Monday, 15 September 2008

Gerry McCann: sniffer dogs are not reliable

Sniffer dogs have a high failure rate, according to Gerry McCann. In an interview with the Portuguese weekly Expresso, when asked to comment about Eddie and Keela searches at Praia da Luz, Gerry said that a study made in USA proved that those dogs were not reliable.
Sniffer dogs were tested, according to Gerry McCann, with boxes containing vegetables, bones, garbage and some human remains. For 10 hours, four sets of boxes were left in ten rooms. After the boxes were removed, the dogs were called in and “failed in two thirds of the cases”, said the father of Madeleine McCann.
Eddie and Keela handler, Martin Grimes, in a statement that is in the DVD files of the investigation of Madeleine’s disappearance, says that the dogs have been used in around 200 cases and never gave a “false alert”.

Eddie and Keela videos

Two full videos of the dogs' search at Praia da Luz can be watched here:

Eddie and Keela at the McCann rented house

Eddie and Keela searching the cars

Monday, 1 September 2008

The tennis tournament (*)

On the afternoon of May 3, 2007, it was planned a tennis tournament, only for men, organized by the Ocean Club management. The Tapas 7 and their children went to the beach. Madeleine and the twins spend the morning at the crèches and had lunch with Gerry and Kate, in the apartment. The children were taken back to the crèches between 2:30/2:50 pm, according to Gerry's statement to PJ on May 10, 2007.

After lunch, the McCann couple spend some time at the tennis court and later Kate went jogging to the beach. Gerry stay playing. They met again around 5:30 pm, in the area near the Tapas Bar, where all children from both crèches were having “high tea”.

Kate said that she and Gerry went back to apartment, with the children, around 5:40 pm and gave them bath, together (statement to PJ, September 6, 2007). They thought about taking the children to the playground area, after bath, but decided not to do it, that day, because the children were really very tired. Just before 6:00 pm, Gerry left the apartment and went to the tennis court.

Kate had just finished to take a shower, around 6:30/6:40 pm, when somebody knocked at the door (the door facing the swimming pool). She put a towel around herself and went to the door, where she saw David Payne. Payne went to the apartment to help take the children to the playground, according to Kate, because Gerry asked him to do that.

According to his statement, on September 7, 2007Gerry was playing tennis. At around 6:30 pm, David Payne came from Paraíso bar, and asked him if he was going to keep playing. Gerry said he didn't know, because Kate could need some help to take care of the three children, as they intended to take them to the playground, after the bath.

Gerry “thinks” Payne offered to check if Kate needed help, and came back few minutes after. Questioned about the contradiction with his previous statement (from May 4, 2007), where he told that Payne came back 30 minutes after leaving to check Kate and the children, Gerry said that he was referring to the period of time it took Payne to make a second come back to the tennis court - David returned to the tennis court, few minutes after 6:30 pm, following his check on Kate. Then, he went out again, according to Gerry, to go to his apartment and change clothes, to play tennis.

When Payne knocked at the A5 apartment, Kate said she talked with him for 30 seconds (statement to PJ, September 7, 2007) and told him the children were not going to the playground area, as planned. Payne didn't came inside the living room, just stood at the door, and left to the tennis court, around 6:30/6:40, according to Kate. Gerry came back from tennis at 7:00 pm (he left at 7:20, according to the other three Tapas' men, Russel, Matthew and David Payne, who played tennis until up to 8:00 pm)

At the end of the questioning, on September 7, 2007, PJ detectives asked Gerry if Madeleine was ever hurt, during her stay at Ocean Club. Gerry said he would not comment on that. After the detectives asked the last and formal question – if he had anything else to declare – Gerry McCann said hat he saw no evidence that Madeleine was dead, so he would continue the searching, hoping to find her alive.

When the same formal – and usual – question was put to his lawyer, Mr. Pinto de Abreu, he requested that his client was questioned again about if Madeleine had ever bleed. Gerry answered and said that Madeleine bleed frequently, from her nose, but he ignored if it had happened during the holidays in Portugal.

David Payne, in his statement to Leicestershire Police (LP), on April 2008, said that Gerry asked him to check if everything was all right with Kate, around 6:30 pm, May 3, 2007. After talking with Kate for 3 to 5 minutes, he went to his own apartment, dressed for tennis and went to play with Matthew, Russel and Gerry – but Madeleine's father just played for a little while and left.

Payne, Matthew, Russel and Dan, the Ocean Club tennis coach, played until certainly after half past seven, perhaps until just before eight o'clock, according to David Payne. But Fiona Payne told Leicester Police that his husband was back in the apartment around ten minutes past seven. Her mother, Diane Webster, was more precise, in her statement to LP: she left the tennis court about seven o'clock, May 3, 2007, with her granddaughters and his son-in-law arrived ten minutes after and helped her to bath the children.

(*) Based on statements from:

  • Gerry McCann (May 4, May 10 and September 7, 2007, PJ);

  • Kate McCann (September 6, 2007, PJ)

  • David Payne (April, 2008, LP)

  • Fiona Payne (April, 2008, LP)

  • Dianne Webster (April, 2008, LP)

  • Russel O'Brien (April, 2008, LP)

  • Matthew Oldfield (April, 2008, LP)