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Madeleine Mccann: The Facts In the Beginning...

PJ reconstitutes crime

The police is convinced that the McCann couple had someone’s help
15 SEPT 07 article by Felicia Cabrita

The Policia Judiciaria (PJ) will soon make the reconstitution of the events that took place on the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared. It’s an essential diligence in order to clarify the various contradictions that the group of nine let pass right in their first statements. If Maddie was in fact murdered, the McCanns could not have hidden the cadaver alone – which means they had to have the help from a third party.

In order to reconstruct the night of May 3, it’s essential to count on the participation of the McCann couple and the group of British friends, with whom they were spending their holidays at the Ocean Club, in Praia da Luz. But at this moment, authorities cannot guarantee that they can arrange for the entire group to come to Portugal, at the same time.

PJ is convinced that Madeleine McCann is dead, that Kate and Gerry are somehow involved and that the cadaver was concealed. But it is still unclear what happened exactly.

Airplanes before the dogs

Besides the reconstitution of that night, PJ wants to verify the only routes that the McCann family and their friends knew, which derived from their daily routine. The first leads to a vacant terrain, behind the Milenio restaurant; the second one was usually made to go to the beach. Both routes have already been trailed by the sniffer dogs.

One of the relevant testimonies within this investigation is the one from Martin Smith, an Irishman who resides in Luz and who says that, on the night of May 3, he crossed ways with a man who was carrying a child. She seemed to be asleep, and both were going in the direction of the beach.

The investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine suffered a turnaround in late July, with the arrival in Portugal of highly specialized equipment and of the British police’s sniffer dogs.

Before the dogs went onto the terrain, an airplane which is equipped with temperature and infrared rays cameras made a complete ‘sweep’ of the area from the Ocean Club until the cliffs. The infrared cameras detect the existence of land shifts (in England, they have detected cadavers under cement) and the temperature cameras are used to detect changes of temperature in the earth (given the fact that decomposing bodies register more elevated temperatures).

The planes equipment, however, detected nothing out of the ordinary in Luz.

After these diligences, the possibility of the child’s body having been thrown into the sea was pondered. Police even contacted Joao Alveirinho Dias, an investigator at the University of Algarve, who is a specialist in oceanography, in order to collect information about the movement of tides and beach sand, in that area. With the dogs, the British policemen walked the beachline and the routes that were usually made by the McCanns and their friends.

Blood on the curtains

Later at the Ocean Club, the use of the dogs ended up triggering a turnaround in the investigation.

As Sol could discover, the dogs detected cadaver odour behind a couch in the apartment’s living room, close to a window that leads to the resort’s back area.

This window had curtains that were removed and analysed by police, and a small blood sample was detected. Both the curtains and the wall where it was located at, had been washed.

If the information that the Irish citizen gave to Sol three months ago is confirmed, the child was wearing pink pyjamas, and Smith noticed no blood stains. Whatever happened to Maddie, didn’t provoke a large bloodshed.

Contradictions and refusals to answer

In the interrogations to which they were subject, last week, in the offices of Policia Judiciaria in Portimao, Maddie’s parents were confronted not only with the collected evidence, but also with the contradictions between their first statements, right after the child’s disappearance, and those by their friends.

One of the issues that has yet to be clarified is the fact that both Russell O’Brien and Matthew Oldfield said they left the restaurant, where all of them were having dinner on the evening of May 3 around 9.20 p.m, and Russell came back 5 minutes before Kate gave the alert to the disappearance of her daughter – which was confirmed to Sol by the Tapas restaurant’s employees.

The staff also declared that they didn’t see Gerry McCann leaving to check on his children’s welfare, contrary to what Gerry said himself.

Kate and Gerry ended up being constituted arguidos in the inquiry. Sol knows that both refused to answer a significant amount of questions that the Judiciaria believes to be determinant and of high criminal relevance – thus contradicting their stance of cooperating with the process.


1. Madeleine McCann, according to her parents, disappeared on May 3, 2007, at 10 p.m., from the Ocean Club

2. The last persons to see Maddie alive were her parents

3. All the clues to a possible abduction were checked by the PJ. After three months, the abduction theory was put aside

4. At this moment, PJ thinks the child is dead

5. Kate and Gerry McCann were constituted arguidos, after failing (and in some cases, refusing) to answer determinant questions of high criminal relevance. They have therefore passed into the status of suspects


1. In the Ocean Club Apartment

a) cadaver odour was detected by the English dogs behind a couch in the living room, close to a window that leads to the apartment’s back area
b) blood (a very small amount) on that window’s curtains; the curtains and the wall were washed
c) collected fingerprints belong only to the couple and their friends; there are no fingerprints from Robert Murat, the case’s first arguido
d) searches with dogs in the other apartments of the same block at the resort did not yield these results, only the McCann’s

The cadaver odour that was detected by the dogs indicates that the parents were with Madeleine after her death, and therefore must know what happened. This because, as they say, they were in the apartment until dinner time, at 8.30 p.m. It takes at least two hours for a corpse to release odours that can be detected by the dogs

2. In the Renault Scenic car (rented by the McCanns on May 27)

a) cadaver odour was detected by the dogs
b) a very reduced sample of human fluid, in the car boot. After being analysed in Birmingham, this fluid registered, according to the PJ’s director, Alipio Ribeiro, results that do not allow a 100% correspondence with Maddie’s genetic profile
c) hair that is compatible with Maddie’s genetic profile; there is doubt about whether they landed there by ‘transference’

3. In the Vista Mar villa (rented by the McCanns)

a) cadaver odour, detected by the dogs on clothes that belong to Kate, and on the pink soft toy
b) an English book, normally used by police, that focuses on the different types of crimes, as well as on what clues should be looked for to identify its perpetrators
c) a bible, on Kate’s bedside table, open at the Old Testament, at the passage that tells the death of King David’s son (God punished David with the death of his son, in order to force him away from sin and to return onto the path of good)
d) Kate’s diary, in which she writes about daily difficulties, in dealing with her children

4. Contradictions between the couple’s statements and those of their friends

a) Gerry says during dinner he got up to check on his children; restaurant staff says only two people from the group left the dinner table and those were Russell O’Brien and Matthew Oldfield
b) Russell arrived late for dinner and left at some point: he said his daughter had vomited and he was waiting for someone to change the bedsheets; the hotel staff say nobody requested clean bedsheets
c) Jane, Russell’s wife, says she saw a man passing on the resort’s street, carrying a child. An Irishman, who was at the same time in the same spot, says he saw nobody pass


The Portuguese…

Ambition set him apart very early, when he was still a law student at the Catholic University, and he said he wanted to become President of the Republic. His persistence gave results when one day he saw the open doors to one of Lisbon’s main firms.

It was in the office that is lead by penalist Germano Marques da Silva that Carlos Pinto de Abreu, now 40, built his carrer – as a lawyer, for example, for the leaders of UGT [Union syndicate] that were implicated in fraud with the FSE [Fundo Social Europeu, funds from the European Union], for the Cavaco brothers, for the doctor Veiga Fernandes and, more recently, for Isaltino Morais and Antonio Preto. Meanwhile, at the Lawyer’s Order, he was elected in the list of Rogerio Alves in 2005 to preside over the institution’s Human Rights Commission. The McCann couple’s defense, now in his own office, appears at the same time that Pinto de Abreu announces his candidacy to the Lisbon District Council of the Order – a launching pad, his colleagues foresee, for a greater ambition: to become head of the Order.

… and the English

Michael Caplan and Angus McBride are two partners at Kingsley Napley – one of the most distinguished law firms in the United Kingdom. Caplan is a Queen’s Counsel (QC), which means a counselor to the Queen and he was known for defending Chile’s ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet and for having avoided his extradition into Spain. McBride made his career by protecting the reputation of celebrities. He recently defended the English football captain, John Terry, who was accused of kidnapping, and actor Chris Langham, who was accused of downloading pornography.


  1. This case MUST be re opened,there are too many things that need to be addressed and answered,we need justice for this poor little girl.

  2. I strongly agree with the previous review. Although I believe in innocent till otherwise proven policy, I feel this case has accumulated enough evidence to be worthy of doubt. I also understand that it is undesirable to further complicate things for this family as they have two other very young children, but conclusion of the detective dog Eddie has me thinking perhaps these people should not be allowed near them.

  3. From the onset of this tragedy, I thought "how can any parent leave children unattended, especially in a foreign enviroment" I know of no friends of mine nor relatives who'd leave their small children alone for ANY reason

  4. @3 This is the same way many people round the world are also thinking . Its a mystery how come this pair were not charged for neglect 7 years ago , instead they were swanning round the world collecting money and taking people to court .

  5. Why, in early interviews, is gerry suppressing a smirk? why is your daughter vanishing funny?


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