Madeleine – profile of a paedophile

A news item that caught my eye yesterday was about UK citizen Richard Huckle, who was tried in the UK and sentenced to a minimum of 23 years for a string of paedophile offences committed in Malaysia. The BBC link is

The BBC page links to other articles about Mr Huckle, that I have not yet read, so I am simply posting my thoughts on that single article. I am also assuming the BBC has got its facts right.

Most of the media stories re Madeleine McCann and paedophiles are of the sensationalist theme ‘known paedo was in the vicinity when Madeleine disappeared’. Huckle’s MO included deliberately choosing Malaysia, where he thought he could evade detection. And he targeted and befriended children from mainly poor communities. So there is no evidence of his direct involvement in the disappearance in the Algarve.

His known offences started in 2006, when he was aged around 20. His age is important. He appears to be up to date on technical knowledge, which may set him apart from paedophiles who are older. And if his offences were committed outside the UK from that age on, he would not have appeared on the UK national DNA database.

Huckle admitted 71 charges, and may have abused up to 200 children. His victims ranged from 6 months to 12 years. The article does not state whether this covered both boys and girls, but a direct quote from Huckle makes it clear that he was definitely into 3-year-old girls.

He had 20,000 photographs and videos of his abuse, shared with paedophiles on a site hidden in the Dark Net.

He was arrested in Dec 2014 on a return to the UK, after he was tracked down by the NCA’s CEOP (child exploitation and protection). He had been identified by Australian police, who also passed the details of 17 other UK men using the same site on the Dark Web. The BBC article contains further information about these men.

Huckle was in the process of writing a manual for paedophiles at the time of his arrest, and had managed to produce 60 pages.

The article has a link to how Huckle was detected, which may clarify some of the following points, but here are some of my initial musings.

CEOP does not appear to have had the capability in 2014 to detect paedophile sites on the Dark Web. That is based on the 18 UK men identified by Australian police, not CEOP, and by the sheer scale of Huckle’s on-line activity.

There must have been some contact outside of the Dark Web for these 18 to know about and gain access to the site. How does a paedophile learn about such a site? Is there some entry test a paedophile must pass before being admitted? How does the site operator prevent police officers who are hunting paedophiles from gaining entry?

Does CEOP have the capability to compare the 20,000 photographs/videos against missing children or against those who may be being abused? CEOP requested that people in the area around the time Madeleine disappeared should send them photographs, but the aim was to detect known (adult) offenders, not children.

The paedophile manual Huckle was writing was presumably of interest to authorities in at least Australia, Malaysia and the UK. If it covered Dark Web entry and how the external contact method worked, that information would be of interest worldwide.


22 thoughts on “Madeleine – profile of a paedophile

  1. How many predatory paedophiles do you estimate were active in the Algarve in 2007? Put a number on it, if you can. Round about guess.

  2. Haven’t got a clue. May I ask if you have any idea?

    I think the stats say OG checked 650 sex offenders (not necessarily paedophiles).

    And the recovered DNA in apartment 5A was run against the national DNA database, so while it was not a brilliant check, it tends to rule out paedophiles from the UK.

    • No, I’m the same. It wasn’t a trick question I’d figured out the answer to beforehand. I can only go on the figures which are publically available. If I’m not mistaken, the Telegraph reported that Grange looked into some 530 paedophiles that they could link to the area. It’s not massively scientific one way or the other without knowing concrete details, admittedly, but the number seems quite large.

      I will say that in countless other cases I’ve looked into, when a child goes missing in such circumstances, the parents can tend to be shocked when the area they considered safe for their children shows up a large number of paedophiles living within a small radius around where their child came to harm. Those cases tended to be in England and North America for the most part, and just in normal residential areas, rather than tourist destinations. What I’m interested in is looking at the Algarve and Portugal as a whole, and questioning whether there were factors that attracted foreign paedophiles to visit or encouraged local paedophiles to believe they could act with relative impunity.

      I mean, you mentioned the horrible situation of UK paedophiles heading to Malaysia, but was Portugal their destination of choice in Europe? Interpol reportedly named Portugal as a country where children are most at risk in Europe some years ago. Why was that? You have had Casa Pia completely covered up from the top down (identical cases in the UK, mind). You have the fact that Portugal was one of only 2 countries in Europe without a Sex Offenders’ Register (at least it was a couple of years ago- you’re saying that’s changing, I understand?).

      Are these circumstances contributory? Is that number… 530 or 650 high or not? Are or were foreign paedophiles specifically choosing Portugal as a holiday destination, or as somewhere to base themselves? Is that all just sensationalism, as I think you might be inclined to say, or is there something to it? And I really don’t know.

      Then, what of the Cipriano case?… I firmly believe her mother and uncle were innocent, and that the child was snatched and murdered. You’re talking about a case 2 and a half years before the McCann one 7 miles away from G5A. Was that an isolated case, or have other children from poor Portuguese families disappeared without a trace in the country? And are they logged as missing or abducted children if they do.

      Then you have the predatory paedophile who abused children in their beds in Luz and the surrounding area- not investigated at all. Why?

      And finally, one for the conspiracy theorists- but this one is fairly simple. Why did the police, upon finding an apartment which was not secure, but had closed doors and gates, and an open shutter and window, vehemently declare that Madeleine McCann had certainly wandered off on her own? It’s not a logical conclusion to draw in the slightest, given the scene. But, in the same breath, they uttered the command ‘no press’. Did they know what they were dealing with from the get go???

      Just a few thoughts.
      Hope all is well with you.

  3. I don’t have a problem with the totals.

    I have an issue as to whether these totals are meant to be reflective of the Algarve or Portugal.

    OG slung a lot of muck at Luz and the surrounding area, without properly explaining it and without justifying it.

    I appear to live in the crime capital of the world, due to the high number of petty burglaries, the astounding number of paedos/sex offenders, and a rash of English children targeted in break-ins.

    And yet we feel much safer here than we did in England.

    These two opposing views just don’t stack up.

    Is judicial secrecy keeping these crime statistics away from investigative journalists? Is OG right, and we should flee?

    And I’m not aware of the police vehemently declaring that Madeleine had certainly wandered off. Kate appears to be certain that Madeleine did not wander. The police searches that week were wider radius than a 4 year old wandering.

    • Wider radius that week, sure… that night they announced she must have wandered off, and ‘no press!’.

      The think is, if you ignore the paedophile question a moment, you live in a holiday town with lots of tourists and a large ex-pat community. No matter what country you are in, the crime there will be higher for petty thefts and scams… you’ll know all about them from looking at this case for sure. But you seem to find the suggestion offensive or fantastical.

      Tourists and expats are ripe for a plundering. Plus Luz has no police force… it’s a petty criminal’s dream. It’s a different kind of crime scene that you’d have seen in an urban area in the UK, no? And you will see that all around the Southern European coast. How far would you get asking a Portuguese family for a few quid for an orphanage that had burnt down? They’d murder you then and there, not because they’re not generous, but because they’d see the scam in a flash.

      OG flung mud? Sure, they were supposedly doing their job… albeit not very well, it seems. It’s when the investigation shines a light on some inconvenient truths that you anger the people who are dependent on tourism… namely everyone in Portugal, including yourself, I would venture.

      And why do you think they’ve put such numbers out there? I take it you don’t think them falsified? Perhaps more details would be helpful. But good relations with the Portuguese authorities were always quintessential for OG to succeed- so when you say they bandied around these snippets, I’d suggest the opposite, i.e. they very rarely mentioned numbers relating to sexual offenders, paedophiles or even petty crime, as doing so paints a poor picture for tourists and gets the backs of the authorities up.

      But what about the truth?… it’s got to factor in there somewhere. Why would OG, or Interpol for that matter, want to fling any mud in your direction?

      I understand the frustration of people whose financial interests are tied to Portugal or Luz… but do you not want to know the truth, even if it is horrific? Or would you honestly prefer it hushed up? Or, conversely, if things are as you suggest, and the truth is largely innocuous, would you not want that confirmed so you could broadcast it from the rooftops?

      • Let me take this point by point.

        I know the no media bit. I have seen nothing that suggests the police simply thought Madeleine had wandered off. And a lot to suggest otherwise. Why hack about in 5A taking fingerprints from the parents and the window?

        Holiday place. Tourists. Ex-pats. Petty scams. Minor burglaries. I could not disagree with this lot. A four fold increase in burglaries (OG) or a serial paedo targeting English children (OG), at that point I would like to see the supporting evidence. Wouldn’t you? Or would you simply accept that as OG has said it, it must be true?

        OG flung mud. Unsupported mud. I don’t know where you live, but if OG was saying your neck of the wood was stuffed with paedos, burglars and the such like, without any justification, would you think, OK, I must live in a hive of criminal activity? And I don’t depend, in any way, shape or form on tourist activity here. Neither I nor my family make a cent out of tourism.

        OG has investigated 650 sex offenders. The idea that there were 650 sex offenders in or around Luz in 2007 is ludicrous. So why give the idea that these are potentially connected to Luz? I believe one was interviewed, as a witness, by OG. As a witness means OG had nothing on the person, absolutely nothing.

        There are two outcomes. Outcome 1. Whodunnit is identified. Irrespective of whodunnit, Luz will get to move on.

        Outcome 2. Whodunnit is not identified. Then Luz is like a prehistoric insect trapped in amber. Luz never gets to move on.

        I’d vote for outcome 1, whether the McCanns dunnit, a Luz local dunnit, a paedo dunnit. or something else. At least there would be a resolution.

      • Ok, well, point by point, on the night they only dusted the inside of the bedroom window, because it was dark, and apparently fingerprints don’t work in the dark, and there was no electric light in Luz. Both sets of police that arrived that night announced the child had wandered. The P.J. officers did so, widely documented, and stipulated no media were to be informed, which is the most sinister bit. With what kind of case did they think they were dealing, I wonder? Did they have a very good idea from before they got to the scene?

        Now, you must forgive me, but I was under the impression that you or your family used to have an interest in a local establishment. If that’s not correct, I do apologise. However, if you’re living in Portugal, you’re part of the economy there, and that economy is entirely dependent on tourism.

        Now, in cases of this nature (ones that go unsolved or see a major miscarriage of justice while unfolding under public scrutiny), there tends to be a pattern which develops- you start with total ineptitude from the investigating officers, and move on to the phase of political pressure, which further skews what is presented as truth.

        I think you can see that what I’m suggesting is the political pressure felt by the police in this case might well have had them worrying about what a competent and honest investigation would do for the tourist trade, especially if they had a fair idea about the nature of the crime that had been perpetrated.

        Now, the petty thefts and burglaries- you doubt the four-fold increase? Why? Why would the police lie about something like that? Also, reading the case files will throw up countless cases of theft from the apartments, which were seemingly ten-a-penny. So the evidence is there and readily available to you. But, the real reason I don’t get you doubting it is… would a four-fold increase from previous months in petty crime in May be a surprise in a holiday village, as you go from off-season and head towards high-season? Of course the thieves and scam artists will be flocking there and working more, the more tourists that arrive. I can see no reason for you to view that suggestion with any suspicion.

        Would I just accept OG’s word as Gospel? Certainly not- they’ve their own political pressure with which to deal, bills to justify, results not found, action for the sake of action… I mean, I can only hazard a guess at this stage that the digging of the mound was an exercise in PR. At the time I was of the mind that they must have cracked it, or at least had a very strong lead. I wonder if we’ll ever find out. That said, as visible as it was, it would have been baking hot and uncomfortable up there… they could have been seen digging at the softer beach or along the golf course for the same effect, so I don’t know… maybe they thought it worthwhile for some unknown reason that is not apparent, at least to me. So no, I don’t necessarily believe the UK police are all honourable and beyond corruption or the odd porky pie. I’m Irish… we know that up until recently their handbook was not very different from Amaral’s, when it comes down to grabbing confessions from the innocent. But I don’t immediately assume what the UK forces are doing is suspicious like the conspiracy trollytrolltrolls- I believe they’ve likely tried to solve this case to the best of their abilities, and either it’s proved unsolvable, or they’ve been deliberately cut off in what they’re allowed to investigate by the Portuguese authorities, or they’ve managed to make a balls of it on their own. All very possible and not mutually exclusive.
        Will continue…

      • It’s not really a valid comparison, the ‘what if OG said bad stuff about your home’, because, though I’ve lived abroad a lot, where I am now is my native home, and we’re a fiercely patriotic people, 800 years of fighting for your country will do that … whereas you’ve moved to a holiday town for some sunshine some years ago… you thought it a nice place, and you still do. I understand your loyalty in that regard. You wouldn’t like to think what OG were suggesting was true. Who would? But, to answer your question, if the case were here and OG were suggesting similar things, I’d want it all out in the open. Because local loyalties, national pride or business interests should not trump the importance of the life of an innocent child, and protecting children and eliminating any threat to children should be paramount for everyone.

        This is why I really find the ex-pat reactions in Luz reprehensible. That famously ungrammatical and misspelt graffito you wrote about so accurately was certainly that of a British passport holder, because sadly they’re famous for an inability to learn the language of a country even after years living therein. It’s beans and chips all the way… and they’re sunning themselves in such a beautiful country, likely while simultaneously being massively anti-EU, and worrying about their income because of the attention this case brought. That, to me, is utterly unhuman.

        So, if OG said somewhere I was living was packed with thieves and paedophiles, I’d welcome the light shone, and hope the problem could be eliminated, rather than conclude because I hadn’t seen it, it hadn’t happened, and then hope the light be shone in any other direction.

        Numbers… you had 650, I had 530… what kind of sexual offenders or their locations in Portugal are not specified (actually, the 530 was specified as paedophilic, but anyway). I don’t think they were suggesting they were all in Luz on a beano, though. It’d be more along the lines of throughout the Algarve and even the country, and if they had the opportunity to be in the vicinity on the night. The number does seem shockingly large, but sadly not unrealistic.

        It’s horrible, but is it not something you’d wish to know more about? You think they just pulled numbers out of the sky? I don’t get why you’d think they’d want to do that. To smear Portugal? Why? Portugal is the oldest ally England has. Plus, I think the reason why very little has been said about these scary numbers is because the Met realised this was not attention the Portuguese wanted, and hence any investigation would fail if relations suffered. I’m suggesting the opposite of what you seem to be suggesting.

        So, what if this isn’t malicious propaganda? Age of the internet… paedophiles organise themselves, that’s a fact. What if no Sex Offender’s Register, and no police force made Luz somewhere people like that aim to visit in the off-season? Horrible thought, but what are you going to do- enquire about the validity or throw a blanket over it and hope it goes away.

        Sure, even the handful of ex-pat paedophiles that you’ve covered here seem to me to be too many to be having an interest in that part of the world for it merely to be coincidental. That 530, or 650… if they were on a register, are we to believe they were non-nationals, as Portugal had no register?

        What of the national paedophile rings? All covered up neatly, but it happened. Organised and running right to the top of the police, the judiciary, the secret services, the rich and powerful.

        So, to finish up this fairly lengthy answer… your two scenarios…

        Whodunnit gets done, Luz moves on. Whodunnit gets away, Luz is trapped.

        Ok, certainly agree about the second, and glad you’re rooting for the first. Never mind if they McCanns dunnit… you and I both know that’s a logical fallacy, but I understand your MO is to keep impartiality regarding people who see this as a derby match with two camps of supporters, and I understand why.

        If the McCanns had been guilty in one way or another, that was the dream result for the Portuguese authorities. Gone.

        If the child was snatched by a paedophile, the best case scenario for said authorities was that it was one that fell into the British passport holder column, as they can then say ‘you never told us you were sending this monster here… now it’s murdered one of your children.’ Portugal largely exculpated, even for terrible investigation and false accusations for political motives. It’s a decent result. And before Amaral reverted to his traditional ‘pin it on the parents’ tactic, he was angling for that, as Murat could be portrayed more as English than Portuguese, and he told him he was going to nail him to the wall.

        If the child was snatched by a local Portuguese paedophile, for example, then it’s a national disaster. Utter humiliation on the world stage. Lights shone on police corruption, brutality, organised Portuguese paedophile operations of the past, cases covered up, non-investigation of paedophilic crimes, non monitoring of offenders, treatment of the McCanns, and the placing of obstacles in the way of the Met to stop this from coming out. Does Luz get to move on in that case? I’d say in that case, it would take a very, very long time to recover.

        Worse still, if the child was snatched by an organised gang based in Portugal to order. Does Luz recover? Does Portugal? And would the Portuguese authorities not do everything in its power to stop that conclusion to the investigation?

  4. Without checking further, this looks like the tale about the west end of block 6.

    Hopefully, we are not heading into the story about Aoife popping out from the Dolphin for a sneaky fag break.

    • Not sure if you’re just joking about Aoife’s smoking… but this wasn’t a story with which I was familiar. Maybe I was aware, but not the details. So, you’re talking about the block across the road to the east, as opposed to diagonally to the north east? I don’t know, as it was news to me, I thought it interesting. Sorry if it’s all old hat to you. Seems a perfect spot for surveillance… said apartment must have been empty that week. Anyone skulking in stairwells has to be of interest… just saying, if you’re passing by, would be very informative to see a photo from that area.

      • There is a rumour, totally unfounded, that Aoife was sneaking out of the meal at the Dolphin for a smoke, (or out of the flat in Estrela) and so may have observed the Gerry/Jez meeting, Jane going by, and Tannerman.

        Clearly nonsense due to the distance involved. I don’t know who invented it, but it does the rounds from time to time.

  5. You have stated more than once that the police officers announced wandering off. Where in the files does it state this? And why are the police actions not consistent with this? You don’t have officers checking for forced shutters in a woke and wandered scenario. You don’t have officers taking fingerprints.

    I am as much dependent on tourism as anyone in Ireland is, given Ireland has a tourist industry. As it happens, the son in law moved into tree surgery, so he is dependent on the fact that in Portugal, trees grow much faster than in the UK due to the sunshine.

    Since OG has largely raked over the same people as the first investigation, I can’t see political pressure being relevant, in the manner you suggest. Nailing someone and moving on would have been better than heading unsolved towards the10th anniversary.

    Four-fold increase. I doubt that OG has the capability of working out the crime rate in the area, so how would they calculate a 4-fold increase. Guesstimating that very early in the season might do the trick? Hardly solid policing if that was the approach. But we don’t know. Because OG simply asserted this as a fact. Without providing a shred of evidence.

    Personally, I don’t think the digging of the mound was PR. It was simply a mistake.

    Have they tried to solve this case to the best of their abilities? First, the OG remit says a key area is off-limits. And second, OG has never familiarised itself with the crime scene.

    A lot of mud-slinging. A vast amount of money spent. Apparently, not a lot of result. OG is not going to go down as SY’s finest hour.

    • So you did used to have a share of a local establishment, then? Thought I remembered that.

      It’s there in statements given by the McCanns and the T7. If you want to wager a bottle, I’ll happily search it up. Gerry himself did his shutter experiment and insisted it was an abduction… half-arsed efforts were subsequently made to see if anything might be found along those lines, which largely failed, whether through incompetence or design.

      I’m not sure you got what I was saying about political pressure, or I don’t get your drift. Could you elaborate on what you mean there, because I can’t follow?

      Why would OG not be able to do such a calculation? Redwood said a four-fold increase in such petty crimes and break-ins which were reported. They clearly had access to such information as they were working in conjunction with the Portuguese forces, at least nominally. Still amazed you doubt that. Not a shred of evidence? But OG aren’t there to provide you with evidence, they’re there to solve the case.

      What area is off-limits? I take it you mean investigating the McCanns?

      And why would they want to sling mud at Portugal? Please explain your reasoning.

      • I don’t think political pressure from the Portuguese side would prevent the PJ from investigating anything, whether it was a single paedophile, a paedophile ring, a Portuguese national, or whatever. Any evidence I can think of points the other way round.

        One major mistake was visible UK political interference in the original investigation, including sending to Portugal how many ‘experts’ and insisting things were to be done the Brit way.

        How would Redwood be able to do the calculation is the question. If Redwood said they had examined base data from Portugal covering period X and area Y, I might have believed him. But as he could not explain that Crècheman was going the wrong way or why he was going the wrong way, it is up to OG to demonstrate its capability, not to sling assertions about as facts.

        OG are not there to provide me with evidence. But if you want help from the locals, do you depict them as living in a crime capital before requesting their help? Do you keep them in the dark and feed them …’ Do you have the sort of circus that was the June 2014 Luz dig?

        The off-limits area is the McCanns, since the remit says abduction as if it occurred in the UK. That is a major blunder. Phrasing it as how the incident or crime would be investigated in the UK makes sense. Starting off by deciding it’s an abduction and then trying to prove such lacks intelligence.

        Why would they want to sling mud at Portugal? I haven’t said they want to – I have said that they have. I don’t know how long it would take me to write up the OG own goals. The issue is where to start. Part of those OG own goals (just realised that is OG og’s) is making mutterings that portray the locality and the judicial authorities in a very negative manner.

  6. For some reason the system is not allowing me to do a joined up reply on some comments, while in others I can. This is in reply to your post starting “It’s not really a valid comparison, the ‘what if OG said bad stuff about your home’”

    We moved to get the kids away from bullying in a UK school. My preference was always to go to Spain, but the local international school brought us here. None of us twigged the connection between Luz and Madeleine at the time as none of us was interested in the case. We weren’t meant to be living in Luz, that was another twist of fate. And none of us particularly likes Luz, so we are the process of moving out. There isn’t a loyalty issue here.

    There is an equity issue. The connotation is that the 650 sex offenders have some pertinent link to the area, thus depicting it as very dark and dangerous. On that basis, local gossip should be rife, there should be continual discussion about security, and there should be pressure on the authorities to improve things. Plus a heck of a lot of journalists writing juicy stories. To infer that the place is stuffed with sex offenders and then interview just 2 seems more than a tad unfair.

    Places have a reputation, though it would appear that reputation has no protection in law. The tripe being written about this area, if directed at an individual, would result in a defamation action.

    So what does OG do? It fails to visit the crime scene (apart from the dig). It depicts the area as full of criminals of all kinds. It then seeks assistance from, amongst others, the very people it is slagging off. That’s a totally counter intuitive approach.

    I don’t agree with your analysis re blocking investigation of a Portuguese national or the issues associated with it being found to be a Portuguese national. Or even OG succeeding where the PJ failed. I think the whole country would prefer a result, rather than this continuing to fester, typically in UK media.

    If the snatch was by an organised gang, I cannot see it being protected by the authorities. The supposedly influential Portuguese people getting tried at the moment suggests the opposite.

    • I don’t think Portugal would prefer a result if the truth proved inconvenient. Popular sympathy is notoriously low in the country. I don’t actually believe Portugal wants a result at all, lest it be one of exculpation, as previously discussed. Time will see this case forgotten. That’s what is ultimately wanted in Portugal, rather than truth, or justice.

      My humble opinion, as ever. You live there, so I’ll certainly stand corrected if you wish to postulate the contrary.

  7. I don’t see why the truth should prove inconvenient to Portugal.

    Popular sympathy for the McCanns is IMO very low in Portugal.

    Time alone will not see this case forgotten. It will not go away until it is solved. And even then it won’t go away.

    • Well, the truth would rather obviously prove incredibly inconvenient for Portugal and the Portuguese authorities if one of the scenarios I highlighted proved true.

      The ‘Crimewatch Special’ that coincided with you starting this blog was shown in just about every country in western Europe, save Portugal… which I think speaks volumes. It’s far easier for the Portuguese to buy the police smears and implication that the parents were guilty- no questions raised, no shadows cast. They can go on feeling put upon and disrespected by their larger neighbour, when all along it was their own citizens that killed the child, and her own parents to boot. That’s how they move on. Small nation inferiority complex… they’ve chosen the version of events they choose to believe, and don’t want anything casting doubt on that.

      Time heals all wounds, but not for the family, of course. For Luz, if enough time passes, trade, which seems the main concern, will likely return to what it was eventually. How much time is another question. And it’s reliant on other cases not cropping up. I wouldn’t think parents with young families would be eagerly setting it as a destination. Personally I wouldn’t be holidaying there- having read so much about the case I’d find it too depressing.

      BTW, the number of resident paedophiles in Luz over those years just went up by one. I take it you read about Sir Freud. I understand you don’t have to be a paedophile to get a knighthood in the UK, but it certainly helps. Is there some kind of advertising campaign running… ‘Are you a child molester who is in need of sun?… Buy a holiday home in Luz, on Portugal’s Algarve…’? Does the ‘Kiddy-fiddle Villa Deal’ come with ten years’ anonymity as far as the Policia Judiciaria are concerned, ‘wink wink’?

      Or is it still all pure coincidence?

      • The Crimewatch special, or the equivalent thereof, was shown in a small number of countries. Without checking, the list is the UK, Ireland, Holland and Germany. I have never heard of it being shown in France, Italy, Switzerland or Poland.

        It wasn’t shown in Portugal, despite 2 of the 3 main broadcasters saying they offered to buy the rights to the whole programme. As to how the Portuguese authorities could be involved in blocking such a transaction, that one is beyond me. Particularly as news of the programme, copies of the Smithman e-fits, and news of the attempt to buy the rights circulated freely and widely in Portugal.

        When Heri visited, I asked if some equivalent had been broadcast in Spain, and he said it had not. Why? It seems the Spanish have lost interest in the McCanns.

        Luz is still a family friendly destination, with the bulk of tourists out here with small children. Nobody seems to think beyond beach + sea, but then what?

        As to Sir CF, I have answered that elsewhere, so I’ll leave it at that.

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