Textusa, Martin Grime and the dogs #2

Most of Textusa’s post “Cadaver compound” (5 Jun 2015) is about why splitting hairs over what Eddie smells is cadaverine, cadaverine plus putrescine, or some cocktail containing these and more, is a futile exercise. We don’t know exactly what it is, and it has not been successfully replicated artificially, so why get tied down in a debate about this. So far, so good.

We do know, via Textusa, that Martin Grime says Eddie cannot distinguish between the smell of dead pig and dead human. We know that Eddie alerts to dead blood, also according to Martin Grime. We don’t know how far away from dead pig and dead human we have to go until Eddie stops alerting. Focussing purely on dead things, does Eddie alert to other human substances that were once alive, such as semen? Does Eddie alert to faeces, given that these are produced with live human bacteria in them. Does Eddie alert to ANY other dead flesh e.g. chicken?

I have no answer to these questions, and if any reader can point me to an update of Eddie’s capabilities in these areas I would be grateful. NB I know Martin Grime says Eddie does not alert to roadkill and foodstuffs. I have problems with the foodstuffs claim, given that raw flesh is already in a stage of decomposition. I would have thought Eddie would alert to raw pork for this reason.

It is clear that the areas in apartment 5A marked by Eddie are hardly likely to be due to dead pig. However, the rear of the Renault Scenic cannot simply have the possibility of raw pork, or similar, arbitrarily ruled out.

Textusa asserts that Eddie was proved highly accurate in apartment 5A, therefore Eddie was highly accurate with the Renault Scenic and the objects/clothes removed from 27 Rua das Flores. This a major assumption, based on what Martin Grime asserts. This is despite a lack of proof of Martin Grime’s assertions.

It runs contrary to Martin Grimes statement that the dog alerts are not evidence, but provide areas where forensics may give results. It runs contrary to the FSS results, which did not prove any death had occurred, and failed to find supporting evidence in the case of the flowerbed alert outside 5A. Since the wardrobe alert location and the objects/clothes from 27 Rua das Flores were not subjected to forensics, there is no support for Eddie in these instances. As regards the Renault Scenic, the boot alert, by Keela only, was inconclusive, according to the FSS, while the key alert by both dogs was attributed to Gerry McCann, not a corpse.

Textusa is picking and choosing which of Martin Grime’s statements about the dogs to move onto the assertion that the dogs are highly accurate, and choosing to ignore Martin Grime’s statement that the dogs are not evidence.

The latter part of Textusa’s post is devoted to the carpet squares experiment. Take a recently deceased human body. Wrap it in cotton. Put the body in non-direct contact with carpet squares (body in contact with cotton, cotton in contact with carpet, but carpet not directly touching body). Put the carpet squares in a sealed container. Days later test the dogs to see if they alert.

The key phrase is put the carpet squares in a sealed container. There is no sealed container in the Madeleine McCann case so this experiment tells us little.

The nearest to carpet is possibly the boot of the Renault Scenic. In 5A, the alert locations were a tiled area behind the sofa, a vague indication beside a wardrobe, and a vague indication near a flowerbed. The fabric of the objects/clothes from 27 Rua das Flores may give a similar effect to carpet. The key fob of the Renault Scenic probably does not, though I cannot be certain.

The experiment showed that the dogs could smell carpet squares exposed to a cadaver, with a high degree of accuracy, up to 65 days after the squares were exposed. Because of the sealed container part, this tells us that the smell of death can remain in a sealed environment for 65 days. It does not tell us how long the smell remains in a non-sealed environment, or in one where the contamination source (carpet square or body) has been removed.

Madeleine McCann disappeared on 3 May 2007. The dogs inspected 5A in very late August or very early September, around 4 months later, say 120 days or so. Our 65 days in a sealed container tells us nothing about 120 days in a non-sealed environment. This is especially the case in the flowerbed, as the flowerbed was exposed to weather, plant growth and potential gardening.  Please note it has been pointed out to me that 5A was inspected by the dogs in late July 2007, and I accept that I was in error on this point, and that the dogs searched 5A considerably earlier.  Mea culpa.  I am grateful for this correction.

It tells us nothing about the alerts to the Renault Scenic. Partly this is because we don’t know when contamination occurred. Partly it is because car usage was extensive, so doors and the boot were opened frequently, therefore cutting down any sealed container effect. As far as the items from 27 Rua das Flores are concerned, once again we don’t know when they were contaminated.

The useful things the carpet squares experiment tells us in the Madeleine McCann case are very limited. First, the bodies used were less than 3 hours dead, therefore the smell of death develops quite quickly. Second, indirect contact through porous material such as cotton fabric is enough to allow cross-contamination to occur. Beyond this meagre haul, I can think of nothing. The length of exposure in the experiment is irrelevant due to the difference between materials such as carpet floor and tiles.

The most fundamental mistake in the Textusa post is to equate ‘cadaver odour’ to the existence of a cadaver. This enforces the need for a further body move after the date of the hire of the Renault Scenic, and the scenario to do this and get contamination of Kate’s clothes, Sean’s clothes and Cuddle Cat (whilst Gerry is clean) is tortuous.

It also defies the FSS evidence that the material on the Renault Scenic key fob belongs to Gerry McCann, and Gerry is not dead.

It further contradicts Martin Grimes statement that Eddie alerts to dead blood.

I thought the use of the word cadaver in the term ‘cadaver compound’ was a poor choice due to its connotative association with a dead body. It looks like it is indeed a poor choice.

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3 thoughts on “Textusa, Martin Grime and the dogs #2

  1. The dogs inspected 5A on July 31, not “in very late August or very early September”, An experience of residual scent was made by dog handlers in a closed space for a year and there’s an interesting scientific article about VOCs’ resistance.

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