Madeleine McCann: Martin Smith, Jane Tanner and a computer reconstruction
MADELEINE McCann is back in the news. In recent days the missing child has made it back to the top of tabloid news cycle. There is talk of a reconstruction of the night the child went missing.
The Express announces:
NEW PHOTO CLUE TO MADELEINE MCCANN CASE
We are told:
Detectives are still trying to work out who was involved in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance
James Murray has yet more facts:
DETECTIVES are using the latest computer technology to try to create a new image of a “prime suspect” who might have been involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The Express has published an image before.
They are also working on a “computerised reconstruction” of the night she disappeared by putting thousands of pieces of information into the police Holmes computer.
Back in May 2008, the BBC reported:
A reconstruction of the night Madeleine McCann disappeared will not happen after friends her parents dined with that evening declined to take part. Police had invited Kate and Gerry McCann back to Praia de Luz, Portugal, along with the so-called Tapas Seven. But the friends had “serious questions” about the value of the reconstruction, Mr and Mrs McCann’s spokesman said.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, said:
“The bottom line is that there were a number of serious questions. For instance, why did they [Portuguese officers] want to hold a reconstruction more than a year after the event?”
Kate and Gerry McCann had already decided not to return to Portugal for the reconstruction of the night of their daughter went missing.
A “source” was quoted:
The reconstruction will only take place if Kate and Gerry and their friends agree to take part. If they don’t agree it will not happen.
“Kate and Gerry have had grave reservations about the value of it. If the reconstruction was going to help Madeleine, nothing in the world would stop them taking part.
“But Kate and Gerry and their friends cannot see the point of all the disruption it would cause to their busy work schedules and families if, as they believe, it will do absolutely nothing to help find Madeleine.”
In 2009, the Herald reported:
Gerry McCann, accompanied by a British film crew, has returned to Portugal to advise on a TV reconstruction of the night his daughter, Madeleine, was abducted.
The spokesman for the family, Clarence Mitchell, said Mr McCann, a Glaswegian and Glasgow University graduate, but now resident in Leicester, and friends Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, who were with him and his wife, Kate, on the night their daughter vanished, were in Praia da Luz to ensure that events were portrayed as accurately as possible. Mr Mitchell said: “The aim of this is to get that critical piece of information that could still help to find Madeleine. Gerry has returned with that aim.
“Certain aspects of the witness testimony were hidden deep in the police files and these particular aspects have received very little attention. The private investigators feel that it is very important to highlight these things.
“It’s being done simply in the hope that it will jog someone’s memory. There are new aspects of that night that have not yet been made public and hopefully they will generate new information that could offer the vital clue,” he added.
There were, reportedly, no plans for the Portuguese police to televise their aborted reconstruction.
In May 2009, Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, was broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm:
The Sunday Express understands the Yard team have been examining all photofits, e-fits and drawings of people suspected of being involved in the disappearance of three-year-old Madeleine from an apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007. One of the best known drawings was based on a description given by a friend of Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate. Jane Tanner claimed she saw a man carrying a child in his arms but did not get a good look at his face.
Other images were created from witnesses who saw people acting suspiciously in the vicinity around the time of the crime. Irishman Martin Smith and members of his family saw a man carrying a child in his arms at about 10pm, about 45 minutes after the Tanner sighting. However, he was not asked to help produce a photofit. The Met refuses to discuss the details but it is expected that officers will approach Mr Smith and his family for help. Yard experts are looking at ways of improving the images to end with one pristine likeness of the “suspect”.
The Belfast Telegraph reported:
Mr Smith, from Drogheda , was also on holiday in Praia da Luz at the time.
At about 9.50pm on May 3 he and his family were walking up a road less than half a mile from the McCanns’ apartment when he saw a man carrying a blonde girl of about four.
Mr Smith said in his police statement: “I thought they were father and daughter so I wasn’t so suspicious… The man didn’t look like a tourist. I can’t explain why — it was probably from his clothes.”
The Express ends:
Kate and Gerry, of Rothley, Leicestershire, hope the review will lead to a full scale reopening of the case.
The single-thread story of missing child that sparked a voracious media frenzy needs an ending. There are no suspects. The police have yet to prove a crime, if any, took place. The innocent McCanns were libelled. So too was Robert Murat. All we know for certain is that an innocent child is missing…