Saturday, 9 January 2010

Madeleine McCann: "Jane Tanner never left that table that night."


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CBS video from January 20th, 2008, featuring an interview with private investigator, Joseph Moura speaking to CBS presenter, Hannah Storm. I will précis Hannah Storm's questions and type Moura's answers in full.

The video begins with the presenter talking about the Madeleine McCann case, how it has seen the biggest search in Portuguese history and shows some footage of helicopter and ground search. The voice-over introduces Francisco Marco of the Metodo 3 Spanish detective agency which was engaged by the MCanns to help in the search for their daughter. Francisco Marco states that they know where Madeleine is, who her kidnapper is and how he/they did it. There are images of the McCanns and some audio: Gerry from the prepared statement the couple made soon after their daughter's disappearance; Kate from the interview they did for a Spanish TV channel, saying she believes that Madeleine is still, "out there."

Joseph Moura went to Praia da Luz to investigate the case.

The first question put to Moura is whether he believes this or not, that Madeleine is "out there," alive and that Marco knows where she is.

"Joseph Moura: No, I don't because I think it's a pretty ridiculous statement to be making.

Hannah Storm: asks a question about a sighting 2 days after the disappearance, when Maddie was reported to have been seen with 3 people in a van.

JM: The Portuguese police had 160 police officers working on this case. If this was a set of facts consistent with the real case, they would've identified this person by now.

HS: Question about whether the parents brought about the child's death or if someone abducted her.

JM: Having worked the case in order to identify a timeline, what is the real important part of this case is that in my mind was there enough opportunity for these people to have committed a crime and then dispose of the body. We find that the timeline doesn't fit. They couldn't possibly have been involved. Whether accidental or not, they would've had to dispose of the body and there just wasn't enough time.

HS: Question about how many nights in a row the parents left the children alone.

JM: They had already been out five nights in a row and they had set a pattern and every night was 8.30 sharp they had reservations at the restaurant and they all went there to dine and they had between six and seven bottles of wine when they had their dinner. So, when you start looking at that time element, looking at the waiters who served them and at the bartenders who brought them bottles of wine, then that's how you get that time frame that we're talking about.

HS: Asks if Kate and Gerry left the children alone every night.

JM: They did. They weren't the only ones. Their friends also did the same.

HS: Asks about baby-sitters.

JM: It's a good question because they do provide a baby-sitting service at the compound.

HS: Asks if the holiday apartment was visible from the restaurant. JM had visited the Tapas restaurant and sat at the table the McCanns and friends had occupied on the night of May 3rd 2007.

JM: You cannot see the actual apartment that they were staying at from the table where they sat down.

HS: Asks if the McCanns therefore wouldn't have seen anyone coming or going.

JM: They had no actual view whatsoever.

HS: Mentions that Kate McCann has refused to take a lie detector test.

JM: I think that a lie detector test is inconclusive. I wouldn't take one and I would never advise a client of mine to take one. So, that doesn't necessarily bother me.

HS: Asks about inconsistent stories and specifically about Jane Tanner's statement about having seen a man carrying a child.

JM: Jane Tanner gives a very inconsistent story. It's not a truthful story. I'm not quite sure why she did it. I mean it would be impossible for all these people to be getting up and going to check on the children, going off for walks, when they have only an hour and twenty minutes time frame. They have dinner, they had seven bottles of wine and they had their coffees. There's just not enough time to do all these things. She never left that table that night.

HS: In a word, do you think this girl's alive?

JM: I do not."

It seems that Joseph Moura is saying that he thinks the McCanns and friends could not have been involved in Madeleine's disappearance because there just wasn't enough time for them to have made her disappear into thin air as she appeared to have done. Also, he appears to be implying that they wouldn't have managed all the checks they listed on their timeline for the evening on the covers of a child's sticker album, repeated in their interviews.

Mr Moura states, quite categorically, that Jane Tanner never left the table that night. So, I am extrapolating that he believes, or at least believed at the time, that fewer or no checks were actually made on the children, thus creating a greater window of opportunity for any would-be abductor. How he would explain the total lack of forensic evidence of an abductor having passed through the apartment, I don't know: the only fingerprints on the window that was said to have been forced and found open by Kate McCann were her own. No break-in and no traces at all left behind by the abductor.

The most interesting aspects, for me, of this interview are that Mr Moura strongly insists that Jane Tanner did not leave the table and that the timeline details as given by the Tapas 9 would have been impossible, given the time available and their dining and drinking habits.

So, let's run through a few options of what could have happened to Madeleine McCann.

1) There were no checks whatsoever on the children, thus leaving a huge window of opportunity for the abductor, although Gerry was in the vicinity of the apartment when he bumped into Jez Wilkins.

2) The checks were all carried out with the group playing musical chairs and there was a very small window of opportunity for the abductor, who was watching and waiting and accomplished the deed in a matter of a few minutes, leaving no trace of himself and making a clean gettaway.

3) Gerry's was the only check and the abductor had lots of time, thus leaving the McCanns guilty of neglect leading to significant harm under the Children and Young Persons Act (1932)

4) The Tapas 9 are a bunch of lying toads and at least two of them know what happened to Madeleine.

I'm sure there are other scenarios, so please add any you think may be plausible or implausible (like the abduction theory itself) if you wish.