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Original Source: EXPRESS:  - 01 - 02 - 03 -SUNDAY 28 OCTOBER 2007
Sunday October 28 2007 By John Stalker
With thanks to
jjp  for copying text from Screenshots


Sunday October 28 2007

By John Stalker


I have watched the investigation into the Madeleine McCann case drag on for six months.


One thing above all worries me: Why have the McCanns and the seven other members of their group - the Tapas Nine - remained so silent?  My gut instinct is that some big secret is probably being covered up.


Unlike other high-profile cases I have worked on, not one of them has been prepared to break ranks or really come out and support each other.  After all this time and pressure, I cannot believe that nobody wants to speak.


Their answer has always been no comment but there is surely some division between them.  So what are they hiding?  I have a real suspicion that we are not being told the whole truth.


There is something else there, some issue that members of the party are embarrassed about.


While they continue to refuse to talk it is unlikely that we will find out what it is for a very long time but one thing is certain - it will eventually come out.


The sad fact is that we still have a missing girl and I believe the investigation will be focusing on the theory that she is dead.


The likeliest scenario is that her abductor panicked when he realised the attention the case was creating and killed her days after snatching her.


My fear now is that unless we find her body or her killer strikes again we will never know what really happened to that tiny child.


My instinct, based on years of policing similar cases, is that we are looking at an abduction where the child was targeted in the days before her disappearance.


On the night she vanished it is likely that her abductor simply spotted his opportunity and struck while he could.


I have been horrified by the abject failure of the Portuguese detectives to adhere to basic principles of policing.


The investigation does not seem to have taken a step forward from where it was in the first week after she went missing.  I cannot believe that the Portuguese only sent selected DNA samples to the forensic science lab in Birmingham.


There is absolutely no sense in that whatsoever.  To fully evaluate poor-quality DNA traces, as we believe these were, forensic experts need to see the whole picture.


In the past, when I have dealt with traces of bodily fluids, it is very difficult to establish how they got to be where they were.


All DNA is highly transferable and that is the most likely explanation for the alleged traces found in the McCanns' hire car and on her mother's clothing.  Robert Murat, the other suspect, was seen close to the apartment the day after Madeleine disappeared and freely admits having helped police as a translator.


If he was in that apartment, or anywhere near it, ther is no doubt he would have transferred some of Madeleine's or the twins' DNA on to his clothing.


I don't believe for one minute that Kate and Gerry McCann or their friends are capable or guilty of having murdered the four-year-old.


All the criticism of Kate and Gerry and their friends has been completely out of order.  They are extremely intelligent and articulate people and, just because they have never visibly cracked in public to the extent that they are beaten, does not mean that they are guilty of anything sinister.


Yes, they have had more doors opened for them than other people would have in similar circumstances, but their main aim is to discover what happened to Madeleine.  That should be the aim of all concerned.


But my gut instinct still forces me to wonder: What is the secret that the Tapas Nine are so carefully hiding?

Former police chief John Stalker believes the McCanns are  hiding a secret

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