Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The McCanns and the Magician Trick of Misdirection

We have a new documentary, The McCanns and the Conman (read: another criminal gets paid by the media to lie to the public) airing June 4 on Channel 5 in the UK.  It appears to be about Kevin Halligen's "abuse" of the McCanns and their fund, how he lived the highlife on money designated to find their daughter. The twist in this show is this; although the conman was ripping off the McCanns, he inadvertently did some good work, identifying the man the Smith's saw as the abductor (yeah, like the PJ hadn't already done that) and getting the Smiths to give a description that ended up as the now publicized e-fits, and somehow getting the Smiths supposedly to retract the statement that the guy was Gerry McCann (oh, wait, no, that won't be explained that way). Scotland Yard is said be basing their investigative strategy on Halligen's leads on this man (who, of course, is not Gerry).

I am sure we are going to hear in this program about how the emotionally fragile McCanns were taken advantage of by this snake oil salesman....blah, blah, blah....something that seems to happen a lot to the McCanns  (considering they also hired the Metodo 3). But, one question I am sure they are not really going to address in this documentary is why the McCanns chose this crook; why they needed a man who claimed to be a superspy and not someone with proven skills in investigating missing children's cases, perhaps a profiler or PI or an agency with solid recommendations from missing children's organizations who would charge only 1/10 of the price Halligen got, something they should clearly have kept in mind since they were supposedly using the donations of well-meaning people; they had a responsibility to use the money wisely and honorably. Also, regardless of their own theories of what happened to Madeleine, parents of missing children usually put their trust in seasoned professionals, experts who really know how the abduction of children works, who took look for, and where. But, no, the McCanns chose whack jobs, flamboyant showman who seemed to have no prior experience for the job at all. How badly did the McCanns really want to find their missing daughter?

So, yeah, why Halligen? And Metodo 3? Why them? Why not a sound, reputable fellow that would properly conduct his investigation?

I would say it is because the McCanns did not want any investigator who would focus on Praia da Luz and the evidence. Like Scotland Yard, I believe the Number One requirement for the person they hired would be 1) accepting the "fact" Maddie had been abducted, and 2) accepting the "fact" that Maddie was not abducted by a local Praia da Luz sex predator.

I believe the most important part of what appears to be a faux investigation by the McCanns is that the private detectives make the hunt a worldwide one, not one local to Praia da Luz, that all searches for Maddie be directed far away from the town and environs. Through this worldwide search into international sex rings and children stolen for adoption, the concept of what might have happened to Madeleine would become something all people fear might happen to their own children and that what happened to the McCanns had nothing to really do with the neglect of their children, their possible use of medication, the apparent death of a child in their apartment, and anything else that occurred in Praia da Luz on May 3rd, 2007. In other words, LQOK AWAY! LQOK AWAY!

Misdirection is a common magician's trick. Fool people into not paying attention to what is really happening. In this case, make people look everywhere in the world for Maddie, everywhere but where she really is and where things really occurred, look for a live child in every country money can be sent in to the fund from instead of looking for a child buried quickly on Portuguese ground. I think this is the misdirection the McCanns have been involved with for seven years.

Hence, you can't hire an investigator who is going to focus on the evidence because doing so will only accomplish one of two things: that he will be focusing in on Praia da Luz and the Tapas 9 or he will at least be focusing in on Praia da Luz and a local sex predator Neither of those scenarios keep the money coming in for the "search" fund and both of them narrow the focus down to the night of May 3 and what happened right there in town.

For the McCann's objective, an ethically challenged PI was needed...to LQOK the other way. Finding such jokers is not difficult. There is a lot of money, endless money, to be made in looking the wrong direction because this is one way to assure an investigation can go on for years and years. For that matter, looking in all the wrong places keeps the fund going for years and years as well.

The McCanns' refusal to acknowledge the Smith sighting as valid and their attempt to hide this information from the public can only mean one thing: they didn't want the man carrying a little girl toward the beach to be identified. Either it was Gerry or these parents had no interest in finding the "abductor" of their child. I would like to hear the McCanns explain that, wouldn't you?

I think the title of this new documentary should have simply been called "The Con Artists."

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

May 27 2014

 Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

Published: July 27, 2011
By Pat Brown
Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
(5.00 based on 5 reviews)

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.


Anonymous said...

Again well done You have it in one .Its believable and thought provoking looking forward to watching the said program

Anonymous said...

Pat, Scotland Yard are whitewashing a few (related?) things at the moment - see operations Fernbridge and Fairbank as well as Grange. Exaro news have the latest on Fernbridge - Met smearing of an abused lady who has identified a high profile abuser.

Anonymous said...

Pat,If Amaral had contacted you on 4th May 2007 and asked you to bring your specialist skills to the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, would you have accepted, would you have made any conditions, & how would you have gone about it(without benefit of hindsight? Not in any way a catch question - I'm genuinely interested to know how you would have supported the PJ investigation if you had been part of it at that time.

Pat Brown said...

Anon 12:36

I definitely would have worked with the PJ. I did pro bono work for over a decade here in the US, paying for my expenses out of pocket. I think I might have asked them to cover travel for this situation as it would have cost far more than a stateside analysis.

Conditions would have been the same as a US analysis. I ask them to not give me their theories up front and let me have full access to the evidence and information. I always start at the beginning where all reviews should start - with analysis if the crime scene. Then I move on to evidence and interviews. Sometimes I have been deputized to interview people. Then I would write up my profile of the case and go home and hope I had helped the investigation move forward.

The biggest difference in this case if I had been brought in on May 4th would be that my input could have helped direct the investigation in the right direction from Day One. I have stopped working on cold cases because providing proper direction years later is nearly useless. Now, I am working to promote deductive profiling (crime scene analysis on fresh cases, not cold, having a profiler as part of the team on fresh homicides or training the detectives to do better analysis themselves.

IF I had been there on May 4th, I might have been able to prevent the PJ from going down the stranger abduction road (Murat) or at least allow for side-by-side avenues of investigation; Murat, in case more turns up to prove abduction, and the McCanns, as the evidence points to no abduction and odd behaviors. Maybe if there had been a focus on the McCanns from the start (not unusual though for detectives to overlook grieving parents as suspects a la JonBenet), things might not have gotten so twisted.

Pat Brown said...

BTW, when I say "me" I mean any deductive profiler or detective trained in deductive criminal profiling and crime scene analysis. There is nothing so amazing about analyzing crime that a logical person can't do it with proper training. The trick is to hire logical detectives and get them solid training in the methodology. It is a skill, not some innate ability. When you see Goncalo explaining everything in his book and video, he is doing deductive criminal profiling. It is not the stuff you see on TV....that is inductive profiling, an FBI method which is not scientific and should not be used in individual cases.

Anonymous said...

Wow Pat, you really have got a wiggle on with this case these days.
Please don't stop trying to get your viewpoint heard, you have more of a chance than the rest of us 'normal' folks.
was Halligen a known felon at the time he was hired? I read that Metodo had no experience with missing children and the choices of both beg the question of "why not employ investigators who have experience of looking for missing people"?
I feel madeleine is dead and has been for about 7 years now. The poor child deserved better.

Pat Brown said...

Everyone deserves better Anon. Maddie, the twins, other missing children and their families, Amaral, hardworking detectives and the citizens. We are all getting screwed by politics and the media and unethical and incompetent police investigations.

trustmeigetit said...

Well Pat… Here is a new article that looks more like you are again… right about good ole SY.

Its like a heads up that they are tellling us this will likely not have any results…

Title of the article kinda says it all but I posted the link as well so I didn’t take up space posting the full article.

Madeleine McCann News: £6m Investigation May Still 'Draw A Blank', Warn Police


Thomas Baden-Riess said...

The most bizarre thing about the hired detectives for me is that Henri Exton seems quite reputable. I mean surely this whole thing was just a charade, with the money these two were getting, being passed on in some way or another, to someone, like BK, who was owed it for their involevemt in the affair.

One of the things I have found interesting about this case is the use of spin. I have come to see that spin doctors and PR firms are really the evil cousins of magicians and writers.

I'm sure you will have made this observation Pat, having written several crime novels, because when you write crime novels, just like comedy (which is almost identical in structure to crime -- SET UP, MISDIRECTION, SURPRISE), you have to basically tell the reader all the information, (so that at the end they can say, it was staring me all in the face) without making it obvious what's going to happen. In essence you have to put a spin on all your clues.

PR is similar, because you have to acknowledge the known facts of the case, but spin them in such a way that 'the reader' goes off thinking in the opposite direction.

I have to confess I've come to respect spin doctors for their skils. I just don't understand how they can be so souless to do what they do and why they wouldn't just prefer to keep their skills for some form of art.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat

Oh boy this is a strange case alright and all the participants are not telling the whole truth etc etc.

Mr Amaral's investigation was probably the closest to a resolution of the reason of how/why Madeleine went missing I reckon but let's say a patsy was landed with the accusation of removing her body?

Even then a good defence lawyer would ask the reasonable question as to whether Madeleine was in 5a to be removed by anyone? As far as I can ascertain apart from the circumstantial evidence ( witness statements from those closely involved ) there is no verifiable proof that Madeleine was in 5a to be taken at all.

Ironically they could only prove Madeleine's existence in Rothley and potentially the Scenic car, yet there is no trace in DNA terms of Madeleine in 5A.

That is a weird juxtapostion for me.

Mr Amaral and his team say she died in 5a and was removed from 5a
yet the bedding in the room was never analysed and I mean both beds and the bedding from both the cots. That would have been my first forensic action in case the abductor accidentally left any evidence. You should be looking for things that shouldn't be there. Madeleine allegedly was there ( not proven) and the abductor ( if a complete stranger? ) shouldn't have been.

If SY should be scratching their heads about anything it should be the scientifc evidence and lack of it not necessarily the phone evidence. True, that helps but science usually is objective not subjective.

Just opinion though.

Anonymous said...

@PAT, beggars beleif it was set up as a company not a charity, they have rail roaded the public for ages, time to pull the plug on them funds, disgraceful, and insult to madeleine, sick.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pat,
Thanks for your full response to my enquiry about what your methods of investigation might have been if you had been there from the start. It stands out that both you and Amaral have a well tested methodology, a consistent approach to the variables where every case is a take 1, because no two cases can be assumed to be the same. People have sniped at the PJ’s approach, but what we don’t know for sure was when the case began* in terms of whatever happened to Maddie, nor to what extent the crime scenario and responses of the ‘victims’ had been dressed and rehearsed before the PJ arrived. Then we have to remember the PJ were dealing with a whole posse of ‘Doctors’, a title that still begs respect, and even after Crippen, Shipman etc. people are incredulous that ‘doctor ‘parents could be involved in anything criminal, important because on the two child cases I have seen at close hand, the police’s suspicion was by methodology firstly (but as it happened, wrongly) on the parents – actually the father in each of those cases. The big difference in both those cases from that of Maddie is that the parents deferred to the police to manage the publicity.
One of those cases brought up a new suspect and new evidence years later, and there was an exhaustive cold case review. A convicted child murderer was the prime suspect, but despite new evidence, nothing short of a body or a confession would lead to his being charged, all this without the fog of ‘spin’. The only cold cases of which I know where new evidence has led to a successful prosecution happened because either a body had been discovered or DNA techniques refined – and I can see that neither of those scenarios require the skills of a profiler.
Essentially Scotland Yard are doing a cold case review here, and maybe the way to look at their methodology is to look at it in that context. But the difference between this and other cold case reviews would appear to be that the police don’t entirely control the publicity.
Maybe looking into why the particular private detectives were hired to find Maddie might give an indication of where the spinners wanted the fog to be generated. For example, how could a man with the background and experience of Henri Exton work with a man like Kevin Halligen?
*We assume the crime had just been revealed when Kate ran into the Ocean Club shouting hysterically. There’s no independent verification of this.

Anonymous said...

@PAT, i think your right about this case being alot simpler than lead to beleive, just for example, lets say dr david payne goes for libel over the gaspor statement, which in honesty he would have to think about the implications it wasnt used by the the maccanns in any investigation, and i carnt see gerry wanting more attention over this, that relates to risk to his twins and missing daughter, in truth this would effectively question the motive towards dr david payne, and that some sexaul deviant is suspected in their daughters removal?
No action was taken by the maccanns, over that statement, and dr david payne has not confirmed his action has gerrys approval, since he was advised not to talk to the press, without anything going through gerry?
That is what dr david payne stated years ago, i have since wonderd what made dr david payne state this, since it has not gone before a medical board to be examined in greater detail, and in relation to kates odd dream about her daughter?
Kate did not disclose what it was she was uncomfortable about before they got to portugal?
If kate was very naive about the signs of risk to her own daughter, is it possible she has been naive over the warnings previously surrounding a close freind to them children?
The most serious problem in relation to the gaspors staement, the conversasion wasnt about the twins, its related to madeleine, and ever since that statement was made, kate as pushed a sexaul deviant being involed, and there is nothing to identify who this person is?
The only suggestion comes from the gaspor statement about deviant behavior, why then did kate not consider her daughter might of wonderd off?
If the gaspors were wrong and mistaken, why then did kate say her daughter was trying to warn her over any risk?
More odd why did dr david payne make a mistake over why he was at kates place?
And finaly who is it she can forgive?
This has never made sense if it was a stranger?

Anonymous said...

I just wish the law would read pats blogs. It wont be long before her site is closed dowm or sued.
That is what seems to happen when the police may be forced or are tempted to look in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Wow, excellent work. It;s so true they always want the sightings to be as far away as possible - soooo cynical. The psychopathic way that have exploited the public and hounded Amaral makes me wonder what they are capable of. Also the loyalty of the tapas 7 is deeply suspect. It's amazing that the McCanns' never suspected or blamed their friends for a moment and that their friends were only checking the exact night Maddie went missing.