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)

15 - Pat Brown - Chroniques

The End is Near in the Madeleine McCann Case – 19.03.2015
As most of you are quite aware, I have refrained from commenting on the Madeleine McCann case for months now as doing so has been both pointless and unpleasant. It seems that many feel a great deal of anguish as the Scotland Yard so-called investigation blunders on...with no inspiring results...and Andy Redwood retires (which is hardly something a man would do on the eve of a great investigative coup); frustrated, they are striking out rather viciously at anyone who dares suggest that all is not going to end well. In other words, the writing is in the wall - as it has been since Scotland Yard announced that the McCanns were not suspects, that they were only looking at an abduction, and that Jane Tanner actually saw a man with a child (even if there is no evidence he exists and he was walking in the wrong direction). This Met review and investigation clearly was never intended to include the Tapas 9 as a focus and there are many who do not want to believe that their hopes are going to be dashed after all the effort they have put forth to shed light on the evidence and the McCanns likely involvement in the disappearance of their daughter, Maddie.

But, four people seem to agree that this case is going to be put to bed as a stranger abduction that simply can't be solved or can't be prosecuted. These four people are Gonçalo Amaral, Tony Bennett, Joana Morais, and myself. Now, while we may not agree on exactly what happened to Madeleine McCann, while we may not entirely agree on how it all went down - who did what and what the timeline was - we all seem to agree that the outcome is going to be politically based and not one supported by evidence and proper investigation. In other words, four people from vastly different backgrounds and skill sets, four people who have a great deal of knowledge of the Madeleine McCann case, all agree that a whitewash is in the making. Yet, there are many who are outraged at each one of us for daring to suggest that Scotland Yard has just wasted ten million pounds on a faux investigation, mad at all of us in spite of the fact absolutely nothing useful has come of four year of effort, that there has been zero progress, and they are calling us names even though it is a straight up fact that there has never been any focus on the Tapas 9 by Scotland Yard and it is also a fact that you can't make a case against someone by claiming in court that they are guilty simply because all other leads failed to put forth fruit.

We are about to hear the outcome of the McCann suit against Gonçalo Amaral but this matters little as far as the criminal case is concerned. I hope Gonçalo prevails enough to lessen the damage he has suffered, but it won't matter as far as putting the McCanns behind bars; the civil case truly has nothing to do with the criminal case. The criminal case is dead in the water and as recent news reports have pointed out, there are those who think the money being spent on the McCann case is a waste of resources. I totally agree because there is never going to be a true resolution unless Maddie's body is unearthed with sufficient physical evidence to link someone to the crime. Since Scotland Yard is looking in all the wrong places, this evidence is never going to see the light of day. So, folks, all of you who think a good outcome is just around the bend, brace yourselves. I know all of you only want truth and justice but, as I have learned working almost two decades in this field, the one thing trumps truth and justice every time is politics.

The ruling came down today that Brenda Leyland committed suicide, that no one else was else was involved in causing her death. Already there are those who say they will never accept the ruling, that they have no doubts Brenda was murdered. Others accept the suicide ruling but believe that there are those who are responsible for pushing Brenda to the edge, in a sense, pushing her off the cliff. I certainly see their point of view; Brenda might be alive today if Martin Brunt hadn't doorstepped her, if the newspapers hadn't run a vicious campaign of name-calling, labeling Brenda a troll in large black letters across the top of tabloids, perhaps, if she hadn't been targeted by certain pro-McCann groups that turned over a certain list to the McCanns/Summers&Swan/SKY/the police/whomever that started the ball rolling.
But, as far as the manner of death is concerned, there is a large gap between criminal behavior and bad behavior. Just as Brenda Leyland's tweets did not meet the standard of criminal behavior, those who outed Brenda did not commit any criminal acts as far as I can see, just rather mean ones. Now, defamation is another matter and this is a civil one which Brenda Leyland's family can decide to pursue or not.
But I want to discuss the matter of suicide, why people choose this option and how often families and others often refuse to accept this manner of death as what really happened, why they so often believe someone has gotten away with a homicide staged as a suicide.

First, to why people commit suicide; because it brings an end to the struggle, whatever struggle it is. Often, the full depth of that struggle is not apparent which is why the act of suicide comes as such a shock to those around the deceased. They might have understood that the victim had problems or was depressed, but they don't believe that it was so bad that the person would have taken his or her own life. Interestingly, sometimes they are actually right, but the person who has committed suicide lacked the ability to put things into perspective; that whatever misery they feel today may blow over in a couple of weeks, or they are overfocusing on the negative, or everyone in life experiences bad blows. Some people can handled massive trauma and others are felled by the slightest misfortune; people are very different but families and friends often can't fathom someone taking their life over something they think could have been weathered.

Brenda Leyland could have refused to talk to Martin Brunt. She could have shut down her Twitter account, stayed away from the Internet, and taken a vacation to the Canary Islands until all the nastiness in the news had blow over. She could have then returned to friends and family and taken up the rescue of abandoned animals. She could have, but she didn't. She simply couldn't stand the pain she found herself in after being thrashed in the media and she decided to remove herself from ever having to deal with it or think of it again. This is the way suicide happens.
But, some just won't believe it, in spite of no evidence to the contrary. Brenda had contemplated suicide; she said so to Martin Brunt. She researched ways to kill herself. She bought implements with which to take her own life. She went to a private place where she would not be disturbed. She carried out her wish to end her time on earth. There is zero evidence of anyone else in the room who assisted her in any way nor is there any evidence of trauma which might indicate someone forcefully took Brenda's life.
I can't tell you how many obvious cases of suicide are brought to me by family who claim their loved one was murdered. It doesn't matter to them that the death occurred behind a locked door, that there was no sign of violence, that there was a three page suicide note left beside the body written in the victim's handwriting, that the deceased had spoken of suicide prior to taking their life or had actually attempted suicide prior to this successful suicide. They cannot accept that the victim needed to go to this extreme, that if they had been that desperate, the family would have known it and they would have helped them.

And, I think, in the end, this is why the family refuses to accept a suicide ruling; they feel guilty. They feel like they should have, could have done something. They should have known their loved one was in such a bad way, they should have, oh, why didn't they know? Were they too involved in their own lives, did they brush off their loved one when they had asked for help? Did they roll their eyes or scoff at them when they spoke of their problem being so bad? Did they tell them to get over it, move on with their lives, grow a backbone? Did they tell them their significant other wasn't worth moaning about? Did they push them too hard in school? Did they, did they, did they? The recriminations go on because the truth of the matter is, you often have no idea if a person is ready to jump, really jump, this time.
Who knows if during another week or month of her life Brenda Leyland would have chosen to tell everyone to sod off and then taken a cruise around the world? Who knows if Brenda didn't have a myriad of other problems and this was just the straw that broke the camel's back? Who knows if the same treatment had been meted out to another "troll" that this person might have not have stood up and fought back? Who knows? None of us.
My prayers go out to the family of Brenda Leyland in the wake of this tragedy. Whether they want to pursue a civil course of action is entirely up to them. But, as far as a criminal matter, this case is simply not one.

This post isn't really a commentary on the Madeleine McCann case but this case does so well represent Occam's Razor in crime analysis that I feel a need to use it as an example. In my blog yesterday, "It Just Doesn't Work that Way in Real Life," I discussed how shows like Death in Paradise have very complicated scenarios of how a murder was committed, the perpetrator being practically a genius of planning and misdirection. I pointed out how rarely is this the case in real life; almost always, homicides are usually acts of desperation born of loss of power and control. Crimes of passion (quite mislabeled as passion being the motive), also known as "out-of-character" crimes (which is also a mislabel as the crime is quite within the character of the person committing it) are relatively impulsive, so planning is quite minimal. Serial killers are mostly of the anger-retaliatory type and rarely plan the crime much in advance; usually they are opportunistic and strike when they have a victim that wanders into their territory alone or, while doing their usually trolling of an area, finally get lucky when a target appears with no witnesses in the area. The reason they get away with their crimes is simply the fact that most of the time there are no witnesses and they are strangers to the victim and there is no obvious link for the police to follow. As long as they don't leave DNA that can be matched to a DNA bank, they have a good shot of getting away with their homicides.
Much rarer is someone who plans a homicide: a black widow poisoning her husbands, a man getting rid of his wife so he can have his freedom, a boyfriend eliminating a pregnant girlfriend. Usually the crime is not all that clever, it is just often hard to prove in a court of law that the killer is guilty. Much of the time, the body is well-hidden so that the "no-body, no proof of a crime" rule applies. At other times, the crime is staged as a stranger homicide and it works but not because it is so intricately planned. It simply works because evidence is limited to prove otherwise.

Killers are generally of normal intelligence who commit their crimes without great forethought and they also tend to cover their tracks in a hurried manner. Murderers don't think to the depth of perpetrators on television or in the movies; they just rush to take care of the problem and, in doing so, act in a manner that many others in their shoes have acted before. In real life, crimes are often committed and covered up in similar ways, the way humans act when under pressure and with the limited knowledge most have at the time of the crime and while under stress.
I am repeatedly encouraged in the McCann case to do further research on a number of issues that some believe proves Madeleine McCann died earlier in the week and that on May 3rd, the McCanns and their friends had a preplanned course of action to stage an abduction. They believe there is lots of evidence proving that Madeleine was dead for days by then: incorrect creche records, a manipulated photo, no sightings of Madeleine, odd behaviors, and no neglect of the children. I am not going to argue all of this: I am going to point out Occam's Razor and why have always thought that May 3rd was the key to what happened to Madeleine and when.

If something had happened to Madeleine days before, we simply would have seen her "abduction" staged earlier in the week. In real life, planning to stage an abduction for days and having to manipulate evidence of Madeleine being alive for days when she was not, is simply too bloody difficult to manage. Then, on May 3rd, after all that planning, the whole evening was an ungodly mess full of inconsistencies and errors, which would be odd for a so carefully premeditated scenario.
If the McCanns are guilty, what May 3rd represents is a disaster, as Gerry pointed out, and a quick attempt to over up that disaster. The simplest answer, Occam's Razor, is that May 3rd was a confusion because very little was planned and when it was (interviews with the police), it was still a confused mess because there was little time to think anything through and everyone's brains were a muddle.

The key to this crime is very simple: the Smith sighting. The Smith sighting has always been my Number One reason for doubting the McCanns' innocence in the disappearance of Madeleine. The most consistent behavior of parents of missing children is to want EVERY lead followed, even ridiculous ones. On the evening of May 3rd, the Smith family saw a child who could have been Madeleine being carried off towards the sea, yet the McCanns expressed little interest in this sighting and even tried to suppress it. If the McCanns were innocent and Gerry was not Smithman, and even if they thought Jane was telling the truth, that Tannerman existed and might have been the kidnapper, it is hard to believe they would not have been gung-ho to follow-up that Smith sighting in every way possible, the way they did with Tannerman.

Applying Occam's Razor, why would they ignore and suppress the Smith sighting? What is the simplest of explanations? Because it was Gerry and he was in the act of covering up a crime that had just occurred. The reason Gonçalo Amaral believed this to be so is because he is a real-world detective and knows that Occam's Razor applies in crime investigation and the fanciful stuff you see on television is concocted by writers who need to come up with a show that is exciting to the viewers.
Detectives and profilers often are driven nuts by family members and citizens who, when a case goes unsolved, start going bonkers with unlikely theories, full of very intricate plots. They figure, if no one has been arrested and convicted, it must be because the crime is so complicated and clever.
In real life, it is often so much simpler; the crime is straightforward but it is hard to prove in court.

I just wrote a set of responses to comments on my last post and I thought I should copy and paste them in a new post because I think they are important enough to restate in a place where more might see them. The comments I received where on my belief that the Scotland Yard review of the Madeleine McCann case is a whitewash and the recent ad hominem attacks on me that been quite vicious, mostly attacking my professionalism or the fact I am getting my information secondhand from the Internet (which is pretty much true for everyone commenting on this case except that I have been to Praia da Luz and investigated on the ground and I have met withGonçalo Amaral). Here are my responses below:

I did not have faith in the Scotland Yard review from Day One. Why? Because they were not invited in by the Portuguese police nor were they looking for an abductor where the local police search for an abductor had failed. These are the only two reasons a foreign police entity normally involves themselves in a case. So what was Scotland Yard doing there? Only two possibilities: they are truly searching for an abductor in which case the antis including myself are completely off the mark or they are there to "find" an abductor which would put this is under a political corruption label. Since I do believe evidence points to the McCanns involvement and no abduction, this forces me into the second camp. I still have no clue as to why Scotland Yard would be brought in to cleanse the McCann name, but I can see no other reason for this bizarre investigation.

The second reason I have no faith in the Scotland Yard investigation is how inappropriately it has been handled. I have seen reviews before and they don't require this much time and money. Even if the detectives of Scotland Yard, including Andy Redwood, were sent in with the remit that the McCanns were off limits and the Yard was to focus on the abduction theory, it is hard to believe they would spend so many years and millions on the review without at some point, realizing that no evidence of an abduction occurred and the Tapas 9 behaviors and statements along with the cadaver and blood dog hits just might be where they should be looking. Since so much time has passed and so many abductors looked at, so much ground has been dug up that clearly was linked to the abduction theory, one can only surmise, at least I can, that the remit stands regardless of what anyone thinks. Who knows? Maybe Andy Redwood was only trying to do the job he was required to do and, maybe, he knows that it is hogwash and has tried to leave a few hints to the truth along the way. Maybe this was what getting rid of Tannerman and focusing on Smithman was about. However, since Tannerman must have been fabricated, this certainly can't be any kind of clever ruse to use against the McCanns because in court, the defense would shred the police for misconduct. The prosecution in this case had been dead in the water prior to the arrival of Scotland Yard and they have only made matters worse, if something can be deader than dead. ONLY if they find REAL evidence of someone having abducted Maddie (like her body being found buried under someone's cement porch or enclosed in the brick wall of their home) or Maddie's body being found in such a place and with such evidence to link to the McCanns, is a prosecution in Portugal going to happen.

As to the other cases of similarity, there are many cases of parents with children who have gone missing but no bodies. And, almost all of those have gone unsolved. JonBenet was unique because the body was still there but what happened in that case was a horrible early investigation which compromised the evidence and the integrity of the department, leaving the case as a bunch of rubble. As to the other cases of similarity, I can tell you along with those you have named, there are many more, cases of parents with children who have gone missing but no bodies. And, all most all of those have gone unsolved. JonBenet was unique because the body was still there but what happened in that cases was a horrible early investigation which compromised the evidence and the integrity of the department, leaving the case as a bunch of rubble. So, the McCann case is really not alone in going unsolved. What really made it become so big was McCanns own use of publicity and the fund which is unprecedented in missing children's cases. Outside of the McCanns wanting money and fame, their attempts to "locate their child" or "clear their name" have failed dismally.

As to the public view of this case and the guilt of the McCanns, they matter little in the eyes of people who control things unless they are a real threat. Outrage is only so good if it has some kind of true power. The outrage against the McCanns is pretty much just on the Internet and in comments. This is not real power. When people take to the street in droves, then you have something, but even with the horrible waste of taxpayer money by Scotland Yard on a case that isn't even British or likely prosecutable, where is the real protest? There isn't one and that is why when Scotland Yard closes this case down with some dead creepy guy or a "we tried our best" the whole case will go quietly away except on the Internet where people who have websites and FB pages and tweet will believe still that the whole world is watching and not just some very tiny segment of it. That Sonia can make a difference with her documentary is questionable, although I appreciate her doing it. Unless she is really on a major MSM channel (which I find unlikely), I think her documentary will be much like Hall's; very useful to posterity but not so much still enough to turn public protest around and expose enough of the corruption to turn this case around.

As far as the ad hominem attacks on me for not buying into certain theories, my frustration is mostly at seeing things devolve from a clear focus on this case of the McCanns' involvement in the death of their daughter and a subsequent hurried coverup and support of Gonçalo Amaral and his fight for justice, to a dozen very convoluted theories that I believe only serve to damage the antis message that the McCanns are not innocent and the fund has been stealing money for years from unsuspecting people. In becoming so obsessed with creating alternative scenarios to the one Amaral had forwarded, the label of nutters and conspiracy theorists is going to cause the message to be killed. While I take issue with many of these theories, I have never made a personal attack on other antis because I don't want others to think ill of them and, quite frankly, I don't think ill of them for thinking differently than me, so I see no reason to not still be friendly and polite. I don't want to cause the antis to disband into camps that attack each other (which is what I am seeing happening) and give fodder for the pros to abuse us. I feel bad for all because I know they mean well, but, sadly, along with what I believe will be closing of this case by Scotland Yard without any prosecution of the McCanns, the message going into the future which should be one of simple concern of mishandling of missing children's cases, abuse of the media, misappropriation of public monies, and political protection will be lost in all the ad hominem attacks and complicated, bizarre theories. The gleeful personal attacks on me add to this destruction because I am one of the few professional voices on this case and if the antis call me incompetent, then that is one less professional voice. Recently, some have even trashed Gonçalo Amaral which pretty much is just knocking the legs from under us all. I wish people would understand that you don't have to agree with everything someone says in order to appreciate their efforts and be civil.

I want to write a final statement on the subject of ad hominem attacks in the Madeleine McCann case and hope it has some effect on what I see happening across the net. Although I did write a "final post" on the case way back and stopped providing a running commentary, I have come back a number of times to make specific comments on very troubling issues. This is one of the concerning issues and applies not only to the Madeleine McCann case but the problem of ad hominem attacks in general. Whatever issue the ad hominem attacks occur within they cause nothing but destruction which often is the entire point of those dishing them out. Ad hominem attacks destroy civil conversation and often shut down any unwanted viewpoint. There is a great difference between debating a topic and attacking the debater. One furthers analysis and the other shuts it down. And that is what is happening in the McCann case.
I am not the only one being verbally attacked; there are others who have suffered really vicious slurs, some have dealt with far worse than I. Sadly, some of those who have been attacked are attacking others themselves; hence, the antis are factionalizing while the pros are pretty much just one group. We have lost the point of what we set out to do which was bring attention to the miscarriage of justice, open the public's eyes to the police files that contain evidence that should allow the public to question the McCann's innocence, to bring attention to the fraudulent fund, and to support Gonçalo Amaral in his fight to present the case to the public.

I think everyone was one pretty much the same page until Scotland Yard stepped in. In doing so, the Yard gave legitimacy to the McCanns and the pros' standpoint. Scotland Yard's search for an abductor pretty much labeled the antis as nutters. Now, at that point, we all had two choices: convince ourselves that Scotland Yard really was on our side and it is just a matter of time before they bring down the McCanns and we all are vindicated or accept that no such thing is going to happen and we are all pretty much just going to have to live with never seeing justice and being labeled conspiracy theorists and idiots.
I chose the latter because that is reality to me. It is sad and frustrating and certainly not ego-enhancing but it is the way things work. My hope is simply that enough people will eventually recognize that Scotland Yard had a remit that was political in nature and, in the future, we need to work to separate justice from political manipulation. I want to highlight that the McCann case was a gross perversion of how missing children's cases should be handled and publicized, how private funds in such cases should be questioned and vetted before money simply handed over to be abused. I want the case to be understood because I believe that early proper analysis can prevent homicides and missing persons' cases from going unsolved and unprosecuted.

Others choose to believe the former, that Scotland Yard will come through. And, some, I believe, have gone further and further into complicated scenarios because they doubt that this is really going to happen and the more complicated the crime and the deeper the corruption, the easier it is to eventually live with the closing of this case as an abduction. I believe that when this happens, we will see years and years of continued obsession with these complex theories because many will need to keep doing so in order to counter the claim that the antis were dead wrong in their assessment of the McCanns. And I am not saying people don't have a right to delve into what ever they want, a speculate in any way they wish, I am not calling these people names and libeling them with all sorts of false claims; I am just pointing out that as a profiler I have seen excessive spinning of theories whenever a case doesn't see justice and, such theories rarely benefit the understanding of the case and the lack of justice served.

Nothing sucks like having the world label you as a moron or lunatic for spending years fighting for something that wasn't even true. I know because I have had that label put on me and there is no way to fight back because the truth is buried and likely will remain so. Watch the Jack Nickolson movie, The Pledge for a great example of this. I saw that movie years ago and I remember telling people that when I fight for justice in certain cases, if I don't win, this is exactly what will happen to me. And it has. And it isn't pleasant.
I don't believe that all that has been done in the McCann case has been for nothing even if the legal state of the case goes south. I believe it is always important that people speak out and question. And, when Scotland Yard shuts this case down, I do appreciate that the work of many people (even my detractors) will remain in public view.

The only thing I wish people would understand is that if we tear each other to shreds, the legacy left won't be a very good one and this can destroy all the good work done until now. Everyone who is now attacking me for my stance on Scotland Yard and my theory of the crime occurring on May 3rd is essentially is telling the public who reads of the case in the future that they can discount everything I said. Because there are attacks on Amaral, we can also discount everything he said. Because there are attacks on Joana Morais, we can discount everything she said. Because there are attacks on Tony Bennett, we can discount everything he said, because there are attacks on Sonia Poulton, we can discount everything she said, because there are attacks on Hideho, we can discount everything she said, and on and on.
Who will then be left to consider credible? I guess no one but the pros.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

How the Ruling and the Scotland Yard Review have Nothing to Do with Madeleine – 29.04.2015
A lot of people believe that when a homicide occurs, that law enforcement and the judiciary system have a remit to pursue justice for of the victim, to do everything possible to avenge the loss of life on behalf of a person who cannot do so for himself as he is no longer on earth. I am not sure what fanciful words are used in the UK and Portugal, but when a crime occurs in the US, any effort made by police or prosecutor is done so in "the interest of the state." What exactly does that mean? Most believe that since the state represents the citizens, it must mean "in the interest of the citizens" - in the case of a homicide - for the victim, who was a citizen, for the family who are the living victims, and the community who has a dangerous perpetrator still in their midst who may well strike again.
In reality, what this remit means is, a crime is pursued in accordance with how important it is to those in power. This does not mean that there are not detectives and prosecutors out there who are working passionately to get justice for the family and get killers off the streets; there certainly are. But, in the end, what it may come down to is how important it is to those who run the state, not the people of the state. The more important the citizen, the more effort put into the case. The more media received, the more attention the case receives. If the truth about the crime, the criminal, or the handling of the case is damaging to the state, there may be some sort of cover-up, small or large. If it benefits the state to put someone away and close the case regardless of his guilt, so be it. If it serves the state to fudge evidence or lie, it may well be done. Why? Because there a people called politicians out there and they have the power to have things their way.
I have long tried to help people pursuing justice for Madeleine to understand that this whole case is far bigger than one little girl. It stopped being about Madeleine on May 3 because, after that, it became about the parents, the friends, the UK, Portugal, police, politicians, media, egos, careers and international political issues. Ever since there was UK interference on a high level, it was clear this case had gone south and that there were interests to the state that had nothing to do with supporting the Portuguese police investigation. When the McCanns returned home to England and the Portuguese shelved the case, this was the second nail in the coffin of justice; it was clear the Portuguese state had some interest to protect far beyond justice for a small child. When Scotland Yard was given the green light to do the review, there were only two possible reasons; the McCanns were innocent or the McCanns and Company (whoever they are) were confident that Scotland Yard had a remit to only address an abduction theory and that it was ironclad. This Scotland Yard remit was evidence that there were some interests to the state that were quite major because it was an unprecedented move to have a UK police force intervene in a case in another country that they had not been invited to participate in and to start the case by limiting, from the start, the scope of the review.
Next, we see a police force spend an insane amount of money and time and manpower on one case, a case that is unlikely to see any results if the parents were not involved, because it is a fact that, if it were not the parents' crime, then Madeleine was dead by May 4 at the hands of a pedophile and her body tossed or buried years ago; hence, Scotland Yard was not rushing in to save a life. And Scotland Yard certainly showed no urgency because they took years mulling over the files and doing god-knows-what instead of getting straight to work analyzing the crime scene and suspects and getting the job done. I have never seen a more bizarre state of affairs than watching this crack team of more than three dozen detectives use more money than than the entire annual budget for criminal investigation for some small countries in the world and come up with absolutely nothing credible in a "simple case of child abduction." Friends, this is politics, not proper police work.
And now we have the ruling. Some are already trying to see a silver lining in this catastrophic legal loss of Gonçalo Amaral; the judge disallowed certain points, the McCanns only got a partial payment, Gonçalo still has an appeal. Make no mistake, if the coffin hadn't been nailed shut with the Scotland Yard investigation, this is solid evidence that there is collusion between the Portuguese and British governments, that there was pressure on the judge to rule in favor of the McCanns and against freedom of speech in Portugal. And, in doing so, this readies the ground for the lowering of the coffin into the ground, for Scotland Yard to follow suit and declare the McCanns innocent of any wrongdoing (other than mistakenly thinking their children were safe alone in the vacation flat), to close the case with "we tried our best to cooperate with the Portuguese but we sadly can no longer spend millions on a case we cannot bring to prosecution; but we can assure the public that we know who the abductor is and he is no longer a threat to anyone as he is a) deceased or b) already in prison."
This devastating ruling pretty much puts angel wings on the backs of Kate and Gerry McCann and adorns Gonçalo Amaral with horns and a pitchfork, and gives the media yet more fodder for pro-McCannism. Since Scotland Yard has declared the McCanns are not being investigated, stated that Madeleine was abducted, and has spent years chasing one lowlife after the other and one pedophile/burglar theory after another, there is no way that Scotland Yard is suddenly going to do an about face and arrest Madeleine's parents, and if anyone thinks this is still going to happen, I have both swamp property and a London Bridge to sell you. It hasn't been about Madeleine. It has been and is about the state. This is the way the world works. When there are no compromising issues like incompetence, misconduct or corruption, killers are caught, cases are properly closed, and the community is safer. When it goes awry for whatever reasons, the state and whoever controls it will make sure they don't go under because of one unfortunate situation.
A lot of people have not wanted to believe my take on this case. Personally, I would rather not believe my take on this case! It was my hope early on, even though I saw the signs of political interference, that there might still be some chance of the Portuguese police reopening and solving this case properly; that they would fight back against the UK pressure. When I wrote my profile on the case and, even when I went to Portugal, I still had some very faint glimmer of this case somehow turning around. But, when Scotland Yard started in with all the suspects and digging, I knew, for sure, it was a done deal. What has been my interest in all of this? To promote good deductive criminal profiling and proper handling of missing persons and homicide cases. I would have been ecstatic to see Scotland Yard assist in the arrest the McCanns; my profile would have been validated, I would be vindicated, and, we could have a wonderful example of a police agency willing to return to the evidence and, in spite of the unpleasant prospect of have to charge parents of a missing child with a crime, follow the evidence to the proper conclusion. Happy day!
But, this was and is not to be. From years in the trenches, I can tell you that more often than the public has any clue, justice is not served and families and professionals and future victims are often collateral damage in the quest for political expedience. In fact, I have seen cold cases more often "closed" for damage control with lies and fall guys than with truth and justice which is why I refuse to work them any more. When cases go on too long, there is often a good reason; they are broke and can't be fixed. And because things are the way they are, because the world has many good people but is not always good, I choose to do what I can that is positive and might bring the best results for the future. I prefer to focus now on training detectives in deductive criminal profiling so that they can do better analysis of their cases and prevent errors that cause them to go cold. If one can help detectives do a better job, than there it less likely that egos and politics will need to take over a case and cause its demise. The Madeleine McCann case is truly one of the most fascinating and bizarre cases I have ever run into and it will be a case that will be discussed for many a year. Perhaps, when a few decades pass, we may learn the truth; perhaps, we never will. My hope is that we will learn the right things from this case that help illuminate some grave problems within the system, but my fear is that the politicians and the media have so obscured the truth that the general public will never get a proper understanding. Again, sadly, this is the way the world often works; history is written by the conqueror, and folks, we are not the winners here.

This bad guy didn't do it....which proves what? Numerous people believe that Scotland Yard has been chasing down every burglar and child molester in Portugal because they are eliminating all the possible suspects in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, that by doing so, they can then move in on the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, arrest them, and have them successfully prosecuted because it can be shown that the investigation has proven that no one else could have committed the crime.
I think many are not understanding what proving "nobody else could have done it" actually means. It does NOT mean nobody else in the entire world because all others have been eliminated as suspects, but that "nobody else could have done it" because only one person had the access and the ability to commit the crime. For example, a bedridden, paraplegic woman is found dead in her home; her husband becomes a suspect, but could someone else have murdered her? The police are not going to cull the entire community and get alibis for everyone. What they will do is a crime scene analysis to determine if anyone but her husband could have accessed the property and home.
One of the first questions would be, how did the killer get into the house? By door or by window? Let's say they find out the door was locked and only could be accessed by key. Clearly, the woman herself couldn't have opened the door because she could not get from her bedroom to the front door to do so. Therefore, the police need to determine if anyone else might have a key or been able to get a copy of the key to get in. Then the detectives would have to analyze alternate accesses to the house. Is there evidence someone broke in through a window or is it possible a handyman came the day before and unlocked one of the windows for future access? Also, is there any evidence anyone else even got onto the property? If there is video footage that shows no one else in or around the house, this is certainly a good way to eliminate another suspect. If it is proven by way of evidence that no one BUT the husband could have accessed the home or had been in the home, then this is what is meant by proving "nobody else could have done it."
However, suppose that the woman was not bedridden and she could have simply opened the door to a stranger. Suppose that there was no video footage. Suppose there had been numerous strangers in the neighborhood; salesman, handymen, burglars, etc., quite a number of potential suspects other than the husband. If ANY one of these identified people could be suspects than what one is saying is that any number of OTHER people could also be suspects; even if you alibi out each and every one of the known suspects in the neighborhood, there is still the possibility that there is some other person that the investigation is unaware of who is actually the one who committed the crime. Hence, you can never prove "nobody else could have done it" by just eliminating suspicious people. You can only use evidence to prove nobody BUT one particular person could have done it because it was simply impossible for anyone to have physically committed the crime.
If police are investigating dozens of people in the community it is because they are hoping to find one or more that have a connection to the crime; they are hoping for a confession or lies during an interview or someone getting nervous and ratting someone else out. A lot of times when you see a wide sweep, the police are fishing and hoping they get lucky. What they are NOT doing is trying to eliminate them in order to have a last man standing, a ridiculous notion that would be shredded by a defense attorney. What puts any one person away is evidence that he and only he could have committed the crime, not that a bunch of other people could not be proven to be connected to it. And what complicates this even more is that even good suspects are unlikely to be able to prove their whereabouts and so there would be dozens one could not eliminate from the mix, so you can see how pitifully it would go in court if the police claimed they eliminated all other persons from the suspect list except the defendant.
As a matter of fact, if a police department is searching for suspects based on gut and unscientific hypotheses instead of relying on crime scene evidence, they are failing to investigate properly or completely lacking useful evidence. Suspects should be developed based on crime scene analysis and not simply hauling in bad guys from the community and asking where they were on the night thereof unless you have zero to go on. Proper investigation is logical, not haphazard, and if you see a law enforcement agency bringing in and interrogating suspects "just because" then you have investigators who simply have no leads and are just tossing lines in the water hoping to catch a fish by accident or they are a poorly trained group of detectives who are going by gut and throwing darts or there is some kind of remit that is political and not investigative in nature (trying to appear proactive to keep the media and community from harassing them, railroading someone to put the case to bed, misdirecting the case in order to avoid the arrest and prosecution of a particular perpetrator, etc). History has numerous cases that are examples of both all of these issues; the Madeleine McCann case is just one example of an investigation that is ignoring the evidence (which does exist) in favor of some purpose other than properly solving the case.
Although I have quit running commentary on this case because I have always considered the Scotland Yard investigation to be a sham and any true closure of the Madeleine McCann case to be a ship long sailed, I would like to give my thoughts on what the "scaling down" of the investigation actually means : The British investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been scaled down, from 29 officers to four as her parents say they have not given up hope of seeing their daughter again. Scotland Yard insisted the probe continued but with a "smaller team", adding "Officers investigating her disappearance have completed the huge task of bringing together and investigating the massive amount of information held by colleagues in Portugal, the United Kingdom investigation and the private investigators working on behalf of the McCann family." Some believe that this is good news, that Nicola Wall and Company have stopped running down all the leads in existence and now are focusing on the McCanns as the last suspects standing. As I have stated before, it is not a proper investigative method to eliminate everyone but the main suspects as it serves no purpose in forwarding the investigation and actually gives ammunition for the defense of the main suspects if the case ever got to court. The only reason to investigate half of the known world is because you haven't got a real clue as to who the culprits are or you are doing everything to keep busy and avoid focusing on them.
So, what I believe has been going on for the last number of years is fulfilling the remit, to investigate all leads with the specific requirement that the McCanns be considered cleared and off limits to further investigation. Why Scotland Yard has been unable to "solve" the crime so far either means the investigators accepted the abduction theory and simply have not been able to come up with a credible suspect or the known darn well no abduction occurred but haven't come up with a suspect they feel is convincing enough to foist on the public. Perhaps, they were told to simply make the investigation appear thorough and allow it to dwindle away with an eventual "We believe we know what happened and who did it but we haven't been able to get enough concrete evidence to take the person to court. Since he is (fill in the blank with "dead" or "already incarcerated for life") ________, we are administrately closing the investigation." I believe the heads of the investigation took on the task of the latter while detectives under them may well have been dutifully invested in the former.
Now, at this point in time, the public who is unhappy with the increasing cost of the investigation, can give a collective sigh that the investigation is being scaled down, be happy that Scotland Yard put out its full efforts to find the poor child, but satisfied that the public's money will not be required in such large quantities anymore, that just enough will be spent to keep an eye on possible new leads or confessions or sightings. The public has a short attention span and now that the big investigation is pretty much over and done with, we can all move on. Game over. The final statement can come later when pretty much the whole mess has faded away. My opinion remains the same. This is a whitewash; always as been. The Scotland Yard investigation in no way represents the way a police department handles a true above-board investigation but has had all the hallmarks of a staged play. I have seen such charades before - not to this level - and the results are always the same; the truth stays hidden and life goes on.

What is Even the Point of Photoshopping in Sunglasses?
Yesterday, I wrote about how unsolved cases can sometimes garner such great interest that the public may overanalyze every piece of information and come up with a more and more complicated theory about what happened and why the crime has not been solved. Someone who read the post then wrote me and said if the very in-depth theories about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann had no validity - that "The Last Photo" is photoshopped and wasn't take on the day claimed, that Maddie died way before May 3, that the entire evening of May 3 including the negligant behavior was just staged to make a kidnapping scenario possible, that Maddie never was in the creche during the week leading up until she vanished, that there is something far more sinister involved in the disappeance of Madeleine than an accidental death and panicked cover-up - then the McCanns would have offered more proof of Maddie being alive until May 3 in order to quell these damning theories. But, in reality, these theories do nothing but benefit the McCanns' assertions that Internet crazies and trolls are making ridiculous claims; it is the far more likely scenario, the simple one of negligence and a desperate cover-up that the McCanns would like to go away. This is why they want Amaral's book off the market, why they want my book off the market - the truth is what they fear being proven, not a myriad of farout theories promoted by people with no power to influence law enforcement. The more fantastical the theories, the easier it is to discredit those who create them.
In fact, the McCanns love convoluted scenarios so much, they hired a bunch of crooked private investigators to create all kinds of bizarre kidnapping scenarios because they know the public loves to latch on to fascinating puzzles and that keeps the money coming in. Can you imagine how few donations they would have received if their PIs only looked for a local pedophile who would have killed Maddie within hours of abducting her? Not many would have supported that kind of is just sad and boring and even if it brings closure to the parents and saves other children's lives, there is just nothing very inspiring about searching for a dead child. The McCanns also have to be happy about the complicated scenarios that Scotland Yard has managed to develop because, again, it takes the focus off of a simple crime that points to them being involved. If only all the focus of everyone - the public, the police, and professionals - simply looked back at May 3rd, 2007 and analyzed what went wrong that evening, how the McCanns likely dealt with it, and what they could have done to destroy the evidence of their involvement and, most importantly, focused on where her body might be - the one piece of evidence that could lead to an actual conviction - maybe then, this case would have a chance of being solved and justice done. I don't believe there is a snowball's chance in hell of this happening at this point, but it is a shame that more effort isn't put into just that.