28 February 2018
To: Exma Sra. Procuradora-Geral da República,
Drª Joana Marques Vidal
Rua da Escola Politécnica, 140
PT P O R T U G A L
Dear Drª Joana Marques VidalTo:
re: The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann: New evidence of what happened to her
We are a group of mainly British researchers. Most of us have studied the disappearance of Madeleine McCann in depth for the past 10 years. Our members and researchers include many people with professional expertise, such as ex-police officers, lawyers, photographers, computer experts and statement analysts.
On 10 September 2007, Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, on behalf of the Policia Judiciara, produced an interim (‘intercalary’) report summarising the police’s case against Madeleine’s parents, Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann (6):
This is an English translation of the conclusions reached by the PJ’s investigation up to and including 10 September 2007:
From everything that we have discovered, our files result in the following conclusions:
A. the minor Madeleine McCann died in Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May 2007
B. a simulation - a staged hoax - of an abduction took place
C. in order to render the child’s death impossible before 10.00pm, a situation of checking of the McCann couple’s children while they slept was concocted
D. Dr Gerald McCann and Dr Kate McCann are involved in the concealment of the corpse of their daughter, Madeleine McCann
E. at this moment, there seems to be no strong indications that the child’s death was other than the result of a tragic accident, yet;
F. from what has been established up to now, everything indicates that the McCann couple, in self-defence, did not want to deliver up Madeleine’s corpse immediately and voluntarily, and there is a strong possibility therefore that it was moved from the initial place where she died. This situation may raise questions concerning the circumstances in which the death of the child took place.
G. Therefore, we suggest that the case files are sent to the Republic’s Prosecutor, in the Lagos legal district, for:
1) possible new questioning of the arguidos Dr Gerald and Dr Kate McCann, and
2) an evaluation of the measure of restraint to be applied in this case.
During the house search at the McCann couple’s residence, a diary style manuscript was found, already photocopied, possibly authored by Dr Kate McCann; admitting that it may contain information that may help to reach the material truth of facts.
We therefore propose that the photocopies of the said document are presented to the illustrious judge for the purpose of its apprehension (if legal), its translation and eventual collection of information to be included in the files, as necessary for the investigation.
At this date, I submit the case files for your appreciation, for you to determine whatever you may see as convenient.
10 September 2007 Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida
The research that we have undertaken – and that of many others both here, in Portugal, and elsewhere – leads us to support all of the above conclusions in Tavares de Almeida’s report – except for one.
We noted that when the report of the Policia Judiciara was archived in July 2007, it was said that the case would be re-opened if ‘new and credible evidence’ was received by the Portuguese authorities. The case was re-opened in the PJ’s Oporto office in 2013. Our letter contains evidence which we believe they should see and act on.
As a result of painstaking research by many people, we believe that we are now in a position to supply you with new and credible evidence on one matter (the date of death) covered in the first point of Tavares de Almeida’s report, namely: “Conclusion A. the minor Madeleine McCann died in Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, on the night of 3 May 2007”.
We are satisfied that we can now provide sufficient evidence to show that the minor Madeleine McCann died not on the night of Thursday 3rd May, but instead died between Sunday afternoon (29th April) and Monday afternoon (30th April).
The remainder of this letter sets out in brief summary the evidence which we suggest points clearly to Madeleine having died on the Sunday or Monday that week. We will present the evidence under these seven headings:
- A large number of false statements were made at the outset, containing a huge amount of fabricated evidence. These added credibility to the McCanns’ claim that Madeleine had been abducted on Thursday 3 May. They diverted the PJ investigation into believing that Madeleine was still alive that day.
- The photograph of Madeleine McCann, Dr Gerry McCann and Amelie, taken by the Ocean Club pool.
- The absence of photographs of Madeleine taken after Sunday. (7)
- The fabricated statement of Nuno Lourenco, who tried to identify Wojchiech Krokowski as a potential child-kidnapper who had tried to abduct his daughter on Sagres beach. (3) (8) (9) (10) (11)
- The unreliable evidence of the children’s nanny (and McCann family friend), Catriona Baker, Dr Gerry McCann and Dr Kate McCann about an alleged ‘high tea’ at the Ocean Club Tapas restaurant, at about 5pm to 6pm on Thursday 3 May. (12)
- The lack of any credible, independent evidence by anybody that Madeleine McCann was seen alive after Sunday 29th April. (7) (13)
- The mystery of the strange ‘Make-Up Photo’ of Madeleine, which appears to have been taken on Sunday 29th April, (5) (14) (15) and
- Clear photographic evidence that the very same pyjamas Madeleine had with her on holiday in Praia da Luz were later held up by the McCanns at two press conferences, one in London on 5th June 2007, the other in Amsterdam, Holland, on 7th June 2007. (16) (17)
In presenting our evidence, we wish to emphasise that we are in no way critical of the PJ investigation. On the contrary, we believe it was diligently and brilliantly pursued in almost impossible circumstances, namely the determination of the British government and media to insist that Madeleine had been abducted. It is our case that the abduction hoax was skillfully crafted over a period of four days, and was so designed as to deliberately mislead the PJ. Only after years of patiently unravelling the evidence and exposing the deceit has it been possible to arrive at our conclusion that Madeleine was probably dead 3 to 4 days before Thursday 3 May.
Before detailing our evidence on these points, we would like to make the following observations on the conclusions of Tavares de Almeida and of Dr Gonçalo Amaral in his book, A Verdada da Mentira, ‘The Truth of the Lie’. (18)
In Tavares de Almeida’s report (6), he states the following about the events of the evening of Thursday 3 May:
“But there is another question about the timing which is this: The last time that the child was seen outside of the group, by someone who can prove they saw her, was at around 5.35pm, when the parents went to pick her up at the crèche.
“This may widen the time lapse between Madeleine’s ‘disappearance’ and the alarm being raised into more than four hours”.
This is paralleled by two short passages in Goncalo Amaral’s book ‘The Truth of the Lie’. Here is an English translation (by Anna Silvestro) of the relevant paragraphs (18):
(1st passage) “On the fateful day of May 3rd, the attendance register at the play centre indicates that Madeleine arrived at 9.10, accompanied by her father. Her mother came to fetch her at 12.25 for lunch and took her back at 2 o'clock. After jogging on the beach and going to fetch the twins, she collected Maddie at 5.30pm. From that moment on, no other person saw the little girl, apart from her parents and their friends. What happened then in the apartment remains a mystery”.
(2nd passage) “THE INTERROGATIONS
“We finally decide to question [Kate McCann[ as a witness, but not to pose questions on the events after 5.30pm, the time at which she returned to the apartment with her three children.
A DISAPPEARANCE, A WINDOW AND A BODY
“It is now important to present a summary of this case, based on our deductions: reject what is false, throw out what we can't show with sufficient certainty and validate that which can be proven. Point 5. The body, the existence of which has been confirmed by the EVRD and CSI dogs, but also by the results of the preliminary laboratory analyses, cannot be found. The conclusions my team and I have arrived at are the following:
1. The minor, Madeleine McCann died inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Vila da Luz, on the night of May 3rd 2007;
2. Kate Healy and Gerald McCann were probably involved in the concealment of their daughter's body.
3. The death may have occurred as a result of a tragic accident…”
We will present evidence that Madeleine was not present at that ‘high tea’, (4) (13) that the ‘high tea’ never happened, and that there is no credible, independent evidence that Madeleine was seen alive after lunchtime on Sunday 29th April. (4) (13)
We will also make observations on another matter. That is the descriptions given of an abductor to the PJ by the McCanns’ friend, Jane Tanner, during Friday, 4th May, and a second description of a child kidnapper by Nuno Lourenco, early the following day (Saturday 5th November).
This is what Tavares de Almeida says about the claims of Jane Tanner (6):
“Later, during the course of the morning of May 4th, the father gives the same brief description [as Jane Tanner did] and refers back to Jane for additional details. The latter [Jane tanner] appears at the offices of the Policia Judiciara in Portimão at 11.30am. This time, the description is very precise:
- the individual, aged between 35 and 40, was thin and 1.70m tall;
- his hair was dark brown, falling over his collar;
- he was wearing cream or beige trousers, probably linen,
- a sort of anorak - but not very thick –
- and black shoes, classic in style.
He was walking hurriedly, with a child in his arms. He was warmly dressed, the reason she thought he was not a tourist. The child appeared to be asleep - she only saw the legs - had bare feet and was dressed in pyjamas, which were obviously cotton, light-coloured, probably white or pale pink, with a pattern - flowers maybe, but she isn't certain. Concerning the man, she states that she would recognise him from the back by his particular way of walking. The importance of this statement will be seen later”.
Now we come to a description of a man given by Nuno Lourenco to the PJ on the morning of Saturday 5th May (8) (9) (10). He said this man tried to kidnap his daughter outside a café in the village of Sagres, on Sunday 30th April (8). As we now know from the PJ’s investigations during that Saturday, they identified the man as Wojchiech Krokowski, (9) (10) (18) a Polish man who was on holiday in Praia da Luz in the very same week that the McCanns were also staying there. This is what Gonçalo Amaral says in his book about Nuno Lourenco’s claims (18):
“From information from Sagres, we learn that an individual has been surprised on Mareta beach taking photos of several children and in particular of a little girl aged 4, blonde with blue eyes, who looks like Madeleine. It was the little girl's father who noticed him. This 40 year-old man, wearing glasses, tells the investigators that the photographer tried to kidnap his daughter in the afternoon of April 26th in Sagres.
“He allegedly then fled in a hired car with a woman in the passenger seat. The stranger did not look like a tourist; brown hair down to his collar, wearing cream-coloured trousers and jacket and shoes of a classic style. This report reminds us of the individual encountered by Jane Tanner in the streets of Vila da Luz on the evening of Madeleine's disappearance.
“Thanks to the father's composure, he managed to take a photograph of the vehicle. It's not very clear and does not allow us to make out the number plate, but we succeed, nonetheless, in finding the car. The car hire firm provides us with the identity of the driver. He is a forty-year-old Polish man, who is traveling with his wife. They arrived in Portugal on April 28th, from Berlin. At Faro airport, they hired a car and were put up in an apartment in Budens, near Praia da Luz. Unfortunately, on May 5th, at 7am, they had already left, taking with them their camera and all the photos from their holiday. We ask the German police, through Interpol, to monitor them as soon as they arrive in Berlin. All the passengers are questioned, but no one has seen a child looking like Madeleine. In Berlin, the couple take the train to return to Poland. Thus, the Polish trail comes to an end. We would like to have seen their photos...but that proved impossible”.
As can be clearly seen, Gonçalo Amaral and his team of PJ detectives clearly believed that the man seen by Nuno Lourenco at Sagres on Sunday 30th April was the same man that Jane Tanner had seen at around 9.15pm on Thursday 3rd May (19) (20)near the McCanns’ apartment. All the following descriptions were identical:
- age of the man (35-40, or 40)
- hair brown or dark brown
- hair ‘down to’ or ‘falling over’ his collar
- cream-coloured trousers
- ‘jacket’ or ‘anorak’
- -shoes of a classic style
- “didn’t look like a tourist” (because of wearing ‘warm clothes’).
In this letter we will present evidence that:
- Nuno Lourenco’s statement was a complete fabrication
- Jane Tanner’s statement was also a complete fabrication
- The descriptions given were so similar that they provide the strongest possible evidence that they were planned well before Thursday, and
- There was collusion between Jane Tanner, Nuno Lourenco and others to fake the existence of an abductor (3) (9) (10).
As the PJ concluded, we agree that a hoax abduction was ‘staged’. We also agree that the furniture in the McCanns’ apartment was pre-arranged on Thursday 3 May to fake an abduction scenario. All this needed the co-operation of the McCanns and all of their Tapas 7 friends.
We also entirely agree with the PJ’s evidence (see Tavares de Almeida’s report) that there were:
- multiple contradictions between the evidence of the witnesses
- multiple changes of story by the chief witnesses, and
- that the McCanns would adapt their narrative as new embarrassing facts emerged.
In fact much more evidence of these contradictions and changes of story has emerged since Gonçalo Amaral was removed from the PJ investigation on 2 October 2007. To take one example from Gonçalo Amaral’s book; he correctly identified that the accounts of Dr David Payne visiting Kate McCann in Apartment 5A were contradictory. We have since discovered a total of at least 20 contradictions as between their two versions of what happened. (21) We hold that this is more than sufficient to prove that the alleged ‘visit’ was fabricated.
Three individuals in particular led the PJ investigation and Gonçalo Amaral to conclude that Madeleine must have died after 5.30pm on Thursday 3 May: Jane Tanner, Nuno Lourenco and Catriona Baker, the children’s nanny.
We deal with the evidence of Nuno Lourenco and Catriona Baker below. Here we summarise why the evidence of Jane Tanner should be treated as wholly unreliable – as the PJ team itself soon recognised:
- She and her husband Russell O’Brien were close friends of the McCanns. That means she is not an independent witness
- On Sunday 13 May she was adamant that the man she claimed to have seen, carrying a bundle or a child, at around 9.15pm on Thursday 3 May, was Robert Murat. This identification of him by Jane Tanner was a major reason why Murat was pulled in for questioning two days later (18)
- It has since become clear that in the hours before she was placed in a police van by the PJ, in order to see if she could identify the man she claimed to have seen, she was spoken to by a senior Leicestershire police officer, Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Small, and two staff from the British government-funded security agency, Control Risks Group (22). It is reasonable to suspect that these three people influenced Jane Tanner to make a false claim that she ‘recognised’ Robert Murat
- In his book on the case, Goncalo Amaral refers to the sudden arrival in Portugal of large numbers of British government, police and security personnel – staff from the Foreign Office, the British Embassy, Leicestershire Police, Scotland Yard, MI5, Special Branch, the National Police Improvement Agency, CEOP and Control Risks Group. Amaral records in his book the following (18):
“FOR THE PROFILERS, MURAT IS THE GUILTY PARTY
“Since Murat's first interview, which they attended, the specialists have continued to refine the profile of the suspect [Robert Murat]…according to the English profilers, there is a 90% chance that he is the guilty party…”
- From all the above, we say there is clear evidence of a plot to ‘frame’ Robert Murat and persuade the PJ to question him and make him a formal suspect, an ‘arguido’. And this is exactly what happened on Tuesday 15 May (18).
- In October 2007, the McCann Team released an artist’s sketch of the man said to have been seen by Jane Tanner. It was drawn up by a ‘forensic artist’, Melissa Little. She was employed by Cheshire businessman, Brian Kennedy, who directed the McCann Team’s highly controversial private investigation. The sketch did not look like Robert Murat.
- Later, in January 2008, there was a major news story in the British press about a man with ‘straggly hair’ and a moustache, said by both the McCann Team and Leicestershire Police to be a new ‘chief suspect’. (20) (21) (22) (23) The McCanns’ PR agent, Clarence Mitchell (who at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance was the head of the British government’s Media Monitoring Unit), held a special ‘police-style press conference’ to promote this new suspect. Once again, Melissa Little drew the artist’s sketch that was presented to the media. In some respects, the sketch resembled the earlier sketch drawn up by Jane Tanner. Jane Tanner was quoted in the British press as saying she was ‘80% sure’ that the man she said she had seen on 3 May was the same as the man with the straggly hair and the moustache. This was despite the facts that (a) she frankly admitted that she had never seen the face of the man on 3 May and (b) the man with the straggly hair and the moustache looked nothing like Robert Murat.
- Also in January 2008, Jane Tanner admitted that she was ‘no longer sure’ that the man she had seen on 3 May was Robert Murat (29) (30) (31).
- This admission was important because, in the two days after Robert Murat was made a formal suspect, three friends of the McCanns (Fiona Payne, Russell O’Brien and Rachael Oldfield) all made statements to the PJ claiming that they had seen Robert Murat near the McCanns’ apartment on the night of 3 May. Yet eight months later (January 2008), they admitted that they might have been ‘mistaken’. (18)
10. One more indication that Jane Tanner’s claims were false came in a press conference held by the McCann Team in August 2009 (28). This conference was held in order to promote the McCanns’ latest theory, that Madeleine had been abducted by a woman, on a yacht bound from Barcelona to Australia. In order to promote this theory, the McCanns’ latest chief private investigator, former Detective Sergeant, Dave Edgar, said that Jane Tanner might have been mistaken and that she saw a female carrying a child, not a male.
11. Finally, we add that on 14 October 2013, around 7 million people in Britain watched a TV programme about Madeleine’s disappearance, made by the BBC together with the Metropolitan Police (27). They had together spent over £2 million making this film. In the film, the Metropolitan Police chief investigator, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, said that the man seen by Jane Tanner had ‘come forward’. He told us that the man’s daughter had been in the ‘night creche’ on 3 May and that he had carried his daughter, clad only in her pyjamas, back to wherever he was staying that night.
12. There were many reasons to doubt DCI Redwood’s claims (27), for example:
- why had this man kept silent for 6 years?
- if the man had been walking past the McCanns’ apartment that night from the crèche, maps showed that he was not taking the direct route from the crèche but must have gone a longer way around
- we were not given the identity of the man; only a blurred photograph, said to be of this man, was shown
- we were told that (i) he had been wearing exactly the same sort of clothes on holiday as those described by Jane Tanner (ii) his daughter had been wearing very similar pyjamas to those worn by Madeleine on that holiday and (iii) that he had for some unknown reason kept these very pyjamas for 6 years
- there is no explanation of (i) where the mother of this child was whilst the man was carrying her home in the dark on a cold evening (only 13 deg C) (ii) why he was not using a buggy and (iii) why his daughter was only in pyjamas, with no covering over her.
In short, none of the dozens of serious Madeleine McCann researchers in Britain believes that DCI Redwood was telling the truth. We believe it was yet another lie by the British police to continue the claim that Madeleine was abducted, when she was not.
One of the most famous photographs of Madeleine is one of her, her sister Amelie, and her father Dr Gerry McCann, sitting by the Ocean Club pool. They said that this photograph was taken by her mother, Dr Kate McCann, on the last day of their holiday, Thursday 3rd May, at about 2.29pm.
We will present a summary of evidence below which suggests that this was a deliberate lie by the McCanns and by those supporting them (4) (32) (33) (34) . We will show that this photograph was almost certainly taken on Sunday, 29th April at lunch-time. (4) (33) We will also show that this was the last photograph of Madeleine ever taken, with the possible exception of what we will call the ‘Make-Up Photo’ - see below (14) (15). Further, we will show that there is no credible, truly independent evidence that Madeleine was alive after the afternoon of Sunday 29th April (13). From these conclusions we will also suggest that it is unlikely that Madeleine’s death was ‘accidental’ (as suggested in the PJ’s report) and we will also suggest that Madeleine’s parents had professional help from the highest levels of the British government in order to ‘stage’ an abduction (the PJ’s own conclusion) and to help keep up the ‘myth’ of Madeleine being abducted for over 10 years (2) (4) (5).
The specific evidence relating to the ‘Last Photo’ is as follows:
- The photograph is said to have been taken by Kate McCann. Two acknowledged experts in digital photography have examined this photograph in detail and both, independently, agreed that it was a genuine photograph with no signs of alteration or ‘photoshopping’ (33)
- The experts also pointed out, however, that it was a relatively simple matter to change the date and time stamp, to try to prove that a photograph was taken on a different date from the actual date (33)
- On 9 May, Dr Gerry McCann and a close relative, Michael Wright, presented to the PJ two computer disks which purported to show all the photos taken on the holiday by the McCanns and their friends, the Paynes. These disks included three photographs of Madeleine happily playing in the Ocean Club playground on the first day of the holiday (Saturday 28th April). But for reasons which have not been explained by the McCanns, these two disks did not include the ‘Last Photo’. (4)
- Furthermore, it is clear from the PJ files that the two computer disks of photos were compiled with the additional help of Alex Woolfall, the Head of Risk, employed by the huge PR firm, Bell Pottinger. He has admitted this. It is unclear why the ‘Head of Risk’ at a major public relations firm should need to sort through the McCanns’ holiday photographs (4) (33) [NOTE: We add here the following information: 1. Sir Tim Bell, former Chairman of Bell Pottinger, admitted that the McCanns paid him over £600,000 to ‘keep their name on the newspaper front pages for a year’, and 2. This year, Bell Pottinger collapsed, and is now ‘in administration’, following revelations about a campaign of lies they conducted in South Africa to back up the discredited President, Jacob Zuma. The firm, and those who run it, have been totally discredited. Bell Pottinger also received huge payments from various corrupt regimes and individuals they worked for in different parts of the world]
- The weather when the photo was taken This is a crucial evidential point that the PJ had no opportunity to consider. At lunch-time on Thursday 3 May, the weather was cloudy and cool (17 deg C). This can be demonstrated from assorted weather records and photographs. By contrast, the weather on Sunday lunchtime (29th April) was sunny and very warm (21 deg C). By Monday, a cold front had already brought cooler and cloudier weather with some rain. This lasted until Friday (4) (33).
- Now we need to look at the evidence of the photo itself. This is what we observe:
- bright sunshine
- no evidence of any wind
- three people sitting by the pool, dipping their feet in the pool
- Dr Gerry McCann wearing T-shirt and shorts
- Madeleine and Amelia wearing light clothing
- Madeleine and Amelie both wearing sun-hats
- a sheen of perspiration on Gerry McCann’s forehead
- Gerry McCann wearing sunglasses (4) (33).
None of these features match the claim that this photograph was taken on Thursday 3rd May. They all match, however, with the only sunny and warm day of the holiday: Sunday 29th April.
- The photograph was not produced by the McCanns until Thursday 24 May. Why, when it was already in the McCanns’ camera, was it not produced straightaway, when the police and the press required the most up-to-date photo of Madeleine?
Only five photographs of Madeleine on that holiday are claimed to exist.
We have mentioned four of them:
- There were three photographs of Madeleine taken on the Saturday. Dr Gerry McCann handed these to the PJ on 9 May 2007
- There is the ‘Last Photo’, which the McCanns say was taken on Thursday 3rd May. However, we have shown that it must have been taken on Sunday 29th April.
That leaves just one other photo which the McCanns claim was taken on that holiday: the so-called ‘Tennis Balls Photo’, which purports to show Madeleine clutching some tennis balls.
There are numerous problems with this photo (35) (36 (37). The main four are:
- Two different people are said to have taken it (Kate McCann and Jane Tanner)
- They claim they were taken on two different days (Tuesday and Thursday), and
- The improbability of Kate McCann’s account (in her 2011 book, ‘madeleine’) of how the photograph came to be taken (she writes of how she ran back to her apartment to get her camera, while Madeleine was apparently there, waiting for this photograph to be taken
- The photograph appears inconsistent with what is said by Kate McCann. There are no other children in shot. There are no children’s nannies or tennis coaches in shot, the balls that the girl in the photo is holding are adult balls, not the soft balls that children would use when playing mini-tennis.
Furthermore, there is no independent witness (such as a crèche nanny or tennis coach) of how and when this photograph is supposed to have been taken.
In addition, some observers have noted that whilst the head of the girl in the photograph is clearly that of Madeleine, the body of the girl looks different from Madeleine in a number of ways. Notably the girls’ legs look sturdier, as if they are of an older girl, and her arms and legs have a number of marks, possibly bruises and scratches, and look red and sunburnt when compared with the pale skin of Madeleine, as seen on the three photographs of Madeleine on Saturday, and the ‘Last Photo’ which we are sure was taken on the Sunday. (4) (35) (36) (37)
Therefore we have no proof of any photograph of Madeleine being taken on the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday that week. That is wholly consistent with our case that Madeleine died on the Sunday.
We should add that a Mr Philip Edmonds, a Director of Stemcor, the international steel company, was on holiday that week with his three sons, and claimed to have taken a photograph of his three sons playing in the Ocean Club playground, on Thursday 3rd May, showing Madeleine McCann in the background. He further claimed publicly that he had sent this photograph to the PJ. However, no such photograph appears in the PJ files, not has it been published elsewhere. There is every reason to doubt whether – even if he has supplied such a photograph – that it could prove that Madeleine was alive that day (38).
Nuno Lourenco claimed he was living in Germany but had been over to Sagres for a short holiday to see his mother, who still lives in the area. (8)
Early on Saturday 5th May, he contacted the PJ to say that a man had been photographing children (including his own) on Sagres beach during the afternoon of Sunday 29th April (although Goncalo Amaral gives a different date for this in his book). (8) (18)
Nuno Lourenco provided a photograph in support of his claims. He said that he had managed to take a photograph of the man on his mobile ’phone before he drove away. He also gave the police the last four digits of the car registration number of the vehicle. (8)
With this information, the Portuguese police were able to establish that the owner of the car was a car rental agency based in Burgau, and that the car had been rented for the week by a Mr Wojchiech Krokowski. Krokowski and his wife had been holidaying at an apartment in the Sol e Mar building in Burgau. The police later established further details about Krokowski and his wife from the owner or manager of the Burgau Beach Bar (believed to be Mr Ralph Eveleigh or his manager), a CCTV in a shop in Lisbon, and the Polish Police. (8) (18)
It is clear from what we said in our introduction that Gonçalo Amaral and his PJ team believed that Nuno Lourenco had identified the same man as seen by Jane Tanner. (18)
If we now compare the descriptions by Jane Tanner (of the man she said she saw) and by Nuno Lourenco (of the man we now know to have been Wojchiech Krokowski), the similarities are astonishing, as we now set out in this table:
Jane Tanner description of the man Lourenco description of Krokowski
aged between 35 and 40 aged 40
dark brown hair, falling over his collar brown hair down to his collar
wearing cream or beige trousers wearing cream-coloured trousers
wearing black shoes in the classic style shoes of a classic style
warmly dressed, the reason she did not look like a tourist
thought he was not a tourist
We make these observations on Nuno Lourenco’s statement (3):
- The account he gives of the attempted kidnap lacks credibility in several respects:
- why would a holidaymaker, with his car apparently parked some way away outside the village, attempt (in broad daylight) to kidnap a child?
- why are there no other witnesses to this incident?
- his account of how he tried to take a photo of Krokowski, but failed because his finger was blocking the viewfinder, also lacks credibility
- his account of what actually happened inside and outside the café also does not have the ‘ring of truth’ about it
- he did not report what (if true) must have been a frightening incident to the police until six days later
- he laid great emphasis on how the date and time stamp on his mobile ’phone ‘proved’ that the photograph of Krokowski’s car was taken around 6pm on Sunday 29th April. This reminds us of another photograph, the ‘Last Photo’, was said to have been taken on Thursday 3 May, according to the date stamp, yet evidence suggests that it was taken four days earlier. We suggest that it is likely in all the circumstances that Lourenco took this photograph later in the week, but date-stamped it to fool the PJ team into thinking it was taken on the Sunday
- he did not ’phone the police until six days later, and waited until after Jane Tanner had given her statement to the police
- moreover, he waited until around the time that the plane taking Krokowski and his wife back to Poland was taking off from faro Airport. This seems to us like more than a coincidence (9) (10).
Taking all these matters into account, and having regard also to the astonishing coincidences between the descriptions given by Jane Tanner (of the man) and Nuno Lourenco (of Wojchiech Krokowski), we arrive at these very disturbing conclusions:
- Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco were describing the same man – Wojchiech Krokowski
- The description must therefore have been based on Wojchiech Krokowski and what he was wearing that week
- Either Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco must have colluded in order to give police identical descriptions, OR at least one third party must have planned this collusion, and given them instructions on what to say to the police (3).
This means that Jane Tanner, Nuno Lourenco, and any or all people who colluded in deceiving the police in this way have committed the offence (in English law) of perverting the course of justice. In English law this offence attracts the maximum penalty of 14 years.
[ NOTE: We add here the strange matter of the evidence of three members of the Smith family, who claimed to have seen a man carrying a girl dressed only in pyjamas at about 10.00pm on Thursday 3 May. What is astonishing is that when they travelled to Portugal to give their statements on 26 May, they also gave an almost identical description of the man they claimed they saw to those given by Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco.
The Smiths also described a man ‘about 35-40’, ‘wearing cloth clothes’, ‘wearing classic shoes’, and who ‘didn’t look like a tourist’. The girl he was carrying was also dressed only in white/pink pyjamas.
If we are correct in asserting that Madeleine was probably dead on Sunday, then what possible explanation can there be for him reporting seeing someone, at about 10.00pm on Thursday 3rd May, identical to the descriptions of a man given by Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco?
It raises a realistic possibility that this was also a fabrication, and that Martin Smith and his family were also using the same description of Wojchiech Krokowski.
We may add that on 20th September 2007, nine days after seeing TV footage of Gerry McCann carrying his son Sean down the steps of an aeroplane, Martin Smith claimed (with 60% to 80% certainty] that the man he said he had seen on 3rd May was Gerry McCann. Yet despite that, he admits to having been contacted by Mr Brian Kennedy, head of the McCanns’ private investigation, in December 2007, and since then has clearly been working with the McCanns, making public statements sympathising with the McCanns and urging the public to ‘look for the abductor’ ]. (3)
The crucial evidence that Madeleine was still alive at 5.30pm on Thursday 3rd May came from one of the nannies, Catriona Baker (39) (40) (41). She was also the crèche nanny for Madeleine’s daytime group, the ‘Lobsters’. Both Tavares de Almeida and Gonçalo Amaral in his book were certain that she was telling the truth, and that, because she was thought to be an ‘independent’ witness, they could rely on her word (18).
Detailed investigation, however, has uncovered a mass of contradictions as between the four main witnesses who gave evidence about this alleged ‘high tea’ on the Thursday afternoon: Dr Gerry McCann, Kate McCann, and crèche nannies Catriona Baker and Charlotte Pennington (12). These contradictions have been analysed by many Madeleine researchers. All have come to the conclusion that the contradictions are so many and so serious that it is highly doubtful that this ‘high tea’ happened at all. It is simply not possible to accept Catriona Baker as a witness of truth.
Furthermore, research has uncovered the fact that Catriona Baker probably knew the McCanns before this holiday (4).
Records on the social media group Facebook show that Catriona Baker was, in 2006 and possible before then, a Facebook friend of Chloe Corner. Chloe Corner is the daughter of Madeleine’s godfather, Jon Corner. Jon Corner was highly involved in events after Madeleine was reported missing. Within hours, he was seemingly able to send unlimited photos of Madeleine to the media, from his home in Liverpool. In addition, Jon Corner said he had been to Praia da Luz several times previously, suggesting a connection with the village. Jon Corner also lived with the McCanns for around a week in August 2007, during which time he took them to Huelva to distribute leaflets about Madeleine. He made a film about Madeleine which was later used by Panorama for their programme about Madeleine shown on 19 November 2017 (4).
In November 2007, six months after Madeleine was reported missing, Catriona Baker visited the McCanns in Rothley, staying with them for a number of days. There are also indications from Kate McCann’s account of Catriona Baker in her book, ‘madeleine’, that she may have known her already, although she does not admit to this (4).
These connections of Catriona Baker to Jon Corner and the McCanns were not known to the PJ team nor to Gonçalo Amaral. If they had been, they would certainly not have been so ready to regard her as an ‘independent’ witness.
We have said that Madeleine was seen alive on Sunday 29th April at lunch-time. We have given evidence that we cannot rely on the claims by Catriona Baker and the McCanns that Madeleine was alive at an alleged ‘high tea’ on Thursday afternoon. (Charlotte Pennington later gave a statement about this alleged ‘high tea’ but that also contradicted the other three statements).
All other claims by witnesses who claim to have seen Madeleine after Sunday have been examined in detail by a British ex-pat now living in Canada, Lizzy Taylor (13). She concluded that apart from the evidence given by the McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends - which of course is not independent – all other statements claiming to have seen her were open to serious doubt. Many were extremely vague, with no checkable details given. Others were plainly wrong, for example, witnesses claiming to have seen Madeleine eating breakfast with the McCanns in the Millennium when the McCanns in their statements have consistently said they ate breakfast in their apartment every day from Monday onwards.
The absence of any other reliable witness to seeing Madeleine from Monday onwards is disturbing, and strongly tends to confirm that Madeleine was not alive after Sunday.
The ‘Make-Up Photo’ was first published in a short, 2-minute video made by Madeleine’s godfather, Jon Corner. It shows Madeleine with a great deal of make-up, namely:
- a necklace
- a hair bead
- eye shadow, and
- eye liner.
It must also be said that Madeleine has very dilated (large) pupils in the photo, and there is no sign whatsoever of any happiness or joy. Rather, she looks deeply sad. Many observers have understandably called it a ‘Lolita’ photograph (42).
When this photo was published, it attracted much negative comment, including in one British broadsheet newspaper, the Independent. A prominent criminologist, Mark Williams-Thomas, also criticized the McCanns for releasing this photograph (although it is by no means certain that the McCanns gave permission for this photograph to be published) (42).
The McCanns claimed that the Make-Up Photo showed Madeleine ‘playing with Mummy’s make-up box’ and told the media that the picture was taken ‘a few weeks before’ their Praia da Luz holiday (42).
Many Madeleine researchers who have studied this photograph carefully have made these observations about it (14) (15):
- Madeleine could not have applied the eyeliner herself. She could not have applied either the lipstick or the blue eye-shadow neatly. She certainly could not have put on her necklace herself, nor her hair bead. An adult must have done all this, but we have not been told who did it. Therefore the McCanns have not been truthful about the circumstances in which this photograph was taken. That means we are entitled to ask serious questions about when, where and why it was taken.
- In the photo, we see Madeleine’s pupils dilated (enlarged)
- Madeleine displays no signs of fun, joy or happiness in this photo, as you would expect if she was having fun playing with Mummy’s make-up box. On the contrary, there seems to be a look of sadness, or even fear or dread in her eyes.
- The photo is taken against a stucco background, either cream, yellow or ochre in colour. This is most unlike houses built in England. However, it strongly resembles the outdoor cladding of many buildings along the Algarve coast in Portugal.
- Madeleine’s appearance in the Make Up Photo is strikingly similar to how she looks in the ‘Last Photo’, which we assert was taken on the Sunday. In both photos:
- Madeleine’s hair length, style and colour is identical
- in both, she is wearing a hair bead (although in different positions), and
- in both, she can be seen wearing a pink-coloured smock, top or dress.
Especially given what we have said in point (5) above, we are entitled to ask whether this photo could have been taken on the McCanns’ holiday in Praia da Luz, possibly even on the very same day as the Last Photo – Sunday, 29th April.
Here we rely, first, on evidence that can be viewed on the film: ‘Madeleine: Why the Cover-Up?’ by Richard D Hall, link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWWjkL-joS4&t=1321s (4)
Second, we rely on the longer, written analysis by Dr Martin Roberts in an article titled ‘A Nightwear Job’, which can be viewed here: https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12555-dr-martin-roberts-a-nightwear-job (16)
In summary, the film by Hall and the article by Dr Roberts reveal the following:
- Madeleine’s pyjamas were photographed by the McCanns before they raised the alarm about Madeleine being missing at about 10.00pm on 3 May
- Very clear photographic evidence (and other accompanying evidence) proves that the identical pair of pyjamas were personally displayed by the McCanns at two press conferences, one in London on 5th June 2007, the other in Amsterdam, Holland, on 7th June 2007.
It follows from these two facts that the entire claim by the McCanns that Madeleine was abducted - in her pyjamas, between 9.15pm and 10.00pm - is false. Madeleine must therefore have disappeared under entirely different circumstances. As Dr Roberts out it in his article: “If Madeleine’s pyjamas were not abducted, then neither was Madeleine”.
A number of objections have been raised to our hypothesis. We list them here and give brief answers:
1 ‘It would be impossible for so many people to lie about the death of a missing girl and take part in a cover-up’
2 ‘No-one would dare to stage a hoax abduction after their child had been dead 3-4 days’
3 ‘The McCanns and their friends could not have all agreed to cover up a child’s death’
3 ‘It is impossible to believe that Catriona Baker, Madeleine’s crèche nanny, could help to forge the crèche records and lie about Madeleine not being in the crèche from Monday onwards’
4 ‘Mrs Fenn heard Madeleine crying for her Daddy between 10.30pm and 11.45pm on Tuesday 1 May’.
In reply, we make the following points.
So far as Mrs Fenn’s evidence is concerned, there are several major problems about it:
- she did not make statements about having heard Madeleine crying until 20th August, over 3½ months after Tuesday 1st May (4) (43)
- neither did she make statements about an alleged break-in at her flat until 20th August (4) (44)
- a review of all the statements she made about the alleged burglary reveals major contradictions e.g. about when the burglary was supposed to have happened, what actually happened inside her flat, how the intruder escaped, and who else was there at the time (44)
- the evidence she gave was leaked in advance and was published in the British press on 18 & 19 August i.e. before she gave her statement, suggesting that she colluded with others in giving her evidence (4) (43) (44)
- she claims to have heard Madeleine crying ever more loudly for 75 minutes – but no-one else in the apartment bloc heard this
- she contrived her statement to say that the crying was that of a child ‘more than two years old’ – but it is not possible to make such a clear distinction between the crying of a three-year-old and a two-year old
- she did not seek any help in alerting anyone else to the crying she said she heard, except an alleged telephone call to a Mrs Edna Glyn, which as far as we know from the PJ files the Portuguese police were unable to verify, and
- she herself told the media to ignore all that had been said in the newspapers about her evidence.
There are further details about the multiple problems with her evidence at these references: (43) (44)
In response to the other points above, we simply do not know how Madeleine died, especially now that it seems certain that she died on the Sunday or possibly Monday. It is possible, in fact we say probable, that she may have died under circumstances where the McCanns and their friends felt there was serious risk for them if Madeleine’s body was to be produced for an autopsy. At this point we mention the sexually suggestive remarks made by Dr David Payne about Madeleine, as reported on 19th May 2007 by Dr Arul and Dr Katarina Gaspar. We also think it is relevant to point out that the Gaspars’ two statements were not forwarded to the PJ until three weeks after Gonçalo Amaral had been removed from the case.
It has been suggested that Madeleine’s death could not have been covered up because far too many people must have been involved. In reply, we suggest that only a handful of people would be needed to keep Madeleine’s death a secret. By Sunday night, Madeleine would not be known by many people except the McCanns, their ‘Tapas 7’ friends and Catriona Baker, Madeleine’s crèche nanny (who, as we have evidenced, seems to have been a friend of the McCann family already). Possibly the Ocean Club Manager and someone from Mark Warner may have been informed and a collective decision made to keep Madeleine’s death a secret and plan a hoax abduction (45) (46) (47).
If Madeleine’s death was the result of any criminality, that would be a powerful reason for those involved to cover up what had happened. A cover-up and hoax abduction could then have been carried out in total secrecy.
The facts point to death on Sunday, or Monday at the latest.
This, we suggest, opens up a vital new line of enquiry. This, we suggest, must be the starting-point for a fresh Portuguese police investigation.
We conclude by suggesting what we think must be obvious by now to the Portuguese authorities: namely that the Metropolitan Police investigation into Madeleine’s death, Operation Grange, has clearly never been a genuine attempt by the British police to get to the truth of what really happened to Madeleine.
We add many references below and would be willing to assist the Portuguese judicial and police authorities in any further way that we can.
The Madeleine McCann Research Group
- What Really Happened to Madeleine McCann, by ‘PeterMac’ (retired British Police Superintendent) http://whatreallyhappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/ and at http://gerrymccan-abuseofpower-humanrights.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/retired-police-superintendent-peter.html
- “The True Story of Madeleine McCann”, 1st Madeleine documentary film by Richard D Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIjPcvmVzUo
- “The Phantoms: Four fake abductors”, 2nd Madeleine documentary film by Richard D Hall, 2nd Madeleine documentary film by Richard D Hall (examines the fake abduction accounts of Jane Tanner, Nino Lourenco, Martin Smith and the Metropolitan Police) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL0-ePd3FCU
- “When Madeleine Died?”, 3rd Madeleine documentary film by Richard D Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70oo2-Sj7to949 (comprehensive evidence that Madeleine died on Sunday 29 April)
- “Madeleine – Why the Cover-Up?” 4th Madeleine documentary film by Richard D Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQgmtrOeDLM (Part 1 of 6 parts)
- Intercalary (interim) report of Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida, 10 September 2007, Portuguese Policia Judiciara files, http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/TAVARES_ALMEIDA.htm
- The SIX photos that provide the biggest clue to when Madeleine died, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14797-the-six-photos-that-provide-the-biggest-clue-to-when-madeleine-died
- NUNO LOURENCO STATEMENT http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/NUNO_LOURENCO.htm
- “Was Wojcek Krokowski, Sagres man with a camera, the template for both Tannerman and Smithman?”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t10602-was-wojcek-krokowski-sagres-man-with-a-camera-the-template-for-both-tannerman-and-smithman?
- “Krokowski 2: Nuno Lourenco’s account of how Wojchiech Krokowski nearly kidnapped his child”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12096-krokowski-2-nuno-lourenco-s-account-of-how-wojchiech-krokowski-nearly-kidnapped-his-child
- “Textusa article 30 October 2015 on ‘Sagresman’ (Wojchiech Krokowski)…”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12123-textusas-article-30-oct-2015-on-sagresman-wojchiech-krokowski-a-good-article-excellent-original-research-some-great-conclusions-but-some-wrong-ones?highlight=krokowski
- “Catriona Baker and the Creche”, Hideho/Lizzy Taylor, http://forum4.aimoo.com/madeleinemccanncontroversy/HiDeHo-RESEARCH-POSTS/Catriona-Baker-the-Creche-Post-1-2276097.html
- “Was Madeleine Seen After Sunday? – Is there any credible evidence that she was? (28 September 2015), Hideho/Lizzy Taylor, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t11921-was-madeleine-seen-after-sunday
- “The Mystery of the Make-Up Photo: Was it taken on the same day as the ‘Last Photo?”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12958-the-mystery-of-the-make-up-photo-was-it-taken-on-the-same-day-as-the-last-photo?
- “Richard Hall’s Appeal for new Information re Madeleine’s Make-Up Photo”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14749-richard-d-hall-s-appeal-for-new-information-re-madeleine-s-make-up-photo-and-the-thermometer-on-the-wall
- “A Nightwear Job”, by Dr Martin Roberts, posted on the CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t12555-dr-martin-roberts-a-nightwear-job
- “Out, Damn’d Spot”, by Dr Martin Roberts, posted on the CMOMM forum (Madeleine’s pyjamas) https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t5489-out-damned-spot
- “A Verdade da Mentira” (English translation by AnnEsse: ‘The Truth of the Lie’), by Goncalo Amaral (2008) [NOTE: Some words of this translation have been amended by Paulo Reis who has translated this letter]
- JANE TANNER 1st STATEMENT, 4 May 2007 http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/JANE-TANNER.htm
- JANE TANNER 2nd STATEMENT, 10 May 2007 http://www.mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/JANE-TANNER-10MAY.htm
- “YES or NO? Did Dr David Payne visit Dr Kate McCann on the evening Madeleine was reported missing? - 20 CONTRADICTIONS which suggest that this visit never took place” https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t10076-yes-or-no-did-dr-david-payne-visit-dr-kate-mccann-on-the-evening-madeleine-was-reported-missing-20-contradictions-which-suggest-that-this-visit-never-took-place
- “The ‘Niggle’ and the Strange Tale of Robert Murat: Was it a Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice? ”, Paulo Reis, https://gazetadigitalmadeleinecase.blogspot.co.uk/2009/04/niggle-and-strange-tale-of-robert-murat.html
- “Is this the man who abducted Madeleine? Two witnesses give similar descriptions”, Guardian, 20 January 2008, https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/jan/21/world.ukcrime
- “Hunt for new Madeleine McCann Suspect, Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2008, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1576048/Hunt-for-new-Madeleine-McCann-suspect.html
- “New Sketch Of 'Creepy Madeleine Suspect”, by Joana Morais, https://joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/2008/01/new-sketch-of-creepy-madeleine-suspect.html
- “A Joint Investigation”, Duarte Levy, https://duartelevyen.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/a-joint-investigation/
- “BBC Crimewatch McCann Special, 14 October, 2013” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ8jmdWlB8Y
- “Why did Madeleine McCann Detectives ask so few Questions, after a Major Breakthrough?”, Daily Mail, August 2009 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206842/Why-did-Madeleine-McCann-detectives-ask-questions.html
- “The Mystery of Robert Murat: From Arguido to Applause”, Sections F et seq https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/30775111/the-mystery-of-robert-murat-from-arguido-to-applause-part-two
- “Clarence Mitchell Spinning for the McCanns – and for Jane Tanner”, by Joana Morais, https://joana-morais.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/video-clarence-mitchell-spinning-for.html
- “Clarence Mitchell Interview for Channel 4” (Mitchell evades questions about why Jane Tanner identified Robert Murat as the abductor)
- “Another Look at the Last Photo”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t10497-another-look-at-the-last-photo
- “CHAPER 14: The Last Photo/The Pool Photo by ‘PeterMac’” https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t13435-chapter-14-the-last-photo-the-pool-photo
- “Alex Woolfall Knows: The Last Photo and other photos of Madeleine in Praia da Luz”
- “CHAPER 22: The Tennis Balls by ‘PeterMac’”
- “When was the Tennis Balls Photo taken?”, CMOMM forum,
- “Recap on the Tennis Balls Photo”,
- “Philip Edmond, Deputy Chairman of Stemcor and Nephew of Lady Margaret Hodge”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t9811-philip-edmonds-deputy-chairman-of-stemcor-and-nephew-of-lady-margaret-hodge-pictures-of-madeleine-and-the-letters-between-tony-bennett-philip-edmonds-in-2011
- “STATEMENT OF CATRIONA BAKER (Madeleine’s trip to the beach)”
- “1ST STATEMENT OF CATRIONA BAKER, 6 May 2007”
- “ROGATORY STAYEMENT – CATRIONA BAKER, 18 April 20108”
- “60 Reasons why the McCanns should never have published THAT photo: The Make-Up ‘Lolita’ Photo”
- “10 Reasons which suggest that Pamela Fenn did not hear any child crying on Tuesday 1 May 2007*, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t11939-10-reasons-which-suggest-that-pamela-fenn-did-not-hear-any-child-crying-on-tuesday-1-may-2007
- “Was there an attempted burglary of Mrs Pameal Fenn’s flat in the week before Madeleine was reported missing?” https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t11905-was-there-an-attempted-burglary-of-mrs-pamela-fenns-flat-in-the-weeks-before-madeleine-was-reported-missing?highlight=fenn
- “Planning the abduction hoax: Was it done over four days or four hours?”, by MMRG, on the CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14704-planning-the-abduction-hoax-was-it-done-over-four-days-or-four-hours
- “What really happened to Madeleine McCann: Was she killed on Sunday 29thh April?”, CMOMM forum, https://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t14249-what-really-happened-to-madeleine-mccann-was-she-killed-on-sunday-29-april
- “Madeleine McCann could not have died from an accident, nor from anything else, after 5.30pm on Thursday 3 May 2007”