I closed my intro blurb to this affair with the remark…
I came to this matter some two years later, and the posts on this site relating to it chart my attempts to understand what occurred, and find my way through the labyrinth of conflicting opinions that surround the case.
Well, it seems to me that part of that process (in addition to the methodology I’d initially visualised, which was simply to “report back” on the results of research into specific matters and the conclusions drawn therefrom) could also usefully include an account of my ongoing impressions as I wade through the reams of available material.
I say “usefully” for its been my experience that as one gets deeper into a protracted enquiry of this nature such impressions can change quite dramatically over time… without one necessarily being aware of it!
And equally its been my experience that all too often those initial impressions tend to contain fruitful insights that become lost as the impressions so change.
That may not be the experience of others. That’s fine. Its how it seems to work for me though. And consequently, none of these “ongoing impressions” should be taken as conclusions… they’re not. They simply reflect what my feelings about the case (or the various details thereof) may be at a given point in my enquiry… and could quite easily change as I learn more.
With that brief explanation out of the way then, let’s get to the meat of it.
Currently I’m steadily (and fairly slowly, having to fit the task in between a number of other things) ploughing through (about halfway so far) the statements and rogatory interviews of the “Tapas 9” as made available on Gerry McCann’s Blogs (a superb resource site incidentally, although it does seem to become “unavailable” at unusually frequent intervals) under the heads “GERRY & KATE MCCANN” and “TAPAS 7”.
Heavy going it is too… moreso with the rogatory interviews than the statements.
Rather more scrutinising than just skimming, but still passing fairly rapidly over the content that doesn’t actually address what I’ve been trying to focus on.
Specifically, my first “action point”: trying to pin down some of the questions that had occurred to me when I drew up my “plan of approach”.
Yet although trying to filter out all extraneous matters there are a couple of things that have already leapt out at me, although these are nothing more than impressions.
I’m struck by the way so much emphasis seems to have been put upon the increased rigorousness of the “checks” that were said to have been conducted by the parents on the Thursday evening compared to the previous evenings.
My first impression about this is that (and a fairly natural human reaction… the rationalising of one’s own shortcomings) the whole of the party are trying to minimise (for both the benefit of others and perhaps, more pertinently, their own consciences) their seeming negligence in leaving the children unsupervised. In a sense its as though they’re saying “we’d been doing all that could be reasonably expected”. (Whether or not one actually agrees with that is another matter entirely of course.)
But what this actually serves to achieve in my mind is the highlighting of how inadequate those checks were on the previous evenings, and perhaps a realisation within the whole party of such being the case.
Reading yet more into this, I don’t think it would be unreasonable to speculate that the entire procedure could be indicative of the attitude of the party to the holiday as a whole… kids’ time during the day, grown-ups’ time in the evening.
Nothing really unusual or noteworthy in that but what it does suggest to me is that maybe, just maybe, those checking procedures weren’t quite as thorough or as regular as the testimony would lead us to believe. On any evening, including of course the Thursday.
Possibly the testimony of the Tapas bar staff (when I eventually get around to it) will clarify that.
The other impression that’s gradually crept up on me is the sense that, aside from the checking routine in the evening, the entire Thursday differed in a number of ways from the preceding days. I get a sense that Thursday itself and not just the evening represented a sort of hiatus in the routine that the whole party had begun to establish for themselves.
To the point where I’m beginning to think this may well merit closer attention in its own right, if only to establish whether or not this impression is based on anything substantial. Or a mere product of my own imagining.