The McCanns' Abuse of Power

Many people have been following this case in the British media but don't know the other side of the story from the Portuguese point of view. I have tried to collect as much information as possible for those who are only just starting to realise there is more to this case than is being told in the British media.

Maddie: The DVD Files, Rogatory interviews, Leicestershire Constabulary, Glenfield Hospital, PJ Final Report (english), University Hospitals Leicester, Abuse of Power, Gonçalo Amaral, Evidence, Kate McCann, Gerry McCann, David Payne, Clarence Mitchell, The Fraudulent Fund, The McCanns Propaganda, Crime Scene, Eddie and Keela, Robert Murat, The Tapas 9, Carry on up The Algarve, Carter Ruck. Much more information can be found under 'Labels', 'Blog Archive' or 'The Filing Cabinet' at the foot of the blog, or by typing a keyword/phrase in the search facility in the top left hand corner. Images in the sidebar are clickable and will take you to the source.

Video of Eddie and Keela, the two British sniffer dogs, alerting to blood and death scent in the McCann's holiday apartment and hire car.

'We trust in justice and this does not end here.' Gonçalo Amaral 22-5-09

Gonçalo Amaral's book 'Maddie: The Truth of the Lie' has been translated into English

For in-depth research and discussion and latest news about the Madeleine McCann case please visit my forum: 
Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann forum

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Richard D. Hall's new film: 'Madeleine: Why the cover up?' now online for pre-order

Madeleine : Why The Cover Up?


Click to enlarge
Made in 2017 By Richard D. Hall

2 Part DVD Film

Following on from his previous films about the Madeleine McCann mystery, Richard D. Hall attempts to tackle the most difficult questions of all. Assuming Madeleine died, which Richard firmly believes is the case, how did she die? and why was the death covered up with the help of British government agencies?

This DVD box set consists of two 90 minute films. The first film examines the movements of the initial suspect in the case, Robert Murat, both immediately before and after Madeleine was reported missing and attempts to shed light on whether he played a role in the cover up of Madeleine’s alleged death.

The second film looks at the various ways Madeleine McCann may have died and discusses a range of possible reasons why a cover up was ordered from the highest levels. The films take the viewer as far as is feasibly possible, using the available evidence, towards providing an explanation for the Madeleine McCann cover up.

Running Time : 2 hours 50 minutes (approx) - Format : PAL 16:9, Region Free

Format : DVD PAL 16:9

Note : This DVD is not suitable for under 18


Mark Williams-Thomas, ex-Surrey Police Constable - Bringing the Force, and the Service, into Disrepute

Snipped from a letter CMOMM sent in 2013:

ex- Surrey PC.     Mark Williams-Thomas.

Bringing the Force, and the Service, into Disrepute.

Mark Williams-Thomas’  name crops up in various places.  He bills himself as an “expert in Child abuse”, and refers back to his service in the Surrey Police, when it seems he was a DC for a short time and a Family Liaison Officer, also for a short time. [3]

It is recorded that he was prosecuted for Blackmail, one assumes by Surrey Officers, and although acquitted left the Force in 1990 under circumstances which he has never explained.  From what we can gather he completed only 11 or 12 years service.  Strangely he claims to have been re-employed by Surrey Police as a DC for one year in 2009, and also claims to have worked whilst in the police on child protection variously for 12 years, and for 20 years.  [1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]

He previously claimed that he single-handedly brought the Savile case to the notice of the public. He has pontificated on several other cases and has said that he is engaged in viewing Child Pornography on the internet “for research purposes”.   He has not made it clear that he is among the persons authorised to do so.   [5]

But one of his more damaging claims is that whilst he was in Surrey Police he ‘led’ a number of murder and national paedophile investigations. [3]   [6]

Surrey, like all other forces, operates along ACPO guidelines for the investigation of serious crime, allocating even “simple”  murders to DI or DCI, overseen by Det Supt, and that a National Paedophile enquiry would be co-ordinated by the DChSupt, reporting to the ACC Crime and would be on a joint Inter-force Liaison group specially set up for the purpose.

For Mark Williams-Thomas to represent that he, as a junior DC personally ”led” such enquires must cause the general public of Surrey to doubt whether they have been given a proper professional service.  This is potentially damaging for the image of Surrey Police and of the Service as a whole.

Whilst anyone is entitled to carve out a professional life after retirement or resignation, and fantasists may not commit offences by their statements - unless thereby they obtain pecuniary advantage -  his activities seem to be beyond acceptable, and it may be that the Surrey police should be invited to consider issuing some form of explanatory statement, perhaps in the form of a Press release, to be used at the appropriate moments, in which the true facts about his service and real experience were set out.  [7]

 It cannot be in the public interest, especially in the currently extremely sensitive areas of child sexual abuse and paedophilia, for a person to make bogus claims about his expertise, based on a series of false statements about his service as a Surrey Police Officer.  


"As a police officer I worked in the area of child protection for 20 years". 

Let us look at just one of those who has driven the hysteria over Sir James Savile and who claims he "exposed " the truth in his TV tabloid show "Exposure" when what he actually did was present a series of claims.
Mark Williams-Thomas is described repeatedly as a "child protection expert". Even Australia's respected ABC program 4 Corners introduced him as such.
He has no justification for making the claim and offering himself up as an expert on how to protect children.
The truth about Mark Williams-Thomas is this  he was a uniformed police officer on the beat for 9 years with the Surrey Police.
He graduated to Detective Constable - a role he held for only nine months before he left the Surrey Police under unexplained circumstances.
No detective constable in any police force around the world conducts police investigations. Rather they are part of a team with an Inspector (at the least) overseeing an inquiry. A DC could be answering phones, chasing up addresses, sitting in a car with another officer watching a suspect.
Yet the media has blithely accepted Williams-Thomas exaggerated claim that implies he was a major investigator on a number of important cases including the jailing of celebrity Jonathan King who oddly, was not the subject of any investigation until after Williams-Thomas left the force.
It would be prudent not to ask Williams-Thomas former colleagues at the Surrey Police what they think of him taking all the credit for the team's hard work.
This eight-month former DC then popped up with a company "advising' on child protection, a subject of which he had no specific knowledge of apart from his own self appointed, non-existent qualifications.
Two companies he set up were closed down.

"Bringing with him his wealth of experience as hands on former Detective, Mark Williams-Thomas is able to provide a new dimension to many of the criminological problems facing today's society – for example, how the police investigate major crime and the risk management of sex offenders in the community.”   His expertise includes in particular risk management and assessment of offenders and he now owns his own Child Protection and Risk Management Consultancy - WT Associates Ltd. Prior to setting up WT Associates in 2005, Mark was a police Detective specialising in major crime. He worked on or was in charge of some of the largest paedophile and murder investigations in the country, as well as being was one of only 10 specialist Family Liaison officers during his time in the police. Mark is also completing a Masters in Criminology at the University of Central England."

He began his police career in Surrey in 1989, where he was a detective and family liaison officer. He launched the high-profile investigation into the singer and record and TV producer Jonathan King in 2000, leading to his conviction in 2001 for abusing boys, and led a local inquiry into paedophilia.
Williams-Thomas has described himself as a "doer" during his 11 years in the force and was once told by a superior that he was a "nightmare to manage". 

5 -ma-pg-dig
Child Protection Expert & Criminologist
TV Presenter/Media
September 2005 – Present (8 years)

Child Protection Consultant
2005 – 2011 (6 years)

Surrey Police
Public Company; 1001-5000 employees; Law Enforcement industry
2009 – 2010 (1 year)

[? ? ?]

I've spent the past 18 months shadowing the officers of Scotland Yard's Paedophile Unit and, despite being a former detective with more than 12 years of experience in child protection, I've been horrified by what I've seen.
It's not just the appalling nature of the photographic images that so alarms me; it's the number of them.

Mark Williams Thomas (M.A) - TV Presenter, Criminologist & Child Protection Expert
Mark is a former police detective who has far-reaching experience of working at the centre of high profile investigations.
During Mark's police service, he specialised in child protection and major crime and he is renowned throughout the UK's police forces as well as the national media for his expertise in these areas.       

[my emphases]


OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite AND TO HaysmacIntyre Respectively Solicitors and Accountants for the Madeleine Fund

OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite  AND TO HaysmacIntyre
Respectively Solicitors and Accountants for the Madeleine Fund

Individual Copies sent to redacted  and  redacted
who it is reported were jointly concerned with setting up the Fund

Dear Sir and Madam,

Several years ago I wrote to you about claims by Francisco Marco - proprietor of the detective agency, Metodo3, that they would be able to return Madeleine McCann to her parents 'by Christmas'.

You were kind enough to reply. You denied that such a claim had been made.

I am not sure whether you were fully aware that the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell had already said that the family were satisfied, saying '....but we are pleased the agency is confident that they will find Madeleine in due course.'

You will also be aware that Marco's words are on a 'video' clip, available on YouTube, where he re-states his position, - helpfully in English. (full reference in Appendix - 1)

But given that you and HaysM were concerned with the creation and running of the Fund are we to believe that both your firms were simultaneously neglecting their duties.

As you know, in her autobiography, 'madeleine', Kate McCann herself admitted that these words had  been used, which gave rise to a number of questions about your and HaysM's level of interest,  professional competence, and/or veracity.

You will be aware that a recently published book -  La Cortina de Humo - by a sometime employee of Metodo3 details several large scale frauds committed against the Madeleine Fund, and shows how the techniques employed should have been apparent to anyone with responsibility for 'due diligence' and certainly to a trained and conscientious accountant.  (full reference in Appendix - 2)

Again this may raise important questions about professional competence.

I am confident that you will have read the book, and will have studied in depth the chapter devoted to the fraud, but so that anyone else reading this shall know, he details very crude and simple methods, which should have been obvious to anyone. He says that evidence is available to investigators, and may already be in their hands.

They include simply obtaining receipts for travel from an El Corte Ingles travel branch, and then forging them by overwriting the relevant details, before including these in the monthly invoices to the Fund, overseen by you.

He states that the 20 operatives - or 40 as sometimes quoted - who were being routinely charged for consisted of at most three (3), and for most of the time, only two. He names them.

He goes on to expose the mendacious claim that Metodo3 had successfully recovered more than 300 missing persons in a single year. He worked for this company for several years and was aware of only two (2) such examples. Perhaps these issues could and should have been explored in detail before the contract was signed. Data Protection and the laws relating to the protection of minors would not prevent outline details of many of the cases being supplied for investigation, and Company accounts detailing a total of only twelve (12) employees are public documents.

He publishes the e-mails he sent to the people who had been financing the operation, in which he gives details of the fraud. He also sent these to two of the six Directors of the Fund, whom he names.

He received no reply and no acknowledgement. He interprets this, perhaps with justification, as a 'wall of silence'.

It is inconceivable that you and HaysM were not made aware of this, and again it raises further questions about your involvement, and your professional competence. The possibility of higher level collusion is of course unthinkable.

In your internet advertising you both make great play of your devotion to, and the importance of conducting and maintaining Due Diligence - you use the term 42 time, and HaysM 35 times. You both mention Transparency ((58 and 44 times respectively), and Justice (86 and 16). You go further to discuss Investigation (78) and you use the word Fraud 35 times. HaysM use it 25 times.

It is clear therefore that both firms, at least in publicity and advertising, say they understand the importance of vigilance against Fraud at all levels and at all times.

It may be however that on this on occasion both firms simultaneously made the identical mistake or simultaneously failed to notice the glaring irregularities.
This would be in line with what is alleged to have happened many times during this perplexing case.

   The blood and cadaver detection dogs were said to have made a series of mistakes but only in this  case, when they alerted to 14 items and places linked with the McCanns - but to no other places. The dogs' previous and subsequent performance has never been successfully challenged in the criminal courts
   Some of the best detectives and Police advisors from several police forces from different countries made identical and false deductions

   Top lawyers and public prosecutors in Portugal concurrently and independently made identical gross errors

...and so on. The case is full of remarkable coincidences. Many hundreds have been recorded so far. The revelation that  £ 500,000 of publicly donated money was squandered on a fraudulent enterprise, but worse - that no attempt was then made to recover the money, nor to take action against the alleged fraudsters, might damage public confidence in both your firms.

You are also surely aware of the book, El Método, by the proprietor of Metodo3, Fransicso Marco, in which at p. 452, he says 'Someday I'll explain if we believe that Maddie is alive or dead, and, if she was killed, who we think did it.' (full reference in Appendix - 3)

I draw this to your attention, as, of course, if it is eventually shown that Madeleine was in fact dead and that the parents knew or suspected this, as now seems increasingly likely, then the entire Fund would itself have been fraudulent ab initio, and the issue of due diligence and professional supervision will assume even greater importance, with the persons concerned being liable to account either to Civil or Criminal Courts.

The apparent failure or neglect of due diligence in the contracting of Kevin Halligen, of Oakley International, the Company referred to by Clarence Mitchell as 'the big boys, the best there is in international investigation.', - Halligen a proven and convicted fraudster and the Fund's subsequent failure to claim back the £ 0.5 m handed over to him under your joint supervision, is now a matter of historical note, and is documented and has been discussed elsewhere at considerable length.

Similarly the strange case of the contract awarded to two retired junior police officers, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley - according to Clarence Mitchell, a team of crack detectives - and of a company falsely named in many press reports as the impressive  'Alpha Group Investigations', - a respectable company in the USA. The company, was only incorporated as ALPHAIG, with an address of a cottage in the hills of Wales, some considerable time after this had been said. This strange case has already been picked over and the timeline confirmed.

Again the level of due diligence performed here seems - to a lay outsider - to be questionable. It is not clear, for example, how even the most basic Company Check could possibly have been conducted. According to the filed Company accounts it was operating on resources of £ 650 cash and fixed assets of £ 853. This case and the alleged involvement of your two firms has been discussed at length.

But we are left wondering whether two firms of your stature could have made three consecutive and identical errors of professional judgement and competence, not learning from the preceding ones, in the handling of a huge amount of donated money paid into just one Fund, benefitting just one couple.

Yours sincerely,   redacted

I fully appreciate that you are under no legal or moral obligation to reply to this letter, nor to answer any of the concerns raised.
In view of that, and the huge public interest generated by this case over the past eight years, it is intended, after a reasonable time, that this letter will be published on a web forum as an Open Letter, with some personal details redacted.
I am confident that given your commitment to Transparency, Justice and Investigation that this is acceptable.

1 YouTube
The interview with Francisco Marco, in which he says - in English -
“I know the kidnapper and we know where he is.
We know who he is and we know how he has done it . . .”
may be viewed at 1:23 on

2 La Cortina de Humo - 'The Smokescreen' - by Julian Peribañez and Antonio
(August 2014, ISBN 978-84-941649-8-9)

3 El Método - ‘The Method’ - by Francisco Marco Fernández
(October 2013, ISBN 978-84-9970-943-7)

Both books are available from, Casa del Libro, and

Quotes from La Cortina de Humo. Translated by a qualified and attested translator

p. 177 - I began to realise to what extent the company was swindling the fund which had been set
up and which was supported by hundreds of unsuspecting people whose sole objective was to
find Madeleine. Nothing special, just inflated expenses, invented items and false invoices, etc.

p.178 - Francisco Marco, whenever asked, always replied that Método 3 had deployed ‘twenty
men’ to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance! That was yet another lie.
This was the tactic used by Francisco Marco to inflate Método 3’s invoices to the client

p. 182 - He omitted to tell the journalist that his specialists were his mother and his cousin; he
must have thought there was no need to mention this. Alternatively, he may have thought
that the journalist had realised that his cousin was the chief financial officer (meaning the
accountant) of Método 3 and that his mother was just a woman who didn’t even hold a driving
licence and had been a secretary at a detective agency and who was involved in sales for the
agency and not investigative work.

p. 185 - He presented them with false invoices for travel and accommodation expenses for the 20
people who were supposed to be working in Portugal. The procedure for accomplishing this task
was simple and straightforward and no scientific methodology was required: all they had to do
was obtain some El Co

Mark Hollingsworth Investigates The McCann Files

A rather sensitive old article that was whooshed from the internet but luckily CMOMM managed to save it

Mark Hollingsworth Investigates The McCann Files

Evening Standard, 24 August 2009

Disillusioned with the Portuguese police, Gerry and Kate McCann turned to private detectives to find their missing daughter. Instead the efforts of the private eyes served only to scare off witnesses, waste funds and raise false hopes. Mark Hollingsworth investigates the investigators.
by Mark Hollingsworth

It was billed as a ‘significant development’ in the exhaustive search for Madeleine McCann. At a recent dramatic press conference in London, the lead private investigator David Edgar, a retired Cheshire detective inspector, brandished an E-FIT image of an Australian woman, described her as ‘a bit of a Victoria Beckham lookalike’, and appealed for help in tracing her. The woman was seen ‘looking agitated’ outside a restaurant in Barcelona three days after Madeleine’s disappearance. ‘It is a strong lead’, said Edgar, wearing a pin-stripe suit in front of a bank of cameras and microphones. ‘Madeleine could have been in Barcelona by that point. The fact the conversation took place near the marina could be significant.’

But within days reporters discovered that the private detectives had failed to make the most basic enquiries before announcing their potential breakthrough. Members of Edgar’s team who visited Barcelona had failed to speak to anyone working at the restaurant near where the agitated woman was seen that night, neglected to ask if the mystery woman had been filmed on CCTV cameras and knew nothing about the arrival of an Australian luxury yacht just after Madeleine vanished.

The apparent flaws in this latest development were another salutary lesson for Kate and Gerry McCann, who have relied on private investigators after the Portuguese police spent more time falsely suspecting the parents than searching for their daughter. For their relations with private detectives have been frustrating, unhappy and controversial ever since their daughter’s disappearance in May 2007.

The search has been overseen by the millionaire business Brian Kennedy, 49, who set up Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned, which aimed ‘to procure that Madeleine’s abduction is thoroughly investigated’. A straight-talking, tough, burly self-made entrepreneur and rugby fanatic, he grew up in a council flat near Tynecastle in Scotland and was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness. He started his working life as a window cleaner and by 2007 had acquired a £350 million fortune from double-glazing and home-improvement ventures. Kennedy was outraged by the police insinuations against the McCanns and, though a stranger, worked tirelessly on their behalf. ‘His motivation was sincere,’ said someone who worked closely with him. ‘He was appalled by the Portuguese police, but he also had visions of flying in by helicopter to rescue Madeleine.’

Kennedy commissioned private detectives to conduct an investigation parallel to the one run by the Portuguese police. But his choice showed how dangerous it is when powerful and wealthy businessmen try to play detective. In September 2007, he hired Metodo 3, an agency based in Barcelona, on a six-month contract and paid it an estimated £50,000 a month. Metodo 3 was hired because of Spain’s ‘language and cultural connection’ with Portugal. ‘If we’d had big-booted Brits or, heaven forbid, Americans, we would have had doors slammed in our faces’ said Clarence Mitchell, spokesperson for the McCann’s at the time. ‘And it’s quite likely that we could have been charged with hindering the investigation as technically it’s illegal in Portugal to undertake a secondary investigation.

The agency had 35 investigators working on the case in Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco. A hotline was set up for the public to report sightings and suspicions, and the search focussed on Morocco. But the investigation was dogged by over-confidence and braggadocio. ‘We know who took Madeleine and hope she will be home by Christmas,’ boasted Metodo 3’s flamboyant boss Francisco Marco. But no Madeleine materialised and their contract was not renewed.

Until now, few details have emerged about the private investigation during those crucial early months, but an investigation by ES shows that key mistakes were made, which in turn made later enquiries far more challenging.

ES has spoken to several sources close to the private investigations that took place in the first year and discovered that:
* The involvement of Brian Kennedy and his son Patrick in the operation was counter-productive, notably when they were questioned by the local police for acting suspiciously while attempting a 24-hour ‘stake out’.
* The relationship between Metodo 3 and the Portuguese police had completely broken down.
* Key witnesses were questioned far too aggressively, so much so that some of them later refused to talk to the police.
* Many of the investigators had little experience of the required painstaking forensic detective work.
By April 2008, nearing the first anniversary of the disappearance, Kennedy and the McCanns were desperate. And so when Henri Exton, a former undercover police officer who worked on M15 operations, and Kevin Halligen, a smooth-talking Irishman who claimed to have worked for covert British government intelligence agency GCHQ, walked through the door, their timing was perfect. Their sales pitch was classic James Bond spook-talk: everything had to be ‘top secret’ and ‘on a need to know basis’. The operation would involve 24-hour alert systems, undercover units, satellite imagery and round-the-clock surveillance teams that would fly in at short notice. This sounded very exciting but, as one source close to the investigation told ES, it was also very expensive and ultimately unsuccessful. ‘The real job at hand was old-fashioned, tedious, forensic police work rather than these boy’s own, glory boy antic,’ he said.

But Kennedy was impressed by the license-to-spy presentation and Exton and Halligen were hire for a fee of £100,000 per month plus expenses. Ostensibly, the contract was with Halligen’s UK security company, Red Defence International Ltd, and an office was set up in Jermyn Street, in St James’s. Only a tiny group of employees did the painstaking investigative work of dealing with thousands of emails and phone calls. Instead, resources were channelled into undercover operations in paedophile rings and among gypsies throughout Europe, encouraged by Kennedy. A five-man surveillance team was dispatched in Portugal, overseen by the experienced Exton, for six weeks.

Born in Belgium in 1951, Exton had been a highly effective undercover officer for the Manchester police. A maverick and dynamic figure, he successfully infiltrated gangs of football hooligans in the 1980’s. While not popular among his colleagues, in 1991 he was seconded to work on MI5 undercover operations against drug dealers, gangsters and terrorists, and was later awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for ‘outstanding bravery’. By all accounts, the charismatic Exton was a dedicated officer. But in November 2002, the stress appeared to have overcome his judgement when he was arrested for shoplifting.

While working on an MI5 surveillance, Exton was caught leaving a tax-free shopping area at Manchester airport with a bottle of perfume he had not paid for. The police were called and he was given the option of the offence being dealt with under caution or to face prosecution. He chose a police caution and so in effect admitted his guilt. Exton was sacked, but was furious about the way he had been treated and threatened to sue MI5. He later set up his own consulting company and moved to Bury in Lancashire.

While Exton, however flawed, was the genuine article as an investigator, Halligen was a very different character. Born in Dublin in 1961, he has been described as a ‘Walter Mitty figure’. He used false names to collect prospective clients at airports in order to preserve secrecy, and he called himself ‘Kevin’ or ‘Richard’ or ‘Patrick’ at different times to describe himself to business contacts. There appears to be no reason for all this subterfuge except that he thought this was what agents did. A conspiracy theorist and lover of the secret world, he is obsessed by surveillance gadgets and even installed a covert camera to spy on his own employees. He claimed to have worked for GCHQ, but in fact he was employed by the Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) as head of defence systems in the rather less glamorous field of new information technology, researching the use of ‘special batteries’. He told former colleagues and potential girlfriends that he used to work for MI5, MI6 and the CIA. He also claimed that he was nearly kidnapped by the IRA, was involved in the first Gulf War and had been a freefall parachutist.

Very little of this is true. What is true is that Halligen has a degree in electronics, worked on the fringes of the intelligence community while at AEA and does understand government communications. He could also be an astonishingly persuasive, engaging and charming individual. Strikingly self-confident and articulate, he could be generous and clubbable. ‘He was very good company but only when it suited him’ says one friend. He kept people in compartments.’

After leaving the AEA, Halligen set up Red Defence International Ltd as an international security and political risk company, advising clients on the risks involved in investing and doing business in unstable, war-torn and corrupt countries. He worked closely with political risk companies and was a persuasive advocate of IT security. In 2006, he struck gold when hired by Trafigura, the Dutch commodities trading company. Executives were imprisoned in the Ivory Coast after toxic waste was dumped in landfills near its biggest city Abidjan. Trafigura was blamed and hired Red Defence International at vast expense to help with the negotiations to release its executives. A Falcon business jet was rented for several months during the operation and it was Halligen’s first taste of the good life. The case only ended when Trafigura paid $197 million to the government of the Ivory Coast to secure the release of the prisoners.

Halligen made a fortune from Trafigura and was suddenly flying everywhere first-class, staying at the Lansborough and Stafford hotels in London and The Willard hotel in Washington DC for months at a time. In 2007 he set up Oakley International Group and registered at the offices of the prestigious law firm Patton Boggs, in Washington DC, as an international security company. He was now strutting the stage as a self-proclaimed international spy expert and joined the Special Forces Club in Knightsbridge, where he met Exton.

During the Madeleine investigation, Halligen spent vast amounts of time in the HeyJo bar in the basement of the Abracadabra Club near his Jermyn Street office. Armed with a clutch of unregistered mobile phones and a Blackberry, the bar was in effect his office. ‘He was there virtually the whole day,’ a former colleague told ES. ‘He had an amazing tolerance for alcohol and a prodigious memory and so occasionally he would have amazing bursts of intelligence, lucidity and insights. They were very rare but they did happen.’

When not imbibing in St James’s, Halligen was in the United States, trying to drum up investors for Oakley International. On 15 August 2008, at the height of the McCann investigation crisis, he persuaded Andre Hollis, a former US Drug enforcement agency official, to write out an $80,000 cheque to Oakley in return for a ten per cent share-holding. The money was then transferred into the private accounts of Halligen and his girlfriend Shirin Trachiotis to finance a holiday in Italy, according to Hollis. In a $6 million lawsuit filed in Fairfax County, Virginia, Hollis alleges that Halligen ‘received monies for Oakley’s services rendered and deposited the same into his personal accounts’ and ‘repeatedly and systematically depleted funds from Oakley’s bank accounts for inappropriate personal expenses’.

Hollis was not the only victim. Mark Aspinall, a respected lawyer who worked closely with Halligen, invested £500,000 in Oakley and lost the lot. Earlier this year he filed a lawsuit in Washington DC against Halligen claiming $1.4 million in damages. The finances of Oakley International are in chaos and numerous employees, specialist consultants and contractors have not been paid. Some of them now face financial ruin.

Meanwhile, Exton was running the surveillance teams in Portugal and often paying his operatives upfront, so would occasionally be out-of-pocket because Halligen had not transferred funds. Exton genuinely believed that progress was being made and substantial and credible reports on child trafficking were submitted. But by mid-August 2008, Kennedy and Gerry McCann were increasingly concerned by an absence of details of how the money was being spent. At one meeting, Halligen was asked how many men constituted a surveillance team and he produced a piece of paper on which he wrote ‘between one and ten’. But he then refused to say how many were working and how much they were being paid.

While Kennedy and Gerry McCann accepted that the mission was extremely difficult and some secrecy was necessary, Halligen was charging very high rates and expenses. And eyebrows were raised when all the money was paid to Oakley International, solely owned and managed by Halligen. One invoice, seen by ES, shows that for ‘accrued expenses to May 5, 2008’ (just one month into the contract), Oakley charged $74,155. The ‘point of contact’ was Halligen who provided a UK mobile telephone number.

While Kennedy was ready to accept Halligen at face value, Gerry McCann - sharp, focused and intelligent - was more sceptical. The contract with Oakley International and Halligen was terminated by the end of September 2008, after £500,000-plus expenses had been spent. For the McCanns it was a bitter experience, Exton has returned to Cheshire and, like so many people, is owed money by Halligen. As for Halligen, he has gone into hiding, leaving a trail of debt and numerous former business associates and creditors looking for him. He was last seen in January of this year in Rome, drinking and spending prodigiously at the Hilton Cavalieri and Excelsior hotels. He is now believed by private investigators, who have been searching for him to serve papers on behalf of creditors, to be in the UK and watching his back. Meanwhile, in the eye of the storm, the McCanns continue the search for their lost daughter.

- ENDS -

How many rogues have Kate and Gerry McCann associated themselves with in order to hinder the search for their daughter Madeleine McCann?

Rogue of the Day - see for yourself just how many rogues the McCanns have employed, or been associated with, to hinder the search for their daughter Madeleine.

Corrupt MP's, corrupt Prime Ministers, corrupt ex-coppers, corrupt lawyers, corrupt private investigators, corrupt journalists
Fake sightings using innocent children
False media stories using innocent children
Fake e-fits
Government interference
Obtaining money by deception
Hounding an innocent woman to her death via a corrupt SKY News Crime Correspondent, Martin Brunt
Destroying the life of the Portuguese Investigating Officer
Perverting the course of justice.

Once again, no innocent child is safe from Kate and Gerry McCann's bandwagon


'FRESH HOPE' for parents of Madeleine McCann as Kamiyah Mobley, a stolen baby, is found alive after being missing for 18 years (Mirror, 14 Jan 2017)

Kate and Gerry McCann are "buoyed" by news Kamiyah Mobley has been found alive 18 years after she was stolen as a newborn baby from hospital.

She was taken from a hospital in July 1998 and was living under a different name with a woman she assumed was her birth mother.

Kamiyah’s case has given fresh hope to the family of Madeleine McCann , the three-year-old who went missing in Praia da Luz, Portugal in May 2007.

A friend of parents Kate and Gerry revealed they were “buoyed” by the news across the Atlantic.

The source said: “It shows that dreams can come true and this teenager being found so many years after the event is another example that will give Kate and Gerry hope.”

Last month the McCanns, of Rothley, Leics, said they were hoping a new year “miracle” would reunite them with their daughter as the 10th anniversary of her ­abduction approaches.

A Facebook campaign, which they endorse, said in a new post: “We still have great hope and believe in miracles.

“Thank you for continuing to be by our side. Let’s get her home.” A police source recently revealed detectives were working on the final theory that Maddie was kidnapped by a European trafficking gang.


Tracey Kandohla, Daily Mail - Are you trying to say the Madeleine McCann Tennis Balls photo is now the NEW LAST PHOTO?

Is the Tennis Balls photo the NEW LAST PHOTO?

Close friend, confidante, and uncritical McCann supporter, journalist Tracey Kim Kandohla seems to suggest this may be about to happen.

In a Mail Online article recently, à propos the McCanns’ blog site, she said:

Pictures include the iconic last known image of Maddie in pink sunhat and clutching tennis balls while on holiday “ [1]

There are at least two possibilities here:

1 That Tracey Kandohla is simply very stupid, and has not read Kate's autobiography, where it clearly says that the Pool Photo was the Last Photo,

“We then sat round the toddler pool for a while, dipping our feet in, and I took what has turned out to be my last photograph to date of Madeleine.” p. 66 [4]


2 That Kandohla was under orders to put that in.

If so, then more questions pose themselves. Who told her to word it like that ?

Has Team McCann been watching Richard D. Hall’s excellent films, been reading the fora and e-books and blogs, and have they now begun to realise that the Pool Photo is indefensible, forensically toxic, and as much a liability - or more - as the smashed and jemmied shutters, the whooshing curtains, slamming doors, the waterslide, Tannerman, Smithman, and all the other nonsense ?

IF - and only if - the Pool Photo has been altered then at least four and probably five people, whose names are very obvious, would be involved in a serious Criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of Justice - both in English Law and its Portuguese equivalent, as was pointed out a long time ago.

So are we now going to see an attempt to dismiss the Pool Photo as having been taken on the Sunday after all, and the Tennis Balls photo being promoted to “official Last Photo”?

It is variously described as having been taken by Kate on Tuesday 1st May,
“. . . I ran back to our apartment for my camera to record the occasion. One of my photographs is known around the world now: a smiling Madeleine clutching armfuls of tennis balls” p. 57 [4]

or by Jane Tanner on Thursday 3rd May [5]

Rachael Oldfield (Rogatory interview):
1578 "The third of May, are you able to summarise the days activities"?
Reply "Yeah, ... . . . Madeleine and Ella and their sort of group came to have a tennis lesson as part of their crèche activities, erm and Kate didn't have her camera and Jane was there then as well and Jane took some photos of both Madeleine and Ella, that's one, that poster of Madeleine with the tennis balls, that sort of pictures".
1578 "That was taken on the"?
Reply "Yeah that was that morning."
1578 "Thursday"?

Or perhaps not by Jane Tanner, even on Wednesday 2nd May - she doesn’t say. [6]

Jane Tanner (Rogatory interview):
Reply "No. Err the Wednesday, err again I think it would have just been a, Evie would have had a sleep and just round the pool or in the, each other apartments, until, until high tea but I think Ella, and Ella would have, Ella went to err, Ella went to the err the kids club.
Actually that morning was the morning Ella and Madeleine had the tennis lesson I think on the Wednesday. You've got the picture of..."

Many years ago a commentator and researcher posted this on a blog [2]

In short, Rachael describes how Jane took the photograph on Thursday, Jane describes the event taking place on Wednesday and Kate describes how she (Kate) took it on Tuesday. SNIPPED 
And yet the photograph cannot have been taken during a mini-tennis session on the Tuesday either, because there wasn't one. Mini-tennis took place, according to the 'kids' club' schedule, on the Monday morning. If, this photograph is construed as representing Madeleine McCann's 'last hours' therefore (as a recent Sunday Telegraph report would suggest), then these will have been spent on the morning of Monday April 30th, not the early evening of May 3."

In any event
There was only one mini-tennis session scheduled for Madeleine's play group – on the Monday morning (10.00 – 11.00 a.m.).

But what if they do try to run with this one, and to change everything they have said over the last ten years?

Let us go back to Prosecution Exhibit 1 - Kate’s autobiography ‘madeleine’.

On 10th May, they both went to Portimão police station, where Gerry was interviewed at length. Kate continues
“I made use of the long wait I anticipated by sitting down with a notebook, pen and my camera, containing dated photographs of the holiday, and trying to write a detailed account of everything that happened the week before."
p. 123 [4]

So the Pool photo must have had its real date - 29 April 2007 - or we would have been told that she tried, but the internal dating system had apparently gone wrong and could not be relied upon, but that she remembered the dates of the photos . . .
But we were not.
She sat and made a list of however many photos were on the camera for that week with dates and times.

Meanwhile Gerry was making his second statement in which he says
“Asked, he clarifies that, apart from the personal photos already delivered by him to the police authorities after the disappearance of his daughter MADELEINE, he has no others in his possession. [3]

He says he has no others. His wife says she is sitting in the corridor with a camera-full !

Was he trying to be clever ?
Not in MY possession, officer, you will have to ask my wife whether SHE has any in HER possession.

That is more tricky since in common with many romance languages, in Portuguese
na sua posse
can mean in His -, in Her -, in Their -, and in Your - singular or plural - possession

But they have only one camera. The Canon PowerShot A 620.
So that argument, frankly, will not wash

Or was Kate trying to be clever when she said
my last photograph “ ?
Not THE last photograph, but MY last photograph ?

Doubtful. And since she insists the Pool Photo was taken at lunchtime on Thursday 3rd there is simply no window of opportunity after that for the Tennis Balls photo. She is very clear what they did after the Pool Photo - dumped the children back in their crèches, played tennis, and then she went for the run among the beach, before returning to find Gerry having high tea with the children - her version, from the book. p. 66 [4]

“I had finished my run by five-thirty at the Tapas area, where I found Madeleine and the twins already having their tea with Gerry. The others had decided to feed their kids at the beachside restaurant, the Paraíso. Madeleine was sitting on the Tapas terrace, eating.“

There are of course several possible versions.

From the book

“Having arranged for Gerry to meet the children, I opted to go for a run along the beach, where I spotted the rest of our holiday group. They saw me . . .” p. 66 [4]

(Banishing the entire Tapas group to the Paraiso for the first and only time is interesting as it ensured that there could be no witnesses to this alleged family high tea.)

But then we look again and find that another version involves Kate herself signing Madeleine out of the crèche at 5:30 pm [7]

(It is a strange and compelling characteristic of this case that so many witnesses give stories which simply do not match, and often totally contradict everyone else’s, and in several cases individual witnesses themselves give several ‘versions’ which are totally incompatible one with the other.)

In any event Mitchell told the world to look at the time of the Pool Photo, and clearly intended the date to be noted. The agency rubric for the photo says clearly

Picture released by the McCann family 24 May 2007 and was taken 03 May 2007 the same day Madeleine McCann (R) went missing from the family’s holiday apartment in the southern Algarve region.

So that is what they were told.

The question is therefore, is this simple Tabloid invented nonsense, not intended to be read closely, nor to be questioned and certainly not believed by anyone ?
Or is it the start of something else entirely ?
Only time will tell.

As another researcher has observed -

It’s surely something you’d think Tracey Kandohla would have known by now, what with her weekly cup of tea and cakes with Clarence Mitchell in the early days, and trading on recycling Clarence’s notes into the press for the past 10 years?

Further information.

Tracey Kim Kandohla lives in Rothley and is a friend of the McCanns, belonging to the same Gym Club as Kate. She is frequently described as “a source close to the McCanns”.






4 Various quotes from ‘madeleine’ by Kate McCann, Bantam Press, 2011

5 Rachael Mampilly (Oldfield) Rogatory interview

6 Jane Tanner - Record Of Tape Recorded Interview


Note: The site has sadly been suspended, but the above may be referenced by use of the wayback machine. It is merely necessary to insert the code before the refence given




This summarises a list of those known to have rushed out to Praia da Luz after 3 May 2007 (or on the case of Resonate and Robert Murat, BEFORE then). Dates of arrival given where known, all before Friday May 11 unless otherwise stated

Government and Embassy Officials

Robert Henderson – British Consul for the Algarve – immediate (persuaded Portuguese Police to allow the McCanns to wash clothes before seizing them)

John Buck – British Ambassador to Portugal (Lisbon), arrived immediately

Angela Morado – British Proconsul, arrived immediately

Liz Dow, British Consul rom the Embassy in Lisbon, arrived immediately

Andy Bowes, British Embassy Press Officer, arrived immediately

Sheree Dodd, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Other staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

British Police Officers

Glen Power, British Police Liaison Officer for Portugal, arrived 5 May

An ‘Analyst’ (unnamed) from the National Policing Improvements Agency, arrived 4 May

Detective Chief Superintendent Bob Small, Leicestershire Police (4 May)

Two other police ‘family liaison’ officers from Leicestershire Police (4 May)

Government security and secret service personnel

Staff from MI5 (unnamed)

Staff from Child Exploitation and OnLine Protection Service (unnamed – Kate McCann in her book describes them As ‘Forensic Psychologists’), arrived 4 May

More staff from CEOP, the ‘Director of the Forensic Psychology Unit’ AND a CEOP ‘social worker’ (arrived 6 May)

Staff from Special Branch (unnamed)

‘Criminal profilers’ (unnamed - attached to unnamed government security departments)

Government-funded private security firms

Kenneth Farrow from Control Risks Group

Michael Keenan from Control Risks Group

Staff from government-supported private crisis psychology group

Alan Pike, Head of Yorkshire-based Centre for Crisis Psychology (CCP) (arrived 4 May)

Martin Alderton, Colleague of Alan Pike from CCP (arrived 5 May)

Public Relations Consultants

Michael Frolich, Head of Resonate, subsidiary of international PR company Bell Pottinger (already there by Monday 30 April)

Tricia Moon, Deputy Director of Resonate, (already there by Monday 30 April)

Alex Woolfall, Head of Risk for international PR company Bell Pottinger, arrived 4 May (helped to edit Gerry McCann’s photos before putting them on a disc for the PJ)


Staff from the recently-formed International Family Law Group (IFLG):

Michael Nicholls, barrister, arrived 11 May

Accompanied by a ‘paralegal’ from Leicestershire, arrived 11 May

There are references to other government lawyers having arrived

Top staff from Mark Warner (company that organised the holiday)

David Hopkins, Managing Director of Mark Warner

One of his senior colleagues


Robert Murat became the initial main interpreter for the Portuguese Police on 4 May. He had already flown out from England on 1 May. He was recommended by British Consul Robert Henderson

Religious Organisations

Rev. Haynes and Susan Hubbard mysteriously arrived in Praia da Luz from Canada on Sunday 6 May, to take up an appointment as the Anglican Minister in Praia da Luz. The Hubbards rapidly became very close friends of the McCanns


‘Hugh’ – Kate in her book says he would only identify himself as ‘Hugh’, he was brought in by Control Risks Group and said he was ‘a former intelligence officer, now a kidnap negotiator and counsellor’. He attended meeting with the lawyers from IFLG


Clarence Mitchell, Head of the government’s Media Monitoring Unit: According to the reply to a Freedom of Information request, he was appointed on Sunday 6 May to head up the government’s PR support for the McCanns, but he did not travel to Portugal until 22 May 2007

The government set up a very high-powered liaison committee on Tuesday 8 May under the Chairmanship of Matt Baggott, Leicestershire Police Chief Constable. It consisted of representatives from a wide variety of government departments and agencies. The government has refused to answer FoIAct questions about who those agencies were.

Government Ministers Gordon Brown (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary) spoke to Gerry McCann in the first week. Tony Blair, Prime Minister, did so later.

Literally hundreds of international journalists were also there in that first week.



The Daily Mail published a New Year article about the McCanns, written by the McCanns village friend Tracey Kandohla, on 2 January.

It contained these two sentences about the ‘last photo’ of Madeleine ever taken:


But in a fresh start to 2017 the page is open to promote the hunt for the missing girl and shows a montage of poignant photos of Maddie simply entitled “Have you seen me?” Pictures include the iconic last known image of Maddie in pink sunhat and clutching tennis balls while on holiday and an age progression snap of how she may look aged nine.


You would think that by now the McCanns and all members of their team would have worked out which was the true ‘last photo’ of Madeleine.

If they say it was the ‘Tennis Balls Photo’, that gives them a problem. Quite apart from the convoluted tale given by Kate McCann in her book about how the Tennis Balls Photo came to be taken, two different people claim to have taken the Tennis Balls Photo and on two different dates, as HideHo explains in this short video:

…which has had very nearly 100,000 views to date

Just a reminder, then:

Kate McCann, Tuesday 1 May (‘madeleine’, p. 57):

“…I ran back to our apartment for my camera to record the occasion. One of
my photographs is known around the world now: a smiling Madeleine clutching
armfuls of tennis balls”

Rachael Oldfield, Rogatory Interview, says Jane Tanner took the photo on 3 May:

1578 - "The third of May, are you able to summarise the day’s activities"?
Reply "Yeah…Madeleine and Ella and their sort of group came to have a
tennis lesson as part of their crèche activities, erm and Kate didn't have her
camera and Jane was there then as well and Jane took some photos of both
Madeleine and Ella, that's one, that poster of Madeleine with the tennis balls
, that
sort of picture".


This is what Kate McCann says about the pool photo on page 66 of her autobiography, Prosecution Exhibit 1: ‘madeleine’:

'We then sat round the toddler pool a while, dipping our feet, and I took what has turned out to be my last photograph to date of Madeleine".

Even more relevant, on page 123 she describes sitting in Portimao Police Station while husband Gerry was being interrogated a second time by the PJ:

"I made use of the long wait I anticipated by sitting down with a notebook, pen and my camera, containing dated photographs of the holiday, and trying to write a detailed account of everything that had happened the week before".


It’s surely something you’d think Tracey Kandohla would have known by now, what with her weekly cup of tea and cakes with Clarence Mitchell in the early days, and trading on recycling Clarence’s notes into the press for the past 10 years?

Acknowledgment: This was first spotted by the eagle-eyed PeterMac who regularly submits evidence to Operation Grange:



Enlarge this image

Picture 1 – Madeleine by the Ocean Club Swimming Pool

The McCanns say that this photo of Madeleine was taken on the last day of their holiday, Thursday 3 May 2007.


A team of researchers connected to CMOMM noted that the photo was taken on a hot, sunny day. That is obvious from the photo; Madeleine, her father and sisters are wearing light clothing, dipping their feet into the pool. And the two children have summer hats on. Gerry is wearing sunglasses and there is a sheen of perspiration on him. The photo was taken at around 2pm, when the sun is at its highest in southern Portugal at that time of year.

The weather on Thursday, however, was mostly cloudy, cool and windy - not warming up until well after 4pm that afternoon.

So when was it taken?

Saturday was hot and sunny – but the McCanns didn’t arrive at the Ocean Clun until late afternoon. So it could not have been taken on Saturday.

Sunday was hot and sunny.

The weather changed on Monday, becoming cloudier, cooler, windier and bringing some rain. It could not have been taken on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

This photo could only have been taken on the Sunday – four days before Madeleine was reported missing.


A Portuguese witness gave detailed, independent confirmation that Madeleine was alive at lunchtime on the Sunday, shortly before the above photo was taken. It was a cleaner, María Serafim da Silva Espada. This was part of her witness statement to the Portuguese police:

She had the opportunity to observe the photos of Madeleine being circulated everywhere. She has no hesitation in confirming that she saw the child before her disappearance, in the company of her siblings and mother and father, although in the latter case she only observed him from a distance.

“She states that this took place on Sunday 29th April, just before she finished her morning work shift (1.30pm) as she had the afternoon off that day. At about 1.15pm, she went to help her mother, who was cleaning apartment I of the same block (5) situated on the first floor. She clearly remembers seeing Madeleine accompanied by her siblings and mother leave their apartment (5A) and walk to the stairs leading to the floor above. She was very close to them at a distance of about 1 metre, observing their movements for a few moments because she was charmed by them. Madeleine led the way with a plate (perhaps plastic) in her hand, bearing a piece of bread.
As regards the clothes she was wearing she only remembers a skirt but cannot recall its description. She noted, because she thought them nice, the type of shoes she was wearing, tennis shoes, light in colour she thinks, which had little lights along the soles, which lit up each time she stepped on the ground. Her siblings followed behind her, wearing the same kind of shoes and each holding a piece of bread in their hands. Their mother followed behind them without holding their hands. She seems to remember that the mother was also carrying a plate. Moments afterwards, perhaps the time it took to close the apartment door, the father came out and also headed to the apartment upstairs”.


There is no doubt that María Serafim da Silva Espada was describing Madeleine. Madeleine was wearing a dress, or smock top, that day, as can be seen on the above photo. Madeleine and her twin siblings did all have ‘light up’ shoes on that holiday.
But if we look at other claimed sightings of Madeleine that week, there are very few. There are of course claims made by the McCanns themselves, their Tapas 7 friends, and two creche nannies who were close to the McCanns – but none of these are truly independent witnesses, so their evidence cannot be relied on. Of the handful of other claimed sightings of Madeleine that week, all are vague and could just as easily refer to another young blonde girl.

There are no other independent sightings of Madeleine the whole week after this important one by María Serafim da Silva Espada at Sunday lunchtime.

Picture 2 – Madeleine dressed by an adult as a ‘Lolita

This strange picture was never released by the McCanns themselves, for obvious reasons. It was released in a video, three years after Madeleine’s disappearance, by Madeleine’s godfather, Jon Corner, a Liverpool based film-maker. Even national newspapers commented that the photo was ill-chosen as she was dressed like a ‘Lolita’.

There was a ‘Twitterstorm’ of protest about it.

Asked for comments, the McCanns said that ‘Madeleine had been playing with Mummy’s dressing-up box.


On this photo, we can clearly see that an adult has placed a hair bead on her and hung a necklace around her neck. Also visible are two areas of eyeshadow and red lipstick which could not have been applied neatly by a three-year-old. Close-ups of the photo suggest that she even had black eyeliner around her eyes. She had then been photographed, clearly posed. Most observers agree that she does not look at all happy.

This was not Madeleine playing with her dressing-up box.

Moreover, CMOMM researchers noted that in the background was a yellow stucco wall similar to many apartments in Praia da Luz. In addition, comparing this photo with Photo 1 above (by the pool), it appeared highly probable that they were taken on the very same day. Madeleine’s hair length is identical. Madeleine is wearing a pink top in both photos.

And she has a pink hair bead in both photos.

There is every likelihood therefore that the ‘Lolita’ photo was taken some time later the same day as the photo of Madeleine by the Ocean Club pool.

Astonishingly, the McCanns cannot produce one undisputed photograph of Madeleine taken later in the week. The only one they have produced, the so-called ‘Tennis Balls Photo’, is claimed to have been taken by two different people and on two entirely different days. Its true provenance cannot therefore be established.
The McCanns' evidence on these and many other matters cannot be relied on - and in any event is often contradictory or seems deliberately confused...

So we conclude with these two questions.

  1. Why do we not have even ONE undisputed photograph of Madeleine after these two photos were taken on Sunday 29 April?
  2. Why do we not have even ONE independent witness statement to prove that Madeleine was alive after she was seen by María Serafim da Silva Espada at lunchtime the same day, Sunday 29 April.

What happened to her after that?

Madeleine McCann case: Where has CMOMM got to – and what do we need to do in 2017?

Where has CMOMM got to – and what do we need to do in 2017?

Over the past two years, two significant developments – one consisting of research on CMOMM and the other posted by CMOMM member HideHo – have altered the majority view on the forum on what happened to Madeleine McCann and when.

I refer to the ‘Last Photo‘ threads and to HideHo’s very comprehensive work on ‘the lack of credible independent sightings’ of Madeleine from Monday 30 April onwards.

If we look back, the account of Madeleine’s disappearance began with the McCanns’ assertion that Madeleine was seen alive by Gerry McCann at 9.10pm but was being whisked away by a nattily-dressed abductor five minutes later by their friend Jane Tanner. We have all come a long way since then, including even Operation Grange. To widen the time period in which Madeleine could have been abducted from 5 minutes to 50, and to allow Jane Tanner to recover an element of credibility, DCI Andy Redwood invented ‘Crecheman’.

We eagerly awaited the first English translation of Goncalo Amaral’s ‘Truth of the Lie’, and ‘AnnaEsse’ obliged during the latter half of 2008. By that time we had all had a chance to pore over the many translations we were getting from our Portuguese friends from the PJ DVDs released on August that year.

From reading Amaral’s book, it was clear that he regarded the statement of Catriona Baker, Madeleine’s nanny, as valid independent proof that Madeleine was indeed still alive at around 5.30pm-6pm on Thursday 3 May, She confirmed that Madeleine attended the ‘high tea’ at the Tapas restaurant that day. So Amaral and his team suggested that Madeleine died from ‘an accident’ in the McCanns’ apartment, G5A, sometime after 6pm that evening.

And that conclusion has been a fixed ‘fact’ in the minds of many Madeleine McCann researchers ever since. Notably e.g. ‘Textusa’, whose website still says: This blog believes that concerning the MADDIE McCANN case the following happened: - Maddie McCann died in the early evening of May 3rd, 2007, in the Apartment 5A.

Another researcher, U.S. criminal profiler Pat Brown, also adopted Amaral’s conclusion that Cat Baker must be telling the truth, and gave her own account about how Madeleine may have died after 6pm that evening. ‘UnterdenTeppichgekehrt’ (= ‘swept under the carpet’) was another.

From the beginning, people not only queried whether Madeleine had been abducted but openly speculated that she must have died 1, 2 or 3 days earlier. I clearly recall someone called Eric, either from Austria or Switzerland IIRC, who on the early days insisted that she must have died three days earlier.

The two breakthroughs

But the Last Photo thread and HideHo’s research eventually came up with a truly remarkable coincidence.

PeterMac, a retired British police superintendent, sought out two top class experts on digital photographs, one a U.S. University Professor, to give their opinion on whether or not there was evidence that the Last Photo was photoshopped. He did this partly in order to silence the multiple voices of amateur ‘experts’ who insisted that the Last Photo was photoshopped in dozens of different and contradictory ways, and moreover no two of them could ever agree on which way the photo had been photoshopped.

The verdict of the two experts was remarkably clear-cut; The Last Photo is a genuine photo and has not been photoshopped. The experts carried out a battery of forensic tests on the photograph. Both noted that the shadows were very short and noted no inconsistency in the shadows anywhere in the photograph. Professor Harry Farid carried out specific tests on the shadows. Again, he found no inconsistency in them. It was Prof. Farid, however, who noted that it was very easy to change the ‘metadata’ for a photograph, suggesting the possibility that the photo was perfectly genuine but could have been taken on a different date.

That set PeterMac off on a number of new lines of research. He researched the weather data for the week in as many places as he could find. He consulted an expat British amateur meteorologist who lived in Praia da Luz who had maintained contemporaneous notes on the weather that week (28 April – 5 May) in Praia da Luz. He then hunted the internet for photos taken on each day that week in turn.

He noted the main features of the Last Photo: (a) all wearing light clothing, T-shirts, shorts etc. (b) signs it was a hot day – e.g. a sheen of perspiration on Gerry McCann’s forehead (c) children wearing sun hats (d) no sign of wind or breeze (e) Gerry wearing sunglasses (f) all dipping their feet in the pool etc.

He was able to conclusively show from all these data that only the Saturday and Sunday that week were sunny and hot; the weather broke on Monday with a cold front bringing more cloudy, cooler, windier weather and some train. The McCanns didn’t arrive in Praia da.Luz until late Saturday afternoon. He concluded that the Last Photo could ONLY have been taken on the Sunday. How anyone could have the sheer brass neck to accuse PeterMac of being a ‘fake’ or a ‘government shill’ - as has been seriously suggested elsewhere on the net in recent days - is beyond belief. He has for years been putting his heart and soul into researching and publishing facts and analysis on the Madeleine McCann case and every one of us who is sincerely striving to understand what happened to Madeleine, should be hugely grateful to him for his dedicated efforts.

HideHo’s contribution, through coming at the issue from a wholly different angle, provided dramatic confirmation of PeterMac’s work. She meticulously spent hours of research analysing each claimed sighting of Madeleine that week, concentrating on the claims of independent witnesses. i.e. independent of the McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends.

She could not find any credible independent sighting on the Monday, Tuesday. Wednesday or Thursday. The latest one she could find was of a cleaner, María Serafim da Silva Espada who saw Madeleine, and all five members of the McCann family, emerge from their apartment and walk up towards the Payne’s apartment. Her description is detailed and accurate. We can definitely take it as a confirmed, actual sighting. She says it happened at about 1.15pm on the Sunday.

The Last Photo metadata show that the photo was taken at 1.29pm (albeit on a different day). If correct, that would be consistent with my own detailed calculations which showed that in Praia da Luz on 29 April 2007, the sun would be at its zenith at 1.35pm. The shortness of the shadows is a striking feature of the photographs. They are consistent with each other and could not be faked.

The last confirmed photo of Madeleine, then (I exclude the Tennis Balls photo from consideration) appears to have been taken at 1.29pm – or possibly 2.29pm if Gerry McCann was ever right about the photo never having been adjusted for time zones. This matches perfectly with the very detailed account of María Serafim da Silva Espada. The only credible claims of Madeleine being seen after that time are by the McCanns and their Tapas 7 friends – and two very questionable child nannies: Cat Baker and Charlotte Pennington.

So after this research was discussed, published and debated on CMOMM, it was almost inevitable that, unless anyone could demonstrate otherwise, most forum members would be driven to the conclusion that something very serious must have happened to Madeleine either on the Sunday evening or the Monday morning.

Focusing research on the four days before Madeleine was reported missing

And so has begun, and continued, a process of asking questions about what really happened during the four days before the alarm was raised. Some of these issues have been aired and discussed on the forum. Some have not. I list them here in the hope that members and guests here will think about these questions, and suggest possible answers or lines of research. Apart from that, I wish all genuine truth-seekers here a Happy New Year.

A The visit to Praia da Luz of the Managing Director and fellow Director of Resonate, a subsidiary of global PR firm Bell Pottinger, the week before Madeleine was reported missing

We now know that Resonate CEO Michael Frohlich and Resonate dir­ector Tricia Moon were in Praia da Luz days before Madeleine was reported missing, probably from the Monday. The PR News magazine who reported this claimed they were just the4e ‘on a generic brief’. By Friday that week, however, they were already “helping liaise with the British Consulate in Portugal, the Portuguese Police and the Portuguese and UK media”. Hmmm. One moment ‘just there on a generic brief’ but then, by Thursday, right at the very heart of an international media storm. So the questions:

1 Were they just there on a ’generic brief’?

2 Had they been sent there because something serious had already happened to Madeleine?

3 Who sent them? Did Mark Warner contact them and say ‘We just want you here for a few days on a generic brief’?

4 Or had they been in touch with Bell Pottinger on Sunday and Bell Pottinger had ordered their subsidiary to get down there PDQ and do some necessary preparatory work?

B The fabricated lies of an alleged kidnapping by Nuno Lourenco

We have now exposed that Nuno Lourenco’s account of how a man on Sagres beach allegedly tried to kidnap his young daughter was a blatant tissue of lies. We also know that his description of the alleged kidnapper was based fairly and squarely on a Polish holidaymaker, Wojchiech Krokowski. We know that when he contacted the PJ on the morning of Saturday 5 May, Lourenco had with him a photograph of Krokowski;s rented car. We also know that his description of the alleged kidnapper matched almost exactly the description given the previous day by Jane Tanner of ‘Tannerman’.And we also know that Goncalo Amaral and his men were cunningly duped by this deception. We can safely deduce from all of that, that this cunning deception was meticulously planned beforehand. So, here are some important questions that arise from all of that:

5 Was he no more than (as he claimed) a Portuguese ex-pat now living in Germany who had returned home to Sagres over the Easter period to visit his dear old Mum?

6 Who instructed him to carry out this deliberate deception on the Portuguese police?

7 Who decided that Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco would both describe Wojchiech Krokowski?

8 Who came up with the description “didn’t look like a tourist’?

9 Was there a planning meeting at which Jane Tanner and Nuno Lourenco were jointly given these instructions?

10 Given that hairs of the same haplotype of both Jane Tanner and Robert Murat were found at Krokowski’s apartment, could the planning meeting have taken place there, with Krokowski himself in attendance? – and Robert Murat and Jane Tanner also in attendance?

11 Krokowski stayed in an apartment maintained by a company associated with Murat’s father. He ate most of his meals that week at the Burgau Beach Bar, owned by Murat’s aunt and uncle, Ralph & Sally Eveleigh. It was Ralph Eveleigh who apparently supplied the PJ with the information that they should go and check out the CCTV of a record shop in Lisbon. Was there a prior connection between Krokowski and the Murat family?

12 Was Krokowski a willing patsy? Or not?

C The fabricated lies of Vicky Boyd about her son Louie playing football with Madeleine on the Wednesday that week

The story that appeared in the short-lived First Magazine article about Madeleine, in which Mrs Boyd describes lying on a sun-lounger with Kate McCann while her son Louie played with Madeleine is demonstrably false for so many reasons. Richard Hall ; covered this fully in his last Madeleine film and PeterMac has done so in an extra chapter of his e-book ( ’Spot the water-slide’, here: ).

So many questions arise from this, e.g.:

13 Why did Vicky Boyd agree to tell all these obvious lies?

14 Was she paid for her ‘work’? If so, how much?

15 Who set this magazine article up? Did someone do it on behalf of the McCanns? Was it arranged y Clarence Mitchell?

16 What were the roles of the magazine’s owner/editor, and the journalist. In checking out and agreeing to publish this false story?

17 What was the real purpose of this article?

The Make Up Photo

18 Was it taken, as has been suggested, in Praia da Luz the week the McCanns were there?

19 Could it have been taken the very same day as the Last Photo, maybe later on?

20 If so, who took it?

21 Who dressed Madeleine up with hair beads, necklace, blue eyeshadow and lipstick?

22 For what reason?

23 Why do we see no confirmed photos of Madeleine that week (excluding the doubtful Tennis Ball Photo)?

The booking of the Tapas restaurant for the week

24 Who actually booked it? There are different versions.

25 When was it actually booked? Again there are different versions.

26 What was the real reason the restaurant was booked for the whole week?

Indications of preparation

27 Why did the McCanns switch on Monday to having breakfast and lunch in their own room? Had something happened on Sunday?

28 [‘madeleine’, p. 57] Why did the McCanns, as early as Monday, need to use the washing machine and know how to work it? Has something happened the day before which would mean that they needed to do a lot of washing?

29 [‘madeleine’, p.57] Why did the McCanns, as early as Monday, break the window shutters so they need repairing? Was this a mere accident?

30 [‘madeleine’, p.57] Why did Kate McCann specifically mention Madeleine’s new holiday sandals, when discussing the Tennis Balls Photo? Could it be because the body of the girl shown in the Tennis Balls photo was not Madeleine after all?

31 [‘madeleine’, p. 58] Kate claims that Gerry ‘needed a pair of sunglasses’, so bought a pair at a market stall in Praia da Luz on Wednesday. It was, as Kate says, raining that day. But if the Last Photo was taken on the Sunday – a sunny day – why on earth would he need another pair of sunglasses? Or was this reference to Gerry buying sunglasses because the McCanns know the Last Photo of Madeleine on Sunday was the true Last Photo of her? - and they had already planned to change the date it was taken?

32 [‘madeleine’, p. 65 - Kate washes Madeleine’s pyjamas]. Dr Martin Roberts has already provided ample evidence that the pyjamas Kate washed were the very same ones produced in a photograph on a blue hessian–style background and shown to the Leicestershire Police on or about 8 May 2007. These, shows Dr Roberts, were the very same pyjamas shown to BBC Crimewatch on 5 June and again at the Amsterdam press conference on 7 June. They were not Amelie’s as claimed. More evidence of careful planning and preparation for an abduction scenario.

The swift involvement of the world’s media in the project

33 How was it that the world’s media were switched on simultaneously to cover this case at full blast from the very morning of Friday 4 May? Was it just a few random ‘phone calls to press contacts during the early hours of 4 May? Or had key media figures been briefed some time in advance that a big new story was about to emerge?

The people who rushed out to Praia da Luz

The following were all buzzing in and around Praia da Luz within 2-3 days of Thursday 3 May:

British Ambassador and support staff

Foreign and Commonwealth staff
3 top Leics Police officers
Alex Woolfall, Head of Risk at Bell Pottinger

At least 2 members of Control Risks Group
Staff from MI5 or other branches of the security services, including ’criminal profilers’
A team of lawyers
The Head of Centre for Crisis Psychology, Alan Pike, and a colleague
The boss of Mark Warner, David Hopkins and his deputy

In addition:

A Bell Pottinger subsidiary Resonate were on the ground there at the beginning of the week
B Clarence Mitchell was appointed on 6 May, and
C The government convened a meeting of top government officials and agencies on 8 May under the chairmanship of Matt Baggott – which agencies were represented they have kept secret.

So, last, comes maybe the most crucial question we need to answer:

34 What was it about this case that forced the government and everybody else, to act with such lightning speed? What were they trying to suppress?