There is a lot of talk going on right now that the Smith family made up Smithman (all nine of them), that he never existed at all. I won't go into the all the theories on this out there, but I will tell you why I totally buy the Smith sighting: the McCanns themselves.
Yes, my Number One reason for believing the Smiths saw a man that looked like Gerry carrying a child toward the beach is the McCanns themselves. Because the McCanns refused to give the sighting credence when the police detectives and private detectives did. And this is strange behavior, indeed, for the parents of a missing child.
Across the board, parents of missing children will believe in the possibility of almost any sighting being their child. They ask you to run down the most ridiculous and unlikely "suspects' simply because the "what if" factor is there - even if it is also "one chance in a million" - because they simply don't want to take a chance on that anomaly being true and ignoring a possibility to find their child. They will force their private investigators to follow every ridiculous lead "just in case," and PIs making $100/hr are more than happy to check out any and every so-called lead because they make a pretty good living doing so. (And getting your PI to privately take photos of a bunch of Gerry-look-alikes in Praia da Luz to prove Smithman isn't Gerry is not the same thing as acknowledging the sighting and truly going out to the public for help in finding the man).
But, here we have the McCanns, with two HUGE leads! Two very excellent leads: one that their trusted friend saw - a man coming right from their apartment carrying a little girl. Hey, if their friend isn't a liar (and the McCanns are innocent and didn't put her up to making this man up), HUGE lead. Yes, I get why they would want to follow this one, absolutely. But, then we have Smithman. Another HUGE lead. Same scenario as Tannerman, only instead of a trusted friend seeing a man carrying off a little girl, we have nine people saying they saw this. Again, HUGE lead! What parent of a missing child would have any good reason to believe one of these leads was absolutely true and the other one absolutely false? Both sightings were entirely possible with the supposed timeline, so why would the parents of a missing child have no interest in pursuing the second possible abductor, a lead as strong as the first, ignore one of only two leads they have?
The answer is this: there is NO parent of an kidnapped child who would ignore this lead. Not one. And since this is a fact, the McCanns ignoring this lead can only mean one thing; they are not parents of a kidnapped child.
Kate McCann finally gives the Smith sighting credibility in her book but only if the Smith sighting is the same man as Tannerman. In other words, she admits its existence but still axes fifty percent of her chances of finding her daughter by ignoring this sighting as a true separate lead. Either she didn't want that badly to find Madeleine or she knew no sighting was going to bring her child back from the dead.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
June 6, 2014
Published: July 27, 2011
By Pat Brown
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What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann in Praia da Luz, Portugal in 2007? Was she abducted as the Gerry and Kate have claimed or did something happen to Madeleine on May 3 in the vacation apartment and the incident covered up? Criminal Profiler Pat Brown analyzes the evidence and takes the readers through the steps of profiling, developing a theory that is intriguing and controversial.