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

Spot the differences

by: Gonçalo Amaral

A three-year-old little girl is missing. The police started an investigation. It collected traces in the boot of the mother’s car that point towards the child’s death. In the car boot, the dogs marked human cadaver odour, and hair that is similar to that of the missing girl was found. The mother was charged with homicide, abuse, neglect and perjury.

It’s difficult to escape comparisons with recent cases that happened in our country. While it’s certain that every case is different, even more so because this little girl’s name was Caylee, she was a brunette and lived in the USA, there was also the creation of a fund and of an internet site, posters were distributed and bracelets were sold. It seems that in the United States justice is working, not allowing for processes to be archived awaiting better evidence, valuing indicia that results from inconsistencies or contradictions in witness statements and/or biological residues that are found in a car boot.

I don’t know whether our jurists and other experts, who oppose canine faith and defend the archiving of processes waiting for better evidence, may have something to learn from North-American magistrates and investigators, or if it’s only an issue of nationality of the dogs. Wise words were spoken by someone over the evidence of Caylee’s death: "Speaking as a father, a day doesn't pass where I wish the evidence that we have gathered didn't add up to the painfully obvious. Sadly, I cannot change the facts surrounding the investigation."

source: Correio da Manhã, 18.10.2008


  1. ..."or if it’s only an issue of nationality of the dogs."

    AN issue of nationality of many...and "status"...and....so much more....

  2. In examining the laptop of Caylee’s mother, the police found out that she purchased chloroform on the Internet and that she also visited many websites concerning missing children. Judging from the things she did she probably got her ideas from the Madeleine case. What is interesting about this case is that the DNA lab tests did not take months and that the police released tape recordings of the interrogations to the media every week.
    I haven’t heard any one in the United States media make the comparison between the two cases even though the tactics used by the mother are similar. The reason no comparisons are made publicly is because of fear of litigation. I stumbled on to one website where one of the commentators thanked the moderator for removing a comment which had pointed out the similarities between the two cases. This commentator emphasised that the McCanns had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
    The only hope for the Madeleine case is that the political situation changes in both countries. If I was an investigator, aside from the phone records, the first thing I would like to get my hands on are the credit records of the McCanns and all their associates, information that would have been made available to any investigator in any case except this one. The money trail usually leads to the criminals.

  3. Guerra,

    Do you now understand when I said that the Portuguese Police (PP) was incompetent?

    Mr. Amaral is not the PP. Nor his team. They are pawns in a wider game. A game where incompetence and PP were linked. Not by choice, but nonetheless, linked.


  4. Textusa

    I never said there was no incompetence in this case. You made it sound as if this was the only case that was handled improperly and that it was the end of the world because of it; I disagreed with your sentiments. The Madeleine case was made a political affair from day one and the incompetence came about because people in positions of authority were obsequious to the English and thus compromised their duties.
    Although the Police in the Caylee case were accused by a few as being corrupt and incompetent, there was no worldwide defamatory campaign , no ostrich type journalism and
    no politicians intervening on the behalf of Caylee's mother. The Florida police unlike the Portuguese police had access to all the basic evidence that is needed in most investigations: phone records, text messages, credit reports, timely lab results etc. there were no constraints imposed on their investigation. They still haven't found the body which shows how difficult these case can be.

  5. Mr Amarel could not see the glaringly obvious differences in these two cases.

    It was the grandmother who reported her missing after more than a month....it was the grandmother who first smelled the stench of death in the boot....it was so bad it did not need the dogs to detect it.

    Dogs were used, the little girl was just three years old and DNA was recovered from the boot of the car.

    Those are the similarities, and everything else is so different. If he can't see that, well no wonder he had no clues about Madeleine.

  6. The similarities in the two cases are the tactics used by the suspects. In both cases the reliability of the dogs is questioned. The smell in the trunk of the car was explained as being due to rotting meat and dirty diapers. The validity of the DNA results is questioned. They also wanted to do their own DNA testing. The police are attacked as having an agenda and of using the media to try the case in public. Caylee’s mother who is not religious was seen wearing a rosary around her neck. Remember how the grandparents of Madeleine were surprised by Kate and Gerry’s sudden strong religious beliefs. A website was created to accept donations from the public. T-shirts containing the missing child’s image were also made. The sightings. There is also at present an unknown benefactor who is paying the defence costs of Caylee’s mother. Despite the evidence the grandparents claim that the mother is incapable of committing such an act.
    The notable differences when it comes to the investigation are: In the Caylee case there was no political interference or worldwide media campaign against the police and the police had access to basic information such as phone and credit records. The lab tests did not take an inordinate amount of time.

  7. To “Anonymous 20/10/08 11:35”

    “Mr Amarel could not see the glaringly obvious differences in these two cases.”

    “Those are the similarities, and everything else is so different. If he (Mr. Amaral) can't see that, well no wonder he had no clues about Madeleine.”

    First of all, welcome to this humble forum, Mr. Payne. Typical of you to try and jab in the “last word” in a post already eroded by time, trying to have your way without calling the attention to yourself, as you are used to, and known to be used to. Welcome anyway.

    Let’s then talk about having clues and being clueless.

    I hope that at least you got the clue from your post that this blog receives comments like yours, thus ALL can express themselves. Not like the various British media sites that your powerful friends control so attentively. And as you can see, needless of clues, the great majority can see perfectly through your lying. I would even dare say that ALL see through your lies. Only some have decided, for reasons you know better than me, to support them. May God have pity on their souls. And on yours too, by the way.

    Another clue that one can extract from your post is that you don’t require any clue to know that no matter how much and how long you keep shouting out lies, it simply doesn’t make them truths. Much like pissing against the wind, nothing makes it to transform into rain, so when you use the media to spread your ludicrous message and think that you’re made it just “pissing” wet, well, in reality, yes, no other way to say it, you really made it pissing wet. It’s about time to give up your act, before the stench gets worse.

    Also it confirms a clue I had about you: your impetuousness. You simply cannot control yourself, so your outbursts lack rationale and are tainted with rage. And we all know the result of that, don’t we?

    Lastly, when you point out the cluelessness of Mr. Amaral, it’s a sign that that not only you have a clue of your predicament, but you ARE sure that the noose is getting tighter. Such a useless, feeble, stupid remark only reveals desperation.

    Yes, this and other blogs will eventually go away. But they will only be archived. And, one day, they will pop out again... and again… and again…

    Meanwhile, two things will happen.

    In short to mid-term, me and others like me, will enjoy ourselves to throw truth-pies right into your face. And no matter how much truth-custard you may be covered in, my arms will take a long, long time to tire out.

    In the long-term, from today (it began on May 4th, 2007) until the day you, and yours, sit at the dock, you will always be looking behind your shoulder. Always suspicious of every and any look. Pretty uncomfortable way to live…

    More importantly, the less important the subject becomes, the more expendable you guys become. And the day you will fall, you shall then see how vicious and painful are the bites of those hyena that now circle you with their sympathetic smiles…



Powered by Blogger.