On the evening that Madeleine McCann disappeared on May 3rd 2007, her parents were dining with their group of friends, known as the Tapas Seven, at the Tapas restaurant, which was variously next door, like we were sat in our back garden, 70 metres across the swimming pool and over the wall, a walk of 120 metres
The apartment was visible from where the group was sitting in the Tapas restaurant, but anyone entering or leaving would have to have been over seven feet tall, because all that's visible is the top of the balcony roof!
OK, this much we know very well: it was a walk of around 120 metres from the Tapas restaurant to the McCanns' apartment and there was no clear line of sight from where the group was sitting.
The four couples in the group had decided to leave their children asleep in their apartments and do regular checks on them. (Apart from David and Fiona Payne, who had an efficient baby monitor which seemed to serve them well)
So, three of the couples did routine checks on the children when they were dining.
On the evening of May 3rd, we are told that Matthew Oldfield listened at the windows of three apartments, including the window of the bedroom where Madeleine McCann was sleeping with her twin siblings, Gerry McCann left the restaurant to check on his children at 9.10pm, Matthew Oldfield checked his own and the McCann children at 9.30pm and Kate McCann went to check at 10pm, when she discovered that Madeleine was missing.
8.45pm. all assembled at poolside for food
9.00pm. Matt Oldfield listens at all 3 windows 5A, B, D ALL shutters down
9:15pm Gerry McCann looks at room A ? Door open to bedroom
9:20pm Jane Tanner checks 5D - [sees stranger walking carrying a child]
9.30 Russell O'Brien in 5D. Poorly daughter l
9.55pm 10:00pm. Alarm raised after Kate
Matt returns 9.00-9.05 - listened at all 3 - all shutters down
Jerry 9.10-9.15 in the room + all well ? did he check
9.20/5 - Ella Jane checked 5D sees stranger & child
9.30 - Russ. Ella Matt check all 3
9.35 - Matt check see twins
9.50 - Russ returns
9.55 - Kate realised Madeleine
10pm - Alarm raised
The main difference between timelines 1 & 2 is that on number 2, Matthew Oldfield appears: he checks and sees the twins. These timelines were written out on the inside covers of a child's sticker book, which is thought to have belonged to Madeleine. (Jane Tanner Liar).* It seems very strange that both were handed over to the police, since there are obvious discrepancies.
OK! Let's look at those timelines and compare them with statements made by just two of the 'Tapas Nine,' Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield. There are contradictions arising from all of the Tapas Nine's statements, but for the sake of brevity, I shall compare just those two. I already feel like I'm wallowing in trifle working my way through original statements and rogatory interviews for two people. OK, here we go!
Both timelines state that the group was gathered at the poolside restaurant by 8.45pm.
Jane Tanner's statement to police May 4th 2007:
The interviewee went to dinner at the, "Tapas," restaurant at around 8.30pm. "Tapas" restaurant. When she arrived at the restaurant, several adult members of the group were already there, without children, who were, in theory, asleep. Around 9pm, her husband arrived at the restaurant. He had succeeded in getting **** to sleep. Because of the late arrival of David Payne, Fiona Payne and Diane Webster, the meal booked for 8.30pm, did not start until 9pm, when the Payne family arrivedMatthew Oldfield's statement to police May 4th 2007:
The interviewee says that the day yesterday was identical to the previous ones and that, as on all other nights, at around 8.45pm, he and his wife left their daughter asleep in the apartment and went to the "Tapas" restaurant.
That the couple Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's parents were already at the restaurant. That they had arrived at the restaurant five minutes before them. The rest of the adults arrived at the restaurant around five minutes after the interviewee and his wife. That the last to arrive at the restaurant was the couple David and Fiona. That the latter arrived at the restaurant at around 9pm.
Matthew states that when he and his wife Rachael arrived at around 8.45pm, only Kate and Gerry McCann were there, the others, apart from the Paynes, arriving 5 minutes later. Jane Tanner states that she left for the restaurant at around 8.30pm and found several other members of the group already there.
Jane Tanner's rogatory interview in Leicester April 8th 2008
Reply “So, yeah, I think I went down about, it was just after half eight, so probably twenty-five to nine’ish, I’m not, but it was, it was quite close to half eight because, as I say, I was very conscious that we were all being so late all the time and it was getting later and later”.
4078 “And who was there when you got there?”
Reply “Kate and Gerry were there already and they were talking to, I don’t know their names, but they were talking to the two people that Gerry played tennis with in, erm, in his group, who were sitting in the restaurant”.
Jane states that Kate and Gerry were there, but no other group members, having stated in her May 4th interview that several adult members of the group were there when she arrived.
Reply “Erm, so, yeah, I’d got down and I think then, soon after I’d got down we sat down at our table, not our table, but, yeah, sat down on our table. Then, I’m trying to think who came next. I think next it was, erm, Matt and Rachael I think came next, yeah, Matt and Rachael came down next together, the two of them, probably a few minutes after, after me, I don’t think it was that long, that long after me.
Matthew Oldfield's rogatory interview in Leicester
Erm, we'd get showered and get changed and then, because we can see the Tapas from our patio doors, we can see when anybody else goes down there, because the original table was booked for eight thirty, erm, we were a bit later that night and it was about quarter to and we saw Gerry and Kate down there and so we locked up, went round and joined them at the table. Now I don’t recall seeing Jane and Russell there, but I'm told that Jane was there at the time as well. But we got there and sort of chatted and then Russell arrived. And we were all there, apart from Dave and Fiona and Fiona's mother, Dianne, at sort of five to nine, and they were, they were always sort of fairly relaxed and sort of a bit late and disorganised.
Matthew didn't recall seeing Jane there, but was told that Jane was there at the time. With a nearly empty restaurant, you'd think he'd notice another member of his holiday group, but in both the May 4th 2007 statement and in his rogatory statement, he says that only Kate and Gerry were there when he and Rachael arrived. When he says, 'we were all there,' I guess he's assuming that Jane must have been there because he had been told she was.
Jane Tanner's statement May 4th concerning 'Bundleman.'
The suspicious man. However, she spotted a man who was going along at a fair speed with a child in his arms with the child in pyjamas without a blanket, which attracted her attention. The interviewee only saw the man from the side with the child in his arms. She noticed this person exactly at the moment when she walked past Gerald and Jez. That person was coming out of the path at the end of the apartment block (1) where they are staying. The man quickly crossed the intersection. The entrance to the building where the apartments are is the exact place where she saw the man. After checking on her children, the interviewee went back to the "tapas." On her way back, Gerald McCann was no longer in the road where she had seen him talking. On her arrival at the restaurant (3) Gerald McCann was with his wife Kate Healy.
Matthew Oldfield's statement May 4th:
He does not mention Jane Tanner leaving five minutes after Gerry McCann at around 9.15pm.
That Gerry allegedly went into his apartment and that he checked to make sure that Madeleine and the twins were sleeping in their bedroom, where it was quite dark. The bedroom door was half-open. That five minutes later, Gerry came back to the group in the restaurant.
No mention of Jane at this point. Previously in his statement, Matthew refers to having checked by listening at the shutters of apartments A, B and D, at 9.05pm, while he was out chivvying along the Paynes.
Matthew's rogatory interview:
4078 "Okay. So Gerry has gone off almost straight away after you got back?"
4078 "And then Jane followed him?"
Reply "Yeah. Now I don't remember that particularly well, I mean, I know from what discussion, it may be in my statement from months ago remembering better, but it wasn't unusual for people to be leaving the table to sort of check, so it doesn't stand out particularly in my mind. But I remember Gerry specifically going because I thought, well I've just checked (inaudible) and then, you know, well I hadn't been in so I couldn't really check and, you know, they're his kids, it was quite right that, if that's what he wants. But I don't particularly remember Jane doing that, but I might have done at the time, it's just it's now sort of faded because it didn't seem important”.
Jane Tanner's rogatory interview about 'Bundleman,' and seeing Gerry and Jez Wilkins. This part is very long, drawn out and full of umms and errrs. She claims to have walk past Gerry and Jez on the same side of the road, but Gerry claims not to have seen her and that he and Jez had been standing chatting in a different place.
I didn’t know whether they’d seen me or not, but I did actually go to acknowledge them and I think if they’d have been that far away I don’t know whether I would have sort of almost gone to say hello, but. But they were talking quite (inaudible), so I just carried on, you know, up, up the road. I mean, I thought they were, as you’re going up here, I thought they were more, erm, again I know this is where me and Gerry differ, but I thought they were sort of more near the little alleyway. I think sort of”.
And later in that statement:
4078 “Okay. So when did you first notice Gerry standing there?”
Reply “I would have probably noticed him as soon as I came, I mean, I don’t, this is not, I don’t think that distance is probably as far as that, you come out and he was, they were sort of, so almost, I’d probably say almost straight away. Again, I don’t know, but I, I know people are saying I’ve not been on the road, but they were there and I wouldn’t know they were there if I hadn’t walked past, you know, you’ve got to see my frustration in this, and I know Gerry didn’t see me and Jez didn’t see me, but”.
But she was there! Now, it surprises me that Gerry McCann does not back up Jane's story about walking past him, because she then sees the 'abductor,' walking across the top of the road, carrying a child in pyjamas just like Maddie's and the whole abduction scenario hinges on Jane's having seen a man making off with Maddie at that time. However, should Jane Tanner be proved to have lied, Gerry is in the clear because he didn't see her and he has a witness to back him up!
Description of the 'abductor' from Jane's May 4th statement:
Tanned male between 35 and 40, slim, around 1.70m. Very dark hair, thick, long at the neck. (Noticed when the person was seen from the back). He was wearing golden beige cloth trousers (linen type) with a "Duffy" type coat (but not very thick). He was wearing black shoes, of a conventional style and was walking quickly. He was carrying a sleeping child in his arms across his chest. By his manner, the man gave her the impression that he wasn't a tourist. Concerning the child, who seemed to be asleep, she only saw the legs. The child seemed to be bigger than a baby. It had no shoes on, was dressed in cotton light-coloured pyjamas (perhaps pink or white) It is uncertain, but the interviewee has the feeling that she saw a design on the pyjamas like flowers, but is not certain about it.
Jane's description from the rogatory interview. Note that she mentions the light, and that she may not have been seeing true colours. Also, in her original statement the trousers were linen and golden-beige in colour. Now, they're a horrible mustard and they're, 'cottony.'
Reply “But, I mean, I think, so the things that I’m happy, that are still in my head, that still stick in my head is the hair and it was longer, it was sort of longish and, erm, I don’t know how to (inaudible), but each, each, almost the hair was long, the bits of hair were long, so it was long into the neck, you know, sort of in, when people have a number one or whatever at the back and it’s shaved, not shaved up, but, you know, sort of layered up, this was more long into the neck, so sort of long, each, each individual hair was long, erm, and dark, it was sort of quite dark and glossy, that sticks in my head. And sort of the dark, dark clothes and quite billowy, not billowy clothes, but quite baggy, sort of they seemed, erm, not ill fitting but quite baggy clothes, like not jeans, but trousers sort of not Chinos but not Farrahs either, but sort of baggy’ish sort of ill fitting more than. And they’re the bits that I remember quite vividly sort of”.
4078 “And what colours?”
Reply “Dark colours, but again it was, I think it was quite dark, so dark, sort of darkish jacket but then a more, a lighter trouser but a horrible colour, again this is, sort of a yellowy dark browny, horrible, but not, not a nice colour trousers, but then I wonder whether that was the lights making them look, making them look more of a sort of a mustard, it wasn’t mustard because that’s too bright, but it was just like a, as I say they weren’t nice, they weren’t the sort of clothes I’d expect somebody on a MARK WARNER holiday to, they was, I can’t think of the material, I tried to describe this before, but sort of a cottony material but baggy”
Matthew Oldfield's rogatory statement on the street lighting:
4078 "And you said it was just turning dark?"
4078 "Do you remember or can you recall what the street lighting was like around there?"
Reply "There's a street light, and this is all, erm, I couldn't sort of guarantee this, but my impression is that there was, the street lights were sort of very orangey, erm, sort of fairly orangey light, I think there was one at the top corner and maybe one about halfway up on the right as you came up from the Tapas Restaurant and possibly one on that, on that back bit behind the car park, someway further along".
So, 'the street lights were sort of very orangey,' which means that they were just like the street lights outside my house where my pink fleece looks like a deep grey colour. So, how did Jane Tanner see pink pyjamas? She wasn't sure about the colour of 'Bundleman's,' trousers because of the orange lights, but she was sure about the child wearing pink pyjamas? Yeh right!
Back to the timelines then. Jane Tanner left the Tapas restaurant five minutes after Gerry, she walked up the road, passed Gerry and Jez Wilkins, saw the alleged abductor, did a quick check and found everything quiet in her apartment and returned to the restaurant. Let's say that was around 9.20/9.25pm. Both timelines have Russell O'Brien checking his own children and Matthew Oldfield leaving the table at the same time: 9.30pm.
Jane Tanner's May 4th statement:
After checking on her children, the interviewee went back to the "tapas." On her way back, Gerald McCann was no longer in the road where she had seen him talking.On her arrival at the restaurant (3) Gerald McCann was with his wife Kate Healy.
15 to 20 minutes later, Matthew Oldfield and her husband, Russell O'Brien, left to go and see the children. As their daughter **** wasn't well, and she was crying, Russell stayed in the room.
She arrived back, Gerry was already there and 15 to 20 minutes later Matthew and Russell left.
The timing is just not making sense here. If Jane arrived back at 9.20/9.25, then Matthew and Russell didn't leave until somewhere between 9.35pm and 9.45pm.
Jane Tanner, May 4th
Matthew checked the children then those of Gerald and Kate. According to him, he saw the twins but he did not succeed in seeing Madeleine. But as he did not hear any noise, he thought everything was OK and went back to the restaurant. Matthew informed the interviewee that Russell was staying in the room. (1) After quickly eating the main course, the worried interviewee went to take her husband's place in the apartment (1) so that the latter could eat
Timeline 1 does not have details about the time Russell O'Brien returned to the restaurant, after his wife had eaten her main course and gone to take his place. According to Jane Tanner's original statement, Russell would have left the table at around 9.35pm, at the earliest, and assuming that at least 5 minutes had elapsed before Matthew returned and gave Russell's message, between 9.40pm and 9.50pm, Jane Tanner ate the main course of her meal, walked to her apartment and Russell arrived back at the restaurant. Maybe time is not linear after all!
Jane's rogatory interview:
4078 “And what was going through your mind as you walked back, anything, that you can remember?”
Reply “Erm, no, I don’t think so. I mean, this person wasn’t really etched on my brain, it was just, erm, I think I was just thinking ‘Oh the kids are alright’, you know, ‘I’ll go back’”.
4078 “Tell me what happened then from there and I will try not to interrupt you?”
Reply “No, that’s fine. Erm, so I went back, erm, we just carried on with the meal. And then, I think, erm, I can’t remember anything odd, you know, within that, that time. And then I think, it’s been, I think, I can’t remember who said ‘Oh time to check again’, I think it actually might have been Kate that said ‘Oh it’s half nine I’ll go and do a check’. And I think Matt said at that point, Matt and Russ said ‘Oh we’ll go, do you want us to look in on’, erm, on, you know, ‘on Madeleine and Sean and Amelie’. As I say, I don’t know, I wasn’t really part of this, I don’t know how it, who actually said ‘It’s time for a check’, but I can remember sort of, erm, them saying to Kate ‘Oh do you want us to put our head in’. And I think because Gerry had only, you know, probably had been in there a bit longer, she probably thought ‘Oh yeah’, you know, and let them.
Jane went back and carried on with the meal until Kate, she thinks it was, said, 'Oh it's half nine,' and it was time to check again. But Jane couldn't have got back to the table until 9.20 at the earliest. It may have been time for the McCann children to be checked again, but Gerry had been there at 9.10/9.15. And why was Russell leaving when Jane had only been back for around 10 minutes and had reported that the children were fine? Matthew Oldfield had not checked on his children for around 30 minutes, so his timing would make sense, but not Russell's, unless it was actually later than 9.30pm, which would leave a very short interval between Matthew Oldfield's check on the McCann children and Kate McCann doing her check at 10pm.
Matthew Oldfield May 4th 2007 - did Matthew go into the McCanns' apartment?
At around 9.25pm, the interviewee went into his apartment and Madeleine's apartment to check on the children. He states that the door of the fourth room, that was occupied by Madeleine and the twins, was half-open and that there was enough light in the bedroom for him to see the twins in their cots. That he couldn't see the bed occupied by Madeleine, but as it was all quiet, he deduced that she was sleeping. That the light in question was from an artificial source but not inside the bedroom, rather from outside through the bedroom window. That it seemed to him that the shutters of the bedroom window were open without knowing if the window was also open.
The apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The couple's bedroom has a window which is visible from the restaurant. The children's bedroom windows look out on the road outside the tourist complex. Then the interviewee went back to the restaurant.
He states that the bedroom has two windows. The twins occupy two cots placed in the middle of the room and Madeleine occupies a bed pushed against the wall, facing the wall which has the two windows that look out onto the outside of the complex. That the door through which he entered the apartment was closed but not locked. That he doesn't know if it is usual for Madeleine's parents to leave the door closed but not locked because that door is visible from the restaurant
Madeleine's bedroom has two windows? Perhaps Matthew was seeing double from gulping his wine too quickly! Or perhaps he just wasn't there!
According to both timelines, written out on the covers of the sticker book, when Matthew listened at the windows of apartments A, B and D at 9/9.05pm, all shutters were done, but when he visited apartment 5A at around 9.25/9.30pm, it seemed to him that the shutters were open. He decided that the McCann children were fine and returned to the restaurant, without wondering how or why the shutters came to be open or asking Gerry if he had opened them on his check?
Matthew's rogatory interview, talking about his first check at 9/9.05 when he listened at the windows:
..so I listened outside our shutters and went along to their shutter and had a listen out there, not because I'd been asked to, but, or it's not the sort of thing you think about, it's just kind of, erm,".
4078 "You thought you might as well?"
Reply "So I thought I might as well and I can report back and they can be, you know, be reassured that everything was okay. And we talked a lot in the previous interviews about what state the shutters were in, whether they were, and they were all definitely down, there's three shutters, you know, there's, you know, two, and they're all at the same level, there was no, I would have noticed if they were, if one was up and the rest were down, it would have looked odd".
Matthew's rogatory interview, concerning the shutter when he visited the McCanns' apartment at 9.25/9.30pm:
So I just sort of went towards the doorway, I didn't step over the threshold, I didn't see Madeleine and I didn't check, I turned round and came back out, said all was quiet when I got back to the table and then we went on with food. Now the room was, we talked also in the interviews about how light the room was and whether I could see the shutters, and I can't see the shutters because the curtains were shut and, they're similar curtains to the ones you've got in there, and you just get an impression of just like green and yellow, but they were closed, they weren't sort of blowing about, because I'm sure I'd have noticed if there was sort of movement like that. But the room seemed light, and we spent a lot of time talking about this, whether it could be light coming in from the street outside, but there was a light behind us in the room and for some reason I thought, I got the impression of light coming through the doorway from behind me, which is why I said that I thought perhaps the moon was out, erm, but there as no sort of, you know, it's a question of whether, there was no sort of slats of light coming through the back that particularly caught my eye. So I didn't specifically see the shutters and I couldn't say that they were definitely open, but certainly the curtains were shut and everything was quiet"
.Green and yellow curtains? Please refer to photo (above) of Maddie's bedroom. And now, he's kind of non-committal about the shutters. He couldn't say they were definitely open? So, I guess nor can he say that they were definitely shut!
Kate McCann checks at 10pm and finds that Madeleine is missing, raises the alarm, and then what happens? According to the brief reference in Matthew's May 4th statement:
At around 10pm, Kate, Madeleine's mother, went to her apartment to check on her children. She came back totally shocked, shouting, saying that Madeleine was no longer in her bedroom. At that time all the adults were in the restaurant. Then, the whole group went to Madeleine's bedroom and checked that the twins were sleeping OK.
Well, you'd think that if the whole group, and I assume that includes Matthew, had gone to Madeleine's bedroom, he'd have had a second chance to notice how many windows the room had and also what colour the curtains were! So, did he go into the room at that time? Remember, this is supposedly his second visit: on his first, he looked in from the doorway and on this second visit, he was with the others, checking that the twins were sleeping OK.
Matthew's rogatory interview concerning visits to Madeleine's bedroom:
4078 "Have you been into that room again since that moment?"
Reply "We didn't on the night. Erm, I don't think so. I think it was it was then always cordoned off. I mean, I know that they, Gerry and Kate were told to get their things out of there because they were going to have to move rooms and then, and I saw that photograph of the, of the cots moved to the side, and they then sort of, erm, under instruction, were asked to move things out of that room, but I think they just took sort of essentials, because they then went up to, erm, Dave and Fiona's room later that night, and I don't think I've been back in that room".
On May 4th, Matthew Oldfield stated that he had been to the McCanns' apartment and looked into the children's bedroom: he had seen the twins, but not Madeleine, had noticed that the bedroom had two windows and that it seemed as though the shutters were open. He also stated that the whole group went to Madeleine's bedroom after Kate McCann raised the alarm. Yet, after two visits to the bedroom, most of the details were wrong and some details were still wrong, like the colour of the curtains when he described the room during his rogatory interview.
I would suggest that Matthew Oldfield had never looked into that bedroom, which would mean that no one had checked the McCann children between Gerry's visit at around 9.15 and Kate's visit at 10pm.
What do we have?
- Impossible timelines.
- Shutters open/shutters closed.
- Matthew Oldfield who either didn't visit at all or he was dead drunk or he was in the wrong apartment.
- Street lighting that made all colours indistinct apart from a child's pink pyjamas.
- A woman slip-slapping over cobbles in flip-flops who is neither seen nor heard by two men she passes within a few feet of.
- An abductor who didn't appear to have a vehicle handy, but who managed to slip into an apartment, grab a child, exit and go strolling through the streets and was not seen by anyone other than Jane Tanner, in spite of the child's father being in the vicinity and so many people coming and going it was like something out of a Brian Rix farce.
And that's just from comparing some parts of the statements given by two people out of a group of nine! Help! My head is spinning!