Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Case of Madeleine McCann: Part Three Cadaver Dogs

For the parent of a kidnapped child, there is no "acceptance" of a cadaver dog.  The innocent parent will even chide police for wasting time on that which is impossible. 

Innocent parents become more and more frustrated with police failure to locate their missing child and this enters their language. 

Ingratiation in Statement Analysis

We have seen the "ingratiating factor" in statement analysis where a guilty person "makes friends" with police, or even with journalists, so as to reduce the suspicion and be seen in a positive light.  This can even be used to read the public who may end up in a jury pool. 

For innocent parents, there is a very different linguistic disposition. 

Regarding cadaver dogs, we expect a rebuke from the parents, appropriately polite, but with some expected elevation of 'tension' within the language.  Since, in their position, Madeleine was kidnapped, we continue the expectation of language following this powerful belief.  

Gerry McCann:  

Its an encouraging thing that um they are looking at all possibilities and being very thorough and err its an excellent example of collaboration, between both the British and the Portuguese police...working together ultimately to try and solve the case of Madeleine and whats happened to her.

The father calls this unacceptable development "encouraging" and then praises police ("excellent") for failure to locate his kidnapped daughter.  

He then gives us the "conclusion of the matter."  For innocent parents, there is only one conclusion: 

the safe recovery of Madeleine from the kidnappers. 

For McCann, it is something different, however:

working together ultimately to try and solve the case of Madeleine and whats happened to her.

a.  to solve the case

b.  to learn what happened to her

Missing from the biological father's words is the safe return of his daughter. 

Police would likely have guided them to not chide nor insult the kidnappers, so we do not expect the parents to show anger towards the kidnappers; instead, gentle and respectful pleading for her safe return and for her care, today, by them.  

This is absent from the father.  

Question:  What do you make of the word "ultimately" here?

Answer:  The law of economy couples with the speed of transmission of thought into words means that an additional word takes more effort. 

If this additional word (one in which the sentence is still complete should it be removed) is also an "unnecessary" word, the information contained therein is deemed "doubly important" for the analysis. 

The word "ultimate" speaks to one that arises above others.  This one word tells us that the speaker is aware of 'other' workings by police, including investigating the parents. He recognizes that their are goals or results from the investigation and that the ultimate goal is not the safe return of Madeleine but "solving the case."  ("the case", itself, is to depersonalize what happened to Madeleine, by the biological father.  This is why I have added the word "biological" as it highlights just how much distance he shows from his own assertions).  

It suggests that the speaker, here, is acutely aware of alternative goals other than "solving the case."  It is not about "bringing Madeleine home safe from the kidnappers" but solving the case.  His daughter is not kidnapping victim in the hands of strangers; she is a "case" in his language.  

This is coupled, now, with priority and the praising of police while they have failed to locate Madeleine.  

It is also consistent with the priority shown by each statement of the McCanns:  their own well being, and not the well being of the victim.  

The Ingratiating Principle in statement analysis is common in statements by guilty parents.  This can even be seen in the US' use of "911 calls" where the guilty caller begins the call, not with the emergency, but with a 'friendly greeting' and attempts to 'ingratiate oneself' with those responsible for investigating self.  There are many examples of this and  if one uses the search feature on 911 calls, the ingratiating that guilty parties do will bring up a number of examples.  

We see this theme continue: 


Yeah, I mean we've got an excellent relationship with the Portuguese Police and we need to keep that link um and the flow of information has been great actually,its been very reassuring.

The subject begins with an agreement, "yeah" but then is flagged for the ingratiation in a rather extreme manner:

"we've got an excellent relationship with the Portuguese Police"

a.  unnecessary.  What innocent parents of a kidnapped child would have anything but a relationship?
b.  sensitive:  "excellent" relationship. 

This is to not only ingratiate "us" (plural) but to use exaggerated language ("excellent") where it should not even be addressed.  

Question:  What causes this?

Answer:   Although the need to be seen, by the public, is dominant (priority), rather than pleading with the kidnapper and giving the public a description of what Maddie looks like, we must consider that this statement has been produced from:

knowledge that from within the Portuguese Police department there exists those who do not believe the McCanns. 

This is something that generally does not make the press, but based upon this language, it is very likely that the McCanns have first hand knowledge of some investigators' doubts or suspicions.  Please note that "some investigators" could also be "all investigators."

There is an instinctive reaction by police when they hear public praise where no success has been realized.  

It does not 'sit well' with investigators.  They cannot help but ask,

"Why are these parents praising us for not finding their daughter?"

The ingratiating often has the opposite effect of what was intended. It increases suspicion and could increase resolve.  

A missing child is a very personal traumatic event.  Even while innocent parents are standing together, speaking for each other, they often move immediately into the first person.  After all, no one else is the father or mother of the victim and it is something very personal, as it triggers all the instincts within parents.  

In the analysis thus far, the McCanns have shown the use of the plural in the realm of guilt.  Please note that this is similar to what we hear in school children's language when caught doing something inappropriate.  There is a desire to 'share' guilt, and 'spread out' responsibility, psychologically believing this will reduce it.  

In the ingratiating factor, guilty parents have an almost compulsive need to convince the public that they are "close" to police. This is done as to say, "See?  See how much information the police are sharing with us?  This proves that we are not suspects!" 

Mother of murdered 13 year old Hailey Dunn showed this compulsion and reacted with anger when police did not share detail with her.  This is covered in "Wise as a Serpent" as an example of what guilty knowledge of a crime can drive people to say.  


We very much know that you know, they like frank information and its much easier for us to deal with when they do that and um we were well aware that these developments were going to happen. We were informed in advance but naturally this length of time we're desperate to find Madeleine. Thats the key thing. Of course um its difficult but we expect the same thoroughness and be treated the same way as anyone else who has been in and around us.I mean we would'nt expect it any other way. We're not naive err but on numerous ocassions the Portuguese police have assured us that they were looking for Madeleine alive and not murdered..being murdered and I don't know of any information thats changed that. Of course, the information and the way the investigations going is about thoroughness and making sure that everyone is as confident as possible..that...that is the case um Kate and I strongly believe that Madeleine was alive when she was taken from the apartment. Obviously what we don't know, is what happened to her afterwards , whose taken her and what the motive is and we are desperate to find that out.

Here we have a need of Gerry McCann to promote himself and his wife as not being suspects.  They have an acute need to tell the public, not a description of Maddie for her safe return, but that police told them, on friendly terms, that cadaver dogs would be brought in.  

This is likely true, as police may have sought for a confession by the parents and can be a useful technique.  

It is interesting that he says police are looking for Madeleine alive and "not murdered."  

Madeleine was not murdered and this may have come as a direct response to police questioning that Madeleine died from an unintentional death.  In 2011, they introduced "fall" to the language.  

It would be an appropriate strategy on the part of police to suggest to them that they tell the truth about the unintended death.  

Question:  What about possible sedation?

Answer:  I covered sedation in the original analysis.  If this is accurate, it would prohibit the McCanns from confessing.  Here is why:

The charge of death by neglect (leaving her unattended while having dinner) would have been strongly debated.  

However, toxicology that showed Madeleine with some form of sedation (parents commonly use benadryl and cough syrups, but these are medical doctors and the mother is an anesthesiologist ) would have elevated the charges. 

They would have faced:

a.  criminal negligence and attendant charges 
b.  loss of medical license 
c.  loss of custody of the twins 

Note next that the norm, or baseline for Gerry and Kate is to use "we" and "us" throughout.  As this is their baseline, Statement Analysis notes any deviation from this.  Any deviation from the norm is going to be elevated in importance.  

"we" is used to show unity and/or  cooperation.  Note the change as also going against the "Law of Economy" where brevity is noted within a sentence.  This means that there is a change of reality for the subject (Gerry) at this point in the statement:  

"Kate and I strongly believe that Madeleine was alive when she was taken from the apartment."  

The change from "we" here is powerful.  Remember, pronouns are instinctive.  The ability to eject the "we" from the statement is powerful and we note that it is at the precise moment when Madeleine was taken from the apartment.  

To understand what emotional power can eject "I" or "we" from a statement, consider this short analysis on Hillary Clinton.  In training, I prove that pronouns are instinctive by asking for volunteers to tell truthful stories from...not a week ago, but more than 20 years ago.  

They may struggle with detail, but not with pronouns.  Pronouns are used by us millions of times.  We are, therefore, highly efficient at their use.  If a pronoun is "lying" you may indicate deception.  It is the only exception to indicating deception by a single word.  

Hillary Clinton on Gennifer Flowers prior to Bill Clinton's election as President of the United States:

I'm sitting here because  love him and respect him and honor what he's been through and what we've been through together..."

Now we jump ahead a few years and endless affairs to see what pronouns are instinctively produced. 

 This time it is  the young intern, Monica Lewinsky:
Hillary on support of  Bill after the Monica Lewinsky affair:  

"...It's difficult and painful any time someone you care about, you love,you admire, is attacked and subjected to such relentless accusations as my husband has been. But I also have now lived with this for, gosh, more than six years. I have seen how these charges and accusations evaporate and disappear if they're ever given the light of day."

It took years and lots of pain from betrayal, but Bill successfully ejected the pronoun "I" from Hillary's vocabulary in the context of infidelity.  

Back to McCanns:  note the need to persuade rather than report truthfully:

"Kate and I strongly believe that Madeleine was alive when she was taken from the apartment."  

Even in deception, we get elements of truth. 

People do not like to lie directly and often 'pare' words to avoid such.  This is why 90% of deception is from missing information but the choice of wording also keeps this internal stress in mind. 

"was taken" Passivity:  not only avoids saying "kidnapped" but also may show partial, or "pared down" truth: 

she literally was taken from the apartment.  This part is true.  

Even as some press reports stated that the Portuguese police believe Madeleine died as a result of falling down stairs, to this, the element of sedation should be considered.  

A premature awakening from sedation from a "compact" person would leave the child disorientated and at high risk.  


And as Gerry just said (inaudible)

Police said they are looking for a living child and they have said that a lot.

"a living child" is not "an alive Maddie" or anything personal.  Although this may be using the language of police, (parroting) it is expected from a biological parent the "overruling" of depersonalizing Madeleine to a "a" anything...she is "Madeleine" and she is "alive" because she was "kidnapped."

This indicates the mother's own need to depersonalize her own daughter.  

Analysis Conclusion:

Deception Indicated.

The statements made by the McCanns shortly after Madeleine was reported kidnapped or "taken", affirm the original analysis. 

The priority that was seen in 2011 and today, is the same priority that was seen in the Spring of 2007:

The McCann's own self preservation.  

This priority predicted the campaign of self promotion that they would undertake. 

The original analysis:

1.  The parents are deceptive
2.  Madeleine was not kidnapped
3.  Madeleine is dead
4.  Madeleine died in the apartment in Portugal
5.  Madeleine's parents conspired to hide her remains

To this we see:

The priority of self preservation continues;
The need to be seen as working alongside police rather than suspects;

The utter void of any parental or even common concern, for what Madeleine is experiencing in the hands of her kidnapper.  This continues to affirm:

Madeleine was not in any need for parental care because she was 'beyond' help. 

The parents continue to praise police for not finding Madeleine.  


Anonymous said...


Can you analyze the below excerpt from Gerry's statement above?

"Obviously what we don't know, is what happened to her afterwards , whose taken her and what the motive is and we are desperate to find that out."

There is a mix of past and present tense (happened afterwards, motive is), the word "obviously" and I believe they don't know what happened to her afterwards if she was washed out to sea or her body eaten by animals, etc.


Anonymous said...

EXCERPTS taken from KATE’S book - 'madeleine'

SHE was relieved that it was only the DOGS. They could DISCREDIT them. [Not worried at all that it was perhaps her DAUGHTER’S body that the DOGS were ALERTING to? Not distraught that Maddie may have been KILLED in the apartment by those famous burglars in PDL who steal kids? ]

'Today Carlos had ADVISED me NOT to answer any of the questions put to me. He explained that this was my right as an arguida and it was the safest option: any responses I gave might unintentionally implicate me in some way.'

'On the other hand, I was very WEARY and at least repeating 'no comment' didn't involve engaging my brain.'

On the 'dogs' videos: 'I felt myself starting to relax a little. This was not what I would call an exact science.'

'Gerry was UNEASY about [THE DEAL] being made public...'

'Like me, Gerry had been relieved by the inadequacies revealed by the sniffer-dog videos'

Hi Peter,

I would be ineterested to hear your thoughts on these.

Thank you.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

The McCanns dedicated their lives to protecting themselves. Everything they have done is self protection and self promotion. I think they've become very familiar with the idea of exploitation. If something arises, it must be answered, to protect self.

It has never been about Maddie; not from the very beginning.

They are lying about what happened to her.

There is one thing they can never protect themselves from, however.

Their own words.


Panamazimut said...

Great work !
Each time they appeared on TV during interviews, I thought they were lying but could not quite explain why I had this feeling. Something missing in the Kate's eyes when she read her first appeal to the "kidnappers" on TV.
It looked like she needed to read a script to beg for her daughter's safe return.
The lack of facial expression when saying "we beg you to ...." it felt empty of sense.
I cant understand that they were never charged with neglect.
Even if you say "We came back every half hour" you are not allowed to leave 3 kids under four on their own in an apartment.
Simple. And this apply also to all the friends (witnesses).
Did you leave your kids every day repeatedly for half an hour alone in an apartment? - Yes - Ok you are charged with neglect.
and see if they want to change their story.

Rapinder said...

The fact they said she "was taken" rather than she was "kidnapped". Wondering why they would use lesser terminology?

Statement Analysis Blog said...


they used "taken" because it is truthful. Telling the truth, even when attempting to deceive , is less internally stressful.

She was taken.

She was taken out by them and hid incredibly well.

That is, if you believe the parents as I do.


Rapinder said...

Thanks for replying, Peter, though I haven't seen anything specific in their statements indicating the child was hidden by parents. I'm of opinion the child (alive or dead) was taken and hidden by a third party, perhaps at parents' request.

With regards the use of terminology "taken" instead of "kidnapped": a film made a year later, in 2008, called "Taken", is about a father's quest to find his teenage daughter after her abduction and sex trafficking.
Wonder why this film uses same softer euphemism in its title, as also used by McCann?

Anonymous said...

I wonder where they disposed of her remains and how they could do that as parents. The thought disgusts me.

Anonymous said...

After perusing everything I believe it is the parents conscience that is making them look and say 'guilty' respectable people with plenty of money and yet did not use baby services and worse, I believe the father did not check properly and actually awoke maddueby chatting outside. Maddie was angry and had the previous night stated she did not want to stay with twins. At that age I removed a mattress from my bed! I think she let herself out, either by climbing on settee and through window or the door which dad left ajar. I believe in the network if the sewerage system she became lost - why has that not been discussed? It's a very large maze underneath the town that only a small child can get in. I would be interested in your take? Maybe Portugal do not want tourists to know about this and also they are guilty of neglect - plain and simple

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for helping our cause Peter. You've shone an even harsher light onto the lies that we have to deal with regarding this case. Further to Panamazimut's entry above though, could you answer this for me please? I've always thought the parents were not charged with neglect because the police never believed they left their children alone. A successful conviction for neglect -with the pair pleading guilty and accepting the accompanying fine- would be seized on by the parents as 'proof' that they were not in the apartment at the time of the 'abduction' ie 'It has been proved in court, therefore it must be the truth'. Is this your belief too? Thanks again, david

Unknown said...

I think the phase "taken from us" is very telling it's sounds like they are referring to death rather than a yes she was alive when she was taken.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Sarah, what makes you think "taken from us" regards death?

thank you,


PS I agree, it is helpful to learn commentators' thinking. They contribute more than they know, and I am grateful.

Louise said...

I do not think she went to find them, a child that she would have taken their teddy with them if they left

Anonymous said...

Great Work Peter. If the McCann's were actors engaged in role playing, following a certain agenda and were permitted to "ad-lib" or "wing" the various interviews, would you expect the answers to be similar to what we are seeing or would it be more (or less) obvious? Again Great Work.

Anonymous said...

Hello Peter. I find your work very interesting and think your spot on with everything you say. Would you have a look at the friends statements to see if you can get any more info please? One thing i did pick up on in one of fiona paynes statement to police she said something like 'gerry and kate never came down to breakfast after maddie went missing; but this was the first morning of there holiday this would explain why theres very few holiday photos of maddie

chefsgirl said...

I just found this blog after watching the Netflix doc. I actually went into it thinking the McCanns were terribly neglectful parents that paid the ultimate price by having a stranger observe and enter their apartment while they were out. However, I noticed several things in their body language during their interviews which to me indicates guilt and deception. First of all and most obvious is how every time the subject of their involvement is brought up in an interview, Gerry fiddles with the left side of his body. He can be seen scratching his left nipple and also playing with his left ear while avoiding eye contact during his answer. He then goes straight to intensive eye contact with the interviewer to see if his answer was believed. Also, the footage of Kate meeting the pope.....she holds her breath when he speaks and looks like a woman about to burst open with guilt. She is not seeing the pope for help, she wants absolution of her sins. Also, when Gerry theatrically jumps up during one interview, taking off his mic and feigns distress while walking partially off camera before taking a drink of water.....couple things here: Kate remains seated and rigid, fearful of what he will say or do next. She swallows hard while again holding her breath. She is looking at him and wondering if this is where it all falls apart. Wondering if his act is being believed. Also, in all the footage, they are holding hands and Gerry is always leading Kate a few steps ahead. Everything she says is almost always through gritted teeth. I think Gerry is orchestrating everything to keep the rest of their lives from falling apart. I do believe it was a tragic accident that was 100% preventable with better care from the parents. They know that. And that is the guilt they are displaying in their body language.

Anonymous said...

Like above I also saw document and after that I have watched lots of interwievs and read casefiles and these statements analysis are just fascinating. Like many others, I have wondered the lack of emotions in these interwies and pictures taken shorhtly after their daughter disappeared. For me the most disturbing was Kate's interwiev in August 2007 by their family friend Jon Corner. It begins: It's funny.... then it continues and she looks and appears so happy joking and lauhghing one could never in million years think her daughter was missing. But this sentence and how it is said: People say how can he do that... (about Gerry talking to public) when your daughter is beeing taken and everything. ... you know there are other cases that kids had beeing taken or killed or whatever... how does anyone cope with that? OR WHATEVER?? This interwiev was made before cavador dogs search their villa. I would love to see analysis of this interwiev. Then there was that nightmare Kate had. I am a mother of four and if my child was missing I'm sure, if I could sleep at all, I would have nightmares. And of course I would call police and ask if that could be checked, just in case, even that was just a dream. That is something I would think quite normal. But why Gerry was very uppset about this dream and that Kate had told it to police? He denied the dream never happened? And like Sarah, I also think that "she was taken from us" is many times used to discribe accidental death. And Louise, if they lie about abduction, they just might have put that toy back to her bed.