In A Verdade Da Mentira, (The Truth Of The Lie), Gonçalo Amaral describes the crime scene photographs in chapter 11. (gerrymccansblogs.co.uk). Amaral has much greater experience of crime scenes than me, and he picks some information out of the photos that eluded me, so you may wish to read his account.
Please note, Gonçalo Amaral is trying to lead you to a single conclusion, that the McCanns staged a crime scene. This may or may not be true, therefore be wary of Amaral’s interpretation.
There are some bits and pieces that need to be clarified. In the children’s bedroom, the wicker chair is not immediately at the foot of the bed. There is a gap between the bed and the chair that is large enough to stand in. This eases access to the window, and so may be relevant.
Amaral says there is a black-out curtain on the window in the children’s bedroom. I cannot see this in the photographs. As the shutter can be altered to permit light in or shut out light from partially to totally, I cannot understand why a black out curtain would be required, and I’ve never seen that type of set-up.
The position of the strap to operate the shutter is not described anywhere. It is normally on the right hand side of a window, and that would make sense in the children’s bedroom, given the way the furniture is arranged. However, no one actually defines its location.
The front door is a potential entry and exit point, but the door and its lock are poorly described. In her first statement, Kate makes no mention of the front door, which implies that the door was closed at the time she discovered Madeleine was missing i.e. it was closed and normal, not open and unusual.
The capability of the front door lock, as a barrier to entry or exit, is also uncertain. Somewhere or other I have read that the key was on a table in the apartment. One statement on file (Carlo Francisco D’Ambrosio) says that even when the door was locked and a key was in the lock on the inside, a cleaner could still unlock and open the door from the outside. That seems very odd indeed, unlike any lock I have encountered.
As a method of exit, it would be interesting to know if the front door opens from the inside, without a key, when it is locked. The front door on my current residence does not, but some do.
I am not aware of any evidence that the front door was locked or was not locked. This is an unknown.
After Gonçalo Amaral’s book came out, Portuguese TV ran a special that essentially was a video of the book, and the video is on YouTube. (Google YouTube Gonçalo Amaral and it comes up first, with English sub-titles.)
In it, Amaral revisited 5A with an ‘expert’ who attempted to enter the apartment using a credit card to spring the lock on the front door, and who failed to do so. The conclusion was that as the door had not been forced, a person would need a key to enter from the outside.