Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Have Kate and Gerry McCann any case to answer?

Again an older article, but one which is still of relevance! Have a nice day and see you later!

Legal opinion is united on the likelihood of the couple being charged. Criminal lawyers discuss the strength of the case against them

Frances Gibb, Legal Editor of The Times

Victims or villains? The personal views of lawyers this week are as split as those of the general public as to the likely culpability of the couple at the centre of case that is dominating the media.
In legal circles the consensus is that the chances of a successful prosecution being mounted against the McCanns turn almost entirely on the strength of the forensic evidence.

Trial by media is hazardous - not least because it puts at risk a fair trial. Professor Gary Slapper, Director of the Centre for Law, Open University, says: "I think a great iniquity against justice has been done by the confused status of information that has been leaked. A system, like Portugal's, of declining to put any item of police inquiry information whatsoever in the public domain while the case is being considered can be fair - but only if rigidly applied. As soon as there are leaks - as with conflicting information about the DNA in the hire car - you get the worst of both worlds: public evaluation of the case, based on speculations about alleged evidence."
What legal opinion seems united on, however, is the likelihood of the couple being charged. The solicitor adds: "The Portuguese police seem to have a real head of steam up - and they will look very silly, now, if charges are not brought."

So what is the strength of the DNA evidence that apparently forms the mainstay of the case being assembled against the couple? The same lawyer says: "My worry, if I was defending them, is that the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham that is conducting the tests is very good. These guys know what they are doing."

John Cooper, an experienced criminal barrister, agrees. "If - and we can only go on what has been reported, and making the assumption that it is accurate - a quantity of samples of hair were found in the boot of the car then that would be very powerful evidence and they may well have a case to answer."

The DNA experts would also be able to tell, he adds, whether the DNA had been "secondarily transferred" - in other words, it was there because it had been carried on another family member's clothes or had come directly from Madeleine's body.

The finding of a body would obviously be helpful to the prosecution, because from that, the cause of death could be detected and other forensic evidence adduced, he adds. "But many people are convicted of murder or manslaughter without a body ever being found. It is not essential."
Yet even if a prosecution proceeds, criminal lawyers are equally robust in their view - on present knowledge of what evidence exists - that the chances of a conviction are slender. Professor Slapper says: "I think that without some new and incontrovertibly incriminating evidence, culpability will be impossible to determine reliably. Justice was so badly compromised by the authorities at the outset - the late arrival of the police, the failure quickly to seal the area and to alert national and regional offices - that even the slickest subsequent actions cannot retrieve that ground."

The (unnamed) criminal solicitor adds: "When you step back, you see that the scenario being presented here is inherently unlikely. The scene of crime has been contaminated and the fact that there are inconsistencies between witnesses' accounts of timings is entirely normal - you get that in every case."

The defence case, he says, would focus on the passage of time involved, more than three weeks, before the car was hired and DNA could have been present. "This time gap allows for contamination."

Simon Myerson, QC, a criminal barrister in Leeds, says: "There are several important questions to be asked here by any defence team. The first is: if this child's body was in the immediate vicinity for 25 days, why did nobody find it? This is bizarre."

Secondly, he says, was the question of motivation. "I can follow the scenario that one or both killed the child by accident and then covers it up. But to hide a body, and then three weeks later, without showing a sign of it, and with the world's media tracking their every move, for the couple to get the body into a car and get rid of it, then drive back again ... all without anyone seeing it ... it just seems so improbable."

Then there was the question of the cleaning of the car, he adds. If the car was not cleaned, and a body had been in it even for a short while, there should have been considerable DNA recovered. "But if it was cleaned, where is the evidence of that cleaning and how was it done without anyone seeing?"

Finally, a defence lawyer would question why the Portuguese police had allowed the car to be put back together after inspection - so allowing for continuing contamination, he says.

John Cooper adds that the defence could also focus on the "tightly defined period" during which the killing of Madeleine could have occurred and focus on filling any gaps during that time with alibis. "Secondly, there is the question of getting rid of the body and the improbability of doing this without being seen. The defence is entitled to speculate, as the prosecution would do, as to the likelihood of a course of action."

Robert Brown, a criminal defence solicitor, says that he was not convinced by the suggestion that the child had been accidentally killed. "Accidents do happen, but they are pretty rare." Nor is he so far convinced by the DNA evidence. "To what extent could this have been transferred? Scientists say it is a one in a million match - but they often mean: to that person - or his or her close relative. Madeleine's sister could have very similar DNA."

In his view, the suggestion that the couple, while "very much in the public eye", kept a body hidden, then disposed of it while "creating an enormous campaign as a diversionary tactic" did not ring true, he said. "You'd keep your head down and creep off to the woods rather than attract world-wide attention."

And finally what would a judge think? David Pannick, QC, a leading lawyer who sits as a recorder in the Crown Court, sums up the doubts of defence lawyers - at this early stage at least. "On the evidence so far made public, they [the McCanns] have no case to answer. In the English legal system," he adds, "we proceed on the basis of evidence, not speculation."

So do the Portuguese. But the speculation won't stop. The (unnamed) criminal solicitor says: "I think that they are innocent. But they are going to have to prove it."


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Anonymous said...

Good morning my friends,Felt my bed shake quite violently last night, then my husband said "How was it for you?" Ha Ha. But seriously I did feel the quake last night and it was worrying!

Doby said...

Hi there Sassy, bit early in the day for serious discussionn but thought I would just say hello to yourself and all the other posters! Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning All, Some excellent points raised in this post. I do think there are several questions to answer not only by the McCanns but also the PJ.........I feel that the case has been manipulated from the start..........I do not think they are guilty of anything other than exposing their children to danger by leaving them alone.........but they have not help the situation by not answering the questions.......let's hope the PJ arrive & they soon do this........

Looks like the site has settled down & everyone is ignoring any baiting............nice to see civilised debate............Have a good day


Anonymous said...

From The Sunday TimesDecember 16, 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann: Beyond the smears
For six months David James Smith has examined the evidence surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann for The Sunday Times Magazine. In this, the most comprehensive — and authoritative — investigation yet, he addresses the key issues facing Gerry and Kate as they prepare for Christmas without their daughter

To read more from David James Smith, click on the panel of links below left

That week in Praia da Luz, the week the McCanns were made suspects in their own daughter’s “death”, I was out there talking to them and to family and friends. I was at the home of the Anglican vicar Haynes Hubbard, sitting with him and his wife, Susan, while their own three children pottered around us. The Hubbards had flown in from Canada three days after Madeleine’s disappearance to begin Haynes’s tour of duty as the vicar of Praia da Luz. They had heard about Madeleine for the first time while changing planes at Lisbon airport, in a slightly unnerving encounter with an elderly Portuguese woman who had seized Susan’s arm and told her to “hold on” to the baby she was carrying, as a child had been taken.

The Hubbards had spent their first days at the resort fearing for their own children’s safety. Gradually they became friends with the McCanns, particularly Susan and Kate, drawn together at first perhaps by the McCanns’ need to find some comfort in religion. But mostly in Portugal the McCanns were enveloped by family and friends from the UK.

The McCanns were flying home that Sunday and had been to a farewell dinner that week at the Hubbards’. Susan told me that she and Kate had discussed how much one person could cope with. Kate seemed close to the limits of human endurance. Haynes chimed in: “And I don’t think she’s looking forward to tomorrow very much either.” The thought was left hanging there: how much can one person take?

Sins of the father
Our correspondent investigates how a man can choose the death of a daughter above dishonour

Fashion victim
Victims of the rumour mill?

Secret weapon
A serial sex offender who was on the loose for decades was finally caught by Britain’s DNA database. Now, every criminal is a cotton swab away from jail

Gone with the wind
The stage of death
Kate was to go to the nearby town of Portimao the next day, Thursday, September 6, to be questioned by detectives from the Policia Judiciaria (PJ). It would be Gerry’s turn the day after. For the media this would be a shocking new twist to the story – but not for the McCanns: the PJ had told them four weeks earlier they were going to be subjected to formal interviews and the McCanns had stayed on, instead of going home at the end of August as originally planned, waiting for the interviews to take place. Waiting. Waiting.

Finally, the PJ called. They told the McCanns they would be made official suspects – arguidos. The McCanns had noted the change of mood in Portugal, especially among the PJ, and the increasing viciousness of the Portuguese press. Some of the stories seemed so incredible and far-fetched – Kate, for instance, disposing of Madeleine’s body, or Madeleine’s DNA being found in the car the McCanns had hired three weeks after Madeleine disappeared – that I at first assumed they were the fanciful inventions of an unfettered press. I soon realised how well they reflected the thinking of the PJ. More recently I have discovered the stories were being fed to the press by the PJ, from the highest ranks. So much for judicial secrecy. One Portuguese journalist told me that segredo de justica – secrecy of justice – was like the speed limit. Everyone knows the law; nobody keeps to it.

It seems important to make it clear right away that I do not suspect the McCanns harmed Madeleine, nor do I think they disposed of their daughter’s body if, as the PJ believe, she died in an accident that night in their apartment.

This is not a mere prejudice on my part. I have spent a long time considering and examining every unpleasant scenario. The McCanns are not my friends and I have no axe to grind with Portugal, its police or its media.

To me, the McCanns are genuine people in the grip of despair – the accusations against them are ludicrous and a cruel distraction from the search for their daughter. That’s why I put the quotation marks around the word “death” at the top of the article. Madeleine may be dead, it may even be more likely she is dead, but nobody knows for sure. Nobody, not even the PJ, as we will see, can produce any persuasive evidence that she has come to harm.

) ) ) ) )

That evening, Thursday, May 3, at just after 8pm, by their account, Kate and Gerry McCann were having a glass of wine together in apartment 5a on the ground floor of Block 5 of the Waterside Village Gardens at the Ocean Club. Their three children were asleep in the front bedroom overlooking the car park and, beyond it, the street. Madeleine was in the single bed nearest the door. There was an empty bed against the opposite wall, beneath the window. Between the two beds were two travel cots containing the twins: Sean and Amelie. Gerry had bought the wine at the Baptista supermarket, 200 yards down the hill. They had lived and worked in New Zealand for a year and that particular bottle, Montana sauvignon blanc, was their favourite. It was the sixth day of their week’s holiday in the Algarve and they were reflecting on the enjoyable time they’d had, how surprisingly easy it had been with the children.

When their old friend Dave Payne had invited them on a group holiday, it had seemed too good to resist. Dave and Fiona Payne had been on another Mark Warner holiday the year before, to Greece with Matt and Rachael Oldfield. The Algarve group would be completed by Russell O’Brien, Jane Tanner and Fiona’s mother, Dianne Webster. Six of the group were doctors. Gerry was a consultant cardiologist and had worked before with Matt and Russell. Kate had been an anaesthetist and was now a part-time GP.

The group first spent time together at Dave and Fiona’s wedding in Italy in 2003. Now they had eight children between them. Madeleine was the oldest, her fourth birthday a week after they would return from the Algarve. One of the attractions was that there were children for their own to play with. And the adults were a sporty group, a speciality of Mark Warner holidays; tennis had dominated the activities that week.

That might all sound very cosy and middle class, but that did not mean their lives had been easy or free of suffering – especially with the struggle to have children, eventually managed through IVF – or that they had been born into an advantaged world. Kate came from a modest Liverpool background and Gerry, the youngest of five, had been brought up in a tenement building on the south side of Glasgow.

The terms of the holiday were half-board, breakfast and evening meal, and the McCanns paid about £1,500. There had been some reduction when they had discovered that, unlike most Mark Warner resorts, the Ocean Club did not offer a baby-listening service. Instead, the group had asked for apartments close together, so they were all assigned to Block 5. The Paynes were on the floor above, the only couple with a functioning baby monitor. Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner had brought a monitor too, but theirs wasn’t getting much of a signal from the Tapas restaurant 50 yards away.

The Ocean Club was not a gated, enclosed resort in the usual style of Mark Warner, but a sprawling complex open to the village of Luz and scattered over such a wide distance that shuttle buses were used.

Even though the resort was open to the village, it felt safe and secure, and in early May it was still very quiet. Gerry never saw a soul, except once, on the last night, on his evening checks, going back and forth between Tapas and the apartment, an even-paced walk of just under a minute.

As the McCanns endlessly repeated afterwards, if they had thought it was wrong or even risky, they would never have left their children. With hindsight, of course, they would never have done it and now they are riven with guilt, but we can all be wise after the event, and so many of us have taken similar chances at times, in search of a bit of respite from our children.

Gerry had knocked up at the start of the 4.30pm tennis-drills session, but had decided not to exacerbate an injury to his Achilles tendon, so had dropped out and waited around by the courts until the children came back from the kids’ clubs at 5pm for tea. That had been one of the most enjoyable times of the holiday, all the children together for tea, then the adults playing with them afterwards.

Gerry was in his apartment at 7pm, had a glass of water, then a beer, while the children sat with Kate on the couch having stories with a snack. The children were clearly shattered – the last thing any of them needed was a sedative and, anyway, it was not something the McCanns ever did. They put them to bed after a last story. The twins were asleep virtually the moment they lay down, Madeleine not far behind them.

These days it was rare for Madeleine to wake up at all once she was in bed. If she did, she’d normally wander into her parents’ bed, whether they were there or not. At home in Rothley, sometime earlier, they had begun a star chart for Madeleine staying in her own bed. The chart, still on display in the kitchen, was full of stars. At about 7.30pm, Kate and Gerry showered and changed and sat down to have a quiet glass of the sauvignon blanc. They were first to the table at the restaurant at 8.35 and spent some minutes talking to a couple from Hertfordshire – two more tennis players – at the next table, who were eating with their young children. As they chatted, Gerry thought how lucky he was, his children asleep nearby, he and Kate free to come and enjoy some adult time at the restaurant and not have to sit with their children, as this couple were.

The McCanns sat down after a few minutes and then ordered some wine. The Oldfields were next to arrive, then Russell O’Brien and Jane Tanner and, finally, always last, Dave and Fiona Payne with Dianne Webster.

That night their group ordered six bottles in total and two were still untouched on the table at 10pm. No more than half a bottle of wine each. The Portuguese magazine Sol reported that the group had drunk 14 bottles. Another Portuguese journalist told me a local GNR (national republican guard) police officer had described one of the group as being so drunk later that evening, they could barely stand.

They had just ordered starters when the routine of checking began. Matt Oldfield went first at 8.55 to check his own apartment and to hurry up the Paynes, who had still not arrived.

He was followed by Gerry, who entered his apartment at about 9.05 through the patio doors to the lounge. Earlier that week the McCanns had used a key to go in through the front door next to the children’s bedroom but, worrying the noise might wake the children, they began using the patio doors, leaving them unlocked.

When he entered the apartment, Gerry immediately saw that the children’s bedroom door, which they always left just ajar, was now open to 45 degrees. He thought that was odd, and glanced in his own bedroom to see if Madeleine had gone into her parents’ bed. But no, she and the twins were all still fast asleep.

Gerry paused over Madeleine, who – a typical doctor’s observation, this – was lying almost in “the recovery position” with Cuddle Cat, the toy her godfather, John Corner, had bought her, and her comfort blanket up near her head, and Gerry thought how gorgeous, how lovely-looking she was and how lucky he was. Putting the door back to five degrees, he went to the loo and left to return to the restaurant. That, of course, was the last time he would see his daughter.

As he walked down the hill, Gerry saw Jes Wilkins on the opposite side of the road pushing a child in a buggy. Gerry called hello and crossed over to talk. Wilkins and his partner were eating in their own apartment that night, but their youngest still wouldn’t settle. It reminded Gerry of the fraught time he and Kate used to have with Madeleine when she was a baby. In his memory, they could never eat a meal together when they went out, as she was always disturbing them and needing to be wheeled off to sleep.

As Jane Tanner walked up the hill, she saw Gerry talking to Jes and, as she passed them, she saw ahead of her a man walking quickly across the top of the road in front of her, going away from the apartment block, heading to the outer road of the resort complex. The man was carrying a little girl who was hanging limply from his open arms. The sighting was odd, but hardly exceptional in a holiday resort.

Her daughter fine, Jane returned to the table. At 9.30, Kate got up to make the next check on her children, but Matt Oldfield was checking too, as was Russell O’Brien, and Matt offered to do Kate’s check for her, which she accepted. Gerry teased that she would not be excused her turn at the next check.

In the McCanns’ apartment, Oldfield noticed the children’s bedroom door was again open, but that meant nothing to him, so he merely observed all was quiet and made a cursory glance inside the room, seeing the twins in their cots but, agonisingly, not directly seeing Madeleine’s bed from the angle at which he stood. Afterwards, he could not say for sure if she had been there or not. Nor could he say if the window and shutter had been open.

He would get a hard time from the police because of this, during his interviews not long afterwards, being aggressively accused of taking Madeleine – you passed her out of the window, didn’t you! – being suspected because he had offered to take Kate’s turn.

Jane Tanner, too, would be accused of fabricating or misremembering her sighting of this stranger with a child. There could be no answer to such an accusation – except that she was an ordinary, honest person who knew what she had seen. Sometime after 10pm, Rachael Oldfield would go to Jane’s apartment to tell her Madeleine had been taken and Jane would say: “Oh my God. I saw a man carrying a girl.”

It perhaps needs to be stated openly that all these timings and details, the way in which they weave and dovetail together, are based on witness accounts – corroborated not just by the McCann group but by others, such as Jes Wilkins – and that, despite suggestions to the contrary, there are no obvious contradictions or differences between them. Nor has any of the McCann group, at any time since, said they wanted to retract or change their statement.

That suggestion too is a lie.

Russell O’Brien checked his own daughter at 9.30 and found she had been sick. Jane returned to the apartment to be with her daughter, and Russell went back to the table. Russell would later fall under suspicion too, because of those few minutes he spent away from the table.

Finally, at 10pm, it was Kate’s turn to check the apartment. She only became alarmed when she reached out to the children’s bedroom door and it blew shut. Inside the room the window was open, the shutter was up and Madeleine’s bed was empty. Kate quickly searched everywhere and ran back down the hill and into the restaurant: “Madeleine’s gone, somebody’s taken her” or “Madeleine’s gone, someone’s taken her.”

Gerry stood up. “She can’t be gone.” “I’m telling you she’s gone, someone’s taken her.”

It was reported that Kate had said “They’ve taken her,” as if it was someone that she knew. She did use those words, but only later, back in the apartment, in her despair, as she said: “We’ve let her down. They’ve taken her.”

Matt went down to the 24-hour reception at the bottom of the hill to raise the alarm. The call to the police went in at 10.15. They arrived 55 minutes later. It is widely believed among the Portuguese media, and perhaps the police too, even now, that the McCanns called Sky News before they called the police. For the record, Sky News picked up the story from GMTV breakfast television, at around 7.30am the following day.

There was a latch lock on the sliding glass window, and the McCanns thought, but could not be sure, that they had locked it at the start of the holiday. They would later discover it was common for cleaners to open the shutters and windows to give the rooms an airing, so there was no way of knowing whether the window was locked that night or not and no forensic trace to indicate where and how an abductor had gone in and out. They could easily have used the front door, perhaps even had access to a key.

In the McCanns’ minds now, there is no doubt Jane Tanner saw their daughter being taken, but there was so little time to talk in the first few days that it was not until Jane saw the description of Madeleine’s pyjamas in the media, around Monday or Tuesday of the following week, that she told them the little girl she had seen was wearing the same design: pink top and white bottoms with a floral design.

While searches began, Gerry was worried about Kate, as she was so distraught and kept talking about paedophiles, saying Madeleine would be dead. He tried to be reassuring, but of course he was thinking the same things.

It all came pouring out of him at 23.40 – from his phone records – when he called his sister Trish in Scotland ranting and raving semi-coherently on the phone about Madeleine being taken, and Trish kept trying to get him to calm down. A sharp contrast with the way he would be later, particularly in public, once he had regained his self-control.

The detectives from PJ arrived at about 1am. By 3.30am they had gone and there was no police action at all, or none visible to the McCanns.

Four times that night they put in calls via the British consul; four times the message came back from the PJ, a message that the McCanns would never forget: “Everything that can be done is being done.”

One of the PJ officers had put on surgical gloves and begun trying to dust down the bedroom, but his powder was not working properly. He tried to take the McCanns’ fingerprints for elimination, but that didn’t work either. It all had to be done again the next day.

The twins slept on like logs, just as they always did at home, though even their parents were fleetingly worried – had they been sedated by an abductor? – that they should be quite so comatose. The Ocean Club gave them another apartment, but the McCanns did not want to be alone, so the twins were taken to the Paynes’ apartment, and Kate and Gerry went there later too, to try to rest.

They got up at first light and went to search alone on the open scrubland beyond the resort, wandering around, calling Madeleine’s name. It was cold and lonely – there was no answer.

Gerry had asked the departing PJ detectives at half three about contacting the media to make an appeal. One of the officers had reacted with surprising agitation, waving his hand emphatically: “No journalists! No journalists!” That, of course, was not quite how it worked out.

) ) ) ) )

For many weeks, the McCanns enjoyed a good relationship with the Portuguese police and were treated to regular updates and a flow of information via the family-liaison officers sent out by Leicestershire police. The problem with the three Leicester officers was that they didn’t have a word of Portuguese between them.

The first public indication of police thinking came at the end of June when the magazine Sol published a story about the McCann group, casting doubts on their evidence and claiming they had undertaken a pact of silence. It was the first time the McCanns’ friends had been named in public, but Sol’s journalist Felicia Cabrita had their names and phone numbers and details from their witness statements. She had called them all, and at least one other witness, Jes Wilkins.

The information had been handed to Cabrita by the police – she says she acquired the material through good journalism, which in a sense it was – and her source is widely believed by her colleagues to have been the former head of the inquiry, Goncalo Amaral.

The PJ appointed an official spokesman, Olegario Sousa. He was apparently plucked from his day job – he was a chief inspector on the art-robbery squad – because he was the only one who spoke decent English. He was never directly involved in the investigation and was rarely told much of what was really going on.

Initial suspicion focused on Robert Murat, who made himself busy with police and journalists from the first day, offering his services as an interpreter, as he spoke both languages and lived across the road from the Ocean Club with his mother at the villa Casa Liliana. In fact, the man Jane Tanner had seen carrying a child was walking straight towards the Murat villa.

Murat later said to me that he told the PJ the press were suspicious of him, and they told him not to worry and to keep away from the press and work for them instead. He had signed papers to become an official interpreter and even sat in during the witness interview of Rachael Oldfield.

Leaving the police station in Portimao one evening, a week after becoming an official police interpreter, Murat became aware he was being followed. Shortly after that he was arrested and interviewed himself and made an arguido.

Murat always denied he was out the night Madeleine disappeared, but three of the McCann group claimed at the time they had seen him and still insist they were right. I was told there was at least one new independent sighting of Murat out on the night of May 3.

Bizarrely, the McCanns believe they were inadvertently responsible for encouraging the PJ to take them seriously as potential suspects, as it was them bringing in a South African “body finder”, Danie Krugel, that led to search dogs being used. The PJ agreed to work with Krugel, and an officer from the UK National Policing Improvement Agency was called in to advise on a search based on Krugel’s findings. It was agreed the British would supply some specialist equipment for spotting disturbed soil and also some search dogs, including one trained in human-remains detection (HRD) and one trained to detect the scent of blood.

Ultimately, only those who were there and involved know exactly what happened, but the McCanns wonder just how the search dogs were presented to the PJ and what claims were made for their success rate and infallibility.

All British policing techniques are meant to be practised uniformly by every force across the country and defined in written policy created by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). But the ACPO was unable to produce for me any policy relating to search dogs.

Gerry was initially optimistic at the prospect of the searches by these supposedly elite British dogs and techniques. The dogs then went on to search the apartments of the McCanns and their friends. A line-up of cars were also called in by the police, including the cars owned or used by Murat and the Renault the McCanns had been using, which they had hired on May 27.

Those who told me about the dogs’ searches say they involved little objective science. It has been suggested that the HRD dog was treated differently in the McCanns’ apartment than in the others. The dog kept sniffing and running off and it was called back on several occasions. Eventually it “alerted”, meaning it went stiff and stayed still.

Then the blood dog was called in and directed to the area where the other dog had alerted. Eventually this dog alerted in the same place – behind the sofa in the lounge, which is where the trace of blood was supposedly found.

The cars were lined up, not in a controlled environment, but in the underground public car park opposite Portimao police station. Again the dog was led quickly from one car to the next until he reached a Renault with “Find Madeleine” stickers all over it. The dog sniffed and moved on to the next car, but was called back. The dog was taken around the McCanns’ car for about a minute, as opposed to the few seconds devoted to the other cars. Then the dog went rigid, an “alert”, and the doors and the boot were opened. It was this that led to the recovery of some body fluids that the PJ suspected would contain traces of Madeleine’s DNA, and which led to the supposed revelation that her body must have been carried in the car.

The role of such dogs is normally intended to find a body or remains. Without any subsequent discovery the alerts amount to little more than an indication – or worse: in one recent case in Wisconsin a judge concluded that similarly trained dogs were “no more reliable than the flip of a coin”, after hearing evidence that they were wrong far more often than they were right. The McCanns’ lawyers are in touch with the defence lawyers in that case. The PJ had never attempted to obtain a “control sample” of Madeleine’s DNA. That had been left to the McCanns, who had found traces of her saliva on the pillow of her bed at home in Rothley and provided that DNA sample to the Portuguese police.

Whatever the public’s perception – based on a slew of news stories – at this stage there is no published evidence that Madeleine’s DNA, or any trace of her blood, has been recovered from the apartment or the car. Any suggestion to the contrary appears to be misinformation from the PJ. Some Portuguese journalists and, apparently, some members of the PJ believed the UK’s Forensic Science Service (FSS), based in Birmingham, had been deliberately delaying the tests. There are some who suspect the involvement of the British secret services.

In fact, both the PJ’s national director, Alipio Ribeiro, and another PJ official, Carlos Anjos, have both said openly that the police have failed to establish a perfect match. The PJ found several specks of what they believe to be blood in apartment 5a, including one sample that someone had apparently tried to wash off.

They found a trace of body fluid – that is, not blood – in the boot of the Renault and a tiny trace of blood in the Renault’s key fob. Some forensic tests were carried out at the PJ’s own laboratories in Lisbon, where tests on samples related to Robert Murat were also made. The tests on the traces that were potentially the most significant came to the FSS. One sample was said to have produced DNA that was similar to Madeleine’s. An exact match would be 20 out of 20 bands, this sample was said to be similar in 15 out of 20 bands. But in reality, that result was meaningless, as any family member could produce the same match.

Some journalists were told that more advanced tests were being carried out on the smallest blood traces – tests called low copy number profiling, which could produce DNA findings in the slightest of samples. They were a slow process, but did not normally take more than two weeks.

In late November, PJ officers and forensic experts came to meet police and FSS experts in the UK, amid claims the PJ were still waiting for further results. Leicestershire police have apparently paid for all the forensic tests being carried out in the case by the FSS – they are the client in the case, not the Portuguese. The PJ have used this as evidence that the British are suspicious of the McCanns too – even the McCanns think the British police doubted them for a while, until the forensic results emerged – but you might think the PJ would have wanted to be in control of their own forensic findings.

I heard that a PJ officer had been surprised to find a member of MI5 at a UK meeting about the case, and this made him suspicious that shadowy forces could be at work. The Sol journalist Felicia Cabrita mentioned the “mysterious Clarence” – Clarence Mitchell, the former government PR officer turned McCann spokesman – and I was told there was suspicion too about another government official, Sheree Dodd, who had acted as a PR officer for the McCanns briefly in the early days – had she come out from MI6 to help dispose of the body?

These theories might seem preposterous, but for those involved in the case in Portugal, they fitted a pattern in which the Portuguese government and in turn the PJ had felt the heavy weight of diplomatic pressure from the UK – a pressure that the police and the journalists very much resented, with its implication that the police were not doing their job properly. This could be one reason why the PJ were so ready to suspect the McCanns.

There seemed to be no doubt that the PJ really did think the McCanns had done it. I was outlined a scenario in which Kate had come back to the apartment and found that Madeleine had fallen from the sofa and hit her head – hence the blood – and cleaned up and hid the body somewhere in the apartment, and perhaps had not even told Gerry until the next day.

The police could not answer all the questions, of course. They were almost as unanswerable as they were unimaginable. Where would they have hidden the body? How would they have got it into the car 24 days later, and where would they have taken it? What kind of people would they have to be – what borderline personality disorders must they both share – to keep that to themselves for six months, maintain a facade in front of everyone they knew, and at the same time not hiding away but going out to ask the world to help find Madeleine?

I know the McCanns believe the PJ were oversold the value of the dogs. It was after the dogs came out that the PJ’s attitude towards the McCanns changed and it became harder for the McCanns to obtain a briefing meeting. They were disturbed when the press began reporting that the PJ knew Madeleine was dead. Finally, after pressing for a meeting, one was arranged for Wednesday, August 8, three days before the 100-day point after Madeleine’s disappearance.

When they arrived at the station in Portimao the couple were separated and both interrogated. Kate especially was given “the third degree”. Gerry broke down and cried, pleading with the PJ to share any evidence that Madeleine was dead. “It’s coming, it’s coming,” he was told.

The interviews caused the couple “incredible emotional distress”. But they agreed, if they had been guilty, they probably would have cracked and confessed at that point. The police said there would be no more briefings. The next time they saw the McCanns it would be across the table, for formal interviews.

What was doubly dispiriting, of course, was that while the PJ treated them as suspects, they were no longer looking for Madeleine. I was told the PJ had “abandoned the abduction theory”. It was open season now on the McCanns. The publicity was wretched.

The British press were not blameless either, often lazily repeating allegations and sometimes repeating them despite emphatic denials from the McCann camp. If you read the blog sites on the internet you would discover an even darker, nastier tone. The McCanns and their holiday friends were swingers, apparently. That allegation was even made on the Portuguese equivalent of the BBC by a former PJ detective, Jose Barra da Costa. When I checked with him, he said he had been told by a friend in the UK who happened to be a police officer. No doubt that officer had plucked it from the internet. It is not true.

During Kate’s interviews with the PJ in September, just before she was declared an arguido, she was separated from her lawyer, and he was presented with a long list of factors pointing to her guilt, including entries from her entirely innocuous diary and a passage they believed she had marked in a Bible (which in fact had been given to her and marked by the original owner).

The PJ also told the lawyer there was a 100% DNA match with Madeleine in the car and showed him a document that appeared to prove it. Possibly, this was the document showing Madeleine’s control sample of DNA. The McCanns feared even their own lawyer thought they were guilty. Kate was asked by the PJ to explain the dog alerts by her car. “You’re the police,” she said. “You tell me.” Kate asked the PJ: “Are you trying to destroy our family altogether?”

Gerry was asked the same questions the next day but could not answer. (Sometime earlier a Leicestershire officer had said to him, just stick to what you know.) Why did the dogs only alert next to material belonging to the McCanns? The officer was brandishing the dog-handler’s report. And then: “Your daughter’s DNA, your daughter Madeleine McCann, how do you explain that?” “Show me that report,” Gerry asked. “No. This is the report that matters – with the dog.” Of course, they could not produce a DNA match because there wasn’t one.

The McCanns took heart when Goncalo Amaral was forced to step down after making public criticisms of them and the Leicestershire police – he had made the criticisms in a phone call to a journalist contact, not suggesting the comments were private or off the record.

The McCanns hope that Amaral’s replacement, Paulo Rebelo, a more sober, conservative character, will take a wide view of the inquiry. He is said to have stopped leaks to the press, and has been locked away on the upper floors of the station in Portimao reviewing the evidence with a team of officers.

Meanwhile, the McCanns are back home trying to recover some kind of normality. How long can you put your life on hold? They have the twins to think of. Gerry has gone back to work half-days, and has finally told the British Heart Foundation he plans to go ahead with the research fellowship they awarded him, a week before he was accused of being involved in his daughter’s death. He had told me, weeks ago, about the six-figure grant and how it meant almost nothing in terms of professional advancement, but might one day help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.

He had prepared the application in his own time, working evenings and weekends.

In other circumstances it would have meant the world to him but, right now, he had other things on his mind.

If you have any information that may help the search for Madeleine, please call the confidential phone line 0034 902 300213 or visit

Have your say

The Renault hired by the McCanns and allegedly containing DNA from Madeleine would have been hired by the potential abductor or persons involved. Have not the police investigated the list of hirers from the date of Madeleine's disappearance?

Assoc Prof Paul Goldwater, Adelaide, Australia

For this article to be billed as 'authoritative' ,it would need to be objective and disinterested. It is quite clearly neither. It is a reiteration of the McCanns' version of events, which needs to be substantiated before quoting as fact. What is at issue is the McCanns' credibility and their motives for conducting their 'campaign'. They don't lack cheerleaders (some very powerful), which is clearly how Smith sees his role.

Robin, Cambridge, UK

Of course the McCanns are innocent and it really makes me angry to listen to the self righteous who say they would NEVER leave their children alone. Many parents have felt safe in that kind of holiday environment especially in a group of adults who were also leaving their children asleep. How were they to know that there was some evil person lurking nearby? How have the McCanns stayed sane with all that they have suffered. Thank God for their twins. I pray that the truth will eventually come out despite the early incompetence of the Portugese police!
How does the editor of the Daily Express sleep at night?

Bunty, London, England

Beyond the smears hopefully the truth will emerge. Kate and Gerry have some Police questions to answer after Christmas which should be a step forward bearing in mind they refused to cooperate when questionned in Portugal. Maddie, an innocent child, is the real victim in this story. She deserves justice!

Mary , Kent, UK

Excellent article.

Just one thing that's ommitted - and needs to be recognised by those who've commented and are still determined to somehow cast the McCanns as the villains.

We've been hearing now for months that the McCanns an the "Tapas 7" were to be re-interviewed. And despite this hype, the Portuguese have yet to even issue a request for assistance to the British Police.

Why? Because the case Prosecutor, and supervising Judge won't authorise it, without supporting evidence - as required by the relevant international agreements.

Those who think there's a case against the McCanns have to answer this - why are the Portuguese Judiciary unconvinced by this case? Is it that they're "bought off" by Team McCann?

Or is it because they know that bringing the supposed case into the public domain would expose the Portuguese system to even more ridicule.

Is that "Dumbed Down" enough for you, Eric Smith?

Cynic, Crowthorne, Berks, UK

I stayed with Mark Warner in this very resort two weeks before the McCanns. The resort is a small town. It was no more secure than any other town in Western Europe.
Mark Warner did offer babysitting at this resort too. You took your babies to the creche & your children to an evening club, where the nannies would look after them, until you came to collect them after supper.
What Mark Warner did not offer was a walk around baby listening service that they do in there other discreet resort. The reason for this being, that because Praia da Luz is a town and not an enclosed resort and it would not be safe or possible for baby listeners to get around all the rooms.
I feel desperately sorry for the McCanns & very much hope they find Madeleine. I'm sure they must regret very deeply leaving the children on their own.
However, articles that suggest the resort "felt safe & secure" are incorrect.

Fiona, London, UK

Thank You for you very well written article ...Lets just hope those people who have vilified them , will read it and " Think" before they persecute these parents anymore ...Shame on them !!!
Hope is all that is now left , and whatever rope the Mccanns are holding onto, I hope there is a Big Knot in the end of it ....
I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it...
Madeleine still missing ... Means Madeleine could still be found ....Thanks Again for a well written reasoned article .

Kim , Alicante, Spain

This is the most reasoned, and reasonable, article that I have seen, to date, about this tragic case. Some of the appalling theories that have been put forth are not worthy of most naive of fiction writers. Some journalists and bloggers have turned to this situation as a source of income and entertainment. I commend this author for his clarification and insight.

Caty, San Francisco, CA US

i havent studied this case in minute detail but i am struck by the thought that it is highly unlikely that someone entered the mcanns apatment with the intention of stealling a child, for a start they would have to know the children were there alone as it wasnt late, etc etc. much more likely is that madeline woke up as she often did ( why the stars on kitchen board at home) and wandered off. the shutter were not forced merely open. the apartment door was left ajar apparently. Why wouldnt a criminal close it so as not to draw attention? i know its a distressing thought but it is highly likely that she was off looking for her parents. She may still be alive, she may well have been found by someone wandering alone but i imagine most likely outcome is to be found at the beach or some other dangerous location. i know people arent going to like what im saying but please show me one scrap of real evidence that proves she didnt walk out from that apartment alone

derek anderson, cardiff, uk

More spin - just in time for Christmas.

Susan Bibby, Preston, UK

How can you say they thought it very safe when Gerry admitted that he and Kate had discussed earlier in the week they were concerned about security as they faced the road and were on the ground floor.

teresa, orihuela costa, alicante

Excellent ,clear and factual.

PWhite, Luxembourg, Luxembourg

An excellent article.

Neil, Hull,

I used to go on holday to Potugual. I will never visit again.

Steve Petterson, Victon, UK

Isabel Macfadden - that crime was "solved" by the same policeman who's been booted off the McCann case. He's facing trial for beating a confession (unrecorded by audio or video, and the only evidence in securing that conviction) out of the mother. There was no body, no forensics - but there are photos of appalling injuries inflicted on that mother. The police allege she happened to fall down some stairs in custody, blacking both eyes in the process. Head of a missing kid's charity, Paulo Pereira Cristovao (who recently slammed the McCanns) was formerly a policeman, and involved in that case.

The PJ have totally messed up this investigation. PC denial doesn't alter that fact. You may want to Google the Casa Pia orphanage scandal, as other posters suggest. Child abuse exists everywhere; I'd rather be a parent in a nation that admitted as much, trained their police to have the expertise and resources to try to combat it, and used registration to track the movements of known offenders.

Kate Lee, London, UK

a load of biased garbage

mark, LONDON, UK

I do not believe that the McCanns had anything to do with the disappearance of their child but nevertheless thought this article was appallingly written. It completely lacks objectivity. It is gushing and emotive.

Carla, Devon, UK

After reading this I hope that at the end of all this,some mighty
big claims against all the liars and speculators are put to the
Go in peace McCanns.

Geoff, Warrington, U.K.

I think the nastiness from the public has gone on long enough now. They are human beings and can only take so much. Madeleine (I believe she is still alive) can only benefit from people being positive and wishing her home instead of assuming she is dead with absolutely no proof.

lucy , UK, UK

an excellent article: and Mark Gregory, I actually think everyone associated with this nightmare needs our prayers, not least the parents.

michael, harrogate, uk

Kudos to David James Smith for finally allowing the poor, traumatised McCann's to get their say.

Dee, Blackburn,

With regards to posts about the lack of child abuse in Portugal,has eveyone forgotten the massive "Casa Pia " childrens home scandal which involved abuse at some very senior levels.Look it up.

JB, London, UK

I am sick of the protestations of the Portuguese that they are somehow uniquely loving and protective of their children. At the moment there is an enquiry into the sexual abuse of many children in the orphanage Casa Pia. Google and read about it! This involves people in respected professions as well as powerful and influential members in public office. Lets have a truly honest and open forum from now on.


Cara Law, Brighton, England

Dear felicity in London the reason why posters of a missing child 3 years before was never posted it was because that child was killed by her own mother. That crime was solved and the mother is still in jail.
I have read that Portugal is one of the safest countries in Europe so something like this was not expected. Here in America children disapear everyday. I think it is biased for British Citizens or press to portray Portugal as a dangerous country. That's the secong greatest outrage after the disapearence of Maddie.

To be honest I do think the parents have a strange amount of support in the British Elite.

Isabelle McFadden,

Seal Beach, California

isabelle mcfadden, seal beach califonia, USA

This is the best and most sensible review of the case I have seen. I've been horrified at all I have heard of the Portuguese police. I hope I never suffer a crime when in Portugal.

JA, london,

Well, *someone* got in touch with Sky News; I can quite distinctly remember the report in the early hours of 4th May - it was reported as abduction and the jemmied shutters were definitely mentioned. I recall being quite surprised at the amount of detail that was reported at such a late hour.

And for the record, no, I do not believe the McCann's had anything to do with their daughter's disappearance.

Margaret, Woking,

i have perhaps a naive and very simple view about the Madeleine situation having followed it, heartbroken, as a mum to a three year old. in my experience one either subscribes to the cock up theory ( pardon the expression) or the conspiracy theory. it is human nature to believe the more complex conspiracy theory but it is ineviatbly a cock up that comes out in the end for why a crime occurred. some inept bungled attempt that is equally ineptly covered up. i am given to believe the McCanns, but who knows? It is my belief that if the truth ever does emerge it will be neither complex nor unbelievable. Instead, it will be something that most people will say...of course, how obvious. i fear the truth may never emerge unless by again, some cock up or accident. hopefully it will, but whatever happens, how cruel are the Metodo to suggest a Christmas return when anyone with a brain knows this will never happen? why would they alert the perpetators? shameful.

kathy , manchester, uk

An innocent child is still missing and in harm's way. Her family is suffering . I cannot believe with all the technology available to law enforcement, that somebody cannot find her.

Kim Righetti, Upland, Calif. USA

I find this article remarkable because it is quite balanced and informative, but also in contrast with all I've been reading in the British press.
We Portuguese are still quite concerned with Maddie, but we are also apalled by the allegations of incompetence of our PJ.

You have tounderstand that Portugal is a country where serious crime (ans especially kidnapping) is very rare.
Our police isn't very used to it, but they are quite competent.
They aren't very well equiped but accepted help from the British. And the clues point to the McCanns as suspects.

Please note that we, Portuguese parents, don´t usually leave toddlers alone in foreign hotel rooms while we go out to dine.

We are also surprised with the power over the press and the huge means the McCanns seem have at their disposal: press aides, detectives, and so.

We pray that Maddie may be found alive and the crime be solved.
But if it isn't, many people here and abroad will still be suspicious about the McCanns.

Jose Rodrigues, Lisbon, Portugal

I am impressed by the quality of the piece and the prudence of the words it uses. Well done and thank you David James Smith.

A reader (Felicity, London) remarked: "There should have been posters up at the Ocean Club that a girl had been missing for three years and had never been found. That would have made parents less likely to feel lulled into a sense of false security".

I agree. May I risk the suggestion that national authorities should be compelled to report all such incidents on a single Europe-wide public website?

Schemes along the same lines already exist to make known the quality of bathing waters (, or the names of dangerous airlines ( There is also the FCO travel advice website.

Clearly the concept is not beyond what money can buy. Would it not be a worthwhile effort similarly to publicize all cases of certain categories of serious crimes around Europe? Perhaps not all tourism authorities would agree, though...

AJV, London, UK

Thank you for the well written article and the true facts. Its amazing how so many people thrive on speculation and other peoples misfortunes.. I feel so sorry for the McCann's and just pray that this nightmare will soon be over. I have never been so sad in my heart about little Madeleine and it has alerted so many people all over the world that this can happen to anyone anywhere.

sandy gordon, cape town, south africa

I quote from this article -

'As they chatted, Gerry thought how lucky he was, his children asleep nearby, he and Kate free to come and enjoy some adult time at the restaurant and not have to sit with their children, as this couple were. '

This point is what divides the public, not the portuguese police, not Clarence Mitchell, not the wealthy supporters, not the media spotlight, not the McCanns sober outlook when first in the spotlight, not the incredible sense of loss that is normal when a child is lost.

This is the only point.

One couple eating with their children, the other not. Therefore, the chance of an accident to the 3 very young children was magnified exponentially.

I feel sorry, now, for the situation is out of control, (Metodo 3).

But, we will probably see the heart wrenching headlines soon, Maddie not home for Christmas.

I will say a prayer for her, and her alone.

mark gregory, burton on trent, england

At last, some sensible reporting of the facts. How this family have suffered at the hands of the media defies belief. More importantly, Madeleine is still missing.

Teresa, London, UK

It is so good to hear an objective report on the honest facts of the case, rather than just mad speculation. What a relief. The press seem to have given into public appeal for a soap opera at the moment.

I have felt terribly sad for the McCanns, with such a great loss, to be further attacked, and blog sites definately have some very dark theories, saying more about the people willing to imagine them than the family of Madeleine.

It is a relief to hear the topic given sensibility again, and focusing on human goodness rather than madness.

Nicci, Cape Town, South Africa

A very good and well written article.

Lora, Horsham, UK

McCanns are grieving parents. Would any of you have the audacity to hurl abuse at ANY other grieving parents? Because Ben Needham's mother had no access to funds or connections, her son has been forgotten. Due to the McCanns campaign, people are more aware of the dangers of predators who could be lurking anywhere, around any of our children, at beaches, funfairs, cinemas. Who can tell a predator from any other person? Clearly, a predator was searching for a child at the beginning of May. Madeleine was targeted, but equally, another child of any other nationality could have been abducted and we would have been none the wiser. Nobody was aware of any other abductees before Madeleine.

There should have been posters up at the Ocean Club that a girl had been missing for three years and had never been found. That would have made parents less likely to feel lulled into a sense of false security whilst on holiday and maybe Madeleine would not have been taken.

Felicity, London, UK

Excellent article.Unfortunately some people do not want hear the truth andt hey will continue to post their spiteful comments on internet forums.

lynne , Rushden,

Well done, at last, a sane, sober account of the FACTS. No doubt to be poo-pooed by the baying hoards who would rather crucify this family with rumour and innuendo.

Hoping that this excruciating story will be brought to a close - soon.

jacci, cape town, south africa

Nice to have an article lining out the time line and facts. Its sad the the PG police and most of the media started a smear campaign against the parents. They have suffered enough losing a child and then all the false accusations. They will never get back to a "normal" life and I hope they can atleast find some comfort that most people are still hoping and praying for them.

Tammie, Chicago Il, United States

I am sure the Portugese Police will have considered this but I wonder if the abductor was in the McCann's apartment, or close by, when Gerry McCann checked at 9.05pm. It seems strange that Gerry McCann noticed that the children's bedroom door was open to 45'.

Then shortly afterwards, when G McCann and Jes were talking on the hill, Jane Tanner noticed a male carrying a limp young female.

The path to the beach seems a realistic option to me as an exit strategy, I hope that has been fully explored by the Portugese Police.

Anita, Adelaide, Australia

The parents are official suspects in the death and disappearance of their daughter. That is all that is known for sure of this case.

Julie, Monmouth, UK

This is the McCann ´s version, even including the word "ludicrous". One has to be at least naive to believe it.
Hopefully some day we would be able to read what the PJ has to say, so we can get the whole picture.

toky, Malmo, Sweden

Just shows how truly ignorant and stupid people are....why in the world would you believe the McCann's killed their daughter? Would rather believe the sensationalized and nearly impossible stories rather than the simpler explanation that all the evidence points to - a paedophile got another child. Makes me want to throw the whole human race out on its collective ass. pathetic - just pathetic. Parents have to go through losing a child and now all these chattering morons accusing them of it.....the world is a horrible place.

paul, NY, NY

Thank you for a fair report on a heartbreaking story. I have never, ever believed Kate and Gerry were guilty of any crime. Many people have been judge and jury and pronounced them "Guilty". I am NOT one of them.

My heart breaks for them. Madeleine, her parents and the whole family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, brother and sister) are in my prayers.

The media must also bear a responsibility for the slurs against this family.

Gisele Harrison, Calgary, Canada

This writer will be attacked just as viciously as the woman in the Guardian was. Both writers are dealing in facts, as witnesses to events. Unfortunately too many people have said some horrifyingly spiteful things - and to admit they were wrong would be to admit to being nasty, pig-ignorant, vicious members of a baying mob. They can't afford to even contemplate the possibility, so they'll shoot the messengers. If, as seems tragically unlikely, Madeleine is recovered, these people will simply move on to the next target for their misplaced venom. If they had any consciences, they'd have trouble meeting their own reflections in the mirror - but then, if they had consciences, they'd not be attacking people where there's even a possibility that they're innocent parents of a stolen child.

To have a little girl stolen from her bed by a stranger is terrifying, but mercifully rare. That is why the vindictiveness shown by so many since is almost more frightening, for it seems appallingly common

Kate Lee, London, UK,

it's very hard to have sympathy for people who would leave small chldren alone like this. sorry that's the truth. they should have gotten a babysitter or not gone out.

common sense, NYC,


againstbiasedreporting, london,

Finally a frank and sober review of the case. Thank you but no doubt that some people will still prefer visiting the various internet forums for their daily fill and fabrication of vicious gossip.

m, London,

If any good come from this sad tale --

The EU parliament should to shine a light on the Europe wide network of child abusers - abusers who appear to act with impunity.

df, truro, cornwall

Very interesting summary of what is actually known about this case. It is sad that you will be vilified for refusing to vilify the McCanns.

Mary, USA,

The evidence was gathered and analysed by British police, so the racism iscompletely irrelevant. Are we to believe the 'dumb Portugese' were handed the raw data and told to get on with it ?

This article is aimed at an even lower intelligence level than a similar piece in the Guardian yesterday. Have the British broadsheet classes really been that dumbed down since 1981 ?

Eric Smith, Glasgow, UK

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Anonymous said...

Gina M says Good Morning all.Have you read the article on Alsabella site re a taxi driver who claims Madeleine was in his cab at 8.10, 3rd May. Apparently this was reported at the time to the PJ so he has not just come out of the woodwork, I guess the papers have just found out about it. This case will go on for ever at this rate with stories being told by one and another. The sooner the PJ are allowed to complete their questioning the better for all concerned. Then at least we will be sure whether M was abducted or not.

This article from the mirror says a lot about the way I have always felt about this case.

Most of us won't have an instant recollection who Shannon Matthews is. After thinking twice, of course we all know she is the nine-year-old missing from her home in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire.

But what a terrible indictment of the media that, when a child has disappeared in Britain for over a week, her name doesn't spring to our lips, we don't know her school, favourite toy or what she was wearing when last seen.

Shannon is as precious to her family as Madeleine McCann, missing for 300 days, is to hers. But where are the front-page pictures, campaigns, the furore? Would this be different if she was the daughter of two middle-class, mediasavvy parents? Not a working-class child from up North.

Off now have things to do Gina M

Mandz said...

If there was anything concrete about this couple killing their child then they would have been charged by now regardless of not answering alleged “questions”. I hardly think this case depends on them answering the so called “questions”.

If as claimed they have this evidence boxes and boxes of the stuff then they could use the fact that they did not “answer the questions” against them in Court so what are they waiting for??

The PJ made them suspects which gave them the right “not to answer questions” and the alleged questions might have been “personal” which they did not want to answer nor were obliged however more leaked stories by the PJ about the McCann’s not answering “questions” in an attempt to make it look like suspicious.

Who are they trying to fool? It has been 10months and we are all aware of their catalogue of errors and leaks however they are all talk and no action. The McCann’s have not even been charged with anything? Their lawyers are waiting on this so called evidence which the PJ have asked for an extension. The public have played judge and jury with the leaks from PJ/media about claimed “evidence”? How would that stand up in Court if indeed “true”?

Mr Riberio has stated on TV that they were too hasty in making the McCann’s suspects and another evaluation should have been done. Now that speaks volumes*. IMO the McCann’s did NOT KILL THEIR CHILD.

Anonymous said...

GinaM says - forgot to mention that if you think the Taxi Driver story is credible, you will have to accept that the times that were given by the McCanns re when they went to the Tapas bar, and the times they checked and Gerry's comments about looking at Madeleine as thinking she was beautiful (or whatever he said) are all untrue. Gina M

Anonymous said...

Gina M says

Mandz, I don't know whether the McCanns killed their child or not but I think it is totally wrong that approval for questionning seems to be being tampered with. Any police force should have the right to follow up their line of enquiry no matter what. As far as I understand it there are some discrepancies in witness statements which need clarifying and once clarified the PJ will either be satisfied with the answers or not, if not they will proceed to re question the McCanns.
If you can just forget for a moment your views on the PJ and think about this on a broader scale you will understand why some of us are beginning to think there is a UK cover up (as Fayed thought about Diana & he may be right or not who knows). However in order for justice to be done in ANY CASE, the police force, ANY POLICE FORCE, should have full co-operation from all the authorities

SassyP said...

Hiya Doby

You are right - miles too early!

Hi to you too and am really glad it all worked out that you could find your way to this site!

See you later!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Eddie a WONDER DOG?

Mum21 said...

To the Anonymous who kindly posted the Times article on here. I say thank you very much. This article makes a lot of sense and shows us many things the PJ ommited to say.
Would somebody please be kind enough to post it on the other two blogs because I feel they should also read it.

Thank you

Mum21 said...

GinaM. Good Morning to you.
You said "I don't know whether the McCanns killed their child or not but I think it is totally wrong that approval for questionning seems to be being tampered with."

We do not know whether it is being tampered we? In fact we know nothing at all over the requested questioning...the reported DNA....or anything else for that matter.
It is all hearsay and press spin from both countries.

SassyP said...


Eddie and Keela are certainly great little dogs. Shame they weren't left to do their job when they were in Praia da Luz and were dragged back to the car they kept wanting to walk past.

helenm said...

Anon thanyou for your post regarding the Times article. I have never seen that before and although it takes some time to read I wouldn't have missed it. What a clear, concise account of a terrible tragedy which it would seem has been corroborated by the Mccann's and their friends.I found it all too much emotionally whilst reading it, but to all other posters do take those extra minutes to read it.

GinaM of course Shannon is as important as any child that is missing, but the lack of media interest (I do not believe this to be a fact) as reported can hardly be put at the feet of the Mccann's. I am quite frankly at a loss to understand how anybody can criticise the Mccann's for doing their utmost to get their daughter back.
If this story from the Daily Mirror has been written by a journalist he/she is in a position to put this right surely?

Anonymous said...

Gina M says

Good Morning Mum, perhaps tampered with was a poor choice of words but it seems to me that due to all this red tape procedure that has to be gone through in order to reinterview the Tapas group there is an unnecessary delay.You are right we do not know what evidence there is, if any, but surely it makes sense in a case like this to cut the red tape and allow the police to get on with it for EVERYBODIES sake.

For all we know the PJ may have been given some more information and need to clarify it before being able to take it seriously. This delay serves to benefit all, it is not just about fitting up the McCanns as some would have it, it is about trying to find out what happened to Madeleine which is more important than anything else IMO Gina M

assasin said...

People think there is a coverup cos they allow themselves to be wrapped up in a Global pandemic. It is called Paranoia. Now, sadly the full weight of said paranoia is landing on the heads of kate 7 gerry McCann by paranoid conspirators.

Anonymous said...

helen,you are indeed welcome.

helenm said...

Ginam your post of 9.55 not neessarily the only option. Simply put the taxi driver could be mistaken regarding the time.

Forgot my manners, good morning all.

Mum21 said...

Gina M . We do not even know as fact that the letters have been sent. The whole issue of them is a complete mystery.
I think we just have to be patient and wait and see.

Anonymous said...

Gina M says

Helen, firstly I do not have much regard for any journalist as they do not take the trouble to get the facts and print them as is. It all has to be sensationalised.

Re the McCanns, yes they did what they did to find their child but it amazed me how quickly they managed to do it and why they went as far as they did. Time has shown us it has not achieved anything other than having themselves and their family pulled apart which I said would happen at the beginning. They had the right to do whatever they wanted, it was just a pity they went too far with it.

Really have to go now BYE ALL

Mandz said...

Morning Ginam,

what approval for questioning seems to have been tampered with? I do not believe these stories that our Government are hampering or tampering or stopping the McCann’s from being questioned by the PJ.
Our Government has better things to do than stop this from taking place. Honestly just more conspiracy theories!

If as claimed they have the evidence then the PJ should charge them and use the fact that they did not answer these questions in Court against them.

Absolutely any police should have the right to investigate and we are talking about the same police force who allowed the McCann’s to leave their Country after “questioning them” and making them suspects giving them the right “not to answer”.
Sorry I just don’t buy that our government are stopping anything.

I think the real problem is Portugal/PJ is leaking stories about our Government our police still to this day in an attempt to keep the limelight off them however I don’t buy any of it and don’t trust them one bit.

Anonymous said...

Gina M says Helen

Apparently the Taxi Driver was sure about the time (maybe because they have to keep a log of pickups) but it is not up to us to make the story fit what we choose to believe is it. It just seems to me that nobody involved in solving this case has any sense of urgency. The PJ, UK police, Department for approval of letters,
The McCanns, and uncle to, cobbly and all

Mum21 said...

Sorry I forgot to say Morning All.
I think reading that lengthy, emotional article from the Times made me forget my manners.

But I tell you something...I am more inclined to believe an article printed in the Times...than I am printed in the DE, DM, Sun, Mail or any of the Portuguese tabloids.

Mandz said...

Good morning all!

helenm said...

Assassin, paranoia indeed and you only have to go to that woman's site to witness it. I do believe though that this paranoia has been placed in the public domain by 'leaks' from within the PJ to the media.

Ginam Sorry for posting when you have left but may not have time for catch up later. It would be advantageous for all concerned if the 'questioning' takes place sooner rather than later, however if there are set protocols that have to be followed then so be it. Would not do any favours to either side to have 'evidence/witness statements thrown out because protocols not followed to the letter.

Anonymous said...

From The Sunday TimesAugust 5, 2007

Memories of a lost daughter
Kate McCann speaking last Wednesday about how the abduction of Madeleine has affected her and her memories of her daughter.

IVF Treatment

"The one thing I have always been definite about is that I want a family. I wanted to be a mother. Then when we were trying for a baby and it wasn't happening, it was really hard. The longer it went on, the harder it was. I saw my friends having children and I was really delighted for them, but it made me feel sad too.

"We tried unsuccessfully for several years to conceive. There came a point when we admitted we needed help. I was so desperate to have a child I'd try anything. I know IVF isn't everyone's choice, but I wanted to try it.

Madeleine McCann: the key questions
Why are the "Tapas 9" key to solving the Madeleine mystery?

Related Internet Links
The latest full coverage of Madeleine McCann
McCanns forced to consider documentary bids and interviews
Madeleine McCann: the global reaction
The forgotten victim in the McCann case
Pictures: searching for Madeleine
Video: McCann family start holiday

Related Links
Madeleine, I’m sorry I left you alone
"By that stage I was happy to start the treatment because it was taking the pressure off us a bit.

"We had one unsuccessful attempt before Madeleine and that was very hard.

"But when I got pregnant with Madeleine it was just fantastic. It didn't seem true.

"I did a test at home so I could handle the result if it wasn't good. I was looking at it thinking 'I don't believe that.' Then I went to the hospital and they checked it. I was really excited.

"Once we were past 12 weeks we were telling everyone. I swam every day until the day she was born to keep us both healthy.

"It was a really uncomplicated pregnancy. I had no sickness, nothing. It was so easy.

"I didn't know I was having a girl until she was born.

Smiling, she said: "There she was, perfect. She was lovely. She had the most beautiful face. I'd thought I was going to have a boy, just based on instinct. That actually made it even more special that she was a girl. She took us by surprise."

Madeleine as a baby

"The first five or six months were really difficult. She had very bad colic and cried about 18 hours a day. She had to be picked up all the time. So I spent many a day dancing round the living room holding Madeleine. I remember trying to butter my toast with one hand and holding her in the other.

"We would watch the clock and Gerry would come home and there would be three of us. Sometimes she just looked so sad with colic and the three of us would be cuddled together trying to get her through it. Like a lot of things, you go through that difficult, bad stage and it tightens that bond. We've both got an incredible bond with Madeleine."

Her personality

"She's always had bags of personality. Even as a baby, she was quite determined and independent. Even at six weeks we could see her watching the tele. She was so alert. Her favourite TV programme was Noddy. The colours are so bright and she loved the tune. She would be bobbing up and down. I know all the episodes of Noddy."

When the twins were born

"She was amazing, I keep saying that, but she was. She was only 20 months old. She just handled it so well. She was still a baby herself."

(Kate's voice breaks and she has to pause to stop herself crying)

"I'll try not to get emotional at this point. I just remember when they were born. I'm going to get a bit upset now, sorry.

"When the time came to bring Madeleine in, it was in the evening. She came in and… just her little face. When she saw the twins for the first time it was lovely. It was so nice, this expression. She sat on the end of my bed.

"She's great. We had the odd moment of course, such as when I was breast feeding the twins. There was a tired Madeleine walking about the room wanting attention. But she was remarkable the way she coped with it all. She would look at me and say 'hold it, hold it,' meaning she wanted to hold one of the babies."


"We'd been away twice before. We went to Spain last year. Then we went to Ireland this Easter. That was a big family holiday. There were about 28 of us. It was great because the kids were all different ages, going up to about 13. They were all looking after each other. They had a great time.

"We were on a holiday camp all together. It was great. Madeleine is very sociable.

"She was so excited about coming to Portugal. She was holding onto another girl's hand walking up the stairs to the plane.

"She was no trouble on the flight, always chatting, and colouring-in or reading. We had a year in Amsterdam and there were a few things we had to go back for such as weddings, and Gerry's dad wasn't very well. She was always perfect."

The week

"The kids had a fantastic time. We all did, but it was lovely seeing them having fun. "We did use the Kids' Club and very often did activities there. Madeleine in particular had a ball. They did swimming, went on a little boat, went to the beach, did lots of colouring-in and face painting.

"Madeleine is at the age where she could really enjoy it.

"They played tennis which she loved, she was so happy. They had a little dance prepared for Friday. It was a little presentation they were working on in the days before.

Her voice dropping to a whisper, she added: "I don't know what it was, I never got to see it."

"On the evening she went missing, before she went to bed, she said 'Mummy I've had the best day ever. I'm having lots and lots of fun.'"

"I'd never been to Portugal before and a lot of friends said it was a fantastic place to go. Some friends suggested Mark Warner because they do sports. We're quite sporty, and we thought we'd be able to play a bit of tennis and do some water sports."

The night she went missing/ was it wrong to leave the kids?

"There was about 20 seconds of disbelief where I thought 'that can't be right'. I was checking for her. Then there was panic and fear. That was the first thing that hit.

"I was screaming her name. I ran to the group. Everyone was the same. It was just total fear.

"I never thought for one second that she'd walked out. I knew someone had been in the apartment because of the way it had been left.

"But I knew she wouldn't do that anyway. There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken. That's why the fear set in.

"Then you do go through the guilt phase. Straight away, because we didn't know what had happened. We were just so desperately sorry.

"Every hour now, I still question, 'why did I think that was safe?'

"I can't describe how much I love Madeleine. If I'd had to think for one second, 'should we have dinner and leave them?' I wouldn't have done it.

"It didn't happen like that. I didn't have to think for a second, that's how safe I felt.

Her voice breaking, she adds: "Maybe it was because it was family friendly, because it felt so safe.

"That week we had left them alone while we had dinner. There is no way on this planet I would take a risk no matter how small with my children. I do say to myself 'why did I think it was safe?' But it did feel safe and so right.

"I love her and I'm a totally responsible parent and that's the only thing that keeps me going. I have no doubt about that.

"You don't expect a predator to break in and take your daughter out the bed.

"I do feel regret. I've gone through all my life and said I never want to have any regrets, but you can't not regret something like that.

"It could have happened under other circumstances and there would still be the regret. "It wasn't like a decision we made. It was a matter of 'let's get the kids to sleep then we'll have dinner.' It wasn't a 'shall I, shan't I?' thing.

"I feel desperately sorry to her that we weren't there.

"This has touched so many people. I've had so many letters from mothers, really kind words. People have said 'Kate we've done this a hundred times over ourselves. Why would you for one minute think something like that would happen?' It's not like we went down town or anything.

"People have said to me you're the unluckiest person in the world and we are.

"That night runs over and over in my mind and I'm sure people will learn from our mistake, if you want to call it that.

"But it is important not to lose sight of the fact we haven't committed a crime. "Somebody has. Somebody's been there, somebody's been watching.

"They took our daughter away and we can't lose sight of that.

"There are still moments where I think 'how did that happen?' You can't imagine in your wildest dreams that anyone would do something like that. It's awful for us but I have absolutely no idea what Madeleine's feeling.

Pausing for a moment to hold back tears, she adds: "How can someone do that to a child? I've just got to keep focused and positive."

Cuddle Cat

"I was desperately hoping that Madeleine would be back before the cat got washed. In the end Cuddle Cat smelt of suntan lotion and everything. I forgot what colour it was. "It was special to Madeleine, she took it to bed every night. If she was upset or tired she had Cuddle Cat. It was special to her so it's special to me.

Talking about the night she went missing, she said: "I can't remember when I picked Cuddle Cat up. I don't think I did touch Cuddle Cat. I knew straight away a crime had been committed, we had no doubt about that.

"I look back sometimes and think 'you didn't do that badly.' We were very conscious of not touching things.

"I can't actually remember when I collected Cuddle Cat."

Moving apartments

"When we moved apartments we unpacked some of Madeleine's things.

"We don't have a room for her set out or anything. I've kept her clothes together. She has lots of presents to open that people have sent. Mostly people who don't know her, and pictures other children have drawn."

Her birthday

"She was due to have a party with two of her friends in the nursery, including her best friend. That went ahead and quite rightly. We were due to have a little family one the next day.

"We had a private day, we did something with our friends. As days go it was as nice a day as could be expected, to be with such a close, supportive group. But it was hard to ignore the reason why we were there, because Madeleine wasn't. Not having her there was such a huge void."

The twins

"They know she's not there and they do miss her. But on a day-to-day basis they are happy. They're lovely, like a little double act, they're so funny."

Smiling, she says: "They put their little rucksacks on, hold hands and walk off around the room. They're fantastic. Their vocabulary has come on so much since we've been here. The older they get the more it stretches and there are areas we're going to have to broach.

"But we'll let them take the lead. They talk about Madeleine's things and if they get a biscuit they say 'one for Sean, one for Amelie, one for Madeleine.'

"There are photographs of Madeleine all around and they comment on them.

"They've got a lot of love and protection. We've taken professional advice just to check we're doing the right thing by them. We have contact with a child psychologist when we need it."

The first visit back to the UK

"When we went back to the UK for a family baptism there was an empty seat on the plane and Sean said 'that's Madeleine's seat.' That caught me.

"Because I wasn't going home, it didn't feel too bad leaving. It was important for me to go.

"The hardest thing wasn't being the UK, it was to be with such close family and for Madeleine not to be there. I knew how much she'd have loved to be there. I'm blowing her trumpet again, but she's such a big part of our lives.

Always conscious to talk of her in the present tense she adds: "Despite her small size she just has this huge presence. She brings a lot of joy."

"It was a very emotional day, but it was nice emotional in a lot of ways. It was good for Sean and Amelie, they thought it was really exciting.

"Amelie asked me afterwards, 'Where's Madeleine? I miss my big sister.'

"I don't know where that question came from, it could have been because it was a family day. She's obviously made that connection, she knows Madeline's her big sister.

"Amelie will sometimes point at the Cuddle Cat and say 'Madeleine. Her Cuddle Cat. Looking after it.' She's probably heard me saying that.

"Sean said something the other day about Madeleine. It catches me. Then they do whatever they're doing like 'look at this Noddy' and they're on to something else. It's not dwelled on. I can be doing ok and then something catches me in the throat."

Their relationship

"Gerry's way of coping is to keep busy and focused. He needs to feel like he's doing something. He's a very optimistic, positive person. I'm not always. With a lot of the campaign stuff, he has done the talking.

"Sometimes I want to speak, but I just can't. It's not natural for me. Gerry's used to having to speak at conferences and it's harder for me.

"But I'm equally involved. Every decision is mutual. When Gerry went to Washington, he rang me three or four times a day to ask me what I thought. Although I wasn't there in person I knew hour by hour what was happening.

"His trip to the US was ok, it's funny what you manage to cope with. We knew it was a positive visit. It wasn't about Madeleine in particular. We've learnt a lot and become aware of the bigger issure.

"There are so many missing children out there, abducted children and sexually exploited children.

"Once you know all that you can't turn a blind eye to it. Madeleine is our priority but we have to help. We can't just ignore those other children. Whatever comes out of our experience, anything that can make the tiniest bit of difference to make the world safer place, is going to be a good thing. I feel a moral obligation.

"Madeleine means so much to me, but you can't take it away from the bigger picture.

The publicity

"I don't know why it's been so massive. Initially our family and friends got on board. "We're normal people. We don't have amazing contacts or anything, we just have strong friends. Everyone brainstormed and became very creative. They did what they could and if that meant asking well known faces, celebrities, it was done. They are normal people too. They wanted to help.

"Abduction is horrifically more common than I'd ever known, but the circumstances of our experience are quite unusual. People have told me 'We've done that, we've done more than that', which is reassuring for me. We doubted what we did. It's hard to answer the question 'were we wrong to leave them?' because we weren't there that minute Madeleine was taken, and now she's gone."

Message to Madeleine - If she could say one thing to comfort her:

"I'd tell her we love her. She knows we love her very much. She knows we're looking for her, that we're doing absolutely everything and we'll never give up."

Fears she may be dead

Holding back tears, she says: "I still have moments of panic and fear. It's not as intense and unrelenting as the first five days. Now, obviously we have hope and it's important to hold on to that.

"We felt lifted by Gerry's visit to America. They've been dealing with these cases for 23 years and have seen people come back. They were positive.

"I do go back to those dark moments. It would be abnormal never to touch on them. I do feel panic and fear when I'm thinking about her, but it doesn't help. I'm not helping Madeleine by going there. It's important to channel those emotions into something positive."

Going home

"I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to go back into our family home. I can't bear the thought of it. We'd lived in that house for a year and it was a really happy family home. We have so many happy memories in that house.

"Madeleine's room is shocking pink. She chose the colour.

"When we left the house we were organised, I was ready the day before. We left early, put our clothes on and grabbed our toothbrushes. We were so excited.

"Obviously things change as the weeks and months go by. We haven't got the pressure of Sean and Amelie starting school or anything. At the moment we're staying and we feel happier staying. We are closer to the investigation. Some of that might be mad, I don't know. We don't know where Madeleine is, we don't think she's in the UK but there's nothing to say she's any further from there than she is from here.

"It's a gut feeling. I'm aware there's probably things that would be easier at home, but at the moment this is the right thing for us."

Going back to work

"It's hard to think about work. I'm not looking too far ahead, but I can't drop the campaign, I know that. I can't turn a blind eye to it. We'll do whatever we can, working with other organisations, to try to make a difference.

"It's so hard not to get involved, it's so intimate to us now that we can't ignore it.

"It's not like I go round in a bubble, but I honestly did not realise the scale of this problem, children suffering like this."

Criticism from the public

"It is hurtful. I hate publicity, interviews, anything like that. I just hate it. When things have happened in the past to children I've wondered 'how do you get through that, how can you even live another day?' Then here we were doing press conferences. You just don't know until you're in that situation. Like this morning, how did I get in the shower, have my breakfast?

"I just go through the motions. Any parent would do anything they could for their child. We're just doing what we feel is the best thing for Madeleine.

"Some people say the publicity will be harmful, that she'll be hidden away because of it. But what can you do, just sit and do nothing?

"It's difficult. It's awkward. But it's not about me, it's not about Gerry, it's about Madeleine."

Her and Gerry

"As a couple, I think we're stronger than ever. We're feeling far from lucky at the moment, but we are lucky that we've got a strong relationship. We've got an equal partnership. We don't row, we've never rowed. We have communication, we talk a lot and that is vital at the moment. We have different strengths and have reached different stages at different points but we help each other."

100 days

"I'm still hoping we're not going to get there. Every day I'm hoping we won't get to the next day without her. It's a long time.

"But we have to keep going for Madeleine.

"We haven't talked about staying here forever, we're just not looking that far ahead.

"We've had so much support, mothers can empathise with me. Speaking now, on my own, is a way of saying thank you. They've given a bit of themselves to me."

Having more children

"Before this happened, we wouldn't have gone for more treatment. I'd have loved to have more children, but with the treatment we've been so lucky.

"We've got three beautiful children. It takes up time and I'm not getting any younger. "But if a miracle had happened, I'd have been happy. Madeleine is irreplaceable. I want her back. We just have to wait and see what life has in store for us."

Have your say

The parents made an error in judgement by leaving three children alone in an upper floor suite. Apparently, there was a grassy and treed area with a 6 foot concrete wall separating

Anonymous said...

Gina M says Mandz well you could look at it the other way then. Why on earth doesn't somebody in authority start demanding that the PJ either put up or shut up so that the McCanns can get on with their life.

Have been up this road with you so many times and we never agree because you seem to have complete tunnel vision on this and that the only people to blame are the PJ- Why don't you start blaming also those who could do something to speed this up. Sorry but really have to go now

helenm said...

Flipping ek Anon, are you trying to keep us silent?lol. Will read your post later, hope it is not another 'hanky' job! Have to go now, out for lunch with sisters before I return to Portugal.

assasin said...

I'm off now.

However, one thing on Kate's comment re the protection of the twins.

Sadly, they have no control over protecting the twins against all those out there who are actively emotionally abusing the twins.

All the bloggers and campaigners that condemn the parents of the twins are indeed guilty of horrific child abuse. I wish they stop and think for a second about what they are doing to the souls and identities of those poor children before their fingers hit a keyboard.

Way too much to ask though since they are happy to get off on Madeleine herself constantly because of their lack of mental good health.

SassyP said...

Hiya Assassin

Don't think I've said hi yet and that I'm glad you found your way over here!

Mandz said...

Gina M says Mandz well you could look at it the other way then. Why on earth doesn't somebody in authority start demanding that the PJ either put up or shut up so that the McCanns can get on with their life.

Have been up this road with you so many times and we never agree because you seem to have complete tunnel vision on this and that the only people to blame are the PJ- Why don't you start blaming also those who could do something to speed this up. Sorry but really have to go now

About time someone told them to put up or shut up however I don’t think they took heed.

We never agree because I have tunnel vision? What is your excuse then you blame our government for holding this up why don’t you look at the PJ side perhaps it’s them who are “holding things up”. Yes I need to go myself have a good day.

assasin said...

Thanks Sassy. Glad you got this place going:-)

Back later :-)

SassyP said...


Glad you like it. It was Rosie's idea quite a while back in case the DX HYS got pulled. We did think we would have a bit more warning though!

SassyP said...

Hi and bye Mandz

No rugby tackles when you're out!

assasin said...

Yeah its good. Small suggestion before i go. The link to the anti's. Should it be there, this blog got mega publicity yesterday with it being on sky news - it is giving them fantastic publicity for their vile to link them.:-)

The statement could just as easily stand without giving them a free ride with link added. ;-)

Anyway, thats just a personal opinion, take with a caveat.

Keep up the good stuff, i must be off now - and a well done to Rosie and everyone else involved too:-)

SassyP said...

Assassin - point taken! What's this about Sky news??

Mandz said...

Ha Hi Sassy!
I cannot promise you that! If I see her and I am 100% it is her rest assure I’m going in rugby tackle style!!!!

Bye for now!

Anonymous said...

Just a word of warning to you all. Claudia is acting as a spy on your blog and telling tales to her friends blog.

SassyP said...


Thanks. I'd guessed anyway. Our feedjit map shows that someone was writing from Viseu and Clawdia mentioned she was from there.

SassyP said...


Then either wear trousers or make sure you've good decent underwear on!

Mum21 said...

Hi All. Just quickly popped in to see how things are going. Bit quiet at the moment I see. Like me I am sure you all have loads to do.
I just cicked on our hit location map and noticed that other than the UK our largest number of visitors come from Portugal...namely Lisbon and Viseu.
Cannot keep away...can they? :-)

josiepublic said...

Anon The Times article

“The police could not answer all the questions, of course. They were almost as unanswerable as they were unimaginable. Where would they have hidden the body? How would they have got it into the car 24 days later, and where would they have taken it? What kind of people would they have to be – what borderline personality disorders must they both share – to keep that to themselves for six months, maintain a facade in front of everyone they knew, and at the same time not hiding away but going out to ask the world to help find Madeleine?”

Good point and very relevant. This article tells us a lot about the “victim” mentality the McCanns assume but lets look at some facts instead of teatime with Clara spinning.

Of course the police could not answer all the questions but the McCanns the perpetrators of the crime could. What sort of people could the McCanns be? A subject of much debate you seem to have established that.

Madeleine was known to have night terrors and sleepwalk but her parents talk about her having stars for her good behaviour presumably when they left her babysitting her younger siblings when they were out drinking and socialising on previous occasions as this seems to be a lifestyle they were accustomed to. Lets not forget that both were earning Gerry had two salaries one at COMARE at approx 100,000per annum and the other as a consultant around 120,000 per annum plus any private work would have netted him far more. As Kate was only working part time she would be receiving somewhere between 24/.28 pounds per hr. That means for them leaving their children to go boozing was a matter of choice. How much they drank is open to speculation some reports place it at Beer/Cocktails before tapas, fourteen bottles of wine and almond liqueurs afterwards; of course they will claim it was less; they would wouldn’t they?

As for the British sniffer dogs Eddie and Keela why does it matter how/why they were sent for? No doubt we will hear in time but its what they found that was relevant as their employment cut hours of tedious forensic work down and established more evidence against the McCanns who were then made the FOCUS of the inquiry and the PRIME SUSPECTS in Madeleine’s disappearance and they are at the very least suspected of hiding her body and staging her kidnap. The McCanns think that hair from a corpse with 100% match to a close female relative to Kate should be discounted, as should a match to Madeleine’s DNA extracted from the fluids that had come from a corpse as should any other evidence against them? Of course they do they are the SUSPECTS.

The McCanns claim they stayed on knowing questions were to be asked. Why would suspects be aware the police intended to question them weeks before hand? No they moved Heaven and Earth to get a “special” flight organized for themselves; one where they didn’t even go through checks and on their return hired a top extradition lawyer whilst publicly claiming “They would go back to answer questions at any time, and were fully co-operating with the PJ.” This is despite taking arguido status in order that they might not answer the questions as if they had not they would have been jailed. Recently they have hanged their stanc4e to “If the PJ drop our arguido status we would go back”. Well hard luck Kate and Gerry the PJ are not going to drop you as suspects as they work on behalf of the victim Madeleine. Millions of pounds have been spent not only extensively searching the land but the sea around Portugal and on the police investigation involving The PJ, Leicestershire police force, The FSS and their Portuguese counterpart; the case remains open and active with a team from Portugal visiting the Leicester police for the third time before Xmas and who are now awaiting permission to question the suspects and their friends on British soil. The PJ still hope to recover Madeleine’s body and hopefully one day she will receive the decent funeral her parents denied her that night when they decided to cover up her death.

Mum21 said...


This is just your opinion...which I am glad I do not share.
Plus..Have you actually met the McCann family to base your opinions on?

Have you spent time with them in Portugal as David James Smith did?

Do you have evidence to prove your statement "The PJ still hope to recover Madeleine’s body and hopefully one day she will receive the decent funeral her parents denied her that night when they decided to cover up her death."?

I think you are playing a dangerous guessing game that could come back at you with a mighty force.

Mum21 said... said

"No they moved Heaven and Earth to get a “special” flight organized for themselves;"

Sorry to have to tell are wrong again. They came back on a scheduled flight with hundreds of other tourists.
I may be wrong...but I believe it was with EasiJet..or a name similar.

It was the police who got them through customs fast because of the mass of reporters clogging up the airport.

SassyP said...

Plainwaters / Josiepublic and Mum21

Not only that - I know this article and the quoted paragraph sounds different when in context.

Holly said...

Sorry Mum21, I posted on Assabella's blog and they thought I was you. Hope I havent caused you any trouble.

Had to laugh. Claudia thinks she cannot be seen on Feedjit maps because she has a firewall! Hysterical - who told her that?

Mum21 said...

Hi SassyP...yes I know that article as well.
Will these evil people stoop any lower do you think to get their opinions across as fact?
I find it very disturbing the lengths these people will go in their hatred towards a middle class family.

SassyP said...

Let's just be glad we are not like that!

Mum21 said...

Thats ok Holly...I am not bothered what they think of me over there.
In fact I refuse to even visit anymore.
One thing I can assure you of though...Claudia is constantly peeking in here.
She cannot keep away. te he he

Holly said...

I know, I read what SassyP said. Ha, ha. You must all be irresistable!
Cheerio for now.

Mum21 said...

Holly..I also have a fact most internet users do have these day. But I still appear on the map.

SassyP said...

Mum21 / Holly

And there is no hiding me either! I never appear in the right part of Austria but it gets the country right! Actually it might be different today, because I am not using mobile internet, just normal internet, so will have to see if the city is there!

Mum21 said...

Holly...we are irresistable because we will not become judge and jury like the other two blogs.
We maintain..innocent until proven guilty.

I think that says it all.

SassyP said...

Yup it did! It says Graz! That is where I am at the moment. It's when I'm at home I end up in Lower Austria, Vienna and somewhere in Carinthia (I live in Styria!). It must be the mobile Internet, I take it from room to room when I am at home depending on what I am doing!

Mum21 said...

SassyP....but Austria is not second to the UK for hits on this blog. Portugal are.:-)

Anonymous said...

Holly was this you if so it was hilarious.

Had it from Supertroll's site.
Not on the Queens site though whoosh.

Anonymous said...
This man is mental !!!!

alsabella said...
Holly, aka Mum21

You are old enough to have more sense. You think I don't have a way of knowing who is posting?

How absolutely childish. Stick to your blog and LEAVE US ALONE.

27 February 2008 13:42
Anonymous said...
Stick to your blog and LEAVE US ALONE.

27 February 2008 13:42

I shall post everytime I see a mention of other blog. LIKE IT OR LUMP IT !!
Just as the posters you keep sending to the other blog do.
Don't like truth at all do you Alsa ? Your just as much a bully as low life Clawdia, is she your lapdog.

27 February 2008 13:58

27 February 2008 14:04

SassyP said...


Got a message about the firewall, by the way. Docmac reckons you cannot see him on feedjit because of his firewall, but we have every form of security possible at work and there I am! Flying the red and white flag!

SassyP said...


Have to go!

See you later!

Holly said...

13:42 wasn't me!

assasin said...

Josie where is your evidence for that drinks list? I think it has been made quite clear what they had to drink and it is a reasonably low amount to have been shared by that number of adults over dinner.

Irrelvant anyway.

However, had they had all that - I'd be amazed if they even realised she was missing at all - not till the next day anyway...rolls eyes

I never go near her blog but i had to last night to see that letter!

Laughing at the firewall. Since when did that cover tracks on the net. I could give claudia and alsabella where they live, their ip numbers, and their entire pc operating system from their constant visits to my place. Not many places on the net cant do that to all of us...its standard.

Sassy, sky news did a screenshot of this place yesterday when talking about a story. If you got close to the tv you could make out the url;-) Thats how i found you, but then Jak gave me the url later too:-)

Mandz said...

Of course the police could not answer all the questions but the McCanns the perpetrators of the crime could. What sort of people could the McCanns be? A subject of much debate you seem to have established that.

They did answer the PJ Plainwater and after doing so they flew home to England as planned.

Madeleine was known to have night terrors and sleepwalk but her parents talk about her having stars for her good behaviour presumably when they left her babysitting her younger siblings when they were out drinking and socialising on previous occasions as this seems to be a lifestyle they were accustomed to. Lets not forget that both were earning Gerry had two salaries one at COMARE at approx 100,000per annum and the other as a consultant around 120,000 per annum plus any private work would have netted him far more. As Kate was only working part time she would be receiving somewhere between 24/.28 pounds per hr. That means for them leaving their children to go boozing was a matter of choice. How much they drank is open to speculation some reports place it at Beer/Cocktails before tapas, fourteen bottles of wine and almond liqueurs afterwards; of course they will claim it was less; they would wouldn’t they?

Yes there have been many many stories just like yours about how much alcohol they drank however we now know from Panorama it was 6 bottles between them.
Yes the McCann’s tucked all their children into bed and went for dinner close by. People who were interviewed on TV when this happened admitted to doing the same routine as the McCann’s however will think twice now so it looks like the McCann’s have learned the hard way and others will now think twice.
As for Gold Stars they are great for kids especially at teatime!
As for the British sniffer dogs Eddie and Keela why does it matter how/why they were sent for? No doubt we will hear in time but its what they found that was relevant as their employment cut hours of tedious forensic work down and established more evidence against the McCanns who were then made the FOCUS of the inquiry and the PRIME SUSPECTS in Madeleine’s disappearance and they are at the very least suspected of hiding her body and staging her kidnap. The McCanns think that hair from a corpse with 100% match to a close female relative to Kate should be discounted, as should a match to Madeleine’s DNA extracted from the fluids that had come from a corpse as should any other evidence against them? Of course they do they are the SUSPECTS.

As for the dogs you mean the dogs that walked past the McCann’s car and were dragged back and walked round the McCann’s car a good few times. The dogs should have been allowed to do their job!

As for the McCann’s being “prime suspects” “main focus” then why not take Murat out of the equation? Are you aware that he is also a “suspect”? Mr Riberio has stated they acted too hasty and that there should have been another evaluation of the case before making the McCann’s suspects. As for the fluids etc well it’s just stories plainwater just “stories” who knows.
So they hired the very best and quite right I would have done the same if I felt I was being set up.

As for going back anytime have the PJ asked the McCann’s to go back? JT asked to go back however the PJ declined? Strange?
Glad to hear they are still looking for her because I honestly had my doubts and I’m surprised there is a lawyer paying for the lake to be searched? Surely the PJ should be doing this don’t you think. They should also be searching the area - “wells” etc & fingers crossed plainwater they catch this evil person who came into their environment and took a child.

Mum21 said...

Oh looks like I get the blame even if I no longer visit her blog.
What she forgets is...when posting over there I did show who I was and still would do if I had the inclination to post. But to be honest with you all...I cannot be bothered to even go there to read the rot she writes.

SassyP said...

Before I go, I want to put this place back on track.

Was reading the article that I posted today. Totally agree that if the Portuguese don't allow any information about a police enquiry into the public domain that is fair enough. However, they cannot then leak so-called information.

Conflicting reports have led to people making up some wild theories as to what happened to Madeleine. Some people watch too much TV and think they can crack the case in a neat 60 minutes as seen on Columbus.

Some of the antis have said that the pros are making sure that the McCanns cannot go to court. The PJ ensured that by acting in what I believe to be the unprofessional way they did - leaking bits to the media can in no way be called professional.

Will talk about the rest later. Really, really have to go!

JANEGT said...

hi guys sorry busy but please see article on rogatory letters this morning

Policeman today published in Portuguese Press as stating he has been gaged not to talk about the 'kidnapping' of Madeleine McCann. Also a rant against the Englsish. Need good translation though.

get back l8r ... very busy now but breaking articles I thought would help......see you tonight.

enjoy your day.


assasin said...

Maybe their laws themselves need scrutinised by a higher source cos it is barbaric abuse that people can be named suspects, yet silenced.

Its the tactic of an abuser, silencing the victims and if they are innocent, which of course they are until proven guilty, which of course cannot happen unless there was a stitch up, given the evidence - Kate & Gerry [and therefore the twins and Madeleine too] are victims off inhumane laws.

Removing a persons voice is the lowest of the low. Where did they design these laws from - too much reading of 'The Little Mermaid'?

Mandz said...


Well said..!

Anonymous said...

Its the tactic of an abuser, silencing the victims

just like Maddie

assasin said...

Madeleine is not silenced.

Rather her voice has been hijacked and is being used and abused by hundreds of people offline and on whilst, they wail, whine and scream out their own inner demons using her innocent voice and sadly demise to let out their long held silent screams.

Blimey, one has even written a letter to her own mother passing it off as a letter to Kate McCanns mother. That is unhinged. However, it will always happen in any person of any culture whereby the parents are Godlike and not human.

JANEGT said...

with Shannon imho they were following a direct line of enquiry with information to back it from the first day or 2. They did immediate searches and found people to talk to them.......This is not a kidnap situation, entirely different.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Assasin, this has always concerned me greatly. The PJ gagged the McCs and then subjected them to the most vicious smear campaign imaginable. IMO, its like a form of psychological torture and by the PJ selectively using the media was another way of applying the 3rd degree.

As you quite rightly say, victims of inhumane laws.

Cant stay as I am posting from work, was just popping in to make sure our blog wasn't being infiltrated by any nasties.

Bye for now :-)

Anonymous said...

JANEGT said...
with Shannon imho they were following a direct line of enquiry with information to back it from the first day or 2. They did immediate searches and found people to talk to them.......This is not a kidnap situation, entirely different.

27 February 2008 15:02

And her parents were not telling the truth...unlike Maddie's?

assasin said...

That's it Tinkerbell and because like an abuser, the PJ hold the power position, silencing, generally crucifies the victim and the abuser goes on to destroy the victim becauwse everyone listens to the disinformation because of their own vulnerabilities and joins in.

Thank goodness kate & Gerry maintain the strength to keep going against this enslaught.

I hope Shannon matthews family can pull out the same coping mechanisms too considering they are getting the same treatment.

Mum21 said...

I can no longer get on to Supertrolls blog. I just get a blank page saying "no comments"

Could somebody else try please?

Anonymous said...

That's it Tinkerbell and because like an abuser, the PJ hold the power position, silencing, generally crucifies the victim and the abuser goes on to destroy the victim becauwse everyone listens to the disinformation because of their own vulnerabilities and joins in


assasin said...

Why are you shouting? It is something one does when a truth or raw nerve has been hit or a nail banged on the head.

Convicts as witnesses? my that is very intriguing. I must take a look at this case. See just how they become witnesses:-):-)

Coincidentally, the Taliban are very good at producing witnesses too. Not that I'd ever imply the PJ could operate along the same lines:-)

How did the mother of another missing child get all those bruises btw? Did she beat herself up?

Please note, there is a difference between knowing nothing and not wanting to know truth. :-)

Mum21 said...

Assasin. I would not even bother to reply to the shouting Anonymous.
He/She cannot even spell the word AGGRESSION. So ignore the shouting.

JANEGT said...


supertrolls blog up and running with me....???

just went on 5 mins ago.....


Mum21 said...

Thanks Jane. I will try again

Mum21 said...

Jane..I still cannot get it. All I get is a new blog called Madness with no comments.
Could you give me the link you are going in on please?

janegt said...


Supertroll is getting a level of abuse even worse than we had a few days' ago.

I think she is taking a rest from posting a blog article, but posts are still there, including today..

Did you also see the vote at front as to who is most annoying poster

incl 2345. docmac, viv, hope4.....etc etc etc....ha ha ha

Mum21 said...

Jane. Well I cannot even get on the original blog..with present posts.
What are you clicking on?. I am clicking on her profile link

assasin said...

The blogs shouldnt stop no matter what they do because that is their goal.

It is also cheaper to fire shots at truths that expose their own truths than hire a therapist. So, its providing a much required public service really. Save the Government hiring this extra 10,000 therapists apparently required if antimccanns have somewhere to rage at.

assasin said...

I got to go now, but i will look back tonight:-)

Doppelganger said...

Hi Everyone,

Found you all at last

Do you have the link to Supertrolls site, cos I want to see if I am on the list of annoying posters.

If I'm not on there I will be very disappointed ;)

Can't stay to chat as I am very busy, but I will look at Supertrolls site if you have the link and might 'pop in' here from time to time to give you all something to talk about.


Mum21 said...

No Jane..that did not work. I got an error message

Anonymous said...

Hi Mum21

If you are still having trouble with st blog try this link

Then scrol........down worked for me


JANEGT said...


don't know what to suggest, just been back on and it works with me and checked the link....

I am stumped.

try google????

Mum21 said...

Got it now Jane. Thanks a lot.
I have now saved the link.

Mum21 said...

Also my thanks to you Jojam

JANEGT said...

mum21 foun the error

I gave you 'bog' instead of 'blog' sorry

I have it in favourites list from last night, haven't clicked on her profile. Think you can find it via google too.....??


JANEGT said...






not shouting just silly = didn't notice shift lock on. sorry

Anonymous said...

I've a question.

Why have you here in your blog only one photo with the whole family?

It would be nice to see photos of Madeleine together with her parents and the twins. Just my opinion. The MC Canns look happy with the twins but I would like to see the same with Madeleine by them all.


SassyP said...


Because I couldn't find any others! Am still on the look out though!

Anonymous said...

SassyP said...

Because I couldn't find any others! Am still on the look out though!

27 February 2008 17:52


So you are looking out, does it means you agree with me?

elaine said...

I don't think this taxi driver is very credible 8.10 doesn't fit in with any story pro or anti ...just another false lead I think.

I hear Supertroll is having a vote for the most annoying poster from DX, well I don't have a link but if I did, it would be 2345, ROthaymere, and Irina. REmember her, too intelligent Russian for the likes of us, but working in Ireland ...too smart to read James Bond books, actually I think she is that woman from To Russia With Love, the one with the communist uniform and the knives in her shoes - some of you may be too young to remember that film.

I did look at Viv's and Alsabella's site .. is it this site Claudia refers to as the House of Filth? Goodness me!!

Well enough rambling, ttyl

Anonymous said...

The family look very happy in all the photos. It is IMO not a good marketing ploy. Just the opposite.Again IMO.

Anonymous said...

If you are really concerned with justice for the all family, you should defend Maddie interests more and talk more about her as a human being.Photos with her family too.

SassyP said...


I am always on the lookout for photos for here.

SassyP said...

Hiya Elaine

See you later.

elaine said...

sassy and anon - I think the only photos of Madeleine with her family are those of a group taken by a professional photographer ... all of the photos will be those that the family have allowed into the public domain - I don't think Sassy can be criticised for not publishing more family pics if they are not available and as for looking out for Madeleine's interests, I don't quite know what you could mean by that. If you mean that choosing to endlessly criticise Madeleine's family and rehash old issues until the cows come home is protecting Madeleine's interests then I am sorry I do not agree. As Madeleine is more than likely dead I do not think there is very much people on a blog can do to protect her interests anyway. Vilifying her parents most certainly protects nobody's interests. actually I am really interested as to why you post as anon, if you believed in what you were saying you would use a name that we could recognise

elaine said...

Hiya too Sassy - I don't imagine that the McCanns have been issuing too many pictures of them with all three children. for a start that is an infringement of the twin's rights. I think the only family pictures are those as a group which were issued at the beginning of this sad case, taken by a professional photographer. I remember a discussion at the time because the one of Madeleine alone, apparently showed that she wasn't wanted (to the antis) but I remember another where Madeleine was sitting on Kate's knee. I am sure that these photos were on Gerry's original blog, but I don't know if they are now.

Hope you are well, you have done a good job with this blog ... I hope it can be kept as a pleasant place to visit

SassyP said...


Thanks very much! We will make sure it is a pleasant place to come! Anyone getting aggressive or baiting anyone will just get deleted. If it gets very bad at any point, then we will have this site for people with google/blogger ids only. Will make sure HelenM, Doby, Jojam and Whizzg (who is still fighting with his mobile to get onto the blog!) all have IDs first, of course! I think GinaM needs one, too. Hopefully that won't become necessary though.

supertroll said...

Hello everyone,
Hope you are all well.
I am posting to let you know about a post I found on the vile blog.

I think the content is plain wrong and Janet GT should know about it.

Morning all,

I don't think Jane GT is actually Jane Tanner. She used to be a lecturer and I know where she lives, so I think I know what her real name is..... she is defintely not Jane Tanner if I am right. The initials must just be a coincidence. They do exist, you know!

Actually I felt very sorry for her when I looked in Christams Day on the DX. She sounded very lonely and bitter. Still is no excuse for being cruel and abusive to other people, though.

I wouldn't want these unstable people 'knowing' about me.


JANEGT said...

nor do I supertroll ...

this is a fellow supposed lecturer. I also know their details and will pursue them through my lawyer if I wish to further this. This is not the first post of this type I have had.

I do not post under anonymous, I am up front to discuss, debate, etc. I do not expect unbalanced, sad individuals to extend a forum to a personal vendetta or stalking exercise. I abused nooneon Christmas Day but I certainly did not take any nonsense from ani's most offensive to me. Simply that and no more. I do not, and never have, made a personal threat to anyone.

This email is now in my lawyer's hands. Thank you for sending it to this blog to have it highlighted.

SassyP said...

Hiya Supertroll

How are you doing?

Not so sure ROTB knows that much about Jane. They certainly live nowhere near each other.

How is your site going? I got the Feedjit off it! Thanks for that! What a good idea!

supertroll said...

Hi Sassy,
I'm fine, hope you are well too. I just checked my blog's comments and saw the typical nasty comments followed by others defending me! I am really pleased as the level of abuse has been a bit spooky.

I hope ROTB doesn't know too much, It would make me feel quite uncomfortable if any of those people knew my ID.

Seeing the levels of madness and paranoia I am glad that the abuse is made from a chair in front of a computer!!!

The feedjit is great, the flags only last for 24 hours after someone has visited and its fun to see who has posted and from where..

Have to go now but will pop up later tonight.


Anonymous said...

elaine said...

sassy and anon - I think the only photos of Madeleine with her family are those of a group taken by a professional photographer ... all of the photos will be those that the family have allowed into the public domain - I don't think Sassy can be criticised for not publishing more family pics if they are not available and as for looking out for Madeleine's interests, I don't quite know what you could mean by that.


I'm not criticize anyone. I just find it strange not to see more family photos.With madeleine I mean.


As Madeleine is more than likely dead I do not think there is very much people on a blog can do to protect her interests anyway.

Sorry to disagree.

If she is likely dead the world must know how she died and who committed the crime.

SassyP said...


As I said (as did Elaine), there just aren't any photos of the whole family together. I have looked - it would make sense to have more as this Blog is called "Justice for ALL the family".

If you can point any out, please do. I will gladly put them up.

As Elaine said, I do not think protecting Madeleine is going to do much good now either. I do not believe she is alive. Some on here have a gut feeling that she is and I really hope they're right.

Finding out who did this to her is obviously a must. There are too many children disappearing without trace and the people taking them from their families should be caught. I would say they should be brought to justice, but which punishment is severe enough for people doing this to children? There isn't one in my opinion.

SassyP said...


Hope to see you later - either on this blog or on yours.

lisaj said...

hi rosiepops on here? Have you read the Daily mail it is about a taxi driver claiming he picked up madeleine with murat and kate mccann lookalike.

Anonymous said...

Elaine said...
Actually I am really interested as to why you post as anon, if you believed in what you were saying you would use a name that we could recognise

27 February 2008 18:11


Sorry to disagree again.

I could post here as John or João. That is not important. Only names beyond PC screens.Only virtuality.
The most important here is to discuss about the case. It should not matter if I'm A or B.

Anonymous said...

SassyP said...


As I said (as did Elaine), there just aren't any photos of the whole family together. I have looked - it would make sense to have more as this Blog is called "Justice for ALL the family".

If you can point any out, please do. I will gladly put them up.


I wish I could. And the parents too. That would show all the antis that Maddie was really an important member of the family and loved as a little sweet princess. And that the family is suffering with her absense.

Rosiepops said...

Hi All

That earth quake scared the life out of me last night.

First of all my little dog came flying into the room, ears up really alert, she came and jumped on me and my laptop than jumped down again, I thought she was desperate to go out so I went to let her out but she would not go, then she went and looked at a TREE and then came flying in again running around in circles, she kept this up for a little while and then suddenly the house shook and there was this sharp cracking sound, I actually realise what it was and put the news on and sure enough - earth quake.

SassyP said...

Hiya LisaJ and Rosiepops

How ya doing?

SassyP said...


Will keep looking.

There is actually an advantage to taking a screen name. We don't have many anonymouses here, but when we have a couple it is sometimes difficult to know which one wrote what.

SassyP said...


Hiya We had an earthquake here a couple of years ago but I wasnt sure what it was. Couldn't work out why all the cupboards and air conditioning and doors were shaking at work. Shouted to a colleague of mine "yeah, yeah, very funny, just come in". There was no reply, so I got up, opened my door and noone was there. Got back to work and my colleague came in about 10 minutes later screaming "Did you feel the earthquake?". She was in a state, because she had been in a really badly built building and people were rolling around on their chairs. It wasn't as strong as the one in Britain though.

Anonymous said...

osiepops said...

Hi All

That earth quake scared the life out of me last night.

First of all my little dog came flying into the room, ears up really alert, she came and jumped on me and my laptop than jumped down again, I thought she was desperate to go out so I went to let her out but she would not go, then she went and looked at a TREE and then came flying in again running around in circles, she kept this up for a little while and then suddenly the house shook and there was this sharp cracking sound, I actually realise what it was and put the news on and sure enough - earth quake.

27 February 2008 19:25


do you remember the Tsunamy after Christmas 3 years ago in Thailand and neighbour countries?

Animals were the first to sense it. Elephants were the running away like crazy.

lisaj said...

have you all read the daily ail taxi driver story?

Anonymous said...

Hello posters I've got here at last. Whizzg

lisaj said...

hi whizzg
glad you made it!

Rosiepops said...

Sassy and all

will be back around 8.30, been out all day and now going to eat.

Lisaj Hiya, yes I did read it, not sure about it, interesting though as he describes the jimmy jammy's.


yes that's right I remember that now, I wonder how animals detect it before we do?

Anonymous said...


I too have a dog and he is incredible. Nice and tender but also very aggressive when he feels people around are not to trust.

Everyone should have a pet. We learn many things from them.

SassyP said...


Not yet, will do in a minute though.

SassyP said...

Hey Whizzg!

Nice work! Bet you wonder how you didn't manage to get here before!

assasins fables said...

Nearing the end of his shift.......obviously he had had a VERY long & tiring day.

4 in a taxi as he said to be half credible or to fit to any theory would have to be right after the check Gerry made when the door was ajar - and murat, his girlfriend, mr moscow and his girlfriends ex - i'd think.

Then, why would madeleien have eyes open/awake and not bothering?

Kate? Why would she be in a taxi with 3 disposing of madeleine - no possible reason at all. Well, apart from garbage like they sold her etc? Perfectly feasible cos their house and professions is all a front. The McCanns are actually poor starving african peasants who sold four pror siblings two, cept the one that was a chimera, he still lives in a cupboard recovering from his sex change doesnt he?. Lets not be fooled by sensibility at all eh?

Or could it be the vatican theory, madeleine is in hiding and she is coming back as an apparition/chosen one? Yeah, i like that one - rolls eyes

Anonymous said...

I think I was thinking too much I think:-) Hi Sassy, Rosie and all. Great posts. Whizzg

Anonymous said...


there are some rumours about Maddie has never been to Portugal.That everything is a hoax.

Would like to know your opinion about this.

SassyP said...

Assasins fable and LisaJ

Can't help thinking that if someone was going to try and hide Madeleine or kill her they wouldn't have gone by taxi whereby the taxi driver could then recognise them.

SassyP said...


I would think that it is just that - a rumour!

What is your opinion on it?

SassyP said...


If you don't want to keep coming up as anonymous, instead of clicking on name/URL and type Whizzg in the name part and leave the URL blank. Then click on "publish your comment".

assasin said...

no they wouldnt use a taxi. but taxi drivers are not stupid about passengers either so why is this guy saying madeleine was in his cab with english speaking people and one he thinks was kate.

Rather strange considering how we were only just told earlier that EVEN CONVICTS are 'voluntary' witnesses in the cipriano case.:-):-):-)

Maybe he actually picked up the pj - or a few bruises...

Anonymous said...

Evening all SassyP

According to the report in the Mail the taxi driver has a son in the Police - wouldn't you have thought he would have discussed it all with him? I suppose he may well have done, and still nobody was interested ! Odd don't you think?

Tinkerbell43 said...

Hi All, and a BIG HI to Whizzg, what took you so long! So nice to see you at last :-)

assasin said...

ps. Do remember you couldnt make this up could you.

He thinks murat
He thinks kate

How darn convenient that he thinks from both camps of the pj's arguido list.

Covering their bets and asses are they are? Who is the easiest to set up/frame if they cant get the madeleine case to conveniently go away?

SassyP said...

What isn't odd about this case? We have heard so many conflicting reports and so many theories thrown around that every blonde kid is assumed to be Madeleine even though the parents are thought by some to be guilty of some heinous crimes concerning their daughter.

SassyP said...

Hiya Tinks

How ya doing?

archer said...

Sorry that was me Archer don't quite no what happpened there ! How did I suddenly become annonymous? 20.22post

SassyP said...

Hiya Archer

How are you? Doesn't matter how it happened - we know who you are now!

archer said...

There is some very emotive reading on here today. So very very sad.

Anonymous said...

SassyP said...


I would think that it is just that - a rumour!

What is your opinion on it?

27 February 2008 20:07

Don't really know.
On one hand I think it would be monstruous to conceive a hoax knowing it was not easy to fool the entire world . Unless they have the support of powerful people to aim at something that I can not think of.

On the other hand sometimes I feel that their behaviour is quite strange and we don't know much abou madeleine. Even the photos and videos don't portray an happy child among her family.
Maybe I didn't see everything I should have to form a more favourable opinion.

Actually we don't know much about her in Portugal. What we were told was that the children spent almost all the time in the creche and sorry to say that I wouldn't do that with my children. I would spend all the time with them .

elaine said...

I think this taxi driver is the latest person who would like their five minutes of fame. 8.10 does not fit in with any theory, from what I can remember the McCanns went to dinner at 8.25 and their are witnesses to prove it - the waiter and quiz mistress I would imagine for two ... so how could Kate have been in a taxi? Or are we expected to continue to believe that the world and his wife are lying for the McCanns. This taxi driver nonsense is just some new ruse by somebody who wants his photo in the paper ... in my opinion.

And anon ... if does help if we at least have a name even if it is a fake one ... then we know which anon we are talking to!!

SassyP said...


But if they were at the creche the whole time then there must have been proof of them being in Portugal. I think if they were trying to hide the fact that Madeleine wasn't actually in Portugal someone would have blown the whistle by now.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Archer, I agree, I was at work when I read the post which covered Kate finding out she was pregnant with Madeleine to their return home to Rothley. I had to go into the ladies after to compose myself. So tragic.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Anon, if you get a moment go back to a post at 10:56 this morning, it gives you a small insight into the family and Madeleine. In fact I would recommend anyone that hasn't read this article to take a look.

elaine said...

Anon - I have no idea what you mean that Madeleine does not look like a happy child on photos and videos. You are seeing what you want to see here, in my humble opinion. Madeleine looks like a delightful, happy child whose parents love her very much. The fact that Kate and Gerry chose to put there children in a creche where apparently there were no end of activities which children enjoy is none of our business. My children would far rather have been amused with children their own age, doing crafts and making up dances (for a recital on the friday), than trail about after Mum and dad ... the McCanns chose to spend part of the day with the children at meals, amusing them and having fun. We have heard of gerry dancing with Madeleine by a waiter who was serving icecream. It is ludicrous to judge the McCanns because they chose to spend some time as adults and other times as parents. Just because it is not what you would have done, does not make them bad parents. I chose to be a stay at home Mum - I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to do it. But that does not give me the right to criticise those who chose to pursue careers and put their children in day care day after day. the McCanns made a bitter mistake leaving the children alone, they have paid the worse possible price for it .. they are not bad parents my opinion

assasin said...

Madeleine not being in Portugal at all is better than no-one was on the planes and 911 was a remote controlled mission!

Were they eating by 8.25 or was it 9? Depending on distances could this be a plot to fit the mccanns up?

Two of the tapas 9 look like murat.

Does this witness give the pj ammo to blow the tapas lot as lying re sighting, lying re checks, lying re time she was last seen.

All they need is this taxi driver to be [allegedly] shown photos of the 7 and him to say ah, yes thats him,[payne or o'brien] making out he had not seen the 7 before but had seen murat a lot since etc and there the pj have it, madeleine was spirited away by four of the tapas 9 before they even went to dinner.

Nice fit up. perhaps.

anyone know distance between alleged drop off point and apartment?

Tinkerbell43 said...

Elaine, totally agree. Well said.

SassyP said...

Elaine, yet again I agree with you! If we were on the DX people would say we are one and the same!

The picture of Madeleine on the pony and on the swing are just two examples of a happy-looking kid! I also think that the picture of the Gerry with the 3 kids in the playground looks like a really happy picture.

SassyP said...

Assasin, if HelenM comes back on, you could ask her as she lives in the area.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Assasin, I see where you are going, well it would take the heat off of Amarel wouldnt it. He could go from villain to Hero overnight!

elaine said...

Hiya Tinks ... how are you? to be honest I get sick of hearing all these conspiracy theories and how bad parents the McCanns are is just nonsense and probably the people doing the criticizing are no better parents than the McCanns. I have had three children and somedays I could cheerfully have put them on the lawn with for sale signs round their necks (just kidding) it is a pity that these people who do nothing but condemn do not look at themselves and judge their own parenting styles. and really what good does it do now to rehash this neglect and abandonment issue ... it won't change things. For goodness sakes, the children were not abandoned that would imply nobody was ever coming back. I don't even think neglect is the right word .. neglect means ongoing failure to provide food, clothing, love, care attention. Stupidity and lack of forsight, any such labels .. now this post is going to get me in trouble on the other blogs .... sympathising with child abusers indeed!! but I do not believe that Madeleine was abused,

assasin said...

Thanks Sassy. I will. The distances need to be credible before it could be an attempt at a stitch up.

Tinkerbell. It would and don't they just need that! :-)

elaine said...

Hiya Sassy ... well it is nice to have your say without too many people leaping down your throat. Madeleine was loved, she was cared for, anybody without an agenda they choose to stick to, well they cannot fail to see a much loved child. The McCanns paid the worst price for something many many people have done. that does not make it right, I would not have done it .. but I will be honest with you .. I know people who have and would .. husbands who do not think anything will happen and a wife who goes along with it. Not everybody plays the "what if" scenario

SassyP said...


The number of "perfect parents" who have turned up since this case is unbelievable, isn't it.

I agree with the neglect and abandonment terminology. It may be different in a legal sense, but in every day language I would expect abandonment to mean noone was going to come back at all or for at least a longer time.

If leaving their kids on their own is neglect, then what label does someone get if they don't feed their children, don't wash them, don't actively hurt them, but don't do anything for them either?

(Apparently Claudia subscribes to all these posts. Yoo hoo Clawdia! Enjoying yourself?)

helenm said...

Hi, just been reading back posts and came across yours Assasin. Just remind me where the drop off point was, I may be able to help.

Sassyp I'm sure I saw a post mentionin informing some members of a different account, but can't find it now, was I dreaming?

SassyP said...


Hi there

Which account do you mean? E-mail account? Or Google account?

helenm said...

sassyp I think it must have been google. It was about informing myself, Ginam and others who sign in under name/url?

elaine said...

You know Sassy, I feel so sorry for the McCann family, extended and immediate. I cannot imagine their anguish .. and much as psychologists and others trying to help will have told them that it is the fault of the person who took Madeleine .. in their heart of hearts they must blame themselves and those saddest words in the whole world "If only" Madeleine was loved, the twins are loved. We insult them and hurt them more if we imply differently.

elaine said...

Sassy, there should have been a full stop after 'If only" ... took on a whole new meaning without it!!

assasin said...

Hi Helen
Thanks for response.

I've just found the info on a search.

They asked him to drive them to the Apolo Hotel in the nearby town of Vila Real de Santo Antonio, a 15 minute drive from Portugal's southern border with Spain. [2.5 miles]

Claims he picked them up around 8,

SassyP said...

Right, that's it. That is just what I mentioned before. All you have to do is register your e-mail address with google (which you can do under the "choose an identity part). You just write in your Screen name, your e-mail address and a password for you to get onto the blog and Robert's your relative! You said you were going to wait till you got back to Portugal to do that.

It isn't so important unless we have to change the security settings, which we may do if we get an influx of abusive "anonymouses" - (anonymice?!!!). Not an issue at the moment though.

Anonymous said...

I'm the anon P. Is that OK?

Really like to know your viewpoint on my questions.
i'm not going to discuss further as I must do other things. But I 'll keep in touch.

SassyP said...


That's how I read your post!

It's true that people forget who the real criminal is here - the one who took Madeleine.

Anonymous said...

I do feel that the police investigating little Shannon disappearance have started out right in treating it as a murder inquiry. I believe any young child that goes missing should be presumed to have fallen into the wrong hands straightaway. Perhaps lessons will be learnt hopefully from the tragedy of little Madeleine. And we won't have quack psychiatrists telling the parents that their little child has been taken by a sad person giving them false hope. Whizzg

Tinkerbell43 said...

Well Elaine, we can both get abused together, but hey my conscience is clear and I can sleep at night.

Like you, for me to believe they were abused, I would have to believe these children were not loved and there is no way from what I have seen or read that that is the case. Nobody has come out of the woodwork to say prior to or during the holiday there was evidence that these children were neglected or abused in the true sense of the word. If you havent read it, I would really recommend you read an earlier post at 10:56 it gives an insight into the holiday amongst other aspects of their life and Madeleines. It gave me a few lumps in my throat I can tell you.

elaine said...

Anon P. that sounds better, now at least we know which anon you are!!

JANEGT said...


in daily mail it was very short taxi ride, only couple or more miles. They got to a hotel, got in a British Registration blue jeep, only 15 mins from Spanish Border. Puts Jane Tanner's story in the bin, sorry MY STORY in the bin, doesn't it??? The driver just said a blonde mother type he did not specify it was Kate. At that time Michaela had blonde hair. Malinka has boat in Lagos..... so could have been Murat, Malinka, Antonio and Madeleine. I doubt it though.

elaine said...

Tinks - yes I did read it. I think the McCanns are genuinely nice people. I have heard them speak on the t.v. and on the radio and if they sound a bit odd and stilted it is probably because they are not used to such events ... and have been warned not to say anything which may prejudice Madeleine or any case .... a threat of jail time would make the most ardent speaker sound stilted. In fact the McCanns have interviewed so badly sometimes that I would have thought such expert 'liars' and people with such hynotic personalities that they were able to convince goodness knows how many people to lie for them ...that they would have at least been good enough actors to look convincing on t..v. That sounds very convoluted but I think you will get my drift.

If one chooses to look at anybody with evil eyes ... you will find evil. Yes tinks I can sleep at night too ... I wonder if these criticizers would be so bold if they met the McCanns. did somebody really take a letter to Kate's Mum,?? I hope they rot in hell for that vile act.(if its true)

assasin said...

Story ive read it says he said like Kate. In the times.

you placed the same 4 as i did earlier:-) murat and company:-)

Remember in the very early days, next day or something after she went missing a witness claimed to have seen a couple heading down towards the water carrying a child. He stated male and female.

JANEGT said...

the nuts are taking over the asylum. oops I meant the anons are taking over the blog. You don't know who you are debating with....

any name will do.....just for consistency......

FORGOT TO ADD the taxi driver's son is in PJ?? Yet they didn't take him seriously when he reported it and the cctv wasn't working??? rat smell here. ;o(((


JANEGT said...




elaine said...

Hiya Jane, I have left a message for you ...

assasin said...

The CCTV is regularly not working even with our police when they want to tell a lie.

elaine said...

Tinks ... I am sure most caring people would do the same as me ... if they knew Kate well enough ... give her a shake and say what on earth were you thinking leaving those kids alone .. and then doing your utmost to help!! But I doubt Kate needs anybody to give her a shake now, she must (and Gerry) be shaken to the very core.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Hiya Jane, JT that's you, pmsl
:0)). You reminded me of something re Malinka, Christabel posted a while ago, that allegedly Malinka was looking to buy a rather luxurious Villa back in May 07. The price of which, I would question how on earth he would have that sort of money! I'll ask Christabel if she comes on, whether she still has the info. It made interesting reading!!!

Mandz said...

The PJ think maddie is dead and they have the evidence (not!) from flat/ car etc therefore what has the taxi got to do with anything? This is just a load of rubbish we in Britain do not go on holiday with friends and sell “one” of our kids and for this to even be mentioned in a Portuguese newspaper makes me think they are honestly daft as a brush to print such rubbish.

As for a “difficult” child so she cried a lot well news alert so did mind and my GP used to laugh at me because I was not aware babies could cry 24hrs a day for years and her advice was I have 4 children and they all cried and the number of people I have spoken to over the years who said their kids were the exact same. Now if I see a baby not crying I think it’s odd!!!!!!!!

The real son of a bitch that took her has got off scot free and never a mention of him/her. The person who came into another persons environment and made it their right to take a child and perhaps killed her and yet no mention? I just don’t get it.

Mandz said...

As for the photos please we have enough! I find them so difficult to look at especially the one where Maddie is on a Pony next to kate. It just makes me feel sick that she won’t get to touch her again and now I have a lump in my throat so I’m going to go because I have things to do!

Good night!

JANEGT said...


ASSASIN Yep I agree with you but remember at May 3 Michaela Walczuch had blonde hair. She could have looked like 'a mother' whch she is, so driver could make 2 and 2 = 6..... The JW church denied her alibi too.......saying she was excommunicated. she said she was there, in Lagos, where Malinka's boat was. Michael Shrimpton has a long long long report on all this, if true, agrees with that scenario. Remember also man at dawn saw blonde young girl being dragged across road with man and blonde woman???? = twards Lagos Harbour where Malinka's boat was berthed.

Sea a strong possibility here. Only 2 and a half miles takes no time in car at night bck to Ocea Complex. Easy to be at tables by 8.25?????

dunno only thinking out loud. timing means JT lied.?????

thanks Elaine will go and look now....


assasin said...

jane. Dont disagree- ive posted the same above:-)

dianeh said...

Hi to you all.

Dont know what to make of the taxi driver either.

8.10 he picked them up and I think it was a fair distance from the resort (on another forum, someone said an hour away), so that means Madeleine would have been taken at 7.10.
I think that means either the day is wrong, or it just has nothing to do with Madeleine.
I think I agree with the PJ. It is completely irrelevant.

dianeh said...

No doesnt mean JT lied.
Remember the irish family also say the long haired man carrying a child at the beach.
That person exists, whether it was Madeleine gbeing carried or not, that is the question.

JANEGT said...


I TAKE IT YOU FEEL THE pj COULD BE FRAMING MCCANNS WITH THIS TIME FRAME?? (NO PUN INTENDED...)?? I hadn't thought of it that way at all. Seems so strange if his son was PJ and he wasn't immediately believed......very very very strange. Don't think I believe it.

Mum21 said...

Hi Everyone. Nice and peaceful in here tonight. That makes a lovely change. No unwanted visitors.

assasin said...

The police notoriously and most often use the 'not taking seriously' witness blurb when framing or setting up witnesses.

Its the tactic deployed most.

Alleged initial doubt distracts anyone from thinking they are involved if suspicion is cast.

I'm not saying they are doing that with this. I'm saying they could be cos they have been decidedly underhand all the way and looking at some of their other case histories i would put nothing past them at all

JANEGT said...


it was only 2.5 miles away. very short taxi ride from ocean club to hotel where they got in british reg blue jeep.......''allegedly''...????

Could go there and back in a few minutes.

Mum21 said...

Assasin. I tend to agree with you. It is a good possibility. I would not put it past them either.

assasin said...

Hi mum,
Btw, I've not forgotten im due you that email, just been stuck with myriads of stuff at mo. asap:-)

Mum21 said...

Assasin. That's fine. I have been busy this evening myself. That is why I am so late on here tonight.

Mum21 said...

Where is Rosie tonight..anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Gina M says It was on Portuguese TV today that the letters are in the UK and questioning will start soon. So soon we will know and will not have to speculate

Good night all

Tinkerbell43 said...

Jane & Hi Diane,

As Diane said I dont think JT lied either, there are 2 other independant witnesses that confirm they see a man fitting the description that Jane gave. That is without Olegario De Sousa allegedly confirming that it also fits the description of a Man the Spanish Authorities want to investigate over the disappearance of Yeremi Vargas & Sara Morales.

assasin said...

LOL. I think i shall be sleeping early tonight. I keep forgetting to stop working, then its almost time to get up:-)

Mum21 said...

Let us hope Gina M is right..because the sooner the better. But I am still not 100% sure the letters have arrived.

Anonymous said...

I have found the TVI report here:-

2008-02-27 20:41
Caso Maddie
Carta rogatória chegou a Inglaterra
Parece estar assim desbloqueado todo um processo de indefinição que durava há vários meses.

Google translation:

PJ and British police have now begun contacts to set all the details of the journey of the inspectors Portuguese, which is thus increasingly close to happening.

The letter rogatory will allow any further interrogations and questioning the couple McCann and friends, as well as apprehend the original diary of the mother, Madeleine.

In British soil, researchers Criminal Police will not be able to participate in the effort, have only a function of monitoring.

Tinkerbell43 said...

Hi Mum, Rosie popped in earlier to say she had been out all day but would be on around 8:30 after dinner. I think she had an early start this morning so maybe she's just passed out, lol.

dianeh said...

Hi Jane

That was what I thought yesterday when I read the translated portugese article. But since I am too lazy to look up maps, I took this other forum's word for it. (I know shouldnt do it).
But still 8.10 means that Kate and Gerry must have been home when Madeleine was abducted.
Even if a little later than that and they had gone, it means that no one checked on the children. And this is something that the PJ have leaked supposed coming from the waiters at the tapas bar. I think they did check but of course no one (probably not even them) not exactly the times of the checks but Gerry was on the street around 9.30 talking, so safe to assume he checked around that time.

I agree that it could be a put up by the PJ.
Alternatively, this man could really beleive it was Madeleine and it just wasnt.

Myself, I dont believe it was Madeleine in the taxe. How many kidnappers would hire a taxi, when it would be easier to just hire a car (if you didnt want your own car to be used). And no witnesses

Mum21 said...

I still cannot understand why they want Kate's diary. That of course is if they really do want it.

assasin said...

These would be better called rogue letters. They have allegedly been in and out of the UK more times than Elvis was in macD's!

Chinadoll said...

Hi Everyone,

Here at last.

Have I missed anything?

Mum21 said...

Yes Assasin...and we still are not sure if they are even here now.

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