13 June 2014

The Secret Visits of the McCanns to the Church of Luz



Announced visits and other secret, keys provided against the wishes of the Bishop, the priest wife agitated, finished constructions and searches never made​​. What is it that the church of Praia da Luz has?

by Hernâni Carvalho

On the night of their daughter's disappearance, the McCann couple asked for a priest. The priest of the Luz church, José Pacheco, did not respond. The couple knew, even before they had gone to Praia da Luz, that the Anglican priest Haynes Hubbard celebrated masses there and lived with his wife. He had a friendship with McCann's family members. It was with him whom they spoke with. Some days later, Gerry and Kate received the church keys, and since then they were able to enter and leave at any time. A situation that was criticized by the Bishop of the Algarve at the time. When questioned on this discretionary act, the priest José Pacheco said: "Do I decide that?!"

McCanns visited the church in secret

"Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine - we can read in a press statement sent to Lusa news agency in 12th December 2009, by the McCann's Portuguese PR, in connection to the couple's visit to the church. During the day, the visits were announced and followed by the media. The exception was made in the early hours of January 14, 2010 [issues with date/see references bellow]. At 5am they were seen and photographed leaving the church from a side door. In the afternoon they gave a press conference.

Wife of Priest worried

The forensic psychologist Paulo Sargento asked the bishop of the Algarve Dom Manuel Quintas, if any catholic can go to the church at any time.

Hernâni Carvalho - How did you get to talk with the bishop?

Paulo Sargento - I sent a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt early on, in January 2010. Since I got no reply, about a month later, I sent an e-mail with the questions that I had. Four days later, it was the Bishop himself who replied, also by e-mail, apologizing for the delay in the answer. A hearing was scheduled for two or three days later.

Hernâni Carvalho - And you felt clarified?

Paulo Sargento - The hearing took place in February, at the episcopal see of Faro. The Bishop received me kindly. We talked about an hour. I had already been informed about a McCann visit to the church in the early hours and wondered if the Bishop was aware of that and I also wished to understand if any other catholic could do the same. Dom Manuel Quintas confirmed the McCanns had indeed been in the church on that day at 5am, that the person who had given them the key that night was Susan Hubbard, the wife of the Anglican priest, who had a key to the church at all times since her husband celebrated the Anglican mass there. Susan assured the Bishop the McCanns wanted to pray without being harassed by the media. However, the Bishop told me: “I don't understand, that day at 17pm there was a mass where they went, surrounded by the media”. Dom Manuel Quintas also added that when Susan Hubbard found out about my hearing request, she got scared and inclusively, sought him, very worried. The Bishop told me that he answered her queries saying that she should not be so worried if nothing unusual or wrong had happened.

Hernâni Carvalho - Did the Bishop avoid discussing any issues?

Paulo Sargento - No. I'm not going to give you details, but the Bishop was very open and did not flinch at anything I asked to him. He was willing, even, to resume contact for further questions or more information I needed. Interestingly, in that summer (2010), Kate spent a week vacation in Canada, in the house of a family member of Susan Hubbard, the wife of the priest.

Construction Works

Back in 2007, the public area of the Village of Luz had been for months undergoing sanitation improvements and road works. Behind the church there were ongoing construction works. Being a place of worship, various legal issues hampered a search there. At the time, PJ sources admitted to the possibility that the girl's body could have passed through that location, or even, to have been buried in the deactivated cemetery.

End of page 98

The Big Bluff

The British police came to Portugal to investigate the Maddie case. They dug and went into the sewers looking for a dead girl or clues that could lead to her whereabouts. The PJ had said the very same and had done those searches seven years ago.

“A movie for the English to see”, said an elderly lady, mockingly, to CMTV recently. One and a half year ago the English police announced that they would find the girl in a few days. So far nothing. Scotland Yard's work in Portugal is discussed by all in a very critical way. “They haven't done anything that our PJ hasn't done years ago”, stated a Portuguese in the same area. The searches are causing discontent among tourists and locals as they consider them detrimental to tourism, now that the peak season begins.

Show Off

The British police wanted the searches to be accompanied by the media but the PJ refused. Since the 2nd of June, Praia da Luz in Lagos has a large team of policemen, geologists, archaeologists, cutting edge technology and also sniffer dogs. They all come from England “under the supervision of PJ and the Public Prosecutor Office”. In addition there are PJ inspectors, GNR military officers on foot and horseback and Portuguese forest sappers. A setting worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster movie.

Stones, socks and bottles

The searches and excavations of the English police in Luz highlights the acknowledgement that they are looking for a body. The PJ had reached that same conclusion seven years ago. The English police began by excavating a field near Rua 25 de Abril, 600 meters away from the apartment from where the girl disappeared. An area equal to three football fields, a slope hill, which belongs to the Belmiro de Azevedo Group [SONAE] and is frequented by locals and tourists for leisurely walks. They collected animal bones, two cannabis plants, stones, soil samples, a sock and bottles and kept everything in boxes.

Nothing

There are no findings to sustain the theory of the British authorities. They argue that Maddie's body is in that place or that there are clues that may lead to her whereabouts. They also claim that they have a group of eight suspects(?). Explaining that they have extended the searches because they have concluded (only now?) that the terrain is more difficult to analyse than predicted. These places had already been thoroughly searched by the Portuguese police immediately after the disappearance of the girl. In fact, until September 11, 2007, the PJ had investigated over 2500 false leads.

Millions of Euros

The 37 officers of the London Metropolitan Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine have cost the British Crown about 6 million pounds (7.4 million euros). Besides the first investigation, Portugal has had a team of six inspectors of the PJ in Faro, for months, just to carry out the the steps requested by the British and another team of inspectors from the Northern Directorate of PJ, doing a review of the first investigation for the last two years. No one has, so far, established the total cost to our country. The McCanns moved in early July 2007 for the Villa Vista Mar. At the average values of the property market at the time, the total rent was calculated to have surpassed 6000 euros. The Renault Scénic where biological traces were found, allegedly belonging to Maddie, was rented for 113 days, at the list price it costed 7990 euros.

Maddie
3 May 2007

In Praia da Luz in the Algarve, the parents of Madeleine, who would be four years old just a few days later, cried "abduction" when they noticed Maddie had disappeared from the apartment where they had left her alone with her ​​younger twin siblings. "Homicide", said the PJ a few days later. After a lot of press, suspects, searches, investigations to everyone's taste and seven years later, there is nothing.

in TVMais magazine, Nº1117, 13 to 19 June 2014, paper edition, pages 98 & 99 - with many thanks to Maria

En Español en el blog de Mercedes
Em Português no blogue da Maria




References

«This was no longer the peaceful tourist town the couple remembered from a previous visit when Haynes temporarily filled the role of Anglican chaplain in the former fishing village.»

«The Hubbards now believe Madeleine's disappearance is the reason they were "called" to Portugal. Susan remembers the moment it hit her.»

«In fact, Susan says, it was the McCanns who helped the Hubbards settle in to their new parish. Susan has visited the McCanns since their return to England last September, and the two women keep in close touch through text messages and e-mail.»

in CBC News, Missing Madeleine, 02 May 2008



«Kate McCann must have got up at an unearthly hour to ensure her emotional return to Praia da Luz went unnoticed.

We missed her and so did the fishermen who were on the beach long before dawn.

Apparently she and Gerry were there at 5.30am to wander the deserted seafront and visit the nearby church which became their sanctuary in the weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.

So, they managed to keep the trip private, as they intended - but it must have taken some determination.

It also meant they avoided bumping into any of the locals who don't share the sympathy others have towards the couple.

As Kate said in a statement:: "For the rest of the day we are planning to catch up with some very good friends."»

in Life of Crime, Sky News, 12 December 2009 - Martin Brunt



Related
McCanns Pressure and Harass Ocean Club Employee
McCann Case: 'The British Priest Staged Everything'
Standing Firm Beside The McCanns
'I was deceived' says the Portuguese priest who comforted Gerry and Kate McCann
Interview with Father Haynes Hubbard (video)

37 comments:

  1. Oh well yet another coincidence that Haynes Hubbard knew and was a friend of some of the McCann family. He's Anglican the Mcs are supposedly catholic...HH seemed to act as he wanted giving them the keys, time to take dogs into the church.

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  2. David Heal and wife Pam also visited Kate at the apartment. He was the locum Anglican priest. Formerly at St George's Madrid, IIRC

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  3. I personally think Madeleine was taken far away from PDL to a place which would be one of the last places anyone would ever think to look, and no clues, and no red herrings, would even be on that horizon. Look everywhere, but not there, and nobody ever has!

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  4. Sounds like the dogs should be taken into that church and a search of the deactivated cemetary is in order.

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  5. Was not it that the Hubbards arrived in Portugal on May the 6th 2007?

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  6. I think that according to Father Pacheco's statement, he was not in Luz on May the 3rd.
    He went back to it a few days later.
    Besides he does not speak English.

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  7. 3) would the McCanns take the risk to travel around with a decoposing body?
    Not at all!

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  8. Intriguing. One wonders if the body was present in the church in early 2010 and has since been cremated in a private ceremony. (Ferreira Do Alentejo perhaps)

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  9. @ 7 , nothing is impossible with this pair , they lie through the back of their teeth and act well , their hired liar would come up with something silly like , "the abductors planted her in the boot of the car while we left it open to get rid of the smell of rotting nappies if they were caught" , This Pair and their "Liar aka Spokesman" have no shame and lie like theres no tomorrow .

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  10. I thought we were long done with the myth constructions. It seems not. I am appaled at this muddying of the waters that makes it so more difficult to separate fact from fiction. I doubt this is in the interest of the case and in Goncalos interest. It places him more and more in the corner of conspiracy theorists. Why does NOBODY seem to bother to read the files???

    This is what they have to say:

    Susan Hubbard wrote:
    Has known the McCann family since three days after the disappearance (Sunday). That she went to Portugal on this date (06 May 2007), not to accompany the family but due to work related to the church, which was previously organized.
    ' That it is the truth that she only knows them through the church and never met them before.


    Susan Hubbard wrote:
    Questioned regarding the key to the church, she says that she knows nothing of this. Following the McCann departure to England, she was given the key to handover to the place the McCann's rented in Praia da Luz. She handed this key over the next Monday. Her handling of the key was suggested by one of the McCann family but she does not remember who. She notes that on this Monday, she handed over the keys to the cleaning staff who forwarded the key to the responsible rental agent and whose designation she does not remember.


    Father Pacheco wrote:
    He gave them the key to the church on the 7th or 8th May upon the suggestion of John Geraghty, a resident of the parish, so that they could calmly go to the church without any media pressure. Someone from the church gave the key to John Geraghty, who then passed it on to the McCann's, with Father Pacheco's permission.

    I can only explain this with the urge of some to make money and fame on the back of Amaral and the truth.

    What is so difficult to read the files and make up a theory that complys with all the facts in the files and THEN go on national TV and sell your stuff. That at least would do no harm.

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  11. 7 - The Renault Scenic with its clear signs of cadaver in the boot may have been the final journey for the little corpse and as someone suggested cremation this could be the reason that gerry mccann is so sure that the body of his little child will not be found.

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  12. @10

    Reply – The article does not state they met the Hubbards on the night the girl disappeared but that they spoke with Hubbard, the Anglican priest, at no specified date in the early days after the disappearance.

    The article states they knew a family member of the Hubbards, not the Hubbards themselves.

    The article states: “ Some days later, Gerry and Kate received the church keys, and since then they were able to enter and leave at any time” which matches with “He gave them the key to the church on the 7th or 8th May upon the suggestion of John Geraghty” – in 2007.

    The article states the keys were given again to the McCanns by Susan Hubbard without specifying a date, but assumed to have been before the 14th of January 2010.

    But...

    Gerry McCann left the courthouse on 13th of January 2010 at 4pm and allegedly flew to UK – did he really? Or is the date of January 14th 2010 given in the article incorrect?

    The other possibility would be January 13, 2009, when Gerry McCann went to Lisbon in a surprise 2 day visit, to meet with his lawyers, but he came alone, no Kate. http://www.mccannfiles.com/id107.html

    Similarly, I can’t find any reference to a mass on the 14th of January on both 2009 or 2010.

    So, there is something wrong with the date, yes. However, the episode with the Bishop cannot be dismissed, it was a similar situation to the harassment of an Ocean Club worker by Susan Hubbard in Kate’s name.

    An attempt to control what information would come out. I very much doubt the Bishop would allow Mr. Sargento to speak on TV and quote him if this talk between the two hadn’t happen.

    I do agree that HC is sometimes inaccurate about specific dates, but that does not invalidate the full article.

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  13. Johanna, just adding that the only possible date for that episode to happen would have been in December 12, 2009 -

    «Kate McCann Returns To Praia Da Luz, 12 December 2009

    By Martin Brunt
    December 12, 2009 6:31 PM

    Kate McCann must have got up at an unearthly hour to ensure her emotional return to Praia da Luz went unnoticed.

    We missed her and so did the fishermen who were on the beach long before dawn.

    Apparently she and Gerry were there at 5.30am to wander the deserted seafront and visit the nearby church which became their sanctuary in the weeks after Madeleine's disappearance.

    So, they managed to keep the trip private, as they intended - but it must have taken some determination.

    It also meant they avoided bumping into any of the locals who don't share the sympathy others have towards the couple.

    As Kate said in a statement:: "For the rest of the day we are planning to catch up with some very good friends."»

    in http://www.mccannfiles.com/id290.html

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  14. Correction to post @12 - The article states they knew a family member of the Hubbards, not the Hubbards themselves it should read: The article states they knew a family member of the McCanns, not the McCanns themselves.

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  15. I posted comment 8 - the date should be Dec 12 2009. Why would Mrs Hubbard be so frightened - what could have been discovered?

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  16. Ok I see what you mean Joana. A clever deception starting with the night of the disappearance and then refering throughout to a completely different date.

    But still this is not correct: "The couple knew, even before they had gone to Praia da Luz, that the Anglican priest Haynes Hubbard celebrated masses there and lived with his wife." He did not live there yet, they might have known that he was going to come to Luz.

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  17. I wrote an email to HC, hope he clarifies this issue. xx

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  18. «This was no longer the peaceful tourist town the couple remembered from a previous visit when Haynes temporarily filled the role of Anglican chaplain in the former fishing village.»

    «The Hubbards now believe Madeleine's disappearance is the reason they were "called" to Portugal. Susan remembers the moment it hit her.»

    «In fact, Susan says, it was the McCanns who helped the Hubbards settle in to their new parish. Susan has visited the McCanns since their return to England last September, and the two women keep in close touch through text messages and e-mail.»

    in CBC News, Missing Madeleine, 02 May 2008 http://www.mccannfiles.com/id66.html

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  19. Hubbards were there in 2005. They attended the English Country Fair event as I recall from a report in a local newspaper.

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  20. Anon 7

    Well something was stinking in the back of the hire car, and the mileage on the car was off the chart! Sounds like a long drive to where?

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  21. It's a rubbish article. Don't waste time trying to make sense out of it.

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  22. Am I mistaken or the anglican priest in Luz on the 3rd May was not Hubbard, but an older man, the name I cannot recall. Hubbard arrived soon after to take over the parish from that older vicar. I remember reading about that "first" vicar, and I am sure that he was the one to hand over the key to the McCanns, via John Geraghty? However, and this is really baffling, I also remember reading somewhere that the Hubbards were already Luz residents for months before the day Madeleine vanished.
    What's what...? Anyone out there has any answers to these mysteries?

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  23. After I posted my comment (around 23:24 or 23:25) I saw comment #19. So they were Luz residents as far back as 2005!!!
    But I still am sure there was another anglican vicar, who, as what has happened to a certain nanny, has also left Portugal soon after the "event"...

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  24. Johanna's comment seems to assume that people never lie in police interviews...people NEVER tell porkies to the police, oh no, not ever!
    Who would dare to say that a vicar's wife would be capable f deception and tell tales to the police...? Shame on you, it's a vicar's wife, for goodness sake, whiter than white!

    Not all that comes in the files, in the witnesses interviews, that is, is NOT necessarily the truth, the whole truth and nothing but...one only has to look at the Tapas9 interviews to realize that...

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  25. Susan Hubbard has a mission alright! She got word of the inquiries of Dr. Sargento and got scared and worried and hot footed to the Bishop to do some "digging" of her own...bravo to his Excellency the Bishop, who sent her packing with enormous grace and wit ! Susan Hubbard gets agitated a lot when it comes with McCann related issues, doesn't she...? Wasn't she the one who stalked and harassed a former Ocean Club's worker, by insisting on visiting the worker in her house and trying to look into her computer and cellphone, and by trying to force the lady to talk to Kate? I read about it or saw it on some tv show, in SIC I think.

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  26. Hubbard was only there as a locum in 2005 and returned to Canada. David Heal was there in 2007 and he visited Kate with his wife Pam to comfort her. Whether on he night of 3 or 4 isn't entirely clear. Pamalam site has the original magazine article with photo of Heal. He is from Wales.

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  27. Adding link to comment of anonymous at 25 http://www.gerrymccannsblogs.co.uk/press/1may7/first-19-05-07.htm

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  28. http://www.cbc.ca/news2/reportsfromabroad/durham/20080502.html

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  29. P.Sargento was originally named as a witness for GA - but then GA's team did not call him. He seems to have some pretty explosive information.

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  30. Paulo Sargento didn't take the stand because he was then on honeymoon (so he wasn't fined for missing the hearing), he could have been called again but for some reason Soares Oliveira desisted.
    I have to say that I agree totally with Johanna.
    "I am appalled at this muddying of the waters that makes it so more difficult to separate fact from fiction. I doubt this is in the interest of the case and in Goncalos interest. It places him more and more in the corner of conspiracy theorists."
    I tweeted to Joana what I thought of HC's inaccuracies and evident pleasure in spreading pacotille riddles.
    BTW, and though I reckon that on TV Gonçalo Amaral appeared extremely fragile two years back, now, seeing him in Court, I can tell that he isn't skinny as suggested by HC. GA was fat, he's now fit.

    This case is not mysterious, it has been made so and the building of myths seems to be a passe temps that will never stop. Why does NOBODY seem to bother to read the files???

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  31. What is mysterious to me is the Portuguese review / investigation. Why was the Porto team assembled to review the case? When was it assembled? Who made that decision? Why did they apparently commit themselves to the abduction theory?

    When they reported the case to be reopened it was said that another team in the Algarve would be taking over but that Mrs. Helena Monteiro's team or just herself, I'm not sure, would be staying on. Who is leading this other team? Who are they?

    Was Mr. Euclides Monteiro the real reason they reopened the case? Was it the Portuguese who came up with Euclides or the English? In one interview Mrs. Helena Monteiro gave me the impression that it was SY who were telling the Portuguese to investigate Mr. Euclides Monteiro. Recently an article which said the Portuguese were abandoning that lead suggested it was the Portuguese who came up with this man. If I'm not mistaken Mr. Hernani Carvalho suggested it was the English; I'm confused.

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  32. I think death before the 3rd of May and the M substitute child are examples of being unhelpful to Mr Amaral. Both have elements of conspiracy; the sub child is probably the wildest

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  33. sorry, am i missing the point "Sounds like the dogs should be taken into that church and a search of the deactivated cemetary is in order." ok and what they going to find there "LOADS OF BODYS will ave gone threw there and and are still in the church grounds"

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  34. Death before 3rd May IS a possibility. David Payne's highly embellished and emotional account of his (alleged!) visit to the McCann apartment at around 6.30pm, (although I think various different times are going in rogatories) on that fateful Thursday is strongly suggestive of his knowing that by the early evening on Thursday Madeleine is already dead.

    If it had been an entirely innocent visit he would have been factual, precise, to the point.

    If something had happened to Madeleine by Monday, which I believe (although she may not have died on Monday)then who was making up the head count in the Mini Club? Even if the record keeping is sloppy the head count has to match with the number of children on the signing in sheet?

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  35. The Hubbards are well dodgy, imo, especially him. I think he's a charlatan masquerading as a 'man of the cloth'. There are a few interviews with him where he comes across as fake.

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  36. They always seem focused on the beach and the church??? I'm assuming these were thoroughly searched do they return as they are visiting a resting place, which of course means you are close to your daughter??

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