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Strabane murder sniffer dog on Netflix Maddie series

Pooch helped nail monster who killed Tyrone OAP Attracta

Forensic sniffer dog Eddie
Forensic sniffer dog Eddie
TWISTED killer Trevor Hamilton. Hamilton was convicted this week of murdering retired Strabane librarian Attracta Harron in 2003.
Dog handler Martin Grime, with 'Eddie', the Springer Spaniel dog. Picture. Maurice Thompson. 12-12-06

By John Toner

Eddie the hero sniffer dog who helped jail one of Northern Ireland's most notorious murderers has featured in new Netflix documentary The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The springer spaniel was instrumental in snaring evil killer Trevor Hamilton who kidnapped and murdered 65-year-old Co Tyrone woman Attracta Harron as she returned from Mass in Donegal to her home in Strabane in 2003.

Cadaver dog Eddie, who was brought over from the South Yorkshire victim recovery dog unit, was hailed as instrumental in helping to secure the conviction against Sion Mills man Hamilton.

Now he has featured in the popular new Netflix documentary series which focuses on missing child Madeleine McCann and the circumstances surrounding her disappearance.

Then three years old, Madeleine went missing from her holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

The series shows how baffled Portuguese detectives eventually accepted help offered by British police to track down the girl, including the services of Eddie and a second sniffer dog called Keela.

The dogs' handler Martin Grime told the film-makers: "When the dog indicates in the field, it will either be human decomposition or human blood.

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"The human decomposition is very persistent, very pungent to the point where we've been able to locate, in blind searches, graves 40 years after the body has been removed and the body was only there for a short period of time."

Footage during the series shows Eddie, who is trained to smell dead bodies, searching what was Kate and Gerry McCann's bedroom in the Ocean Club apartment during their holiday.

While searching a cupboard he barks urgently, a sign he has apparently picked up the scent of a cadaver.

It led to police taking forensic samples but ultimately they did not lead anywhere following extensive lab testing and there is no suggestion the McCanns are under any suspicion.

The film reveals how the lab findings seriously discredited the Portuguese police investigation with a journalist angrily revealing how she had been given totally false information by a senior source about the DNA evidence ahead of the final results.

The film stresses that while trained dogs can sniff out potentially useful evidence, its value only becomes known following scientific testing.

TWISTED killer Trevor Hamilton. Hamilton was convicted this week of murdering retired Strabane librarian Attracta Harron in 2003.
TWISTED killer Trevor Hamilton. Hamilton was convicted this week of murdering retired Strabane librarian Attracta Harron in 2003.

Eddie first gained fame when he helped nail Trevor Hamilton for the murder of Attracta Harron in 2003.

Evil Hamilton abducted and murdered the recently retired librarian as she returned home from Mass in 2003.

Eddie sniffed her makeshift grave near Hamilton's Sion Mills home and also detected potential evidence on a car mat in Hamilton's burnt-out red Hyundai Lantra.

The car had been torched at the rear of his home on December 11, 2003, the same day he murdered the 65-year-old grandmother and mother-of-five.

The blood in the car matched DNA from Attracta Harron and Hamilton was jailed for life without the chance of parole in 2006.

An appeal court then ruled in 2008 that he would be eligible for parole after serving 35 years, meaning he will not be considered for release until 2040 at the age of 58.

The Netflix film also features Northern Ireland ex-senior cop Jim Gamble, who explains why he is convinced Kate and Gerry McCann had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance and why he believes that she may still be alive.

Dog handler Martin Grime, with 'Eddie', the Springer Spaniel dog. Picture. Maurice Thompson. 12-12-06
Dog handler Martin Grime, with 'Eddie', the Springer Spaniel dog. Picture. Maurice Thompson. 12-12-06

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