The McCanns trek across Luz

The McCanns left apartment 5A in the early hours of 4 May 2007 and spent the remainder of the night in apartment 5H (Payne apartment). They were interviewed by the PJ in Portimão on 4 May and they moved into apartment 4G, presumably after the interview .

On 2nd July 2007 they moved into 27 Rua das Flores, a villa somewhat north and east of apartment 5A, but still close to the centre of Luz, and even closer to the mound that British police searched in June 2014.

They finally completed a move out of 4G on 3rd July i.e. there was an overlap of a day.

While they were in 5H for only a short time, they occupied 4G for nearly 2 months.

They were given a second apartment in the Ocean Club complex, which they used as office, and which is called “mission control” in Kate’s book “Madeleine”. This must have been some time after Gerry had his experience in Nossa Senhora Da Luz, the local church, since until then there was no campaign to orchestrate. I do not have precise dates for mission control, nor do I have an apartment number, merely that it was in the Ocean Club. If anyone can be more precise, I would be grateful.

According to the McCann Files at, on 31 July 2007 the dogs searched 5A (McCanns), 5B (Oldfields), 5D (O’Brien/Tanner), 5H (Paynes/Webster), 4G (McCanns in May/June), but mission control is not mentioned in any search.

This is around 3 months after Madeleine went missing and around a month after the McCanns moved out of 4G and into 27 Rua das Flores.

I haven’t looked up the date of the search at Rua das Flores for this post. It is on file, but I cannot see it as relevant to an examination of what happened in the interim.

What was found?

The McCann Files URL posted above contains a link to a 95+ minute long video of the searches, and thus far I have ignored it, thinking the shorter 6½ minute video contained all the relevant information, with the dross cut out. That was a big mistake, mea culpa.

The video shows that nothing was found (i.e. Eddie did not alert) in apartment 5B (Oldfields), 5D (O’Brien/Tanner), 5H (Paynes/Webster) and 4G (second McCann apartment in the Ocean Club). As Eddie did not alert, Keela was redundant.

The lack of alerts in these locations suggests that whatever the Oldfields/O’Brien/Tanner/Paynes/Webster may have done, there is nothing to implicate them in the physical disposal of a dead body.

The lack of an alert in 5H (Paynes/Webster) suggests weakly that the McCanns did not have the stench of death on them at that time. I say weakly because it could be that there was no physical transfer of evidence and in the 3 months which passed before Eddie was deployed, it may be that any temporary odour had dissipated. This is unlike the alert in 5A in the McCann parents’ bedroom, which seemed to have no source, but which lingered on.

More importantly, unless there was a conspiracy between the McCanns and the Paynes/Webster, it rules out the storage of Madeleine’s body in 5H. To have a body in 5H for longer than there was a body in 5A, and 5A gets alerts while 5H does not is complex to explain, unless you take the simple view that Madeleine’s body was not there. The conspiracy angle is that the McCanns dragged in a large black plastic binbag about the size and weight of Madeleine, thus preventing contamination, and the Payne’s/Webster thought nothing of this.

So 5H is clean, thereby suggesting that if the McCanns had disposed of or concealed a dead body, they had managed to get themselves clean before going into 5H for the night.

The two really important ones are apartment 4G, the one the McCanns moved into on 4 May after leaving the Paynes, and mission control.

The time spent in apartment 4G was just nearly 2 months, but apartment 4G was clean. Eddie did not alert in 4G. I can’t see how 4G was clean if apartment 5A was not and the Renault Scenic was not and Rua 27 das Flores was not, except for two scenarios.

First, Gerry had learned enough about police methods to clean 4G to a level that defeated Eddie. Of course, since Gerry was not forewarned about Eddie, this seems unlikely. Further, if he managed for 4G, why didn’t he manage it for the Renault Scenic and for 27 Rua das Flores? This scenario does not work.

Second, the McCanns were not carrying the stench of death while they were in 4G as Madeleine’s body had not yet been retrieved and disposed of. If this scenario is true, Madeleine’s body was not retrieved until early July and the date of hiring the Renault Scenic becomes redundant. The smell of death in the Scenic and in Rua 27 das Flores might come from that second operation.

The crucial evidence required to understand what might have happened is mission control in the Ocean Club. If clean, it would strongly support the idea that the McCanns could not have retrieved Madeleine’s body before early July, and this cuts down the window of opportunity for a disposal theory. However, if Eddie alerted in mission control, this would strongly support the idea that there is a line running from 5A to mission control to 27 Rua das Flores, and the McCanns are highly implicated.

So what does mission control tell us? Nothing, because it does not appear to have been searched. Like most of the Madeleine McCann case, a simple piece of evidence that could be vital is simply not available.


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