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Rebuttal of "Fact" 1

Page history last edited by Cath 11 years, 2 months ago

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1. The McCanns originally claimed they found the shutters and window of the children’s room open. They ’phoned relatives that night saying: ‘An abductor broke in and took Madeleine’. But when police and the managers of the complex declared there was no sign of forced entry, they changed their story, saying they must have left the patio doors open. The window had been cleaned the day before. Only Kate McCann’s fingerprints were found on the window.


Verdict - False and misleading. The McCanns didn't change their story. Kate's fingerprints were on the inside of the window; it's not known what was found on the outside. Also, MMRG failed to mention the inclusion of the unidentified partial fingerprints which were found on the shutters. 

Source - Media articles and police files. 





Summary of Verifiable Facts


  1. The McCanns didn't change their story. Right from the start, in official statements to the Policia Judiciaria (PJ), they said the patio doors were closed but weren't locked.
  2. There's at least one independent witness who's stated that when she went to the bedroom the shutter was raised and the window was partially open.
  3. Madeleine's parents were upset and in shock. They called people late that night informing them Madeleine had been abducted. After a sleepless night, it was Trish Cameron (Gerry's sister and Madeleine's aunt) who contacted the press telling them about Madeleine's disappearance. She mentioned; the open door, window, raised shutters and what they thought had happened.
  4. The statement given by the cleaner of the apartment, doesn't give any indication of her ever cleaning the window.  
  5. Five fingerprints on the inside of the window were identified as belonging to Kate McCann. The PJ's report doesn't mention how many inadequate fingerprints were found on the inside or the outside of the window. In fact it doesn't even mention if the outside of the window was checked. There are a number of unidentified/inadequate fingerprints recovered from the patio doors and the shutters. After a two week period, there was also a fingerprint found, identified as belonging to a GNR officer.



Extracts from the files, with relevant sections highlighted in red


Re shutters and window


Witness statement of Kate Marie Healy, 2007/05/04 at 14:20hrs


"At around 10pm, the witness came to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed, but unlocked, as already said, and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.."



Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, 2007/05/04 at 11:15


"The side door that opens into the living room, which as said earlier, was never locked, was closed."



Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann 2007/09/07


When questioned, he states that from the first moment, after the first fruitless searches, he thought that Madeleine had been abducted and it was this information that he gave to everyone to whom he spoke. He reached such a conclusion because he did not think it possible that she had gone out on her own or opened the blinds and window in the room.

When questioned, he says that on that night he made several phone calls, including calls to two sisters, a couple of Kate's uncles, his brother or certainly sent him a message, father Paul Seddon who baptized Madeleine and married G. and K.



Witness statement of Amy Tierney 2007/05/06


She confirms that, on the night of the disappearance she was on duty and immediately went to the bedroom to see if the girl was hiding. She saw that the shutter was raised and that the window was partially open. It was then that she began to look in the wardrobes to see if the girl was hiding.
The first idea that occurred to her was that the girl could have left by her own means, however after checking that the window was open and the shutter raised she asked the parents whether Madeleine’s shoes were there, to which they replied that they were, these facts led her to think that Madeleine could have been taken by someone.
However there was a bed against the window, which could have enabled the girl to climb up onto it and then up to the window, the witness thinks it would not be possible as she would not be able to open the shutters and even if she had done so she would have fallen outside as the window is too high for a child of that age to be able to descend without falling.



Witness statement of Antonio Henrique da Conceicao Duarte 2007/05/16


After Roque checked that the child was not in the apartment, he gathered information from the mother and father. He was told by the patrol, that the father had put forward a theory saying that it could have been an abduction. He was also told that there was a shutter that had been 'raised'.



Portuguese Forensics examining the apartment on 4 May 2007, their report is dated 2007/05/08


Finally, there also proceeded the detailed analysis of the door and of the windows of the target apartment there not being detected the existence of any clues/traces of break-in/forced entry on them.



Algarve Resident"Concern grows for missing child in Algarve" Updated 17:41 2007/05/04


"There were no signs of forced entry, and the door to the apartment was undamaged and closed, although it is believed that one of the windows was open."

Re calling relatives and friends  


Witness statement of Patricia Cameron 2008/04/15   


"I remember hearing about Madeleines disappearance by phone on the night of 3rd May 2007. I usually go to bed late but I was particularly tired that night and went to bed early. I was woken by the phone ringing at about 23.30. It was Gerry telling me that Madeleine had been taken. He was very upset on the phone, it was the worst phone call I have had in my life. remember asking him for contacts of people in Portugal so that we could call them. Gerry was in no state to say much. I tried to remain calm for him, I suggested that he contact the British Embassy and I remember him telling me that he had spoken to the local police but they were not taking the situation seriously. I remember Gerry saying that they did not treat the matter with urgency and only stated that Madeleine must have left on her own and that she would be back later. It was so frustrating, Madeleine did not do things like that, she was not that kind of girl.
Gerry is normally very calm and serene, he has a logical perception of things, but he was hysterical he was shouting. He mentioned the possibility that that she could have been taken by a paedophile, I tried to calm him but there was nothing I could say to help him. I had never seen him so out of control. The pain and the anguish, it was the worst scenario imaginable, the waiting was unbearable.

In total frustration, I contacted our local police to ask for help and advice but unfortunately they were not able to help us.
Sandy began to search for phone contacts on the computer and there were phone calls back and forth to Portugal and to the Embassy in Lisbon. I think Kate had called her aunt and uncle. I was left with the task of informing our family here. As my mother is quite vulnerable and fragile I decided to give her the news personally. That was one of the worst things I have ever had to do. We sat in her apartment feeling incredulous, wondering what to do next. I feel the necessity of contacting the media and called the BBC, gave an interview to a reporter and afterwards there were more reporters and more interviews. "



Witness statement of Paul Seddon(McCann Priest) 2008/04/16


"The first time I heard of Madeleines disappearance was in the early morning of Friday 4th May 2007.
I received a phone call from Linda who told me what had happened, and I immediately sent a text message to Kates mobile, telling her that my prayers were with them. I received a reply almost immediately and I remember Kate wrote that she felt as if the world was about to fall apart.
At about 1.30 that morning Kate called me in a state of great agitation. I tried to calm her as well as I could saying that Madeleine could have had a bout of sleepwalking and that she would be all right. I remember that Kate was worried by the fact that Madeleine was wearing short sleeved pyjamas and that she could catch a cold. I felt that only a mother could think like that and say such a thing. I could perceive the trauma that Kate was experiencing from her voice. I led with prayers and other situations in my role as priest.
Gerry phoned me on the same night and he also seemed to me to be quite traumatised and at the same time very upset and angry. His Scottish accent, which was normally very slight, became so heavy that his sentences were almost incomprehensible. I spoke to them again the following morning and their state was practically the same."



Yorkshire Post "Frantic hunt as British girl feared abducted" Published on Fri May 04 19:08:14 BST 2007 Kate O'Hara


Madeleine’s aunt, Trish Cameron, who lives in Dumbarton near Glasgow, said her brother Gerry, the girl’s father, called her on Thursday night “breaking his heart”.

His wife had gone to check on the children and “came out screaming”, she said.

“The door was lying open, the window in the bedroom and the shutters had been jemmied open.

“Nothing had been touched in the apartment, no valuables taken, no passports.

They think someone must have come in the window and gone out the door with her.”



Yorkshire Post "The couple for whom every parent's worst nightmare became a reality" Published on Sat May 05 10:21:58 BST 2007


Speaking in Glasgow, Ms Cameron told BBC News 24: "The front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open, or whatever you call it, and Madeleine was missing."It looks as if somebody has come in the window, they've either been watching or they've targeted her.




Re cleaning window/fingerprints


Witness statement of the cleaner of the apartment, Maria Julia Serafim da Silva, 2007/05/07


"With respect to her activities performed directly in the apartment, she declares that the last time she entered the apartment was on the Wednesday prior to the events, specifically on the 2nd of May, when she cleaned the apartment. When questioned, she declares that as opposed to what is established, on Thursday the 3rd and due to other chores, she did not have time to collect the garbage bags.
She remembers that when she entered Apartment A on the Wednesday, the parents were inside. After being duly authorized, she entered and carried out her work, because they were already on their way out. While she was in the apartment, there were no children there, and she supposed that they were in the creche. While performing her work, she remembers having noticed that the couple was sleeping in the room located opposite the entrance, where she confirmed the presence of a child's bed (crib). The room gives onto an outdoor garden by means of a terrace, as it is on the ground floor,. In the room next to the entrance to the apartment there was a bed placed next to the wall (where she supposed the missing child slept), and also the second child's bed (crib). All these beds were untidy at the time, meaning that they had been used. She also declares that in the room next to the entrance was another bed that had not been used.
On the following Friday, the day after the child disappeared, she states that due to police formalities, she did not clean apartment A"

No mentioning of how long she's stayed in there, what she did and if she's cleaned any windows.



Report by Joao Barreiras, Assistant Specialist 2007/05/04


At apartment 5A, Ocean Club: Inside glass of the window in the children's bedroom. Five prints were recovered; three of the middle finger of the left hand and two of the index finger of the left hand of the mother of the missing child.

Only the inside of the glass was examined at this time due the fact that it was night and the location was sealed until there was sufficient light to allow the examination of the residence to be completed.



Report by Irene Trovão, Assistant Specialist 2007/05/04


At 11:00am on 4 May 2007 I, IT, assistant-specialist, began to examine the following location:
At apartment 5A, Ocean Club:
- Side of the patio door: One adequate print recovered but not matched to known persons.
- Outside of one patio door: Eight inadequate prints were recovered.

- Outside of [the other] patio door: One inadequate print was recovered.

- Outside of the external blinds to the children's bedroom: Three inadequate prints were recovered.



Report by Irene Trovão, Assistant Specialist 2007/05/18


This morning Officer Silva delivered various fingerprints belonging to his officers who were on duty at the apartment on the night of 3 – 4 May 2007.
These were compared to the finger print which was identified as being that of Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa of the Lagos GNR.




Compare MMRG statement with the actual FACTS


MMRG quote: the McCanns changed their story after the police and the managers of the complex declared there was no sign of forced entry, saying they must have left the patio doors open.

Actually: They didn't change their story.  Kate said the side door was closed but unlocked, the door to the bedroom was open, the window was open, the shutters raised. As you can see, that's what they told the GNR. Kate's statement was made before the PJ or the manager of the complex said there was no sign of a forced entry. Her statement has been unchanged throughout.



MMRG quote: they ’phoned relatives that night saying: ‘An abductor broke in and took Madeleine’

Actually:  After the initial unsuccessful search and thinking it wasn’t possible for Madeleine to go out on her own or have opened the bedroom shutters and window, Gerry told everybody (including his sister) Madeleine was abducted. His sister said in a newspaper interview: "They think someone must have come by the window and gone out the door with her.”



MMRG quote: the window had been cleaned the day before.

Actually: How is it possible to verify whether the window was cleaned the day before if there is no record of this in the statement given to the PJ by the cleaner of the apartment? There is also no other mention in the official files stating that she or anyone else had cleaned that window.  



MMRG quote: Only Kate McCann's fingerprints were found on the window.

Actually: Using the word "only" is disingenuous. It suggests there were no other fingerprints found other than Kate's. Five fingerprints belonging to Kate McCann were found on the inside of the window, which isn’t unusual for someone who was residing in the apartment. But these are not the only fingerprints that were found. The fingerprints report also mentions three inadequate fingerprints found on the outside of the shutters. The report doesn't mention the outside of the window and the inside of the shutters ever being examined or the doorknobs.


























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