Thursday

Madeleine McCann investigation: Second signs of death: the intervention of the British investigators

This information was extracted by Blackberry from page 153-173 of "A Verdade da Mentira" by Gonçalo Amaral
Chapter 16 - Second signs of death: the intervention of the investigators

- first days after disappearance, dogs from GNR searched without finding anything of note

- UK police suggested bringing in UK dogs, but GNR didn't think it was necessary at that time

- after Krugel's visit [and the McCann's suggestions that Madeleine was dead], the Brits began to really emphasize the amazing qualities of the South Yorkshire dogs... which "worked miracles"

- it's July, all the abduction research has proven negative

- a letter is sent to UK requesting their top forensic investigators

- A few days later, Mark Harrison arrives, with dozens of international criminal investigations under his belt working with the best police forces throughout the world, his work is the analysis of these types of cases, giving advice and helping plan strategies and determine the resources necessary. He began work immediately, always in the company of the PJ, Leicester police and Scotland Yard.

- Harrison has full access to absolutely everything, reviews testimonies, movements, etc. A helicopter flys him over Luz, then goes on foot. Streets are measured, distances between buildings, routes on foot and by car considered... meteorlogical factors, geololgic and maritime research... even the best antropologist in Portugal gave an opinion about the most probable state of any mortal remains that might be found.... a study of the carrion-eating wild animals in the area... reviewed all the searches "brilliantly organized" by the regional GNR officers.

- After a full week of work, Mark presents his report: most plausible scenario is that Madeleine is dead, her body hidden near Praia da Luz. He highlights the extensive work done in by the Portuguese authorities to find a living Madeleine... however, in his opinion, it was time to take on new searches with the possibility that M is dead and her cadaver hidden nearby.

- Data from Harrison for children under the age of 5 who had disappeared in the UK since 1960, 1528 cases: in 82% of the cases, the child's parents were the predominate aggressors; in 96%, some kind of relationship existed between the child and the agressor. In only 4%, the aggressor was unknown to the child.

- In this "very unsubtle way", Harrison points out that the solution to this case could very will be hidden in the small circle of people closest to Madeleine. That is, we are now going to consider more seriously investigating the parents and friends.

- Finally, Harrision specifically recommends bringing in Eddie and Keela

- GA says statistics are fine, but the change in investigation is owed as much to the exhaustion of the abduction theory and the necessity to re-start at the beginning.

- To showoff/sell the dogs, Harrison shows a video of them in action to those managing the investigation, which was impressive.

- Harrison suggests taking the dogs to all the apartments (McCanns and friends) and Murat's home; also having the dogs examine all cars to see if a cadaver was transported in any of them. A detailed plan is created.

- At the same time, a piece of equipment from America which identifies people based upon their particular scent was requested. However, it arrived late (requested late and then held up in customs) and was never used... especially because the dogs obtained such "concrete and positive results."

===== THE ENGLISH TEAM =====

- 30 July 2007, Dogs and their handler, Martin Grimes arrives.

- Eddie, looks for mortal remains. ALSO trained to find just the smell of a cadaver, when no actual remains are present to be collected, given that the odor attaches itself to permeable materials, like clothes and car upholstery.

- Keela looks for/finds human blood in amounts so very small that they often can be found by no other technical means.

- Method: first Eddie searches for cadaver odor; if found, Keela tries to find a reason, that is, vestiges of human blood. If they both alert, this indicates that blood was spilt and a cadaver was there. Which could be interpreted as if the death happened in that spot.

- Impressive CV: Eddie and Keela have been used more than 200 cases around the world, including with the FBI; approved "with distinction" in test realized at the "Body Farm", FBI/USA, the only place in the world authorized to use human cadavers for training.

- Used in these famous cases: Attracta Harron (N Irland), Amanda Edward, Charlotte Pinkney (British/Eddie detected a spot where the cadaver had only "momentarily" been laid), Haut de la Garenne.... amazing details given; worth discussing later

- Every year the dogs and Martin Grime undergo testing. These two dogs, as a team, are unique in all the world.

===== EXAMS IN THE OCEAN CLUB APT =====

- evening of 3 August, Portuguese and UK investigators begin at Ocean Club, Apt 5A

- Martin leads in Eddie and tells him to sit at the front door, so that he can remove the leash. Contrary to expectations of this wonder dog-detective, Eddie ignored the command and ran immediately to the interior of the apt, where he ran "devilishly" from the living room to the parent's bedroom. Grimes says worriedly that something has made Eddie nervous and he calls Eddie again so that he can give orders to indicate where to start searching. An investigator is video taping. Some minutes later, Eddie focuses on the floor of the couple's bedroom, next to the wardrobe and gives the alert for cadaver odor, in a strident bark

- Why here, in the couple's room? More goosebumps to follow: Eddie gives another strident bark next to the living room wall, behind the blue sofa, under the window.

- Apt 5A begins to give up its mystery.

- On that night, before 10pm, the investigators see Gerald McCann near the apartment, driving alone in the rented Renault with the face of one "who has few friends."

- If the cadaver (EVRD) dog alerts, then the blood (CSI) dog is brought in. They are trained to find ONLY human blood, even in areas thoroughly cleaned with chemicals or bleaches. Sometimes they find blood vestiges so small that they can't be collected, and the surrounding materials themselves have to be transported to the lab. This happened with Keela.

- Keela is brought in and she marks blood in the same place as Eddie marked the cadaver smell... she stopped, immobile, with her nose pointed at the precise location of the smell. The tiles on the floor.

- Outside, Eddie gives two more alerts of cadaver smell, on the varanda of the couple's bedroom and also in a garden situation directly below it. Here, the bark is weaker, like a "could be", with some doubt, like a human shrugging their shoulders.

- Going now to the other apts, the investigators are nervous. Who knows what will come next? But to the amazement of all, after very careful exams of all the other apts, Eddie exhibits complete disinterest. Martin decides to not use Keela, since Eddie found no cadaver smell.

- There are signs of death in Apartment 5A. It's necessary to confirm that, prior to 3 May, no one had died there. The OC has no records of anything like that, nor the fire department, nor the paramedics, nor the prior apt owners knew of any death in the apt.

- It is concluded, therefore, that the cadaver odor could only come from one person: Madeleine Beth McCann


===== EDDIE SEARCHES AROUND VILA DA LUZ =====

- The search area includes Krugel's "cadaver area". Harrison had created an iron tool for puncturing the soil to allow smells to exit.

- The British team, with PJ and GNR takes a fine tooth comb to Luz, any and everywhere a body might have been hidden or momentarily deposited... buildings, abandoned/inconstruction, ruins, waterways, entrances to sewers, beach, vegetation around the village, including the vulcanic rock "Rocha Negra". No signs from Eddie anywhere else around Praia da Luz.

===== EXAMS IN THE INTERIOR OF McCANN'S HOME [second villa] =====

- when preparing to go to the McCann's villa with the dogs, everyone knew this was the moment to either take up a technical and legal instrument which could assign responsiblity, or fully remove from suspicion, Madeleine's parents in her disappearance.

- We knew, then, that we had failed when we decided to not wiretap and follow the friends and McCanns from the beginning of the investigation.

- The Public Ministry (MP) created the proper search documents. At the same time, they asked for authorization to wiretap the villa and car at that time. The MP agreed, as it's been used in other cases. 24 anxious hours later the sitting Judge, covering for someone on holiday, denied the MP's agreement. No time to re-request, the last chance to know what the McCanns said away from the press microfones was gone, just as the couple prepared to leave the country.

- The search was planned in great detail.

- The villa is on Rua das Flores, 27, rented at the beginning of the summer with money donated to the Find Madeleine Fund.

- 2 August, 6pm-ish, the inspectors knocked on the door. Kate and Gerry were giving the twins a bath in the exterior pool. Surprisingly, they both reacted well to the search warrant and in a forthright and open way gave unlimited access to the investigators.

- Eddie started., going directly to the living room where on top of a chair was cuddlecat, which now had a little green ribbon and rosary around its neck. Again, Eddie showed his 7 years of experience dedicated to forensic crime scene work and, with a determined and affirmative bark, indicated that CuddleCat had been in contact with a cadaver.

- Using cardboard boxes, all the clothes in the house were taken to a specially prepared area to be placed on the ground for the dogs.

- at 23h20 all the clothes are spread out. Again, Eddie marks a strong cadaver odor on Kate's clothes: slacks in black/white check and a sleeveless white blouse. He barks frenetically.

- Keela finds no blood vestiges.

===== EXAMS AT MURAT'S HOME =====

- 4 and 5 August. Ground "aired" and opened. Over two days of thorough searching, no signs from Eddie at Muart's home.

===== EXAMS ON VEHICLES =====

- 6 August, underground parking garage

- 10 vehicles examined which were used by Murat, Michaela, Malinka, Luís António, McCanns and one by Russel O`Brien

- 10 metres between cars to avoid contamination of smells between them

- Martin tells Eddie to start on exteriors, with all doors/windows tightly closed: intense sniffing of wheels, underneath, door jams, edges of boot. 1, 2, 3 cars. Nothing.

- 4th car. Eddie significantly alters his behaviour. Visibly more excited, he doesn't immediately approach the car as he did with the others. He raise his head and, with his nose in the air, sniffs incessantly around the car indicating that he is trying to find the source of that well-known odor and which he has been finding for years, which he had detected in the area and knows he is now going to find. Martin's voice commands him back to searching the car itself. Eddied provides yet another surprise in the case, barking strongly as he alerts to the existence of cadaver odor in the car rented by the McCanns.

- Precisely, Eddie alerts to:

---- the lower part of the driver's door
---- in the boot, where the dog was biting and barking, indicating the was come from inside the car

The car was taken apart by forensic experts and around dawn, Keela finds vestiges of blood where Eddie signaled: the key and the luggage compartment

- As with the apartments, Eddie was uninterested in the other cars, not hesitating nor displaying behaviour similiar to the other vehicles, making quite clear and precises his actions.

- GA says he had already been removed from the team when he learned that one of the McCann's neighbors (at the second villa), a Portuguese jurist, says that in the nights leading up to the dog exams, the McCanns frequently left the baggage door open.

- One of Gerry's bro-in-laws later affirmed they used the car to transport garbage and that, once, some blood from beef spilled in the luggage area, thereby justifying the "strange" odor.

- One of Kate's aunts said that the car had unpleasant smells that she assumed came from the baby's diapers.

These justifications don't stand up to the English dogs. These dogs are exclusively trained to alert to human blood and cadaver odors. The hygiene habits of the users of this car do not even appear credible for the civilized people making up this group, which make the statements of these two, in the very least, bizarre.

===== COLLECTING THE VESTIGES =====

- upon detection, we begin the collection and remit of the evidence to a forensic lab

- 2 early questions: how to collect and where to send. Someone from the Portuguese Police Lab came to do the collection. In a joint meeting between British and Portuguese forensic experts, it was decided to not try to do tests inlocal. Instead tiles were very carefully removed, monitoring all with fotographs, and taken to FSS for Low Copy Number tests, the lab where they can identify DNA from microscopic blood samples.

- to safeguard the samples, the technician who removed the tiles also handcarried them to the FSS.

- 7 august, taken to the FSS were:

---- tiles from behind the sofa and under the window
---- blood from the car key
---- hairs found in the luggage area
---- blood from the lining from the right side of the luggage area

- GA speaks of "blood" when other reports say "bodily fluids" because Keela only alerts to human blood.

This image is printed in the book as a summary of th dog's findings, and having now read the book, that Eddie alert icon is definitely in the WRONG PLACE. Eddie alerted behind the apt, on the Tapas side... not in front, near M's bedroom window. No doubt about it, it was in the back of the apt.

And before anyone asks, I could find no mention of what piece of M's clothing the dog alerted to. This is a detail the investigators are keeping from the public.



Discussion at The 3 Arguidos here