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

A few questions on the Crimewatch reconstruction

Sketch done by Jane Tanner, as part of her witness statement (2007.05.04), pointing to where she saw Gerry McCann chatting with Jeremy Wilkins (3), and a man that she believes to be the abductor (5)

«The Crimewatch programme will feature a reconstruction and interviews with Kate and Gerry McCann, who, for the first time, will appear alongside detectives working on the investigation.» BBC

«The programme, which will be screened on October 14, will ­feature a reconstruction of events in the Portuguese resort on the night of May 3, 2007. And it will highlight a series of new leads found by the team of 37 Yard detectives.» Express

«It will include a never-before-seen reconstruction of events in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on the night the then three-year-old disappeared on May 3, 2007.» Daily Star

We don't know what will be broadcast yet, or what kind of reconstruction this one will be. In any case I'll leave some questions that we will see answered, some at least, on the 14th of October.

Did Gerry and Kate take part of the reconstruction? Did the Tapas 7 take part of the reconstruction?
Were actors used? Was the reconstruction filmed in Praia da Luz? If it had been surely the PT media would have announced it. [ref. PT media reporting on McCanns/Channel 4 shooting a documentary in Portugal in 2009]. If it wasn't will the Crimewatch appeal carry a warning saying: "The following reconstruction was not filmed in Praia da Luz"?

Wouldn't it defeat the whole purpose of a reconstruction if actors were used, even more so if it isn't even shot in the same place from where Madeleine McCann disappeared? Think correct distances from the Tapas bar to the McCanns rented apartment and all that.

If actors weren't used and the Tapas 9, the McCann couple and the friends that were holidaying with them in May 2007, did take part, was anyone allowed to change their versions from the original statements to the Judiciary Police as some did in the 2009, joint ITV/Channel 4 documentary?

If actors were used which versions of the Tapas 9 statements, media interviews, documentaries was used? Who wrote the script? Who directed it?

«Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said: "Kate and Gerry remain very grateful to the Met for the work they are doing in liaison with the Portuguese authorities. Their forthcoming appearance on Crimewatch is an important stage in that ongoing process. Naturally, they hope it will lead to information that will provide the breakthrough to finding Madeleine."» Independent, Telegraph, Evening Standard, Express, etc.

I thought that an important stage would be to reopen the investigation in Portugal, something that could be achieved with a reconstruction of the events made by the Tapas 9 in situ, a reconstruction that was asked by the Judiciary Police in 2008 and was somehow rendered impossible by the Tapas 7 refusals.

Finally, will the McCanns use this Crimewatch reconstruction as a spin and/or to silence any "noise" regarding the never-taken place reconstruction requested by the Judiciary Police?

Video Extract

«The documentary reconstructs events surrounding Madeleine's disappearance using actors and based on testimony given to the Portuguese police as part of their investigations.» Broadcast by Channel 4, May 9, 2009

E – About the interest of the reconstruction

Taking into account that there were certain points in the arguidos' and witnesses' statements that revealed, apparently at least, contradiction or that lacked physical confirmation, it was decided to carry out the "reconstruction of the fact", a diligence that is consecrated in article 150 of the Penal Process Code in the sense of duly clarifying, on the very location of the facts, the following very important details, among others:

1 – The physical, real and effective proximity between Jane Tanner, Gerald McCann and Jeremy Wilkins, at the moment when the first person walked by them, and which coincided with the sighting of the supposed suspect, carrying a child. It results, in our perspective, strange that neither Gerald McCann nor Jeremy Wilkins saw her, or the alleged abductor, despite the exiguity of the space and the peacefulness of the area;

2 – The situation concerning the window to the bedroom where Madeleine slept, together with the twins, which was open, according to Kate. It seemed then necessary to clarify if there was a draught, since movement of the curtains and pressure under the bedroom door are mentioned, which, eventually, could be verified through the reconstitution;

3 – The establishment of a timeline and of a line of effective checking on the minors that were left alone in the apartments, given that, if it is believed that such checking was as tight as the witnesses and the arguidos describe it, it would be, at least, very difficult to reunite conditions for the introduction of an abductor in the residence and the posterior exit of said abductor, with the child, namely through a window with scarce space. It is added that the supposed abductor could only pass, through that window, holding the minor in a different position (vertical) from the one that witness JANE TANNER saw (horizontal);

4 – What happened during the time lapse between approximately 6.45/7 p.m. – the time at which MADELEINE was seen for the last time, in her apartment, by a different person (David Payne) from her parents or siblings – and the time at which the disappearance is reported by Kate Healy – at around 10 p.m.;

5 – The obvious and well-known advantages of immediate appreciation of evidence, or in other words, the fulfilment of the principle of contiguity of evidence in order to form a conviction, as firm as possible, about what was seen by Jane Tanner and the other interposers, and, eventually, to dismiss once and for all any doubts that may subsist concerning the innocence of the missing [child's] parents.

In this sense, the legal procedures were followed, according to the norms and conventions that are in force, and the appearance of the witnesses was requested, inviting them to be present inclusively appealing to solidarity with the McCann couple, as it is certain that since the beginning they adhered to that process diligence.

Nevertheless, despite national authorities assuming all measures to render their trip to Portugal viable, for unknown motives, after the many doubts that they raised about the necessity and opportunity of their trip were clarified several times, they chose not to attend, which rendered the diligence inviable.

We believe that the main damage was caused to the McCann arguidos, who lost the possibility to prove what they have protested since they were constituted arguidos: their innocence towards the fateful event; the investigation was also disturbed, because said facts remain unclarified.

in: Processo 201/07.0 GALGS - Volume XVII - pages 4636-4638 (Public Prosecutor's Archiving Dispatch)


  1. Surely with this crimewatch reconstruction,they HAVE GOT TO GO BY THE MCCANNS AND TAPAS TIMELINES,or will they do as the mccanns did and change a few things.
    pissed of from margate

  2. I am intrigued what the reconstruction will be of because I doubt it will be a reconstruction of the Tapas groups movements......how can they do that when they refused to do it for the Portuguese authorities? One can hope that they (SY) have gone ahead with their own actors and it corresponds with the statements given by all of the witnesses regarding times etc. Maybe Gerry and Kate don't know what's coming up in the reconstruction....or maybe they do and they are unable to do anything about it. So much stress for them just now, what with the libel trial happening at the moment aswell.....
    And, this is the first police led appeal regarding Madeleine's disappearance? Confirming that all the other appeals have been orchestrated by the McCann's themselves.
    So many questions!


    Scotland Yard's exercise is not about crime reconstruction! It is about de-construction! Which is the difference between scientific research say and reputation management or PR. :d

  4. Is Scotland Yard really this inept? Did they investigate the parents first and eliminate them, as would be the normal thing to do? Now they have seemingly become part of the McCann PR machine. Sickening.

  5. oh dear SY are under the control of the MCs, no justice or truth will come out now. There is something big and very ugly behind all of this, why not do a re enactment for the Portuguese police when they asked, was it because they wouldn't let you sit beside them, so people think you almost one of them. This is so disgusting, the investigation should be kept secret from the MCs. The whole thing stinks of favours and brethren

  6. And the British media had the gall to call the PJ inept,no it's SY who are corrupt,you don't need to be a copper to see where/who the guilty are.A pox on all their houses.

  7. I really can't see this being a real reconstruction, and Crimewatch will lose credibility if it is not real.So many people have taken time to read the files and statements and they will all know if it is a farce.

  8. Unfortunately many Brits believe what the BBC says is gospel. They fail to realise it is a government mouthpiece. The Crimewatch reconstruction will be done with Scotland Yard's blessing and since the Home Office have ordered Scotland Yard to investigate an abduction and nothing but an abduction the whole Crimewatch show will undoubtedly be a McCann love-in. Seems a coincidence that this is going out whilst the Libel Trial in Lisbon is being heard.

  9. bonsoir à tous,
    merci Joana d'être si précise et dévouée ! j'en ai marre de ces mac cann et je me demande comment le Portugal peut accepter de telles ingérences dans son propre pays !!!
    Si j'étais les autorités portugaises, je rouvrirai l'enquête, là où elle a été laissée et j'embarquerai les Tapas 9, déjà pour négligence grave envers des petits enfants !!!
    Pitié, ne me dites pas que les anglais vont faire la loi, une fois de plus !! ils viennent nous narguer avec leurs téléphones et pourquoi n'ont-ils pas coopéré en 2003 ????
    idem pour les appareils photos, caméras ou cartes bancaires
    Le Portugal ne doit pas se laisser faire et taper les poingts sur la table !! après tout, ce qu'ils aiment au Portugal, les anglais c'est le pays et le soleil, certainement pas les habitants !! oust, la folie de 2003 à aujourd'hui ne doit pas recommencer, les portugais ne méritent pas cette mascarade!

  10. OMG, such crap, we know I,t SY know it, the Powers that be know it but for that reason they will at all costs' keep the truth covered up

  11. Joana (and anyone else who doesn't live in the UK and have never seen or watched it) 'Crimewatch' typically uses actors for all its reconstructions. I can't think of any time when a victim or a witness have appeared as themselves. The actors used in Crimewatch are usually chosen so that they have very similar physical appearances to the real people they represent. The reconstructions are always set up under direction from the relevant police force and sometimes they are modified for legal or "operational" reasons. Therefore, don't be surprised if there are yet more discrepancies in what we see versus what we know (or what we think we know).

    Crimewatch is all about jogging the memory of people who may have been in the vicinity of a crime and the public are encouraged to phone in if they think they have relevant information. In it's time (over 25 years), Crimewatch has helped the UK police solve quite a number of high profile cases but unless Mr Redwood and his team have come up with some startling new information, I don't see how this upcoming programme is going to help (although they're bound to get a fair number of phone calls which can be added to the "new leads" folder).

    Like you Joana, I'm also interested in knowing exactly where the reconstruction was filmed. If it was in Praia da Luz then they've managed to keep it very quiet because surely the local press would have found out about it before now? If it wasn't filmed in Portugal, how can they say it's an accurate depiction of events? If it was filmed in the UK I'd take a bet on Pinewood Studios being the place used to set up the reconstruction. Alternatively, the BBC may have received permission to use video from other documentaries and have added in some "filler" material of their own.

  12. Reconstruction? please Redherring,, don't make mee laugh, i have bladder problem! must go now.sorry!!! love all -- Ayako

  13. @Je suis d'accord avec tout que vous avez écrit, j'ai moi même posé toutes ces questions ici, dans ce blog. Juste une petite correction, les événements ont eu lieu en 2007.

    @12 Thank you Alan for a good explanation of what to expect, really nice to see you commenting here :)

  14. 27 May 2008

    According to Sky News reports, the controversial plan was abandoned after several members of the 'Tapas Seven' were not able to attend.

    Kate and Gerry McCann had already decided not to return to Portugal for the reconstruction of the night of their daughter went missing.

    The couple said the re-enactment would do “absolutely nothing” to help find their daughter, who was three when she vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007.

    Mr and Mrs McCann, who are arguidos or suspects in their daughter’s disappearance, had been asked by Portuguese police to return to the Algarve along with the seven friends on holiday with them at the time.

    Detectives wanted to stage a reconstruction at the Ocean Club complex where the McCanns were dining, leaving Madeleine and her younger siblings in the unlocked apartment nearby.

    But the couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, have decided not to go back.

    A source close to the McCanns said: “There are no plans for Kate and Gerry and their friends to return to Portugal. They have all indicated their intentions to the police.

    “The reconstruction will only take place if Kate and Gerry and their friends agree to take part. If they don’t agree it will not happen.

    “Kate and Gerry have had grave reservations about the value of it. If the reconstruction was going to help Madeleine, nothing in the world would stop them taking part.

    “But Kate and Gerry and their friends cannot see the point of all the disruption it would cause to their busy work schedules and families if, as they believe, it will do absolutely nothing to help find Madeleine.”

    The couple’s spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: “Kate and Gerry and their friends remain committed to doing anything to help find Madeleine.

    “I don’t want to comment on what they have told police but, if they do not return to Portugal, it is because they feel it offers no value and no assistance in finding Madeleine.”

    Mr Mitchell said that if the reconstruction was televised with the chance of bringing in new leads the McCanns and their friends would agree to do it.

    He went on: “They would welcome a Crimewatch-style reconstruction which is properly broadcast for millions of people to see and could generate important new leads and fresh information.”

    But Portuguese police said they did not want the reconstruction to be filmed.


  15. Not sure whether comment #13 was a dig at me or not... I'm not Clarence Mitchell or someone from Team McCann in disguise trying to introduce any red herrings here, I'm merely trying to explain what Crimewatch is all about. The "reconstruction" will in no way be equivalent to a Portuguese police "reconstitution".

    Crimewatch is aimed at solving serious crimes that have happened in the UK. It does this by trying to jog people's memories of what they may have seen on a particular day. It has had a number of notable successes in the past but according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimewatch) only a third of its cases are solved, half of which are due to viewers' calls. In other words, the chances of someone providing a clue that solves Madeleine's "disappearance" are pretty small (if you believe in the abduction theory of course).

    In one sense, Crimewatch is a voyeuristic experience. Everyone watching gets the chance to play armchair detective and they can shudder at the awful crimes that have been shown but they can go to bed reassured by the words of the presenters who always say at the end that "the crimes shown tonight are amongst the worst that happen but they are also very rare... so please don't have nightmares... goodnight"... cue music and end titles.

    Following the main Crimewatch programme, there is usually a short follow-up programme later on in the evening with updates on calls received from the public and results from the earlier broadcast. It will actually be interesting to see what they report in terms of calls received for Madeleine.

    The timing of the programme is of course very convenient. Any bad news from Lisbon is going to be buried by the revelations of "Scrumpy" Redwood and his team.


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