Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

07 - OCT 18 - Dispatches Special "Experts"

Searching for Madeleine: A Dispatches Special
Channel 4 - 18th October 2007 




Déclaration d'intention


Madeleine MC a disparu le 3 mai  à Praia da Luz. C'est un des très rares faits de ce fait-divers "star" de l'année 2007. Les parents de Madeleine sont passés de victimes d'une terrible tragédie à suspects formels dans la disparition de leur enfant. 
Qu'est-il réellement arrivé au cours des 168 jours qui se sont écoulés depuis qu'on a perdu de vue Madeleine ?
Dispatches a envoyé à Praia da Luz une équipe formée par cinq des meilleurs enquêteurs britanniques. Sous la houlette de l'ex-Chief Superintendent Chris Stevenson, qui, parmi 30 affaires criminelles, dirigea l'enquête de Soham sur les meurtres de Holly Wells et Jessica Chapman en 2002, les experts ont pour mission d'examiner le terrain, du volet soi-disant ouvert (ou forcé), aux statistiques sur les enlèvements d'enfant en passant par la visibilité de la porte-fenêtre, et d'envisager tout à tour plusieurs hypothèses.
Réunissant leurs compétences variées et leurs expériences dans des dizaines d'affaires criminelles au Royaume-Uni, les experts analysent devant la caméra les éléments accessibles d'une enquête vieille déjà de 6 mois et font savoir comment ils auraient réagi à la disparition de Madeleine et ce qu'ils auraient fait pour la retrouver. En s'aidant des témoignages de quelques observateurs, ils tentent de discriminer entre les faits et la fiction médiatique sauvagement spéculative. 

Ce documentaire, qui a la forme d'un reportage en temps réel, a été tourné alors que l'enquête était en cours et sous secret de l'instruction. Cela pourrait expliquer l'absence (mais elle est totale...) des points cruciaux que sont les alertes des chiens britanniques et le signalement multiple de la famille Smith. Malgré l'annonce de compétences en fait d'ADN, il n'en est pas fait usage. 


1 - Les faits (nuit du 3 mai 2007)
Juliet Stevenson (Narrator) : On May 3rd, 2007, 3 year old Madeleine McCann went missing.
Gerald MC : Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home...
JS : 168 days later, that is the only undisputable fact about this extraordinary case.
Olegário de Sousa (Spokesperson for the PJ) : I have no facts to sustain whether the child is alive or dead...
JS : Tonight, Dispatches sends 5 leading criminal investigators to Portugal.
Chris Stevenson (former Detective Chief Superintendent, Cambridgeshire Police) : If we got two thumb marks then that would have to be an investigative priority...
JS : Their brief to bring 134 years of experience to the search for Madeleine. The Portuguese village of Praia da Luz is a quiet holiday resort, but for the last 6 months it has been at the centre of an intense police investigation and a frenzy of media speculation. Dispatches team of criminal experts arrives in Luz intending to shed fresh light on what might have happened to 3 years old Madeleine McCann in a case that has dominated the headlines.
CS : What we're looking to do is what we would have done had this been reported in the UK.
David Canter (Director, Centre for Investigative Psychology, University of Liverpool) : I would really want to know an awful lot about the typical patterns of activity of the families involved.
David Barclay (Former Head of Physical Evidence UK National Crime and Operations Faculty) : What you're talking about is: Did she leave on her own? Was she taken by somebody else? Or was it none of the above?
JS : Portuguese secrecy laws prevent the police from revealing any details about the investigation. Using information in the public domain and from their own expert observations, our team will analyse what could have happened to Madeleine. (1)

The last photograph of Madeleine McCann was taken by her mother, Kate, at the pool of the Mark Warner Ocean Club where they were staying with friends.
Charlotte Pennington (MW nanny) : They were a very social group and they seemed all to be really respectful, nice, loving parents. Madeleine, I found out to be quite bright... errm, quite shy... errm, very sweet, very beautiful girl. On May the third, it was just Madeleine I was reading a story to. I later saw them around lunchtime. That's the last time I saw them together as a family. (2) Les propos de cette nanny doivent être pris avec une pincée de sel, comme disent les Britanniques. À la crèche, elle s'occupait des bébés et non du groupe d'enfants dans lequel était Madeleine. Son témoignage n'a pas été corroboré par d'autres et semble avoir surtout visé les 15 minutes dont parle Andy Warhol.

JS : The McCann's say that they put their children to bed at 7pm. It has been reported that Madeleine shared her room with her younger sister and brother.
At 8.30, Kate McCann and her husband, Gerry, joined friends for dinner at the Ocean Club Tapas Bar. Between 9.05 and 9.30 Gerry McCann and two friends checked the children 150 metres walk away. At 10'clock, it was Kate McCann's turn to check on the children.
CP : I was working that night at something called 'Drop-in Creche'. We had one child left and... errm, the mother came in, picked up the child and just mentioned 'Hang on a minute, I've just seen a guy who's run past me, who seemed really distressed and I recognised him as being a guest at Mark Warner, but he was shouting out something like 'Maddie' or 'Abbey' or 'Gabby'.
JS : Mark Warner staff were briefed and fanned out across the resort.
CP : I went straight to the apartment. I sort of walked in, did a quick scan around and been told 'No, no. She's not here, she's not here'. Kate McCann was outside and she was very distressed. She was saying things like 'They've taken her' and 'She's gone' and, you know, 'Where is she? Where is she?' She was crying and there were tears down her face and it was absolutely heartbreaking to see.

June Wright (Luz resident) : I arrived at the Ocean Club reception at around about ten to eleven. And at the time that we arrived a police car arrived and, as the police officer got out, a man approached him, who I now know is Gerry McCann, and said that his daughter had been abducted; that there was no way that she could have opened the shutters herself; she'd definitely been taken.
Gerald MC a raison : Madeleine n'aurait pas pu ouvrir les persiennes, eût-elle su comment faire, en raison de la force de traction à exercer sur la sangle. Au reste, si elle avait voulu sortir, elle avait le choix de la porte (nord) qui n'était pas fermée à clef et de la porte-fenêtre (sud) qui n'était pas fermée du tout.

CS : We started with three hypotheses: that Maddy had wandered off; that she had been taken by...
JS : Based on the few details that have emerged from witnesses, and on their own years of investigative experience, Dispatches' team of experts apply British police procedure to develop a strategy for their review.
CS : It really reinforces to me to get the full background... and make sure that we've got that all totally and clearly documented.
CS : (to camera) It's very much a case of gathering as much information as quickly as you can so that you can develop which of the hypotheses is the most likely.
DC : ...and I think that when you can get that framework, you can begin to see the various possibilities...
JS : Forensic psychologist, Professor David Canter has compiled offender profiles in 150 serious criminal investigations including abductions and murders.
DC : (to camera) There seems to me to be a range of possibilities from, on the one hand, the child just wandered off. In other words, the child is the cause of the disappearance, right the way through to the other extreme where it's some organised network of criminals who've come in from somewhere else looking for an opportunity and have taken the child away.
JS : Based on DC's model, they resolve that there are three clear possibilities:
- that Madeleine wandered off on her own and got lost
- that she was abducted
- or that something happened to her which may have involved her family.

They start by looking at the first hypothesis: that Madeleine woke up and walked off by herself.
DC : ...for instance we need to know what the pattern of behaviour is, of Madeleine. Did she wander at all? Was she likely to wake up at night? If she did wake up, did she know her way to the pool? Could she find it on her own? Would she have gone looking for her parents?
JS : The team visit the McCann's apartment in conditions similar to the night that Madeleine disappeared. First they explore how she could have got out of the apartment. Madeleine's bedroom window faced the car park at the back of the apartment next to the main door. Reports indicate that, according to the McCanns, the shutters were closed and the door locked. The more likely exit route is through the patio doors on the side of the apartment facing the resort pool. It has been widely reported that these doors were closed but had been left unlocked. The team explore the route she could have taken had she left this way. The apartment is situated at a corner of two roads. From the patio door, steps lead directly out onto the street. Former police search adviser, Gary Ligg, believes it's most likely she would have headed downhill towards the Ocean Club reception to the pool area and Tapas Bar.

DB : There's quite a slope on this road.
Gary Ligg (Former Senior Search Adviser, West Yorkshire Police) : Yes. And it takes you past the reception area if she's walking. We've a tendency to walk downhill. If she's looking for her mum and dad, she may have an inkling or some knowledge that they're in here because this is where they went. 
Le groupe des neuf et les huit enfants avaient dîné ensemble au  Millenium le soir de leur arrivée. Si Madeleine avait cherché ses parents et puisqu'elle ignorait où ils étaient, il aurait été logique qu'elle prenne cette direction. Mais il semble vraisemblable qu'une enfant égarée se rapproche d'endroits éclairés.
CS : If she's coming down here, this is the first area of welcoming light.
GL : It is.
CS : So a disorientated child would probably tend to home in on that.
JS : Among his thirty murder cases Gary Ligg has devised search plans for over 100 serious criminal investigations. In this case he would immediately advise a wider search of the area. (3)
GL : (to camera) if she is lost and she's a lot warmer than the ambient temperature around, we're gonna use a helicopter with a forward-looking infra-red.
DC : But why would a child wander off? A child would go to find her parents. That's what she'd do, and she must know where the pool is.
Madeleine sait où se trouve la piscine, mais qu'y feraient ses parents la nuit ? Même en montant sur le petit parapet, elle est trop petite pour voir, du balcon, d'où viennent les éclats de voix que peut-être elle entend.
GL : Are you going to dismiss the possibility that she's wandered off at this early stage?
CS : We can't do that David. We've got to look at that as a possibility and that has to be a priority, however unlikely a scenario that is.

JS : 2 hours after Madeleine was reported missing, the volunteers started to look further afield for any sign of her.
JW : Everybody that was in the village was out and they did a complete sweep of the beach and all up the rocks and all up the backs of the houses.
Matt King (Luz resident) : You could hear from one end of Luz to the other end of Luz people should out Madeleine's name.
CP : Everyone was sort of on automatic rather than talking to each other.
MK : If it was quiet at one end you could hear the others shouting at the other end of Luz, or in every little alley way going around Luz.
JW : I kept thinking deep inside that she's gonna be found.

JS : Volunteers and Mark Warner staff continued searching into the early hours of the morning.
CP : It was sort of like weird not finding her. This has never happened. We've always found the child.
MK : As the night went on, it got colder and later and later. Everybody started realising that this isn't going to be as good an outcome as what we were hoping.
CP : It got really more, more and more 'Where is she?' and you'd walk past people and they had tears streaming down their face.
JW : The police arrived with police dogs and it was very late then so I don't think there was anything else that night that we could really do.
MK : Something was seriously wrong.

JS : At 4.30 am, the volunteers reluctantly abandoned their search for the night.
CS : If Madeleine had wandered off, I would definitely have expected her to have been found by a member of the public. There are a lot of other apartments over-looking the street and the exit from the apartment down the stairs, and you would have expected someone to see a small child and I would have thought, intervened.
JS : Dispatches' team of experts have tested one theory: That Madeleine wandered off on her own. Next, they look at the possibility that she might have been abducted and uncover some worrying leads.

2 - Enlevée ?
GL : But this time we are not talking about her wandering around, we're talking about the open ground.
JS : Within ten hours, Madeleine's story was already causing ripples around the world.
Kate Garraway (presenter – GMTV) : We've got some more breaking news for you this morning. A very serious story is developing and is coming through...
JS : News of Madeleine's disappearance reached the British media by 7.45 the following morning
KG : ...and it is thought that she MAY have been abducted.
Jill Renwick (family friend) : ...the shutters had been broken open and they've gone into the room and taken her.
JS : From the moment that Madeleine was reported missing, Kate and Gerry McCann have been adamant that she was taken.
DC : The thing about a car is you are moving more towards this end (points to organised group). It's surprising how many offenders, in all sorts of...
JS : Having considered it unlikely that Madeleine wandered off by herself, the team of experts now look at whether abduction could indeed be a possibility.
CS : You can't rule out the possibility that this was a chance abduction and somebody happened to stumble across her. You can't rule out the possibility that somebody had targeted her having watched what happened on previous nights and setting in place a plan to remove that child for whatever reason.
Madeleine s'est-elle trouvée au mauvais endroit au mauvais moment (enlèvement d'opportunité) ou a-t-elle été ciblée pour une raison quelconque ?
CS : So the Tapas bar is over that sort of orangey-yellow roofed building, just round there.

JS : The team want to see just how possible it would have been to abduct Madeleine. How could someone get into her bedroom unnoticed? How could they avoid being caught while people were checking on the children? And how could they get away unseen if her parents were watching the apartment from the restaurant?
Les parents étaient assis à table de telle façon qu'ils tournaient le dos à l'immeuble.
GL : To be sure of the line of sight is to either stand at the Tapas Bar or at the doors, because of the elevation of the doors? So where's the reception?
CS : Here, this is it.
JS : They head for the Tapas bar to find out just what the McCann's could see of their apartment from their dinner table. To reach it, you must go through the Ocean Club reception.
CS : Hello there, I'm an ex-detective from England... (comes out again) ...We're not guests. They won't allow us to.
JS : Our team were not allowed into the Ocean Club, but local journalist, Len Port, did get in the day after Madeleine disappeared. His photographs show what the McCanns and their group could see of the apartment from their table.
Len Port (local journalist): This picture here shows the scene from the Tapas bar. It is more or less from the table they were sitting at.
CS : You can't see below half way down the door that they left insecure. And you can't see the steps up there at all.
DB : No, not at all.
CS : So, somebody being wary could quite easily enter and leave.
DB : And depending on where you were with these umbrellas, you see even less 'cause they stick up over the top of the fence.

JS : Professor Dave Barclay is a leading international forensic scientist. He developed best practice in the UK. As well as the Omagh bombing, he's advised in 225 cold case murders in the last 6 years. From the photos he concludes the McCanns would not have been able to see an intruder from their restaurant table. But would an intruder have avoided being spotted by one of Madeleine's parents or their friends on their regular visits to Madeleine's bedroom?
DB : It would be easy for someone to get in and out of there without arousing any attention.
CS : And with the insecurity, we know that the time required to go in there, remove a child... you could be in and out in less than a minute.
DB : Yes
CS : Providing you'd done the necessary amount of pre-planning. Shall we just walk around and have a look and see what we can see from the road here.
JS : The team re-visit the apartment to see how much planning an abductor would have needed in order to get in unseen. They start in the car park at the back of the apartment. It has been widely reported that, according to the McCanns, the back door was locked and the shutters of the children's bedroom were closed. (4) If they had to force entry, could an offender get in that way unseen?
DB : If you were a burglar you could just pass over that wall and you're actually quite capable of getting in by the window.
GL : That's right. Anyone could fix that (mumbles amongst the team, camera pans to other apartments).
GL : It's all overlooked.
?: It is all over-looked.
?: You wouldn't target that.
?: No.
GL : That window and that shutter, when they left the property, was secured. The front sliding windows were open and next to the front sliding windows is a gate to the street.

JS : Search expert Gary Ligg thinks the much more likely entry point is on the side of the apartment facing the resort (face sud). Here there are sliding patio doors which were closed but left unlocked according to all the reports. The patio steps lead directly to the road.
La question de la porte-fenêtre laissée ouverte est loin d'être résolue. Si elle était restée ouverte tous les soirs, comme raccourci pour les rondes, Gerald MC aurait-il déclaré dans sa première déposition qu'à 21h05 il était entré par la porte (principale) avec sa clef, comme l'avait fait Kate à 22h ? Selon Fiona WP, Kate était inquiète (au début du dîner, le 3 mai) parce qu'ils avaient laissé la porte-fenêtre ouverte afin que Madeleine puisse sortir et aller à leur recherche, car le matin-même Madeleine avait demandé pourquoi ses parents n'étaient pas venus lorsque son frère et elle avaient pleuré.
DB : If anyone can get in there through the sliding windows, why bother to go through the shutters in the first place?
GL : Have a look here. It defies any logic that somebody would use the rear entrance or exit when this is so secluded (isolé) and already insecure.
DB : That little gate, which doesn't seem to have any lock on it, goes straight onto the road.
CS : Yes.
JS : Given the ease of entry and the seclusion of the pool side of the apartment, the team begin to see abduction as a real possibility.
DC : ...if they were going to look/check on another child, where exactly was it... ???

JS : The media quickly accepted the abduction theory as the most likely explanation of what had happened to Madeleine. 
S'il n'y a pas eu de controverse sur l'enlèvement, c'est grâce à la rumeur des persiennes et de la fenêtre forcées.
GMC : Please, if you have Madeleine, let her come home to her mummy, daddy, brother and sister.
JS : Having looked closely at the location and possible ways an abductor could get in, the team returned to the apartment at night to look at how a person might use the dark to escape unnoticed.
DB : Is that where the alley comes in?
JS : While the bedroom side of the apartment is well lit, the steps leading to the patio doors are in darkness.
DB : There's lots of light round that side and, erm, if you look in there, there's shadows all the way up and it's easy to sneak out of this gate as well.
JS : The team focus on the alley way along the pool side of the apartment block. Team leader, Chris Stevenson, thinks it's an obvious escape route.
CS : With this alley way here, because it is out of synch of that street light, it is quite dark isn't it?
DB : Yes. Once you are in here, or you've jumped over that wall, I don't think anyone would see you. They certainly couldn't see you from the Tapas Bar.
JS : Half way down this alley way they discover there's another one which runs between the two apartment blocks and onto the car park.
CS : The only way, if you go down that alley way, of leaving is through the car park because to go straight on is a dead end. There's no other exit route. If you've got a car for instance parked in the back car park, you're actually better off going out this way, through between the two blocks of flats and onto the car. Whereas to go that way (points left out of the gate) you're very much more subject to be seen aren't you? (5)
DB : You are.

JS : The team pose another question. If spotted, would an intruder raise suspicions?
GL : There was a report of somebody walking away from this area with a child wrapped in a blanket. 
Il n'est pas étonnant que les experts soient mal ou plutôt insuffisamment informés, car les médias britanniques ne pipèrent mot sur ce signalement-là, qui faisait planer un doute sur l'autre, le ravisseur officiel, Tannerman. L'homme, dénommé Smithman car il croisa la famille irlandaise du même nom, portait une petite fille en tous points semblable à Madeleine, mais elle n'était pas enveloppée d'une couverture.
DB : You then become a tourist then don't you... holding a child that's sleepy. (6)
DC : (Pointing to a map of Praia da Luz) It has some very distinctive localities in it and it wouldn't be...
JS : As the experts begin to think that an abduction is practical for someone with local knowledge of the area, forensic psychologist David Canter outlines what kind of person might target Madeleine.
DC : We haven't really talked about the victimology, about a 4 year old girl being abducted. It's not a young baby that would be more typically taken by a woman who's looking for some sort of substitute or replacement child. It's not a teenager or a pubescent young girl that really can be abducted in relation to very obvious sexual activities. It is a much more ambiguous area, possibly more towards the end of somebody who's a bit disturbed, a bit confused who would take a child that they saw the opportunity to take.
On pourrait penser cela si Madeleine était sortie et avait erré dans les rues, cherchant ses parents.
DC : (to camera) There are people, very few and very rare, but there are individuals who have some sort of sexual obsession and can even get an obsession with a particular child or a child that has a particular look about her and that seems to me to be a possibility within that framework of somebody who's around that area who saw her and really became obsessed with the need to take her.
Bridget O'D l'a éloquemment écrit dans The Guardian, notant qu'elle n'aurait su dire si Madeleine était parmi les enfants qui s'ébattaient sur le terrain de jeux : Toutes blondes, toutes en rose, toutes jolies... Lire ici.
DC : (to team meeting) Those people who abduct children around that sort of age, very typically will release them after a while but my concern is that, that individual would be totally shocked and over-awed by hundreds of journalists being all over the place. 
C'est une des raisons pour lesquelles la PJ était contre la médiatisation de l'affaire.
JS : If this was the case it would change the nature of the search.

Guilhermino Encarnação (Chief investigating officer) : At this moment, I can confirm to you that this was an abduction but we believe the girl is still alive and well.
JS : In the following days, police and volunteers widened their search to the outlying areas of PDL.
MK : We were literally searching everywhere and were having to look in drainage holes. You'd have to be looking in the wells and in the ruins. You knew you could have been looking for something not very nice.
JS : With the volunteers operating on their own and without a brief of what to look for, their effectiveness was limited. Although the volunteers searched the beach on the night, Gary Ligg is concerned that it wasn't followed by a more thorough police search.
GL : If you look down into this area, it's pitch black out there. There's nooks and crannies and hidey holes. You can't rely that that area's clear. It's got to be re-searched.
JS : Gary Ligg and Chris Stevenson soon find other places which should automatically have been searched.
GL : (looking into drainage tunnel) There's about eight to ten of these things. Now if they're all like this... that's clear visually for as far as we can see which is what? Thirty yards? But then this is the out-run. Are the drains this big underneath the entire village under those manholes?
CS : You would always have to be looking at the possibility that this child may have been the victim of a crime, may be dead and therefore, the possibility of what we call a body deposition site is something that you'd have to bear in mind with the searches that are conducted.
Les experts n'ont évidemment pas eu accès aux trois rapports de Mark Harrison. Les recherches d'une petite fille vivante, peut-être blessée et épuisée, qui ont duré une dizaine de jours, ont fait l'objet d'un rapport détaillé dont a pris connaissance le spécialiste des personnes disparues au NPIA, Mark Harrison, avant de lancer une recherche d'une petite fille assassinée. Il a lui-même parcouru le terrain avec des experts portugais et a fait venir les chiens spécialisés (EVRD et CSI) pour chercher les endroits où un corps pouvait avoir été dissimulé.  

JS : Just outside the resort of Praia da Luz, the landscape takes on a completely different look and in day-light, Gary Ligg finds yet more potential hiding places.
GL : (looking at dilapidated buildings) Course, we are talking about something that's been hidden. We are going to get down to the shell of the building and get everything else out.
JS : In the dry countryside around Luz, there are hundreds of wells - a perfect place to hide evidence, and another challenge for skilled searchers.
GL : (looking down a well) And having looked in it there, I can see the reflection on the surface of the water. I can see there's nothing there in that well above the surface of the water. I can't see under the lid of course, But we've got water. We've no idea how deep it is. By coincidence you've got water and a confined space and I've got people that are dual trained in both.

JS : Back in town, our team discover another intriguing hiding place. They spot large industrial bins all over the resort.
DB : (to camera) There have been cases in the UK where bodies have been disposed of in wheelie bins and then taken directly to refuse bins and dumped there in the hope that they would be covered up.
CP : We were told to search everywhere, including the bins and in Praia da Luz they're quite big and scary-looking. Although I saw police searching, I personally didn't see police looking in the bins like we did. But I don't think we looked in every bin.
GL : There's a world of difference to looking in a refuse bin and tipping it on its side, emptying it all out, looking in every bag and re-filling it. When you've done that then you can say there's no pyjamas, there's no body in there.
JS : Dispatches has learnt that the bins are emptied nightly between midnight and 4am. And even though a major search for a missing child was going on, they were still emptied on the night Madeleine disappeared. Since the collections were not stopped, there's another area Gary Ligg knows needs prompt attention but it's thirty kilometres away.
Une dizaine de kilomètres séparent Praia da Luz de la station de transfert de Lagos. De celle-ci à la station de traitement du Barlavento, il y a une bonne  trentaine de kilomètres. Sur l'organisation du traitement des résidus urbains, voir ici.  
Dans la seule municipalité de Lagos sont collectés environ 18 mille tonnes de résidus urbains par an, soit en moyenne 48 tonnes par jour. La quantité totale de résidus urbains déchargés dans la décharge du Barlavento est de 122 mille tonnes par an. Cela signifie qu'environ 335 tonnes de résidus solides sont déversés chaque jour dans l'aire en activité de la station de traitement du Barlavento. Retrouver un corps ou un vêtement dans ces conditions après quelques jours est une tâche qui a déjà été entreprise en Amérique du Nord où a du reste fonctionné essentiellement la sérendipité.
GL : We need to find out where the land-fill site is; talk to the authorities, find out where it went and try to identify which area of the land fill these particular bins were emptied.
CS : (to camera) Ideally you would secure all of the bins in the immediate area and make sure that the local authority don't dispose of any of the contents until the search team have had the opportunity to check them all.
JS : We asked the Portuguese police whether the bins and local landfill had been searched. They chose not to comment.
Il se peut que la PJ n'ait pas commenté parce que deux fautes ont été commises : 1) la benne à résidus solides, qui passe toutes les nuits sauf le dimanche, a emmené comme d'habitude les résidus des conteneurs de PDL (il est vrai que tout le monde recherchait une petite fille vivante et il est vrai aussi que les prédateurs sexuels ne cachent pas le corps de leur victime, une fois leur forfait accompli) et 2) les conteneurs ont été examinés le 7 mai, soit après avoir été vidés trois fois. Il est important de savoir que le personnel chargé des opérations de collecte, compactage et enfouissement n'est à aucun moment en contact visuel et, dans une certaine mesure, olfactif avec les résidus. La benne n'emmène pas directement les résidus à la décharge, mais les achemine jusqu'à la "station de transfert" pour la région de Lagos (à Sítio do Paul) où ils sont enfouis afin d'être compactés et asséchés. Une fois cette opération achevée, un autre véhicule emmène les "galettes" jusqu'à la décharge de Chão Frio, qui couvre les besoins de la moitié ouest de l'Algarve (Barlavento) et est équipée d'une installation de récupération du biogaz. Les dépôts sont quotidiennement recouverts d'une géomembrane. Si des policiers allèrent interroger le personnel de la décharge, il n'y en a pas trace dans les PJFiles. Mais, compte tenu des tonnes quotidiennement déposées,  la situation n'était pas simple. Aussi bien les forces de gendarmerie cherchaient une petite fille enlevée ou égarée, mais vivante.

OS : I have no facts to sustain whether the child is alive or not. We are searching for the child and until the moment she appears we can say nothing more.
Kate MC : (first appeal, May 7) Please, please do not hurt her. Please don't scare her. Please tell us where to find her.
OS : The Guarda Nacional Republicana inform that the searches are coming to an end (10 mai).
DB : We just don't know what has happened because we haven't got the hard physical evidence. I think we can realise that the two ends of the spectrum are now vanishingly small. That she wandered off by herself and is alive and well somewhere, or that some organised gang took her. It's a strange place for them to take a child from. But we don't know whether she met some harm within the immediate family circle either accidentally or deliberate or whether somebody in the area did break in through either the child's bedroom window or the sliding doors and took her. It would be a really bizarre and strange crime if that took place but bizarre and strange crimes do happen.
DC : We know from very many studies that, if the family's not involved in the disappearance of a child, then it's very likely indeed that it's somebody relatively local. Somebody who's seen the child before, who knows the local situation, who knows the possibilities for getting in and getting out; away with a child. So, to my mind, that's the most likely possibility.
JS : The team have considered whether Madeleine wandered off and they take seriously the possibility of abduction.
CS : (at the alley way) ...because to go straight on is a dead end. There's no other exit.
JS : Next, they explore the theory an abductor could have been close to home.


3 - Ravisseur proche ou lointain ?
DC : At that time of night the shops would be open wouldn't they? You'd have more than one sighting...
JS : Having dismissed the theory that Madeleine could have wandered off and looked at the possibility that she had been abducted by an outsider, they would now consider whether someone closer to home was involved in her disappearance. Forensic psychologist, David Canter, argues that, statistically, this is the most likely theory.
DC : It's surprising how many offenders, in all sorts of serious offences, are very local. (to camera) The most important aspect of a local individual abducting Madeleine would be that they would be familiar with the locality and that they were aware that she was there; and that they saw the opportunity created by the fact that the parents weren't with Madeleine all of the time. There could be an almost impulsive possibility about it. What you find with some of these offenders is that they have a whole notion of all the circumstances coming together to allow them to abduct the child. And they would be alert to all the possibilities and suddenly decide 'Now's the time to go for it'. And then they would make their move. (to team meeting) It seems to me the local offender is a real possibility just because of the locality.
Une sorte de génération spontanée en quelque sorte. 
DB : I'd want to know if he's effectively stalked the house; knowing that Madeleine's in there.
DC : It could be somebody who'd been wandering around looking out...
DB : Looking for an opportunity...
DC : Yes, exactly. Looking for opportunities; who became aware of the opportunity. But the really interesting thing there is how did he become aware of the opportunity?
DB : How would you know there was a small child in there who was your target? It must be that you've done some sort of pre-planning.
DC : Which makes you local in some ways. It makes you around the place at least 24 hours, possibly for a much longer period, around and known in the area.
CS : (to camera) You've got to add to this equation the fact that the family were on holiday and had only been in the area for a few days. If an offender was targeting Madeleine as a victim, then they only had a few days to prepare. It could well be though that because those apartments are regularly occupied by families that the offender would know that somewhere in there was a child in the age range and of the type that he was looking for.

JS : Nearly 2 weeks in the inquiry, Portuguese police also started focussing on a local suspect.
ITV : In these ITV News pictures Robert Murat can be seen chatting to police officers.
JS : Eleven days after Madeleine's disappearance, police called in local resident Robert Murat. They searched his house.The next day, he is formally declared an arguido - an official suspect.
OS : ...a 33 year old male, living in the area of the events, was named as a formal suspect.
JS : Robert Murat lives near the McCann's apartment. Our experts went to his house to consider the reasons the police may have targeted him as a suspect. Could he fit their local offender theory? Did he have the opportunity or access? Had he been seen behaving suspiciously?
CS : This guy is an English-speaking, bi-lingual individual who, to all intents and purposes, offered assistance when he found out that there was a missing girl. So was there something that we're not aware of that led the police to declare him a suspect?
JS : On the night Madeleine disappeared, Robert Murat said he was at home with his mother, but there were challenges to his alibi.
CS : There are two potential sightings where members of the party say they saw Murat at the club.
Trois du groupe des neuf jurèrent avoir vu Robert M dans les parages du G5, la nuit du 3 et parler avec les gendarmes. Il déclara avoir passé la soirée avec sa mère. De nombreux témoins, dont les gendarmes, ne se souvinrent pas de l'avoir vu. Il y eût peut-être confusion de personne (voir note 32 ).
JS : Living so nearby, he was often seen near the apartment and there was speculation that he could have been stalking the family. But David Canter has another explanation.
Justement personne ne l'a vu près de l'appartement (voir les portraits-robots de Toothyman et de Spottyman, sortis tout droit de quelque  Nightmare on Elm Street et vus près de l'appartement).
DC : For him, the nearest coffee bar for him takes him past the apartment. If he's going to go to the supermarket which is the only major shopping nearby, he's got to go past that apartment. So he's gonna be in this area.
JS : CS wonders if Murat could have tracked the family's movements from his house.
CS : Some of the media have made an issue about the line of sight from Robert Murat's house to the apartment.
JS : Search expert, Gary Ligg, isn't convinced.
CS : From here you can see the apartment and a couple of windows but that's all.
CS :But you can only just see part of the...
GL : Part of the window.
CS : From... the lounge window and part of the kitchen window on the left-hand side.
GL : And the entrance patio. You can't see the back door.
CS : No

JS : The team conclude the evidence against Robert Murat is thin. He became a victim of the media pressure. Chris Stevenson notes similarities with the Soham case where Ian Huntley also hung around the investigation. (7) 
CS : (to camera) It may well be that ten to twelve days into the investigation there was an element of desperation. And this individual was being identified as someone that lived in the area; had come forward to help and close, tenuous links to Huntley's behaviour led to him being identified and the police feeling obliged, almost, to actually treat him as a suspect and investigate accordingly.
Matt Tapp :  The tabloid media's perspective of what was happening here was very much that that man is getting an inside-track on the investigation because he's offered himself as an interpreter. And therefore...

JS : Matt Tapp is a Police Media Advisor. He handled the press for the Soham case. In the absence of a structured strategy, he knows the media will fill the vacuum with unhelpful speculation that can seriously distract the police.
MT : If you look at the Washington Sniper case - on day 10 of that inquiry, the Washington Post's headline was 'Clueless'. If you look at the Soham investigation, on day 10, the headline in at least three tabloid newspapers in the UK was 'Not One Clue'. On day 6 of this inquiry, there is at least one headline in a UK paper that said 'Clueless'. That builds tremendous pressure and in the midst of all of that is a little girl who's gone missing. And the little girl who's gone missing is almost a forgotten story. The big story is the incompetence of the investigation.
JS : The police found no trace of Madeleine at Robert Murat's house. He remains an official suspect but he has always protested his innocence. Under Portuguese law he will be a suspect for 8 months unless charges are brought or the situation is formally dropped.
DC : In terms of the family, we need to know what their pattern...

JS : With Robert Murat no longer significant to them, the Dispatches' experts arrive at what in Britain would have been a first line of enquiry in the case of a missing child - the family.
CS : (to camera) one of the reasons why any investigation into a missing child must initially focus around the immediate family members is because we know, from research, that..errr..something like 70% of child victims of homicide are in fact victims of family members. And, therefore, it is a crucial area of any investigation which has to be addressed very early on before the inquiry can actually progress and spread further.
JS : The priority for forensic scientist Dave Barclay would be to test the physical evidence to prove the accounts given by the family.
C'est ce que le Procureur a voulu faire en organisant une reconstitution.... un an après ! et avec des protagonistes aussi glissants que des anguilles.
DB : Going back to your point about the forensics, when we look at the stuff to do with the family, because they've all got legitimate answers, there we'd be looking for things that don't fit - anomalies between what they're saying happened and what we have found out from our observations. And they could range from just difficulties because you're overcome by emotion, to what we call 'staging'. The classic is a domestic murder, husband and wife, and then the husband tries to make it look like a burglary. Where he tries to clear up blood in the kitchen and doesn't do it successfully enough: that's staging.
Si les experts avaient été rappelés après la publication des PJFiles, ils auraient vu les anomalies. Curieusement aucun journaliste d'investigation n'a étudié ce dossier.
Bénédiction du pape ( 30 mai)
TV : ...the couple were placed in the front row of St Peter's Square.
JS : We're a month on. The McCanns were travelling around Europe to raise awareness of Madeleine. But suspicion about them was mounting.
Embarrassante question en Allemagne (6 juin)
Sabine Müller (journaliste) : How do you deal with the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you?
GMC : There is absolutely no way that Kate and I are involved in this abduction.
Appartement 5A cherché à nouveau (6 août)
JS :With the arrival of British experts in Portugal, further DNA tests were carried out as part of a review of the case.
Étrange omission de la venue des chiens, qui ont pourtant constitué un tournant dans l'enquête criminelle et ne sont pas passés inaperçus.
Nouveaux résultats forensiques (16 août)
It's reported that they discovered traces of blood in the Ocean Club apartment, and traces of Madeleine's hair in a car that the McCann's hired 25 days after Madeleine disappeared.

Kate McCann is called in for questioning (6 septembre)
TV : Kate is insisting she welcomes every opportunity to advance this beleaguered investigation.
JS : The following day her husband Gerry is questioned (7 septembre)
David Hughes (chargé de communication des MC) :  Kate and Gerry have both been declared arguidos with no bail conditions and no charges have been brought against them. The investigation continues.
Journalist : David, are they insisting on their innocence?
DH : They certainly are. No further comment.

JS : From early May, the abduction theory was immediately accepted because the McCann's reportedly said the shutters on Madeleine's bedroom window had been forced open.
On sait que les rumeurs, lorsqu'elles sont démenties, ce que s'est efforcé de faire le gérant de l'Ocean Club, John Hill, en indiquant qu'il n'y avait pas de signe d'effraction, ce qui est de l'intérêt de l'OC, ne font que se renforcer.
Jill Renwick (family friend speaking to GMTV) :The shutters had been broken open and they've gone into the room and taken Madeleine.
JW : (referring to Gerry's words to the police) ...that there was no way she could have opened the shutters herself. She'd definitely been taken.
JS : But with questions being asked about how an abductor could get into the apartment, our experts take a closer look at the shutters.
DB : The shutters go into the window frame. And there's... I'll just stop that there. That's the bottom of the shutter. Those two finger marks off to the right do look as if they're from the inside, and pad marks - finger marks.
CS : And they're some distance apart.
DB : Yes
CS : Okay. They're not two thumbs are they?
DB : They look 'thumby'. If I'm inside, I'm doing this. I'm gonna be like that aren't I? So is that from the outside?
CS : Doing it that way...
DB : ...and trying to push it up?
CS : Yes
DB : You might try and help the shutter down mightn't you? If the window's open and you are reaching it from inside you'd get that.
JS : Because they weren't allowed in the apartment where the McCanns had been staying, Chris Stevenson and Dave Barclay test their theories at another apartment block. These shutters, unlike the ones in the McCann's apartment, are operated electrically. But Dave Barclay believes they could provide vital evidence in working out how the McCann's shutters could have been handled.
DB : We've some great stuff here because this is aluminium - light-weight aluminium with a fine coating of a synthetic polyurethane paint or something like that. It would mark really easily, and it does.
CS : Perhaps we need to just look at the change of angle of the thumbs because now they're in a V-shape.
DB : And they're pretty well - you've pretty well got the whole of the thumb against it. If you go back the other way, and do the same thing again, right, now you've only got the outside of your thumb on it. I believe it's from the inside. (to camera) We must be very careful that we're not saying this is actually staging, but it is difficult to see how anybody could have interfered with those shutters from the outside without leaving some trace. In fact, having looked at them, I think it's almost impossible.
Mais pourquoi soulever manuellement le volet de l'intérieur, au lieu d'utiliser la sangle ?

CS : If there was somebody's that was actually within the family living in the apartment then it would be difficult to draw any inference other than the fact that the person whose marks they are had at some time raised or lowered the shutters which, living in the apartment is probably, or could be, a daily occurrence.
Ce que les experts ne savent pas, c'est qu'à la lumière des dépositions de Gerald et Kate MC, ni l'un ni l'autre n'a touché à la fenêtre et au volet de la chambre des enfants au cours du séjour. C'est le genre de détail (incohérence entre déposition et scène de crime) qui retient l'attention des enquêteurs.

JS : The Portuguese police chose to interview Kate and Gerry McCann on the basis of physical evidence. Specks of blood in the apartment and hair in the hire car. But even if the blood was Madeleine's, our experts believe it's far from clear how it was shed.
CS : You wouldn't necessarily, automatically expect to find blood if there'd been something happened inside though. Just because we don't find blood doesn't mean to say that there hasn't been some sort of violence.
DB : No. And indeed, if we did find blood. It's not unusual for children to trip and get a bloody nose and so on. If you found, in particular I think in this case, or any case like this, blood on the floor where efforts had been made to clean it up and the parents did not say they'd done that (as long as it was a child's blood) then that would be very significant indeed.
CS : Yes.
JS : Dave Barclay maintains that while the DNA results will tell you who the blood belongs to, without context they can't explain how it got there.
DB : Remember, forensic science is not just A single test result, it's setting it in context. So if you get a result that seems to indicate one thing, you'd want to confirm it by other tests from other areas.

JS : Rumours about the forensic evidence go unchallenged. This week there was a report that body fluids were allegedly found in the McCann's hire car.
DB : I still find it very difficult to conceive how those results got in the boot of the hire car if they're as reported - and I'd like to keep my options open. You still have to work out where the body has been and how it got transported in that hire car that wasn't hired for 25 days. Just almost incomprehensible. So we should just wait and see what the results show. It's not completely beyond the bounds of possibility that they will completely exonerate the McCanns.

Les MC rentrent chez eux (9 septembre)
JS : Now official suspects in their daughter's disappearance, the McCann's return home to Leicestershire; determined to challenge the forensic results and clear their names.
The next day, the Portuguese police passed their case files to the public prosecutor. (8)
Press speculation continues unabated and new theories emerge almost daily.
Some newspapers suggest that the Portuguese police are about to charge the McCanns.
À en lire les journalistes britanniques et états-uniens sur le terrain lorsque les MC furent constitués arguidos, les seules informations obtenues leur avaient été fournies par trois sources : la PR des MC, Justine McGuinness, Philomena MC et  un ami de la famille, Jon Corner. La PJ avait refusé catégoriquement de répondre.

But less than two weeks after being made suspects, the public prosecutor announces the McCann's will not be re-questioned. With the confusion surrounding the evidence against the McCanns, what do our team make of the Portuguese investigation as a whole ? Having considered all three possible theories for Madeleine's disappearance, which one do they think is most plausible?


4 - L'information a horreur du vide
Police media consultant Matt Tapp thinks the Portuguese police's lack of communication with the media hampered the investigation.
MT : Going back to basics, a crime has happened, you need as much information and intelligence that's accurate as possible. And we're used to, in the UK, to securing that information and intelligence - partly through media appeals. None of that actually happened because, the police say, because of their laws of secrecy, and they were bound to say nothing.
CS : (to camera) It is crucial to do, not just on-the-record briefings, but to be able to provide some background information to ensure that their approach is focussed and in-line with the investigation approach. Because, if that isn't the case, the media can be extremely disruptive.
MT : One day in August, here are two English newspapers, The Sun, The Daily Express. What's the Sun's front page? She may be dead. The same day : She is alive. Here is, I think, the demonstration of what you can anticipate when the police choose, or are not allowed to fill the void, and others fill it in their place.

JS : The large sewers and industrial bins are still Gary Ligg' main worry.
GL : It's not clear if the bins were searched to a degree where you could be confident that she wasn't in one. 
Il est très clair que des poubelles ne peuvent être inspectées, sans lumière, au milieu de la nuit. Deux heures avant le lever du jour, les poubelles avaient toutes été vidées.
And if they were removed, there's been no suggestion of a follow-up to find out where they are and to search the landfill there.
JS : Forensic scientist Dave Barclay considers what might have happened to Madeleine.
DB : Having seen the circumstances and the lay-out of the apartment, it looks to me more likely, the priorities are higher, that some harm happened to her within the apartment. No more than that.
CS : Right
JS : He argues that the Portuguese police's forensic work may have compromised the investigation.

DB : It's clear that the forensics examination on the first day wasn't what we would have expected. There were opportunities missed, and one of those opportunities did a great dis-service to the McCanns. Had they been more aggressive in protecting the apartment and gaining a full forensic examination of that apartment, it may have been that the McCanns were put completely out of it on day one.
La scène du crime a été polluée avant l'arrivée de la police, mais le pollueur numéro un a été Gerald MC. S'il est vrai que le volet laissé fermé était ouvert, il devenait un élément-clef de la scène du crime, il ne fallait surtout pas y toucher. Au lieu d'appeler la police sur le champ, il a immédiatement essayé de soulever le volet roulant de l'extérieur. Puis il s'est étonné que cela fût possible. Il aurait dû ajouter qu'une fois lâché le volet retombait, car la sangle, qui est à l'intérieur, est indispensable à l'enroulement. Donc, oui, des opportunités ont été perdues, mais en attribuer la pleine responsabilité à la police portugaise brosse un tableau factice de la situation.
(to camera) We really need to wait until we get the actual results. I have seen comments that the Forensic Science Service has said 'this or that' and I worked for them for twenty-odd years. I never knew any forensic scientist to give details of case results in a live case. So I think, I hate to say this, but possibly quite a lot of it has been made up by the media.
JS : Team leader Chris Stevenson thinks that the Portuguese police may not have been prepared for a case of this magnitude.
CS : They only have a very small number of cases of child abduction and child murder and, therefore, it's inevitable that they won't have the same expertise and experience as we have in the UK. There did seem to be a lack of grip almost in the first few hours and we know from our experience here, that is a crucial part of any investigation.

DC : It is not a young baby that would be more typically taken by a woman who's looking for some sort of substitute or replacement child.
JS : Forensic psychologist Dave Canter thinks that the unprecedented media attention put pressure, not only on the investigation, but on the potential abductor.
DC : (to camera) In the past when young children have been abducted by a stranger, by somebody who is obsessed and wants to abuse the child, they tend to have kept the child and often, in fact, to have allowed the child to go free after some time. But I would have thought that such a person would've been totally over-awed and horrified by the media storm that so quickly descended on that locality and I think such an individual would have got very frightened indeed about the consequences of their actions and may well have done something they never intended to do.

168 jours après le signalement de la disparition de Madeleine MC, il y a trois arguidos qui se disent innocents et une enquête criminelle qui attend d'autres résultats du Forensic Science Service de Birmingham.



(1) On remarquera que la production, contrairement à celle de Panorama, un mois après, a respecté ce principe et n'a pas interrogé les principaux témoins, eux aussi tenus au secret de l'instruction.
(2) Les propos de cette nanny doivent être pris avec une pincée de sel, comme disent les Britanniques. À la crèche, elle s'occupait des bébés et non du groupe d'enfants dans lequel était Madeleine. Son témoignage n'a pas été corroboré par d'autres et semble avoir surtout visé les 15 minutes dont parle Andy Warhol.
(3) C'est ce que firent les gendarmes, la police maritîme, etc. L'hélicoptère équipé d'infra-rouges fut envoyé, mais pas cette nuit-là.
(4) La description des lieux n'est pas exacte. La façade de l'immeuble était isolée de la rue par un parking privé, l'immeuble étant en contrebas par rapport au parking. Les portes d'entrée des appartements du rez-de-chaussée  donnaient sur un corridor logeant la façade et séparé du parking par un mur. La porte (principale) de l'appartement, non fermée à clef, était facile à ouvrir de l'intérieur, même pour un petit enfant. L'autre porte, en fait une porte-fenêtre coulissante, était, selon les MC, entrebaîllée, faute de poignée extérieure pour la faire glisser de l'extérieur.
(5) Le passage entre les immeubles aboutit au parking du G5 où quelques marches permettent d'accéder au parking du G4 (plus haut). Il semble que si Smithman emportait Madeleine, il a pris le chemin obscur décrit par les experts.
(6) Il est juste de penser que c'était le meilleur déguisement pour partir avec sa proie. Un sac de sport, à cette heure, eut attiré l'attention.
(7) Robert M fut pointé du doigt par une "journaliste" du Mirror, Lori C., qui confia ses soupçons au Leicestershire Constabulary qui, de son côté, avertit la PJ. La pression médiatique et consulaire eurent raison du bon sens.
(8) Toute enquête criminelle est dirigée par le ministère public et non par la PJ, qui exécute.


Deux jours après la diffusion du documentaire, l'un des experts, le psycho-criminologue David Canter, plutôt qu'émettre une réserve légitime, puisque le dossier était alors sous secret de l'instruction, publia, comme un remords, l'article suivant dans The Sunday Times. On sent toutefois qu'il tente, presque pathétiquement, d'inventer une solution l'autorisant à croire que les parents de MMC sont innocents. Rude tâche à laquelle chacun échoua. 

It is time to discard the myths and half-truths, Madeleine McCann was taken
October 18, 2007

Five months after her disappearance, we are no further towards knowing exactly what happened to Madeleine McCann and we may never know the truth. However, after spending many days in Praia da Luz while making a Dispatches documentary about the case, I have come to the conclusion that the greatest likelihood is that she was abducted, and probably by a local person.

 There are a number of indicators that have led me to this conclusion.

The days that I spent in Praia da Luz speaking to those who were there soon after that dreadful night in May, and with experienced police officers and a forensic scientist, have helped to clear away many of the myths and half-truths that have driven the accounts of Madeleine's disappearance.

If you stand outside the apparently unremarkable apartment from which Madeleine vanished, the reality of unexpected horror hits home. The tidy walls and hedges that divide the apartments from the swimming pool, on the far side of which the family were eating tapas on May 3, take on a much more sinister form when you realise that they hide any clear view of the room in which the McCann children were sleeping.


An abductor who knew the complex would have had to be quick to remove the child from her apartment without being seen, but he could have done it. After passing through the alleyway that ran beside the apartment, he would then have found it simple to dash across the deserted road behind the resort and through a small car park to a network of alleyways sheltered by high walls.
David Cantor compte trop sur l'obscurité (sans pour autant réaliser qu'il n'est pas facile de dérober un enfant dans un appartement inconnu et non éclairé), et néglige l'aspect sonore.

These alleyways, decorated with lush bougainvillea, provide an ideal rat-run that would be well known to local criminals. Late in the evening it would have been a simple thing to pass through these alleyways to a safe house or a car parked near by.

Possible escape routes aside, one of the most convincing arguments I have heard for an abduction by a local came from my colleague at Liverpool University, Professor Kevin Browne, who advises many international agencies including the WHO and Unicef on child protection. He made clear that this quiet village could harbour a number of child abusers who had been released into the community rather than convicted.


The situation in Portugal was, he pointed out, very different from that in Britain today, being more the way it used to be here a decade or more ago. Compared with other countries in Western Europe, Portugal convicts a much smaller proportion of child abusers. Children are more likely to be removed from their families, ending up in institutions while their abusers walk free. As a consequence, there are not only potentially more abusers within society unmarked and unmonitored, but a of whole new generation of people with an increased likelihood of becoming abusers because of their own experiences.
Il est absolument extraordinaire d'oser écrire, sans citation, ce qui n'est donc qu'une opinion sur un pays étranger.

Si DC s'était informé, il aurait appris qu'il y avait une centaine de prédateurs sexuels britanniques en Algarve, selon une liste confidentielle fournie par les autorités britanniques qui, lorsque disparut la petite Joana, quelques années plus tôt, se gardèrent bien de mettre en garde les autorités portugaises. Tous ces prédateurs furent investigués. 

There are limited possibilities for what happened to Madeleine. I think of these along a continuum from those, at one end, in which she played a significant role, to the other extreme at which would lie an organised network of traffickers who come to Praia de Luz specifically to find a victim. The family or close associates distance us from the possibilites involving the girl herself. Those who know the family but are not really known to the family themselves, such as service staff, lead us a step closer to the possibilities of a distant criminal network. However, there is a crucial prospect of a person who had no direct contact with the family, observing them from afar, although not part of any criminal organisation. Each possible explanation for the disappearance is driven by different assumptions.

If she had woken up in distress would she have sat and cried or wandered off into the town? If she had wandered off it would have been to try to find her parents – along a probably familiar route to where they were eating. Mais elle ne savait pas qu'ils dînaient dehors ni où ! It would have been a terrible coincidence if she had been abducted on such an unlikely journey. The prospect of family or friends' involvement beggars belief. Là il faut donner raison à DC, a fortiori parce que les compagnons de voyage des MC n'étaient pas des amis, ils se connaissaient à peine, deux d'entre eux exceptés. On appréciera comme l'hypothèse "parents" est vite passée sous silence. For a start, if the child had been killed in some accident, possibly as a result of an overdose, then her medically trained parents would have had to be exceptionally incompetent, for which there is no evidence. Il y a preuve du contraire, Kate MC a fait un stage comme anesthésiste. Furthermore, the friends who were with them would all have had to be willing to risk their professional careers to keep such a appalling secret for such a long time. Insensé.


Organised networks of people traffickers, sadly, have much more obvious opportunities for finding vulnerable children who would not be missed on the streets of many developing countries, or even in the orphanages, and sometimes the streets of Eastern Europe. Why risk being caught in a quite middle-class holiday resort? Against this backdrop, it became clear to me that the police in the Algarve simply do not have the resources to deal with crimes of this magnitude. Their expertise lies in dealing with the drug smuggling that occurs frequently between North Africa and here. But resources that the English police can bring to bear quickly are unlikely to be available to the Portuguese police in any serious inquiry. 
DC oublie, pourtant ce n'était pas un secret, que des OPJ britanniques ont collaboré avec les portugais... 


Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Stevenson, who headed the Soham investigation into the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, made clear in his contribution to the documentary that the British police would have followed the detailed procedure laid down in an inch-thick "murder manual" – a painstakingly systematic approach that can send the cost of the average murder inquiry to £1 million.Without these resources, the Portuguese police have had to proceed very differently. They have to find ways of taking the short cuts that detectives in fact and fiction have always had to take in the past. This consists of forming a view of what the likely cause of the crime is and using that in the search for clues.


For me the most obvious possibility is the local offender quickly escaping down the rat-run of dark alleys. Un rat silencieux... One witness is reported as seeing a man rushing away from the complex with a child wrapped in a blanket shortly after the last reported sighting of Madeleine. Tannerman, mais il n'y avait pas de couverture et d'ailleurs le Yard a éliminé ce ravisseur hypothétique-là. The days spent discussing the disappearance of Madeleine in the actual location where the McCanns had been on holiday provided a rather different perspective from the one heralded in the British media. The little girl may just have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Voilà une conclusion qui sonne comme un aveu d'incompréhension. On songe au principe raisonnable de Sherlock Holmes : une fois qu’on a éliminé l’impossible, ce qui reste, aussi improbable que cela soit, doit être la vérité. Toute douloureuse à admettre qu'elle puisse être.


Tout prétendant à la résolution des 3 énigmes, s'il se trompait, avait la tête coupée.