Madeleine – José da Silva, Luztur

Who is José da Silva? So far, I have not covered much more information about him than he was made an arguido in July 2014, he was a driver handling tourist shuttles within the Ocean Club complex, and on 3rd May 2007, he had 3 phone conversations and exchanged one text with Ricardo Rodrigues.

The PJ Files that are in the public domain have been redacted. This is a pity as it makes getting basic information quite hard in some instances. However, in the case of José da Silva, despite the files being redacted, it is clear that at the time he was living in Edifício Luztur at the time of his statement.

The media describe his location as overlooking the Ocean Club. Is this true and does it give insight into the case?

Luztur is by far the tallest building in Luz. It is just south of the tennis courts, the Tapas area, and the high tea area where Madeleine was on 3rd May 2007.

Heriberto Janosch visited Luz in 2013 and located a José da Silva to the second floor of Luztur, on the north side of the building, around 30m from Rua Primeiro de Maio. That corresponds to ‘overlooking the Ocean Club’.

According to Google Earth, the distance between this location and the rear of apartment 5A is around 160m.

The location of the high tea area within the Tapas complex is not precisely defined. However, the distance from Luztur to the vicinity of the Tapas bar is around 100m to 110m. That is of the order of a football pitch, so I would put high tea well within the scope of someone in Luztur. Always assuming line of sight is possible, so is line of sight possible?

Heriberto located José da Silva to the second floor, but I can see no reason why José would be restricted to that. So I am working on the premise that he had access to all floors, and that some or all of the floors could overlook the high tea area. Fortunately, Heriberto’s photos from his 2013 visit are on Pamalam, so we can get an idea from one of those.

Luztur to Tapas 1

This photo is across the swimming pool to the Tapas bar, with Luztur in the background. To the right of the Tapas bar you can see the tennis courts. And now you get a good idea, in reverse direction, of the view from Luztur to the high tea vicinity.

The second floor of Luztur does not look like a good bet, but the photo shows areas farther up on the building that should have had a good enough view.

The phone call from José da Silva to Ricardo Rodrigues that occurred at 5:26pm on 3 May 2007 could relate to high tea starting to break up. And if so, that this event was seen by José from Luztur and signalled to Ricardo.

It looks like you need to be half way up Luztur before you get a decent view of the high tea area, possibly a little less to see the rear of apartment 5A.

However, hanging around half way up Luztur in a public area you don’t normally use is a decidedly odd choice of vantage point. And while it may, conceivably, work during daylight it is poorly placed for night viewing.

If you look at the Tapas restaurant in the following photograph (also from Heriberto), it is immediately clear that the top of the building forms an impenetrable barrier to viewing from Luztur. That makes Edifício Luztur a very poor lookout point for movements after 8:30pm when the McCanns went to the restaurant.

Luztur to Tapas 2

The call at 17:26 is a weak fit with the use of Luztur as an observation point. The text at 21:25 and the calls at 21:38 and 21:51 just don’t fit at all.

So although it is technically correct to say that José da Silva lived in an apartment ‘overlooking the Ocean Club’, the implication that this was used to monitor activity does not stand up to scrutiny.

José da Silva may have been involved. He may even have been a look-out. But I doubt he was doing it from Luztur.


5 thoughts on “Madeleine – José da Silva, Luztur

  1. It’s not great, but you could probably apply some logic to it to make it work. The thing is, my main issue with the thieves is what they were planning… is SY implying these phone calls related to a meticulously planned petty burglary, or an abduction? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… moving seamlessly from one to the other on the night because the child got in the way makes no logical sense.

    Now, the fact that one phone call is being linked to the time the children were brought from high tea to the apartment really suggests that SY are linking these three to a planned abduction. However, they have said nothing of the kind – au contraire. But that’s obviously the case… think about it… if they’re after cash, phones, jewellery, what have you… why would they care about the whereabouts of the children, or parents for that matter, in the early evening?… there is only one thing they would need to worry about- the status of the apartment regarding adult occupation… was it empty of adults, adults imminently arriving, or adults enjoying their dinner… green light. Half past 5 would be of little interest to them… they’d be planning to sneak in to G5A and maybe others while the T9 are at the table… and that’s during or after dinner and after dark. Half past five has nothing to do with any of that…

    So, you must conclude that these people are being dealt with as having planned the abduction, and not, as the media have been told, fluffed a burglary, and instead of making away with items of material value, of which they pilfered precisely zero, they managed to kidnap a child.

    • I would agree with your logic, in the following respects. A call at 5:26 re a planned robbery makes little sense. I would expect to see a call at about 8:30, when the McCanns went to Tapas, ‘cos then they were out. There wasn’t one. I would expect to see a call around 9 or 9:05, when the last of the Tapas 9 turned up and Matthew did his check. Again, no call. I would expect to see, surely, something when Gerry went to check. But nothing on the phone. Ditto Jane Tanner’s check.

      To make it fit with a planned abduction, I have to factor in the following. First, the 5:26 call was the start of the op it’s on tonight. Second, the later calls occurred because it was dark, and the op was planned to take place after darkness. So far so good, but now the wheels come off the bus.

      If I am a look-out, I have to be in a place where I can monitor the comings and goings of the Tapas 9. This is possible, this is feasible, it can be done. But if you are the burglar/kidnapper, then in order that I can warn you of Tapas 9 approaching, you have to have your phone switched on while you burgle or kidnap.

      I am just not convinced by this.

      • ok… well what about this for some noughties cellular phone logic?…

        Let’s say you’re going into G5A with whichever criminal intent… burglary or abduction… you know there are 3 sleeping children inside (something I might expand upon for a page post…)…

        You have a couple of lags on lookout… you say ‘if anyone is heading towards me while I’m in there, phone me.’

        Hence, criminal inside silent G5A is interrupted by a Nokia DOODODODODOODOODODODOODODO DO DOO. All of Luz is alerted and he is in the slammer.

        More likely, furtive criminal would have said ‘text me if needs be, my phone is set to vibrate.’

        He can’t answer a silent call, as his voice would alert anyone in the apartment. A text to say ‘leaving tapas now, hide’ would be the choice.

        Afterwards… phone calls are back… but would not the criminal be back outside at that stage?

      • You have raised another valid point. The more phone traffic there was, the less likely it seems to me to be related to a criminal act. Phone calls and petty burglary seem like a plot from a TV detective story. Phone calls and planned abduction seem even less likely. Both for persons making the calls/text and the person receiving.

        If you wish to put your ideas into a post, as always this welcome, subject only to being both legal and civil.

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