On 4th May 2007 at 11:30, a second technician turned up at apartment 5A to complete the initial inspection in daylight hours.
News cameras had already arrived on site and earlier that morning captured images of Gerry McCann and 4 others from the Tapas group (Kate, David, Jane, Matthew) as they were ferried by police to Portimão to give their initial statements. The remaining 4 members (Dianne, Fiona, Rachael, Russell) stayed behind to look after the children, and would go to Portimão later that evening, when the first batch of interviewees returned to Luz.
The technician at 5A was assistant specialist Maria Irene Trovão Ferro, referred to in the case files by her full name, but also by Irene Trovão and Irene Ferro.
The news cameras had a major story when Irene Trovão dusted the outside of the shutter of the children’s bedroom, as she was not wearing gloves and her hair was blowing in the breeze.
Despite having access to all the PJ files and having paid for a professional translation, Kate attributes this inspection to a forensic team from Lisbon (“Madeleine”, chapter 6). It wasn’t. The Lisbon team was made up of two males and they would turn up in the afternoon. Kate uses this sincident to depict the Portuguese police as lacking in expertise and application.
In chapter 3 of A Verdade Da Mentira (The Truth Of The Lie), Gonçalo Amaral makes the same mistake. He has the Lisbon team turning up and conducting a search for blood, hairs and fibres at the same time as the shutter to the children’s bedroom was being dusted for fingerprints. These were two separate inspections.
I believe that Amaral’s book came out very soon after the PJ files were released, so this may possibly be a memory issue. However, the author must have had sufficient access to the police files to get detailed drawings of the crime scene made up, and to write his chapter describing these photos.
Amaral writes a number of critical comments of the on-scene force – that the site was not secured early enough – that the first photographs were insufficient – and to this he now adds the criticism that the technician collecting prints should have been wearing a regulation suit.
The Madeleine McCann case is dogged by finger-pointing and criticising others for not being diligent enough, so it is now time to see how bad or good Irene Trovão really was.
http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/FINGERPRINTS.htm has the fingerprint evidence from the first forensic officer and from Irene Trovão.
Please note from the photographs, by this time the twins’ cot nearer to the door had been pushed up towards Madeleine’s bed, to make space for the wicker chair. The entire right hand side of the window had been removed and stacked against a wall where the wicker chair had previously been. The crime scene was evolving.
Irene found 13 prints, but classed 12 of these to be inadequate for identification. 3 unsuitable prints were found on the outside of the shutter of the bedroom used by the children.
9 prints, all unsuitable, were found on the outside of the living room patio doors, an entrance/exit point to 5A.
The one single usable print was found on the side (i.e. the frame) of the living room patio door.
After putting this fingerprint through Portuguese databases, this and other fingerprints were sent to Interpol for identification. The file shows that several countries responded, saying some of the prints they had received were not usable, while there were no hits on the good prints.
After some days, the officers responding to the scene were fingerprinted. The single good print on the frame of the patio door was a match to one of these police officers, and Interpol was informed that further checks were not required.
In summary, one responding police officer’s fingerprint was found on the living room patio door, while 5 fingerprints from Kate McCann had been found on the children’s bedroom window in CSI #1.
A question which has to be asked is simple. Did Irene Travão contaminate the scene, as suggested by both Kate McCann and Gonçalo Amaral, plus the media?
Technically, she is guilty as charged. Peeking ahead, a team from Lisbon arrived later on the 4th to look at blood, hairs and fibres. The number of hairs found was large. Irene Travão was guilty of contributing exactly one of those hairs.
In comparison, in chapter 5 “Missing” of “Madeleine”, Gerry lowers the shutter on the children’s bedroom, then rushes outside and makes the sickening discovery that the shutter can be raised from the outside.
Dianne Webster tells a different story. In her second statement on 11th May 2007, she testifies that when she went to the apartment and heard Kate´s description, she too went outside and tried to raise the shutter. She found it could not be raised. A second person interfering with the original evidence.
Please note. I have found a video that I am working on. At this moment in time, it looks like it is the shutter on the children’s window in 5A, and it looks like an outsider could raise it to about 80% up before it jams, then, when released, comes straight back down again.
For the moment, please disregard whether the shutter opens from the outside or not.
For now, the question is who had their hands on the shutter? Dianne Webster testified that she did. Kate recounts that Gerry did.
Perhaps the 3 duff prints on the shutters came from Dianne. Perhaps they came from Gerry. Perhaps they came from someone else.
This entire scenario s somewhat like a horse race with a small number of entrants. The contestants are Kate McCann, Gonçalo Amaral, Gerry McCann, Irene Trovão, and Dianne Webster.
I am not someone who bets, but based on the evidence I have so far, I would plump for Irene Travão. Not a perfect performance, but I reckon she would win by somewhere between a head and a neck.