Sonntag, 4. Januar 2015

The timeline again

While the investigation is preparing for the final stages and the letters of rogatory are being sent, approved and scheduled for the next step aka the FORENSICS, let me come back to one of my favourite subjects, the timeline.

Going by the dictum that first accounts are the most important ones, I checked the timelines from the sticker book again. Given the state of the handwriting and the crossing out of some words we can assume that this is the sequence in which they were written:

Timeline 1

8:45. pm
Matt returns 9.00-9.05 - listened at all 3
                               - all shutters down
Jerry 9.10-9.15 in the (tv) room + all well
                      ? did he check
9.20/5 - Ella Jane checked 5D sees stranger + child
9.30 - Russ + Ella Matt check all 3
9.35 - Matt check xyz see twins
        - I
9.50 - Russ returns
9.55 - Kate realised Madeleine s
10pm - Alarm raised
First thing I noticed was the part in brackets that could be read as "tv" rather than "the". We did have some statements from the group where it was hinted that Gerry could have gone to watch some football that was on that night on television. For me it points towards an earlier plan where Gerry was away from the table for a longer period, let's say half an hour, and this was going to be the explanation for his absence. The question "? did he check" seems to confirm this. A physical check would not necessarily have been contemplated in an original plan that saw the abduction happening after 9:30. The jemmied shutters had always been the timestamp of the abduction.

Ella suggests that Russell was looking for a reason Jane was added to the original list of "checkers" of the children again indicating an original plan that had to be changed.

But the most important point is the entry "Matt check all 3". If Russell meant, when he wrote this first script, that Matt  had been inside the apartment to physically check on the three children, he would have worded it differently since Madeleine had been gone at that time. No, in my opinion he again cited the original plan where Matt would have listened at all 3 windows again. He did not mean "children", he meant "windows" as in the first entry. It was a left-over of the original plan.

Russell now realised that checking the windows at that stage - as originally agreed upon - would not work since the abduction had already taken place - moved forward due to the Smith sighting -  and got so confused and insecure that he left the crucial check by Matt out of the next, revised version.

Timeline 2

8.45pm. all assembled at poolside for food
9.00pm. Matt Oldfield listens at all 3 windows 5A, B, D
              ALL shutters down
9:15pm Gerry McCann looks at room. A ? Door open to bedroom
9:20pm Jane Tanner checks 5D - [sees stranger walking carrying a child]
9.30 Russell O'Brien in 5D. Poorly daughter
10:00pm. Alarm raised after Kate


Here the emphasis in on the Tanner sighting and the dots that cover Matt's visit in 5A are left out because he realised that a listening check would have been impossible. The now open window prevented it and he was not sure how to get it right.

If there had been an accident that had been discovered during dinner with an ensuing panic reaction to dispose of her body we would have been presented with one timeline that would have been pretty straightforward because it would have been concocted without any previous concepts in mind which alterations had to be communicated to all members involved.

All this supports my theory that there had been an original plan and timeline present which would have looked something like this:

Timeline 08:45 all assembled at Tapas

9:00 Matt checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down

9:15 Gerry checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down ... enters the apartment to watch some fooball results

9:30 Russell checks at all 3 windows. Shutters down

. Gerry returns

9:45 Kate checks at all 3 windows. Shutters jemmied.


  1. No mention of the patio door/s and their shutter/s. All the checks listed here appear to concentrate on the rear of the apartment block where the front doors are...

  2. Johanna, do You sincerely believe the neglect really took place?

  3. Not really sure what you mean and what it has got to do with the two timelines, but I am sure that they left the children in the respective apartments at night while going to dinner. That is why they bullied the receptionist into booking them there every day of the week after having experienced the nightmare at the other restaurant.

    They did check the children occasionally by listening at the 3 windows, but never as often as they later claimed. Especially not during quiz night.

    You call it neglect but that is what loads of people do when they are on holidays. I have seen hordes of parents in resorts at night usually with baby monitors though getting up now and again checking on the kids back in the apartment. I have no idea why this seems so unbelievable for some. And it explains so much more without having to go into conspiracies. The "pact" within the group, why they covered for each other, etc.

  4. It's one thing to pop down to the ground floor to visit the bar while the children are in a locked hotelroom on, say, the fourth floor. (Not that I would do even that). The unbelievable in the McCann situation is the specific circumstances. The distance (no, not "like dining in your backgarden"), one or more of the children were sick, plus the marching back and forth which means cold meals and constant interruptions. Highly unlikely and surely no one's idea of a peaceful evening out. I think the timelines are invented to fit the abduction scenario. The neglect ( or whatever you choose to call it) is very essential to make everything else credible. It all depends on it. Forget the timelines.Forget the checks. Probably closer to the truth. The McCanns have promoted the "neglect" incl. timelines through 7 years. Why?

  5. No idea why one has to complicate an already extremely complicate case even more without necessity. They left the kids to have a good time and one of the men went once in a while to listen at the 3 windows. There is nothing strange or implausible in it.

  6. I do agree that once in a while MO and/or ROB/JT would listen to the windows, but the MCs likely listened to their patio door, which was locked.
    The timelines were secondarily supposed to provide a clue about the time of an abduction that they were convinced of (at least then), but the first purpose was to prevent accusations of neglect.

  7. Hi Anne,

    the first purpose was to prevent accusations of neglect. You are right. But that was the purpose of the original timeline - Timeline 0 - which never existed physically. Originally intervals of 15 minutes were agreed upon to satisfy the rest of the group. In fact this was the purpose of the whole staged dinner imo. When desaster struck in form of Wilkins and the Smiths, the timeline had also the purpose to present an alibi for Gerry for the time of the abduction. Jane had to be fitted in, listening checks became physical checks and the rest is history.

  8. hallo johanna,wie ist eigentlich die aktuelle situation?arbeitet sy weiter gegen die mc ? was ist mit den vorhängen und den 7-11 zeugen usw?tut sich in diesem fall überhaupt irgendwas? lg

  9. Der 6. Letter Rogatory ist auf dem Weg, der betrifft Forensik. Redwood ist abgelöst von Wall. Ansonsten habe ich auch nur die Info, die in den Zeitungen steht...

  10. Sorry to detract from the timeline but can the patio doors be opened from the outside or do they click-lock on closing like the windows? It appears they do not have external handles.

  11. Same function as the windows. No external handles. If not locked from the inside you would have to do a major sliding job with lots of finger/handprints