Happy New Year from Luz

Portugal is in the same time zone as the UK, and clocks go forward and back at precisely the same time as the UK.

Therefore, to readers of ShiningInLuz who come from the UK and Ireland, and Portugal, we may be watching the same sights to bring in 2015.

Personally, I shall be watching the firework display in London and listening to Big Ben.

Perhaps you’ll be doing the same, or watching another display, such as the one from Edinburgh. Or participating in an alternative celebration in your neck of the woods.

What happened to ShiningInLuz in 2014?

It was born in June and took a long time to get any attention. Thereafter it has grown steadily and December was by far the busiest month so far.

The stats as they stand right now are as follows.

Spam comments dumped automatically by Askimet = 18. This seemingly dull stat is important. It means the spammers are beginning to pick up on ShiningInLuz, and I expect that total to rise like a rocket in 2015.

Comments rejected as they broke the law = 0. That’s a good start, and long may it continue.

Comments accepted and published = 210. 100% of non-spam comments received were published, whether they agreed or disagreed with ShiningInLuz in 2014. I predict that percentage will drop in 2015, as I expect we’ll get some comments that do break the law. However, for those that are not spam and do not break the law, your voice will be heard on ShiningInLuz, whether you agree with what is posted here or not. Differences of opinion are fully welcome here.

The number of views on ShiningInLuz, as at 22:15 on 31 Dec 2014 is 4,005. Since over 1,500 of those were in December 2014, I expect the total to be more like 25,000 on Hogmanay 2015.

I have only been keeping track of the number of countries visiting the site since the start of December. While I am confident the total number over the life of the site is larger, I am simply reporting the ones confirmed in the time I have been following this. At this point in time, the country total is 33. According to external stats, the number of countries in the world is 196, so at the moment I can claim that ShiningInLuz has reached about one country in six.

Enough of the stats, back to New Year’s Eve.

It is now approaching 22:20 on 31 Dec 2014 and I have better things to do than post on ShiningInLuz. The fireworks in Luz started a long time ago. Restaurants, bars and private villas are having parties everywhere. (I live near the ‘Simple Minds’ villa, which happens to be yet another weird coincidence.)

Whichever of those 33+ countries you live in, thank you for visiting ShiningInLuz in 2014.

Please make 2015 a truly great year for you.

Happy New Year from Luz.


12 thoughts on “Happy New Year from Luz

  1. Hey, happy new year!

    Back to the case: Yvonne Martin’s letter is interesting to an extent. Not in that she’s decided to blame the T9 for sexually abusing and murdering MBM seemingly because they were curious about who she was, and sceptical of her credentials, finally deciding not to talk to the odd-ball asking GM if he’s the biological father… (GTFO of here, you creep, would have been a reasonable response in the circumstances… I think they were incredibly polite). It’s mainly interesting because of what she reports. Specifically, she asks how often they were checking… 1st time asked, as was circa 10am 4/3/07, before their interviews. They replied hourly. That reinforces what I’d suggested before… their checks were (far) less frequent than claimed… 15/20/30 mins? no. Hourly. If that. Abduction becomes even easier.

    David Payne is protective of the couple, perhaps understandably, and pulls them away, and returns to tell her they do not wish to speak to her anymore (so she concludes he’s a paedo… bit odd…). Anyway, it was at that question he brought them away from the woman. So, again, it seems the friends are aware hourly check or beyond are not acceptable (while the parents are too distraught to think about anything but their missing daughter)… the friends suggested and compiled a timeline… did they suggest adding a check on the night (Oldfield’s)?

    It would just explain so much, the inconsistencies, the fact that the T9 were to a degree deceptive, which in turn brought more suspicion upon themselves.

    Couple more questions for you: 1) have you watched the documentary ‘Cutting Edge’ AKA ‘Madeleine was here’? If not, you should. You might find it interesting.

    2) Is Kate’s full diary anywhere online? I just have the costly extracts the chip-wrapper press published without consent. I’m specifically interested in one snippet- IDK if there’s any truth in it, but apparently a woman told Kate very early on after Murat became a suspect that she’s seen him taking photographs of her 3/4-year-old granddaughter before MBM’s disappearance. Was news to me… Surely that would have been huge if it had been corroborated.

    All the best

    • I’m interested in who completed the two timelines that are in the PJ files, and when they got together. The idea that a priority is to get some agreement on a timeline is curious, as each of the T9 could simply have told their version to the police on 4 May 2007 without any need to check with the others. The priority was not to search, it was to agree an account of the checks.

      With children split over at least 3 apartments, I’m assuming that at least 2 of the T9 did not take part, in order to child watch.

      Is there anything on whose handwriting is on the timelines?

      And if the McCanns had been ‘evicted’ from 5A by the PJ, how did the timeline writers get their hands on Madeleine’s book, assuming of course that that is what it really was?

      Any pointers on that get-together would be appreciated.

      I haven’t watched Cutting Edge “Madeleine was here”. I’m currently going through the long version of Eddie and Keela v multiple sites in Luz, and it’s much more interesting than the short version. I’ll stack Cutting Edge up for later, thanks.

      In answer to Q2, the truth is I don’t know. I would be surprised if it was though. The PJ weren’t allowed to use the diary as evidence, therefore it is not in the files, therefore I can’t see how someone would get hold of a copy. Mind you, if they got hold of enough to do an extract, who knows.

  2. There are actually three timelines. Two written by hand on MBM’s sticker book, and one typed and handed over via the consulate a week later. Of the hand-written ones, Russell O’Brien seems to have been in charge, but perhaps the suggestion was David Payne’s. O’Brien seems to have written one, and GM the other…

    What you’ll note is the name Ella is crossed out twice on O’Brien’s timeline. Perhaps it’s massive speculation, but I’d guess he was reconsidering if leaving a very sick child at home unattended was something he wished to share with the world. Perhaps that’s when they decided to add a check to the timeline… seems inconceivable still… I find it hard to believe, but logic really suggests that’s what the did.

    One had GERALD printed at the bottom… people seem to think it’s his because of that, but I wouldn’t sign a document in capitals. Not sure. Plus, he was so distraught, I can’t see him finding 5 minutes to sit and write a schedule.

    Did they search? I know it’s a popular trope with the anti-McCann brigade, but you can’t possibly know how you would react to such horror. And they did physically search later. There was an initial search, and then it set in. Then chaos… organised search which they didn’t take part in, but I think they were unable. A lot has been made of that, but I think without empathy.

    The third, typed timeline is detailed. Actually, it contains more clarity about MO’s check than his statements. Also it has door angle estimates, and the door blowing shut on KM, which illiterate Geordie eyebrow suspense bloke suggested was added to the story for TV long, long after. His ‘documentaries’ are factually incorrect from minute 1 of the 4 hours and counting. What a creep. Him and all.

    I think the first two timelines were drawn up by the T7, and requested by the T7. I also think the T7 suggested bulking out the checking routine a tad. And in both drawing them up and bulking them a bit they likely thought they were doing the right thing for the McCanns, as well as covering their collective embarrassment simultaneously. The McCanns seem to have been concerned only with the tragedy of an abducted daughter. They were still calling checks ‘hourly’ (-ish) at 10am the next morning until instructed otherwise by Payne.

    Two women minded the children, Webster and Oldfield, I think. So they were out of the searches.

    How did they get the sticker-book?… the timeline dates supposedly from the night, and 5A became a scene of a crime a good bit after.

    Yes, the full diary doesn’t seem to be around. That said, none of it ever was supposed to be. Such a horrible invasion of privacy. The extracts would break your heart. The piece I was interested in was reported 2nd hand… days after RM became a suspect that story was told in person by the gran to KM, who, according to the gutter press, Gospel, said her suspicions about RM were thus confirmed, and passed the info on to the police.

    Probably all BS. Amazing the amount they get away with printing. Because, if it were true, that would have been a massive blow to RM’s defence, and it would surely exist outside a shoddy report. Conversely, if I could find that were true, I’d personally place him back among the top suspects. Hypothetically. In theory. My opinion. Subjunctive.

    How long, do you think, would a) a group or b) an individual need to scope out a target for abduction? RM claimed he couldn’t have done it in 50 hours. I think somebody could easily. But then, if it’s a group, his arrival wouldn’t necessarily need to mark the start of a hypothetical process. Allegedly. Asterix.

    Next question: which is more likely in this scenario… abduction by an individual, or by a group?

    • The bit that intrigues me about the timelines is when they were drawn up and why.

      Was it after the T9 had been questioned on 4 May and they realised their info might be at odds with each other, and perhaps some of it might be getting them into hot water if the times were too far apart? I can’t believe they could have guessed that the case would get shelved and, quite unlike the UK, all the files would be made public?

      Possibly the pressure was actually the media, querying how unguarded the children had been?

      In either case, the Paynes were sitting pretty with their baby monitor. It was the 6 others that might be getting squeezed. Would the Paynes and Diane Webster cover up if they themselves were safe from criticism? That’s a pretty big assumption.

      Unless the story is confused, the McCanns had been asked to leave before the 1st set of crime scene photos were taken, early morning 4 May. The twins are gone and the cot bedding has been removed, but other personal possessions have not. Perhaps the guy was taking photos as the McCanns flitted in and out picking up their stuff. Perhaps the McCanns gained entry later. Perhaps their stuff was moved for them.

      The idea that they handed in a typed version of the time-line about a week after the incident strikes me as weird. I am struggling to make sense of that.

      As to who searched and where they searched, that’s a whole different topic.

      Your question as to how long an individual or a group would need to scope out an abduction is also very interesting. To get to know the routine would take a fair bit of time. I would suggest several days. Therefore an abduction is either lightning-strike lucky or it takes a fair bit of checking beforehand.

      I now need to go back to the first statements and re-check what those very first ones said about times of checks.

      However, I’m going to check the prog you suggested first.

      G’night. I am off to roast pork, roast potatoes, all the tasty accompaniments.

      • Roast pork… huzzah!

        The timelines were reputedly drawn up in the middle of the night of the incident (which I believe was an abduction, as you know…). The motivation could simply and most obviously be an attempt to ascertain how and when the child was snatched. Perhaps also there was the idea of adding a check. What occurs to me is that the collective impression of the group was at that time that the child had been kidnapped circa 2115.

        It now occurs to me that, in that case, adding a check at 2130 looks better while it does not, in theory, have an adverse effect on any investigation of the crime. Well, at least, in their imaginations.

        If the child were gone by then, and Oldfield sees nothing useful one way or the other, it could be seen simply as improving the checking frequency. I had struggled to think of the T7/9 messing up the investigation willingly while being innocent, but that thinking would explain it.

        Oldfield not seeing MBM is crucial. If he had, he’d have been the last known witness of the child alive, and thus prime suspect. They all thought she had been taken at that stage. He saw nothing pertinent… light, for example. They believed the child was gone, possibly out the window, at that stage by 2115. He says he had the impression the room were lighter than it should have been… but does not commit. Bear in mind, for events to have happened as they had supposed, the shutters and window must have been open at 2130, if he had made a check then.

        Couple of other points… to follow…

      • Have you any idea where/when the idea that Oldfield might have passed Madeleine out of the bedroom window originated.

        There is a reference to this in Kate’s book, but much of Kate’s book seems to be a rebuttal of ‘solutions’ that had been raised in the time between when Madeleine disappeared and the publication date.

        If the write-up occurred overnight on the 3rd/4th, to me that suggests a group get-together to sort out some dodgy parts of a story, as personally, if I was awake at the time I would be out joining in the search, not sorting the story out.

      • Ok, half-time is on.

        Did you note Oldfield’s statements in that documentary… he travelled back those years later to help that incomplete reconstruction. I could very well be wrong in suggesting he never made that check. Certainly, if he didn’t, he should logically be reticent to return for a televised reconstruction.

        If he did check, he says he heard a noise in the room which he put down to one of the twins rolling over. If he did check, he states the door had been moved again since GM’s visit.

        But then he says in that documentary he stopped in the living-room area and, as the door was at 60′, he could see the twins… so didn’t check MBM… but does that add up to you? We discussed this before… he’s got a really odd combination of what he could see and what was obscured. Thoughts?

      • There are many strange things about Matthew Oldfield’s 9:30 check.
        He could have offered to do a listening check, rather than going into 5A.
        His listening check outside 5B strongly suggests he should have seen the 5A window.
        He took an odd route for his check on 5A.
        He then seemingly conducted only a listening check outside the bedroom rather than going in. ???
        I am struggling to find a position in 5A that, even with only half a door-width open, allows you to see the twins, not see Madeleine and not see the state of the window/shutter/curtains.

      • Exactly… and that’s not all. That’s the first time they claimed somebody checked somebody else’s kids by entering the apartment. Bit of a coincidence. And he’d claimed he’d done a listening check for them on his way down… would he not have volunteered another of those, more likely? And his route seems odd, as you say. Plus, he can’t have seen what he claims and not seen what he claims to have missed. But, as I said, if they thought she were gone, his testimony or false testimony could add little in their minds, or hinder little. Then, later it turns out the Smiths saw someone, and it’s too late in their minds to retract.

        It’s maddening, because if they did that, they threw a massive spanner in the works. If not, then Oldfield’s testimony is arguably crucial. If GM is right about the door… if someone had been in by 2115, and maybe was hiding within. If the abductor was still there by 2130. The sound he says he heard could have been the abductor. (That’s from the typed timeline… you should have a look at that) If the children were drugged… etc. etc., that’s all going to take time. And then Smithman is circa 2200… if all that’s the case, the abductor possibly spend around 50 plus minutes within 5A before making off with MBM.

        If any or all of that is the case, then Oldfield’s statement becomes crucial or a massive hindrance if it was invented. And what did he see in either case? Nothing. So a big thanks in his direction anyway. He’s an eejit in both scenarios. Why go in if you’re not going to look at the kids to see they’re ok? He performed a listening check, like his earlier one, from inside the apartment? None of that makes any sense.

        If you and I were in charge, we’d grill him, and solve this case.

        Next point… the ‘Cutting Edge’ documentary shows some (but not near all) of the people who were seen casing the flat. Now, as we’ve discussed, there was ample crime happening and no fuzz to pull any collars, but even with all the robberies, I find it hard to believe that some of those sightings are not related to the abduction. And the differing descriptions suggest an organised group of people planning an abduction. I’d guess they’d need 48hrs. at an estimate. One day of observing what they guess is a routine, and backing that up the second day. And note, a lot of the casers were on the day of the abduction. Twin drugged, which I believe to be the case, also plays into that scenario. There’d have been a vehicle involved, and with the delayed closing of borders and setting of road-blocks, the child could have ended up anywhere in the world. So that’s the gang theory.

        Then why do you have Smithman ambling through the town with a kidnapped child in his arms? If he’s the abductor, he’s much more likely local, and acting alone. Always back to him.

        That’s the case in a nutshell. To solve it, you’d firstly have to shake the actual truth out of the T9, because the missing 10% could be crucial. That could help lead to Smithman… because he needs to be found and either ruled out or nicked… if he’s still alive.

        PS final point… the ‘robbery gone wrong’ scenario is such bull… robbers don’t kidnap children… but also, a team of robbers don’t do days of reconnaissance on a flat they likely had keys to in order to pinch a cell phone and some small change (which they forgot to take).

      • I hadn’t thought about mobile phones in this respect. Since it was their habit not to take them to dinner, it looks like an initial list of valuables-not-taken includes the camera and two cell phones. I wonder what the full list is?

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