Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva is the relatively short, quiet, J-shaped road running along the rear [the north end] of the Ocean Club apartments where Madeleine McCann was snatched.
The road running alongside the property to the west side, the road Gerry and Kate McCann used to do their respective checks, and the road Jane Tanner was standing on when she spied Tannerman, is Rua Dr Gentil Martins.
It’s a curious thing that the names o these roads are never really mentioned, but then, they’re mouthfuls to say let alone remember. For our purposes we’re refer to the one at the top as “Da Silva” and the one to the side [the east side] as “Gentil Martins”.
Happy with that?
Before we deal with the Pepper Trees on Gentil Martins, let’s first orient ourselves in terms of the scale of the hotel, also the distance from he hotel to the beach and finally the realistic avenues of flight a potential abuctor could have [or would have] taken.
In the image above the two red arrows refer to Da Silva at the top [behind the Ocean Club hotel] and Gentil Martins running in a northerly direction along the side of the hotel. Unfortunately the map doesn’t seem to be accurate in its description of Gentil Martins, the road running up to Da Silva.
The two black arrows refer to the Tapas bar relative to the hotel and street grid, as well as the scale. The scale at the bottom denotes “20 metres”, indicative of a relatively compact street grid. This is important, as is the relatively small size of the resort town as we’ll see in the next image.
It’ easy to get disoriented as one zooms out, even if you’re very familiar with the grid pattern.
The original grid [above] is reproduced, with the long red arrow directing the viewer to Gentil Martins [the red location balloon in both images refer to the same location]. The black arrow shows the Tapas Bar and the red oval circle the Ocean Club at a slightly reduced scale.
The most important aspect of the above map is the new scale [see blue oval bottom right] – 100 metres. The distance from the Ocean Club to the urban edge of Praia da Luz [or the coastline] is approximately 300 metres if travelling southeast [follow the black arrow down] in a straight line. Not far at all, is it?
It’s also important to remember it’s downhill all the way to the coast, in some places steep downhill, and conversely, uphill all the way back to the hotel, and in some places the uphills are inclined fairly steeply too.
Gentil Martins for example in a road tilting upward from the bottom closer to the coast, to the top, whereas Da Silva – running laterally behind the apartment complex] – is mostly flat. However as the road tilts into a “J” with the tail of the “J” swooping up on the west end, the road necessarily also starts to go uphill.
It’s useful to know the road beneath the black arrow is a major traffic artery running down to the city centre of Praia da Luz, and this road is known as Rua 1º de Maio. The road to the east of this road which sort of connects to Da Silva and loops in a weird dog’s leg alongside the hotel to the east [in-line with the tennis courts and Tapas Bar] is the relatively quiet Rua da Escola Primária. We won’t be paying attention to either of these roads in this post.
The satellite screengrab ought to make the entire mosaic clearer still. Now we’re on a 50 metre scale with the coastline area missing and some of the distracting urban fabric smudged out. Not at the top right how Gentil Martins curves upward [black arrow at right top]. We also see a slight kink in Gentil Martins [see yellow circle] inline with the Tapas Bar and close to the southeast boundary of the Ocean Club.
Although the kink is visible in the street grid view, it’s less obvious. The two red arrows do not run in a straight line. The black arrows on the left are Rua 1º de Maio [the main road running down to the left of the hotel, the west, towards the town centre] and Rua da Escola Primária [running further left in a kind of squiggle].
Now we want to take a closer look at the road indicated by the red arrow pointing diagonally down from the top of the map to Da Silva.
Specifically note how the long avenue of Pepper Trees runs alongside Da Silva for the entire breadth of the Ocean Club hotel. The small black arrow on the right denotes the entrance to Apart 5A where Madeleine McCann was supposedly abducted. The yellow circle indicates the location of “Tannerman” and the clear “line-of”sight” up Gentil Martins to the T-Junction with Da Silva.
If someone was walking along Da Silva there would be similar line of sight, however if they worked closer to the tree line, or even under the tree line along the hotel parking lot [or along the hotel itself] line-of-sight diminishes and in some cases disappears entirely.
For an abductor carrying a child on foot, it would be important to stay out of line of sight as a matter of urgency. Which route afforded the abductor more cover? To the east [to the right or anywhere on Gentil Martins], or to the west [along Da Silva]…?
In the penultimate episode of the Netflix docuseries, the pedophile theory goes into high gear. We’re told that human trafficking is a $150 billion-a-year industry, and about pedophiles lurking in the dark web.
The pedophile theory is a handy one when you need a revolving door of potential suspects. It’s served the Ramseys well over the past 20 years or more, and it’s the gift that keeps giving in terms of new suspects, in the endless search for Madeleine McCann.
At the end of episode seven, the McCann’s PR dude holds up the latest pedophile of the moment, an Australian woman and the mainstream media go nuts. Maybe Madeleine is in Australia?
Instantly the previous suspect [whether the bucktooth creeper or Tannerman] is forgotten as the narrative hops from one handy pedophile to the next. While a distracted audience not paying attention to the McCann case might be jarred back into it intermittently with a sense of “oh they’ve found another suspect, the investigation hasn’t been fruitless” a more consistent approach exposes the investigation into Madeleine’s Disappearance as an ongoing circus act.
If Madeleine’s not dead, the public need to reminded periodically that she’s out there, and to do that the show must go on. More and more circus acts are needed, and with them, circus ringmasters.
If the McCann’s and the Tapas Seven have been very effective over the years at PR, at prosecuting and at suing and silencing their critics, they’ve been staggeringly ineffective at investigating their daughter’s case.
In the apology published below, which coincided with another massive payout from the Sunday Times, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the McCanns appeared to be a little on the slow side in making information available. The Smithman efits came out sometime in 2008 but were only handed over to the cops in late 2009. The Metropolitan Police only received them two years after that. Not exactly a picture of urgency or efficiency, is it?
Neither, as it turned out, were more than one of the investigators the McCanns seemed to handpick for the job. Remember, money was not a limiting factor, the public had handed over millions to be spent on the search, and yet which investigators did these clever doctors choose to spend this easy money on?
The blood-soaked corpse of a private detective who investigated Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has been found at his mansion. Kevin Halligen, 56, dubbed a “cloak-and-dagger, James Bond-style spy”, took the high-profile case in March 2008.
And while Halligen was hired by the McCanns he was involved in a dispute and accused of conning the fund to find their daughter by living a lavish lifestyle during his probe, but producing no results.
It turns out that Kate and Gerry McCann suppressed for five years ‘critical evidence’ that became the centerpiece of the recent BBC Crimewatch program on the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine. Findings by ex-MI5 agents long kept under wraps by the McCanns included the two e-fit images described in the Crimewatch program by Scotland Yard’s Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood as of “vital importance.”
The images are of a suspected kidnapper seen by an Irish family in Praia da Luz the night Madeleine went missing. They were given to the McCanns by a handpicked team of investigators from Oakley International hired by the McCanns’ “Find Madeleine Fund” in 2008.Henri Exton, an MI5’s former undercover operations chief who led the team, told the Sunday Times he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the Crimewatch program and saw the evidence he had passed to the McCanns presented as a new breakthrough. For some reason the images were not published even in Kate McCann’s 2011 book Madeleine, though it devoted a whole section to eight “key sightings” and carried e-fits on all of them except the Smiths’.
Secret Oakley International Report into the disappearance of Madeleine #McCann might be released to the public following the death of crooked PI Kevin Halligen. pic.twitter.com/M5qrnxsxf1
Former Det Insp Dave Edgar said he believes Maddie is still alive, possibly hidden in plain sight on Portugal’s Algarve with no memory of her real identity.
Speaking to the Sunday Express, Edgar said: “There is every possibility that Madeleine is still alive and could be being hidden somewhere. “Although Dave Edgar has no evidence to back his theory, he believes Madeleine is being held captive in a basement or cellar 10 miles from where she disappeared in Praia da Luzand will give a conference when he has something more substantial to report.”
The investigator that narrates the Netflix docuseries points out, without a hint of irony, how “surprisingly unlucky” the McCanns were in “choosing” one bumbling Inspector Clouseau to investigate their daughter after another.
In virtually none of their many, many press conferences, do the McCanns express regret over their own investigators, nor do they appeal for other investigators or detectives to come forward to lend their expertise. Instead, they appear content to “hope for the best”.
Metodo 3, in Spain, has already been linked to other scandals connected to the political and the financial world, and, recently, was equally put in question by their work in investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, where one of the close associates of Francisco Marco, Antonio Jimenez, who was accused of having driven several British journalists to meet previously paid witnesses, who would then declare to have seen the small British girl [Maddie] in Morocco.The Metodo 3 coadjutant, responsible for investigating Maddie was, thereafter, arrested in a case of theft and cocaine trafficking.
According to sources connected to Metodo 3, several detectives working for the agency, have questioned the capacity of Francisco Marco in the Madeleine McCann investigation, accusing him of destroying the credibility of the agency, especially after he put to practice a disastrous mass communication strategy.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the misappropriation of funds and money laundering can concern “colossal” sums of public money.
At the same time the docuseries announces a new suspect resembling Victoria Beckham identified as a sort of cliffhanger to lead into the finale, the series “remembers” an incidental but possibly gamechanging piece of evidence.
A witness in the apartment above saw someone leaving the area below [outside 5A]. Carole Tanmer saw a man acting rather strangely as he closed the gate at 5A. See, this is why an exhaustive timeline – set out in the beginning – makes sense.
Although many on social media are crowing about how thorough and professional the docuseries is, what it does is it manages to provide an endless series of twists and turns, and intrigue, much as the McCanns themselves seem to have done. There’s always something else lurking around the corner and when we get to it, it’s a false alarm, but oh look, there’s something else over there…
One thing we should see but never do in the docuseries is a clear grid for where all the characters in the Ocean Club were staying relative to the McCanns, including and especially the Tapas 7.
We’re also not provided with a conceivable, clear route an “abductor” might have taken if he headed from the Ocean Club to the Smithman sighting. It’s simply not depicted. No timeline is provided for how long it might take to carry a child from 5A to the location of the Smithman sighting either. There’s also no attempt to interrogate the time of the Smithman sighting in any detail. Since the Smith family ate at a nearby restaurant that night, and received a timestamped receipt, this detail shouldn’t have been too difficult.
Specific information such as the apartment number the McCanns moved to INSIDE the Ocean Club after the incident for the first two months is also left out. It was G5A, the apartment in the same block very close to Dr. Julian Totman [aka Tannerman] former apartment and in fact right beside G4M.
Although the second episode of the series is titled “Person of Interest” [singular] it basically looks into two individuals, Robert Murat and Sergey Malinka. It’s interesting that Robert Murat was quickly regarded as a prime suspect, despite having an alibi and despite no eye-witnesses placing him at the scene. Murat was neither implicated nor associated with the two sightings known as Tannerman and Smithman, because he didn’t resemble either of these figures in body shape, hair style or facially.
Murat also has another rather obvious distinguishing feature – his glasses. Was Murat really a better suspect to seize on than the folks staying at the hotel, including the McCanns themselves?
For some time now Malinka has been agitating about a book that is coming out. As of this writing, in March 2019, there is still no book. I was contacted at one stage to work with and ghost write for Malinka [not directly by Malinka, but by a third party]. I turned down the offer. It seems I’m not the only one.
Sorry to disappoint, but due to the content of the second episode, I won’t be analysing episode two because I consider both “suspects” to be debunked anyway. What I think is far more interesting to address is the gloss-over of the timeline in episode one. The next blog will return to a chronological analysis of the remaining six episodes over the next six days.
The essential timeline is dealt with for [are you ready for it] less than three minutes total in the Netflix documentary, between 12:00 and 15:00. It starts with the McCanns making their way down to the Tapas bar at 20:30, and they’re the first to arrive. There’s no mention whether them being early or arriving first that particular evening was unusual compared to the preceding week. That’s an issue I deal with in detail in the DOUBT series.
The next timecheck is at 21:00 when Matt Oldfield arrives at the restaurant, apparently volunteering the all clear that the McCann children were sleeping soundly.
Matt Oldfield was very much in the picture immediately after Madeleine’s disappearance, as can be seen in these images.
At 09:05 Gerry leaves the restaurant, presumably before eating anything [and it’s unknown whether he’d ordered anything, or what he ordered if he did] to make his first and only check on the children that night.
We see it dramatized how Gerry closes the door without closing it completely. In some descriptions, Gerry is so specific he even describes how wide the door was opened down to the last degree. This is an important precursor to the actions of the door that follow.
The next timecheck given is 21:25. It’s made explicit that Kate INTENDED to do her check but was forestalled by [guess who?] Matt Oldfield who volunteered to take her place.
And right here is where the timeline goes wonky. Oldfield enters the unlocked apartment the same way Gerry did, via the side patio door, and “saw light” and “heard the sound” as if of a child moving in their blankets.
Thanks to door being open enough to perceive without really seeing, Oldfield is able to do his check without really doing his check. If one of the kids was awake, Oldfield apparently heard it but didn’t look in to make sure. If he had would he have seen Madeleine?
In my opinion Madeleine was already dead at this stage, so she wouldn’t have been in bed, but her body was likely still in the apartment. Her body was either in the cupboard of her parents’ bedroom, or behind the couch, based on cadaver alerts, or possibly laying in the flower bed below the balcony.
It’s also possible immediately after Oldfield left, Madeleine woke up, fell over the balcony railing or down the patio stairs, and died. However since it takes at least an hour for cadaver odor to form it’s more likely Madeleine died earlier in the evening [prior to the McCanns leaving for dinner] than later. Cadaver traces were so strong they were still picked up in late August, three months after the incident, and in spite of the apartment being cleaned numerous times. This strongly suggests her little body remained inert – dead – for some time before it was removed from the apartment.
The Oldfield witness testimony is wonderfully inconclusive and murky, because it doesn’t confirm anything. Maybe all the kids were there and maybe they weren’t.
At the same time, Oldfield’s entry into the narrative means the fact that neither McCanns checked on their brood is justified because a third party is given the responsibility [except that he doesn’t actually check to make sure]. Also, the leaving of a door unlocked is justified to allow access to this known third party, which also – just incidentally you understand – paves the way for the imputed abductor.
So even in a scenario where Madeleine could be proven to have died, who would be to blame? Where would it begin and where would it end? Whose testimony, assuming there was ever a trial to test this version, could be relied on one way or another?
The Netflix timeline picks up again at 22:00. Kate gets up and heads to the apartment. Once again, the door becomes the central feature of her visit. There’s something very strange about the door!
All told, the documentary spends less than two minutes thirty seconds going through the critical timeline. There is virtually no analysis or explanation, no mention of several important witnesses within the timelines. Instead the door, “light” and sounds are emphasised supposedly confirming that everything was okay when it wasn’t.
Strangely, in another reconstruction of the door narrative, this one done inside the McCanns’ residence in Rothley, Kate seems to suggest the door was left virtually closed but that when she approached it, it had opened “quite wide” and it then slammed shut right in front of her.
This witnessed moving of the door and inconsistency of the door conjures the door as a sort of witness to an abductor is who is not otherwise seen or heard, and who doesn’t leave any traces.
That reconstruction can be viewed at 27:58 in the clip below.
Interestingly, in her checking of the children Madeleine is missing, but no mention is made of the twins who are also in the room, or whether they are awake or asleep, or safe. And having just had one child stolen [apparently through the open window], what does Kate do – she abandons both children, runs out of the apartment and raises the alarm, thus leaving the twins vulnerable to additional abductions.
Another easy point to miss: immediately after Madeleine disappears, an awful lot of running happens. Kate runs, then “everybody sprints back to our apartment…”
Now let’s focus on a few observations in terms of the aspects the Netflix timeline implicitly doesn’t address:
Between 20:30 and 22:00 Gerry makes a total of one visit to check on the children, and according to Gerry, verifies that at 20:30 Madeleine was alive and safe. This effectively makes this observation the last time Madeleine was seen alive by any witness, assuming the observation is true and accurate.
Kate McCann also makes a total of one visit to check on the children. When she does the incident has already happened, so arguably Kate’s visit doesn’t count. One can say that technically in the space of 90 minutes, when the plan was to check on the children every 20 minutes, Gerry made the only check and only did so once. In 90 minutes at least 4 checks ought to have been possible.
It’s not clarified what happened after Gerry’s check. We know he checked, but there’s not clarity on what time he was seen returning to the table. One way to establish this would be to look at what food he ordered when, whether he paid for it, and how much of the meal he actually ate that evening.
In the police interviews it’s established that Gerry didn’t go straight back to the restaurant after checking on his children. Instead he is seen on the street by a witness, Jes Wilkens at 21:08 and by Jane Tanner at 21:10. What this does is it pinpoints where Gerry is, giving him an alibi there and then, while also “allowing” Gerry not to be where he’s supposed to be [eating at the restaurant].
Jane Tanner also – very conveniently – sees the prime suspect carrying away a child while at the time seeing Gerry in the street [not carrying anyone, while talking to Jes].
Thirty minutes pass and it’s Kate’s turn to check on the children. During this interval Gerry’s movements aren’t known precisely. During this time, at approximately 21:50, the Smithman sighting occurs about 5 minutes’ walk from apartment 5A. The man and the child spotted in the alley broadly fit both the father and Madeleine’s description, and the man is said to be walking “briskly” in the direction of the sea. In addition, the child in his arms doesn’t appear to be conscious, and is being held “awkwardly”. Even the clothing of the child seen broadly matches what Madeleine was wearing the night she went missing.
Although Kate McCann is quoted in the documentary and in her book saying she ran out of the apartment and when she saw the table shouted “someone’s [singular] taken Madeleine”, others on the scene remembered it differently. One nanny described Madeleine’s mother shouting “they’ve taken her”. Another account from the Moyes couple who were staying two floors above the McCanns, quotes Kate shouting “the fucking bastards have taken her”. And wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply shout the message from the balcony, if the Tapas Bar was within earshot and visual range, as is so often emphasised?
It appears that at no point did either of the McCanns contact the authorities themselves, even when a neighbor offered the use of her phone. Gerry dispatched Oldfield relatively early, at 22:10, to head to receptions and call the police.
For several years the focus of the media was on the Tapas 7’s star witness account – fingering Tannerman – even though the cops had long since dismissed this theory. Meanwhile, Smithman was dismissed or disregarded by the McCanns and their private investigation into that sighting…well…was treated in a very different way to Tannerman.
A straightforward way to figure out who was where, when, and saw what, how and why events played out in a particular pattern, is for all the folks to return to the scene to do a recorded official reconstruction. Put the people like chess pieces on the board and move them about according to what everyone did and saw. This is precisely what the Portuguese cops asked the McCanns to do. This was their response at 4:19 in the clip below.
UPDATE: The clip above has been removed since the publication of this blog, so here’s another. This was the resconstruction response at 0:27in the clip below.
The timeline leading up to the events of May 3rd, 2007 are explored in meticulous detail in DOUBT., available exclusively on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
In POST TRUTH, the 100th True Crime Rocket Science [TCRS] title, the world’s most prolific true crime author Nick van der Leek demonstrates how much we still don’t know in the Watts case. In the final chapter of the SILVER FOX trilogy the author provides a sly twist in a tale that has spanned 12 TCRS books to date. The result may shock or leave you with even more questions.
SILVER FOX III available now in paperback!
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“Book 4 in the K9 series is a must read for those who enjoy well researched and detailed crime narratives. The author does a remarkable job of bringing to life the cold dark horror that is Chris Watts throughout the narrative but especially on the morning in the aftermath of the murders. Chris’s actions are connected by Nick van der Leek’s eloquent use of a timeline to reveal a motive.”