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Tag: Madeleine McCann (Page 2 of 3)

Is the media coverage of the Madeleine McCann Case Crooked? This was my experience…

In September 2017, following the ten year anniversary of Madeleine McCann’s disappeatance, Australia’s Sunrise show interviewed American criminal profiler Pat Brown. At about 4:44 in the segment, the female reporter notes:

“Well, uh…your views on this [Madeleine McCann]…uh…have been…almost…silenced. You haven’t been on American TV for seven years [Brown nods on the split screen]. The UK media won’t talk to you…[Brown: Correct]. You’re here on Australian TV…um, and as you say, your book was banned from Amazon. Um, what do you think it is particularly about your theories that are…um…not liked by American and British authorities…”

Pat Brown replies:

“Well, I think the problem is the evidence does not support abuction.”

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The segment, titled “Crime expert claims Maddie McCann died in her holiday apartment 5A” has been viewed over 1 million times, and received about 1700 comments on YouTube, which is clearly indicative of the level of public interest in this question, and arguably its newsworthiness to the public, if not to American and British media.

As a former mainstream media and magazine journalist, where it was my stock and trade to pitch stories and engage with newspapers and editors, I had a very personal and very direct experience with the media in the McCann case.

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So I’m a little confused. Who is getting thrown under the bus here? Is it the journos trying to report on a counter-narrative [the flip side of the narrative coin to the McCann’s version of events] which incidentally is also the “disgraced” lead detective’s scenio [he’s also been blocked, banned, sued etc], or are the McCanns being unfairly victimised by the media? Which is it?

If the media are so crooked and willing to throw the McCanns under the bus at the drop of a hat [as portrayed in Netflix docuseries The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann], why didn’t any British publication mention the series I wrote on the case – ever?

On the ten year anniversary, DOUBT and DOUBT II consistently outsold Kate McCann’s book, and DOUBT remained the #2 Amazon Bestseller on the True Crime charts for days on end when coverage of the McCann case was at a peak.

Right now [March 25th, 2019] DOUBT is #9 on the same Bestseller list currently [just three spots behind Kate McCann’s book]. But not a single British reporter has ever contacted me and not a single article or reference to my book has appeared, even in articles dealing with all the books written on the McCann case, and believe me I checked.

Even more obvious in its absence from this category is the lead detective Goncalo Amaral’s book Truth of the Lie.  In fact if you search for Amaral’s book on Amazon it’s only available in Portuguese.

From my side, the lack of engagement from the media isn’t sour grapes [well, LOL, maybe a little], but the broader point is there seems to be more of an agenda of the media towing the McCann line [perhaps for fear of being sued if they don’t] than of anti-McCann propaganda in the mainstream media.

But the way Netflix portrays it, the media coverage of the McCann case was and still is evil, biased, unfair and dishonest, and reporters inexplicably had and still have an axe to grind with the McCanns.

Fact is it was open season on the McCanns in the media for a very short window of time, and one could argue that the negative coverage following the cadaver alerts and the DNA narrative didn’t emerge in a vacuum.

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I’ve worked in a newsroom in a major media house. Before I worked side-by-side with teams of editors, reporters, multimedia crews and sub-editors, I suspected there might be agendas and protocols and political and corporate arrangements running the show at newspapers as a matter of course. Sometimes there are. In some cases there are. But the media on the average day in terms of its basic coverage and general mandate is also a very dumb machine that simply does as it’s told.

Get the story. Tell the story as you see it.

Someone important says something, the media reports on it. Someone else important responds to it, the media reports on that. It’s often that simple.

The media’s strong point isn’t analysis or interpretation. If the media inveigles itself in these areas, especially when it comes to legal matters, it exposes its big fat cash cow underbelly to litigation. It would prefer not to if it can get away with it. It prefers to play dumber than it really is and instead panders to its audience and stakeholders.

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Personally I find this attitude patronizing and cynical, but then patronizing isn’t necessary a bad word when you’re the one profiting out of the process. And some media coverage is neither here nor there, it’s simply a reflection of public sentiment. The media works as a sort of marketing machine, gauging public demand but also attempting to shape, influence and shift it. The media recycles what it’s told and it feeds the monster [us], tries to keep the monster full and satiated while trying to keep itself in the black. The media also has budgets, revenues and targets.

In this sense the media acts like both a barometer and a mirror, and sometimes what it reveals [us] is a salivating, greedy, addicted and oftentimes deeply ignorant flock of sheep. We too tend to believe what we’re told as an extension of the media doing the same thing.

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Many journalists, including those writing about true crime, aren’t paid or even asked to think about it. They’re not required to prognosticate on the guilt or innocence of a particular character, in fact if anything they’re required not to. They’re told to record, report and repeat what others say, and often that’s all they do. So media coverage is by definition limited in its investigative scope.

In general this is how the media appears, but of late bias has certainly crept into media reporting and into entire media organisations. Media companies are increasingly political and sometimes explicitly so [for example Fox News coverage of Trump versus CNN].

When I researched the DOUBT trilogy two years ago in 2017, I found 90% of the contemporary media coverage supportive of the both the McCanns and the “Madeleine is alive and missing” myth. The only exceptions to the media masturbating the pedophile narrative [apologies for the metaphor, but  it’s an objectionable and bogus narrative to begin with], I found, were in the odd story by Australia’s Mark Saunokonoko and Natasha Donn’s reporting for the Portugal Resident.

In other words, if you wanted to find a counter-narrative to the reigning pro McCann Apologia, you wouldn’t find it in Britain or America. You had to go to the ends of the Earth – New Zealand, Australia and an obscure little English periodical in Portugal – to find it. Is that fair? Is that balanced? Is that ethical? Is this free speech? Is it defensible from the perspective of a free press?

More commonly you’ll find the British tabloids coming up with puff pieces like this:

Madeleine McCann Netflix viewers convinced Maddie was secretly drugged by kidnapper hours before he broke into room to snatch her – The Sun


Madeleine McCann Netflix viewers convinced they’ve spotted clue proving she was snatched – The Mirror

Really? Are Netflix viewers convinced?

I made a few forays to get publicity for my book and even those journalists that seemed more inclined towards Madeleine no longer being alive [named above] apparently didn’t feel my research was worth their time. That’s their right. But that’s editorial independence for you.

One journalist that I spent a lot of time – hours in fact – talking to and sharing my research was Mark Saunokonoko. [Listen to one of our conversations here]. I’ll give you a Noddy badge if you find Saunokonoko referring to me anywhere, once, ever. Saunokonoko has now produced a very popular and well-produced podcast series in which he quotes American author and criminal profiler Pat Brown at length.

The point is the media isn’t lynching the McCanns, and for the most part my impression is that the media today seem to beating the drum and playing the tune of the McCanns whenever they make a peep.

In contrast the coverage of Amaral is typically less flattering. A case in point is the media attacking Amaral for making money out of selling his book [a book that is virtually invisible to the entire English-speaking world]. Bear in mind Amaral is unemployed and lost his job and income as a result of investigating the McCann case.

And yet when it comes to the same issue, the McCanns making mountains of dosh on the sales of their book [which right now is selling like hotcakes thanks to the documentary they had nothing to do with], the media are far more supportive and sympathetic. The McCanns have also cleverly never disclosed the princely sum they received when they signed their lucrative publishing contract.

In the past, there have been some ugly skirmishes between the McCanns, the media, trolls and even Pat Brown, which I will cover in a post specifically dedicated to that subject.

thumb on nose

Fortunately the court of public opinion is vast, and thanks to the democratisation of information, it’s becoming even more vast. As such, I for one as a former journalist don’t actually need the media or experts to endorse me or my work. I simply need my readers to trust me, to purchase my work and to keep purchasing it, and to do that I have to be a reliable, trustworthy, consistent and honest source, and one with no agenda.

I have no affiliation, no horse in the race other than to address and focus on the facts such as they are. And to some I execute that mandate, some might say quite well. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me, all this in spite of the media’s thumbs up for some while thumbing their noses at others.

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“The McCanns Didn’t Appear in and Don’t Approve of the Netflix Documentary” – Really? They didn’t? They don’t?

Although the McCanns have washed their hands in public of the Netflix documentary that’s all about them, their struggles, and the search for their daughter, they do feature prominently in every episode.

On March 15, 2019, People was one of many publications to claim that the McCanns “didn’t participate in or approve of” the Netflix documentary. Do the McCanns really not approve of the narrative that Madeleine may still be alive, as The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann documentary asserts?

That’s odd because the eight-part docuseries does the McCanns [and their version of events] many favours, not to mention the timing of it. The timing of the docuseries – from a PR perspective – is perfect.

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So maybe we should mention the timing and one other thing – the money and potential fortunes – that’s ebbing and potentially flowing around the McCanns and the McCann case as of right now.

In terms of timing, the European Court of Human rights is about to rule, about to pronounce a verdict now, at the end of an eight-year legal slugmatch between the McCanns and their arch nemsis. The Portuguese detective that initially led the investigation features prominently in the Netflix documentary, although much of what he says is juxtaposed with others casting doubt or disputing his version of events.

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Fullscreen capture 20190318 154557Fullscreen capture 20190318 155109Fullscreen capture 20190318 155140Fullscreen capture 20190318 155655Goncalo Amaral did the unthinkable in this story – he had the temerity to suspect both parents of complicity in covering up whatever happened to the doctors’ daughter.

A similar scenario played out in the Ramsey case when lead detective Steve Thomas suspected the Ramseys and then resigned in protest when Alex Hunter, the Boulder District Attorney failed to press any charges against them [or anyone]..

Amaral was fired in October 2007 just five months into the investigation, and only one month after the McCanns were named official suspects in a highly controversial shift. This also caused the media coverage  to change dramatically in tone from sympathetic to suspicious.

In any event, the timing of the Netflix docuseries coming out now is interesting, if nothing else.

Parents Of Madeleine McCann Owe Legal Fines Following Libel Court Battle [23rd March, 2019] – LadBible

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The docuseries does a brilliant job of besmirching Amaral’s reputation as a possibly corrupt cop and potentially compromised individual.

If the series was as unbiased as it purports to be, it would have also investigated Julian Peribanez, the former Metodo 3 investigator hired by the McCanns with the same meticulous thoroughness. It seems a little tricksy to have the McCanns’ detective narrate large fractions of the documentary where he openly criticises, accuses and undermines his opposition in the case.

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In many of the slick true crime documentaries, the devil is in the details, not in terms of factors or evidence, but how the audience is influenced. Amaral is invariably interviewed in the same dour, claustrophobic setting.

The McCann’s PR person who also does plenty of narrating here, is shown in a lofty office which conveys a sense of professionalism and authority. Peribanez, Amaral’s counterpart , also appears in a professional setting, and then occasionally he is depicted “on the job” as it were, the crack detective in a fancy car basically role-playing the Spanish version of Magnum P.I.

But Peribanez is not exactly a model citizen himself.

Along with his boss, Francisco Marco and other Metodo 3 staff, he got into  big trouble in early 2013He and a number of other Metodo 3 staff were revealed to have been behind the illegal recording of conversations between high-level Spanish politicians in a Barcelona restaurant. Peribanez was discovered to have been involved and arrested. However, unlike his boss Marco, Peribanez rapidly admitted his guilt, confessed all to the police, and may have ended up assisting the police with their enquiries.

In 2014, it was announced that he had become a ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ by publishing, jointly with the former head of Metodo 3 in Madrid, Antonia Tamarit, a book blowing the lid on corruption in Portugal but also, more specifically, the cess-pit of dark, nefarious and illegal activities carried out by Metodo 3. By this time, many of the top Metodo 3 staff had been arrested or imprisoned over the illegal recording of conversations at a Barcelona restaurant, and Metodo 3 had gone into liquidation.

So, in a classic case of ‘thieves falling out’, Peribanez and Tamarit decided to wrote a ‘tell-all’ book exposing the corrupt and criminal activities they had themselves been engaged in…

When the McCann’s Arch Apologist Tracey Kandohla weighs in on the couple’s behalf, then PR is to be expected. It’s from Kandohla that we’re informed of the cost of the docuseries: £20 fucking million or $26.43 million.

That’s more than the budget – almost twice the budget – of the entire search for Madeleine McCann by the authorities over the span of twelve years, the most expensive missing person’s search in history.

If we add the cost of the documentary to the cost of the search we’re in the region of £32 million spent on “the disappearance and search for Madeleine McCann.”

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That’s a shitload of money based on a rather glaring assumption, that Madeleine McCann is alive and went missing to begin with.

Kandohla notes in her puff piece that the Netflix series was “commissioned in 2017” and conflates the commissioning of the series with “the explosion of the true crime genre.” In other words she’s suggesting the Netflix documentary was commissioned to make a mint out of the true crime genre, but she neglects to provide specifics on who commissioned it.

By mentioning the two documentaries in the same sentence, she also effectively compares The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann to Making A Murderer – the latter not necessarily a paragon of true crime documentary investigation in terms of accuracy or neutrality either.

Dead Certainty – How “Making a Murderer” goes wrong. – New Yorker

Making a Murderer Part 2 is more entertainment than investigation. It feels a little gross. – Vox


‘Making a Murderer’ Left Out Crucial Facts, Prosecutor Says – New York Times

5 key pieces of alleged evidence missed out of Making a Murderer – Digital Spy

Kratz: ‘Making a Murderer Part 2’ is biased and deceptive, new defense evidence is a ‘joke’ – Post Crescent

Steven Avery’s Defence Lawyer Responds To Claims Making A Murderer Is Biased – Unlilad

‘Making a Murderer’ Review: Part 2 Is a Long, Painful Look at Old Evidence with Little New to Say – IndieWire

Does anyone seriously think the filmmakers are going to make a profit on a budget of £20 fucking million for a documentary? The answer to that probably depends on who the filmmakers [and backers] are.

In Steven Avery’s case, all the Making A Murderer documentaries ultimately bore fruit, didn’t they? In February 2019 it was announced Avery had “won” the right to an appeal. You could say that, but you could also argue his PR had triumphed eventually. It’s not the first time that’s happened either. The Paradise Lost trilogy of documentaries also led to the release of the three men accused of murdering three boys in West Memphis [the West Memphis Three].

PR also played a huge role in the “acquittal” of Amanda Knox. Her father Curt once confided that his best move was to hire a PR guru within days of his daughter’s arrest. PR can and does influence legal narratives.

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Was catching the commercial true crime wave really the only objective in making the 8-part series? Because the timing is very interesting. On January 31st, 2017 the Guardian reported on the first major legal setback the McCanns suffered in ten years.

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So we see in 2017, the same year the legal tide turned against the McCanns, the 8-part documentary was commissioned. It was a major PR coup for them if the commissioning of the documentary with an enormous budget which just happened to support their own “pedophile abduction” theory to a “T”, happened coincidentally. But was it? Was this pure happenstance?

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While Amaral’s libel damages as they stand now [£29 000] are fiddlesticks, barely a tenth of what the McCanns sued him for, it’s possible if the McCanns lose their final appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, the floodgates will open, clearing the way not only for Amaral to launch countersuits but potentially also many new media that the McCanns have sued for the years for defamation. Even if this doesn’t happen, a verdict that goes against them at this stage could swim the pendulum of public and media sentiment against them.

Interestingly in the Guardian article cited above the McCann’s refer to how much “the landscape has changed” in the eight years since they lodged their lawsuit against Amaral. Well, no landscape has changed more fundamentally than the media landscape, particularly with the advent of social media and more recently, streaming services like Netflix.

It’s clear Netflix has made available a documentary that is likely to influence people’s opinions on the McCanns, one way or the other. Does Netflix hold any responsibility in this regard? Should they? Should they be held to account for the veracity of the investigative content they provide to their subscribers especially as regard high-profile true crime?

In the past, Netflix has been beholden to the consumers of its product.

Netflix nixes ‘Bird Box’ crash footage after backlash – CNN

It remains to be seen whether true crime audiences will be aggravated or impressed, or simply too entertained to care about veracity or bias of the £20 fucking million documentary that the McCanns didn’t participate in [well, they appear in every episode], haven’t seen [apparently] and don’t support [ahem…].

If the the European Court rules against the McCanns, despite the influence or lack of the costly docuseries, will Amaral institute a colossal damages claim against them for systematic character assassination?

Whether he does or doesn’t, and whether the ruling goes for or against them, the McCanns are in an unusual position for the first time in many years. Instead of hope they have something to fear, and perhaps this time there is real reason to fear.


“There was no evidence to show that Madeleine was the source of the DNA”

By far the most disturbing “takeout” from the Netflix docuseries on Madeleine McCann is this contention [stated as fact]: that there’s no evidence linking the DNA in the blood traces found in the rented Renault Scenic and apartment 5A to Madeleine McCann.

Is that a fact?

You may remember that the advent of the dogs alerting in the apartment, the car, the villa and on Cuddle Cat led to the widespread belief that Madeleine was dead, and that she died in the apartment on May 3rd. But take away the DNA evidence and suddenly Madeleine is alive again, scuttling off in the streets somewhere in the great beyond, beyond apartment 5A anyway.


In this scenario one might as well look at the footage of the dogs and turn the volume off. They’re barking at nothing, right? They’re unreliable, right?

The notion fielded in episode five is not disturbing so much because there’s no evidence, but because I believe there is. It’s not disturbing because the media believe Madeleine McCann is alive, it’s disturbing because as a result of the twisting of this particular evidence, there’s now “proof” that she’s not dead.

Wow, what a mind job!

Going by the Netflix docuseries, it’s not surprising public perception around a complicated forensic issue would be as simple and straightforward as it’s presented in this article by Digital Spy by editor Laura Jane Turner:

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Well, let’s start with the first issue here.

It’s not true that the docuseries provides an “exhaustive timeline”. The docuseries provides a little information in fairly large increments between 20:30 and 22:00 on the night of May 3rd, 2007. So the timeline aspect relating to the incident can basically summarised in a paragraph no longer than this one.

An exhaustive timeline would at the very least include the diary of the McCanns starting from their arrival in Praia da Luz on Saturday, April 28th, 2007, and meticulously examining and comparing what they did each day, day to day, and how this pattern of behaviour compared to those on the day and night night in question.

The docuseries makes absolutely no provision for the events earlier in the day of May 3rd. Nothing about the weather or the movements of the family from the moment they woke until they retired to wash-up and prepare for dinner. There’s zero mention of David Payne disputed visit in the late afternoon, supposedly catching Kate McCann in the shower or getting out of it.

We also don’t get a similar orientation around the activities of the Tapas 7. Who hung out with who, typically what did they do each day, where, how and when? What time did all of them typically go to sleep each night? What were the rituals regarding the children of the Tapas 7 like? Were there any incidents, accidents or illnesses among their children during the break?

So no, the timeline is hardly exhaustive; instead it’s skeletal, and not just skeletal, a few spare, bare bones skeletal.

Now to the dogs and the DNA.

The Digital Spy article highlights the “infamous footage” of the cadaver dogs, and rightly notes the entry of the dogs into the narrative “spurred a shift” in the narrative.

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I think it’s a little slippery to say the shift that occurred in the investigation after the dogs was in terms of how the case was handled. The writer seems to think the dog evidence led to the case being handled worse than it had been, until that point, or mishandled. Really? By looking at the parents as suspects for the first time the case wasn’t handled properly?

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There’s no explanation from Digital Spy for what the dogs were alerting to, if the evidence that was tested as a result of the dogs proved it wasn’t Madeleine.

Let me be clear about it. A dog trained to trace human blood found human blood, and it was sent to a British lab for testing. A dog trained to trace human cadavers found it, and here too more evidence was collected and sent to the lab. Then the lab returned with a verdict: the substances tested were human [well done dogs!], but they weren’t Madeleine.

So this raises two obvious questions:

  1. If the evidence traces wasn’t Madeleine’s blood or body fluids in the apartment and the Renault Scenic, whose was it? [The argument seems to be it was everyone else’s blood, or it could have been everyone else’s blood, it just wasn’t Madeleine’s blood].
  2. Cadaver traces were found in the apartment and the car. So if a human being died, and traces were found, who was it? Who died? [The argument seems to be that either the dogs made a mistake, or if not, then the human traces weren’t Madeleine but some anonymous interloper who coincidentally did in the apartment and used the same rental car as the McCanns].

There also seems to be some circular reasoning going on here. If the blood can’t be proved to be Madeleine’s, then there’s no proof she’s dead. Also, if a cadaver odor is found and it can’t be proved that it’s Madeleine, then it’s not necessarily proof that anyone died, including Madeleine.

I’m purposefully avoiding a more technical discussion for the moment, simply for reasons of  brevity and to express the absurdity of the argument. I will deal with the scientific argument, and the sneaky way the evidence was processed at the FSS labs, in a follow-up post.

It should be noted in the meantime, though, that precisely the same sneaky scenario played out in the JonBenet Ramsey case. First there was no DNA evidence linking the family to her cadaver, and then 20 years later there was. In that case the DNA testing was handled by a company called Bode Labs.

From the Daily Camera [2018]:

“From my own experience, there is no case that is just a DNA case,” Dougherty said. “You could have a sexual assault or a murder and develop a full profile, but that full profile does not necessarily mean that the person who has that DNA was the perpetrator of the crime.”

In a case where the DNA evidence is inconclusive, that inconclusivity cannot be raised as a flag to claim “no evidence” exists. One can merely say the case needs to be investigated using other avenues, such as witness statements, circumstantial evidence, forensic accounting etc. I personally don’t think the DNA evidence in the McCann case or the Ramsey case is inconclusive, although the evidence was clearly difficult to come by. I do think the “inconclusive” aspect is a clever charade of smoke and mirrors.

To illustrate this, one ought to look at the DNA narrative of the Van Breda triple murder case. It’s difficult to imagine a crime scene more doused in blood than that one.

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When I sat in court and listened to the defence case, it started off with the DNA expect running through a long list of all the hundreds of inconclusive DNA results. Never mind the hundreds more DNA traces that were valid and confirmed, the DNA fixated on arguing about all the traces that weren’t 100% conclusive. They were trying to argue that some uncertainty and doubt existed around whose blood belonged to whom, where. Within a crime scene bloodbath described by one witness as “a waterfall of blood flowing down the stairs…”

The DNA expert was roundly lambasted during her extremely lengthy and tedious testimony by the Judge, who accused and chastised for manipulating the data and then criticised again during the Judge’s summation of the case.

From TimesLive:

On Tuesday‚ Judge Siraj Desai raised the issue of Olckers scouring through piles of documents “merely to poke holes in the state’s defence” rather than doing an “independent analysis” [on the DNA evidence] which could inform her expert opinion.

It turned out the DNA expert had never worked in a forensic crime lab before.

For an indefensible case, Van Breda’s defence strategy was clearly to seize on the DNA narrative as a way to claim “no evidence” or that evidence was uncertain. All it required was for an expert to “conjure” on the evidence, thus recasting reality with a flick of the expert’s wand. Again, never mind the accused had the blood of the victims all over himself. The Judge also made the point that even if all the DNA evidence were omitted from the trial, Van Breda would still have been found guilty. But that’s how anal and fickle the DNA narrative can sometimes become when dealt with by experts in a court of law.

Of course the best “spokesperson” for the “no evidence narrative” [specifically no DNA evidence] is Gerry McCann himself. Below Gerry addresses the prospect of Madeleine no longer being alive:

“We just don’t have any evidence…that the child’s dead…”

Gerry seems to talk about the lack of evidence with a certain glee, doesn’t he?

When the McCann’s sued Goncalo Amaral, who speculated based on his investigation that Madeleine had died on May 3rd, they repeated the same narrative to the media milling around the court.

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It can and should be argued that if there is little evidence that Madeleine is dead, how much evidence is there that she’s alive? I suppose one could argue that 10 000 sightings worldwide constitute “possible” evidence, but anything is possible. These possibilities ought to be weighed against the “possibility” of those blood and cadaver traces belonging to Madeleine – perhaps not possible to verify scientifically, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible that they are traces of Madeleine.

At Faro airport, on his way to court the point Gerry wanted to emphasise was the same “no evidence” catchphrase.Fullscreen capture 20190322 125144Fullscreen capture 20190322 125409Fullscreen capture 20190322 125653

In the infamous interview when he was asked if he killed his daughter, Gerry also refers to the notion of “no evidence” when he says cryptically:

“There’s nothing to suggest anything…”

We get a darker sense of the utility of the “no DNA evidence” as a potential PR tool when we look at the Intertextual aspect.  At 46 seconds in the clip below, Amanda Knox explains why she can’t possibly be the murderer of Meredith Kercher. Of course the first thing she does after being asked the question is she fails to hold back a DELIGHTED smile.

The weird thing about Knox’s argument is that one moment she’s arguing “my DNA wasn’t there, no trace of me was there…I wasn’t there” but she actually lived in the villa where Kercher was killed.  So why isn’t she there? If her DNA’s not there, didn’t she live there?

A moment later at 1:12 when reference is made to DNA traces mixed with Meredith’s blood in the hallway, then it becomes “of course my DNA was there, I lived there!” So Knox’s argument is simultaneous “my DNA wasn’t there…I wasn’t there” and “of course my DNA I was there…I lived there!”

When Dr. Phil interviewed Burke Ramsey in mid-September 2016, he asked JonBenent’s  29-year-old older sibling:

There still are people that believe that you killed your sister? What do you say to that?

At 0:03 Burke replies smiling openly:

Look at the evidence, or lack thereof.

So if there’s no evidence to prove something happened, it didn’t happen?

There’s a difference between a lack of evidence and no evidence, also a critical difference between incomplete evidence, or evidence that wouldn’t hold up in court and the notion of “no evidence”.

Fact is, evidence was found in the McCann case [and in all the other cases cited above including Knox and Ramsey], but the “lack” was that so little blood traces were found it wasn’t possible to definitively link the DNA that was found to Madeleine [or in the Knox case, herself to the victim, in Burke’s case, himself to the victim]. In the Knox and Ramsey cases it wasn’t possible to definitively link their DNA to the cadaver/crime scene, but in both cases a lot other evidence did seem to link them – circumstantially – to the victim.

In Knox’s case there was some reason to believe in a DNA link. Both Knox’s DNA and Meredith’s DNA were found on a knife believed to be the murder weapon [located in Sollecito’s apartment]. Well, Meredith Kercher had never been to his apartment. Also, Sollecito’s DNA was found on a bra clasp under Kercher’s body in her room. How did that happen? Oh, it was a contaminated sample which also contained Knox’s DNA. After several appeals Knox and Sollecito were able to finally convince the court that the DNA evidence wasn’t definitive, and so this was the basis of her “exoneration”.

In the Ramsey case Burke’s prints were found on a bowl of pineapple in the kitchen, casting doubt on the notion that he went straight to bed that night, and indeed, whether JonBenet did. The Ramsey case is an extraordinary example of massive crime scene contamination, a scenario that replicated itself in the moments after Madeleine’s disappearance. The miracle isn’t that no DNA evidence was recovered three months after the incident, it’s that any was.

Curiously, the FSS lab in the McCann case originally said the sample was small but sufficient, and also that there was no way Madeleine’s DNA could be confused with that of either of her siblings.

Madeleine McCann DNA ‘an accurate match’ – Telegraph

The McCanns have vowed to fight to clear their names, and hired two of the country’s leading solicitors, Michael Caplan QC and Angus McBride, to advise them. Sources close to the investigation revealed that the DNA evidence – analysed by the Forensic Science Service in Britain – was regarded by Portuguese police as crucial. A sample that was a full match to Madeleine’s DNA was allegedly found on the windowsill of the McCanns’ apartment at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz. Although the nature of the sample was not disclosed, previous reports claimed that blood had been found by sniffer dogs.

One Portuguese newspaper claimed that “biological fluids” with an 80 per cent match to Madeleine were found under the carpet in the boot of the McCanns’ hire car, which was rented 25 days after she disappeared. Forensic experts in the UK have pointed out that if the samples found in the car were hair or skin they would be of little evidential value as they could have rubbed off Madeleine’s toys or clothing.

But there were fresh reports claiming that both samples were blood, and one source close to the inquiry told The Daily Telegraph that the nature of the samples led police to believe that they had come from Madeleine’s body being placed in the car.

The Portuguese police’s theory is apparently that Madeleine was killed by accident by one or both of her parents, and that her body was hidden before being disposed of a month later using the hire car. DNA samples that are a “100 per cent match” to Madeleine McCann have been found in her parents’ hire car and holiday apartment, it has been claimed.

Ultimately that narrative did a U-turn – the sample was subsequently judged too small and could thus be the DNA of Madeleine’s siblings Sean or Amelie. And an 80% match was judged to be “not-definitive”. And thus, through the miracle of science, the barking of cadaver dogs was silenced and Madeleine was resurrected into a pedophile sex-trafficking plot. Her inexplicable absence has a handy explanation, however. According to Netflix, Madeleine was taken by inexplicable shadows, and there’s every reason to hope she’s still very much alive somewhere out there…

Popularity Contest: Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 5 Review & Analysis

“Fightback” is the title of episode 5, but I think “Popularity Contest” is more apt. In a scenario where their daughter is missing, and a criminal investigation is underway, you’d think the fight back would involve fighting for more police resources, getting more detectives working the case, or getting out there themselves and searching, or making Madeleine’s DNA available to the authorities in Portugal using DNA from her clothing or bed or soft toys in Portugal, or investigating for themselves the possibility that Madeleine had died [had the abductor killed her]?

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Instead, the fightback is a popularity contest fought in the media. And the prize is nothing more or less than the McCanns’ rehabilitating their own image. Of course there’s also a cash incentive to this. When they’re considered suspects, the “income” of the fund drops, when they’re able to court public sympathy, they “income” of the fund shoots up again. And this income isn’t to be sniffed at, it eventually balloons to millions upon millions of pounds. With this war chest the McCanns can invest in even more media coverage, reputation management, legal representation, legal suits and expert advice, more PR, merchandising and all the rest.

During one spiel in episode 5 Kate McCann emphasises that 99% of people support them, and only 1% are trolls. There’s also a nice scene where they show large boxes labelled “Support” compared to a small battered, mostly empty little box where “hate” mail is kept. What the McCanns seem to be saying is they’re winning the fightback because they have popular support. Far more people love them and support them compared to a tiny minority of detractors.

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In a recent poll conducted on twitter, over 90% of over 3000 people who voted sided against the McCanns, blaming them either directly or indirectly for Madeleine’s death.

Then it’s Gerry’s turn to make the case against those who have “nasty” attitudes to them.Fullscreen capture 20190320 183752Fullscreen capture 20190320 183754Fullscreen capture 20190320 183758Fullscreen capture 20190320 183801Fullscreen capture 20190320 183803Fullscreen capture 20190320 183806Fullscreen capture 20190320 183809Fullscreen capture 20190320 183811

Gerry looks bemused here, rather than hurt or stung, doesn’t he? One might even say he looks a little smug.Fullscreen capture 20190320 183813

He’s still smiling as he places the solitary smidgen of hate mail in its sad, sorry, mostly empty box. Fullscreen capture 20190320 183817Fullscreen capture 20190320 183819

For all their bravado, one of very, very few instances where Kate McCann appears emotional and vulnerable, even slightly tearful, is when she talks about “what people out there” say about whether or not she loved or cared for her eldest daughter.

The docuseries then spends a little time dealing with the notion – which came from the public – that Kate McCann especially didn’t appear to be grieving, and didn’t appear very emotional after the loss of her daughter. The image below, of a shirtless Gerry McCann jogging beside Kate was taken on May 16, 2007, less than two weeks after Madeleine’s disappearance.Jogging002

In DOUBT I’ve made the case that running plays more than an incidental role to the McCann case, and as it happens, to solving it.

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Watch at 2:21 in the video clip below, as Kate McCann addresses the camera, begging and pleading for the safe return of her daughter.

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Unfortunately the most damning “evidence” against the McCanns – certainly in the court of public opinion – is the least damning in an actual court. As so often happens, the public cotton on to what they regard as inappropriate affect. They did with Chris Watts [and were proved right]. They did with Burke Ramsey [and the jury is still out, and probably will be till the cows come home]. And they did the same with Amanda Knox [and were apparently proved wrong].


The fact is, emotional affect is a powerful indicator in true crime, but it’s not necessarily evidence. One thing we can say, as human beings, is when we care about a victim more than the suspect [or imputed suspect], and when we feel grief more than we see them grieving [if at all], it’s only right that we raise our hands and ask about it.

It’s very difficult to cover up [which is a contrivance, and a way of masking authentic motives and feelings] and show genuine emotion at the same time. Covering up requires careful thinking and anticipating what the next question or move might be. It often happens in true crime that the suspect feels the best “face” to show to the crowd is nonchalance. They imagine grief will appear as guilt, but only a guilty person would think that way.

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I love the way the docuseries has the McCanns PR person explain that the McCanns were “advised” not to show emotion, as this might be detrimental to their daughter. So imagine the abductor is sitting somewhere, with Madeleine in a cage, and he sees the parents looking unemotional. Is this going to encourage him to…do…what?

On the other hand, if the McCanns appear distraught and upset, this is going to make the abductor NOT want to return the child?

The reality is, whether the McCanns were instructed to be emotional or unemotional, there is a lot of inappropriate smiling going on, especially when they’re asked about whether she might be dead or not.

For all their posturing about the support, it’s clear the online vitriol [which continues today] is so severe, even newspaper editors felt they had to shut down the interactivity [the comments] of their coverage of the McCann case.

The docuseries neglects to mention that the McCanns felt so agitated and imperiled by negativity directed towards them, they elected to threaten British bloggers and social media users with lawsuits.

Kate McCann is poised to SUE social media users – Daily Mail

Kate and Gerry McCann Threaten to Sue Bloggers

Madeleine McCann’s parents hit by ‘150 vile tweets a DAY from online trolls’ – The Sun

Investigation into McCann internet trolls launched by police – Telegraph

Madeleine McCann’s parents urge vile trolls to stop posting ‘awful abuse’ on their website as they back new rules BANNING criticism of their decision to leave the girl alone in an apartment – Daily Mail

‘Twitter troll’ who abused Madeleine McCann’s parents found dead – Telegraph

Troll Who Harassed Madeleine McCann’s Family Found Dead – Psychology Today

It’s also more than a little disingenuous of the Leicester Mercury to cry “neutrality” and editorial standards after the fact, when anyone who dared to criticize or accuse the McCanns were sued.

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Of the first five episodes, I found the fifth the most troubling and upsetting by far. Probably the worst moment was when the Portuguese journalist Sandra Felgueiras expressed her feelings of disdain to the Portuguese cops for lying to her about DNA evidence.

The DNA narrative was a HUGE PR and legal victory for the McCanns, and turned the tide of popular, investigative and legal opinion back in their favor, and as result, this remains the official status quo today.

“There was no evidence to show that Madeleine was the source of the DNA…”

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It’s the simplest question of all: Where was Madeleine McCann Last Seen Alive? Can you answer it?

Was Madeleine McCann last seen in her bed by her father, Gerry McCann, at approximately 21:15 on May 3rd? That’s the popular default narrative. That’s where Kate says Madeleine was taken from in her book, isn’t it?  And it’s what the media mainstream believe, isn’t it?

It’s also the contention of the Netflix documentary THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE MCCANN that Madeleine was abducted from her bed and then through the bedroom window. Presumably this is also the main thrust of the theory of British investigators.

In the DOUBT trilogy I put forward a different theory.

There are a few reasons to believe 1) Madeleine never went to sleep on May 3rd, 2) if she died in the apartment, she didn’t die in bed and 3) after she died [assuming she did die] she wasn’t carried from where she fell or lay to her bed.

This is a slippery line of reasoning so try to follow me. We start by looking at the crime scene photos of Madeleine’s bedroom. Interestingly, the Netflix docuseries hardly ever refers to the original police photos.

It’s not terribly clear, but one can just make out a light pink object on Madeleine’s pillow. There’s also a darker pink object, a child’s blanket, in the foreground below the pillow.  The light pink object is clearly sitting on Madeleine’s pillow and slightly obstructed from view by the darker pink blanket below it.

Madeleine’s soft, pink Cuddle Cat toy is more evident in the image below.

In dramatised versions of the scene, Cuddle Cat on the pillow and the pink blanket under it are more evident.

Now in theory, this picture is precisely what we’d expect to see. If Madeleine was sleeping or in bed when she was abducted, and she was always with her toy, then the toy would have been left behind precisely where it is left behind.

The problem is, cadaver odor was found on the toy – the pink Cuddle Cat – when it was searched in a separate area, the villa on Rua das Flores where the McCanns moved to a few weeks after the incident.

Goncalo Amaral describes in his book The Truth of Lie how Eddie, the cadaver dog, approached the wicker chair and alerted to the toy on it.

This is not the moment Amaral refers to [at 1:34]in the video below:

At first the toy isn’t on the wicket chair but seems to be inside a basket and under something. It’s not easy for the dog to get to because it’s sort of behind a jutting wall. The dog is nevertheless interested in the area, sniffing the curtains and the floor. Then Eddie hops up, grabs the toy, drops it, scurries off before snatching it again and dropping the Cuddle Cat in the middle of the lounge floor.

The videographer is obviously stunned by this, and fixates for a few seconds on the little girl’s toy lying – cadaver-like – on the gleaming slab of floor.

But the moment Amaral sketches in his book appears to refer to an alert in the kitchenette area at about 5:33. Here the dog also hops up to sniff papers before alerting loudly. Grimes clearly seizes the Cuddle Cat from behind the cupboard, in this instance, and holds it up to the camera.

There’s also a moment at 3:24 when Eddie enters the closet area of the parents’ main bedroom, and spends a long time inside it on the ground level [presumably where the shoes are]. When Eddie finally emerges Grimes bends down and briefly lifts from the floor and examines what appears to be a darker pink blanket, similar in color and texture to the one seen in crime scene photos on Madeleine’s bed.

Now we know that Kate washed Cuddle Cat and contaminated the toy every time she went out in public, which was a lot.

So the fact that the cadaver dog alerted to Madeleine’s toy after three months of washing, contamination [including by Amelie] and airing is pretty incredible in itself.

As soon as we regard the cadaver alert on the Cuddle Cat as genuine, we’re faced with a conundrum. It suggests Madeleine was clutching the Cuddle Cat when she died, or conversely, the Cuddle Cat was in contact with a dead person for an extended period of time. In this scenario, the deceased person was the likeliest to be Madeleine, not so?

So in this scenario, did Madeleine die in her bed, with Cuddle Cat beside her? It’s certainly a possibility except for the alerts – blood alerts – behind the living room couch in apartment 5A.

The mere suggestion of blood invokes the possibility of injury. And if blood was discovered outside the bedroom then there is an inference that Madeleine wasn’t in bed when she died.

The cadaver alert below the balcony in the flower bed invokes the likelihood of a fall. Did she fall with Cuddle Cat? If so, if she didn’t die in her bed, then how did Cuddle Cat end up in Madeleine’s bed? 

There’s also another serious issue. If the dogs alerted to cadaver odor on Cuddle Cat three months after the incident, why didn’t they alert to the bed where we know Cuddle Cat was found? For that matter, why wasn’t any blood visible on Madeleine’s pillow or blankets?

Well, we know from Amaral’s book that the linen on the bed was stripped and washed soon after.


Amaral also raises another pickle, in the strange configuration of beds in the McCann’s bedroom. The single beds are mooshed together, but then both beds are pushed across the room leaving a great deal of space open on the wardrobe side. Enough space for the twins cots.

Amaral’s makes the astute observation that it appears the twins were kept in one room with the parents, while the third child was left on her own in another room. Perhaps because Madeleine had trouble sleeping, and would rouse the others when she was in distress.

Besides the possibility of Cuddle Cat developing Chucky-like self-locomotion skills and crawling back to Madeleine’s bed, there’s the question of whether the cots were trafficked back to Madeleine’s room. Why? To reinforce an impression that all the children were sound sleepers. When one slept, they all slept and they all slept together.

There’s also the strange set-up of the other bed in Madeleine’s bedroom. It looks more slept in than Madeleine’s bed does.

The notion that the shutter was raised and the abductor fled through the open window of the children’s bedroom has a serious flaw as well. If all three children were asleep in the same room, then opening the metal shutter would have caused it to rattle loudly as it was lifted, a risk an intruder wouldn’t have wanted to take. It would have alerted passersby in the street, other folks in the apartment complex not to mention the two children in their cots the abductor needed to carry Madeleine past on his way out the window.

Kate McCann also claimed she looked under the bed for Madeleine. Not under the cots, under a bed where there was no place for a child to hide.

So let’s ask the question again, and this is a yes or no answer:

Was Madeleine McCann last seen in her bed by her father, Gerry McCann?

The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: The #1 Flaw in the Pedophile/Abduction/Sex-Trafficker Scenario

As early as 12 May 2007, the reward for the safe return of Madeleine McCann stood at £2.5 million. If Madeleine was abducted, and if she was still alive just nine days later, why on earth would she still be trafficked when her captors stood to make this kind of money?

All they had to do was leave her in some remote location and simply provide information where she was, and they’d be rich beyond their wildest criminal hopes. If their motive when [if] they abducted her was to make money, make a profit, then what could have been a more profitable outcome than this?

Ultimately, no one ever claimed the reward money, right?


In April 2011, eight years after her disappearance, £1.5 million was donated by News of the World to the Find Madeleine fund. When Gerry McCann was contacted by email at the University of Hospital of Leicester [where he was employed as a Consultant Cardiologist] about these funds he did not admit or deny that he had received them. Instead he referred the inquiry to News International. News of the World were more forthcoming. They confirmed the money had been paid into the “official” Madeleine Fund.


Is An Eccentric South African Indirectly Responsible for the Biggest Gamechanging Breakthrough in the McCann Case?

The Netflix docuseries undermines the Portuguese cops at every turn, but then turns to the lead detective to second guess the cadaver dog evidence.

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Although Amaral can be commended for his scenario of what happened, many of his insights and overall approach to the investigation seem to spot-on [far more so than the dubious efforts of British law enforcement over ten or more years], one serious weakness was Amaral’s attitude to the canine searches.

Understandably, the cops don’t like to be “told” what’s happening in an investigation, whether it’s the media yapping at them, the suspects, or worst of all [and most embarrassing of all] barking dogs.

In a few high-profile cases the cadaver dogs figured out the status of the victim months before law enforcement did. The “disappearance” of Laci Peterson and the Casey Anthony cases are infamous examples of cadaver dog alerts right in the beginning, and the Chris Watts case is [arguably] a current example.

It is patently ridiculous, in my view, for searches to continue into victims imagined to still be alive when multiple cadaver traces are linked to these victims, especially when the victims remain unaccountably absent for months and months, and in this case, twelve inexplicable years.

There is simply no getting around the fact that human cadaver odors and human cadaver traces are formed by human cadavers – dead people.

Clearly the Portuguese police in 2007 were familiar with sniffer dogs, in fact it’s obvious from media coverage at the time that the GNR had them on the scene virtually immediately.


But cadaver dogs are a very specialised, highly trained and expensive law enforcement resource. They’re an unusual tool typically deployed in the unusual circumstance where there’s no evidence of foul play, but simultaneously there’s a sinister aspect to an alleged disappearance.

When South Africa’s Danie Krugel departed Praia da Luz in July 2007 after conducting his own search, he left a “by the way” comment to the Portuguese authorities, suggesting they use cadaver dogs.

It was a suggestion the cops hadn’t considered since they were scraping the barrel in terms of dead-ends and bogus sighting, they took his suggestion seriously. As a testament to just how specialised these canine units were at the time, the Polícia Judiciária had to outsource the expertise to Martin Grimes, a well-regarded dog handler [and ex-cop] in Britain.

According to a blog posted on EddieandKeela in 2005:

Keela is hired out at £530 per day, plus expenses. If she worked every day of the year, she would earn almost £200,000 – about £70,000 more than her force’s chief constable. 
Forces worldwide have expressed interest in her specialist training and Keela will be travelling to America in the new year to help the FBI with two murder inquiries. A South Yorkshire force spokeswoman said Keela – officially a crime scene investigation dog – has saved more then £200,000 nationally since April this year, helping with investigations in Ireland, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Surrey and the Thames Valley. 

Of course as soon as the cops elect to bring in cadaver dogs, irrespective of whether they find anything or not, the whole focus of the investigation shifts. As soon as human remains are being searched for, the police search becomes far more serious, along with the potential allegations. The pendulum of justice swings from the relatively benign search for a missing person [who is alive] to the possibility of a homicide investigation.

The search for a living person wandering around [as occurred on May 3rd, and for the next three months] tends to be about line-of-sight and above-ground. Searching for a dead person is the opposite – it involves searching below ground, or for evidence that is invisible or extremely difficult to perceive or detect. Typically in less than straight-forward murder investigations where the victims remains are unaccounted for, other evidence including clothing, hairs and other traces are purposefully concealed, hidden, cleaned, destroyed, removed or manipulated in some way.

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It’s interesting that when the dogs detected cadaver traces, the McCanns weren’t arrested on the spot. Surely if you’ve been making the case in public of an abduction, and evidence emerges that some other quite different scenario has occurred, one immediately has a case for obstruction of justice. Well, the Ramsey case is an example where even the discovery of the child dead in the family basement didn’t lead to the immediate arrest of any of the family members, and the parents were only questioned at length several months later.

The hesitation of the authorities may have had something to do with 1) the combination of the massive PR and political clout the McCanns had achieved by August 2007, but also 2) the lack of experience the Polícia Judiciária evidently had with cadaver dogs. If a cadaver dog alerted, did it really mean anything?

And obviously, this was the McCanns’ catchphrase, a carbon copy of the dismissive attitude successfully used by Casey Anthony’s suave defense lawyer Jose Baez on the exact same question.

In the above clip Gerry McCann’s response to the cadaver dog evidence is to call it “unreliable”, and yet in the garage test, no one told Eddie [or Grimes for that matter] which car belonged to the McCanns. Murat’s car and Sergey Malinka’s car were also checked, along with several others. The dogs only alerted on the outside and inside the McCann’s Renault Scenic.

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Aside from the admissibility of the cadaver dog evidence, or whether it even constitutes evidence that could be or should be tested in court, I find the narrative around the introduction of the cadaver dogs the most fascinating.

In chapter 14 of Amaral’s book, he spends some time interrogating the confluence of unusual events leading to the use of cadaver dogs. Kate McCann also refers to having a dream about Madeleine in her book in late July. But this “turning point” was only reported in the media in 2010, seven long years after the fact, and only because it emerged in a court action initiated by the McCanns to force Amaral into remaining silent on these damning allegations.


Madeleine McCann: mother’s dream was ‘turning point’ in investigation, court hears – Telegraph

As I pointed out in DOUBT, it was a curious thing that Kate’s dream [implying for the first time that Madeleine was dead] coincided with Gerry’s trip to the USA in late July, and followed shortly on Krugel’s visit in mid-July.


Kate had dream of where to dig – The Sun

 “She gave me the impression she thought Madeleine was dead.” The area was searched unsuccessfully with sniffer dogs. As well as the hillside, they are believed to be concentrating on a road that had been under repair near the McCanns’ Ocean Club apartment, on wasteland to the south, and on land at a beach to the east.

Madeleine has gone… We’ve let her down, Kate McCann cried – The Express

McCanns call in own forensic team to fight DNA linking them to Madeleine – Evening Standard

But a source at the FSS told the Evening Standard: “There is no reason to change the direction of the investigation and everything that has emerged indicates that it is focusing where it should. This is a very complex case and forensics are rarely conclusive on their own, but the new material adds to the existing picture that has been built up by police and fills in a few more pieces of the jigsaw.”

The source is said to have claimed that the samples were of sufficient quality to distinguish between Madeleine’s DNA and that of her twin siblings Sean and Amelie or her parents. It was conceded however that the quality of the DNA samples taken by British officers was not as good as it would have been if the Portuguese had collected it earlier.

The McCanns’ supporters insist…it was their own efforts to kick start the investigation that led to them being named as suspects. The sniffer cadaver dogs said to have picked up the scent of a corpse on Mrs McCann were only brought in after the couple gave the go ahead for retired South African police officer Daniel Krugel – dubbed the Locator – to conduct a search. Fullscreen capture 20190318 135805Fullscreen capture 20190318 135817Fullscreen capture 20190318 135850Fullscreen capture 20190318 135900He uses a secret scientific method to find murder victims by following their DNA trail with the help of global positioning satellites. A family friend said: “The irony for Kate and Gerry is that through them trying to move the case forward and be proactive it’s actually led to them being made suspects.

Don’t trust the bodyfinder – The Mirror

It is thought the McCanns initially welcomed Krugel’s help – but have since changed their minds. A source close to Kate and Gerry, who gave Krugel a strand of Madeleine’s hair after he flew to Portugal in July, said they are unconvinced by his claims and are keeping him “at arm’s length”.

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Krugel, 42, contacted the family offering assistance two days after Madeleine disappeared on May 3. In July Gerry allegedly rang him back to accept his offer after receiving a string of emails urging the family to use the South African. Krugel has told the Mirror his machine quickly traced Madeleine. He said: “I went to Praia da Luz in the middle of July and did the tests on Madeleine. “I stayed there for four days, working at night time and all the data was the same. She was there in an area within walking distance of Praia da Luz but it is a very difficult area, with few houses. In my opinion the chances of her being alive are very, very slim.”

He said he gave the McCanns and police a map and an aerial photo of an 800-metre area they must search. Krugel reportedly also first suggested that sniffer cadaver dogs be bought in to search the McCann’s apartment. It was the sniffer cadaver dogs discovery of forensic evidence in the apartment that eventually led to Kate and Gerry, from Rothley, Leics, being officially designated as suspects in the case.

Note the screengrabs above are sourced from 3:08 in the Sky News documentary clip provided below.

It’s possible Krugel and the McCanns had a falling out of some sort, either because Krugel made the allegation that Madeleine was dead [and let’s face it, before anyone else did, bar none] or because they “held him at arm’s length” Krugel felt insulted at this treatment.

Much ado has been made of Krugels’ eccentric methods, with some justification of course, but as a result Krugel hasn’t been credited with pushing the McCann investigation where it really needed to go.

Ironically I had a brush with Krugel myself. In 2017, ironically just as I was completing my exhaustive research and a trilogy of books on the McCann case, I bumped into Krugel at the airport.

I recognized his trademark Inspector Clouseau moustache immediately. I was surprised by how tall he was, over six-foot. It was weird, and frankly disconcerting, to have worked as a virtual hermit for months on end, solely on the McCann case, and then literally the day I emerged from my cave to fly for a holiday [and freelance assignment] to Mauritius, lo and behold, I bumped into a character right out of the true crime case I’d been working on.

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I was tempted to speak to him, but in the end elected not to. I noticed Krugel eyeballing me at one point, so either he’d already made me, or he’d cottoned on to me checking him out, and even snapping the odd photo of him while he was drinking coffee at one point.

Later, when we disembarked from the flight, an elderly woman tripped as she stepped off the bus, and Krugel sprinted over to help her. Despite his being a fairly senior fellow, more senior than me at any rate, he reacted instantly, coming to her aid before anyone else did, including me. That incident made an impression and made me wonder if I too had a view that was too cynical.

Krugel’s entry in the McCann narrative changed everything, and if anything, it’s regrettable that it didn’t change the story and the outcome more than it has.

Danie Krugel: ‘Maddie lies here’ – The Star

In DOUBT I make the case that wittingly or not, the area Krugel searched was a misdirection. The reason – I argue – that Madeleine’s remains weren’t found during the crucial month of July 2007 was because the search teams were all looking where they were told or directed to look [including by Kate McCann and her dream] – on the East side of Praia da Luz, the Rocha Negra side.Fullscreen capture 20190320 002413

There’s plenty of reason to believe Madeleine’s remains were stowed on the other side, the west side of Praia da Luz, at least temporarily. And this side corresponds very closely to where the Smith sighting occurred.

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