I’m undecided on whether to make this a series, or just a one off blog. As many will be aware I have itemised the entirety of Gerald McCann’s Portuguese call records, as provided by Vodafone in December 2007, to the best extent of my abilities/resources. In the process of doing so I have come across many names, some known, some unknown and some whose relevance I have yet to quantify.
The following calls I will present are very much names we know; and perhaps more importantly, are calls which the PJ did not know about at the time.
It’s well documented that Goncalo Amaral was removed from the case, elbowed out because his work didn’t suit certain people/agendas. Whilst re-reading through a translation of his book ‘The Truth of the Lie’, Chapter 18 piqued my interest, particularly the references to two English officers – Jose Freitas of Scotland Yard, and Stuart Prior of Leicestershire Constabulary. Their first mention here is of them being the trusted chain of communication, whilst results from forensics were pending;
‘Analyses of the residues collected following the visit by the dogs is entrusted to the English Forensic Science Service laboratory. To avoid any leaks of information, Stuart Prior, a senior officer with Leicestershire police, is responsible for liaison between the laboratory and José Freitas of Scotland Yard. The latter, who is with us, in Portimão, is passing on any relevant reports.’
(Goncalo Amaral, ‘Maddie, la verdad de la mentira’)
A position of trust indeed – not that it stopped supposed leaks that led to such incidents as Martin Brunt declaring a 100% DNA match. Note that these forensics all took place in August, and the CSI dogs went in at the beginning of August, on the recommendation of Mark Harrison (who arrived in Luz July 20th). To that end, we can safely assert that at this point in time (August 2007), both Freitas and Prior were trusted by the PJ.
As the chapter goes on, it becomes clear that Goncalo Amaral found Stuart Prior’s behaviour questionable, to the extent that he questioned his purpose in being there:
‘There is no doubt that somebody opened that window on the evening of May 3rd and the only fingerprints found on it were those of Kate Healy. The manager of the Ocean Club’s crèche, who went to the apartment after the alarm was raised, remarked that, “the window was partially open to the left,” confirming Kate’s earlier statement.
We prefer not to discuss this with Stuart Prior: we have the impression that he is only here to accompany the McCanns’ interrogations and to prevent their detention. His concern on that subject is obvious.’
Worsening as the arguida/o interrogations approached (early September):
Stuart expresses his disappointment over the test results. This is where the saga of the FSS reports begins.
‘As the date for the interrogations approached, Stuart became more and more nervous and he was a constant presence. He wanted to be kept up to date on the smallest details.’
It would later be reported in Correio de Manha that Stuart Prior ‘intimidated’ the PJ. The original article is glitched but Joana Morais’ blog has preserved the jist of the article:
‘The informal phone calls of this senior officer – who was accused at the time of protecting Kate and Gerry McCann – are interpreted by Judiciary Police sources as “an attempt of intimidation to stop future endeavours.”
The CM established that Stuart Prior, the head of the Leicestershire Police Constabulary (area where the McCanns live), called the PJ, giving an account of the couple’s ‘nuisance‘ regarding the suspicions over David Payne raised by Gonçalo Amaral. The former coordinator of the PJ in Portimão questioned the lack of explanations regarding ‘the bath given to the children on the day Maddie disappeared’.
Amaral, who was removed from coordinating the case precisely because he accused the English police of taking sides with Gerry and Kate, believes that ‘promiscuity continues between the couple and the British authorities’. According to the former police inspector ‘only very influential people can send send messages through the police’.’
So we have it clearly stated here that Prior had some kind of vested interest in making sure the parents and the Tapas members were not impugned in any way, and we see clear references to this both in 2007 and 2009, the latter being more than a year after the McCanns and anyone else in the group had left the country. No longer is it just a case of ‘minding the backs of the parents while in Portugal’.
Putting together a very brief timeline:
- July 20th Mark Harrison arrives
- Early August CSI dogs go in, samples are taken. Jose Freitas and Stuart Prior are trusted with handling the information.
- Late August Goncalo Amaral is critical and distrusting of Stuart Prior/his intentions.
- Early September Prior goes to Portimao to delegate FSS lab findings.
- September 4th Stuart Prior emails across the forensic results from the FSS, referred to as the ‘second preliminary report’, which throw doubt on any of the tested items originating from Madeleine (many articles have been written about this, so I wont expand). Goncalo Amaral has Prior call the lab asking ‘if they think they are stupid’, and Prior is heard saying “With a lot less than that, we would have already arrested someone in England.”
At this point you may wonder what relevance any of this has to Gerald’s call records. This is summed up in the following image:
June 21st Gerald initiates contact with Jose Freitas of NSY. That means that he, for whatever purpose, and by whatever means, already had his number. There are only ever two direct contacts between Gerald’s handset and Freitas’ number. The second is only 3 days later. The duration of both calls is incredibly short – 26 seconds, then 8 seconds. What can be achieved in such short calls?
There are five calls involving Stuart Prior. In each case the call was initiated by Stuart. They vary in length from 25 seconds (July 4th) to 7 mins 24 seconds (July 16th).
The final call, lasting exactly 6 minutes, occurs on July 19th – just a day before Mark Harrison arrived in Praia da Luz, on the recommendation of British police.
Perhaps the most significant thing to note is that the PJ would have been completely unaware of these calls, given that they didn’t get Gerald’s call records until December 14th, 2007.
So we have to ask a common sense question at this point: Given their pre-existing concerns, if the PJ had been aware that both officers entrusted with FSS laboratory liaison were already in direct contact with the soon to be arguidos, would they have requested different, verifiably objective intermediaries?
And another question raises its spectre over the issue: were the FSS results potentially tampered with?
These weren’t the only contacts Gerald had with officers – as another example, he twice directly called Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, Martin Grime’s then boss (as well as ACPO member), 2 weeks after the dog searches. Whatever the content of those two calls, we have to wonder how Gerald was able to so directly contact the South Yorkshire Police boss.
Could it have been through the then ACPO Chief Ken Jones, who Gerry always dialled directly, and who was last contacted (after a 3 month break) the day after Prior’s second preliminary report email went to the PJ?
Or perhaps Leicester family liaison officer Steve Markley who, despite his role, only called Gerald once (May 6th)?
Was Goncalo Amaral right about Prior? Questions must be asked.
Some items of further interest;
From Kate’s book, for whatever questionable evidential value it holds, it offers a few insights;
Sheree and Clarence had prepared us for this event (Sheree now had to leave us but had passed on the baton to Clarence), along with Hannah Gardiner of the Association of Chief Police Officers, who was helping us as a kind of police media liason officer.
(‘madeleine’ Page 198)
Gerry’s call records confirm contacts with Hannah in May and June. She therefore presents another possible conduit of information and transmission of phone numbers to Gerry and (presumably) Kate.
In the coming weeks we would meet DS Bob Small, whowe found straight-talking and honest. A lot of hard work went on at home as well, where DS Stuart Prior, the senior investigating officer, was kind enough to show our relatives around the incident room – and Gerry, too, later on.
‘madeleine’ Page 131
Kate attributes Gerry calling Ken Jones some time after August 23rd and before August 27th, a call that’s not on record, but could conceivably have been from Kate’s handset, the itemisation for which we are not given in the released files;
The next day Gerry rang Ken Jones, the head of ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers. He, too, was beginning to despair of the investigation and the way it was being handled.
(‘madeleine’ Page 280)
On the same page, Kate takes the opportunity to make a rather odd statement, given that it completely contradicts their stated relationship with Stuart Prior;
As our main liason with the British police, Bob was not privy to the investigation details. This was for our protection, he told us, as sharing knowledge we would otherwise not have could potentially compromise us.
Despite this bizarre declaration, he then goes on to make a rather blunt and accurate prediction;
He told Gerry he thought they’d get a shock when the forensic results came back.
With the news of human remains being found in Aljezur, I was reminded of this topic. I had previously intended to write about it, but got sidetracked with developments.
Firstly, as these remains go, my first inclination was to think that the remains may relate to the young German boy Renè Hasèe, who disappeared from an Aljezur beach in 1996. If not him then likely an adult, the remains being older. According to Google Earth there are several ruined farmhouses in the Forno do Cal area (thank you to Isabelle McFadden for helping me isolate the specific area). These buildings were all ruins in the oldest afforded images (2004).
Various derelict farmhouses around Aljezur (2015)
Certainly, it has not crossed my mind that they are related to Madeleine. This is because there are no solid links with Aljezur in the case whatsoever. All we have are;
- The Russell O’Brien ping on which this blog will expand
- An impossible (errant) ping from Fiona Payne’s phone:
There follow records made at 10:49:57 and 10:50:11 on the repeater installed in the [parish] of Aljezur, municipal area of Aljezur, district of Faro.
Given the existing records before these last [two], in Aljezur, there seems to have occurred an error in the records remitted by the operator Optimus, considering that, according to the computer program Microsoft AutoRoute 2007, Lagos is a distance, in a straight line, of about 26 km from Aljezur, and closer to 34 km by road. To cover this distance in about two and a half minutes one would have to travel at a speed of 816 km/h, which is impossible to be achieved in any terrestrial vehicle produced up to this time.
The listing of activations of mobile phone (44)779-627-2586 end with the last record in Aljezur.
- A phone contact of Robert Murat’s who owns ruins in Aljezur (‘Paul A’) Source
- A ‘sighting’ in an Aljezur garden which turned out to be the child of the owners. Source
So, to Russell’s Aljezur ping. The files have this to say on the trip:
…only at 14:07:44 on 7th does one
observe a record outside that locality. That record occurs on the antenna
installed in the [parish] of Aljezur, municipal area of Aljezur, district of
The records return to the antennae of Luz at 14:24:00.
Curiously, on this day only Russell and Matthew activate other antennae outside
Luz. The first activates the antenna referred to before, while the second
activates “Budens 1”. If on the one hand the movement of Matthew to Budens is
acceptable, then the trip of Russell to Aljezur in these first days so soon after
the disappearance is somewhat strange, it not being that, once more to the
picture of Fiona Payne on 12 July, there exists an error in the data that the
operator Optimus remitted to the Police. There is an hypothesis of him having
made that journey, there being sufficient time for him to cover the distance that separates Luz from Aljezur (68 km.) at an average [speed] of 130 km/h.
Despite there being no other records from the mobile phones of the other members
of the group outside the antennae of Luz, there exist gaps in the times [of the
records] that make it possible for one of them to have accompanied him.
Therefore, accepting that Russell was effectively in the coverage area of that
antenna, then on this date the members of the group would already have had
access to a motor vehicle.
The above qualifications by the PJ assume direct transit between the two villages. That is to say, the direct route between Praia da Luz and Aljezur, which is presently (according to google maps) 35.5km each way, which is approximately 33 mins each way, assuming the speed limit. The PJ have above hypothesised that the distance could be covered if he travelled at 130km/h. It should be noted, the speed limit on motorways (which the A22 is not) is 120km/h. Trunk roads, the limit is 100km/h.
Consider also that this is an a to b to a calculation. It does not accomodate time spent in Aljezur.
Importantly, the report has specified that Aljezur PARISH was pinged.
Thus, the PJ have not included their calculations so as to say ‘this explains the ping’, they have simply included an accurate calculation on how literal transit to Aljezur and back would be possible. What we need to do, when looking deeper, is locate the requisite towers, their coverage areas, and the real distance required to ‘ping Aljezur Parish’, rather than ‘be in Aljezur’. I have done so in the following image:
(As inevitably this image will be resized by wordpress, please click here to view the picture in proper size)
It should also be noted that Gerry called Russell at 22:34 the same day he made this journey. This seems like an oddity given they were only a few doors away, though it is not isolated (there was a 58 second call from Russ to Gerry on the 5th, and several calls involving David Payne early on).
However if we are taking this Aljezur drive/ping as suspicious, things like this call become more important. Unfortunately Russell’s phone records are not itemised in the files, outside the 2nd-4th (also records from the start of the holiday exist in Anexo 37 but this was not released). The intimation, though, would be that either Russell was scouting the area he drove in, or was disposing of something.
Remember, though it took months to come out in any detail, Russell admits to washing sheets on the night of May 3rd (claiming his daughter had vomitted on them). The detail of this is inconsistent, as is the tale of what time he and Matt got up/came back.
By one timeline, for instance, Russ gets up with Matt just ten minutes after Jane returns from her check, with Matt and himself saying they would check on the McCann children, but both decide to check their own apartments first, despite passing the McCann apartment on the way, and despite the fact Russ’s child was only checked 10 minutes prior. Jane comments in her rogatory that on her check both her daughters were ‘quiet’, but apparently in 10 minutes she has vomitted and sheets need washing (as Russ said – they had a washing machine, ‘it wasnt a third world country’). Possible, of course, but questionable.
Russ does, however, place himself inside the McCann apartment checking on indeterminate previous night(s).
‘I listened at the MC CANN’S apartment and believe that this was around 23:00hours, on all occasions the children were ok. During the week I checked on some occasions and listened at others.’
This would appear to be a retrofit, but why? Any forensic trace of him could’ve been explained away as contamination when people were going in and out after the alarm was raised. Is it possible he was washing soiled sheets from 5A? If he was in possession of an item like that, getting rid of it would be a necessary move.
Looking at the crossover coverage areas, Bensafrim is covered, as well as Odiaxere and the Barragem da Bravura (including the main road up to it).
Barragem da Bravura, photo by Brian Bould
We know that later on the Arade (around 30km from Bravura) was searched, but under suspicious circumstances (many doubted the search and the odd fact that the animal bones recovered were handed to Metodo 3 rather than the PJ for identification).
Interestingly, Bravura was topically searched – on the 8th of May:
45. Given the number of days that had passed since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann it was considered appropriate to request help from the Lagos Voluntary Firemen who took part in the operations, and on this day carried out searches as the Bravura dam, situated to the north of Odeaxere, using their aquatic equipment, considering that a body that has fallen or been thrown into water tends to surface after 72 hours, this team searched all the branches of the dam using an outboard motor and found nothing suspicious.
This was the day after Russell’s Aljezur ping.
In Bensafrim, an ‘Alisuper bag’ was handed in by a British lady on June 16th, containing;
…various items of clothing, namely one (01) checkered shirt, two (02) pairs of trousers and three (03) empty and torn bin bags.
And in Funchal (small village East of Luz) a bag was found (undated). Source (both)
Note that if you were to take the A22 to Aljezur, you would pass through both Funchal and Bensafrim. Could either of these bags have been deposited by Russ? While it seems unlikely he would be driving and effectively ‘littering’, the possibility remains. If, as the PJ asserted when the process was shelved, there was an obfuscation of Madeleine’s body, it makes sense that physical evidence would remain, and said evidence would need to be disposed of.
While trash would seem more logical (Gerry McCann and Michael Wright were known, for instance, to use at least 4 different refuse sites in a radius around the villa, including the bins outside cemetery), this assumes that it would not be of benefit for any evidence to be found. Evidence in an obscure rural location would actually strengthen the narrative of an abductor.
To this end I want to finish by revisiting the De Telegraaf saga. A letter to a Dutch newspaper led to a search at Arao – North of Odiaxere – on June 13th. This was barely a month after Russell pinged in the area, and was just 7 days after the McCanns were in Amsterdam. Gerry maintained contact with old colleagues at vUMC Amsterdam (Beek and Nijdveldt), especially on those dates.
Location of Arao, only just outside tower range for both Aljezur and Luz
This search was called off after just 3-4 hours, and it was publically dismissed by the lead detectives involved. Nevertheless there is the well known photo of an ‘Aztec rug’ being removed, and press reports circulated at the time saying that Madeleine’s dna had been found there. If nothing else, it fit the narrative.
1 blanket in a poor state of conservation, pink on one side and orange on the other.
Observations: From indications written to a Dutch newspaper.
The press reports came far too early to be taken seriously, so the truth about this blanket remains unknown to us. Despite being doctors, the findings in 5A and the Scenic prove that nothing is perfectly, clinically washed away, even by the most able. If an item was left to be found, and still held partial traces of Madeleine, it follows that someone else’s dna would likely be present too. This could perhaps, then, be another candidate for the piece of ‘stand alone evidence’ referred to by Paulo Rebelo (along with evidence of decomposition or sedation in hairs, cctv and so on).
The blanket recovered in Arao search
It is futile to guess or assume, but there are questions which must be asked.
As always I welcome corrections/feedback.
Call records less examined, Part 3: The Ocean Club
Miss previous parts?
In what will likely be the last piece I do on external call records (lest my eyes start glazing over), I will finish by looking at the records afforded us in the files regarding Ocean Club phone traffic.
It should immediately be noted that even though this was an ‘off season’ period of time, there were still a significant amount of people in the resort, and likewise a lot of traffic is ‘noise’ so to speak. Many calls will be business related – whether relating to excursions/activities, provision of food from the supermarket, administrative calls, utilities etc.
There are also a lot of extensions within the resort, so without further information, it is not ever completely fair to assume where exactly a call originated. Bear in mind the following from the files in this;
The search for the detail of this number was done on the main telephone number, which is a DDI with 100 extensions and therefore only the communications made via operator appear as number 282771000, all the others are on the main number 2827710.
With the above in mind, I will also make clear calls that take place during the time periods that Madeleine was reported to have been collected/dropped off at the creche.
As there are five sheets to go through, I will take these in order. As always, I request/encourage any and all corrections, feedback or further information on anything presented here (especially unidentified numbers). And as mentioned in Part one, if you see your number here and wish it removed, I can adjust the post in future if you contact me. This series of blogs is intended for reference, not invasion of privacy.
Ocean Club calls in from 00:00:38 to 14:08:55 on May 3rd, 2007 (original)
Lagos Marina Fax – This is an interesting one to begin with. Quoting from the Lagos Marina website;
Incoming mail will be accepted if addressed c/o Marina de Lagos – Edifício da Administração, 8600-780 Lagos, Portugal.
The name of your yacht must be clearly indicated.
This implies that any business with the Marina would regard a single vessel. The PJ investigated what yachts were docked at the time (and contrary to media reports, the ‘Fun Too’ was tracked down and bore no mystery). To my knowledge, there has been no mention of a link between any OC guest and ownership of a yacht. It bears mention here that Kate McCann singled out a yacht in the Lagos Marina (the Shearwater) asking the PJ to investigate it based on a friend’s vision. It too was ruled out. Kate later asked a friend to pray for Madeleine at the marina.
Of course, all of these things could be extraneous to the specific faxes, but there is every reason to make sure. As well as early on the 3rd, there is also a fax there around 07:09 on the morning of the 4th.
Boavista Golf/Antonio Castelo – Antonio Castelo is ‘Director of Golf’ at the Boavista course. This specific number is ascribed generally to the course, but is also attributed to him personally.
Parque da Floresta Golf Resort Fax – Two numbers, both appearing to be ascribed to fax facilities at the Parque da Floresta resort. The number ending 0055 is more specifically golf course related, whereas the other is more generally the resort. The phone number ending 0054 is similarly for the golf course. Parque da Floresta is West of Praia da Luz, at Vila do Bispo.
Telepac Assistencia – A helpline for the ISP company now known as SAPO.
‘STC Supplies’ East Midlands – A curious entry, this number being ascribed to a Nottingham property which advertises businesses online, either STC Supplies (simply stating ‘tools’), or ‘Commercial Microwave Services’, which while having a different number ascribed, still has the same address. I was unable to find company records or even websites/advertisements for either of these. Nottingham is 27 miles from Rothley.
Credito Agricolo Luz – Fax and phone calls to CA Bank.
Ocean Country – A former sister company of the Ocean Club, so to speak. Ocean Country is a high-end estate agency. Run in part by ‘Murat lookalike’ Angus Symington.
Optico/Mamede & Son – This number is ascribed to both ‘Oculista da Luz’ and ‘Mamede & Filho’. In fact they are one and the same, ‘Mamede Optico’, and located on Rua Direita.
A Cegonha, Boutique Bebe e Pre Mama – Here we have two very short calls (15 seconds and 29 seconds) to a baby boutique store in the Lisbon municipality of Vila Franca de Xira.
Cristina Rio – I have only been able to source the name.
Edit 03/04/18 – the number in fact belonged to Vitor Manuel de Jesus Santos in 2007. Source
Thomas Cook – Holiday operator.
Mark Warner Holidays – Holiday operator.
Ana Matias (RE/MAX) – A RE/MAX realtor.
Ciclolagos – Advertised as offering mechanic services/sporting equipment. Business does not seem to be active any more, or has moved.
DVLA Driver Enquiries – UK DVLA Driver Enquiries.
Gascan – Energy company.
EDP – Energy company.
Jose Monteiro & Filho Lda – Company selling fuel.
British Vice Consulate, Portimao – The information provided in the sourced link is of interesting reading. This call was made around 1404 on the 3rd. It lasted just under three minutes. Given the information on their website, their number is not much use unless there is some kind of emergency or bereavement. However, we must qualify this with the fact that this was 2007, we werent all walking around with google in our pockets. It is entirely possible that the call to the Consulate was an errant one, its duration reflecting this as the ‘correct number’ for whatever issue was passed on.
Ocean Club calls in from 14:12:16 to 23:57:21 on May 3rd, 2007 (original)
Taxi Praia da Rocha – Taxi service for Praia da Rocha, which is literally South of Portimao.
Dr. Eduardo Brandao OR Ferro Perreira – This one has been a headache. Most searches turn up the number as Ferro Perreira, a gynaecologist/obstetrician based in Faro. However if you search the number with ‘Truecaller’, you get Dr. Eduardo Brandao, a vascular surgeon based in Lisbon. It is possible that Dr. Brandao previously worked at/ran the building which Ferro Perreira now does, but I have not been able to verify this either way.
It should be noted that Catriona Baker stated she saw Madeleine McCann dropped off at the creche at 1445, and this short (one minute) call comes at 1457. Nowhere in her published interviews does Cat ever mention seeing Maddie again – instead just saying Kate ‘went to get her’. If this was really the last mentioned independent sighting of Madeleine (and we must allow for the fact that the Portuguese interviews are only summaries, thus may miss a lot), then this call in theory could be very important.
Oceanico Group – An Algarve based golf resort company, with events curated by members of the Symington family, hence linked with the ‘Ocean’ name.
Bounceroo – Another oddity – despite the cartoonish name, a glance at Bounceroo’s website reveals them to be an above average quality party, catering, wedding, event etc organising company. Based in Norwich. No discernable links that I can find.
‘Ocean Luisa’ – Likely OC receptionist Luisa Coutinho.
Latincom Pt. Albergaria Artesanato – I have not been able to surmise much about this location, only confirm that it is in Odiaxere. It is/was either a hostel or craft store.
Regaldino Bodiao/C.R.R Informatica e Servicos lda -A general IT store. Call lasts 2 mins 48 seconds. Possibly relevant if someone in the resort was asking how to wipe computer records, but again this would require followup to confirm.
Chris Critchlow – Chris was a secretary for Mark Warner until 2014. A tight band of three calls are made to him (home, then mobile twice), none exceeding 25 seconds in length. The nature of these calls should be ascertained.
Ze Joao – No details ascertained. Possibly the ‘Ze’ mentioned in Jeronimo Salcedas’ rogatory.
TV Cabo Lisbon – A communications company, similar to Virgin or BT, offering tv, internet, phone etc. Now known as NOS (also Zon in the interim). Thank you to Beatriz Belchior for clarifying this for me.
Via Directa – Albufeira based travel agents.
Luis Barros – Barman at Millenium restaurant. His statement makes reference to a call informing him of the events, but no mention of the earlier (21:21:55) call he received, also from the OC.
GNR – Guarda Nacional Republicana, see Part One
Jeronimo Salcedas? – Outspoken Tapas barman. Made references in his rogatory to later phonecalls.
This is not a verified identification, but based on an educated guess. Number is confirmed in files.
EDIT 22/04/18: The number 01256363155, previously marked as ???, is a landline assigned to ‘Mr and Mrs Reap’ according to this pdf. This is a Basingstoke address, and OC guest Colin Donald Reap is based in Basingstoke, so it’s fair to assume it’s his number. It is interesting to note that while the Mark Warner arrival lists state that their booking was for three people, including their 3 year old daughter, every run sheet lists just 2 people in their apartment, even after they extended their stay by a week. There are 2+1 listed on their sole Tapas evening (05/05), though, and they don’t appear to have used the creche at all.
+351913420534 Belongs to Tiago Rocha Barreiros
Ocean Club call records in from 23:57:48 May 3rd to 12:15:13 May 4th (original)
Gordon Spence – Currently Head of Customer Services for Mark Warner.
Igreja de Santa Maria (Portimao) – Church in Lagos. Who was calling the Lagos church at 0432, and why?
Bruna Lourenco – I have been unable to find an individual by this name, however I did confirm this is NOT Nuno Lourenco’s wife, as her name is Birgit.
Rui Cruz/Aviludo Rui Octavio – I was unable to find further information on this name.
Ricardo Velho Martins – As above, I couldn’t find anything solid enough to warrant mention.
Ines Lopes – Former editor of the ‘Algarve Resident’.
Mark Rawcliffe – Commercial Director of ‘Algarve Resident’
Fotozoom/Manuel Gameiro Silva – Photographic equipment.
Silvia Batista – Head of Maintenance and Services at Ocean Club.
Info – Number is assigned to the word ‘Info’, but with no small hint of irony, I am unable to find any information about the number.
‘Nik Dick’ – Another example of an unhelpful name being assigned. At a stretch it could be a nickname for Nicky Gill, but just as easily could be short for a name like Nick Richards. As such need more information to make any judgments.
Phillip Worral Solicitor – Lancashire based solicitor.
Policia Judiciaria Portimao – Policia Judiciaria in Portimao
Ocean Club call records in from 12:17:23 to 17:34:25, May 3rd 2007 (original)
Transmarsil/Refrige Fax – Another confusing entry. Either the fax number for ‘Transmaril‘, a Loule based haulage company, or ‘Refrige‘, also based in Loule, which deals with soft drinks like Coca Cola.
Alexandra Soares – Algarve based Property solicitor.
Social Services Centre Lagos ‘Centro de Assistencia Social Lucinda Anino dos Santos’ – An establishment founded in the 1920’s, providing support and education for underprivileged youths.
Baptista – The supermarket chain.
Jinny Harman – Villa Management company.
‘Dulce Ar D Rio’ – Unknown
John Hill – Ocean Club manager. Despite his role he appears to have only been formally interviewed in June. Hill maintained contact with Gerry McCann into the end of August. Strangely, Hill’s number was listed as unidentified, while his wife’s number was on record.
The Sovereign Group – ‘Company Formation’ in Portugal. This call was on May 4th. Quoting from their website, they offer;
OUR PRINCIPAL SERVICES INCLUDE:
- FISCAL REPRESENTATION FOR– INDIVIDUALS AND COMPANIES
- FISCAL NUMBER APPLICATIONS
- PERSONAL TAX CHECK UP
- THE SOVEREIGN PORTUGUESE PROPERTY PURCHASE PLAN
- MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS (IMI)
- PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX (IMT)
- PROPERTY HEALTH CHECK UP
- CAPITAL GAINS TAX
- WEALTH TAX and INHERITANCE TAX
- TAX REVALUATION OF PROPERTY
- NON HABITUAL RESIDENCY STATUS
- GOLDEN RESIDENCY
- DECLARATION OF TOURIST RENTAL INCOME
- ALOJAMENTO LOCAL – TOURIST LETTING REGISTRATION
Faro Airport – Faro Airport.
Ken Gillespie – Glasgow area code, no other information to hand.
Bom Dia Actividades Maritimas – Boat trips from Lagos.
Avelino – Unknown.
Jose Novo – Local resident of Lagos.
Ocean Club calls in from 17:35:53 to 23:21:43 on May 4th 2007, plus operator dialled calls from May 3rd (original)
Craig Mayhew – Then UK Operations Manager for Mark Warner. Flew out to the resort in short order if the run sheets are accurate (booked in under ‘Mahye’ since May 4th according to May 5th run).
Silves GNR – These are odd calls. They are made at around 1500 on May 3rd, and via operator, but rather than local GNR, Silves GNR are called, twice. I have seen no mention of earlier events at the resort involving GNR, much less 15 minutes after Cat Baker last gave a time to seeing Madeleine. Geographically, Silves is further from Luz than Portimao. Have these calls been explained?
Batista & Batista – Batista supermarket.
Now, bearing in mind the following creche sheets (for whatever you consider them worth), here are calls condensed down into the time periods Gerald or Kate were said to be at the creche dropping off or picking up the children:
Lobsters (Madeleine’s group) AM/PM register for May 3rd
Jellyfish (twin’s group) PM register for May 3rd
Given the obvious impossibility of these times being accurate, I will afford 15 minutes either side of the times in/out. So, 0855-0925, 1210-1240, and afternoon 1430-1505, 1715-1745.
Ocean Club call records for selected time periods
And that is that. I hope these reference blogs will be of use to the reader, if not right now, then down the line as pieces fall into place. I am still considering which area to tackle next, with tackling the Marais efit being the most likely next up. Feedback is, as always, greatly appreciated…
Call records less examined, Part 2: Dolfino Phone Box
The Dolphin/Dolfino phone box entered relevance early in the case, as the owners of the Dolfino restaurant both mentioned an unusual man hanging around the phone box in the days leading up to the events of May 3rd. A photofit was drawn up from Dereck Flack’s sighting, and was corroborated by the Marais couple. A photofit was also drawn up from the testimony of Lance Purser, who was describing an individual he saw in the weeks before (likely not the same person).
Left: Flack/Marais efit, Right: Lance Purser efit
I believe I have identified a strong candidate for this efit (with documented link to Gerry), but for now I will continue providing the call data, and circle back to that in a future post. You can read Dereck Flack’s statements here, the Marais couple’s statements here (Adriaan Marais) and here (Lizelle Marais), and the PJ dilligence carried out on the Marais efit here.
Dolfino Restaurant/phone box in bottom left, McCann apartment (5A) and Creche noted for reference/perspective
I’m sure it need not be said, but remember that these are records from a public phone box, as such the majority of names/numbers here probably are irrelevant. But the testimony of the Marais couple dictates that we should perform dilligences on all these numbers, and particularly those which correlate with their given times.
Only outgoing calls are listed in the files, and only one document. Phone boxes have the facility to be dialled, so where we see very short calls, it is possible they were dialled back. If this occurred, we are not afforded the records here (which is not to say that the PJ wouldn’t have that data).
Dolphin Restaurant callbox records
You will note immediately that rather than ‘unknown’, I have marked one number with an asterisk. This is due to the frequency and specific timing (always around 0055 or 1812-25) of the calls to this number, the calls never exceeding 90 seconds. This is a Lisbon number, and unlisted. I have been told that it could possibly be a governmental department number, or a private number, for instance a diplomat. The only embassy with matching initial 6 numbers is the Senegalese embassy – not enough to make a match. However as it’s a Portuguese number, it’s fair to assume that the PJ could, or did track this number down. Thank you to Isabelle McFadden for this information re the likelihood it’s a diplomatic number. Thanks also to Beatriz Belchior for her recent efforts to help me identify this number, which reached the same conclusion.
Peter Hember – A native of Bromsgrove who frequently visits Praia da Luz. Works for a cement company based in Worcester. Aside from an unidentified Bristol-area number, his is the only other number dialled more than once, and it is maybe of note that the calls he received were ‘between 1600-1800’, which is the time period Adriaan and Lizelle Marais both made reference to seeing the ‘suspicious man’.
Craig and Helen Richards – A couple in Brentwood. Called once just outside the time period given by the Marais couple.
Hugo Sagres – Likely surf tutor Hugo Figueirido.
Samuel Filipe – Former Algarve resident, now lives in the UK with his English fiance
Probably Paulo Maia de Loureiro, a Lisbon resident and former purser at TAP Air Portugal. Long call (21 minutes) and falls within the time period given by the Marais couple. Note that this is not a 100% identification.
EDIT 28/01/18 – With a little more digging in the files, I have confirmed the above in this document.
Ricardo Kiki – A Lagos resident, involved with XRX Bmx group. Facebook friend of Wim Bosman (owner of Dolphin restaurant).
Delvira Rosa de Jesus Reis – A resident of Nova Santa Barbara, Brazil.
Amy Tierney (Doncaster) – Amy Tierney’s home number in England. Amy Tierney was the Head of the Baby and Mini clubs at the Ocean Club (Madeleine was in the Mini club). First called at 1711 for just 2 seconds, before two later calls (4 seconds, then 5 mins 54 seconds) which sandwich a call to Amy’s mobile number. It would be fair to intimate that these calls are inter-related.
Amy Tierney – An 11 second call to Amy Tierney’s mobile number. Note this is an English mobile number. As mentioned, this call falls between the 4 second call to Amy’s Doncaster home and the 5 mins 54 seconds call to the same. There is less than a minute’s gap between all three of these numbers being dialled. Amy’s statements make no mention of calls earlier in the evening, and some of the nanny’s statements imply that she later knew which child was missing in short order.
I felt the Bristol number may be of some relevance given that it was also dialled on the 3rd (as well as the 1st). As I noted above, the number is a Bristol one. I was only able to find one mention of a Bristol resident who worked at the Ocean Club, that being Steve Carruthers, who was informally interviewed according to the files, at the same time people such as Chris Unsworth and Alice Stanley (sailing instructors) were interviewed. He now works as a Physics teacher at a Bristol grammar school.
Next up, I will begin presenting the data from the Ocean Club call records. These are over multiple sheets so please bear with me as I present them, it will take some time to do so.
Call records less examined, Part 1: GNR
Please note: This blog will inevitably contain names and numbers which are in all likelihood not related to the case. I include all identified numbers for the sake of thoroughness. If you happen to be one of these names and wish your number removed, please feel free to contact me.
This series of posts will serve in part as a reference section. As such, it will be sterile of interpretation as much as possible, though I will add relevant details about names. As usual, I encourage any feedback, corrections or additional information.
For the most part, I have superimposed names of callers on these documents. Unidentified numbers are either left blank or marked ‘???’. In some cases a blank number is identified in the column on the right, for example on the GNR document, which I will begin with.
It is claimed frequently in the media that the McCanns called the GNR immediately, and they ‘took 40 minutes or more to arrive’. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as the following GNR document shows. While the Tapas group claimed to have gone to reception and called the GNR (Gerry, Russell or other depending on which account we read), they were in fact all in 5A arguing loudly until the GNR were called at – yes – 22:41.
GNR call records for night of 03/05/07-early morning 04/05/07
(Image resized by WordPress)
If you are unable to view the image well, please click here for better resolution.
The number ending ‘809’ is the GNR Lagos number, if the number is in the right hand column that means they RECEIVED the call, if it is on the left then they MADE the call.
Calls above ‘Greentrust SA’ are all irrelevant – again, simply identified for the sake of being thorough. Taking these in order, then;
Greentrust SA – This is the Ocean Club. Although there is a separate Greentrust SA building, the number presented is the same as the number presented in the OC call records, hence we can fairly accept that these two calls were made from the Tapas reception as claimed.
Instituto Nacional De Emergencia Medica – A call from the emergency services to the GNR.
Securitas Direct Portugal LDA – Alarm company – this would appear to be automatic dialling when alarms are tripped. There are earlier and later calls from here and it is more than likely likely irrelevant.
Barend Weijdom – A Dutch property manager in Praia da Luz. He was interviewed by the PJ on the 16th of May. His interview appears to make no mention of his 23:01 call to the GNR, indeed he intimates that the GNR arrived ‘around 5 minutes’ after he was made aware of the search. The times he recalled were incorrect (stating events were unfolding at around 2145-2150). He claimed to have searched the beach area. Managed Apartment 5E (same block as McCanns, next door to the O’Brien/Tanner apartment). Unclear what other properties he was responsible for.
Silvia Batista – Head of Maintenance and Services at Ocean Club. Interviewed at least four times, two of which were in May, and two in July. At no point does she mention calling the GNR, indeed she says she was ‘made aware’ of the situation at 2230, and GNR arrived after her. Silvia made interesting comments, such as corroborating the ‘praying Arabs’ pose of the parents, and her shock at them requesting a priest around 3am. Silvia later procured keys for apartments, in anticipation of Martin Grime’s work.
AV Dr Barahona, Evora – GNR building in Evora, calling GNR Portimao.
Wim Bosman – A South African living in Praia da Luz, also having roots in nearby Odiaxere. I have found nothing relevant linking him to the night’s events, however he does appear to own the Dolphin restaurant with his wife. According to Lizelle Marais, Wim was out at a bar with her husband Adriaan when she heard about the events unfolding.
Bruna Goncalves – I have marked this number as likely reassigned, as the person it’s assigned to looks to be in her late teens at most. There is a precedent for reassigned numbers, for instance Robert Murat’s number is now assigned to an unrelated lady in Portugal.
PJ Portimao – As noted. For some reason, the ‘time’ column is incorrect from here and downward, so it is unclear if this call was at 1053 or 10 minutes past any hour after midnight.
PJ Lagos – PJ in Lagos.
In Part Two I will look at the Dolfino callbox, before tackling the lengthy Ocean Club call records.