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The Corpse Ride - Dr. Martin Roberts

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The Corpse Ride - Dr. Martin Roberts

Post  interested on Fri 13 Feb - 15:14

Dr. Martin Roberts' latest, 13 February, 2015, is available at www.mccannfiles.com under "Latest News" (scroll down)
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Re: The Corpse Ride - Dr. Martin Roberts

Post  wjk on Fri 13 Feb - 17:31

The Corpse Ride

McCanns' Renault Scenic with open boot

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
13 February 2015


The magnificent seven

In the early summer of 2007, a Renault Scenic (registration number 59-DA-27) was used to transport some decaying matter (garden waste) somewhere in the Portuguese Algarve. Ironically, it afterwards smelt of human death and decay. One of its several registered drivers thought the pungent, unfamiliar, odour was the consequence of leaking shopping bags, full of red meat and fish, but the behaviour of a specialised dog with a keener sense of smell later suggested otherwise. Of course the dog was not to know that another of the vehicle's registered drivers (a Leicester-based GP), was wearing the same clothes on holiday that she had previously worn while sitting with deceased former patients at home in the UK, and holding a child's toy for comfort.

One of the dead fish carried back from the market in July 2007 must have been called Wanda, so nearly incredible is it that this vehicle, hired by the McCann family on 27 May (to facilitate their move to alternative accommodation, some 1.5 km distant from the holiday apartment they had previously rented), should itself become a suspect in the disappearance of the family's three-year old daughter Madeleine.

Investigation into the circumstances of the child Madeleine's disappearance led to the unsavoury conclusion that she had been transported in this voiture sometime after her absence was first noted (a suspicious possibility indeed); furthermore, that she might not have been entirely healthy at the time. Given this train of thought on the part of investigators, it is not at all difficult to appreciate how the sniffer dog's reaction might have come to be interpreted as having something to do with the child's fate. But as we know, or have at least been told, this coalescence of events was nothing more than a remarkable coincidence, leading to a complete misunderstanding.

Madeleine's perplexed parents have asked, rhetorically for the most part, exactly when this extraordinary act of transportation could possibly have occurred, in a car they hired 'weeks later'. A good question, to which there may yet be an answer.

Delivered and signed for on 27 May, the 'his and hearse' MPV was used to transport the goods and chattels of the McCanns to a villa on the outskirts of Praia da Luz on 2 July ("We completed our move to the new accommodation today" – Gerry McCann). The 'fresh food' shopping (and subsequent cleaning), by odour-sensitive, driver for all seasons, Sandy Cameron, must have taken place before he and his wife departed Portugal for the UK, on the 29th. In the meantime they too resided at the McCanns' new, albeit temporary, villa home.

Sandy Cameron was not merely a named driver in this instance. According to a much later interview with UK Police (15.4.08) he was the 'habitual driver' and used the car daily, acting largely as chauffeur to the McCanns' two younger children. No one, not even Sandy Cameron, makes any mention of nasal discomfort during trips made in the car early that month (July). In fact, when describing the perceived need for a 'valet', he explains that it arose later on ("After this shopping trip and still in the month of July 2007, I began to notice a strange odour in the car."), indicating that some time had elapsed between his conveyance of fresh fish (and/or garden waste) and his noticing the noxious smell, 'still in the month of July', and obviously before he left for the UK.

'A stitch in time saves nine', so they say. Preventive measures are therefore the order of the day. It would have been a bit too late to start worrying about the removal of garden waste etc., once Sandy C. had gone and the police sniffer dogs had arrived, which they did on 30 July. Thankfully, the McCanns were being kept abreast of developments ("We were well aware that these developments were going to happen. We were informed in advance" – Gerry McCann). Although they had a 'routine meeting' with Police in Portugal on the very same day the dogs turned up, that could scarcely be interpreted as making them 'well aware', since it would have left them no time in which to attend to all that garbage. However, a longer than expected meeting with Police had already taken place, on Wednesday the 18th.

Kate McCann has more recently returned to her own rhetorical question as regards misadventure involving the hire car, which, like their daughter, was scarcely left unattended, offering little if any scope for abuse. It came during an exchange with a judge in Lisbon:

Judge – "Do you recall an interview that Mr. Amaral gave to Correio da Manhã?"

Kate Healy – "He gave several interviews but I do recall one in particular which was exaggerated. Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken inside the boot of the car we had rented seven weeks later."

This is indeed an interesting observation. Whatever support the Portuguese police may have believed they had for their theory that Madeleine's frozen body was eventually relocated, there is nothing to suggest they were ever in a position to specify exactly when such a deed might have been accomplished, i.e., 'seven weeks later', some unspecified time after May 3, when Madeleine is said to have disappeared, and whilst the McCanns were still resident within the Ocean Club complex. Perhaps Kate McCann was talking about the car having been rented 'seven weeks later'. But that doesn't work either, as the car was delivered to them on 27 May – barely three weeks later. What on earth is she talking about here? Well, what happens if we consider seven weeks post-delivery of the car?

Take five

Seven weeks on from 27 May takes us into July, by a fortnight at least, Monday 16th marking commencement of the seventh week. On the 18th the McCanns had their unusually lengthy meeting with police, and on Saturday 21st, the last working day of their seventh week of car usage, they did what?

"Spent the day with the kids and visited the Algarve Zoo Marine" is what, Gerry McCann clearly tiring of writing 'Kate & I' all the while, as he had done in his blog on so many previous occasions, even as recently as the day before.

So there they all were, presumably, Kate, Gerry, and the twins, not forgetting of course their chauffeur, Sandy Cameron, who "drove the children to the zoo and the beaches in the area" - an entirely reasonable assumption, although those with a professional interest in statement analysis would recognise the potential significance attaching to the complete absence of any subject pronoun from Gerry McCann's statement. 'Spent the day with the kids', etc., does not tell us who did so exactly.

Presumably they all ambled around the zoo within conversing distance of each other - hailing distance at worst. Except that being separated, even by the sort of space that exists between a ground-floor apartment and a Tapas restaurant, does nothing to explain why Kate and Gerry McCann should have felt the need to speak to each other by 'phone!

Gerry McCann was demonstrably in the vicinity of Guia Zoomarine when he telephoned Kate shortly after 1.00 p.m., but where was she when twice returning his calls forty-five minutes later? They must still have been some distance apart when Gerry called back again just after 4.30.

Kate's handset activated the Luz antenna, not the same one as intercepted Gerry's calls at all, and each of these radio masts has an operational radius of several kilometres at least. Whilst Kate McCann may not have been 'phoning her husband from the infamous 'triangle' therefore, it is by no means the case that she was necessarily standing in the middle of the town square either. Intriguingly Kate's diary entry for 21 July, unlike Gerry's blog, makes no reference whatsoever to visiting the zoo, despite her daily record being otherwise littered with such trivia.

Only 24 hours earlier, Kate McCann had taken the afternoon off (to deal with a backlog of e-mails apparently), while Gerry accompanied 'the kids' to the beach. She would not have needed to skip off home from the zoo for that same purpose therefore. Gerry McCann made his personal contribution to communications management six days later, on 27 July, spending most of that day "dealing with e-mails and making calls planning future events", until 5.00 p.m., when he left Praia da Luz and, shortly after 6.45 p.m., checked his voicemail messages whilst in the vicinity of Sagres, no doubt grateful to Sandy Cameron for having cleaned the car in the meantime.

What further stimulates interest in Kate McCann's whereabouts that Saturday afternoon (21 July) are the entries in her own diary for the 18th and 23rd, dates on either side:

"WEDNESDAY, JULY 18: It was suggested that Madeleine is dead and buried in an area close to the beach, behind the cliff."

"MONDAY 23 JULY: I got up at 7.00 and went running. I was surrounded by a pack of dogs (more or less 12) – it really wasn't a nice experience. I went to the flat, high part of the cliff as I felt really alone and a little frightened. Please God, don't let Madeleine be buried here."

Reference here is to 'dead and buried' on the 18th, 'buried' on the 23rd. Chronologically, she did not put the cart before the horse at least. In-between there was the 21 July trip to the zoo, concluding that seventh week (from May 27).

In her diary, covering the period 4 May until 31 July, Kate McCann mentions 'death' on only three occasions. The first is on 4 May, when she asks, rhetorically, "Is she dead?" The other two references are as just described.

However, the week commencing Monday 16 July was also that when South African Danie Krugel, and his 'invention' (a missing people locator), joined the search for Madeleine. Since his field-work in this case was monitored by the police, one has to consider the possibility that it is this exercise which spawned Kate's observation of the 18th, as above. Her diary entry for that date continues:

"What can I say? I feel my body's on the verge of collapse. How much pain and emotion can one body take? I had a bad afternoon. I was very worried, desperate, extremely on edge. I don't think I can take any more of this, I really can't. How much longer will this suffering go on? I need Madeleine ALIVE."

Dead reckoning

One could be forgiven for supposing Kate McCann was 'on edge' for reasons other than anxiety over the welfare of her missing daughter. Nevertheless, Krugel's work extended over four days, sixteen hours a day, according to his own account (later offered to both the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mail of 7 October). Additionally, he was at the same time quoted by the News of The World as saying, "I spent four nights in July carrying out my searches."

How then was Kate McCann seemingly able to recount a suggestion of death and burial on Danie Krugel's part after only 24 hours, before Krugel's work was even finished, never mind documented? NPIA man Mark Harrison, who did not arrive in PdL until his services were formally requested by the PJ on 20 July, wrote his report and conclusions concerning Krugel's investigative methods on the 23rd.

This question is further aggravated by Kate McCann's subsequent book ('madeleine'), in which she describes how their meeting with the PJ on 18 July "ended with a final body blow. Danie Krugel...had produced a report for the PJ based on his findings." (p. 199)

'Had produced'? Prior to this meeting even? Krugel had only just arrived in Praia da Luz, from Portimao (on the afternoon of 16 July, at the earliest, according to Goncalo Amaral, the 17th according to those duplicate accounts in the Sunday Mirror and the Daily Mail, of 7 October). He would of course proceed to invest four days (and nights?) in his personal search.

How can he possibly have prepared a set of conclusions for the PJ before their meeting with the McCanns on the 18th therefore? Once again, 'it was suggested' offers no clue as to who in fact made the suggestion, or when. Nor does Kate's diary entry attribute the suggestion to anyone in particular. It is in her book that she renders it just possible, describing the couple's return to Portugal from the UK as being synchronous with Krugel's arrival in Praia da Luz ("We flew back to Portugal early on the morning of Sunday 15 July – the day Danie Krugel, his team and his 'matter orientation system' arrived in Praia da Luz." p. 197-8).

Unfortunately she then proceeds to compromise her own story.

"In spite of the cynical tone of my diary entry, we were actually both quite excited about the prospect of Danie's work, though I think this was probably due more to the fact that something was happening which might take the investigation forward than to absolute faith in his methods. It might come to nothing, we knew that, but anything was better than the sense of stagnation we felt was beginning to seep in." (p. 198)

What diary entry? Kate made none for the period 13 -16 July, nor did she make any mention of a meeting with Danie Krugel on the 17th. The book reference is clearly to a conversation prior to, and in anticipation of, Krugel's 'search'. Even the opening remarks of Kate's 18 July entry can scarcely be described as 'cynical'.

If a meeting between Krugel and the McCanns took place between 15 and 17 July, as Kate implies, then why did she make no reference to it whatsoever in her 'diary'? Krugel himself alluded to it that autumn at least, which appears to confirm that it happened. Crucially however, he did not reveal where or when. As far as Gerry McCann's blogs for the relevant period are concerned, Danie Krugel is conspicuous only by his absence, as is any mention of an alarming report emanating from his 'search'; a report that Gerry would surely have found no less troubling than did his wife. Clearly the incident was of less significance for Kate McCann than the twins' riding in 'Noddy's car' and 'Popeye's boat' (7 July).

Kate's diary would go on to underpin her later book. On her own admission therein, she did not commence making diary entries as such until 23 May:

"Setting aside some blank pages in the notebook I'd been given for the days that had already passed, I wrote a few paragraphs on a couple of occasions the following week, though I didn't begin in earnest until 23 May, twenty days after Madeleine was taken. From then on, I kept my journal consistently, and when I had a spare moment I went back and filled in the blank pages with notes of our activities and my recollections of every day since 3 May 2007." ('madeleine' p. 126-7 )

It is apparent from this, Kate McCann's personal account, that her daily commentary for the period 18 – 23 July should have been contemporaneous, i.e., not overly retrospective and concomitantly subject to errors of recall. That in itself is sufficient to cast serious doubt upon the veracity of her entries concerning this potentially crucial weekend, although Kate's memory for activities on any given day may well have been suspect (e.g., "SATURDAY, JUNE 2: I can't remember today.").

On the face of it the McCanns cannot have learned of Danie Krugel's reported conclusions at the close of their meeting with the PJ on 18 July, as, with a four-day search in prospect, he would not yet have arrived at them. In which case, any reference by Kate McCann to death and/or burial around this time is just as likely to have originated with Kate herself, not with a third-party who, coincidentally, would go on to confirm her suspicions.

Kate McCann has apparently attempted, in her book, to shift Krugel's activities back in time, just as she has eased others forwards. If so, she is at least a day late, and a dollar short. Even if he got started on 16 July, by his own reckoning Danie Krugel will have just finished his 'work' on the 19th – a day after the McCanns meeting with the PJ.

It is always possible however that Krugel exaggerated, or was misquoted in the press that autumn. As far as he was concerned his four working days may have included the Sunday of his arrival, if Sunday was indeed when he landed, after which any one 24-hour period might have involved sixteen hours of toil, though not all four days necessarily.

As to his meeting with the McCanns, perhaps that was not so much a meeting with them exclusively as one at which they happened also to be present. And yet the 18th would have been too late to announce his intentions, which were by then already accomplished. For his and Kate McCanns' recollections to coincide, they would have to have met beforehand. (The McCanns seem to have had rather more meetings with the PJ than those they have deliberately brought to the attention of their readers in any event).

Kate McCann's 'account of the truth' though is open to question. So too is the diary. Her entry for 17 July opens with: "Finding it very difficult to talk to people from home, unless they are directly involved. It is difficult to show an interest in other people's lives and children at the moment." The pair had just returned from a christening, in Yorkshire, of the Wrights' two children!

Gerry, at least, visited the zoo on July 21st. On the 22nd, the eighth week after the car was delivered to them, he left for America. In his wake, on the 23rd, Kate exclaimed, "Please God, don't let Madeleine be buried here". It seems, on this one occasion at least, as if God may have been listening.

Back to the future

Credibility in this instance appears to hinge upon exactly when Danie Krugel touched down in Portugal from South Africa, as that would determine the time of his eventual arrival in Praia da Luz to begin his 'search' ( i.e., 16 or 17 July). He did not appear in PdL that very Sunday, as Kate McCann would have us believe. That said, Krugel's follow-up report to the police was so trivial, by all accounts, he probably could have handed it in after a day or so. Surprisingly perhaps (because it again receives no mention whatsoever in 'the diary') the Krugel expedition had in fact got under way several weeks earlier:

"So, in the second week of June, we had confided in Auntie Janet and our friend Amanda back in Leicestershire and got them to go round to our house looking for hairs that could only be Madeleine's. They came up with five head hairs from the inside of a coat hood and a couple of eyelashes from her pillow and couriered the lot off to Danie in South Africa. They didn't question what we were doing: they, too, were just desperate for Madeleine to be home.

"A week or so afterwards, Danie informed us that he had obtained 'signals' relating to Praia da Luz, but that he would need to come over in July and operate the machine in the Algarve to produce more accurate results and pinpoint Madeleine's location." ('madeleine', p. 187)

If the McCanns' activity in late July appears suspicious, the same could be said of their previous movements that month.

Let's just recap that Lisbon courtroom interaction:

Judge – "Do you recall an interview that Mr. Amaral gave to Correio da Manhã?"

Kate Healy – "He gave several interviews but I do recall one in particular which was exaggerated. Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken inside the boot of the car we had rented seven weeks later."

The PJ may well have been lacking the specifics, but if there is one thing about which we can be absolutely certain it is Kate McCann's adroit use of syntax.

Throughout her book there are instances of her misleading the reader via their own spontaneous, yet false, interpretations. Take the above for instance, where the phrase 'seven weeks later' is positioned so as to qualify the preceding 'car we had rented'. If, as we have already seen, one applies this concatenation to events as they occurred, it makes no sense at all; unless, that is, one treats reference to car rental as commencing with its delivery.

There is another possibility however - that with or without the PJ holding evidence at the time, the word order of Kate's courtroom response ought to have been:
"Where he said that Madeleine's body had been kept frozen and then taken, seven weeks later, inside the boot of the car we had rented."

Seven weeks beyond 3 May takes us to the week 21 – 28 June. Although Kate describes in her diary matters of domestic importance arising on Sunday 24th and Tuesday 26th, Monday 25th apparently failed to materialise. It didn't happen. Nor did the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday (for Kate at any rate), or indeed the entire first week in July! We have to resort to page 186 of the book for any mention of the McCanns' suggesting to the PJ, on 28 June, that Danie Krugel be invited to officiate in Praia da Luz. Although the phrase 'dead and buried' is not used explicitly, Krugel's area of expertise, so called, makes the inference perfectly obvious.

Kate picks up the story again on 7 July, which Gerry describes in his blog as a 'quiet family day', saying nothing further. The more fulsome Kate however concludes with: "(I can hardly wait to say "See you tomorrow.")" Mmm.

Faites vos jeux

There appear therefore to be two candidate periods in relation to Goncalo Amaral's seemingly 'ludicrous' suggestion. Unfortunately, Sandy Cameron's cover story, as told in his Rogatory interview of 15.4.2008, does not allow us to choose between them:

"On one occasion, I believe it was in July of 2007, I took Patricia to the supermarket. We carried bags in the boot (trunk) of the Renault Scenic; bought various items including fresh fish, shrimp and beef. When we unloaded the shopping bags, we noticed that blood has run out of the bottom of the plastic bag. After this shopping trip and still in the month of July 2007, I began to notice a strange odour in the car."

Perhaps the casting vote should go to the concerned resident of Praia da Luz who, had she bothered to approach the vehicle, might also have noticed a strange odour, but who at least noticed the car boot open, day or night, from the time it arrived with the McCanns at their new villa address. Translated, her statement toward the end of the documentary, The Truth of the Lie is given as:

"I drive down this street every day to turn my car around at that end, and every time that I passed the house I looked at the car, and the car always had an open boot door, day or night."

The McCanns completed their move to this accommodation, we are told, on 2 July. It wouldn't be very long before Sandy set off to fetch the shrimp.
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Re: The Corpse Ride - Dr. Martin Roberts

Post  Wintabells on Tue 17 Feb - 2:21

Completely fascinating. If only this guy was working on the case.
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Re: The Corpse Ride - Dr. Martin Roberts

Post  tanszi on Tue 17 Feb - 23:17

I agree  I d love to meet this person.  so insightful.
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