Author Topic: Smith Man  (Read 5257 times)

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Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2014, 04:22:02 PM »
14th October 2013

BBC Crimewatch


« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 05:28:33 PM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2014, 04:30:52 PM »
14th October 2013

Sky News

Madeleine McCann: Key Sighting Ruled Out

By Ian Woods, Senior Correspondent

Police switch their focus to a second reported sighting of a man carrying a child which had been considered of less importance.

A man thought to be a key suspect in the abduction of three year old Madeleine McCann has been identified - and ruled out of the inquiry.

For six years detectives believed that a sighting of a man carrying a child close to her apartment was one of their best leads.

But a review of the evidence has concluded that it was an innocent British holidaymaker carrying his daughter home from a creche.

It means the inquiry has now switched its focus to a second sighting later that evening - and police have already received more than 100 new calls as a result.

The developments were revealed as part of a televised appeal and reconstruction on BBC Crimewatch.

Her parents Gerry and Kate McCann appeared live in the studio and said they were "feeling hopeful and optimistic".

"These cases can get solved and that's what the public need to think about tonight," said Gerry McCann.

"We don't know what's happened to Madeleine, we don't know who's taken her. The best chance of finding her is by identifying (the person who took her)."

Kate McCann said: "It doesn't matter how much heartache we put ourselves through as long as we get the result that we need."

She appealed to viewers to have "the courage and confidence to come forward", adding they could hold the key to "unlock" the case.

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Grange has been reviewing the evidence gathered by both the Portuguese police, and private detectives, and has come to a conclusion which they say completely changes the timeline of what happened on May 3, 2007.

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann had been dining at a restaurant in the Algarve tourist resort of Praia Da Luz.

They'd been taking it in turns with a group of friends to check on their children who were asleep in nearby apartments.

During one of these checks at around 9.15pm one of the friends, Jane Tanner, saw a man walking along the street carrying a child in his arms.

She thought nothing of it, but within an hour Mrs McCann checked the bedroom where Madeleine and her younger twin brother and sister had been sleeping, and discovered that the little girl had gone.

Although the Portuguese police did not publicise the sighting and instead made the parents suspects in the case, once their investigation closed the McCanns arranged for a sketch to be drawn showing the man Miss Tanner had seen.

Ever since it has been central to how people have viewed the case.

But Scotland Yard detectives reviewed the evidence and realised that around a dozen holidaymakers had been using a free creche at the Mark Warner resort, and they would have collected their sleeping children during the evening.

One of those parents was contacted by police and he agreed that he may be the man, and he had been wrongly identified as a possible suspect.

He agreed to pose for a photograph so his build could be compared to the sketch.

That, together with evidence that his two-year-old daughter was wearing similar pyjamas as the sketch, has convinced the man leading the inquiry that this sighting is wrong.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told Sky News: "As you can see from the images we've put forward, both from what the man was probably wearing, and the actual physical location he was in, and the description of the child he was carrying, it is highly compelling.

"We believe in a convincing way that this is not Madeleine's abductor."

That information means that it seems likely that Madeleine was taken from the apartment slightly later than first thought.

And police have refocused their attention on a second witness statement which had been considered of less importance.

An Irish family on holiday in Praia Da Luz had told investigators that they saw a man carrying a child at around 10pm.

Their sighting was closer to the town centre on Rua Da Escola Primeria.

Two e-fits of the man which the witnesses helped create have now been made public. But the evidence is not new.

The e-fits were made in 2008 by private detectives working for the McCanns, but were not made public because they seemed less relevant than the 9.15pm sighting by Jane Tanner.

When asked how convinced he is that the second sighting is of Madeleine, DCI Redwood said: "The timing and location speak for themselves."

But he also realised that this too could be an entirely innocent man and appealed for help from the public in identifying him.

He said: "If this is you, and you are nothing to do with Madeleine's disappearance, then we really need to speak to you.

"It's so important for us to eliminate innocent sightings.

"But equally if anybody is looking at those e-fits and recognises the person, for whatever reason, then please have the courage to call in and tell us."

The Metropolitan Police team refuse to be critical of the previous inquiry in an effort to foster good relations with Portuguese police.

Six local officers based in Faro have been appointed to liaise with British police. But DCI Redwood hopes that ultimately the Portuguese investigation will be reopened.

He told Sky News: "Reopening the inquiry is a matter wholly for the Portuguese and we completely respect and acknowledge the differences in our system.

"But of course our aspiration is to have the case reopened so we can work together with our Portuguese colleagues jointly so we can establish what happened to Madeleine McCann."

DCI Redwood is also hoping to get more information about men seen in the vicinity of the McCanns’ apartment on several occasions in the week she disappeared.

When asked whether he believed the family were being watched, he said: "The physical evidence demonstrates to us that there are people, unexplained people, possibly doing just that.

"By the way the witnesses have described them ... lurking around in the very close proximity from where Madeleine was taken."

British police have also revealed that there was an upsurge in the number of burglaries in the resort in the weeks leading up to May 2007.

Exactly a year earlier there was also an incident in which a child raised the alarm after seeing an intruder in their holiday apartment.

The police are looking at whether these incidents could be related.

And they have also released e-fits of men described as "charity collectors" who had been going door-to-door" and may or may not be genuine.

Officers think there is a possibility they could have been checking apartments ahead of a possible break-in.

British officers are well aware that many residents of the Portuguese town have become fed up with the constant media attention.

But he made this direct appeal to them: "What I would say specifically is that this change of emphasis in terms of the timeline between 9pm and 10pm means we can genuinely ask the public in Praia Da Luz to go back over that time, and look at those efforts, and if you recognise someone in the local community please have the confidence to come forward to us."

The new appeal formed part of the BBC Crimewatch programme which featured a detailed reconstruction of the McCann's visit to the resort.

The last photographs of Madeleine which have been iconic because of their repeated use in appeals over the years, were brought to life by recreating the moments they were taken - Madeleine holding tennis balls, and sitting at the side of a swimming pool.

There was also previously unseen family video of Madeleine.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 05:28:06 PM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2014, 04:39:10 PM »
16th October 2013

Daily Mirror

Madeleine McCann: Suspected kidnapper took a risky route putting him just feet away from her parents.

Chief reporter Andy Lines retraces the man's journey from Maddie's apartment to the main road in just over four minutes - but believes more people must have seen him.

The route the new Madeleine McCann suspect would have taken passed yards from where her parents were dining.

Just a wall would have separated Gerry and Kate, sitting with their friends, from their daughter being carried towards the beach.

I traced the route yesterday starting from apartment 5A where Maddie was sleeping.

It went right through the middle of the village down to the junction of the Rua Das Escadinhas and the Rua 25 da Abril where the mystery man was spotted.

If this was the man who kidnapped Maddie it's impossible to believe it was a well-planned operation.

He would have taken huge risks to take her into the village centre when he could have easily headed north towards the bypass.

I walked the route in 4 minutes 15 seconds – but it would undoubtedly have taken longer for a man carrying a three-year-old.

From the apartment the alleged abductor would have been most likely to take Madeleine out through the back gate.

He would have carried her 40 yards behind a 12ft white wall, out of sight of her parents, down a slight incline before turning right off the main road.

He would have walked past the tennis courts where Maddie had earlier been ball-girl.

He would have climbed down 11 steps then up six more to the main road, passing the Paragem No 4 route bus stop before walking down Rua Joaquim Teixeira.

After passing the Spar supermarket and the Restaurant Aquario he would have walked past a large area of fenced-off scrubland.

The route then goes down the Rua Ema Vieira Alvenaz and between two large blocks of flats.

The suspect would then have crossed the main road where Martin Smith saw him.

Though it was around 10pm it's hard to believe more people wouldn't have seen him.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 05:27:34 PM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2014, 04:41:30 PM »
16th October

Daily Mail

Who did the key witness see?

Police focus on Irish family's claims they saw a family carrying a child away

Could Irish family have witnessed toddler being snatched?

Retired businessman saw man carrying blonde child

Thought at the time it was Gerry McCann, but proved to be elsewhere

The new Crimewatch appeal focused on a claim by an Irish family that they saw a man carrying a child through Praia da Luz at around the time Madeleine McCann was found to be missing.

Two differing e-fits of the suspect were issued, and police say it is possible the family did see the three-year-old being spirited away by her abductor.

The sighting came when Martin Smith, a retired businessman in his 70s, was walking back to his apartment in the Algarve resort following a meal and drinks at a bar with his wife and children.

At a spot a six-minute walk from the McCanns’ holiday accommodation, they saw a man carrying a blonde child aged around four.

It was just before 10pm and the street lighting was poor.

Although Mr Smith admitted he was not wearing his glasses at the time he later said he thought the man could have been Gerry McCann.

This is an impossibility as dozens of witnesses confirmed he was at the holiday complex at 10pm.

British police have also said they are certain that Mr McCann has nothing to do with his daughter’s appearance.

Speaking to Portuguese police a few weeks after Maddie disappeared, Mr Smith said it was ‘not possible to recognise the individual’.

His grandchildren were also unable to identify the man or the girl – but thought she could have been Madeleine.

Yet in September 2007 Mr Smith suddenly called police again to say he believed the man he saw could have been Gerry McCann.

He had been watching television coverage of the family returning to Britain. However numerous witnesses say they were with Mr McCann at the tapas restaurant at the time in question – so he could not possibly have been 500 yards away.

This has led to Mr Smith’s account being called into question.

The retired businessman from County Louth, Ireland, was staying in Praia da Luz with his wife Mary, now 65, his son Peter and his wife and their children.

He part owned an apartment in the resort and visited it three times a year.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2014, 05:27:09 PM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2014, 06:10:06 PM »
16th October 2013

Daily Express

We know name of Madeleine McCann's snatcher: Police get new lead from Crimewatch

POLICE were yesterday handed a potential breakthrough in the hunt for Madeleine McCann after Crimewatch viewers named the new prime suspect.

More than 1,000 calls, emails and texts flooded in after the ­dramatic television appeal.

And significantly several people identified the man now suspected of snatching Madeleine by the same name.

Last night Scotland Yard detectives were trying to track him down while also preparing to make appeals in Holland, Germany and Ireland. Their number one suspect was named amid a "truly unprecedented response" to Monday night's Crimewatch on BBC1 which attracted 7.3 million viewers.

The programme featured two e-fits of a man seen carrying a fair-haired child of Madeleine's age on a street in Praia da Luz, Portugal, at 10pm on the night that the then three-year-old vanished.

Crimewatch editor Joe Mather said yesterday: "They received several names for the key 10pm sighting - the sighting of the man carrying a child towards the beach.

"Several different names but also several callers mentioned the same name for that man. It is always signifi- cant if callers call in with the same name for an individual."

Mr Mather added: "It has been a truly unprecedented response.

"Significantly, there were lots of calls from British people who were in Praia da Luz at the time of Madeleine's disappearance who'd never previously spoken to the Metropolitan Police.

"So there's lots of information coming through there."

Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann said they were "absolutely delighted" with the "overwhelming" response to the fresh appeal for information. In a statement, they said: "We know the public desperately want to help the search for Madeleine.

"We are genuinely hopeful that one or more of these responses will lead to a major breakthrough in the investigation.

"If anyone was in Praia da Luz around the time of Madeleine's abduction and has not spoken to the Metropolitan Police, or if they know who any of the e-fits might be, please have the courage to come forward and speak to the police in confidence."

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, in charge of the Yard's Operation Grange inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance on May 3, 2007, said: "We have now had over 730 calls and 212 emails as a direct result of the specific lines of inquiry we issued on Monday.

"We had 330 calls into the Operation Grange incident room and 400 to BBC1 Crimewatch. Detectives are now trawling through and prioritising that material. This will take time."

Mr Redwood added: "The Met is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person or persons responsible for the abduction of Madeleine McCann from Praia da Luz.

"We have at any time 40 people waiting to answer calls at the Hendon call centre and officers at the incident room waiting to action the information."

The Crimewatch broadcast follows the dismissal of an earlier sighting of a "suspect" and child as a red herring.

For more than six years, a man seen carrying a young girl at about 9.15pm on the fateful evening was thought very likely to have been the kidnapper.

But police are now convinced he was an innocent British holidaymaker with his two-year-old daughter.

Instead, officers now believe that Irishman Martin Smith and his family may have seen Madeleine in the arms of her abductor just moments before her mother discovered she was missing at around 10pm. The man is described as white, in his 30s, of medium build and height, clean shaven with short brown hair.

He was carrying a child aged three or four who had blonde hair and was possibly wearing pyjamas similar to Madeleine's.

The Smith family saw him with the child in a near-deserted street only a few minutes walk from the Ocean Club apartment complex where the McCanns were on the family holiday.

Madeleine - who would now be aged 10 - vanished nine days before her fourth birthday. Her parents believe she is still alive and say there is no evidence she is dead.

A source close to the couple said: "Kate and Gerry are fairly upbeat. Whenever there is momentum and things are moving they feel positive."

As part of the Crimewatch appeal the couple, both 45, urged people to "rack their brains" and come forward with information.

Former GP Mrs McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, said: "Please, please have the courage and confidence to come forward now, and share that information with us, and you could unlock this whole case, so please."
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 01:20:46 PM by Wonderfulspam »
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline John

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2014, 11:22:41 PM »
You are to be applauded WS for the amount of work you have put into creating this board.  Excellent reading.
A malicious prosecution for a crime which never existed and an exposé of egregious malfeasance by public officials.
The truth never changes with the passage of time.

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2014, 11:32:27 PM »
You are to be applauded WS for the amount of work you have put into creating this board.  Excellent reading.

Thanks John,

It's incredible just how many 'suspects' the media have ran stories on over the years.
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)

Offline Wonderfulspam

Re: Smith Man
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2014, 02:08:36 PM »

27th October 2013

Oakley's Report and e-fits publicly suppressed for over 5 years?

Readers should note that this article was pulled by the Sunday Times shortly after going to press and was replaced by a somewhat watered down version in The Times the following day.

On Sunday 29 December the Sunday Times printed a retraction and an apology for suggesting that the e-fits were suppressed for 5 years. They now claim that the e-fits were passed to police as early as October 2009 which is still over two years after they were created by Kevin Halligen and Oakley International.

27th October 2013

Sunday Times - paper edition

Madeleine clues hidden for 5 years

THE critical new evidence at the centre of Scotland Yard’s search for Madeleine McCann was kept secret for five years after it was presented to her parents by ex-MI5 investigators.

The evidence was in fact taken from an intelligence report produced for Gerry and Kate McCann by a firm of former spies in 2008.

It contained crucial E-Fits of a man seen carrying a child on the night of Madeleine’s disappearance, which have only this month become public after he was identified as the prime suspect by Scotland Yard.

But the trail was left to go cold for five years because the McCanns and their advisers sidelined the report and threatened to sue its authors if they divulged the contents.

The report, seen by the Sunday Times, called for the E-Fits to be released immediately and said "anomalies" in statements by the McCanns and their friends must be resolved.

A source close to the McCanns said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if made public.

[Page 4]

The new prime suspect was first singled out by detectives in 2008. Their findings were suppressed. Insight reports

The team of hand-picked former MI5 agents had been hired by Kate and Gerry McCann to chase a much-needed breakthrough in the search for their missing daughter Madeleine.

It was the spring of 2008, 10 months after the three-year-old had disappeared from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, and the McCanns were beginning to despair over the handling of the local police investigation. They were relying on the new team to bring fresh hope.

But within months the relationship had soured. A report produced by the investigators was deemed “hypercritical” of the McCanns and their friends, and the authors were threatened with legal action if it was made public.

Its contents remained secret until Scotland Yard detectives conducting a fresh review of the case contacted the authors and asked for a copy.

They found that it contained new evidence about a key suspect seen carrying a child away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment on the night Madeleine disappeared.

This sighting is now considered the main lead in the investigation and E-Fits of the suspect, taken from the report, were the centrepiece of a Crimewatch appeal that attracted more than 2,400 calls from the public this month.

One of the investigators whose work was sidelined said last week he was “utterly stunned” when he watched the programme and saw the evidence his team had passed to the McCanns five years ago presented as a breakthrough.

The team of investigators from the security firm Oakley International were hired by the McCanns’ Find Madeleine fund, which bankrolled private investigations into the girl’s disappearance. They were led by Henri Exton, MI5’s former undercover operations chief.

Their report, seen by The Sunday Times, focused on a sighting by an Irish family of a man carrying a child at about 10pm on May 3, 2007, when Madeleine went missing.

An earlier sighting by one of the McCanns’ friends was dismissed as less credible after “serious inconsistencies” were found in her evidence. The report also raised questions about “anomalies” in the statements given by the McCanns and their friends.

Exton confirmed last week that the fund had silenced his investigators for years after they handed over their controversial findings. He said: “A letter came from their lawyers binding us to the confidentiality of the report.”

He claimed the legal threat had prevented him from handing over the report to Scotland Yard’s fresh investigation, until detectives had obtained written permission from the fund. A source close to the fund said the report was considered “hypercritical of the people involved” and “would have been completely distracting” if it became public.

Oakley’s six-month investigation included placing undercover agents inside the Ocean Club where the family stayed, lie detector tests, covert surveillance and a forensic re-examination of all existing evidence.

It was immediately clear that two sightings of vital importance had been reported to the police. Two men were seen carrying children near the apartments between 9pm, when Madeleine was last seen by Gerry, and 10pm, when Kate discovered her missing.

The first man was seen at 9.15pm by Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, who had been dining with them at the tapas bar in the resort. She saw a man carrying a girl just yards from the apartment as she went to check on her children.

The second sighting was by Martin Smith and his family from Ireland, who saw a man carrying a child near the apartment just before 10pm.

The earlier Tanner sighting had always been treated as the most significant, but the Oakley team controversially poured cold water on her account.

Instead, they focused on the Smith sighting, travelling to Ireland to interview the family and produce E-Fits of the man they saw. Their report said the Smiths were “helpful and sincere” and concluded: “The Smith sighting is credible evidence of a sighting of Maddie and more credible than Jane Tanner’s sighting”. The evidence had been “neglected for too long” and an “overemphasis placed on Tanner”.

The new focus shifted the believed timeline of the abduction back by 45 minutes. The report, delivered to the McCanns in November 2008, recommended that the revised timeline should be the basis for future investigations and that the Smith E-Fits should be released without delay.

"The report questioned 'anomalies' in the McCanns' statements"

The potential abductor seen by the Smiths is now the prime suspect in Scotland Yard’s investigation, after detectives established that the man seen earlier by Tanner was almost certainly a father carrying his child home from a nearby night creche. The Smith E-Fits were the centrepiece of the Crimewatch appeal.

Investigators had E-Fits five years ago

One of the Oakley investigators said last week: “I was absolutely stunned when I watched the programme . . . It most certainly wasn’t a new timeline and it certainly isn’t a new revelation. It is absolute nonsense to suggest either of those things . . . And those E-Fits you saw on Crimewatch are ours,” he said.

The detailed images of the face of the man seen by the Smith family were never released by the McCanns. But an artist’s impression of the man seen earlier by Tanner was widely promoted, even though the face had to be left blank because she had only seen him fleetingly and from a distance.

Various others images of lone men spotted hanging around the resort at other times were also released.

Nor were the Smith E-Fits included in Kate McCann’s 2011 book, Madeleine, which contained a whole section on eight “key sightings” and identified those of the Smiths and Tanner as most “crucial”. Descriptions of all seven other sightings were accompanied by an E-Fit or artist’s impression. The Smiths’ were the only exception. So why was such a “crucial” piece of evidence kept under lock and key?

The relationship between the fund and Oakley was already souring by the time the report was submitted — and its findings could only have made matters worse.

As well as questioning parts of the McCanns’ evidence, it contained sensitive information about Madeleine’s sleeping patterns and raised the highly sensitive possibility that she could have died in an accident after leaving the apartment herself from one of two unsecured doors.

There was also an uncomfortable complication with Smith’s account. He had originally told the police that he had “recognised something” about the way Gerry McCann carried one of his children which reminded him of the man he had seen in Praia da Luz.

Smith has since stressed that he does not believe the man he saw was Gerry, and Scotland Yard do not consider this a possibility. Last week the McCanns were told officially by the Portuguese authorities that they are not suspects.

The McCanns were also understandably wary of Oakley after allegations that the chairman, Kevin Halligen, failed to pass on money paid by the fund to Exton’s team. Halligen denies this. He was later convicted of fraud in an unrelated case in the US.

The McCann fund source said the Oakley report was passed on to new private investigators after the contract ended, but that the firm’s work was considered “contaminated” by the financial dispute.

He said the fund wanted to continue to pursue information about the man seen by Tanner, and it would have been too expensive to investigate both sightings in full — so the Smith E-Fits were not publicised. It was also considered necessary to threaten legal action against the authors.

“[The report] was hypercritical of the people involved . . . It just wouldn’t be conducive to the investigation to have that report publicly declared because . . . the newspapers would have been all over it. And it would have been completely distracting,” said the source.

A statement released by the Find Madeleine fund said that “all information privately gathered during the search for Madeleine has been fully acted upon where necessary” and had been passed to Scotland Yard.

It continued: “Throughout the investigation, the Find Madeleine fund’s sole priority has been, and remains, to find Madeleine and bring her home as swiftly as possible.”

Insight: Heidi Blake and Jonathan Calvert
"I bet the parents dunnit" (Me)