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

Investigations to missing people never expire

PRIORITIES Cases involving children are considered urgent. Very often a disappearance turns out to be a crime of homicide.

by Rute Coelho

92 missing people appear in the Polícia Judiciária's database, including adults and children. The inspector Ramos Caniço points out a fundamental difference between homicide cases and the investigations to missing people: “Missing people cases never expire. Homicide cases lapse 15 years after the crime, if an arguido [formal suspect] isn't constituted.”

In the investigations to the missing there is also a principle investigators have already in mind. “Most adults disappear on their own free will.” This means the investigations to missing children are always a priority. And then there are cases that are kept in the missing persons database even though they are classed with a different category. “Madeleine McCann is a case registered as an abduction, even though there aren't any evidences that she was kidnapped.

In the cases of the missing found dead, the cause of death is, usually, an accident. Ramos Caniço gives the the example of an elderly man who was found dead by the police section that investigates missing person cases in Lisbon, just six days after being reported missing. “He fell down in a ditch close to a river three kilometres away from his house. He died of cold.”

In 2010, the missing persons section of Lisbon started investigating a case that turned out to be an homicide. “The corpse of a man was found floating in a dam in Alentejo. The man was reported as missing, however, it was an homicide case. We found the suspect in Lisbon withdrawing money with the victim's credit card and the case was transferred to the Homicide unit.”

In cases of missing children, the missing persons section of Lisbon guarantees that “at present, there is no child aged up to ten years old missing in the Lisbon area.” The exception to this being the very old cold cases.

“Processes: In 2011 the PJ had almost 60 homicide cases to solve.(...) This year alone the Homicide section of the Polícia Judiciária had to investigate 56 homicide cases carried over from last year. In 2010, the PJ initiated 187 inquests for homicide, of which 131 were verified as such, clarified and concluded. In addition to the homicides there are 92 persons still to be found. That is, over 150 ongoing investigations remain open in two areas alone: homicides and missing persons. (....)” (Note: extract from the article “More than 150 crimes waiting for a solution”, page 18, paper edition of Diário de Notícias)

“Solution of the Maddie Case is in the Process”
3 questions to...
Gonçalo Amaral
former Judiciary Police coordinator of investigations

Do you feel somewhat frustrated because the Madeleine case wasn't concluded?
Not exactly, in the Madeleine McCann case there was always plenty evidence and those are in the process. The solution to the Maddie case is in the process. I never had any doubts whatsoever of what took place that day of May 3, 2007. I didn't have doubts nor did the British police, the parents of the child were the ones who had doubts. There are more ideas of what happened in this process than in Rui Pedro's case.

How to prove the Judiciary Police thesis?
If a reconstruction of the events of that day had been enacted that would be enough. However Kate and Gerry McCann refused to participate. It's a shame.

Did you have many unsolved cases in the 30 years working for the Judiciary Police?
A few, not many. But I've spent most of my time working in drug trafficking cases. In the Azores, I got two unsolved homicide cases, but they were old cases of the 80's.

in: Diário de Notícias, January 2, 2012 - page 18, paper edition


  1. Feliz Ano Novo 2012!! to all readers & friends (and "pro-McCann couple", why not?), all the best, Joana M.

  2. According to the Dutch media, somebody found a human cadaver in one of the Windsor's proprety (a land).
    The McCanns will use this news to publish the killer of this poor person is the same who took Madeleine.
    Strange is that the UK is not telling this news.

  3. Amaral is talking about the reconstruction. I hope the Home Office will reopen this process, after the Scotland Yard is ready with the review.

    Joana, darling, you are back.
    Happy new year!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Looking forward to a little progress being made on the case in 2012 but we have learned to take things slowly! :)

  5. @2 is this the news you're referring to "Human remains found on Queen’s Sandringham Estate" http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/human-remains-found-on-queenrsquos-sandringham-estate-2977749.html ?

  6. a news item over the holidays seems to have not been noticed... british police want lie detectors to be introduced in cases where a suspected paedophile is involved..

  7. http://www.smh.com.au/world/human-remains-found-on-queens-sandringham-estate-20120103-1pivj.html

    Also in the Daily Mail

  8. I just spent the holidays in Liverpool and I brought up the Maddie case a few times. The perception there is still that Maddie was kidnapped and the PJ are inept bribe takers. It might be nothing more than regional loyalty, but mostly I think it was that people read only the mainstream media who support the McCanns for whatever reason. Very disturbing.

  9. Anon @6 this imo will put the fear of god up David Payne, yes also good that Amaral is as strong as ever.
    Yes Welcome back Joana you have been badly missed.....onwards and upwards regarding the case now, we've all had a break now and feel stronger then ever.
    The Mcs are scared they will want to settle out of court I do hope that Snr Amaral does not agree.

  10. @8 not surprised they dont seem to have brains in Liverpool, they don't feel like this in other parts of the Country.

  11. anonymous @10 please don't make racist comments, thank you.

  12. Happy New Year to Joana and her team and everyone who posts on here.

    Thank you Joana for denouncing the comments made by anonymous 10.

    I have family in Liverpool and although I can't speak for the whole of Liverpool, my family and their friends, believe the McCanns are more involved with Madeleine's disappearance than neglect.

    I came to the same conclusion when I heard the McCanns say they never physically searched for Madeleine and I discovered that they had told many lies to cover their backs. I'm disgusted that the McCanns are still able to travel hither and thither peddling their lies and making insinuations against the PJ and Goncalo Amaral.

    Funny how the McCanns never had any problem with the PJ and Snr Amaral, when they were still in Praia da Luz. They said they were quite hapy with the way they were investigating Madeleine's disappearance.

  13. Thank you Dandelion, happy new year to you and to your family, beijinhos xx

  14. ANON @ 8
    I visited Africa,U.S.A, Mainland Europe and the U.K last year and beleive it or not, Madeleine became the topic of conversation in all these places and any pro mc cann perceptions anyone had were soon discarded by the time I was finished informing them of all the facts of this case as we know them and informing them of blogs like Joana's and mccannfiles etc,I didnt find it disturbing but certainly positive and may I suggest you try the same and dont be getting yourself too disturbed!!

    A. Dubliner

  15. Goncalo calling for a reconstruction to open the case suggests all the evidence collected hitherto is not strong enough. I think the evidence IS ALREADY strong enough to go to trial. Amaral wish for a reconstruction is counterproductive and only serves to show weakness in the case.

  16. anon@ 16
    A Reconstruction would catch each and everyone of the tapas gang out BIG TIME then we would have the Real evidence of a Faked Abduction. Trying to fit a square block into a round hole comes to mind!

  17. I don't understand why the Tapas group need to be present in a reconstruction. Actors can take their place in order to do a feasibility study against the timeline provided. Please explain.

  18. @18 From the case files, Volume XVI, pages 60 to 62 - pages 4190 to 4192 of the full process - Letter from PJ (Paulo Rebelo) regarding details of proposed reconstruction (English original) | Read more on «The Cancelled Re-enactment» here: http://themaddiecasefiles.com/topic24-30.html

    Dear Stuart,

    As agreed during our visit to Leieester last week, and in order to provide an answer to the questions raised by various witnesses in the investigations into the disappearanee of the minor Madeleine MeCann, regarding the possibility of carrying out a re-enactment on the site of the events, I shall inform you the following:

    1 - Regarding the arguido or formal suspect status of Gerald McCann and Kate McCann, it is not the PJ's competence to take the decision on the respectíve clearanee. Thus, it is not possible to ensure the arguido status will be changed;

    2 - There is no need for the witnesses to be accompanied by their children. For efficiency and celerity purposes, we indeed request that the children don't accompany their parents;

    3 – The re-enactment, within the LOR, shall take place probably on May 15, 2008, between 5.30 p.m. and 11 p.m., thus covering the time period before dinner, dinner time and about an hour after having checked that the child had gone missing;

    4 – A postponing of the re-enactment will only happen if the weather conditions are extremely bad, once the sites where most part of the events took place weren’t exposed to such conditions. We also add the draft agenda to the proceedings, which we plan to be as follows:

    - May 15 – In the morning – Arrival to Portugal of the participants in the proceedings;
    - - In the afternoon – The re-enactment
    - May 16 – During the day – Preparation, by the PJ, of the records and documents of the proceedings which will be displayed, reviewed and signed by the participants;
    - May 17 – In the morning or in the afternoon – Departure of the participants.

    (continues bellow)

  19. 5 – The re-enactment will be carried out with the attendance of the nine holidaying friends, as well as, incidentally, any figurant considered to be necessary for a visualization of the events, i.e. a man carrying a child;

    6 – The re-enactment site will be isolated, as much as possible, in order to preserve the security and the integrity of the proceedings. However, we can neither assure the evacuation of the population, nor guarantee the press won’t interfere out of the security perimeter which will be established. Thus, we will do our best efforts to try and avoid picture taking by the press. However, we can not completely ensure that won’t happen;

    7 – The re-enactment will only turn out to be efficient if performed by the participants in the events, once the information provided by the same participants needs to be tested and efficiently compared on-site, and that can only be achieved by means of their own performances. Thus, the possibility of using actors has to be put aside;

    8 – The request for the presence of witnesses was submitted through the LOR; the notification for the attendance of the arguidos falls under the competence of the Public Prosecutor’s Office;

    9 – If it is their wish, the witnesses can be assisted by the Foreign Office and, in the proceedings, also by a legal representative, subject to the consent of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Within the scope of the cooperation that has been taking place, the Leicestershire Police has already been invited to be present in the proceedings;

    10 – If the conditions to make the re-enactments are achieved, the payments of participants’ airfares and the stay costs will be subject of later evaluation;

    11 – The PJ will be responsible for ensuring personal security for all the participants in the proceedings and will facilitate transfers from and to the airport, and from and to the proceedings. The PJ does not foresee any hostile environment or the occurrence of events able to put the participants’ physical and psychological integrity at risk;

    12 – The witnesses will be invited to participate in the re-enactment, but there are no suspicions over them regarding the commission of any criminal acts;

    13 – The translation services of these inquiry proceedings will be provided by private officers of the PJ;

    14 – The PJ considers this re-enactment to be highly important, and hopes the witnesses show their total cooperation, as they have been doing so far, towards finding out the truth.

    We hope we have provided the answers to all the questions raised by the participants and, for logistics and case preparation purposes, we kindly request to be informed about the participants’ respective answers until April 25, 2008.

    Best regards,

    Paulo Rebelo

  20. Public Ministry says that couple lost an occasion to prove their innocence

    The reconstruction was rendered unfeasible by obstacles that were created by the McCanns and their friends

    Kate and Gerry lost the opportunity to prove that they had nothing to do with the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine, when they and their friends rendered the reconstruction of the evening of May 3, 2007 unfeasible.

    The conclusion is drawn by the Public Ministry (PM) that, in the dispatch that archives the process, admits that the "main damage" that results from this attitude was for "the McCann arguidos", who "lost the possibility of proving what they have been protesting since they were made arguidos: their innocence regarding the fateful event".

    The PM admits that the investigation "was damaged" due to the fact that this diligence was not carried out and explains that, if the reconstruction had taken place, "it might eventually set aside, once and for all, any doubts that might subsist concerning the innocence of the missing child's parents".

    Explaining that what was requested was the clarification of "failures to meet and lack of synchrony, when not divergences", which were detected during the analysis of the set of statements that had been given, which needed to be "tested and linked together on the location of the event", the two magistrates that are responsible for the dispatch then explain what they wanted to see clarified.

    The first doubt concerns the physical proximity – real and effective – between Jane Tanner, Gerry and Jeremy Wilkins (the movie producer who played tennis with Gerry during the afternoon of Mat 3), at the moment when Jane passed them by, and which coincided with the sighting of the supposed suspect, carrying a child.

    The PM admits it is "strange" that both did not see Tanner or the alleged abductor, despite the smallness of the space and the coincidence of the time at which allegedly the three crossed ways.

    According to the PM, the reconstruction would also serve to understand in what state the window of the bedroom where Madeleine and her twin siblings slept was, given the fact that Kate guarantees that it was open. "It was necessary to clarify whether or not there was a draft, given the fact that movement of the curtains and pressure under the bedroom door are mentioned", the PM sustains.

    Another doubt is related to the checking of the children, "given the fact that, if it can be believed that said control was as tight as the witnesses and the arguidos describe it", it would be, in the magistrates' opinion, "very difficult to reunite the conditions for the introduction of an abductor in the residence and the posterior exit of said abductor, with the child, through a window with little space".

    It also remains unclear what really happened between 6.45 p.m. and 10 p.m., when Kate alerted to the disappearance.

    The possibility of a reconstruction in May was raised in mid-March. The exchange of emails that was started on March 20 between the coordinator of the investigation, Paulo Rebelo, and the English policeman who made the liaison with the McCanns and their friends, the will to be present was noticeable, but also the imposition of conditions.

    The seven friends wanted to know how it would be carried out and "conditioned" their presence to the PJ's answers. "We need a good reason to convince us", writes Rachel in one of the many emails that were transcribed into the more than 50 pages that are fully dedicated to the exchange of correspondence between the PJ and the witnesses.


  21. Closing paragraphs of the PJ's final report:

    "Addressing now, and specifically, the question relative to the diligence known as the "reconstitution of the facts" (Article 150º of the Penal Process Code), which was not performed due to the refusal of some of the integral members of the holiday group to return to our country (as documented in the Inquiry), the same would have clarified, duly and in the location of the disappearance, the following extremely important details, amongst others:

    . The physical, real and effective, proximity between JANE TANNER, GERALD McCANN and JEREMY WILKINS, at the moment when the former passed them, and which coincided with the sighting of the supposed suspect, carrying a child. It results, from our understanding, as unusual that neither GERALD McCANN nor JEREMY WILKINS saw her, or the alleged abductor, despite the small dimensions of the space;

    . The situation that concerns the window of the bedroom where MADELEINE slept, together with the twins, which was open, according to KATE. It would be necessary to clarify whether there was a draft, due to the fact that movement of the curtains and pressure under the bedroom door are mentioned, which would eventually be clarified through the reconstitution.

    . The establishing of a timeline and of the effective checking of the minors that were left alone inside the apartments, given the fact that, believing that said checking was as tight as the witnesses and the arguidos describe it, it would be, to say the least, very difficult that the conditions were reunited for the introduction of an abductor in the residence and the posterior exit of said individual, with the child, namely through a window with little space. It is added that the supposed abductor could only pass that window holding the minor in a different position (vertical) from the one that was visualized by witness JANE TANNER (horizontal).

    . What happened during the time lapse between 5.30 p.m. (the time at which MADELEINE was seen for the last time by a person that differs from her parents or siblings) and the time at which the disappearance is reported by KATE HEALY (at around 10 p.m.).

    Concerning the result of the diligences that were requested from the British authorities, as earlier mentioned, despite the fact that they were almost completely carried out, nothing new was added to the process and, consequentially, to the investigation.

    The questioning of the holiday group merely corroborated what had already been established during the investigation, without any detail that could have been reputed as especially relevant being brought forward.

    In conclusion, it results from everything that has been done, despite the efforts that were made and all investigation lines being explored, that it is not possible to obtain a solid and objective conclusion about what really happened that night, and about the present location of the missing minor.

    On the other hand, it should be referred that this investigation moved itself under conditions of exceptional media exposure, with the publication of many "news" of imprecise, inexact or even false contents, which did not help, in the least, the discovery of the truth and created, many times, a climate of unusual commotion and of lack of serenity.

    Therefore, as we do not envision, at the present moment, the execution of any other diligence within the process that might produce any useful result for the process, I submit it to your consideration, for you to determine whatever you may see as convenient."

    in: Process 201/07.0GALGS, pages 4581-4583



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