|This bad guy didn't do it....which proves what?|
Numerous people believe that Scotland Yard has been chasing down every burglar and child molester in Portugal because they are eliminating all the possible suspects in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, that by doing so, they can then move in on the parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, arrest them, and have them successfully prosecuted because it can be shown that the investigation has proven that no one else could have committed the crime.
I think many are not understanding what proving "nobody else could have done it" actually means. It does NOT mean nobody else in the entire world because all others have been eliminated as suspects, but that "nobody else could have done it" because only one person had the access and the ability to commit the crime.
For example, a bedridden, paraplegic woman is found dead in her home; her husband becomes a suspect, but could someone else have murdered her? The police are not going to cull the entire community and get alibis for everyone. What they will do is a crime scene analysis to determine if anyone but her husband could have accessed the property and home.
One of the first questions would be, how did the killer get into the house? By door or by window? Let's say they find out the door was locked and only could be accessed by key. Clearly, the woman herself couldn't have opened the door because she could not get from her bedroom to the front door to do so. Therefore, the police need to determine if anyone else might have a key or been able to get a copy of the key to get in. Then the detectives would have to analyze alternate accesses to the house. Is there evidence someone broke in through a window or is it possible a handyman came the day before and unlocked one of the windows for future access?
Also, is there any evidence anyone else even got onto the property? If there is video footage that shows no one else in or around the house, this is certainly a good way to eliminate another suspect. If it is proven by way of evidence that no one BUT the husband could have accessed the home or had been in the home, then this is what is meant by proving "nobody else could have done it."
However, suppose that the woman was not bedridden and she could have simply opened the door to a stranger. Suppose that there was no video footage. Suppose there had been numerous strangers in the neighborhood; salesman, handymen, burglars, etc., quite a number of potential suspects other than the husband. If ANY one of these identified people could be suspects than what one is saying is that any number of OTHER people could also be suspects; even if you alibi out each and every one of the known suspects in the neighborhood, there is still the possibility that there is some other person that the investigation is unaware of who is actually the one who committed the crime. Hence, you can never prove "nobody else could have done it" by just eliminating suspicious people. You can only use evidence to prove nobody BUT one particular person could have done it because it was simply impossible for anyone to have physically committed the crime.
If police are investigating dozens of people in the community it is because they are hoping to find one or more that have a connection to the crime; they are hoping for a confession or lies during an interview or someone getting nervous and ratting someone else out. A lot of times when you see a wide sweep, the police are fishing and hoping they get lucky. What they are NOT doing is trying to eliminate them in order to have a last man standing, a ridiculous notion that would be shredded by a defense attorney. What puts any one person away is evidence that he and only he could have committed the crime, not that a bunch of other people could not be proven to be connected to it. And what complicates this even more is that even good suspects are unlikely to be able to prove their whereabouts and so there would be dozens one could not eliminate from the mix, so you can see how pitifully it would go in court if the police claimed they eliminated all other persons from the suspect list except the defendant.
As a matter of fact, if a police department is searching for suspects based on gut and unscientific hypotheses instead of relying on crime scene evidence, they are failing to investigate properly or completely lacking useful evidence. Suspects should be developed based on crime scene analysis and not simply hauling in bad guys from the community and asking where they were on the night thereof unless you have zero to go on. Proper investigation is logical, not haphazard, and if you see a law enforcement agency bringing in and interrogating suspects "just because" then you have investigators who simply have no leads and are just tossing lines in the water hoping to catch a fish by accident or they are a poorly trained group of detectives who are going by gut and throwing darts or there is some kind of remit that is political and not investigative in nature (trying to appear proactive to keep the media and community from harassing them, railroading someone to put the case to bed, misdirecting the case in order to avoid the arrest and prosecution of a particular perpetrator, etc). History has numerous cases that are examples of both all of these issues; the Madeleine McCann case is just one example of an investigation that is ignoring the evidence (which does exist) in favor of some purpose other than properly solving the case.
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
May 23, 2015
By Pat Brown
Rating:Published: July 27, 2011
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.