Saturday, May 23, 2015

Proving Nobody Else Could Have Done It

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

Cover for 'Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann'

By Pat Brown

Rating: 1 star1 star1 star1 star1 star
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.


  1. I do agree, Pat, they seem to count on passing days and oblivion.
    In the JonBenét case, no trace of breaking-in was found (that broken window was dismissed) and yet the parents weren't even interviewed for months.
    GMC was smarter, no ransom note and no body.

  2. Another example might be if a body is found on one's property. If it were at the very edge of a large tract of rural land it is possible someone could have dumped it there. Let's say a man is last seen with a particular woman at a bar and that woman is found dead on the edge of his property. Did he dump her there or is it possible someone grabbed the woman, and knowing that man was seen in the bar with her, decided to dump the body on his property to frame him. So, with the body on the edge of the property, it is hard to eliminate everyone besides the owner... a lot more evidence would be needed for conviction rather than just the body dump. And, if one eliminated the rest of the guys in the bar that night, it still does not prove the man owning the property did it.

    However, suppose the body was buried right next to the house and covered with cement a day later. Well, that might be pretty good evidence that no one else is likely to have come on the property, buried the body right outside the owner's window, and then came back and built a patio. Unless, of course, the owner was away in Florida and came back to find home improvements....::laughs::

  3. Anon: Sorry. I deleted your comment. For everyone, please do not rehash aspects of the Madeleine McCann case here. The post is about investigative techniques concerning suspects in all kinds of cases, the McCann case simply being one example. I wrote this post because there seems to be a general misunderstanding that police can eventually take someone to court without solid evidence if they can say they have investigated numerous people and couldn't find a better suspect. This is blatantly incorrect and any defense attorney would have a field day with such a assertion in court.

    There is only one way someone gets convicted; there is solid proof they did it or they are railroaded or the juries convict someone unlikeable with questionable evidence simply because he seems like a creep who could have done it.

    In the McCann case, there is simply no where near enough evidence to take them to court. Scotland Yard's investigative procedure into all the individuals they have interviewed and investigated can only mean one of two things: they actually believe a stranger is responsible or they want the public to believe a stranger is responsible.

  4. I don't understand why the police are ignoring certain evidence Pat - is there a specific reason for this?

  5. Rob, I think I stated that in the final paragraph.

  6. Thanks Pat. What I don't get is, if the police are ignoring evidence, they would also have to be ignoring a huge fraud (the fund), leaving the public to be continually fleeced by the McCanns. Surely they wouldn't allow that to happen?

  7. Rob, do you actually believe that there is never corruption or politics in police department and prosecutors offices? Sometimes truth and justice are collateral damage for personal, departmental, or political reasons. That is reality.

  8. I've always agreed with you on McCann case pat and totally get what your saying here.I'm no profiler but I've seen enough true crimes and medical detective programs to know how police investigations work.
    Operation Grange is a joke and insults our intelligence yes there's probably not enough evidence thanks to interference but there's evidence none of it for the McCann's version of events.As for the fraudulent fund Rob this could well be another stumbling block with so many high profile donations in 2007 this case like many is political and anyone believing 3 Pm's who have backed the McCann's and allowed their profiting is going to do a complete turn around need their bumps felt.
    Another great piece Pat thank you

  9. Another point if I may £10 million of tax payers money,Sy arrest the McCann's on the evidence we all know about, proving Pj and Amaral correct in 2007 how will that go down with the great British public?

  10. Lorraine,

    So much stuff happens behind the scenes that the public is unaware of, it is hard to explain the reality of it all. Even television shows rarely tread upon incompetence and corruption, they just show how hard working detectives and brilliant lab work come together to figure out the most difficult of crimes. Nice stuff and it sometimes happens in real life (I love it when it does) but that is not how it goes all the time in real life.

    Most crimes are not rocket science to solve and those go pretty well. But, then there are trickier ones and all kinds of outcomes result from various issues.

    I tried to bring out the reality of this in my book, The Profiler, and the public was not particularly pleased about it because they just couldn't wrap there heads around what I was saying. Many thought I was a liar or bitter over lack of success in my work or jealous of FBI profilers (who many believe profile like Criminal Minds).

    Likewise in the McCann case. It is just too hard and frustrating for many to dare believe that this fiasco isn't going to end with truth and justice. I understand their sentiment...I have fought long and hard on many case (this one included) to see the truth be buried and there is nothing I can do about it.

    I try not to let this get to me so that I give up my work. I have, however, had to decide what to focus my work on to have the most impact. I realize that I lack the ability to manage an action group (and I tried way back to do so with a group I set up called "Citizens for Case Closure" and I had hoped to require laws to force review and accountability in unsolved cases." But I rather suck at stumping for money and such and so I leave the idea for someone else to pursue. Instead, I am now focusing on training detectives so that fewer cases go the wrong direction. Sometimes it isn't early politics that derails a case, but when a case fails to get solved and goes the wrong direction, politics ends up manipulating the outcome of the case. So, the better crime analysis, the less chance of a case going south.

  11. Yes, Lorraine, the public is another matter as you point out. Many people following this case closely do not understand how the general public views the case. A good portion do just follow the MSM and wherever they go, the public follows. Also, most of the public totally believes that Scotland Yard absolutely is doing a proper investigation, so whatever they come up with, the public will buy. It is not that I think Scotland Yard couldn't have gone after the McCanns but with the McCanns requesting the review and the remit that followed, I cannot believe that Scotland Yard has ever been allowed to review the entire case properly. And with the pursuit of so many criminals in Praia da Luz and vicinity, all their actions support investigating an abduction with limited evidence.

    I truly believe if Scotland Yard had followed the evidence and really thought there was enough for prosecution, the PJ would have arrested the McCanns early on. But, as you have pointed out, there is not enough evidence for arrest and in all the years of the review, the fact SY is fishing for suspect and digging up areas for no good reason, this shows they aren't being very successful at getting any more evidence. Yes, if they suddenly arrested the suffering McCanns based on cadaver hits alone, the public would go nuts thinking the McCann were being railroaded because Scotland Yard, after spending so much taxpayer money, couldn't find the guy that kidnapped Maddie...that will not go over well.

  12. Pat I have to say that assuming that anyone thinks the police try to Investigate all possible suspects and then by this process eventually end up at the McCanns front door is speaking to someone or people who are incredibly dim. Goes without saying IMO.

    A key point imo is when you mention in your last comment here is that there is not enough evidence to convict the McCanns. This by inference also means that they may be innocent. In fact what evidence is there that the McCanns pulled off this heinous crime? I can tell you - there is none. I have read your booklet btw and there is no evidence in there either. Best to keep an open mind, no? After all, if this case is solved one day and it turns out that they are completely innocent - how will you feel after banging the McCanns are guilty drum for the last 8 years? I have no idea who committed this crime and I have my suspicions about the couple, but an open mind is a valuable thing if you wish to see the truth. Also, have you considered that SY may be not investigating the couple, because they have eliminated them from the inquiry?

  13. SergeantDoodle,

    I stand by my profile. I, like Gonçalo Amaral, have found the evidence supports viewing the McCanns as proper suspects in the case. Not having enough evidence to prove guilt does not mean they are innocent. It simply means that the investigation should proceed in continuing to investigate them. Scotland Yard cannot have possibly eliminated them from the enquiry which could only be done with solid evidence of an abduction which there is not: therefore, the Scotland Yard inquiry lacks legitimacy.

  14. The very frustrating thing is that Redwood said that the Operation Grange officers "had all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle". There was an enormous response to the Crimewatch programme; many people phoned or emailed with the same name for the "Smithman" efit. Nothing more is ever heard. Nicola Wall has been handed the poisoned chalice. There is still no evidence of this abduction.



  17. Anon 9:56 I have seen this and I am not even going to go into how silly this makes people look who are fighting for a proper investigation into Madeleine McCann. Too many people have lost the plot and are going into stupider and stupider theories and this is why I rarely post about this case any more. I know folks are well meaning but it isn't doing the cause much good.

  18. Anon 9:56 Furthermore, none of this is going to advance a case that is already about to be put to bed by Scotland Yard and it is not going to help illuminate the truth for future review if people look like nutters.

  19. I find it ir surprising that you don't having anything recent to say on the Ramsey case, particularly regarding no ones skin dna, touch dna being matched to Jon Bennett also the word choice and style of writing screams patsy, also the only dna on pineapple bowl was Burke and patsy, Faldo Burke contradicted and said that his sister walked into the house, also I know the door could have been left open but only Dan on her bedroom door was of her parents and Burke talked about not revealing family secrets and even mentioned how Jon benett was killed before an autopsy or findings had been released to the Ramsey's and no I don't think Burke did it just that he feels guilt when he heard whispers earlier and no I don't think her cause of death could have been known just by finding the body hours earlier but by being told what a "stranger did to her" by his parents also there's the obvious I'll fitted under garments that if done in haste by a parent would go unnoticed especially if redressed by a male parent who didn't bat an eye when for the first 3 to 4 yrs of her life Jon Bennett wore Burkes clothing . Yet you ask Jon about the ransom note being written like some of his sons books, huh, -25 yr old female.

    Oh and as for this case mccanns I think did it, and buried her on the outskirts using the rental car like you thought in the past.