Madeleine v Smithman sighting

The graphic attached adds establishments and facilities in and around the Smith sighting.

As in a previous post, the Smith sighting is a pink square, labelled S. All of the red dots are no go zones for an abductor on foot, as they are all pubs or restaurants that were known to be active on 3rd May 2007, according to statements in the PJ files.

The graphic has a traffic light system for an abductor. Red is no go. Amber is caution. Green is OK to proceed. I am using white to denote a known establishment, but where I cannot tell what was happening at the time (or even if the place was in operation in May 2007).

Amber is going to feature prominently. It means I think the establishment was in place, I think it was open on 3rd May around the hour that Madeleine disappeared, but I cannot be sure. It means it should have been functioning, but I cannot be certain.

Take, for example, The Lime Tree restaurant. Its working hours say it should have been open. It did not have a day off on Thursdays. It wasLuz Establishments Smithman definitely there on 3rd May 2007. However, small places will close temporarily for a variety of reasons, so while The Lime Tree should have been open, I cannot prove definitively that it was. Hence, it gets amber.

Rua 25 de Abril – green i.e. abductor on foot is good to go –

O Celeiro supermarket (opening hours do not fit the Smith sighting)

Rua 25 de Abril – amber i.e. caution –

Barclays Bank 24hr ATM

Clive’s cocktail bar

Royal Garden Chinese restaurant

The Lime Tree restaurant

The Cave bar (rear entrance)

Espírito Santo bank 24hr ATM

Rua 25 de Abril – white i.e. unknown –

Almeida Cafè

Amici restaurant

Godot’s bar

The Snug Bar

Volau Pizza and Pasta (mainly take-away)

Maxim’s bar (possibly closed for good)

Rua Calheta – green –

Look steak restaurant (it hadn’t been built in May 2007)

Rua Calheta – amber –

Fernando’s bar aka Cafè Calheta

The Bull bar and restaurant

If you take a look at the graphic and simply focus on the reds and ambers, you should already be concluding that Luz was far from ‘closed’ when Madeleine disappeared.

I need to add around the same number of lights again to give a proper picture of what was happening that night.

The bottom line is already clear. Luz was, that night, shining as bright as any Xmas tree!


15 thoughts on “Madeleine v Smithman sighting

  1. Nice work. However, the route I’d always assumed the most probable for Smithman, if the abductor, is utterly unhindered. The only problem for him was the Smith family.

    • Interesting angles on that.

      1) (If Smithman is involved – ) Did he strike lucky with his route, or did he know that part was free from commercial establishments? I have yet to add the premises on Primeiro de Maio, and that is going to make Smithman either a very lucky boy, or very knowledgeable. Or not involved so not caring.

      2) Why head into a hot-spot around 25 de Abril? Why not skip that? Same options as point 1.

      • I think this is possibly crucial. However, that said, you must hypothesise.

        Let’s say Smithman is the culprit. Let’s also say he’s not GM. What can we gather?

        Well, 1) the organised gang is out. He’s either part of a poorly organised gang, or acting alone.

        2) He’s local. He knows exactly where he is going.

        3) He has the local knowledge you mention.

        So, under 1), if he’s alone or in a gang, at that moment he is acting alone. If the latter, then we have the rather horrible task of estimating the reasoning ability of somebody committing a heinous crime. What matters is his ability to plan, or lack of such, and his assessment of risk, or lack of such.

        So, if he’s just a deranged pervert, applying logic to routes and tactics is futile- he could have snatched the child at any hour with zero planning and strolled in and out of a secure or occupied flat with the child, and walked down the busiest streets. That’s worryingly the MO of at least one perpetrator of crimes against children active in the area at the time, but it is also unquantifiable.

        You can only apply logic if the culprit was capable of reasoning and calculating risk, and wished to avoid apprehension. Then, you get to useful deductions.

        And, let’s remember, as no trace has been found, that’s perhaps more likely than the former case being fortunate in the disposal of a body.

        So, let’s postulate- he’s local, acting alone at that time, at least… not using a car, as he’d have parked it close by… but, he knows exactly where he’s going. He’d have taken the front door, I would think, out of G5A, but one way or another, he goes out the car-park side, rather than the closed alleyway, and then all the way around the wasteland. If he heads straight down the street in which he meets the Smiths… and doesn’t turn left or right on the major street, but heads down those steps and hangs a right, he’s then heading off to a residential area without crossing any of your major dots that anyone planning would have avoided.

        Why? His residence/property was there. Nothing else works.

        So, as pressure mounts on OG to bin this, would that not make sense?

        Or more sense than messing about on the nearby mound, at least?

      • Let me see if I can pick the bones out of that.

        If he has nothing to do with the case, then he has nothing to do with the case.

        If he was working to a plan, the scenario makes very little sense. I CAN make it work, but it is not good.

        If he was a loose cannon, then he was a lucky loose cannon.

        “Why? His residence/property was there. Nothing else works.” This theory has not been tested yet. Simple bloke, doing nothing illegal, all perfectly legit.

        So why has he not come forward? This is an interesting question. And I can think of interesting answers. What do you think? Why is it that Smithman would choose not to come forward?

      • Your down the street of steps and hang a right is a distinct possibility. Oddly enough, hanging a right BEFORE the Dolphin minimises his exposure. That street has almost nothing on it. It leads west to – take your pick – the mound (Godfrey Barrington Norton) or down to the sea front beyond all the restaurants, and an easy route out of Luz.

        But if he simply dodged the Smiths, then he could have taken a left at 25 de Abril and headed to – Sergey Malinka’s home. As to how Sergey would have explained Madeleine when his parents, who lived there, enquired as to why he had Madeleine …. well.

        I think explaining the Smith sighting as someone who had a residence nearby happens to make the most sense. Unfortunately, proof of this is lacking.

        As to digging up the mound, do you remember Brian Rix farces?

      • Actually, the nearby residence I had him heading to was to commit a crime. My hypotheses were focussing on Smithman being guilty.

        Of course, you must also ponder if he is innocent… then you arrive where you just arrived. So then, why did he not rule himself out?

        Well, remember, Tannerman didn’t rule himself out, I suppose. So it’s possible that he didn’t follow the media storm, nor link himself in to the story. Although, even that must have been unlikely. You’d think someone would hear the name of the holiday town they’d been in and follow the story from there. Tannerman was very odd in that regard.

        But what if he shipped out soon after without noticing the fuss? What if he were even in the minority of holidaymakers, unlike Tannerman, who was not from the British Isles? At that stage he could certainly miss the furore.

        My problem with that is professionally I play the odds. We can’t know at this stage. However, the chances of one fairly lax dad carrying a daughter, who looked so like MBM and was dressed in the same kind of pjs, about in the cold night air with no shoes, blanket or coat at the relevant time of that specific day…. well, I’d have placed one as a long shot, but two unrelated and innocent occurrences like that, just right at that time? To me, that seems unfathomable. One was the worst imaginable luck. Two? Cumulatively, the chances of that are miniscule. For that reason, I’d say probability suggests Smithman is guilty.

        Then, ask yourself… if he were innocent, what was he doing? Holidaymaker picking his daughter up from a crèche? No, he’d have been belatedly found, like Tannerman. The child was in pjs, so had been in a bed somewhere, so he wasn’t returning from a dinner having kept the child up. He wouldn’t be a separated dad taking charge of his daughter from the mum, at that hour, from her bed. He was on his own. Not returning from a crèche. No bags. Then does not eliminate himself. Whether Smithman was local or not, Portuguese or foreign, the child was seen to have what the Smiths described as typical British Isles, or northern European colouring… blonde hair and pale skin.

        All probabilities and no certainties, but the chances are that was MBM he was carrying away.

      • I think I’ve covered most of this in my other reply, so I’ll pick up only on non-covered points.

        Blonde hair and pale skin. That does suggest foreign to Portugal, but who knows. From memory, isn’t there a clash re sleeve length of pyjamas on Smithman child v Madeleine? If so, it is another fly in the ointment.

        Sighting on 3rd May, statements on 26 May. Given the media coverage, why did it take what seems like an eternity to twig that they had seen a Madeleine contender? Martin Smith and family left Luz on 9 May and despite saturation media, had not by then remembered he had seen a Madeleine look-alike. The Smith sighting is plagued with problems re accuracy of evidence. I am not suggesting this was intentional, but merely that human memory is known to be fallible under such circumstances.

        As to Smithman, it so happens that I have a perfectly reasonable reason why Smithman was walking the streets at exactly the same time as the Smiths, and in neither case is there any suggestion of guilt. Smithman may indeed exist. If he does, making him guilty is quite another hurdle.

      • No idea who Brian Rix is, no, sorry.

        I might have mentioned it before, but, hypothetically, Malinka is not a bad fit for Smithman at all. What I’d say was poor diet and lifestyle had him looking a hell of a lot older than he was in 2007. The route is spot-on. He doesn’t necessarily need to be going to his family home, but to very familiar local surroundings. His family alibi is a) something most families would give whether true or not and b) unsound, as he could have been in and out of there without them knowing.

        And why lie about his relationship with Murat, and specifically about contact that day, and afterwards, and that phone call? Dodgy tales of indecent images of children in his possession, on police record. Two wiped personal computer hard drives. All on record.

        …ahem… …Allegedly.

        But at some stage…


  2. I would add, though, while the odds make me think Smithman is most likely the culprit, the most compelling part of that are the countless coincidences, and not his not having come forward.

    That could have happened, as it did with Tannerman. And, I’d suggest, unlikely as it was for an innocent Smithman not to twig, Tannerman not doing so was far less probable. He was instantly the sighting of suspect #1. ‘Is this the man who took Maddie?’ on the covers of all the redtops within days.

    The Smith sighting was delayed slightly in its reporting to the police, was it not? Then delayed again in its reporting to the media. Those famous e-fits, if my memory serves me correctly, were done in spring 2008 by the McCanns PIs, and subsequently buried under threat of injunction. They only had the light shone on them as ‘new information for the public’ in Crimewatch of October last year.

    So an innocent Smithman could certainly have missed his importance to this investigation. That’s by no means a very long shot. The massive long shot was that Tannerman managed to… and that, apparently, he did. In comparison, an innocent Smithman not showing up is nothing out of the ordinary.

    Now… questions for you. I recall after that Crimewatch there was talk of other sightings of someone they thought was Smithman, and specifically, of Smithman carrying the child into a local business. Did you ever read that? Can you find anything about it? I can’t find it now at all.

    Secondly, I’m not the most critical person on the internets towards the McCanns, but the Smithman sighting being buried by them seems to me a terrible mistake. I try to reason out what they were thinking… in September ’07, old man Smith thought he’d cracked it, and announced to everyone that he was, what, 85% sure Smithman = GM. If my recollection was right about those e-fits following, one of them looks a hell of a lot like GM. Now, they’re under huge pressure and scrutiny, and the press has turned at this point… so they pay the PIs and let them go, saying if those e-fits come to be public, they will be sued. I’ve tried and tried, and I can’t quite make this make sense.

    From their point of view, you can start to reason it out. So, they’re looking for their missing daughter, whom they, at least, believed to be alive at that point… which they did. If not, then the man who had taken her from them and murdered her in cold blood. So, would a parent in that position, one as strong as GM is (they both are), not just take the inevitable backlash on the chin?… say ‘look, I know it looks like me, but Mr. Smith is mistaken. Countless witnesses place me at the Tapas bar at that time. So please, focus on this man, as it could be the abductor of my child!’. Seems a better bet than ‘send us your holiday snaps’.

    They were, of course, focussed on Tannerman- they concluded that he was the abductor. So, it might make sense if they thought the Smiths were talking nonsense, but KM herself states that the child they described sounds like it was Madeleine to her. Smithman was a credible suspect to them. So, how on earth did they disregard a lead like that in the search for their daughter???

    • There’s several topics rolled into one here.

      Tannerman never came forward. According to SY they hunted down 8 families who had 11 children in the OC night crèche. Then Tannerman recalled (around 5 and a half years later) that it was him, going the wrong way, having kept his child’s pyjamas plus what he was wearing that night. I admire his frugality, but I am less convinced than SY that Tannerman has been ruled out. If the McCann watchers are to be believed, the McCanns still have this sighting up on a website, suggesting they are equally unsure that Tannerman has fallen by the wayside.

      Exactly when and how the Smithman efits were produced is also up for grabs. Apart from info that they were not done in 2007, there is much debate as to whether the Smiths participated or whether McCann employees drew them up from the Smith statements. From this beginning, one can conclude that the accuracy of these efits is highly questionable. The Smith statements are all clear that they would not recognise the man again if they saw him, so the idea that accurate efits were produced is a non-starter.

      Why were the efits not released? I’ve seen a video in which Kate says they were withheld to prevent attention being deflected from the Tanner sighting. Her book narrates the Smith sighting, including descriptions of Smithman, but those efits appear to be (allegedly) the only ones not published in the book. The fact that one looks like Gerry and for a while Martin Smith stated that he had seen Gerry may or may not be a coincidence. Put this one into the category of unturned stones.

      Moving on, please role-play an INNOCENT Smithman i.e. one doing no more than carrying a child home that night. What incentive would you have to come forward, even assuming you suddenly twigged it was you? If you think about this for a moment, the answer is that the incentive is less than zero. You were totally innocent, but if you come forward you are going to get so much flak from the media it will make your life hell (and possibly your child’s) for years to come. Will it solve the case? Absolutely not, since you had nothing to do with it. It becomes endless years of speculation, with many of the McCann supporters trashing your tale and your life. Unless a large financial reward is offered, an innocent Smithman is incentivised to keep well clear of this.

      Role play a guilty Smithman and a second’s consideration says why he is not going to come forward.

      There is a final layer. Around the time the PJ files were released, and Amaral’s book was published, there was a TV special in Portugal based on Amaral’s thesis. It was (I believe) very popular. It did not actually say that Smithman was Gerry, but the implication was strong that Smithman = Gerry. Judging by comments on recent newspaper articles, the tide has turned in the UK re support for the McCanns, with the bulk of public commentators thinking it is time to end the hunt for Madeleine. In Portugal, I would say opinion is even less favourable towards the McCanns, with the bulk of people astonished that the McCanns have not been prosecuted for negligence (as a minimum).

      Now return to an INNOCENT Smithman, and this time add in the assumption that he is Portuguese. He quite possibly believes the McCanns did it. And while Crimewatch might be great for getting Brit leads, it’s pretty much useless for getting leads from Portuguese people. If that is the case, SY need to do a Crimewatch equivalent in Portugal, and on top of that, incentivise innocent-Portuguese-Smithman to come out of the shadow to help the (hated) McCanns.

      • good grief! Well, as far as public opinion goes, I wouldn’t necessarily base your idea of that on article and video comments, as there are many full-time trolls with bugger all else to do. Squeaky wheels. However, I would day that there ate many people against them in the UK. I also think that’s both related to class complexes and sectarianism. But that’s just a theory. Ireland is largely both classless and Catholic, and the sympathy is as great as ever for them here.

        Let me say if I were an innocent Smithman, I’d certainly have come forward. I don’t get that reasoning. Once his story is checked out, who on earth would bother him? Nobody’s bothered to find out Tannerman’s name and address, and the conspiracy theorists likely see him as complicit. He’s yet to be hounded to the ends of the earth, even by the nutters. Press left him be and all. No suspicion was cast. Just as you’d expect if you were Smithman.

        The people who got hounded were witnesses to the crime in some way, or the scene and surrounding, or the McCanns… examples of people losing their rags being the local priest and the old dear upstairs…

        So no major obstacles for Smithman. plus, it’s the right thing to do… without monetary gain.

        And crucially, if innocent, he likely witnessed nothing relevant. so he wouldn’t lose time to police interviews too much either.

      • A year ago, before the SY dig in Luz, I was seeing an even balance on comments in the UK. At this point in time, I am seeing a large ‘vote’ in favour of halting the operation. So those supporting a year ago have disappeared. OG will not halt simply because the public don’t support it at this point in time.

        Innocent Smithman? How about innocent Smiths, who clearly were not involved in committing a crime, and yet got picked apart by media and forums alike?

        Tannerman is still being pursued on-line, for the simple reason that the SY offering on this does not appear to add up. By the way, his name did appear in one on-line newspaper report, but I was stupid enough not to take a copy, or make a note, and it has since disappeared. Quick question here – do the crèche records appear anywhere in the PJ files? If the answer is no, how did SY get its hands on such old records?

        If Smithman turns up in Portugal, he gets hauled down to Faro for a first PJ interview. This is the one where he has to ‘prove’ his innocence (and explain why he has been hiding for 8 years). Then he runs the gauntlet of the media. Then SY sends a rogatory letter asking that he be interviewed according to its questions. Then SY fly in to Faro and innocentman gets hauled back to Faro again. And there is another media scrum. Will he be allowed a normal life from this point on? The answer is no. Portuguese judicial secrecy makes it clear that innocentman cannot simply be declared of no interest until the investigation is shelved again. So that is months of the media speculating about innocentman did or did not do.

      • But just how much of a misery did they make Tannerman’s life? Did he have to prove his innocence? Was he harangued? I missed all of that if he was. Surely the records (no idea where they are) showed him picking up the daughter, and once he showed he did have a daughter whom he collected at that hour, then it’s ‘thanks and goodbye’.

        The only thing that didn’t make sense about that story was his very odd route. However, as his questioning is not on public record, you either have to trust SY on this, or join the realm of those who believe in an elaborate whitewash.

        The cranks don’t like Tannerman because his existence kills their ‘Tanner lied to facilitate x, y or z’, which they pushed from the go. Then he showed up, and they say ‘he couldn’t possibly still have the same trousers etc.’ Well, speaking for blokes everywhere, yes, he could. I wear trousers until they disintegrate. I’m not out looking for the latest cut every month. Most blokes aren’t. And maybe they kept the children’s clothes… many people do… hand them down, or just are poor at throwing stuff out.

        It’s really the route that bothers me there, and you covered that perfectly. It doesn’t make sense… but then, maybe he was pissed, which is fairly likely if he was on holliers and bothered to drop his daughter off to a crèche.

        Public opinion now goes beyond a pro or anti debate… it’s also along the lines of ‘wait a minute, you spent how much and got nowhere?’. People must be thinking (including me) that they simply are not going to solve this. That’s my impression, anyway.

        We discussed this at the time, and I told you there was no way Redwood would have taken early retirement and handed the biggest case of his career to Wall if he saw any possibility in the medium term of solving it, excluding extenuating circumstances of health or family. What I said then is now being said in the press editorials.

        My instinct tells me they investigated all leads… but when they suggested they were well under way in October, they were at step one. When they got to Luz, they were still following up everything and everybody. Now, I don’t think they are much further on.

        Of course, if they had made progress, they are not obliged to divulge… but realistically, with the pressure they are under, if they had anything, they’d leak a snippet… and nothing.

        I really am beginning to think digging up Luz was part shot in the dark over a vague lead, and large part ‘let’s be seen to be busy’. Cynical, but that’s how it looks.

      • Tannerman disappeared into the SY Witness Protection Programme. SY started with the crèche records, allegedly, though why those crèche records should exist over 5 years on bugs me. And how did SY get its mitts on them? Phone OC 24hr reception and say ‘please scan the 5 year old records and fax them to SY’?

        Smithman, assuming he is not Portuguese, may also disappear into some country’s Witness Protection Programme. Equally he may not. And if he is Portuguese, he will get hung out to dry by the UK press, as in ‘pig farmer rapist throws bottle at journalists’.

        Are they going to solve this? If this was a bet, then I would bet no. However, Nicola Wall has had time to review the case, and she has travelled to Lisbon for what looks like a high-level meeting. So, I expect the case to continue. The only valid basis for continuing would be that SY thinks there are valid lines of enquiry to explore.

        Oddly enough, there is a ton of stuff that anyone based outside Portugal could advance on this case. I’m ruling Portugal out simply because it is illegal in Portugal for a non-police person to investigate a criminal case. Said person outside Portugal could be in SY, or in the media, or even you.

        It takes a phone, contact details, knowledge of the case and an open mind.

        Here’s your starter for 10, my Irish friend. The Smith sighting. Potentially there is so much more that can be squeezed out of this. Now someone who is in Ireland would be allowed to make an enquiring phone call to a couple of families in Ireland. That would not be against Portuguese law. And would it not be the case that a call from one friendly Irish person to another might get a reasonable response?

        Here’s what I hope to chip in with. If all goes according to plan, I hope to get some photos in the fortnight around 3 May 2015 which will illuminate the Smith sighting. I have posted about what can be seen and what can’t, but every picture is worth a thousand words.

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