Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

19 - MAR - Podcasts Papers (1)




By Mark Saunokonoko - Apr 25, 2017

A law enforcement expert who specialises in detecting lies and deception has pinpointed an "area of concern" in a key witness statement in the Madeleine McCann case. Mark McClish, a former US Marshall and Secret Service agent, has analysed a statement given to police in 2008 by Gerry McCann's brother-in-law, almost one year after Maddie vanished. Parts of that statement which relate to blood and a strange odour in the back of a rental car should be explored further, McClish said.

In the aftermath of Maddie's disappearance Alexander 'Sandy' Cameron flew into Portugal from England with his wife Trish, and spent nearly three months with Kate and Gerry. During that time Sandy was listed as a registered driver for a silver Renault Scenic that had been rented by the McCanns. In late July of 2007, that vehicle became a lightning rod of interest to both Portugal's detectives and the huge media pack that had descended on the small town of Praia da Luz.

As the hunt for the missing four-year-old intensified, a pair of British police dogs, one a specialist in sniffing out human cadaverine, the other a human blood canine, were brought to Portugal. The dogs were filmed alerting inside the McCann holiday apartment, next to a shelved wardrobe in Kate and Gerry's bedroom and behind a couch in the living room. Later, both dogs again registered hits on the Renault Scenic which had been hired by the McCanns 25 days after Madeleine disappeared.

Swabs were taken from the boot of the car and sent for forensics, revealing 15 of the 19 markers matched Madeleine's DNA. The report from British forensic scientist John Lowe stated the results were "too complex for meaningful inclusion and interpretation". In an attempt to try and make sense of the forensic results, Portuguese investigators requested Sandy Cameron make a written statement, which included answers to several questions about the Renault car. Cameron wrote how he would sometimes use the car to take black garbage bags from the villa where he and the McCanns were staying to the local dump. He also explained how blood from meat, fish and shrimps had leaked from shopping bags into the boot of the car, which was where human blood dog Keela alerted.

McClish, who now trains police and military interrogators in the art of statement analysis, said Cameron's overall statement appeared truthful but that the part about leaked blood warranted further investigation. It was an "area of concern", according to McClish. Like cadaver dogs, statement analysis is not evidence admissible in court. Law enforcement agencies use these tools to assist investigations and zero in on potential line of inquiry. McClish told Nine.com.au that careful examination of words, phrases and language could help ascertain deception or truth.

A truthful person's language will usually remain consistent.

Deceptive people will sometimes use synonyms because they are making up a portion of their story they cannot relate to and consequently do not always follow their personal dictionary.

Throughout his statement, Cameron used the word "vehicle" to describe the Renault until he reaches the point where he talks about the odour. Then the Renault becomes a "car". While recounting the blood and odour, Cameron also made a change in language between past and present tense.

The use of present tense is an indication this part of the story may not be coming from memory.

The former cop said every small word in a statement has a meaning and justification. He added that, if he were an investigator, he would be inclined to ask Cameron more about the odour and the trips to the supermarket.

McClish noted how Cameron, despite have a much closer personal relationship to Gerry, ordered the pair as "Kate and Gerry" significantly more often throughout the statement.

"It may be that he feels that Kate needs more support than Gerry, which caused him to mention her name first," McClish theorised.




The troubling and perplexing case of MMC
What happened to Maddie in quiet seaside town?

By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 4, 2019

The Madeleine McCann mystery is full of big questions, of course none more important than how does a little girl vanish off the face of the earth, never to be seen again?


Yet packed up in that troubling, overarching question, which has puzzled police forces from Portugal and the United Kingdom for over a decade, is a perplexing and sometimes disturbing chain of wider, unresolved concerns.
The Maddie podcast is the culmination of two years' of painstaking work, investigating how Madeleine, a small three-year-old British girl, vanished in Portugal in such unusual circumstances in May 2007.While researching and making Maddie, a project which has included many interviews of key people in seven countries spread across three continents, some have asked, why now?

The simple answer to that is Madeleine is still missing. And there are lingering questions which appear to have never been adequately answered with a reasonable sense of finality.
Maddie is a wide-ranging investigation which tackles those questions.
This case is so complex it requires a probing, multi-episode podcast to properly examine what could have happened to her, and scrutinise all the unexpected avenues that search opens up.

To make sense of the evidence, test theories and understand crime scenes, many experts and people close to the case agreed to be interviewed. Former police officers and a criminal profiler, a DNA scientist and crime scene pathologist, experts in cell phone data and deception, private detectives who worked for the McCanns and reporters who covered this story all appear on Maddie.
When it comes down to it, there are really three likely scenarios when you consider what happened to Madeleine in the small coastal town of Praia da Luz, on Portugal's Algarve.

One: A paedophile or child trafficker somehow broke into the holiday apartment where the McCanns were staying and abducted Maddie.
Two: A thief broke into the McCann’s apartment 5A, bungled the robbery, and stole Maddie from the bedroom where she slept alongside her younger brother and sister, Sean and Amelie.
Three: Something else happened to Madeleine involving someone known to the family, and there has been an elaborate cover-up that has somehow lasted for more than a decade.

As one former long-serving police officer said in his Maddie interview, this is a case which can strongly divide opinions around a family dinner table.
Since 2007, her mum and dad Kate and Gerry have steadfastly denied they were involved in any crime which occurred inside apartment 5A of the Ocean Club Resort.

Police have never charged Madeleine's parents, but during the investigation they were at one time declared arguidos, the Portuguese term for formal suspects.

Law enforcement officials who appear on Maddie have highlighted possible "red flags" in the accounts the McCanns and their seven adult friends, known as the Tapas 7, gave to police. They also examine the evidence that supports the theory that Maddie was abducted by a stranger. In Maddie, a highly respected figure in the field of solving crimes zeroes in on what was a potentially case-changing piece of evidence in the original police investigation. That interview could radically alter the direction of the case, and help answer the question: what happened to Maddie?





By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 9, 2019

The UK’s largest police force hope their search for Madeleine McCann is about to be boosted by $500,000 so detectives can continue hunting for the missing girl.

But a former top detective who at one time was tipped to lead London Metropolitan Police’s search for Maddie told nine.com.au the apparent narrow focus of Operation Grange - the UK police investigation into Madeleine’s vanishing - could well have been flawed, pointing to the lack of transparency surrounding it.

"The difficulty I have with Operation Grange is nobody really knows what they are doing because they are so secretive about it," Colin Sutton, a former Scotland Yard homicide detective, told nine.com.au.

Sutton said he "always had an issue" with the starting point of the Operation Grange inquiry, which he believes was primarily focused on a theory of abduction.

I believe … what Operation Grange is doing is following one line of inquiry, one theoretical route, one hypothesis about what happened," Sutton, who has solved 30-plus murders including catching notorious English serial killer Levi Bellfield, said.

"My view is you should start [an investigation] from scratch, and you look at everything. "

However, since 2011, London’s Metropolitan Police have given away few specifics about the work they have done or the final remaining leads detectives state they have been chasing for the past few years.

Last week it was reported Operation Grange had requested $560,000 from the UK Home Office to extend the search for another 12 months, to March 2020. Typically, Operation Grange has only applied for six-month tranches of funding, totalling almost $22m since its launch in 2011.

In a rare media briefing about Operation Grange in 2017, the now retired London Met Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley was asked if Madeleine’s parents had ever been questioned under caution or considered suspects.

The involvement of the parents, that was dealt with at the time by the original investigation by the Portuguese. We had a look at all the material and we are happy that was all dealt with and there is no reason whatsoever to reopen that or start rumours that was a line of investigation.

During questioning, he fended off criticism Operation Grange and its investigative remit of a potential abduction appeared to have a “closed mind” to the possibility of the involvement of someone known to the family, an accident or the girl walking out of the apartment.

The McCanns are parents of a missing girl, Rowley said... However she left that apartment, she has been abducted.
In the opening episode of Maddie, Sutton detailed why some of the case evidence and events in the 12 years that have elapsed since Maddie vanished are a "wholly exceptional set of circumstances" which sometimes appear fantastical.

Madeleine McCann is the one case everybody knows about, a case where there is hardened public opinion,
Sutton told nine.com.au.

If you go into any pub, club, cinema or public place and ask someone what they think about the Madeleine McCann case and they will probably have an opinion. Some of those opinions are extreme, at both ends of the spectrum.

The Home Office is expected to announce their decision on the Operation Grange funding request later this month.

I have got no problem with Operation Grange continuing ... if it is doing the right things and going in the right direction.


By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 12, 2019

An aborted police reconstruction of the night Madeleine McCann vanished could have helped answer some big questions about the case's most contentious issues, a former top UK homicide detective has claimed.
Retired London Metropolitan Police detective Colin Sutton said the apparent complicated nature of the May 3 timelines given to police by Kate and Gerry McCann and their friends, known as the Tapas 7, could potentially have been clarified and ironed out by running the group through a rigorous reconstruction of key movements and events.
The Portuguese police say they did try to stage a reconstruction involving the McCanns and the Tapas 7, but negotiations allegedly stalled because of disagreements over how it would be managed by investigators. Vraiment euphémistique.

Portuguese police were said to be frustrated the reconstruction did not happen. In August 2008, the Portuguese investigation was shelved. Madeleine, aged three at the time (she disappeared), remains missing. The failed reconstruction is covered in episode three of Maddie.
The accounts and timings and various statements that were taken immediately after Madeleine was reported missing, and the statements that have subsequently been taken, there is a degree of variation between what individuals say and also what the whole group 
says Sutton, who solved more than 30 murders - including the catching of violent English serial killer Levi Bellfield - said in Maddie. Colin Sutton is a retired Metropolitan Police detective who caught serial killer Levi Bellfield.
I think this is the sort of [police] work that really needs to be done and should have been done. If [a reconstruction] were done then we would have a much clearer, more solid picture of the timeline of what went on. It would be easier to make a judgement about when an abduction could have taken place, and possibly even how it could have taken place.
Sutton said there are always inconsistencies when police interview a group of people about a single event.

In email communication between members of the Tapas 7 and the Portuguese police, concerns were raised from the group over the arguidos (formal suspect) status of the McCanns. The reconstruction had been planned for May 2008, six months after the McCanns had been declared arguidos.
Arguidos status was eventually lifted from the McCanns when the case was shelved, in August 2008. Since 2007, the McCanns have strenuously denied any involvement in the disappearance of their daughter.
Other points of contention which bothered some of the Tapas 7 were the potential media frenzy arising from the group flying back into Portugal, and questions over the purpose of the crime scene re-enactment. One member of the group proposed the police use actors instead, a request Portuguese detectives point-blank refused.


Madeleine was reported missing on May 3, 2007 after Mr and Mrs McCann dined at a nearby tapas bar while their children slept alone in their holiday apartment.


The McCanns and their friends told police they operated a checking system, where someone would leave the table and make sure the young children were safe and sleeping. Non, chacun ne surveillait que ses propres enfants.
Sutton said the checking system and movements the group made on the night of May 3 was complex.

I think actually that is probably the reason the [Portuguese police] wanted to stage a reconstruction.
 

By Mark Saunokonoko  -  Mar 18, 2019
Some British diplomatic staff found Kate and Gerry McCann "less than convincing" in the days after their daughter Madeleine mysteriously vanished, a former UK ambassador has claimed.

Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan between 2002-2004, also alleged he had "direct information" from government sources that the McCanns' accounts of the night Madeleine was reported missing appeared to be "inconsistent".


Murray's explosive and forthright claims are detailed in the just-released episode four of Maddie, the Nine.com.au podcast investigating the baffling case of Madeleine McCann.

The former ambassador, who at times has been an outspoken critic of UK foreign policy, wrote in a 2016 blog post that British diplomatic staff were under direct instruction to support the McCanns far beyond the usual, and to put pressure on the Portuguese authorities over the case.

I have direct information that more than one of those diplomatic staff found the McCanns less than convincing and their stories inconsistent. Embassy staff were perturbed to be ordered that British authorities were to be present at every contact between the McCanns and Portuguese police.
Murray continued, adding the British ambassador to Portugal and his staff were concerned by contradictions in the McCann’s story.
The Embassy warned, in writing, that being perceived as too close to the McCanns might not prove wise. They demanded the instruction from London be reconfirmed. It was.

In 2004 Murray was suspended and subsequently removed as ambassador to Uzbekistan for speaking out on torture and human rights in the then dictatorship.



Within 24 hours of Madeleine being reported missing, a significant deployment of diplomatic staff were rushed to Praia da Luz to meet with the McCanns.

In episode four of Maddie, Colin Sutton, a retired London homicide detective, said there had appeared to be "interference" by British authorities in the Portuguese investigation.
The fact that the government and diplomats and civil servants got involved at all in such an early stage of the investigation in Portugal is remarkable and unusual.  And I don't think any of us is really sure why that would happen. There's a theory that the government of the day saw it as an opportunity to do something that would capture the public imagination and it would make them look good, [that] it was a good thing for the politicians to get behind. In some ways I hope that the answer is that simple.




By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 18, 2019

In mid-July 2007, two months after Madeleine McCann had vanished, a man named Mark Harrison was called to Portugal. Harrison was the national search advisor for all police agencies in the UK. He was Great Britain's leading expert in locating persons missing, abducted or murdered.

Harrison's remit in Praia da Luz, the coastal holiday town where the three-year-old vanished, was to build a report focused on a theory Madeleine was dead and her body had been hidden somewhere.


On that basis, Harrison surmised there were a number of key areas police should re-intensify their efforts, assuming the person who disposed of Madeleine’s body did so on foot or using a car.

The map embedded in this article shows the zones Harrison identified, and these searches are also detailed in episode four of Maddie.

These zones include the crèche where Maddie was looked after in the daytime, the McCann's holiday apartment, all the other Tapas 7 apartments, Robert Murat's house, garden and car, the Praia da Luz beach and shoreline and a vast open area to east of Praia da Luz – between the town and a golf course.


Harrison's initial report said the open area to the east afforded "many opportunities to dispose of a body" in thick vegetation, wells, pockets of soft sand and natural fissures in the cliffs.

The British search guru also explored a theory that Madeleine’s body could have been thrown into the sea by an abductor or someone who wanted to hide her body.

Harrison recommended Portuguese police send for a dog handler named Martin Grime and his two springer spaniels, Eddie and Keela.The searches Grime and his dogs conducted are covered in great detail in episode four of Maddie.



Where cadaver and blood dogs alerted

By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 18, 2019

Two specialist English sniffer dogs were summoned to Praia da Luz in August 2007 to try and help workout what had happened to Madeleine McCann.The springer spaniels, named Eddie and Keela, and their handler Martin Grime had been handpicked by the UK police force's national search expert, Mark Harrison. During their intensive search the two dogs made 13 alerts in several key locations of interest in the case. 

According to a Portuguese police report, Eddie and Keela alerted a total of 13 times, including inside the McCann holiday apartment; a rental car they had hired three weeks after Maddie disappeared; and some personal items belonging to the family. In later television interviews, Gerry McCann questioned the reliability of cadaver dogs.

The locations where Eddie alerted include next to a wardrobe in Mr and Mrs McCann's master bedroom and behind a blue two seat sofa in the living room. The searches carried out by Grime and his dogs, and the assessments of search guru Harrison, are detailed in episode four of Maddie.

On August 6, six days after investigating apartment 5A, both dogs alerted on a silver Renault Scenic rental car the McCann's had hired 25 days after Madeleine vanished. A Portuguese police report also stated the dogs alerted on several items of Mrs McCann's clothing, and Madeleine's favourite soft toy, Cuddle Cat.

The work of cadaver and human blood dogs cannot be submitted as evidence in court. They can be a useful investigative tool for police, who strive to find corroborating evidence such as DNA, a body or a confession. In a report filed by UK police expert Harrison after the search, he wrote: "No inference can be drawn as to whether a human cadaver has previously been in any location without other supporting physical evidence."



One month after the dogs had concluded their search, the McCanns were declared arguidos (formal suspects), by Portugal's Policia Judiciaria.The 'arguido' status was lifted from Mr and Mrs McCann when the case was shelved, with no arrests or any sign of Madeleine, in August 2008.


The jaw-dropping footage of snifferdogs alerting


By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 19, 2019

One of the most confusing and jarring parts to emerge from the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance was police footage of two specialist sniffer dogs alerting inside her family's holiday apartment and a rental car that was hired weeks after Maddie vanished.
The two English springer spaniel dogs, named Eddie and Keela, had been summoned to Praia da Luz in August 2007 to try and help work out what had happened to Madeleine. Eddie, a cadaver dog, was a specialist in sniffing out the odour of a dead body, while Keela had been trained to detect human blood.

According to a Portuguese police report, Eddie and Keela alerted a total of 13 times during the search, including inside the McCann holiday apartment; a rental car they had hired three weeks after Maddie disappeared; and some personal items belonging to the family.
Video of the dogs searching, sniffing and alerting in various locations is fascinating, and it appeared to mark a turning point in the police investigation towards Kate and Gerry McCann, who one month after the search were declared arduidos (formal suspects). The work of the Eddie and Keela, and investigative efforts inside five other key search zones in and around Praia da Luz pinpointed by the UK police's top search expert, Mark Harrison, are detailed in episode four of Maddie, Nine.com.au's podcast investigation into Madeleine's mysterious vanishing.
Harrison arrived in Praia da Luz to investigate and develop theories about where Madeleine's body could have been hidden or disposed of, if she was dead. Andy Rebmann, a US-based cadaver dog expert with decades of experience, said he has worked with hundreds of handlers over the past 45 years, including training cadaver units for the Connecticut Police Department.
A well-trained [cadaver dog] team, and I'm talking about a well-trained team, I would consider them probably between 90 and 95 percent reliable
Rebmann said in the Maddie podcast, where he discussed what alerts in a crime scene can mean.
If you have specific locations and you work the dog in that area you should be able to detect whether the body was there.
Rebmann has more than four decades of experience in the cadaver dog field. There is not an expert consensus over Rebmann's claim that well-trained cadaver dog units are 90-95 percent reliable, which is why investigative evidence obtained during cadaver dog searches cannot always be used in courts.

Mick Swindells, a former English police inspector and dog handler who served in the Lancashire police force for 30 years, said corroborating evidence, such as DNA or a confession, will reinforce an alert and help it to be introduced as possible evidence in a trial."[Cadaver dogs] are a useful tool for any investigator, and we always say that any investigation must be multi-disciplinary". Swindells said cadaver dogs can make mistakes when hunting for "the scent of death". In Maddie, Swindells said an alert that cadaver dog Eddie had made on Madeleine's favourite soft toy, Cuddle Cat, appeared unusual and was "bullshit".
 

Although work of cadaver and blood dogs could indicate a dead body was present, it is not evidence on its own that can be used in court. Portuguese police sent DNA samples from the McCann's apartment and rental car to a British forensics lab, and they were ruled inconclusive.





By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 24, 2019

One of the world's leading DNA scientists – whose lab helped identify victims of the 9/11 terror attack - has told Nine.com.au he believes he can answer a major forensic question that baffled investigators and could finally help solve what happened to missing girl Madeleine McCann, more than 11 years after she mysteriously vanished.

Speaking in tomorrow's fifth episode of Maddie, American DNA expert Dr Mark Perlin reveals potentially case-changing insights into the DNA samples that were taken from the McCann's holiday apartment and rental car in 2007. Those samples were later judged to be inconclusive.
Dr Perlin, chief scientist at the world renowned Cybergenetics lab in Pittsburgh, has reviewed the now out-dated testing methods used by the UK's Forensic Science Service (FSS) in 2007 to analyse the McCann samples. He has also examined a crucial final DNA report that was sent to the Portuguese police.
Portuguese police sent DNA samples to the FSS for testing after two specialist sniffer dogs trained to detect the scent of death and human blood alerted in the McCann's holiday apartment and a rental car hired three weeks after Maddie vanished. The FSS analysed the samples but struggled to untangle and decipher the potentially explosive evidence.

"[The FSS testing] failed in this case 10 years ago," Dr Perlin said.

If a lab can produce informative data, even if it is complex and mixed, but they can't interpret it then you can have tremendous injustice - of guilty people not being convicted, or innocent people staying in prison. What is needed is an objective and accurate interpretation that can scientifically resolve the DNA.

The inconclusive DNA results from the FSS appeared to cast serious doubt over the earlier work of the cadaver dogs that had searched the potential crime scenes.

Cybergenetics has forged a global reputation through solving previously indecipherable DNA samples, with its highly-advanced testing methods using powerful computer algorithms.

Dr Perlin's laboratory has played a pivotal role in a number of high-profile US criminal trials involving wrongful convictions based on dodgy DNA evidence and controversial prosecutions. Cybergenetics also helped identify victims of the 9/11 terror attack.

In 2007, the now-closed British lab, the FSS, was forced to undertake a massive review of up to 2000 cases of violent crime, including rape and murder. There were concerns that the DNA tests relating to these criminal cases had failed to detect minute traces of DNA that could potentially have identified guilty parties.




By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 25, 2019


In September 2007 a British scientist responsible for solving a series of potentially critical DNA samples that could have helped explain what happened to missing girl Madeleine McCann wrote an email to police. Dr John Lowe and a team of forensic scientists at the UK laboratory, Forensic Science Service (FSS), had been trying to crack DNA samples Portuguese detectives had sent them, following an intense search by dogs trained to detect the odour of a dead body and human blood. The DNA evidence included samples taken from the holiday apartment Madeleine and her family had stayed in and the boot compartment of a hire car rented by Kate and Gerry McCann weeks after their daughter suddenly vanished.
Dr Lowe's email was sent to a senior Leicestershire Police detective named Stuart Prior. Detective Prior was leading the UK police presence in Praia da Luz, and was the key point of contact for his Portuguese policing counterparts. A DNA sample, labelled 286C 2007 CRL10, which was lifted from the luggage compartment of a silver Renault Scenic hired by the McCann's had left Dr Lowe's team particularly confused.
Let's look at the question that is being asked, Dr Lowe about that particular sample.

Is there DNA from Madeline (sic) on the swab?

It would be very easy to say, 'Yes' simply because of the number of [DNA] components within the result that are also in her reference sample, continued Dr Lowe.

But ultimately Dr Lowe concluded that sample was "too complex for meaningful interpretation".

The presence of Madeleine's DNA in the boot of the car would have possibly indicated her body had somehow been in the luggage compartment of the Renault Scenic. DNA samples are easy to solve when the sample contains just one person's DNA and the size of the sample for scientists to test is large. But testing becomes much more difficult when the sample is tiny; that is infinitely more complicated when there is DNA from two, three, four or more people in the sample.
Those complications are further intensified when there are siblings involved. Dr Lowe references all these difficulties and frustrations in his email to Prior. Dr Lowe states the result of that sample was "inconclusive". The FSS ruled "inconclusive" on many of the dozens of samples the lab had been sent.

In episode five of Maddie, Nine.com.au's podcast investigation into Madeleine's unusual disappearance, one of the world's leading DNA scientists, Dr Mark Perlin, explains why the FSS testing "failed" in 2007. Dr Perlin outlines how the advanced testing methods in his Pittsburgh lab can solve the DNA evidence that stumped FSS forensic scientists.
Three months after Madeleine vanished a cadaver and human blood dog made a series of alerts in the McCann holiday apartment and rental car.

The "inconclusive" DNA results from the FSS appeared to cast doubt over the work carried out by the dogs. Any alerts made by cadaver and blood dogs need to be corroborated by additional evidence, such as DNA, a confession or a body.





By Mark Saunokonoko - Mar 26, 2019

Eleven years ago a UK forensics laboratory hit a frustrating dead end in the Madeleine McCann case when a team of its best scientists were unable to unravel potentially critical DNA evidence. It was evidence which could have worked out if the missing British girl's DNA was in the boot of a rental car hired by her parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, 25 days after she was reported missing, on May 3, 2007.At the time, those DNA samples were judged "inconclusive" by a UK lab, the Forensic Science Service (FSS).
But now one of the leading DNA scientists in the world, Dr Mark Perlin, has claimed he needs just one week to crack those once indecipherable samples, including the swabs taken from the boot compartment of that hire car. Dr Perlin said it was "possible" Madeleine's DNA was present in the McCann hire car, potentially opening up a line of the police inquiry that was seemingly shut down by the 2007 "inconclusive" DNA results.
What was interesting about the report from the FSS 10 years ago is they're trying to interpret [the McCann DNA] data, Dr Perlin said, the approach [the FSS would] like to take for a match statistic makes sense, but the way they are going about it is just very old fashioned and it doesn't work - certainly compared with modern methods.

Dr Perlin's powerful DNA testing software, widely regarded as the most sophisticated on the planet, is a quantum leap ahead of the forensic science used in 2007, when the McCann samples were tested.

The chief scientist of US-based Cybergenetics, Dr Perlin, said the UK lab that conducted the DNA tests "failed" when it returned a series of inconclusive results to Portuguese police.

What this [FSS] report says is there is a possibility that Madeleine McCann's DNA is present in this mixture, said Dr Perlin - who Nine.com.au sent a copy of the FSS DNA report which was handed to Portuguese police in September 2007.
Interviewed exclusively in the fifth episode of Maddie, Dr Perlin explained how the limited testing methods used by the FSS in the McCann case were doomed to fail.


He stated the raft of DNA samples deemed "inconclusive" by the FSS may hold significant case-changing information. Dr Perlin also said the older FSS testing methods in 2007 were subjective and open to human bias.

[If] a lab can produce informative data, even if it is complex and mixed, but they can't interpret it then you can have tremendous injustice; of guilty people not being convicted, of innocent people staying in prison. What is needed is an objective and accurate interpretation that can scientifically resolve the DNA.
Dr Perlin said the modern computational DNA testing methods he has pioneered, known as TrueAllele can now unlock that evidence, and assist the London Metropolitan Police investigation. Considering the testing methods available in 2007, "it was no surprise" the FSS had failed, Dr Perlin said.
Nine.com.au has contacted Operation Grange - the UK's investigation into disappearance of Madeleine McCann - with this information.

TrueAllele has been used successfully in the UK and elsewhere around the world to solve problems just like this, and if [the London Metropolitan Police] want to know the answer it won't cost them anything. Just send us the data and we will give them the answer.
Dr Perlin said forensic organisations around the world, such as the FSS and other official UK bodies, routinely hold and archive the data his lab needs to make the analysis.

It would be a great way to resolve the case using modern technology and get a definitive answer to at least this one question that had perplexed the FSS ten years ago.


FSS METHODS 'DON'T WORK

In 2016, Dr Perlin's lab successfully analysed a remarkably small and complex piece of DNA evidence in a high-profile mass murder trial in Sydney, Australia.

The top prosecutor in NSW described the sample cracked by Cybergenetics as the most challenging DNA evidence that had ever been presented in an Australian courtroom. That DNA evidence was believed pivotal in securing a guilty verdict against Robert Xie, after three of his earlier murder trials had been plagued by hung juries and aborted for various reasons.


Dr Perlin has testified about DNA samples which have been analysed by Cybergenetics hundreds of times in US state, federal, military and foreign courts. He said Cybergenetics had been used in cases just like Madeleine McCann's "where there are complex mixtures, a small amount of DNA [and] many contributors."
[Cybergenetics] was able to separate those mixtures make a comparison and reach sound scientific conclusions.
Some of the McCann DNA samples which stumped the FSS scientists were very small and had multiple contributors.

Portuguese forensics teams had focused on the McCann hire car and certain areas of interest inside the family's holiday apartment after intensive search work by two specialist cadaver dogs, three months after Madeleine went missing.
Trained to detect the scent of death and human blood, the two British dogs had alerted inside the apartment, car and on several personal family possessions. Any alerts by cadaver dogs need to be corroborated by additional evidence, such as DNA.

The inconclusive DNA results delivered by the FSS scientists appeared to cast serious doubt over the 13 alerts made by the dogs in potential crime scenes.

POWER TO IDENTIFY 9/11 VICTIMS

Cybergenetics has forged a global reputation through solving previously unsolvable DNA samples. Its TrueAllele technology harnesses tremendously powerful computer algorithms to analyse microscopic and highly complex DNA samples. Dr John Lowe, the senior scientist at the FSS responsible for solving the McCann DNA samples, stated in his final report that his team could not resolve the evidence because it was too challenging.
Establishing accurate results was also complicated by the fact Madeleine had a younger twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie, Dr Lowe of the FSS said.

TrueAllele has played a pivotal role in a number of high-profile US criminal trials involving wrongful convictions and controversial prosecutions. Dr Perlin helped identify victims of the 9/11 terror attack, where New York's twin towers collapsed catastrophically, with TrueAllele.


HEAT UP A COLD CASE

In the Maddie podcast, Dr Perlin explained exactly how modern DNA software can reboot the McCann cold case. Madeleine would be 16 years old in May this year. Portuguese police sent dozens of DNA samples to the FSS in 2007. Forensics teams lifted floor tiles and took DNA swabs from behind a blue two-seat sofa in the lounge area of the McCann holiday apartment. Sections of the boot compartment in the Renault Scenic hire car were also cut out and expressed to the FSS.





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