Nora Quoirin: Why the Abduction Theory makes no sense, and Why it’s time to talk about What Really Happened

Let us, for the sake of argument, imagine there is an abductor phantasm in this story.

Bear in mind, it’s an opportunistic crime, because the criminal hasn’t had time to get to know the family because they’ve only just arrived at the hotel.

The phantasm waits until everyone is asleep, and either opens the kitchen window, or finds it  already open. Oh look, right inside, on the table, is an expensive Apple MacBook. The phantasm elects to ignore it, and goes in search of his prey. On the way out, the MacBooth is right beside him. But again, he elects not to take it. Our phantasm isn’t an opportunist or a burglar.


One might argue the MacBook wasn’t on the table when the phantasm arrived, but only left out on the desk after he left. Okay then, so you really believe an abductor came through the window, which is still open, and stole your child, and your plan is to sit right beside that window, with your back to it, and then leave your computer there…?


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For reference, in 25 0000 missing cases, more children got lost than the less than 1% that were abducted by strangers. We live in a strange world where, when something happens to a child, our first thought is a child abduction, when it should be our last thought.

More than four times as many abductions by strangers are committed by family members. So the idea that looking to parents when something happens to a child is anathema is patently ridiculous. We should look to the parents first, and look to exclude them, before turning our gaze towards stranger abductors.

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It is also nonsense to conflate the terms Pedophile Abductor. Abductions aren’t always carried out for reasons of sexual assault. According to the New York Times:

Sometimes, children are abducted for ransom or because they are caught up in another crime like burglary, or carjacking, when an abductor drives off with a child in the back seat. On other occasions, children get trapped in gang violence, sometimes as acts of revenge.

Last month in Philadelphia, Erica Pratt, 7, was abducted by men who demanded $150,000 in ransom. The police suspected that the abduction might have stemmed from a feud between drug dealers. Erica escaped after chewing through the duct tape that bound her hands and feet.

Blaming a “Botched” Investigation and Malaysia’s SAR teams as Inferior has begun

The blame game has started, and since the parents are off limits, who’s next? Inexperienced cops who got tired quickly in the heat. It’s surprising these images below didn’t cause more controversy than they did. They don’t inspire urgency, but then they’re just a snapshot of a ten day travesty. They’re also completely besides the point.

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Knowing what we know now, that Nora was still alive, and was still so close to the resort, and also exactly where she said she wanted to go, it’s hard to imagine if Nora’s family [both parents, her brother and sister] and the whole staff of the resort had simply searched for Nora until they found her, that they wouldn’t have found her. 

Very early on the family seemed more committed to starting up fundraisers and giving press conferences. To complicate matters, we heard the Quoirin family had also hired a legal representative, meaning the police could no longer freely talk with them or Nora’s siblings. This was a grave if not fatal error on its own.

Of course the greatest culprit in this devastating debacle is the Abductor Narrative. With that dubious drumbeat blasting through the media the search was already fatally compromised and undermined.

Although it’s still too soon to absolutely exclude this possibility, it’s precisely because this narrative was foisted into the front and center of the search, and because international media exerted pressure on the search [invoking the abductor nonsense], that the search was fragmented, and that there seemed little hope that Nora would still be in the region. If she’d been abducted, surely she was long gone and there was no point searching in the jungle to begin with. Or so the thinking went.

Now I want to address the notion that the search teams were inexperienced head on. I want to articulate just how bogus this line of inquiry is.

First of all, we can’t fault the Malaysians for a lack of manpower, just in terms of the sheer amount of eyes and ears on the ground, by recruiting an army of 350+.

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Second, they checked many of the right boxes by bringing in sniffer dogs as well as cadaver dogs. It turned out to be a big error in the Madeleine McCann case to wait almost four months before cadaver dogs were brought in. Having said that, it was disappointing that the dogs didn’t do better than they did. Bear in mind, it was human’s picking up a smell that first alerted a local team of amateur hikers to the poor girl lying beside the stream.

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It may be that the dog teams weren’t well trained, or that the dogs weren’t as adept in a rural environment. Dog handlers also need to know in an outdoor setting about the best time of day to track. This was a situation where scents could be laid down, washed away, then laid down again. It seems no one was really considering the possibility, indeed the probability that Nora was actually lost. Again, it’s unfortunate that the parents were so adamantly opposed to the idea of their daughter wandering off.

Fullscreen capture 20190821 232253Third, ground penetrating radar and infra-red was apparently used. It’s unclear why neither of these technologies worked. Nora wasn’t buried, as far as we know, but one assumes ground penetrating radar could see into ravines and through trees. If this case proves anything, it’s the limits technologies like these still face in the dense layers of a tropical ecosystem.

Finally, if we’re determined to blame someone we ought to start in the obvious place. Regardless of sentiments and sympathies, in broad strokes this was a case of a family on holiday, and their little girl disappearing at night. Use your common sense: who is responsible when children get themselves into trouble? Does one have to be explicit on the point that while the family was fast asleep, their daughter came to harm? One might argue that being asleep is a sort of alibi, but come on,  parents with children in their custody are expected to take care of them. And disabled, dependent children even more so.

There are many additional arguments to make, including about the choice of resort, the steep surroundings immediately adjacent to the resort, as well as the appropriateness of the layout of their bungalow in terms of their daughter.

We’ve also examined the mysterious sleeping arrangements of the family. This really cuts to the heart of things, and it appears the police weren’t convinced the family’s version of this score was even accurate. If true, one could argue that if someone wasn’t truthful to the investigators about the scene/setting immediately prior to the disappearance this fact alone could have misdirected the entire search. 

Ultimately, the fact that Nora got lost [as it appears] despite so many looking for her seems terribly unlucky. But if anyone is to be accused of a lack of urgency or a lack of focus, it can’t be the men and women recruited from far and wide.

It should also be noted that the Abductor Narrative is very convenient to parents in this situation [regardless of whether there is an abductor or not], because it redirects the narrative repeatedly away from those who were closest to Nora when she disappeared. The Abduction Theory needs to conclusively rejected and debunked, so that we can address the other side of the equation. If Nora did wander off, how and why did that happen?

Whether it happens after the toxicology results come out, or never, Nora’s parents still owe Nora and her countrymen an explanation.

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Police to carry out post-mortem on SAR operation for Nora Quoirin – Strait Times

Malaysian police admit ‘inexperienced’ cops may have missed vital clues in 10-day search for Nora Quoirin, 15 – The Sun

If this is where Nora Quoirin slept the night she disappeared, it changes everything

Since following this case, there’s been a frustrating lack of information. Very few photos of the resort were released, and very little information has been made freely available to contextualize the scene. Has this been by accident, or by design?

The images released by the authorities of the window [the imputed exit point when Nora supposedly wandered off] were from such a wide angle, it was difficult to see any artifacts either on the inside or outside of the windows. There was also only a limited view inside the bungalow.

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As a result of extensive digging and dogged research it’s been a slow process to start piecing the Quoirin accomodations together.

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Having done so, it now appears unlikely that Nora slept upstairs at all. The parents and siblings told police Nora slept close to them, upstairs [see screengrab below]. But is this accurate? If it is, why didn’t they hear her move out of the room? The bungalows upstairs have wooden floors. So if she was sleeping right beside them, how couldn’t they hear her?

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We also know the children were later not allowed to communicate any further with investigators as a result of “legal advice”. The family lawyered up as early as Day 2 of Nora’s disappearance. Missing from the British or Irish coverage of the case was this snippet of intelligence published in the Malay Mail on August 7th, and sent to me courtesy of @McCannCaseTweet [who’s also been cautiously studying this case].

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These [see below] are the upstairs living quarters. Enough to sleep four people. [Nora was on holiday with her parents, and two younger siblings, a brother and a sister as reported in The Mirror on August 7th].

With her spatial difficulties, she would have struggled to navigate the spiral staircase between the upstairs and downstairs level, especially at night.

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It was never explicitly stated where Nora slept, if she was upstairs with her parents or with her siblings, but one assumed it was with her siblings. It was clearly implied that she slept upstairs on August 3rd, and that she was the most tired after their long trip.

But the police believed – correctly – that Nora probably didn’t sleep upstairs, despite what the parents and perhaps Nora’s siblings had told the Malaysian authorities. This comes from The Sun, August 9th.

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Below is a clear view from the inside towards the kitchen window. It shows a third bedroom in the double-story Sora House. If this is accurate, Nora was left to sleep on her own, while the family – the Quoirin couple and her younger siblings – all slept upstairs.

If Nora woke up at night and went looking for her family, would they have heard her? And isn’t that why she might have wandered off in the first place – because she was in a strange place, in the dark, looking for her mom and dad, brother and sister, couldn’t them and horribly lost in the process?

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The Sora House appears to be the biggest of the six units offered by the resort.

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Was this vertiginous setup of structures connected by stilts and staircases really the ideal setting for a child with Nora’s developmental difficulties and cognitive vulnerabilities?


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