Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Sirens of The Lambs by Dr Martin Roberts

The Sirens of The Lambs
By Dr Martin Roberts
February 10, 2016

“Eeyore, Eeyore”

It would appear that much can be gleaned from the ‘sound of sirens’, just as Simon and Garfunkel once suggested. Jenny Murat in particular was in no doubt about that on the morning of Friday 4 May, when interacting with a lady journalist (Maria Cecilia Pereria Peres) and an unidentified male, while visiting unoccupied premises in Praia da Luz. According to the journalist’s account of their conversation (as given to police on 23 May, 2007):

“The previous night she heard the Police arrive, due to the sirens, according to her at 22h00. The old lady said she had been eating dinner with her son when she heard the sirens, that is the Police, it being that it was at that time that she became aware of the disappearance of a girl from the ‘Ocean Club’.”

Thus sirens at 22.00 equals ‘Police’, associated with personal awareness of a little girl’s disappearance.

Immediately one has to ask how any of this is at all possible, when the local police were not contacted until 22.40 and the first patrol to arrive turned up at 23.00? Even they didn’t know the nature of the crime they were sent to investigate until they asked at the Ocean Club reception!

Jenny Murat seems to have been ahead of the game somewhat.

When interviewed by police 11 days later (15 May) she had rather more to impart:

“About 19h50 she went to the ‘Batista’ supermarket to buy bread. Then she went back to the house where she arrived more or less at the same time as Robert. Later they sat in the kitchen where they were talking for some time, having also eaten.”


“While they were talking in the kitchen, she is not able to say when, she recalls having heard a siren ringing at least once. Although not usual, she also did not "connect" because it could possibly have been an ambulance. (She recalls that sometimes, when the wind blows in a certain direction, it is possible to hear in the house sirens of police cars or ambulances that pass on the EN125).”

So, sirens don’t necessarily equal ‘Police’ after all, their sirens being indistinguishable from those of ambulances in Portugal, according to Jenny Murat at least. Wrong. The Portuguese emergency services (police and ambulance) operate quite different sirens on their vehicles, except at night, when they are not utilised at all.*

If we now juxtapose this observation of Jenny Murat’s with that of her son Robert on the same topic, things then take a very odd turn indeed.

From his arguido statement of 11 May we learn that:

“He was home with his mother, when at 22:30 or a little later, he heard a siren of an ambulance or police. He commented on that with his mother, however, did not leave the house to investigate. He did not leave again until the morning, having gone to bed around midnight.”

Once again the identity of the siren remains unspecified.

Besides wondering why anyone would step outside their house to ‘investigate’ a distant siren, there is an obvious discrepancy between the two reports of half-an-hour to account for. However, if an emergency services siren should be heard in the Portuguese Algarve, any unfamiliarity with the sound would be dispelled by seeing the vehicle to which it belonged. If Robert Murat didn’t bother to take a look outside the house, and there is no indication that his mother did so, how was she able to conclude, for the benefit of her Friday morning acquaintance, that a siren heard at 22.00 signalled the police arriving to investigate the disappearance of a little girl?

Given her advancing years, and offering a generous helping of charity, we might imagine that Jenny Murat latched onto the detail of events as reported earlier that Friday morning and simply ‘put two and two together’ as regards the siren she says she heard at 22.00, and which her son describes as audible at ’22.30 or a little later.’ In reality, even had the GNR turned up at the Ocean Club with their siren wailing (which we have it on good authority they did not), it wouldn’t have been much before 23.00. And what we do not get from either of the Murat’s is a conspicuous connection between the sound they claim to have heard a considerable distance away and a more blatant announcement in Praia da Luz, anything up to 30 minutes, or even an hour, afterwards.

The pearls of redacted uncertainty do not end there however.

Selfless altruism?

According to Robert Murat (in relation again to the Thursday):

“(He) headed for his residence, where he arrived between 19.15 and 19.30….He does not know if his mother was at home, but thinks so….After entering, he may have taken some tea and turned on the TV or it was already on. He may also have read a newspaper. He talked with the mother, who if she was not there had arrived shortly afterwards…. He ate a sandwich of cheese and ham sitting in the kitchen with his mother, until 22:00 or 23:00.”

So Robert’s mother, Jenny Murat, may (or may not) have been at home when Robert himself may (or may not) have had a cuppa, and may (or may not) have turned on the TV, before reading a newspaper (or not) and speaking to his mother (who, don’t forget, may not in fact have been there at the time).

And this from someone who purports to be a businessman?

But do let’s pay attention to the last of the imponderables in this instance:

“He ate a sandwich of cheese and ham sitting in the kitchen with his mother, until 22:00 or 23:00.”

Jenny Murat too has a ‘take’ on what transpired in her kitchen, and when. It is somewhat different to her son’s account however:

“She recalls that they were talking until close to midnight”.

Some latitude in recall is all very well, but 11.00 p.m. cannot be considered ‘close to midnight’, much less 10.00 p.m. Things start to go even further awry when the PJ question Robert Murat a couple of months later (11 July):

“Questioned he says that when he heard the sound of a siren he was with his mother in the kitchen, still talking, it would be about 22:00/22:30”

And then the ‘maybe, maybe nots’ are remorselessly exposed:

“He remembers that at one time he spoke with his mother, however he cannot recall whether she arrived meanwhile or she was already there. He remembers that they were sitting in the kitchen and the defendant remembering that he ate, how long with his mother he does not remember. Confronted with the testimony of his mother who told that she arrived at the house around 20.30 and that Robert had also arrived at that moment, he says that he cannot account for having arrived at the same time as his mother.”

What are we to make of these peculiar discrepancies?

First, let’s reprise a particular couplet of Robert Murat’s:

“He ate a sandwich of cheese and ham sitting in the kitchen with his mother, until 22:00 or 23:00.”


“He was home with his mother, when at 22:30 or a little later, he heard a siren of an ambulance or police.

Obviously, if option 1 (22.00), embedded in the first of these statements, is correct, then Robert Murat would not have heard the later siren from his mother’s kitchen at all. If the siren event were genuine, he must have been conversing with her there for longer to have heard it from that same location. And if it were not genuine?

If the siren were more imaginary than real, then Robert Murat could conceivably have parted company with his mother as early as 10.00 p.m. Of course “She recalls that they were talking until close to midnight”, but then she also either fails completely to recall when she heard the mystery siren, or positions the experience chronologically at 10.00 p.m.

The bottom line, as they say, is that, of the two persons who experience the same unidentified sound, only one, Robert Murat, places it comfortably within the hour between 10.00 and 11.00 p.m. His mother puts it no later than 10.00.

Since it is an occurrence they apparently discuss between them, we might suppose Robert Murat’s whereabouts at the time to have been his mother’s kitchen. Both the fact of the siren and its timing are of some significance therefore. ‘Genuine and late’ affords Murat the younger an alibi for an hour of some importance. ‘Fictitious or early’, however, and he could have been anywhere. Jenny Murat does her level best to repel boarders by talking until ‘close to midnight’. Unfortunately for her son, she seems unable to defer what they were talking about.

The power of suggestion

Another reprise is appropriate:

“He was home with his mother, when at 22:30 or a little later, he heard a siren of an ambulance or police. He commented on that with his mother, however, did not leave the house to investigate. He did not leave again until the morning, having gone to bed around midnight.”

Besides driving home the point that ‘he did not leave the house to investigate’ (Why would he? The supposed siren was nowhere near), Murat junior describes having ‘commented on’ the siren ‘with his mother’.

This seems an odd turn of phrase; one which has probably migrated in translation from, ‘mentioned to his mother’ (as in, ‘Did you hear that siren, mother?’), following which, Jenny Murat dutifully logs the experience in her mind’s ear, to be recounted in due course. There is no reciprocal suggestion on her part that she brought the sound to her son’s attention or ‘discussed’ it in any way. As she says, she did not ‘connect’ with it.

Robert Murat, having introduced a shared, putatively relevant exterior reference, is therefore free to position it in time, thereby confirming his own whereabouts. What he fails to anticipate, however, is his mother’s dogged refusal to advance her own auditory clock beyond 22.00, even by half-an-hour.

This is yet another story badly told. Just how badly we may judge from the following:

RM: “He ate a sandwich of cheese and ham sitting in the kitchen with his mother, until 22:00 or 23:00.”

JM: “She recalls that they were talking until close to midnight”

And to which we might add:

RM: “I was in my mother’s kitchen until one a.m.” (to Judy Bacharach, Vanity Fair contributing editor, and reported in the article, ‘Unanswered Prayers’, Jan. 31, 2008).

Between them Robert Murat and his mother wish it to be known that Robert went to bed that night, sometime within the four-hour period 10.00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. Given such a range, it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that Robert Murat was not in fact inside the house at all between 10.00 and 11.00 p.m., never mind the kitchen.

Of course ‘they were talking until close to midnight’.


If there is one item of domestic equipment the use of which is guaranteed to kill any conversation stone dead it is a computer.

Robert Murat had no recollection of using a computer that night, a situation confirmed by forensic analysis of his personal device, which CEOP, in their report complementing that of the PJ’s own technical staff, helpfully labelled ‘Robert’. However, there was another device in almost continuous use that same night, and which CEOP have identified as ‘Jenny’ (no prizes for guessing to whom that one belonged). According to CEOP, ‘Jenny’ the computer was switched on and utilised by Jenny the user, from 10.00 p.m. until 11.34. If Jenny Murat was ‘talking’ all that time, then it was via a keyboard.**

Placing the last of Robert Murat’s above-mentioned claims in its proper context disperses a little more fog:

“All I can say is that I am innocent. There is no way I was at the resort that night. Full stop. I was in my mother’s kitchen until one a.m. Yes, we are a kitchen kind of family. I spent the night at the house.”

Robert Murat may not have been at the resort, but there are lots of other places he might have been. And spending the night somewhere is what we do when we sleep through the early hours. It does not necessarily embrace something we might choose to do beforehand, whether there or somewhere else.

Robert Murat’s explanation of his whereabouts during the crucial hour 10.00 – 11.00 p.m. on Thursday night 3 May, 2007, is clearly suspect, his alibi being furnished unconvincingly by his own mother, who, when interviewed subsequently by the media said, on her son’s behalf, that he was

"Very bitter. Somebody has set him up."

"How do you think that happened?"

"We don't know. Probably the people who did it."

I can understand being angry (livid actually) at being ‘set up’ by a perfect stranger, but ‘bitter’? That’s more a description of how one might feel toward a duplicitous acquaintance, close or casual.

And who set Robert up? Why, ‘The people who did it’. Not the by-now-over-the-hills-and-far-away abductor you’ll notice, but the people plural, who had obviously stuck around to see to it that Robert Murat was ‘clocked’ that Thursday night.

This was of course Jenny Murat talking, not Robert. That’s what it looks like anyway. But when you consider that she is describing her son’s emotions, how on earth is she to know he feels ‘bitter’ without either asking him or being told. It’s not something one can read in another’s facial expression. For this moment on record, therefore, it is indeed Robert Murat talking, albeit by proxy, and it behoves us to listen just as carefully to what is being said here as to the sound of sirens.

 Martin Roberts

*a previous discussion of the siren story can be found here, under the title ‘All the world’s a stage 1/3’:

** The CEOP report of Jenny Murat’s computer usage is of further interest in that it does not tally precisely with the data exhumed by the PJ. Certain activities recorded by the PJ, and of potential interest, are given scant mention by CEOP. On the other hand CEOP refer to tasks, e.g. a call to ‘’ on the night of 3 May and subsequent computer gaming, of which the PJ’s own ‘trace’ provides no record. It is noticeable, possibly noteworthy, that Jenny Murat spent 12 minutes examining, reading and deleting e-mails on the afternoon of 2 May, something she did not do on the 3rd, the 4th or the 5th. It was during the morning of 2 May of course that Gerry McCann received those dozen voicemail messages that he and his PR henchman have always strenuously denied. (see pages 1152-1159 and 1164/1165 here:


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Martin

Many have been waiting for and will enjoy contemplating this. And I sure will.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I can understand being livid at being ‘set up’ by a perfect stranger. However, it might give you strength, not bitterness I’d say.

If you’re bitter, you’re betrayed and can’t get out of a bad situation? M

Anonymous said...

Elsewhere people have been warned not to spread lies about poor innocents abroad lest it leaves them defenceless with a sullied reputation. Glad your sticking to the facts then!
Many thanks another well timed post. I can't stop trying to copy Hobs however,and constantly scour conversations for "meaning",it's hugely annoying and more than often pointless. Just can't resist this one however.........

“He was home with his mother, when at 22:30 or a little later, he heard a siren of an ambulance or police. He commented on that with his mother, however, did not leave the house to investigate. He did not leave again until the morning, having gone to bed around midnight.”

So "did not leave the house to investigate"...then why did he leave??


Anonymous said...

Dec 2, 2012

Mrs Murat said: “Robert was at my home throughout that night and thankfully that is now fully accepted as fact. He did not leave once.

Fully accepted as fact? Not proven fact, anyway. M

Martin Roberts said...

M @11:49

"Fully accepted as fact? Not proven fact, anyway."

Fully accepted by whom? Any one (or others) in particular?


Anonymous said...



Kate’s friends, witnesses in her account of the truth.

“As I read these statements, it became slightly less baffling to me that Robert Murat and the witnesses who said they saw him on the night Madeleine was taken could all be so certain of their conflicting recollections.”


Anonymous said...

The expat, who lived in Praia da Luz at the time, was found to have no involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance.

That doesn't mean he was at home that night.

Martin Roberts said...

Anonymous @ 10:15

"...was found to have no involvement in Madeleine’s disappearance."

As in 'wasn't seen to be carrying anything' perhaps (maybe just a set of keys?)

Anonymous said...

M.R. @11:01
You're reading my mind. M

Anonymous said...

Jenny Murat : "I know I'm telling the truth. That night we were just sitting at the kitchen table talking for a very long time.

"People find that quite extraordinary, that we sit at the kitchen table, but we've always done that, we've always sat round the kitchen table and talked."

Anonymous said...

Here's an early Robert article,

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @06:00

People find that quite extraordinary, that we sit at the kitchen table, but we've always done that, we've always sat round the kitchen table and talked.

I'm reminded of another mother and her ‘knowledge of people’.

Suggestive nonsense. M

Anonymous said...

Susan Healy:

“Kate and Gerry are as innocent as you or I, or anyone reading this. The perpetrator or perpetrators are still out there. We still pray that someone will open a door and say ‘Here she is – it’s all been a terrible mistake’."

Interesting. M

Martin Roberts said...

Anonymous @06:00

"I know I'm telling the truth".

Surely 'the truth' is something that is either told or not.

The statement above is on a par with 'I'm convinced/I'm sure/I'm certain I'm telling the truth' etc. Not too big a step from 'I think/believe in my opinion.

Martin Roberts said...

Anonymous @07:47

“Kate is a very sensitive, caring person and one of the most maternal people I know – she puts me to shame."

Says Susan Healy, indicating that her own daughter was denied affection.

Himself said...

Anonymous 14 February 2016 at 06:00

Jenny Murat : "I know I'm telling the truth.

I'll wager that little utterance wouldn't pass the "Tania test."

Ah! I've just noticed: Martin Roberts said... 14 February 2016 at 10:23 What harm?

Himself said...

Maren 14 February 2016 at 08:01

Interesting yes, and I know it's not the other established mantra that you refer to, the ubiquitous straw man.

The perpetrator or perpetrators are still out there.

Anonymous said...

The key message.

1 May 2008

03:04 Kate McCann:

“This is a crime, it’s a horrific crime against a young child and I think we need to focus on that, and Madeleine is still missing and a heinous crime has been committed and that person is still out there.”

November 30, 2010

Kate McCann said that the perpetrator of the crime was still out there and that they believed that all the information needed to be brought together and re-examined again.

Kate McCann in ‘madeleine’

“I think it would be fair to say that Europe is at least twenty years behind the US in dealing with this issue. At the time of Madeleine’s abduction only two of the twenty-seven countries in the European Union had a national child rescue alert system in place: France and Belgium.”

24 JUL 2007 UPDATED 23:56, 3 FEB 2012

After his visit to the centre, Gerry spent time with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has been at the forefront of US child protection reform.

"What I've seen on this brief visit is that they are light years ahead of Europe in uniting the strands governing how we protect kids," said Gerry." And we can certainly learn from it."

We can certainly learn from it.

Don't you just love irony.

Himself said...

"that person is still out there" McCann

A search brought but five results, I expected more. But that's not to say there aren't more.


Now that gets a few more results. Whodathunkit?

Martin Roberts said...

Anonymous 14.2 @22:01
Himself @10:18

And now she tells us all (via the SUN front page) that Madeleine is still in the Algarve. Perfectly still I imagine.