“If Madeleine McCann died on May 3rd, where was her body hidden?” [MAP]

There’s something fundamentally wrong with this search map of the east side of Praia da Luz, from 9News. Can you tell what it is?

Fullscreen capture 20190327 035706-001

On March 18, 2019, Mark Saunokonoko touched on the mostly unexplored country that is the search for Madeleine McCann’s remains – assuming she died and there is a body.

In If Madeleine McCann was killed or died, where might her body have been hidden? Saunokonoko cites Britain’s leading expert in locating missing persons, whether abducted or murdered.

Fullscreen capture 20190327 035429

Obviously getting expert information is just good investigative journalism, but let’s face it, 40 experts were interviewed in the £20 million Netflix documentary series. Do those 40 experts, individually or collectively, solve the case or even advance it towards where it needs to go?

Experts can give a narrative credibility whether in court, in a documentary or in a news story. One expert or 40 doesn’t, however, suddenly recast reality. Credibility isn’t reality. Reality is what it is.

Saunokonoko’s expert, Mark Harrison, was tasked to build a report based on the theory that Madeleine was dead and her remains were somewhere. It’s important to contextualize how Harrison came onto the scene. Who employed him? When did he come onto the scene? How did he investigate that was different and useful, and what ultimately did he find out?

Well he wasn’t employed by the McCanns. It wasn’t Harrison who first suggested using cadaver dogs and Harrison wasn’t the first to suggest Madeleine had died on May 3rd, either. He was brought in to investigate that possibility, rather than that he came in and introduced everyone to that possibility.

Kate McCann herself had hinted as much through a dream she said she’d had in late July 2007. This is very important, that the shift in this direction came from the McCanns although South African boyyhunter Danie Krugel seemed to be the first to a) recommend the use of cadaver dogs and b) suggest Madeleine was no longer alive.

Krugel’s visit and Kate McCann’s dream – that Madeleine was no longer alive –  seemed to sort of coincide, didn’t they?


Kate had dream of where to dig – The Sun [April 6, 2016]

TURNING POINT  Kate McCann’s dream about Maddie’s buried body led to her wrongly becoming the police’s prime suspect – The Sun [March 27, 2019]

Understandably the Polícia Judiciária didn’t take Krugel’s advice to heart immediately, but when Kate tearfully called them up giving the impression for the first time that she thought Madeleine was dead, clearly they started to consider it. And the change in the McCanns attitude to the case in late July caused the cops to shift the focus of their investigation.

It seems when Harrison made the same recommendations as Krugel, he was able to provide guidance. He made specific recommendations – use cadaver dogs, and use specific dogs from the South Yorkshire Police Department with a track record in international cases. And so, that’s what the Polícia Judiciária did.


In Gonçalo Amaral’s book [published in August 2009], he emphasises this damaging claim from Harrison which contradicts the spirit of the Netflix documentary ten years later:

After a week of intense work, Harrison presents the results of his study to my coordinating group. Even if we were expecting it, his conclusions confirm our worst fears. The most plausible scenario is the following: there is no doubt that Madeleine is dead, and her body is hidden somewhere in the area around Praia da Luz. He praises the quality of the work carried out by the Portuguese authorities in trying to find the little girl alive. According to him, the time has come to redirect the searches in order to find, this time, a body hidden in the surrounding area. 


Harrison also produces a map which, based on his research [of the witness statements, and of the McCanns themselves] suggests Madeleine’s body may be in one of these five areas.

Fullscreen capture 20190327 035706-001

But Harrison’s map is fundamentally flawed. Can you see why? Here’s a hint. At the time Harrison made his recommendations, the Tannerman sighting was considered both credible and “the most credible” sighting. We know the Tannerman sight suggested the abductor was heading east, away from the apartment, but we also know the Tannerman sighting has since been debunked.

Fullscreen capture 20190326 000244Fullscreen capture 20190326 000239Fullscreen capture 20190326 000255Fullscreen capture 20190326 000259Fullscreen capture 20190326 000303

And here’s another. This is the view from the Rocha Nechra [red circle on the far right] towards Praia da Luz…



In Kate McCann’s book, chapter 6th dealing with the morning after Madeleine’s disappearance [May 4th], a neighbor is mentioned across the road on the east side of the apartment [across the Rua Dr Gentil Martins]. This unidentified, anonymous neighbor tells the McCanns she saw a car going up the Rocha Negra at night. Kate notes there is a track going up the Rocha Negra but it’s not meant for vehicles. So what was a vehicle doing up there? There are several photos showing the McCanns running this same track.



It’s important to note that in the photo on the right, we can see a long way back to houses and apartments behind the McCanns. This also means folks in those houses and apartments have line of sight – over several miles to them.


Writing about the morning of May 4th, Kate – referring to strange lights late at night on the Rocha Negra – conjures “visions of Madeleine being disposed of somewhere on the overhanging cliff…” Kate actually uses the word “conjures” as well. Conjures visions. When Kate tells a police officer about it, he’s dismissive.

He has good reason to be dismissive. If someone as far away as the apartment block could see suspicions goings-on on the Rocha Negra, even at night, was it really the ideal place to surreptitiously “dispose of” someone?

918378praia-da-luz (1)

And those words don’t particularly suggest Kate thinks her daughter is alive, does it?

If Harrison’s map was based on the testimonies of the Tapas 7 [including Jane Tanner] and the McCanns, and the map focused on the east side of Praia da Luz, what was the fundamental flaw?


15 thoughts on ““If Madeleine McCann died on May 3rd, where was her body hidden?” [MAP]

  1. I wonder what Gerry thought of Kate speaking of conjured visions of Maddi dead and being disposed of. Though the location is wrong, the rest is a kind of confession.


  2. They should look in the opposite direction of the hills. They’ll never find her now though. Maybe a bone one day or a tooth. Sad sorry turn of events. What a web they wove.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nick, are you thinking they should have considered the other side of that short peninsula in the other direction? There’s ocean over there as well, the perfect place to get rid of remains (if you can just keep them underwater).


  4. I personally find it absolutely ridiculous that some people feel that the parents were guilty and got rid of Madeleine’s body. It was their 1st time in Portugal, they were not at all familiar with the surroundings and they did not even have their own transport till 3 days after the child disappeared, they arrived by plane and had been taken to their holiday apartment by the airport shuttle. I feel sorry that they have been the subject of all these nasty conspiracy theories.


    • The lead investigator felt the parents were guilty, and they were both declared official suspects in September 2007. So do you think that’s ridiculous? When the defamation case went to trial the Portuguese court made it clear that the arguido status hadn’t been lifted. This was recently, in 2017:


      Martin Smith claimed he saw Gerry carrying a child [3-4 years old] through an alley on the night of the disappearance. Also ridiculous?


      • The parents did it but it was an accident. Their body language and the content analysis of their interviews show that they confess to this- Madeleine was tired (because a sedative was used on Madeline and the twins. The tapas friends commented how the twins stayed asleep through all of the noise). During the night, Madeline woke up and she fell in a way that was very bad for the parents – she fell behind the couch because that is where the cadaver dog went to.


        • she fell behind the couch because that is where the cadaver dog went to. >Not necessarily. There could have been an attempt to resuscitate her behind the couch. And a fall from the couch would hardly kill a child, otherwise couches would come equipped with child safety balconies.


  5. Is Martin Smith the fellow who saw Gerry walking from a plane carrying one of his children that triggered his memory from the night of May 3 when he saw who he believes was Gerry carrying a child toward the beach at around 10 p.m.? I remember something about that – that the man had a strange feeling he had seen a similar image the night Madeleine was “abducted.”


      • Normally , not alway s necessary , the crime that has been committed you will generally find some form of clue or evidence within a radius of approximately 1.5 km , so it would depend on how well they saturated
        the immediate area and how many people were used in the search , and after how long after the missing report was taken from the parents that the physical search started?. It would also determine from were the measurement was taken ,if various measurements were taken from different points , and were bisected what would the common denominator be : type of terrain , derelict buildings or abandoned buildings. Everybody looks in areas that are far away instead of immediate areas , closer to the scene as it would appear to be unlikely that the criminal would make such a decision to do so , however the criminal knows this , and does exactly this in order to cause delaying tactics in the investigation.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.