Freitag, 30. April 2010

Theory (english)

An attempt at a reconstruction of a  theoretically possible course of events, based on the evidence from the files and the rogatory interviews trying to incorporate all oddities such as the supply of an old photo for search purposes, the supply of a wrong height of the almost 4 year old, the confusion about when Maddie had played tennis, the change of routine of the Thursday at breakfast, lunch, dinner and after-dinner activities, the apparently unused bed, the moved cot, and many more :

A holiday in spring after a bleak winter will surely be loaded with lots of happy expectations. Sunbathing, beach excursions, balmy nights with friends and finally time with your partner.

What happens when reality is so far from your expectations and your urgent needs? When the weather is cold and cloudy and instead of getting better, deteriorates with rain on the 5th day? When the daily chores with 3 kids under 4 years of age are not equally distributed but are left to one partner as always, especially the bathing and the difficulty of bringing them all to bed while the husband takes part in the tennis events every evening? And when he then asks the good-looking young employee to sit at the table ignoring the wife which leads to a flurry of furious messages to her best friend? When the child that is the most difficult and that alerts the neighbours with nightly crying for the father throws a tantrum on Wednesday on the playground forcing the mother to take her back to the apartment of course alone again? When this child then cannot be convinced to go to sleep and is asking for its Daddy who is already heading again towards the Restaurant with a friend after a quick shower leaving his wife alone in this stressful situation? When the child jumps onto the sofa to catch a look at the father who just passes by the window with his friend, joking as always while being responsible for the misery of the wife?

I believe that Madeleine died some time after 20:00 on May 2nd. It had been a disastrous week with bad weather and without support from Gerry for Kate with the difficult task of bringing the children to bed. Gerry, who preferred to play tennis in the evening, had ignored Kate at dinner and flirted with the aerobics teacher on Tuesday. When he left the apartment again, after only being there for a quick shower after his "Beating the Pro" tennis event until 19:30, heading off again to the Tapas and leaving Kate behind with screaming kids, the situation escalated on Wednesday. IMO Madeleine threw an extraordinary tantrum on the playground that carried on in the apartment, an incident Jane Tanner attributed to her own daughter and which was mentioned for the first time in her rogatory interview. According to her statement the crying stopped abruptly. IMO Madeleine died at this moment as a result of a blow while standing on the sofa trying to see her father who passed the window via the road below with his friend Russell. Presumably she hit her head on the windowsill or when hitting the floor behind the sofa. The crying stopped abruptly.

This special crying incident had never been mentioned before because it was just too dangerous. But they knew that a Mrs. Fenn had contacted the Police regarding the crying at Tuesday night. When the rogatories were conducted, the files had not yet been released and so they did not know that Mrs. Fenn had not been at home on the Wednesday. They suspected that she had heard the crying of the Wednesday as well and with Jane's statement wanted to pre-empt the Police should this question arise.

During the night of May 2nd it was decided to cover-up the death. The children needed their mother,who would possibly be charged with manslaughter, their careers would be ruined, the insufficient child monitoring, the nightly crying, everything would become apparent. That would make the whole group accomplices, since they all had the same relaxed attitude towards the monitoring of their children some much younger than Madeleine. Their futures would be ruined as well. With this reasoning the other parents could have been pressurised to support the cover-up. Dianne Webster though, was not trusted, she would be kept out of the know. With the initial plan there was no need for lies or deception by the friends. They would just have to act as staffage in a staged show the next evening. All they needed to do was pretend to not know. No lies would be necessary for the friends according to the initial plan. An easy way out for them. This imo applies at least for the couples Tanner/O'Brien and Oldfield who did not have a baby monitor with them. Unlike the Payne's who still complied with the cover-up although they were the proud owners of such a device. As to their reasons I can guess but won't elaborate.

Possibly, Kate had not turned up for dinner that night. To cover for her absence Rachael later claimed she had been sick that night and had stayed in the apartment. In case a waiter had remembered the number of people or men and women at the table. That Rachael was not missing at dinner is evident from the statement by Jane who claimed to have listened at the Oldfield's window that night for their daughter. Had Rachael been in the apartment this would have been an absurd act. To avoid that somebody had seen Gerry coming back alone to the apartment, Kate stated that she arrived 5 minutes after him. A more sinister scenario would be that Kate did take part in the dinner but left it to Gerry to detect the body behind the sofa by giving him a 5 minute headstart. This would explain Gerry's "cryptic" statement in a spanish interview saying nothing had been as hard as the "night we found her".

It was decided to stage an abduction the following evening. The body was therefore stored in the wardrobe in the parent's bedroom. The one cot, which had been standing in the parent's bedroom all week according to the statement of the cleaner and which probably had been used by one of the twins to avoid too many children in one room waking each other up, was placed in the children's bedroom. Kate could not fathom to sleep in the same room as her dead daughter and stayed in the bed unter the window in the children's bedroom, which had been unused on Wednesday morning but used on Thursday.

On the following morning the McCanns were not able to attend the usual breakfast. Six employees of the Millenium restaurant stated that they had attended regularly. Dianne Webster also said that she saw them on the Wednesday, the only day she attended since tennis was postponed due to the weather. The McCanns however claimed in their interviews that they had only attended the breakfast once on the Sunday, never again. The fairytale about the missing buggy that hindered them from walking the distance to the Millenium was spread via the media to enforce it. Free breakfast for 5 people not taken advantage of? Knowing Gerry it is hardly believable. And statements of seven people contradicting them. Had it emerged that they had been in the restaurant every day except the Thursday the police would have probed this evidence much more thorough. Buggies – in plural – were readily available for the excursion to the beach on Monday or Tuesday according to their own statements.

To fake an entry in the crèche records without actually leaving a child there cannot be that difficult.

There were kids from three groups, including the Junior Group, in the one room above the main reception and quite a number of nannies with changing shifts. Jane was talking about 4 or 5 nannies responsible in this room. It was not the 1 nanny with 6 children scenario Mark Warner wanted to portray. And certainly not the 1 nanny for 3 kids ratio the McCanns claimed in order to give more credit to the nanny's statement.

IMO Gerry entered the kids club together with at least one other father who happened to drop his daughter off at 9:10, signed when nobody looked and possibly chatted with one of the nannies that were present. Maybe he asked one of those that were not responsible for Maddie if she could attend the tennis again instead of the sailing, because sailing seemed a bit dangerous. Such was born the myth that Madeleine attended the Thursday tennis although she was there already on the Tuesday. In the beginning most of the friends stated that Madeleine had attended the Thursday morning tennis, Rachael even still stated this in her rogatories. The photo with Maddie on the tennis court was launched in the press as the first „last“ picture, although there had been concerns about showing the bruise on her lower right arm. Kate claimed it was a sunburn.

Kate had to attend the tennis lesson in the morning because Dianne Webster would have noticed her missing. Afterwards she went together with Fiona Payne, who collected her youngest daughter from the same building where Maddie's crèche was, to sign Maddie out of the crèche again. Possibly Russell also collected his daughter at the same time and both created enough diversion for her to do this unnoticed.

Lunchtime was used to organise the course of events for the evening. I am sure that at least Gerry took part. To avoid the only person not in the know – Dianne Webster – the usual lunch at the Payne's balcony was cancelled. For once they met at Jane and Russel's place. Most probably the only deviation from the lunch routine this week.

It was important to keep Dianne Webster away from the children's dinner at 17:00 therefore a group outing was organised without the McCanns to the beach restaurant Paraiso. Russell O'Brien first claimed to had seen his daughter in the Tapas restaurant at dinner then got his statement changed to read that he had collected her at 16:45 from the Kid's Club to take her to the beach restaurant. But he also claimed that he sailed until 16:30 and then went for a swim. He only appeared on the restaurant's CCTV at 17:52 together with his eldest daughter. Plenty of time to collect her from the children's dinner at 17:30 where she might have eaten in the presence of Gerry, the twins and possibly Kate. Then signed out as Madeleine. It would certainly have fooled the restaurant worker especially if shown an old photo of Madeleine the next day.

How can it be explained that Maddie's main nanny Catriona Baker was fooled? First of all, contrary to the statements she was not solely responsible for a little group of six children but was together with at least 2 other nannies responsible for a much larger group. They went together to the beach outings and her colleague was not sure if Madeleine had been with them on one day. So it was possible to get the days confused and the children. Secondly, Mark Warner only supplied 2 nannies for the first interviews with the police citing ONLY from the possibly faked crèche records. All other details were added much later, culminating in Cat's very vivid narration about the boat trip in her rogatories.

Her story gave me a feeling of a well-rehearsed narrative, full of unnecessary detail and with some strange words, like the colors of the boats and the expression "return to the port." This may be because we only have the condensed version available, which was also translated twice. Still, this feeling never quite left me, maybe because she was invited to the McCann's house before the rogatory interviews, so I had another close look at her report especially in light of her description of the sailing trip she gave to officer Manuel Pinho in an on-site inspection on 10th May 2007.From this latter description, the following course of events can be concluded:

Catriona Baker accompanied
5-6 children - she does not give an exact number - holding onto “Sammy snake” from the OC to the beach. Alice Stanley, a sailing instructor, occupied a little yellow sailing boat and waited for Chris Unsworth, another sailing instructor, to ferry the first 3 children with the red safety boat from the beach towards her. The remaining children stayed with Catriona on the beach. Alice did a few sailing turns before the three children returned back to the beach with Chris who then took the remaining children to Alice and the sailing boat. Meanwhile, the first group was of course with Catriona on the beach waiting for the last group to return. The trip was scheduled for roughly half an hour from 10:30 bis 11:00 clock and would have allowed for only one sailing trip for each group of three.

How can this described process now be reconciled with the statements from Catriona's rogatory interview?

In it she describes in detail that Madeleine had
cried anxiously during the crossing to the sailing boat while sitting on her lap. Did Catriona leave the other kids alone back on the beach? Certainly not. She also states that Madeleine had a second round on the sailing boat. Was one child left out on this trip? If there had been 6 children it would only permit one trip for each child. Had there been only 5 children, without Madeleine, a second round would have been possible for one child.

Unfortunately, the two sailing instructors Alice and Chris were interviewed only informally. Surely they could only confirm the trip and perhaps the fact that one child was allowed to make
a second trip. They would not have been able though to identify Madeleine also because the children wore life jackets and possibly helmets.

So either the crying on Catriona's lap in the boat never happened like this, or perhaps there was a second nanny present who remained with the remaining children on the beach. But why then was she never mentioned? Could she perhaps have defined the number of children more accurately and could not remember Madeleine? The picture of a nanny who went alone with 6 children to the beach seems either implausible or extremely negligent.

In both cases, this raises serious doubts about the rogatory statement concerning the course of events at the sailing trip, and therefore also about the participation of Madeleine.

I pointed out this discrepancy in the nanny's statement as early as January 2011 and it might have been seen by the McCanns and their team. To my huge surprise I have to read now in Kate's book that she herself suddenly throws suspicion on the sailing trip and the nanny's statement. With a daring back-pedalling action she now claims that Fiona had NOT seen Madeleine at the sailing trip, totally discrediting poor Jane who explicitly stated the opposite.

After the crèche records had been set in stone, no nanny would have dared to voice doubt afterwards in the face of grieving parents and the world's press. And should they have given some odd statements to the police (or Dianne Webster), their initial statements could have been ripped apart in a court by their lawyers when shown that it was an ARGUIDO who had translated them. Was this the reason for the framing of Murat?

What about the other witnesses that had allegedly seen Madeleine that day? There was Charlotte Pennington, who was visited by Metodo 3 and then helped to frame Murat months after the disappearance - telling a story about telling a story to Maddie that day. But storystelling was a day earlier on the agenda according to the activity sheet. There was the cook who claimed to have seen Madeleine but at the same time placed her in the creche for the much younger children after having been shown the at least 6 month old photo. There was the barman who completely retracted his initial statement of having seen her that day. And we should not forget, that the nannies were all shipped to Greece less than a fortnight after the disappearance by Mark Warner making them unavailable for additional statements.

In the afternoon of the 3rd the usual get-together as on the previous evenings had to be cancelled for Kate and the twins because Dianne would have noticed the missing child. David had to act as the witness that ALL the children were too tired but alive and well. He and Kate made a right mess out of this story that was supposed to support the fact that Madeleine was still alive at that time. How long did he really stay? Did he go in and see the kids or was he just standing at the door with Kate obscuring his view? Why could he not remember what Kate was wearing, even though she was clad in a towel according to her? Why did he talk about “ALL the children“?

The evening at the Tapas restaurant was planned as the time where the abduction should take place, giving them all an alibi via the waiters and Dianne Webster. It was because of her that the rush from the table had to be staged before the actual disposal of the body took place because she would have noticed an earlier absence of Gerry. A risky plan. As early as 21:30 - 21:45 it was instigated by Kate who came running to the Tapas area entrance shouting at the group. Gerry immediately sprinted off for his meeting with the Smith family. The others followed not before Fiona had instructed Dianne to stay at the table “in case Madeleine would come to look for them“.

Dianne talked to the waiter a fact which later produced the statements about an early alarm way before 22:00. After about 5 minutes Dianne went into the McCann's apartment where she did not encounter Gerry who was still on his way towards the rocks. She spent about 10 minutes in the apartment, before being sent off again by Fiona to collect their belongings at the Tapas again. By now Gerry was back and possibly did a quick „search“ around the pool area to account for his previous whereabouts. When Dianne came back to the apartment the second time he was also there and never went on a search again. At around 22:30 (almost an hour after the first rush from the table) Mrs. Fenn heard Kate screaming from the balcony - a cry which had followed the second alarm – the official one – that led to the phone call to the police. The early rush from the table and the late second alarm explain why different person's statements varied almost about an hour in the time they had heard of the disappearance.

The encounter with the Smith family had been a disaster. Suddenly Gerry needed an alibi because he had been away from the table at the time of the meeting. The time of the actual alarm had to be confused so much that they could boldly place it at 22:00, the time of the Smith sighting. Therefore Kate's screaming from the balcony. But this was not enough. A completely independent witness had to give Gerry an alibi at the exact time of the abduction. The only independent witness that night had been Jeremy Wilkins and the time Gerry had met him was nowhere near the time of the Smith encounter. But it had to do... Poor Jane Tanner had to tell the police of her sighting of the abductor at the exact same time she had also seen Gerry and Jez talking together. In order to make her "vision" less obvious Gerry placed his meeting with Jez at the other side of the road further down. This made way for Jane's sighting, would explain why Jez did not see her and would also purport the theory that 3 witnesses never completely agree in their statements. The fact that the poor abductor had to wander the streets of Praia da Luz in search for the sea for 45 minutes was a fact the police should rack their brains about. Matthew's badly concocted statement about his visit in 5A served as additional “evidence“ that she was taken away between Gerry's and Matthew's check, thus by Jane's egg-man.

To explain this check by Matt in the light of Dianne's strict statement that all parents checked on their own children alone, additional checks had to be invented for the previous days. Russell had to state in his rogatory interview that he had checked on the McCann's and Oldfield's children on the Sunday with a key to the front door, which he later changed to a check in 5A via the patio door and in 5B via the front door with a key. ALTHOUGH Matt was supposedly sick that evening and inside the apartment.

This shows how devastating the Smith encounter was, how many "explanations" had to be created because of this stupid coincidence in a usually deserted dark alleyway.

What happened now during dinner? A time frame that had been under special scrutiny by the PJ because of the many discrepancies of those involved and the reconstruction of which had been denied by the same party.

During the day, a plan had been hatched. The kidnapping was to take place at the only time during the day when all friends would be together. At the dinner. Dianne Webster, as the only uninitiated witness, was supposed to confirm this to the police.

The plan was to remove the body from the apartment at 21:00, a time when parents, who dined at the tapas restaurant usually picked up their children from the children's club, often carrying them sleeping in their arms. Gerry had witnessed it live the night before with the parents at the next table and it would be a good disguise for him carrying Madeleine in the open. The kidnapping was planned for the period between 21:30 and 22:00, Matthew Oldfield's alleged check at 21:30 should confirm that at that time everything was still fine.The original plan possibly involved a different route to the beach, one that would be consistent with the comings and goings of parents carrying their children. Possibly through the little lanes of the "shortcut" Gerry had described to the police.

At 21:00 almost all the friends were gathered in the restaurant. Matthew, of whom Dianne Webster was not sure to have seen him there, was in the process of checking the usually deserted streets and roads around the apartment block and returned shortly after 21:00 back to the table with the message that all was clear. Therefore Gerry immediately stood up to allegedly perform another check on the children. A meaningless endeavour, if it had been true. In fact, he was now going to bring the body to a pre-defined location, reachable within 30 minutes maximum including the return trip. When he was in the garden behind the house, he noticed Jeremy Wilkins coming up the street with his son in a buggy. Matt had not seen him before as Jeremy had been circling the block while trying to persuade his son to sleep.

Gerry had to cancel his trip and layed Maddie quickly down in a flower bed under the porch where later on cadaver odour was found. Gerry stepped out of the garden gate to chat with Jeremy and to distract him. When Jeremy moved on Gerry went back to the table in the restaurant.

Now, it was Russell O'Brien's turn to search the streets for pedestrians but it was getting late. After the end of the meal Dianne Webster would be the first to go into her apartment like the evenings before and would not be available as a witness any longer. Therefore they decided to keep to the schedule of an abduction between 21:30 and 22:00 but to dispose of the body AFTER Kate's enacted discovery that was triggered by Russell's return. The schedule would not change, the "kidnapping" would still have happened between 21:30 and 22:00 with Gerry at the table during that time. Only Dianne had to be prevented from storming with the others to the apartment and seeing Gerry as he disappeared with Maddie towards the sea. Therefore, Dianne's daughter gave her the order to stay at the table in case Maddie should appear there. The whole thing went ahead shortly before 22:00 and Gerry hurried with Maddie in his arms straight into the group of the Smith family. He tried a different, more quiet route now - to no avail.

Now the situation changed radically. Gerry had no alibi any more for the time of the encounter with the family. Jane Tanner, in panic of being sued for neglect in Portugal agreed to tell the story of the hijacker who was crossing the street at exactly the time when the only independent witness was talking with Gerry. The man who thwarted the plan the first time, had now to serve as an alibi witness.

The tension that resulted from the change in plans shows clearly in the first police interview of Gerry when he erroneously told them details of the original plan, namely, that Matthew had noticed the blinds closed during his alleged check at 21:30, although under the new plan the abduction should already have happened at that time. A change in the statement was later made on 10 May. Suddenly Matt had seen a little more light in the room than could be expected with lowered shutters. A meagre attempt to change an originally positive sighting into evidence that she had already been abducted at that time.

What happened now when Gerry ran into the group of the Smith family? He could be sure that at least one of them would remember the encounter when the media reports came in the next day. Furthermore he did not have an alibi for this time because officially he was searching for Madeleine around the resort. He had to return to the apartment immediately to show himself in front of Dianne and other persons. The 30 minutes planned for the removal would be far too long, so an intermediate place had to be found that would withstand the first searches and would have been relatively close to the Smith sighting. There was an abandoned house right at the crossing that has recently been mentioned by Goncalo Amaral in a newspaper interview.

The body might have been placed there or in one of the other abandoned houses, but these places would not withstand a thorough search. In any case Gerry would have to be back at the Ocean's Club and was then seen by Dianne Webster when she entered the apartment for the second time that evening. During her first visit he had not been there.

Jane Tanner had now to be informed to give Gerry an alibi for the time of the abduction. The man she was supposed to describe had to resemble Gerry enough to correlate both sightings but had to be different enough to not be Gerry. Therefore especially the hair had to be changed. Egg-man got long hair at the back that would not have been noticed by the Smiths since they only saw the abductor with the child from the front.

During the search by police, staff, holidaymakers and residents the parents must have been desperate until the search finally died down at 4 am. They had now 2 hours during which everything was quiet.

Around 5 am. Gerry and Kate headed for the beach to allegedly do their first own search after their daughter's disappearance. There is nothing in the files about the locations they went. But there is a statement made by a George Brooks who was heading by car from Lagos to Praia da Luz and saw a couple carrying a child in his headlight who took a flight towards a side street when he approached. This tallies perfectly with the statement of Yvonne Martin saying that Kate told her on the morning of May 4th that Maddie had been abducted by a couple. At this time Kate could hardly have known about this sighting by George Brooks and Gerry had been talking about a paedophile abduction the evening before.

In my humble opinion the body was now in a place that should give shelter for a longer period of time.

Edited to add:

In her book released on 12th May Kate suddenly acknowledged that Madeleine might NOT have taken part in the sailing trip. She completely contradicts Jane Tanner's statement that Fiona and herself had seen Maddie at the sailing trip and she herself now sheds doubt about Maddie's participation in the sailing trip by claiming that Fiona had only seen Ella and not Madeleine. An amazing U-turn that threatens the nanny and Mark Warner apart from again rendering Jane's statement useless. 


In a court of law you will need foolproof evidence for a conviction. The terms and conditions under which this evidence is allowed in a court of law vary greatly from country to country depending on its legislature. E.g. the required number of matching alleles in a DNA sample can vary or whether dog alerts are admitted as circumstantial evidence. Sometimes it even varies from case to case as we can just witness in the trial of little Caylee Anthony's mother.

Now I am neither Judge nor Jury. My opinion does not have to follow the rules of the courts of a certain country. An opinion can be solely based on "gut feeling" but imo should at least be based on common sense and the available facts. The more facts and research are the basis of an opinion the better. I am entitled to one and I am entitled to express it publicly as long as I make it clear that it is an opinion or a theory. Slander without basis is libel but an opinion developed on facts is just that, an opinion. And we should not forget that the opinion of the PJ is close to mine, only that the evidence was not sufficient for charges in said court of law.

Having cleared that point I would like to describe how I arrived at the main point of interest in my blog, my theory regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

My interest in the case initially was minute, an abduction in a foreign country did not capture my curiosity. Only when a German journalist addressed the parents at a press conference in Germany and expressed her suspicion I got baited. How could she accuse the grieving parents?

The first year I visited the Mirror Forum and tried to get hold of the most basic facts, a difficult task because everything was tainted either by good or bad spin. Only when the files were released was it possible to form an unbiased opinion.

After wading through the translated parts and waiting for new translations it soon became obvious that there were three distinct factors apart from the complete absence of evidence for an abduction that justified the suspicion of the PJ. The dogs on the one hand, signalling at 10 different locations and items all related to the family and not once at one of the other apartments or cars. The discrepancies and changes in their statements that were so plenty and bold that they could just not be put down to translation errors or normal discrepancies. An example: If there is an initial statement that access for the check of the children was via the front door with a key and later changed to the open patio doors, then this is no mistake. One of both is an untruth.

So I started off with the statements one by one, of Kate, Gerry and the 7 friends. Especially in relation to the timeline of the evening it soon became clear that the friends had not always been telling the truth and nothing but. For example a comparison with the interior of the apartments 5A and 5D in connection with the statement of Matthew Oldfield showed the possibility that he had never been inside 5A but had used the description of 5D in his rogatory interview. One by one the accounts of the friends fell apart.

The last person I looked at was the turning point in my research. Going through the statements of Dianne Webster I could not find any discrepancies. She even contradicted important pillars of the course of events stated by the others. I came to the conclusion that she was the one person telling the truth. With this I had the fixed point in the sea of confusion with which the case could be cracked. Her most important statement was the time she gave for her last sighting of Madeleine. Whereas the others all remained amazingly vague she was pretty sure it had been the Wednesday evening. From there it was child's play. Puzzle pieces slid into place where confusion had reigned before. All the changes in routine for the Thursday suddenly made sense in so far as to avoid Dianne noticing that one person was missing. The previously as unimportant regarded statement by Jane about a tantrum on the playground and a child having hysterics in the apartment led the way.

Having explained all this, I have still not addressed the third point that to me indicates a very probable involvement of the Tapas 8 in the cover-up of the death of a little girl. And the malice and ruthlessness frightens me. The way in which an innocent man whose only fault was his helpfulness had been drawn into the sorry saga with the help of the media, overenthusiastic profiling by CEOP and at least 3 of the friends is something that makes me shudder. My analysis of the computer logs of Robert Murat shows clearly that he was at home that evening on May 3rd when almost 2 weeks later three of the friends in a concerted effort claimed he had been at the Ocean's Club although nobody else had seen him there. And I don't give any credence to the nannie and the sisters who SEVEN months later, after having been visited by the crooks from Metodo 3, suddenly remembered having seen him there as well.

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