|No Proof of Photoshopping|
I recently wrote a five part blog concerning Making a Murderer, a multi-episode documentary on the Steven Avery case which recently aired on Netflix and has convinced a good number of people that Steven Avery is not guilty of the murder of Teresa Halbach, that he was railroaded by the police and prosecution for political reasons. The filmmakers presented many pieces of information and demonstrated to the audience what they believe happened in this case; however, they actually did not use evidence to support their theory, it only seemed that way. They presented a profile (crime analysis) based on a theory - their theory - not a profile (crime analysis) based on the actual evidence.
I also just finished watching Richard Hall's third installment in his documentary about the Madeleine McCann case called When Madeleine Died?. The filmmaker presented many pieces of information and demonstrated to the audience what he believe happened in this case, but, again, what I saw was a profile based on theory, not on the evidence.
Both films were well made, in different ways. Making a Murderer is very dramatic and emotional, brilliantly shot and edited. When Madeleine Died? is very calmly and methodically presented, far more professional, in my opinion, than the highly Hollywoodized Making a Murderer. I like how Hall made the documentary, but I am not happy with the content. I disliked everything about the Netflix documentary on Steven Avery because I found it blatantly full of falsehoods and very manipulative.
Both Making a Murderer and When Madeleine Died? are intended to convince the audience that the theory being presented is the only one that makes sense, that it is logical, and that there is evidence to support the theory. In reality, the profiles of these cases require a solid belief in the theory the agenda is promoting; "evidence" is either misconstrued, ignored, or created. The material presented is intended to seem sensible but to actually agree with the conclusions of the filmmakers one must suspend a good deal of logic altogether.
Let's start with the Steven Avery case. The theory is "Avery is innocent." Now we must find evidence to prove this. We run into problems right away. Avery was the last to have contact with the victim, Teresa Halbach, he was the one who asked the victim to come to his property and photograph a vehicle, she was never heard from again after this contact with Avery, her car was found on his property, her remains were found on his property, her phone was found on his property, his blood and DNA was found in her car, and her car key with Avery's DNA was found in his bedroom; and nephew confessed to committing the crime with him. If one uses evidence to create a theory, the evidence heavily points to Avery. The evidence shows Avery called Halbach, Halbach most likely never left the property, someone moved and hid her car on the property, someone hid her car key in Steven Avery's room, and someone burned up her body and phone right near Avery's house. According to the witness, Avery raped and murdered Halbach. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that the likelihood of Steven Avery committing the crime is quite high.
But, suppose you have a theory that Steven Avery is innocent. So you set out prove he did not do it. This is usually the realm of defense attorneys, to go from theory to profile, but now filmmakers are using this same technique, starting with a theory instead of starting with the evidence (as should always be done by police, profiler, prosecutor....pretty much anyone except a defense attorney who HAS to prove his client not guilty). One must figure out how to take damning evidence and turn it around to point away from whoever it points to. Evidence has to either be explained away or twisted in such a way that the jury - or the viewer - will go away believing this new theory.
The evidence in the Avery case is so overwhelming the only way to explain it away is to claim it was all planted; ALL of it! The remains, the car, the phone, the key, the blood, the DNA...all planted by the police or someone helping the police. Someone (probably not the police) had it out for Avery and when this person somehow found out Teresa Halbach was called by Steven Avery to come photograph a vehicle (or saw her doing so), the person took this opportunity to grab Halbach, kill her, burn up her body either right under Avery's nose or he took her someplace and then brought her remains back onto the property and tossed them there along with her phone. Then this person hid the victim's car on the property and got the police to put Avery's blood in it, wipe Halbach's DNA off the key and spread Avery's DNA on it and then hide the car key in his room. And then the real killer got the police to pressure a slow-witted relative into confessing to a crime he didn't do and implicate Avery as well.
What? Does any of this seem even remotely possible? And who is this person? A number of suspects are alluded to in this documentary but none are actually implicated because NONE of the evidence actually points toward anyone else but Avery (and Dassey, by confession).
Making a Murderer simply presents a theory based on agenda, not on evidence; the theory generated the profile; the profile wasn't based on the facts of the case.
Likewise, I see this happening with Hall's When Madeleine Died?.
The evidence points to the evening of May 3, 2007. A number of people stated they saw Madeleine up until that Thursday evening, she was placed in the creche daily for babysitting while the parents enjoyed their freedom on holiday, there are photos of Madeleine in Praia da Luz by herself and with family. The cadaver and blood evidence points to an accidental death resulting in the child's body lying behind the living room sofa for a period of time, and there is a chaotic discovery of a missing child or a dead child that ensues late in the evening. In the hours, days, and months following Madeleine going missing, we often see confusion and conflicting statements and many odd behaviors on the part of the McCanns and their friends. It appears that all was well until the evening of May 3, 2007 and then all hell broke loose.
However, due to what appears to be a strong belief that there has been unprecedented support of the McCanns by certain political entities (and there is evidence that there is some quite unusual level of political support for the McCanns) and a huge amount of media, money and resources used in this case of a missing child that far surpasses any in probably the entire history of mankind, a theory has been developed that if Madeleine did indeed die in Praia da Luz and not at the hands of an abductor, then the massive support system for the McCanns indicates that she did not die an accidental death on May 3 but that she died at some other time and under far more horrific circumstances (which have only been alluded to...some kind of sexual abuse - pedophilia - involving big government people). It is believed that if Madeleine died by accident or even during a rage by one of her parents, there would not be so much high level support; therefore, there must be something more nefarious concerning what happened to Madeleine McCann.
This theory has led to the conclusion that Madeleine McCann died sometime on Sunday (due to something really horrific) and then an abduction staged some four days later on May 3.
Let's look at the evidence that would support this theory:
Madeleine McCann's body showed signs of sexual abuse. No, her body has never been found, there were no previous reports that Maddie had been sexually assaulted. There is only one statement from a woman who thought, on a previous occasion when she and some friends were dining, that Madeleine's father and a male friend shared a gesture that the woman interpreted as having to do with Madeleine and having a sexual meaning. There is no corroboration of this moment by anyone else nor any proof that what the woman believed happened actually did occur.
The Tapas children showed signs of sexual abuse. No, there is no evidence of this.
There were pornographic photos or videos of the Tapas children. No, there is no evidence of this.
There is proof of sexual assault of children by the McCanns, the other Tapas members, or by any of the people connected to the McCanns and this case. No, there is no evidence of this.
So, there is actually not a shred of evidence that there is any sex abuse ring (by McCann and Company) any more than there is any evidence of a sex slavery ring abducting children out of Praia da Luz and environs.
The theory of some kind of sexual assault of Madeleine resulting in death also requires that the evidence of Madeleine falling and dying behind the sofa be ignored. Either the dogs are right and Maddie ended up behind the sofa or the dogs are wrong and Maddie was never behind the sofa. It makes no sense that if Madeleine were to die by some manner other than accidental that anyone then hid her body behind the sofa. If you believe the dogs, you must believe in an accident.
Which leads back to Hall's theory that Madeleine McCann died on Sunday and a team of experts (I guess in cover-up and body disposal) rushed into town to help the McCanns deal with this and stage an abduction.
Now, one would assume if there is some huge government involvement in the crime (high level perverts) and a high level government cover-up of the crime, they would hardly decide to wait until Thursday to stage an abduction and then stage it so badly that it doesn't even look like an abduction and prep everyone so badly that the Tapas group couldn't even keep their stories straight. Along with that, they would have had to have the McCanns parade around Praia da Luz for four days minus one child, nannies would have to be coerced into lying, creche paperwork would have to be forged, and they would have to hope no one outside the circle the damage control team controlled would notice Madeleine was missing. Photos would have to be created (Hall does say that experts have concluded that the Last Photo was not photoshopped but oddly alludes to the possibility that the tennis photo WAS photoshopped....couldn't he get the experts to analyze that photo as well?) or would have to be said to be taken later in the week than was true.
One of the rules of getting away with murder is the less people know about the crime, the better. The fewer Tapas friends who might have helped the McCanns, the better because loose lips do sink ships. The theory of an earlier death date and a bigger organization behind the cover-up requires so many people to know the truth and lie to the police and media that it would be impossible for the truth not to have come out.
Logic has flown out the window with this big governmental involvement and a Sunday homicide of Madeleine McCann. To profile this case as a sex crime involving high level government people requires ignoring the dog evidence, ignoring the behaviors of the Tapas members on May 3rd, ignoring all reports and evidence of Maddie being alive until May 3rd and believing that a skilled "clean-up" crew chose the most amateur plan of action possible, pretending a dead child is alive or parading around a fake Madeleine, and dismally staging an abduction scene they had days to plan and make believable (couldn't this top level team even open a window, add a few tool marks, make footprint or two, and muff up the room a bit? How about planting some fake hair or phony fingerprints?).
The evidence does not support Hall's theory of When Madeleine died?; his agenda has created a theory and the theory then created a profile and the evidence manipulated or ignored in order to create a belief that this theory has merit.
Both Making a Murderer and When Madeleine Died? do bring up interesting ideas and some bits of evidence that are worth looking at further in relation to proper police procedure, proper interviewing, proper prosecution, and proper handling of the media. However, the totality of the evidence in both cases does not support the theories the filmmakers have presented and it is unfortunate that so many do not realize that this is so. Evidence should make the theory; the theory should not make "the evidence." Analyses and profiles of crimes should be scientifically developed by a professional based on evidence, not created by filmmakers' agendas.
Unfortunately, with the advent of the Internet, cheaper documentary production methods, and so many media outlets and so much airtime to fill, the proliferation of agenda based crime shows and documentaries is getting out-of-hand. Investigation Discovery (ID) just aired an incredibly ridiculous documentary claiming that a serial killer and not OJ Simpson may have killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. I can assure you that NONE of the evidence in that case points to a serial killer but that did not stop ID from putting out a total piece of garbage and now the serial killer theory is making the rounds on the Internet.
The next time you see a documentary purporting to prove a particular theory, make sure the filmmaker actually provides evidence supporting his theory, doesn't just throw around "what-ifs," and make sure there is logic holding the theory together. Pay attention to whether the filmmaker ignores evidence, manipulates evidence, or creates evidence, and above all, ask yourself, "Does this REALLY make sense?
Criminal Profiler Pat Brown
February 22, 2016
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.