Madeleine – planned abduction – method (part 2)

If the facts around Madeleine and apartment 5A were known to an abductor, the method becomes unbelievably easy.

Around 9:15pm the level of light fell from sufficient for colour vision to enough for black and white vision. It is around this time that Gerry McCann chatted to Jeremy Wilkins, Jane Tanner walked past the pair and saw a man carrying a child at the top of the street.

If the chance of success of an abduction was to be maximised it would happen after this reduction in light. If a pattern had been discerned in the T9 checks, maximisation occurred somewhat later. Another check could be anticipated shortly, whether it was on a half-hourly schedule, or whether it was triggered by the gap between starters and mains.

The anticipated 9:30 check turned into reality, with a couple of flies in the ointment. Russell O’Brien would remain with his sick child. And if Matthew Oldfield is to be believed, he checked in 5B, then took the long, unlit, anti-clockwise route around block 5 to the passageway at the rear, something that makes no sense. Then he checked inside 5A for the first time in the holiday.

The second fly is actually irrelevant. Madeleine had either been successfully abducted and the abductor had escaped, or Madeleine was still in 5A and would disappear later. If the latter, no crime had occurred and there was no reason for an abductor in the passageway behind block 4 to be alarmed by Matthew Oldfield. Perhaps the Matthew Oldfield check happened, perhaps it did not, but it makes very little difference in this planned abduction scenario.

However, the Russell O’Brien action raised the risk profile for anyone abducting Madeleine via the patio doors, as he might have walked down the hill and past the garden gate to 5A at any point. Ditto Jane Tanner eating her meal quickly in order to replace Russell.

Blocks 4 5 6 B

It was therefore time for the abductor to swing into action, starting at the green dot in the graphic above. A walk east along the passageway would have allowed an abductor to monitor the Tapas restaurant, establishing there was little risk from there. Turning to the north at the end, an abductor could see that Russell O’Brien was not heading down the hill.

The risk would begin when the abductor entered the plot of 5A via its garden gate, but at that stage it is very low-risk. Closing the gate would have made sense, as any checkers passing would see that as normal.

At the top of the rear steps of 5A another swift check could be made on the Tapas restaurant showing all was well. It would make sense to have left the baby gate unlocked for a swift get-away. A quick slide of the patio doors would have given entrance. Perhaps an abductor would risk a further check on the Tapas restaurant, perhaps not. It would make sense to have left the patio doors wide open for a fast exit, as from the Tapas restaurant it would have been extremely difficult to tell whether they were open or closed.

The first bedroom checked might well have been the parents’ bedroom. As the abductor had been standing in darkness for a considerable time, it would have taken just a glance to see Madeleine was not there. A swift movement to the front bedroom would have located Madeleine.

From here, the risk profile increases considerably.

Madeleine could have been gently extracted from her bed in order to keep her asleep.

There is no reason in this scenario to suppose that an abductor raised the shutter. That is a noisy operation to carry out in a quiet street, representing unnecessary risk.

There are two potential exit routes in a planned abduction scenario.

The first is via the front door, but anyone who had done any research would have realised that the front door takes you to the central stairwell exit of block 5, where every person living in the block would pass into and out of the building. There was also a fair risk of crossing paths with anyone checking block 5 at the front, and with Russell O’Brien when he left 5D.

The second route, via the patio doors, makes more sense. An abductor using that would run the risk of being seen with a child at the top of the steps, but would gain the advantage of once more checking on activity in the Tapas restaurant. Plus, he would have a head start if spotted.

It would make sense to leave the patio door wide open, and the baby gate at the top of the steps wide open. It would make sense to close the street gate, so anyone doing a check only at the front of block 5 would not detect anything amiss as they passed the gate.

At the garden gate, a quick glance up the hill would allow a final check on whether Russell O’Brien was coming down. After turning south down the hill, the danger of being on the street between apartment 5A and the Tapas reception was minimal. The distance back to the passageway is very small compared to the route taken by anyone leaving the Tapas restaurant, while if Russell O’Brien now rounded the corner at the top of the hill, all he would see was the back of a person with a blocked view of a child being carried, with no reason to suspect it was Madeleine.

So after a few relatively safe steps down the hill, the abductor could have turned into the passageway, once again being hard to spot from the Tapas restaurant while having the advantage of seeing if someone from there was in pursuit.

The danger in the passageway behind block 5 is not someone from block 4 coming the other way, using it as a short cut. That person would not know a crime had been committed, but rather would have seen simply another child being carried in the night, much akin to the Tanner sighting and the Smith sighting.

The danger in the passageway is that Russell O’Brien could have carried out the same strange behaviour that Matthew Oldfield claimed, and gone the anti-clockwise route around block 5. Potentially, Russell could have bumped into an abductor, but at that point simply dumping Madeleine and fleeing would have left Russell having to take care of Madeleine as the priority.

Once beyond the passageway that goes uphill between the blocks and connects to the car parks of both block 4 and block 5 there is virtually zero risk. The abductor would would then be back at the green dot, heading east, with a head start before the alarm was raised.

One source, Textusa makes the passageway behind block 4 a dead end and technically, it is.

However, on 10th May, Gerry McCann gave a second statement. Judging by the answer, he was being asked as to why the Portuguese sniffer dogs had circled blocks 4 and 5 and entered the passageway behind those two blocks. Gerry’s answer was curious. He said that one time between Monday 30th April and Wednesday 2nd May, as they went out through the front door, Madeleine scooted off left as far she could go re the blocks, then went down the side of whichever block was on the very end, and they found themselves in someone’s garden. Presumably as block 4 is laid out very much like block 5, that was the rear garden for apartment 4D. Then Gerry went out a gate into the passageway behind block 4 which led to the hill running from 5A to the Tapas area.

This was curious because on May 4th, the McCanns moved into 4G, so you would expect Gerry to realise by May 10th that block 4 was the end block.

Whatever the reason, the police and Madeleine and Gerry McCann could go anti-clockwise around block 4.

Therefore it was possible to use the gate to the garden of the last apartment to gain access to the garden. At that time of night, the chances of someone monitoring their garden gate is minuscule.

A quick walk up the side of block 4 would take an abductor only a few seconds. Unlike the Tanner sighting or the Smith sighting, someone carrying out a planned abduction had no need to carry Madeleine through Luz on foot. An innocuous car or van parked in the car park of block 4 would have drawn no attention. Further, it could have been parked at the end away from block 5, reducing the chances of anyone recognising Madeleine to near zero. (Jeremy Wilkins was in block 4. Whether he could have recognised Madeleine is not relevant, since was already inside and several stories up in apartment 4O.)

Putting this act of placing Madeleine in a car or van around 9:40 to 9:45 would give an abductor a head start of 15 to 20 minutes before Kate McCann raised the alarm. That is off into the night with no chance of capture.

This leaves only a couple of very minor points to iron out.

First, why would an abductor not take other things beyond Madeleine, such as valuables or Cuddle Cat? The answer to that one is easy. If you are conducting a kidnapping, stealing trinkets that may be traced back to you, or taking a soft toy that stands out to 3rd parties is dumb. If an abduction occurred, possibly the abductor was dismayed to find that Madeleine was wearing distinctive Eeyore pyjamas. Those would have to be replaced as soon after the abduction as possible.

Second, why not take a blanket from 5A for Madeleine? The scenario described above hinges on minimising the time spent inside apartment 5A not taking time to wrap a child. If a blanket was thought necessary, it could have been in the waiting vehicle. Further, taking a blanket that can be described increases the possibility of a chance sighter remembering that he saw a person with a child in that type of blanket.

Finally, having managed to make a planned abduction fly, any critical brain should be able to spot major weaknesses in it. As this is already a very long post, I will play the role of devil’s advocate and try to shoot down the probability of a planned abduction elsewhere.


47 thoughts on “Madeleine – planned abduction – method (part 2)

  1. A few points. Either MBM was gone by the time MO checked or she wasn’t. Fine. Does it then follow that is she wasn’t no crime had occurred? No, because the kidnapper(s) could have been in G5A at that time, and other crimes could have occurred, even if she had not yet been abducted.

    Is MO’s check irrelevant, whether it happened or not? I don’t agree that it is- there should be information to be garnered in either case which would shed light on how the crime was carried out.

    Next, the entry/egress. I’m certainly more inclined to think the latter was via the front door, as it makes far more sense. If the abductor knows checks are coming via one door, then going back out that door increases the chance of running into a checker. Far more logical to exit via the front. If that was also the entry point is uncertain, but if it was ascertained to be, you’d be a good way to narrowing down potential suspects.

    The garden gate, the kids’ gate and the patio doors… they were all closed. There is no way an abductor, carrying the child, would trouble themselves to close all of those behind him. It would be difficult, awkward, time consuming and hugely multiply the chances of getting caught red-handed. The abductor either entered via the front, and thus didn’t move any of those, or closed them all on the way in behind himself, and exited via the front.

    Next the shutters/window. Well, again, if you’re dealing with an abduction rather than staging, which I believe to be the case, the fact is the shutter *was* raised. So why?

    Again, two possible motives. One is the emergency exit (knowing the patio doors might slide open for an unscheduled check, if the abductor was in the room, he might not have wanted to flee back into the apartment to be seen/caught, but hop through the window). The second is simply to be able to stick a head out to see if the coast was clear for an exit via the front doors.

    All of this really leads me to believe it’s quite possible GM was right, and the abductor was already present in the apartment at 2115… also at 2130 when MO checked… and possibly, if Smithman is the culprit, left only just before KM’s check.

    So then, if that were the case, you’re either dealing with a deranged paedophile who intended to sexually abuse the child in the apartment, and perhaps wasn’t initially planning an abduction… or you have a reasoning individual who was fearless enough to hide during those checks (or check, if MO didn’t). If that’s the case, was he taking his time to drug each child to avoid any of them waking?

      • Unless Madeleine opened the shutter, opened the window, wandered out by herself, managed to disappear by herself, then a crime occurred.

        Take your pick from negligence up. It is simply a case of working out which crime occurred.

    • Kate says the shutter was up, the window open, the patio door closed, the baby gate closed and the garden gate closed. I can’t remember if she gave a statement re the status of the front door.

      I don’t need to make an abduction fit Kate’s evidence, I simply need to make it work. It is considerably simpler, therefore more elegant, if it doesn’t fit Kate’s evidence.

      I can’t see any evidence whatsoever that someone was in the apartment during Gerry’s visit, nor can I come up with a hiding place.

      Finally, apart from Madeleine’s disappearance, there is no evidence of a crime within 5A. Adding a further crime on top is a complication without the evidence to support it.

      The crunch with deranged paedophile is simple. How did such a person know that there were children in 5A? How did such a person know the parents were out? How did such a person gain access to 5A, unless he either had a key, or he knew the patio doors were open?

      • The front door was closed, but not double-locked, according to KM and GM’s statements. If it had been open, that would have been fairly noted. Long story short, no key needed for egress… but a key needed if it’s the point of entry. And if it were proved to be so, you’d be right on the tail of the abductor. Sadly, the time to do that was in the immediate aftermath with a proper forensic investigation… i.e. the kind which was not carried out.

        Evidence for an abductor present at circa 2110 is only reported from Gerry. He’s going on the bedroom door positioning, and thereafter a feeling of unease. It’s not solid, but should not be summarily dismissed either. Especially if he is correct about the door. What other explanation could you have for it having been moved from how they had left it?

        Adding a further crime as a hypothesis could go a long way to explaining how this crime was committed and the motive. Still, it’s just another theory- you’re still left with some types who could have committed the crime and their various motives and MOs.

        You must explore all avenues- I’ve personally focussed mainly on the pre-planned abduction, but what if this was another type of crime that turned into an unplanned abduction? Again, if that’s the case, and it’s what I’ve suggested, you’re then right on the trail of the abductor. And, incidentally, an unplanned and / or poorly organised abduction is more likely to turn up clues.

        One of which could be Smithman, who doesn’t seem, if the abductor, to have done much pre-planning. And in that scenario, you’re dealing with someone resident and local at that time. And, I would think, someone who has not thought ahead of the next steps in the crime, be those, tragically, likely involving the deposition or disposal or destruction of a corpse.

        As years of intel has thrown up relatively little regarding organised gangs operating with one of the motives we’ve discussed snatching the child, the local individual or group committing a planned or unplanned abduction are more likely… and the best chance of the case ever being solved too, coincidentally, lies therein, with an unplanned, spontaneous or poorly executed abduction.

        Of course, both abduction and absconding have been successful in that the case is still unsolved, but were mistakes made by the guilty party/ies as well as the litany by the investigators?

      • I would regard point of entry as more important than point of exit. There was no break-in, someone seems to have worked out how to enter without breaking. That means a key, or knowledge that the patio door was open.

        The McCann evidence about what might or might not have happened is something that I put into the ‘might or might not bucket’. Gerry, one day after, seemed insistent that he and Kate shared a key to get into the (long route) front of the apartment, while he says Matthew took the short route through the unlocked patio doors. Matthew one day after remembers the patio doors. Kate, one day after, remembers the patio doors. Gerry recants by his second statement.

        If it was unplanned, then it was precisely that – unplanned. Your chance of winning the lottery. Stride inside via ??? – lucky. Find the parents are out – lucky. Find there are children in 5A – lucky. Snatch one and get out – lucky. Get away with it all – Euro millionaire.

      • No, I’m not suggesting unplanned as in what one Detective Barclay questioned… random paedophile happens to be searching for unguarded children in every apartment. That’s so unlikely as to be a non starter… what I am suggesting is the possibility (and we know this was happening in the area, and in Luz, in that time period) that a paedophile had spotted MBM and had entered the apartment in order to sexually abuse her, but, either on a whim or for other reasons, he decided to abduct her… hence unplanned, in that it wasn’t his original intention… but he took her out of the apartment. Hence, no get away vehicle, no planning where to hide her, no planning what to do after, no planning on deposition/destruction/disappearance of a corpse.

        That’s one scenario that is absolutely possible.

      • Oddly enough, I think this suffers from some of the hurdles facing a planned abduction scenario. How does an abductor or paedo manage to twig there are kids there, that they are unguarded as the parents are out, and having done both of these, work out a way to enter 5A?

        My issue with no get away vehicle is that folks are obsessed with people on foot because of the Tanner and Smith sightings. Unless the guy lived in Luz he got in by transport. Nearly everyone in Luz, excepting tourists, gets around by car.

        Plus if he was walking, what happened to her? By that I mean, why wasn’t she or her body found?

      • Also, in fairness, GM had just suffered what must be the greatest personal tragedy a father could endure, and had been up all night living through what was the start of a never-ending nightmare. I’ll give him some slack about the front door situation. He could have made a genuine mistake… he states that they had been using the front door and key to check, but changed later in the holiday because they thought the front door could wake the children, whereas the patio doors were quieter.

        Now, that said, it could also be deception for the motives we’ve discussed here many times. We simply don’t know… but in either case in no way does that falsehood mean GM’s statements are worthless and should be stricken from the record when considering this crime.

        KM didn’t lie about that, and if there had been some collusion regarding bending the truth, you’d have expected the couple to have given the same story. So most likely, I would think, GM made an honest mistake.

      • I don’t see how this could possibly be a genuine mistake. He was recounting critical evidence about the disappearance of Madeleine, not unimportant details about the previous days of the holiday.

        He had both himself and Kate using the front door and the key, the long route. He had MO go the short route in via the patio doors – no key. How did he know which way Kate went? To use the front door, they had to be swapping the key, as each apartment had a single key for guests. So, either Gerry was claiming he passed the key to Kate, or the switch mechanism was more crude e.g. key under the mat. Why oh why did he not say MO got the key and used the front? Well MO’s interview was already under way, so he couldn’t tidy this up with him. He was snookered. Kate’s interview started after Gerry’s ended and the key shambles was already on file. There was no need for Kate to pretend that she and Gerry were using a key.

        The situation had already moved on from the bedroom window as the point of entry to the fact that 5A was open to someone, even if that said someone did not have a key.

        If Gerry had been truthful, and said that he had used the patio door straight away, he would be credible. As it is, he had already raised suspicions in the minds of the PJ.

        This does not mean his statements are worthless. Like everyone’s statements, they have to be evaluated. Starting with a whopper is where the suspicion starts about – how frequent the checks were that night – how frequent the checks were on previous nights – whether one or more children cried, which night and for how long.

        SY’s remit says the McCanns and the rest of the T9 are not under consideration. As to why, that has not been explained, so I cannot comment on the validity of that approach.

        I can only evaluate the evidence that is made available. The evidence does not rule the McCanns, or the rest of the T9, out of the equation. Neither is there sufficient to prove guilt.

        Just a thought. In the crying incident Mrs Fenn said the crying stopped after she heard the patio doors being used. Was the front door noisy and the patio doors quiet? The Amaral documentary did not have a noisy front door. The Grime video does not feature a noisy front door. Equally, I doubt that Mrs Fenn could hear the patio doors.

      • Well, again, in that scenario to say an abduction was unplanned does not mean that the perpetrator had not planned ingress and egress, but just had not planned an abduction.

        He therefore spots the child during the day, she becomes his target and he simply observes her, ascertains which are her parents, which is her apartment. It’s then an added bonus that there was an open flat and the parents were not present. Don’t forget, the particular paedophile who was active in and around Luz then used to enter holiday apartments when the parents were present. Maybe the fact they were absent was news to him. Maybe that helped sway him towards an abduction.

        That particular criminal’s MO was simply to gain entry through any unsecured access point. He might or might not have had a key, but doesn’t need one for that scenario anyway.

        And yes, he’s local. It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t necessarily have a car. But he’s living within walking distance.

        Why no body? Because he took the child to his residence that night. If he had a car, he could have spirited her away any time after, alive or dead. If not, he must have killed her there and disposed of the body, either in the bin (which you don’t like) or by use of chemicals. This is now getting pretty gruesome. But that’s how I see the unplanned abduction.

        Now, switch back to planned for a second… if a perpetrator had made his own chloroform, and was local and took the child to a nearby residence, then that kind of person would likely consider the chemical route for corpse disposal.

      • Let’s suppose this was NOT a planned abduction.

        My issue with this at this time is that I can only chase down one idea at one time, and at this particular point my menu is about a planned abduction, whether that menu is right or wrong. It is simply the avenue that I am exploring at this time.

        My next post will be about what is WRONG with my scenario of planned abduction. I think – perhaps, maybe – it applies to other scenarios as well, but that is too far in front to tell.

        My offer is the same as usual. If you wish to construct a thread on the paedophile angle, then as long as it is legal and civil (?), I will be happy to publish it and credit you for the thread.

        Personally, I’d be interested in how you conclude local, within walking distance. That point strikes me as pivotal.

      • Ok, look- you’re convinced GM was lying there. I was too when I started looking at this case. Now, I’m not sure, but leaning against it. If he was lying, then the motive is to make the apartment seem more secure than it was, and the children more guarded than they were, in order both to exculpate the parents and T7, and then to make sure the investigation focusses on the abduction, rather than other scenarios. Remember, the police were adamant that the child had wandered. They told the parents they were wrong, that she had left of her own accord. So, open and unlocked doors do not help that situation.

        It the exact same motive that would be behind MO inventing his check – because infrequent checks don’t lend themselves well to that situation either. If you had left children unsupervised for several hours in an unlocked apartment, then sympathy could move swiftly away. You get people saying ‘of course the child wandered, if she was left alone’ or ‘of course she was snatched, if they were there to protect her’.

        So, as I’ve said to you, while unthinkable, it’s certainly possible GM and MO lied. But that demands collusion. Hence, you’d likely get GM, KM and MO agreeing to say they’d each used the key and front door. And that didn’t happen. And specifically in this case, if GM was going to lie, there is no way he wouldn’t have told KM to say she checked via the front door. Makes no sense.

        I really think you have to be a little bit humane when considering what GM was going through. You have children and grandchildren. Can you say you’d make a great witness the morning after the horror of realising a child of yours had been snatched?

        There is a huge difference in one route and the other, and it’s hard to imagine getting the two mixed up. But, if that had been their earlier routine, then it is at least possible.

        Personal experience would have me guess the front door was indeed noisier than the patio doors, and also beside the children’s bedroom, so that checks out. Mrs. Fenn heard the patio doors slide, and again, personal experience leads me to believe that’s very possible too.

        Patio doors make a soft whirring noise, whereas the front door the harsher sounds of keys and locks, handles and possible banging. It checks out.

        Thing is, IDK. If he lied, you know why. If he got muddled, you can surely see how too. Neither mean his other details are unsound, though.

      • “Thing is, IDK. If he lied, you know why. If he got muddled, you can surely see how too. Neither mean his other details are unsound, though.”

        I happen to be of the opinion that Gerry lied about the doors used. Quite clearly, I cannot prove this belief. If such could be proved, it would have been proved years ago.

        Although this happens to be my opinion, it does not mean I disbelieve other things in Gerry’s statements that are supported by evidence. Equally, it does not mean I believe Gerry when there is no supporting evidence, simply because Gerry said it.

        I get the distinct impression that quite a few people in this tale have woven something out of nothing, so I’m interested in whether what someone says makes sense, or much better whether it can be cross-checked. But I can only hope.

      • I swear you just disagree with me for the sake of disagreeing!

        Here we have GM relaying false information, either (a) knowingly lying, or (b) unknowingly making a mistake.

        I don’t know, but have moved from strongly (a) (at which point you were presumably massively (b) :-P) to middling towards (b).

        Thing is now you’re certain it’s (a), and that’s fair enough… BUT….

        There’s another potential lie in the mix here, and it’s my old favourite, MO’s check – (x) did he make it up entirely, or (y) actually do this very odd check and not remember anything of relevance whatsoever?

        Now, for a long time on this I was strongly (x), whereas I have come to understand you’re all about the (y), with the added dash of ‘what does it matter anyway?’ you sometimes throw in (like with the window and shutters here).

        That’s grand, but the problem with your position is that (a) and (y) do not fit together at all. If (y) is the case, then (b) is the most natural pairing, as these are directly related, whereas if (x) is the case, then (a) becomes a cert.

        MO’s invented check would involve collusion between the T9 about their reason for lying and how they were to go about it. GM lying about the doors would too- it would make no sense for him to lie and let KM and MO throw a spanner in the works. There either was collusion on the night/early morning before the first interviews, or there was not. Complicated collusion involving inventing a whole check, and getting all the T9 on-message, does not logically exist if the very simple collusion of getting three people to lie about using a key did not happen. Equally, you don’t get the cunning of realising a phantom check could serve a purpose without the logic behind it to say ‘ok, tell them you checked, but better say you used the front door key, and we’ll do the same, otherwise we’ll be instantly snared’.

        (a) v (b) and (x) v (y) are correlated.

      • Can I disagree with you on this one without you saying I am simply doing it for the sake of disagreeing?

        Unless the T9 or key players bunkered down together on the night of 3rd/4th May, then by 10:30-ish on 4th May it was too late to co-ordinate stories.

        I can see why Gerry and Kate would wish to portray frequent checks. As to whether MO got roped into this is another matter. Kate and Gerry spent the early hours of the morning in the Payne’s apartment, not great for co-ordinating with Matthew. Why should Matthew lie?

        The only person saying he (plus Kate) was using the front door and a key was Gerry. Matthew used the rear according to Matthew, which meant he knew that Kate and Gerry were using the rear. Whether he made the check or not, he knew that Kate and Gerry were using the rear. Kate stated she used the rear.

        Gerry is the odd man out. Forget his own check. Why would he state that Kate entered via the front, when Kate was just about to state she entered via the rear? That’s only 2 stories to co-ordinate, and Gerry remains the odd man out.

      • You could try… but you’re not really disagreeing with me at all, much as you’d like to, I’m sure!

        There was ample time for collusion between the delayed call, to the massively delayed arrival of the first incompetent police force, to the endlessly delayed arrival of the second massively incompetent police force. Not that that means it happened, but if they had wanted, they could have written a short play together.

        What you’re saying is why would Gerry say front door and key when Matthew had already said patio doors and Kate was just about to say patio doors?

        The answer is it doesn’t make sense, so he’s either told a very poor lie, or he’s made a genuine mistake. And in both cases, he is clearly muddled. But just from looking at that, it seems more likely that it was the latter.

        And you’re not disagreeing about the correlation of the two questions?

        Ok… so with what are you actually disagreeing?

      • From memory, Gerry’s statement started first, with Matthew’s starting just a short while after. Kate’s was after Gerry’s had finished.

        The video of the morning of 4th May has Gerry asking what is happening, as 5 of the T9 are put into cars for transit to Portimão and interviews. The McCanns went in one car. The other 3 went in a second.

        They might, or might not, have got Matthew to agree to mention an additional check on 5A, but I can’t see why Matthew would, unless his own checks were sloppy and he also needed the cover. Then it drags others in – those who said Russell and Matthew both checked around 9:30 – so we are in conspiracy land.

        I’m still of the opinion, based on couples having but a single key per apartment, based on Matthew knowing that the McCanns used the patio doors in the evening, (whether or not he checked via the patio doors) that Gerry told a very poor lie.

        By the way, one thing I do disagree with is ‘massively incompetent police force’. It is a notion that is popular with the media. The files don’t support that idea.

      • Well, you can disagree all you want with that, but the fact is Luz doesn’t even have a police force… you’re unpoliced for a start, no?

        Then, if we go slightly outside this case, and take a look into a few others, we can see exactly how the police work there. Again, the corruption and malpractice is self-evident to anyone with an open mind. I agree the UK press can be harsh on foreigner forces… but in this case, they are not wrong. If you think the Portuguese police got a raw deal, then we will agree to disagree. But this case and their MO is consistent with others. Corruption isn’t exclusive to Portugal or the Algarve, but you objecting to it being spelt out as it is will lead nowhere. It’s instantly demonstrable in other cases, and particularly in ones directly related to this. Fighting the corner of the crooked can’t help.

      • There is no permanent police presence, no police station, but that does not make Luz unpoliced. I lived for 15 years in a small town in central England with exactly the same characteristics. No permanent police, but policed.

        The first officers responding to the call on 3rd May were in Odiaxere, a small town on the other side of Lagos that has no permanent police presence, but clearly it was being policed.

        We now seem to be heading to whether Amaral was a goodie or a baddie, and frankly, I just don’t see it as relevant. The reason for that is alongside Amaral you have to consider the Leicestershire Police who participated. That’s the ones with the dogs. Were they lazy, corrupt or incompetent too?

        Then there’s Paulo Rebelo (???), the guy who replaced Amaral. Was he lazy, incompetent or corrupt? It was under his watch that the case got shelved. No way forward, McCanns probably involved was his summary. And since the case DID get shelved, does that mean whoever approved this recommendation is lazy, incompetent or corrupt also?

        Then there’s Andy Redwood, who has burned through a large pile of cash, and … has retired. Since he joins the list of those who have not solved the case, is he lazy, incompetent or corrupt?

        About the only central figure who is not in the firing line is DCI Nicola Wall. She definitely has not had enough time in charge to be accused of slacking.

        Then there’s the thousands of non-central figures interested in the case. Some of these bit players are definitely lazy. I would pick the word ‘many’ to enumerate those who are incompetent. As developments move on, it seems at least a few are corrupt.

        And into the category of non-central figures I will place you and me. It is easy to raise a charge of being lazy, incompetent or corrupt. Making a case for it is a different matter. But above all, is this point pertinent to what happened to Madeleine?

  2. BTW, hiding spots therein? I’d say ducking down in the kitchenette is possible, but not ideal. Would an adult male fit in one of the wardrobes in the children’s bedroom? Not sure, but doubtful. The most likely, while risky, is simply behind the bedroom door in the kids’ room. GM went to pop his head in and return the door to its original state of being ajar. He didn’t push the door back to the wall, which would have led to the discovery of an intruder… but then, why would he have, logically? Plus the abductor, presumably an adult, likely a male, though not certainly, would have to push the door he/she had opened back to roughly how GM found it in order to fit behind the door. Note, when KM checked, the door was wide open, so I’d suggest it was that way after original entry to the room, moved back by the abductor in hiding (if present under this scenario), and then opened again when the abductor made his/her escape (IMO via the front door). If there was an abductor present, I’d wager that his chosen spot was the most obvious…. back to the wall, behind the door. If there was an abductor present, that abductor, while attempting to avoid it, did not greatly fear the consequence of being apprehended.

    • Gerry walked into the room to behold upon Madeleine. Anyone hiding behind that door was stick-thin.

      Wardrobe. Have you EVER owned a wardrobe into which an adult could fit, particularly when being disturbed in the process of a major crime? This is a fairly small apartment, with small in-built wardrobes. I’ve got one such set-up now. It is true that I could fit into the bit for hanging up clothes. Just not closely on the heels of Gerry as he opens the patio doors.

      The obvious hiding place is the room Gerry did not check – the parent’s bedroom. That does not work either. As Gerry enters via the patio doors, the perp has to leap in front of him unnoticed into the parent’s bedroom.

      • Just because Amaral, at the time of filming his blockbuster, was far too fat to fit behind that door, it does not follow that a man of less portly stature could not have fitted there.

        GM is convinced of it, and he’d know exactly the amount of space available, having been there physically. He knows how far he went into the room, and considers it probable. So that’s good enough for me.

      • That Telegraph report is chock full of errors. The owner of the Paraíso most certainly did not see Gerry dancing with Madeleine in his restaurant that day. The rest of the T9 went to the paraíso but not the McCanns. Kate was running the beach. I can’t remember what Gerry was doing. All 3 McCann children were in their respective kids clubs.

        The report was at a time when the McCanns were going flat out to persuade folks that Madeleine had been abducted and that the Tanner sighting was the abductor. I see the story has evolved from the window was a point of entry to the window was a point of exit. I’d like to see Gerry achieve this whilst carrying a child over a metre tall and weighing 12 to 16kg.

        It is only trying to tie Gerry’s visit and the time of the Tanner sighting together that requires a perp in 5A at that time, hence a needed hiding space. SY claims to have solved Tanner’s sighting, thus there is no evidence or need whatsoever that requires a perp in the room, and no need for a hiding place.

      • Aye, but any information subsequently found to be erroneous is inconsequential. I put up the article as it was the first one to pop up in writing in which GM postulates about the abductor being present at the time of his visit. All it served to do was confirm his stance on that, and thus, with him knowing how that door works better than you or I, the possibility that he was correct. Can you possibly demonstrate (and not in a half-arsed Amaral-esque fashion) that a grown adult could not secrete himself there?

        Nobody is suggesting the window was used now, though. I see what you mean about Tannerman, and I know people were questioning that at the time (saying Tannerman didn’t have the time to get in and out with the child in that short period, and especially not with GM standing where he was). Of course, those 5 minutes are about 5 times over what an abductor would have needed even to get in and out with the child.

        At this point the McCanns are speaking more freely about what they think has happened. If you reel yourself back in from where you are now regarding what you think happened, and ask, if the conspiracy theorists are indeed wrong, what the McCanns were looking at, their conclusions are entirely logical.

        You have Tannerman as the man you believe snatched your daughter, a timed sighting of him, and an open window. You conclude ‘Tannerman snatched daughter 2110-2115 by lifting the shutter from the outside and escaping that way’. You’re not Columbo, and that is the most obvious, logical conclusion in their position. Now, it was wrong, but that doesn’t then mean, as the lunatic fringe suggest, that Tannerman and window were McCann constructs in a massive conspiracy which runs to the top of the world. Also, Tannerman has been identified, so he wasn’t invented.

        They added the facts up themselves, because the Portuguese police sure as hell weren’t going to solve the case, and were instead busy trying to stitch them up, and they formed ideas about how the crime must have been committed, which in retrospect, and with information we have available to us now, were wrong. But then, and in their position, those were entirely reasoned ideas.

      • I don’t have a problem with where the McCanns went next. It’s in the files.

        Around 01:00 to 01:30 on 4 May 2007, Jez Wilkins got roused from his sleep by John Hill and Matthew Oldfield, asking, roughly, if he had seen Tannerman.

        I can only put this into one of two baskets.

        Either it was an extremely cunning plan by the McCanns to find out what Wilkins knew.

        Or it was much simpler. Jane Tanner’s sighting had been passed on. And Gerry realised that Wilkins might be able to add to things.

        With the exception of one particular scenario, the shutter is somewhat of an irrelevance.

        Let’s start with “the shutter was jemmied”. This appears to issue from family back home, not the McCanns themselves. The shutter was not jemmied or forced, and that part is factual. Then we have Kate’s evidence that the shutter was open, evidence which may be correct, but which is unverified.

        Was the shutter a point of entry? To come to that conclusion you need to boil up a conspiracy. The cleaner of 5A left the window unlocked. The perp knew this AND knew the shutters would go up. Somehow the parents were known to be out and the children left unguarded. So no, the shutter was not a point of entry.

        Was the shutter a point of exit? No, carrying a 1m plus child weighing 12 to 16kg through a small window 92cm above ground height? When you can walk out of the front or back easily. No!

        Roughly speaking, and even forgetting that Madeleine has disappeared, there is a ton of sh*t in this tale. Separating out the smellies from the sweet-smelling is far from easy.

      • Must disagree. The shutter is never an irrelevance in this case. It’s exhibit A for the conspiracy theorists, for a start. But never mind them. The window and shutter can and should tell us a lot about the perpetrator.

        there are several reasons why the window might have been opened by an abductor but not actually climbed through:-
        •As an emergency exit in case he found himself cornered
        •To check whether the coast was clear since the path was not clearly visible from the recessed front door
        •To pass a child or stolen goods to an accomplice
        •As a considered exit route, but then abandoned as impractical
        •To allow the smell of a sedating chemical to dissipate more quickly
        •To detract from the fact that the intruder had a key – deflect attention from the person who obtained it (perhaps a member of staff)

      • The shutter is relevant in the case.

        I don’t think the shutter is relevant in the planned abduction scenario, with one exception.

        Of the reasons you have given why it might have been opened, the last is the most intriguing. That is one I need to think through.

      • Agreed. That’s why I put it last. It’s something I really want to look into. Also, it fits with another idea I have about how the crime might have been carried out. But, in any case, as I’ve mentioned before, that is a very logical step by someone who had a front door key… because if that were known, then you’re only about one step removed from the culprit.

      • The issue with the keys is not that they nail down potential suspects, but that they don’t. The list of people with legitimate access to the keys is disappointingly large.

      • It’s not, though… never mind copying keys or cleaners for a minute. But the missing bunch is a starting point. You start there and work out. Where did they go, and when? There were thefts committed using keys shortly after… so you have a very clear track to follow.

        What would someone who obtained stolen keys from an OC lowlife do? Open a window to distance himself from the trail. Makes sense.

      • Check the source for the “missing bunch” story.

        I have no reason to believe there was a “missing bunch”, that an entire batch of keys had to be re-copied at the expense of one employee, that John Hill was economical with the truth, that John Hill was covering up thefts. The evidence in the files actually suggests that the keys were not kept in a bunch, but separately.

        Finally, note a neat trick. One has to lose a bunch of around a dozen keys (the number of flats in block 5 cleaned by OC staff). And one has to never mention how you managed this, only that it happened.

        The “bunch of keys” is in my red herrings folder.

    • And the space behind the door was ample.
      You said the wardrobe was unlikely?

      Look at it, for goodness’s sake… you could fit the obese Amaral and three corrupt policemen in there with no bother, and they’d have room to swing a cat.

      • The issue with any space in apartment 5A is not whether you could fit a person into it. It is – could a person, upon hearing Gerry open the (take your pick – garden gate, baby gate, patio doors) locate and lodge oneself in a nook and cranny in a way that Gerry does not hear or see?

        It is possible. But it is not likely. And it certainly does not depend on Gerry’s opinion.

      • No, but Gerry’s perception of space within that apartment is a hell of a lot more valuable than yours, for example, simply because he knows it, having lived there, and you haven’t been inside once.

        How long do you think it would take to climb into a wardrobe, or slide behind a door or under a bed anyway? Why does this seem a complicated procedure to you? GM opening even the patio doors would leave ample time for any of those, and then some. He didn’t sprint into the room bearing a gun like TJ Hooker. Any perpetrator certainly could (and would) have heard the doors slide, and possibly the gates before… and then silently done any of the above.

      • I agree on the could have heard.

        I disagree on the timing (and the risk). A paedo intent on Madeleine or whoever does not have his concentration on any of the gates/doors. His focus is elsewhere. An abductor, whether planned or otherwise, similarly has a focus on abduction, not on where he can hide if interrupted.

        Unless Gerry was whistling on his way in, the intruder had perhaps 2 – 3 seconds to hide. If Gerry was noisy, the intruder had time to open the shutter, open the window and flee, so why hide?

    • Thank you for this. I will look at it properly when I have enough time.

      For the moment, I smell a rat. This woman does not feature in the 2007 season (she does not claim that she did). She has tennis going on throughout winter of 2006/2007, despite the fact that no tennis instructors were employed then. She gave her statement on 1 Nov 2007, 6 months after Madeleine disappeared, despite the fact that someone scoping apartment 5A was critical, with the McCanns having been made arguidos in the first week of Sep 2007.

      • Healthy scepticism… of that I approve. You might be right – the main motive if she were lying would be pecuniary, and she did sell her story. Then again, so did a lot of people who are seen as on-the-level witnesses. And even if she hadn’t, the conspiracy gang would suggest she’d been funded directly or indirectly by the McCanns.

        However, I do think it needs to be examined and considered. You’re welcome.

      • IF, and let me stress again the IF, Kate lied about the crime scene then I cannot for the life of me see that it is about money.

        That would have required incredible foresight in a time of extreme stress.

        The main motive in the hypothetical scenario I have described would be arse-covering. Children left alone, potential neglect, end of career, removal of twins. Quite obviously, I have no evidence whatsoever to prove this, therefore my hypothetical scenario remains purely that. A hypothesis that might or might not reveal more insight.

        Just a thought, are we talking about the same ‘she’?

      • No, we’re not… I thought you meant the babysitter.

        KM had no reason to lie about the state of the apartment at all, as far as I can see.

        The only one is the conspiracy theory, and I’m not buying it. You still seem to be considering it, or even leaning towards it at times, but maybe that’s just an impression. I’d be happy to do you a post that IMO disproves logically any involvement in MBM’s disappearance by her parents.

      • If you wish to write a post, my offer remains the same as always. As long as your post is legal and civil, I’ll post it, whether I am of similar or different opinion.

        The babysitter could only go by what others told her about the state of the apartment. The only one who knows about the real state of the apartment, aside from a possible perpetrator, is Kate. Everyone else has to take Kate’s word for it. Or, if you go by the fingerprint evidence, not take her word for it.

      • Have you opened that link yet? This was a good half a year before… nothing to do with KM and the state of the apartment on 3/5/07.

      • I have read it. If you trawl through my responses you’ll see I have raised some concerns with it, but to properly evaluate it I need to do a bit of digging.

        E.g. did the Ocean Club work out of season (as per the statement)?

        By the way, what is your occupation? Would it be, by any chance, a journalist for one of the media outlets in your neck of the woods?

  3. I’ve no time to read all those comments and I just hope nobody already said this : Madeleine, followed by her siblings, didn’t take the passage between blocks 5 and 4. She ran up to the end of the corridor (actually there’s a grade before the end but I found it open in 2010), where the corridor becomes a private garden. Their father found them behind small bushes and they left through the grade (now it has a lock) into the alley path. That’s exactly the route that Numi and Rex took.

    • This is important, Anne.

      Are you saying that in 2010 there was no gate on the west end of block 4 (where it turns from a passage at the front, to a passage at the side, to the garden at the rear)?

      Are you saying there was a gate, but the gate was open in 2010?

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