Anorak News | Madeleine McCann: A Crimewatch appeal, living in ‘purgatory’ and the criminal never carried a phone

Madeleine McCann: A Crimewatch appeal, living in ‘purgatory’ and the criminal never carried a phone

by | 4th, October 2013

MADELEINE McCann: Anorak’s at-a-glance look at the missing child in the news:

Front page of the Daily Express: “Police close to breakthrough.”



There are “3 news suspects”.

The Yard yesterday revealed new evidence has been uncovered about the fate of the youngster and announced that three more suspects or “persons of interest” have been identified.

They are not suspects, then. They are people the police want to talk with.

The Met is searching phone records from the time the child vanished.  The Express says:

Police say 99.9 per cent of those who left their phone footprint will be innocent residents, holidaymakers or workers. But they could lead to new witnesses and potentially unearth an abductor.

The 0.1 percent of all human life around Praia da Luz on May 7 is suspicious? And that’s only the ones with mobile phones. What if the criminal didn’t use one?

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said: “We are trying to establish precisely who was nearby when Madeleine disappeared. A lot of the sources of information we would use to solve a crime in London are not available to us in Portugal. There is no CCTV footage so we are having to do it the hard way. We are working outwards from the spot where Madeleine was last seen. It is like peeling the layers of an onion. Everything is designed to bring us to that core moment when she disappeared. We hope to speak to everyone who was in Praia da Luz at the time. The majority will be entirely uninvolved in what happened but some will be witnesses and others may be suspects. This is not just a general trawl. This is a targeted attack on the mobile phone database. It has not happened before.”

What can phone data tell us. The BBC’s Matthew Wall knows:

As mobile phones constantly send and receive data from mobile phone masts, a user’s location can be identified to within a few hundred metres using triangulation techniques. Modern smartphones with GPS built in can be located far more accurately.

Mobile phone records include the numbers of the call sender and receiver, the call duration and time. Couple this with location information and you can establish where and when callers made or received a call. This information is often used to verify or knock down alibis in criminal cases.

The difficulty for investigators is establishing the identity of the user if the phone is pay-as-you-go (PAYG) rather than on a pay-monthly contract linked to a bank account. PAYG phones, SIM cards and top-up cards can be bought in-store for cash, leaving no identifying trail for investigators to follow.

And because such phones can be lent or sold to other people, establishing exactly who made a telephone call is made even more difficult.

As ever the Star also has incredible news:

Cops’ new clues in the hunt for Madeleine McCann. A BOMBSHELL police theory about Madeleine McCann is to be revealed by Crimewatch.

Great. Another theory. Any facts?

And Madeleine’s doctor parents Kate and Gerry, both 45, will make an appeal for information about a new line of inquiry.

Still both doctors. But what about facts?

The Crimewatch special goes out on Monday, October 14, at 9pm. 

The Sun: “Mobile data key to Maddie hunt”

Key. It is?

POLICE hope mobile phone records at the resort Madeleine McCann vanished from could lead to a breakthrough in their hunt.

So. The mobile data might not be of any use at all, let alone “key”.

Evening Standard: “Exclusive: Inside Scotland Yard’s new Madeleine McCann hunt incident room”

Just Davenport has news:

This is the nerve centre of Scotland Yard’s £5 million investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The Standard was today allowed exclusive access to the incident room in London where detectives are running the world-wide inquiry into the missing child.

The hunt for  the child really is a huge deal.

Located on the second floor of Belgravia police station, the room is the centre of a massive inquiry involving tens of thousands of documents and files. Detectives work surrounded by shelves stacked with 39,000 or so documents from the Operation Grange inquiry. A separate room contains more files from police and private detectives.

Detectives are poised to release a new appeal with “fresh substantive” material and a new theory of what happened when the three-year-old vanished.

Great. Another theory.

Officers are combing through a huge log of mobile phone traffic identified in Praia da Luz, in Portugal, at the time of Maddy’s disappearance while she was on holiday in the Algarve with her parents Kate and Gerry McCann and her twin siblings six years ago. Detectives are focusing on a list of 41 so-called “persons of interest” including 15 British nationals.

The Irish Herald:

The McCanns will appear live on BBC Crimewatch on October 14. The programme will also feature a reconstruction. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “It’s not just a ‘can you help us’ appeal. There is some different material and a different understanding.”

Why not tell us now? A child’s life could be at stake?

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said the move could be crucial to the investigation. He added: “We have a data-set of phone traffic. In a targeted way, we’re trying to say, in a particular moment in time, who was there.”

He admitted his team could not say for sure it knew everyone in the area at the time, but added: “What we’re trying to do is to use every route available to us to identify as many of them as possible. If you were in Praia da Luz at the time, you may get a call from the police.”

Even if you were there, you might not be spoken to by police.

The Times looks at the scales of the probe:

The phone data of holidaymakers from 30 countries could hold the key to solving the mystery of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in Portugal…

Or as the Telegraph says:

Madeleine McCann detectives appeal for help from 31 countries in mobile phone trawl

As the hunt goes on, the Northants Telegraph reports:

The pain of Gerry and Kate McCanns, from Leicestershire, over the disappearance of their daughter was “multiplied 100 times” by a book by a former Portuguese police chief, a court has heard. Gerry McCann’s sister Trish Cameron said he and wife Kate, who are from Rothley, had been left in “purgatory” by the disappearance of Madeleine and claims that they were somehow involved.

Speaking at the libel trial of former police chief Goncalo Amaral, Mrs Cameron said the publication of his book in 2008 and a TV documentary based on it the following year caused the family to be “vilified” and “demonised”.

“My brother and sister-in-law live in purgatory because they have no end and they are looking for the truth,” she told the court.

The McCanns say the former detective’s claims in the book The Truth Of The Lie, including suggestions that they hid their daughter’s body after she died in an accident and faked an abduction, damaged the hunt for Madeleine and exacerbated their anguish.

If successful the family stands to gain around £1 million in damages…

“This (the book) perhaps gave people a conclusion, but it’s not the right conclusion, it’s all lies,” she said.

Under cross-examination from the former police chief’s lawyer Vitor Oliveira, Mrs Cameron was asked if she was aware of a petition, signed by 17,000 people in England, in January 2008 calling for social services to investigate the McCanns for leaving their children alone.

“I had heard of it, yes,” she said. “They were not happy about it and they took action to counteract it.”

Mr Oliveira also asked if she was aware that 70% of British people in August 2007 condemned the couple for having left the children alone on the night Madeleine disappeared, to which she replied: “No, I did not know that.”

Such are the facts…

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