Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Mystery of Madeleine according to Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield


On the evening that Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3rd 2007, her parents were dining with their group of friends, known as the Tapas Seven, at the Tapas restaurant, which was variously next door, like we were sat in our back garden, 70 metres across the swimming pool and over the wall, a walk of 120 metres

The apartment was visible from where the group was sitting in the Tapas restaurant, but anyone entering or leaving would have to have been over seven feet tall, because all that's visible is the top of the balcony roof!


OK, this much we know very well: it was a walk of around 120 metres from the Tapas restaurant to the McCanns' apartment and there was no clear line of sight from where the group was sitting.

The four couples in the group had decided to leave their children asleep in their apartments and do regular checks on them. (Apart from David and Fiona Payne, who had an efficient baby monitor which seemed to serve them well)

So, three of the couples did routine checks on the children when they were dining.

On the evening of May 3rd, we are told that Matthew Oldfield listened at the windows of three apartments, including the window of the bedroom where Madeleine McCann was sleeping with her twin siblings, Gerry McCann left the restaurant to check on his children at 9.10pm, Matthew Oldfield checked his own and the McCann children at 9.30pm and Kate McCann went to check at 10pm, when she discovered that Madeleine was missing.


Timeline 1


Timeline 2:

Timeline 1:

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

9.55pm 10:00pm. Alarm raised after Kate

Timeline 2

8.45 Pool

Matt returns 9.00-9.05 - listened at all 3
- all shutters down

Jerry 9.10-9.15 in the 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 see twins

9.50 - Russ returns

9.55 - Kate realised Madeleine

10pm - Alarm raised

The main difference between timelines 1 & 2 is that on number 2, Matthew Oldfield appears: he checks and sees the twins. These timelines were written out on the inside covers of a child's sticker book, which is thought to have belonged to Madeleine. (Jane Tanner Liar).* It seems very strange that both were handed over to the police, since there are obvious discrepancies.

OK! Let's look at those timelines and compare them with statements made by just two of the 'Tapas Nine,' Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield. There are contradictions arising from all of the Tapas Nine's statements, but for the sake of brevity, I shall compare just those two. I already feel like I'm wallowing in trifle working my way through original statements and rogatory interviews for two people. OK, here we go!

Both timelines state that the group was gathered at the poolside restaurant by 8.45pm.

Jane Tanner's statement to police May 4th 2007:

The interviewee went to dinner at the, "Tapas," restaurant at around 8.30pm. "Tapas" restaurant. When she arrived at the restaurant, several adult members of the group were already there, without children, who were, in theory, asleep. Around 9pm, her husband arrived at the restaurant. He had succeeded in getting **** to sleep. Because of the late arrival of David Payne, Fiona Payne and Diane Webster, the meal booked for 8.30pm, did not start until 9pm, when the Payne family arrived
Matthew Oldfield's statement to police May 4th 2007:

The interviewee says that the day yesterday was identical to the previous ones and that, as on all other nights, at around 8.45pm, he and his wife left their daughter asleep in the apartment and went to the "Tapas" restaurant.

That the couple Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's parents were already at the restaurant. That they had arrived at the restaurant five minutes before them. The rest of the adults arrived at the restaurant around five minutes after the interviewee and his wife. That the last to arrive at the restaurant was the couple David and Fiona. That the latter arrived at the restaurant at around 9pm.

Matthew states that when he and his wife Rachael arrived at around 8.45pm, only Kate and Gerry McCann were there, the others, apart from the Paynes, arriving 5 minutes later. Jane Tanner states that she left for the restaurant at around 8.30pm and found several other members of the group already there.

Jane Tanner's rogatory interview in Leicester April 8th 2008

Reply “So, yeah, I think I went down about, it was just after half eight, so probably twenty-five to nine’ish, I’m not, but it was, it was quite close to half eight because, as I say, I was very conscious that we were all being so late all the time and it was getting later and later”.

4078 “And who was there when you got there?”

Reply “Kate and Gerry were there already and they were talking to, I don’t know their names, but they were talking to the two people that Gerry played tennis with in, erm, in his group, who were sitting in the restaurant”.

Jane states that Kate and Gerry were there, but no other group members, having stated in her May 4th interview that several adult members of the group were there when she arrived.

Reply “Erm, so, yeah, I’d got down and I think then, soon after I’d got down we sat down at our table, not our table, but, yeah, sat down on our table. Then, I’m trying to think who came next. I think next it was, erm, Matt and Rachael I think came next, yeah, Matt and Rachael came down next together, the two of them, probably a few minutes after, after me, I don’t think it was that long, that long after me.

Matthew Oldfield's rogatory interview in Leicester
Erm, we'd get showered and get changed and then, because we can see the Tapas from our patio doors, we can see when anybody else goes down there, because the original table was booked for eight thirty, erm, we were a bit later that night and it was about quarter to and we saw Gerry and Kate down there and so we locked up, went round and joined them at the table. Now I don’t recall seeing Jane and Russell there, but I'm told that Jane was there at the time as well. But we got there and sort of chatted and then Russell arrived. And we were all there, apart from Dave and Fiona and Fiona's mother, Dianne, at sort of five to nine, and they were, they were always sort of fairly relaxed and sort of a bit late and disorganised.

Matthew didn't recall seeing Jane there, but was told that Jane was there at the time. With a nearly empty restaurant, you'd think he'd notice another member of his holiday group, but in both the May 4th 2007 statement and in his rogatory statement, he says that only Kate and Gerry were there when he and Rachael arrived. When he says, 'we were all there,' I guess he's assuming that Jane must have been there because he had been told she was.

Jane Tanner's statement May 4th concerning 'Bundleman.'

The suspicious man. However, she spotted a man who was going along at a fair speed with a child in his arms with the child in pyjamas without a blanket, which attracted her attention. The interviewee only saw the man from the side with the child in his arms. She noticed this person exactly at the moment when she walked past Gerald and Jez. That person was coming out of the path at the end of the apartment block (1) where they are staying. The man quickly crossed the intersection. The entrance to the building where the apartments are is the exact place where she saw the man. After checking on her children, the interviewee went back to the "tapas." On her way back, Gerald McCann was no longer in the road where she had seen him talking. On her arrival at the restaurant (3) Gerald McCann was with his wife Kate Healy.

Matthew Oldfield's statement May 4th:

He does not mention Jane Tanner leaving five minutes after Gerry McCann at around 9.15pm.

That Gerry allegedly went into his apartment and that he checked to make sure that Madeleine and the twins were sleeping in their bedroom, where it was quite dark. The bedroom door was half-open. That five minutes later, Gerry came back to the group in the restaurant.

No mention of Jane at this point.
Previously in his statement, Matthew refers to having checked by listening at the shutters of apartments A, B and D, at 9.05pm, while he was out chivvying along the Paynes.

Matthew's rogatory interview:

4078 "Okay. So Gerry has gone off almost straight away after you got back?"

Reply "Yeah".

4078 "And then Jane followed him?"

Reply "Yeah. Now I don't remember that particularly well, I mean, I know from what discussion, it may be in my statement from months ago remembering better, but it wasn't unusual for people to be leaving the table to sort of check, so it doesn't stand out particularly in my mind. But I remember Gerry specifically going because I thought, well I've just checked (inaudible) and then, you know, well I hadn't been in so I couldn't really check and, you know, they're his kids, it was quite right that, if that's what he wants. But I don't particularly remember Jane doing that, but I might have done at the time, it's just it's now sort of faded because it didn't seem important”.

Jane Tanner's rogatory interview about 'Bundleman,' and seeing Gerry and Jez Wilkins. This part is very long, drawn out and full of umms and errrs. She claims to have walk past Gerry and Jez on the same side of the road, but Gerry claims not to have seen her and that he and Jez had been standing chatting in a different place.

I didn’t know whether they’d seen me or not, but I did actually go to acknowledge them and I think if they’d have been that far away I don’t know whether I would have sort of almost gone to say hello, but. But they were talking quite (inaudible), so I just carried on, you know, up, up the road. I mean, I thought they were, as you’re going up here, I thought they were more, erm, again I know this is where me and Gerry differ, but I thought they were sort of more near the little alleyway. I think sort of”.

And later in that statement:

4078 “Okay. So when did you first notice Gerry standing there?”

Reply “I would have probably noticed him as soon as I came, I mean, I don’t, this is not, I don’t think that distance is probably as far as that, you come out and he was, they were sort of, so almost, I’d probably say almost straight away. Again, I don’t know, but I, I know people are saying I’ve not been on the road, but they were there and I wouldn’t know they were there if I hadn’t walked past, you know, you’ve got to see my frustration in this, and I know Gerry didn’t see me and Jez didn’t see me, but”.

But she was there! Now, it surprises me that Gerry McCann does not back up Jane's story about walking past him, because she then sees the 'abductor,' walking across the top of the road, carrying a child in pyjamas just like Maddie's and the whole abduction scenario hinges on Jane's having seen a man making off with Maddie at that time. However, should Jane Tanner be proved to have lied, Gerry is in the clear because he didn't see her and he has a witness to back him up!

Description of the 'abductor' from Jane's May 4th statement:

Tanned male between 35 and 40, slim, around 1.70m. Very dark hair, thick, long at the neck. (Noticed when the person was seen from the back). He was wearing golden beige cloth trousers (linen type) with a "Duffy" type coat (but not very thick). He was wearing black shoes, of a conventional style and was walking quickly. He was carrying a sleeping child in his arms across his chest. By his manner, the man gave her the impression that he wasn't a tourist. Concerning the child, who seemed to be asleep, she only saw the legs. The child seemed to be bigger than a baby. It had no shoes on, was dressed in cotton light-coloured pyjamas (perhaps pink or white) It is uncertain, but the interviewee has the feeling that she saw a design on the pyjamas like flowers, but is not certain about it.

Jane's description from the rogatory interview. Note that she mentions the light, and that she may not have been seeing true colours. Also, in her original statement the trousers were linen and golden-beige in colour. Now, they're a horrible mustard and they're, 'cottony.'

Reply “But, I mean, I think, so the things that I’m happy, that are still in my head, that still stick in my head is the hair and it was longer, it was sort of longish and, erm, I don’t know how to (inaudible), but each, each, almost the hair was long, the bits of hair were long, so it was long into the neck, you know, sort of in, when people have a number one or whatever at the back and it’s shaved, not shaved up, but, you know, sort of layered up, this was more long into the neck, so sort of long, each, each individual hair was long, erm, and dark, it was sort of quite dark and glossy, that sticks in my head. And sort of the dark, dark clothes and quite billowy, not billowy clothes, but quite baggy, sort of they seemed, erm, not ill fitting but quite baggy clothes, like not jeans, but trousers sort of not Chinos but not Farrahs either, but sort of baggy’ish sort of ill fitting more than. And they’re the bits that I remember quite vividly sort of”.

4078 “And what colours?”

Reply “Dark colours, but again it was, I think it was quite dark, so dark, sort of darkish jacket but then a more, a lighter trouser but a horrible colour, again this is, sort of a yellowy dark browny, horrible, but not, not a nice colour trousers, but then I wonder whether that was the lights making them look, making them look more of a sort of a mustard, it wasn’t mustard because that’s too bright, but it was just like a, as I say they weren’t nice, they weren’t the sort of clothes I’d expect somebody on a MARK WARNER holiday to, they was, I can’t think of the material, I tried to describe this before, but sort of a cottony material but baggy”

Matthew Oldfield's rogatory statement on the street lighting:

4078 "And you said it was just turning dark?"

Reply "Yeah".

4078 "Do you remember or can you recall what the street lighting was like around there?

Reply "There's a street light, and this is all, erm, I couldn't sort of guarantee this, but my impression is that there was, the street lights were sort of very orangey, erm, sort of fairly orangey light, I think there was one at the top corner and maybe one about halfway up on the right as you came up from the Tapas Restaurant and possibly one on that, on that back bit behind the car park, someway further along".

So, 'the street lights were sort of very orangey,' which means that they were just like the street lights outside my house where my pink fleece looks like a deep grey colour. So, how did Jane Tanner see pink pyjamas? She wasn't sure about the colour of 'Bundleman's,' trousers because of the orange lights, but she was sure about the child wearing pink pyjamas? Yeh right!

Back to the timelines then. Jane Tanner left the Tapas restaurant five minutes after Gerry, she walked up the road, passed Gerry and Jez Wilkins, saw the alleged abductor, did a quick check and found everything quiet in her apartment and returned to the restaurant. Let's say that was around 9.20/9.25pm. Both timelines have Russell O'Brien checking his own children and Matthew Oldfield leaving the table at the same time: 9.30pm.

Jane Tanner's May 4th statement:

After checking on her children, the interviewee went back to the "tapas." On her way back, Gerald McCann was no longer in the road where she had seen him talking.On her arrival at the restaurant (3) Gerald McCann was with his wife Kate Healy.

15 to 20 minutes later, Matthew Oldfield and her husband, Russell O'Brien, left to go and see the children. As their daughter **** wasn't well, and she was crying, Russell stayed in the room.

She arrived back,
Gerry was already there and 15 to 20 minutes later Matthew and Russell left.

The timing is just not making sense here. If Jane arrived back at 9.20/9.25, then Matthew and Russell didn't leave until somewhere between 9.35pm and 9.45pm.

Jane Tanner, May 4th

Matthew checked the children then those of Gerald and Kate. According to him, he saw the twins but he did not succeed in seeing Madeleine. But as he did not hear any noise, he thought everything was OK and went back to the restaurant. Matthew informed the interviewee that Russell was staying in the room. (1) After quickly eating the main course, the worried interviewee went to take her husband's place in the apartment (1) so that the latter could eat

Timeline 1 does not have details about the time Russell O'Brien returned to the restaurant, after his wife had eaten her main course and gone to take his place. According to Jane Tanner's original statement, Russell would have left the table at around 9.35pm, at the earliest, and assuming that at least 5 minutes had elapsed before Matthew returned and gave Russell's message, between 9.40pm and 9.50pm, Jane Tanner ate the main course of her meal, walked to her apartment and Russell arrived back at the restaurant. Maybe time is not linear after all!

Jane's rogatory interview:

4078 “And what was going through your mind as you walked back, anything, that you can remember?”

Reply “Erm, no, I don’t think so. I mean, this person wasn’t really etched on my brain, it was just, erm, I think I was just thinking ‘Oh the kids are alright’, you know, ‘I’ll go back’”.

4078 “Tell me what happened then from there and I will try not to interrupt you?”

Reply “No, that’s fine. Erm, so I went back, erm, we just carried on with the meal. And then, I think, erm, I can’t remember anything odd, you know, within that, that time. And then I think, it’s been, I think, I can’t remember who said ‘Oh time to check again’, I think it actually might have been Kate that said ‘Oh it’s half nine I’ll go and do a check’. And I think Matt said at that point, Matt and Russ said ‘Oh we’ll go, do you want us to look in on’, erm, on, you know, ‘on Madeleine and Sean and Amelie’. As I say, I don’t know, I wasn’t really part of this, I don’t know how it, who actually said ‘It’s time for a check’, but I can remember sort of, erm, them saying to Kate ‘Oh do you want us to put our head in’. And I think because Gerry had only, you know, probably had been in there a bit longer, she probably thought ‘Oh yeah’, you know, and let them.

Jane went back and carried on with the meal until Kate, she thinks it was, said, 'Oh it's half nine,' and it was time to check again. But Jane couldn't have got back to the table until 9.20 at the earliest. It may have been time for the McCann children to be checked again, but Gerry had been there at 9.10/9.15. And why was Russell leaving when Jane had only been back for around 10 minutes and had reported that the children were fine? Matthew Oldfield had not checked on his children for around 30 minutes, so his timing would make sense, but not Russell's, unless it was actually later than 9.30pm, which would leave a very short interval between Matthew Oldfield's check on the McCann children and Kate McCann doing her check at 10pm.

Matthew Oldfield May 4th 2007 - did Matthew go into the McCanns' apartment?

At around 9.25pm, the interviewee went into his apartment and Madeleine's apartment to check on the children. He states that the door of the fourth room, that was occupied by Madeleine and the twins, was half-open and that there was enough light in the bedroom for him to see the twins in their cots. That he couldn't see the bed occupied by Madeleine, but as it was all quiet, he deduced that she was sleeping. That the light in question was from an artificial source but not inside the bedroom, rather from outside through the bedroom window. That it seemed to him that the shutters of the bedroom window were open without knowing if the window was also open.

The apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The couple's bedroom has a window which is visible from the restaurant. The children's bedroom windows look out on the road outside the tourist complex. Then the interviewee went back to the restaurant.

He states that the bedroom has two windows. The twins occupy two cots placed in the middle of the room and Madeleine occupies a bed pushed against the wall, facing the wall which has the two windows that look out onto the outside of the complex. That the door through which he entered the apartment was closed but not locked. That he doesn't know if it is usual for Madeleine's parents to leave the door closed but not locked because that door is visible from the restaurant

Madeleine's bedroom has two windows? Perhaps Matthew was seeing double from gulping his wine too quickly! Or perhaps he just wasn't there!


According to both timelines, written out on the covers of the sticker book, when Matthew listened at the windows of apartments A, B and D at 9/9.05pm, all shutters were done, but when he visited apartment 5A at around 9.25/9.30pm, it seemed to him that the shutters were open. He decided that the McCann children were fine and returned to the restaurant, without wondering how or why the shutters came to be open or asking Gerry if he had opened them on his check?

Matthew's rogatory interview, talking about his first check at 9/9.05 when he listened at the windows: I listened outside our shutters and went along to their shutter and had a listen out there, not because I'd been asked to, but, or it's not the sort of thing you think about, it's just kind of, erm,".

4078 "You thought you might as well?"

Reply "So I thought I might as well and I can report back and they can be, you know, be reassured that everything was okay. And we talked a lot in the previous interviews about what state the shutters were in, whether they were, and they were all definitely down, there's three shutters, you know, there's, you know, two, and they're all at the same level, there was no, I would have noticed if they were, if one was up and the rest were down, it would have looked odd".

Matthew's rogatory interview, concerning the shutter when he visited the McCanns' apartment at 9.25/9.30pm:

So I just sort of went towards the doorway, I didn't step over the threshold, I didn't see Madeleine and I didn't check, I turned round and came back out, said all was quiet when I got back to the table and then we went on with food. Now the room was, we talked also in the interviews about how light the room was and whether I could see the shutters, and
I can't see the shutters because the curtains were shut and, they're similar curtains to the ones you've got in there, and you just get an impression of just like green and yellow, but they were closed, they weren't sort of blowing about, because I'm sure I'd have noticed if there was sort of movement like that. But the room seemed light, and we spent a lot of time talking about this, whether it could be light coming in from the street outside, but there was a light behind us in the room and for some reason I thought, I got the impression of light coming through the doorway from behind me, which is why I said that I thought perhaps the moon was out, erm, but there as no sort of, you know, it's a question of whether, there was no sort of slats of light coming through the back that particularly caught my eye. So I didn't specifically see the shutters and I couldn't say that they were definitely open, but certainly the curtains were shut and everything was quiet"

.Green and yellow curtains? Please refer to photo (above) of Maddie's bedroom. And now, he's kind of non-committal about the shutters. He couldn't say they were definitely open? So, I guess nor can he say that they were definitely shut!

Kate McCann checks at 10pm and finds that Madeleine is missing, raises the alarm, and then what happens? According to the brief reference in Matthew's May 4th statement:

At around 10pm, Kate, Madeleine's mother, went to her apartment to check on her children. She came back totally shocked, shouting, saying that Madeleine was no longer in her bedroom. At that time all the adults were in the restaurant. Then, the whole group went to Madeleine's bedroom and checked that the twins were sleeping OK.

Well, you'd think that if the whole group, and I assume that includes Matthew, had gone to Madeleine's bedroom, he'd have had a second chance to notice how many windows the room had and also what colour the curtains were! So, did he go into the room at that time? Remember, this is supposedly his second visit: on his first, he looked in from the doorway and on this second visit, he was with the others, checking that the twins were sleeping OK.

Matthew's rogatory interview concerning visits to Madeleine's bedroom:

4078 "Have you been into that room again since that moment?"

Reply "We didn't on the night. Erm, I don't think so. I think it was it was then always cordoned off. I mean, I know that they, Gerry and Kate were told to get their things out of there because they were going to have to move rooms and then, and I saw that photograph of the, of the cots moved to the side, and they then sort of, erm, under instruction, were asked to move things out of that room, but I think they just took sort of essentials, because they then went up to, erm, Dave and Fiona's room later that night, and I don't think I've been back in that room".

On May 4th, Matthew Oldfield stated that he had been to the McCanns' apartment and looked into the children's bedroom: he had seen the twins, but not Madeleine, had noticed that the bedroom had two windows and that it seemed as though the shutters were open. He also stated that the whole group went to Madeleine's bedroom after Kate McCann raised the alarm. Yet, after two visits to the bedroom, most of the details were wrong and some details were still wrong, like the colour of the curtains when he described the room during his rogatory interview.

I would suggest that Matthew Oldfield had never looked into that bedroom, which would mean that no one had checked the McCann children between Gerry's visit at around 9.15 and Kate's visit at 10pm.

What do we have?

  • Impossible timelines.
  • Shutters open/shutters closed.
  • Matthew Oldfield who either didn't visit at all or he was dead drunk or he was in the wrong apartment.
  • Street lighting that made all colours indistinct apart from a child's pink pyjamas.
  • A woman slip-slapping over cobbles in flip-flops who is neither seen nor heard by two men she passes within a few feet of.
  • An abductor who didn't appear to have a vehicle handy, but who managed to slip into an apartment, grab a child, exit and go strolling through the streets and was not seen by anyone other than Jane Tanner, in spite of the child's father being in the vicinity and so many people coming and going it was like something out of a Brian Rix farce.

And that's just from comparing some parts of the statements given by two people out of a group of nine! Help! My head is spinning!



Thursday, 28 October 2010

Madeleine McCann: The Truth of The Lie and a browse through a few other books about her disappearance.

...................... ....................

Well, this one should be well known by now, since its banning attracted world-wide attention: published in Portugal in July 2008, it was subject to a temporary injunction which was upheld in January of this year. The banning more than the publication attracted attention, but seemingly, the latest ruling by the Appeal Court in Lisbon has not been considered quite so newsworthy by the UK press.

The full English translation of the decision by the three judges sitting at the Appeal Court can be read here (Joana Morais)

Gonçalo Amaral's book was only banned in Portugal as a result of the injunction in January and was still available in France, Spain, Holland, Belgium and Germany. For those German tourists whom the McCanns are now trying to reach with their new appeal, German people who were on holiday in Praia da Luz at the same time as the McCanns, whom I can only assume must have been in a coma since then if they haven't come forward with information, Gonçalo Amaral's book, with the German title, "MADDIE - Die Wahrheit uber die Luge," is available from and is a good way to catch up on what you've been missing.


The first book to be published about Maddie's disappearance was, "MADDIE 129," by Hernâni Carvalho and Luis Maia, first published in Portuguese and available in English by November 2007. 129 was the number of days that Maddie's parents spent in Portugal before their quick flight back to the UK, following being constituted as 'arguidos,' or official suspects. The writers examined the contradictions found in statements given by the main characters: Gerry and Kate McCann and their holiday friends.


In no particular order of publication date, a look at a few more books.


"Vanished: The Truth About The Disappearance Of Madeleine McCann," by Danny Collins. From a review of the book on Amazon:

There are three possible explanations for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann: Either she was abducted from inside her bedroom, or she woke up and wandered outside the apartment looking for her parents and was abducted in the street, or she died "accidentally" in the flat and the abduction claim by her parents is false. Danny Collins makes fair and reasoned judgements on the grounds of probability, opportunity,known evidence,the behaviour of the main characters and the circumstances relating to similar missing children cases.

I don't know if Mr Collins reached a decision about which of the three explanations was most likely, because I haven't read the book, which was published in May 2008 in paperback, but since we still don't know what happened to Madeleine, I don't think Mr Collins arrived at the truth.


"THE MADELEINE INVESTIGATION: INCOMPETENCE OR CORRUPTION?" by members of the "Justice for ALL the McCann family forum."

I guess the title gives the game away a bit here. Two choices: incompetence or corruption! So, we don't really need to look inside to have a good guess at the slant taken by the authors, who ask at the beginning of the book, "Why are Madeleine's abductors still at large? We ask questions the Portuguese police must answer." I think the authors are probably still waiting because I doubt the Portuguese police have felt compelled to respond!

A few pages later, the authors of the above work inform that from day one Kate and Gerry McCann were being considered as suspects to the exclusion of all other options, that the police lied about the DNA evidence, distorted the value of the sniffer dog evidence, and made the parents suffer almost a year of torment as arguidos, "without so much as a scrap of evidence."

Oh dear! There might be a case for libel there folks! Watch your backs now that Dr Amaral's book is back on the shelves of bookshops in Portugal and the three judges consider that there was enough evidence to constitute the McCanns as arguidos!


"Faked Abduction," by Brian Johnson.

A look at the conclusions of Gonçalo Amaral and Chief Inspector Tavares Almeida with opinions from a criminal psychologist. Published in the US and not available from Amazon, another book whose conclusions we can guess at. As far as I am aware, the book is still available from the author and there has been no attempt to have it banned. Still, since the Amaral book was only actually banned in Portugal and not in the rest of Europe, the McCanns were unlikely, in my opinion, to spend thousands on lawyers to stop a book which was not as generally available, if they didn't do a banning tour of Europe!

And now another fine book in the German language for those tourists emerging from a three and a half year coma!


"Analyse des Vermisstenfalles Madeleine McCann," by Daniela Prousa

Published July 2010. Available from Amazon

Daniela Prousa is a psychiatrist, who concludes that Madeleine McCann died as a result of an accident in her parents' holiday apartment in May 2007. I have not heard of any attempt to ban this book, but since Gonçalo Amaral, as a police officer with over 26 years of experience in criminal investigation, was judged to be qualified to express an opinion, so might Ms Prousa, as a forensic psychiatrist.

The following is an extract from an excellent review of the book, which can be read in full on the McCann Exposure blog.

Analyse des Vermisstenfalles Madeleine McCann is written by German author and psychiatrist, Daniela Prousa. It is essentially an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the McCann’s given accounts regarding the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine McCann. Prousa examined in detail how the McCann’s make sense of and perceive significant events in their lives, namely the events conceived on the evening of May 3rd 2007, the night Madeleine disappeared. She obtained data from many written and visual expressions of the McCann’s, via their blog on their website, media statements and interviews and television appearances. During her study she asked curious and critical questions of their accounts, actions and emotions – verbal and non-verbal – such as “What is this person trying to achieve here?” and “Is something leaking out here that wasn’t intended?”

Through her analysis, Prousa concluded that Madeleine McCann died because of an accidental fall off the sofa, either immediately after her parents left the apartment or shortly after Gerry McCann’s check at around 9.10pm. Further, she believes that it was Kate McCann who initially found Madeleine and that Gerry came in later to support her in covering up the accidental death of their daughter.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Tony Bennett: did paedophile Raymond Hewlett really know what happened to Madeleine McCann?


This is the introduction to a very long article analysing the alleged role of Raymond Hewlett in Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

Tony Bennett of the Madeleine Foundation, analyses the Sun article in which Antonella Lazzeri writes about the letter Raymond Hewlett allegedly sent to his son Wayne from his deathbed, stating that he knew what had happened to Maddie. Tony sets out the timeline of Hewlett's life and his criminal history as well as his knowledge of Praia da Luz and when he visited the town.

On 1 September 2010, The Sun published yet another sensational article about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It claimed that a British paedophile who had recently died in Germany - Raymond Hewlett - had written a letter ‘on his deathbed’, shortly before he died, claiming that he knew what really happened to Madeleine McCann. That was quite some claim. In this article, we examine that claim in detail.

The Sun article was one of the most preposterous ever written by a tabloid newspaper on the reported disappearance of Madeleine McCann, among all the hundreds of other sensational and speculative articles that have been written about the case. We will analyse why it is so preposterous. We will first of all reproduce the article, by-lined by Antonella Lazzeri, not noted for her accurate reporting, and Andy Crick. Then we’ll analyse the article.


Georges Moréas: the police officer regains his right to free speech..


Georges Moréas, honorary Principal Commissioner of the (French) National Police.

Moréas blog 25/10/10

The Maddie Case: police officer regains his right to free speech.

After a number of events that followed little Madeleine McCann's disappearance in May 2007, in Portugal, the director of the investigation, Commissioner Gonçalo Amaral, was persuaded to keep quiet and his book, which recounted the details of his investigation, was withdrawn from sale by court order.

A best seller in Portugal, in it Amaral considers that the Policia Judiciaria were hampered in their investigation by the behaviour of the little girl's parents. He puts forward the hypothesis of accidental death due to lack of supervision, or even the misuse of a sedative. The McCann couple then allegedly concealed their child's body to evade responsibility, deliberately sending the investigators on the track of an abduction. Without concrete evidence, the police officer wove a number of givens into the thread of a story. From worrying details.

The most recent ruling by the Court of Appeal took the opposite view to the previous decision. It said that, "the contents of the book do not infringe any fundamental right of the McCanns," and that the ban with which he was sanctioned was an attack on freedom of expression such as is guaranteed to all by European Convention on Human Rights and the Portuguese Constitution. And there could not be a violation of the McCanns' privacy in so far as they themselves had freely used the media and provided private information to the press: "It was they themselves who, voluntarily, decided to limit their right to privacy."

So, Amaral regained his right to express himself and to defend himself. However, he has two other accusations to face. In fact, he is still the subject of an action for defamation on the part of the McCann couple, who are claiming 1.2 million Euros from him in damages and compensation, and a complaint for violation of, "secrecy of justice."

His book, "A Verdade da Mentira," published in France by Bourin, is to be returned to the shelves in the bookshops. Also, the ban which affected the documentary about the case, has been lifted. It can now be broadcast on a French TV Channel.

Meanwhile, we still don't know what has happened to little Maddie. Recently, an Englishman, a convicted paedophile, who figured amongst the suspects, allegedly made a deathbed confession. In a letter addressed to his son, he stated that the little girl was allegedly chosen from a photo, by clients of an, "illegal adoption gang." A pretty weird story, into which dived the private detectives paid from the support fund set up by the McCanns.

In his exposé, Amaral accuses the child's parents, but the way in which the investigation got going could also be questioned. Notably (easy in retrospect) the delay in putting out a general alert...In identical circumstances, would we in France have triggered the "Alerte enlèvement," plan? *

In an attempt to harmonise procedures when such an event occurs, a plan is being studied at European level. Last month, an exercise was carried out between France, Britain and Belgium, around the following scenario: a little girl was abducted in Britain by a man on his own. It is believed that he reached France with his victim, then Belgium. The success has been mixed: collaboration between the different services is good, but means of communication must be improved. the creation of an extranet site is envisaged.

For us, when this plan has been triggered, it has shown its effectiveness. The main difficulty is still in taking the decision: have the criteria been fulfilled for launching an alert? To take an example, after the disappearance of little Antoine, in September 2008, should the Alerte Enlèvement plan have been set in motion? In hindsight, you could think yes, since we still don't know what has become of the child...

There are criminal cases that stand out more than others. The disappearance of little Maddie is one of them. And 26 years later, the mystery of little Gregory's murder is still firmly rooted in the mind. And there are others that are forgotten.

Georges Moréas 25/10/10

(*Note: I don't think the Alerte Enlèvement would have been triggered in France in Maddie's case. According to the criteria set out by the French Justice Minister, Rachida Dati, there would have to be: a definite abduction; a description of an alleged abductor that could help locate the abductor and the child; a description of any vehicle involved. In Maddie's case, there was no trace of an abductor, apart from Jane Tanner's vague description of an egg with hair, which would not have been helpful, and no vehicle description. So, an alert would not have been practicable.)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Kate and Gerry McCann "Torn apart by his lies," to continue with libel action against Gonçalo Amaral.


Image from the Sunday Mirror - 12/07/09 (Pamalam)

The news this week that the Lisbon Court of Appeal had overturned the ban on Gonçalo Amaral's book, "A Verdade da Mentira," (The Truth of the Lie) elicited the following response from a spokesperson for the McCann family:

"A spokesman for the McCann family said the decision did not stop the defamation case. "The defamation action against Mr Amaral is very much continuing," he said." The Guardian 19/10/10

And this, in the light of the fact that the Appeal Court judges considered that:

“The contents of the book does not offend any of the fundamental rights of the applicants [the McCann couple and their three children]” and “the exercise of its writing and publication is included in the constitutional rights that are assured to everyone by the European Convention for Human Rights and by the Portuguese Republic’s Constitution”, reads the decision, to which JN [Jornal de Notícias] had access. ( Joana Morais)

It could be considered that the McCanns' decision to sue Gonçalo Amaral in the first place was rather ill-considered. Perhaps their success with their claim against the Express newspaper group helped them get that confident, onto a winner, feeling.

What might ordinary Joe Public do if there were potentially damaging press articles about him? He would have recourse to take his complaint to the Press Complaints Commission and if he had no joy there, perhaps to take legal action, though since Joe Public would be unlikely to get Legal Aid, this course of action might not be available to him. Still, the PCC is there for, as the name sounds, complaints against what is written in the press. Did the McCanns consult the PCC before taking legal action against Express newspapers? No, they didn't!

"Baroness Buscombe, the chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, today defended the regulator's failure to launch an inquiry into press coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007.

Buscombe, who took up her role in April last year, was speaking after the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee criticised the PCC for staying silent for 10 months after McCann went missing while newspapers were apparently breaching its code of practice.

"In any other industry suffering such a collective breakdown ... any regulator worth its salt would have instigated an inquiry," the MPs said in their report. "It is an indictment on the PCC's record, that it signally failed to do so."

But Buscombe said the PCC had been constrained to act because the McCann family had not made a formal complaint to the watchdog about newspaper coverage.

The McCanns instead took legal action that resulted in a £550,000 payout from Express Newspapers, a private settlement with Associated Newspapers and an apology from the News of the World.

"It's very important to put it in context," Buscombe told The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 today.

"What actually happened was that as soon as the story broke, the PCC was very much in touch with the McCann family and repeatedly offered to help.

"The McCanns and the PCC over the months that followed were in touch and indeed Gerry McCann in this inquiry actually praised the PCC for helping very much in terms of privacy matters relating to their other children."

Buscombe said the PCC had held "numerous discussions internally" about the McCann case.

"The difficulty that it had was that it's very difficult for a self-regulatory body such as ours to actually pre-empt and decide in some ways whether a headline or statements that are being made are something that we should be tackling without proper engagement of the complainants."

The important points I would extract from the above article are:

1) As a self-regulatory body, the PCC was constrained from acting without formal complaints from the McCanns.

2) The PCC offered to help the McCanns.

3) Instead of accepting PCC assistance, and making formal complaints, the McCanns launched legal action and were awarded £550,000 as an out of court settlement from the Express Group.

The problem is, I guess, that making formal complaints and possibly extracting retraction and apologies via that route does not net any cash! Just let the newspapers get on with it and then sue them! Good little money-spinner there! (This blog 24/02/2010)

It might even be considered that the McCanns were not particularly bothered about Gonçalo Amaral's book until it looked as though it was about to be published in the UK, after all the book was published in July 2008 and the McCanns did not initiate legal action until May 2009. It also might be considered that they weren't particularly bothered about the book until they found out how many copies it had sold in Europe and how much money could have been made from it.

The McCanns decided on the figure of £1 million (£1.2 million Euros) as the sum they wish to claim for defamation against the former PJ police officer. Now, where did they get that figure from?

What they are demanding

£430,000 damages for Madeleine which will be used to continue the search for her.
£215,000 for each parent for the emotional distress the book has caused them. They say they suffer 'permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability and an indefinable fear'. The writ also says Kate McCann is 'steeped in a deep and serious depression'.
£86,000 for each of their twins Sean and Amelie, who could hear his allegations when they start school in September.

How he made his money

£500,000 from the book which has sold 180,000 copies in Portugal alone.
£430,000 from the extra 150,000 books which have been sold in Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Holland.
£100,000 for a TV documentary watched by one in five people in Portugal - 75,000 copies have sold on DVD. (The McCann Files)

For me, it looked rather like Mr Gerry and Mrs Kate did a few sums and, having worked out that there was a bit of dosh there, decided that Dr Amaral was worth suing, just like the Express was worth suing!

Gonçalo Amaral's book was not the first to question the McCanns' version of events in the disappearance of their daughter.

So, it rather looks like the McCanns waited, once again, to take legal action, this time until it appeared that Gonçalo Amaral had made a significant amount of money from his book, and was therefore worth suing. One wonders why the McCanns didn't sue the author of the book A Culpa dos McCann (The McCanns' Guilt.) Manuel Catarino. Never heard of this book, whose publication pre-dates that of Gonçalo Amaral by seven months? Perhaps that's why the author has not been sued! The book didn't sell! He wasn't worth suing! (This blog 24/02/2010 - link above)

Looking again at what the McCanns are demanding in the way of damages from Gonçalo Amaral, it's worth noting the psychological damage claimed.

£215,000 for each parent for the emotional distress the book has caused them. They say they suffer 'permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability and an indefinable fear'. The writ also says Kate McCann is 'steeped in a deep and serious depression'.

Now, for me, the above could be a description of how a parent may react following the loss of a child. It would accurately describe how my own sister suffered, several years ago, following the tragic death of her baby daughter, but when Kate McCann was interviewed for the BBC's Woman's Hour in August 2007, she did not appear to be suffering from insomnia at that time.

Jenni Murray: Do you sleep at night?......

Kate McCann: ..... Kate interupts Jenni, just as Jenni gets her question acrossWe tend to, we tend to have, replies to Jenni's question with 'Yeah' then carries on dinner together, certainly still lunchtimes and evening meals are spent together as a family. And I describe those as very normal.

Large audible intake of breath Ermm, sleeping through the night, yes. I do actually. I mean, the first four or five days was ermm, does that tongue clicking noise I didn't sleep really, ermm, as I mentioned earlier it was very hard t.. to function at all. Ermm, but now I'm fine, actually I don't I'm usually quite tired to be honest by the time we get to bed. But I haven't had any problems sleeping.

So, in August 2007, Kate McCann confidently told the BBC's Jenni Murray that after the first four or five days following her daughter's disappearance, she had no trouble sleeping, yet the publication of Amaral's book led to insomnia? Her daughter's disappearance didn't provoke such a reaction, but the book did? One wonders if it was the thought of Dr Amaral possibly making all that money that was keeping Mrs Kate awake at night!

The writ also says Kate McCann is 'steeped in a deep and serious depression'.

A deep and serious depression? So, when did that come on? When the book was published? Well, no way of knowing that, really, since it wasn't mentioned until 10 months after the publication. In the weeks and months after Maddie disappeared, depression, anxiety and fear would have been a "normal," if I can use that word, reaction from a woman who had lost a child to an abductor who had snatched her from her bed in a foreign country. However, on what would have been Maddie's fourth birthday, Kate McCann looks so radiant as she leaves the church in Praia da Luz, you'd think she'd just got married or won the lottery!


And just a few weeks later!


I'm sure there is no need for me to remind anyone just how the McCanns courted the media, from all those early photos of the couple walking hand-in-hand along the beach in Praia da Luz, the interviews, the statements from the couple whenever a small child went missing anywhere around the globe, the sightings and rumours of sightings and interviews about how the Portuguese police failed to follow up the sightings etc etc.

The British media has been curiously silent this week following the decision from the Lisbon Court of Appeal that "A Verdade da Mentira," can now go back on the bookshelves in Portugal. And apart from 'a spokesman,' telling us that the libel action is going ahead, and Kate McCann stating that the decision was, 'unbelievable,' the depressed and insomniac couple have also been uncharacteristically quiet.

Going ahead with that libel action? Oh dear! A fine mess you may have got yourselves into! The Court of Appeal judges are of the opinion that the book does not infringe any of your fundamental rights and now Dr Amaral is considering legal action because his rights have been infringed! Oh dear!

"Gonçalo Amaral to countersue the McCanns."

“We are going to court and file a claim for damages against the McCann couple, of that there are no doubts whatsoever”, stated yesterday to DN the former Judiciary Police Inspector Gonçalo Amaral after the Lisbon Court of Appeals ruling annulled the prohibition to market the book 'Maddie, The Truth of The Lie'.

“We haven't yet determined the losses”, added Gonçalo Amaral.

“The book is an exercise of Citizenship and of Freedom of Expression. With this decision made by the Appeals Court, it was the Portuguese democracy who has won, since the ban on the sale of the book was unconstitutional”, said Gonçalo Amaral. (Joana Morais)

Oh dear! How very depressing!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Duarte Levy: Court of Appeal annuls the McCanns' injunction.




(More information here ) -This Tuesday, the Appeal Court annulled the injunction files by Madeleine McCann's parents against the book written by the former Portuguese Policia Judiaria (PJ), Gonçalo Amaral.

The decision to ban the sale of the book and the video was handed down on January 14th by Lisbon's Civil Court judge Cunha Rodrgues, following a previous preliminary decision in September 2009. The injunction followed a request by lawyer Isabel Duarte in the name of the five members of the McCann clan, which included the missing child Maddie.

The decision banned the marketing of the book, "Maddie: The Truth of the Lie," - in Portuguese, "Maddie: A Verdade da Mentira." - and the distribution of a documentary of the same title which had initially been broadcast by the television channel TVI and marketed with the newspaper Correio da Manha.

According to a source close to Gonçalo Amaral, the former coordinator, who defends the theory of Kate and Gerry McCann's involvement in the disappearance of their daughter in May 2007, received the news, "with satisfaction and relief to see that justice has been done."

In France, the news was also well received by officials of a television channel which had previously bought broadcasting rights for the documentary. This morning, the court accepted the petition introduced by lawyer Antonio Cabrita and ordered the immediate replacement of the work in the usual points of sale.

The court's decision also recognised the rights of speech of the former investigator, who was until now banned from giving interviews in Portugal and abroad.

The former coordinator - police chief - regains freedom of speech.

Gonçalo Amaral received the news with satisfaction, considering that the decision by the Court of Appeal had just "reinforced Portuguese democracy," stressing that his book, "was an exercise in citizenship and freedom of expression and that to ban it was unconstitutional."

The former coordinator - chief of the Portuguese PJ, admitted that he was now more calm to face the two other court cases against him on behalf of Kate and Gerry McCann.

Madeleine's parents, as they have done in several instances in the past, have initiated an action in the civil courts accusing the former police officer of defamation, demanding this time 1.2 million Euros in compensation. In a second action, Gonçalo Amaral is accused by the couple's lawyer of having violated the secrecy of justice.

"This decision means that Dr Gonçalo Amaral is now free to express himself on all aspects of the McCann case. It means that the Lisbon Court of Appeal considered that there isn't, and there never was, in the book and in the video, any offence to the McCann couple's good name and considered that Dr Gonçalo Amaral did nothing but exercise a legal right, moreover backed up by more than twenty-six years of experience in criminal investigation," stated Antonio Cabrita, the lawyer representing the former coordinator, chief of the Policia Judiciaria.

As a reminder, the book, "Maddie: The Truth of the Lie," maintains the theory that Madeleine McCann died in the holiday apartment occupied by her family in the south of Portugal in May 2007 and that her parents hid her.

The decision to ban the sale of the book and the video was handed down on January 14th by judge Cunha Rodrigues, of the Lisbon Civil Court, following a previous preliminary decision in September 2009.

The McCanns voluntarily limited their right to a private life.

Today the judges revoked the injunction, considering that, "the contents of the book do not infringe any of the fundamental rights," of the McCanns.

"The exercise of its writing and publication is contained in the constitutional rights guaranteed to all by the European Convention on Human Rights and by the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (relating to freedom of expression and information and freedom of the press and the media)," states the ruling from the judges, Francisco Bruto da Costa, Catarina Arelo Mando and Antonio Valente.

With regard to the accusations that Gonçalo Amaral had damaged the couple's reputation and infringed the McCanns' privacy, the judges concluded that it was the couple themselves who, "opened the door," and therefore others may express themselves concerning Maddie's disappearance.

"As regards that which concerns the private life of the claimants (the McCanns), it is they themselves who were everywhere at once in interviews and talks before the media, providing them with information which, otherwise, would never have been disclosed." It is they who, "voluntarily decided to limit their right to a private life," states the ruling.


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