Missing link overlooked in the Madeleine McCann case

LAST UPDATED: 9 Aug, 2012 @ 14:13
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Missing link overlooked in the Madeleine McCann case

A PILE of discarded cigarette butts could have been the link to finding missing Madeleine McCann.

A witness claims the discarded butts were found on a shared balcony that had a bird’s eye view of the apartment in Portugal, from where toddler was snatched a few days before her fourth birthday in 2007.

However the tourist, who contacted the police, insists detectives never took vital DNA evidence from them.

She had stayed in the apartment a week after Maddie’s disappearance from Praia da Luz, while on a family holiday.

“You could see the front and back of the building from that view point,” she told detectives.

“It was as if there had been someone stood there for some time smoking.

“I thought that was odd and it could have been someone watching the McCann’s apartment to monitor their comings and goings.”

230 COMMENTS

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  1. @ Pericles Pinto.

    Do you mean justice as in the way or torturing confessions out of innocent parents by any chance?

    As far as I can ascertain the “connections” you seem to think the McCanns have and the power they wield is purely in your and a few sad others heads.

  2. Pericles – “Actually, the Portuguese Police could have charged the McCanns with misdemeanour: leaving children unattended is, by itself, enough for that, under the Portuguese law.

    And that, I assure you, would have happened if the the missing child was from a Portuguese couple and they had no “connections”.”

    I usually hear the opposite perspective on the Olive Press; “The police are discriminating against us and treat us badly because we’re English!”

    But I digress, this is another issue completely. I know that the police, in general, often will not charge a person for a lesser crime in the moment if they are being investigated for a greater one (for example, a misdemeanor for neglecting the child when there is evidence of murder). Usually, charging a person for a lesser crime is a tactic to do one of two things: keep them in jail for a short time period (various reasons for this) or to put psychological pressure them.

    Because really if an investigator or detective believes that two parents murdered a child, or that the child were kidnapped, the last thing they want to do is arrest the parents for a lesser charge. Worst case scenario suspect immediately lawyers up in jail and stops cooperating. Or it turns out ‘proof’ shows up in a couple of days that they caught the kidnapper and found the child. Imagine the headline: “Child Found, Accused Parents Released From Portuguese Jail.” The police (and politicians/city counsels/tourist authorities/etc.) don’t like that.

    Anyway, it is all like you had written in en earlier post, “What ifs.” Sure, “what if” the police could have arrested them, and “what if” they had been Portuguese, and “what if” they could have applied that misdemeanor law in this case in Portugal, but not the UK. “What if” a body fell behind a couch.

    In fact – since there is no evidence – isn’t every single scenario accusing the McCanns of criminal wrongdoing really a “what if” at this point?

  3. Sorry to disagree with you again Mr Pinto – but if the Portuguese police had any evidence whatsoever they would have used it despite the ‘connections’ you say the McCanns had. Because they were in Portugal British opinion, no matter where it came from would have held no water, and they would have been charged.

    As far as the ‘neglect charge’ is concerned, even though the children were left alone in an apartment, they were checked on every half hour, therefore this does not constitute neglect. If that were the case, practically every family staying at the Ocean Club should have been charged!!

  4. reality, I missed your earlier post. These types of dogs find remnant scent not just bodies. there endeth. the point is that that scent should be of concern, ie it is justifiable suspicion, the polices words by the way, not mine.

    The fact that this dog has worked many cases of missing people and alerted to remnant scent where later the missing person was found and the relatives charged and convicted should be another prick up your ears moment.

    Not forgetting that the cause of the scent has not to this day been identified as otherwise.

  5. Hi June,

    Read your comments and while I agree with you to a degree it has to be taken on board here that the dogs were retired from S.Yorks police, unlicensed as far as I can ascertain and went to PdL because the Portuguese police requested them some 3 months after the abduction.

    The PJ had allowed contamination of the crime scene…no SOCO’s it would seem in Portugal so there would have been very little chance of getting any positive DNA in anycase. But nothing happened in 5a apart from a previous occupant having cut himself badly when shaving and reporting he had bled right through that apartment…probably including the wardrobe which was, after all, in the main bedroom.

    The dog reacted much too hyperactively before entering 5a in my opinion, even before reaching the door as f excited to be out with her master. And why did Grime not wear protective clothing? he did in the car park where again Keela acted in a rather peculiar manner completely ignoring the Mccanns hire car until prompted to come back.

    Too many worrying discrepancies regarding the dogs to even warrant them a viable consideration.

  6. Hi June,

    Please supply me with those cases where these dogs helped in a case? Are we talking of Haute de la Garenne? Nothing concrete came of that exercise either did it?

    I don’t doubt that sniffer dogs can help as there are many wonderful dogs who help locate living people and explosives and drugs, but the McCann case….well the opposite has been achieved and as one report has said…dogs can hinder the investigations rather than help. I think this is definitely one such case.

  7. Pam what would be the point in citing the many cases where Eddie Keela and or mr grimes other dogs have helped find the remnant scent of death? you would only just be intent on trashing them, it’s all on google

    I have not exaggerated anything at all, you should also ask yourself why you and others are gong apoplectic about them if there is no substAnce, quite telling don’t you think?

  8. June dear, the reason we go apoplectic about the dogs, as you put it is only because you are apoplectic about them in the anti McCann world of hatred. You will keep pushing that the dogs found gallons of Madeleine’s blood (as I read on twitter only last night) under the tiles when in fact NOTHING attributable to Madeleine has been found anywhere and some of it stinks as a set up to most of us. Not saying Grime deliberately set anything up, but there was a well orchestrated plan there by somebody.

    I really do feel that some of you have very blinkered minds and cannot see the wider picture. Perhaps your whole lives have been spent watching soap operas and believing these things can and do happen. Well yes, maybe in this instance they can, but what you have to think is who is the story teller here???

  9. June – “Pam what would be the point in citing the many cases where Eddie Keela and or mr grimes other dogs have helped find the remnant scent of death?”

    Here are some facts about Eddie and Keela that come directly from Mr. Martin Grimes, just to try and clarify how the dogs are actually trained:

    Regarding the dog Eddie:

    “The initial training of the dog was conducted using human blood and stillborn decomposing piglets. The importance of this is that the dog is introduced to the scent of a decomposing body…He has additionally trained exclusively using human remains in the U.S.A. in association with the F.B.I. The enhanced training of the dog has also involved the use of collection of ‘cadaver scent’ odor from human corpses using remote technical equipment which does not contact the subject.”

    “Pig is used as it has been proven in training and operationally over the last 20 years to be a reliable analogue for human remains detecting training for dogs. The possession of human remains for the purpose of training dogs in the U.K. is not acceptable at this point in time.”

    So the important thing to remember about Eddie is that this dog was first trained in the UK using decomposing pig – this is the initial scent it was trained for. Later, the dog received additional training for decomposing human scent. This is the key here – there was never any training for “remnant of death” unless by “remnant of death” you mean the smell of decomposed flesh.

    If a person were to die and be moved from the scene immediately the dog would not alert; the body must be in a state of decomposition. The dog’s training only lets it alert to the scent of decomposition. There is no “death remnant” scent that suddenly appears the instant a person dies. There is only the scent of decomposition when the body’s enzymes begin to break down the tissue (which can be hours or even days after death). This is a dog trained using dead pigs, decomposed human remains and synthetic cadaver scent. It isn’t a dog that sniffs out ghosts, spirits or an ephemeral “remnant of death” scent.

    On Keela:

    “‘Keela’ The Crime Scene Investigation (C.S.I.) dog will search for and locate exclusively human blood…In order for the dog to locate the source the blood must have ‘dried’ in situ. Any ‘wetting’ once dried will not affect the dog’s abilities. Blood that is subjected to dilution by precipitation or other substantial water source prior to drying will soak into the ground or other absorbent material. This may dilute the scent to an unacceptable level for accurate location.”

    Keela is only trained to alert to human blood. Additionally, unless the blood has first dried the dog will not alert. This means someone could, theoretically, clean up a recent wound, or just dilute it, and Keela might not alert. The implication is that Keela could not alert to any bloodless crimes (e.g. strangulation, suffocation, a bloodless fall, head trauma, etc.).

    Now, isn’t the idea most people have that this girl was moved shortly after her death? And that it was a bloodless crime? If so, neither of the dogs are of any use. They could be great dogs, but they would be useless unless the girl’s body was in a state of decomposition or bloody.

    In fact, consider this grizzly hypothetical situation – say someone commits a murder in a bathroom, chops the body into pieces and then immediately wets down and cleans up all of the blood. Neither of the dogs would alert – Eddie wouldn’t (not enough time for decomposition) nor would Keela (because the blood was diluted and never allowed to dry). I use this example because historically it was a common method of body disposal for victims of various Mafia groups.

    Sniffer dogs are limited. They aren’t magical murder detectors. I have no doubt that Mr. Grimes’ dogs are as good as any other dog trained for the same thing, but what I think people fail to realize is just how limited the dogs are.

    It also does not matter how many successes the dogs have had in the past. If a dog alerts to a scent – but there is no evidence of a body, or blood, there is no way to tell if the alert is a true positive or false positive. The dogs found no blood and no bodies. Thus, there is no evidence. You can’t bring charges of drug trafficking just because your dog alerted to the scent of a narcotic – just like you can’t bring murder charges because your dog alerted to the scent of blood or decomposition.

    June – “Looking forward to the libel trial and the mcanns LOSING”

    I am not sure if you know this, but the burden of proof in a civil trial is less than a criminal trial. Thus, it is actually easier to ‘prove’ someone guilty of libel than it would be to ‘prove’ them guilty of murder. All they would have to show is that (a) there was damage to their reputation and (b) the person knowingly made a false statement resulting in (a). Since the McCanns were never found guilty of any crime, (b) is already a given. If they wanted to, they could probably make a living suing any media outlets accusing them of murder. Most would settle right away.

  10. Reality: I applaude you for coming here and explaining things with such clarity. At least it is clear to me but whether or not some of these others here will take it on board is quite another matter.

    You see they have a hatred for these grieving parents of Madeleine’s. They took it into their heads years ago to disbelieve every word they utter and analyse every move they make and stamp across their foreheads the words “GUILTY OF MURDER”. This is the truth of the matter. And unfortunately the internet has enabled these few people to band together and attack the McCanns at every possible level and at every given opportunity…or just for the hell of it!! Very sad to witness such activities, but what we see displayed here and on other forums and facebook/twitter is the mental capabilities of the schoolyard bullies. Nothing more and nothing less. Incredible as it seems these people have not grown up!

    I fully understand what you have said regarding the dogs and agree with you totally, but it is futile trying to get through to these people whose mindset is that the dogs are never inaccurate, although we know full well they can be. That is not to say the dogs lie, because dogs don’t know how to, but they can be wrong. That is entirely different to lying. You have pointed this out admirably above.

    So the dogs did not prove a damn thing in Praia da Luz and Mr Grime did not say they had any proof…this is what annoys me. So why make out he did? These people have made the situation much worse for the man by claiming he did make these claims!!!

    The libel trial has once again been postponed I believe. We wait and wait for this to be put to bed but delaying tactics seem to be the order of the day. Maybe, just maybe, the defendant knows he will lose and quite rightly so. He has slurried the name of a couple who have suffered unimaginable years of grief and guilt. Not guilt for having harmed their child, because it is quite obvious to most that they haven’t, but grief and tremendous guilt at leaving the children in a vulnerable position there in Praia da Luz. Nobody can say they were right to do this, but it felt safe enough in that quiet little resort and regular checks were in place. What these people fail to understand is that even in our own homes we are vulnerable. A person living close to me had their lounge window removed the other night while they were sleeping soundly in bed. The burglar casually poured himself a whisky while he sifted through their belongings! Now had that person been an abductor, I daresay he may well have managed to take a child out through the window. It has happened this way before as has been reported, and then other children have been raped and murdered in the next room to sleeping parents both here in UK and in USA. So please do stop hounding the McCanns you lot. Madeleine has been abducted…I am sure as sure can be that this is the case. Somewhere she may still be alive (especially as no body has been found) so good people will continue to keep this in mind and treat her as a missing UK citizen abducted while abroad.

  11. Do you mean as in not being able to get blood from a stone Pericles? Do you understand that English expression?

    I don’t think it has much to do with the money anyhow but perhaps more to do with justice? The McCanns were libelled by this dreadful little man and he did as much as he possibly could to get people on his side and believing that Madeleine is dead!!!!

    Is that right? How would you feel had your daughter disappeared…whoosh…gone? That simply. How would you be then Pericles if you were up against such a policeman? Honest answer please.

  12. Pericles – “Reality, I’m willing to bet that the McCanns will not get a dime out of this.”

    I have no idea, libel cases can go any way. Often the point isn’t even winning money, but breaking the other person via attorney and court costs.

    Pam – “The McCanns were libelled by this dreadful little man and he did as much as he possibly could to get people on his side and believing that Madeleine is dead!!!!”

    Actually making the argument that she is dead probably isn’t libel. Accusing the McCanns of being murderers would definitely be libelous though. A key component of libel is usually knowingly making a false statement (that causes damage, etc.). If he actually believes she is dead and outlined the reasons why it would be a stretch to turn that into libel. However, if he says she is dead because of the McCann parents then it starts crossing the line into libel-land.

  13. @ Reality,

    I haven’t read his book and neither would I, but seemingly he must have crossed this libel line for the lawyers to be pursuing him. I am positive the McCanns don’t want this angst in their lives constantly. God help them, they have more than enough to contend with!

    What I said I stand by. Amaral has tried making us believe Madeleine died in the apartment, when, as we know, there is no proof that she did. This is so wrong and in my opinion unforgivable.

    • Jeez! The mccanns have brought this all on themselves. All these people calling everyone “haters” when it’s not the mccanns that they hate, it is the things that the mccanns have done and still do. I agree with the dogs findings and I agree with Gonçalo Amaral. I don’t believe the children were being checked every half hour or even hourly. I don’t believe there was an abduction. Have you not read Yvonne Martin’s statement? I believe that the McCanns are finally giving up the ghost and they have nobody to blame but themselves.

  14. Pam writes “I haven’t read his book and neither would I […]”.

    Yet, the same Pam is willing to comment about the case where Gonçalo Amaral is being sued by the MCCanns and dissert about the man.

    Let’s not forget that the case is actually all about what he wrote, not about what he did while he was an investigator.

    What does this tell us about Pam?

    Pam, before you go on and make a fool of yourself, go buy yourself this book, or read it on the internet.

  15. Oh Pericles you are keeping me busy!

    I have no intention of ever lining this man’s pockets or wasting my time reading his piffle on the internet either.

    I am firm in my belief Madeleine was abducted and will never change my mind. Sorry! Nice try!

  16. @ Reality. Oh the author won his appeal to have the books returned. Much good it will do him. So the ban has been lifted.

    I don’t imagine it will ever be on sale in the UK and if it is, I will be very surprised if it does well.

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  18. Nice comments from Pam Gurney who claims Scotland Yard come to her house to watch in amazement as she consults a crystal. This woman also claims to have been given the codename ‘agent Maria’ by Operation Grange. Is that a cuckoo flying over the nest I see?

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