Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 2 Review and Timeline Analysis

Although the second episode of the series is titled “Person of Interest” [singular] it basically looks into two individuals, Robert Murat and Sergey Malinka. It’s interesting that Robert Murat was quickly regarded as a prime suspect, despite having an alibi and despite no eye-witnesses placing him at the scene. Murat was neither implicated nor associated with the two sightings known as Tannerman and Smithman, because he didn’t resemble either of thesefigures in body shape or facially.

Murat also has another rather obvious distinguishing feature – his glasses. Was Murat really a better suspect to seize on than the folks staying at the hotel, including the McCanns themselves?

‘My life caught up in the Madeleine McCann case’: Russian computer expert reveals the threats, ‘blackmail and bribery’ he faced after being quizzed as a witness over girl’s disappearance – Daily Mail

For some time now Malinka has been agitating about a book that is coming out. As of this writing, in March 2019, there is still no book. I was contacted at one stage to work with and ghost write for Malinka [not directly by Malinka, but by a third party]. I turned down the offer. It seems I’m not the only one.

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Sorry to disappoint, but due to the content of the second episode, I won’t be analysing episode two because I consider both “suspects” to be debunked anyway. What I think is far more interesting to address is the gloss-over of the timeline in episode one. The next blog will return to a chronological analysis of the remaining six episodes over the next six days.

NETFLIX TIMELINE

The essential timeline is dealt with for [are you ready for it] less than three minutes total in the Netflix documentary, between 12:00 and 15:00. It starts with the McCanns making their way down to the Tapas bar at 20:30, and they’re the first to arrive. There’s no mention whether them being early or arriving first that particular evening was unusual compared to the preceding week. That’s an issue I deal with in detail in the DOUBT series.

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The next timecheck is at 21:00 when Matt Oldfield arrives at the restaurant, apparently volunteering the all clear that the McCann children were sleeping soundly.

Matt Oldfield was very much in the picture immediately after Madeleine’s disappearance, as can be seen in these images.

At 09:05 Gerry leaves the restaurant, presumably before eating anything [and it’s unknown whether he’d ordered anything, or what he ordered if he did] to make his first and only check on the children that night.

We see it dramatized how Gerry closes the door without closing it completely. In some descriptions, Gerry is so specific he even describes how wide the door was opened down to the last degree. This is an important precursor to the actions of the door that follow.

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The next timecheck given is 21:25. It’s made explicit that Kate INTENDED to do her check but was forestalled by [guess who?] Matt Oldfield who volunteered to take her place.

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And right here is where the timeline goes wonky. Oldfield enters the unlocked apartment the same way Gerry did, via the side patio door, and “saw light” and “heard the sound” as if of a child moving in their blankets.

Thanks to door being open enough to perceive without really seeing, Oldfield is able to do his check without really doing his check. If one of the kids was awake, Oldfield apparently heard it but didn’t look in to make sure. If he had would he have seen Madeleine?

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In my opinion Madeleine was already dead at this stage, so she wouldn’t have been in bed, but her body was likely still in the apartment. Her body was either in the cupboard of her parents’ bedroom, or behind the couch, based on cadaver alerts, or possibly laying in the flower bed below the balcony.

It’s also possible immediately after Oldfield left, Madeleine woke up, fell over the balcony railing or down the patio stairs, and died. However since it takes at least an hour for cadaver odor to form it’s more likely Madeleine died earlier in the evening [prior to the McCanns leaving for dinner] than later. Cadaver traces were so strong they were still picked up in late August, three months after the incident, and in spite of the apartment being cleaned numerous times. This strongly suggests her little body remained inert – dead – for some time before it was removed from the apartment.

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The Oldfield witness testimony is wonderfully inconclusive and murky, because it doesn’t confirm anything. Maybe all the kids were there and maybe they weren’t.

At the same time, Oldfield’s entry into the narrative means the fact that neither McCanns checked on their brood is justified because a third party is given the responsibility [except that he doesn’t actually check to make sure]. Also, the leaving of a door unlocked is justified to allow access to this known third party, which also – just incidentally you understand – paves the way for the imputed abductor.

So even in a scenario where Madeleine could be proven to have died, who would be to blame? Where would it begin and where would it end? Whose testimony, assuming there was ever a trial to test this version, could be relied on one way or another?

The Netflix timeline picks up again at 22:00. Kate gets up and heads to the apartment. Once again, the door becomes the central feature of her visit. There’s something very strange about the door!

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All told, the documentary spends less than two minutes thirty seconds going through the critical timeline. There is virtually no analysis or explanation, no mention of several important witnesses within the timelines. Instead the door, “light” and sounds are emphasised supposedly confirming that everything was okay when it wasn’t.

Strangely, in another reconstruction of the door narrative, this one done inside the McCanns’ residence in Rothley, Kate seems to suggest the door was left virtually closed but  that when she approached it, it had opened “quite wide” and it then slammed shut right in front of her.

This witnessed moving of the door and inconsistency of the door conjures the door as a sort of witness to an abductor is who is not otherwise seen or heard, and who doesn’t leave any traces.

That reconstruction can be viewed at 27:58 in the clip below.

Interestingly, in her checking of the children Madeleine is missing, but no mention is made of the twins who are also in the room, or whether they are awake or asleep, or safe. And having just had one child stolen [apparently through the open window], what does Kate do – she abandons both children, runs out of the apartment and raises the alarm, thus leaving the twins vulnerable to additional abductions.

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Another easy point to miss: immediately after Madeleine disappears, an awful lot of running happens. Kate runs, then “everybody sprints back to our apartment…”

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Now let’s focus on a few observations in terms of the aspects the Netflix timeline implicitly doesn’t address:

  1. Between 20:30 and 22:00 Gerry makes a total of one visit to check on the children, and according to Gerry, verifies that at 20:30 Madeleine was alive and safe. This effectively makes this observation the last time Madeleine was seen alive by any witness, assuming the observation is true and accurate.
  2. Kate McCann also makes a total of one visit to check on the children. When she does the incident has already happened, so arguably Kate’s visit doesn’t count. One can say that technically in the space of 90 minutes, when the plan was to check on the children every 20 minutes, Gerry made the only check and only did so once. In 90 minutes at least 4 checks ought to have been possible.
  3. It’s not clarified what happened after Gerry’s check. We know he checked, but there’s not clarity on what time he was seen returning to the table. One way to establish this would be to look at what food he ordered when, whether he paid for it, and how much of the meal he actually ate that evening.
  4. In the police interviews it’s established that Gerry didn’t go straight back to the restaurant after checking on his children. Instead he is seen on the street by a witness, Jes Wilkens at 21:08 and by Jane Tanner at 21:10. What this does is it pinpoints where Gerry is, giving him an alibi there and then, while also “allowing” Gerry not to be where he’s supposed to be [eating at the restaurant].
  5. Jane Tanner also – very conveniently – sees the prime suspect carrying away a child while at the time seeing Gerry in the street [not carrying anyone, while talking to Jes].
  6. Thirty minutes pass and it’s Kate’s turn to check on the children. During this interval Gerry’s movements aren’t known precisely. During this time, at approximately 21:50, the Smithman sighting occurs about 5 minutes’ walk from apartment 5A. The man and the child spotted in the alley broadly fit both the father and Madeleine’s description, and the man is said to be walking “briskly” in the direction of the sea. In addition, the child in his arms doesn’t appear to be conscious, and is being held “awkwardly”. Even the clothing of the child seen broadly matches what Madeleine was wearing the night she went missing.
  7. Although Kate McCann is quoted in the documentary and in her book saying she ran out of the apartment and when she saw the table shouted “someone’s [singular] taken Madeleine”, others on the scene remembered it differently. One nanny described Madeleine’s mother shouting “they’ve taken her”. Another account from the Moyes couple who were staying two floors above the McCanns, quotes Kate shouting “the fucking bastards have taken her”. And wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply shout the message from the balcony, if the Tapas Bar was within earshot and visual range, as is so often emphasised?
  8. It appears that at no point did either of the McCanns contact the authorities themselves, even when a neighbor offered the use of her phone. Gerry dispatched Oldfield relatively early, at 22:10, to head to receptions and call the police.
  9. For several years the focus of the media was on the Tapas 7’s star witness account – fingering Tannerman – even though the cops had long since dismissed this theory. Meanwhile, Smithman was dismissed or disregarded by the McCanns and their private investigation into that sighting…well…was treated in a very different way to Tannerman.Fullscreen capture 20190315 123955
  10. A straightforward way to figure out who was where, when, and saw what, how and why events played out in a particular pattern, is for all the folks to return to the scene to do a recorded official reconstruction. Put the people like chess pieces on the board and move them about according to what everyone did and saw. This is precisely what the Portuguese cops asked the McCanns to do. This was their response at 4:19 in the clip below.

More: What happened on the day Madeleine disappeared? [Timeline] – The Guardian

“The f*****g b*****ds have taken her!” Kate McCann’s tortured screams on night Maddie went missing – The Mirror

The Prodigal Nanny Returns – Shakedown

The timeline leading up to the events of May 3rd, 2007 are explored in meticulous detail in DOUBT., available exclusively on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. 

The first “incident” with Nichol Kessinger happened on July 4th, just 4 days into their rollercoaster summer romance

When Chris Watts was asked if he and Kessinger ever fought, and about what, Watts cuts to the bone. They argued about her always being “second”, and this just four days into their dalliance.

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Now imagine how that had to feel five weeks later into their summer romance, with Shan’ann hours away from returning to end it all. Isn’t that what their 111 minute conversation was about on the night of August 12th…?

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What we also see here is when Kessinger doesn’t get her way, there’s a consequence. A punishment.

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July 4th was also the day Kessinger went to Watts’ home for the first time.

In his Second Confession Watts’ claimed Kessinger  went to his house once. Kessinger said she went to his house twice, the second time on July 14th or 15th.

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Connecting the dots to Chris Watts’ Second Confession: What’s Going On?

Part of the mission of TCRS – in fact a very big part – is figuring shit out before anyone else does. This isn’t easy, and it’s a risky business because in time one can just as easily be proved wrong. But if we’re as smart and as informed as we believe we are [and there are quite a few true crime gurus here, as well as the odd true crime Rocket Scientist], then we have to be brave, step forward and take on the challenge. So let’s do that.

What we know so far about this “second confession”?

  1. Three of the key investigators and interrogators in this case flew to Wisconsin to [insert the preferred term here] Chris Watts.
  2. This occurred on February 18th, 2018
  3. Chris Watts has taken a plea deal, and since November 19th his status on that hasn’t changed.

All of that is stating the obvious, with the key riddle what word to put inside those brackets.

The less obvious but nevertheless logical aspect to this is the timing of it.  I noticed the chronology of the meeting corresponds very closely to when HLN broke with exclusive doorbell footage of Shan’ann Watts’ final moments when she arrived home. Did it have something to do with that? Had online chatter finally gotten under the skin of Weld County? Possible. Not likely.

Digging deeper into the chronology, into the basic legal status of this case, we’re aware that even though the criminal trial has reached the end of the road, another legal process is currently underway. And on February 13th we heard that Chris Watts wasn’t going to oppose the civil trial against him.

Just as he did during the interrogation and the sentencing trial, Watts has caved on his own story and given his full-co-operation [apparently]. He’s behaving like a “good criminal”, if there is such a thing. One could almost say he’s being a “dutiful son” just as he was a dutiful husband and father right up until the murders, or just dutiful, except it doesn’t appear Watts’ father is too happy about where things are going. He’s expressed “confusion” just as Watts’ mother did ahead of the plea deal.

Remember that?

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But there’s a strange mismatch here.  Watts’ parents don’t seem to know what’s going on, or approve of what’s going on, while at the same time Ronnie is getting in some positive PR saying his son his reading the bible and everything is over and done with. I’m sure they wish it was, but the case isn’t over and done with. Far from it.

Clearly, Watts denying killing his own children [and their grandchildren] makes them look less bad, and their son too. So it’s in their interest to “believe” in his innocence, and not be interested in further developments even though at the sentencing hearing, the opposite was said:

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Read more on this at this link.

Note that Watts’ parents don’t say they accept that Watts had committed the murders [plural], the unnamed representative says this for them, on their behalf.  There also seems to be seeding of the mob by letting them know an explanation might come out at an appropriate time and manner.

Well, this is the appropriate time, and we’ll get to the appropriate manner in a moment.

Of course immediately after the sentencing hearing, what happened? The Rzuceks through their attorney filed their civil suit. On the same day.

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Note how the Denver Post article above was published on November 27th, eight days after the wrongful suit was filed. By delaying the announcement someone is trying to muddy the processes underway behind the scenes. Obviously announcing the suit on November 19th would gain maximum traction and provide the public and the media with something to “look forward to” as it were, going into Christmas. But that’s not what this case wants. It doesn’t want attention. Justice yes. Public interest no.

Read more on the filing of the civil suit at this link.

District Attorney Michael Rourke gave interviews throughout the afternoon and evening of November 19th, following the sentencing, and either pleaded ignorance of the status of the Rzucek family, or he was ignorant.

Given the closeness between the DA’s office and the Rzuceks, it seems difficult to believe the DA’s office wouldn’t know about the civil suit, giving the high profile nature of the case and the mere fact that as prosecutors they’re pretty familiar with legal protocols and processes. Even so Rourke assured the public then that “he will never tell us the truth about why…”

There is also the mismatch between Frankie’s response to the news of the second confession and Watts’ father’s response. Frankie appears emotional as is often the case with Frankie on social media, but there is a sense of righteous indignation in his post – see, I told you Shan’ann was INNOCENT. 

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Shan’ann’s innocence isn’t in dispute, certainly not here at TCRS. So coming back to the riddle, what happened on February 18th at DCI?

Watts wasn’t interviewed. He wasn’t interrogated either. And since his legal status hasn’t changed since the sentencing, or since the interview, it is possible he provided information on the crimes he was accused of committing. And I think he did so through a deposition.

Although Coder, Lee and Baumhover are present, probably there were a number of lawyers present as well. It’s interesting, if it was a deposition, then the way it’s being communicated in the media is as a confession, which is kinda misleading wouldn’t you say? [The Greeley Tribune describes the information as “revealed in an interview to law enforcement…”]

The deposition process may allow the lawyers involved in the civil trial to conclude the legal process almost as a formality, with most of the hard work happening behind closed doors.

In the Ramsey case, which also never went to trial, there were also numerous depositions of John Ramsey and his wife Patsy.

We also saw OJ Simpson deposed prior to his civil trial, although he went on to testify at his civil trial, with disastrous results.

More: Why the Civil Case Against O.J. Simpson Would Never Be Enough – Vanity Fair

The intention here appears to be to shutdown media coverage or public interest by having Watts not appear in court, and stirring up enormous public interest all over again. This way, that scenario is mitigated. Clearly a civil case concluded against Watts in this manner is not enough, but we await the details of Watts’ testimony on March 7 with interest nonetheless.


I want to thank one of the commenters here – William – for his contribution to the ideas expressed in this post.

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The Turning Point in Kessinger’s Interview with CBI Agent Kevin Koback

For the first 20 minutes of the two hour plus discussion on Thursday, August 16th, Kessinger speaks in vanilla generalizations. Even after Koback reminds Kessinger that they’re talking because a woman is dead [Shan’ann’s body was exhumed hours prior to the discussion], and it’s become a homicide investigation, Kessinger still pushes back telling him she’s can’t give him specific information. She tells Koback, who is grovelling for details at one point:

It’s not gonna happen!

But then there’s a turning point. Kessinger begins to reveal slightly more and then  more still. Below is Koback’s summary following the turning point in his interrogation of Watts’ mistress.

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Sights and Sounds of a Whirlwind Summer Romance

The Phone Data Review starting on page 2081 is a mostly dry and colorless logging of dates, call durations, names and places. The few grainy selfies provide a vague sense that something was going on between two people. It’s when we visit those places, orientate ourselves and familiarize ourselves with them that we start to get a sense of what that last summer in July must have felt like to Kessinger and Watts.

Right at the end of this whirlwind romance, just before Watts flew to North Carolina, he told his mistress he loved her, and she began considering what the future might be like if he left his wife for her.

1. Rusty Bucket, Westminster – 15 minutes by car due south of Saratoga Trail/12 minutes north of Claude Court, Northglenn.

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2. Shelby Museum, Boulder + 24 Carrot Bistro. Erie – the museum is eighteen minutes drive due west of Saratoga trial, the Bistro is five miles drive southwest of Saratoga Trail.

A. Museum

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B: Bistro

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3. Brandimere Speedway, Morrison – The Speedway in Morrison is about 42 minutes drive southwest of Saratoga Trail.

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4. Great Sand Dunes and Zapata Falls – The Great Sand Dunes Park is about four hours drive south of Frederick

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More: This is where Chris Watts took his mistress on the weekend of July 28 and 29 – the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Zapata Falls

Watts Family at Myrtle Beach, August 2018 and the Tension is Palpable [VIDEO]

On August 8th, the day Shan’ann arrived home from North Carolina she texted her friend Taylor Welch:

“Chris said we are not compatible anymore. He refused to hug me. Said he thought another baby would fix his feelings…he refused couples counseling. Before I left [we couldn’t] get enough of each other. He said he had a lot of time to think…I’ve cried myself to sleep over a week now…

A week prior to sending this message Shan’ann, Chris Watts, the girls and Shan’ann’s father Frank were unwinding at Myrtle Beach. They spent 4-5 days at Myrtle Beach, the venue where the couple spent their third date, where Watts proposed and where they went on honeymoon.

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At the time, when they got married, Watts was under the impression Shan’ann might not be able to have children.

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We know that during the week Watts spent with his family in North Carolina, Kessinger was Googling wedding dresses, checking Shan’ann and her husband’s Facebook accounts and constantly sending nude selfies of herself to Watts, and Watts was hiding these in his Secret Calculator app.

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In the video below the sky above the beach is cloudy and grey. On the sunless shore the disconnect between the parents is palpable. The magic is gone. Watts is there, looking tanned and toned in his orange beach shorts. He’s there but also not there. He’s stiffly trying to do what he’s supposed to be doing, but he’s wishing he could be somewhere else. As small waves wash in Bella runs away while Ceecee tentatively faces the lines of approaching foam. Bella keeps getting away from him. She’s afraid of the water.

Shan’ann’s father is also there, perhaps also aware of the iciness between his daughter and her husband. He seems to maintain a discreet distance, hoping it will sort itself out.

Watts stands in the wet sand for a long time, seemingly in a delirium, wishing he could somehow make all this unpleasant conflict go away.