Madeleine on Luz radar 1

When did Madeleine first appear on the radar? When was she first spotted as a potential target?

For the moment I am ruling out 1st person – aka Madeleine herself, as in woke and wandered theories.

I am also not considering Kate or Gerry McCann. Everything gets complex with that, and I want to check the simple solutions first. That is 2nd persons ruled out of consideration for the moment.

On top I am putting the rest of the Tapas 9, the 3rd persons, to one side, for this one. They all got early warning that Madeleine would be on board, but why would they get involved in a crime in Portugal, rather than in the UK? That avenue is worth evaluating only if I can discard more straight-forward options.

Therefore I am up to considering a simple question. When did Madeleine first surface on the Luz radar?

If 1st person is not relevant, and 2nd person is not relevant, and 3rd person is not relevant, then when did Madeleine turn up in a 4th person view?

From memory, Kate was putting Madeleine into a nursery. Therefore she would have to have told the nursery that Madeleine would be absent while she went on holiday.

This approach is junk. So Kate told the nursery, and someone from the nursery did what? The McCanns were taxi-driven to the airport that they flew from. More junk. Everybody on the plane they flew on might have seen Madeleine, but this is all junk. Up until this point, the destination could have been anywhere the Algarve, and criminals don’t fly to Portugal in the hope that there will be a target for them on the same flight. Madeleine is not on the Luz radar because of this.

So when did Madeleine appear on the Luz radar? (Side note – I have no reason to believe that Madeleine was a/the target. The radar could have been looking for something else.)

As far as I can work out, the start point is when the booking was made with Mark Warner. At that point anyone taking the booking in the UK had knowledge of the T9 in a fair degree of detail. That includes all of the adults gender and age, the number of children, and gender (mostly) and age of each child.

It is reasonable to assume the person inputting the booking details had a fair degree of knowledge of the general layout of the Ocean Club. Booking notes include requests for allocation to a preferred area within the OC. They also note microwave requests, and say the customer has been informed they will be charged at the OC for this.

The microwave request/charge struck me as odd, because I would have assumed every OC property had a microwave. And the idea that on arrival day, OC staff took microwaves from a central store to the relevant flats, with the reverse happening on departure days, strikes me as ludicrous.

Of more relevance, Mark Warner staff in Luz were alerted to names, numbers and details at an early stage.

Kate’s book “Madeleine” and/or the Tapas 9 statements suggest the booking was made in very early 2007.

Whether that date is significant depends on whether Mark Warner staff in Luz were seasonal or not. Staff like the tennis instructors and the child minders were seasonal. One tennis instructor started on 18th March 2007, the other on 23rd March 2007. I can’t see how one can run a Mark Warner sports holiday and with childcare without these.

This strongly suggests everything Mark Warner staff did in Luz was seasonal, with a start date of around early April 2007, or a bit before. That would be the time at which MW staff in Luz needed to work on new arrivals, became familiar with the system, became familiar with the Ocean Club, and presumably those handling arrivals had the opportunity to become aware that the McCanns were coming.

The number of cots requested for Mark Warner for 28 Apr 2007 (McCanns arrival date) was 20. When a Mark Warner client requested a cot it was Mark Warner staff who put the cots in, not Ocean Club staff. We have this from the lady who cleaned apartment 5A, Maria Da Silva. She knew nothing of the set-up of the apartment until MW staff turned up with cots.

So 20 cots had to be put into apartments. This happened after any previous occupants checked out, and before new arrivals turned up.

However, the MW staff doing this had been given a copy of a key the evening before. Thus on the evening before, the arrivals staff knew which children were going where, and were in possession of a key. (Warning – I cannot re-find where I got the information that they were given a key the night before. So I may have to retract that part.)

Going back to the MW arrivals list for that day and one entry sticks out like a sore thumb. Every booking is atomic, in that it is set up for one family only, going into one property.

But David Payne handled the bookings for all 4 families in the T9 and his name appears as the contact re all 4.

In order to assemble the 4 families as near to each other as possible, the following comment appears on the McCann booking “3 cots required for L Payne, S McCann and A McCann. Please allocate apartments as close to each other as possible. The Payne and McCann family will arrive in the resort midday on Saturday.”

The note re 3 cots is very odd. It was normal practice to request cots on a per property basis. A cot had already been requested for the Payne family, presumably for infant S Payne, age 11 months. Why the Payne booking did not simply show 2 cots, and the McCann booking show 2 cots is strange. Whether MW were to deliver 3 cots or 4 cots is unclear.

However, the entry indicates that the 4 families want to be together. And that information was available to MW arrival staff in Luz from when the season started in 2007.

Specifically, they knew that infant G Oldfield, age 19 months, Miss E O’Brien, age 3, infant E O’Brien, age 18 months, Miss L Payne, age 2, infant S Payne, age 11 months, Miss M McCann, age 3, Master S McCann, age 2, and Miss A McCann, age 2, were likely to be close to each other.

MW staff almost certainly did not get long advance notice of which family had been allocated to which apartment. The nature of the Ocean Club is such that the OC staff could have taken the requested accommodation, 2 T2s and 2 T1s, from a wide choice of options and kept the families in close proximity.

The occupancy rate was around 50%, so the options of solving the proximity request had few constraints.

What did the MW arrival staff not know that may be significant?

They did not know the gender of infants.

They did not know the precise ages of children who were not classed as infants. Madeleine was classed as age 3, despite being very close to 4.

None of the Tapas 9 prebooked their children into kids’ clubs, though many other families did.

Perhaps Madeleine was a target all along. Perhaps the McCann family was a target. But it could be that the entire T9 group was of interest, then with 8 children all under 4.

None of this analysis proves that Mark Warner arrival staff were involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

It does suggest security weaknesses in the arrival system that were open to exploitation.

What I cannot find is staff who say they were responsible for putting cots into apartments in the PJ files. This would be staff in general, but specifically staff putting in cots for MW clients.

Cleaner Maria da Silva says that MW staff arrived at apartment 5A, while she was cleaning with a friend, and that was when the cots arrived on the scene. She does not name or number the MW staff. I would have thought that two cots could be done by one person, but the Tapas 9 required 6 cots in total, so perhaps it was two.

So where have these cot assemblers disappeared to in the files?

Madeleine was on their radar long before she arrived in Luz. As were other children, including those of the T9.

Hypothesise for a moment that Madeleine was not a specific target, and all that was being looked for was a female child aged 2 to 3.

Mark Warner, with its childcare facilities, attracted many families with such a child. These would all have shown up on Mark Warner arrival lists, including arrivals before 28 May 2007 and arrivals after 28 May 2007.

Luz radar, in the form of Mark Warner arrivals, was lit up like a Christmas tree with potential targets. Maybe Madeleine drew the short straw.


16 thoughts on “Madeleine on Luz radar 1

  1. This is interesting, but perhaps you can move the point of notice on a little bit. You’ve ruled out various scenarios… what you’re really looking at is staff from MW hypothetically being involved with the abduction.

    Now, time for the depressing reality… the motives, and most likely a visual recognition of the target would have been needed, be it for either of the two remaining motives, be that in photographical form or simple sighting by the criminal. So that would put a person/people scouting for a target.

    If you have staff who have the criminal intent to abduct a child, and who are basing that on bookings, then why Madeleine? Lots of children would have fitted those parameters. So why her?

    I think the obvious answer for either motive was that she was such a beautiful child. So perhaps it follows that she was selected by sight, rather than randomly.

    Also, if picking an apartment to target, G5A must have been the ideal choice. Was there a more exposed flat? One that would have been easier to get in and out of and away undetected?

    Not if the abductor is ‘breaking in’, as reported in the press at the minute… or going in through the open patio doors.. like someone with no links to MW… and also not if the abductor has a key.

    Now… what else did MW staff know? What else could they have done, hypothetically, to facilitate this crime?

    • Staff armed with advance knowledge and with access to keys could simply be trawling i.e. Madeleine was not THE target, she was simply someone who fitted the required parameters, as did many others before her, alongside her, and after her.

      If that was the case, it is clear why there was no repeat after MM. That would be far too dangerous. But what was preventing this event happening in Luz before this? Was it just someone hanging around forever hoping to spot people using their patio doors? That strikes me as unlikely.

      As to the 10 new burglaries tale, that comes from Summers and Swan as they prepare for the launch of a new edition of their book. An unnamed source says 10 additional burglaries around Luz around the time MM went missing. Around Luz probably means most or all of the Algarve. Around the time MM went missing could mean anything, including years before and years after. With a development as vague as this, I will not be buying a copy.

      • But it’s how it’s reported… it was ten added on to 18 intrusions of a sexually predatory nature in many papers… most of them confusing the issue of the paedophile stalking flats with young British female children in them, and the issue of the spike in robberies.

        Now, just to be clear, the crime is breaking and entering, and with no breaking involved one way or another, this wasn’t a break-in… it was a walk-in. You say patio doors… I say likely front door. But let’s get back to the issues… if they mean 10 more burglary events reported, then burglars do not steal children. And nothing else was stolen. And the lone paedophile certainly needs to be caught, tortured and executed, but his MO never included abduction. And, while it’s possible he escalated his intended crime over time, someone like that would not stop committing those crimes. And he did keep committing crimes after 2007… up to 2010 which was the last recorded, IIRC. But never was a child snatched in similar circumstances after that point. If he’d kidnapped and murdered a child, and gotten away with it, he’s hardly likely to go back to his old crimes. And he was present at least until 2010. Would he not have snatched another child?

        Honestly, I would conclude you’re dealing neither with burglars gone mad nor that particular paedophile. I think the answer lies elsewhere.

        Excellent point re: inside job… if it was, it explains why it never happened again. I’d be interested in the burglaries… and don’t forget these are people with keys, according to reports. So, did these petty thefts continue after 03/05/’07? Or did they come to an abrupt halt? now… THAT would be telling. If there is any link between the burglaries, direct or indirect (i.e. the burglars themselves are the culprits, or they are or know the people who provided keys), and the abduction… then that is a very hot link to them and the crime… and logically, they no longer see it worthwhile to continue to snaffle small sums of cash from apartments at the risk of getting done for the crime of the century. What do you think? Can we get dates on these thefts without being in OG?

      • The question is, is it worth it?

        You’ve already pointed out that a paedophile or a burglar carrying on such activities in the area (or even Portugal) risks getting done for nothing connected to MM, then copping the MM case via DNA. We therefore would be looking for someone who is extremely dumb, but has so far got away with one of the most investigated crimes ever.

        10 added to 18, according to a duo about to launch another edition of their book, and some publicity for the launch would be great. Perhaps their book will have details? Or will it be claims attributed to sources they cannot name? How does one know the number is now 28 from an inside source, know that DNA is key, from an inside source, and not know how the DNA hunt is going?

  2. It would be worth it, because if the burglaries stopped after 03/05/’07 then there is very probably a link between missing/stolen/copied keys, the burglaries and the abduction.

    • I agree, but we talking about incidents on the Algarve, not just incidents in Luz or the Ocean Club. I can tell you why the OC key control was weak. I cannot explain all burglaries on the Algarve.

      • Of drivers, and going only by memory, the one from Faro to Luz was not OC, merely a hire car, while the latter, assuming I’ve got it right, was asked back in by the PJ to explain why he was working late that night. As this is all from memory, I may have got the info wrong. It will come out in the wash, when I move from booking time to arrival time.

  3. (1) A person is guilty of burglary if—
    (a) he or she enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any such offence as is mentioned in subsection (2) below; or
    (b) having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person therein any grievous bodily harm.
    (2) The offences referred to in subsection (1)(a) above are offences of stealing anything in the building or part of a building in question, of inflicting on any person therein any grievous bodily harm … therein, and of doing unlawful damage to the building or anything therein.

      • Hi! Was really more making a point about the access to G5A, rather than about burglary.

        No material theft occurred. Only the child was taken. Now, personally I don’t see someone stealing cash panicking after waking a child, and upgrading their crime to kidnapping and murder on a whim.

        But you have thieves working the resort with keys. So never mind the patio doors, the front door was not secure either.

      • Whilst SY has to be methodical and track every option, I think the burglaries bit has muddied the waters. Weren’t the ones attributed to Luz via windows? Thus no keys for them?

      • No, you see… that’s just it. The OC/Luz robberies had zero signs of forced entry, and a window used for emergency exit. Sound familiar as a scene of a crime?

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