The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details    

Case Files Released: Portuguese Reports (2) *

More details and pictures from the PJ case files - as presented by the Portuguese and European press.
See also reports from Correio da Manha

Najoua Chekaya's short police statement, 14 August 2008
The aerobic instructor short statement Gazeta Digital
Duarte Levy and Paulo Reis
Thursday August 14 2008
Najoua Chekaya arrived in Portugal on March 2007, recruited in England to work for Mark Warner, according to her statement to the PJ, in May 2007. Just a curiosity, the translator was Robert Murat. She described her daily working routine, as an aerobics instructor and said that when she arrived at Ocean Club, she was asked also to perform a "Quiz Game", at night (09:00 pm), at the Tapas Bar, twice a week – every Sunday and Tuesday.
On May 1, 2007, after the "Quiz" was finished, Najoua was invited by Gerry McCann to sit at their table, to have a drink. She was there for 15/20 minutes, between 9.30 and 9:50 pm. There was just casual talk and she doesn't know if Madeleine's mother was at the table or not.
During that period of time, nobody left the table, but there was an empty chair. Who has been sitting at that chair, Najoua didn't know.
Comment: This is an extremely important piece of information, as we had previously been led to believe that at 9.30pm, on the night of Madeleine's disappearance, Ms Chekaya had been invited to join the tapas table, by Gerry McCann, following completion of the quiz. Her police statement makes it quite clear that this was not the case. Consequently, she cannot corroborate, or provide an alibi for, any of the McCanns or their friends movements on the night of May 3rd.
First mention of Najoua Chekaya was in Sol on 30 June 2007:
An aerobic instructor from the resort entertains the dinner guests at Tapas with a 'Quiz'. At 9.30 p.m. the game ends, and Gerry invites her to their table, where she stays for half an hour. During that time, as she later confided to friends, nobody left the table, but one of the chairs was vacant. Najova Chekaya refuses to talk to Sol.
The Daily Mail later picked up the story, twice:
Madeleine and the missing hour: how often did the McCanns check on their children? Daily Mail
Last updated at 16:31 11 August 2007
Sitting beside a swimming pool in the Algarve on that May evening Gerry and Kate McCann were enjoying themselves. The tapas bar of the Mark Warner holiday resort in Praia da Luz was buzzing with holidaymakers and it was quiz night.
The McCanns were favourites to win the contest organised by the resort's aerobics teacher Najova Chekaya. After all, the two doctors had brains on their side. Around their table were seven friends from England, three of them also doctors and one a top medical research fellow.
And what of Najova Chekaya, the aerobics teacher running the quiz? She was invited over to the McCann table by Mr McCann himself when the game ended at 9.30. She stayed for half an hour. She later claimed to friends that nobody left the table.
I just want to go home, says fitness teacher who is key witness Daily Mail
Last updated at 12:03 16 August 2007
A Briton critical to the Madeleine McCann investigation has told friends she is now desperate to leave Portugal.
Aerobics instructor Najoua Chekaya was chatting with Gerry and Kate McCann and their friends when Madeleine, then three, vanished from the family's Algarve apartment in Praia da Luz.
That night, Ms Chekaya had organised a bar quiz at the Ocean Club resort where the McCanns were staying. Her evidence is understood to corroborate the McCanns' movements in the hour before the disappearance was discovered.
This week police in Portugal publicly declared the McCanns, both doctors from Leicestershire, were not suspects following a smear campaign which suggested they and their friends were somehow implicated.
Ms Chekaya, 21, from Flitwick, Beds, is still working in Praia da Luz for Ocean Club operator Mark Warner.
But she wrote to one friend on social networking site Facebook: "Missin you guys loads. dun with portugal now, wana cum home n have fun in flitwick!! neva thought id say that!!"
Portuguese laws make it an offence for witnesses in a criminal inquiry to discuss their evidence, but it is understood Ms Chekaya was invited by Mr McCann to join his table when the quiz finished at 9.30pm.
It is understood she remained chatting with the McCanns and their friends until 10pm, when Mrs McCann went to check on Madeleine and discovered her daughter missing. What happened between 9pm and 10pm is likely to hold the key to Madeleine's fate.
Mr McCann checked on Madeleine and her two younger siblings at 9.05pm and reported that all was well and his daughter fast asleep.
About 10 to 15 minutes after he returned to the table, a friend, Jane Tanner, went to check. She reported seeing a dark-haired man of about 35 carrying a child as she walked back to the bar afterwards but thought nothing of it.

'Kate's Diary', under the magnifying glass, 14 August 2008
Kate's Diary TV Mais (no online link, appears in magazine edition only)
Under the magnifying glass
(Note: 'TV Mais' is a Portuguese television magazine, similar to 'TV Times' in the UK. This article appears in this weeks issue and is an analysis of "Kate's Diary" by a Portuguese psychologist.)
Thursday August 14 2008
Thanks to 'lisbonirish' for translation
Narcissistic, immature and predictable. As if she were writing to lead the reader on. This is the conclusion of an analysis of the writings know as "Kate's Diary" by psychologist Quintino Aires.

"I need you to come back." That is one of the sentences repeated most by Kate McCann in the journal she wrote that is commonly referred to in the media as "Kate's Diary". We showed the writings to Quintino Aires, chair professor of psychology. "She seems to be more concerned about herself than about poor Maddie", he finds.
TV Mais has established that Kate only began writing the journal almost two weeks after Madeleine McCann disappeared. But the "diary" looks as if it was begun before 3rd May 2007. One only has to look at the diverse appearance of the writings, with different colours of pen and writing styles, for example, to understand that it was written in different stages and in differing emotional states. Written and added to as she deemed convenient.
"It's the Kate McCann we already know", explains Quintino Aires. "The narcissistic personality of this woman, which has already been alluded to several times, comes out very clearly in these writings. Her complaints about the negative effect the physical exertion is having on her body, which "annoys" her; how she feels very tired at the vigil on the 25 May, which she thinks is too long (contrary to what a mother suffering the loss of her daughter would feel, being buoyed up by the joint attention of others…); the enthusiastic way she refers to the photo session or even the conference in the British Consulate, which, she highlights, ended in applause from the media. Kate's venting about the difficulty she has in answering questions in moments that are less controlled and not predicted. In her writings one can very frequently identify traits of an immature and narcissistic personality", the psychologist explained to TV Mais. Instead of "I need you to come back", which Kate repeats so many times in her notes, Quintino Aires says that one would normally expect to find "how are you feeling?". In other words: Kate is more concerned with herself than with her daughter.

Relevant or not?

On 12 September 2007, "Público" reported on its website that "the PJ has seized a copy of Kate McCann's diary, a document that could contain relevant information that would help to clarify the case of the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine". The report turned out to be true. The seizure took place during a search of the house the McCanns had rented in Praia da Luz. Amongst other things, Maddie's mother complained that her children were hysterical and that her husband didn't help her as much as he should.
The PJ already considered Kate's notes to be important for the investigation in its interim report and Prosecutor's Office filed a request that the diary be added to the case evidence. But the criminal instruction judge presiding over the investigation in Portimao rejected the request, as did the Évora Court of Appeal.

Little emotion

The events following Maddie's disappearance, her mother's anguish and despair, the solidarity of her friends and the media impact of the case are other aspects referred to in the notes. Quintino Aires explains that writing things down helps us to organise our thoughts, especially when we are going through trying times.
"Many people use this as an instrument to deal with the anxiety. So it is nothing out of the ordinary that Kate has written the notes, regardless of whether she did so on her own initiative or at the suggestion of a friend or specialist. What is surprising is the structure and content of the document, given that it does not follow the normal format for texts of this kind.
"By this I mean, when we open a diary of a mother who is suffering the loss of her daughter (who is completely vulnerable, not least because of her very young age), we would expect to read about her feelings for her daughter, her fears about the suffering her daughter might be going through and that she (the mother) cannot prevent because she is not with her.

"But what can we read in Kate McCann's journal? Endless lists of the time she got up, what time she went jogging, what time she had lunch or dinner and what time she went to bed at. Who she met and who she talked to. Extreme concern and detail as regards names of people and the companies they belong to. In terms of emotions or feelings, only references to who she likes, because they talked or behaved the way Kate wanted them to, and who she doesn't like (especially Portuguese and German journalists…).
"The journal goes into such detail in matters that have nothing to do with emotion or feeling that, throughout the text, I have the feeling several times that Kate is writing with the aim of guiding the thoughts of the reader. The messages to Madeleine are so short and coincidental that they go under, and many times they only come following a comment or attitude by someone who Kate is describing. Judging by the way it is written, the journal can be divided into four phases.
"One can note the improvement and adaptation along the way. Whoever wrote it got better at it with practice…", explains the psychologist, who concludes as follows: "On the basis of all this, I am not surprised to read "I need you to come back" so many times and almost never "how are you feeling?". She seems to be more concerned with herself than with poor Maddie… It's the Kate McCann we had already got to know".

My name is Maddie. They took me from my holidays, 19 August 2008
My name is Maddie. They took me from my holidays Público (no online link, appears in paper edition only)
By Andreia Sanches and Paul Torres de Carvalho
19 August 2008
Thanks to 'lisbonirish' for translation
Dozens of files. Hundreds of witness questioning records. Dozens of likenesses, letters, notes. P2 has read many of the pages that have piled up on the desks of the inspectors who investigated the disappearance of the English girl in the Algarve. Will we ever know what happened to Madeleine?
By Andreia Sanches and Paula Torres de Carvalho.
Fourteen months of searches, witness statements, leads – some ruled out, others followed up. "The conclusion one can draw from all the work that has been carried out (…) is that it is not possible to concretely and objectively determine what really happened" on the night of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the PJ concluded in a report included in the thousands of pages of the "Maddie Case", which were released from judicial secrecy only days ago.

In the last two weeks, the child’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, their private investigators and their lawyers have been studying the files in detail. The press as well. What did the PJ do with the information they received? What leads are still worth following up? That is what they hope to find out in the files.

In a Dutch shop with "no emotion showing in her face"

Lunchtime, somewhere between 1.00 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. on a day in May. Anna Martha Stam, a 42-year-old Dutch citizen, was with her colleagues in the shop where she works – a joke article shop in Amsterdam – when the couple entered. He "had a light moustache" and wasn't very nice. She "was slender" and spoke with a French accent. At least that was what remained in the shop assistant's mind, though she admits that she doesn't recall the couple all that well. She has a much better memory of the child in their company, a little girl who approached her at one stage. "My name is Maddie", said the girl in accent-free English.

Anna Stam is not the only person in the world after 3 May 2007 – the date on which Madeleine McCann, aged 3, disappeared from apartment 5A of the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz – has claimed to have spoken to someone "aged four or five" who not only looked like Maddie but also said her name was Maddie. But her witness statement taken by the Dutch police is particularly perturbing. "What attracted my attention was that she showed little or no emotion in her face", she told the Dutch police.

"She asked me in English: 'Do you know where my mummy is?' And I told her that her mother was back there in the shop." Anna was sure that the woman with the French accent was the girl's mother. But the child apparently replied: "She is not my mummy". And added: "They took me from my holidays".

The supposed "mother" later explained to the shop assistant that she had a small circus in France. She bought "scary masks", clown's clothes and "fake bloody fingers" and similar items totalling € 237.00. Then they all left the store. It was only later that Anna found out about the Praia da Luz case. Her witness statement was forwarded to the PJ on 15 June 2007.

In the lengthy case files now made available on the 14 months of investigation into the "Maddie Case" it is not clear what the PJ did with this statement or what follow-up work they carried out. And this has led to reactions. "We need to know what was done with this. This is exactly the type of prime information where we need to know if it duly taken into account by the police", the McCanns' spokesperson, Clarence Mitchell, told the BBC.

The Maltese lead: "You are not my mummy"

Kate and Gerry McCann, Maddie's parents, their private investigators and lawyers and the press have been dissecting the content of the thousands of pages of case files that were released from judicial secrecy: the main body of the files is made up of 17 volumes and 4,500 pages. And then there are 55 volumes of appendices and 22 files. Not all of the material was made public.

In the 14 volumes of "Appendix V" alone there are thousands of reports that make up, in the words of the PJ, "a large and dispersed web of supposed sightings and pinpointings" that "contained little, vague, contradictory, incompatible or incongruous information". Maddie was seen in Indonesia, Singapore, Mozambique, Syria. On 11 May, eight days after her disappearance, she was, according to many witness statements, in Brazil, Canada, Brussels, Zurich Airport and on the ferry to Ayamonte… all on the same day.

The rate of claimed sightings was "excessive" in the weeks of May, June and July… And they often meant that an unnecessary waste of time for those who had to investigate them. Because some of the reports "merited being looked into", as the hundreds of interview records and reports of other police work, involving both the Portuguese police and the police forces of other countries, show.

Others, however, were given minimum heed – on some reports one can even see handwritten notes by the investigators, such as: "no interest". Others again were put on hold for the future – awaiting "solid information".

It is not always clear what was done in a "supposed sighting" situation. For example, in the case of the two British tourists, twin sisters, who claimed to have travelled on a bus in Malta on 17 June 2007 "with a girl who looked very much like Madeleine McCann", and who even had "a peculiar mark in her right eye" – and Maddie does indeed have such a mark. The woman the child was travelling with "prevented" her from talking to the tourists "several times", they said. But the girl finally said to her: "You are not my mum".

The Maltese police showed interest in the witness statement and asked the PJ for more information: "Does the missing girl speak with a Scottish accent?" Maddie only speaks with an accent "when she is joking/mocking her father", who has such an accent, the PJ replied.

"Can we see mummy soon?"

Morocco was also the scene of numerous "sightings", as the PJ calls them. Anne Mari Olli, a 45-year-old Norwegian retired social worker living in Spain, for example, says that she saw a blonde girl looking sad in a petrol station in Marrakech. The girl was with a man who did not look like her father. "Can we see mummy soon", the child apparently asked. This was on 10 May, seven days after the disappearance in Praia da Luz. Olli only saw the news that evening. "I am certain that it was the girl", she says in one of the messages forwarded to the police in Portimao.

Information added by the PJ, dated 6 June, one month after the alleged "sighting", reveals that the CCTV footage from the petrol station, which had been requested by the British police, with the knowledge of the Portuguese police, "was not available in VHS, as they are very short and was taped over". The lead from the Norwegian woman led to nothing.

Around the same time, Madeleine, or someone who looks like her, was allegedly seen by many other people in the same region: on 19 May in a mansion in the area of Massira; on 15 June in Agadir; on 19 June in Marrakech; on 26 September again in Marrakech…

Report on a strong suspect

Two days after Madeleine's disappearance, a Portuguese emigrant in Germany, who was on holiday with his family in Sagres, went to the PJ in Portimao to report a situation that had alarmed him. A situation the PJ took very seriously: married to a German woman, a father of two children – a boy of almost three and a girl almost four years of age – Nuno de Jesus had gone to the beach at Mareta on 29 April 2007. His children were having fun in the sand "playing the normal games children of their age play", he said.

Between 4.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m., Jesus "noticed the presence of an individual with a small, silver-coloured camera, who was covertly taking photos of his children in a detached way".

Nuno de Jesus states that, after having photographed his children, "the individual possibly took more photos of two boys, aged nine and five, who were the sons of a couple" next to them on the beach. Given this behaviour, and "assuming that the 'photographer's' objective was to kidnap his children or make illicit use of the photographs", Nuno de Jesus says he began to stare at the photographer in a threatening and aggressive way, which led him to move away and leave the beach", one can read in the interview statement taken by the PJ.

Later, the emigrant saw the same man again near a street café approaching his daughter. He had no doubt that the man's intention was to snatch the girl.

On the basis of this statement, the investigators drove to Sagres and established that a car similar to the one Jesus had described as belonging to the suspect had been hired by a Polish citizen, Wojciech Krokowski, who was in Portugal with his wife, Anetta Krokowski. They were staying in an apartment in Burgau, which is very close to Praia da Luz. All details of his stay in Portugal until his return home, via Berlin, were studied in minute detail.

The PJ inspectors determined that the couple returned home without a child. Their home in Warsaw was searched by the local police. "The result was negative. This couple does not have the missing child", states written information from Interpol, dated 6 May 2007.

The girl who shouted "help" in Mem Martins

The photographs showing a close-up of the blemish Madeleine McCann has in the iris of her right eyed travelled the world. It was a very particular mark, which, as the parents believed, would help anyone who saw her to recognise her. That is why they highlighted it a lot. And there were a lot of people around the country (and indeed around the world) who were bending down to look children they encountered straight into the eyes.

In addition to the shop assistant in Amsterdam and the twin sister tourists in Malta, there are dozens of witnesses who are very certain that they saw the child because of that special mark, as reports filed by the PJ show. On 13 May 2007, for example, a woman named Vontrat Sylvie contacted the police in Colmar (France), saying that, on 11 May, she had seen a gypsy couple with a pram carrying a child that did not look like their daughter at all. The woman said she had gone up to the girl, looked into her eye and that she had a mark. French police issued e-fit photos of the couple.

One month later, on 11 June, the PSP police force in Amadora, received a report from a man who had just seen a girl with straight blonde hair, dressed in a track suit and with a mark in her eye in a restaurant in Mem Martins. The man spoke some words to her, called her Madeleine. According to the man's report the child reacting by shouting: "Help!"

The man the child was with – 30-40 years old, 1.70 m (5’ 7’’), swarthy complexion, "of Magreb origin", suddenly got up and left with the girl in a black BMW "with an NL disk", meaning that it was likely from Holland, the witness said. The police went to the scene of the sighting, but never traced the child or the BMW.

The girl seen in Montpellier in France in February of this year by Melissa Fiering also had a mark in her right eye. Ms Fiering, aged 18, stopped at a roadside restaurant and saw a girl very similar to the child who had gone missing in the Algarve, whose photos she had seen in the news. When she called the "Maddie" to the child, she "looked surprised". And the man who was sitting next to the child suddenly got up and took her away. After viewing CCTV footage from the scene, police, however, concluded that this was a different child.

On 16 May this year, a man named Trevor Francis says he saw the girl on the Venezuelan island of Margarita. "She had a blemish in her right eye. I am 85% sure that it was her."

Gerry was also in a "sighting"

On 26 May, Martin Smith, an Irishman described by the Leicestershire police as a "decent" man who was not looking for fame, came to Portugal to give a statement to the PJ and tell them what he saw on the night of 3 May 2007, at around 10.00 p.m., in a street in Praia da Luz: a man carrying a child in his arms, with the child's head resting on the man's left shoulder.

The image he saw: a man approximately 175 to 180 cm tall (5’ 9’’ to 5’ 11’), 34/35 years old, short brown hair, and carrying a blonde girl wearing pyjamas "roughly four years of age", has never gone out of his head, he said.

On 20 September, the Irishman once again contacted the authorities. He was "distressed", going on to explain that when he saw the McCanns on the TV news on 9 September getting off the plane that had just landed in England, now as "arguidos" he sensed that he was witnessing a "repeat of the events of the night" on which he had seen the man "carrying the child back in Portugal". The way Gerry was carrying one of his children, Sean, whose head was resting on his shoulder, was "exactly" the same way the unidentified man in Portugal carried his child.

The PJ asked for more information. On 23 January Mr. Smith gave another statement to the police in Drogheda, Ireland. He repeated that he was 60 to 80 per cent sure that the man he had seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz was Gerry.

In the final report on the investigation, the PJ guarantee, however, that at the time Smith says he saw Gerry in the street, Madeleine's father was sitting at the table in the Tapas restaurant in the Ocean Club.

Inspector thought that "all of them" were lying

The police wanted to find out everything about the McCanns from the very beginning of the investigation. What they had eaten, the colour of the clothes they had on, what they had with them, what they were wearing, the arrangement of the furniture in the apartment they had rented in the Ocean Club, if they had left windows or doors open. And at what times they did what. Everything they could remember, the most minute details of the day on which their daughter Madeleine disappeared.

Kate and Gerry and all members of the group that dined in the resort restaurant (the Tapas) on 3 May while their children slept in their apartments, gave their version of the facts, a very consistent version. But, with time, the police detected "little distortions of the information they had initially given and one could register slight alterations to the truth, affecting the investigation and the direction they would force it to take", Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida writes in a report included in the files.

The detailed reports submitted separately by Madeleine's father and mother on what they had done up to the disappearance of their daughter were not always coherent or identical. There was doubt, for example, as to whether or not they had slept in the same bed on the night before or how much time David Payne has spent in the McCanns' apartment on the afternoon of 3 May.

In the course of the investigation, Ricardo Paiva, the PJ inspector in charge of liaison between the police and the McCanns, reports, on 3 September, on "various instances of 'strange' behaviour on the part of the couple, as they gradually reacted increasingly negatively to the intensifying investigation work" being carried out by the PJ. Paiva makes reference to the fact that the couple suggested to the police that they continue to focus on the abduction theory and that they should not "forget to continue to investigate the suspect Robert Murat", the first person named arguido in the case.

The inspector also writes that "strangely enough, Kate McCann also requested several times, more than three months after Madeleine's disappearance, that the police carry out tests on Madeleine's twin siblings' blood, hair and nails", as she had remembered that, in the night of the disappearance, the twins had not woken up despite all the noise during the searches and that "now she presumed that they were under the effect of some kind of sedative" the abductor had given to the three children.

To the investigators, the "information gathered at the beginning from the family members and friends was uncertain" and "worked over" by the group so as to "support the version they presented and maintained".

Chief Inspector Tavares de Almeida believes that the information that led to the investigators suspecting Robert Murat not only delayed the investigation "but may have also resulted in the loss of the child". And he adds: the statements from the whole group result in total incoherence, in view of which one can easily believe all of them are lying".

From the other side with love

Many of the reports of "psychic visions" and "predictions", as the PJ calls them, related with the McCann case were not disclosed. The police opted to file them in 22 files together with diverse "speculative reports" for the "mere possibility of a future need to consult them". So they were kept. Even so, the files that have been released do contain various reports of this type, some of which the PJ received via Siren (the European police exchange of information system). One such case, dated 14 May: a German woman informed the local police that she had had a "vision" and that the child was in Sagres, in a specific house in a specific street (she even gave the precise address). The woman said she "sensed" the child was alive, but "in a bad way".

Other reports arrived by mail, sometimes written by hand. "I live in Haarlem, in the Netherlands" wrote another person who said he/she was an antiques dealer and that a friend of Kate and Gerry McCann had come to his/her shop asking for help. After communication with the angels, he/she managed to produce a sketch of Madeleine's alleged abductor: a bald man whose face "she couldn't get out of his/her head". The drawing is dated 06.06.07.

In the vision, the abductor was near a house where there was a cellar with a metal bed and toys. "The room with the metal bed was also seen in a dream by my friend David", he/she added, before signing off "with love" and leaving contact information and promising to pray for the investigation.

In June, Interpol in Wiesbaden (Germany) forwarded the following communication the PJ: "The possible abductor of Madeleine McCann is called Kathleen and was employed by Madeleine's father. The abduction was an act of revenge because her mother died three years ago due to wrong medical treatment prescribed by the Dr. McCann. Madeleine is already dead and is in a yellow house in the village of Bidea. The informant says she derived this information from using a pendulum".

On 23 August 2007 a new report: someone named Mark called a PJ team and informed them that Maddie was at "no. 19, Rue du Boulanger in Fez, Morocco". The inspector who signed the "information report" to be submitted to a superior officer does not give much more detail and concludes: "[the man who called] further stated that the girl's parents could thank him for this information by giving thanks to Our Lady of Fatima. That is all the information I have with regard to purposes deemed fitting". It was not clear if anyone was sent to the address in Fez.

What the police wanted to do but the judges wouldn't let them

As the McCanns gradually became the main target of suspicion, on 1 August PJ Inspector Joao Carlos applied for authorisation to bug the house Kate and Gerry were staying in and also the hired car they were using. The aim was to gather "new evidence" to support the theory that Madeleine had died in the holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.

But judge Pedro Frias from the district court of Lagos rejected the request on the grounds that the law does not allow for the bugging of conversations for any of the illicit acts being investigated. Bugging is only possible for crimes, with a prison sentence of more than three years, related with drug, weapons or contraband trafficking, or violence, threat or coercion.

In order to pinpoint the location of each of those involved, and determine the movements of the arguidos in the case, the PJ and the Prosecutor's Office also applied for authorisation to analyse the information in the telephone communication (calls and text messages) between the McCanns and their friends.

This application was also rejected by the judge, who argued that there was no "legal basis" for the request. In the magistrate's understanding, access to the text messages between Madeleine’s parents and people they had contact with would mean "taking knowledge of the contents of telephone conversations or communications already made without there having been a prior judicial authorisation order". Hence, the exchange of messages between them remain unknown.
Two million for a child

Throughout the investigation, the police made a point of stressing that "there was never a demand for a ransom". Although, in June 2007, an Ocean Club employee received a voice message on her mobile phone in which someone asked for money in exchange for the child, which was not taken seriously…

On the other hand, there was no shortage of attempts to extort money from the McCanns. For example, on 13 August 2007, at 00.33 a.m., an e-mail was sent to from a French e-mail address, that was quickly forwarded to the PJ: "The child is in Morocco, in a place called Beni Mellal, roughly 100 km from Marrakesh", the sender wrote, leaving a contact number and asking for $500,000 in exchange for more information. The person added: "I swear this is not a lie. I work and don't have time to waste on lies. You have an alternative – not to pay the money and never to see poor little Madeleine alive again."

Before that, in June, a demand for €2 million in exchange for information that would lead them to Madeleine arrived from the Netherlands. "You’d better believe me", the unknown person e-mailed to the parents. The man was later arrested and confessed that he knew nothing about Madeleine. The same was the case with a couple in Spain (a Portuguese woman and Italian man) that asked the McCanns for money in return for information.

Bought by a paedophile ring?

A few months ago, on 22 April to be precise, Paulo Rebelo, the man who replaced Gonçalo Amaral at the head of the investigation, sent a fax to the Portuguese Interpol office. "Three days before Madeleine disappeared a Belgian paedophile ring apparently placed an order for a little girl. Someone connected to that paedophile network had seen Madeleine, taken a picture of her and sent it to Belgium. The buyer had agreed that the girl was what he was looking for and Maddie was then abducted."

Rebelo explains that the information was "intelligence" – i.e. confidential – and asks Interpol for cooperation with a view to finding out from the Belgian police authorities if they had gathered all information considered relevant in this matter.

However, the files do not show how Rebelo's request was followed up. Many of the exchanges of information between the police forces of different countries on people convicted of sex crimes and paedophiles have been taken out of the files before they were published. The explanation given: "to preserve the privacy of people who have nothing to do with this case". Nevertheless, the possibility that Madeleine's disappearance could be linked to the actions of paedophiles is referred to several times.

Kate writes: "Lack of information is torture"

"The son born to you will die…" This is part of a passage from the 2nd Book of Samuel that was marked in Kate's Bible and apprehended by the PJ. Why was that passage marked?

And why, two nights before Maddie disappeared, was the child, or one of her siblings, crying for more than an hour and a quarter – according to the statement of a neighbour who heard the crying in the McCann's apartment between 10.45 p.m. and midnight on 1 May.

And if the neighbour is right, does her statement not show that the parents did not interrupt their dinner every half hour to go check on their children in the apartment, given that the crying only ended when they came home? Could this not mean that, if there was an abduction, the abductor had a lot more time than one thought?

And did Kate ever say that she had a "bad feeling" about the trip to the Algarve? Gerry says she didn't. She herself didn’t answer that question (as well as others during her interrogation in September, when she and her husband were named arguidos). Matt, one of the seven friends on holiday with the couple in Praia da Luz, says she did say it.

In order to clear up some of these questions, in April this year the PJ asked the "holiday group" (nine people) to come to Portugal and take part in a re-enactment of what had happened. "Either you believe our version of the events of 3 May 2007 or you don't. If you believe it, what's the point of the re-enactment?", wrote one of the couples in an e-mail.

The re-enactment never materialised. Despite the fact that all said they wanted to cooperate in finding out the truth – particularly Kate, who said this in a letter to Paulo Rebelo of the PJ in December. In the letter, Maddie's mother pleads for information on the course of the investigations: "I appeal to you as a human being", she wrote. "The lack of information is torture."

The famous fingerprint of a GNR officer

At the end of the investigative process, the Public Prosecutor's Office writes that enormous efforts went into the investigation. Mark Harrison, a British specialist and advisor to all police forces in the UK on missing persons, kidnappings and murders, drafts a report explaining that "extensive professional efforts" were made to "find Madeleine McCann alive".

The files reflect that effort: in the days immediately following the disappearance, hundreds of men and women from the Maritime Police, PSP, PJ and GNR - which coordinated the searches in the areas – were out looking for the girl. There are numerous reports of police officers across the country being sent out to petrol stations to view CCTV footage (especially when someone reported something suspicious), though it is certain that many images remained unseen because they are kept for a very short time and quickly taped over.

The files also contain many reports from police officers, from practically all parts of the country, who actively investigated the most slender of suspicions. On 4 May, for example, a woman was seen pushing a pram with a child in it: the PSP in Lagos were alerted and two inspectors immediately went to the scene. They look for the woman, found her in the street, spoke to the child and found out she was Portuguese. Couldn’t have been Maddie. There are several such episodes.

But the investigation is far from flawless. Anyone used to watching the US crime series "CSI" will see crime scenes being cordoned off. In Praia da Luz, on the night of the disappearance, things were nothing like that. "People who were in the apartment where Madeleine disappeared and from close by were going in and out of the property and walking around inside it at their leisure, without any restriction", says the first PJ inspector who arrived on the scene. "One GNR officer said they had looked for the girl inside the closets and other parts of the apartment without taking any precaution with regards to leaving traces of themselves on the scene, on the one hand, and removing or adulterating any other traces of interest, on the other."

The fingerprints found on the scene show precisely that. For days investigators endeavoured to establish to whom the fingerprints on a window in the McCanns' apartment belonged. Only after searching the databases of police forces from several countries – in vain – did they establish that the fingerprint belonged to a GNR officer.

What was the point of the dogs after all?

In a report on 31 July 2007, the British specialist Mark Harrison, whose mission was to work with the Portuguese authorities, recommended that the investigation return to the McCann's apartment – and other places already search – with special dogs they had in the UK. These dogs, he explained, were specifically trained to detect cadaver odour and blood. "This search process could be repeated in all the apartments occupied by the friends who holidayed with the McCanns", he proposed.

So the dogs came. And they caused an uproar: they detected cadaver odour in the McCann's apartment, namely next to Kate and Gerry's closet, on garments belonging to Kate and on Maddie's cuddle toy (the same toy Kate was always seen holding after the girl disappeared). They also detected blood in the living room and in the boot of the car the McCanns had hired some time after the disappearance.

It was to a large extent based on these finds that Kate and Gerry were named arguidos in September. Because, as the PJ writes in the final report "in a first scientific examination" the British laboratory that analysed the traces collected (the Forensic Science Service) raised the possibility of the DNA found in the McCann's hired car being compatible with Maddie's.

But, in the end, the conclusion was reached that the material found "could not be attributed to any one person in particular".

A year and two months after the disappearance of Madeleine, the police acknowledged that they were in the same position they were in on 3 May 2007: with no lead. No evidence was gathered to charge any of the three persons named arguidos in the course of the investigation (the McCanns and Robert Murat, the man who had originally helped the PJ translate several witness statements early on in the investigation). On 21 July past, the Prosecutor's Office shelved the. The police investigation had come to an end.

PJ admit death of Maddie, 19 August 2008
PJ admit death of Maddie 24horas
Text: Carlos Tomas
19 August 2008
Thanks to 'viv' for translation
It was between the week of July 31 and August 6th, when the investigations related to Madeleine McCann's disappearance began to indicate that something was about to happen. The arrival of Eddie and Keela, dogs specialised in detecting cadaver odour and blood, together with the police surveillance of the friends with whom Maddie's parents dined in the Tapas Bar, confirmed a turnabout in the work of the police and the thesis of abduction was abandoned.

On the 31st of July, 2007, the first page of our journal did not make any illusions about the case, but in the beginning of August information surfaced that suggested a complete turnabout in the investigation. On the 1st of August, a British Team specialising in crimes against children reached the Algarve to help the PJ investigators. At that point, the team wanted to establish the profile of an abductor, but the information that was available was tenuous and a conclusion was never reached. On that same day, Gerry McCann uttered a phrase, published in our journal, "The vital piece of information may only be a phone-call away!" It was never clear to the authorities what this piece of information was supposed to be and what number should be called in the event [the information needed to be transmitted].

Tanner is Sorry
The woman who claims to have seen Maddie's abduction is full of remorse for not having stopped the crime. In accordance with the files being made public on the 20th, it is true that, as 24horas pointed out, the searches carried out in the home in which Murat lived, which involved an excavation machine, and later the English dogs, did not result in any proof that tied him to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Also proven in the files is that he did not know the McCanns or their friends before this case.

From a reading of legal documents, to which 24horas has access, it is evident that Jane Tanner was never in the street where she claimed to have seen Maddie's alleged abductor. Employees of the Tapas Bar stated that she did not leave the restaurant between 19h30 and 22h30--when the disappearance occurred--and Gerry, nor his friend, who were on this same street, remember having seen the Briton [Jane] and much less the abductor. It was some two months after the disappearance when Tanner remembered to tell the authorities what the abductor was wearing and also helped in creating the photo-fit.

The person that came again to be implicated was Robert Murat, until that time, the only arguido in the process. The British press told that he already knew Jane Tanner and her companion Russell O'Brien before the disappearance of the child—a fact that was outright denied by 24horas. The coverage of the case, by our journal centered on the 3rd and 4th of August, in a lead from Belgium. A woman, a children's therapist, claimed to have seen Maddie in a café called "De Panzel" accompanied by a couple. With information given to them, the Belgian police issued a photo-fit together with a national alert. However, this time, [the photo-fit] was opposite to the photo made with the help of Jane Tanner, and had a face. Also found was a milk-shake bottle that was supposedly consumed by the little girl in that café. The authorities hoped that test carried out on that bottle matched Madeleine’s DNA. But the exams were not a match.

On the 5th of August, things started to get complicated for the McCanns. In accordance with a notice put out by 24horas, on the evening of, authorities had begun searching with the British dogs. The investigations began in Murat’s house, at the point, the only arguido. Nothing incriminating was found.
But on the 6th of August the floodgates opened. Searches made in the Ocean Club apartment complex rented by the McCanns, the dogs detected cadaver odour and blood smells. Our headline that morning read "British dogs detect death in Maddie's room." Later came the detection of blood and cadaver odour in the McCann rental car. Refer to the fact that, according to the British specialists, the dogs can only lead to clues regarding dead human brings. The McCanns opted, at the time, for silence.

Mysterious photos, 19 August 2008
Mysterious photos 24horas
Tourist Holds Photographs that Prove that Kate Changed Clothing
Text: Luís Maneta
19 August 2008
Thanks to 'viv' for translation
A man guarantees to have images that can reopen the process. These show that Kate was away during the dinner and came back wearing different clothes
French journalist-blogger who has written dozens of articles regarding the Maddie Case confirms that a set of 24 photographs exist. The photos were taken in the Tapas Bar restaurant, in Praia da Luz, the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared. According to Duarte Levy, the photographs were snapped by a tourist who holidayed with his wife and a couple. According to Duarte Levy ---who told 24horas that he had seen some of the images—the colour photographs show the McCann couple and the Brits with whom they holidayed. The photographs were taken between 20h10 and 22h15, in the Tapas Bar. In one of the images, explains the journalist, it is possible to see that Kate McCann changed clothes during dinner. Remember that the group version of events tell us that Kate left the restaurant around 22h when Maddie disappeared. When he was made an arguido, Gerry McCann confirmed to the PJ that on the night in question, he did not take a camera with him. Nor does he remember what any member of the group did. He also said that he does not remember what clothing Kate used on the day Maddie disappeared. The owner of the photographs, adds Levy, had already contacted British journalists with the aim of selling the rights to publish the photos—with a condition—that the images be first shown to the Portuguese police.
600,000 Euros for the Images
In declarations 24horas, Duarte Levy indicated that the tourist sent the images to the British Centre For The Protection of Children (CEOP) whom have collaborated with Portuguese authorities in the gathering of information regarding the Maddie Case. Shortly after, he was contacted by an important Legal Office in the U.K. who offered him 600,000 euros for the photographs. "The solicitors asked him not to speak about the contents of the images, nor did they want them sent to Portugal—for this reason, the negotiation was not made", explained Duarte Levy. Throughout the judicial process, the responsible case investigators consistently sought images from the night of May 3rd. They were unsuccessful.

The photographic record of apartment 5A, made only a few hours after the disappearance of Maddie by a Judicial Police specialist, did not allow Gonçalo Amaral to collect details that could be decisive in resolving the case. "The photos, or video images, needed to fix, for history, that which each of the present group were wearing. This could have had a major relevance for the evolution of the investigation", wrote Gonçalo Amaral in his book "The Truth of the Lie."
Side column:
"We are not suspects"
The English newspaper "The People" accused Duarte Levy, that he had sought to sell the photographs taken on the night Maddie disappeared for 50 thousand pounds, about 60 thousand euros, and assured that they refused the business and advised the McCann couple.
In a statement to 24 hours, Levy denied the story: "I am not the owner of the photos, I restricted myself to try to help several British journalists in Brussels."
In statements to the newspaper, spokesman for the McCanns, Clarence Mitchell said that Kate and Gerry "Are angry and upset" with the case, recalling that "they are no longer suspects" in the process. Still, confessing ignorance whether Kate changed clothes that night. "If she did, so what?", asks Mitchell, quoted by "The People".

Mysterious photos interest the PJ, 20 August 2008
Mysterious photos interest the PJ 24Horas
Judiciária "attentive" towards new evidence in the Maddie case
Text: Luís Maneta
20 August 2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
Police investigate the possible existence of new photos from the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared
The Judiciária is analysing the case of the supposed existence of photographs that were taken by a tourist inside the Tapas Bar restaurant on the day that Madeleine disappeared, a source at the PJ stated to 24horas.

"Despite the archiving of the judicial process, we remain attentive to any fact or any piece of evidence that allows for us to clarify the circumstances under which the child disappeared", the same source referred. If the facts justify it, the process may even be reopened.

Yesterday, 24horas published statements from French journalist and blogger Duarte Lévy, in which he says that he saw some of the 24 photos that a tourist says he took inside the Tapas Bar between 8.10 and 10.15 p.m. on the 3rd of May.

At that time, the McCann couple dined with the group of seven British tourists that accompanied them in their Algarvian holidays, until the moment, at around 10 p.m., when Kate got up from the table. She would return shortly afterwards, saying that Maddie had disappeared.

Easily identifiable

According to Duarte Levy, the images "are not consistent" with the report that was made by the English to the PJ, about what happened that evening.

According to the journalist, the photographs were taken by a tourist who was having dinner at the Tapas Bar, in the company of his wife and another couple.

Based on this description, the PJ should not have any difficulties in reaching the owner of the photos, given that at a certain point in the process the reservation list of the restaurant was apprehended.

24horas has been able to establish that on the 3rd of May, apart from the McCann group – that had booked a table for 8.30 p.m. and where 9 persons were seated – there were only three other tables that were occupied by four persons, identified by their surnames: Edmonds, Buller and Patell. All of them were already inside the Tapas Bar when Kate and Gerry McCann arrived there, only a few minutes after the scheduled hour.

MADELEINE FILES: kidnap or death in apartment early theory, 18 August 2008 (updated 21 August 2008)
MADELEINE FILES: kidnap or death in apartment early theory Portugal Resident
Updated: 18 August 2008
A SUMMARY by police in February 2008 reveals for the first time that there were only two possible causes, in their opinion, that could account for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
The report, written on February 5 by investigators, concludes that by analysing the evidence up to that , police felt that Madeleine was kidnapped or killed, either accidentally or deliberately, in the apartment and her body later moved to another location.

The report goes on to gives detailed reasons as to why these conclusions have been drawn.  

The possibility of kidnap is taken from evidence including the statement made by Kate describing windows in the apartment being open that were not open earlier.

The testimony by Jane Tanner is also taken into account and her statement describing an individual carrying a child in their arms at 9.15pm adds to the theory that Madeleine was kidnapped from the apartment.

Police files reveal that the alternative explanation for Madeleine's disappearance is that she died in the apartment and her body was then removed.

The summary states that the specialist British police dog, Eddie, detected the smell of a dead body in the apartment near the window and behind the sofa.

The dog also detected signs of a body in the Renault car hired by the McCanns by the driver's side door and in other areas in and around the apartment used by the McCanns.

Keela, the dog used to detect the smell of human blood, is reported in the files as finding the smell of blood in the sitting room of the apartment, adding to the suspicions by the police that Madeleine had been killed in the apartment.

The reliability of using the dogs is explained in the summary at length with testimony by the dog handler also used in the report and it is clear that the police believe the results yielded by the dogs were reliable in the investigation.

At no point in the summary is anyone specifically accused of killing or kidnapping Madeleine.
Updated version:
MADELEINE: Police should search for body said British expert Portugal Resident
Updated: 21 August 2008
A SUMMARY by police in February 2008 reveals, for the first time, that there were only two possible causes, in their opinion, that could account for the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The report, written on February 5 by investigators, concludes that by analysing the evidence up to that point, police felt that Madeleine was kidnapped or killed, either accidentally or deliberately, and continues to give detailed reasons as to why these conclusions have been drawn. 

The possibility of kidnap is taken from evidence including the statement made by Kate describing windows in the apartment being open that were not open earlier.

The testimony by Jane Tanner is also taken into account and her statement describing an individual carrying a child in their arms at 9.15pm adds to this theory. Police files reveal that the alternative explanation for Madeleine's disappearance is that she died in the apartment and her body was then removed.

The summary states that the specialist British police dog, Eddie, detected the smell of a dead body in the apartment near the window and behind the sofa. 

The dog also detected signs of a body in the Renault car hired by the McCanns and in other areas in and around the apartment used by the McCanns. Keela, the dog used to detect the smell of human blood, is reported in the files as finding the smell of blood in the sitting room of the apartment, adding to the suspicions by the police that Madeleine died in the apartment.

At no point in the summary is anyone specifically accused of killing or kidnapping Madeleine.

In July 2007 Mark Harrison MBE of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) made a report to the Portuguese police stating that in his opinion: "Police have concentrated on finding Madeleine alive, they now need to start to consider other options and the possibility that she has been killed and her body hidden."

Mark Harrison assessed the Portuguese investigation between May and July and recommended that areas should be searched again but using dogs that detect blood and dead bodies.

The McCanns have countered the reports from the police files and have pledged to continue to look for their daughter. Gerry McCann told press: "The content of these files has been extensively reported.  It will be clear to everyone now that there is absolutely no evidence that suggests Madeleine has been seriously harmed, we strongly believe that Madeleine is out there and can be found."

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the McCanns have hired a new detective agency to help in the search for their daughter. The unnamed US firm reportedly uses former members of the FBI and CIA.

Clarence Mitchell confirmed: "It is correct that an international firm of investigators has been appointed.  I am unable to say anything about them because of the covert nature of their work".

Metodo 3, the Spanish private investigators used by the McCanns, are still involved in the case but are dealing with leads in Iberia and northern Africa while the new team will be looking at international leads.

McCanns relied heavily on others to care for their children, 28 August 2008
McCanns relied heavily on others to care for their children Portugal Resident
Updated: 28 August, 2008
CHILD CARERS working at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz noticed that the McCann children spent the maximum time available in the care of the resort's kids club according to police files released to the media surrounding the case.

The usual routine of Gerry and Kate McCann was to put the children in the nursery facility at about 9am and then pick them up between midday and 12.30pm to give the children lunch before bringing them back at 3pm and returning at the end of the day between 5pm and 5.30pm.

Other children in the tapas nine party would not spend as much time away from their parents. The other parents in the group, the files reveal, would normally leave their children with the babysitting service only in the morning sessions.

The police files also gives details about Madeleine's personality as described by her father, Gerry and those that spent time with Madeleine while they were on holiday in the Algarve.

Madeleine was described by Gerry as being an extrovert, very active and having happy relationships with other children. She would never go with a stranger and he states clearly that she was not taking any medication.

In a statement made by one of the nannies working at the Ocean Club, Madeleine was described as being a calm, beautiful and happy child.

However, she was portrayed as being more shy than the other children at the kids club.


Meanwhile, reports in the British media have claimed that there is now less than 500,000 pounds sterling in the Find Madeleine fund.

The private investigation agency Oakley International has reportedly cost the fund half a million pounds sterling, despite not yielding any concrete results.

This had led to Brian Kennedy, the British double glazing tycoon who has donated large sums of money to the Find Madeleine campaign, voicing his dissatisfaction in the investigators.

A statement was issued on behalf of the McCanns on Tuesday countering the claims in the press concerning the status of the private investigators via the website

"We appointed them (Oakley International) several months ago to investigate the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. We continue to work with them to this end. The working relationship is managed by Brian Kennedy, who also confirms the relationship with Oakley International continues to be good and that it remains entirely focused on the search for Madeleine."

Madeleine McCann: The child the whole world was looking for, 30 August 2008
Madeleine McCann: The child the whole world was looking for (German language site)
What actually happened that night Madeleine McCann disappeared? The SZ has evaluated the investigation files.
By J. Caceres and N. Judge
30.08.2008    9:43 Uhr
Thanks to 'Jeanne d'Arc' for translation
Late in the evening of the 3rd May 2007, the manager of the Ocean Club holiday resort, Silvia Maria Batista, was called back to work. At the reception of the holiday village in Praia da Luz in southern Portugal are police officers, and Gerald McCann, a British guest, kneels and screams and bangs his hands on the ground. He reminds her of an Arab praying.

Batista accompanies him to his apartment, number 5A, where there is great confusion. McCanns wife, devastated Kate Healy, sits on the bed, several friends of the Britons enter and leave the living room making phonecalls. They talk of a kidnapping.

Madeleine McCann, the daughter of the couple, barely four years old, disappeared from her bed, while the parents sat in a restaurant. When the mother checks at 10 pm, she feels a draught in the room, the window is open, Madeleines bed is empty, only her plush cat and a pink blanket are there, the sheets are turned back. The siblings Sean and Amelie, two-year old twins, sleep, as if nothing had happened.

Ms. Batista notes that none of the British are outside looking for the child, they are all talking only about calling the media.

Soon Madeleine becomes the icon of all disappeared children, she will visualise to every family in the world how fate can strike, even when happiness seems to be perfect, successful parents with healthy children, relaxing with friends in Praia da Luz - on "Beach of the light."

The crime meanwhile remains without solution. After 13 months, the Portuguese police has closed the case this summer and published the files. Testimonies, crime scene photos, DNA analysis, tapped phonecalls tell on more than 20000 pages of the unsuccessful hunt for potential perpetrators - but also about the confrontation between the Portuguese authorities, driven by the media, and a British family who have no other way out of their pain than a nonstop call for help all over the world. The Madeleine case has been a cultural battle between British and Portuguese, between city and country.

If there is one lesson to be learned from the file, it is this: Even the costliest investigation and exciting media campaigns cannot solve criminal cases, if relatives and police officers on the scene blur vital tracks in the first minutes. Maybe that is why Madeleine, the most famous child in the world, has not been seen since 3 May 2007.
1st The Witnesses Link
Nine hours after Madeleine's disappearance, on Friday morning, 7 o'clock, the case is leading the news of the British satellite broadcaster Sky News. Agencies, radio, television and newspapers follow suit, the mystery becomes a global event.

Hundreds of reporters travelling to the Algarve, Larry King sends his CNN talk show from here. Every movement of the investigators is being analysed, criticised, broadcast live to the world. For Portugal, the reputation as a tourist destination is at stake, for the British the Maddie case is a state affair.

Portugal's judicial police are confronted with thousands of clues within hours. Countless people come forward because they think they have recognised the girl. Initially Madeleine is still sighted in the vicinity of Praia da Luz.

Then she is seen allegedly, partly at the same time, in places that are thousands of kilometres apart, in Indonesia, Singapore, in a bakery in Porto. Soon, a hundred investigators are on duty, questioning the 112 hotel employees alone and evaluating the details of numerous witnesses.

One remembers a man who photographed children, and he still knows the car number of the residents. The officials allocate it to a couple from Poland. When these two tourists, three days after Madeleines disappearance, on Sunday morning at seven return to their Warsaw apartment, the Polish police knock on their door. Volume I of the Act, page 216, shows the comment from Interpol: Madeleine is not in the apartment.

That is how it is until today. In August this year, the Croatian soccer star Dino Drpic just prevents a British tourist on the island of Krk from taking his son. The woman thought the child was Madeleine.
2nd The Suspicious Neighbour Link
Robert Murat quickly turns into the perfect suspect. Murat, 33, unemployed, claims to have only heard on Friday morning of Madeleine from his mother Jenny. She had watched Sky News. Only then did they understand the sirens of the previous night, they claimed. In the morning Murat makes his way to the Ocean Club, only 150 metres from the house of his mother.

Murat, the son of a Portuguese and an Englishwoman, wants to help. And aggrandises himself. He listens in on every conversation, speculates, translates. His tone is so commanding that witnesses ask if he is leading the investigation.

In the turmoil of the first days Murat has gained a power position like hardly anyone else: He speaks English and Portuguese. Until a correspondent of a British tabloid supplies him with an assessment, which shocked him. In the eyes of her colleagues the woman says, he is suspect number one.

They scour his life and learn that he was divorced from his wife and is missing his daughter, the same age as Madeleine. A man craving for recognition, certainly, but a paedophile? The journalist from the Sunday Mirror reports him.

In the complaint she says that it had disturbed her that Murat phoned his daughter in front of reporters and derived a "big show". The police in Portugal had long since received an anonymous call: The perpetrator was "very close" to the police . But nothing incriminates him so much than the statements from the camp of the McCanns.

On the night of the disappearance Jane Tanner, a friend of the McCanns, allegedly remembered something. When she briefly left the tapas restaurant after nine o'clock to check on her daughter, she noticed a man who hurriedly carried away a child in pyjamas and bare feet. The police startled: An abductor would have had to observe the apartment and the routine of the parents checks, and he would have had an escape route planned. The safest would have been to the left of the entrance door of the apartment 5A. But the man described by Tanner went right. In the direction of the villa of the Murat family.

Suddenly everything seemed to fit together. Three friends of the McCanns testify that Murat was already at the OC on the night of the crime; one of them gives a statement on 16 May on page 1321 of the File to put on record that Murat "without any doubt" had worn glasses. On 11 July, the same witness is stating in another hearing that Murat even gave him his mobile phone number, but only in the morning.

Murat denies that he was on the scene that night. And police, hotel employees and neighbours, who searched until the morning for Madeleine, assure that he was not there. But the lonely Murat is already considered an arguido, as charged.

The judiciary approves of every intervention.

On 14 May investigators browse through Murat's house and car, collect hair, look at the covers of the cisterns in the garden for blood, photograph the swimming pool, garden shed and rooms. They take a cutout from a paper to the file: "Lock up your daughters," says the headline. It is the review of a biography of Casanova, the "cheater and paedophile".

When Murat makes phonecalls, the police listen in without his knowledge. Once he says to a friend: "They have crucified me, but I hope that they (the police) concentrate on the essentials, and that is to find the monsters that have this girl."

The media shower Murat with dirt, he has to endure the statement of a childhood friend sent anonymously to the newspaper Correio da Manha and distributed worldwide. The witness said that Murat, as a child, had raped a cat. At the end the police exonerate him of any suspicion, but his reputation is destroyed.
3rd The Parents Link

For Madeleine's parents the holiday in the Algarve, is the first pause after exhausting years. Since the birth of the twins, Gerald McCann tells in a hearing, his wife and he ony went out together once. At the Algarve they now take time for themselves.

During the day they send their children to the creche, on the evening of the 3rd May they bring the children to bed at 19.30, and as always go to dinner at 20:30. The sliding door to the terrace remains unlocked and they don't call on the baby-sitting service of the hotel.

In the tapas restaurant they meet seven friends who came with them from Britain, the apartment is not visible from the table. The waiter says that he had placed four bottles of wine on the table right at the beginning, since they usually empty double the amount in the course of one evening. Because they are so cheerful, the employees call them the "Tennis Group".

That Madeleine was killed by her parents, is a theory the police only starts to aggressively pursue in August, three months after the crime. Until then, it had been only wondered. In his book "The Truth of the Lie" Gonçalo Amaral, who headed the investigation, describes how Kate once accompanied the police, only reluctantly, even though they told her the girl had been seen.

What takes place in mid-June is strange. An e-mail arrives in which an extortionist offers to reveal, for two million euros, the whereabouts of the girl. Gerald McCann answers via a police computer. The tension among the policemen was great while waiting for the extortionist's reaction - but McCann was talking about football with a British policeman.

Better evidence only emerges in August. A British expert has proposed two dogs, which are specialised in corpses and blood smell. The cost: 1000 euros per day plus accommodation, 2750 for travel and 450 for the dogs passports.

The effort seems to be worthwhile. In August the dogs indicate - not with Murat, but in the apartment 5A, behind the sofa, in the wardrobe, on clothes of the mother, on the plush cat and in the car of the parents. In Apartment 5A there has never been a case of death. Did Madeleine die here?

The police take the image of the happy family apart. In a 16-page memo of 11 September 2007 they state: The parents have killed the child accidentally and have used their cronies to cover up the facts. The McCanns, it says, live in a demanding society "full of rules".
From the point of view of the Portuguese a demanding life, especially for a father who as a heart surgeon is "cool", but also exhausted. There is only freedom during the holidays, this being the reason why the parents have the children looked after. "The holiday time is not being divided between parents and children," it says. And Madeleine, a lively child who even at night gets up from time to time, might have been calmed with medicines.
Now the statement of a female neighbour gains new weight who one night heard Madeleine cry for more than an hour, calling "Daddy, Daddy". An indication that the parents did not, as claimed, leave the restaurant every half hour to have a look at the children.

The way the police now see it, it is certain that the child must have died between 5.30 p.m. when she was seen in the creche for the last time and 10 p.m., and that the parents have hidden the body. Part of this cover-up is therefore the parents' immediate fixation on an abduction and the appeals to the media. If they had seriously believed in a kidnapping, it says in the entry, they would have behaved discreetly, as "every intelligent person knows that in kidnap cases the public is a hindrance to the enquiries and endangers the safety of the victim."

First Murat, then the McCanns: lacking better clues, the Portuguese keep pursuing those who put themselves in the most prominent position. But is it thinkable that parents lose their child and then meet for supper in a friendly get-together? Is a mother able to do that - and one who is a doctor ?

On the other hand the police ask themselves: How can it be that the mother enters the bedroom of her children at 10 p.m., finds the window open and her daughter gone – and then does not for instance call for help from the veranda, but runs 150 metres as far as the restaurant? During which time the twins are left alone, with the window open? And why do the twins not wake up all night long, although several helpers search the flat?

At the beginning of September the police invite the mother again for questioning. Kate Healy has to retell the whole of 3 May. But the investigators hope in vain that she breaks down. The following day, before the questioning continues, she is declared an arguida.

The law wants it like this: As an arguida she may remain silent, in order not to incriminate herself. More than 30 questions rain down on her. Why did she leave the twins alone? Whom did she ring? Could she sleep that night? Did she give the children medicine? This time she answers not a single question.

A few hours later Gerald McCann is being questioned and declared an arguido. Other than his wife, he answers, but it does not help the investigators. The McCanns return to Britain. The police want all nine friends back, they want a true reconstruction of the evening of the crime. The Britons refuse.
4th The Police Link

When the prosecutor José de Menezes e Magalhaes held the final report of the judicial police in his hands on 20 June 2008 , he cannot fail to praise the hard work of the investigators. The distillation includes 4500 pages in 17 volumes, plus 12000 pages of bills, interception, analysis and legal assistance, and finally 5000 pages with apparently worthless notes from the population.

The police have visited 443 homes, searched 30 square kilometres with two helicopters, four ships and jeeps. The laboratories examined 257 hairs from homes and cars; this alone cost tens of thousands of euros. But in the end, the investigators have nothing in their hands.

How can that be?

The biggest mistake happened at the beginning: In the hectic first few hours, the apartment is turned upside down, the most crucial tracks are destroyed. Friends, policemen and employees bend over the bed, search under it, touching the window and patio door. "Nobody had the calm and mind, to secure the scene," complains the prosecutor.

When the CID dusted the windows with the red powder "Dragon Blood" to secure fingerprints it turns out that the clearest impression is that of a country policeman from Lagos. The attempt to secure footprints weeks later fails: There are too many feet of sniffer dogs to see.

Also incredible that Murat, the former suspect, interpreted in more than a dozen interrogations. Amaral, the police chief, regrets that he was driven by the public. "The pressure has never left us," he writes, investigations against the parents were long omitted out of political consideration. The prosecutor also complained that the "Media orgy" distracted the investigators and that the dignity of the suspects was violated, who were partly slaughtered, see Murat.

But the cooperation poses questions. On 16 May a couple reported to the British police that David Payne, a friend of the McCann-circle, was once noticed for obscene gestures, which could have been applicable to Madeleine. The Portuguese learned of the statement in the autumn. The prosecutor quoted from the detective novel "The Promise" by Friedrich Dürrenmatt: "Logic can only partly explain the reality"

In the File is a copy of Madeleines passport number 453847661. It expired on 4th August 2008. Her mother says she feels that her child is alive.

The tennis tournament, 01 September 2008
The tennis tournament Gazeta Digital
Paulo Reis
On the afternoon of May 3, 2007, a tennis tournament was planned, only for the men, organised by the Ocean Club management. The Tapas 7 and their children went to the beach. Madeleine and the twins spent the morning at the creches and had lunch with Gerry and Kate, in the apartment. The children were taken back to the creches between 2:30/2:50 pm, according to Gerry's statement to PJ on May 10, 2007.
After lunch, the McCann couple spent some time at the tennis courts and later Kate went jogging to the beach. Gerry stayed playing. They met again around 5:30 pm, in the area near the Tapas Bar, where all the children from both creches were having "high tea".
Kate said that she and Gerry went back to apartment, with the children, around 5:40 pm and gave them a bath, together (statement to PJ, September 6, 2007). They thought about taking the children to the playground area, after the bath, but decided not to do it, that day, because the children were really very tired. Just before 6:00 pm, Gerry left the apartment and went to the tennis court.
Kate had just finished taking a shower, around 6:30/6:40 pm, when somebody knocked at the door (the door facing the swimming pool). She put a towel around herself and went to the door, where she saw David Payne. Payne went to the apartment to help take the children to the playground, according to Kate, because Gerry asked him to do that.
According to his statement, on September 7, 2007, Gerry was playing tennis. At around 6:30 pm, David Payne arrived from the Paraíso bar, and asked him if he was going to keep playing. Gerry said he didn't know, because Kate could need some help to take care of the three children, as they intended to take them to the playground, after the bath.
Gerry "thinks" Payne offered to check if Kate needed help, and came back a few minutes after. Questioned about the contradiction with his previous statement (from May 4, 2007), where he told that Payne came back 30 minutes after leaving to check Kate and the children, Gerry said that he was referring to the period of time it took Payne to come back to the tennis courts for a second time - David returned to the tennis courts, a few minutes after 6:30 pm, following his check on Kate. Then, he went out again, according to Gerry, to go to his apartment in order to change his clothes to play tennis.
When Payne knocked at the A5 apartment, Kate said she talked with him for 30 seconds (statement to PJ, September 7, 2007) and told him the children were not going to the playground area, as planned. Payne didn't come inside the living room, he just stood at the door, and left for the tennis courts, around 6:30/6:40, according to Kate. Gerry came back from tennis at 7:00 pm (he left at 7:20, according to the other three Tapas' men, Russell, Matthew and David Payne, who played tennis until up to 8:00 pm).
At the end of the questioning, on September 7, 2007, PJ detectives asked Gerry if Madeleine had ever been hurt, during her stay at the Ocean Club. Gerry said that he would not comment on that. After the detectives asked the last and formal question – if he had anything else to declare – Gerry McCann said that he saw no evidence that Madeleine was dead, so he would continue searching, hoping to find her alive.
When the same formal – and usual – question was put to his lawyer, Mr. Pinto de Abreu, he requested that his client was questioned again about whether Madeleine had ever bled. Gerry answered and said that Madeleine bled frequently, from her nose, but he ignored it if it had happened during the holidays in Portugal.
David Payne, in his statement to Leicestershire Police (LP), on April 2008, said that Gerry asked him to check if everything was all right with Kate, around 6:30 pm, May 3, 2007. After talking with Kate for 3 to 5 minutes, he went to his own apartment, dressed for tennis and went to play with Matthew, Russell and Gerry – but Madeleine's father just played for a little while and left.
Payne, Matthew, Russell and Dan, the Ocean Club tennis coach, played until certainly after half past seven, perhaps until just before eight o'clock, according to David Payne. But Fiona Payne told Leicester Police that her husband was back in the apartment around ten minutes past seven. Her mother, Dianne Webster, was more precise, in her statement to LP: she left the tennis court about seven o'clock, May 3, 2007, with her granddaughters and her son-in-law and arrived (back in their apartment) ten minutes later and helped her to bath the children.
This article is based on statements from:
  • Gerry McCann (May 4, May 10 and September 7, 2007, PJ);

  • Kate McCann (September 6, 2007, PJ)

  • David Payne (April, 2008, LP)

  • Fiona Payne (April, 2008, LP)

  • Dianne Webster (April, 2008, LP)

  • Russel O'Brien (April, 2008, LP)

  • Matthew Oldfield (April, 2008, LP)

Couple resembled Gerry, Murat and Payne, 02 September 2008
Couple resembled Gerry, Murat and Payne Correio da Manha
New lead: Spanish lawyer threatens with popular action
Manuela Teixeira
02 September 2008 - 00h30
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
The Spanish lawyer, who has now revealed a new lead concerning the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, advances further details about the couple that accompanied a little English girl that resembled Maddie, on the 18th of January, in Santander.
Contacted by CM, Manuel Maysounave says that the woman who he saw at the bus station 'resembled Gerry, Madeleine's father'. The lawyer states that it was only after he studied more closely some photographs of the persons involved in the process that he managed to recognise the face of Gerry McCann in that woman. 'I think it could be a relative of his. Despite using sunglasses, she strongly resembled Gerry', said Maysounave.

Concerning the man, aged around 50, the Spaniard says that 'it could be Robert Murat or David Payne, the McCanns' friend', who was on holiday with the couple in Praia da Luz and whose involvement was considered suspicious at various moments of the process. Despite the fact that both men are very different, physically, the lawyer insists that it could be one of them, 'maybe with a changed appearance'.

This is the information that Manuel Maysounave wants to report to the process, and if he is not summoned to give a deposition, he even admits the possibility of advancing a popular judicial action. 'I didn't say this earlier because I didn't want to disturb', argues the lawyer, who now makes an appeal, by letter to the instruction judge at the Portimao Court to reopen the Maddie process.

18th of January

Missing for 260 days – Maddie had been missing for 260 days when the Spanish lawyer says that he saw the little girl.

Judicial secrecy – On the day before, it had been revealed that the process would remain covered by the judicial secrecy until September.

Mari Luz – The disappearance of the Spanish girl was the target of the media.

Kate phones – The Mari Luz case enlivened the Maddie case. Kate McCann phoned the parents of the Spanish child.

Guilty, 03 September 2008

Culpados (Guilty)

Guilty Focus magazine (no online link to magazine)
03 September 2008, Issue 464/2008
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
Text from cover:
61 percent of the British and the Portuguese point their finger at the McCanns:
Maddie case - GUILTY - An international poll by Focus shows that England and Portugal have no doubts: Kate and Gerry McCann are responsible for their daughter's disappearance. And they believe that the little girl is dead.

What is coming in the Maddie case - The counter-attack by Gonçalo Amaral - Deceived McCann couple loses half their fortune
Text from article:
Maddie McCann case: International poll by Focus
61% say that they are guilty
Article by Joao Vasco Almeida
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
The first international poll about the Maddie case, done by Focus, reveals that both Portuguese and British are certain that Kate and Gerry McCann are guilty over their daughter's disappearance. Concerning the little girl's destiny, the numbers are even colder: She is dead.

The number is crushing: more than two thirds of the British and the Portuguese population blame the McCann couple for the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, aged three, on the 3rd of May 2008 [sic], from an apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve. An opinion poll that was commended to Eurosondagem by Portuguese Focus, and carried out in Portugal, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland leaves no margin for doubts. Despite the behavioural and cultural differences, the majority of populations replies affirmatively to two of the most direct questions of this inedited poll.

Nevertheless, when the numbers are evaluated according to nationalities, it becomes clear that in Portugal the blame that is popularly attributed to the McCanns rises to 77.5 percent. This means that only 22% of the population still believes that the Scottish couple has no responsibility in the disappearance of their eldest daughter.

The British, on the other hand, are divided, although the majority agrees with the Portuguese. The majority, 44.6 percent, states without a doubt that doctors Kate and Gerry are guilty over the disappearance of little Maddie.

The first question of the poll is unequivocal. In both countries, all the persons say that they know what happened on the 3rd of May. This means that it is not necessary to explain the McCann couple’s drama to anyone. Everyone, really everyone knows.

What divides the Portuguese and the British is the belief in Maddie's destiny. While in Portugal it is believed that the child is dead, far away there is a hope that she is well. The abduction theory collects the sympathy of 72.9 percent of the British, against only 11 percent that sustain the death theory. But it is significant that 15 percent of the British wish to reply "I don’t know" to the question concerning the cause of the disappearance.

Q1. Did you hear about the disappearance of an English child, on holidays in the Algarve, during the summer of 2007?

Portugal Yes: 100%

United Kingdom Yes: 100%

Yes: 100%*
Everyone knows

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann is the most covered event by the entire media in 2007 and 2008. There is no disaster, no attack or political subject that surpasses the media treatment that was given to the case of the little British girl in the media. As an example, there are one and a half million internet pages that are dedicated to the disappearance of the little British child. Sky News, an English television station, broadcast more than one thousand hours, dedicated to the case. In the four Portuguese channels, the number attains almost three thousand hours, with news, debates and special programmes. All the national newspapers, both in Portugal and in the UK, placed the case on their front cover hundreds of times. During the first few days, no element of the media in the whole world ignored the case, with news being published from Germany to Zimbabwe. It is even more interesting to know that for the same news item, like the possible sighting of the girl in Amsterdam, there are 1553 different texts in English, ranging from the BBC to the Public Australian Radio.

More than news, there are already four books about the Madeleine case, three essays and one work of fiction, which together sold, and only in Portugal, almost 200 thousand copies. The champion of sales is the book by Gonçalo Amaral, the policeman who coordinated the investigation of the case during the first few months and who is now retired from the Polícia Judiciária. Due to him, editor Guerra e Paz has already sold more than 140 thousand books and prepares editions in Spain and in the United Kingdom.

No: 0%*
News became a soap opera

Several voices were raised against the apparatus that surrounded the case's coverage. If Kelvin MacKenzie, an editor with 'The Sun', classified the news piece as the story of a lifetime, others underlined the danger of turning Maddie's disappearance into a pure soap opera. Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC correspondent and presently the McCann couple's spokesman, has issued hard criticism against the media coverage, classifying it as "soft" and unprofessional.

Q2. Do you consider Maddie's parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, guilty over their daughter's disappearance?

Portugal Yes: 77.5%
No: 22.3%
Don’t know/No reply: 0.2%

United Kingdom Yes: 44.6%
No: 38.4%
Don’t know/No reply: 17%

Yes: 61%*
McCanns guilty

The fact that they left three children alone in an apartment in a foreign location leads to most replies to this question being affirmative. Here, what is asked is whether or not Madeleine's parents could have avoided the disappearance, if they were in their children's company. Much was speculated about the possibility of the couple being accused of neglecting the children's guard, while they were still in Portugal. Gonçalo Amaral, the man who conducted the case investigation during the first few months, sustains in a statement to Focus that there is an indicium that the parents did not take care of their three children. "But the Public Ministry did not consider the possibility of accusing them over that issue", the inspector says.

The law foresees that the couple can still be held responsible over abandonment or mistreatment, according to article 152, number 1, item a) of the Penal Code of 95, and presently according to article 152-A, item a) of the Penal Code in the redaction that was introduced by Law nr. 59/2007, of 04/09. But for that to be true, facts that are not sufficiently sustained by indicia or evidence would have to be proved, according to the Public Ministry. So it is common sense that prevails over this answer, given the fact that for the Latin culture, leaving children alone at home is something that completely contradicts a custom of permanent surveillance over children. The British accept this type of behaviour more easily, and give their children more freedom, leading to the McCanns' behaviour being less penalised in the British poll.

No: 30%*
They are not guilty

If it is true that little Maddie disappeared from the room where she was sleeping with her siblings and without the supervision of an adult, it is also true, if the testimonies from the couple, from their friends and even from the employees of the Tapas Bar, the restaurant where they had dinner, are to be believed, that a system had been set into place that ensured checking on the children every ten minutes. Kate, Gerry and Matt were only some of the adults that went to the apartment on the night that the little girl disappeared, to verify that everything was quiet.

Q3. Do you think that Maddie was abducted?

Portugal Yes: 25.3%
No: 74.4%
Don’t know/No reply: 0.3%

United Kingdom Yes: 72.9%
No: 11.3%
Don’t know/No reply: 15.8%

Yes: 49%*
She was abducted

The British continue to believe that Maddie was abducted and is missing. The Portuguese, on the other hand, believe that the little girl is dead. The abduction theory is sustained on several testimonies, like that from the couple's friend, Jane Taylor [sic], who asserts that she saw a man on the street that led to the McCanns' apartment, only a few minutes after the consensual hour at which Maddie supposedly disappeared. There is also the issue of the window to the three siblings' bedroom. It was supposedly closed until Kate made her last visit to the bedroom – when the mother noticed her daughter's disappearance. Another important testimony in the process comes from an Irish couple that asserts they saw, on the same night, a man carrying a child on the same street where the McCanns' apartment is located. But this couple, apart from assuring "to 80 percent" that the man was Gerry McCann carrying a child, also places his march in the contrary direction of Jane Taylor's [sic]. Summarising: There are two more or less credible, but contradictory statements about a man carrying a child in his arms on the night of the 3rd of May, in Praia da Luz. Apart from this point, the Polícia Judiciária and the media received hundreds of testimonies about sightings of Madeleine at various points of the planet. More: Scotland Yard, the British investigation police, even sent information to Portugal about the possibility of Maddie being involved in an abduction by a Belgian paedophile network.

No: 43%*
She was not abducted

The dogs that specialise in finding cadaver and blood odour found both in the McCanns' holiday apartment and a vehicle that was rented by them, two weeks after their daughter's disappearance. The collected blood, according to analyses that were carried out both in England and in Portugal, belongs to one of the McCanns' children, although only 14 out of 19 alleles are detected. But it is also certain that it does not belong to any of the younger twin siblings. Therefore, those who sustain the death theory, defend that if it belongs to one of the children, but not to the twins, and if the couple has no other children, then the blood belongs to Madeleine. There is also the cadaver odour and the fluids that were found in a rental car, which supposedly belong to Maddie. If DNA that could belong to the little girl is present in a car that was rented days after her disappearance, there are indicia that she may have been transported inside it. But once more, the scientific police was not able to obtain evidence.

Q4. Do you think the child is alive or dead?

Portugal Alive: 12.2%
Dead: 77.0%
Don’t know/No reply: 10.8%

United Kingdom Alive: 36.7%
Dead: 47.1%
Don’t know/No reply: 16.2%

Yes: 24.5%*
She is alive

Those who believe that Madeleine is still alive are a small minority, both in Portugal and in England. The police knows that, even if the little girl was abducted, the possibilities of remaining alive one and a half year after her disappearance are few. Kate McCann said, weeks ago, in despair: "I'd rather know that she is dead than to remain in this uncertainty", the mother said. The cases where a missing person that attained such a high media exposure remains alive are rare. The case of Mari Luz, the Spanish girl that disappeared after Maddie, ended badly because her abductor killed her in fear of the media pressure. The cases of missing children have rare happy endings, but it is still possible that Maddie was delivered to a paedophile network for sexual slavery – and due to the fact that she is blond with greenish eyes, she has a higher "market value" – or even that Maddie was kidnapped and kept as a hostage to this day. The best known case of a hostage that survived captivity is that of Natalia Kampush, the young Austrian who was kept imprisoned in a basement for 14 years.

No: 62%*
She is dead

Dead: Out of the three main theories that were joined in the investigation – abduction, homicide and voluntary disappearance – none leaves major opportunities for Madeleine McCann to remain alive. The first one, which is explained above in greater detail, leads to any abductor, due to the girl's media exposure, wanting to get rid of the most searched child in the world. The homicide theory contains the solution in itself: If Maddie was killed inside the apartment in Praia da Luz, there is no hope that she could resist. The third hypothesis, that the girl could have left the house on her own and fell off a ravine, into a hole or into the sea, leads to the belief that, one and a half year later, there is no possibility that the human body could survive such an ordeal. In one word, Maddie is dead.

Q5. In your opinion, even if they were not directly involved in their daughter's death, do you think that Kate and Gerry are responsible for her death, or not?

Portugal Yes: 89.6%
No: 6.6%
Don’t know/No reply: 3.8%

United Kingdom Yes: 54.9%
No: 34.3%
Don’t know/No reply: 10.7%

Yes: 72%*
They are responsible

Here, the opinion is the same in both countries. Above all, there is an important piece of data: This question was only answered by those who previously considered that Maddie is dead. Gerry and Kate McCann are held responsible over their daughter's death even if they had nothing to do with that possible homicide. During the first few months, analysts like Francisco Moita Flores or Barra da Costa underlined the "cold" behaviour of the parents, mainly of the little girl's mother. Gonçalo Amaral, on the other hand, pointed at the "atypical" behaviour of the couple. The PJ inspector says that the mother, after noticing her daughter's disappearance, abandoned the twins in the bedroom and ran to the restaurant where her husband was. If Maddie had disappeared, Gonçalo Amaral questions, wouldn't it be logical to at least protect the twins, phoning her husband and, above all, not leaving them alone?

There is more. The police was only called almost 40 minutes after the little girl's disappearance. If the phone call had been made earlier, the cited former policemen say, the case might have taken another direction. Another aspect of the guilt that is pointed at the McCanns is the "contamination" of the crime scene: the apartment where they spent their holidays. At the moment when they noticed Maddie's absence, all the friends went to the location, mixing fingerprints, footprints and DNA traces with those of the possible abductor. This means: Apart from leaving the child to death, the parents did not defend the crime scene, both Portuguese and British believe.

No: 20.5%*
They are not responsible

Contradicting the numbers, there is the simple fact that the disappearance of a child is something unusual and to which no father or mother is certainly prepared. It has been widely speculated that if Madeleine's parents were Portuguese, today they would be imprisoned over their behaviour. But there are some who believe that despite thinking that the child is dead, the parents are not responsible for the case. Namely: At the moment when the mother noticed the disappearance, she ran towards the restaurant, located only 50 metres as the crow flies, from the apartment, to call her husband in a moment of despair. All the testimonies coincide on the fact that Kate was very upset when she reached the restaurant. The friends immediately got up to attend to the situation and it is more than natural that they searched for the little girl, inside the apartment and in its surroundings, shouting out her name and even walking the streets, looking for her. The hard number of minutes that ranges from the discovery of the disappearance until the GNR was called may also be explained by the fact that the McCanns asked their friends to call the police from the resort's reception. Furthermore, the process that Focus was given access to reports that the receptionist first notified the resort's management before she dialed 112. The result: While the friends helped the couple to search for their daughter, the resort delayed calling the authorities.

Q6. In your opinion, is the McCann couple hiding something?

Portugal Yes: 78.3%
No: 9.7%
Don’t know/No reply: 12.2%

United Kingdom Yes: 26.1%
No: 61.6%
Don’t know/No reply: 12.3%

Yes: 52%*
They are hiding

The biggest doubt concerning the participation of the parents in the solution of the case resides in the 48 questions that Kate McCann, after being made an arguida in her daughter's disappearance, refused to answer. Therefore, the Portuguese majority says that the McCanns are hiding something. These replies do not allow concluding that the McCanns are hiding something that could lead to the discovery of truth about the case. Merely that the perception of the public is that the parents' behaviour is suspicious and that their media exposure, repeating the same message, asking everyone to do everything to find their daughter, while at the same time refusing to cooperate with the police, leaves the impression that they are withholding information. Kate McCann entered the Judiciária in Portimao as a witness, and after hours of questioning, the authorities decided to make her an arguida. At that point in time, being officially a suspect over the disappearance, Kate defended herself as the law permits. Another doubt that is left to those who answered 'yes' is the refusal to return to Portugal for a reconstitution of the evening of the crime, and the leaving of the Algarve on the morning after the couple was constituted arguidos, in a trip that contradicted what the couple had always stated: "We will never leave Portugal until we find our little girl".

No: 36%*
They don't hide anything

Contrary to the Portuguese, the British do not believe that the McCann couple is hiding anything. The British press, which has always questioned the Portuguese police's methods, was quick to point out the failures of the investigation. More than the McCanns hiding something, what the British public opinion seems to believe in is that the right questions weren't asked. Therefore, when the McCanns are made arguidos, it is better for them to return home with their children, than to stay in Portugal, risking ending up in prison. It is also conceded that the presence of Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist and then an aide to the British prime minister, as the McCanns' spokesman, contributed to raise their prestige with the population.

Q7. Do you think that Madeleine's parents should be penalised or not?

Portugal Yes: 70.4%
No: 16.6%
Don’t know/No reply: 13.0%

United Kingdom Yes: 28.6%
No: 65.4%
Don’t know/No reply: 6.0%

Yes: 50%*

Once again, the public opinion in both countries is divided. In Portugal, the clear notion is that the couple of doctors should be held responsible and penalised over losing a daughter. Maybe that was why the couple, understanding how important it would be to have a good defence in the Country, hired one of the most renowned lawyers, Rogério Alves, a former head of the Portuguese Bar. The punishment that is expressed in this reply does not specify a form, therefore the only thing that can be concluded is that the Portuguese would at least like to see the McCanns punished over the lack of attention that they gave their children. The law, as previously seen, both in Portugal and in England, foresees that leaving minor children unaccompanied may be a crime, although with very different penalties under both jurisdictions. But the McCann couple continues to fight for their image to pass in a clean manner to the public opinion. For once, the parents of an abducted child have also the onus of proving that they are not guilty over the disappearance, although no evidence was found and validated against them.

No: 41%*
Not penalised

The British public opinion considers that Maddie's parents should not pay for what happened. Far from the Latin behaviour of keeping one eye on the beach and the other eye on the child, the British generally accept easily that small children stay home asleep while they leave for moments. In the United Kingdom it is also common to educate the children under less pressure, allowing for individuals to become responsible earlier and less, in a popular language, "mother's children". Those who believe that the McCanns should not pay for what happened still believe that the couple is far from being guilty in the case, and even, according to the British press, that they were mistreated in Portugal. An article from prestigious 'The Times' should be referred, in which the newspaper stated that the couple has been ignored by the police and that they don't get replies whenever they asked them from the Portuguese authorities.

* Indicative values of the average of replies, when summing the partials of both countries and dividing by two: POR + UK / 2 = Result.
The analysed universes are constituted by: Continental Portuguese population, from both sexes, of ages comprised between 18 and 64, residing in housing with a fixed network telephone; English population, from both sexes, of ages comprised between 18 and 64, residing in housing with a fixed network telephone. In both countries, the technique of telephone interview was used (CATI) with a structured questionnaire. The same questionnaire was used in both countries. 1221 interviews were carried out; 609 in Portugal and 612 in the United Kingdom. The interviews were distributed by sex and age in a proportional manner towards the universe. The collection of information on national territory was carried out between the 14th and the 17th of August 2008, having been secured by 22 interviewers that were selected and trained by Euroexpansao. In the United Kingdom, the collection was carried out between the 20th and the 22nd of August 2008, with the cooperation of nine interviewers. The collection of information was controlled in two forms: direct control – accompaniment of the execution of the interviews; Telephonic supervision – new contact with the interviewees, in order to confer the execution of the interviews and the conditions under which it was performed.
The future of the case

Amid fraudulent detectives, bombshell books being edited in London and new reports, the drama is far from over

Over the last few weeks, the Madeleine case has seen new developments, although they are not as publicised as before. The case tires some of the public that wants to rest during the summer. But the truth is that during the summer, editors Guerra&Paz managed to sell the rights to Gonçalo Amaral’s book, 'The Truth of the Lie', into Spain, and is close to sealing a deal for the United Kingdom. But this was not the only novelty. A group of private detectives that was working on the case, desisted, cashing in on almost 600 thousand euros without yielding any result from their work. Oakley International left without results.

The money came from the fund for the search of Maddie, which is increasingly slimmer. The case of the detectives that abandon the investigation is a film that the McCanns had already seen before, when the Spanish detectives from Metodo3 also kept their money and failed to produce any results.

Meanwhile, Focus knows that during the first weeks of September, the couple's Portuguese lawyers are going to make a statement concerning the book by former inspector Gonçalo Amaral and announce which are the next steps that are to be made. On the other hand, Gonçalo Amaral is also waiting for September in order to decide whether he advances a process against the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, or writes a new book.

Meanwhile, Focus was also able to establish that there are reports about the case, written by criminal scientists, that may shed a new light on the case, namely concerning the certification of the DNA that was found in the apartment where the McCanns spent their holidays in Portugal. Meanwhile, the case remains archived. When the judicial holidays are over, and if none of the parties requests the opening of the instruction phase, the reopening of the inquiry or of the process until then, the McCanns will definitely lose their arguido status. This is due to the fact that the Portuguese law foresees that, after the archiving, one of the interested persons may request the reopening of the process or the passing into the instruction phase, and in that case the former arguidos would recover their status. But it is unlikely that this will happen.

Thus the coming weeks will certainly bring news to the most media exposed disappearance of a child in the world, which took place on the 3rd of May 2007, in the Algarve, Portugal. Madeleine McCann, aged three. From that day onwards, with one single known destiny: missing.

Your photographs have never reached the Portuguese interviewers, 04 September 2008
Your photographs have never reached the Portuguese interviewers SOSMaddie (French language site)
Duarte Levy & Paulo Reis
To date, the PJ have not received a single photo as a result of the appeal launched by Leicestershire Police who asked holidaymakers who had stayed in PdL to send copies of any photos taken during the 2 weeks prior to Madeleine McCann's disappearance.

The appeal was launched jointly by Leicestershire Police CEOP and ACPO.

According to a source close to the UK enquiry several hundred photos reached the British authorities, most of which were uploaded to internet pages created specifically for this purpose.

"We will evaluate these images - at a rate of 1,000 frames per hour - so that we can pass on any significant information to the Portuguese authorities in a timely manner", promised Jim Gamble, Head of CEOP.
The official aim of this campaign was, according to Jim Gamble, to move forward the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, including the use of facial recognition software on images showing any people "who appear out of context or are behaving strangely."

"We wonder what the real purpose of this public appeal was.… We have not had access to these photos," confirmed one of the investigators, who stressed that the only photos received by the PJ had been sent direct by witnesses.
Related report from May 2007:
Is she in your holiday snaps? Daily Mirror
Martin Fricker and Vanessa Allen in Praia da Luz
Cops to scan holiday pics for clues
POLICE hunting missing Madeleine McCann appealed yesterday for holiday snaps which may show her kidnapper.
Officers want holidaymakers to send them pictures taken at the Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz in the two weeks before Madeleine, four, was abducted on May 3.
The photos will be run through the Childbase face recognition programme and checked against a picture database of UK paedophiles.
Childbase can handle 1,000 shots an hour. Software can also pinpoint other suspects if the same person repeatedly appears in pictures.
The move came as it emerged police now think Madeleine was taken by a lone predator and supporters disclosed plans to highlight her plight at major events around the world.
A police source said: "The truth is we don't have the slightest idea where she is. The chances of finding her alive are less likely every day."
Holiday snaps should be uploaded to the website of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Unit,
CEOPU chief Jim Gamble urged Brits back from Portugal: "See if there are people in the background who at first you may not have noticed.
"We are looking for people in a strange place or behaving strangely."
A source said: "It's the first time anyone has tried anything like this. It could be a vital breakthrough."
The system will also search for pictures of suspect Robert Murat and Russian witness Sergey Malinka, 22.
Brit Murat, 33 - who insists he is innocent - told his friend Tuck Price he thought it was a "great idea".
Mr Price said it proved that Portuguese detectives suspected they had the wrong man. He said: "If they're so convinced about Robert, why still look?" He added that Murat, who lives near Madeleine's holiday apartment, recently collapsed for the second time.
A doctor found nothing wrong. But Mr Price said the incident showed the strain the suspect is under.
Murat has contacted PR Max Clifford. It is believed he will try to sell his story if he is eventually cleared.
Mr Clifford said tearful Murat told him: "I'm innocent and I'll prove it."
He added: "It's totally wrong that a man is condemned as guilty when there's been no trial."
Support plans for Madeleine include bookmarks with her picture in every new copy of the final Harry Potter.
The F1 Spyker team will display her posters on its cars at next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. It is also hoped to highlight her at the Tour de France, golf tournaments and in appeals in cinemas across Europe.
Police yesterday travelled to Morocco after a possible sighting of Madeleine in Marrakech 13 days ago. They are also studying CCTV at Faro airport after reports of a sedated girl.
Madeleine's twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie, two, have no memories of the night she vanished.
They were sleeping in the same room as Madeleine. Their aunt Philomena said: "They couldn't tell anything. We believe Madeleine slept through being taken."
By last night the fighting fund set up by Madeleine's family had topped £184,000. The support website has received more than 100 million hits.
THE CEOPU website details how to upload snaps. Jessop's will load prints onto a DVD for free. The DVD can then be uploaded.
Jim Gamble's support for the McCanns, October 2007:
Cop hunts down net pervs Daily Mirror
By Ros Wynne-Jones
Extract from article about the work of Jim Gamble and the CEOP:
And as head of the CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre, missing Madeleine McCann is inevitably never far from his mind.
"We absolutely support the McCann family," he says, sitting in his glass-walled office in Pimlico, Central London.
"They are to be applauded for their tireless work to keep the campaign to find their daughter in the public consciousness. It is a case for every parent of 'There but by the grace of God, go I'."

Who Died in The Car?, 04 September 2008 (24horas review of their own coverage)
Who Died in The Car? 24horas
The vehicle had the smell of cadaver and it was detected by dogs that came from England. The identity of the supposed victim was never discovered
Text: Carlos Tomas
04 September 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The McCanns argued at the time that bodily fluids detected in the boot of the car could be from Maddie's clothes, which were carried in the Renault Scénic, rented 25 days after the disappearance.
The smell of a corpse and the biological remains discovered in the Renault Scénic, rented by the parents of Madeleine McCann 25 days after the child had disappeared - as well as the re-evaluation of the evidence collected up to that time by the team formed by the superior co-ordinator of the PJ, Paulo Rebelo, who replaced Gonçalo Amaral - marked the news section of 24horas, in the media immersed case, between the 16th and 31st of October 2007.
On the 16th, we reported that the team of the PJ - that were investigating the events of the night of the 3rd of May, when the girl disappeared from Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve - had begun reviewing all the evidence that the investigators led by Gonçalo Amaral had gathered. This work took several months and ended up by confirming everything that had been already investigated initially.

Car with traces

Of one thing the PJ has no doubts, as is evident from the legal proceedings made public on the 20th of July of this year: a corpse was deposited in the vehicle rented by the McCanns, 25 days after the disappearance of their daughter. But nobody managed to explain the identity of the supposed victim.

The forensic examinations undertaken in Portugal and in England detected a series of alleles which coincided with Maddie's DNA, but not in sufficient quantity to determine with certainty if the collected traces really belonged to the girl. The physical fluids that were gathered also did not allow the authorities to come to any conclusion.

On the 18th of October it was announced that the new team of investigators had begun to "re-visit" the places where Maddie could have eventually passed in the case of an abduction.

Searches of the PJ

To the 23rd of October of 2007, it was news of the fact that the PJ had been doing new searches at the home of Robert Murat, the first arguido of the process. Digging was done; the computers of the arguido and of the mother and his vehicle were apprehended. One knows now that none of these diligences was useful to the investigations. And the worst is that when the agents took the vehicle of Murat to be inspected they ended up, as announced by our newspaper on the 24th of October, having an accident, which took several weeks to repair and to return to the legitimate owner.

The Judicial Police team that travelled to England to get the results of the analyses requested of a highly prestigious forensic laboratory, located in Birmingham, was the principal piece of news on the case on the 25th. Those tests took several weeks to be realised and they would be handed only to the Portuguese authorities in November.

Kate cried

The consumption of alcohol by the McCanns and their seven friends at the Tapas Bar - who had consumed at least eight bottles of wine and several digestives - as well as the report of the shouting that was made after Kate McCann had given the alarm, made the news section on the 26th of October.

The next day the highlight was given to the fact of Maddie's mother having cried publicly - in a televised interview - 174 days after the daughter had disappeared.
By the end of October, the news was the fact that the phone calls made by the McCanns were not able to be controlled by the PJ, since the telephone operator was British. It is advanced that the couple had begun to use the Maddie fund to pay the rent [sic] of the house in Rothley and also that the police spoilt vestiges that could help to reveal what had happened to the girl on the 3rd of May of 2007.

It is true that the dogs trained in the detection of blood of dead people and of cadaver odour, that came from England, found traces in the car that the McCanns rented almost a month after Maddie had disappeared. The traces, after the tests were done and as one reads in the legal proceedings, presented several alleles which corresponded to Maddie's DNA, but the considered percentage was not concluding, such as 24horas announced.

It is untrue that the Police destroyed evidence that might show what had happened to Maddie. In fact, the evidence was contaminated by almost two dozen people who entered the flat before the GNR secured the area. Of the reading of the process it is understood that the authorities did not act in accordance with the internal regulations to this type of cases. It would have been more correct to write: "Authorities allow destruction of evidence".

Maddie: Journalists tried to break into window, 04 September 2008
Maddie: Journalists tried to break into window Portugal Diário
By: Patrícia Pires
04-09-2008 - 21:26h
Thanks to 'astro' for translation
During the month of September, the PJ received various alerts of foreign journalists who tried to enter the Ocean Club bedroom where the British child disappeared from

Several journalists tried to film and photograph the inside of the bedroom where Maddie disappeared from on the 3rd of May 2007. In some situations, they even tried to force the apartment’s shutters open.

Kate and Gerry McCann returned to London on the 9th of September 2007, and a few days after they left the villa that they rented in Praia da Luz, the real estate agency was contacted by a journalist who tried to rent the property in order to carry out some filming. The request was denied.

On the morning of the 20th of September, the executive manager of the Ocean Club noticed the presence of three television reporters on the outside of the apartment where the McCann family spent their holidays. The two men and one woman had already forced the shutters of the bedroom where the children slept. It was the manager herself who expelled them from the location, while suspecting that their goal was to film the inside of the property.

Five days later, the firm that is responsible for the Ocean Club's security was summoned to the same location due to the insistent presence of three further journalists in the patio that accesses the apartments.

They tried to 'buy off' the cleaning ladies

Even the cleaning personnel declared that they were approached by several journalists so they could access the inside of the apartment.

Whenever the pretension was denied, they offered money in return for said access. While in the former situations foreign journalists were identified, in this last attempt the nationality is not identified in the process that was made public on the 4th of August 2008, after the investigation was archived and the judicial secrecy was lifted.

No danger of 'contamination'

On the 26th of September, in the early evening, the Polícia Judiciária (PJ) was contacted by a security guard from the Ocean Club, who informed that he had found the bedroom shutters up. Two inspectors traveled to the location and verified that said shutters had been raised, from the outside, until half the height of the window. But nothing was broken and there were no indicia of the window having been broken into.

A police source that is connected to the investigation explained to Portugal Diário that at the time, no processes were opened against the journalists because there was no 'risk of contamination of the premises' anymore.

Without indicia that the McCann couple had committed any crime, the Public Ministry determined the archiving of the process. On the 21st of July of 2008, Kate and Gerry, together with Robert Murat, saw their arguido status lifted.

McCann couple feared being arrested in Portugal, 06 September 2008
Dog searches inside McCanns bedroom wardrobe
McCann couple feared being arrested in Portugal Diário de Notícias
Thanks to 'astro' for translation 
Maddie. The parents of the little English girl assert that they did not escape to England

Kate and Gerry criticise Gonçalo Amaral's theories but will not sue him
The McCann couple feared being arrested by the Portuguese police. In a statement to today's edition of Expresso newspaper, Maddie's father admits that he feared that outcome, taking into account what was being written by the Portuguese press, but rejects that they escaped to England in order to avoid a possible detention.

During the first interview about their daughter's disappearance that was given after the archiving of the process, Kate and Gerry McCann recognise that they felt the pressure from the Portuguese police, which motivated the fear of being preventively arrested in Portugal. "Taking into account everything that was being published in the papers, it is natural that we were afraid of being arrested. It was a horrible situation", Gerry McCann remembers.

But in order to discard any suspicion about their behaviour, Kate McCann guarantees that the couple did not return to England as a form of escape, "even because the Portuguese police could have prevented the trip".

After focusing on the statements concerning the investigations, the couple leaves the hope of still finding their daughter alive, in the air. "Sincerely, I don’t know whether Maddie is alive or not, or if someone hid her away. There is no evidence", Gerry defends.

During the interview that was done in England, the couple seizes the opportunity to criticise Gonçalo Amaral's theories. Nevertheless, Kate and Gerry do not ponder to sue the former inspector of the Polícia Judiciária who led the investigations.

The Maddie process was made public on the 4th of August, after having been archived by the Attorney General of the Republic due to a lack of evidence. Kate and Gerry McCann, together with Robert Murat, stopped being arguidos.

Ex Portuguese police chief claims that Gerry McCann hid the body of Madeleine McCann on the beach, 06 September 2008
Ex Portuguese police chief claims that Gerry McCann hid the body of Madeleine McCann on the beach TypicallySpanish
By h.b. 
Sep 6, 2008 - 11:36 AM
Gonçalo Amaral has given an exclusive interview to the Spanish El Mundo newspaper today.
The ex Director of the Criminal Investigation department of the Police in Portimao, Gonçalo Amaral, who head the team searching for Madeleine McCann, has given an interview in today's El Mundo newspaper.
The man who was sacked after making the parents suspects in the case claims that Gerry McCann hid Madeleine's body on the beach, and that the child died from an accident, claiming she could have fallen off the sofa or there could have been an overdose of Capel (sic: Calpol), a sleeping drug.
The ex Police chief, whose book on the case has sold 120,000 copies in two weeks – a record in Portugal, claims there are many inconsistencies in the case. He says a window which Kate McCann claims was found open when Maddie vanished was in fact always closed, and he speaks of an Irish witness who said he saw Gerry McCann with a girl in his arms walking down to the beach on the night she disappeared. He thinks it possible that she was then dug up and moved in the hire car which the McCann's rented 23 days later, and where Scotland Yard dogs found DNA remains which could have been from Maddie.
He claims that the nine people who died (sic: dined) together with the McCann's that night must have agreed to lie in the case.
He also tells the paper that the McCann's are human, 'If they admit that Maddie is dead then they cannot collect from a fund of more than a million pounds'.

McCanns searched for Witnesses, 08 September 2008
McCanns searched for Witnesses 24 Horas
People heard by the PJ in the Maddie Case were sounded out by Madeleine's parents
by Luís Maneta
08 September 2008
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation
The mediatised process was still under the secrecy of justice, Kate and Gerry had already been constituted as arguidos, but nonetheless Madeleine's parents did not stop having contact with witnesses. Three of them told everything to the authorities.

Gerry, Kate and Clarence Mitchell
Kate and Gerry McCann spoke with witnesses after leaving for England

During the period in which the Maddie process was kept under the secrecy of justice, the McCann family had knowledge of what several witnesses knew. People who were sounded out and questioned by detectives hired to discover the whereabouts of the English girl, or even by a millionaire friend of the couple, subsequently reported the fact to the authorities, as stated in the process made public last month.
Between the witnesses "searched" on the McCanns request is Charlotte Pennington, one of the Ocean Club nannies, and Martin Smith, an Irish tourist who swore that we was convinced that he had seen Gerry carrying a child on his arms, on the fateful night of the 3rd of May, in which the English girl disappeared from the apartment rented by the family in Praia da Luz.
Another witness, Catriona Baker, an Ocean Club nanny who personally knew Madeleine McCann, was received at the home of Kate and Gerry in November of 2007; months before her giving a statement to the Leicester police, in the scope of the rogatory letters sent by the Portuguese authorities for the United Kingdom.
When cross-examined by the English police, in April of 2008, Catriona Baker revealed the existence of that meeting: "I visited the family at their home as a result of an invitation to see how everyone was".
Millionaire spoke with witness
In the questioning, besides describing the routine of the children in the creche where they spent a great part of the day, Catriona shows that, when she knew of Maddie's disappearance, she searched for her everywhere, following on foot all the routes that were familiar to her, from the area around the Tapas Bar to the beach. "I did not see Kate or Gerry on that night", she guarantees.
In his turn, the Irish tourist Martin Smith said to the British authorities that he had been contacted by Brian Kennedy - one of the biggest financiers of the Madeleine McCann Fund - on a date that he did not specify.
Brian Kennedy justified the initiative with the purpose of preparing a visual impression of the man that Martin Smith was said to have seen, a little after 22h00, carrying a child near the Ocean Club.
Initially, Smith did not identify the person. But after returning to England and having seen Gerry McCann with one of the twins in his arms he was "60-80 % sure" that it was the same person. Having suspicions, Smith, did not help to do any sketches as he refused to provide information.
Charlotte Pennington was also said to have been approached by initiative of the McCanns. In this case, the contact was done through a private investigator, Noel Hagan, who works for Metodo 3, one of the detectives' agencies hired by Maddie's parents. "Charlotte assured me that she only told him the same information that she had already given to the PJ and to me", wrote an English police officer who spoke with the former Ocean Club nanny.

At what time did Madeleine leave the creche?, 18 November 2008
At what time did Madeleine leave the creche? TVMais (appears in paper edition only)
Some have doubts about the Ocean Club's creche records. The doubts increase if we pay attention to the depositions from Maddie's last nanny
by Hernâni Carvalho
18 November 2008
Thanks to 'Astro' for translation
"The disappearance took place during the time period between 5.35 and 10.05 p.m. on the 3rd of May 2007", reads the report from the 4th Brigade of the PJ in Portimao. A premise that is now questioned. Catriona Treasa Sisile Baker was the nanny who worked at the creche and was responsible for Maddie since the McCanns arrived in Praia da Luz. The statements that the nanny gave to the police raise doubts. After Maddie's disappearance, she was heard by the PJ in Portimao. One week later, she was transferred to another location by her employers. Soon afterwards, she returned to England. At Leicestershire police, she was also heard, but corrected the statements that she had given in Portugal.

"I was allowed to refresh my memory by reading the translated version of my original statement to the Portuguese police", one can read in the report that was taped by Leicester police. The contents of the nanny's statements was such that she was heard three times on the same day, and had to have her memory refreshed. At Leicestershire police headquarters, Catriona Baker was heard by detective Gierc between 10.09 and 10.54 a.m. on Monday, the 14th of April 2008. Between 11.57 and 12.12 a.m. on the same day, she was heard again by the same detective and between 1.35 and 1.45 p.m. on the same day she was again questioned by the same detective.

They Showed her the PJ's Report to Refresh her Memory

The nanny revealed that she only met the McCanns in Portugal; she recognised that after returning to England she visited the couple upon their invitation, in November 2007. "I visited the family at their home following an invitation to see how all of us were doing." The McCann couple is worried about searching for Maddie and about knowing how the nannies are doing. Catriona explained how the McCanns behaved in Portugal. "The twins sometimes looked tired at tea time, after a long day and maybe also because of the heat, but I never saw a reason for concern with the McCanns children or their behaviour."

Maddie's last nanny remembers extraordinary details about that last day, but she doesn't remember who picked up Maddie and at what time. "On Thursday the 3rd of May 2007, I remember Gerry dropping Madeleine off at the club between 9.15 and 9.20 a.m. I don't remember who picked her up for lunch that day, but in the afternoon she returned for a swim. We carried out activities with other children. On that day, we practiced sailing and I remember meeting friends of Madeleine's parents on the beach, David and Jane. At around 2.45 p.m., Madeleine returned to the Minis Club above the reception, but I don't remember who brought her. On that afternoon, we went swimming. Kate picked up Madeleine in the Tapas Bar area, and as far as I remember, she was wearing sports clothes at that time and I deducted that she had been jogging. It was around 3.35 – 6 p.m."

At what time did the little girl leave after all?

Catriona can't remember. She remembers Kate's jogging suit. That's not too bad. Coincidentally, Catriona Baker didn't go out with her friends that day (the 3rd of May 2007). "Some of my colleagues were going out, but I was too tired to accompany them."

Catriona Baker stated to the Portuguese and British police that on that day she went into her room to sleep because she was tired. And that's why she only noticed that Madeleine McCann had disappeared when her colleagues from the creche went to alert her. On that night, Mark Warner invited all the resort's employees to cooperate in the searches for Maddie. "The director told us where to search. We searched everywhere. I walked most of the routes that Madeleine passed through and that could be familiar to her", the nanny told the British police. Catriona Baker took part in the searches, but found neither Maddie not the McCanns. "I didn’t see Kate or Gerry that night."

The Ocean Club creches

There are a number of children clubs at the Ocean Club resort. The children are grouped according to their age. Clubs for 3-11 months (Baby Club), 12-23 months (Toddler Club), 24 months to 3 years (Toddler 2 Club), 3 to 5 years (Minis Club), 6 to 9 years (Juniors Club), 10 to 14 years (Kids Club) and from 14 to 17 years (Indies Club). In May 2007 there were 16 nannies at the Ocean Club. Catriona Baker is one of them. The importance of her deposition derives from the fact that she was the nanny who cared for Madeleine McCann.

Samples from the creche records


The workings of the Ocean Club creche was explained to the British police by Catriona herself: "Mark Warner has the usual procedure of signing a form whenever the parents leave the child in the club's care, which they sign again with the name and the time at which the child was collected. There is a separate sheet for the morning shift and another for the afternoon shift. The sheet contains space for the child's name, the time and the parent's signature. Only parents are allowed to take the children, except when an agreement is made in another sense, in due time."

In Portugal, the experts that can evaluate calligraphy are from the PJ. It was explained to TVMais that the creche's reports reveal inconsistencies in the writing. One of the doubts that the analysts raise is concerns about the identity of the authors of the form filling and their signatures on the form. The nanny's signature and her handwriting appear on the sheet where only the parents were supposed to sign. Did anyone notice?

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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