John Aldridge on Luz

A short while back an article appeared in one media source, then the same report got, more or less, re-printed in Tomorrow, a magazine that distributes across the Algarve.

The article is about Madeleine with respect to the impact on Luz.  Plus whether Luz is a danger zone for small kids or it is safe.

I will leave you to work out your own view on this point.

Here is the local gossip.  Paul Scholes has bought a property nearby to Luz.   I cannot confirm this.

But think of the fun.  Liverpool v Man Utd on praia da Luz.  Will it happen – Aldridge v Scholes?

Link at



4 thoughts on “John Aldridge on Luz

  1. Aldo… hehe- national icon over here amongst soccer enthusiasts. Got to say, the fact he lives over there alone probably means it’s not that unspoilt. Ha. People have a lot of affection for him here, anyway.

    How long has John been there? I’m sure he wants to see the local economy return to what it was out of goodwill… probably wouldn’t hurt his property price either, mind. Never mind the tourism, it must be very disheartening if you’ve lived somewhere for a long while, and then it comes to be forever associated with a horrific crime which haunts it thereafter.

    Aldo makes the point that a terrible crime happened in Luz, but it will never happen there again. Such a crime is unusual, but logically, while I appreciate what he’s getting at, he can have zero clue about the probability of something similar recurring there or anywhere else. As it stands, at guilty party/guilty parties are free a bird/birds, and if local and alive, could be enjoying life in the picturesque town as much as he is. All possible.

    What I wanted to ask you, though, was about just how safe Luz actually is. Not denigrating it, and don’t want to anger the Aldo like a USA’94 4th official, but is it still the case that there are no local police? The first response on 3/5/07 was the GNR eventually arriving from Lagos, which is what, 8km away from Luz. And those must be fairly windy roads, given the shockingly poor response time.

    Now, again, not trying to cause offence, as it’s your town and John’s town… but that strikes me as quite unusual. Would you not expect a town the size of Luz to have even a minor police station?

    Then, scrutiny around the McCann and just those few days case has shown up masses of criminal activity. That was the off-season- I’d expect certain kinds of criminality to increase in the high season (others perhaps more suited to the low). You’ve got countless small-scale theft we know about in the OC. You’ve people pulling the phony charity scam. You’ve weirdos calling round for other reasons too. You have tens of oddballs casing apartments. You’ve weirdos on their own approaching groups of children. You’ve weirdos photographing children surreptitiously. You’ve got men dealing with obscene images of children. You’ve got a convention of convicted paedophiles taking place in scenic surroundings. You’ve got one known paedophile abusing multiple children in their beds. And then you’ve got the perpetrator of the crime in G5A.

    So you’ve a scale of activity that runs from the petty to the most horrific. Would Luz not be better served having a few policemen to try and stop a few of these things from happening?

    I mean, leave the horrible stuff even for a moment, although the same logic applies- criminals talk to one another. If they find a village full of tourists and ex-pats who are enjoying themselves and don’t speak Portuguese generally which has no police whatsoever, and so zero chance of getting their collar felt, they’d ring all their criminal cohorts and tell them about this gem of a town. If you found someone pilfering your possessions in your apartment, what are you supposed to do: overpower them and sit on them for 2 hours while the police consider making the trip? And they know they can be climbing out the window with your valuables with zero chance of being surprised by an ”ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what do we ‘ave ‘ere, then?’.

    So, are you not looking at an ideal environment having been created for criminality?

    • Let’s see if I can go through this point by point.

      As far as I know, John Aldridge does not live here. He is rich enough to own a property here, and given that I believe he is Irish, I presume he owns a property in his part of Ireland.

      Guilty party free as the birds? Definitely. This is a key point.

      How safe is Luz? I have a 4 year-old grandson in Luz and I consider him miles safer than in the UK, with one exception. That happens to be alcohol, and the tendency of visitors and ex-pats to drive while drunk.

      Small scale theft happens everywhere and if it doesn’t still happen in Luz, I will fall down dead in amazement.

      No permanent police. Another good point. We have no permanent police because we don’t need permanent police. The environ is safe.

      Actually, no permanent police is a brilliant point. You have now hit one of the key hindrances in solving this crime. Brilliant!


      The nearest GNR station is in Lagos, which is only a few miles away, but Luz is not their home turf.

      The nearest PJ station is in Portimão, which is only 15 to 20 minutes away, but Luz is not their home patch.

      As for Scotland Yard, that is a minimum flight of 2 hours away, so hardly a bobby’s beat they are comfortable with.

      Whether the unfamiliarity of the patch is key to the crime as it was committed is difficult to say. Much easier to say it is critical if this crime is to be solved. Will Nicola Wall get involved on the ground scene in Luz?

      On the convention of paedophiles front. A couple of nights ago I watched the BBC 6 o’clock headlines, complete with 4 paedo stories, all in the UK. Specialist in cancer abusing kids with cancer. Jimmy Saville mate with whatever he could get his hands on. 2 more that I can’t remember.

      Criminals talk to each other? Almost certainly. How does one criminal recognise another criminal? If I believe the TV, you get an introduction.

      So here’s another question? How does one paedophile first make contact with another paedophile?

      Whether on the Algarve, in Malta, in Australia, in New Zealand, in the UK. Or Thailand or take your pick.

      I am trying to boil down the story of Roderick McDonald to something that makes sense.

      Unless I am being fed with lies, Roderick McDonald had a large quantity of indecent images on his hard drive. Where did this stash come from? If personal, it means he was very active. If exchanged, who was he in touch with?

      Let me respond to your final point re an ideal environment for criminality.

      The front door keys at the Ocean Club are a weakness. The unlocked patio doors at 5A are a weakness. If someone used either of these, things would make sense.

      Can we move forward to the dogs of death again? Forget 5A. Forget 27 Rua Das Flores. Did the dogs of death detect a cadaver in the Renault Scenic weeks after Madeleine went missing?

      I haven’t looked at this yet. I’m still stuck on researching a paedophile for Christmas.

      • Researching a paedophile for Christmas. If there’s a more depressing phrase, I am yet to hear it!


        I really think the dogs have been a disaster for the case. Don’t forget, they were brought in at the McCanns’ behest. Not sure if I’d been busy reburying soneone I’d be demanding dogs.

        I read about the Scenic alerts so long ago I really can’t recall. There was some questioning of the method and some explanation of possible reasons for the alerts. Again, the forensics showed up nothing useful, hence it’s not evidence.

        But it really was harmful.

        What I was suggesting was the petty criminal to tye paedophile are likely known to one another. Many ways… you can imagine. The petty criminals were organised in their various scams. Were the dangerous perverts in contact via internet etc.? Don’t know, but would assume so. And nobody was keeping tabs, so they could have been using loud hailers and billboards. I don’t know… the numbers of the bastards about would lead me to believe they were in contact. Maybe they were acting individually. But it seems there was a concentration of them therefore one reason or another. Is it coincidence?

      • What I like doing with this case is going in blind.

        By that, I mean I know that the dogs alerted in the Scenic, since that is on the same YouTube video as the 5A alerts. What I do NOT know is whether the forensics matched up. I’d guess not, as the McCanns are free, but I do not know what the evidence actually equates to.

        I can understand that petty criminals know each other, and a lot of other people know about them too. If you are flogging dodgy goods in a pub it makes sense that the person you are trying to or flogging to knows you as a purveyor of dodgy goods. Does those make sense.?

        Paedophilia strikes me as altogether different. You don’t go into a pub and someone says “do you fancy some obscene child material”. (Ditto rape, ditto bestiality.) Therefore I have difficulty in working out how such folk get in contact with each other.

        Clearly they try to. Like the number of sting sites they get caught at trying to buy kiddie porn. Like the number of cases of group institutionalised abuse. Like the amount of child porn that appears to be shared.

        Oddly, shared is actually a hopeful angle in the Madeleine McCann case. I have not yet come across a suggestion that an image of Madeleine has been found in a shared collection. If she isn’t in a shared collection, that cuts the odds towards a lone paedophile.

        How much that reduces the odds is a question I can’t answer. Based on cases in the media, it looks about 50:50, but cases in the media is a crude way to come up with an estimate.

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