“Voice over: Those eyes, that face, a haunting reminder that Maddie is still missing. Twelve years ago, just days before her fourth birthday, Maddie McCann vanished without a trace during a family holiday in Portugal, parents Kate and Gerry left Maddie and her siblings asleep in their room while they had dinner with friends. At 10 pm Kate went to check on the children, Maddie was gone, her bed empty and the window open. Police in Portugal worked closely with Scotland Yard. Three months after her disappearance, sniffer dogs made a series of discoveries in the McCann holiday rental and hire car. Those DNA samples were sent to British lab, Forensics Science Service. It didn’t have the technology to assess the crucial DNA and its results were ruled inconclusive, that’s always been accepted, until now.
Samantha Armytage (SA): And Dr Mark Perlin is one of the top DNA scientists in the world and joins us now from Chicago, Mark, good morning, welcome, now…
Mark Perlin (MP): Good morning.
SA: … DNA was found in the boot of Kate and Gerry’s hire car 25 days after Maddie vanished, it was found to be inconclusive, why is that?
MP: Well, when scientists test DNA evidence, there are 2 parts to the test. The first is generating the data, something the British scientists were excellent at, and the other is interpreting the data. When evidence, like in this case involves a mixed sample, of 3 or more people whose DNA are all together in the evidence, with very low amounts of DNA, they struggle to get any sort of interpretation and the outcome is typically inconclusive. Now that data is really highly informative in many cases as the reports from the British government indicated, and advanced computing can look at that same data and extract the information out of the data and get a result and get a match statistic, either indicating that someone left their DNA or not. The British government simply lacked the tools to analyse the data they had produced.
David Koch (DC): So, technology’s moved on, why isn’t the DNA being retested now by Scotland Yard using this new technology?
MP: Well, I think government is used to failing with DNA evidence, over the last 20 years, most DNA evidence has been mixtures of 2 or more people and the usual result is inconclusive in most of these samples, government just let… got it wrong and there’s been no major movement for government wanting to go back and undo their failures of the past. Yesterday I was having lunch with 2 men in Indiana, whom I helped exonerate, and in that case they, they were in jail for 40 years between the two of them and the DNA that proved that they could not have committed that gang-rape, long time ago on an Indiana highway, that evidence was looked at 15 years later by Cybergenetics TrueAllele technology, demonstrated there were 5 people present, none of them were these men, and they were fully exonerated.
MP: Government really should open up the paths for these hundreds of thousands of cases, but is reluctant to re-examine cases they consider closed.
SA: Ok, your… you are very well known in this field, you were instrumental in identifying victims in September 11, you’ve worked around the globe with high profile crimes, including the Robert Z case in Australia, do you think DNA is the key to solving the Maddie McCann mystery at this point?
MP: Well, I think it’s key to unlocking evidence that’s been crucial to the investigation. With Cybergenetics TrueAllele technology, these mixed DNA samples, the data already exists, the point is to go back and look at this data, if we have access to it, and let the computer separate out the DNA profiles of the different people who left their DNA, make a comparison and produce a statistic that shows if they’re there or not and it’s pretty straightforward for Cybergenetics, we’ve been doing this for 10 years.
DC: It Just seems a very simple thing to do, doesn’t it? We really appreciate your time, thank you so much for that.”
[The employees] had no idea that I was working with 48 Hours and CBS. I was just a tourist who happened to speak their language. So I got to know them pretty well in that period of time, when you're spending a lot of time by the pool and you're spending time at the bar and the restaurant. They clearly told me that that particular night that nobody left the table. That goes by the bartender and that goes by the waitresses. Nobody left the table that evening.
Following his work on the case, Moura concluded Madeleine had been abducted on the night of May 3, 2007. When asked why the group would have given statements saying they checked on the children regularly if that were not the case, Moura speculated that one possible reason might be the public perception of the McCanns and their friends, many of them doctors, leaving their kids alone at night. "The family and the friends were really embarrassed," Moura said.
Le procureur de la république a écrit que les rondes n'étaient pas aussi régulières qu les TP avaient dit.
On that basis, that that car was hired by the McCanns three weeks after Madeleine disappeared, then it is a real game changer, isn't it? Because there is no way, according to information that we have, that she could have been in that car.The big question then is how can her DNA get into that car three weeks after she disappeared?
Where it would become interesting - and I understand this is the situation that you have in 5A - is where the material bearing the DNA is found in locations which would not in the ordinary course of events be subject to regular touching, Sutton said. So if you've got a situation where there is material found in cracks and crevices between tiles and skirting boards … that would probably indicate the possibility of, at least, some kind of DNA bearing material had been there and some attempts had been made to clean the material off. But the cleaning process isn't good enough or thorough enough to get into the cracks or crevices where access is difficult. That's the thing that's much more interesting from an investigator's point of view, because you start to ask the question how did that material get into that inaccessible location and what might it mean for what happened before and after?
Spatial mapping of who touched what or left their material at different locations ... can aid investigators in understanding or reconstructing the events that happened, Dr Perlin said. It can help an investigator understand who was where and what they may have done.
Secondary DNA transfer could occur [if] there was a suitcase in someone's apartment and DNA was left in some reasonably large quantity on that suitcase and then that suitcase was moved into the luggage compartment of the car, he said. There's a whole science to DNA transfer. It's not that common. It can happen.
The larger problem is not the kind of corruption that we normally think about but what ... is called noble cause corruption. And that's the kind of corruption that occurs when the police believe in a particular theory, and take steps that are extra-judicial in order to prove their theory.
We all to a greater or lesser extent suffer from tunnel vision. Police officers and even judges [can have] a certain arrogance about their ability to determine what actually happened, and then fall guilty to tunnel vision and confirmation bias.
The natural conclusion I think is what's the harm of doing the analysis? And if you don't want to do the analysis then perhaps what you're afraid of is that you'll be shown to have been wrong in your initial theory, Rudolf said, speaking about Operation Grange's apparent unwillingness so far to take up Dr Perlin's offer. And that's hard for people, you know. It's hard for people to admit they're wrong and it's hard for people to agree to testing that may show they're wrong. What it says to me is that whoever is resisting it is human and they're somewhat concerned that what they initially thought may not be the case.
'No evidence' to support latest Madeleine McCann theory
Smith family movements
There is nothing terribly new about it, Dr Perlin, chief scientist of Pittsburgh laboratory Cybergenetics, said.
Basically this DNA-17 is an older technology that is ... being claimed as being new. It is new for the British.
The computational testing methods pioneered by Dr Perlin, known as TrueAllele, is far superior to the methods used in 2007 to analyse evidence from the McCann holiday apartment and a rental car. Dr Perlin told the podcast the 2007 testing methods at the FSS had "failed" in the McCann case, effectively closing off potentially important lines of inquiry. "Computers have no dog in the fight," Dr Perlin said, explaining how TrueAllele works. Cybergenetics only requires the archived DNA data from UK police, not the actual DNA samples. "If your goal is truth, and your goal is the best science, then there is really no excuse for not opening up the data for better analysis by better methods. "True Allele has been used successfully in England and Australia and Northern Ireland in cases like [the Madeleine McCann mystery] where there are complex mixtures and a small amount of DNA."
Pas dérangé, mais au contraire informé que l'idée de MMC morte était entrée dans la tête de KMC.
But outside the Lisbon court, Gerry McCann contradicted the detective's claims and said Kate's dream had never happened. Mr Paiva had told the court how Portuguese police wondered if Mrs McCann and her dream was referring to a large black rock at the end of the beach in Praia da Luz, the Algarve town where Madeleine vanished in May 2007. "She said she had dreamt that Madeleine was on a hill and that we should search for her there," Mr Paiva told the court, according to translations. "She gave the impression that she thought she was dead – it was a turning point for us."
The British authorities tried to conceal the statement and nothing was done about this statement, Mr Amaral said. They were not followed up. Nobody investigated anything related to them.
Mr Amaral alleged his team of detectives had asked British police for further information about a potential person of interest but were informed they held "absolutely nothing" of significance.
Il n'y a pas trace d'une telle demande dans les PJFiles. Du reste, à cette époque, GA ne coordonnait plus l'affaire.
"Of course … when the British police stated that they did not have any information, they already had the statements. So, there is this issue with the British police concealing information that they already had. When the statements finally arrived, they came mixed up with other papers.
Nine.com.au contacted the Leicestershire Police about the claims but was referred to Scotland Yard's Operation Grange. A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to comment.
Further details about the explosive allegations from Mr Amaral are detailed in Episode 10 of Maddie, which charted at number 1 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand soon after its March release. Last weekend nine.com.au reported how Mr Amaral said his team of detectives had been searching for a mystery apartment where they believed Madeleine's body could have been temporarily hidden in a freezer. He said before that line of inquiry could be concluded he was removed from the case in October 2007. Mr Amaral was replaced after he was quoted in a newspaper criticising British police who were on the ground in Praia da Luz.
C'est dire clairement que GA a été écarté car il était l'homme qui en savait trop.