Sky News special report about Madeleine's case

The special report of Sky News about Madeleine's case promised to “separate fact from fiction”. But what it showed was that Sky News archives are badly organized and Mr. Martin Brunt is better creating fiction than reporting facts. Because important facts and steps of the investigation were completely ignored by Mr. Martin Brunt, with the obvious complicity of his editors (nothing new, as it has been done before...)

Mr. Martin Brunt brought a new crime expert. It seems that Mr. Mark William-Thomas went missing in action, after we published a story revealing that he was also the owner and managing-director of WT Associates, a PR company specialized in child protection, media handling and advice for high profile cases. By the way, I'm still waiting for the answer of Sky News Editor to an email I sent, asking if he was aware of the business connections of Mr. Mark Williams-Thomas, as Sky News never gave this information to its viewers.

But what did Mr. Martin Brunt forget, while “separating facts from fiction”, in his special report about Madeleine's investigation?

He forget to mention what was the reason of a “dramatic twist” in the case, after “the apartment was re-examined”. Mr. Martin Brunt refers the “dramatic twist, so far” and then jumps immediately to the moment when “Kate McCann was ordered in for questioning” at the PJ headquarters in Portimão. Gerry McCann was next and both were named formal suspects.

Why did it happened, that “dramatic twist”? Why did Mr. Marin Brunt forget to explain the reasons for this “dramatic twist”? This second question only can be answered by Mr. Martin Brunt – and I believe Sky News viewers would like very much to know his explanation.

What we can do, with the help of British Press, is to answer the first question, remind Mr. Brunt of the reasons for that “dramatic twist” and about many other facts that he manipulated, distorted and omitted in his special “report”:

The sniffer dog who found the body of murdered Ulsterwoman Attracta Harron has been flown to Portugal in the hunt for the body of Madeleine McCann, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal. Specially-trained English springer spaniel Eddie and his companion Keela were taken to Praia de Luz complex in the Algarve several days ago as the search for the missing four-year-old intensified. The police dogs, which are trained to sniff out minute traces of blood, were drafted in after the focus of the investigation again turned on the apartment where the McCann family were staying when Madeleine disappeared 97 days ago.

A pair of elite police sniffer dogs attached to an English police force has been helping Portuguese police in their hunt for missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann, it has emerged. The specially-trained English springer spaniels Eddie and Keela were reportedly flown to Praia da Luz in the Algarve last week to take part in the investigation.

The spaniel can sniff out blood in clothes after they have been washed repeatedly in biological washing powder, and can detect microscopic amounts on weapons that have been scrubbed and washed. When faced with a “clean” crime scene, Mr Ellis and PC Martin Grimes, Keela’s other handler, will first send in Frankie, a border collie, and Eddie, another springer spaniel, to pick up any general scent. Then they wheel in the big gun. “We take Keela in and she will find the minutest traces of blood,” Mr Ellis said. “It’s not like looking for a needle in a haystack any more. The other two dogs will find the haystack and Keela will find the needle.”

Keela, a 16-month-old springer spaniel, has become such an asset to South Yorkshire Police that she now earns more than the chief constable. Her sense of smell, so keen that she can sniff traces of blood on weapons that have been scrubbed after attacks, has her so much in demand by forces up and down the country that she is hired out at £530 a day, plus expenses. Thought to be the only one of her kind, the crime scenes dog earns nearly £200,000 a year. Her daily rate, ten times that of ordinary police dogs, puts her on more than the chief constable, Meredydd Hughes, who picks up £129,963.”

A South Yorkshire police spokesman said: "The dogs are the only two in Britain who are capable of finding human blood in small quantities. "They are trained to seek buried remains and are put to search on areas which look disturbed, such as broken branches, rubble or turned over earth." At the end of last year, the FBI sought the dogs' help in a ten-year-old murder investigation in the United States.

The sniffer dog that helped detectives jail evil killer Trevor Hamilton has just returned from assisting the FBI with a murder probe in America. Six-year-old English springer spaniel Eddie’s career took off internationally shortly after he returned to Ulster for a third time to help in the hunt for missing Arlene Arkinson. Eddie helped police nail Hamilton after the victim-recovery dog found blood from Attracta Harron (63) on a mat from Hamilton’s burnt-out Hyundai car.

Sunday Telegraph
Madeleine McCann's parents flying back to UK
By David Harrison and Caroline Gammell in Praia da Luz and Andrew Alderson
Last Updated: 1:55am BST 10/09/2007
John Barrett, a former Scotland Yard dog handler, also indicated that the trained dogs used in an attempt to detect a "death smell" on Mrs McCann's Bible and clothes were brought in too long after Madeleine vanished. The crucial scent lasts for no longer than a month, he said.

The Times
September 17, 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann send to US for help against evidence of sniffer dogs
Steve Bird and David Brown in Praia da Luz
The parents of Madeleine McCann have contacted the lawyers of a man charged with murder who successfully challenged sniffer dog evidence. His lawyers claimed it was unreliable and persuaded a judge in the US to throw out prosecution claims that the dogs had detected the smell of a corpse. Kate and Gerry McCann hope that the case could help them to prove their own innocence.

Daily Telegraph
By Paul Harris and Sam Greenhill
September 18, 2007 12:00am
SERIOUS doubts were yesterday being cast on a crucial part of the police case against Kate and Gerry McCann. Portuguese police began to suspect the couple after a sniffer dog trained to detect "the scent of death" reacted strongly to their hire car and Madeleine's Cuddle Cat toy (...)However similar evidence has been dismissed as unreliable in a US murder trial where experts found the dogs had a poor record (...) It was a decision to bring over a sniffer dog from South Yorkshire several weeks ago which persuaded Portuguese police the McCanns may have been involved in their daughter's death. During police interviews the couple were shown videos of the animal "going crazy" when it approached their Renault hire car.

Blood samples from the Portuguese apartment where Madeleine McCann was on holiday with her family will reach a British laboratory today for analysis. The samples, which are understood to have been found in the apartment by a team of sniffer dogs (Keela and Eddie) operated by police from Leicestershire, will be examined by scientists from the Forensic Science Service, based in Birmingham, the Guardian understands. Police from Leicestershire, where the McCann family live, are leading the UK contingent of officers in Portugal helping detectives (...) But reports from Portugal suggest Leicestershire officers used specialised equipment and their own sniffer dogs to re-examine the two-bedroomed apartment at the Mark Warner holiday complex.”

The material was only collected at the end of July and early August in a review of the investigation carried out by Portuguese detectives with the help of British police and two sniffer dogs. Many of the samples are very small, containing just a few cells, while others are of poor quality because of damage by cleaning or simply the passing of time. A full report of the findings will not be ready for weeks, but many results have already been passed to the Portuguese authorities.

A British sniffer dog picked up the scent of a dead body in the apartment and samples, including suspected traces of blood, have been recovered from the scene. The UK's Forensic Science Service has spent the past month analysing them.

Daily Mail
Madeleine: Sniffer dogs 'found scent of death' on one of the McCanns' friends
Last updated at 09:29am on 26th September 2007
Friends of the McCanns faced fresh allegations yesterday after it was claimed that sniffer dogs had found the "scent of death" on one of them. The same police dog which reacted to Mrs McCann's clothes - first causing suspicion to fall on her - was alleged to have smelled "death" on one of the friends who had dinner with the couple the night Madeleine vanished. Police sources briefed a Portuguese newspaper that two police dogs from South Yorkshire, trained to detect corpses, human remains and microscopic traces of blood, had reacted to some items of clothing. Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell denied categorically that any such procedure had happened.

The McCanns’ efforts to fight police leaks about scientific evidence said to prove that they had some hand in their daughter’s death saw the couple criticised yesterday by the English organisation analysing samples seized from the scene of Madeleine’s disappearance and the family hire car. The Forensic Science Service is frustrated that DNA examinations they have carried out for the Portuguese police were being rubbished by the publicity campaign launched by the McCanns.

Other details about what happened in the first hours after Madeleine disappeared

Police helicopters flew over Praia de la Luz yesterday as the hunt intensified for Madeleine McCann, who went missing from her bedroom in the apartment on Thursday night. Teams of officers used sniffer dogs to scour the resort, in the south-west of Portugal, where Gerald McCann, a cardiac surgeon, and his wife Kate, had taken their three young children - Madeleine and her younger brother and sister, who are twins - for a week-long holiday.

John Hill, the Ocean Club manager, said the alarm was raised by the family between 10pm and 10.15pm: “The staff, many guests and the best part of the village started looking right away, a total of 40 to 65 people. The police were called and started taking details from the family and then took the decision to escalate the search.

Nigel Ragg, head of marketing at Mark Warner Holidays, defended the police operation. “It was felt by our staff that the police reacted quickly. The search was escalated throughout the evening,” he said.

Police were conducting checks at airports and more than 150 officers were searching the area. Hundreds of tourists, British ex-pats and local Portuguese were also helping with the search.

Police search well organized
“A HUGE hunt was going on last night for three-year-old Maddy McCann, feared snatched from her holiday flat (...) Sky News weather presenter Jo Wheeler (*) said local police had been giving out maps and telling people where to look. She said: 'It's very well organised."
(*) A guest at Ocean resort...

Border airport authorities already allerted, Spanish police contacted
“Resort manager John Hill said around 60 staff and guests had searched until 4.30am yesterday as police contacted border authorities, neighbouring Spanish officers and airports. "There are a criminal investigator and around 20 officers here but unfortunately there's still no information. If I was in the McCanns' situation, I'd be frustrated as hell. If there were 100 police here I'd want more."

Apartment sealed, fingerprints taken
“Officers sealed off the five-storey holiday block with crime scene tape and fingerprinted the shutters and window sill outside Maddy's room. A patio to the rear of the block, believed to be attached to the family's two-bedroom apartment, was also sealed off.”

Philomena McCan: Police did “very litlle”
Speaking from her home in Glasgow, Philomena McCann, Madeleine’s aunt, said: “The local policeman was doing very little. The area was not cordoned off for hours and hours. Kate and Gerry [were] frustrated at the lack of activity. [The police] tried to downplay the enormity of it and said Madeleine had perhaps wandered off. That is the most ridiculous suggestion.”

Shutters smashed, Kate told to Jon Corner, the twins godfather
“Close family friend Jon Corner, of Liverpool, told that "Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed. Madeleine was missing. It looks as though someone had gone straight past the twins to get to her. Kate was incredibly upset. I've spoken to her since, and she's still completely devastated.”

Mark Warner management denies shutters smashed
“Mark Warner management denied there were signs of forced entry at the flat claiming instead that roller shutters had been slid up and the bedroom window opened.”

“(...) Brian Healy, Madeleine's maternal grandfather, told the Guardian his son-in-law had phoned him shortly after returning to the apartment from a nearby restaurant to find Madeleine had disappeared. "Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone," said Mr Healy. "She'd been taken from the chalet. The door was open."

Mark Warner, the holiday firm which runs the luxury resort, claimed last night there was no sign of a break in at the ground floor apartment overlooking the sea.”

McCann lawyer denies offer of a plea bargain
“Police were still questioning Gerry McCann when, already, his sister Philomena was telling Sky they had offered Kate McCann a reduced two-year sentence if she admitted to killing her daughter accidentally, hiding the body and then secretly disposing of it weeks later. On this occasion the police officers were right to be angry. Like many things said about the McCann affair over the past days and months, the story was wrong. There was no offer of a plea bargain. It had all been "a misunderstanding", the McCann lawyer, Carlos Pinto de Abreu, explained the following day.”

Paulo Reis & Duarte Levy


Anonymous said...

Congratulations !
It is a superb review of facts as they were published. The reaction from the McCann family team was so well organized from the very first minute ! events and campaign 'in cold blood' performed. Everybody had a role asigned from start and try to create waves that roll in perfect synchro one after de other. A perfect ballet of performers, family, media, wealthy benefactors and politicians.
Congratulations once again.

Anonymous said...

Paulo Reis-
what do you have against Martin Brunt?
Could you please keep this between yourselves and out of your website?
BTW I haven't seen Mr.Brunt criticizing you-well..most likely he doesn't even know who you are. Is that what causes this drift between you too-because he gets the spotlight?
I'M sorry Paulo-but that's only because he is damn good!

Anonymous said...

I agree the report was a total let down and simply an overview of selected facts.
That said, I remember reading that Mark Williams was awaiting the go ahead from the McCanns to start investigating Madeleine's disappearance, so I don't think he's gone AWOL, but rather he's with his colleagues busily working on the McCanns behalf.

Anonymous said...

Great Paulo and Duarte!

It is funny how people only remember what they want. As far as I am concerned Martin Brunt shouldn't even be on this case. By his own admission he has befriended the McCanns and his judgment has been biased since day one. I remember seeing him on Sky News reporting from Luz, back when we all still bought the kidnapping story and even then he showed signs of xenophobia.
I use to like watching sky news. Now I KNOW it is a biased media source and take what they say with a grain of salt!


kizzbo said...

An excellent article Paulo. Hopefully this will remind people that the PJ have been undertaking their job in an appropriate manner (in spite of being thrown off the scent with the abduction theory - with broken shutters and forced entry/exit).

The Sky News Special Report was an absolute disgrace. There was absolutely no attempt to sort fact from fiction. There was no in-depth reporting; just a re-hash of the old video footage and a final theory from Mike Hames about Madeleine being snatched by paedophiles at the end. Why was Sky News so determined to ignore the findings of the PJ/British Police and FFS in favour of a theory purported by an ex-policeman which was not based on every evidence at all? Maybe because the truth hurts.

Well done Paulo and Duarte. keep up the good work.

Breda said...

Mr Reis,

Your comments amaze me. Where are you getting your so called facts. I thought that the Portuguese legal system was one of secrecy. So how come you purport to have so much evidence.

1. Where are the facts/evidence that suggest the McCanns are guilty in the demise of their daughter?

2. What facts are there to suggest that she was killed?

3. As a family on a weeks holiday how did they so quickly discover a location to hide a body for 3 weeks, return later to collect it, transport it unnoticed and then bury it? Where would they have got the equipment from? Surely they would have needed plastic bags, shovels/spades etc. And yet no one noticed, not even the media who were following them everywhere.

4. Would you have 7 friends whom you could depend on to cover up any sordid act that you may commit?

5. How can the PJ suggest that Madeleine McCann was accidentally killed?

6. Why did the PJ take so long to cordon off the holiday apartment?

7. Are police sniffer dogs able to distinguish blood samples as being belonging to one particular individual? I just presumed they could sniff out blood - blood that could belong to anyone.

8. With regard to Mr. Amaral's demotion. Do you believe that if the Portuguese powers that be believed that Mr. Amaral was conducting his investigation in a correct manner and that the evidence that he had collected clearly demonstrated the parents involvement in Madeleine's disappearance that they would have succumbed to pressure from outside forces and fired him?

9. How can you be sure that Madeleine is dead? What proof exists to definitely suggest this to be the case?

10. Where is the proof that Madeleine was not abducted?

There is only one important fact in this whole tragedy and that is that there is a 4 year old missing. Instead of attempting to find scapegoats to blame you would be better served in focusing your attentions on attempting to unearth where she is. If the McCanns are correct and she was abducted then I am sorry to say but it will only be a matter of time before some other poor innocent child will suffer the same misfortune.

Paulo Reis said...

Dear Breda,
answers to your questions:

1 - They were named formal suspects in the investigation about the disappearance of their daughter;
2 - See the interview of PJ spokesman, Olegario de Sousa, to BBC, on august 11: Police admits that Madeleine could be dead;
3 - I dont't know, that's up to Police to find;
4 - Same answer as previous point;
5 - A question to be adressed to PJ;

Read what Martin Frickler, from Mirror, wrote on the paper edition of May 5 (reporting the situation on May 4):

"Officers sealed off the five-storey holiday block with crime scene tape and fingerprinted the shutters and window sill outside Maddy's room. A patio to the rear of the block, believed to be attached to the family's two-bedroom apartment, was also sealed off. By late afternoon (MAY 4...) the hunt for Maddy had intensified with helicopter crews, firemen and maritime search teams involved. A special criminal investigation team from the Policia Judiciria was travelling down from Lisbon.

7 - That is a question you must adress to South Yorkshire Police, as the sniffers dogs used - Keela and Eddie - belong to that British Police force;
8 - No, I dont' believe. Governments are made fom politicians. Politicians want to stay in power as long as possible;
9 - Show me where I wrote that Madeleine is dead;
10 - Where is the proof she was abducted?

About your final comment, you are as racist as most British tabloid journalists. The McCann are right, because they are British, Portuguese Police is wrong, beacuse they are Portuguese...

Mr. Clarence Mitchell would love to have you working for him...

Paulo Reis

Anonymous said...

The only thing that this case has proved is that the media is utterly useless and totally unreliable. It is biased, speculative and sensationalist beyond belief. From what I can make out there are no exceptions to this rule, each is as bad as the other.

I am saddened as this whole saga seems to have ignored the fact that an innocent child is missing, and God only knows what has become of her. It is a sad reflection of the times in which we live.

Breda said...

Mr Reis,

First of all thank you for replying to my post.

However, your answers were as I expected. You know as little about this whole sorry tragedy as the rest of us.

Calling me racist is an example of mudslinging and extremely juvenile. If you cannot back up your remarks with solid evidence stooping to name calling does not give you an upper hand.

For the record, I am not British, do not live, have never lived and have no plans to live in Britain. The same can be said of Portugal. I hope you are not too disappointed by this fact - maybe its the whole world against the PJ. Its amazing what paranoia brings on.

Paulo Reis said...

Dear Brenda,

I'm 50 years old. May be you are too young to remember an old song from the Rolling Stones: "You can't always get what you want..."

Send my regards to Clarence Mitchell. He's doing a fantastic job! Since he is in charge of McCann Team, it's blunder after blunder. I wonder what kind of instructions he was given, when he was "transfered" from Media Monitoring Unit to spokesman of tha McCann couple...

Anonymous said...

the only solid evidence is that they seriously neglected their parental responsibilities so are guilty of this. so for gerry to say they had no part in the disappearance of maddie is total b*****ks

Anonymous said...

Brunt is a Fool