Just five hours in May

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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A forensic "What To Do" List

The question, especially for the public is, what can one do to finally find the offender(s) to then close the case? In principle there are three or four lines to this central issue: Bringing the case to court, finding more evidence, getting new Testimonies/Confession(s). The fourth line but is just waiting for superintendent “Chance”.

1.) Waiting for Chance?

If a case doesn’t move due to lack of knowledge or just lack of actual intention of the involved parties sometimes the best to do is indeed just waiting for changes. Often, sometimes by pure chance, there will arise a new push to the case by some occasion. This may be by political change as from changes of personal relations at the living circumstances of the known or unknown offenders as well. Indeed there are some chances of such things to happen in the case of Maddie. But waiting has one obstacle: The high possibility that one or more of the offenders out there will get away from it all just e.g. by dying from a natural reason in the meantime. →Justice then just will come much to late.

2.) Taking the case just as it is to the Court?

This was actually the state of the art at the time Goncalo Amaral was dismissed from the case. The established PJ-files contain enough evidence to take the case to any European court with a good chance for a verdict. The files are still in this profound state. Taking them to court is still indicated, and in the actual state, would also provide a clean possibility for the McCann’s to get a certificate of innocence if there could not a verdict against them be substantiated.

From a forensic view point it is not explainable why this didn’t happen yet. It is only explainable by the large political support and media pressure which started already in the night of the event and progressed until today. It is thus indicated to wait for more evidence such that the counterproductive pressure can be overruled.

Although a Libel case is not a case for criminal law but just for civil law, it may be one of those occasional things to happen one has to wait for. In a Libel Case, like the actual McCann versus Amaral Libel suit, there is only to clear up a mainly financial question. Which means: has the book of G. Amaral “The Truth of the Lie” done any illegal material damage to the McCann’s? The answer to this question is indeed with practically not any connection to the question of guilt in the associated criminal case. Even if the McCann’s were known to be guilty by an official verdict, they could of course regardless of such a criminal fact, stress a civil libel case on any unlawful material damage done to them.

So the outcome will definitely tell us nothing about guilt of who ever in the criminal case. But it will be seen in all the public as a prejudice of the criminal case either. If the court decides against the 1 Million Pound demand of the McCann’s then this will build up a lot of negative stress to them and their supporters. Also the other way around of course, but then for the Potuguise side of the case. But stress is always a powerful motor for a lot of unpredictable occasional things to happen. The Libel Case will be decided hopefully in about late February or March 2014.

3.) Finding new Evidence – The professionals at Operation Grange

The indeed very unusual Operation Grange is often misunderstood in public as a solely quasi-“private” investigation paid by the public to support the McCann’s in their special version of the case. This is due to the fact that there is by far not done any official effort like this to any other similar case in the UK (see e.g. the Ben Needham Case). A fact which will have to be explained in the far future to the public regardless of the outcome either.

In fact the case has two versions which have to be investigated. The work done by the PJ is still in effect, but after all things happened since, it was indeed not a bad idea to reinvestigate all evidence with some more effort done to the less probable but open questions to version 2 of the McCann’s. The actual details of Operation Grange are secret to the public so one can argue only with those events obviously are in the public until now. Establishing Operation Grange began in 2010 and it was set into operational status in 2011. The first large achievement of Andy Redwood, the leading Officer, was the rejection of the ever been very doubtful Tanner-Sighting, and thus switching to the much more reliable Smith’s-Sighting as the number one suspect. This achievement was presented with Crimewatch 14th October 2013. An achievement which made the McCann’s definitely not very happy, as can be seen e.g. by the queer behaviour showed on the Madeleine-Fund website. Instead of now promoting the achievement made by Operation Grange the evidence was, and still is, severely covered. As the Tanner viewing was indeed the most prominent obstacle for an possible verdict of the McCann’s in a trial based solely on evidence. As in the case it could have been proved to be reliable, it would have given a perfect alibi to Gerry McCann, regardless if or not one believes in the timeline managed by the Tapas Group.

The next thing which came to public was the search for the three burglars under way at that time in Praia da Luz. When they will be catched and interviewed, the outcome but is foreseeable, the next (weaker) obstacle for an verdict occasionally then could be dropped also. The next thing then to be done will be finding the charity collectors and so on, until all even weeker possibilities will be cleared. Profound investigation which will need some time of course.

4.) House search past/now

Under special circumstances the →police has the right to under take a house search. When the police wish to search a property they will generally require a warrant. A warrant will be granted if there are reasonable grounds for believing at least any of the following:

  1. A criminal offence of a sufficiently serious nature has been committed.
  2. There is material evidence on the premises that is likely to aid a criminal investigation.
  3. It is not practicable to obtain the evidence without a warrant being granted.
  4. That the purpose of the search will be seriously prejudiced if the police officer cannot have immediate access to the property upon arriving at the premises.

This is but just the one side of the problem. The other side is the question, when will the police be forced from criminal or moral ethics to do such a house search? From the files and when the McCann’s got the status of suspects (arguido) September 2007, the case of “A criminal offence of a sufficiently serious nature has been committed” was given for sure and substantiated by a lot of hard facts. It must be stressed here, that neither the hard facts have to, nor a house search does, prejudice any question of guilt in any way. But if such hard evidence for a serious crime is given, it is a must to do so. In September 2007 such a house search in Rothley was necessarily indicated, but it was never done. In May 2008 the British Prosecutor in Leicestershire stated that - The McCann will not be questioned by decision of the prosecutor, who considered the investigation a “waste of time”. The question why this all did not happen, regardless of the question of guilt, has to be explained also in the far future to the Britisch public. And although today the effectiveness of such a house search in Rothley has to be questioned much, it is also known from forensic experience that even such “to late”-searches will have a good chance to be fruitful.

5.) Interrogation – Tapas 9

The same applies to the Interrogation of the whole Tapas-9-Group by British Police in the past (Leicestershire Police) as well as for new interrogations by Scotland Yard/Operation Grange today. Although severely indicated there was never a strong cross examination of those central witnesses/suspects by British police. It is late but not to late to catch up on this issue today.

6.) Photos – where are they?

A real oddity in the case is the lack of photographs for the location Praia da Luz/Ocean Club for the time of the evening 3rd May 2007. Although today people are equipped very much with cameras, mostly digital, and also with cellular phones and smartphones with cams, there are still today no photos which show the Tapas Group and/or the McCann’s in the crucial five hours time between 17:30 and 22:30 latest.

Such photos could give indeed some very prominent evidence to the case. Especially the Tapas Group asserted to have not taken any photos in this time, also as a matter of fact was a severe forensic failure, the PJ didn’t take any photos on arriving at the scene, but took photos only after having evacuated the scene from people.

The question arises now, does there exist anywhere photos taken by any tourist, employee of OC or Resident of PdL, who has taken photos at the time in or widely around the Ocean Club in PdL which could eventually show members of the Tapas group, especially Gerry McCann? This would be crucial especially for a comparison with the testimonies of the Smith’s Sighting. A comparison which could then burden but also unburden the McCann’s.

CEOP launched an appeal for people present in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's dissapearance to upload their holiday photos here: –> CEOP Appeal. It is unknown if people uploaded photos and if so, what happened to them.

7.) Searching for the Victim

If the offender(s) was very exhaustive, then this issue may be with no realistic chance. But through some special circumstances one may have at least a very small chance of finding the “needle in the haystack”. See article: Where is Maddie?