Monday, October 8, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Another “Ludicrous" Theory in the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann

A short time ago, I made a suggestion that the British police might investigate the McCann’s residence (and the residences of friends and family of the McCanns) for the possibility that the body of Madeleine McCann might have been transported into England. Some folk immediately labeled the theory ridiculous, or ludicrous, as the McCanns would say. How, they asked, could the McCanns carry a putrefying and decaying body in a suitcase and get it on and off of an airplane? I understand that this sounds mighty foolish to many who don’t work in the field of criminal investigation and profiling and they think Pat Brown is a nutcase par excellence!

Let me clear up a few misconceptions: first of all, it is a theory, not a fact. Secondly, a theory is useful to stimulate investigative avenues not yet thought of that might lead to evidence that would otherwise have been overlooked. Third, offering one theory does not mean it is the only theory or even the best theory. It is far more likely that Madeleine’s body is somewhere underground in Portugal or Spain or in the ocean. These are simpler places to bury a body. It may be that the body has just not yet been discovered. This is very often the case; while rumors and theories abound about white slavery and porn rings and sightings are made of the victim all over the world, the body of the poor thing has simply been lying in a ravine for the past few months! Sometimes bodies fall into strange and difficult places or are well-buried for years. Then, one day a jogger trips over the body or a farmer turns over some soil to plant his corn, and, voila! The victim has been found.

Maddy McCann will likely be found in a similar way (unless someone did one heck of a job of hiding her). Whether a child predator took Maddy or the parents did her in, she will probably one day just be found. However, there is nothing wrong with being proactive and trying to find her sooner than later. Therefore, the police should follow all leads and theories. IF they find her sooner, than not all the evidence with the body or within the body will have been destroyed by time and nature.

So, search in Portugal and Spain and any other place one can think of. And, yes, search in England: Maddy just might be there.

Would it really be possible for one of the McCanns to cart the body of their daughter back to England? Yes, absolutely. Because of the climate in Portugal, it is possible that should they have buried Maddy in a shallow grave in a sandy substrate, her body would have mummified. Mummification is a desiccation of the corpse where the fluids drain into the ground and the rest of the body dries up. There is relatively little odor associated with a mummified body.

If this occurred, the body would be easier to transport; it would be lighter and drier and lacking the horrible smell of a corpse. Such a body could easily be placed in a sealed bag and placed in a suitcase. Screening of stowed luggage is not likely to uncover a body inside of a suitcase and when the traveler reaches the other end and goes through customs, they enter the “Have nothing to declare line,” and just walk through (unless they exhibit concerning behavior that raises a red flag and launches a search of the luggage). As to the McCanns, I seriously doubt they were searched upon arrival, not with all the press surrounding them and the mass of curious onlookers, reporters, and VIPS lurking about.

IF the McCanns were involved and IF Maddy’s body was brought home, when this would have happened is another question. Unfortunately, only those inside the organization would (we hope) know the truth about the McCann’s movements. For example, Gerry McCann returned to England on June 19, just four days after an exhaustive search for Madeleine was called off. This search was in an arid, desolate area (the kind of climate which might encourage the mummification of a body) near a town called Odiaxere. A letter from an unknown sender had stated she could be found there in a shallow grave. Four days later, Gerry is on a plane home. I don’t know if he took any luggage with him, anything more than a rucksack (which I don’t know the size of). He only stayed for the day, purportedly to attend some meetings. He claims he had his wallet stolen while getting money from an ATM and later that evening, the wallet was mailed back to him. A rather peculiar story that I wonder might not be a cover for the reason he was late to his meetings; he ostensibly spent the time calling credit card companies to cancel his credit cards.

If I were the police investigator, I would follow up this lead. I would want to know what luggage Gerry took with him to England. I would try to see if there was any proof to the wallet theft story. I would find out if he had any “alone” time on the trip. I would find out if he made those phone calls to the credit card companies and if he really got money from an ATM. I would find out exactly where he was that day through any evidence of his movements (phone call tracking, receipts, witnesses, etc.). I would want to know if anyone met him, especially anyone who he could have transferred a package from one suitcase to another.

I would check all the McCann trips and look for possibly ways for them to transport a body away from Portugal. And, again, I would look for all possible places within Portugal or neighboring countries as possible places to hide or bury a body. I would check the possibility of a burial at sea.

If I were the Portuguese police, I would be following all leads, even those that lead away from the McCanns. It never hurts to be thorough. The point is to recover Madeleine, dead or alive, and bring justice to those that hurt her. In the end, it doesn’t matter which theory is correct (except as an educational tool for future investigations). It only matters that the case is solved.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown


Anonymous said...

I must say I think your theory of the body being transported is unlikely. With the threat of Terrorism, all luggage is X-rayed. Surely a skeleton would show up on an X-ray? Even with special treatment for the McCann's by airport security, it would be unlikely they would let any luggage on to a plane that had not been checked, just because others may have tampered with it. Furthermore, would the McCann's if guilty, take the risk?

I think the McCann's lied in the beginning, to cover up how long they were leaving their children, probably for hours at a time. Thus, they created suspicion.

A holiday resort that caters for young familes will atrract people who are sexually interested in young children. I think she was abducted by someone either from within the resort, or who tipped off a friend from outside that the beautiful little girl was being left alone. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

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Eyes said...

Every avenue should be taken to exhaust all leads. It will only lead to the truth.

Celtic sleuth said...

Very interesting post. I agree that all leads must be followed up. When I talk about this case with people they say things like, 'highly unlikely'. But I ask them to think about it. I would have thought it highly unlikely that two doctors would have thought it a responsible thing to do to leave three children alone in the apartment. I would have thought it highly unlikely that two parents, who facilitated the disappearance of their child, would begin a tour of Europe, leaving their two children behind, stopping off on the way to meet the Pope - their 'faith and devotion' has never stood well with me.

Regarding the trip to England. I read that Gerry McCann booked an economy seat to fly to America but was bumped to first class - don't know about the veracity of this but it does fit the profile. I think he is narcissistic enough to believe he would get away with transporting incriminating evidence.

This is such a good website.

Anonymous said...

To Celtic Sleuth, yes you are right, anything is possible and the McCann's should have been thoroughly investigated and still should be.

One thing I found out that amazed me, is that Portugal is regarded as a Paradise for paedophiles, there are no effective laws and the courts are not interested.

People who have visited the resort since the abduction say that staff in the bar and elsewhere, quietly gossip that it was an inside job.

Anyway, we will only know if the evidence is published.

Anonymous said...

Anything is possible in this case and I agree with Pat that all avenues must be explored and investigated.

However, I do not see a strong motive to risk taking the body back to England.

One motive might be to give Madeleine a proper burial, but I can't see the McCanns would be that bothered to take such a huge risk. It isn't as if they are caring parents in the first place.

Another motive could be just because they can, to show to themselves how smart they are and how much smarter and more manipulative they are than everyone else, something they and their PR seem to thrive on.

But I think they have done something 'smart' with the body and do not expect it to be found.

It is like searching for a needle in a haystack and not even knowing if it is there. If they transported the body by car, allowing for a few hours driving it could be anywhere in an area of over ten thousand square miles of terrain that includes isolated marshland, barren rocky landscapes and scubland. Or it could be in the sea or dozens of other places suggested or there may not even be a body.

This is a game of chess to them, carefully thought out and always outsmarting the police with every move. They know that stalemate is all they need to win and.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, the McCanns are interfering and attempting to manage and control the Portguese police investigation. Here in the US we see major media so-called professionals and experts siding with the McCanns claims that the PJ are corrupt or bumbling idiots. Where are these people getting their information? I'll tell you where - the British Media and highly placed government officials who have from day one protected and promoted the McCann parents as victims.

I think one element of this case not yet investigated and reported on is the private business fund created so early on after Madeleine went missing.

Lastly, anyone who read Gerry's blog entries on the Madeleine website up until a few weeks ago would have to be blind not to see the man isn't playing straight.

I don't think this case will ever be solved thanks to the McCann PR machine and all the protections they've managed to either buy (via monies from the suspicious Find Madeleine Fund) or UK government interventions.

I believe Gerry's blog entries are important. Here is a link to the archives of those blogs: It's strange how Gerry has deleted past entries. Maybe because he often misspelled Madeleine's name or is it because many of his blog entries were coded messages to the Tapas friends.'S%20BLOG%20DIARY.htm

Celtic sleuth said...

I feel very uneasy after reading those blogs. The tone exudes arrogance that is off the scale. Thanks for that Pamela

Anonymous said...

I certainly think all the McCann's razmatazz made it very difficult for the PJ's. But whether this was because the PJ's had at first told them thast Madeleine was alive I do not know.

Flying all over the place and making daily announcements does not seem right. The PJ's would have needed to pay attention to the daily announcements and photocalls, certainly a distraction.

Anonymous said...

Another thing, Gerry McCann has recently said when he visited the apartment to check on the children the door was open. There seems to be a mix up here, at first he said that the door of his own bedroom was open and he thought Madeleine had gone in there to get away from the twins. Then it seems the bedroom of the children had the door open.

I looked back, and on the 6th May in the Times, a relative said that he looked in the children's room and Madeleine was lying there holding her red comfort blanket, and later when Mrs McCann looked there was just the blanket.

So no wonder the PJ's are suspicious.

But would a group of friends conspire to cover up the death of a little girl, I cannot accept that.

Anonymous said...

I too also have a hard time believing all the Tapas friends conspired or made a "Pact of Silence" as it's been rumored.
But what if they had sedated all the children in order to enjoy the nights out? They were out each night, maybe Madeleine's dose was increased and she suffered an overdose. Maybe since the other members of group had sedated their children as well they agreed to be silent in fear of losing their jobs/good reputation.
I don't know...
There seems to be so much out of order but I do think Gerry and Kate aren't being honest about medicating Maddy.

And Gerry's blog...
Very, VERY strange. I'm really surprised media hasn't commented.

Indiansummer said...

Near by Huelva-there is a big lake with acid, sulfur acid make by the copper industry.May be this is not impossible.

Anonymous said...

It was reported in the Mirror (daily taboloid in UK) that a team of criminal profilers were sent from Britain to Portugal at the end of July (before the parents were awarded status of suspect). Could I ask Pat Brown what the profilers will be examining and how they will go about helping the investigation.
Someone in Britain...

Anonymous said...

Madeleine disappeared during the evening, May 3rd.
The parents claimed that the window was forced opened.
No evidence of this whatsoever.
The police said it was opened from the inside.
Higly unlikely that an abductor would open the window.
The Madeleine private company "fund" was ready along with the website by May 10.
Fast? You bet.
Was this all they were worried about? Money?
They claim they do not know Murat.
May be they do.
Did Murat and O' Brien met in Exeter two weeks prior to the child's disappearance?
Too many unanswered and a lot of cash!!!

Nicci said...

I think it would be a good idea to have a discourse analyst look at the statements made from different sources and witnesses. What is emphasised, what is avoided, how is the conversation lead in a certain direction and why. One witness of the McCanns behaviour emphasised he did not know that the McCanns had children. Why say this? To emphasise bad parenting or to say he was not involved. So many people want to speak out that analysis of this type may help.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not think that this theory is ludicrous and is absolutely a possibility of what happened. The only thing is that I do not think that Madeleine was transported by airplane but by a car or van.

I read somewhere that somebody saw a person looking like Madeleine laying down in a white van in the north of Portugal, on the route that you normally would leave Portugal by car (going tot the UK).

What if the truth is even more horrific than we think. Looking at the narcissist attitudes of the McCann and the sexual innuendos during a previous holidays with their so-called friends, it would not surprise me if the McCanns are part of a group that have TAKEN Madeleine, with the consent of the McCanns, and are hiding Madeleine somewhere (probably in the UK).

In exchange, the so-called abductors get a lot of money from the McCanns and the McCanns suddenly have a life of luxury, which they have always dreamed about.

The McCanns never did care about the well-being of Madeleine, before nor after the abduction. They only care about their life of luxury.

This is simply shown by the fact that "the McCanns have never felt leaving tiny toddlers to fend for themselves constitutes neglect".