Friday, 25 November 2016

Found, Lost, Likely and Confession

1. Introduction

Last time we wrote we said we were stepping aside to watch how things would evolve in the Ben Needham case.

That we thought best that our silence would be the best option to avoid influencing in any way that particular outcome – and before the reader sends us any comments, we are already on our way to church to seek penitence for such a presumption of self-importance.

We continue to think the same way.

However, from time to time, a spectator must make a sound under the penalty that his presence may be forgotten by the artists on stage.

They may forget that a silent audience is not an absent one. Just an attentive one.

So like the barely heard but noticed cough by a spectator in the middle of a silent crowd inside a theatre, we have decided to show readers a few fascinating things related with the stay of the South Yorkshire police in Kos last month.

2. Let’s find a 3 inch toy

The most amazing thing about this is that South Yorkshire police ended up finding the toy!

What a fluke! Compared to this, finding a needle in a haystack or a specific blade of grass in a meadow in the future will be a piece of cake!

We are really looking forward to the next tutorial video from South Yorkshire police: how to knit sweaters for hamsters using only the elbows.

3. Let’s lose a digger

At this point in time, it’s not up for debate that Dino Barkas and his digger are in the centre of what may have happened to Ben.

If he did it then because he did it, if he didn’t do it (as we think he didn’t) then because the media are pointing their fingers in his direction.

As we have repeatedly pointed out, South Yorkshire police hasn’t said that it was Mr Barkas who accidentally killed Ben with his digger.

South Yorkshire police hasn’t denied this either so until they come forward with an official statement on the issue, the public has been led by the media to believe that Ben’s death was the result of that.

But the digger has turned out to be a very interesting object on its own.

It first came to be known to the public in the Mirror article “Ben Needham investigation breakthrough as cops probe witness claims missing tot was killed” of Sept 16, 2016 by Lucy Thornton:

“The Mirror found what is believed to be the digger Dino was driving on the day Ben vanished.

We discovered it in a village just seven miles from the spot. The rusting machine still clearly has the “Barkas” name painted – in Greek – on the side.

Police are investigating whether it is the one that may have been involved in Ben’s tragic disappearance.

They know that one is still in operation on the island.

Officers have already examined one machine in recent months.

The 952 Liebherr model was ­manufactured by a Swiss-based firm between 1989 and 1993.”

A day later, Sept 17, 2016,  the Daily Mail publishes a photo of the digger (above), no longer thought to be but to be Dino’s digger, in the article “Ben Needham's grandfather reveals he spoke to man suspected of killing the youngster on day he vanished” by Lucy Thornton and Andy Lines.

Two days later the Irish Mirror in the article “Ben Needham police say: 'This is where we will dig for missing tot's remains'” by Lucy Thornton and Andy Lines (Sept 19 and updated Sept 20, 2016):

“Last week the Mirror found the giant earthmover believed to have being used by Dino.

The rusting yellow digger is located in a field outside a village seven miles from where little Ben went missing.

It still clearly has the “Barkas” family name painted – in Greek - on both sides.

It is so big the bucket is over eight feet tall.

South Yorkshire Police already know the digger potentially involved in Ben’s death is still in operation on the island”.

Well done!

Brand, model and Barkas’s surname written on both sides all pointed to a job well done by the Mirror reporters in Kos.

A month later, on Monday October 17, South Yorkshire police call a press conference to inform the public of two very important things:

- that two days before, on Saturday October 15, they had found a toy car belonging to Ben in the second search site, 750 metres from the farmhouse;

- that it was their professional belief that Ben had died as a result of an accident near the farmhouse.

This press conference is covered in the Daily Mail article “Ben Needham's mother breaks down in tears when shown the toy car belonging to her son after it is found during Kos search - as boy's death is declared an accident” by Rebecca Taylor and Julian Robinson and Nick Fagge (October 17, updated  October 18, 2016).

BUT, in that same article this is also said:

“British investigators are still searching for the JCB digger that they believe ran over and killed Ben.

DI Cousins told MailOnline: 'We have not been able to find Dinos' [Barkas] digger. The digger left the island six or seven years ago.

'It was taken to [Greek commercial port] Piraeus where there are over a dozen building plant firms.

'Dinos sold it in a part exchange for another newer digger. It would have been recommissioned and sold on. Even a 30 year old JCB digger is worth more than €30,000.

'We thought we had traced it to Egypt but it was not Dinos' digger. 'We are still looking for it.'”

Isn’t it just so interesting how the digger “found” by the Mirror gets “lost” immediately after the South Yorkshire police press conference on Kos during which they say they had found the toy car?

4. Most likely

On November 20 2016, the Sun ran an article by Graeme Culliford and Jonathan Corke with the following title: “Ben search flight costs - Brit cops spent £21k flying to and from Greece in search for missing Ben Needham

As a subtitle this appeared: “Detectives have said tot “most likely” died in building site accident”.

And in its body, this: “Last month detectives announced that Ben “most likely” died as a result of a building site accident at a farmhouse close to the village of Iraklis where his family had been staying”.

We reacted to this with a comment on our “Blogeditorial decision” post:

Textusa 20 Nov 2016, 15:24:00

Very interesting paragraph: Last month detectives announced that Ben “most likely” died as a result of a building site accident at a farmhouse close to the village of Iraklis where his family had been staying.

We dont remember SYP having announced most likely (what was indeed said is quoted in article) when referring to Bens death last month, so as it's not a quote one can only deduce that quotation marks are used for emphasis.

So, apparently, the certainty it was digger is no longer a certainty.

That, appears to be one of 2 things:

One, SYP are backtracking and things will return to how they were before they made the statement in which was said in very clear terms there was a
professional belief that Ben Needham died as a result of an accident near to the farmhouse in Iraklis where he was last seen playing.

Two, the blame will shift from digger driver to someone else who happened to be nearby at the time. Who it will be will be anybody
s guess. Maybe some sunglasses stand just outside the farmhouse, similar to the one Gerry McCann bought his sunglasses from in Luz, that may have fallen on the poor boy, and which now some witness will say after all these years that it was there although no one else noticed it.

In this possibility, as we said, we don
t know who will be blamed, only know it has to be someone who was very near to the events in question.

In case of the other possibility, the backtracking, all SYP has to do is to give a reasonable explanation as to why toy car travelled on its own that distance and dug itself up.”

5. Confession

In that same article, Culliford and Corke also wrote that “The breakthrough came after a now deceased digger operator Konstantinos Barkas allegedly confessed that he had mistakenly killed the British boy then hidden his body in building waste.”

This seems to corroborate what Kerry Needham has written on page 291 of her book “Ben”, published in 2013:

“What I didn’t know was it was about to get worse. Just as I heard the presenters wrapping up their previous piece, I was handed out a copy of that morning’s Daily Mirror and told, ‘This is what Aled will be asking you about.’

The front-page headline was printed two inches high, but I could not take it in. Slowly the fog cleared and the words, ‘Is Lost Ben Buried Under Rubble?’ screamed out. I needed to sit down - and not on a sofa in front of millions.

The story claimed that Dino Barkas had decided to announce now, twenty-one years later, that Ben had almost certainly been killed by accident during the building works at Iraklis. The body, the JCB driver said, was buried under rocks he himself had dumped that day.

In other words, he was saying Ben was dead.”

The Mirror article in question was written by Tom Parry and published on May 24, 2012 (updated October 18) “Is lost Ben buried under rubble? Police suspect missing toddler died in tragic accident on building site”:

“The Mirror tracked down JCB driver Konstantinos Barkas, who confirmed he was excavating earth for a new property to be built 50 yards away.

He was at work on the site during the crucial first three hours after the little boy from Sheffield went missing while on holiday with his parents, Kerry Needham and her then boyfriend Simon Ward.

Speaking for the first time, Mr Barkas, 61, also revealed he has given a statement to police.

“Yes, I was the man with the JCB that day,” Mr Barkas said.

“Loads of earth were being taken to clear the ground for the new house down the road. Cutting that much ground from the hill was a big job.

“I think people were misled in thinking the child was abducted.

"Could there have been an accident? I don’t think so but no one really knows what happened.

"The little boy was two years old and the thorns in that field were as high as my waist.

“I remember I was still there when Kerry’s brother Stephen, Ben’s uncle, came back late in the afternoon and told me the boy was missing. I will never forget that.”

The sensational development raises serious questions about whether blue-eyed Ben could have died in such appalling circumstances.”

Unless something else was said by Mr Barkas about the subject during this interview or elsewhere, we fail to see any sort of a confession on his part. He asks a question and provides an answer in the form of his opinion: Could there have been an accident? I don’t think so but no one really knows what happened..

Also interesting to note is that when he says “I think people were misled in thinking the child was abducted Mr Barkas clearly contradicts the apparent assessment made by the Greek police from his statement back in 1991 that Ben may have been taken by two men and a woman who were inside a car, as Kerry refers on page 140 of her book: 

“An English speaking officer told us Barkas had reported seeing a white car parked along the lane on the day Ben had disappeared. He couldn't identify the passengers, but could tell there were two men in the front and a woman in the back.

'They took your baby'

To be noted that the mound in the pictures shown in both the Mirror’s front-page in its paper edition and in their online one (above) is inside the property and not 50 yards from it and very near to the farmhouse and to the entrance through which Ben is said to have exited:

Valantis Barkas, Dino Barka’s son, in the Daily Mail article of Oct 18, 2016, by Nick Fagge “'My beautiful father did NOT kill Ben Needham. Why has his name been dragged through the mud?' Fury of Kos digger driver's son who claims Ben's mother 'should be ashamed'” had this to say:

“The son of Kos digger driver Konstantinos ‘Dinos’ Barkas has told of his anger that his father has been branded the killer of missing toddler Ben Needham without ‘a shred of evidence’.

And he has warned heartbroken mother Kerry Needham to ‘choose her words carefully’ after she condemned his father to ‘burn in hell’ for allegedly covering up her son’s death.

Valantis Barkas says his family has worked with investigators for a quarter of a century to try to solve the mystery of 21-month-old Ben’s disappearance.

But now he can barely hold back his anger as his ‘beautiful’ father’s name is ‘dragged through the mud’ for killing little Ben and taking the secret of his death to his grave.

He said: ‘Kerry should be ashamed of herself. We are very upset by the things she has said about my father Dinos – such as that he should burn in hell.'

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline following the completion of South Yorkshire Police’s ‘Operation Ben’ Valantis Barkas said: ‘It’s been 25 years and they have found nothing at all – not a shred of evidence to support these wild allegations against my father.

‘My father has been accused of being a child killer and his picture has been published everywhere without a trace of evidence.

‘I have remained calm throughout all of this. We have nothing to hide. We have tried to help [the Operation Ben police investigation].

‘It is too easy to blame the dead. My father is dead and his name has been dragged through the mud. He was a beautiful man. He was well respected.

‘There was no better man than my father Dinos, God always wants good people with him.’

Dinos died of cancer last year. A witness came forward in May and told British detectives Dinos had killed little Ben in a terrible accident.”

So, did Dino Barkas confess to have killed Ben back before the searches of 2012 or didn’t he?

It would be very important for South Yorkshire police to clarify this, officially.

6. Conclusion

We continue to be very interested spectators, waiting here and in silence for official news from the South Yorkshire police.

We will return when we feel is most opportune.

This blog is about Maddie McCann and it hasn’t stopped being so.


  1. Good to see you back. Do you think there will be a resolution in the Needham case before the McCann case? And also do you think that the outcome in both are strategically linked and if so why?

    1. Anonymous 25 Nov 2016, 10:44:00,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The answers to your questions are: we don't know, maybe and we prefer to keep our speculations to ourselves on any links between the cases.

      That is exactly the reason why we're not coming back because we have never left.

      We want to make sure that readers don't think we're playing a teasing game. We're not. We simply think it is for the best that our speculations are not made public for the time being.

    2. Thanks for your reply. Sounds intriguing. Could you enlighten your readers as to when you will make your speculations public on this?

    3. Anonymous 25 Nov 2016, 14:21:00,

      We are waiting for the South Yorkshire police to make an official statement on what specifically is based their professional belief that Ben is dead.

      The standard, very transparent and very logical who, how, where, when and why that make ALL the pieces of the puzzle come flawlessly together.

      Only then will we know what is there to be supported or questioned and how our speculations fit in all that.

    4. I think that when the truth emerges in both cases then there'll be some remarkable similarities. I also think that the outcome of both is somewhat intertwined and will possibly arrive at around the same time. They both appear to be about timing now. Just when is the right time that they may be struggling with?

  2. What is clear is that SYP have ruled out an abduction by producing the blade of grass in a meadow or the needle in a hay stack or in this case a toy car,OG just can't no matter how they try to rule in an abduction because the blade of grass in a meadow whether by accident or by design is just not there.Rock and a hard place.

  3. Björn Sundberg/Sweden25 Nov 2016, 18:55:00

    Quite embarrassing for both the SYP and the Operation Grange, as they now must feel compelled to break the silence, but still having nothing substantial whatsoever to pass on to the “audience”. I expect nothing but misleading rhetoric from them, in order to distract attention from their complete failures.


    A very interesting decision from the Brazilian Justice.

    In an unheard of legal move, it has decided to want to send process for trial in a foreign nation.

    The Brazilian justice system has gathered enough evidence against a foreign citizen for him to stand a trial. The crime, a murder, has happened 7 years ago and that citizen fled from Brazil the day after the crime was committed.

    Fearing that this crime may go untried and thus the criminal unpunished if found guilty, the Brazilian justice wants to send the process to that citizen’s country so that he can be judged there by his national justice system.

    The citizen in question is Portuguese, Duarte Lima and the country to which the process is to be sent to, is Portugal.

    The Brazilian justice system has this decision because it realised that Portugal cannot legally extradite one of its citizen there for judgement.

    We don’t know what the decision from the Portuguese justice system will be on this subject. As far as we could gather, this is still to be decided in Brazil as Duarte Lima has appealed there, this decision.

    If the Brazilian justice system upholds this decision it will be curious what the decision from the Portuguese justice system will be.

    This raises very interesting questions about legal sovereignties as it seems a nation's justice system is willing to let go of some of it so it won’t see a crime go without judgement.

  5. I met up with my mum and her two friends last Friday two late 70's mum 81
    All 3 believe the digger driver killed Ben accidentally and all 3 believed Dino confessed on his death bed
    The power of media and gullible idiots are still very much with us unfortunately.
    My mum believed Ben was dead all those years ago but believes Madeleine's alive fgs I'll leave that with you lol
    Great article ladies xx

    SYP may have not found the digger but they have found its tracks 25 years later: Police chief Det Insp Jon Cousins said of the investigation: “We have also found marks made by the bulldozer we believe was used by Dino Barkas back in 1991.”
    SYP never cease to amaze in this case!

    1. Anonymous 26 Nov 2016, 18:30:00,

      Thank you! Very interesting article. We would like to bring the following over to the blog:

      “Last month, the Daily Mirror exclusively revealed that police decided to dig again in Greece after a “significant” new witness came forward.

      The man claimed his pal, digger driver Konstantinos “Dino” Barkas, may have killed Ben in an accident.

      The witness claims he saw Ben playing near the site Dino was working on. He later said Dino admitted it was “possible” he may have crushed the toddler.

      Two weeks after Ben’s disappearance, Eddie’s boss, Michaelis Kypreos – who died of a heart attack three days after hearing of the first dig in 2012 – turned up at the Needhams’ caravan.

      He told Eddie: “This is history now. Come back to work.

      The grandfather says he was furious but Eddie said he no choice but to return to work to support his family.

      Shortly after Ben went missing, Eddie laid foundations under the site of the farmhouse extension that police have just pulled down.

      But he is not sure if the same foundations remain, or if new ones were put in before the building was erected. And that is what he hopes to find out.

      He is also keen to thank the Hellenic Rescue and Red Cross volunteers who have selflessly devoted so much time to the search.

      Eddie believes if Ben’s body was concealed under the building it was no accident.

      He said: “If he was buried there he has been buried there on purpose.

      “I don’t believe it though, they had no reason to hide an accident,” he said of the theory he was hit by a digger.

      “They could have just said, ‘Why were you not looking after the boy?’.”

      “I can’t believe anybody would bury a baby. Nobody would be that evil.

      “But I believe that we have been spun a spider web of lies all these years.

      Talking about the witness who has finally come forward claiming the digger driver crushed Ben in an accident, Eddie said he felt no anger, just deep hurt.

      He cannot believe anyone could live with that on their conscience for so long.

      “If he wanted to get it off his chest for 25 years why wait until more than a year after Dino dies to talk to the police.

      “He was dying – surely he would have confessed on his deathbed? Did Dino keep it quiet to protect people more powerful? There has been this wall of silence,” he said.

      “I find it hard to believe a normal working man, as I thought Dino was, could just dig a hole and bury a baby. I don’t have any anger. I just feel upset.”

      Eddie says when they realised Ben was missing they searched the whole area, even looking in the olive grove that police are searching currently.

      He said: “I even looked in the digger. There was no sign of Ben.””

  7. Björn Sundberg/Sweden26 Nov 2016, 20:03:00

    I understand that the SYP are just not clever police detectives, but apparently qualified archaeologists, but they might of course confuse the tracks of Dino's bulldozer with the imprints of ancient gladiatorial chariots. Interesting scientific research they are doing anyway.

    Seems the tracks were seen on an old photo. So maybe police didn't find any recent traces:
    Days after his disappearance in July 1991, a picture was taken by a British photographer which shows the left wing of the house, which now contains a bathroom and pantry, was not there.
    It was thanks to the picture police discovered the left section of the property was not there and could hold clues to Ben’s disappearance.
    The photo also showed digger tracks on the very ground where the new wing of the building now stands.


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