ve been on the ground in a tourist resort on the Algarve known as Praia da Luz. I’m following up a number of lines of inquiry I first wrote about in the DOUBT trilogy, in 2017.

This year I wanted to be in the area at the exact time, and on the same date as the abduction. Follow the hashtag #DeepIntoDarkness on Twitter and Instagram to get a sneak peek on where I’ve been and what’s coming soon.

“The McCanns insisted they had given their children nothing more potent than Calpol, which is a painkiller and has no sedative effect.” – Sunday Times, 9 September 2007, Victims of the rumour mill?

It’s a popular misconception that Calpol Night helps children to sleep.

Is it really?

On the same day the McCanns finally arrived home at the end of a disastrous summer in Portugal, the Sunday Times published an analysis of how the well-to-do British parents [both doctors] had been unfairly victimized by Portuguese cops and Portuguese tabloid media.

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One of the “most powerful rumours” quoted in the article was this one:Fullscreen capture 20190423 151722

The inference is that the gossip surrounding the use of a Calpol as a sedative cannot possibly be true simply because – medically speaking – Calpol isn’t a sedative.

Do a Google search of “Calpol sedative” and Google will inform you that:

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This must mean that the article in the Sunday Times, especially the bit about Calpol having “no sedative effect” was 100% accurate, right?

Well, it depends on “when”. If the question is: Does Calpol Night have a sedative effect today? the answer is no. The date of the article cited in the Google search [February 16, 2005] seems to predate the incident involving Madeleine McCann by over two years.

The problem with the assessment that the active ingredients have no sedative effect is that they don’t refer to the actual active ingredient that does: diphenhydramine hydrochloride.

There are three important points to raise in this respect:

1. While the original Calpol Night did contain Paracetamol, and while Paracetamol is a painkiller as opposed to a sedative [confirming the accuracy of the text above] the other active ingredient is used to treat coughs and runny noses.Fullscreen capture 20190423 155708

It dries nasal secretions and is, as such, an antihistamine. Antihistamines are famously sedating, and diphenhydramine hydrochloride is no exception. So the original Calpol Night does have a sedative effect, despite the claim in the Sunday Times that this was a rumour, and apparently the same claim by the doctors at the centre of the allegations that it had no sedative effect.

2. What is astonishing is that the Sunday Times either was ignorant of the well-known trend in British to sedate their children using cough-medicine in the decade following 2000, or was deliberately ignorant. In other words, they either misled their readers on a misconception that wasn’t, or they did so accidentally. A year and ten days after “setting the record straight on the safety of Calpol” the same newspaper referred to the “Calpol generation” in a headline, and the dangers of the medication leading to long term side-effects.

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3. By March 2009 the original formula of Calpol Night was discontinued, and the product packaging of the replacement product was altered to reflect this. After coming under review, it was no longer recommended to dose any children under six years of age with Calpol Night. [Madeleine McCann was three-years-old at the time of her disappearance]. Some of the side effects associated with the original formula now officially included drowsiness, hallucinations and potentially serious liver and kidney damage.

The Calpol product that replaced Calpol Night in 2009 doesn’t have a sedative effect. The Calpol product that existed at the time something happened to the doctors’ daughter during their holiday in Portugal in 2007, absolutely did.

More: Are we using too much Calpol? – The Telegraph [2005]

Doctors are now being told to prescribe Calpol instead of antibiotics to children – Daily Mail [2017]

Are we raising a generation of Calpol kids? Doctor warns in TV doc that our children are overdosing on drugs – The Mirror [2018]

Madeleine McCann cops thought Kate and Gerry had accidentally killed Maddie with Calpol overdose, Netflix documentary reveals – The Sun [2019]

 

Lawyer Neighbour Claims She Saw McCanns “Airing” Their Renault Scenic Rental – At Night

In detective Goncalo Amaral’s book Truth of the Lie he doesn’t spend a lot of time on the subject of a neighbour who came forward and said [anonymously] that she thought she saw the McCanns “ventilating” their rental vehicle. Including at night.

Near the end of his chapter “The Hypothesis of Death is Considered” Amaral makes the following passing remark:

Later, I am brought the witness statement of a neighbour, according to whom, the McCanns left their car boot open all the time. For Gerry’s brother-in-law, the bad smell was explained by the fact that the McCanns transported their bins in it. As for the blood, it had been left by a piece of meat fallen out of a shopping bag. Kate’s cousin explained that the unpleasant smells were due to the little ones’ dirty nappies.

None of that stands up to scrutiny faced with the reactions of these dogs, who are thoroughly trained to detect only blood and cadaver odours.

Amaral provides more detail in the documentary based on his book, and the neighbour also comes forward [though her face is not shown] where she discusses what she thought she saw. This aspect is covered from 4:20 in the clip below.

The neighbour, a lawyer [whom Amaral refers to as a “juror” in the translation] seems to be a credible witness. One of her more memorable statements is this one:

 “I drive down this street every day to turn my car around at that end and every time that I passed the house and I looked at the car, and the car always had an open boot door, day or night. I often passed at night and always verified it. It was a fact, I reported it and that was it”.

What you won’t often see, or hear about, is a report published in the Daily Express on 14 September 2007, which appeared to show the cadaver dogs tracked cadaver odor from Apartment 5A on a direct route to the coast.

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The Daily Express sensationally described this 1 mile beeline route from the hotel to the coast as “The Trail of Death”.

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But other international media reported on the same findings.

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The cover of the Daily Express that same day trumpeted MADELEINE WAS ‘KILLED BY SLEEPING PILLS’.

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The Telegraph reported on the same claim on the same day.

Guilhem Battut, an investigative reporter for the French tabloid France Soir, said Portuguese police had given prosecutors a file detailing how they thought Madeleine had died. Battut – an experienced journalist who has worked on a number of major inquiries – claims police believe that evidence found in the McCanns’ hire car will “prove that the little girl had ingested medicines, without doubt sleeping pills, in large quantities”.

A source at the newspaper claimed: “We are not simply repeating rumours carried in other papers. This is not a theory, but a fact contained in hard evidence in the hands of the Portuguese authorities. “It is all very well putting theories and opinions forward, but in the end this case will be decided on evidence. As journalists, we have been trying to establish what evidence is available.”

DNA evidence which has reportedly been found in the hire car includes hair, blood and bodily fluids which match Madeleine’s. Police are said to want to examine the vehicle again. It is currently being kept in a safe place by the family who are considering having their own tests carried out on it as they strive to prove their innocence.Portuguese police are said to be drawing up a list of 40 new questions that they want to put to Mrs McCann. But British forensic experts expressed doubts over the claim.

Alan Baker, of the independent forensic science organisation Bericon, said: “These samples are likely to be far from ideal. If it is just a smear or dried deposit you could detect the drug but not how much.”Jamie150907_468x362

Last night friends of the family dismissed the latest speculation. Gerry McCann reportedly told a friend: “There are large craters in every one of these theories, in these ludicrous accusations.’ “As far as Kate and I are concerned there is no evidence to suggest that Madeleine is dead. We are 100 per cent together on this, not one grain of suspicion about each other.”

A close friend of Mrs McCann’s said: “She is a gentle mother who loves her children very much.”

An article in the February 2008 edition of Vanity Fair notes Kate McCann’s explanation for why the cadaver dogs sensed cadaver odour on the key fob of the rental vehicle. It was because Kate McCann had been around cadavers just before her trip to the Algarve.

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The Daily Express six months earlier had been more specific, reporting that Kate had apparently said she’d come into contact with six corpses “in the weeks” before the holiday. Of course the car was also hired weeks after the incident.

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More information: OFFICIAL INQUIRY FILES and DOCUMENTS
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Errrm…I have a few questions about the “Disappearance of Madeleine McCann” Wikipedia Page

I suppose the most obvious question is: who wrote it? In the list of 298 citations, 50 references refer to Summers & Swan, the authors of Looking For Madeleine.  Summers & Swan are also the main narrators of the recent £20 million 8-part Netflix documentary series on the McCann case. It’s strange than 1 in 6 citations refer to only one narrative of the case when there are at least half a dozen others.

In the shorter list of Works Cited, Summers & Swan appears again as one of 14 “authoritative” works on the case, another being Kate McCann’s book.

Now we already know the disgraced British PR firm Bell Pottinger has – in the past – been implicated in editing Wikipedia pages to their own specifications. One example is explicated in this TimesLive article from July 2017: Bell Pottinger’s wicked Wiki ways.

Extracts of the article include:

In 2012, 10 user accounts linked to Bell Pottinger were stopped from making edits to Wikipedia pages after an investigation by British journalists revealed the firm’s evasion of ethical guidelines set out by Wiki founder Jimmy Wales. He was quoted by the BBC at the time as saying he was “highly critical of their ethics” and began an investigation into what appeared to be the firm’s manipulation of Wikipedia content.

This was after the Bureau of Investigative Journalists caught Bell Pottinger executives on hidden a camera bragging about, among other things, having a team that “sorts” Wikipedia pages. In December 2011, Bell Pottinger executives were caught out by journalists who secretly filmed and recorded them boasting about their political influence over the British prime minister and their proficiency at “dark arts”.

Bell Pottinger was involved in providing PR to Kate and Gerry McCann, as well as Oscar Pistorius and the infamous Gupta Brothers [through Oakbay Investments].

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Leveson Inquiry: as it happened November 23

Authors in Madeleine McCann documentary living in Waterford believe ‘her abduction was planned’

Madeleine McCann: ‘I listened for 15 seconds and knew they were innocent’

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Who Can Assist This Reader/Reviewer?

I get it a lot. The raven. Why is there a raven? I don’t understand why there is a raven?

Anyone have any ideas?

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Amazon banned Criminal Profiler Pat Brown’s book on the Madeleine McCann case

Madeleine McCann Netflix documentary could trigger fresh legal action by parents – The Mirror

‘IT’S ALL NONSENSE’ Kate and Gerry McCann may sue over ‘lunatic conspiracy theory’ video blaming them for Maddie’s disappearance – The Sun

Madeleine McCann’s parents win libel payout – BBC

Kate and Gerry McCann Suing Sunday Times over ‘Madeleine Clue’ Defamation – Internatrional Business Times

Kate McCann Has Threatened To Sue Social Media Users – LadBible

Madeleine McCann parents lose appeal against author who alleged they were involved in her disappearance – The Independent

Never heard before court audio reveals the battle and consequences of the McCanns’ feud with lead Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral.

DOUBT is available exclusively on Amazon.com at this link and Amazon.co.uk here. And yes, there will be ravens [better get used to it!]

Analysing 5A: The Balcony and the Bougainvillea

True crime asks simple questions. When? Where? How? Why? Sometimes we don’t get satisfactory answers to one of these questions. When [time of death] – for example – can be particularly troublesome.

In a few cases we may have uncertainty around not one, not two but all of these questions. This is particularly true when the body is never recovered, or [as in the Watts case] chemically destroyed beyond the ken of powerful technologies that would usually shed some light.

Just as in the Chris Watts case, troubling uncertainty persists about where the crime was executed in the McCann case. While many of the hordes have moved on with Chris Watts’ “Second Confession” narrative, they seem to have forgotten the alerts the cadaver dogs made inside the house, including in the basement. These are now simply dismissed as dogs barking for no reason at all. Of course, the same scenario presents itself in the McCann case. Dogs alert, but inconclusive DNA results then “proves” the dogs weren’t necessarily right. But what if they were?

In the McCann case if we are to persist in asking about where Madeleine died [assuming she died on May 3rd at the apartment], there’s clearly no obvious answer. Amaral seems to think the forensic evidence points towards the child falling on the tiled floor beside the couch, and suffering a significant wound leading to arterial spray.

To my mind a significant wound causing significant arterial spray and a fall from less than one vertical metre aren’t compatible. That’s not to say not possible, simply unlikely in my view.

A more plausible scenario for a serious, life-threatening injury is a fall from at least twice that height or even more, and onto an irregular surface.

While researching the DOUBT trilogy, I started investigating an area of the apartment that – to the best of my knowledge – no one else has looked at in any detail. It’s the balcony area outside the main bedroom.

As I persisted in my research I grew increasingly frustrated with this line of inquiry. I couldn’t find any information! I discovered to my chagrin, if there are two areas that are least documented in the Madeleine McCann case they are 1) the balcony outside the main bedroom and 2) the area directly under the balcony.

Typically the view one sees in the media of apartment 5A is this sort of image:

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In effect you can see almost none of apartment 5A other than the two windows on the east elevation, and the entrance to the patio doors.  It’s a patently useless image yet it’s the default image used to depict the scenario rather than the actual crime scene.

Here’s another example of a view of nothing.

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And another.

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And another.

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And another.

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Interestingly, in my attempt to see the balcony from the outside, I was by default proving how nonsensical the statement was that the parents could easily see their apartment from the Tapas Bar [and thus have a reasonable idea that their children were safe]. In point of fact, even from a few metres away, it’s impossible to see the patio doors, let alone a small child moving on the balcony.

I suppose one can argue semantics and say technically a portion of the apartment is visible from a distance, and so if that’s the case the apartment is visible. But when the parents say the apartment is visible the suggestion is clearly that it’s sufficiently visible for there to be adequate supervision from a distance.

But is this suggestion reasonable?

The image below is from the official police photos. Notice the width of the vertical slats in the balcony railing, as well as its relatively low height.

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Clearly from this image taken from apartment 5H, which is one floor above the McCanns’ apartment and to the west, a small child moving on the patio wouldn’t be visible from their position lower down.

The McCanns’ apartment was on the ground floor, and vegetation on the perimeter walls block line of sight. Another reason is that the railing itself at 5A is “curtained” off by vegetation.

In Kate’s book she admits vegetation was a factor, but claims the apartment was “largely visible” from the restaurant.

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Okay, but which part of the apartment was visible?

If one wishes to “see” onto the balcony of apartment 5A through direct line-of-sight, one has to achieve substantial elevation. As soon as one does one notices other idiosyncrasies of the ground floor apartments. They’re the only ones with vegetation growing along the railings. They’re also the only apartments with small garden spaces below, a concession perhaps intended to make up for the lack of a sea view.

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Zooming in…

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PROD-The-Mccanns-ApartmentFullscreen capture 20190426 2034331-fullscreen-capture-20170401-015208-pmtorn bookFullscreen capture 20190426 170826And increasing the angle of elevation…

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Next I wanted to get a view of the garden alcove beneath the balcony at 5A. If images of the balcony were tough to find, the garden area was well-nigh impossible. And cursory research suggested it was unnecessary; the cadaver dogs had alerted in the flower bed on the other side of the apartment, hadn’t they?

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Actually no, the above article is a misrepresentation. According to the PJ Files:

…on 31 July 2007 a search had been performed inside the apartment using English police dogs, one specialised in the detection of traces of human blood and the other in the detection of human cadaver scent.

They informed further that in that search the animal specialised in detection of human blood indicated the possible presence thereof on one of the floor tiles in the living room and that the dog specialised in detection of human cadaver odour had detected the presence thereof in the couple’s bedroom and in the back garden of the apartment.

[They proceeded] with the recovery of the floor tiles indicated by the dog specialised in the detection of human blood, with the recovery of hair in the corridor [pathway] that exists in the area of the back garden next to the window of the couple’s bedroom, with the recovery of several pieces of the branches of the climbing plant in the garden (for later check of possible blood traces on them) and with the recovery of possible fibres on the garden wall next to the climbing plant…

In the end the police reports provided the first, best images of this obscure garden area I was able to find. Ironically the images are provided under the following headline:

OFFICIAL INQUIRY FILES and DOCUMENTS 5A SAMPLES INDICATED BY EDDIE & KEELA REPORT

And so, here they are:

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The sharpness and sheerness of that white paving strip on the ground can be appreciated better from this unusual view of the garden. Notice even from directly in front, and somewhat elevated, the balcony railing on the left side is still obscured by vegetation.

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The above view provided in reverse, looking from the balcony above 5A in the direction of the Tapas Restaurant.

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I mentioned at the outset that an irregular surface was more likely to cause a life-threatening injury from a fall [specifically one leading to a lot of arterial blood spurting].

Here it is:

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But this is another possibility:

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Cadaver alerts, however, were not on or below this staircase.

What’s interesting about the image above and those in the police file is how the vegetation has sprung up over the balcony by July 31st [three months after the incident]. Clearly the vegetation and balcony didn’t look like this on May 3rd. It looked like this:

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But the most important image is this one.

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The Balcony Narrative opens up a bunch of questions, scenarios and possibilities, doesn’t it? While researching DOUBT, it occurred to me we have the whole thing the wrong way round.

We are trying to see from the outside, and trying to examine line-of-sight from various angles. We’re looking at the apartment from the perspective of the McCanns, aren’t we? Obviously this line of questioning seeks to implicate or undermine the McCanns, and seeks to call into question whether or not they could or couldn’t see their apartment from the restaurant.

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But this misses the point.

In a scenario where Madeleine may have fallen over the balcony railing onto the garden and paving section below, irrespective of whose fault it was or what caused it, we have to ask what she was doing there [if that’s where she fell] in the first place.

Put simply: where was she? If she was “there”, why was she there?

Detective Amaral provides some handy insight into this question by way of his explanation of a fall inside the apartment.

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Amaral suggests Madeleine heard her father in the street, mounted the sofa and attempted to climb onto the wall and perhaps open the window, and that’s when she fell.

That’s a good theory, but – in my view – he’s on the wrong track. I won’t go into the reasons why his theory is unworkable other than to point out a fall at 21:00 would not provide sufficient opportunity for the formation of cadaver odor. There are other issues as well, but let’s leave those for the time being.

Yet if we take Amaral’s psychology of Madeleine hearing and then trying to see her father [or anyone for that matter] and we move this psychology to the balcony, we suddenly have a scenario. Instead of climbing onto a couch she climbs onto a railing. Instead of trying to reach a window [to see something] Madeleine’s trying to see over the railing, and climbs onto it to achieve that.

Even from this position clambering onto the railing it’s frustrating for the little girl, maddening in fact, trying to see towards the Tapas Bar and tennis court area which is – after all – right there. It’s so close!

To fully intuit this scenario we must transpose our frustration trying to see into and onto the balcony from the outside, with Madeleine standing on the balcony possibly trying to see out, and becoming increasingly agitated and persistent in her attempt.

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In this scenario it’s not night time, and her parents aren’t necessarily dining at the Tapas Restaurant. One of her parents or someone she wishes to see [perhaps even another child] is in the play area below or at the tennis courts and Madeleine simply wants to see.

For whatever reason, Madeleine clambers onto the railing or through, or over it, just as she may have done in the jungle gym area beside the pool.fplay

But the messy Bougainvillea interferes with her attempt, perhaps causing her to misjudge her effort. Perhaps once she’s in a critical position, stretching to see over a part of it the creeper she injures herself on a barb causing her to let go and loose her balance.

In the earliest footage of that fateful holiday, we see Madeleine eagerly clambering up the stairs into the aircraft and falling. So the little girl isn’t too timid to find her way onto and over things, even something as exotic as stairs leading onto a noisy airplane.

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In some photos of the balcony taken from the side, the railing is no longer there.

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This may be because it was defective, or rusted and needed to be replaced, or because it was removed [after the fact] in order to be forensically tested.

One way to explain why a £12 million investigation into Madeleine McCann was never successful is because the critical balcony aspect has been left out either through negligence or investigators not seeing the wood for the trees, so to speak.

The garden area and the balcony doesn’t appear in Kate McCann’s version of the crime scene, it’s incorrectly reported in the media [if it’s reported at all] and the even the diagram used by the Portuguese police doesn’t consider it part of the crime scene. Amaral himself also seems to exclude this area because he is focused on the possible arterial blood evidence behind and beside the blue sofa.

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The Ocean Club Perimeter [South Side]

Most of the focus of the crime scene at the Ocean Club fixates on the labyrinth of doors, windows, beehive balconies, apartments, stairwells and foliage surrounding Apartment 5A.

But what about the other end of the complex?

In Goncalo Amaral’s book he briefly mentions that access to leisure areas wasn’t controlled.

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A case in point is the rear area behind the tennis courts, behind the Tapas Bar and kids creche.

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The creche is easily identified as a square, white tented structure.

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“Lurkers, Lone Intruders, A Suspicious Blonde Fellow, Another Suspicious Blonde Fellow, A Smelly Man, A Man With Dark Skin, A Pock-Faced Man, A Man Wearing a Surgical Mask, A Man With a Foreign Accent, Vast Pedophile Populations, A Wobbly Fat Woman, A Couple Running With a Baby Near a Marina and ‘Keep The Faith Because There is Always Hope’” Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 8 Review & Analysis [Part 3 of 3]

The mindfuckery reaches a dizzying crescendo in the final episode in the Netflix documentary, especially in the last 30 minutes. One moment a brand new suspect is identified, then another, then another, THEN ANOTHER, THEN ANOTHER…

IN THEIR SIGHTS Madeleine McCann may have been snatched by two creepy blond men seen scouting Maddie’s apartment hours before she vanished, documentary claims – The Sun [2019]

Madeleine McCann: Did this man snatch Maddy? – The Mirror [2012]

Madeleine McCann ‘snatched by wobbly fat woman and is still alive’ – Daily Star

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It’s almost with gleeful celebration that these names and numbers are touted. Why all of this information is “saved” for last is odd. Why not have an episode that deals exclusively with the long list of suspects [all of whom turned into dead ends], rather than throwing darts at a board and going, could it be this guy, how about this one? Could Madeleine be in Morocco? How about Australia? What about this Marina here, at 06:00 on May 4th?

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There is a cultish triumphalism about “keeping the faith” in episode eight that reminds me of Apocalyptic Doctrine in the bible. The longer the Apocalypse doesn’t happen, the more certain it is to happen. If Armageddon hasn’t happened after 2000 years of prediction, oh boy, are we close to it happening now!

Also, the longer the Apocalypse doesn’t happen, the more evidence there is that it’s about to. It’s the End of Days. Something is about to happen.

It seems the same counter-intuitive gospel is being used here. The longer Madeleine remains missing the more certain she is to be found. The longer she remains missing, the more certain there is to be evidence that shes out there.

If we applied this gospel to our everyday lives, whether applying for a job, or asking someone out on a date, most would agree that the longer the period without confirmation, the more certain the reply is likely to be negative.

Of course it’s of no use to be broadly dismissive [of anything] in true crime. And, like we see in The Matrix, one can’t be told what something is, one must experience it in order to know it. Saying something is bullshit is one thing, smelling it is another.

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With that in mind, let’s take three specific examples of mindfuckery in the final episode, to see what we’re dealing with.

1. It’s The Ocean Club’s Fault

Kate McCann found out that a booking they’d made at the Tapas Restaurant had been visible to others. In other words, it’s written explicitly in the registration/bookings book that the families would spend a week dining in the Tapas Bar at a particular time because their children were somewhere else. Now it’s the Ocean Club’s responsibility for allowing this sensitive information to fall into the hands of a shadowy, lurking pedophile abductor who happened to be floating around the Club there and then.

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One of the co-authors narrating the story provides reinforcement for this same mind-job. This time it’s the fault of the authorities for not informing tourists that Praia da Luz was swarming with pedophiles, and if they’d only known this, they would never have left their children alone.

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This is a wonderful jab firstly at the irresponsible Ocean Club staff, and secondly at the bungling Portuguese cops. Had they done their jobs, the parents could have dined in peace without their child being abducted while they were away.

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There seems to be absolutely no question that leaving young children alone for an extended time actually invited some sort of incident in the first place.

We did not get nanny service for Madeleine, says Kate McCann – Telegraph

One aspect of the McCann narrative that is also missed is that the McCanns didn’t just leave three-year-old Madeleine so that they could dine somewhere else, they left three children, including two one-and-a-half-year-olds. In addition to this, when the McCanns were dining out, Kate herself didn’t do her check when she was supposed to, but gave up her check to someone else. On the night of May 3rd, the night Madeleien disappeared, by the time Kate did her one check Madeleine was already gone.

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It’s also strange what Kate doesn’t seem to say – not in the documentary nor in so many of the interviews she’s given over the years. It would be the most natural [and understandable] thing in the world for her to say, and if she said it one would probably feel a lot more sympathy for her. “I feel guilty. I feel bad. It’s my fault…”

But you don’t hear those words. Instead it’s everyone else’s fault but the McCanns, and everyone else is a suspect, or made serious mistakes, or errors in judgement, but the McCanns.

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Instead when Kate has spoken about feeling guilty, as she did in April 2017, it’s about money.

Ten years after she vanished, Kate said: “You do feel guilty. Other families haven’t had the publicity and money.” Former GP Kate, 49, admits she used to feel “really embarrassed” about the £11 million spent on the investigation.

I wonder – do they feel guilty about £20 million spent on a documentary that’s really about implicating a host of obvious suspects, while clearly making an effort to exonerate them in the court of public opinion?

One should also note that after years of adverse publicity, the Ocean Club resort where Madeleine died or disappeared went bankrupt. A lot of people lost their jobs. All the money Kate felt embarrassed about could theoretically have gone to saving some of those jobs lost as a result of unrelenting bad press surrounding the luckless resort.

‘WIPING AWAY THE HORROR’ Infamous holiday villa where Maddie McCann went missing is closed to ‘spooked’ holidaymakers – The Sun

The property, which the new owner is partially shielding from public view, was axed from tour operators’ recommended accommodation after stunned holidaymakers learned it was “the Maddie flat.” A British expat living in the resort told The Sun Online said today: “The place is no longer being used as a holiday option. I’m surprised it lasted so long as a viable let with its grim history.”

What happened to Praia da Luz holiday apartment where Madeleine McCann went missing? – The Mirror [May 2017]

The McCann’s had rented the flat from Mark Warner Holidays for around £1,500 for a one-week holiday when three-year-old Maddie vanished from her bed on May 3, 2007.

The two-bedroom apartment lay empty for a month but was then used by two families for a one-week and fortnight-long holiday before it was finally sealed off as a permanent crime scene. Once the world’s media had departed the front of the Ocean Club complex and Portuguese police closed their investigation in 2008, the property was put up for sale for around £250,000. The price was repeatedly slashed until it was eventually sold earlier this year for around £113,000 by British widow Kathleen Macguire-Cotton.

Holiday firm leaves resort where Madeleine McCann disappeared – The Express

Madeleine McCann case: Resort firm Mark Warner sues insurers for losses – The Guardian

 Company blames adverse publicity for parents staying away 

 Claim centres on losses for ‘interrupted business’

‘We’ve just had enough of it’: Ten years on, Praia da Luz remembers the night Madeleine McCann disappeared – Telegraph [May 2017]

…for two years after her disappearance, the number of tourists “noticeably decreased”. “People lost their jobs because of this. A lot of shops and restaurants closed down. It had a huge influence on the real estate market.”

‘OUR FRESH HOPE’  Madeleine McCann parents’ delight as cops ask for more funding to keep search for missing child alive – The Sun [March, 2019]

If it was the Ocean’s Clubs fault, they and much of Praia da Luz have paid a price and done their penance many times over.

2. “New Technology will help us find Madeleine…”

This is a decent point raised in the final episode. Advances in technology are improving the forensic side of true crime investigations. The application of these technological breakthroughs in the McCann case could be applied in two areas above all, DNA testing and facial recognition software.

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The Netflix narrative doesn’t highlight either of these very practical areas in any detail, but instead goes to the fuzzier area of time-lapsing Madeleine’s appearance. What would she look like now?Fullscreen capture 20190328 190615Fullscreen capture 20190328 190617

Ernie Allen [pictured above] is the ex-President & CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in America. He narrates chunks of virtually every episode in the series [with apparent impartiality].

In the final minutes of episode eight we see Allen working side-by-side with the McCanns for the first time. Allen is touting cutting edge technology to the McCanns, and doing so on camera. It has nothing to do with DNA [and there is much in dispute and much uncertainty regarding the DNA evidence surrounding this case] or facial recognition software. It’s simply a kind of digital “aging”.

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Although the value of “aging” Madeleine’s face has dubious application in my opinion [especially if Madeleine is no longer with us], the interaction between Allen and Kate is worth noting.

Observe how both Allen and Kate emphasise how Madeleine’s features resemble her mother’s. Gerry is not mentioned and remains uncharacteristically silent throughout this aspect of the discussion.

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Why would it be “upsetting” to see her three-year-old recast as a little girl, apparently alive and well? If Madeleine is dead, then clearly all of this is a reminder of what Madeleine herself has missed, isn’t it?

3. “There are many, many, many similar cases of abductions where years went by and the people were found, and they’re JUST LIKE Madeleine..”

The Intertextual aspect in the McCann case is very important, and provides potentially a lot of insight to understanding this case. Although the documentary does hint at the relative rarity of a child as young as Madeleine being abducted [as part of the official statistics], they gloss over the truly Intertextual aspect.

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In the final flourish of episode eight cases are noted where children are abducted only to return “safe and sound” years later, and in a solitary instance decades later.

The trouble is, all of these reference cases involve children around ten or eleven years old, or even older, and in two of the three instances cited, the children are abducted from public outdoor areas such as waiting for a bus or outside riding a bike.

In Elizabeth Smart’s case the fourteen-year-old was abducted from home. Yeah, she was fourteen, not three going on four.

In the single instance cited where a child was much younger, it was a baby snatched at a hospital, and in that case the baby [not identified by name in the series] grew up and self-identified herself to her parents. The baby wasn’t snatched or abused by pedophiles.

The unidentified woman highlighted by the series is Carlina White, the case with the longest-known gap in a non-parental abduction in history where the victim was reunited with her parents [23 years].

Clearly all of these cases are miles apart from from a three-year-old girl supposedly abducted, because if one thing is clear, a three-year-old child is way harder to look after or even engage sexually with for an extended period [as uncomfortable as that is to hear] than an older child.

When very young children are abducted for sexual purposes they are typically murdered very soon after. The idea that a survivor of a pedophile ring might be allowed to grow up and one day wander off, back into society and then blow the lid off this massive enterprise is idiotic in the extreme. It simply doesn’t happen.

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Now for a few final observations.

In the final episode we see Julian Peribañez, the detective hired by the McCanns finally appearing to deliver on his mandate. Some pedophiles are arrested.

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Fullscreen capture 20190328 191635-001Then we see Peribañez driving in what appears to be a Porche, performing the role in front of the cameras of a successful, stylish, smart detective.

Uhhhh…did I miss something? Where is Peribañez’s name even mentioned in the article about the arrest? Francisco Marco, the director general of the beleaguered Metodo 3 agency is mentioned.

On December 17, 2007, Marco claimed “Madeleine will be home for Christmas”. During this period Metodo 3 were receiving £50,000 a month to “find Madeleine”.

Metodo 3 under investigation in a case of Embezzlement and Money Laundering

Spain: four arrests in Catalonia spying case

MADRID, 19 FEB – Four people from the ‘Metodo 3’ agency, including the owner, Francisco Marco, the director and two employees were arrested Monday night as an investigation into the Catalonia bugging scandal picks up pace. Two of the arrested have admitted illegally taping conversations…

Of course we don’t see Amaral in the final episode, at all. During the entire series we never see Amaral driving around or looking cool. Instead whenever we see him he’s stuck in an undisclosed space between rooms. It’s oppressive and boring, and the lighting and divided space behind him is faintly distracting. The filmography is subtly trying to express the sentiment that Amaral is neither here nor there.

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Peribañez by contrast is represented as a young, powerful predator of criminals, driving effectively through the streets, a force for good.

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But hello…what sort of record did Goncalo Amaral have, in terms of arrests and achievements? It’s simply not mentioned anywhere in the series. Isn’t it important?

The suggestion they’re playing with through this glamorous and flattering depiction of Peribañez seems to be if you worked in law enforcement and managed to get someone arrested at some point, and you drive a Porche, it means you’re one of the good guys. Well done! Nice work for solving those cases… [It’s left to the audience to connect the dots between that and the Hope Narrative that’s been hammered into place over the final few minutes].

The final minutes of the series really does ratchet up the “Hope Narrative”. Fittingly, a priest is used to bolster this idea of “keeping the faith” as a moral imperative.

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I agree with Ernie Allen and the premise of the final episode: Somebody knows. Somebody does know exactly what happened to Madeleine. Is it more likely to be Madeleine’s parents or some faceless shadow?

This one?

How about that one?

Or maybe…that one over there?

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Indeed.

 

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