Madeleine – Panorama special 3 May 2017

Reporter Richard Bilton, who has covered the Madeleine McCann case for 10 years, presented a BBC Panorama special on 3 May 2017 entitled ‘Madeleine McCann 10 Years On’.

Mr Bilton obtained an interview with Pedro do Carmo, Deputy Director, Polícia Judiciária. He said it is still a missing child case. Plus the PJ wanted to learn what to do if it is repeated.

The Lisbon court case of the McCanns v Gonçalo Amaral was covered briefly.

The programme added various scenes of Luz that are impossible to get from the ground. If you check the credits at the end, you will see the drone camera operator was Andy Webb.

The documentary covered the basics of the case – 9 adults eating at the Tapas restaurant, 8 children in block 5, Kate alerting around 10pm that Madeleine was missing.

There was a previously unseen interview with Gonçalo Amaral from 2012, in which it was claimed there was nothing to support an abduction.

The programme said the Portuguese police found inconsistencies in the time-line, and thought the McCanns had acted oddly by bringing in the media.

The dog deployments were next, presumably to move on to an interview of Kate and Gerry McCann by Sandra Felgueiras. This was the one where Gerry said cadaver dogs are unreliable.

Had the Portuguese settled on their theory before final DNA results were available? Panorama did not pick up the order of things from Kate’s book ‘madeleine’. The McCanns let it be known they were soon leaving Portugal. The PJ chose to interview them before their announced leaving date. The incomplete results still required that the McCanns were made arguidos.

The Smith family gave statements that they saw a man carrying a child several hundred metres from the Ocean Club at around 10pm on 3 May. Gerry would be implicated in the sighting, but he had an alibi of being at the Tapas Restaurant at that time.

In 2008 the case was archived, and the McCanns were no longer arguidos.

Robert Murat gave his opinion on events of that time. Was his mother being followed by private investigators? Was Mr Bilton asked to spy on his colleagues with respect to Mr Murat?

The BBC documentary moved to the report by Jim Gamble, then head of CEOP. It recommended a review. The report appeared to languish until May 2011, when The Sun serialised Kate McCann’s book ‘madeleine’.

Operation Grange was started. The documentary moved to ‘the British story’.

There were burglaries in Luz, that allegedly the local operators kept quiet to protect trade. Heriberto Janosch González told of 3 recent burglaries in block 4 and block 5. In a video, he demonstrated how to raise the shutter an open the window from outside.

3 men were potentially involved in a burglary that night. José Carlos da Silva, a driver at the Ocean Cub. Ricardo Rodrigues, aged 16 in 2017. And Paulo Ribeiro. These were allegedly connected by phone messages and texts. These were 3 Portuguese people on a phone to each other in Luz, and the phone traffic was normal. José Carlos da Silva declined to be interviewed. Ricardo Rodrigues could not be contacted. Paulo Ribeiro was interviewed and he denied involvement in a burglary. He said he had been identified from a drawing or e-fit.

Presumably that was from Crimewatch Oct 2013. If so it is puzzling as to how Sr Ribeiro was identified, as that Crimewatch programme did not air on any Portuguese channel, though those e-fits were shown in Portuguese media.

Judging by the Panorama interview, Sr Ribeiro does not appear to be the kind of person who could keep a major secret for 10 years.

I think I may have had a very brief encounter with Sr Ribeiro about a year ago, though I had no idea at the time that it was him.

Scotland Yard announced these 3 men were no longer persons of interest in April 2017.

Panorama moved on to another man, Vitor dos Santos. He had given a fairly long statement in 2007. He confirmed he had been interviewed by British police, and that must have been in Dec 2014. He said the questions were much the same as in 2007 e.g. about the logistics of the holiday complex. Sr dos Santos had been laid off by the Ocean Club and now made a living taking tourists on boat trips near Lagos.

It seems Operation Grange has a further lead to pursue but Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley would not be drawn on what it was. That left the recent press speculation that it might be about a woman seen near apartment 5A acting suspiciously on 3 May 2007.

I was in contact with the Panorama team to explain some information. However, that was shortly before the programme aired, when the documentary must have been nearly fully completed. So I have no reason to believe anything was altered as a result of our exchange.


ShiningInLuz – coming attractions

I have now managed to gain sufficient experience of Windows 10 and bash Microsoft Edge into shape to be able to stop learning Microsoft and return to more productive endeavours. So it is time to think about what is on the menu.

As a background task, I am cross-indexing Kate’s book ‘Madeleine’ in a way that helps me to look it up efficiently, as I use it as a major source. I doubt that this will lead to any articles on ShiningInLuz, but one never knows.

I also want to get on with the Foot Luz series of photographs of relevant bits of Luz that do not show well or at all on Google StreetView. Essentially, that will make available a complete virtual visit to Luz, for those who are not able to make the journey personally.

Quite shortly, the time limit runs out re the information sent to Operation Grange concerning lists and sources of phone numbers of a historic nature in Luz. If Operation Grange remains uncommunicative, it will then be time to pass the phone numbers and the methods of harvesting more to the McCanns. At that time I will publish a sample of such numbers on ShiningInLuz, and explain how these can be used to break down the traffic around the time of Madeleine’s disappearance.

Staying with the 74,000 phone calls, now that this has been translated I want to return to the analysis conducted by Inspector Paulo Dias, to see if anything worthwhile can be taken from it.

I want to start thinking about what a guided tour of Luz for someone with a fair degree of familiarity with the case would cover, and the best way of doing it. This will be required for my visitor to Luz in Spring 2016. It will also be required if Operation Grange is shelved and a new team is appointed, to get them up to speed more quickly.

Hopefully, I can expand the Luz In Aspic series, covering establishments that were open then but are now closed. On that front I need to update my map of Luz that shows the facilities open in the immediate hours around Madeleine’s disappearance, as I am aware of a few issues with the last one I published.

There are two further tracks I am looking at that might or might not bear fruit, and until they do, there is no point in publishing and further information. My success or otherwise in these areas is limited by the ban on investigating a crime in Portugal, restricting oneself to discussion only, since I have no intention of breaking the law.

I will simply say on both tracks that these could be pursued legally and fairly easily by a person or persons located outside of Portugal, a factor which may be important if Operation Grange is shelved and the McCanns return to action.

And as a final note self, I need to re-index all the statements as my current one isn’t working well enough, and that is obviously going to be an elephant task.

Madeleine – 3 phone operators

The 3 phone operators in Luz in May 2007 were Optimus, TMN and Vodafone.

The Tapas 9 phone operators were as follows

David Payne 7748 Vodafone UK

Dianne Webster 7790 Orange

Fiona Payne no mobile 2-4 May

Jane Tanner 7808 Telefonica UK

Gerry McCann 7786 Vodafone UK

Kate McCann 7903 EE ltd (TM)

Matthew Oldfield 7771 Vodafone UK

Rachael Oldfield 7771 Vodafone UK

Russell O’Brien 7713 Telefonica UK

So far so good, but this is where the going gets tough. Trying to match up Optimus and TMN with Orange, Telefonica UK, and EE ltd is proving puzzling.

Telefonica is Spanish, and does not in 2015 trade in Portugal, so there must have been a deal in place to run through one of the 3 operators in Portugal, but which one or ones?

At this point in time, we can reasonably assume that a Vodapfone UK mobile would go through the Vodafone, so at least we start with 4 of the 8 people.

We also know that when the caller and the person called are both within Luz and the call goes through two operators, we see double reporting of a single call, once each by the two operators.

Gerry makes 2 calls to Kate on 3 May 2007, and both of these turn up twice in the records. So Kate is not on the same operator as Gerry i.e. she is not going through Vodafone. This is confirmed on 4 May 2007 when David Payne, on Vodafone, is in contact with Kate, not on Vodafone, and the call gets double reported.

Inspector Paulo Dias says that Optimus contacts are marked in orange (the colour) while TMN contacts are in blue. I cannot find anything that states what colour is used for Vodafone.

I also have the problem that I don’t see how one can tell which network a 3rd party is using. I can tell that Gerry is on Vodafone, but when he connects to 2 English numbers he has in common with Kate, which colour is appropriate? Should it be the Vodafone colour that he is on? Should it be Kate’s orange or blue (even assuming I can work out which she is on?)

For the moment, here is a slightly updated graphic of the shared 3rd parties. To match the apparent heaviness of the lines, I have used orange, a lightish blue, and a dark green for Vodafone.

Shared numbers 2

Madeleine – 74,000 calls/texts – shared numbers

Page 40 Shared numbers

Inspector Paulo Dias speaks about a chart for each member, but if such exist they do no appear to be in the PJ Files.

There is a single graphic in the files, showing the shared numbers of the Tapas 9. This has the title “Terceiros Comuns”, which is a bit cryptic in itself. Terceiro is third. Comum means in common. My best stab at this would be third parties in common with two members of the Tapas 9.

Originally, this graphic was in colour. Unfortunately, when photocopied it has come out in black and white, so the colour information has been lost.

It may be possible to recover some of this missing information, and it may be possible to derive some intel from the graphic by other approaches.

For the moment, here is the final page of Inspector Paulo Dias’ analysis of the mobile phone traffic shared among elements of the Tapas 9, on 2-4 May 2007.

Shared numbers

Madeleine v Creative Cupcakes

If you are wondering what Creative Cupcakes has to do with Madeleine, there is a sense in which the answer is nothing, but there is an alternative insight.

It looks like Creative Cupcakes operates as a franchise, based on the intricacy of the cupcakes and the design of the packaging, and there is now one on the Algarve.

All of the following information is available of the Internet and is being actively promoted, so I am not revealing any personal details here.

The Algarve or Barlavento (western Algarve) franchise holder appears to be a lady called Marie Corey. Her business card gives the following details. Her website is She can be contacted at, so presumably she came to the Algarve from the UK. Her Portuguese number is (+351) 919725785, a mobile telephone number. Her UK number is (+44) 07813 603 707, another mobile number.

She is based near Albufeira, but is willing to deliver to Luz for the price of her petrol for the round trip (and subject to a minimum order).

Her Portuguese phone number does not appear in the Portuguese White or Yellow Pages. Perhaps this is because she is too new to appear, perhaps not. We learned of her via Facebook, and that may be the business model used by Creative Cupcakes.

We now have a small business (one woman with a supplier) that allows us to think about how Creative Cupcakes, or similar, might have influenced the Luz phone traffic, if it had been around on 2-4 May 2007.

First, the cupcakes were ordered by mobile from Luz, so there would be at least one activation of a Luz antenna for that. There may have been another at delivery time, re directions to the drop-off point.

Now we need to turn to the nature of the small business. I would not expect a huge demand for cupcakes in Luz in May 2007. The business does non-Christmas ones as well, for events like birthdays and anniversaries, but we are not discussing a major traffic source in this instance.

There is almost certainly a land line where Marie Corey lives. As she is out and about, delivering cupcakes or simply getting on with her daily life, taking business traffic via a mobile makes sense.

As Marie seems to be armed with two mobiles, the question now is does she have another, for non-business use? I would suggest not. The bureaucracy around running a very small venture like this is frighteningly large in Portugal, so most such ventures operate off the radar. If that is true in this instance, then Marie will be using what is a fairly standard set-up here, one Portuguese mobile and one English mobile, for both business and personal use. Topped by a fair chance that there is no entry in the phone directories in Portugal for the mobile, as she is using Facebook and business cards.

This is the challenge that faced the PJ in analysing the 74,104 calls and texts made into and out of Luz on 2-4 May 2007, and the same for Operation Grange.

The report by PJ Inspector Paulo Dias concluded that with the sheer volume of information, it was impossible to make sense of it by boiling it down. It was necessary to have one or more suspects, then analyse the traffic for those to see whether it appeared normal or suspicious.

Operation Grange appears to be following the same pattern. Three of the people made arguidos in July 2014 seem to be linked by phone traffic in the relevant period.

I happen to think the alternative approach is also feasible. That it is possible to take phone numbers from 2007, to predict the traffic pattern, and then to see if the actual traffic conforms to the predicted pattern or not. In doing so, the analyst can strip out multiple Luz numbers that are simply following a predicted pattern, leaving a smaller number of unexplained calls/texts to examine.

The next challenge in this reduction strategy is getting one’s hands on 2007 telephone information that was on the radar. If Operation Grange has not done this, it has missed a major opportunity. Hopefully, Operation Grange has access to computerised versions of this information.

I am in possession of Portugal Blue Pages 2011 Algarve edition. This is a businesses and services directory and despite its title it was printed in 2010, probably around 2.5 years after Madeleine disappeared. It has 178 pages. A fair chunk of this is taken up with advertising, but where it is not, there are around 40 entries per page. My guesstimate is it has somewhere around 5,000 numbers, with a mixed bag of land lines and mobiles, large businesses that Operation Grange should find easily, and little one person ventures that are probably a bit more difficult. For example, the “Adults Only – 18+” section has 11 entries, 10 of which are mobiles. Make up your own mind as to how widely these numbers were advertised and their longevity.

My issue in using this information is that it is paper-based, not computer based. Unless Operation Grange gets in touch with, I am sitting on a book that is hard to use. It is ordered by business type, then alphabetically. There is no easy way to check anything.

So there you have it in a cupcake. There is a vast sea of information about mobiles residing in multiple sources, and that can be used to distil the 74,104 items of phone traffic to a much more manageable number.

Assuming, of course, Operation Grange chooses to do so.

Finishing up on a lighter note, Creative Cupcakes delivers in multiples of six, not the five I showed in my Christmas Day photo. So, what happened to the 6th? I was led to believe that these were all for me, so, safe in this knowledge, I left them to 25 Dec 2015 as I wanted to do a nice little Xmas photo. However, my better half, not knowing my plan, decided to try one on Christmas Eve.

Poor old Rudolph got his head bitten in half. That’s a risky thing to do when your waiting for Father Xmas. Surely the Xmas tree, the snowman, or the Christmas pud would have been a safer option?

As it happens, we still got a visit from Santa Claus!

Madeleine – 74,000 calls/texts – Paulo Dias final

Page 38


Due to the huge amount of data it does not become possible with the available tools (Access, Excel and Analyst Notebook), to develop a work that enables verification of a certain standard, from where it is possible to extract data that suggest or indicate a way to follow for the investigation for the collection of evidence.

It reaffirms that to perform analysis of the amount of data that has been forwarded to this police this is only possible, as already mentioned, if it is provided data on one or a group of suspects, witnesses, and / or others. Only then, these data may be useful to indicate that a particular phone on day 2, 3 or 4 activated an antenna of Praia da Luz.

Finally, it is possible to infer compared to data analysed and explanations of the key players in a first stage of analysis, that is, without having analysed systematically, all witness statements and materials, which it may will rise to possibility of abduction/kidnapping, among others. Other than that for now, without to proceed to analyse more data, it is not possible to confirm which.

It is certain that still it has not been requested any ransom demand from the kidnapper, but making faith in what the parents of little Madeleine assert and testimony from a lot of the other elements of the group, and in the table of the of the communications that are present (increase in telephone traffic from and to the parents and members of the group after the disappearance of the child, which until then were only sporadic contacts), only one can already opine to the hypothesis above.

As soon as possible, to join to this report, the report of the analysis of the facts.

Join in the annex the graphics (charts) representative of the communications of each member of the group.

{I am far from clear as to what is going on here. There is a single graphic in the PJ Files. It could be that Inspector Paulo Dias meant this was an interim report, a work-in-progress, which could be developed further. Equally, it could be that my translation is less than perfect.

However, the core facts are simple. Inspector Dias is saying that, due to the quantity of information in the telephone records, it is not possible to boil them down to find a suspect. It needs to work the other way round i.e. to find a suspect (or suspects) from elsewhere and then to check on telephone traffic for suspicious activity.}

Madeleine – 74,000 calls/texts – Paulo Dias 2

The next chunk is long and extremely repetitive. The questions to be posed to 8 members of the Tapas 9 are far from piercing.

David Payne

Q1.1 Who is is the user of mobile phone 44789xxxx8713, with whom you exchange the communications to follow as indicated, and what relation do you maintain with him/her?

Understanding the rest simply means knowing that troca means exchange, recebe means receive and envia means send. A slight variation is ‘efectuou uma chamanda´which is ‘you made a call’.

Russell O’Brien

Q2.1 asks Russell about 4479xxxx6678, and notes this number is in common with one contacted by Kate.

Q2.2 Did he receive any personal or phone contact from the user of 4477xxxx4842, that activated Luz antennas, and will be able to have been introduced by the user of 4479xxxx6678?

Everything else for Russell is the standard ‘who is the user of’ variety.

Dianne Webster

Q3.1 is a slight variation on the standard. It asks about 4479xxxx0610 in the standard way. Then it asks if this is a message centre, to whom was the message sent?

Matthew Oldfield

Q4.1 is the only question and the first part is standard. The second part is whether this individual was approached in person or by telephone.

Rachel Oldfield

The first 5 questions are standard. Q5.6 has the variant that Matthew had i.e. was this individual approached in person or by telephone.

Jane Tanner

All standard questions.

Gerry McCann

Q7.1 to Q7.5 are standard.

Q7.6 suggests a number starting with 910 might instead have this replaced with 44, the code for the UK. Q7.7 suggests the same with another 910 number.

Q7.8 is a question about two phone users that may be linked, mobile 4479xxxx6678 and land line 44116xxx2061.

Q7.9 asks about the 3 incoming calls where the calling number was not identified.

Q7.10 is about a call to and a call from (Portuguese mobile) 964xxx520, around 10:30pm on 4th May.

Q7.11 asks if Gerry has received a personal or phone contact with the user of 4479xxxx1017, a contact of his wife, and who might be the user of 964xxxx520 in Q7.10.

Q7.12 asks if Gerry was without phone contact or without battery charge in two periods, presumably from the 4th of May, one after midnight and one early morning. If he was absent, was he accompanied and by whom.

Kate McCann

Questions 8.1 and 8.2 are about the two numbers in common with Gerry, but otherwise are standard.

Q8.3 is about the number in common with Russell O’Brien, but otherwise is standard.

Q8.4 asks if she had personal or phone contact with the user of 4477xxxx4842, and is it linked to 4479xxxx6678, the one referred to in 8.3.

Q8.5 is standard.

Q8.6 asks if she had personal or phone contact with the user of 4479xxxx1583, and is it linked to the one asked about in 8.5?

Questions 8.7 to 8.9 are standard.

Q8.10 is about an unknown UK mobile that was known to be in Luz – 4479XXXX1017.

Q8.11 asks if Kate had personal of phone contacts with two other numbers known to be in Luz, 964xxx520 and 4478xxxx8964, and which may be linked to the number in Q8.10.

Q8.12 and 8.13 are standard.

Q8.14 has a slight twist. After earlier stating that number 289xxx562 was unknown and needed to be identified, in this part of the report it is known to be the Pacífico Bar. Other than that it is standard.

Q8.15 is standard, albeit with a lot of exchanges with a single number. The timing pattern of these is interesting, as they start at 3:07AM on 4 May 2007, and are nearly continuous to 10:15AM on the same day.