Madeleine – Rua do Poço – UPDATED

The street of the well, Rua do Poço, obviously features in the Madeleine McCann story. Everything else in Luz does, so why not this tale.

I can find Rua do Poço with no trouble. I can find Travessa do Poço (lane of the well) with no trouble. What I could not do before today was to actually locate the town well.

One needs to go back way before Luz was developed and to imagine a small community that came to the well to get drinking water.

The following photo is definitely from Luz. I have no clue as to the date at the moment. As far as I can tell, the location is consistent with Rua do Poço.

Perhaps there are ways to date this photograph accurately. To me, it just looks very, very old indeed.

One donkey, one aged well – what more can one ask for?

UPDATE 28 June 2017.

I decided to see if there was any possibility of a match to more recent times, so here is my effort at aligning a 2014 photo with the older one. The 2014 one was in colour, but I removed that to make comparison easier. The donkey photo was clearly taken much later in the day when the sun was further west, so I cannot make the lighting conditions match up.

The 2014 photo was taken near the junction of Rua do Poço (street of the well), Travessa do Poço (lane of the well) and Beco do Poço (alley of the well), so I’m confident this is indeed the location of the well.

A little way to the west on Rua do Poço is a restaurant called the Galley. It also has an entry on the promenade. In 2007, it was called O Poço. This got a mention in the PJ Files. A lady emailed the PJ from there, telling them to look in the tunnels under Luz. Paulo Rebelo requested a map of the underground tunnels from Lagos Câmara, but there is no trace of it in the Files. Since Tom, Dick and Harry were already clambering through the rainwater outlets near the sea, it is impossible to determine what the origin of the tunnels story was.

 

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Madeleine – Luz weather station 12.37

I discussed whether there was a weather station in Luz with my last tour visitor. The data being presented in support of this idea can be shown to come from the Faro weather station, while there is a weather station much closer to Luz in Sagres. Paulo Rebelo requested the local weather for 3 and 4 May 2007, but when the weather forecasters asked for around €300 for this data, he seems to have declined to take it further.

This November 2016 I decided to try a little experiment. I decided to record the local weather in Luz each day at 12.37. I am recording the temperature (in the shade), the degree of cloud cover, the wind direction and strength. There have been successes and what I can best describe as opportunities to learn.

Lest anyone should think I have lost my marbles, please remember the role that weather plays in the disappearance of Madeleine.

There is the weather experienced by the Tapas 9 and others on that fateful evening of 3 May 2007. There is the question of Tannerman carrying a child without using a blanket. That is followed by Kate’s whooshing curtains and clunking door. And around the same time there is Smithman, also with a child without a blanket.

If you are curious as to where the 12.37 comes in, here is the explanation. Portugal is in exactly the same time zone as the UK. When UK clocks went back in late October, so did Portuguese clocks, to maintain synchronicity. At Greenwich, the sun is overhead and due south at 12 noon. But Luz is further west than Greenwich, and the Earth has to rotate for a further 37 minutes, until it is due south here at 12.37. I can then use the sun as a compass when I am trying to work out wind direction.

It is time to look at what I have learned from this little experiment.

First, trying to remember that 12.37 is approaching and I need to take the readings is not a robust system. I have had ‘wobble factors’ of an hour and a half.

Second, buildings are a major source of interference in working out wind direction. If I stand near our villa, I get how the wind is being channelled rather than the true wind direction. Were Kate’s curtains/door from channelled wind?

Third, a once a day reading is well nigh useless. At 12.38 today, I recorded 90% sun. Within about an hour it clouded over considerably, and now at 16.00 it is 100% overcast and raining. I have been using the video of the McCanns being taken by car for interview #1 on the morning of 4 May as an indicator of the weather the evening before, but my experiment has proved how dangerous this is.

In the same vein, anyone promoting data that does not come from a proper, automated data gathering weather station is promoting rubbish. I might as well keep a diary and rely on my memory of how the day went. I got a lot of vitamin D on my trip to Spar this morning, and I’m glad I chose to go then, because if I was out in it now, I’d be wet, cold and miserable.

Fourth, I have learned that nature can help. My chosen spot away from the house has a couple of clumps of bulrushes. Compared with wetting my finger and doing a 360° turn the bulrushes are much better at telling me the wind direction.

It may that when we move I will buy an automated weather station, given that I now understand the basics of weather monitoring, and the futility of manual checks. Goodness only knows we will have a huge expanse of garden on which we are permitted to do very little. I don’t think I need permission for a small weather station.

Madeleine – paedophilia in Portugal – Predator and Angel Watch

If you dig through Operation Predator, you should come up with two quite different stories, and the little information I can glean is that the two initiatives are not directly linked.

In the US, Operation Predator was started in July 2003 by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to protect children from sexual predators.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Predator The Wikipedia article does not make it clear that a sexual predator is considered to be someone having certain categories of sex with a person under 18 years of age, whether that person is considered to be at or above the age of consent in the country where the ‘offence’ took place.

The major thrust of Operation Predator appears to be to detect foreign national sex offenders, with the aim of deporting them from the US.

Another strand was the PROTECT Act of 2003, designed to halt US citizens from indulging in child sex tourism to Thailand, Cambodia, Mexico and Costa Rica. US citizens were deemed to make up 25% of such sex offenders, the largest contributors.

Operation Predator in conjunction with other US organisations built up a large database of child pornography images, and appears to have an advanced capability for searching through these. Operation Predator was communicating with Interpol and appears to be linked through global systems to CEOP. Whether Madeleine McCann was ever run through the Predator database is unclear.

Operation Angel Watch is another U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiative. This tracks people is the sex offender registry who are considered likely to indulge in child sex tourism, and notifies destination countries when those people travel abroad. In 2007, Angel Watch sent 1,700 leads to 100 countries.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann does not appear to fit child sex tourism for all sorts of reasons, but it would be interesting to see how many alerts were sent to Portugal around April/May 2007.

Turning to Portugal, Operation Predator was an effort that resulted in raids in early October 2007. The news appears in media reports dating from around 11 Oct 2007, but I have not found a definitive date for the raids. The operation was reported to be 6 months in the planning.

All of the media reports naming the leader of this effort say it was Paulo Rebelo. However a couple of forum reports say that Rebelo was unconnected to this, with one saying he was working on robberies. Since 2 Aug 2007 was the date at which Amaral was removed from the Madeleine McCann investigation, it seems odd that Rebelo would leave Operation Predator just as the raids were about to come to pass.

Anyway, the Portuguese Operation Predator resulted in 80 arrests with 150 devices seized (PCs and mobile phones etc.) with 75 properties searched. The main effort was in Lisbon with the Azores and Madeira being prominent. This makes it look like it might have been based on the SIS year 2000 report which named these areas, plus Porto, as the main problem zones. There is no specific mention of the Algarve, although the raids were described as being across Portugal.

The Operation Predator team were told to look for Madeleine in the materials recovered. There is no specific detail of how they did this, nor of the capability of the PJ in checking. There is no mention of this material being sent to the US Operation Predator to conduct matching using their sophisticated capabilities, nor of any contact with CEOP. I will be writing an article in the near future on CEOP to examine what they could and could not do at that time.

Madeleine would have stuck out like a sore thumb from any Portuguese children in the cache of records captured in the raid, but I have no idea whether the were other pale skin white girls aged around 4 in the photos and videos.

This check did not provide certainty, but on the balance of probability, Madeleine was not swept up in Operation Predator.

In early October 2007, Paulo Rebelo took over the investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. He took a team of six PJ officers with him, all from Lisbon PJ. It seems likely that he did not wish his investigation clouded by officers who had been working the case before. Two of the officers Rebelo took with him were experienced in investigating paedophilia. Rebelo then did what Operation Grange has claimed to do. He started from afresh, re-examining from the beginning.

I have not found any follow-up media reports on Operation Predator, therefore I cannot say what happened to the 80 people arrested.

Madeleine – paedophilia in Portugal – Casa Pia

The second item of interest raised in the 2006 article from Correio da Manhã re paedophilia in Portugal was the Casa Pia case.

Casa Pia (pious house) is an institution that for over 200 years has looked after orphans and children of the poor, providing them with education from primary school level up to university entrance level. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Pia

The Wikipedia article on the Casa Pia scandal is at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Pia_child_sexual_abuse_scandal I am not a fan of this article. It does not cover what went on before the scandal broke, nor what happened after sentences were handed down. The latter, though interesting, appears to have very limited relevance to the Madeleine McCann case, so I will omit that part.

A brief summary of the developments in the Casa Pia scandal is that a mother of one of the children came forward in Sep 2002 with allegations of paedophilia at Casa Pia. On 23 Nov 2002, weekly newspaper Expresso published an interview with the mother. Two days later on 25 Nov 2002, a driver for Casa Pia, one Carlos Silvino, was arrested by the PJ. (A warrant for his arrest had been issued on 7 Nov 2002.) Other prominent public figures were arrested, including a popular TV personality and a high ranking ex-diplomat. The trial would run from 2004 to 2010.

Paulo Rebelo, he who would take over from Gonçalo Amaral in the Madeleine McCann case, was one of the senior investigators in the Casa Pia scandal, and there is more to come on that angle.

When the case broke, a number of investigative journalists ran pieces on the bits that interest me.

The BBC has this profile of 5 of those involved, at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-11180416 If you check the entry for Carlos Silvino, you find some mind-boggling stuff. The New York Times alleges a rape of a young girl before Silvino started in Casa Pia. The BBC says Silvino started work at Casa Pia in 1974 and within weeks there were accusations that he had raped boys on campus. From the BBC article “In 1989 he was reportedly expelled from the school, but after a two-year legal battle that went to Portugal’s Supreme Court, he was reinstated.”

That latter statement ticks one of my boxes. If a case went to the Supreme Court, it would have been reported at the time, thus advertising an alleged paedophile, and the goods on offer, the children at Casa Pia. What it doesn’t explain is how Casa Pia could be ordered to re-instate Silvino, and thus lead to the Casa Pia scandal.

The real question with Carlos Silvino is where to start. He was orphaned at age two, first went into a different orphanage, got transferred to Casa Pia, and became a Casapiana. The institution was his home and his family.

http://www.publico.pt/destaque/jornal/supremo-tribunal-administrativo-entendeu-que-nao-houve-aliciamento-dos-menores-molestados-176935 This very long article provides a huge amount of background on Calos Silvino.

When he was fired from his position in 1989, Silvino did not accept the decision, and appealed to the Supreme Court. He had been fired on a number of charges, raised after a mother of a child at Casa Pia accused Silvino of being homosexual and of grooming her child. The most serious allegation is that Silvino had shared a shower with one of the boys, fondled him, soaped him, watched pornography with him, had a session of mutual masturbation, and at least one attempt of penetrative sex. The Supreme Court did not reject this, but it rejected the manner in which Silvino had been fired, finding it had not followed procedure, and thus Casa Pia was forced to re-instate Carlos in 1991. 193 colleagues had signed a petition attesting that Silvino was a good character. And Casa Pia was forced to pay the salary from when he was fired to when he went back.

This is not the beginning of the story. Carlos is alleged to have raped a boy in front of colleagues when he was but 19. He went on to become a prefect, an overseer in Casa Pia, which gave him access to the dormitories and bathhouses. His preferred age range was children aged 9 to 11 years. A written complaint in 1978 to one of the Casa Pia directors was followed up by a written complaint to the Minister of Social Affairs in February 1980.

Another Minister, Teresa Costa Macedo, received complaints in the 1980s about Casa Pia suggesting things went beyond the core of paedophiles eventually scooped up. Adelino Granja, a lawyer, complained to President Ramalho Eanes in Macedo’s presence. This led to police case 10344/81. Carlos Silvino was interrogated by the PJ and the case was referred to court in 1982. It came to northing.

Around the same time in 1982, 4 Casa Pia children were found in the house of a diplomat, in Cascais and a complaint was raised. The case went to the Tribunal of Cascais but in 1987 it was shelved on the basis there was insufficient evidence to prosecute, and the file was destroyed in 1992.

Is this all there is on Carlos Silvino? Quite the opposite. In his neighbourhood in Lisbon he was known as a helpful, courteous individual. However, at night, he was described by those aware of the scandal as a vampire, a sexual predator. He was on the end of disciplinary action in Casa Pia at least 6 times, two for paedophilia and others for abuse, bad behaviour and feuds. In 1988 he was suspended for a month with respect to one such instance. Carlos Silvino appeared to have a dual personality.

When the Casa Pia scandal broke in 2002, too many people came forward with complaints for the case to disappear once more, and Portugal’s first instance of paedophilia in an institution gripped the nation. The court case started in 2004 and would be half way through when Madeleine McCann disappeared in May 2007.

Madeleine v missingmadeleine on body disposal

Madeleine v missingmadeleine re body disposal

Administrators have forbidden any new members.”

I noticed from my blog that a recent source of hits was http://missingmadeleine.forumotion.net/ aka Missing Madeleine Every Child Counts.

Fred, a platinum poster with 4,698 posts wrote @ http://missingmadeleine.forumotion.net/t28963-body-disposal

Body disposal

Post fred on Mon 23 Nov – 15:23

https://shininginluz.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/madeleine-body-disposal-and-transfer-stations/

Any thoughts? I’m still with Huelva but many disagree.”

OK, what have I got so far? I now know that fred reads my blog, is referring to my recent post on rubbish transfer stations in the Algarve, and seems to think that Madeleine was disposed of in Huelva. So far, so good.

Sooooo…..

I tried to set up a username on missingmadeleine so that I could reply.

And what I got was … “Administrators have forbidden any new members.” Weird, but true. It looks like only members who joined before a certain date can post there.

Sooooo….. I am going to have to respond here, and hope that fred checks in to my blog again. If you do fred, feel free to copy and paste me to the forum. Itlooks a tad quiet over there and this might spice things up a little.

Sooooo….. on to body disposal in Huelva. Date 3 Aug 2007 for the trip.

Body disposal in Huelva has the odd thing or two going against it.

It requires that the McCanns were successful in concealing a body in a locality they were not familiar with. It requires that an extensive search over the next 7 days failed to find that place. It requires that body concealment worked at least until they rented the Scenic. Actually, it requires that body concealment worked until they moved into 27 Rua das Flores, assuming you believe in the dogs. That was 2 months down the line from Madeleine’s disappearance.

It requires that the McCanns retrieved the corpse during what was then the biggest news story in the world. It requires that in the trip to Spain there was a body in the rear luggage space of the Scenic, and that video director Jon Corner did not try to stow some gear in the rear. I could be wrong, but wasn’t there also a cameraman, in which case I need room for him and his gear?

It requires that the McCanns go AWOL in Huelva. This may have happened. More importantly, it requires that the McCanns knew how to dispose of a body in Huelva. Personally, I have no idea of how one would going about disposing of a body in Huelva.

Then there’s the border. It requires that the McCanns thought that they could transport a dead body from Portugal to Spain in 2007, across the border.

With the benefit of hindsight, I believe this could have been done in 2007. I just don’t see how the McCanns could have predicted it at the time of the trip.

Sooooo….. No, I can’t see a case for the McCanns disposing of a body on the trip to Huelva.

Administrators have forbidden any new members.” I am happy to debate under your forum rules, under your moderators, but if this has been blocked, my blog remains open for business.

Sooooo….. Let’s look at the comments since the thread was originally posted.

From AnnaEsse, Administrator. “I tend to keep thinking about how two doctors might dispose of a small body.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). Given enough time, I have no doubt whatsoever that two doctors could dispose of a body in Luz. The constraint is time. Without a fair deal of time, visitors to Luz would find it extremely difficult to dispose of a body here. Locals would have much more chance of making this succeed.

From fuzeta, platinum poster. “Well there were enough trips to the rubbish tips with ‘ rotten pork’ and ‘ dirty nappies’, also a fridge. So it makes you think.

Fred, I am interested in your thoughts on Huelva and wondering if they are they same as mine. If you cannot say please send me a pm xx”.

From me (ShiningInLuz). Unknown to both locals and visitors alike, all the rubbish goes to a single tip, where it was extensively sorted through for several reasons, the most important being to extract toxic waste that was not permitted in landfill. Since fridges contain toxic waste (refrigerant) plus recyclable material (metal), the tale that Madeleine disappeared in a fridge is a myth. Portugal uses a standard system whereby when you get a new white good delivered, you pay a small charge for disposal of the old one. There’s no evidence of fridge disposal or fridge purchase.

From AnnaEsse. “This is what I’m thinking fuzeta. I’m quite sure that a chopped up small body could look like cuts of meat. Distributed around on various tips and there is the chance that the body is gone forever. I reckon Maddie will be found if one day a dog runs off a tip with a bone that proves to be human.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). All the rubbish in the Western Algarve went to a single site at Porto de Lagos. In the unlikely event that Madeleine made it into the landfill there, the remains are now under tons of rubbish that went on top. Apartment 5A showed no signs of a body being butchered. Locals in the area have much less risky methods of disposing of a body.

From fuzeta “Yes Anna and there are many farms around.”

From me (ShiningInLuz). There are, split into those that are farmed, with farmer and farm dog, and those that aren’t. The constraint on the McCanns is time and knowledge. Personally, despite living here, I could not take you on a tour of abandoned farms because, strangely enough, it has never been of interest to me. So, someone with a knowledge of abandoned farms strikes me as someone who had a pre-existing reason to be interested in abandoned farms, such as people sleeping rough and criminals.

From AnnaEsse “I hadn’t thought about the farms, fuzeta, but of course! I think that when the McCanns said they were transporting rotting meat, they were telling the truth, but what kind of meat?”.

Let me see.

Someone with 25 years in the PJ in the Algarve had not a clue about how to dispose of a body in the Algarve. The folks who have succeeded him don’t know either – Rebelo, Redwood, Wall. Did 2 doctors beat this lot?

Huelva, sorry fred, please keep reading my blog. Feel free to post your ideas on here because I welcome different ideas and opinions. But I am struggling with Huelva on practical aka logistical reasons. I just cannot make it fit.

After that we get rubbish tips. Sorry, no, the rubbish did not work that way.

Chopped up small body. Sorry, no, who chopped, how was the chopping concealed?

Farms? If we know about these – and do we – who knew about these then?

For locals, there are easier and safer ways of disposing of a body. For visitors, body disposal was neither safe nor easy.

Madeleine – DNA in Portugal

Portugal was allegedly the last country in Europe to establish a national DNA database.

The relevant law was number 5 of 2008, coming into effect on 12 Feb 2008.

That was the date at which it became legal to keep a DNA database, but it was not the date at which a DNA database was kept.

The INML was to be the keeper of the national database.

A news report dated Nov 2009 said the database was completely empty, without a single entry, while the INML had received just 23 requests to provide matches.

The law relating to who went on the database was criticised as being too restrictive.

A side issue was volunteers, who could go on but take themselves off as they pleased. Another was civil cases (paternity). These peripheral issues would come to form only a small proportion of the data registered.

The core was those on it with criminal convictions. This was restricted to those people getting a sentence of 3 years or more, hence most criminals could never appear. Such an entry was not automatic. It required a specific order from a judge to make it happen, and in the formative years this was very much the exception.

Further, unlike the UK, it is not once on, always on. Criminal records in Portugal get expunged after specific periods of time, and whenever a criminal record was expunged, it was mandatory to remove the related DNA entry from the INML database.

By mid-Feb 2012, the national database stood at precisely 395 entries in total (criminal in the main, but also volunteer and civil). This was the date at which a major Portuguese news source reported the first successful use of the database in a criminal case. An offender was tracked via DNA in a theft case.

This case was then used by the police and related authorities to ‘advertise’ to judges the benefits of ordering DNA samples in cases of convictions for 3 years or more.

By the end of March 2015, the database had grown to 5,393 entries.

Finally, the law states that arguidos can be compelled to give DNA, even if this requires force. I do not have any information as to whether this is routine procedure or not. Essentially, two more checks exist. The authorities cannot use this (arguido) DNA in another case, and the DNA evidence is removed when the arguido status is lifted.

I do not know whether or not the INML routinely checks new convictions against outstanding cases.

This information has clear and obvious implications in the Madeleine McCann case, both on the chances of success in the original PJ investigation, and in the current Scotland Yard operation.

Madeleine – what is in the phone records?

It is my belief that the phone records hold the key to cracking the Madeleine McCann case.

Please note my use of the word ‘belief’. Since I do not have access to the full set of phone records, I am in no position to state with certainty that this is the case.

On the 20th Dec 2007, the Daily Mail had a report on the telephone records. Caveat emptor.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-503581/Madeleine-police-trace-EVERY-phone-day-vanished.html

Madeleine police trace EVERY phone call made on day she vanished, by Vanessa Allen. (Note – Vanessa quickly changes to phone calls made within a half-hour time period that day.)

Paulo Rebelo, then head of the enquiry had seized thousands of records relating to telephone calls made in the area of Burgau to Luz to Lagos on 3rd May 2007.

Officials had begun checking on up to 1,000 locals on 3rd May, with particular emphasis on calls made between 9.30pm and 10pm.

Detectives can use the “triangulation method” to pinpoint users who were in Praia da Luz on May 3. Mobiles give out signals every time they make or receive a call or text message, and when they are switched on and off.

Those signals are logged by phone masts and by measuring the strength of the signal to local masts, experts can identify precisely where a phone was used.

OK, end of article, time for some thoughts.

Other newspapers were running similar stories, though that does not make any of them true.

In 2014, people were supposedly made arguidos on the basis of phone calls to each other around the time Madeleine disappeared, again according to the media.

I have rechecked the October 2013 Crimewatch. There is no mention of mobile phone traffic. The attribution to Andy Redwood that the entire mobile phone data was being targeted rather than trawled must come from another source.

So, you have your paws on the phone data, legally via a court order, not ‘seized’, and you look at it and WHAT?

Who knows whether there were 1,000 locals at the time? Or the full list of visitors in Luz, whether at the Ocean Club or at numerous other establishments in Luz? Or just dropped into town for a beer and a chat with mates? Each of these had a valid reason to use a mobile phone, a reason that had nothing to do with Madeleine McCann.

Triangulation? If the telephone data had triangulation information this case would not be running now. It would have concluded years ago.

All of the telephone data I have seen is much cruder. It tells you which cell the phone was in, as indicated by which mast it was talking to. As long as a phone and a mast were actually talking to each other.

Luz happens to be nearly 100% covered by a single mast. From that you get to know, roughly because there can be errors, whether the mobile phone was in Luz when it talked to the mast.

This means the phone data is a bit of a nightmare to interpret, and it will get much worse before it gets better. However…

It is my belief that the phone records hold the key to cracking the Madeleine McCann case.