Both Gonçalo Amaral and Kate Mccann portray Luz as being very quiet on the night of 3rd/4th May 2007, for different reasons. Was it quiet, and if so, just how quiet was it?
The answers to these questions impact on every possible solution involving an on foot component (but not to solutions using a vehicle).
Alternative on foot solutions include the following.
Madeleine got out of apartment 5A on her own, wandered off, and then was involved in some sort of accident.
The McCanns were involved in the disposal of Madeleine’s body, or in hiding, retrieving and disposing of her body.
The event was a burglary gone wrong, with some reason to take Madeleine to conceal it.
The event was an abduction, planned or unplanned.
Gonçalo Amaral, in chapter 3 The First 72 Hours, of A Verdade Da Mentira, says the following.
“Friday May 4th, at 8pm, we criss-cross Praia da Luz to take note of the activity in the village at dinner time and to check the street lighting. We stay there until 10pm while the forensic team from the police laboratory get on with their investigation.
Certainly, today there are people who wouldn’t normally have been here: police officers and journalists. But, even so, it is noticeable that there is very little movement. … Witnesses confirm that the streets were also deserted yesterday.”
In chapter 6 of Kate’s book “Madeleine”, the following is said about Friday, 4th May.
“As soon as it was light Gerry and I resumed our search. … All was quiet apart from the sound of barking dogs … The most striking and horrific thing about this was that we were completely alone. No-one else, it seemed was out looking for Madeleine. Just us, her parents.”
There is ample evidence that the Ocean Club searches continued until 4AM, some 6 hours after Madeleine disappeared. Barrington Norton’s van on the mound was searched by GNR officers at about 7:30AM.
Assuming the incident is limited by being on foot, the key period for any incident to occur was up the point Kate sounded the alarm, or possibly a little later. By the time the Ocean Club structured search was underway, Madeleine had to be out of the area, or well-hidden This limit does not apply if there was access to a vehicle.
What is the list of establishments known to be open on the evening of 3rd May, 2007? The PJ files have the following.
The Tapas restaurant and bar (as evidenced by people too numerous to mention).
The Millennium restaurant (again mentioned in numerous statements).
The Dolphin (Smiths and the person managing the restaurant). Near the Smith sighting.
Kelly’s (Smiths and one bar staff). Near the Smith sighting.
The Mirage (where the Dolphin manager and the owner went to play pool).
The Duque de Holanda (June and Paul Wright, who were running it, joined in the searches). On the road down to the beach.
The Ocean Club 24 hour reception. On Rua Direita.
There are probably more that are documented in the PJ files, so I expect to add to the list as time progresses.
On the graphic these places are shown in red. Basically, they are stop lights for someone wandering through Luz on foot in the scenarios above.
The pink squares are apartment 5A and the Smith sighting.
What I will do in further posts/graphics is show that far from being ‘closed’, Luz had a lot of establishments and features in operation that evening, many more than the list above.