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Anatomy of a badly told story

From the blog of Frederico Duarte Carvalho, a journalist and author, an excellent analysis of the timeline:


“There is still so much to discover inside the process”, I was told a few days ago by the former coordinator of the PJ, Gonçalo Amaral, when together with João Vasco Almeida, I interviewed him for “Focus” – see the edition of tomorrow, the 13th. The author of the book “Maddie – Truth of the Lie” (140 thousand copies sold and foreseen translations for Spain and Germany) gave us what was the first interview after the case left the premises of the judicial secrecy. So, the former coordinator accepted to look to the computer where we had the DVD with the process open, and pointed his finger at the moment where the fatal contradiction of the witness statements by some of the main players in the night when the alert to the disappearance of the English girl in Praia da Luz was raised, is registered: “No member of the media has ever crossed those depositions”, Gonçalo Amaral said to us.

It is all in the first of the 17 volumes, which run to 4713 pages. It was the contradiction between the initial statement from Jane Tanner, a marketing manager, and the one from her companion, doctor Russell O’Brian, that raised the suspicions that the marketing manager might be lying when she said she had seen an alleged abductor carrying a child. This happened as early as the 4th of May, within the first hours after the disappearance.

Russell O’Brian, a doctor and Jane Tanner’s husband, worked directly with Madeleine’s father, Gerry McCann, for six months. They became fathers at approximately the same time, as Russell’s older daughter is just one month older than Madeleine. When the witness statements from Gerry, Jane and Russell were crossed, the PJ’s investigators realized that “the story was badly told”.

According to Gerry McCann’s witness statement, which was registered in the PJ’s offices at 11.15 a.m. on the 4th of May 2007, fourteen hours after the facts, it can be verified that Madeleine’s father left the ‘Tapas’ restaurant approximately half an hour after he arrived there. Before him, another member of the holiday group, Matthew Oldfield, had already checked the windows and confirmed that they were closed and that all the children in the group should be sleeping. When Matthew returned to the group, he communicated it to those who were present. At that same moment, Gerry got up and went for a new verification. That would have been at 9.05 p.m. Madeleine’s father entered the apartment with the key, went to his children’s room, verified that the twins were well, just like his older daughter. Gerry then went to the toilet, where he stated he remained for a few instants. He left and crossed paths with a British friend, Jez, whom he had met during the holidays and with whom he used to play tennis. The friend was walking his baby, as she was having difficulties to sleep. They both chatted for a bit until Gerry returned to the restaurant.

The witness statement from Jane Tanner, which was collected at 11.30 a.m. on Friday, the 4th of May, registers the fact that she left the restaurant at around 9.10 p.m, approximately five minutes after Gerry. Jane went to her apartment to check if everything was well with her daughters. At that moment, on her way to the apartment, she guarantees that she crossed with Gerry while he was talking with his tennis friend. She stressed to the PJ that she passed them both, knowing that Gerry had already been in his apartment to check on his children.

The contradiction appears when this statement is crossed with the one from her husband, Russell O’Brian. The latter only spoke to the PJ on the evening of the 4th of May, at 9.50 p.m., almost 24 hours after the facts. Russell confirmed that Gerry and Jane left almost simultaneously. But he stated that his wife must have returned first because she would have met Gerry talking with his tennis friend. This was where a very important doubt was born, to understand the key moment of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The questions assaulted the minds of the PJ’s investigators: Did Jane Tanner see Gerry talking with his friend when she was coming back from the apartment, like she suggested to her husband, or on her way up?

After all, if Gerry and Jane left almost simultaneously, with only five minutes between them then how was it possible for Gerry to check his children in the bedroom, to go to the toilet – where he stayed for a while -, to return to the restaurant and even stop to chat with his tennis friend within only five minutes, to a point where Jane guaranteed that, when she passed them both on her way to her apartment, Gerry was already on his way back? Is it possible that Gerry was chatting with Jez while he was still on his way to the apartment, after all? And how to explain the fact that neither Gerry nor his friend – who was later questioned in England – ever remember seeing Jane, despite the fact that she stated that when she passed them, they were all on the same sidewalk?

This whole contradiction is relevant to the case when one realizes that, according to the testimony from Jane Tanner – which is further sustained by a scheme that she drew concerning these movements -, she states that after passing Gerry and Jez by, while walking into the direction of her apartment, she saw, a few metres ahead, on the corner, an individual carrying a child. Never on her way back. It would be that testimony that would become the base that sustains the entire abduction theory that still remains in so many people’s minds. And the suspect was walking into the direction of Robert Murat’s villa. Therefore, it was Jane’s testimony that, despite the contradictions, came to sustain the entire abduction theory that pointed towards Robert Murat.

The first description that was made by this friend of the couple pointed towards a man aged between 35 and 40, slim, 1,70 m tall, very dark, thick hair that was short but long in the neck area. As she had only seen him from behind, she could not detail his face. But that didn’t prevent her from asserting, later on, that she had indeed seen Robert Murat.

Jane also said that she returned to the restaurant after checking on her children, and guaranteed to the PJ that Gerry was no longer on the street talking to his friend, because she found him at the ‘Tapas’ in the company of his wife, Kate. After 15 to 20 minutes, it was time for Jane’s husband, Russell O’Brian, to check on his daughters, accompanied by Matthew Oldfield. The latter passed through the McCanns’ apartment but failed to verify whether Madeleine was in bed or not, as he admits that he was only concerned about hearing any noises from the inside. Meanwhile, Russell stayed in his bedroom caring for his daughter, which is why Jane ate rapidly and went to relieve her husband from the bedroom. Russell returned to the restaurant and that was the moment when Kate got up to check on her three children’s sleep. It was 10 or 10.15 p.m., and Jane Tanner was in her apartment when she heard Kate McCann and another friend from the group, Fiona Payne, shouting that Madeleine had disappeared. From that moment on, it would be utter confusion, which led us into a situation that dragged on for months, and finally ended for now, with the case being archived without a corpse or an abductor appearing.

If anyone abducted or concealed Madeleine McCann’s cadaver, that was, until this moment, the perfect crime.

source: 'Para mim tanto faz', 12.08.2008


  1. Thank you for the timeline. I don't think this kind of information from the released Police files is available in the British media. Particularly the Press here in the UK appear to be working on two fronts, (1) publicising the abduction version of events and (2) discrediting the Portuguese Police. Anything that does not serve these routes appears to be left out or receive a distorted report.

  2. One important question that a poster on Anorak kept repeating over and over is, when Kate found Madeleine missing, why didn't she go next door to Jane Tanner's apartment to see if for some reason Madeleine was there? Kate would have known that Jane was there caring for her ill daughter. Madeleine could have woken and was crying and Jane brought her over to the apartment to keep her comforted while the others ate dinner. Unless Kate already knew Madeleine's fate, why wouldn't she check with Jane first before running back to the bar? Why wouldn't she at least raise the alarm with Jane and specifically ask her to watch over the twins while she ran to the bar?

    Kate's response to Madeleine being missing does not make sense, unless the abduction scenario was a set-up, as Mr. Amaral believes.

    If the McCanns are ever proven guilty of hiding the corpse and pretense of an abduction crime, Jane Tanner needs to be prosecuted for false testimony and obstruction of justice, imo.

  3. How the fuck did this bunch of evil bastards get away with this with the blatant inconsistencies within their statements? When you read the timeline in this article it makes it easier to understand why the P.J so quickly dismissed the testimony of Jane Tanner...Its disgusting that as a mother of a child of near identical age Tanner would go along with the plot to dispose of Madeleine's body, she is a low life scum who ought to be ashamed, I hope the people of Britain are starting to see just how duplicous the whole tribe of them are. The long and short of it is by covering the McCanns in this heinous crime they are actually denying a child any dignity or justice in death and are condemming Madeleine to remain for eternity where ever the filthy scum dumped her....God bless her.

  4. Viva!

    Será mesmo que os Jornalistas?

    ....at the moment where the fatal contradiction of the witness statements by some of the main players in the night when the alert to the disappearance of the English girl in Praia da Luz was raised, is registered:

    “No member of the media has ever crossed those depositions”,

    ********há estrelas no céu*******

  5. Truthseeker,

    You have, in my humble opinion, brought up what is the MOST relevant question, currently, on all of this issue: how can the press of what seemed to be a democratic nation (yes, I'm referring to UK so there be no doubt about the intended use of the word "seemed") be so subservient to the interests of the government that currently rules it?

    I think that beyond a shadow of a doubt ("reasonable" has lost reason long, long, time ago) the McCanns & friends are lying for own survival reasons. The evidence is overwhelming, that they have become pathetic. The laughing stock of all. Yet, as you say, the british press is suddenly commited by an extreme case of dumbness. Everybody knows that if a fact never gets to see the face of a printed page (I believe the internet and world bloggers will change that) it ceases to be a fact. Stories will merge and mold its history, knowing that a lie told a thousand times will eventually become the truth. Mr Gordon knows this. From a foreigner's point-of-view I dare say that Mr Putin was never able to control his press that good.

    Maddie is dead. Most likely by manslaughter of her parents. Who, until proven otherwise have profited by that fact (a friend told me that you can never stoop so low that you are unable to stoop lower...), and Britain, and its citizens, remains silent and but supportive of these shameful facts.

    I'm thinking of starting a blog with a name in the likes of "AREYOUBRITSSTUPIDORWHAT", to do my part, for Maddie's sake, to bring some dignity to this case. I do believe to be your duty to bring your own to the earthly justice they deserve.

    The world was once told, through fiction, who was "afraid of Virginia Woolf", and has now discovered, by cold reality, who is terrified of Mr. Brown (and some millionaires): Great Britain.

  6. This is the first I have read of Gerry McCann, at his 9:05 checking, using a key to unlock the apartment. Was this door the door next to the car park? If it was, why would he have walked all the way around the apartment building to that door, instead of using the patio doors, which were much closer? What was he looking for or doing near the public street and car park?

  7. Its the clearest the time line inconsistencies have been pointed out.
    Jane Tanner in my view is every bit as guilty as the McCanns,perhaps worse, for them its self preservation but whats motivating her in this? I mean she is a mother of a girl of near as damn it the exact same age as Madeleine, when she is furnishing the McCanns with spurious allegations of abductor skulking in to the night, she is doing far more than just aidning and abettting the McCanns or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, she is in effect ensuring Madeleine is still denied dignity or justice and she is condemming madeleine to remain for etenity where ever the rotten bastards dumped her.
    Tanner has no conscience ad one day her child will know the wicked part she played in the Madeleine McCann saga.

  8. We all know jane tanner's account of the 'abductor' has been totally discredited - the lying little mare - but what of the Smith sighting? How come Mitchell and co. are not jumping up and down demanding to know what action has been tken to trace this guy? as far as I'm aware there's been nothing but silence from team mccann on this one? Seems mighty strange as no-one, apparently, doubts the Smiths' account of this sighting.

    oh, but of course, it would be the final nail in the coffin of Tanner's time line, wouldn't it? and the Smiths, well, they knew Murat, didn't they? They knew it wasn't him - just someone who looked like shifty mccann. Oh dear, it just gets worse and worse.

  9. Well, Anonymous, he was proving that the door was locked and they were good parents :)

  10. Textusa,
    I think you are right. Some people keep shouting 'abduction' loud and wide trying to convince the world. Let's hope not lies but the TRUTH will prevail.

  11. Speak your mind,

    My opinion everybody in the T9 has exactly the same to lose, which was what triggered this lying snowball that has engulfed even the UK government itself and a nations credibility. They discovered that Madeleine's death would open a Pandora's box of that particular group, which would disgrace them on the eyes of their fellow countrymen, they chose to invent the lie. It was an unplanned and, obviously not well thought out or substanciated. The thing grew like an evil cancer, and is as big, dak and evil as we know it today.

    About what the Pandora box would reveal, besides the obvious boozing (funny on how many bottles were drank with so few people at the table at a time... just the time to drink a whole bottle, go check the McCanns children, come back, drink another bottle, and get up to check on the McCanns children again) and child neglect by all (funny on how everybody checks on the McCann's children, whilst the other children are only checked by their parents, which reveals an uncommon perception of what the near future would bring...), again in my opinion, some promiscuous behavior would revealed. Just to uncover the tip of the iceberg the story about Payne and his peculiar need on finger sucking and nipple fondling while talking about a particular child. And who is RP married to? Ah... JT.

    Hope, this, in someway, answers your question.

  12. Textusa..It does thanks....you see it as I do, The pyne allegations are at the root of this I am sure, I am also sure that this is what gets the McCanns the help from those high up... I think it all boils down to paedophillia, I thought at the start paedophiles within the group..and perhaps the bristish government...hope this is not to outspoken to be published!!

  13. This thread is getting long, but I should, first of all, apologise for getting the "marriage initials" all mixed up. Makes little difference, as they are all involved. But unlike some people, I like to speak truthfully.

  14. Textusa,

    Your views and comments are mirrored by the thousands of British forum commentators in this case.

    The Labour Government broke it's manifesto to the electorate by refusing a referendum, as Ireland did, for the Lisbon Treaty. The country has been run on the basis of spin and lies, including the invasion of Iraq. Self seeking Labour politicians have 'silenced' the electorate on many serious issues in their march towards 'Federal Europe'. Corrupt practice is as rife in the EU as the current Government; the rights of the British and 'gagging' the British is standard Government practice.

    Everyone I know and speak to, from all walks of life, are as sickened by the Government's behaviour as yourself; voters are simply biding them time and will 'oust' them at the next General Election.

    Brown seconded Mitchell from the Home Office - media monitor and controller - to run the PR campaign. Mitchell, ex BBC employee and journalist appears to have comfortable arrangements with the press.

    The behaviour in the case of Madeleine's death confirms the Government's contempt for the law and justice and all those paying their salaries - British taxpayers.

    'Protecting their own' has been the Government's focus from day one. Gerry McCann sits on Government committees for starters.

    'Political correctness' is a Labour invention; translated - in multi-cultural Britain everyone has the right to free speech bar the 'natives', the English.

    The true spirit of the English, natives of a former "Great" Britain has been very evidence in forums since 3 May. The McCanns and those protecting them are typical Laborites, not typical British citizens.

  15. jolie,

    Very good point and Kate's were the only fingerprints found on the sliding window.


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