Yesterday (September 10, 2007, at 8:26 pm), Martin Brunt (*), Sky News crime correspondent broke a big story: A full DNA match from Madeleine McCann was found at the boot of the car that McCann hired, 25 days after the child disappearance. Portuguese police believed this was evidence that the body of Madeleine was in that car and, Mr. Martin Brunt said, it was this evidence that prompted Portuguese police to name Gerry and Kate McCann as formal suspects (“arguidos”). The sources quoted were Portuguese police non-identified sources.

But, as Mr. Ian Woods explained, in a report following Mr. Martin Brunt breaking news, that DNA evidence means nothing: we spread DNA all over the places we are, our skin cells and hair can be found at any place where we have been. So, as the car was used by McCann family and Kate McCann was inside it, with Madeleine's pink toy – a toy full of Madeleine's DNA – the strongest evidence that Portuguese Police had to named the McCann couple as formal suspect, was zero. Even because a DNA sample couldn't indicate if the person was dead or alive.

But also yesterday (September 10, 2007, at 9.00 pm), Polícia Judiciária spokesman, Chief-Inspector Olegário de Sousa, on a formal statement, said that “Sky News story about Madeleine's DNA in the van rented by the McCann, is false.” Mr. Olegário said also that the he talked with Martin Brunt on September 10 afternoon, around 7.00 pm, but the Sky News crime correspondent didn't asked any question about DNA samples in the McCann van and that subject wasn't even referred during the conversation. “The content of that news is completely false”, the Polícia Judiciária spokesman said.

Later, the national head of Polícia Judiciária (Portuguese CID) said that Sky News story about a sample with a100% DNA match of Madeleine McCann having been found by Portuguese Police was false. Mr Alípio Ribeiro was invited, yesterday night (September 10, 2007, at 10.25 pm) to a popular TV program, at RTP, called “Prós E Contras” (“In Favour And Against”), where Madeleine's case was discussed by more than a dozen experts, including Professor Francisco Corte Real, a forensic scientist from Portuguese National Forensic Institute, Mr. Carlos Anjos, president of Polícia Judiciária Inspectors Union, Professor José Cabreras, a leading Spanish experts in reading facial expressions.

Professor Francisco Corte Real, deputy-director of Portuguese National Forensic Institute and a leading expert in DNA forensic analysis, said that “a 100% match in DNA analysis is not possible, from a scientific point of view". Professor Corte Real was in charge of a special Portuguese forensic team that made all analysis to samples concerning Madeleine's case that were done at Portuguese laboratories.

But the British Media preferred to follow Mr. Martin Brunt, instead of paying some attention to what the Polícia Judiciária national director was saying on TV. And around 11.00 pm, the front pages of most British dailies were a copy of Sky news story: a DNA match of 100% found at the boot of the car the McCann hired 25 days after Madeleine disappeared. It seems that nobody called a forensic expert to ask if it was possible, from a scientific point of view, with a blind trust in the source of this information. (To be continued)

(*) - Sky News references about Mr. Martin Brunt story:

Sky News story: 'Police Match Madeleine DNA To Hire Car'
Updated: 20:26, Monday September 10, 2007
Portuguese police say they have found firm DNA evidence that the body of Madeleine McCann was in the boot of the family's hire car five weeks after she went missing, sources have told Sky News (...)

Sky News video: Police 'Found Full DNA Match' In McCanns' Car
Portuguese police claim to have found a full DNA match which links Madeleine McCann's body to a hire car rented by her parents five weeks after she went missing. Sky News Crime Correspondent Martin Brunt has the latest.

Paulo Reis, in Praia da Luz and Duarte Levy, in Rothley

Version Française - Versão Portuguesa (brevemente) - 瑪德琳綁架案 – 中文新聞


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


I've really enjoyed your input since this story began, but I have to ask. Is this not the same Chief Inspector de Sousa who said that the parents had never been under suspicion, and even that they couldn't use phone taps because that would be illegal? I don't want to 'carp' at the Portuguese police, but I feel now that it is difficult to believe anything he says!

s said...

Glad to see you got your priorities straight Paulo. Who cares about investigating the truth, it is so much easier to point fingers at others.. the truth.. it shall surface eventually. Or not. By then, Gazeta Digital will have accumulated quite a number of hits, right?

I am very disappointed. Not that you care.