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The Madeleine McCann Disappearance

AgProv

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"The blond-haired girl went missing from a stretch of woodland near a church-run assisted-living facility for people with mental health or alcohol problems near Stendal between 6.30pm and 6.45pm on 2 May 2015.
Initially, police assumed that Inga had got lost in the forest while trying to gather wood for a barbecue planned for that evening. A reward of €25,000 was offered for any vital clues for the child’s whereabouts.
According to Küllmei, on 1 May Brückner was involved in a minor traffic accident at a car park on the A2 motorway, about 100 kilometres from the spot where Inga went missing the next day." (Grauniad)

Ah, definite proof, then. Somebody who is (at least superficially) a plausible suspect for the crime was 100km away from the crime scene the day before. Can't be surprised: this was the logic that proved the Birmingham Six were guilty as Hell (six people of the right nationality were within 50 miles of the crime scene, that'll do).

And... nearby to the area where "the German Maddie" went missing, and a lot closer than 100km away, is a church-run assisted-living facility for people with mental health or alcohol problems. Hopefully it occured to the German police to account for the whereabouts of the residents and to check their past criminal histories?

Having said that... I watched that sensationalist Australian documentary 60 Minutes. You could have summated their case in a lot less than an hour. But even without the questionable presentation, the leaping to conclusions and the dumb repetition of key points..... the computer memory sticks that were recovered. At least some of which had actionable material on. And the thing that was shown but never mentioned... a collection, well, two, maybe three - of bathing costumes which looked correctly sized for five or six year old girls. What the Hells was a 43 year old man with no children of his own, and no apparent uncle responsibilities, doing with those? who did they belong to and what forensic tests have been carried out? Have the parents of any missing girls been asked to identify them? for me, that was the standout evidence of something odd going on. (Unless a copper brought the evidence with him, just to make sure... you cannot rule that out either, unfortunately).
 

MorningAngel

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ramonmercado

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Spookdaddy

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...Mother of God I think we need AC12.*

*Line of Duty reference.
I dunno. Given the absolute and procrastinatory bobbins that constitutes that series, I reckon AC12 would be more or less guaranteed to make the whole thing last longer than it has so far.

(Although, there would be lots of acronyms - which would, of course, make the whole thing 'authentic'. Apparently.)
 

Stormkhan

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The way I see it, the longer the 'investigation' goes on, the less chance of a conviction.
Like many cases, it will go unsolved and no amount of money chucked at it will prevent that. This is the kind of case that will only be solved in retrospect with a spectacular discovery from another case.
Still, it must be nice for the coppers, near to retirement, being sent to Portugal on "the Maddie Case". Nice little break for a couple of days.
 

Cochise

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The way I see it, the longer the 'investigation' goes on, the less chance of a conviction.
Like many cases, it will go unsolved and no amount of money chucked at it will prevent that. This is the kind of case that will only be solved in retrospect with a spectacular discovery from another case.
Still, it must be nice for the coppers, near to retirement, being sent to Portugal on "the Maddie Case". Nice little break for a couple of days.
It's also the case that investigations that go in the wrong direction at the outset rarely get solved. I have no idea who are the actual culprits in this case but it reminds me of other cases where the authorities have got a fixed idea in their head and won't consider other alternatives - one thinks of both the Jill Dando and Rachel Nickell cases, although the latter was eventually solved. 16 years later.
 

Stormkhan

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I can't help comparing it to the Keddie Cabin massacre where a bumbling initial investigation (a crime scene completely 'polluted' by officers, evidence mishandled etc.) was compounded by a squeeze by the Feds (one strong suspect was indicated as a Mafia snitch) to declare the case unsolved. There remain "strong suggestions" about the killer/s (both now dead) but nothing can be proven.
As you say, a bad start means a bad result.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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I've seen the Aus documentary and suspect it's too much of a stretch. What would the odds be that (a) a random predator nearby could know there were unattended kids, in a resort that had a babysitting service, (allegedly) and (b) he'd be daft enough to try his luck at an unlocked door, knowing they were unattended? What are the mathematical odds of that?

If he lurked in the shadows and watched for a long period of time, and the kids were indeed regularly checked on - who'd risk it? And how could he be certain there wasn't some adult in there when it's almost unheard of, anywhere in Europe, for children so young to be alone in a building. At night.

I'm not inferring anything - what I am saying is, the whole thing as presented on the Aus TV show, makes no sense.
 

Spookdaddy

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I've seen the Aus documentary and suspect it's too much of a stretch. What would the odds be that (a) a random predator nearby could know there were unattended kids, in a resort that had a babysitting service, (allegedly) and (b) he'd be daft enough to try his luck at an unlocked door, knowing they were unattended? What are the mathematical odds of that?...
Making no judgement on the documentary, which I haven't seen - but, many sexual predators are opportunists, and the behaviour described above is well within the boundaries of what a predatory opportunist might do. And if we define mathematical odds as describing the proposed relationship between the number of events that produce a particular outcome to the number that do not, then we are automatically applying a possibility to the thinner end of the wedge - and the behaviour of some opportunist predators is often entirely geared towards easing those odds; in fact, you could argue that for some individuals the entire raison d'être of their daily existence is based on doing so. Sexual predators are truly terrifying individuals. (Edit: Of course they are - that's a tautology at best. What I mean is that the way that their everyday lives are utterly absorbed by their criminal drive means that opportunistic sexual predators are terrifying individuals even in comparison to other violent criminal types, because they never switch off.)

It's also the case that investigations that go in the wrong direction at the outset rarely get solved. I have no idea who are the actual culprits in this case but it reminds me of other cases where the authorities have got a fixed idea in their head and won't consider other alternatives - one thinks of both the Jill Dando and Rachel Nickell cases, although the latter was eventually solved. 16 years later.
This is very true, and not at all uncommon. However, you can also add to this case the problems caused by overlapping jurisdictions, differing legal codes, differing investigative structures. Even relatively straightforward investigations get tied in knots under these circumstances.
 
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Ghost In The Machine

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Making no judgement on the documentary, which I haven't seen - but, many sexual predators are opportunists, and the behaviour described above is well within the boundaries of what a predatory opportunist might do. And if we define mathematical odds as describing the proposed relationship between the number of events that produce a particular outcome to the number that do not, then we are automatically applying a possibility to the thinner end of the wedge - and the behaviour of some opportunist predators is often entirely geared towards easing those odds; in fact, you could argue that for some individuals the entire raison d'être of their daily existence is based on doing so. Sexual predators are truly terrifying individuals. (Edit: Of course they are - that's a tautology at best. What I mean is that the way that their everyday lives are utterly absorbed by their criminal drive means that opportunistic sexual predators are terrifying individuals even in comparison to other violent criminal types, because they never switch off.)



This is very true, and not at all uncommon. However, you can also add to this case the problems caused by overlapping jurisdictions, differing legal codes, differing investigative structures. Even relatively straightforward investigations get tied in knots under these circumstances.
But that very opportunism of predators is what makes me feel it's unlikely. A resort in which families routinely go out for meals with their kids with them - or else, use a babysitting service - would not be an ideal choice, for an opportunist as if they knew those things, they'd know there were highly unlikely to be opportunities.

At the time this happened I was on a forum with a single mum who had been, with her kids, at that very resort only a couple of weeks earlier and she said when she'd heard where it happened, she couldn't understand it as the culture was very much - you go to eat out with your kids with you (it's not the UK where people with young kids are glared at in such places - kids are welcomed) or else there was a babysitting service (she said) that anyone would use. If an opportunistic predator had lived in the area for even a short period of time, they couldn't not know this. It was a place where opportunity was unlikely to present itself, in other words.
 

Spookdaddy

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But that very opportunism of predators is what makes me feel it's unlikely. A resort in which families routinely go out for meals with their kids with them - or else, use a babysitting service - would not be an ideal choice, for an opportunist as if they knew those things, they'd know there were highly unlikely to be opportunities...
Few, if any, environments are actually watertight to risk, and sexual predators are often found to have scoped out absolutely anywhere that they know potential targets will be - a behaviour not based on actual likelihood, but on outside chance. Another unfortunate factor in the whole process is that the hunt itself might be a source of kicks for them, which can make the individual more likely to broaden their range, and less likely to give up, despite a paucity of results.

An analogy. Anyone who has ever worked in a hotel will tell you that hotel thieves tend to be opportunistic. Despite knowing for a fact that the vast majority of hotel rooms will be locked, or occupied by guests or housekeeping staff, they will check out every door they can simply on the outside chance that they will find a room that is unlocked and unattended. Not because it's likely to happen, but because sometimes it does.

Although the two crimes are clearly vastly different, the feature of the trawl - and the inherently extremely low probability of a hit - is common to both (as well as many other types of crime).

I'm not saying that this is for sure what happened in this case, because - like everybody else (whatever they believe) - I really have no idea what actually happened. But I do believe it's a distinct possibility, and that no supposedly safe environment is impervious to such action.

The intrinsic problem with talking about things like 'odds' and 'likelihood' is the simple fact that things happen all the time that, prior to the actual event, have monumental odds stacked against them. And yet, still they happen.

(Not particularly relevant here - but by total coincidence I was rereading today about the French serial killer Francis Heaulme. One of his crimes involved him persuading a young man to join in the rape and murder of the latter's cousin. Heaulme had met this young man for the first time less than an hour before the killing. Now, the odds against a serial killer, and a not in the least charismatic or particularly persuasive looking individual - the opposite, in fact - managing to select a complete stranger from the crowd at a busy fairground who was so murderously impressionable that they could be persuaded without the use of force or threat to rape and kill their own kin, and within sixty minutes of meeting for the first time - the odds against that are probably staggering. And yet - it happened. I still find the unlikeliness of this whole incident makes it one of the spookiest and most unnerving in the annals of modern crime.)
 

Min Bannister

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The intrinsic problem with talking about things like 'odds' and 'likelihood' is the simple fact that things happen all the time that, prior to the actual event, have monumental odds stacked against them. And yet, still they happen.
Yes, I think sometimes people take it that just because something is extremely unlikely, that it is the same as being completely impossible. It isn't.
 

Ghost In The Machine

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Yes, I think sometimes people take it that just because something is extremely unlikely, that it is the same as being completely impossible. It isn't.
True. But then if we're weighing up several possibilities, some may be more credible - or rather, have less long odds - than others.
 

Spudrick68

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When the national lottery started out I know someone who bought 50 tickets (Quite a chunk of money back then).

He was amazed that he hadn't won anything and was convinced that he would win the jackpot. I didn't bother trying to explain the fundamentals of probability and statistics to him. So I am inclined to agree with the above.
 

Stormkhan

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Thing is, it's not just odds or chances.
In this 'game', your chance changes with your actions.
Someone kills someone. They do it and 'set' the beginning odds. What conditions make it likely/unlikely they get caught? How many witnesses might be present? Is the location overlooked? Are you an 'obvious' suspect?
The criminal attempts to reduce the 'odds' of capturing him, the police attempts to increase the 'odds' to get him!
Then you look at further conditions. Are you in an area which has a surplus of similar offences? Are the local investigators swamped? Do they have access to reliable investigation resources? The conditions, the budget, the weather, the political climate - all affect the 'odds' in favour of the police or criminal.
It's fine to talk about "what are the chances that this pervert tried an apartment door, entered, discovered a child, immobilised them and extracted them without being witnessed?" but the odds are actually unimportant. It might be so to exonerate other suspects, including the parents, but the event happened. The chances are irrelevant - they happened. The 1-out-of-100 happened.

Thing is, it's only a matter of odds - a balance of probability - to the jury after looking at presented evidence.

Playing the gamble, looking at odds, has nothing to do with evidence.
 

Lord Lucan

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This is not directly related to the case per se, but is just another bizarre tangent that this case sometimes takes and makes you shake your head and wonder just what is wrong with some people.

TikTokkers pretend to be Madeleine McCann in sickening new trend
TikTokkers have started to pretend to be Madeleine McCann in a sickening new trend.

“Don’t joke about that,” “on which planet is this considered funny?” and “this is actually really sad.”

These were just a few responses from outraged people who were disgusted by the latest sickening viral trend, which saw TikTokkers pretending to be Madeleine McCann.

The three-year-old girl disappeared while holidaying in Portugal with her family on May 3, 2007 – with police spending the past 14 years desperately searching for any sign of the missing girl.
https://www.kidspot.com.au/news/tik...d/news-story/1852a41e72932b9b2c7f57db7a5df63a
 

Stormkhan

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I've always held a lack of respect for human beings, unless they demonstrate an ability to be kind, resourceful, brave or selfless.
Respect is earned not assumed.
This always leave the 98% assholes to look at and say "Meh. You really are an asshole."
 

catseye

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It's also the case that investigations that go in the wrong direction at the outset rarely get solved. I have no idea who are the actual culprits in this case but it reminds me of other cases where the authorities have got a fixed idea in their head and won't consider other alternatives - one thinks of both the Jill Dando and Rachel Nickell cases, although the latter was eventually solved. 16 years later.
But if Madeleine wasn't snatched but rather woke up, wondered where her parents were and decided to go and find them, went the wrong way and met with an accident - there may not be a crime to solve. It's one alternative, and it makes a lot of sense to me. One of my daughters was a 'wanderer' and was often found outside in our village at unlikely hours 'looking for hedgehogs'.
 

Cochise

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But if Madeleine wasn't snatched but rather woke up, wondered where her parents were and decided to go and find them, went the wrong way and met with an accident - there may not be a crime to solve. It's one alternative, and it makes a lot of sense to me. One of my daughters was a 'wanderer' and was often found outside in our village at unlikely hours 'looking for hedgehogs'.
Could be. It certainly can't be ruled out, but the lack of a body is a problem.
 

MorningAngel

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But if Madeleine wasn't snatched but rather woke up, wondered where her parents were and decided to go and find them, went the wrong way and met with an accident - there may not be a crime to solve. It's one alternative, and it makes a lot of sense to me. One of my daughters was a 'wanderer' and was often found outside in our village at unlikely hours 'looking for hedgehogs'.
The ending of the first series of The Missing the boy turned out to be killed in an accident instead of abducted. But it as covered up all the same. https://ew.com/recap/the-missing-season-1-finale/
 
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