I have been asked to write a short piece looking back on what this saga has revealed.
One of the extraordinary things is that after 13 years, the intervention of three nations' police and criminal investigators, the 'assistance' of at least three different Private investigation agencies, the combined might of all the acolytes, sycophants and apologists, the background presence of the most feared firm of Libel Lawyers in the world, and many many others, there is still not a single piece of evidence that an abduction took place.
There is moreover not a single coherent theory suggested which could account for an abduction within the extremely tight parameters of time and place imposed on the scenario by the main protagonists.
What we have is evidence of a death, of the presence of a corpse, of subsequent removal, and a litany of excuses and falsehoods apparently from a badly written and poorly thought out and under-rehearsed script.
Posters on various fora have made and continue to make valuable contributions to the understanding of the whole story.
By concentrating on tiny details and picking at them until they are fully exposed, we have worked in the way a major crime investigation is organised. Teams and individuals are handed dozens, often hundreds of small tasks, (TTBD = things to be done) and gradually the 'blanks are filled in' so that the SIO is able, with luck, to see the bigger picture.
And as we have also seen, from apparently tiny observations new lines of enquiry emerge.
Here is one startling example.
The revelation of TR's interest in things adolescent and digitally manipulative sparked a renewed interest in the pool photo, which up to that moment had focussed on whether or not the image itself had been tampered with. The debate had degenerated onto an “It is, it isn’t” playground level.
But the linking of a close family member who was known to be a keen and skilled amateur astronomer and then the discovery that he was also skilled in manipulating digital images, in turn led to research and comparison of similar images taken by many other tourists during the week, then to detailed research into weather reports and satellite records, submission of the image to two genuine professionals in the field, and thence to a realisation that whilst the image itself was genuine, the date recorded on it had been altered.
And from there the forensic trace back to the likely forger and the identification of the messenger were suddenly clear.
And from there the motive behind altering the Metadata became an issue.
Some time later, from another angle entirely, came a detailed analysis of witness statements in an attempt to find definitive reports of Madeleine’s activities during the week.
That analysis showed a remarkable lack of any credible sightings. Indeed it became clear that even those close to the parents had apparently deliberately sought to distance themselves from making any positive and definite statement.
The sudden change in Oldfield's statement that he had seen Madeleine in bed when he checked the children at 9;30 pm to the oddly unconvincing story that he had merely looked in, seen the twins were breathing, but had not turned his head or eyes slightly to the left to see Madeleine formed part of this pattern. And then one assumes turned round to the right in order not to see her
It would have made him the ‘last person to see her alive’, which in any major investigation is an uncomfortable position to be in.
By altering his testimony he was able to accord that honour to the father.
When this is added to the alteration of the date on the photo a hypothesis began to emerge, namely that Madeleine died earlier in the week.
This in turn would explain the photos taken on Saturday the day of arrival, the Pool photo taken on the Sunday, and then the total absence of any other photo of Madeleine or the twins in the following four days leading up to the report that she was missing.
And so on.
In my e-book I have tried to tackle individual tiny issues, and to pick at them until they bled.
I have no special insight, no contacts and no private knowledge.
I work purely on what has been reported, and everything I have is in the public domain.
That others people's individual expertise has been brought to bear on different aspects is one of the reasons I have found this case so fascinating for so long. Every new theory tests us, so long as we remember the adage:
“You are entitled to your opinion. You are not entitled to your own set of facts”
Let us never give up until the case is solved.
Thank you all.