Saturday, 23 October 2010
Abducted or killed? The EXPERT’S opinions.
If Goncalo Amaral (Above,) is to be believed, then Madeleine died in the apartment. He is on record as saying so, and, despite the complete and total lack of any evidence to back that hunch up, he has even gone so far as to write a book about it, ‘The truth of the lie.’ We find it somewhat ironic that this book itself is so full of lies the McCanns sought, and won, an injunction against any further sales, and are, at the time of writing, undertaking a court action for libel. But, we wonder, who else believes Amaral? Who else is prepared to suspend their grip on reality, and go out on a limb and stand shoulder to shoulder with this ex-cop, and his professional speculation?
There is always, of course, a small but highly vocal minority of people within any society who, for some reason, revel in the suffering of others, who point accusing fingers without reason, and who enjoy spreading malicious gossip on the new tool of the age, the internet. These were the sort of people that the mysterious and so far anonymous ‘Source close to the investigation’ was aiming for with their campaign of psychological warfare, designed to wear down and break the McCann’s with their lies and smears. The sort of people who lap up this constant stream of propaganda, and help to propagate it are the sort who only ever care to read the headlines of the daily paper, and never the full article. Headlines like ‘We can prove they did it!’ ‘DNA evidence confirms Madeleine is dead!’ ‘Tapas witness set to change story!’ And other sensationalistic headlines. These individuals never stop to think to themselves, ‘Hang on, something doesn’t add up here. Doesn’t this story conflicts with the one from last week?’ No, they live only for the next ‘Sensational revelation’ and seem, conveniently, to forget the last one. They then go on their forums, and using the lies and misinformation they have been spoon-fed by the cunning and conniving ‘source,’ they concoct their bizarre conspiracy theories about ‘Team McCann,’ and government cover-ups. In a way these self appointed ‘experts’ should be pitied, that they have so little else to occupy themselves.
But what do real policemen think? What is the professional opinion of real experts? Did she really die in the appartment, as Amaral so desperatly wants us to believe?
Let’s take a look shall we?
'Victims of the cops' Says JOHN O'CONNOR
Ex-Flying Squad Commander
Decent people following the mysterious disappearance of Madeleine McCann wept at the anguish of parents Kate and Gerry and prayed for an end to their suffering. They conducted themselves with such dignity and composure in public and did everything in their power to keep the case alive. It is a tribute to their resourcefulness that this was a major story for more than a year, worldwide. Little Madeleine must be the best known child on this planet.
But the response of the Portuguese police was to make them arguidos and conduct a vicious sniping campaign by leaking apocryphal stories to the Portuguese media.
The tragedy of this investigation is that the police were woefully slow off the mark and wasted valuable time and resources in trying to find the answers within the family.
How completely wrong they were.
It was painfully obvious from day one that Madeleine had been taken by an intruder and probably by someone who had been watching the McCanns and their friends.
FBI Agent Analyzes McCann Case (1)
Brad Garrett Discusses Madeleine's Disappearance with ABC's Elizabeth Vargas
By SUSAN MILLER
May 2, 2008
"20/20" co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas recently spoke with former FBI Special Agent and profiler Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant, who discussed the details surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Reports said the Portuguese police arrived on the scene soon after Madeleine vanished, and left soon after, a fact Garrett called "unusual." Garrett, who has worked on several high-profile missing persons cases, including that of Chandra Levy in Washington, D.C., said investigators would typically form a "command post right inside the resort. You start collecting information, and everything comes back to a lead detective in a room, and that's how you go through the information. You prioritize what needs to be done. ... You want to be right in the middle of the action so you can make snap decisions as to what should be done at any given time."
Garrett added, "You put people in places like airports, ports for boats" and you secure the scene as well as the resort so that everyone coming in and out is vetted.
From his experience, Garrett said that typically, in an investigation like this, the police would obtain and review surveillance tapes from the resort and any surrounding areas. And police would generally have a set team of law enforcement in place from the very beginning.
"Every case that I've worked like this you usually have a case agent, an FBI case agent and a lead detective," he said. "They sit right next to each other, and they work from that location, and everything comes back to them to make decisions on what should be done."
It would have been helpful in the McCann case, Garrett said, to know which cabs arrived at the resort. Additionally, he said police should have spoken with the entire staff at the resort to figure out if there were any people working there who had a history with missing children. "People get hired and there's limited background done on them," he said.
At times, the McCanns expressed little emotion during public appearances related to the case. Reports emerged that they had been advised by law enforcement not to break down in public. Garrett confirmed that "there is a belief in the world of criminal profiling that by keeping a very steady pace and talking in an authoritative but not condescending manner that you're sending a message out" to whoever may have abducted the child.
"You want to keep calm," he said. "The last thing you want is for them to get excited. They see this hysteria, that's one side of it. The other is some of these guys get kicks out of watching parents suffer on camera."
Garrett said Madeleine could have been taken by someone looking to adopt a blond 4-year-old attractive child. In these types of scenarios, "they actually have somebody go out and look for the child," Garrett said. Adoptive parents also might go to an agency that's unscrupulous and abducts children, he said.
But how could someone take Madeleine from her room without anyone hearing her cry or making noise?
Garrett said there are a few explanations. The McCanns have said that their children sleep quite soundly and that the twins apparently slept through the abduction. They even slept through the police coming into the room, the couple said.
Madeleine might have known her abductor, Garrett said. Somebody might have independently befriended her, possibly someone who works at the resort, he said.
Lord Stevens, speaking in an interview in the News of the World. (2)
THERE'S absolutely no chance that the parents of Madeleine McCann would be charged with her murder in this country. It would be an outrageous miscarriage of justice if they were. I don't say that from any feelings of sympathy for Kate and Gerry McCann, but from examining the facts of the case, or rather, the total lack of them.
I've been a detective at the most senior level for 30 years and have never seen such a witch-hunt, or one based on such flimsy evidence. Again, I don't say this from believing in the McCanns' innocence or their guilt. I simply don't know either way. But from the evidence I have read I don't think they did it. Unless the Portuguese police have something else, it doesn't make sense. The couple don't fit the profile and their opportunity was limited.
Throughout my career I have based my conclusions on hard evidence—and here there isn't any. Sadly, I have to admit that is because of the sheer inadequacy of the police investigation that began when little Madeleine disappeared on the night of May 3. Among the many things the Portuguese police should have done that night, but didn't, was treat the McCanns as the prime suspects. Tragedy. That's what I'd have done. It's a matter of statistical fact that three out of four child murders are committed by the parents. So their behaviour, movements, what they said, how they said it, what they did, who they were with, should have been instantly put under the police microscope. They should have been sympathetically but relentlessly grilled again and again about what had happened that night. They weren't. That police error has become their tragedy now, because if they had been properly investigated back then they may well have been cleared. And thus free now to concentrate on the hunt to find their missing four-year-old, rather than somehow proving their innocence.
Hand-in-glove with treating the McCanns as suspects, the entire apartment and its environs should have been totally sealed off and barred to anyone but specially-trained police and forensic scientists who would have checked every millimetre of it for evidence. It wasn't. Police don't call the time after a crime, particularly one against children, the Golden Hour for nothing. In fact, I always insist it's a Golden Day, the time when forensic evidence is most fresh and easy to detect, when memories are most sharp, when lies and alibis are most vulnerable. At its most basic, a bloodstain is easiest to see when it's still wet. Instead, Kate and Gerry McCann were just treated as grieving parents. Nicer for them, but no use in solving a crime they may have been involved in. And the possible murder scene was treated as a glorified meeting-room to organise a search for a missing child, instead of the potential treasure trove of clues it actually was. To any experienced British detective, it is incomprehensible.
I spent ten years heading Britain's Psychological Offender Profiling Committee for the Home Office. It was set up after the so-called Railway Murders, in which monster John Francis Duffy killed two women and stalked and raped four others close to London train stations. I worked alongside other very senior detectives, top civil servants and psychological profilers like Professor David Canter, who this week appeared on a TV programme about Madeleine's disappearance. And I instinctively found myself agreeing when my friend Prof Canter concluded: "I feel abduction is the most likely possibility." In other words, the McCanns were not involved. Everything I've learned about the couple tells me their profile simply doesn't fit as killers of their own child. They've been criticised for being too controlled in their dealings with the media. It doesn't surprise me at all. They're both highly professional medics, one a surgeon the other a GP. They're trained and experienced in dealing with crises, and professionals react to crises with calm. Of course, anyone can get caught in horrendous circumstances and in panic try to lie their way out of it. But my experience has shown those lies, particularly elaborate and choreographed deceit as this would have to be, can rarely be maintained before cracks start to show. And particularly so when the suspects choose to place themselves under the intense, unprecedented scrutiny the McCanns have faced. But that's just my opinion, informed and based on considerable experience as it is.
Meanwhile, the police investigation that started so disastrously has turned to farce. Every apparent stream of evidence has been either missed, fatally compromised or is simply ludicrous. For instance, Mrs McCann being allowed to hang on to Madeleine's favourite toy CuddleCat. Consoling for her, of course, but that's not the point, it had gone to bed with Madeleine, been taken from her and placed on a high shelf, presumably by the abductor. CuddleCat was therefore vital evidence. Even a rookie detective should know it was highly likely an abductor's DNA would be on it. But it was left for Mrs McCann to clutch, her other children to play with and spread Madeleine's DNA around.
Then there was the suggestion the McCanns somehow smuggled their daughter's body away in a car they hired 25 days after her disappearance.
Where did they hide the remains in that time? How did they do this when their every move, at their encouragement, was under the media spotlight? There's also a very unpleasant aspect to face. What state, unless it had been in a deep freeze, would the body have been in? I'm afraid very gruesome indeed, probably with considerable leakage of bodily fluids and sloughing off of body cells. The smell alone would have been appalling and would linger endlessly in any enclosed space like a car. I'm bewildered by reports leaked by the Portuguese police that tiny traces have been found in the vehicle. My experience says it would probably be a great deal. If not, then anything found should be treated with extreme caution. In Britain, forensic evidence alone rarely solves cases. When it does, such as in rape cases, it hits the headlines because of its infrequency. But even then it's usually in support of more conventional evidence. None of the so-called forensic finds being boasted of in Portugal sound either likely, admissible or even possible to me. Evidence from cadaver dogs, for instance, could not be used to bring about a conviction here. Generally they are regarded as being at best 80 per cent reliable. And so it has gone on.
The police haven't even found poor Madeleine's body — though that doesn't surprise me when you know rubbish bins in that small Portuguese seaside town weren't even searched in the week of her disappearance, before the contents were dumped in a landfill site.
To me, there is only one possible conclusion. There is so far not a single shred of evidence that justifies charges against the McCanns. But the worst thing is that, while the Portuguese police continue their single-minded determination to nail them, they ignore other lines of inquiry. And, worst of all, they are failing to carry on the hunt to try to find Madeleine alive.
But it comes to something, don’t you think, when even the Portuguese authorities don’t believe Mr amaral’s account, that she died in the appartment.
Madeleine detectives compared with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot (3)
New details about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann are emerging after the publication on Monday of thousands of pages of Portuguese police files. Anil Dawar looks at some of them
Portuguese prosecutors ridiculed detectives investigating Madeleine McCann's disappearance for uncovering "very little" conclusive evidence about the child's fate, the newly released files have revealed.
The damning report, made public as part of the massive dossier of evidence assembled over more than 14 months, even compared local investigators unfavourably with Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes.
Written by public prosecutors in Portimao and dated July 21 – the day the case was officially shelved – the document said the investigation had not been able to find any proof which would allow "the formulation of any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion" about the circumstances of the girl going missing. It continued: "This includes the most dramatic thing, ascertaining whether she is still alive or dead – or even which seems the most probable."
"The investigators are fully conscious that their work is not exempt from imperfections. They worked with an enormous margin of error and they achieved very little in terms of conclusive results, especially about the fate of the unfortunate child.
"This is not, unfortunately, a detective novel, a crime scenario fit for the investigative efforts of a Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, guided by the illusion that the forces of law and justice can always re-establish order."
The 58-page report written by public prosecutors Jose de Magalhaes e Menezes and Joao Melchior Gomes was contained in the final volume of the files released to the media this week.
Prosecutors on McCanns' actions and their treatment by police.
The prosecutors' report said Madeleine's parents did not "act with intent" in leaving their children alone in their holiday apartment the night the child went missing.
"They could not predict that in the resort they chose to spend their holidays they could place the life of any of their children in danger."
They also noted that: "We must also recognise that the parents are paying a heavy penalty, the disappearance of Madeleine, for their carelessness in monitoring and protecting their children.
It went on: "While it is a fact that Madeleine disappeared, the circumstances of how this happened is not known.
"Even if, as a hypothesis, that Gerald and Kate could have been responsible for the death of the child, it would always be left to explain how, where, when, with what means, with whose help they disposed of the body."
It highlighted their "normal behaviour adopted before and after the disappearance."
It said: "In reality, none of the suspicions which led to them being made arguidos came to be confirmed later."
Let us examine this key phrase again.
The document said the investigation had not been able to find any proof which would allow "the formulation of any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion"
Any lucid, sensible, serious and honest conclusion. So, what then of Amaral and his postulation that Madeleine probably died in the appartment? May we suggest that, though we cannot be sure wether Madeleine is dead or alive at this moment in time, we can be pretty damn sure that she did not die in the appartment.
Posted by ModNrodder at 03:08