|René Magritte - Clairvoyance (1936)|
11 - JUL à DÉC - Dr M. Roberts 6
Uneasy lies the head... - 03.07.2011
The camera, on the other hand, very seldom does so; lie that is.
So it is with more of a purpose than merely 'raking over old ground' that one might focus afresh on the only reconstruction the McCanns have ever been interested in furthering, i.e. the one portrayed by their own 2009 documentary production, Madeleine Was Here. And not just the reconstruction either. The documentary as a whole is somewhat more revealing than one suspects the McCanns either realised or intended. Quite early on the viewer is treated to this exchange:
"What name do you think that is, Sean?"
"Who's your other sister?"
At a stroke we have confirmation that both of Madeleine’s siblings were accustomed to calling their sister 'Maddie' (Amelie was reported much earlier to have referred to 'Maddie's jammies'); this is the very term of endearment the parents claim never to have used. So where on earth did the twins get their cue from, if not the parents?
Somewhat later the interviewer/narrator asks Gerry McCann, 'Who is looking for Madeleine at the moment?' Following a response which includes a curious juxtaposition ("...it's a very serious crime and, erm, we've got to do it.") she concludes that "there are two men still looking for Madeleine." Now that might seem like a very noble gesture on the part of the two men in question, but the observation assumes particular significance in a later context.
The duo are, of course, the then recently appointed team of Edgar and Cowley, whose remit was to act upon information gleaned by the McCanns, principally Kate, from the 30,000(!) case files released into the public domain by the Portuguese authorities. (Thank goodness they were archived on DVD. No small task for the Portuguese that). Quite understandably the 'vast bulk' of the information was in Portuguese, so the McCanns, in order to profit from it, had the files translated, at a cost, so Kate announces to camera, of some £100,000. Now a sum that substantial ought to feature fairly visibly in the accounts of Fund expenditure, supposing this to be considered a legitimate outlay (furthering the search for Madeleine, and all that). Yet it appears not to have been itemised for the year ending 2009. Or 2010. Perhaps it was an instance of beneficence 'off the books' by some third party or other.
Developing the topic, we next see Kate at her computer doing her 'incredibly valuable work' going through every document. Looking into the screen she is, it would appear, in the process of scrutinising the following:
Policia Judiciaria, Volume 6 (translation)
(Pages 1592 - 1629)
And that would entail going on to read, albeit in translation:
1592 to 1596 - PJ informational documents
1597 to 1602 - Information from Portugal Telecom regarding phone number
1603 - External Diligence 20067/05/25
1604 to 1605 - Letter regarding IMEI information and interception
1606 to 1610 - Witness testimony of Martin Smith taken 2007/05/26 with map of sighting
1611 to 1614 - Witness testimony of Aoife Smith taken 2007/05/26
1615 to 1624 - Witness Testimony of Peter Daniel Smith taken 2007/05/26 with map of sighting
1625 to 1626 - PJ/Vodafone correspondence
1627 to 1628 - PJ/PT Telecom correspondence
1629 to 1630 - PJ mobile phone analysis relation document
Given the ostensibly reworked nature of the information in question, it is difficult to determine just what Kate is looking at beyond verbage segregated by explicit pagination. But what she then turns to on her desk is something altogether different. Volume VI it is not.
Summary of potentially relevant information and possible action points from Volume 1
SUMMARY OF POTENTIALLY RELEVANT INFORMATION AND POSSIBLE ACTION POINTS FROM VOLUME 1 (main volume)/
'APPENDICES VI' Volumes 1 - 5
In a mixture of black and red ink (red being reserved for the 'actions') we may read, among other details:
Ref: Vol.2 apx 6 pg 530
Re: suspicious male near OC apartments
Nb: main statement on pg 800-806 (presumably main volume) ...
GM to find statement and look at E-Fit. Take statement also
Re- 2 men, 'orphanage collectors' knocked at her door in PdL ...
evening of 03/05/07. She is a frequent visitor to PdL (4x/yr) and ...
many years - she has never experienced this before.
To contact Ashton and take a statement - Kate to introduce ...
been taken, take statement over the phone.
Whilst making the point that the culprit they seek has possibly been identified within the files already, but that 'the name' is not necessarily highlighted, nor marked with an 'asterix' (how galling), Kate circles with her hand between PRIORITY 1 (above) and PRIORITY 2 (below)
Ref: Vol. 1 Main Vol. Pg 154
attempting, he believes, to abduct his 4 y.o. daughter. Describes a silver grey
Renault Clio being involved.
Who flew from Berlin to Faro rtn on 28/04 - 05/05. Interpol were involved and the
couple were spoken to by Polish police on their rtn and appt searched ...
See photos from CCTV on pg 194 in main volume
? Fully followed up
Obtain the CCTV footage - send all photo's and E-Fits to Mr Jesus ...
and get all E-Fits to Mr Jesus ...
These commentaries are clearly not translations of 'the files' per se. Each is a precis of a certain investigative aspect. On the one hand we have the experience of Beryl Ashton, who wished to draw the attention of the police to two men who, in the late afternoon/early evening of May 3, 2007, had knocked on her PdL door, canvassing, or so it seemed, for donations to an orphanage in Espiche. Except there is no orphanage in Espiche, which makes their activity rather suspicious.
The other incident, on 29 April, involved odd behaviour by a Polish gentleman in Sagres, who was later identified as one W. K. and who, apart from appearing to take clandestine photographs of children in the vicinity of the beach, demonstrated certain antagonistic behaviour toward witness Nuno Lourenco de Jesus, the suspicious father of two such children, one of whom actually bore a striking resemblance to Madeleine McCann.
A likely pair (threesome?). And names are to hand.
But seriously folks, did the McCanns, Kate in particular, expect their audience to subscribe to the notion that the 'two men still looking for Madeleine' had the 'clout,' the time, or the intellectual finesse, to discover and to fill meaningful gaps in a professionally run investigation that had been documented to the very last detail (30,000 + pages worth, don't forget). Of course these avenues had been explored. That's how come accounts of the relevant police activity could be summarised in the first instance, names and all.
Lead investigator Dave Edgar announces: "I don't know what the Portuguese authorities have done actually to eliminate these people from the inquiry, so we've got to presume that they haven't done it and go with that... it's got to be the facts that we know and not try to fill in the gaps..."
Why not simply contact the Portuguese and ask them? Or, if they decline to comment, take a more careful look at the 'diligences' described in the files your employers have just had translated at enormous expense. Why had you to presume that the Portuguese did not complete their inquiries in any given direction?
Forgive me if I anticipate an interjection here - 'The Portuguese investigation was seriously flawed.'
Au contraire. It is the McCann fantasy of a private investigation that is seriously floored. And the pun is intentional, as will later become apparent.
Winding forward just a little from Kate's whimsical reference to 'the name,' we arrive at:
Narrator: "In the files, Kate believes another statement from an Irish family describes a very similar sighting to Jane's..."
KM: "The reason why this is significant is both sightings are given independently, so when this family gave their statement they weren't aware of Jane's description and there's actually quite a lot of similarities."
Let's look quickly at some of the similarities:
The Tanner sighting was of a swarthy long-haired male carrying a prostrate child, assumed to have been a girl because of pyjamas, assumed to have been pink and which, if they were Madeleine's, would have had short sleeves.
The Smith sighting was of a short-haired man carrying a little girl, approximately 4 yrs of age, her torso upright, who was wearing lightweight pale clothing, possibly pyjamas, with long sleeves.
These discrepancies disappear before our very eyes once the incidents are reconstructed for the benefit of the documentary camera. All of a sudden the same child is both dressed and carried in the same way by the same individual, on both occasions. JK Rowling, whose fastidious concern for the accuracy of the Harry Potter film scripts is well known, was clearly not involved in this production.
In the interest of clarity, let's now replay Jane Tanner's personal contribution, in the form of the infamous 'I remember it differently' episode.
Voice over: "The McCanns were on holiday with a group of friends. In the evenings, they all ate together and took it in turns to make half-hourly checks on each other's children."
(This statement is completely untrue. They did not take it in turns to make half-hourly checks on each other's children - only their own, if at all, as confirmed by the various Rogatory Interviews).
JT: "So, I think you were about here. Cos, I think that you were standing like that and, Jes (Wilkins) was there, with his pram, pointing down that way. Cos, I think if you'd been looking at me, I would've said something, cos I would've said about, cos Kate had been moaning that you'd been gone a long time watching the football."
GM: "I'm almost certain that when I came out, I came over and he was here and I was like that. That’s my memory of it, it's like Jes is 6'3" or something and looking up and then turning in, when I finished. That's my memory of it."
JT: "Yeah. I mean, well we just..."
DE: "It's like I said, there are, you know, inconsistencies, you know, in every major investigation."
JT: "Ok, that's fine."
DE: "Obviously, the most important thing is what you saw, Jane. It's not where Gerry and Jes were actually stood. Because they didn't obstruct your view of the man. So..."
A pause for thought. 'The most important thing is what you saw, Jane.' Jane is not a bat. She doesn't do echo-location. How then did she know that Gerry McCann and Jes Wilkins were in the street together, talking? She saw them. But where the two men were standing was not as important as what Jane saw, was it.
JT: "I was walking up here to do the check and probably, as I got to, it's hard to know exactly where, but probably, about here, I saw the man walk across the road there, carrying the child. I just got up and walked out the Tapas bar, past Gerry talking to Jes. That's when I saw somebody walk across the top of the road, carrying a child and I think, I did think, oh, there's somebody taking their child home to bed. But, they didn't look like a standard tourist. This is ridiculous isn't it? It just looks so much like somebody abducting a little girl, when you look at it. It just looks so obvious when you know, you know. Just look at it and you think, why the hell didn't you think there is somebody abducting a child. That was not even a thought, that somebody's gonna go into an apartment and take a child out. You know, you're probably the one person that could've actually stopped it and you think, oh, what if? It's that what if? what if?, what if and you can take those what ifs to ad infinitum really."
Another pause for thought. Accepting that this reconstruction was recorded two years after the event, did no one think to remind Jane that she was in a 'family friendly' resort, where parents quite often carried their children, even into and out of apartments? Jane Tanner cannot imagine this. She seems able only to imagine an abduction taking place. 'Just look at it and you think, why the hell didn't you think there is somebody abducting a child.' Perhaps because somebody carrying a child in a 'family friendly' holiday zone does not necessarily equate to somebody abducting one?
Fast forward now to the no less important interior scene.
GM: "So, I actually came in and Madeleine was just at the top of the bed here, where I'd left her lying and the covers were folded down and she had her cuddle cat and blanket, were just by her head It’s terrible because, I , erm, had one of those really proud father moments, where I just thought, you know. I just thought, your absolutely beautiful and I love you and I just paused for a minute and then, I just pulled the door closed again and just to about there and, er, I felt incredibly proud standing there and having, you know, 3 beautiful children."
MO: "Pretty much from the approach down here, you can see straight into the room. (Not with the door closed you can't) So you can see the cots as you are walking in. So it never really felt like there was any real need to, sort of, go all the way into the room. Erm, you could see both cots and see into them from there (i.e. several steps further back into the main room). I, sort of, ummed and ahed about the angle and things. All I just know is that I had an unimpeded view (of the bedroom door?) and it was just dead quiet, and just... why I didn't take those extra couple of steps in..."
This testimony is unconvincing. We see GM monitoring it at the 35.00 minute mark.
GM: "Yeah, I mean, I was saying this earlier, that at no point, other than that night, did I go stick my head in. That was the only time, because the door was like that. I mean, I knew how I’d left it."
So Gerry visually 'checked' his children once only during the entire holiday. And the door was like what when he did so? (at 35.36, once Oldfield has finished explaining himself, we finally glimpse the bedroom door, which is wide open). In his statement above, Gerry makes no reference whatsoever to entering the bedroom because the door was any different to the way he'd left it. Madeleine wasn't, so why should the door have been? Silly me. Of course. The abductor had left it open.
The abductor, having entered via the patio (just ahead of GM) and hidden, goodness knows where, in Madeleine's bedroom, forgot to pull the door to behind him/her, leaving it wide open for a puzzled Gerry to close, just prior to leaving the apartment. And close it he did, to the degree shown at 29.42 of the documentary, leaving a gap of no more than about 3 inches! Notice too that, in his statement, Gerry makes no mention of surprise at encountering an open door himself. He just 'comes in.' But on leaving the room he 'closes the door again,' confirming that the door was closed in the first place. As for the abductor, he now escapes through the window, without having to touch the door, and leaving Matthew Oldfield with the task of exercising his X-ray vision.
In the course of giving his verbal 'seal of approval' to Oldfield's faltering explanation of events, Gerry forgets that, according to the consensus timeline, it was his actions that preceded Oldfield's, not vice versa. Hence Oldfield must have encountered the apartment as Gerry had left it. And if Gerry said he closed the door then he closed the door (the abductor left through the window, not the patio, don't forget).
Someone is lying. And it's all on camera; that agent of truth.
Such are the perils of committing oneself to celluloid, or indeed to print. Seemingly averse to reconstructions of any complexion, Kate McCann, like a lioness protecting her cubs, smelt the danger a long way off:
KM: "I mean, I'd like to go back, but not for this to be honest."
And yet she still falls into a trap of her own devising.
"I think it's actually going through the scenario of that night as well, you know, errm... I mean, you know, even what I can remember of the night, you know, seeing Gerry, that distraught really, sobbing, on the floor."
To draw attention to Gerry's behaviour in this way suggests that it was highly unusual and perhaps even 'conduct unbecoming' on his part. It was certainly unusual enough for her to comment upon it, from an observer's perspective. So where was Gerry (and where was Kate) when she saw him 'on the floor?'
There are only two recorded instances of Gerry behaving in any way in the manner Kate describes. The first was upon the arrival on the scene of two GNR officers. A statement from one of the officers in question provides the relevant details:
José María Batista Roque: 'When they arrived, they saw the girl's father, a friend whom he cannot describe, an OC employee and a translator who was also an OC employee, named Silvia Batista.
He then went to the apartment, accompanied by his colleague, the father and friend as well as the translator. When he arrived at the apartment he saw the mother there.'
Events at 11.00/11.05 p.m. have been generally described by both participants and the media thus: A GNR patrol arrives at Ocean Club (two men); ca. 11.05 When GNR arrived, Gerry McCann walked to them, kneeled down and put both his hands on the ground and shouted twice, with rage in his voice, saying something that the witnesses close to them could not understand.
Not crying exactly, but Kate could not have seen him in any case. She was inside the apartment with the twins.
José María Batista Roque: 'After the search, he noticed a situation that seemed unusual to him, when at a determined moment, the girl's parents kneeled down on the floor of their bedroom and placed their heads on the bed, crying. He did not notice any comments or expression from them, just crying.'
So when exactly on the night did Kate see Gerry, on the floor, distraught and sobbing? It wasn't when he greeted the arrival of the GNR with his bizarre display. Nor does she say, of their subsequent 'heads on bed' incantation, 'seeing Gerry on the floor beside me, sobbing, like myself.' The impression is given that Kate witnesses Gerry doing something which, at that precise moment, she herself is not doing.
So which night are we really talking about? And which floor? Whichever one it was, Madeleine was indeed there.
Clairvoyance – 05.07.2011
On 9 September, 2007 Gerry McCann was described by the Sunday Times thus:
'Beneath his unflinching exterior, Gerry was in a state of turmoil and fury. "We are being absolutely stitched up by the Portuguese police," he had told a friend after his wife Kate had earlier been named a suspect after hours of interrogation. "We are completely f*****, we should have seen this coming weeks ago and gone back to Britain."'
Gerry McCann's confidence in his own predictive powers ("F*** off. I'm not here to enjoy myself!") clearly took a knock on this occasion. The sympathetic, or perhaps even inquisitive listener might wonder quite why Gerry should have 'seen this coming' at all, given that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was ostensibly attributable to one or more lurking paedophiles. What connection could the innocent parents possibly have had with such deviants?
But let's not question this observation too closely. The McCanns are clearly no less adept at 'picking up' on things than others might have been. (Family friend Jon Corner is reported to have said in relation to Madeleine, "So - God forgive me - maybe that's part of the problem. That special quality. Some ******* picked up on that." (Vanity Fair, 10.1.2008)).
Intuition comes to us all from time to time, but the McCanns seemingly enjoyed more frequent visits than most.
It can only have been foresight, in the form of a shared vision perhaps, that prompted Kate and Gerry McCann selectively to erase data from each of their mobile phones prior to summoning police assistance in searching for their missing daughter. They must have thought that by doing so they were in some way lessening the investigators' burden. The same sort of considerate attitude prevailed when they were subsequently resident in a nearby villa and the police 'phoned to advise that they would be arriving later to carry out some forensic work. Kate no doubt thought to herself, 'I'll just pop these few items of clothing in the wash so they'll be nice and clean for the inspectors.' Rather like straightening out the furniture in 5A, so that their many visitors on the night of the 3rd May, 2007 could have easy access to the children's bedroom, and not have to walk behind the sofa in order to avoid the crush.
The McCanns were adept at foresight without a doubt.
Olga Craig, writing for the Sunday Telegraph of 27 May, 2007, reported an early interview with Kate McCann:
"She looked lovely," said Mrs McCann, recalling the moment Madeleine was pictured with her father beside a swimming pool.
"She was wearing a new outfit, a pink smock. That picture sums up her week. Every minute of every day she was enjoying herself. She went to bed exhausted. I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph of her."
That 'last photograph', so we are given to understand, was taken during the early afternoon of 3 May, 2007, after which time Kate was 'unable to use the camera.' (at least until the date of her interview with Olga Craig).
One might legitimately ask therefore how she was able to take photographs of a Shearwater yacht at anchor in Lagos Marina a week or so after Madeleine's disappearance?
As James Murray of the Sunday Express (8.8.2009) reported: "Kate went to Lagos marina, a few miles along the coast from Praia da Luz where her daughter vanished on May 3, 2007, and photographed the boat and the man on board."
It would appear that Kate's actions on this occasion negated her own claim to photographic incapacity. That in itself is potentially significant, but the implication of her statement to Ms Craig is of singular importance; so much so that we ought to view it in isolation:
"I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph of her" (i.e., Madeleine).
Leaving aside the fact that this observation of Kate's is apparently untrue, what does she say exactly? Specifically, that her inability to use/unease with/loathing of the camera stems from the time she took the so-called 'last photograph.' What she categorically does not say is that she has not found herself able to take photographs since Madeleine disappeared, but 'since she took the last photograph of her.' This means that photophobia kicked in, not on May 4, 2007, but at precisely 14.29 (or perhaps even 13.29) on the afternoon of the 3rd.
So, under no circumstances would Kate be taking any snaps in the afternoon, at tea-time, bed-time, or even at the dinner table with her friends (her camera was equipped with a flash). From the moment Kate pictured Madeleine at the poolside with Gerry and her little brother, no further photography would be entertained.
Why? What is it about this jolly family album snap that made it so repulsive to the photographer as to dissuade her from capturing any future moment during their holiday, which had two days to run? What did Kate foresee on this occasion?
Various analyses of this particular image have been conducted since, invoking the wonders of Photoshop, the almanac and whatever else, but whether, or indeed to what degree, one considers the photograph to be a composition on the part of others besides the photographer, the fact remains that there is nothing visibly sinister about it at all. The only thing that Kate could have been upset by was the timing, as she herself implies.
The really important question therefore concerns, yet again, the McCanns' clairvoyance.
Why should Kate have been too upset to take any photographs after mid-afternoon on May 3rd, (at which time, according to the photograph, her daughter looked perfectly hale and hearty) when Madeleine would not be 'taken' for a further six hours or more? What did Kate intuit about that evening's events, well before 'what happened', happened?
As if by Magic – 26.07.2011
Larger than life American Magicians, Penn & Teller, currently auditioning prospective Las Vegas stage acts via their U.K. T.V. programme 'Fool Us,' have unfortunately been denied the chance to assess potential illusionists Kate and Gerry McCann. Despite the variety of candidates already examined, nothing of what they have been presented with so far quite compares to the remarkable abilities of the duo McCann.
Kate McCann's 'Madeleine,' written as it must have been under the watchful eye of her legal advisors, and promoted as an 'account of the truth,' sets forth particulars of Tuesday May 1, 2007 which include the following:
"One of my photographs is known around the world now: A smiling Madeleine clutching armfuls of tennis balls." (The very same photograph Rachael Oldfield ascribes to Jane Tanner during her Rogatory interview).
"In the afternoon Gerry and I decided to take the children down to the beach...we wanted to do something different with them, just the five of us." (p.57. Note: they all go to the beach).
This is followed by a 'Woman's Own' style description of rain, discomfort, and agonising over who should fetch the ice creams.
"Having polished off her ice-cream, Madeleine asked if she could go back to the Mini Club now, please." (p.58)
After a paragraph defending the significance of all the trivia Kate and Gerry have seemingly worked so hard to recall, and the importance of its accuracy, Kate explains how the parents duly comply with their daughter's request:
"We dropped the kids off at their clubs for the last hour and a half, meeting up with them as usual for tea." (p.59).
Drum roll. Curtains back. Big reveal.
And there's Gerry already signing Madeleine into her 'lobster' group at the Mark Warner creche at 2.30 p.m. on the afternoon of Tuesday May 1; not for the last hour and a half as you might expect either. Far from being signed out again at 4.00 p.m., Madeleine is not signed out at all.
And if you think that's an astonishing feat of teleportation, you'll no doubt be amazed to discover that, at the very same time (2.30 p.m.) Kate McCann is elsewhere signing both Sean and Amelie into their 'jellyfish' group, where they stay for fully two hours and fifty minutes, before Kate signs them out again (at 5.20 p.m).
The illusion is made all the more impressive by the two childcare facilities not being equidistant from either the beach or the McCanns' apartment ("Sean and Amelie were enrolled in the Toddler Club for two-year-olds in a building...just across from our apartment on the other side of the main pool...Madeleine's group, the Mini Club for three-to-fives, was slightly further away...").
Penn and Teller would no doubt be disappointed to learn they have missed this trick. The ice creams were clearly a distraction - or should that be misdirection?
What's in a name? - 27.07.2011
"My consolation is that on the cover he calls her Maddie, the name that the media have invented. We never called her anything like that." (Expresso interview, Kate talks about 'The Truth of the Lie' by Gonçalo Amaral, published 06 September 2008).
This disclaimer of Kate McCann's was aired once Goncalo Amaral's Truth of the Lie had been published, in Portuguese obviously. The McCanns may not necessarily have had the time to inform themselves as to what, exactly, the author had to say in his book about the infamous crying incident. The same situation will have pertained with regard to the newly released police files, where the statement of Mrs Fenn would be lurking, as yet unexplored by the public at large. What did Mrs Fenn tell the police exactly? What did she think she heard? Was it what she actually heard? Or was it at least close enough to the truth to provide a clue as to what was actually said?
Parental reference to 'Maddy' clearly only became taboo in the Autumn of 2008. Before then it was commonplace:
"She has a lot of personality and her name actually means 'tower of strength'. But she hated it when we called her Maddie - she'd say, 'My name is Madeleine', with an indignant look on her face." (Women's Own interview, published 13 August 2007).
Analysis of the telephone traffic during the week of Madeleine's disappearance indicates that, on the night of May 1, 2007, Kate McCann may actually have been in the family's apartment some ten minutes before the onset of the crying reported by Mrs Fenn. A child was crying for her 'Daddy.' Could the dismissive 'we never called her anything like that' have been designed to steer the inquisitive away from the idea that it might have been the mother who was in fact crying for her 'Maddy?'
May 1, 2007. The day no-one seems to have collected Madeleine from the Kids' Club in the afternoon. On the 2 May she is deposited, at 2.45 p.m. by Kate McCann, and collected later, at 5.30 p.m., by Kate Healy. Nothing strange in that you might think. As the author of 'Madeleine' explains, she didn't become Kate McCann until 4 May. Except of course that on each and every register she signed for the Mark Warner creche, beginning on April 30 (or possibly even April 29), she did so as K. McCann. It is her use of her maiden name Healy which is exceptional, not her married name of McCann, which she clearly acknowledged days before Madeleine's disappearance, despite what she says in her book about the press being responsible for consolidating a change in her identity.
So Kate did not 'become Kate McCann' on 4 May, 2007 after all. But she was always known as Kate Healy before Madeleine's abduction, apparently. Given that she is recognised as Healy by everyone but herself until the afternoon of May 2, the situation seems to be somewhat back-to-front. Dispensing with the detail, a change of name for Kate is defined by the bearer herself as the result of some major life event, i.e. Madeleine's 'abduction.' The only change to be seen however is not the categorical shift from Healy to McCann on May 4 that Kate invites us to believe in, but her temporary regression to Healy from McCann, some time between 2.45 and 5.30 p.m. on May 2; the day after the night before. The day when Gerry was being constantly kept up to date with progress elsewhere via a succession of text messages he has since declined to acknowledge. The day when suddenly, and unexpectedly, she was free once more.
"As Kate Healy, I could do what I liked, when I liked, talk to whoever I wanted to talk to, behave naturally without feeling I was being judged by those around me." (p.356).
And the creche record for May 3? Well, quite apart from the fact that there are now good grounds for not placing too much trust in them (see 'As if by Magic'), May 3 is strangely the date when Kate McCann (nee Healy) seems to have forgotten her temporary address. Until that date, husband Gerry consistently registers daughter Madeleine in upper-case handwriting and locates the family in G5A. Kate on the other hand consistently registers in lower-case, and just as consistently identifies their apartment as 5A. Until Thursday. A lower-case script, which looks like Kate's, records Madeleine McCann from G5A.
We'll leave the last word with Kate:
"Wednesday, 2 May, 2007. Our last completely happy day. Our last, to date, as a family of five." (p.59).
Kate McCann mobile phone activity 01 May 2007
Mobile phone activity:
10:16:42, 11:56:06, 12:17:21,
19:45:03, 20:31:31, 20:33:32,
20:35:58, 20:37:24, 22:16:15,
22:23:15, 22:23:28, 22:24:22,
22:25:36 and 22:27:50
Mrs Pamela Fenn - statement, 20 August 2007
'She states that on the day of the 1st May 2007, when she was at home alone, at approximately 22H30 she heard a child cry, and that due the tone of the crying seemed to be a young child and not a baby of two years of age or younger.
Apart from the crying that continued for approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, and which got louder and more expressive, the child shouted "Daddy, Daddy", the witness had no doubt that the noise came from the floor below. At about 23H45, an hour and fifteen minutes after the crying began, she heard the parents arrive, she did not see them, but she heard the patio doors open, she was quite worried as the crying had gone on for more than an hour and had gradually got worse.
When questioned, she said that she did not know the cause of the crying, perhaps a nightmare or another destabilising factor.
As soon as the parents entered the child stopped crying.'
Najoua Chekaya - statement, 09 May 2007
'In the afternoon she began work at 15.20 next to the Millenium until 16.15 and then returned to the Tapas restaurant until 17.15 and then to the Millenium restaurant from 17.30 to 18.00. She finished at about 18.15 and returned to the Tapas Bar for dinner and at 21.00 did a kind of quiz with the guests who were having dinner in the restaurant.
She remembers that last Tuesday at the end of the quiz, she was invited to the table of nine guests who asked her to join them for a drink.
She was at their table for about fifteen to twenty minutes and it was there that she met Madeleine's father, who directly invited her to the table, however, she does not know whether Madeleine's mother was also there.
When questioned, she said that they talked of banalities and she did not notice any aspect or behaviour that was out of the ordinary.
When questioned, she said that during the time that she was there Madeleine's father did not leave the table, neither did any of the other guests, however, during this time one of the chairs was always empty, that of someone who had had dinner and left, not managing to indicate any identifying element about this person.
When questioned, she said she was at the table from about 21.30 to 21.50.'
So now we know – 28.07.2011
They haven't got a clue down under - literally. The reporter fronting the recent Seven on Sunday programme announces an exclusive interview with Kate and Gerry McCann thus:
"Kate and Gerry McCann have lived a never-ending ordeal and they still don't know when, or if, it will ever end. It began on a family holiday in Portugal when Madeleine, their four-year-old daughter, simply vanished. She hasn't been seen since. Tonight the mystery deepens. You are about to see home video never shown before and learn the vital clue Madeleine left behind."
Unfortunately for the expectant viewers, they never get to learn what that vital clue is. Personally, I don't think it's Natasha Kampusch's psychological recovery from trauma. There are however other clues which, thankfully, did not drift onto the cutting room floor.
(Voice over): "On Thursday night, Kate put her daughter to bed for the last time."
KM: "My memory of that evening is really vivid. I mean she was really tired, but she was just cuddled up on my knee. We read a story, mmm...had some treats, some milk and biscuits, errm... and then after they'd done the usual 'toilet-teeth', errm... we went through to the bedroom and read another story 'If You're Happy And You Know It', errm... (long pause)...yep..." (silence).
And there it ends. No description whatsoever of actually putting the children to bed, despite Kate's 'vivid recall' of that evening. The account simply stops dead without a conclusion. This is a classic example of an unbalanced story, and one that's easily viewed with suspicion. Put very simply, if a story does not have a conclusion then there isn't one.
Kate next tells us that when the curtains blew up, they revealed that the shutter was 'all the way up' and the window had been 'pushed right across.' One of several highlights from the Channel 4 documentary (Madeleine Was Here) to be spliced into the proceedings, viewers are treated anew to the episode of the door being 'open much further than we'd left it.' Strange how Matthew Oldfield didn't notice the cold air inside apartment 5A, the various doors and windows having been open for twenty minutes by the time he is said to have peered into the children's bedroom from the lounge. Even stranger that Kate didn't notice the drop in temperature a further half-hour after that. (It was cold enough for Jane Tanner to have borrowed a fleece before setting off up the magic path of invisibility).
But the best is yet to come.
"Did you kill your daughter?" asks the lady journalist. Gerry answers:
"No. That's an emphatic 'no.' I mean the ludicrous thing is. Errm... what... I suppose... what's been purported from Portugal is that Madeleine died in the apartment by an accident and we hid her body. Well, when did she have the accident and died? Cos... the only time she was left unattended was when we were at dinner, so if she died then, how could we have disposed of... hidden her body when there was an immediate search. It's just nonsense. So. An' if she died when we were in the apartment or fell injured, why would we... why would we cover that up?"
KM (interjecting): "And it gets even more ludicrous, that we've obviously hidden her so incredibly well, where nobody's found her and we hid her (interviewer: 'incredibly well') so well that we then decided that we'd move her in the car which we hired weeks later and you know it's just ridiculous."
Let's take this a step at a time.
"Did you kill your daughter?"
"No. That's an emphatic 'no.'"
This is Gerry speaking don't forget. For any other innocent mortal 'Absolutely not' would have been a sufficient response. Not for Gerry though. Despite his subsequent claim, he gives a decidedly unemphatic answer - 'No.' What follows is meta-language, where he is describing his earlier articulation of a word and does not address the underlying semantics in any way. Incoherent and unnecessary expansion then takes us away from the original question, referencing what has been 'purported' in Portugal, namely that 'Madeleine died in the apartment by an accident and we hid her body.'
Next comes a cunning locking of the incident to a specific time frame, with the suggestion that Madeleine could only have had an accident when unattended. But Gerry slips up in questioning how it would have been possible for them to have disposed of Madeleine's body. In immediately substituting the phrase hidden her body he has already told us what in fact happened. Excitedly he goes on to ask why the parents should have covered up an accident. Why indeed.
It hardly comes as a surprise that Kate leaps in at this point, before Gerry's mouth can write any more bad cheques. She loses no time in elaborating upon the 'hide-and-seek' scenario played out that Thursday night, and the 'ludicrous' idea of their hire car being involved afterwards. But the damage has already been done.
The script, charitably outlined by Goncalo Amaral and fleshed out here by the McCanns, so as to exonerate themselves, depends entirely for its effect upon the premise that little Madeleine disappeared inexplicably that Thursday night; a premise that becomes less clear the closer it is examined. And Gerry is right. It wouldn't make sense to conceal an accident.
Consequences – 01.08.2011
It is by no means surprising that Criminal Profiler Pat Brown should view the McCanns' latest act of suppression as a professional affront. The following paragraph is Ms Brown's own synopsis of the current situation and contains, inter alia, a pivotal observation:
"If the McCanns are innocent of covering up a crime (following an accidental death), they should view my theory as a reasonable opinion as to what could have happened, but, simply know that, regardless of the strange happenings that would have led to such a hypothesis, this is simply not what occurred. The fact that there is no proof of an abduction - and this is a fact - does not mean an abduction could not have taken place. But, because there is no proof of an abduction, the McCanns should well understand why they might be considered persons-of-interest in the disappearance of the daughter, Madeleine. They should also recognize that their commission of child neglect also might make them persons-of-interest. In other words, rather than sue and threaten everyone with a theory that they, the McCanns, might be involved in the disappearance of their child, a more normal response would be to simply understand why someone might think that way and deal with it.
"Even better, the McCanns could return to Portugal and clear up the matter. (...)"
And the focal point is?
"The fact that there is no proof of an abduction - and this is a fact - does not mean an abduction could not have taken place."
Now, what do a 'pull-through' and an ice-berg have in common? (A: There's more to it than meets the eye). Implicit and inseparable, there is a significant entailment which cannot be dissociated, logically or actually, from the immediately observable. And whether the McCanns like it or not, the same truth applies to their missing daughter.
If Madeleine was abducted, in the commonly understood sense of the term, then she was alive at the time.
Whilst this may appear at first blush to be repetition of the obvious, it is as well to ensure that the obvious is not mistakenly excluded from one's deliberations. Simply balancing this particular consideration alongside the first part of Pat Brown's key observation alerts us to that which we ought not to overlook:
If Madeleine was abducted around 9.00 p.m. on the night of Thursday 3 May, 2007, then she was alive until that time. What does Pat Brown tell us again? "There is no proof of abduction - and this is a fact." And what that means, inevitably, is that there is no proof that Madeleine was alive then either.
Of course we have the Tanner and Smiths' 'sightings,' each one imprecise and contradictory of the other, as well as the McCanns own claims that the 'scene' left them in no doubt Madeleine had been 'taken.' As we all know, it took rather more than this to convince professional investigators that the assumptions of a cardiologist and a locum G.P. were adequately founded in this respect.
In sum, as Pat Brown has stated, there is no proof of abduction. There never was. But that leaves an equally significant aspect of the Madeleine McCann case to be resolved. Because if the child was not abducted, then there is no proof either that she was alive.
Part two of Pat Brown's statement is an open-minded acceptance that the absence of proof in this instance "does not mean an abduction could not have taken place." But that only buys a short-term reprieve as, on the positive side of the ledger, it means only that Madeleine 'could have been alive at the time.'
It should by now be perfectly clear as to why the McCanns have been keen to establish the abduction hypothesis from the outset, and equally clear that, in the face of postulate resistant to proof, they should have sought to address the conjecture from a different perspective.
The McCanns have been careful to orchestrate favourable interpretation of those circumstances and events that might be viewed as weak points in the dyke, as far as the abduction narrative is concerned (see article 'Reinforcements' for discussion). With this in mind, it becomes pertinent to ask why several of their holiday-making friends should have found it necessary, and almost entirely in retrospect, to join in the 'I-spy' chorus (something beginning with 'M').
Working backwards from the very last sighting (by Gerry McCann, not Jane Tanner), we have David Payne, who, like Gerry after him, claims to have seen all three children in apartment 5A, for the last time, shortly after 6.40 p.m. But David Payne cannot be trusted, since he also claimed (according to D.C. Marshall at least) to have seen Madeleine McCann for the last time at about 5.00 p.m., in the company of her parents no less.
Earlier that afternoon, Madeleine McCann was seen at the poolside by Jane Tanner whilst she was playing tennis with Rachael Oldfield, who did not notice Madeleine (maybe they didn't change ends). Earlier, in the morning, Jane Tanner took that photograph of Madeleine during the child's own 'mini-tennis' session. Rachael has told us so. But Madeleine was not at mini-tennis that morning. Russell O'Brien has told us so. And anyway Kate took that photo herself - on Tuesday. She has told us so. The creche records appear to tell of Madeleine's coming and going but even they are questionable.
Which brings us to breakfast, and Madeleine's interrogation of Kate. Or was it Gerry? Or Kate and Gerry? (it does rather depend whose statement one reads), and the noticeable 'tea stain' in the absence of tea drinking 'that day;' a day which, at breakfast time, had only just begun.
The insistence with which the McCanns each repeated their independent versions of Madeleine's casual 'Mummy/Daddy why didn't you come when I was (we/they were) crying?' question (the one she 'just dropped' before 'moving on'), is consistent with their reinforcement tactic. So what could they have been desirous of reinforcing? Well, why not the same interpretation as that supported by the claims of David Payne, Jane Tanner and Rachael Oldfield. Oh, and let's not forget nanny Catriona Baker, who held Madeleine on her lap whilst out on a boat, apparently, although others didn't even see her at the beach. Remarkably Madeleine was away sailing with the nanny, supposedly, at the very same time Rachael Oldfield suggests she was posing for Jane Tanner on the tennis court (10.30 - 11.00 a.m that Thursday morning)!
Gerry McCann's last sighting of his missing daughter should have been quite enough to establish that she had successfully negotiated the day. If she was put to bed that night then she must have got up that morning. But Gerry's 'check' is clearly not enough. Other elements are required to construct the whole story; contributions from allies prepared to support a distributed confirmation of Madeleine's presence, the implication being that Madeleine was perfectly healthy from dawn to dusk.
Thus the whole day is covered. But the effort to consolidate the desired position leads us as easily to a negative conclusion as a positive one.
Returning to Pat Brown's key statement ("The fact that there is no proof of an abduction - and this is a fact - does not mean an abduction could not have taken place."), taunts of the 'find the body and prove we killed her' variety, whether attributable to the McCanns or not, are either misleading or mistaken. In the first instance, it is not necessary for Madeleine's body to be found in order to ascertain whether she be dead or alive. That could be established just as conclusively by proving she was not abducted.
Then we have Gerry's recent outing to the hemisphere where water is supposed to drain clockwise, and the verbal deluge that resulted in: "An' if she died when we were in the apartment or fell injured, why would we... why would we cover that up?"
Listening to the broadcast it seems as if Gerry has a tough time moving the letter 'd' aside to make room for 'j' (in 'injured.' - he appears to say 'inded'). One might speculate that he had the phrase 'fell and died' in his mind. However, giving him the benefit of the doubt, as regards coherence at least, 'fell injured' is about the best one can do with the utterance in question. Unfortunately for Gerry the phrase substituted is more incriminating even than the one possibly intended. 'Fell and died' would have been bad enough. 'Fell injured' carries an altogether more serious connotation.
If Madeleine fell and died, then she passed away in consequence of the injuries sustained in the fall. If she fell injured however, she fell in consequence of an injury sustained immediately beforehand, and from which she possibly died. 'Why would (they) cover that up?' Well, if Madeleine 'fell injured'...
Entailments, remember? The ice-berg, the 'pull through' or, uglier yet, the emergent head of an unsuspected tape-worm. The greater, and possibly more damaging component is the portion you don't see. Proof that Madeleine McCann was not abducted would have far reaching consequences indeed.
Bunkered – 04.08.2011
The McCanns may have been playing four-ball with us down by the sea-side in Portugal, but they'll need more than a sand wedge to dig themselves out of this.
Remember that trip to the beach on Tuesday 1 May - the one that didn't last too long because the weather was unkind and Madeleine preferred to be with her Mini Club playmates? And how the McCanns took the children back to their separate crèches for the last hour and a half, yet somehow managed to sign them in over an hour beforehand? Well it turns out they did something even more remarkable. They seem to have left Madeleine all on her own at the creche. (Some holiday!).
Although Madeleine was not signed out at the end of the day, her brother and sister were - at 5.20 p.m. We are at liberty to infer therefore that, collectively, their last hour and a half began at around 3.45 p.m., despite all three children having been signed in, apparently, at 2.30 p.m. that afternoon. Clerical error on the part of both parents no doubt.
Now here's the weird bit.
Mark Warner Nanny, Catriona Baker, gave a statement to the PJ on 10 May 2007, during which she told them that the only days they took the children to the beach were Tuesday afternoon (1 May 2007) between 15:30 and 16:30, on Wednesday (the next day) at the same time and on Thursday between 10 and 11 o'clock. (04-Processos, volume IV . Pgs. 870 to 873). She says nothing about any of the trips having been delayed or cancelled.
Which means the McCanns, having decided to take their children to the beach that afternoon for a change, delivered Madeleine back to an empty creche for the last hour and a half (commencing 3.45 p.m. approx.). Cat Baker will have left at least fifteen minutes earlier - for the beach. And the beach being no more than fifteen minutes walk away, the 'lobsters' should already have arrived on the sand before the McCanns had even set off for the creche. Did the two groups pass each other en route? Did the McCanns simply hand over the children there and then? 'Hi Cat! You can take over now. We'll just nip back and sign the registers an hour ago!'
Oh well. An account of the truth that contains only one lie can't be all bad can it? Unfortunately even one lie is one lie too many. And this one concerns a period of time over 48 hours before Madeleine is said to have been 'taken.' It's like having your car stolen on Wednesday and lying to police about where you drove to at the weekend.
There can be little doubt now that the McCanns have as many teeth in their respective mouths as Clarence Mitchell has in his.
Thirty days – 05.08.2011
Thirty days hath September, April, June and November. The rest have thirty-one (except for May which, in 2007, was short by one Wednesday).
"Wednesday, 2 May, 2007. Our last completely happy day. Our last, to date, as a family of five." (Kate McCann in 'Madeleine' p.59).
Ripe for recollection, this particular Wednesday in May ought to feature conspicuously in the McCanns' various accounts of the truth, yet it does not; even in Kate McCann's recently published attempt at putting the record straight. Although the nocturnal shenanigans are ritually described, references to the diurnal aspect of that 'last completely happy (family) day' are conspicuous only by their near absence. The sentence quoted above is followed by two short paragraphs. And that's it. Heralded as a major event, Wednesday 2 May proves, in fact, to be something of a non-event.
O.K., so it rained. It's still possible to have family fun indoors, even in a small holiday apartment. Unless of course you are desperate to off-load the children so you can show off your new pink trainers down at the beach again with Matt, running the gauntlet of small dogs. That must have been a long run, taking up most of the morning, as the next thing that happens is "Gerry and I picked up the children, had lunch in the apartment and then took them to the play area for an hour before walking them to their clubs." (p.60). Tennis was rescheduled. "After that it was the usual routine: tea with the children, playtime, bath time, milk, stories, kids' bedtime, get ready, Tapas at 8.30 p.m."
And that, dear reader, is the extent of the family experience on Wednesday 2 May.
Some might consider an interval of several years adequate justification for poor recall, but such justification cannot apply to an interval of only one week! Here's what Gerry McCann had to say to Portuguese investigators on 10 May, 2007. Notice how Wednesday daytime fails to merit a mention:
"Concerning the routine, on Tuesday there was a slight change given that after lunch, at 13H30, the deponent and KATE decided to take the three children to Praia da Luz, having gone on foot, taking only the twins in baby buggies. They all left by the main door because of the buggies, went around to the right, down the street of the "BATISTA" supermarket and went to the beach along a road directly ahead.
"They were at the beach for about 20 minutes...
"On the day that MADELEINE disappeared, Thursday, 3 May 2007, they all woke up at the same time, between 07H30 and 08H00. When they were having breakfast, MADELEINE addressed her mother and asked her "why didn't you come last night when SEAN and I were crying?"
"On Wednesday night, 2 May 2007, apart from the deponent and his wife, he thinks that DAVID PAYNE also went to his apartment to check that his children were well, not having reported to him any abnormal situation with the children...
"He cannot say exactly, but he thinks that on Monday or Tuesday MADELEINE had slept for some time in his bedroom, with KATE, as she had told him that one or both twins were crying, making much noise.
"Back to Thursday..."
Back to Thursday. Without ever having visited Wednesday, either on the 10th or the week previously (the 4th), although Kate manages to mention it, just, during her earliest interview:
"Apart from that, on Wednesday or Thursday, Madeleine and the other children went sailing at the beach, five minutes away from the club, for an hour, in an event that was organised by the resort. The surveillance of this activity and the organisation were done by the club, and the deponent was not present, nor was her husband."
Not only are Wednesday and Thursday evidently interchangeable but, in terms of Madeleine's known whereabouts, that was a matter for resort staff, as neither Kate nor Gerry was present during the organised activity. (Gerry makes a comparable observation in his own 4 May statement).
The McCanns' 'last completely happy day' appears to have been dropped from the calendar, whilst confirmation of Madeleine's presence rests squarely with Mark Warner nannies. There are the creche registers of course (well, they exist at least), and the occasional 'sightings' by third parties.
According to Nanny Cat Baker's 10 May responses to Portuguese police inquiries, Madeleine should have been with her at the beach on Tuesday, Wednesday [15.30 - 16.30] AND Thursday [10.00 - 11.00] when she had a boat trip - at the same time as Jane Tanner is supposed, by Rachael Oldfield, to have taken her photograph while engaged in mini-tennis - which she did not do according to Russell O'Brien.
But we are more concerned with the Wednesday. As was Dianne Webster:
4078 "When was the last time you saw Madeleine?"
Reply "(Sighs) You see I don't remember seeing her on the Thursday because I didn't go to the high tea, err but I was apparently in the play area afterwards but I can't recall that."
Reply "Err so from what I can recall, the last time I would have seen Madeleine would have been the Wednesday at the high tea probably."
Use of the conditional + 'probably' does not mean it happened. For all we know the witness may even have partaken of 'probably the best lager in the world' (instead of high tea).
As far as the McCanns were concerned, May 2007 consisted of thirty recorded days. But surely even two paragraphs from Kate justify recognising the full thirty-one? Well, if you insist. But, in terms of diurnal activity, the result is the same. Monday isn't accounted for either - neither in their statements, nor the book.
Between two deleted days therefore we have a duplicate visit to the beach and, from Wednesday evening through Thursday, a succession of questionable 'checks' and 'sightings.' It's just as well we have the handful of photographs taken in Praia da Luz, including the 'last' one, or we might be tempted to question whether Madeleine was seen at all that week by anyone except her parents.
The Cerberus problem – 13.08.2011
Which head did the mythical dog use to lick itself, and did the others take offence at the time?
Of course if the dog had only one head there wouldn't be a problem. It's the duplication which introduces it.
The same thing can happen with a story. If one should seek to impose a conclusion upon events that already have one, difficulties ensue - but only if the extra ending is an 'add on,' not an 'add in.'
Think of a simple computer program designed to execute a series of functions before reaching the command 'stop.' If another 'stop' is inserted earlier in the flow of instructions the program should still run and dutifully end at the new stop point. Whatever else might otherwise have happened afterwards can be ignored, because it will not now have the opportunity to play out.
If, on the other hand, the intention were to expand the program, so as to run beyond the original stopping point, then this moment must somehow be by-passed and, to make any sense of the duplicate 'stop' instruction, additional events written in.
So if you're telling a story and throw in an early closure (who hasn't? "And they lived happily ever after. Night night." Lights out.), there is no problem. Irrespective of what might have come next, it simply doesn't. The story's over and nothing more needs to be accounted for. But if you want to take the listener beyond chopping down the giant beanstalk, say, then you have to account for the aftermath, and that means filling time with additional events.
The McCanns and their entourage have clearly filled in a number of events to occupy the time before Madeleine's reported disappearance, with duplicated photography of Madeleine at duplicated Mini-tennis, duplicated late-night crying and a duplicate trip to the beach, to say nothing of duplicate sightings of her at different locations. All of which can mean only one thing - that the conclusion to this story is an 'add on' and that the genuine ending is somewhere to the left of centre.
THE HAIR OF THE DOG
The Cerberus Problem can arise in connection with absolutely any sequence of inter-related events, be they associated with a computer program, a bed-time story or a football match. It is logically independent. It is also logically sound. There is one circumstance alone which requires the introduction of additional events to fill the extra time, and that occurs when the overall period is extended to meet an additional conclusion.
As an explanatory tool the 'problem' can be applied just as effectively to the events of a holiday, and that includes the May 2007 holiday in Portugal experienced by the McCanns and their friends.
Kate McCann's book 'Madeleine,' her 'account of the truth,' entails the displacement of documented activities (documented in the police files) by 24 hrs. (Tuesday to Wednesday, Monday to Tuesday). That is beyond dispute. She also flatly contradicts previous evidence given by her friends Rachael Oldfield and Jane Tanner, as well as documentary evidence of her own in respect of events during this period. The inconsistencies are such that 'invention' on somebody's part becomes the only rational explanation.
With events progressing toward an unexpected conclusion, there should be no need whatsoever to fabricate activities beforehand. Things simply take their course. The fact that they have been so fabricated points to the conclusion of the Madeleine McCann story, as understood, to be an 'additive.' And since it is this afterthought alone which encapsulates Madeleine's 'abduction' (there is absolutely nothing in the preceding story which even hints at it, except in the vivid imagination of the author) we may conclude that Madeleine McCann was not abducted. The abduction conclusion is added don't forget, and Madeleine's disappearance was not announced previously.
There will undoubtedly be those who will wish to argue that the story of Madeleine McCann's abduction is somehow immune to the demands of logic. Those same people would no doubt advocate the dismissal of Pythagoras' theorem and drawing a line under civilisation as we know it. Though Madeleine McCann may have disappeared from the face of the earth, her parents are still very much with us, their behaviour subject to exactly the same constraints of physics, and logic, as the rest of us.
Something's Missing – 15.09.2011
An all-too-common discovery when opening last year's jig-saw puzzle at Christmas is that there's a piece missing. Sometimes, trying to do the same thing with the same pieces simply leads to a different outcome. Take for example this description by Kate McCann of husband Gerry's behaviour, from her bestseller, Madeleine:
"Gerry was distraught now. He was on his knees, sobbing, his head hung low."
Compare it with this statement of Kate's from the televised documentary 'Madeleine Was Here' of two years ago:
"I think it's actually going through the scenario of that night as well, you know, errm... I mean, you know, even what I can remember of the night, you know, seeing Gerry, that distraught really, sobbing, on the floor."
Earlier this year, I asked the question, 'Which night?' (see article - Uneasy Lies The Head, McCannfiles, 3 July), there being no known circumstance in which Kate could have observed Gerry on the floor that night. Kate has, it seems, since decided that the night in question was the one on which the McCanns' Portuguese lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, proffered the 'deal' that wasn't.
That's handy. Now when people are formally called to account for the truth, rather than offer loose accounts of it, Carlos could be invited to confirm his recollection of a prostrate, sobbing Gerry McCann, reacting to his offer on behalf of the PJ.
Their nomination as 'core participants' in the Leveson inquiry suggests that someone considers the McCanns have something to say for themselves. Horses for courses then. When have the McCanns not had something to say? Oh, I remember. September 7, 2007. Whatever happened to, 'All I could do was to tell the police the truth - again - and hope that was what they were actually interested in.' (p.237)? That principle very soon went AWOL, didn't it?
There is something else missing from the story of the McCanns in Portugal; a certain emotional response. And by that I do not mean the disciplined withholding of tears on the advice of third-party experts (maybe 'cuddle cat' was preferred to a handkerchief for that very reason). What should have been in evidence, and was not, stems from an observation Kate herself makes on p.242 of her 'account:'
"Faced with something...way beyond the sphere of your experience, it is natural to dismiss it as impossible, but that doesn't mean it is."
Q: What, in particular, was beyond Kate (or even Gerry's) experience?
A: Sniffer dogs.
Speaking of (or rather denigrating) Ricardo Paiva, Kate comments, "What did he know about low-copy DNA?" (obviously not as much as she herself knew about Low Copy Number DNA - LCN for short). "These dogs had never been used in Portugal before." As if their noses had been detained on entry into the country.
Deliberately misleading waffle aside ("As we now know, the chemicals believed to create the 'odour of death', putrescence and cadaverine, last no longer than thirty days.") at the time when the McCanns were first confronted with the dogs' reactions within apartment 5A and to their personal effects exclusively, their understanding of the basis for the dogs' behaviour, the EVRD in particular was - zero, i.e., it was way beyond the sphere of their experience.
So, put yourself in the position of a parent who knows their child is asleep at 9.05 and, because someone else is convinced she saw it happen, carried off at 9.15. (When asked by reporter Sandra Felgueiras which of the many sightings of Madeleine 'touched' them most, Gerry, aiming for his ear no doubt, scratches the back of his neck, then answers: "The sightings on the night.").
As Kate's narrative goes: "Supposing she had been killed - and we think this extremely unlikely - she must have been taken out of the apartment within minutes." Kate "struggled to understand how, never mind why, somebody could have killed Madeleine and removed her body within such a short time frame." "Did they (the PJ) really believe that a dog could smell the 'odour of death' three months later from a body that had been removed so swiftly?"
Well yes, they did believe that, and with good reason. The self same dog had done it many times before, and over a longer interval. But Kate's emotions are the more important here. "...to me, as Madeleine's mother, it didn't have to make sense at this point. The merest suggestion from Ricardo that it was even possible she had been killed in that flat was like a knife being twisted into my chest."
First we should indeed 'mind why' somebody would have killed Madeleine and removed her body. The mantra from the word 'go' has been paedophilia not necrophilia. Unless the ultimate trade was in body parts, as opposed to child pornography, the abduction of a corpse will not have occurred. In any case, Madeleine was alive, wasn't she? So when, out of the blue, the Portuguese police presented the McCanns with indicators of a corpse having spent sufficient time inside apartment 5A as to leave a forensic trace, what was their reaction? Did Kate, as instinctive as the next person, exclaim exactly as you or I might have done in the circumstances, knowing that our sleeping child had disappeared within minutes? Did she, or Gerry, ever declare, "That's impossible!"?
Instructively, the McCanns reaction was not one of flabbergasted disbelief. On the contrary, and despite Kate McCann's account of her scepticism as regards the dogs' capabilities, we have the pair of them tacitly acknowledging the status quo. Gerry, whilst 'researching the validity of sniffer-dog evidence' announced that 'Seany' (Kate's term) had taken an unexpected fancy to sea-bass (potentially a source of cadaverine-like chemical odour). Were the McCanns accustomed to preparing their meals on (or, like Bedouin, eating them off) the floor? And how did the mobile corpse come to sprinkle its presence throughout the apartment; everywhere except for the very bedroom from which it was 'taken'? Then of course there is the issue of the hire car, and all manner of things transported in the spare wheel well! Kate, it was suggested, moonlighted in her beach wear as a mortician during her tenure as a locum G.P.
Despite Kate's 'holier-than-thou' posture in her discussion of the 'evidence' therefore, the simple fact is that, of the two mutually exclusive postulates - Madeleine dead vs. Madeleine abducted (alive), it is the former which is given more weight by the parents. Instead of dismissing the proposition as categorically impossible, they each, in their fashion, attempted to explain away the relevant indicators, whilst at the same time calling their own 'hypothesis' into question ("We strongly believe Madeleine was alive when she was taken."). Well, if you don't know...
'Madeleine' by Kate McCann. An account of the truth. From which something is missing.
Psychosis! What Psychosis? - 16.11.2011
Some of what Kate McCann has to say about herself and her daughter in the book, 'Madeleine:'
"She was striding ahead of Fiona and me, swinging her bare arms to and fro...I was following her with my eyes, admiring her. I wonder now, the nausea rising in my throat, if someone else was doing the same." (p.65)
(Is this a mother talking? Any adult who finds themselves observing a child in the same terms as a hypothetical paedophile should either 'snap out of it' immediately or else seek counselling).
"I felt like a caged demented animal." (96)
(What does a 'caged demented animal' feel like exactly? Which of these two aspects is most note worthy, since the one does not necessarily pre-dispose the other?).
"Somehow inflicting physical pain on myself seemed to be the only possible way of escaping my internal pain." (105)
"I felt as if I'd embarked on a slow, painful death....The pictures I saw of our Madeleine no sane human being would want in her head, but they were in mine. I simply couldn't rid myself of these evil scenes in the early days and weeks." (130)
(Excuse me? 'Pictures no sane human would want' were in your head? Since what we imagine is what we choose to imagine, and if sane people would 'opt out' in this instance, what does that make the custodian of these mental pictures?)
"My child had suffered and therefore so must I." (132)
(A non-sequitur as irrational as it is masochistic)
"Although I'd been for a run two days before, to me, as I've said, this seemed a necessity rather than a pleasure, and there's no doubt there was an element of self-punishment in it." (139)
(Self-confessed masochism once more).
"I felt Madeleine's terror." (81)
"Quite upset on the way home. Can't stop thinking about Madeleine again - her fear and her pain." (168)
"The thought of Madeleine's fear and pain tears me apart." (169)
(Re Murat): "Since they (the PJ) had insinuated throughout that he might be the person responsible for the unimaginable fear and pain suffered by our little girl..." (199)
(KM's had no difficulty with her imaginings thus far. But with 'no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm,' what justification is there for dwelling on her 'terror, fear and pain?').
"I struggled constantly to think nice thoughts and drift off to sleep but the demons had me in their grip and would torture me mercilessly with images too frightening and painful to share." (275)
(Not like she shared p.129).
"I long for the day when I'll have my beautiful Madeleine back in my arms." (181)
And, from a year-old video recently exhumed on a couple of 'blog' sites:
"Sean and Amelie are great, just doing really well, erm, they seem to have taken everything on board and coped incredibly well really. Maybe that's one of the attractions of youth really."
(Even now the twins are not youths. They are children. And an ability to cope is scarcely what one would consider an 'attraction,' unless they were a company director on the lookout for middle-management talent. One wonders what, in Kate's view, might be numbered among the other attractions of youth, given her 'admiration' of a three year old?).
The text below is taken from a letter sent last year (dated 6 May) by McCann lawyers Carter-Ruck, to those responsible for a certain Internet web-site. After a pre-amble containing the now infamously misleading 'no evidence whatsoever' claim, the recipient was treated to the following (phrases of particular interest are italicised):
Defamatory, threatening and harassing content
Suffice it to say that the page repeatedly alleges that our clients caused the death of their daughter and have subsequently engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up her death.
As well as being highly defamatory of our clients, these allegations are completely and utterly untrue. Our clients had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, and there is not one grain of proper evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance.
I'm biased of course, but there appears to be something just a little odd about the author's reference to 'these allegations,' i.e. that their clients 'caused the death of their daughter and have subsequently engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up her death,' and the subsequent rebuttal.
'These allegations are completely and utterly untrue.'
'Our clients had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, and there is not one grain of proper evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance.'
Ever since they got to grips with the script, the McCanns have lost no opportunity to place before the public a clear distinction between Madeleine's disappearance and possible injury. You know the line: 'There's no evidence that Madeleine has come to any harm,' despite the child having been 'taken,' or disappeared. It follows straightforwardly therefore, that the above statement, made on their behalf by Carter-Ruck, about the parents' lack of involvement in Madeleine's disappearance, cannot be taken to subsume a denial of involvement in her possible death, the two events having been previously and continuously regarded as separate by the parents themselves.
Logically, rebuttal of the putative allegations (of death and a cover-up) are not accomplished by the claims made concerning Madeleine's 'disappearance.' In other words, the charge is not answered.
As to there being 'not one grain of proper evidence to implicate them (the parents) in Madeleine's disappearance,' that rather depends on which disappearance one has in mind. You see, Madeleine disappeared before Thursday 3 May, 2007, and we have two grains of proper evidence at least that together indicate its happening, in the shape of sworn statements to police and Kate McCann's very own 'account of the truth' published earlier this year.
By comparing data gathered during the course of the original police investigation alongside relevant information given by the author of 'Madeleine,' we can establish that Madeleine was 'missing,' in the sense that her whereabouts have not properly been accounted for, for the entire Tuesday afternoon of the week in question. She disappeared therefore.
Impossible! She was at the beach with her parents! She was...
She was none of these things.
The registers for Madeleine's and the twins' separate kids' clubs were signed individually by Gerry and Kate McCann respectively, at 2.30 p.m. on the Tuesday afternoon, apparently, implying that all three children were left in the care of Mark Warner staff until their collection later (at 5.20 p.m. in the case of the twins. Madeleine was not signed out at all); a touch short of three hours. Four years later and Kate McCann tells her readers how she and Gerry decided to take Madeleine and the twins to the beach that very afternoon 'for a change,' setting off after lunch and returning the children to their appropriate crèches, at Madeleine's request, 'for the last hour and a half,' which would have been around 3.45 p.m. therefore.
Supposing the creche registers to be a true reflection of events, there should be no requirement whatsoever for the McCanns subsequently to fabricate a contradictory story so as to account for Madeleine's activities that afternoon. But that is precisely what Kate McCann has done. This in itself indicates that Madeleine was not at the creche from 2.30 p.m. How could she have been if she wasn't returned there until 3.45? But then her repatriation is not true either.
Mark Warner nanny Cat Baker gave a statement to police explaining how her toddler group made a number of scheduled visits to the beach, one of which was that very Tuesday afternoon, departing at 3.30. Hence the creche would have been devoid of personnel at the very time Madeleine supposedly returned 'for the last hour and a half.'
So Madeleine was not at the creche from 2.30, could not have been left alone there from 3.45 and, given the complete absence of any confirmatory signature, was seemingly not collected again later.
That's because she must have been at the beach!
Well, had she joined in the afternoon's supervised activities from the outset that's exactly where she would have been. But she obviously did not do that. Kate has told us so, despite the unmistakable presence of husband Gerry's signature on the register for 14.30.
So, in light of the evidence, Kate's story, of a family trip to the beach that included Madeleine and lasted until 'the last hour and a half', is a work of fiction. Madeleine spent the afternoon (from 2.30 p.m.) at the creche. But an apparent need to contradict this evidence suggests that the evidence itself is unreliable. Hence we can neither properly, nor definitively, account for Madeleine's whereabouts on that Tuesday afternoon. This conclusion appears inescapable, given Kate McCann's various claims of verisimilitude since ("I know the truth, Sandra." 5.11.09. "I know the truth and God knows the truth and nothing else matters." 7.5.11). If the truth were as evidenced then why seek to contradict it? And yet the truth cannot be as recounted since the re-telling itself describes an impossibility.
Unaccounted for in any genuinely credible way therefore, Madeleine was, to all intents and purposes, missing for at least an hour and a half that Tuesday afternoon. And since she was in her parents' custody from lunch-time they have to be implicated in said disappearance.
(Note: the 'beach trip' is mentioned in the statement made to police by Gerry McCann on 10.5.07. Described as commencing about 1.30 p.m., the children are 'dropped off' on the way back; a schedule which could, conceivably, have been accomplished within the hour. In her own statement to police (4.5.07) Kate McCann describes the children typically being placed in the club for the afternoons until around 5/5.30 p.m. The sole family outing to the beach reported later in this same statement as having happened 'between 1.30 and 3.00 p.m., when they returned to the club.' It is Kate's later statement however (Madeleine, p.59) that 'we dropped the kids off at their clubs for the last hour and a half, meeting up with them as usual for tea,' taken together with her own signature timed at 5.20 p.m., which compromises the various accounts of Madeleine's whereabouts on the Tuesday afternoon).
Digging Beneath the Surface – 28.11.2011
As 'core participants' the McCanns regaled listeners at the Leveson inquiry, like Al Capone spraying bullets, with perceived failings on the part of the UK press, the Portuguese press, the Portuguese Police, the broadcast media, the internet...etc., etc. Basically any organisation potentially worth a Carter-Rucking.
Well, we have long understood the importance Gerry McCann attaches to 'evidence.' So, there he was, diligently presenting some of his own, when Kate leapt in with the following (well it was a joint submission):
KM: "These were desperate times. You know, we were, having to try and find our daughter ourselves and needed all the help we could get and we were facing (we'll come onto the headlines) 'Corpse in the car.' How many times I read 'body fluids in the car,' and it gets repeated so often that it becomes fact. There were no body fluids."
'There were no body fluids,' says Kate, categorically and absolutely, whether they might have originated with a body, soiled nappies, or previously worn pyjamas.
Taking Kate McCann's autobiographical pre-occupation with sex, fear and pain, together with Justice Secretary Ken Clarke's classification of rape on a sliding scale of seriousness, tempts the judicial caution: "De minimes non curat lex!" (The Law does not concern itself with trifles). Perhaps, from time to time, the Law ought to do so. Concern itself with trifles, that is. Or should that be 'truffles?'
When the hunter-gatherers of mainland Europe sally forth with their truffle hounds (a more cost-effective alternative to the more traditional hog, which has a tendency to eat the treasure rather than be content with finding it), do they explore the woodland at random, excavating at the roots of whatever tree might take their fancy, or set the dog onto the first patch of toadstools they encounter? Do they ever. They leave it to the dog to indicate where best to dig, taking its well trained reaction as evidence for the presence of a subterranean mushroom. Just as you or I might view the departure of migratory birds as evidence that Winter is approaching. We cannot see the imminent fall in temperature but we’ll feel it soon enough.
Maybe fungi are inadmissible in a court of law. But the Leveson inquiry was not constituted as a court of law, and there were at least two parasites present so, on learning of the 'incredible' allegations of 'corpse in the car,' what might Lord Justice L and his associates have made of the fact that a sniffer dog detected blood in the wheel well of said vehicle? No one had been called upon to change the radials, so it wouldn't have been the result of a maintenance mishap. But the dog signalled its presence. Truffles being worth extraordinary sums these days, is it likely that prospectors would take their costly, trained animals for 'walkies,' dismissing their 'nose to the ground' behaviour as unreliable ('if tested scientifically, Sandra')? Dream on. So if a dog trained to detect minute residues of human blood indicates blood, what have you got? Blood. And blood is? Why yes - a body fluid!
Prior to their personal appearance, David Sherborne, representing victims of alleged press intrusion, told the inquiry how the Drs. McCann 'found themselves at the centre of a media storm after their daughter Madeleine went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.'
Not quite 'found themselves,' David. 'Placed themselves' rather. As confirmed by authoress Kate McCann:
"Dave, ... sent an e-mail to Sky News alerting them to the abduction of our daughter. (p.79).
"...Rachael had contacted a friend of hers at the BBC seeking help and advice..." (p.80).
"Jon Corner...was circulating photographs and video footage of Madeleine to the police, Interpol and broadcasting and newspaper news desks. (p.86).
Your child disappears during a family holiday abroad, so the first thing you do is...? Tell the folks back home, of course, including non-family members who will 'take it upon themselves' to broadcast the news as widely as possible.
Mr Sherborne continued: "Moreover, Mr McCann will explain how in the months following the abduction of Madeleine, the behaviour of the press changed from an attitude of support to one of hostility.
Er, 'abduction' M'Lord? What abduction? The appropriate term is 'disappearance.' But let's not quibble, shall we. Let's hear some more of what the protagonists themselves have to say. Kate McCann, for instance, describing the root cause of her 'violation:'
"You know, I'd written these words, my thoughts, at the most desperate time of my life...it was my only way of communicating with Madeleine...There was absolutely no respect shown for me as a grieving mother or as a human being, or for my daughter."
Your only way of communicating with Madeleine during that first week? A pity you didn't think to address her directly during any of your 'pieces to camera,' a criterion which, by the way, the FBI study in cases of unexplained disappearance. Granted, that still does not excuse the lack of respect shown you in your time of grieving. But why grieving? Were you not a mother desperate for the return of her daughter, there being no evidence that she had come to any harm, certainly not at that early stage?
Naturally, husband Gerry was just as concerned that rampant press behaviour could place daughter Madeleine in jeopardy.
GM: "I think there's been contempt demonstrated by the media...both for the judicial process and, at times, Madeleine's safety."
Now why are these particular acts of contempt unsurprising. Could it be because Kate herself has written that she clandestinely gave the folks back home 'the green light' to voice their disgust at her treatment by the PJ during a police interview that took place within police headquarters at Portimao, Portugal. And afterwards of course we had the 'good marketing ploy' that was tantamount to signing the child's death warrant. No one can accuse the McCanns or their holiday-making associates of being safety conscious, that's for sure.
The 'judicial secrecy' line has long since worn thin. In fact it's worn out. That means, unfortunately, we have no defence against assault with tongue-twisting (or brain numbing) logic.
Speaking of the British press particularly, Gerry says they "didn't know the source, didn't know whether it was accurate. It was exaggerated and often downright untruthful and often, I believe, on occasion was made up."
Often, on occasion...? Was the witness leaving it to the stenographer to 'delete as appropriate,' one wonders.
Barely a minute later and he gives us, regarding mid-June, "We decided we had to stay, in Portugal, to be close to Madeleine..."
So how did he know that, a month after her 'abduction' to order, his daughter Madeleine was still on the Iberian peninsular even. Being in Portugal's not much help if your child's been spirited away by boat to (nearby?!) Barcelona.
After a period of time there was little new news to report.
GM: "For example, there must have been 'McCann Fury' on the front page of many newspapers over that Summer that would quote an un-named source or friend and, unless our phones were hacked, which I don't think they were, then these were made up because they were simply not true."
Simply not true, eh? Run that by me one more time. 'Unless our phones were hacked,..., then they were made up.' So, if your phones had been hacked then they would not have been made up, i.e. they would have been true, because expressions of 'McCann fury' would have been overheard. Does the tree in the forest only collapse if someone hears it fall? No. 'McCann fury' was clearly vented whether reporters realised it through illicit acts of telephony or otherwise.
Oh, the despicable UK press!
GM: "The first really bad thing was an article that was written in a Portuguese paper which was entitled 'Pact of Silence.'
Although we might be concerned at the Portuguese media's being struck by a stray bullet here (collateral damage, as it were), we might be somewhat more interested in Gerry's choice of the word 'bad.' Were the Portuguese press simply being as naughty as their UK counterparts, or was their report 'bad news' for the McCanns at the time, given the source of the headline - David Payne, who is reported to have said directly to a Sol journalist, "We have a pact. This is our matter only. It is nobody else's business."
Sounds pretty much like a pact of silence to me. A bad thing alright.
Concerning the not so small matter of their litigious exploits, Gerry informs us that
"We were told that we had, after taking counsel's advice, that we would be very likely to be successful in such a claim, and my understanding of that was that there would be a very strong argument that Express Group Newspapers knew that the allegations, or many of them, were unfounded or certainly couldn't prove any of them."
In easy stages: A very strong argument does not define certainty. Many (not all) of the allegations were known to be either unfounded or could not be not proved. It is not impossible that this entire sub-set fell into the latter category, i.e. not provable at the time the claim was made. That something cannot be proved at any given instant does not make a proof impossible in the long run (the discovery and exploitation of nuclear fission was not a one-step process).
It wasn't exclusive guardianship of the truth therefore which allowed the McCanns to attack the press, but their realization that Fleet Street was not in possession of the evidence necessary to substantiate all of their claims. Speculative they may have been. Necessarily untrue they were not.
For a couple so studiously observant of the law, in the shape of 'judicial secrecy,' media and contractual obligations (they'd already set up a limited company, don't forget) it is something of a revelation that they appear knowingly to have breached their own contract with Transworld publishers.
"News International actually bid for the rights to the book, along with Harper Collins, and one of their pitches was the fact that they would serialise the book across all of their titles, and we were somewhat horrified at the prospect of that, given the way we'd been treated in the past, and the deal was actually done with the publishers, Transworld, that excluded serialisation.
"Now, we were subsequently approached by News International and Associated to serialise the book, and after much deliberation, we had a couple of meetings with the general manager and -- Will Lewis and Rebekah Brooks and others, and what swung the decision to serialise was News International committed to backing the campaign and the search for Madeleine. And that passed our test of how it could help..."
So they 'do a deal' with Transworld which excludes (read as 'prohibits') serialisation, as something that would have 'horrified' them, then do another deal with News International subsequently for 'backing' (i.e.'money') contingent upon serialisation; the very thing their extant agreement with Transworld excluded. Or am I missing something?
What Gerry's adroit turn of phrase does not make clear, deliberately one suspects, is that the McCanns must have sold Transworld the rights to publish in book form, whilst reserving the right to serialize elsewhere. Thus it was excluded. How otherwise could they have sold the same product twice, Transworld and News International each paying independently for publication? Either way, if I were Transworld supremo I'd be inclined to think we'd been 'shafted.' If the McCanns were actually in breach of contract, the negative PR fallout that would doubtless arise from any legal action against them would outweigh any fiscal benefit in the long run, whilst seeing vast tracts of one's forthcoming publication reproduced in newsprint, however legally, before the book had even reached supermarket shelves, hardly indicates 'cue applause' (unless of course you're the McCanns' agent).
And there's yet more 'secrecy' in store. This time with rather sinister overtones.
GM: "We were told we were under judicial secrecy not to give details of events. What became very apparent was, you know, the media were trying to create a timeline of what happened, and we had obviously created a timeline and given it to the police and tried to narrow down to the closest minutes when we think Madeleine was taken to help the investigation. But when that information goes into the public domain and the abductor shouldn't know it, or the only person who should know it were the people who were there, then that's a concern. It can contaminate evidence. You could incriminate yourself by knowing something that you shouldn't have known."
The interpretation of 'creation' here could give some cause for concern, since no distinction is made between media and McCann versions of the activity, but the subsequent paragraph raises even more questions.
Information as to the precise time of Madeleine's disappearance shouldn't be known to 'the abductor,' apparently. 'The only person who should know it were the people who were there.' But hold on. The abductor was there wasn't he? So why should he, she, or they not know, or be allowed to know, when exactly they committed their crime, to the extent that such forbidden knowledge could 'contaminate evidence?' Having watched the McCanns, 'for several days I'm sure,' said Kate once-upon-a time, the abductor(s) would have had little difficulty either in reconstructing the McCanns' hallowed timeline for themselves, without waiting to read it in the press or on the Internet.
It really is a pity that Adam couldn't resist the taste of apples. According to Gerry, "You could incriminate yourself by knowing something that you shouldn't have known." Is/are the abductor(s) running the risk of incriminating themselves more deeply by knowing exactly when they did the deed, almost to the nearest minute, or does this remark have more general significance, i.e., might it apply to that person in possession of the 'key bit of information' (or bit of key information) the McCanns have been so desperate for hitherto?
The Leveson inquiry may be concerned with ethical standards adopted (or not) by the UK media, but, like taking a 'doggy bag' to a buffet, it would be well worth any serious investigator's time to collect up the McCanns' regurgitations for later consumption. Even if they do have to be translated into Portuguese first.
You Can Bet On The Law – 07.12.2011
The process of Civil Law in the U.K. has, it appears, taken on the aspect of a game of poker, played in that well known casino where the croupier attending the roulette wheel always has a finger free, ready to press the 'under the counter' control button, in a posture reminiscent of the McCanns' appearance at the Leveson inquiry, during which Gerry McCann's right hand, when not called upon to turn pages, was frequently occupied out of sight elsewhere.
Isabel Hudson, on behalf of Carter-Ruck Solicitors, has submitted a signed affidavit in respect of the McCanns' libel action against 'Madeleine Foundation' secretary Tony Bennett; a statement which, as an example of its kind, is of more than passing interest. Extracts from this document having been placed in the public domain, the following details are especially worthy of discussion.
Summary of Application
4. In 2009 the claimants brought a complaint in libel against the Defendant in relation to numerous allegations which he published that the claimants were guilty of, or are to be suspected of, causing the death of their daughter Madeleine McCann; and/or of disposing of her body; and/or lying about what had happened and/or of seeking to cover up what they had done.
So accusing, or even openly suspecting the McCanns of lying could be sufficient to provoke a 'complaint in libel.' What about simply drawing attention to their untruths?
Jon Corner, godparent to the McCanns' twins:
"Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed."
Brian Healy, Grandfather:
"Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone."
"There was no evidence of a break-in," said Mr Mitchell (The McCanns' spokesperson - Irish Independent, 25 October 2007).
If there's one thing worse than lying, Ms Hudson, it is lying under oath.
Kate McCann (to Lord Justice Leveson, referring to press claims of 'body fluids' found in the wheel well of a vehicle hired by the McCanns after Madeleine's alleged abduction): "There were no body fluids."
A Low Copy Number DNA Test on samples derived from this same hire car, at the locus indicated by the CSI dog deployed, was conducted by the FSS at their Birmingham laboratory and the results reported to Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Constabulary by John Lowe of the FSS:
"An incomplete DNA result was obtained from cellular material on the swab 3a. The swab contained very little information and showed low level indications of DNA from more than one person. However, all of the confirmed DNA components within this result match the corresponding components in the DNA profile of Madeline McCann. LCN DNA profiling is highly sensitive it is not possible to attribute this DNA profile to a particular body fluid." (italics mine)
"There is no evidence to support the view that Madeline MCCann contributed DNA to the swab 3B.
"A complex LCN DNA result which appeared to have originated from at least three people was obtained from cellular material recovered from the luggage compartment section 286C 2007 CRL10 (2) area"
The CSI dog in question is trained specifically to indicate the presence of human blood in the tiniest of amounts. Blood is unquestionably a 'body fluid.'
To categorically assert, under oath in this instance, that 'there were no body fluids,' is not merely to lie. It is an act of perjury.
5. As the Claimants have always maintained, these allegations are utterly false. In July 2008 the Portuguese Prosecutor confirmed there was no credible evidence to suggest that they were in any way implicated in the disappearance of their daughter or even that Madeleine McCann had come to serious harm. The claimants wish to make clear that it is their position also that there is no credible evidence to suggest that their daughter is dead or that she has come to any physical harm, and the search for Madeleine McCann is very much ongoing.
Even allowing for the possibility of stylistic vagaries in translation, the following passages from the final report dated 21.07.08, signed off by The Republic's Prosecutor (José de Magalhães e Menezes) and The Joint General Prosecutor (João Melchior Gomes), seem somehow not to convey quite the same message as that broadcast by Ms Hudson . The Portuguese account is non-commital rather than dismissive and, in effect, leaves all options open. It makes no specific reference to culpability (or lack of) on the part of Gerry or Kate McCann. Whilst there may have been 'no indications of the practice of any crime,' one should not lose sight of the fact that 'abduction' was, for a while, the principal crime under consideration, and with no evidence for that then Madeleine's disappearance remains to be explained. It is curious, to say the least, that the Portuguese speak of 'removal from the apartment' rather than 'abduction,' these actions not being one and the same necessarily. What’s more, their extrapolation as regards motive, while extending to homicide of one form or another, seems not to embrace the possibility that the child may have died as the result of an accident.
"...it was not possible to obtain any piece of evidence...to formulate any lucid, sensate, serious and honest conclusion about the circumstances under which the child was removed from the apartment (whether dead or alive, whether killed in a neglectful homicide or an intended homicide, whether the victim of a targeted abduction or an opportunistic abduction), nor even to produce a consistent prognosis about her destiny and inclusively – the most dramatic – to establish whether she is still alive or if she is dead, as seems more likely."
"The archiving of the Process concerning arguidos Gerald Patrick McCann and Kate Marie Healy, because there are no indications of the practice of any crime under the dispositions of article 277 number 1 of the Penal Process Code."
Furthermore, there is something in the McCanns' 'position' which hinges on how, exactly, one interprets the seemingly insignificant word 'also.' The key phrases once more.
For the Portuguese Prosecutor:
'No credible evidence to suggest that they were in any way implicated in the disappearance of their daughter or even that Madeleine McCann had come to serious harm.'
For the Claimants:
'It is their position also that there is no credible evidence to suggest that their daughter is dead or that she has come to any physical harm.'
What should we notice about these 'positions' therefore?
If the 'position' of the McCanns reflects that of the Portuguese absolutely, then there is no need for the submission to repeat it. All that need be said is: 'And that is the position of the McCanns also.' The fact that the McCanns' 'position' is represented as an extension to that of the Portuguese leads one to interpret 'also' as 'in addition' when, in point of fact, what is being put forward is merely an echo, and a partial one at that. The McCanns are represented as being in agreement with the conclusion that there is 'no credible evidence to suggest that their daughter is dead or that she has come to any physical harm.' They are not, however, explicitly described as concurring with the Portuguese assessment in that other crucial respect, i.e., there being a lack of 'credible evidence to suggest that they were in any way implicated in the disappearance of their daughter.' Why not?
Intriguingly, this situation represents a similar, albeit converse, omission from the logical jigsaw to that previously discussed in connection with Carter-Ruck's (ineffective) correspondence with a certain Web-host (see 'Missing Presumed...' - McCannfiles, 16 Nov.), wherein Messrs. Carter-Ruck do indeed state that their clients, the McCanns, had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, alluding to an absence of proof ('no grain of proper evidence') that their clients were thus implicated. Perhaps Ms Hudson should have recalled that declaration to mind, for inclusion in her own affidavit. She did not. Nor is it so included. It is tempting to speculate that even lawyers as accomplished as Carter-Ruck would rather avoid drawing attention to the possible existence of 'improper evidence,' however 'grainy' that evidence might be.
10. My firm first came to represent the claimants in relation to defamatory coverage published about them in the national press which falsely alleged that they were to be suspected of causing and/or conspiring to cover up their daughter's alleged death. In the spring of 2008 the claimants received prominent front-page apologies from a number of national newspapers which acknowledged that the Claimants were completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.
The negation of nested allegations is an explanatory device favoured by Ms Hudson it seems. The interim report from the Portuguese PJ, since released to the public, leaves the reader in absolutely no doubt that the McCanns were suspects in their daughter's disappearance. In hindsight therefore, not only were the allegations of the national press in line with the thinking of senior Portuguese officers involved in the investigation but, in suggesting that the McCanns were to be suspected of doing something (not accusing them of actually having done it), they would not have been making a false allegation at all. When all's said and done, 'suspicion' and 'accusation' are not the same thing. If they were, then the English lexicon could be shortened by three syllables at least. And if, as a society, we are to restrict the open discussion of 'suspicion,' a concept at least one remove from 'accusation,' or ban suspicion altogether, are we not moving dangerously close to the censorship of free speech - the sort of free speech Gerry McCann very recently told Lord Leveson & co. he was fully in favour of?
One of a handful of preliminary conclusions on the part of the Portuguese investigators appears to sum up the situation perfectly adequately:
"From all that has been exposed, it results from the file that:
"Kate McCann and Gerald McCann are involved in the concealment of the cadaver of their daughter, Madeleine McCann."
(in: Process 201/07.0GALGS, volume XVII, page 2601).
These same malicious newspapers went on to 'acknowledge' that 'the Claimants were completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance.' (As we have already seen, an acknowledgement strangely absent from Ms Hudson's own claims on behalf of her clients, the McCanns). The Daily Star, for example, printed: "We now recognise...that Kate and Gerry are completely innocent of any involvement in their daughter's disappearance". Given that the Portuguese prosecutor was at pains to point out that the McCanns, in their failure to participate in the requisite reconstruction, forfeited the opportunity to exonerate themselves, it is puzzling that the UK press was suddenly in a position of absolute knowledge, recognising, accepting and acknowledging the McCanns' complete innocence all over the place. What did they and Carter-Ruck know that the Portuguese could not?
12. As I will explain below, the Claimants have sought, as far as possible, to 'turn the other cheek' in relation to commentators who continue falsely to allege that the Claimants caused and then concealed the alleged death of Madeleine McCann, mainly because their overriding priority continues to be the search for their daughter. However, when there have been instances where the Claimants have feared that the publication of defamatory allegations about them may threaten to hamper the search for their daughter (because if the public are led to believe that Madeleine is dead, they are unlikely to report any potential sightings or other leads to the authorities),they have taken action.
This statement could have served as a template for the contradictory 'evidence' submitted by the McCanns themselves at the Leveson inquiry. It says, in short, that the McCanns are by-and-large prepared to overlook 'false allegations' of Madeleine's 'alleged death' unless they fear that 'defamatory allegations about them may threaten to hamper the search for their daughter.' And how is that situation likely to arise? 'If the public are led to believe that Madeleine is dead, they are unlikely to report any potential sightings or other leads,' under which circumstance the McCanns 'take action.' So 'false allegations' of Madeleine's 'alleged death' are not so easily dismissed after all. And the McCanns not so forgiving either.
34. The posting reported on an upcoming hearing in the libel proceedings which the Claimants had brought against Goncalo Amaral, a discredited Portuguese police officer who had written a book which alleged that the Claimants' daughter had died in their apartment and that they had disposed of her body.
Since when was Goncalo Amaral 'a discredited Portuguese police officer?' Discredited by whom, the UK media? And on what grounds? That he was re-assigned at the instigation of the British political machine and took early retirement? It seems a touch ironic that a solicitor acting on behalf of a firm specialising in matters of libel should trot out a defamatory remark herself while engaged in making a case on behalf of her own clients. Carter-Ruck need to watch their 'P's and Q's,' the McCanns their backs.
The Exception Tests the Rule – 09.12.2011
If one should hold to the belief that swans are only ever white, the surest way to confirm the notion would not be to record every encounter with a white swan, but to investigate the possibility of there being a black one somewhere. The original hypothesis holds good all the while there are no known exceptions. It's how science proceeds; by investigating those exceptions which put conventional wisdom to the test.
The McCanns are considered conventional parents by many, even during their Spring 2007 visit to the Portuguese Algarve, when their daughter Madeleine suddenly disappeared. Ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances. Experiments in Social Science are typically conducted upon samples of some population or another, where the laws of statistics can be meaningfully employed in analysing the results. Generalisations from individual outcomes are uninformative in that sense, but if the focus of one's attention is the individual then different considerations apply. Hence there are questions pertaining to the McCanns exclusively, arising from their behaviour at the time of their daughter's alleged abduction and since, which it is both legitimate and desirable to ask.
Whether one considers it 'playing devil's advocate' to view the McCanns as innocent in all respects is probably a matter of opinion. Be that as it may, for purposes of comparison, innocence is a 'benchmark' of sorts. One might argue, for instance, that whatever inconsistencies arose during the earliest of their personal accounts of events, they are explicable simply in terms of a fear occasioned by the anxiety of innocence, their being caught up in something so serious that even the most blameless of people might well succumb to a mild paranoia in the face of interrogation and get things 'mixed up' as a result.
That was then - four years ago. In the interim we have heard it re-iterated, time and again by the McCanns themselves, that 'there is no evidence that they were involved in their daughter's disappearance.' Carter-Ruck Solicitors, representing the McCanns, have made similar declarations on their behalf; declarations which, in the absence of any hard and fast data to the contrary, could be construed as consolidating their innocence. Observers of the case will no doubt recall Gerry McCann's struggle to contain himself outside the Lisbon courthouse while making it absolutely clear to assembled representatives of the media that this was indeed 'the conclusion of the process.'
We know of course that this was not the conclusion but, given that Gerry (and Kate, presumably) believes this to have been the case, it predicts something of their behaviour subsequently, i.e., that with confirmation of their innocence should come a release from anxiety, and their deeds, verbal or otherwise, should be free of contradiction. Their every personal interaction should therefore be an 'act of innocence,' e.g., searching for their missing daughter, defending themselves against unwarranted verbal abuse by the media and others, pressing for a review of their case, etc. But these are all 'white swans.' So too is telling the truth. Unless they should do otherwise.
Fast forward now to 2011 and the publication of Kate McCann's book, 'Madeleine,' predicted by one of her vociferous in-laws to be 'truthful and scathing.' Well it is scathing alright, and much else besides. It also contains at least one statement which cannot possibly be true.
Bearing in mind that 'Madeleine' was a self-imposed obligation, not something conceived under duress, the 'anxiety of innocence' factor cannot be invoked to explain why Kate McCann should determinedly describe an impossibility four years after the event in question, and in light of all the evidence gathered during the police investigation; evidence she herself had devoted hours to studying with the utmost care (or so we have been given to understand) (See article, 'Bunkered' - McCannfiles, 4 Aug.).
More recently we have had the McCanns appearing as 'core participants' in a Judicial Inquiry; not into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of their eldest daughter, as an eavesdropper might have supposed from much of their testimony, but indiscretions on the part of the UK press. This appearance, like the book, was a self-inflicted wound. The McCanns were not 'summoned to appear,' but put themselves forward, as innocent victims of press harassment. And it was during counsel's examination of their testimony that something quite extraordinary occurred. Kate McCann committed perjury. What is even more astonishing is that the false statement she made while under oath is so easily revealed for what it is. (See article, 'You Can Bet on the Law' - McCannfiles, 6 Dec.).
In telling Lord Justice Leveson et al that 'there were no body fluids' discovered in the wheel well of their hire car subsequent to Madeleine's disappearance, Kate McCann was not calling into question the attribution of any DNA sample derived from scrutiny of the vehicle in question, but whether such a sample had existed at all. Now, the likelihood of a senior man at the FSS describing in some detail to Leicestershire Police the results of an analysis conducted on a non-existent sample is remote in the extreme. And since a copy of that correspondence is present in the same files Kate McCann had earlier claimed to have studied in some depth, it makes her dogmatic declaration all the more bizarre.
So, four years after an extremely fraught and stressful period, time enough for initial personal anxieties to have abated (and by that I do not mean anxieties in respect of their missing child but over their perceived role(s) in her disappearance), Kate McCann, her innocence previously affirmed, or so it would seem, exhibits a behaviour which contradicts that very conclusion, not once but twice, and in the full glare of the public spotlight. Innocence is not associated with either lying or perjury.
Swans mate for life, I believe. A black pair have just flown overhead.
The Third Effect – 25.12.2011
The third effect is an experience familiar to exhibiting photographers, whereby the viewer gains an additional impression of a subject from two separate images of it deliberately juxtaposed in view, as they might be in a gallery say. It's as though the onlooker's subconscious synthesises an interpretation which neither of the two visible images independently makes explicit.
The McCanns' testimony to the Leveson inquiry has afforded, among other things, two quite different instances of Gerry McCann's preparedness to mislead as far as 'evidence' is concerned. Although the subject matter differs in each case, what they have in common is a verbal tactic which quite deliberately attempts to lead the listener to a false conclusion. I have previously discussed the one, the Blacksmith Bureau the other. The episodes in question concern (a) the McCanns contract with Transworld publishers and (b) their relationship (or otherwise) with the PCC.
In the case of Kate's book and serialisation thereof, Gerry McCann makes it sound as though, sensitive parents that they are, they opted for Transworld publishers, so as to avoid the 'horror' of serialisation, and were only persuaded by News International, after their Transworld contract was in place, that serialisation would be a good thing after all. Not only that, but their 'campaign' would receive further 'backing.' "Oh go on then," the McCanns must have said, bowing to the inevitable pressure.
Or so it is made to appear. The truth is that the McCanns could only have completed this volte face if serialisation rights had been deliberately withheld from the Transworld contract in the first place, by themselves. That has nothing whatever to do with Transworld as the original 'good guys' and the McCanns, once again, the victims of circumstance, yet everything to do with the McCanns, no doubt on advice, broadening their options base and augmenting their income.
Turning to the matter of the PCC and Gerry McCann's various interactions with Sir Christopher Meyer, as covered in detail by the Blacksmith Bureau, we have, or so Gerry McCann would lead us to believe, an instance of bureaucratic impotence almost, Sir Christopher Meyer seemingly conceding, nay advising, that for the sake of effectiveness litigation was the 'way to go' if the McCanns were intent on puttting a stop to all of the salacious stories being printed about them in the tabloid press. (We'll not go into the small matter of 'inertia' and examine quite why it should have taken the McCanns months to get around to 'nipping' press inaccuracies 'in the bud,' by which time the petals had long since fallen from the flower). The essential point is that the PCC, as its name suggests, is an organisation whose work is driven by the complaints it receives. Quite simply, if you want the PCC to act on your behalf you first have to complain. The McCanns never did lodge an official complaint with them, hence it should come as no surprise to anyone that the PCC allowed the dice to roll. Gerry McCann, far from being disappointed at having to unleash a neutered labrador, took the decision, again under advice, to release a Rottweiler instead, gently coaxing Sir Christopher's organisation back into the kennel. In short, PCC restraint was the consequence of a McCann initiative, not a suggestion put by Sir Christopher Meyer, as counsel at the Leveson inquiry took pains to establish.
These characteristic instances of deliberately skewed evidence call to mind the closing scenes of Kevin Costner's on-screen interpretation of Wyatt Earp, during which a young hero-worshipper asks him for clarification on a historical point of derring do the now ageing ex- U.S. marshal can himself scarcely recall. The enthusiastic younger man obligingly recounts the tale, filling in the gaps so as to confirm Earp's otherwise mythical act of heroism. Earp still has trouble remembering the specifics, but his wife gently consolidates the story with, 'It happened like that' (even though she herself was not even present at the time of the incident in question).
Events in Praia da Luz during the first week of May, 2007 may be unconnected with the history of the American West but, on the strength of the evidential claims of the McCanns, one is tempted to view their account of daughter Madeleine's disappearance in the more immediate context of their subtle mis-representations to the Leveson inquiry, to look for indications of a 'third effect' and to conclude: 'It didn't happen like that.'
Fiona Payne, Telling it like it was – 29.12.2011
During her rogatory interview at Leicestershire Police headquarters in April 2008, Fiona Payne spelled out to DC 1485 Messiah the reality of that notorious night in Praia da Luz, when parents assumed responsibility for their own children (as they should), not other peoples, 'routines' were inexplicably altered, and the McCanns totally oblivious to events inside 5A.
Reply "Yeah, yeah. Erm, but it worked really well and, you know, everybody was checking, had their own sort of, I mean, we didn't really formally discuss what everybody was doing, we just all felt it was fine to sort of operate our own baby listening service, I guess that's what we thought we were doing, what every MARK WARNER holiday we'd been on before did. Erm, tut, we didn't, Dave and I and my mum didn't because we, we brought our baby monitor, which worked, we'd tested it, it's a digital monitor so it's offering, erm, continuous monitoring of sound every second and it alarms if it loses contact or anything, so on the first day we'd sort of tried that by the, you know, by the Tapas Bar and it worked, so we didn't even go back and check our children, we took the monitor out, erm, and very much felt we were doing what we do at home really, you know, putting them to sleep and listen, if they cried we'd hear. Erm, the others had, you know, decided they were sort of going back every twenty minutes, erm, and checking on their own children. I think, on the whole, I wasn't really aware of people cross checking each other's children, although on the night and previous nights there would have been the odd occasion where somebody was, was, was going and saying 'Oh I've listened in at your door and your kids are fine' or 'I've checked on yours and they're fine', so there was a bit of that going on, but, on the whole, people checked their own children. Erm, and, again, on the actual night Madeleine was taken, that was, was very much different, I think, to, to previous nights, in that, there was probably more cross checking that night."
('Probably more cross-checking...' There was absolutely none before, and 'one swallow doth not a Summer make.' Notice also the 'I've listened in at your door' variant of 'cross-checking,' which could just as well have been, indeed most probably was, 'at your window,' sound travelling more easily through glass than solid wood).
Reply "I mean, I think every night we saw all of each other, bar the Thursday, again, that was a different night."
1485 "It was different."
Reply "In that Kate wasn't there with, with the three kids, because we'd all done something different in the early evening, so we were a bit later coming back to the Tapas Bar."
Checking, once more...
Reply "Because I've got no idea who went first and, to be completely honest, I didn't at the time. Erm, but I'd say on, on the first few nights it all seemed, erm, fairly well spaced, you know, like people going together, that was just a feeling, a general feeling that I'm giving you. Erm, whereas, again, that differed on the Thursday night, in that, it seemed more, erm, out of, people were more out of synch."
1485 "Would all nine do the checking at some point?"
Reply "No, Dave and I and my mother never checked anybody."
Gerry McCann, in his own statement to Police of 10 May, 2007, volunteered the following:
'On Wednesday night, 2 May 2007, apart from the deponent and his wife, he thinks that DAVID PAYNE also went to his apartment to check that his children were well, not having reported to him any abnormal situation with the children.'
(Well of course David Payne did not report any abnormal situation with the children. He had no way of knowing whether 'the situation' was abnormal or not. He didn't even look to find out, did he. His wife, Fiona, has told us so).
On this day, the deponent and KATE had already left the back door closed, but not locked, to allow entrance by their group colleagues to check on the children.
(And which of these group colleagues might that have been? Not David Payne certainly).
Fiona Payne once more:
Reply "Erm, I guess some people were doing more checking and it tended to be the men doing, again, this is a feeling, it seemed to be they did a lot more sort of upping and downing, erm, tut, you know, than, than the women perhaps. Erm, I mean, Gerry and Russell."
1485 "Gerry and Russell?"
Reply "Yeah, I don't know, they, again, a feeling, is they probably did a bit more checking than the girls did."
(One can quite easily relate to DC 1485 Messiah's bewilderment here. Gerry and Russell? Gerry, who claims to have left the table once, around nine, on the Thursday night, and Russell! Not Matthew Oldfield, who 'checked' at least twice as often as Gerry on that occasion and actually entered the McCann apartment, or so he would have us believe. No. Gerry and Russell were doing a 'lot more upping and downing.' Really?)
1485 "And would you pass anybody on the way to the Tapas?"
Reply "Erm, tut, no, erm, not that I'd."
1485 "Any of the group perhaps going to do their checks or?"
Reply "No, because generally, as I say, we, the early part of the week, we were generally all within the same sort of time bracket, so, yeah, we didn't, on previous nights, see anybody coming back. Erm, Thursday night was different,..."
Regarding seating arrangements at the diner
Reply "Erm, Kate was to my left and that I'm positive of. Erm, and I think Gerry was certainly to my right, I think he was immediately on my right. Erm, I know Russell was opposite, he would have been about there. My mum was, my mum and Dave were sat, I think Dave was next to Gerry and mum next to Russell, they were certainly on that side of the table, erm, yeah, I think it was Dave, I'm not a hundred percent on that. And then I think it was Jane and then Rachael. That's how I remember it. And I think possibly we were slightly rotated that way actually, because I remember me and Kate pretty much with our backs, erm, you know, to, to the apartments, so probably turn that round a bit actually. Yeah, Russell was probably, you know, more directly."
(Both McCann parents had their backs to the apartment block therefore. Again, in his 10 May statement to Police, Gerry McCann mentioned that they were seated at the table, in a position that allowed the deponent to see almost the entire back door of his apartment, through which they left and entered and which gave access to the living room. Almost the entire back door no less! Unless he had eyes in the back of his head the deponent would have had to turn around for an 'unimpeded view' through the plastic screen behind him).
A few 'ins and outs'
1485 "What about the rest of the party, Kate and Gerry, did they ever discuss with you whether they locked their doors or their windows when they were in and out?"
Reply "Erm, I mean, I was aware of them swapping their arrangement at some point, because I know they had been coming, using the front door, erm, which is the door with the key, to go in and check the children, and then, at some point, that changed to using the back door, just because, as you can see from the map, it was quicker for them to do that and easier to get in, then just sort of quickly nip in through the French doors and out again. I couldn't tell you what point that was, but I know, I know there was a conversation about, oh we've started nipping in that way rather than going the long way round. Erm, so, I suppose, at that point, that's when they, because you couldn't lock the French doors from outside, that's when they weren't locking it."
1485 "Yeah. How far down the week was that?"
Reply "Erm, I mean, my feeling is, you know, they did it the front way for a couple of night and the rest left it open, but I don't know, I mean, they'd know that, as I say, I just remember the conversation."
1485 "Yeah. Did Kate ever discus that with you, you know, when she discussed about Madeleine, did she ever discuss, you know, the?"
Reply "No, as I say, it came up at that, that conversation, which I think was on the, on the, on the Thursday night, about, erm, you know, whether I would feel happy leaving, leaving a door unlocked, but that was the only time I'd heard Kate sort of almost saying, question whether they should do it or not."
1485 "Did she say that she actually left it unlocked then?"
Reply "Yeah, she must have done, because I knew that it wasn't locked. And I was a bit."
1485 "And did she."
Reply "I mean, I was a bit surprised, I mean, Kate, you were asking about what they're like as parents, and they're certainly not, erm, paranoid parents, what I would call paranoid parents...So, you know, I think, as I said earlier, I think that was something she wasn't quite happy with."
1485 "Did she say that she had confronted Gerry over that matter?"
Reply "No. No, I mean, I think they'd discussed it and, you know...But, you know, I don't think there was an issue between them about it but, as I say, Kate was, it was just something that I’m sure was on her mind that night."
So Fiona, who claims not to know when, exactly, the McCanns desisted from using the main door of their apartment in favour of the rear entrance, learns of Kate's door dilemma, in conversation, only on the Thursday night, when the topic was clearly on Kate's mind. It cannot have been on her mind previously or she would have mentioned it, previously. And it was on the occasion of this very conversation ('at that point') that the McCanns apparently changed their routine, leaving the patio door open ('they weren't locking it'). When prompted as to whether Kate had explicitly described the door as 'unlocked' that night Fiona Payne can only assume so ('she must have done...').
'Far fetched' does not begin to describe an account of events in which predators study the behaviour of their victims for several days, during which time they have every access to their quarry - a young child at their mercy, due to a supposed open-door policy coupled with little or no parental vigilance. Seemingly unable to resist a challenge, these vultures defer seizure of their prey until the very day the guardians 'wise up' and institute a more rigorous system of supervision, i.e., more 'upping and downing.' Yet still they succeed in their crime, despite only a 'small window of opportunity' being open to them (about three minutes, as opposed to the hour(s) they could have enjoyed beforehand).
Change is a fundamental aspect of the universe and parents on holiday have every right to amend their routine, if indeed they have one, at any time. But here things are peculiarly different. Instead of a change from one generally accepted routine to another (generally accepted routine), the shift is, in fact, from no routine whatsoever to a post hoc confection, unconfirmed either by the participants' actions or others' descriptions of said actions.
We may reasonably ask why, therefore, Thursday May 3, 2007 should have been such a landmark day for the McCanns. In fact it has been so asked already (see articles: 'Clairvoyance' and 'What's in a Name?' McCannfiles, 2011). Whilst it could conceivably have been events that night which prompted them to report, in retrospect, a system of inter-family 'checking' - a system to which other so-called participants apparently subscribed in a strangely non-committal way - the decision to leave the rear entrance door open was clearly made to benefit somebody, and made before Madeline McCann was 'aducted.'
If they are to be believed, the McCanns had put up with the long walk from the Tapas bar for five nights already, before deciding, with only two nights remaining, that they'd rather put their children in jeopardy instead and save themselves a few steps. And with absolutely no history of extreme neighbourliness in the checking department that week, why should the McCanns assume, come the Thursday, that their carousing companions would be queuing up to add the McCann children to their own inspection rostas?
Neither personal convenience nor shared responsibility makes for a convincing argument; the latter especially, since the McCanns appear to have been wholly unconcerned about the nocturnal welfare of anyone else's children. They did not reciprocally 'check' any apartment other than 5A, at any time.
For whom did they leave their patio door open therefore? Madeleine, in case of fire (which only became a serious risk after five days)? The Paynes (who did not look in on any one else's children either - ditto Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner)? Matthew Oldfield (who unexpectedly volunteered a 'fly past' and was then told he could go in through the open door)? Themselves (fit enough to run for miles that day but not to walk an extra twenty or thirty yards that night)? These options being equally unlikely, there remains a somewhat more sinister possibility, consistent with Kate McCanns perplexing observation, 'They've taken her.' (pronoun 'they': subject understood).