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The Madeleine McCann Disappearance

ramonmercado

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Cochise

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Would the guy have to be transferred to Portugal for trial (if it got that far)?
 

Spookdaddy

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Still just circumstantial evidence which the German police have been aware of for a long time. I thought though, listening to the German prosecutor on TV, that they have a "confession to a cellmate".
False confessions are pretty common, and cellmate confessions are notoriously difficult to prosecute on their own merit - I'd be surprised if the German authorities didn't have at least a little bit more in the way of corroboration in order to stick their heads above the parapet in such a manner.

Yet again, the immediate - almost Pavlovian - reaction to this story across a lot of internetville has been to hurl accusations and innuendo the way of the McCann's, but it's difficult to see what influence they, or the British authorities, could have on German prosecutors.
 
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McAvennie

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The crux of this development seems to be that they have evidence he was in the area around the same time and that he discussed the case on message boards years later...
 

Spookdaddy

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Would the guy have to be transferred to Portugal for trial (if it got that far)?
That would be a really interesting one - given the multiple jurisdictions involved.

There's a thing called something like extra-territorial jurisdiction, where cases can be tried in one place despite the crime taking place in another. Also, there's a qualification that the case has to have significant or substantial connection with the jurisdiction - which does not necessarily imply that it has to be the locus of the original crime.

The crux of this development seems to be that they have evidence he was in the area around the same time and that he discussed the case on message boards years later...
There seems to be quite a bit of reference to motor vehicles - which makes me wonder if one has been located, or if the German authorities believe that there is still a potential for them to be located.
 
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OrsonSwells

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Mikefule

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As I understand it, the suspect is a convicted paedophile who was known to be in the area at the time and — very interesting — was involved in the transfer of ownership/registered keep of a vehicle from him to someone else on the day after the disappearance.

Therefore the police have the start of "motive" (a paedophile has the motive) "opportunity" (he was in the area at the material time) and there is a "potential line of inquiry": the transfer of the vehicle.

If I were investigating this I would be looking at when and how the vehicle was advertised for sale, and when and how the new owner/keeper became aware that it was available, and how they acquired it.

At one extreme, it may transpire that the vehicle had been advertised for sale through conventional channels for a reasonable period and that the buyer had encountered the advertisement in the normal course of searching for a vehicle. He may have sold another vehicle a few days before or after, and may have paid a fair market price for this one using a conventional and traceable method of payment. If so, the timing of the transfer would look like a genuine coincidence and the line of inquiry would draw a blank.

At the other extreme, there might be no evidence that the vehicle was ever advertised for sale through conventional channels, the new owner/keeper may be unable to explain how they became aware that it was available, the price paid may have been unusually low (or high) and the payment may not have been done in a conventional and traceable way. If so, that would strongly suggest, but not prove, that the transfer of the vehicle on the day after the disappearance was linked to the disappearance in some way. That would then lead to wider and deeper inquiries.
 

McAvennie

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It would tie this up in a neat knot if someone already serving time in jail was willing to just say they did it.

You'd need to be paid a lot of money though to be willing to be the patsy in this case and remaining family to leave said sum to as motivation.
 

MorningAngel

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That would be a really interesting one - given the multiple jurisdictions involved.

There's a thing called something like extra-territorial jurisdiction, where cases can be tried in one place despite the crime taking place in another. Also, there's a qualification that the case has to have significant or substantial connection with the jurisdiction - which does not necessarily imply that it has to be the locus of the original crime.



There seems to be quite a bit of reference to motor vehicles - which makes me wonder if one has been located, or if the German authorities believe that there is still a potential for them to be located.
I thought I heard they had both vehicles which I thought was odd given how long ago it was.
 

Eponastill

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Thing is, if you're that sort of person, you might like the notoriety. He's already serving a long sentence. It'll probably make no difference to when he gets out. Things like that have been seen before haven't they. Doubtless some people could name some people who've done that, off the top of their head.

I thought it was quite funny how in the BBC article it said something about him having this 'transient lifestyle' going round in a camper van 'for days on end'. Days on end, for goodness sake. It smacked of good oldfashioned anti-gypsy/ anti-people-that-don't-live-in-houses style prejudice. (I mean, obviously anti paedophile prejudice is another thing. But the fact he was in a camper van had nothing to do with it. I speak as someone who's enjoyed travelling around on holiday in a camper van).
 

Ladyloafer

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It might turn out to be another false lead but I doubt the German police would be making an announcement if they didn't feel there was something in it. They are asking for witnesses to this guy. His 'transient' life as a migrant worker and general being a 'low life' type would've put him around a lot of other migrant workers. There could be people who come forward now who would otherwise had thought they knew nothing at all.
 

Ladyloafer

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But the fact he was in a camper van had nothing to do with it. I speak as someone who's enjoyed travelling around on holiday in a camper van).
If I've learnt anything from watching too much law &order it's that paedophiles love a van. Privacy and transportation you see.
 

Spookdaddy

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I thought I heard they had both vehicles which I thought was odd given how long ago it was.
On closer reading it seems that the vehicles themselves are not what the police are trying to pin down (reports suggest that the German police have seized both) but transactions based around them. What I can't work out is if the vehicles were still in the possession of the suspect when they were seized, or if they had been sold on.

Camper vans tend to be very resaleable - there are lots of '80's Volkswagen models still doing the rounds. And although I'm no expert on cars, I suspect Jaguars survive a lot longer on the second hand market than lower prestige models. I don't think it's so odd that both might still be around.

It might turn out to be another false lead but I doubt the German police would be making an announcement if they didn't feel there was something in it...
Yes, that's exactly my own take. Although it's worth pointing out that the Met is being more circumspect than the German police - but it's possible that they don't yet know precisely what cards are being held just at the moment.

It would tie this up in a neat knot if someone already serving time in jail was willing to just say they did it...
It would, but I don't think it would be quite as simple as that - there would still need to be some form of corroboration in order to close the case.
 
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PeteS

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There seems to be a few coincidences here if this character is not in some way involved. As usual we only get the very bare bones of the investigation in the press.
 

Cochise

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Dead cat to distract from certain expressions of opinion by senior German scientists about COVID-19 tactics? Or perhaps this should be in Coronavirus Conspiracies.
 

AgProv

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A British government wanting a distraction from the way it's handled the virus thing; senior policemen who need to justify the black hole they've been pouring vast amounts of money down over the last 13 years; newspapers who can always use a good story; the possibility of a Colin Stagg/Barry George - a nice conveniently plausible suspect who they can attribute the blame to.... this doesn't feel right.
 

Spookdaddy

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A British government wanting a distraction from the way it's handled the virus thing; senior policemen who need to justify the black hole they've been pouring vast amounts of money down over the last 13 years; newspapers who can always use a good story; the possibility of a Colin Stagg/Barry George - a nice conveniently plausible suspect who they can attribute the blame to.... this doesn't feel right.
But this has nothing to do with the British police, or the British government - both of which authorities are being much more circumspect about the latest developments than the German police are.

Are people really seriously now saying that on top of all the other people and institutions that are supposedly involved in the alleged conspiracy surrounding Madeleine McCann's disappearance, we can now add the German police force and German judicial system? I only ask because if this is the case then it's hard to avoid the conclusion that two doctors from Huyton appear to have more power and more resources at their disposal than Trump, Putin and the Pope put together.
 
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Cochise

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It does look a bit suspicious that they are trying to pin on him murders not only of another little girl but that of an adult women and I believe even an OAP.

Murderers with a sexual motive very rarely if ever have that wide a target type. Particularly those who target pre-pubescent children.

Doesn't mean he didn't do the 2 little girls though, we'll have to wait and see. It's the (probably coincidental) timing that I suspect will keep a whole set of conspiracy theories going. The Germans don't have to be part of a conspiracy if it turns out this guy is just trying to big himself up.

Like this unpleasant specimen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottis_Toole
 
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maximus otter

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My understanding is that this new suspect:

a) Said...

b) ...to a fellow criminal...

c) ...in a bar...

d) ...when a news item about Maddie came on...

e) ...that he “knew all about it”.

Also, that the day before a five-year-old lass went missing in Germany, he was involved in a minor RTA 90 minutes’ drive from the locus.

Worth a further look? Yes.

A major new lead? Mmmm...

maximus otter
 

Spookdaddy

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It does look a bit suspicious that they are trying to pin on him murders not only of another little girl of adult women and I believe even an OAP.

Murderers with a sexual motive very rarely if ever have that wide a target type. Doesn't mean he didn't do the 2 little girls though, we'll have to wait and see.
'Suspicious' or unusual? It's the kind of loaded word that, to my mind, mars much discussion in relation to this case.

Although unusual, I'm pretty sure that the limitation is not as exclusive as you suggest, and I don't think it's unknown for sexual predators to attack outside a main area of preference. (In fact, I think I've recently read of one such example in a well known case from Australia, but I'll have to dig around - a professional criminal and well-known gang member who attacked very underage girls, as well as adult females.)

Even in a very well-known case, like Ted Bundy, you can see that the rules are not so hard and fast. He clearly had a preference for a particular age of victim - but at least two children are associated with his kill list: his last known victim was twelve years old, and he confessed to killing another girl of the same age before his execution (the latter case never proven though, I think). I think even younger victims have been looked at as possible victims.

Although I'm no expert I've read of at least two factors at play. Some predators are sexual opportunists, the act being more important to them than the nature of the victim. Others reach a point at which they experience a complete lack of control over their impulses, at which point whatever perverse logic they once used disintegrates - I think this has been suggested as a factor with Bundy.
 

Cochise

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'Suspicious' or unusual? It's the kind of loaded word that, to my mind, mars much discussion in relation to this case.

Although unusual, I'm pretty sure that the limitation is not as exclusive as you suggest, and I don't think it's unknown for sexual predators to attack outside a main area of preference. (In fact, I think I've recently read of one such example in a well known case from Australia, but I'll have to dig around - a professional criminal and well-known gang member who attacked very underage girls, as well as adult females.)

Even in a very well-known case, like Ted Bundy, you can see that the rules are not so hard and fast. He clearly had a preference for a particular age of victim - but at least two children are associated with his kill list: his last known victim was twelve years old, and he confessed to killing another girl of the same age before his execution (the latter case never proven though, I think). I think even younger victims have been looked at as possible victims.

Although I'm no expert I've read of at least two factors at play. Some predators are sexual opportunists, the act being more important to them than the nature of the victim. Others reach a point at which they experience a complete lack of control over their impulses, at which point whatever perverse logic they once used disintegrates - I think this has been suggested as a factor with Bundy.
There are cases where a wide range of girls / women aged between say 14 and 40 have been targeted. But I doubt you'll find anyone with a range from 3 to 72. If you do, please note I allowed for 'very rare'. If of course you find half a dozen quite quickly then I'm wrong.

edit: new material on the news - now they've added a missing boy in to the link. He is a convicted paedophile and there are cases where a paedophile has been indifferent to the sex of the child. But to add that to the large range of alleged victims already being investigated really does strain the credulity.

I am not saying he isn't responsible for any of the crimes. I put forward the Ottis Toole example because he was used just to write off a whole load of cold cases which he (again almost) certainly did not commit.
 
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Spookdaddy

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There are cases where a wide range of girls / women aged between say 14 and 40 have been targeted. But I doubt you'll find anyone with a range from 3 to 72. If you do, please note I said very rare. If of course you find half a dozen then I'm wrong.
I wouldn't argue with the 'very rare' part of the description - it was the 'if ever' that I was reacting to.
 

Cochise

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I wouldn't argue with the 'very rare' part of the description - it was the 'if ever' that I was reacting to.
OK, no problem :)

Incidentally I don't think the loathsome Ottis did kill Adam Walsh, although I entirely understand why John Walsh needs to believe he did. He definitely did kill at least two, though, so got what he deserved. But that's another discussion.
 
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Spookdaddy

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...Incidentally I don't think the loathsome Ottis did kill Adam Walsh, although I entirely understand why John Walsh needs to believe he did. But that's another discussion.
I'm pretty sure this attributional overloading was once pretty common. These days, it would be much more of a risk - with the increasing possibilities of advancing DNA and forensic techniques undermining such conclusions at a future date, and possibly destroying a legitimate case unnecessarily.
 

Roland Deschain

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It does look a bit suspicious that they are trying to pin on him murders not only of another little girl but that of an adult women and I believe even an OAP.

Murderers with a sexual motive very rarely if ever have that wide a target type. Particularly those who target pre-pubescent children.

Doesn't mean he didn't do the 2 little girls though, we'll have to wait and see. It's the (probably coincidental) timing that I suspect will keep a whole set of conspiracy theories going. The Germans don't have to be part of a conspiracy if it turns out this guy is just trying to big himself up.

Like this unpleasant specimen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottis_Toole
He filmed himself raping an American OAP and an Italian woman. He was extradited from Italy to Germany for the attack on the OAP, but his lawyer is doing a pretty good job of getting him off on a technicality due to a problem with the extradition.
This is a problem for the German authorities as he is due to be, or at least eligible for release soon.
Unless he can lead the police to remains is anyone really going to be 100% convinced he’s not just going for notoriety?
 

Cochise

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He filmed himself raping an American OAP and an Italian woman. He was extradited from Italy to Germany for the attack on the OAP, but his lawyer is doing a pretty good job of getting him off on a technicality due to a problem with the extradition.
This is a problem for the German authorities as he is due to be, or at least eligible for release soon.
Unless he can lead the police to remains is anyone really going to be 100% convinced he’s not just going for notoriety?
Of course we had one exceptional case recently which upset serial killer orthodoxy in Dennis Raeder (BTK). Nothing's impossible with these people.

I don't have a foot in any camp in the McCann case, it is surrounded with so many peculiar circumstances.
 
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