26 November 2009

Student journalist leads police to Madeleine McCann FBI fraud suspect hiding in Oxford hotel


Old Bank Hotel in Oxford

by Luke Traynor

THIS is the Oxford University graduate who helped to snare a high-profile on-the-run alleged fraudster.

Businessman Kevin Halligen was arrested at the city’s Old Bank Hotel on Tuesday, following several months evading police.

The 48-year-old was hired by Liverpool-born Kate McCann and her husband, Gerry, to find their three-year-old daughter, Maddie, who disappeared from a flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007. But, after £500,000 was pocketed by him from the Find Madeleine Fund, his contract was cancelled after he had delivered precious little to the investigation.

Yesterday, it emerged that journalism student Christopher Winsley was instrumental in finding Halligen, wanted by the FBI for an alleged £1.3m con in America.

Christopher had worked part-time at the plush Old Bank Hotel during the summer when studying at Brookes College when Halligen was almost a permanent guest, hardly ever leaving the £350-a-night-room hotel and drinking heavily in the bar.

The Dubliner used various aliases including Mr and Mrs Hall, Kev and Richard before Mr Winsley left in September to pursue a postgraduate media degree in Falmouth, Cornwall.

When he spotted several Sunday newspaper articles on Halligen last weekend, and his all-important photograph, he immediately made the connection and telephoned Thames Valley Police.

Yesterday, the student said: “I knew straight away the person I was reading in the papers, said to be wanted by police, was the man I’d seen day-in, day-out at the hotel.

“I telephoned police, and it didn’t seem to be a priority for them, but they appear to have moved fast and caught up with him.

“It wasn’t hard to make the link. I even sent an email to the US embassy and phoned 999 and Crimestoppers. I’m surprised he didn’t do a runner with all the stuff in the newspapers.”

Halligen is also said to have caused consternation in the hotel, visited this year by celebrities including Meg Ryan over unpaid bills.

Following a short hearing at court yesterday, Halligen was refused bail and was remanded in custody until December 2.

in Liverpool Daily Post


35 comments:

  1. G & KM. Be very afraid of what this man will say in court.

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  2. What?

    Did the McCanns seriously expect Halligan to find Madeleine?


    Anybody would think he was a mass murderer or something the way they are carrying on and the McCanns are the good guys of course.

    They always have to be portrayed as the poor innocent victims.

    Don't doubt the fund will be made up again in no time.

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  3. Very well staged and planned.
    He was hardly in hiding. Lived in luxury and attracted unecessary attention to himself until he was caught.
    He will now be put through the normal motions, and as long as he keeps his mouth shut, be out and about in a couple of years to retire in luxury.
    Meanwhile the Mccanns come out smelling of roses.

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  4. So why did The Sun (Nov. 25th) claim it was "them wat dun it"? I thought it was supposed to be their intrepid team of investigators who staked out the hotel and tipped off the cops. Who´d have thought it? A national newspaper telling a barefaced porkie!

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  5. Sorry to be a bit sceptical about this, but does this guy who supposedly led the cops to Halligan happen to know the McCanns or somebody who knows them?

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  6. I wonder if Halligen's phone tracing activities on behalf of the MCs included incriminating data about them? It would be a good tactic if he ever needed to put pressure on them. He may have anticipated his arrest was drawing near.

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  7. Mark Aspinall and firm Waterson and Hicks of London will want their money back. There is a claim for 500k dollars plus 1.4 million damages at the court in Washington. Doubt they will get it though.

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  8. Yesterday, the student said: “I knew straight away the person I was reading in the papers, said to be wanted by police, was the man I’d seen day-in, day-out at the hotel.

    “I telephoned police, and it didn’t seem to be a priority for them, but they appear to have moved fast and caught up with him.

    “It wasn’t hard to make the link. I even sent an email to the US embassy and phoned 999 and Crimestoppers. I’m surprised he didn’t do a runner with all the stuff in the newspapers.”

    I wonder if there was no one to one contact interview with the young student journalist? His picture in the article above looks like someone has called his name, he has looked up and round in response and click someone took his pic! He looks startled imo.

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  9. The whole thing is an awful lot of bollocks...the whole of it, laws,people,justice....sick of it

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  10. Very odd to give that amount of money before they get any results especially after being burned before.

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  11. Spin, spin and more spin. Christopher Winsley actually says, "I’m surprised he didn’t do a runner with all the stuff in the newspapers.”

    Correct! So why didn't he?

    I think it takes one to know one personally and that the McCann's are not as 'Naïve' as they would like us to believe (their word for leaving their children). After all this complete stranger 'set up' a dodgy detective agency and walked straight into the McCann's lives. How convenient for them. A private eye who would not look for Maddie and from whom they gain yet more sympathy (and money for their fund.

    I think he knew he would get caught eventually anyway and so just decided to live the high life in a posh hotel until the inevitable happened and he was arrested.

    Now, lets hope he actually does know something about the McCanns which he is willing to share with everyone and that he wasn't just being used by them!

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  12. This student could do us a favor and follow the Paynes.
    He is efficient.
    And who knows he can find out what kind of people the Oldfields are.

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  13. Just heard of the report on child sexual abuse by Irish priests soon to be released. I remember Kate's mother words (or was it Gerry's mother), revealing that they, Kate & Gerry, were not the most devout of the catholics and that they were not attending church services. As one of their first demands after Maddie's "abduction" was the presence of the priest who married them, I am now wondering is this priest the other elusive Tapas member? Are we indeed, believing the Gaspar's deposition, talking of this group as child molesters? We already know they are child neglectors.

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  14. GOD BLESS MADELEINE.
    I JUST FOND THIS ON SKY'S LIFE OF CRIME BLOG. TAKE A LOOK. IT SAY SO MUCH!

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  15. NICE LOT ABOUT DAVID PAYNE. http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/PJ/YVONNE-WARREN-MARTIN.htm AND http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/PJ/YVONNE-WARREN-MARTIN.htm
    HAVE YOU GOT ANYTHING MORE?

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  16. THIS STUDENT ON THE PICTURE LOOKS VERY UNNATURAL. AND MAKES ME BELIEVE THAT ALL THIS NEW ACT AGAIN IS CONDUCTED BY MCCANN'S TEAM. THE SAME FEELING, Jo!

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  17. 5, that night Kate asked for a priest, according to Amaral, I think.
    Not for the English priest who was in England at that moment.Father Paul?
    She asked for any priest in Luz, I think.
    She needed forgiveness, I believe.
    It could be that a priest took part in the disappearence.
    But, at the moment of her request, the child was already hidden.
    Where?
    I think the church, that is why they got the key.

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  18. Where are Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley now? Have they sensibly jumped ship yet?

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  19. Anonymous16
    They got the key to the Church some four or five days after Madeleine disappeared.

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  20. as sir terry wogan once wrote ...dont underestimate the irish..they are cunning...IMO Halligen wanted to be caught knowing he had something on the mccanns which could be traded for help from the dark forces...rather than face the usa justice system...however this could be in the form of either a disapearance as lord lucan or an assisted suicide like someone we have read about

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  21. This guy Christopher, does he belong to the McCann & Mitchell Syndicate?


    Beata, Germany

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  22. £ 500,000 granted to a detective just to investigate with a risk of uncertain result ? Seems the Mccann were not well advised!!
    Danielle

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  23. Anon at 15

    According to Dr Amaral, it would have had to have been somewhere with a fridge at some time or another.

    Perhaps the church later?

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  24. 19, I think Maddie was and still is buried in the church.

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  25. 10, yes, I also wonder about the Oldfields.
    So very quiet around them.
    I remember how quiet it was around the Paynes, to the point I was thinking they were the most innocent ones.
    I remember to have written message to them on Anorak, so very much I was convinced of their innocence.
    That is why I ask myself too why we did not hear a word about the Oldfields.
    Is there something behind them or not?

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  26. 19, I am 24,

    The cadaver scent in the car was coming from the internal organs of Maddie's,imo.
    I think they were moved out of her body for reasons of better preservation.
    The blood in the car(15 aleles) could not have come only from eventual perfuration if the lungs, heart, during the heart massage.
    It would not have come out through the intestins nor uretra.
    I believe in internal injuries.
    Only possibility would have been the mouth, rupture in the lungs.
    But did doctors put her in the car in a position that she would again vomit blood?
    Would she fit in that space the police showed on the videos?
    A plastic sac with the organs, and accidentally a hole in the sac, and the blood escaped.

    Enough to get in Gerry's hands and on the car key?
    Or was it only cadaver scent?

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  27. At one point it was reported there was a bad smell in the church.

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  28. An. 26

    I believe, they keep the body sometime, near the church at the begining and in the car, after. Police can't search the church without a court and the Catholic Bishop permission. At the begining of the investigation, the police was in rush with time becausethey want to find her alive, then they search houses and fields... the most natural locations to hide a child. When the police start looking for other possibilitys, the body was moved to the car and by the time they have already a spokeperson and start playing with media, booking press conferences everyday and advertising tennis games and joggings to keep te eyes of the public on them and out of the car. If we look back, we see them busy with that and not using the car at all. Madeleine was not buried. There is no way to do that. I believe she was incinerated by somebody payed by them, somewhere in a place to incinerate animals. Maybe, on the day they went to Huelva, this is why they choose a quiet day to attract the attention of the world to them and out of the Algarve, when somebody else take the body, in Algarve to be incinerated.
    Malinka car was blowed out leaving the word "SPEAK" on the street. WHY? THERE IS MORE PEOPLE INVOLVED ON THAT SAGA, APART THE TAPAS 9.
    This explains the confident sentence from Gerry when he arrived in UK after became Arguido: " IF she is dead, show us the body" He knows, the body cannot be find. But maybe, the remains of the incineration have being carried on the luggage which was not checked when they travel in a private jet and still somewhere in UK, in a family house, not in Rothley. This is why the family suddenly fade and become quiet.
    Why Brian Kennedy went to Algarve to meet Murat? Why Murat only sue the Papers and not Jane Tanner and the Mccann's which keep him on the situation? Why the Catholic priest said that Maddie case change his life and he avoid to talk about. Why the British priest became one of the strong friends of the Mccann's in Algarve? Why the Vatican removed Madeleine from the site?
    SOMEBODY ELSE APART THE TAPAS 9 KNOW SOMETHING AND STILL SILENT ONLY BECAUSE THE POLICE WAS PREVENTED TO DO THE INVESTIGATION UNTILL THE END. THERE IS NO PERFECT CRIMES NOW, WHEN THE SCIENCE IS SO DEVELOPED and we can trace over people based on small evidences, as a cloth fibre, a small piece of hair or a blood spot.
    I HOPE THE PUBLIC START ASKING MANY QUESTIONS AND PUT THE WORLD TO THINK ON MANY SCENARIOS THAT THE SITUATION BECOME INSUSTENTABLE TO JUSTICE, TO BE SILENCED. PAEDOPHILES AND ABDUCTORS, NEED MUCH MORE TIME THEN FEW DAYS TO TAGET A CHILD. I DON't believe on an abduction on that night.

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  29. I think there is one piece of very incriminating evidence left behind in Portugal that has to be dealt with.

    And whoever has left it has to retrieve it and dispose of it completely.

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  30. Anon @ 29

    You're absolutely right. But as for now, the evidence is too hot to handle. So it will be disposed of at a much, much later stage.
    And it won't be disposed of by that couple, somebody else will do it! They know that everytime they put their feet in Portugal, someone will bee on their heels.

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  31. 27, there are a maximum of three extra people involved in this case imo.
    Tapas 9 + 3.
    The Catholic priest, the Anglican priest who arrived in Algarve 3 days later and the man who got the key of the church in order to give it to the Mccanns(see Father Pacheco's statement).
    The two priests avoided to have directly responsibility about directly delivering the key to the Mccanns.
    Did Moita Flores say somewhere that there were 12 people involved in the disappearence?
    12 or 11, Joana?

    No Malinka, no Murat, if Kate was insisting on investigating Murat it is because they know nothing about the case.
    Incinerating the body would involve nr. 13, his wife 14, their families... and they must be Portugueses, watching what the Mccanns did to Portugal, to the PJ, to Murat and to Amaral.
    No incineration

    The McCanns'case stayed among Pacheco, the Anglican and his wife, her family( at least),the man who received the key and his wife and both families.

    Each of them has a best friend, parents, etc.

    I hope the CEOP will come with a new appeal:
    "- If you don't know anything and you are keeping this secret, remember it is never too late to do the right thing".

    People who don't know anything can come foward and the police will investigate the rest.
    It will be a terrible amount of work but it will be a success.

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  32. An. 30, The body could be incinerated as a dog. Some newspaper at the begining said that there is animal crematorys in Algarve and most of them belong to british people. Somebody could arrived with a body in a bag and said it is a dog. According with newspaper article, normally the people working at this crematorys don't check the bags. They just believe. Maybe who incinerate the body, if this was the case, don't even know what is going on and what he is doing. Somebody is holding a clue on that case.

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  33. Anon at 32

    But how would they be sure that just that once the person at the crematorium would not look inside the bag?

    It also seems callous beyond belief to have had your child cremated as a dog!

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  34. Christopher, if you are taking credit for having alerted to Halligen, are you also the manager of the hotel Halligen was staying at, because he is saying he is the one who alerted the police.

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  35. I was working with several news papers days before the man was arrested. I have evidence to suggest this. The manager, presumably a man called Ben, claimed to have alerted the police just hours before. His call alone would simply not have been enough to get the police attention. However an important and integral part of getting the police to act. If they had taken notice to several calls made during the weekend, Halligen would have been taken into custody sooner.

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