Madeleine – Sergey Malinka’s Audi A4

An Audi A4 for someone of Sergey Malinka’s age in March 2008 seems quite an expensive and impressive car, so I did a bit of digging.

Mr Malinka’s car got fire-bombed in March 2008, whilst parked on Rua 25 de Abril, quite near to the apartment occupied by his parents and himself. The word Fala – Talk – was spray-painted on the pavement beside the wreck. As far as I know, no one has ever been brought to justice for this act.

I am looking at cars appearing in the history of Luz. The McCanns’ Renault Scenic was first-up, then I turned my attention to Sergey’s Audi A4. Cars in Portugal are extremely expensive, due to a scandalously high import tax. So I wondered how Mr Malinka could afford an A4, which got me thinking about how old Mr Malinka’s car was (they run forever in Portugal).

Fortunately, Mr Malinka’s A4 is in the PJ Files, and even better it appears in the dog-search videos. Here is (was) 10 91 FP. Portuguese licence plates now have a strip down the right hand side with the year and month of registration. The Audi does not have this, so it must pre-date this requirement. That means I have to work via the logo on the boot and the tail-light clusters.

From Sergey’s Audi A4 in the dog search.

There is a fairly distinctive boot shape. The tail light clusters have white reversing lights at the bottom centre. Thanks to all the petrol-heads in the world, I can date this shape from 1992 through to 1997.

After that, the rear end got a makeover. Here is a 1998 model.

This means Mr Malinka’s car was between 11 to 16 years old when it got torched. This may seem venerable, but as I have explained import taxes in Portugal are prohibitive, and because of this cars retain a much higher proportion of their purchase price than they do in the UK.

So the intriguing question remains as to how Sergey Malinka was able to afford an Audi A4 at his age.

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.

Textusa, Martin Grime, and the dogs

Slowly grinding my way through the PJ files on telephone records is more than a tad boring. I thought a change was as good as a rest, so I decided that looking at what Textusa has been offering recently would be a little light entertainment.

I don’t need to explain Textusa’s central theorem re Madeleine McCann, therefore I wont. I will simply focus on Textusa with respect to Martin Grime and the dogs.

First let me summarise my own viewpoint, which will give you an idea of my approach to this topic.

I have never been impressed by the dogs as evidence. If the dog-handler, Martin Grime, states that only the forensics count, then I go by the forensics. If the forensics are non-supportive, then I am not going to find guilt merely by interpreting what the dogs were doing.

On this basis, I have never spent much time digging into the track record of dogs in general, of Eddie and Keela in particular, and of Martin Grime in particular. As Textusa builds on two of these, I am straying out of my zone of expertise. I am playing away from home, in a battleground of someone else’s choosing.

This is generally not a smart thing to do, but as I explained at the start, I am bored with the trail I am currently pursuing, and this is simply a fun diversion.

The relevant entries on Textusa’s blog are “Cadaverine” (29 May 2015) and “Cadaver compound” (5 Jun 2015).

There are probably older entries relating to the dogs and Martin Grime, but I have no intention of trying to index Textusa’s blog, so I will stick with those two posts.

The second explains that Textusa used the term ‘cadaverine’ in the first post merely as a simplification in a post containing a lot of information. The second also explains that the term ‘cadaver compound’ may be a more accurate description, as we are not certain what chemical cocktail Eddie or Keela reacts to.

I understand why Textusa took this step. If we don’t know the chemical formula or formulas of the mix that sets Eddie off, there is going to be fertile ground for those who choose to haggle over what it should be called.

I do not have a term for this cocktail that is accurate but devoid of connotation, therefore I am not in a position to criticise. However, cadaver compound clearly has a connotation that a cadaver, a dead body, is the original source. Martin Grime is specific that dead blood will make Eddie alert, without there being a cadaver. This explains checks in the PJ files on previous occupants of apartment 5A to see if they had bled there. Textusa attempts to persuade us that Eddie does not alert to blood, only to cadaverine (or rather, cadaver compound odour), but the simple fact is that his handler, Martin Grime, is clear that Eddie reacts to blood that is dead.

This explains the overarching need for forensics. This explains why Eddie alerted to the Renault Scenic key, and the FSS found the material belonged to Gerry McCann, a live person.

As soon as one realises that Eddie alerts to dead blood, whether the person who shed it is alive or not, you hit lots of problems with the dogs’ evidence. It would appear no-one bled in any of the 10 vehicles screened by Eddie in the car park, other than in the McCanns vehicle. It would appear no-one bled in any of the apartments occupied by the Tapas 9, with the exception of 5A. No-one bled in 4G, occupied by the McCanns for 2 months from 4 May 2007 to 2 or 3 July 2007. No one bled in Casa Liliana. Despite Eddie alerting to articles from 27 Rua das Flores, which again could be explained by blood from a live person in 27 Rua das Flores, Eddie did not alert to a specific location that could be the source for the scent, only to the articles removed.

When I say no one bled, I am not restricting this to the Tapas 9, Robert Murat and his circle. No one bled covers all of the previous occupants of all of the locations searched, whether that occupancy was before Madeleine McCann disappeared, or after 3rd May May up to the date that Eddie searched.

In the two posts I have noted, Textusa limits discussion to apartment 5A, Casa Liliana and a potential third location. That possible third location was not searched by Eddie. I have little knowledge of what Textusa says about later alerts, so it is time for me to get back ‘on topic’, and focus on apartment 5A and Casa Liliana.

Textusa goes for 3 alerts by Eddie – behind the couch in the lounge, beside the wardrobe in the parent’s bedroom, and in the garden close to the passageway (running behind block 5) and adjacent to the garden of 5B.

I make it 4 alerts. I agree on the location of the first two. However, I have seen Eddie alert on the veranda outside the patio doors of the parents’ bedroom. And I would position the final alert in the garden basically directly below the veranda alert i.e. as close to 5A as one can get in the garden. I disagree with Textusa that vertical means to the south. I interpret vertical as in horizontal and vertical. Such is life.

The alert on the veranda and the alert in the garden appear to relate to the same source, which would condense the 4 down into 3. And the location in the garden is not core to Textusa’s theorem, so I see no point in haggling.

In “Cadaverine”, Textusa explains the post is to demonstrate that Madeleine’s body could have been on Murat’s property even though Eddie did not alert there.

Textusa solves this conundrum by placing a vehicle not belonging to the Murats on the Murat property, with said vehicle probably sourced by the Ocean Club. The latter would explain why Murat’s vehicles could be searched and nothing found.

Thus Casa Liliana, its grounds and the Murat vehicles could all be clean, despite the body being on the property. Textusa makes it clear that the post is not to prove that the body was on the property, merely that the evidence does not rule this out.

Mrs Jenny Murat’s statement makes it clear she was in the property that night, and that she saw and heard nothing unusual. Unless she is part of a conspiracy, there was no ‘strange’ vehicle on her property, coming and then going through her gates at odd times of the night.

Such a vehicle might have been parked near to but outside her property, and then there is no reason to believe Mrs Murat noticed anything and no reason to make her a conspiracy suspect.

Of course, if such a vehicle was on public property, it was exposed to the risk of being peered into during the Ocean Club structured search. Note I have limited myself to saying ‘at risk of’ and nothing more.

Let’s go back to apartment 5A and see what Textusa explains about the scene. The theory can be summarised as saying Gerry is the culprit of the scene, and that on his longish visit to 5A around 9.05, he took the body from behind the couch to an unknown location (location X) within 5A, cleaned the body to the extent it was not leaving material trace of cadaver compound, moved it to the cupboard and shortly thereafter moved it to the garden. This latter leg was because he heard someone coming towards 5A. He then exited the gate to talk to Jeremy Wilkins, to establish a parental checking routine on the children.

Jane Tanner walked past Gerry and Jez and saw Smithman.

After parting with Jez, Gerry headed towards the Tapas area long enough for Jeremy to walk out of sight. At that point Gerry doubled back, entered the garden, retrieved the body and headed off into the night with it.

It seems this was to the mystery OC vehicle on Murat’s property. That would give another set of gate opening/closing at Casa Liliana, again risking comment from Mrs Murat.

Anyway, Gerry managed to get back to the Tapas restaurant before Jane Tanner returned. Unless of course the Tapas 9 are all up to their neck in conspiracy.

One movement of the body is explained as the need to clean up the area behind the sofa in 5A. If Madeleine’s body was left there from before the McCanns went out to dinner, (which Textusa asserts on the basis the protagonists were still thinking about calling the authorities), to Gerry’s visit at 9.10 or so, then Gerry was very busy indeed. This adds cleaning the area behind the sofa onto Gerry’s list of tasks.

If as part of Gerry’s alleged clean of Madeleine, the body was wrapped in a suitable container, I can understand why a prompt deployment of Eddie might find the relevant odour in the parent’s wardrobe without locating a specific location of cadaver contamination.

What I am not getting is why location 2, the wardrobe, escapes such contamination, but location 3, the garden of 5A becomes contaminated.

The idea that the body was not in the wardrobe long enough to infuse it with cross-contamination is fine. The idea that Madeleine’s body went into the cupboard and did not touch a surface due to protective material that was then removed is not fine.

And why does Textusa worry about contamination on Gerry’s hand being transferred to the garden gate? Textusa does not worry about contamination on the patio doors or contamination on the baby gate. The patio doors are better protected from the elements, and contamination on them, inside or out, should last longer than on the exposed baby gate and garden gate.

While if Gerry cleaned Madeleine’s body, why did he not get contaminated at that time? This leads to an obvious answer of wearing household gloves at the time. With Madeleine parcelled up, there is no need to worry about contamination on Gerry’s hands. Or on the patio doors, or on the baby gate or on the garden gate. Just dump the household gloves in the rubbish long before Eddie turned up on the scene.

Eddie’s specific alert in the garden (where the FSS found nothing) is problematic, but I think there is a simple solution, whilst adhering to Textusa’s theorem.

Assume Madeleine’s body was never in the parents’ bedroom. This has the clear advantage that it explains why there was no cadaver compound source. If correct, it explains away the issue with the garden alert. Madeleine goes from clean up position X to the garden, without a detour. A side benefit of this is that Gerry requires less time to make this shorter trip.

There is a problem of course. Why did Eddie alert in the parents’ bedroom if Madeleine’s corpse was never in it. To complicate matters, the alert took place around 4 months after Madeleine disappeared, which is by no means ‘prompt‘.

How about Martin Grime’s explanation that the source can be elsewhere, but the scent can concentrate in a location that the source is not?

We know that there was a source behind the couch. Eddie alerted to it. Keela alerted to it. It is the sole spot in which the FSS was clear that Madeleine was involved, even if the amount found was so minute that the type of source found could not be identified in the lab. If Keela was correct, we are probably talking about blood.

We know that Eddie thought 5A was so reeking of the smell of death that he was off like a shot as soon as the front door opened. Thus we have a source, and an apartment in which the odour had reached the front door.

Why should the same scent not reach the parents’ bedroom? Why is it that the source is a minor contact some 4 months earlier, rather than simply emanating from the sofa location, where a current, physical source was found? Why go for complex when simple does the trick?

This post has become much, much longer than anticipated, and I have yet to cover Textusa’s second post on the topic, so I think it is time to have a break here.

PS to Textusa. Amend the 4AM trip from Casa Liliana to the water treatment plant. Why go the long way anti-clockwise past 5A, past the tail end of the structured Ocean Club search? Try the shorter, clockwise route that avoids both of these issues

Madeleine – planned abduction – Devil’s advocate

I have posted a couple of threads on how a planned abduction might work in the Madeleine McCann case. I did say that I would try out the position of Devil’s advocate, to see if I could flame-roast the weaknesses in the core idea, so here it is.

What is it that goes against the idea of a planned abduction?

Although this post is specific to a planned abduction, I hope that some of the ideas will also apply to other scenarios.

First. The incident scene that I described in my ‘elegant abduction’ scenario does not match that of the one and only witness to the original scene, Kate McCann.

In my scenario, I did not raise the bedroom shutter, I did not open the bedroom window. I did not close the patio door, and I did not close the patio gate. Kate attested that the reverse was true on each on these four points.

I do not believe that these details are fundamental to the incident, as hypothesised.

Could I have gone in via the rear, shutting everything behind, and out via the front? Why not?

Could I have gone out via the rear, leaving doors open, and still have Kate say that is not the case? Why not? Rear doors ajar and Madeleine gone …. well ….

Surely this comes down to trying to analyse what Kate found, did and thought at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance. And that happens to be a game that I am not interested in playing.

The incident scene was consistent with a planned abduction, or it was not. Kate’s description of the scene was accurate or it was not.

Second. The children (plural, and not just the McCanns trio) were unguarded. They were vulnerable. But how vulnerable were they?

If I am an abductor, I need to know that children are in block 5 without their parents. Otherwise the children are not vulnerable. How do I know this assuming the abduction is planned?

Third. I need to have some idea of the check schedule. I don’t care whether it is every half hour (scheduled by time) or event driven (starters over let’s do a check before mains). I just need a rough idea. After all, what I am doing is simple. I am nipping in between checks and stealing a child. I think I need to have some idea of the check routine,

Fourth. I need time for planning. In my post on this I picked the perfect point – the place where I could see the T9 – the place where they could not see me – the place where I could strike quickly – it was so easy. How did I find this perfect place? How long did it take? How long did it take to work out how the mechanics of the check schedule?

Fifth. Why? I did have a crack at motive early on and after thinking through the other bits and pieces of the puzzle, I have got to note that what I said on this was not one of my better thoughts.

Sixth. Absolutely all of the dog alerts have to be discarded. Not a single one stacks up the ‘elegant abduction’ theory that I explained. So the 5A alerts have to go, the Renault Scenic alerts have to go, the 27 Rua das Flores alerts all have to get the chop. The most problematic is the apartment 5A behind-the-sofa alert. That has to be explained as innocent, otherwise the ‘elegant abduction’ theory changes and becomes really complex. Namely, Madeleine has to come to damage behind the sofa, then Gerry McCann or Kate McCann has to cover it up. That is stretching credulity too far. So, the dog alerts have to be explained away.

Seventh. Despite committing a serious crime, no forensic evidence was left to link it to other crimes or to a known criminal.

Planned abduction is creaky, creaky, creaky! The problem is it remains one of the best games in town.

The McCanns trek across Luz

The McCanns left apartment 5A in the early hours of 4 May 2007 and spent the remainder of the night in apartment 5H (Payne apartment). They were interviewed by the PJ in Portimão on 4 May and they moved into apartment 4G, presumably after the interview .

On 2nd July 2007 they moved into 27 Rua das Flores, a villa somewhat north and east of apartment 5A, but still close to the centre of Luz, and even closer to the mound that British police searched in June 2014.

They finally completed a move out of 4G on 3rd July i.e. there was an overlap of a day.

While they were in 5H for only a short time, they occupied 4G for nearly 2 months.

They were given a second apartment in the Ocean Club complex, which they used as office, and which is called “mission control” in Kate’s book “Madeleine”. This must have been some time after Gerry had his experience in Nossa Senhora Da Luz, the local church, since until then there was no campaign to orchestrate. I do not have precise dates for mission control, nor do I have an apartment number, merely that it was in the Ocean Club. If anyone can be more precise, I would be grateful.

According to the McCann Files at, on 31 July 2007 the dogs searched 5A (McCanns), 5B (Oldfields), 5D (O’Brien/Tanner), 5H (Paynes/Webster), 4G (McCanns in May/June), but mission control is not mentioned in any search.

This is around 3 months after Madeleine went missing and around a month after the McCanns moved out of 4G and into 27 Rua das Flores.

I haven’t looked up the date of the search at Rua das Flores for this post. It is on file, but I cannot see it as relevant to an examination of what happened in the interim.

What was found?

The McCann Files URL posted above contains a link to a 95+ minute long video of the searches, and thus far I have ignored it, thinking the shorter 6½ minute video contained all the relevant information, with the dross cut out. That was a big mistake, mea culpa.

The video shows that nothing was found (i.e. Eddie did not alert) in apartment 5B (Oldfields), 5D (O’Brien/Tanner), 5H (Paynes/Webster) and 4G (second McCann apartment in the Ocean Club). As Eddie did not alert, Keela was redundant.

The lack of alerts in these locations suggests that whatever the Oldfields/O’Brien/Tanner/Paynes/Webster may have done, there is nothing to implicate them in the physical disposal of a dead body.

The lack of an alert in 5H (Paynes/Webster) suggests weakly that the McCanns did not have the stench of death on them at that time. I say weakly because it could be that there was no physical transfer of evidence and in the 3 months which passed before Eddie was deployed, it may be that any temporary odour had dissipated. This is unlike the alert in 5A in the McCann parents’ bedroom, which seemed to have no source, but which lingered on.

More importantly, unless there was a conspiracy between the McCanns and the Paynes/Webster, it rules out the storage of Madeleine’s body in 5H. To have a body in 5H for longer than there was a body in 5A, and 5A gets alerts while 5H does not is complex to explain, unless you take the simple view that Madeleine’s body was not there. The conspiracy angle is that the McCanns dragged in a large black plastic binbag about the size and weight of Madeleine, thus preventing contamination, and the Payne’s/Webster thought nothing of this.

So 5H is clean, thereby suggesting that if the McCanns had disposed of or concealed a dead body, they had managed to get themselves clean before going into 5H for the night.

The two really important ones are apartment 4G, the one the McCanns moved into on 4 May after leaving the Paynes, and mission control.

The time spent in apartment 4G was just nearly 2 months, but apartment 4G was clean. Eddie did not alert in 4G. I can’t see how 4G was clean if apartment 5A was not and the Renault Scenic was not and Rua 27 das Flores was not, except for two scenarios.

First, Gerry had learned enough about police methods to clean 4G to a level that defeated Eddie. Of course, since Gerry was not forewarned about Eddie, this seems unlikely. Further, if he managed for 4G, why didn’t he manage it for the Renault Scenic and for 27 Rua das Flores? This scenario does not work.

Second, the McCanns were not carrying the stench of death while they were in 4G as Madeleine’s body had not yet been retrieved and disposed of. If this scenario is true, Madeleine’s body was not retrieved until early July and the date of hiring the Renault Scenic becomes redundant. The smell of death in the Scenic and in Rua 27 das Flores might come from that second operation.

The crucial evidence required to understand what might have happened is mission control in the Ocean Club. If clean, it would strongly support the idea that the McCanns could not have retrieved Madeleine’s body before early July, and this cuts down the window of opportunity for a disposal theory. However, if Eddie alerted in mission control, this would strongly support the idea that there is a line running from 5A to mission control to 27 Rua das Flores, and the McCanns are highly implicated.

So what does mission control tell us? Nothing, because it does not appear to have been searched. Like most of the Madeleine McCann case, a simple piece of evidence that could be vital is simply not available.

Where the McCanns went next

From the testimony of Mark Harrison, who advised where to search in and around Luz, based on the assumption that Madeleine McCann was dead.

On 31-07-07 the PJ conducted canine searches with a search warrant at apartments in Praia da Luz that had been previously occupied by the McCanns and their friends.


On 02-08-07 the PJ conducted a search warrant at a villa in Praia da Luz currently occupied by the McCann family.”

The canine searches refer to the deployment of Eddie and Keela. The ‘villa currently occupied’ was 27 Rua das Flores, with more Eddie and Keela.

Around the early hours of 4th May, the McCanns were asked to take what they needed and leave, and apartment 5A was then treated to the first forensics.

In those very first photos you can see a number of things. The twins had been moved and the bedding from their cots had also moved. Other important objects had not been moved, notably the family’s passports, a camera on a table etc.

Someone moved these objects to where the McCanns were, whether the police or the McCanns, at some point in time after the photos.

Where the McCanns went next was to 5H, where they spent at least one night with the Paynes. If Kate was reeking of the smell of death, should or should not apartment 5H smell of death?

At some point (I don’t know when and if you do give me a clue) the McCanns moved into apartment 4G in the Ocean Club. Again, if Kate and various other items reeked of death at this stage, should or should not apartment 4G smell of death?

Kate’s book, “Madeleine”, in chapter 8 “No stone unturned”, says that another apartment had been loaned to them by Mark Warner, therefore it was presumably in the Ocean Club. The McCann team was using it an an office and directing their efforts through that. Kate says this apartment was dubbed ‘mission control’.

I cannot find where ´mission control’ was. I cannot tell if Kate spent time in ‘mission control’. It would be incredible if she did not. Therefore, if Kate reeked of death by this point, should or should not ‘mission control’ smell the same way?

27 Rua das Flores was rented from 1 Jul 2007. The McCanns moved in on 2nd Jul, and moved out of apartment 4G on 3rd Jul 2007. Presumably, they moved ‘mission control’ at the same time, but the truth is, I don’t know.

Apart from alerting in apartment 5A, in the Renault Scenic, and to articles found in 27 Rua das Flores, the real issue is where the dogs did not alert.

If the dogs were in 5H, should there have been an alert in 5H?

If the dogs were in 4G, surely there should have been an alert in 4G?

If the dogs were in ‘mission control’, would there have been an alert in the office?

If ‘mission control’ was transferred to 27 Rua das Flores, shouldn’t the dogs alert to at least some of the objects transferred, rather than simply to Kate’s clothing, the red airplane top, and Cuddle Cat?

The file is extremely unclear on what was searched and what was not. Apartment 5A was, the Renault Scenic was and 27 Rua das Flores was.

If Mark Harrison is correct, I am overlooking search warrants for the friends of the McCanns, amongst others. I haven’t found them. Perhaps search warrants were not required in those cases.

I now need to look at the long version of the Eddie and Keela video to see if it clarifies where the McCanns went next.

FSS v Eddie and Keela – Renault Scenic

This leg of the story is fairly well known at the start. In a basement car park with 10 suspect cars in it, Eddie the cadaver dog alerted only at the Renault Scenic hired by the McCanns some 24 days after Madeleine disappeared.

Finding traces of Madeleine in apartment 5A proves little other than that Madeleine was in 5A. That makes 5A an incident scene only, not yet upgraded to accident scene or accorded the status of crime scene.

Finding credible evidence of Madeleine in the Renault Scenic changes the entire scenario. In that case, apartment 5A is an accident scene or a crime scene, and the McCanns are criminals. They concealed a body, retrieved that body, and finally disposed of it using the Scenic.

In the car park video, after running around for a while Eddie finally goes to the driver’s door of the Renault Scenic and gives an alert. This is attributed to odour leaking through the seal of the door. The chase is on.

It is explained that Eddie is not deployed further inside the Scenic, on the basis that if he can detect the odour of death through the door seal, the inside, by definition will be rife with the stench of death. It is time to deploy Keela.

The human-blood dog enters the Renault Scenic and two sources are found. A glove compartment is marked, and the luggage area in the rear is also marked.

Once again we have the smell of decomposition and Keela appears to be indicating it is human blood.

The next stages are a little hazier in rehashes of the story.

Looking in the glove-box, the key of the Renault Scenic is found. To work out what is causing the alerts, the police take the key and put it in a bucket of sand (kindly provided by local firemen).

Both dogs alert around this sand bucket, from which it is deduced that the key is the source of the decomposition and blood smell.

As it happens, this is weak logic. If something else in the glove compartment was the source, I would expect another object kept in the same area, namely the key, to pass the two-dogs test. As would a rental contract or a passport or any other object in the same confined space. Fortunately, this does not seem to be relevant to the Madeleine McCann case.

The police bagged and tagged various samples from the Scenic. The key, bits of plastic from where Keela alerted in the luggage area, many hairs, parts of human nails, and fibres, were all meticulously recorded and sent to the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham.

What did the FSS find? The bits outside the FSS v Eddie and Keela debate are interesting, but let me stick to the central battle.

The FSS has two main reports on file, and these are remarkably consistent.

The first is dated 6 Sep 2007. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the investigation on 2 Aug 2007. I cannot comment on what might have been passed to the PJ before that, given that I was not privy to what went on.

The second is dated 18 Jun 2008 and is much more formal.

But here is what both appear to say.

The key fob had cellular material on it, and that appears to match Gerry McCann, though the FSS cannot be certain. Note the FSS did not say blood but cellular material.

The luggage compartment tests proved beyond the FSS’s capability to interpret the results. The one that has 15 out of Madeleine’s 19 markers is attributed to 3 or more people.

A preliminary report from the FSS on 4 Sep 2007 appears to support Gonçalo Amaral in his view that the British police suspected the McCanns. The email from the FSS focussed on 3 crucial places relating to Madeleine in 5A and in the Scenic. These are, the swab that appears to have come from where Eddie/Keela alerted in apartment 5A, which seems to match Madeleine. Another swab from 5A that is close by the first, but the FSS says is not Madeleine. Then there’s the sample from the rear of the Scenic, not the key.

Madeleine had 19 markers as she inherited one copy of her markers from both parents, cutting it down from 20 to 19 markers. The number of markers found in rear of the Scenic was 37.

Feel free to chew over the conundrum as to why 15 of Madeleine’s 19 markers were found in the luggage compartment of the Renault Scenic while with so many markers available, the other 4 were not.

The number of markers found was 37. 37-15 = 22, with each person contributing a maximum of 20 markers. You need at least another two people, and each of those needs to have DNA that is not common to Madeleine. The final report says at least 3 people contributed, while the preliminary report put it at 3 to 5.

In summary, Keela said blood on the key. The FSS said cellular material on the key, but Gerry’s, not Madeleine’s.

Keela said blood in the rear of the Scenic. The FSS found 3 contributors of DNA. Madeleine plus relatives, or Madeleine’s relatives alone (without Madeleine) would do the trick. The FSS did not say blood.

Why did Keela alert in the boot? If it is correct to say that Keela alerted only to human blood, as opposed to other types of blood, then it is necessary to have human blood in the boot. Since the FSS is happy that Gerry was the source for the material on the key, the most obvious solution would be that Gerry also bled in the boot.

The FSS did not state blood was found anywhere in the Renault Scenic. The reports mention DNA and cellular material but no tests to prove that blood was the source. Blood in the Renault Scenic is purely down to Keela.

I need to check the apartment 5A findings for blood. From memory, the Portuguese forensic team did not find blood, and the FSS did not find blood. Only Keela did and she does not constitute evidence in a court working under the laws of England and Wales.

If I am correct, what we have is no credible evidence of blood, that would pass a test in court. Just Eddie and Keela and Martin Grime.