Even McCann sceptics and critics who can’t agree on the time of day seem to be in harmony on one subject: the reliability of the findings by the dogs brought in to assist in the search for Madeleine; Eddie and Keela.
Nothing is more likely to induce foaming at the mouth of their opponents than mention of the canine team and their handler. Mr Twitter is like the proverbial dog with a bone on the subject and his long-lost twin, flesh of his flesh, Insane shares his predilection for bizarre explanations of the dog alerts in various locations related to the McCanns.
But on the Dogs v McCann the character becomes Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Mr Twitter, plays Jekyll and says he doesn’t believe in the dogs; Insane plays Hyde, and says the dogs are to be believed.
Both alter-egos share the same objective of discrediting the dogs’ findings. Mr Twitter by discrediting the dogs, Insane by saying he doesn’t believe in what we ignorant humans have interpreted what the dogs have signalled.
Both know the importance of the dogs as we explained in our “Third Option” post.
Their main focus seems to be on Eddie, the EVRD/cadaver dog, rather than Keela, the CSI/ blood detecting dog, presumably because Keela detects blood which may have originated from a living person, and can therefore be explained away more easily. It’s curious to note that even though claiming to be a dog believer, Insane insists in saying no blood was discovered in 5A even though Keela signalled it there.
We’ve heard the following explanations; by no means an exhaustive list: dead grandad’s pyjamas, pork products, amputated limb or digit, ill person with cadaver odour, ancient bones in the garden, evidence planted by PJ, dogs cued by handler, dogs trying to please handler, exhausted dogs, hot dog, hungry dogs, unqualified dogs, stupid dogs…
Some explanations contradict others. Some accept cadaver odour existed but it wasn’t Madeleine’s whilst others claim no cadaver odour existed at all.
We’re not going to enter into a debate about these explanations.
Readers can see it for themselves on twitter (and Facebook) and the admirable, well-informed and tenacious defence of the dogs by some well-known twitterers we won’t name (in case they object to being linked to our tinfoil hat-wearing, off-the-wall blog). Those of a less sensitive disposition wanting to read a blistering, passionate and usually misogynistic critique of our opinions know which blog to visit. We don’t recommend it in any way, except to see that when emptied of insult it contradicts absolutely nothing of what we have said.
Instead, we’ll add our support to the dog-defenders by clarifying one of the facts denied by Mr Twitter- that there was no search by the dogs on July 31st 2007, by setting out the chronology of the dogs’ deployment. And also to confirm the locations of the searches, which have also been the subject of dispute.
Martin Grime’s statement:
“ Operation Task Canine Deployments 1-8 August 2007
On the instruction of the PJ director. The Portuguese police kept all search records concerning the deployment of the search dogs. All dog searches were recorded by video.
The following searches were conducted:
Five apartments at a complex in Praia da Luz
Mr Murat’s property at Praia da Luz
Mr McCann’s villa at Praia da Luz
Articles of clothing from Mr McCann’s residence
Western beach Praia da Luz
Eastern beach Praia da Luz
10 vehicles screened at Portimão
All five apartments were searched using the EVRD. The only alert indications were at apartment 5a, the reported scene…”
There is an error with the above date range as the searches actually commenced on July 31st.
The problem with the information is that it’s located in different areas of the files. The chronology is found in the PJ Files.
July 31st 2007 at 8pm – Inspection of apartments: present Silvia Batista, Ocean Club manager, Tavares A and Ricardo P, PJ Inspectors, Mark Harrison, Martin Grime with Eddie and Keela (Silvia had keys to the apartments)-
Apartment 5A – 8.20 EVRD dog Eddie marks couple’s wardrobe in bedroom.
8.22 – Eddie marks area behind sofa in sitting room near window overlooking road.
9.10 – Keela, blood dog marks area of floor behind the sofa.
Apartments 5B, 5D, 5H and 4G – no alerts by Eddie. 4G was used by the McCanns from 4/5 - 2/7/07
Garden of 5A – access via balcony and steps- Eddie marks area of garden immediately below the window.
No timing is given, but there is a video of Eddie searching at night, so it’s likely to be July 31st.
August 1st – dogs (note plural) 6.40 am – 8.20 am-search local roads (which are all named) and photographic report made. Nothing detected.
August 2nd Ricardo P and Carlos P , Inspectors, Mark H and M Grime and Eddie: 27 Rua das Flores (the McCanns’ residence at the time).
6.36 Eddie marks cupboard in living room – indicating pink soft toy belonging to MM
Clothing set out under direction of British technicians
11.41-11.52 Eddie marks various clothes (box marked living room)
August 3rd: Ricardo P, Mark H and Martin Grime with Keela only.
19.19 -Keela marks area of tiles in living room, behind sofa.
19.20 Keela marks lower part of left white coloured curtain of window behind sofa.”
So, both dogs have now alerted to the same area behind the sofa.
August4/5th Casa Liliana. Eddie found nothing, either inside or outside.
August 6/7th Underground garage Portimão: 3 PJ officers, 2 UK police experts, Eddie and Keela
Eddie marks Renault Scenic car. Car moved to another level and subject to examination from Police Science laboratory.
August 6th – 3.53- Keela marks lower right- hand side of interior baggage compartment.
4.11 marks tidy compartment/ map pocket on driver’s side door, containing car key plastic electronic card.
4.13 key card concealed in sandbox
4.51 Eddie marked concealed area
So, again , both dogs have alerted to the key card.
August 7th 18.30 – outside areas in vicinity of 5A searched by Eddie only. Nothing signalled.
Western and Eastern beaches searched with no results.
In the PJ Files Grime describes Eddie’s response on first entering 5A
“... the dog’s behaviour changed immediately on opening the front door to the apartment. He will normally remain in sit position until released and tasked to search. On this occasion, he broke the stay and entered the apartment with an above average interest. His behaviour was such that I believed him to be ‘in scent’ and I therefore allowed him to free search without direction to allow him to identify the source of his interest. He did so, alerting in the rear bedroom.
I released him from this and tasked him to continue to search. He did so. Alerting in an area to the rear of a sofa in the lounge..
The first alert was given with the dog’s head in the air without a positive area being identified. The alert given by him when there is no tangible evidence to be located, only the scent.
The second alert was one where a definitive area was evident. The CSI dog was therefore deployed, who gave a specific alert indications to specific areas on the tiled floor area behind the sofa. This would indicate the likely presence of human blood..
There were no alert indications from the remaining properties. I did see the dog search in the kitchen waste bins. These contained meat foodstuffs including pork. These did not result in any false alert response.”
“ … when passing a vehicle I now know to be hired and in the possession of the McCann family, the dog’s behaviour changed substantially. This then produced an alert indication at the lower part of the driver’s door where the dog was biting and barking. I recognise this behaviour as the dog indicating a scent emitting from inside the vehicle through a seal round the door…. The CSI dog was then tasked to screen the vehicle. An alert indication was forthcoming from the rear driver’s side of the boot area.. It is my view that it is possible that the EVRD is alerting to ‘cadaver scent’ contaminant or human blood scent.”
Summary “The dogs only alerted to property associated with the McCann family.. the only alert indications that may become corroborated are those of the CSI dog indicated by forensic laboratory analysis. My professional opinion as regards the EVRD’s indications is that it is suggestive that this is ‘cadaver scent’ contaminant. This does not, however, suggest a motive or suspect as cross contamination could be the result of a number of given scenarios.”
There were 4 sets of people who occupied 5A after the McCanns left, before the deployment of the dogs and their details are recorded in the files.
The floor of the apartment would have been washed after the McCanns left and presumably, after the departure of the 4 sets of people.
It is also likely the floor was cleaned during their occupation, so it’s not surprising that any blood spots had become degraded.
It also gives the dog deniers the opportunity to claim the blood could have come from any of these residents, so Keela isn’t the most significant threat even though degradation of stains on walls cannot be explained with any sort of routine cleaning.
It’s Eddie and his handler who come under sustained attack because nobody had previously died in the apartment or the car.
That’s why it’s never often enough that one should underline the importance of Eddie to the revelation of truth.
They may be pinning their hopes that the proposed re-testing of the living room curtains and hairs, said to be the subject of a 6th rogatory request by Operation Grange (perhaps the hairs from the car, referred to by Mr Amaral as being retained by the Portuguese laboratory, 4 in total) will prove inconclusive. In the absence of a confession or the discovery of Madeleine’s remains, Eddie remains the final obstacle to their attempts to exonerate the McCanns from any suggestion that they were involved, directly or indirectly, in the fate of the body of their daughter.
It’s curious to note that in Vanished book, released before PJ files, which we spoke of in a post with the same title “Vanished” and also in the post “Club of 4”, Danny Collins is first to claim what Mr Twitter repeats. That scent lasts no longer than 28 days, on info from unnamed army dog handler, whose own dog got excited by overripe chicken in his car boot. Presumably a dead chicken detector dog, always useful when one wants to find whodunnit in a chicken coop.
Collins also quotes Zapata case, as does Kate in her book, a faux pas as Zapata since arrested for murder.
Who, when, why and how that help came to be is what we all are waiting for Operation Grange to explain.
Footnote: The information in this post is a compilation/synopsis from different places in the PJ files (Processos 8 pgs 2054-2069 and pgs 2186-2188 and Processos 9 pgs 2462-2485).