Sunday, October 27, 2013

Madeleine McCann: No Stone Unturned? (Plain Text)

Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years

The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports
The Sunday Times Insight team
27 October 2013

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

A team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by the McCanns to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

10 months after the three-year-old had disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, and the McCanns were beginning to despair over the handling of the local police investigation. They were relying on the new team to bring fresh hope.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed “hypercritical” of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public. Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns’ Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl’s disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5’s former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns’ friends was dismissed as less credible after “serious inconsistencies” were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about “anomalies” in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: “A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report.”

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard’s fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund.

A source close to the fund said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if it became public.

Kate and Gerry McCann: now officially not suspects, say the Portuguese authorities. Oakley’s six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were “helpful and sincere” and concluded: “The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner’s sighting”. The evidence had been “neglected for too long” and an “overemphasis placed on Tanner”.

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes.

The pictures of a man who may have taken Madeleine were drawn up in 2008The pictures of a man who may have taken Madeleine were drawn up in 2008 (Adrian Sheratt) The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard’s investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night creche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

One of the Oakley investigators said last week: “I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme . . . It most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things . . . And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours,” he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist’s impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann’s 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight “key sightings” and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most “crucial”. Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist’s impression. The Smiths’ were the only exception. So why was such a “crucial” piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted — and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns’ evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine’s sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith’s account. He had originally told the police that he had “recognised something” about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton’s team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm’s work was considered “contaminated” by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full — so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

“[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved . . . It just wouldn’t be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because . . . the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting,” said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that “all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary” and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: “Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund’s sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible.”

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert
Source Sunday Times (paywall)


Anonymous said...

News travels fast. NL

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

GeoffCapesBudgie, London, United Kingdom
And so, finally, the British press begins to ask the right questions...

Partly thanks to that porn star of course. :)

Himself said...

And so, finally, the British press begins to ask the right questions...

825 ayes, 40 nays

The ayes have it.

Anonymous said...


Himself said...

Same page, la Brooks.

Anonymous said...

As it happens.

Anonymous said...

Tracey Rachael ‏

You forgot your hidden e-fit under one of your unturned stones, oops #McCann

Himself said...

Help me Maren, I don't know what she's talking about.

I got so many saucers spinning on so many sticks at the mo. I don't know where I am.

Anonymous said...

one of your [McCanns'] unturned stones

Appropriate words; well spotted.

Public opinion.

Anonymous said...

Madeleine McCann: Kidnapper Dead, No Burglars And Amaral’s New Book

Anonymous said...

Paul Luckman 1:25

his [Amaral’s] theory matches exactly what was released last night [focus to Smith sighting], and that I find very interesting.

Anonymous said...

But with the recent revelation that Tanner never saw any “abductor” the culpability of the parents and their friends grows even greater, if that is humanly possible. The search, the one real search, was hamstrung and corrupted by a complete fantasy, the sole responsibility of the parents and their friends.

Himself said...

Thanks Maren, only just back.

Just the one page, nothing scintillating, but I was doing a bit of searching.

Just given
a follow.

I shall leave it a day or two and then start feeding her snippets.

Himself said...

Well Chuck, I don't think Caroline Lucas is shaking in her boots over a challenge from Mitchell, I've just scrolled right back in her timeline, not one reference.

Himself said...

I think most cultures in the world must have the equivalent of the bogeyman.

>> <<


Himself said...

I just did a Google image search for Clarence Mitchell bundleman poster wondering in fact he had ever held one up. The only one I found, was one that I had done.

So just for a laugh I tried Clarence Mitchell twat

Anonymous said...

20 November 2007

Anonymous said...

Sky Bet Championship

BREAKING: Samuel Eto'o confirmed as Madeleine McCann's kidnapper.

Himself said...

Eeh bah gum lass, what a thing to wake up to.

And what was it I asked seven years ago? Is this turning into . . .

Anonymous said...

Seventh ....
Only the beginning

Anonymous said...

UK Justice Forum

The News of the World once offered £1.5m reward for safe return of #Madeleine #McCann. Now they too have disappeared!

Himself said...

Good day me lovely.

To quote an acquaintance of mine from the West Country: What a game it all is see.
You will remember this fellow of course.

And the predictable.

Dead whales.

America today, us tomorrow. We're fucked Maren, what a travesty for the planet.

And somewhere on the same sight, Fukushima Daily, is a report that fish exports to Canada are up 20% since Fukushima meltdown.

Chin up lass.

Anonymous said...


"After the disaster they hauled in huge concrete blocks to shut off this road. They could have stopped a tank. I couldn't get water or food for me and the animals. It felt like they were telling us to just go and die."

"Atom! Snowy! You're all wet. You must be hungry. It's cat food time. For months after the disaster they couldn't get anything to eat, so they'll eat anything these days. Even cat food."

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. An exclusion zone was created nearby, and 150,000 people fled their homes. But Keigo Sakamoto remained, continuing to run his animal sanctuary. For more than two years he and his 500 animals have relied on charity to survive. Keigo Sakamoto and his 500 animals.

"Many people ran way from here because they were afraid of high levels of radiation. Now I'm the only one left living in the 20-kilometre exclusion zone. I don't sleep outside the zone. Not even for a day. There's no way Tokyo Electric Power Company doesn't know I'm here alone. Even if it were just a lowly employee apologising for this whole mess, I'd appreciate it. They come and go in their vans checking the damage they have done. But I've never heard a word of apology come from their mouths, and that's what hurts the most."

"One of my rabbits has escaped. Thank goodness! I'd thought you'd been eaten by a weasel. These animals here are my life, my family. If I evacuated even for a month, I don't think a single one would stay alive. You can't escape the excrement and urine, handling all the dirty stuff."

"Taking care of a few hundred different animals isn't easy. What I'm most afraid of is letting them starve to death. So twice a week, I stock up on as many supplies as I can carry. I couldn't look after 500 animals without this charity. I wouldn't be able to ask for this help if it was just for myself. It's because of the lives of my animals that I have the courage to ask for scraps. It's all for the animals. They're really excited."

"If I fall sick and die because of the nuclear fallout, I will donate my body for research. I have absolutely no fear because I am protecting 500 lives. I will carry on protecting them. I will not move a foot from this place."

Himself said...

MF says it is more likely that the child died. And he adds it is impossible that someone passed through the window with a child. He says the abduction theory then doesn't make sense. He observes that there are many possibilities, it's perfectly admissible for instance that the child went out to search for her parents. If the child died, it could have been outside of the flat or in the flat. But, he says, the disappearance never could have happened through the window, he insists that it is essential to understand that it is technically, humanly, impossible. The witness concludes affirming that all the hypotheses are possible, except for the abduction “through that window”.

Anonymous said...

Carmel O Reilly

"Both parents said they noticed the door slightly more ajar than it was originally left by them, but it was only when the door slammed shut did Kate admit that she stepped into the room to check was she in bed,so they didn’t look into the room each time???
very strange really as they might as well just stood at the door and listened for crying.
What was the saddest thing about their interview, they admitted they only miss her at Christmas and birthdays when the family should be complete. If that was my child that was abducted it would never leave me ever! Something isn’t right with this case at all"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

By Dr Martin Roberts
30 December 2013

The contentious e-fits, first brought to the attention of the general public by Scotland Yard, fully five years after their production, yet never, and quite deliberately, by the fund which sponsored them, finally made a reluctant appearance on the world stage, only to be overshadowed, rather prematurely, by a snow-capped Christmas tree! Oh, and a message from St Katherine, which singularly neglects to say, 'Merry Christmas Madeleine, wherever you may be'.

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Hello Chuck, how went Christmas?

Thanks for those m'darlin, quite interesting.

Not had chance to look at much stuff myself. Had my geek over the last couple of days, troubleshooting one machine and biting the bullet. I have finally succumbed to Windows7 on t'other.

Bit of a Luddite where computers are concerned tha knows.

I suppose I shall go and have a wander through cyberspace and see what's cooking.

Tomorrow then Chuck?

Anonymous said...

Good morning H,

Christmas was gezellig, we’re Dutch after all. We don’t do presents and gushy, but we lazed, ate together and went out to taste some culture. All in good company.

Thanks to the relatively mild weather I also did some gardening.

I hope the computer stuff has been solved. Luddite? Tell me about it.

Work to do. Later m’dear. Mx

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Hallo H. Het was gezellig vandaag. Mx

My husband considers Dutch not a language but a throat disease, and the pronunciation of gezellig may prove his theory.