Please folks, give me a clue

For all the visitors to the site, please be aware that WordPress gives me very vague statistics on who you are.

I get – where you come from (special thanks to my visitors from Jersey) – some info on how you got here (so I can bump up my views) – plus a little bit more.  There is absolutely NOTHING that I get that I could use to identify an individual person as it is all washed through the washing machine/tumble drier before I get to see it.  My visitors from Jersey have spotless, immaculately clean jerseys, even if they actually come from Guernsey, Sark or whatever other islands make up whatever WordPress labels as “Jersey”.

I try to respond to comments.  Here’s why.  Comments on my posts make me think harder about the facts of the matter.  That in turn, I hope, makes me sharper and more informed.

And here is why I am hoping you kind folks will give me a clue.

WordPress is showing me, at this very moment, that the top search that found me is “dog hairs in apartment 5a can this be traced to specific dogs”.

Oddly enough, I can probably tell you – which dog was in 5A – whether dog hairs can be tracked to specific dogs – whether this matters in the Madeleine case – and possibly more.

But you are going to have to give me a clue.  Without a clue, I can’t see why which dog left the hairs is significant.  Madeleine was already gone before a dog went into 5A, so one or more dogs went into 5A tells us …. what?

My track record to date on comments is pretty good.  As I said, comments make me think harder, comments make me better informed.

Please feel free to make a comment.  Without it, I am left feeling pretty clueless.  As in, why do the dog hairs matter, other than contaminants?  Doesn’t getting rid of the dog hairs improve the matter?  Or is it important to work out which dog left hairs and when?

Try the comments route folks.  Please folks, give me a clue!


19 thoughts on “Please folks, give me a clue

  1. Hi there!

    Was having a quick gander to see when/how I stumbled across your blog to answer your appeal… in short, have no idea, and really can’t remember, but it would have been a search on some item surrounding the case, and nothing to do with dog hairs in 5A, of which I know nothing.

    I reread what you had to say about ‘Smithman’ and Malinka. Here’s the snippet:

    ‘Sergey does not match the e-fits that were made, he does not match the statements, and he does not match with where Aiofe saw the person she saw.

    Aiofe is at the green circle closest to the bottom of the diagram. Her statement says she was coming up the Street of Steps and when she got to the top she saw the man to her left.

    Oops. To her left. Coming down the street. NOT a fit with Sergey, who should have been in front of her.’

    A few points on that: firstly, the translator put ‘to her left’, and you’re taking that to mean he was coming down Rua 25 de Abril instead of Rua de la Escola Primária? And hence a reason to rule out Malinka, or even Smithman, as that’s not a route from 5A?

    Given that both Martin and Peter Smith passed him further on in Rua de la Escola Primária, is it not far more likely that the translator made a mistake, and should have gone with ‘on her left’. As in, he passed by her on her left, as per the televised reconstructions in which he passes the witnesses on their left?

    Factor in that same translator described Aoife Smith as an English citizen, which she is not, rather than Anglophone, when justifying their presence. And such prepositions do cause major difficulties for sloppy translators between English and Latin languages.

    And then Malinka, you say, doesn’t match the statements nor the e-fits? He seems to be fairly spot-on to me. There’s a wide brush used in both of the above, and he lands smack bang in the middle. As good a fit as you could hope for.

    You also mention the infamous phone-call, and suggest that if that were a crime, there should be thousands of suspects. Murat was placed at the OC on the night by numerous independent witnesses. He became an ‘arguido’. Malinka states their relationship was ‘strictly professional’, so they were not friends. That phone-call did indeed happen. Tell me, would you phone a professional colleague with whom you were not friends to discuss business close to midnight on a Thursday?

    • The statements and the photo placements in the PJ files are at odds with themselves. Peter Smith states that the man passed him by on his (Peter’s, but actually it does not matter who’s) right at the entrance to REP. Then the PJ took the folks to the scene, and Peter is now half-way up the street on the right hand pavement. So the man passed on Peter’s left, and Peter was on the man’s left when they passed. Take your pick as to whether Peter’s statement is correct, or whether the PJ ‘reconstruction’ is correct. Both were some 23 days after the event.

      Aiofe places herself at the top of the steps in her statement, which for a 12-year-old child some 23 days later is pretty good going. In the PJ photo reconstruction, she is placed about a yard or two, as she was facing, to the left of the top of the steps. The translation is crucial, so I checked the original Portuguese statement. According to that, the man was not crossing Rua 25 de Abril. He was proceeding ALONG Rua 25 de Abril. Crossing and along are quite different words in Portuguese.

      So the guy is to her left, coming along Rua 25 de Abril, when father Martin Smith says the man passed him to his right, as Martin was on the left corner of REP.

      If the evidence stacks up, Aiofe has the man doing a dog-leg to her left, not heading to the beach on her right. She happens to have got one of the best scores so far on evidence. She says the group left the Dolphin at 9:30. The guys statements do not fit this, they don’t fit at all. However, the credit card receipt at the Dolphin was timed at 9:27. Aiofe 1 Lads 0.

      The guys said they were in Kelly’s for around 50 minutes. Aiofe says 30 minutes. The Smith sighting is timed at around 9:50 to 9:55. Can they both be right? A drinks bill in Kelly’s suggests the Dolphin 9 were in Kelly’s at 9:39 paying for a round of drinks. For me, the score is now Aiofe 2 Lads 0.

      The guys make it that they came out of Kelly’s around 9:50 to 9:55. Aiofe seems to agree with this rough timing. Here’s a problem for the lads. IF you are in Kelly’s buying a round at something like 20 to 10, how do you explain leaving at 5 or 10 minutes later?

      In understanding the case, this is critical. Who is right and who is wrong. There is a wobble factor of at least 20 minutes here. Personally, I have reason to believe that Aiofe scored a late killer goal to make the result Aiofe 3 Lads 0. She got the timeline right. As to the guys, I think you were having an off-day.

      • Hmm… Well, you had a couple of questions I’ll answer here. How can they pay for a round and leave ten minutes later? Well, I’d be on the shorts after a meal. You’ve seen the receipts, so presumably if they’re real, you’d know what they had. But even if it were hefty pints: How? They’re Irish.

        You asked why they’d go to a pub after a meal when they could have had drinks in the restaurant? Why? They’re Irish.

        Why go to an Irish-themed pub where you’ll be ripped off for poor quality Irish-themed booze instead of sampling something local in the few days you spend abroad? Sadly, why? They’re Irish.

        These are my compatriots abroad… it makes sense to them, anyway.

        But on Aoife… yes, she’s possibly the best witness, very impressive for a kid… she hadn’t been drinking either. However, as a lass from Louth of 12 years of age, the only other language she’d have would be Gaelic. The first line indicates, of course, that her statement was given in English. Hence the need for the translator to record it in Portuguese.

        But, have I got this wrong? She must have made her statement in English, giving us the original Portuguese file, which was then subsequently translated back into English. So, if I’m right, and there was an error introduced, it was introduced at the first stage of translation. So, what possible benefit can it have you seeking the Portuguese?

      • The bar receipts in Kelly’s are in monetary terms only. The only split is alcohol v cigarettes. But the monetary amount does not fit a party of 9 getting a round in. The only possible match is about 9:39PM when roughly €13.50 was spent, which fits neither beer nor shorts. Peter’s party of 4, himself, his pregnant wife who was feeling poorly, his 13 year old and his 6 year old were all returning to Ireland the next day on what Peter describes as an early flight. Martin Smith was driving them to the airport and his description is that it was a very early flight.

        So between an unwell, pregnant wife, a 6-year old child and a very early morning flight, why head off to a bar for another round?

        The puzzle affects when the Smith sighting occurred. Was it 9:50, 9:55 or later?

        You are correct that taking a statement from an English-speaking person in Portugal is a tortuous process that is laden with the possibility that a translation error has been introduced. The English variants available definitely do have errors, some of them obvious, others less so. Checking the Portuguese strips off one translation, and one source of error.

        Aoife puts the person on her left. Left, ahead, and right are quite different words in Portuguese, so for the professional translator helping Aoife to have got this wrong is highly unlikely. Ditto across and along are very different words in Portuguese. The chances that the translator made two errors going first from English (what Aoife replied in answer to a question) into Portuguese, then from Portuguese into English (when the translator took the Portuguese document and put it into English to confirm with Aoife that was what she had said) is highly unlikely. It is not impossible, merely very, very improbable. It requires a translator who is incompetent and incompetent in a consistent manner.

        The bill for the Dolphin is itemised, and among other things, the alcohol consumption (wine) was moderate. So, moderate alcohol there, early flight, unwell pregnant wife, young child, moderate bill in Kelly’s and so far Aoife’s testament matches the receipts better than the two adult males.

      • Again, we’re going to have to agree to differ on this one. I do think you’re logically off the mark, though. Firstly, I think Aoife most likely said the man passed on her left. While she’s at the top of the steps, and he’s come from Rua de la Escola Primária, and crossing the street he’s technically walking in Rua 25 de Abril and also walking downhill as he crosses, is he not? You’d know more than I, as I’ve only Gmapped it, and you’ve done it. But you can see where confusion could creep in.

        Now, logically speaking, if he’d come down Rua 25 de Abril, he wouldn’t have passed the men at all, would he? Plus, given that the statements were some 23ish days afterwards, do you really not think the family might not have discussed among themselves the sighting? If there were some discrepancy like the one you suggest, they’d have most likely sorted it out in their own minds talking it over beforehand, rather than going to give massively contradicting statements in Portugal and doing two reconstructions where the man again walks down Rua de la Escola Primária.

        Definitely agree to differ on this one too. All the best.

      • Afraid that we are going to have to agree on this one.

        Statements 23 days after what was, at the time, a totally non-significant event. People with other more important priorities.

        So the chance of accuracy or detail I would rate about zero.

        Both Peter and Martin say the light was poor. If Peter was where he says he was on the photofits then he had light, but it was 100% backlight. Martin was somewhat better, but not great. Both say the girl had her eyelids closed. Her eyelids? How do you see a kids eyelids in poor light when you are not paying attention?

        Aoife was just 12 therefore I am dubious about how accurate she is/was some 23 days later. That is not the situation where you would call it a nailed on certainty, would you?

        Did the family discuss is beforehand? According to their statements they definitely did. Try the statements of the dog-handlers who first responded. Does it look like they had a chat before giving testimony? Well, it’s either that or the extra-sensory powers were on 100% because the only difference is small, though it is crucial.

        Then there’s the T9. Personally, it looks like they had a good chat about what happened, and that chat happened very early on. They churned out not one but two time-lines very quickly. Whilst the local bods were searching for Madeleine it was time to agree stories and a time-line.

        A major problem with this story is that lots of people got together with lots of others to sort a tale out, whilst others who should have solid evidence decided that they did not want to participate.

        Aoife very definitely makes the man on her left coming ALONG (not down) but towards her, on Rua 25 de Abril. Is this killer?

        Gonçalo seems to turn this into “to the beach, to the beach”.

        Peter puts the man on RdEP as he passes him. Martin puts the man on RdEP as he passes him. Aiofe puts the man on her left coming towards her on Rua 25 de Abril. IF (notice the large IF) the guy did all 3 things then he went down RdEP, dog-legged to his right, to Aoife’s left, not to the beach, but down the street of steps Aoife had just ascended.

        All meaty stuff until you think about it. Kindly describe a non-important encounter you had 23 days ago.

        I am having trouble thinking about yesterday let alone 23 days ago.

        Eyelids closed? Sorry boys, not convinced. Man on Aoife´s left? Might be, but can I have something to confirm her story. After all, the man is going to the beach, to the beach.

        Reconstructions, please don’t set me off. Have you any idea what a reconstruction, even now, could come up with? A reconstruction is not going to happen. What it could come up with might well solve the case. But is solving the case a priority?

      • This dog’s leg is something which is possible, now you mention it, but not something I considered. I’ll tell you why. Aoife would have had to have been a good bit behind for all that to occur (further away than the reports indicate, anyway). But, as I mentioned, ‘Smithman’ walked quickly and clumsily, but in a determined fashion, very much like a person who knew where he was going, rather than someone wandering in a panic. That’s what was inferred, IMHO.

        Quick question, though: did I dream it, or was there mention of Martin or Peter greeting the man? I definitely remember that, but didn’t see it in a glance over their statements the other day. Again, this would be typically Irish behaviour, as much as going to the pub! We do tend to greet people walking down the street whom we don’t know. Wherever I found that snippet, the suggestion was that one of the men did such, and received no reply, which he thought odd/rude. Ring any bells?

        Eyelids is an odd way of putting it, but I think one would likely be able to see the child’s eyes were closed. Obviously the implication is that was then a) a sleeping child, b) a sedated child, or c) a dead one. No idea why Amaral goes on about ‘to the beach’ in that chapter, but as you asked, that phrase is in one of the Smith statements. I happened upon it on the peremptory glace the other day. Pretty awful to think about, but I doubt a child’s corpse could have been successfully hidden in the sand or under a rock without being found. And if she had been thrown into the sea, I think the body would have been found along the coast, rather than swept out.

        And witnesses discussing their statements before giving them does seem pertinent. Reconstructions? Smiths on for anything. The T9? Say they are, but didn’t really happen, did it? Bit like the polygraph. This is the crux of the matter. You’d think me on one side, but I’m not really. I have the scenarios in a certain order, and I could be very wrong about that. But I don’t believe the Amaral theory, nor any or the murderous parents ones. Does that make me partial, or pro-McCann? Well, according to the forums of rabid lunatics convinced by all the conspiracies: yes. I don’t engage with those people, though. This is the only place I’ve ventured an opinion on the case online. And like you, I’ll admit, it is one that I got caught up in, with its maddening possibilities and twists. It’s really seemingly endless. But the crux?

        As I’ve said before, I think the T9 are quite possibly deceptive. I think the time-lines are odd, as you suggest, and indicate the process we’re discussing. If that’s true, it means the investigation was hampered in a whole other way, as well as forensically… factually. Amaral mentions their unwillingness to do a reconstruction, does he not? That is odd. Of course, they wouldn’t do it after the Portuguese shifted the focus onto the McCanns, as they weren’t obliged. But beforehand? It just never happened. Why was that, do you think?

      • Aoife said the man walked at a normal pace. Martin says nothing about pace, but says the man was carrying the child in an awkward way. Peter says the man was walking normally, albeit a bit quickly. He is clear the man did not try to avoid him or hide his face. No one is mentioned talking to him. No one mentions the beach.

        Tales abound that the Smiths said the man was zig-zagging, that he failed to talk back when they enquired about the child, and that he was trying to hide his face. Perhaps the Smiths did say some of this. But none of rumours are in the statements.

        Martin Smith got so fed up of the untruths being spread, that he had solicitors letters sent to 7 ‘newspapers’ and got printed/published apologies from 6. I don’t have any info on the 7th.

        An early reconstruction was not done because of the media scrum in Luz Soon after, the tide turned against the McCanns, both locally and in the media and while various parties successfully sued large chunks of ‘news’ empires, there was enough poisonous material already circulating that almost any theory could be made to sound ‘plausible’ if you don’t worry too much about the facts.

        There’s a rumour that Madeleine is buried under Robert Murats drive. The basis for this seems no more than Robert Murat will not dig up his drive to prove that Madeleine is not there. Perhaps Scotland Yard will do the digging. Somehow I doubt it.

        ‘Reputable’ sources are mangling this subject still. A couple of days ago two of Mirror’s finest reporters covered the new DNA tests. In a short article, the pair made four basic errors. By basic, I mean as in they have Madeleine disappearing from block 6. Perhaps the rest of the world has been fooled on this, but then again, probably not.

      • *peremptory glance* Ahem. Sunday morning.

        BTW, how long is it going to take, do you think, for all this new DNA evidence to be worked through? And why is that only starting to happen now? And Grange was over publicly again recently- what is their focus at present? The three remaining ‘arguidos’? I really can’t follow how this is being managed at all.

      • The discussion on DNA was around seeing what the Portuguese held, how that had been processed, whether current tests could go further, which lab or labs in Europe could get the best results and whether that would be worth the effort.

        The Portuguese lab wants another rogatory letter before it hands samples over or conducts more tests itself.

        I have seen a media report (WARNING) that the Portuguese lab did their tests in 2 months, but that the FSS took a year on theirs.

        The visit to Faro was to meet the new public prosecutor and get her up to speed on what Scotland Yard have got.

        Don’t hold your breath on these.

    • What rules Malinka in?

      He was investigated in round 1 on the basis that Murat had been made an arguido and that Murat had phoned him at around 00:30 on 4th May. That was the entire case against him. Guilt by association. Of course, when Murat’s arguido status was dropped, there is no guilt by association. What you have is that someone in Luz phoned someone in Luz in the hours following Madeleine’s disappearance.

      I believe the T9 were in Luz phoning others in the T9 in the same time frame. I know that some of the helpers in Luz were phoning others in Luz to tell them the news and/or to get them to help. That’s all on file. If being in Luz with a phone makes one a suspect, then I’m glad I was not in Luz at the time, and that I’ve never had a mobile phone.

      Scotland Yard got Malinka arguido’d for the first time in one of their visits this year. What the grounds for this were have not been made public. He was de-arguido’d about a month later. He has now had Amaral look at him, Amaral’s replacement look at him, Scotland Yard look at him, and he is no longer an arguido.

      I am not ruling him out. I am saying that the files contain nothing credible that suggests he is involved.

      • What rules him in? Well, he’s been of interest to various investigating teams. He’s in the category of prime suspects. A short list off the top of my head would be the phone call (about which you didn’t answer the above question: would you conduct a business phone call at that time?), the statements that he had a computer with indecent images of children on it, the forensics from a couch he dumped fitting MBM, his car being burnt out with the message to spill the beans on the pavement, his numerous pseudonyms, and the fact that he wiped two hard drives after getting a tip off that the police were coming round. You’d class none of that suspicious? Credible and in the files.

        And regarding the phone call alone, Murat tried two different alibis, yet countless independent people put him at the scene. It’s not logically just any phone call, same as any other happening at the time, considering that and all the above, is it? It’s significant. He denied it, and denied meeting RM before and after strenuously… then recanted when presented with evidence suggesting otherwise. So, you see nothing odd about that?

        And he’s as much of a ringer for ‘Smithman’ e-fits and sighting statements as you can get. No idea how you can think otherwise enough to exclude the possibility that they are one and the same.

        Anyway, all just my opinion. We’ll agree to differ on this one.

  2. About Gonçalo Amaral, he excludes very soon in his narrative the idea of a burial, as he had to bury a tiny dog and found that the ground was so hard to dig that he renounced and found a simpler solution. A solution that apparently was suggested to him by the Joana case.

  3. On a scale of zero to 10, I would guess that I am up to about a 1 or 2 on the Joana Cipriano case. I have heard the outline, but not a lot more.

    Personally, my main concern about that is disposal of the body in a fridge driven to a car disposal site in Spain. I doubt that such an option was viable at the time, but I have been wrong many times before.

    So let’s refocus on digging a hole in the Algarve. I have tried to plant flowers and fruit here, and I can testify that digging a hole in this area is excruciatingly difficult.

    As dark a thought as it might be, Madeleine would not have require a small hole. She would, even in a shallow grave, have required quite a large hole.

    Possibly the main lesson OG learned in the June 2014 dig was that even with the finest pickaxes and spades, digging a grave by hand in central Luz on the night Madeleine disappeared is a non-starter.

  4. I must say that I was amazed by the OG digging, it sounded for me like whishful thinking.
    I don’t know much about the Joana case as well, but Gonçalo Amaral told me what I wrote above, that the PJ had suspected the Cipriano siblings to have dumped Joana into a bin.
    I must say that when I asked him if he had a “bin” thought concerning Madeleine when he dumped his dog or later, he looked at me as if I were mad. This reaction likely means that by this time (it was 2 years back), he was convinced of the MC involvement but couldn’t imagine them doing something like this. I wasn’t implying anyone in particular though, just figuring out that Madeleine could have been brought out of PDL that way.

  5. Don’t dream, I’m not at all connected ! I happened to attend the trial MC vs GA and spotting GA in front of the tribunal I just introduced myself as somebody who had read his book and wondered whether it passed his mind it was easy to dump a body at the precise moment he dumped the little dog in a bin or if that idea had passed his mind when, one year later or so, he wrote that episode within the scope of his book. In other words, did this idea take time to travel from the unconscious to the conscious part of his brain !
    He didn’t really understand my question, but never mind.
    GA’s reaction made me think I knew more than him about the MC case, I had a feeling that he didn’t review the case after he was dismissed nor ponder the conclusions of his team.

    I suggested this on another of your threads, give me a call if you have to go Lisbon.

    • I presume you read his book. So I am intrigued as to what you think was the most interesting point in it,

      And if we make it to Lisbon, you are definitely on our ‘must-speak-to’ list.

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