1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

The smears against Gonçalo Amaral: a Portuguese Citizen Speaks...

Mother Appeal

Transcript/Translation of Leonor Cipriano's words:
Leonor Cipriano: It's very sad. My son misses his sister [Joana] very much, and I'd only ask whomever may be holding her not to hurt her, and to return her to me.
Q: Do you have any idea of where your daughter might be at the moment?
LC: I can imagine anything... I don't know if she's alive or if she isn't... if she is well... I don't know, I don't have an explanation for my daugher having... I don't know, I don't know.

As some of you are aware Gonçalo Amaral keeps being smeared in the British Media over Joana Ciprano's Mother- Leonor Cipriano, who is in jail after killing her 8 year old daughter. On the other day I tried to explain to a poster in a Forum, my views on the Joana Cipriano Case and why did the British media kept misinforming the public not telling the full story, and used Leonor Cipriano, a monstrous infanticider, to attack and undermine the PJ's credibility.

Here is the that story, not suitable for sensitive readers.

For a better understanding of the PJ in this case:

Regarding the smears against Gonçalo Amaral

[My answer to the other poster who said she didn't trust Amaral]:

"Do you know Mr. Amaral personally? Or are you judging him for what you read the british tabloids- aka gutter press aka mccann’s media? What do you know about him, the Judiciary Police or the system of Justice in Portugal?

I’ll give you my opinion regarding the book ‘Truth of the Lie’ – ‘Verdade da Mentira’.
“It is going to explain the whole lie that was created and to put in question the institutions that investigated and that are connected to the case ”

The fact is that the Judiciary Police Organic (Structural) Law took almost 2 years to be promulgated after it was approved at the “Concelho de Ministros” - ‘Ministries Council’(don’t know if I can translate like this), that huge delay undermined and affected greatly the work of the PJ.
It was passed at 10th April 2008 with the votes of the PS (socialist party) only.

The law in itself would and will close some of the Police departments, like the DIC in Faro, and others in Portugal.

Some elements like Paulo Rebelo, Gonçalo Amaral even asked for their resignations as PJ Chief inspectors and coordinators of Portimão’s DIC as a way to express that they were not pleased.

The Judiciary Police, though it has a union - ASFIC, the Criminal Investigation Officers' Union - lead by Carlos Anjos is severely paralysed by the lack of means and the lack of payment of overtimes: there are investigations that are doing the minimum services.

Last time (21 April 1989/ PSD - right wing government) Police Officers tried to go on strike, one of the most horrible situations happened. Police forces pro and anti strike met in Terreiro do Paço, a big square in Lisbon’s downtown, and a battle between them started, luckily no one pulled the guns, but there were lot’s of injuries because ’shock’ police forces appeared with dogs and water cannons. Horrible scenario, even now subsists some hatred between those who fought for the right to strike over poor conditions in the Police force, and those who attacked them.

The name of that fight is now remembered symbolically as the : “Secos e Molhados” - “Dry and Wet” day which the various Police unions now celebrate as a day never to be forgotten. A symbol for their fight.

See the videos remembering that day 18 years ago

Another fact that Mr.Gonçalo Amaral is going to probably explore in his book is why Alípio Ribeiro, national PJ’s director who talked to the media was supported by Alberto Costa the Minister of Justice and not sacked like Gonçalo Amaral was “removed of Maddie’s investigation” and like Olegário de Sousa, the PJ’s PR was taken off the case for speaking “too much to the media”. There are more internal situations which would be hard to explain to foreigners but now maybe you understand a bit better the reason for the book. Freedom of speech, democracy, dignity, morals are not empty words in Portugal.

About the Cipriano case, and for those who defend neglectful parents: Why you defend child killers and paedophiles like Leonor and João Cipriano as well ? Did you know that Joana’s blood was found inside the freezer of the Cipriano’s house, in a T-Sirt, in another Shirt, in the sofa? Did you Know that it was confirmed by Laboratory analyses that some of Joana’s clothes (like her knickers) had traces of sperm and blood, that her bed had traces of sperm. That Leonor and João Cipriano were brothers and had sex with each other. That João Cipriano explained step by step how he carved Joana’s body and how they gave her body parts to the pigs (who eat everything). Did you Know? Or are you defending something which cannot be defended. Where is your moral, do you have ANY left? Can you imagine the SUFFERING OF A LITTLE GIRL BEING RAPPED AND SODOMIZED?"

And the discussion continued where I explained to the same poster my opinion on the case:

"...the problem was how Amaral was portrayed in the British Media. Did you know that there was a line up of all the Police officers that Leonor Cipriano accused allegedly of torture, and she failed to recognize any of those officers? Did you know that Leonor gave several statements to the Portuguese Media in a similar way to the McCanns, crying and everything. That only after a year in jail or so, she stated that Joana wasn’t dead but she was sold by a uncle who had drug problems, however in court she never showed any remorse while the video of the carving of Joana’s body re-enacted by her brother, João Cipriano, was displayed. Many “consumers” of British Media have another idea, and that’s because most British journalists covering Madeleine McCann abduction strongly believe that truth never should be allowed to “kill” a good story. Even if I means destroying the reputation of an experienced DIC Chief-Inspector- Gonçalo Amaral.

Leonor Cipriano only reported to the Police the disappearence of her 8 year old daughter, Joana, after 2 days, she gave several interviews to the media and newspapers


1 – Joana Cipriano vanished from a small place 10 km in the outskirts of Portimão. Last time somebody saw her, she was on her way to a local groceries shop;
2 - Her mother, Leonor Cipriano, only reported to Police her daughter has disappeared two days after;
3 – After a long and difficult investigation, headed by Chief-Inspector Gonçalo Amaral, Leonor Cipriano and her brother were accused of murdering the eight years old child;
4 – The body of Joana Cipriano was never found, but samples of her blood were found in her mother refrigerator;
5 – Her mother justified those samples of blood admitting she had beaten Joana, for some reason, she was hurt and she bleeded from her nose;
6 – Leonor Cipriano and her brother, who had a incestuous relationship, were sentenced to 16 years in jail, for the murder of her daughter and niece;
7 – Before the trial, Leonor Cipriano accused five CID officers of beating her, trying to extract a confession. She named the five CID officers, and included Chief-Inspector Gonçalo (”Amaral Lector”, according to British tabloids…);
8 – The Public Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal investigation and ordered a police line-up, with the CID officers named and accused by Leonor Cipriano of beating her;
9 – The line-up took place with Leonor Cipriano behind a two-way mirror and she couldn’t recognize any of the aggressors;
10 – The Public Prosecutor’s Office magistrate that was in charge of the criminal investigation decided to accuse the five CID officers, but didn’t mentioned, in the accusation sent to the Court, that Leonor Cipriano couldn’t identify any of the aggressors, in the police line-up;
11 – Leonor Cipriano never confessed the murder of her own daughter. Her brother, in a letter written from jail, accused Leonor Cipriano of selling her daughter;
12 – Police is convinced (and the jurors at the trial found enough evidence to pass a verdict of guilty) that Leonor Cipriano and her brother were found, by Joana, having sexual relations, when she came home, back from the groceries shop. As Leonor Cipriano had a lover, at the time, they were afraid she would tell him what she saw;
13 – So, they beat her, in order to frighten her and keep her mouth shut up;
14 – Perhaps accidentally, they beat her so violently that they killed her. So, they decided to get rid of he body and cut it in pieces, keeping some of them in the freezer, while they gave the other pieces to be eaten by pigs (this is what police believes is the strongest possibility, because there was no other trace of Joana Cipriano, unless the blood samples in her mother freezer…)
15 – The body of Joana Cipriano was never found.

Reconstitution videos explaining how Leonor and João Cipriano beat Joana, killed her and carved her body

Joana’s uncle had contempt for human life*

Leonor and João Cipriano, who have been held on remand for over a year, stood silently and without emotion as they heard prosecutor José Pinheiro outline his case. He described João Cipriano as a man who “has contempt for human life, psychopathic tendencies and difficulty in controlling impulses”. Pinheiro also castigated Joana’s mother for her “emotional instability, insensitivity and disregard for other people’s needs”. Only when Pinheiro announced that he was pressing for a 24-year jail term for both defendants did Leonor show emotion, sobbing uncontrollably.

Pinheiro explained why his team was pressing for such a long sentence. “The defendants’ guilt is heightened by their cold and calculating behaviour after their child’s death, as well as the devious manoeuvres they adopted to conceal the crime,” he said.

The trial included key testimony from Joana’s stepfather, António Leandro, who related that Leonor had confided to him that she had had a sexual relationship with her brother. He also told the court that during this conversation, which took place a few days after Joana’s disappearance, at judicial police headquarters, Leonor had admitted that she and her brother had killed the little girl.

A key element of the prosecution’s case rests on the fact that the couple dismembered the girl’s corpse. António Leandro, confronted with photographs of tools allegedly used by the couple, said he recognised a saw he had kept at home. In the video taped confession, João Cipriano admitted that the body of the girl was dismembered and placed in a refrigerated trunk. A doctor involved in the case, Albino Santana dos Santos, conceded that body parts, matching the size of a girl of Joana’s height, could have been stuffed inside the trunk.

*source for above: Portugal Resident

And my final answer to the same poster:

"It’s not quite as you say is it xxxxx? The Press didn’t embellish/adjust, they’ve hidden the truth and defamed Gonçalo Amaral spinning only parts of the Cipriano case. And the reasons that made the British Press to take that stance and maintain a racist editorial guideline is relevant to understand the development of the Maddie case in the Media. The abuse of the press calling a CID Inspector of Pig, Fat, Lazy, Drunk was without a doubt an attempt to undermine Amaral’s reputation and an attack to the Judiciary Portuguese Police. It’s not even ethical in any journalists code to express systematically such biased opinions and sometimes even lies, manipulating the general British public and setting off a war of words between two countries."

Regarding my personal fight as a Portuguese Citizen:
"I, myself felt desperate at times not understanding the reasons behind the support given to the McCanns by the British press and the British authorities, I even felt disgusted and embarrassed with Alípio Ribeiro's attack in the media to the PJ officers handling the case and the Minister of Justice Alberto Costa, support of Alípio after Olegário de Sousa and Gonçalo Amaral were removed from the case for apparently the same exact reasons.

Worst of all, was when we knew that our Prime Minister José Socrates and Gordon Brown talked about this case, and it was obvious then, for most of the Portuguese citizens, that Gordon's implication and pressure in this case could almost undoubtedly mean the McCanns would never be considered guilty.

Sometimes I felt like dropping everything and close my eyes to all the injustice, racism, media attacks but then I found out that I'm very proud of my small and beautiful country and even prouder of our people and history; and though writing a blog and putting my self at risk using my real name I'll keep on defending my country. Unlike others who are in the government and in the right positions to do so but seem to be cowards."

The Star of Joana - A Estrela de Joana
A summary of the Paulo Pereira Cristóvão's book done by Astro

The story is about a team of three investigators from the PJ in Lisbon, who are called in to the Joana case almost a month after the child went missing. Joana was last seen at a small cafe in the village where she lived, Figueira, on the early evening of September 12, 2004. She was sent by her mother to buy some cans of tuna and a package of milk. She was repoted missing by her mother and her partner the next day, at the GNR station in Portimão.

When the three PJ members from Lisbon are called in, Joana's mother Leonor Cipriano and her uncle João Cipriano (Leonor's brother) are in preventive custody, suspected of killing Joana and of concealing her body. The three inspectors from Lisbon - Cristóvão, Marques Bom and Leonel - are brought in to help with their interrogations, as João Cipriano has confessed to killing his niece, and then has led the Faro inspectors on several wild goose chases, claiming to show them where the body is, but the PJ always return empty-handed.

The triad arrives in Faro and immediately meets Guilhermino da Encarnação, the director of PJ in the Algarve, and Gonçalo Amaral, who is leading the investigation into the Joana case. They are visibly exhausted, and they welcome the help from Lisbon, as their personnel has hit a dead end, and have exhausted all their resources.

The interrogations begin almost immediately, and Cristóvão soon notices that João Cipriano, who seems to be a rather primitive character, is actually very smart in an uneducated way. He has developed defences over the many hours of tentative interrogations that were performed by PJ investigators before. So Cristóvão tries a different path, by apparently befriending João, and deliberately ignoring his attempts to lead him in yet another outing to supposedly show him where Joana's body has been hidden.

Leonor is also interrogated by Cristóvão. The picture of the Cipriano family starts to draw itself. The siblings - João has a twin sister - admit to having sexual intercourse with each other as if this was absolutely normal, Leonor has an array of children from different partners which include a teenage daughter who cannot even bear to hear her mother's name, they have never experienced a stable family environment, being utterly incapable of thinking about anyone else except themselves. Leonor lives with a man, Leandro, in a house in Figueira. There is one bedroom that is used by Leonor, Leandro and their 2 small children. The other room was shared by Joana and a male adult friend of Leandro, Carlos. Joana adored her mother, in spite of all the abuse she suffers at her mother's hands. Leonor often sends Joana at 3 or 4 a.m. to walk to a nearby cake factory, because Leonor likes to eat warm cakes. Joana draws cardboard hearts where she writes that she loves her mother.

Gradually, an even more sinister picture starts to emerge. The detectives soon discover that João has several different sex partners apart from his sisters. A more or less regular partner confides that she has to have sex with him even when she is suffering menstrual cramps, because she is terrified of what he would do to her if she refused. Leonor is also visibly afraid of João's temper, and she obeys him blindly. Once left alone in an interrogation room with João, the detectives overhear a conversation where João tells Leonor that they must now tell everyone that a mysterious Spanish man took Joana away.

During one of the interrogations, João, who has mood shifts, ends up confessing voluntarily to having beaten Joana, who hit a wall with her head and collapsed dead on the floor. He says he was having sex with Leonor while the girl had been out on her errand, but Joana returned and saw them. She said she would tell Leandro about what she saw. The child tried to run out of the house, but was dragged back in by João and Leonor. Leonor slapped her, and then João also slapped the girl. The child flew against a wall, bumped her head and dropped dead on the floor. He then cut up her body and stored it in plastic bags in the family's freezer. Cristóvão, the detective who is interrogating him, asks some specific questions about the process of cutting. João's answers chillingly detail the process, including correct information about the difficulty in separating certain joints. He also tells Cristóvão that all 4 adults - João, Leonor, Leandro and Carlos - ended up knowing that Joana was dead, as he and Leonor showed the bags in the freezer to Leandro and Carlos when they arrived home, later that evening. João later repeats his confession in the presence of his lawyer, and duly signs it.

The detectives return to Figueira, now with a forensics team, to check whether the information that João has given them yields some traces of evidence. Their discoveries turn out to be much more than they bargained for. They discover the orange flip-flops that Joana was supposedly wearing the evening she vanished. Then they turn the uv light to the wall where João told them the child had hit her head before collapsing dead on the floor.

Her face is clearly 'drawn' on the wall, also two small hands that left a trace that goes down the wall, showing Joana's last movement. They also discover the prints of her hands on the frame of the house's outer door, that were left there at the moment when she tried to escape. João had told Cristóvão how Joana had tried to cling to the door frame, and they had to pull her back in by her legs. Everything is photographed.

On the sofa where allegedly João was having sex with his sister, no traces of bodily fluids were found. But the forensics team detects blood residues on one of the sofa's feet. They also discover several traces of sperm on a bedcover that is on Joana's bed, as well as on the pillows and on the wall next to the bed. Everything is taken by the forensics team, to be tested in their lab.

Meanwhile, the investigators watch a video capture that was made by an amateur videographer who was filming a local festivity on the evening of September 12, the evening that Joana disappeared. Leandro, Leonor's partner, is coincidentally captured on tape. At that time, he is supposedly searching the area for Joana, as all four adults had stated earlier. But the camera films Leandro at the bar, having a beer. He is not searching for anyone. He has hid head hanging, his eyes focused on the ground, with a deeply sad demeanour about him.

Back in Faro, at the PJ's offices, detective Cristóvão confronts Leonor with what João has told them about the child's death. He omits the part of the body being dismembered. Leonor thinks her partner, Leandro, has denounced her to the police. She finally starts to cry and tells the detective that João cut the body up, and put the pieces inside bags, and into the freezer. Marques Bom takes Leonor away into another room, while Cristóvão writes down what happened. Leonor will have to repeat everything later, in the presence of a lawyer, to validate her confession. As Cristóvão is finishing his report, he hears a commotion outside. He finds Marques Bom and another detective, Antonio, on the floor of the staircase, with Leonor. Gonçalo Amaral also arrives to see what the noise is about. Marques Bom says Leonor asked to go to the toilet, so they stood outside the toilet's door and waited for her to come out. But she opened the door, raced past the detectives towards the stairwell and tried to jump off the railing. They managed to prevent her from jumping, but she then threw herself off the stairs.

Leonor is brought back to the prison. During the night, Cristóvão receives a phone call informing that Leonor has a bump on her head that is swelling up, so two other detectives take her to a local medical centre. The doctor who examines her says the bump is not serious, but there is an internal blood spill and the woman should rest lying down, to prevent the blood from descending into the eye area. They take the woman back to prison. Later on, Leonor will be counselled by someone at the prison to press charges against the detectives, saying they beat her in order to extract a confession.

The picture that is later published in several newspapers shows blood around her eyes, but absolutely no trauma to the eye area. Leonor will also later fail to identify Marques Bom and Leonel at a line-up. She will identify Cristóvão, who was the element that spent most time interrogating her, but she will state formally that Cristóvão never hit her.

A few days later, Cristóvão receives a phone call from Teresa, the forensics team leader that went with the detectives to the house in Figueira. She has results from the tests: the blood that was found on the foot of the sofa, is from one of Leonor's children. But it is not from Joana, nor from the 2 small children that live in the house, and not from her teenage daughter, either. The blood comes from a descendant of Leonor, but none of the known children matches the DNA profile. The residues that were collected from Joana's bed and from the wall next to her bed don't give conclusive results. The blood sample that was detected in the freezer is human, but it is impossible to extract DNA from the sample.

Meanwhile, the detectives talk to a convict in another prison, who shared a cell with João when he was imprisoned years earlier for aggression. The convict had spoken to João about the crime that he had committed, the homicide of a man, and he had told him that his biggest mistake had been to tell the police where they could find the body of the man he had killed. This convict had taught João that nobody could be convicted without a corpse, and he had also taught João about the art of the Triangle. To kill in one location; to dump the body at another location; and finally to move into another location. On a map, these 3 locations form a triangle. The investigators remember that João had confessed to killing in Figueira. He had then gone to the junk yard that Leonor's partner Leonel operates. And finally, he had gone to his twin sister's house. This constituted a triangle.

The detectives bring João into the PJ's offices once again. Cristóvão sits in front of him, and draws a triangle on a sheet of paper. João smiles and completes the drawing with three names, one at each vertex of the triangle: Figueira, Junk yard and Casa Alta, the location where his twin sister lives. The investigators know they must go to the junkyard. They drive there with João. He tells them he placed the bags inside a red car that was going to be pressed and destroyed, but the car is not there anymore.

Later, an informant that wanted to remain anonymous tells the investigators that he saw Leandro and Carlos, on the day after Joana disappeared, driving their truck with an old red car on top of it. They went into the direction of Spain, and the informant thought it was odd because a Spanish foundry came to the junk yard regularly every month to pick up the cars for disposal. They had no apparent need to drive an old car into the Spanish foundry, as they could wait for the regular pick-up. The detectives go into Spain and visit the foundry. The place is huge, and the detectives decide they need to go back to Faro and formally ask the Spanish authorities for help.

But when they arrive back in Faro, they are summoned to return to Lisbon immediately. They were taken off the case because Leonor has filed a complaint against them for assault.

On November 11, 2005, the Portimão court condemned Leonor Cipriano to a sentence of 20 years and 4 months in prison, and João Cipriano to 19 years and 2 months in prison, for qualified homicide and concealment of the body of Joana Cipriano. The Supreme Court later determined a sentence of 16 years each, for Leonor and her brother João.


  1. The Pro McCanners regularly cite the Joana Cipriano case as proof of the corruption withing the P.J and to argue that the McCanns are being framed.
    Untill reading that we had scant information on the Cipriano trial and all we really knew was the claims of beatings and forced confessions, it was not nice to read but it puts a totally different slant on the detectives accused of the enforced confessions.
    The only pity is, the McCanns created such a media circus it made it impossible for the P.J to do their job.

  2. Gonçalo Amaral was removed from Madeleine's case because he had criticized the British police.

    Everything else that the McCann's dish out to the public is a lie.

    Then again, if they are defending... killers, what can I say?

  3. Joana Morais,

    Thank you for providing us with this information.

    Even today the UK media(Sky News) has twisted and spun Sofia Leal's letter to try and make her out to be a ranting fool.
    It is clear from the FULL letter that she is no fool and is a good woman.


  4. I have no hesitation giving my real name unlike others who have posted. Free speech is very important. With it comes responsiblity. There is not a shred of evidence that Madaleine's parent's were involved in her death. Frankly, the idea is absurd to any thinking person. I am sure that she is alive somewhere. In the meantime I would suggest that those who harbour hurtful thoughts for their own reasons and then put them in print think about the responsibility of free speech.


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