Sunday, 9 March 2008

The incredible shrinking distance...tapas bar to apartment!

Well, here it is folks! I found a good photo of the route from the McCanns' holiday apartment to the tapas bar.

First of all, Gerry's blog!

"She was taken from our holiday apartment where she was sleeping with her younger brother and sister whilst we were dining 50 yards away."

And the Daily Mail 10th August, 2007


"The pictures show the McCanns had to walk about 120 metres to get to the apartment where their children slept."

So, maybe 50 yards, as the crow flies, but rather more than 50 yards to walk!

There are a few more photos on the Daily Mail page, one showing the view from the tapas bar to the apartment. You can see the top of the patio doors maybe, but the rest seems to be hidden by trees.

So, why am I posting this now? Well, as a follow-on to my post about the links with the Mari Luz case, where Mari was said to have been, "unsupervised," and Madeleine was said to be asleep with her younger brother and sister while her parents were dining 50 yards away! Looking at that photo, I think we could say that the McCanns' children were, "unsupervised," because that tapas bar was not like dining in one's own garden and the apartment's door was clearly not visible from the tapas bar.

Is there a class thing operating here? Mari Luz, child of a gypsy family was, "unsupervised," but the middle-class doctors were, "dining." The focus is rather different here. The mother of Mari Luz was lying on the sofa, feeling unwell, while her daughter was, "unsupervised," but the McCanns were dining. Irene Suarez was a lazy so-and-so lying on her sofa, while her daughter was out there in the dangerous world, but Madeleine's parents were dining! Much more civilised, don't you think?

Mari Luz linked to Madeleine case?

"Madeleine's parents offer sympathy after body of Spanish girl linked to McCanns' case is found."

This Is London Updated Sunday 9th March

"A spokesman for the McCanns said they were aware of reports that the body of Mari Luz Cortes had been discovered in the southern Spanish city of Huelva, just 120 miles away from where their daughter Madeleine disappeared in May last year."

I keep reading that the disappearance of Mari Luz Cortès is somehow linked to that of Madeleine McCann, but I haven't been able to work out how exactly. So, I am looking at where the similarities may lie. The above is a quote from, "This Is London," dated 9th March, 2008. In terms of distance, how would anyone see the cases as being linked? Huelva, the town where Mari Luz lived and from where she disappeared is 120 miles from Praia da Luz. The article says, "just," 120 miles. So, what kind of distance is that?

Warwick to Liverpool is 126 miles. If a child disappeared in Warwick and subsequently a child disappeared in Liverpool, would we link the two because there was, "just," 126 miles between the two events? Somehow I don't think so.

Maybe it's because there is a motorway link from PDL to Huelva that makes the distance less significant.

"Huelva is on the motorway route from Praia da Luz which Gerry and Kate McCann believe kidnappers may have used to take their daughter across the border into Spain, and then onto a boat to Morocco."

Daily Telegraph 17th January 2008

Maybe a better comparison would be two UK places linked by a motorway? I'm just trying to get a sense of the distance in terms of places and distances I know.

Glasgow to Carlisle? Distance 96 miles, linked by motorway. Would anyone say, "just," 96 miles and link two cases of children disappearing? Well, I wouldn't.

Do the McCanns have any evidence that an abductor could have used that route to whisk Madeleine away and then onto a boat to Morocco? Why not straight to the marina in PDL, onto a boat and off to Morocco? Sightings in Morocco? Two things occur to me here. Firstly, if the earliest sightings were thought to be credible, why didn't the McCanns go there first instead of doing their round Europe tour? Why leave Morocco to last? Then, there were, of course, the sightings and the subsequent sightings; all investigated and ruled out.

So, the distance? No, 120 miles, to me, is not, "just."

What else might link the two cases? Age of the girls? Both girls - almost the same age
(Daily Mirror 17th January)

Almost the same age
? Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared and Mari Luz was five. With such young children, a year makes a huge difference. So, I don't think they were, "almost the same age."

Staying with the Daily Mirror, 17th January;

Both girls - almost the same age - vanished with no witnesses and had been left unattended by their parents. Gerry and Kate McCann of Rothley, Leics, told yesterday how the case of Mari Luz left them reliving the agony of losing Madeleine."

Both had been, "..left unattended by their parents." ? Well, no. Madeleine and her twin siblings had been left unattended; Mari Luz was not, "left," anywhere. She went to the local shop.

"She then wandered off unsupervised as her mother lay on the sofa feeling unwell. Her parents called police an hour later after she failed to return."

The Daily Mirror describes Mari Luz as having been, "unsupervised," but I have never seen that term used in the UK press about Madeleine and the twins on the evening of May 3rd, 2007. Madeleine, according to the UK press was in bed in the holiday apartment while her parents, "..dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant." I would say that meant, "unsupervised," but none of our UK journos seem to be using the term in relation to Madeleine and her siblings.

And speaking of distances! Mari Luz had gone to a local shop 100 yards away; the McCanns were dining at the tapas bar, which was, "nearby," and just like, "dining in your own garden." I think the shortest distance I have seen between the tapas bar and the apartment was 20 yards; the longest 120 yards. According to the McCanns, was it 40 yards? Looking at aerial photos, it may have been 40 yards straight across the swimming pool and over a wall, but the walk between the two locations was rather more indirect and closer to 120 yards.

Video produced by a forum user who visited Praia da Luz and counted the paces from the McCanns' apartment to the entrance to the Ocean Club and then worked out the rest of the distance.

So, summing up the ways in which these two cases are linked!

Madeleine was left with her twin siblings in an unlocked apartment, while her parents were dining approx 120 yards away.

Mari Luz walked to the local shop approx. 100 yards from her home.

Both children are female.

Both are said to have disappeared without any witnesses. Mari Luz was seen by a few people in her neighbourhood in the locality of the shop. "
A woman neighbour yesterday told how she saw Mari Luz at about 5pm on Sunday chatting to two girls, of about seven and nine, in Huelva, southern Spain." (Daily Mirror 17/01/08) "

"The woman, who lives in the same square as the Cortes family, said she couldn't see Mari Luz's face but recognised the little girl by her lovely brown hair and distinctive voice." (Daily Mirror 17/01/08)

"Another female witness also said she saw and heard Mari Luz talking to someone at about the same time on Sunday - but could not see who she was chatting to because they were obscured by the corner of a building." (Daily Mirror 17/01/08)

Witnesses to a Madeleine abduction? Jane Tanner saw a man carrying, "a bundle which could have been a child," the she saw, " a man carrying a child in distinguishable pyjamas," then she saw, " a man carrying a child in pinkish pyjamas," just like Madleine's. A family saw a man carrying a child near the beach and another saw a man dragging a child towards the marina. However, it was night-time and no one could say that they definitely saw Madeleine.

Summing up my thoughts here. I don't see any real links between these cases. 120 miles is not close, the girls were not almost the same age, they were not both left unattended.

The only links I can see are that:

  • They both disappeared.

  • They are both female children.

  • The distance between where the children were and where their parents were is similar. (100 yards and 120 yards)

If anyone reading this can enlighten me as to other ways in which these cases are linked, please do let me know by adding a comment. Merci d'avance.