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    

4 - Four Year Anniversary*

The fourth anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance

Madeleine: Could it be time to forget?, 24 April 2011
Madeleine: Could it be time to forget? Sunday Telegraph

Sunday Telegraph, 25 April 2011

Sunday 24 April 2011

Olga Craig returns to Praia da Luz

News Review Page 19


Madeleine McCann: time to forget? Sunday Telegraph

As the fourth anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance approaches - and coincides with a new book written by her mother, Kate - Olga Craig returns to Praia da Luz to see how the Portuguese resort has put the incident behind it

Snatched: Kate and Gerry McCann will use money from the book's sales to pay for their ongoing search for Madeleine

By Olga Craig
7:00AM BST 24 Apr 2011

It is the spiritual sanctuary to which Kate and Gerry McCann return time and time again with each passing year. Usually their visits are in private, occasionally with close relatives. But it is here, in the tiny, white-washed 17th-century church of Our Lady of Light, overlooking the sea in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, where the couple feel closest to Madeleine, their cherished oldest child, who next month will have been missing for four years. Here is where Kate, especially, in the words of parish priest Father Haynes Hubbard, her Portuguese pastor and confidant, "comes back to cling to the hope that their daughter will come home".

The church has always been where the McCanns and their supporters have gathered, particularly during those dark days following May 3 2007 when Madeleine, then just days short of her fourth birthday, vanished from the family’s holiday apartment in the seaside village. It has been here they have found succour and strength. Here that they still hope one day to return to give thanks and salvation for the safe return of their child, who will turn eight next month.

Yet today, as another agonising anniversary looms for the McCanns, there is, surely, something missing? While the congregation prays daily for Madeleine, the photographs of the little girl, forever frozen in time as the chubby-cheeked, gap-toothed toddler she was when she vanished, are nowhere to be seen. Once, they adorned the walls and pews. "Find Madeleine" posters, replaced when they faded, were pinned near the altar and yellow and green ribbons, symbols of the campaign launched to search for her, adorned the porch. Now there are none.

"There are pictures of Madeleine in the church," Fr Hubbard says hesitantly. "But you can't see them, they are hidden. They are not on display. People were hurt and scarred by everything that was said and done and it has frightened them off. Many are now cautious to openly display their hope."

He is wary; uncomfortable, perhaps. He chooses his words with care. For while he – and many in his congregation – continue to pray in hope rather than in despair, the sad truth is that Madeleine McCann has become an awkward, painful and, perhaps unpalatably, at times taboo topic in Praia da Luz. Tragically, though perhaps understandably, the overwhelming atmosphere here is of a community uncomfortable with its connection to a lost little girl. Some have simply airbrushed her from memory while others, who at the time were highly vocal in the "Find Maddy" campaign, now distance themselves.

A few, one suspects, feel guilty that the locals did not handle the disappearance in a more organised – and less hysterical – manner. As Inez Lopes, editor of the local newspaper, Algarve Resident, points out: "People want to move on, not be forever attached to or identified with Madeleine. Of course we still feel for the McCanns but we want to be associated with a happier place. Frankly, it was an isolated incident that could have happened anywhere in the world. Right now Portugal is in the grip of a financial crisis. In Praia da Luz the feeling is that it has hurt our local economy. Tourism was affected by it, businesses closed. I don’t think the local business community can be blamed for wanting to return to being nothing more than a holidaymakers' haven."

Many of the principal characters in the case – which saw the McCanns by turn being comforted and protected by the Portuguese and expatriate communities alike as grieving parents; then vilified and shunned when they were, wrongly, accused of being involved in the disappearance – have moved on. Others want to banish all reminders of Madeleine's existence and some openly display anger that this once prosperous tourist town is now synonymous with the abduction and possible murder of a child. Just a month ago, fresh posters were either torn down or had paint splattered over them within 24 hours. Reluctantly the McCanns have accepted that their campaign reminders are no longer welcomed by many locals.

And while no one would deny that the McCanns have borne the brunt of the anguish and opprobrium, they are not alone in that suffering. Within weeks of Madeleine's disappearance Robert Murat, a British expatriate who had made Praia da Luz his home, was under investigation. The villa he shared with his elderly mother Jenny was searched by police and sniffer dogs and its grounds dug up. Mr Murat was questioned repeatedly by police and became the public scapegoat for the international outrage over Madeleine's abduction. He was vilified in print, spat at in the streets and besieged in his home. In time, he too was exonerated. The scars of his public savaging, however, remain. These days he is rarely seen in public in Praia da Luz. He has since married his long-term girlfriend Michaela (she, too, was wrongly accused of involvement) who eight months ago gave birth to their son, Benjamin.

"No one wanted to know how I felt, or what I was going through at the time," he says with an understandable trace of bitterness. "From my perspective, I have a new life with my wife and baby son."

None the less, Mr Murat and his family have found it difficult to return to anonymity. "It's still talked about here. All the time. But everyone is more cautious, less willing to take events at face value," says Tuck Price, a close friend of Mr Murat and his staunchest supporter when he was wrongly accused. "Madeleine's disappearance is an uncomfortable reminder that perhaps we had all become too complacent. Just last week I had my four-year-old nephew and his 12-year-old sister staying. And yes, I was more vigilant. I kept a closer eye on them than maybe I would have before Madeleine disappeared."

Mr Murat's aunt and uncle, Sally and Ralph Everleigh, were also hounded during the spell he was under suspicion. Though they were never accused of any involvement they were harassed and cold-shouldered: for nothing more than being deemed guilty by association. "It was a horrendous time," Mrs Everleigh recalls. "Our house was bugged, our phones tapped. Of course the McCanns have suffered a tragedy that they will never be able to come to terms with. How could they? But the stress of the whole situation made my husband ill. We suffered in our own way." Little wonder, then, that each year, as the May 3 anniversary approaches, the couple leave their home and spend a few weeks in Gibraltar to escape the attention.

There are many in the tourism trade, too, whose businesses have been affected by what Ms Lopes describes as the "double whammy of the recession and the Maddy effect". Several shops are boarded up and closed, and the resort seems a little more shabby, a little more down-at-heel. Restaurant owners mutter or grimace dismissively when asked how they have been affected. "Badly," is the morose, monosyllabic response of one café owner. "We don't want to talk about it," say most. "We want the holidaymakers back." It hasn't helped, naturally, that Portugal's weather is currently unseasonably poor. Last week, Praia da Luz was lashed with torrential rain, its few tourists forced to huddle in cafés clad in sou’westers and gumboots.

Mrs Ruth McCann (no relation) who owned the 5a apartment that was rented to the McCanns through the Ocean Club complex from where Madeleine was snatched, has tried for two years to sell. Though she dropped the price to £255,000 (£50,000 less than similar properties sell for) she didn't have a single inquiry. The flat has lain unoccupied since the McCanns left it to return to their Leicestershire home in Rothely in September 2007. And it shows. The varnish on its front door has become faded and stripped by the sun; its garden is overgrown and the hedge, in contrast to those adjacent, is unkempt and bedraggled. "I keep asking the Ocean people to cut it," says Ian Fenn who inherited the apartment above from his mother, Pamela, who died last month.

Mr Fenn, who lives in England, visits the flat monthly and has witnessed its transformation from white-washed holiday home to a ghoulish, run-down tourist attraction. "There are always tourists who stand outside and get their friends to take their photograph outside 5a," he says wearily. "They find some ghastly attraction in being pictured at the spot when a little girl was abducted. Gerry McCann did come up to apologise to my mother for all the unwanted attention – which was incredibly kind as he has endured a grief and pain that no parent should ever have to withstand."

There have been subtle changes, too, in the Ocean complex. On the night their daughter was snatched, the McCanns and seven other British couples in their party, dined in the complex, leaving all their children – in adjacent apartments – alone. They did not lock the doors, fearing the children would be trapped should a fire break out. Neither did they pay for a baby-sitting service, saying they didn't want to leave their children with strangers. Instead, in a decision that will forever haunt the couple, they opted to take turns checking on all the sleeping children at half-hourly intervals. Today, the dining area has been turned into a pizzeria and is no longer open in the evenings. And though the McCanns have received world-wide sympathy, they know that those fateful decisions will always be questioned.

In the complex several British families, hoping to escape what they believed would be brisk Easter weather at home, were holidaying in the Ocean complex last week. Mike and Liz Atwood from Birmingham and their three children – Toby, 12, Lucy, nine, and four-year-old Tom – were among the few who braved the pool during the brief spells when the monsoon-like rains ceased. The family has holidayed in Praia da Luz many times and though Madeleine's disappearance disturbed them, they have opted to return each year.

"But, of course, we are more vigilant," Mrs Atwood admits. "This is a friendly, family-orientated resort and the Portuguese are well-known for how lovingly they treat children. But we just don't let the kids out of our sight. We wouldn't dream of going out for dinner and leaving them alone. I don't mean to be critical of the McCanns. All parents can empathise with how grief-stricken they are. How bitterly they regret those decisions. They are paying a dear and heavy price and no one would wish it upon them. It has certainly made us be more attentive."

On Praia da Luz’s beach, too, parents keep a keen eye on their children. Between heavy showers, as some played in the sand clad in stout boots and raincoats, their mothers shivered on the sea front watching them. "I don't even want to sit in the café where it's warm," one said. "I would rather get wet and cold and know they are safe."

Among the local Portuguese community too there have been many whose lives have changed immeasurably since Madeleine's disappearance. None more so, perhaps, than Gonçalo Amaral, who initially headed the botched and woefully inadequate police investigation. Since being dropped from the case, he has become a thorn in the McCanns' side. While Kate awaits the launch of her own book on May 12 (Madeleine's birthday) in which she tells the story from her perspective, and the proceeds from which will hopefully boost the vastly depleted Find Madeleine campaign, she and husband Gerry face a renewed legal battle with Amaral. They had already clashed over his sensationalised and dubious account of events, cryptically entitled The Truth of The Lie in which he attempted to justify his decision to brand the couple as suspects, which the McCanns called "mistaken" and aired his highly speculative theory that Madeleine died in apartment 5a. When he was barred from publishing it, he set about writing another which is also timed to launch near Madeleine's birthday.

This weekend, while he refused to comment on his book, his wife Sonia defended his decision to publish a second. "Gonçalo has worked hard on this book," she said. "He has spent days and nights assessing the evidence. In it he will say his investigation was cut short and he will explain what he would have done if he had been allowed to continue." The timing of the publication, she insisted, was "coincidental. We are not trying to cash in on the anniversary".

None the less, the timing will be hurtful for the McCanns who had hoped their court battles had dissuaded him from further comment. "It's just one more painful thing they must face," says one relative. "Quite why he wants to hound them when it has been proved definitively that they are completely innocent, no one knows."

This weekend, while the congregation of Our Lady of Light held traditional Easter services, doubtless many said silent prayers for Madeleine, although she was not mentioned by name. Many will leave the village for the anniversary, others intend to make an appearance at the vigil in the church on May 3. In their home town of Rothely, Kate and Gerry will be steeling themselves to attend their fourth service that marks yet another year without a trace of Madeleine.

Both vigils will be emotion-filled. Prayers will be said, fervent hopes for a happy outcome – which, with the passing of time, becomes ever less likely – voiced. In Praia da Luz, however, quietly and behind the scenes, one man will spend the day remembering Madeleine in a more practical way. David Edgar, the Ulster-born ex-police officer whose Alpha Group Investigations has taken over the search, will hope that the anniversary – and publication of Kate's book – will jog a long-forgotten memory.

That finally there will be a resolution to what has become an enduring mystery: the whereabouts of Madeleine McCann.

And a previous article by Olga Craig...

Madeleine search: How did it come to this?, 09 September 2007
Madeleine search: How did it come to this? Sunday Telegraph

By Olga Craig
12:01AM BST 09 Sep 2007

Kate and Gerry McCann, admired around the world for their courageous search for missing daughter Madeleine, have been named as suspects in the case of her disappearance. Olga Craig tracks the couple's desperate four-month ordeal

As Kate and Gerry McCann trudged, hand-in-hand with heads bowed, through the narrow cobblestone streets of Praia da Luz towards the town's tiny, whitewashed church of Our Lady of the Light, en route to 11am Mass on the morning of Sunday, May 5, crowds of onlookers stood in silent sympathy.

Only two days before, the couple's eldest child, blonde, bewitching three-year-old Madeleine, had vanished from their holiday apartment, seemingly abducted from her bedroom while she slept, tucked between her twin siblings, in the sleepy Algarve coastal resort.

Already, shockwaves were reverberating around the world.

Here before them, was the distraught, stumbling young mother whose name was now synonymous with the searing heartache of maternal loss.

As the McCanns drew nearer to the church, the quiet murmurings of grief, of sympathy and pity for a mother who clutched Cuddle Cat, her child's favourite toy, to her chest and was so clearly clinging to the belief that within days Madeleine would be found, swelled.

Spontaneously, the few supportive claps became a crescendo.

Holiday-makers and locals enveloped the couple, stroking Kate's face, clapping Gerry's back, pressing flowers and green and yellow ribbons into their hands.

Their message was clear: we are with you, we will support you, we will comfort you as we would our own.

Four months on, almost to the day, how astonishingly, almost unbelievably, things have changed.

On the morning of September 7, again, shortly before 11am, Kate McCann once more walked through the Portuguese crowds swarming the pavement, this time to face an 11-hour grilling by police, who were waiting to ask her: Did you kill your daughter?

This time there was no cheering support, no rousing reception.

Instead the low, slow sound of hissing, then jeers and the escalating angry cat-calls of: "How could you? What mother could do this?"

Only one lone voice, that of an English holiday-maker, shouted: "We believe you Kate."

It must have been scant comfort to Madeleine's mother, now painfully thin and wan-faced, as she walked trance-like into the Portimao police headquarters.

Today Kate McCann, and Gerry, both 39, are no longer deemed, by Portuguese police at least, the tragic victims of a heinous and heartless crime: they now face the finger of vile suspicion as the chief suspects in the disappearance of their daughter - of whom there has been not a single sighting since the evening she vanished.

That the McCanns, initially, evoked sympathy and compassion worldwide is without doubt.

The great and good, from the Pope to the British Prime Minister, from David Beckham to pop stars, have pledged their support, using their status and celebrity to highlight the compelling and sorrowful story of Madeleine's abduction, which has topped the news agenda for three months.

In the intervening time, the couple have been feted and applauded across the world, saluted for their relentless FindMadeleine campaign - which has raised more than £1 million - and the stoic courage they have shown as the lacklustre Portuguese police inquiry, punctuated by bumbling inefficiency and the most basic of flaws, lumbered slowly along.

Then, three weeks ago, the tide seemed to turn. When Robert Murat, the British-born suspect, angrily suggested those "bloody McCanns" should return home, he was not, this time, a lone voice.

The Portuguese media had already been revelling in lurid headlines suggesting that the couple were "swingers" who indulged in wife-swapping, had drunk 14 bottles of wine along with their seven friends on the night Madeleine vanished, had not been nearly so vigilant about checking on their children on the evening of May 3 as they claimed and were under intense scrutiny by police, who now believed Madeleine was dead.

The idea that something was awry finally seemed to be taking root in the public's consciousness.

Increasingly, the McCanns seemed isolated. Even though the Portuguese police investigation was riddled with flaws, more and more people began to question the family's version of events.

Gnawing, often unspoken, doubts festered.

When the Portuguese media insisted that its allegations were not based on wildly imaginative speculation, but were the result of secret briefings by police moles, they had largely been dismissed.

Now, however, the public grudgingly gave them more and more credence.

On Friday, we discovered why. Those veiled innuendoes and lurid allegations, it became clear, were indeed based on the Portuguese police's suspicions. Suspicions they had most likely leaked to their own country's media, possibly in the hope of rattling the McCanns and encouraging them to change their story.

And those suspicions were based on scientific evidence, albeit evidence that the Portuguese themselves had spectacularly missed or failed to seek out and which was revealed only after they finally allowed British police, who possess much more sophisticated equipment and methods, to become involved.

In the past two days, events have switched. Why, Portuguese police want to know, did the McCanns hire a car five weeks after Madeleine's disappearance and one day before they flew to Rome for an audience with the Pope?

How did traces of Madeleine's blood come to be found on the window and under the sofa of apartment 5a in the Mark Warner Ocean Club resort in which the couple had stayed along with their two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, and Madeleine?

Why were traces of Madeleine's bodily fluids discovered in the car?

Why had sniffer dogs smelled the scent of a corpse on Kate McCann's jeans and T-shirt and on Cuddle Cat, Madeleine's favourite toy which Mrs McCann twists obsessively through her trembling fingers as her last tangible link with Madeleine?

Did you sedate your daughter, accidentally overdose her and then panic and dispose of the body, they want to know.

And while there can be no doubt that the majority of people believe the McCanns to be entirely innocent, and that the allegations are, in the words of Philomena McCann, Gerry's aunt, "ludicrous and utterly untrue", the public, too, has pressing questions: Have the McCanns cynically manipulated a gullible public that was all too willing to believe their heartbreaking story of how their cherished child disappeared?

Was their carefully orchestrated and sophisticated campaign, that included jetting across the world on fact-finding missions and high-profile press events, merely a smoke screen for what could be one of the most audacious and clever cover-ups?

In the early days of May no one could have imagined such a scenario.

Day after day, as the McCanns left their apartment at 9am to walk Sean and Amelie to the Mark Warner creche, they appeared more and more pitiable.

They embraced media involvement, believing publicity was their best weapon.

"We are waging a war, a strategic campaign," Gerry told me in the couple's first face-to-face interview with a British Sunday national newspaper.

That day, the first time I had spoken at length to the couple, there seemed no reason to doubt their story of how they had put their three children to bed at 7pm and then dined at a tapas bar, checking at half-hour intervals.

Yes, I had niggling suspicions. It was true, I suggested gently, that while they had dined within the safe confines of the Mark Warner resort, behind security staffed gates, their children were left alone in a ground-floor apartment seven to eight minutes away, on the main road.

And when I, apologetically, asked my two final questions, prefacing them delicately with the explanation that I had, as a journalist, no option but to ask, Kate became very edgy.

When I queried their decision to ignore the various baby-sitting services, Kate mumbled something about not wanting "to leave them with strangers".

When I asked why they left the patio doors and windows unlocked, she stood up and walked off. Understandably, they were distressing questions. Nevertheless, she was unwilling to address them.

Kate McCann, whom I was convinced, without a doubt, was incapable of harming a hair upon her child's head and was, truly, a distraught and heart-broken mother, did come across as detached, a little cold.

Only through lengthy gentle coaxing would she talk of her emotions. But, I reasoned, too much could be read into that.

Joanne Lees, initially suspected of the murder of her boyfriend Peter Falconio, suffered vilification simply because she did not wear her heart on her sleeve. She was, as was later proved, innocent.

When Kate was asked a difficult question she sat in silence, leaving the response to Gerry.

He, more gregarious by nature, could be slightly arrogant. It was easily explained by his natural desire to be doing something positive and his professional training as a highly skilled cardiologist, accustomed to controlling situations. Yet it was mildly disconcerting.

In those initial weeks, I also witnessed the Portuguese police's shambolic inquiry.

I noted the four Alsatian sniffer dogs penned in cages in the sweltering sun while their handlers scoured the seafront shops for souvenirs instead of seeking evidence; I observed too their failure to close the border between Portugal and Spain for 12 hours after Madeleine vanished and the paucity of their apparent evidence against Robert Murat, who appeared to be guilty only of having a strange manner and a nosy desire to be at the heart of the case.

Although Portuguese police insisted that there was no paedophile ring operating in the country, their British counterparts revealed that 130 such criminals had travelled to Portugal in the past two years.

Casa Liliano, the villa shared by Mr Murat and his mother, Jenny, about 100 yards from the McCann's apartment, was searched twice, its grounds dug up.

His computers were scoured and his links with the somewhat elusive Russian, Sergey Malinka, and Malinka's mysterious on-off girlfriend Michaela, were trawled through.

But while Mr Murat became the sole suspect, no charges have ever been brought and he expects to be exonerated soon.

By July, while the McCanns were still swamped with unswerving support, the first voices of dissent began to emerge.

The Leicester Mercury, the couple's local newspaper serving the Rothley village where they lived, was forced to close its Madeleine website after a series of "spiteful and defamatory" remarks were made about the McCanns.

Then came the real turning of the tide. Tired of being ignored by the McCanns, the Portuguese media camped outside their villa and knocked constantly upon their door. When the family left, the media circus followed, tracking the couple obsessively.

In Praia da Luz, too, more and more people began to ask why the McCanns were still there. It seemed heartless. And, yet, one could see the sentiment take root and grow.

In a scathing letter to the Algarve's English language newspaper, the Portugal News, Martyn Smith, a British solicitor living in Praia da Luz, asked a series of scorching questions.

"The Director of Public Prosecutions should consider if there is a case to answer," he thundered, querying the couple's decision to leave their children alone.

Why, he asked, did the McCanns travel to several European countries but never Britain. "It may be for fear of prosecution," he said.

The all-too-sad truth was that the tide of goodwill was turning against the McCanns.

Locals were angry that their police were being so heavily criticised by the British press. British journalists also believed the Portuguese simply wanted a scapegoat, preferably not Portuguese, upon whom they could pin the crime.

"People here are finding it all very tiresome," Sheena Rawcliff, the managing director of the Resident, Praia da Luz's English-language magazine, admitted to me.

"Of course our hearts go out to them. But people are asking the blunt questions. Why leave them alone? Why remain here? The McCanns need closure, but so, too, do the people of Praia da Luz. A backlash has begun and I believe it could get ugly."

This weekend, Ms Rawcliffe has been proved correct.

Kate and Gerry McCann should have been preparing to board a flight back to England this morning with their two remaining children.

Instead, they will, once again, trudge to their local church, passing the posters, now torn and dog-eared, of their cherished Madeleine. They have vowed to remain in Portugal until they clear their names.

But, however astonishing it may seem, there appears to be a possibility that the couple whose anguish has touched the world may face charges of accidentally killing their child and disposing of her body.

Few in Britain will believe that they could have been involved: perhaps because that possibility, with all its implications, is too horrendous to contemplate.

Never more so than now will the McCann's motto of "Hope, Strength and Courage" be more important, or more vital, to their survival.

Four years gone, still not forgotten, 29 April 2011
Four years gone, still not forgotten Algarve Resident

Updated: 29-Apr-2011

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the apartment that she and her family were staying at in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.

While the active search for Madeleine McCann by official authorities may have long ceased, her family continue to work to find their missing daughter, employing private investigators and continuing to urge the public to help in their search.

For many, the Algarve is no longer only associated with the news story of Madeleine McCann, a story which resonated around the world as the pictures, reports and footage of Kate and Gerry McCann addressing the press from Praia da Luz in an attempt to find their daughter created global awareness of the case.

British tourist Eva Barry told the Algarve Resident: "While I have been here on holiday, I travelled to Praia da Luz for a day trip with my family and, to be honest, I never once connected the Madeleine McCann case to the resort. “It has been a long time since she went missing and although it would be wonderful if she was found, it is not something that I immediately associate with the Algarve as I may have done years ago."”

Praia da Luz may have recovered from the case but it will always remain a focal point, not only for the press but also for the family of Madeleine McCann and their supporters.

New book

On May 3 a vigil will be held at the church in Luz from 9pm. Father Haynes Hubbard told the Algarve Resident: "There will be a vigil on the day for 30 minutes in the church and all are welcome to join us in prayer for her return. I do not expect any of her family members to be here for this."”

Kate and Gerry McCann are said to be attending a vigil in their home town of Rothley in Leicestershire to mark the anniversary before Kate McCann launches a book that she has written about the case in a bid to raise further money for the Find Madeleine Fund.

The book, entitled Madeleine, is to be published on May 12 to coincide with the eighth birthday of their daughter, who was only three when she went missing.

Kate McCann said: "My reason for writing is simple: to give an account of the truth. Publishing this book has been a very difficult decision and is one that we have taken after much deliberation and with a very heavy heart."”

She added: "However, with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund, the decision has been taken out of our hands. Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl."

Kate McCann's poignant trip to Portugal, 01 May 2011
Kate McCann's poignant trip to Portugal Sunday Express

Kate McCann has journeyed to Portugal to say prayers for Madeleine ahead of Tuesday's anniversary

By James Murray
Sunday May 1,2011

KATE McCANN has returned from another poignant solo trip to Portugal on the eve of the fourth anniversary of her daughter Madeleine's kidnap.

She made the journey partly to meet friends and supporters but also to say prayers for Madeleine ahead of Tuesday's anniversary.

For the past five months she has spent every waking hour working on her book about the seemingly unsolvable crime in the hope that readers worldwide will produce the vital clue which has so far eluded detectives.

Two weeks ago she put the finishing touches to the book, called simply Madeleine, and then flew to Portugal. The 42-year-old former GP has worried friends by her relentless work in recent months and has lost weight, partly due to her fitness regime and partly through having to recall all the painful details of the abduction.

A stalwart friend who has helped her deal with the pressures has been Fiona Payne, who was with the family on their ill-fated holiday.

Kate's husband Gerry, also 42, has been a constant support, but in recent months has been taking more of a back seat in the campaign to find out who snatched Madeleine from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve on May 3, 2007.

A source said: "Gerry is immensely proud of the way Kate has worked so hard for so long. He is exceptionally busy with his job as a heart expert at a local hospital and as he is the sole breadwinner it is vital he keeps his job. Kate has been going through emotional hell as she pours out all the hurt and anger of the past four years on page after page.

"Although she is softly spoken and quiet by nature I think she has found a vehicle to express her anger and frustration at all the things that went wrong in the investigation.

"Only a small group of people have seen the book and Gerry has told his friends that it is very much Kate's project and that he is proud of the way she has knuckled down to the task.

"Kate has made several solo trips to Portugal this year. There are legal meetings but her priority is to make sure her book gets a fair hearing when it is published there in mid-May.

"Although it is possible the breakthrough may come from a British person reading the book, it is far more likely that someone in Portugal who picks up a copy may come forward with the missing piece of the jigsaw."

It is expected Kate will launch the book in London on May 12, Madeleine's eighth birthday, and will again travel to Portugal the following week. She and Gerry and their six-year-old twins Sean and Amelie will mark Tuesday's anniversary quietly at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.

McCanns mark Madeleine anniversary, 02 May 2011
McCanns mark Madeleine anniversary Belfast Telegraph

[Press Association]
Monday, 2 May 2011

Kate and Gerry McCann are to mark the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance privately with family and friends.

The couple are keeping a low profile as Mrs McCann, 43, prepares to publish her account of how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007.

Proceeds from the book - which is simply entitled Madeleine and goes on sale on May 12 - will boost their dwindling fund to search for their daughter.

They also hope that the publication of the work will prompt people holding vital information about what happened to the child to come forward at last.

The McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, are not giving any interviews to mark the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this year, although they will do some to promote their book.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It will be a private day marked with family and friends. The anniversary is normally a very low-key occasion at home for them."

He added that there were no plans for them to return to Portugal for the sad four-year landmark.

The 384-page book, which Mrs McCann has written herself without the aid of a ghost writer, has a recommended retail price of £20 and is expected to become a best-seller.

It was originally due to be published last week but publishers Transworld postponed the release date by a fortnight to avoid clashing with the royal wedding.

Extracts from the book will be serialised by newspapers from this weekend before the book is published on Madeleine's eighth birthday.


And a similar version, with a different ending...

Mum silent on Maddie, four years on Irish Herald

By Sam Marsden [Press Association]
Monday May 02 2011

Kate and Gerry McCann will tomorrow mark the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance privately with family and friends.

The couple are keeping a low profile as Mrs McCann (43) prepares to publish her account of how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007.

Proceeds from the book -- which is simply entitled Madeleine and goes on sale on May 12 -- will boost their dwindling fund to search for their daughter.

They also hope that the publication of the work will prompt people holding vital information about what happened to the child to come forward.

The McCanns, from Leicestershire, are not giving any interviews to mark the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this year, although they will do some to promote their book.


Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It will be a private day marked with family and friends. The anniversary is normally a very low-key occasion at home for them."

He added that there were no plans for them to return to Portugal for the sad four-year landmark. The 384-page book, which Mrs McCann has written herself without the aid of a ghost writer, is expected to become a best-seller.

It was originally due to be published last week but publishers Transworld postponed the release date by a fortnight to avoid clashing with the royal wedding.

The book is published on Madeleine's eighth birthday.

A publishing source said there was a "huge amount" of international interest in Mrs McCann's personal account but it will initially be launched in the UK alone. The book has been translated into Portuguese and is expected to be published in Portugal in the near future.

The McCanns are fighting a legal battle against former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral over his own book which alleges that Madeleine died in the apartment and that her parents faked her abduction -- something they strongly deny.

In October the appeal court in Lisbon overturned an injunction obtained by the couple banning publication of Mr Amaral's work, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.


And another version that is representative of all reports published on 03 May 2011:

Madeleine: Four years to the day as parents live in hope Leicester Mercury

By Staff Reporter
Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 09:30

Kate and Gerry McCann are marking the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance privately with family and friends.

The couple are keeping a low profile as Kate, 43, prepares to publish her account of how the little girl vanished on a family holiday to Portugal on May 3, 2007.

Proceeds from the book – which is simply entitled Madeleine and goes on sale on May 12 – will boost their dwindling reserves to help fund the search for their daughter.

They also hope that the publication of the work will prompt people holding vital information about what happened to the child to come forward at last.

The McCanns, of Rothley, are not giving any interviews to mark the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance this year.

However, they will be doing some to promote their book.

Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It will be a private day marked with family and friends. The anniversary is normally a very low-key occasion at home for them."

He added that there were no plans for the couple to return to Portugal for the four-year landmark.

Kate's 384-page book, which she has written without the aid of a ghost writer, has a recommended retail price of £20 and is expected to become a best-seller.

It was originally due to be available last week.

However, publisher Transworld postponed the release date by a fortnight to avoid clashing with the royal wedding.

Extracts from the book will be serialised by newspapers from this weekend, before the book is published on Madeleine's eighth birthday.

A publishing source said there was a "huge amount" of international interest in Kate's personal account, but it will initially be launched in the UK alone.

The book has been translated into Portuguese and is expected to be published in Portugal in the near future.

The McCanns are fighting a legal battle against former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral over his own book, which alleges that Madeleine died in the apartment and that her parents faked her abduction – something the McCanns strongly deny.

In October, the appeal court in Lisbon overturned an injunction obtained by the couple banning publication of Mr Amaral's work, Maddie: The Truth Of The Lie.

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve, on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends nearby.

Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, the youngster has not been found.

The official Portuguese inquiry into Madeleine's disappearance was formally shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the McCanns have continued the search.

TIMELINE: Key events since Madeleine McCann's disappearance


May 3: Madeleine is found missing from the family's holiday apartment. Kate and Gerry McCann had been dining with friends at a nearby restaurant. One friend later reports seeing a man carrying a child away earlier that night.

May 14: Anglo-Portuguese property developer Robert Murat is made  an "arguido", or  official suspect.

August 6: A Portuguese newspaper reports that British sniffer dogs have found traces of blood in the McCanns' apartment.

September 7: Detectives make Mr and Mrs McCann "arguidos".

October 2: Goncalo Amaral, the detective in charge, is removed from the case.


May 3:  Mrs McCann urges people to "pray like mad" on the first anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.

July 21: The Portuguese authorities shelve their investigation and lift the "arguido" status on the McCanns and Mr Murat.

July 24: Mr Amaral publishes a book, The Truth Of The Lie, in which he alleges that Madeleine died in the holiday flat.

August 4: Evidence from the Portuguese police investigation is made public.


January 29: £2 million was raised for the official fund to find Madeleine in the first 10 months.

September 9: A Portuguese judge bans further sale or publication of Mr Amaral's book following legal action by Mr and Mrs McCann.


November 14: Mr and Mrs McCann announce they have signed a deal to write a book.


April 28: An online petition calling for a full review of the evidence nears the 50,000-signature milestone.


We wish the McCanns all the very best Leicester Mercury

Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 09:30

Today marks the fourth anniversary of Madeleine McCann's disappearance – a four-year living nightmare for her parents Kate and Gerry, who will spend the day quietly and privately at their Rothley home with family and friends.

It is impossible for any of us to imagine what the family have endured over the past four years.

The fact that your child is missing in a foreign country is, in itself, every parent's nightmare, but add the international glare of publicity, the unfounded police allegations and the hurtful and malicious comments by some, it must make the pressure and pain unbearable at times.

The efforts by the McCanns to find their daughter are relentless and resourceful in the face of what is, at best, Portuguese indifference.

Private detectives are still employed to investigate sightings and money needs to be raised by the couple to keep that search going.

The latest effort in that desperate drive for funding will be the release of Madeleine – a 384-page book written by her mother Kate.

Extracts from the book will be serialised in newspapers from this weekend before the official launch.

The book and the newspaper serialisation will all raise badly-needed funds to keep the search for Madeleine alive.

We can all only pray that all the publicity surrounding the book can finally bring the breakthrough the family have been so desperately been waiting for.

We wish them all the best in their latest efforts.

Madeleine McCann's parents to say anniversary mass in Liverpool, 02 May 2011
Madeleine McCann's parents to say anniversary mass in Liverpool Liverpool Daily Post

by Paddy Shennan
May 2 2011

A SPECIAL Mass for Madeleine McCann will be said in Liverpool tomorrow – the fourth anniversary of her disappearance.

It will take place at 7.30pm at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, in Woolton Road, Childwall – the parish church of Liverpool-born Kate McCann's parents, Brian and Susan Healy, and also the church where Kate and her husband, Gerry, were married.

Each Sunday, the church holds a children's Mass at which Madeleine is remembered, and Mrs Healy said: "The support we have had from our parish priest, Father Desmond Keegan, has been solid all along.

"Whenever we have needed his help, he has been there.

"He is leaving the parish soon and moving to Edinburgh, and we want to say he's been absolutely tremendous."

Meanwhile, Kate McCann's 384-page book – Madeleine – is being published on May 12, her daughter's eighth birthday.

Mrs Healy said: "Kate has to tell her story, even though it's been the most terribly painful process over the last nine months. We just hope that something will come from the book. It's something that may just force someone to come forward. It's also an account for Madeleine and for the twins (six-year-old Sean and Amelie)."

Transworld won the rights to publish Kate's account of how her daughter vanished during a family holiday in Portugal in 2007 and the subsequent efforts to find her. When the deal was announced, Kate explained: "There are several different reasons as to why I finally came to the decision with my husband, Gerry, to write and publish this book.

"Many factors needed to be given thorough and careful consideration, not least the impact of such a book on the lives of our three children. My reason for writing is simple; to give an account of the truth.

"Publishing this book has been a very difficult decision and is one that we have taken after much deliberation and with a very heavy heart." But she also stressed that with "the depletion of Madeleine's Fund (Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd) it is a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands".

She added: "Every penny we raise through its sales will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important to us than finding our little girl." And Gerry McCann said: "Our hope is that it may prompt those who have relevant information to come forward and share it with our team.

"Somebody holds that key piece of the jigsaw."

The publishers have secured an exclusive serialisation deal with a national newspaper group.

The family of Madeleine McCann – still hoping, still praying, 02 May 2011
The family of Madeleine McCann – still hoping, still praying Liverpool Echo

Liverpool Echo - Our View
May 2 2011

TOMORROW is the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann – and still her parents are craving that elusive breakthrough which they hope will lead to the safe return of their daughter.

As we report today, a special Mass will be said in Liverpool tomorrow evening and Liverpool-born Kate's book, Madeleine, will be published on May 12 – Madeleine's eighth birthday.

The Mass will reflect the ongoing support given to Kate's family – including her parents, Susan and Brian Healy, who live in Allerton – by the people of this city, while it is hoped that the book will lead to someone with vital information coming forward.

In a sense, nothing has changed from the night Madeleine went missing – there is still incredible sadness, but there is also hope.

It is this hope which continues to drive the search. And it is this hope which provides the response to those who, after four years, ask why Madeleine's parents continue looking.

As Kate and Gerry McCann say on their website: "There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed. Madeleine is still missing and someone needs to be looking for her. She is very young and vulnerable and needs our help."

Wouldn't every parent in their position be doing and saying exactly the same thing?

It is a story which, with the passing of time, has inevitably attracted fewer and fewer headlines, but, with tomorrow's anniversary and next week's publication of Kate McCann's book, the world's media will again be focusing on the family's plight.

We can only hope this renewed emphasis can help bring about what we would all dearly love to see – a happy ending to a family's harrowing and heartbreaking ordeal.

4yrs of hell but we'll find Maddie, 03 May 2011
4yrs of hell but we'll find Maddie The Sun

Torment ... Kate and Gerry McCann
Torment ... Kate and Gerry McCann

Published: 03 May 2011

MADELEINE McCann's parents issued a heartfelt thank-you to people for "not giving up" on their daughter - ahead of today's fourth anniversary of her disappearance.

Anguished Kate McCann insisted in an internet message: "She is still findable."

Kate added on the FindMadeleine website: "We would like to reiterate our gratitude to all of our supporters for not forgetting.

"Four years may have passed but our little girl is still missing." Kate, 43, also told how she still has "flashbacks to May 2007" - when three-year-old Madeleine vanished on holiday.

She said: "Everything is so new and fresh.

"You just keep thinking that she's going to be found tomorrow - and here we are four years later."

Kate and husband Gerry, a fellow doctor also aged 43, will mark today's anniversary quietly as family and friends console them.

The mum will attend a prayer vigil at the Catholic church near their home in Rothley, Leics. Similar vigils will be held in Liverpool, where Kate's parents live, and at Our Lady Of Light church in Praia da Luz, Portugal - where Maddie was abducted from the family's holiday apartment.

The couple's spokesman confirmed: "It will be a private day marked with family and friends."

Kate hopes a book she has written - entitled simply Madeleine - will lead to people coming up with new information.

She said: "It will be launched on May 12, which poignantly and coincidentally happens to be Madeleine's eighth birthday.

"We pray that it will bring us the result we long for and that not only the book but this whole ordeal and heartache will be behind us before too much longer."

The £20 cover price will boost the dwindling fund set up to find her little girl.

The McCanns' spokesman said as he revealed their "very low key" anniversary plans that the couple were not intending to return to the Algarve resort.

Kate's book had been due out last week - but the release date was delayed to avoid clashing with the Royal Wedding.

Updates, 02 May 2011

Madeleine McCann: 'Tie a yellow ribbon for Madeleine' update, 02 May 2011

Monday, 2nd May, 2011

2011 has been an incredibly busy year so far. Every year since Madeleine was taken has been, but this one, particularly so.

Between January and March we held 3 fundraising events – 'Bags of Hope for Madeleine' - at the National Space Centre in Leicester, the Crypt in the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow. Despite the time and effort required in organising these evenings, all three were very positive. As well as the money raised to further the search for Madeleine, these occasions were important in gathering supporters together, re-energising the campaign and increasing awareness of the frightening and poorly resourced problem of missing and exploited children. The tangible warmth and support present also gave Gerry and I and all our family an essential boost. We'd like to thank everybody who supported these events – the venue staff, caterers, entertainers, those who donated bags and other prizes and of course all those who attended the events. We're very grateful to Steve Womack, Ricky Tomlinson and Sanjeev Kohli in particular, for giving up their time to support Madeleine, and for making these evenings extra special.

The main project this year has been writing my book. It will be launched on Thursday 12th May, which poignantly and coincidentally happens to be Madeleine's 8th birthday. It's a relief that the end of this intense period is now in sight. We hope and pray that it will bring us the result we long for and that not only the book but this whole ordeal and heartache will be behind us before too much longer.

Madeleine is still missing and there is still a lot to be done. Our efforts to find her are not diminishing. If anything, they are escalating. The need for a review by the authorities of Madeleine's case remains, and our desire to achieve this unwavering. This is a stone which definitely needs to be turned for Madeleine.

We would like to reiterate our gratitude to all of our supporters for not forgetting. Four years may have passed but our little girl is still missing. And, she is still findable. Your continued kindness and backing could help us achieve this.

Thank you again for not giving up on Madeleine.


Message from McCanns on the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, 03 May 2011
Message from McCanns on the anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook entry, 02 May 2011

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 at 04:10

Please remember that it's been four years since we've held our daughter in our arms. Four years since we've seen our lovely daughter. Please remember Madeleine today and add her picture to your profile and pass on to all of your friends and family. Thank you! xxx

Support: |

Fortunately, there are many cases of abducted children being found and returned to their families - even after long periods of time. The vital piece of information that leads to a happy and longed-for reunion is usually thanks to a caring and vigilant member of the general public, often recognising


Above text links to the Support (Downloads) page on website: Support/Downloads page


Fortunately, there are many cases of abducted children being found and returned to their families - even after long periods of time. The vital piece of information that leads to a happy and longed-for reunion is usually thanks to a caring and vigilant member of the general public, often recognising a face from a poster. In fact, 1 in 6 children are recovered after being recognised from a poster! It is for this reason that we must continue to remind people of Madeleine and the fact that she is still missing. We are extremely grateful therefore to everyone for downloading and displaying a poster - It could be the poster that brings Madeleine home.

Campaign Materials & Downloads

Social Network Profile Picture

To add this picture to your Facebook, Twitter etc... profile, right mouse click on the image and save to your desktop. Then upload as your profile picture.

You can also link to this image on your Website.

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0"></a>

(page continues with various downloads/links in various languages)

Page 3 profile: Kate and Gerry McCann - parents, 03 May 2011
Page 3 profile: Kate and Gerry McCann - parents i (from The Independent - paper edition)

i newspaper, 03 May 2011

Chris Stevenson
Tuesday 3 May 2011

The couple have been keeping a low profile recently. What brings them back into the news?

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the day the couple's daughter Madeleine, went missing on a family holiday to Portugal in 2007. While this will be marked in private, the couple will give interviews about the publication on 12 May of the book Madeleine, Kate McCann's account of the disappearance of their daughter. The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was shelved in July 2008, but proceeds from the book will go towards the fund to continue the search for their daughter.

Why are they releasing a book now?

The couple are hoping that the publication of the 384-page book, written by Mrs McCann, will prompt anyone who holds information about Madeleine's disappearance to come forward. The original release date was last week but their publishers, Transworld, postponed this by two weeks to avoid a clash with the royal wedding.

Any other reasons for writing the book?

It also allows Kate McCann to tell her story, after the couple accepted £500,000 in damages from Express Newspapers Group in 2008 for a number of defamatory articles surrounding the case. They are also fighting a legal battle against a former detective, Goncalo Amaral, whose own book, Maddie - The Truth of the Lie, alleges that Madeleine died in the apartment and her parents faked the abduction, an allegation that the McCanns strongly denied. In October the Lisbon appeal court overturned an injunction gained by the McCanns banning the publication of the work.

Exclusive! Kate McCann 4 years on - 'I still sit in Maddie's room every day', 03 May 2011
Exclusive! Kate McCann 4 years on - 'I still sit in Maddie's room every day' Closer magazine

Closer magazine, front cover

Closer magazine article on the McCanns

By Tracey Kandohla
Closer magazine 7-13 May 2011

Kate McCann: 'The pain is always there - but I'm stronger than a year ago'

It's four years since Madeleine McCann tragically disappeared from her room while on holiday in Portugal. Now her mother, Kate, has written a book in a further desperate bid to find her beloved daughter

FOR THE LAST FIVE months Kate McCann has been holed up in her study, painstakingly chronicling the last few agonising years of her life. She'swept as she's written about her beloved daughter Madeleine's disappearance in Portugal four years ago.

Kate's written a book, simply entitled Madeleine, in the hope it will help her and her heart surgeon husband Gerry, 42, find their daughter. They are praying that it might trigger more leads in the case, or at least make them the flmillion they urgently need to fund the search. It will be published on 12 May - the same day they should have been celebrating Madeleine's eighth birthday.

It wasn't something Kate or Gerry undertook lightly. Kate admits: "It wasn't an easy decision to take I had to consider the impact on the lives of our three children. But with the depletion of Madeleine's Fund, it's a decision that has virtually been taken out of our hands."

And indeed, it seems the harrowing task has taken a lot out of Kate, now 42. A family friend tells Closer: "She'd put weight on a year ago but it's dropped off again. Reliving her nightmare has taken its toll and she's painfully thin."

Kate stuck to a rigid routine while writing, running every morning near her home in Rothley, Leics, after taking the twins, Sean and Amelie, now six, to catch the school bus.

She then went to her study, poring over diaries she kept in the days directly after Maddie's disappearance, only stopping to pickup the twins at 3.30pm.

A neighbour says: "Kate's eyes light up when she sees the twins climb off the bus. They stroll along like any normal family."

But sadly this family has been in turmoil since 3 May 2007. As they holidayed with friends in Portugal, Maddie had poignantly told her mother as she went to bed that evening: "Mummy, I've had the best day ever."

That night the McCanns made the fateful decision to leave their children in the holiday apartment while they sat 100 yards away having a meal with friends. They met at 8.40pm and checked the children regularly. But when Kate went to check at 10pm Madeleine had gone, though the twins were still asleep.

There haven't been any confirmed sightings of Madeleine since, but there are plenty of theories about what might have happened to her, from being taken by a paedophile ring or by someone who couldn't have children, to Kate and Gerry becoming official suspects in September 2007. They were cleared a year later, but it fuelled suspicion about the couple and even led to internet groups being formed, throwing the couple's statements into doubt.

But Kate and Gerry have never wavered from their belief that Madeleine is alive and well.

Kate still sits in Maddie's pretty pink bedroom, where she allows the twins to play, and has returned twice in the last year to Praia da Luz to be near to where she last saw Maddie.

She revealed: "I still sit in Madeleine's room everyday. It's a comforting feeling. We haven't changed anything."

But Kate reveals she has let go of some "horrible, negative" anger recently, saying: "The wounds are less raw but the pain doesn't go away. But I am definitely a lot stronger than I was a year ago."

Kate quit her job as a GP to be a full-time mum to the twins, and says they've noticed her working on the book.

Kate reveals: "Amelie asked: 'Why do you work, Mummy?' I tell her: 'Well, I've got to find Madeleine.' And Sean says: 'But when that's over and she's home, what will you do?' And I think: 'Bring it on!'"

And Kate is determined that the twins lead an ordinary life.

A friend reveals: "At one time Kate didn't even go out, but as the twins get older she leads as normal a life as possible."

Kate takes them to the nearby Soar Valley Leisure Centre, but even there they see reminders of Maddie - a petition remains in the foyer, backing Kate and Gerry's plea to the government to conduct an independent review of the case. Cars feature Maddie stickers, and green and yellow ribbons symbolising hope are tied to aerials and the gates of the McCanns' home.

A friend says: "Writing about her daughter has been very painful, and there have been many tears. It's the book Kate never wanted to write, but the family are desperate to keep the search going. Kate has carried on for Madeleine's sake."

Kate says of the book: "Every penny we raise will be spent on our search for Madeleine. Nothing is more important than finding our little girl."

Madeleine's gran, Eileen McCann, 70, tells Closer: "We are still hoping and praying. You do hear of lost children being found."

Gerry's mum Eileen and his sister Tricia will visit the family for the anniversary of Maddie's disappearance.

Eileen says: "Sean and Amelie are happy children and love seeing us. As awful and upsetting as it's been, we've grown stronger as a family."

This week the family will pray for Maddie at the Sacred Heart Church near their home.

Father Keith Tomlinson says: "We will be saying special prayers for Madeleine."

By Tracey Kandohla

• Kate and Gerry urge anyone with information about their daughter to contact

Parents did not register Maddie at birth, 03 May 2011
Parents did not register Maddie at birth Correio da Manhã

Correio da Manhã, 03 May 2011

Madeleine McCann disappeared four years ago. The couple registered the girl three months after she was born, and to the Judicial Police, never explained the reason why

03 May 2011

She was registered three months after being born and her birthday was celebrated at a third date

Read more details in the paper edition of 'Correio da Manhã'.

Parents did not register Maddie at birth Correio da Manhã (paper edition)

Correio da Manhã, 03 May 2011


• She was registered three months after being born and her birthday was celebrated at a third date

By Paulo Marcelino
3 May 2011
Thanks to Joana Morais for translation and scan

Today it is four years since Madeleine McCann disappeared from the tourist resort where she was on holiday with her parents and friends in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Algarve. The judicial process continues to be archived without the mystery being solved, between the thesis of abduction, homicide or accidental death - and the police still do not have an answer from the McCanns: Why was the English girl only registered three months after being born and why do they celebrate her birthday on a different date.

Maddie disappeared from the bedroom where she slept with her twin siblings, Sean and Amelie, on the night of 3 May 2007. The date of birth in her passport - the only identity document given by the family to the Judiciary Police - is May 12, 2003 and that is the day when the parents celebrate the birthday of their missing daughter.

However, in accordance with a document from Leicestershire police - the area of residence of the McCann family in England - which was given to the PJ 15 days after her disappearance, Madeleine McCann was born on March 12, 2003 and was registered by her parents on June, 5 of that same year. In view of the difference of three months between the birth and the registration, the same report alerted to the possibility that the child had another father. But DNA tests confirmed Gerry's paternity. The sample from Maddie which was used in the tests, in an English laboratory, was a hair taken from her room in Leicestershire, assumed to be hers since it was proven that it didn't come from her younger siblings.

The parents, Kate and Gerry, never explained the differences in the birth dates and the birthday and why they took three months to register the little girl. Sources close to the investigation assured Correio da Manhã that there were never answers to those questions. The investigators ended up assuming that the delay in the registration was possibly related to the formalities associated with artificial insemination.



It will be launched in Portugal, on the 23rd, the book 'Madeleine' written by the mother. The profits will go to the parents' fund.


The speech profile of Madeleine done at the time admitted the possibility of a learning disability. The mother denied this.


Response from the McCanns Official Find Madeleine Camapaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook entry, 03 May 2011


Tuesday, 03 May 2011 at 21:37

Why is the Portuguese newspaper Correio da Manhã reporting that Madeleine McCann was born on 12th March 2003 and was registered on 5th June the same yearr?
How come her birthday is celebrated on 12th May?
Is this a translation error on the part of the newspaper, or is there some other reason for this?

Response from McCanns:

Tuesday, 03 May 2011 at 21:50

It's a mistake Steve. Madeleine was born on 12th of May.

Madeleine McCann's birth certificate and passport, dob. 12 May 2003

Madeleine McCann's birth certificate

Madeleine's passport

Parents Remember Maddie, 03 May 2011
Parents Remember Maddie ITV Central West (video)

McCanns at Rothley prayer service, 03 March 2011

By: Victoria Davies
6.22PM Tue May 3 2011

The parents of Madeleine McCann have marked the fourth anniversary of her disappearance in private with family and friends. Madeleine vanished from a Portuguese holiday apartment back in 2007.



By Nigel Moore

Sameena Ali-Khan: The parents of Madeleine McCann have marked the fourth anniversary of her disappearance in private with their family and friends.

Bob Warman: Madeleine vanished from a Portuguese holiday apartment back in 2007. Well, Victoria Davies is live in the McCanns home village of Rothley, in Leicestershire. Errr... Victoria, this must be a distressing day for the family.

Victoria Davies: It certainly is. It may be four years ago since Madeleine disappeared but for her parents it's still just as painful, which is why they wanted today to be a private occasion but they have turned up to this community prayer service, being held here in the centre of Rothley, this evening. Now, although they didn't want to talk publicly, we did speak to their spokesperson Clarence Mitchell earlier today and he explained how hard this anniversary is for them.

Clarence Mitchell: The family, of course, are... they find it very difficult whenever there's a... a... a reminder such as the anniversary, or birthdays, anything like that, that comes up, it's very difficult and that's why they... they like to keep it as private as possible.

Victoria Davies: Now, it was four years ago to this day when Madeleine went... disappeared from the family's holiday apartment in Portugal. Now, since then there have literally been dozens of sightings all around the world, from Morocco to Belgium, even as far as New Zealand and Venezuela, and to give you an idea of... about how big this search still is, the Find Madeleine investigation team say, at any one moment, they're dealing with 1900 different pieces of information but here in Rothley, as you can see, there's a lot of support for the family and they're really living in hope that one day she will be found.

Vox Pop 1: I'm sure the community still feels very strongly about Madeleine and the parents and, errr... we're all living in hope, aren't we? Same as the parents are.

Vox Pop 2: You don't know when, or hopefully they will find her but where she is nobody knows, do they?

Vox Pop 3: We're still worried, still thinking of her, thinking of the family; we see the family quite a lot. So, you know, just hope she'll be found one day.

Sameena Ali-Khan: Victoria, you mentioned a figure of 1900 pieces of information. What is the latest with the search for Madeleine and, indeed, the dwindling funds for the Save Madeleine Fund.

Victoria Davies: Well, as far as Madeleine's parents are concerned, as you can tell them being here this evening, they're still thinking about Madeleine, the search is still very much continuing, they're still paying for detectives, which is, of course, incredibly costly but on May the 12th, Madeleine's eighth birthday, a book written by her mother will be released which details Madeleine's disappearance and that is expected to be an international best-seller, which, of course, will help their dwindling funds but more importantly the family are hoping that with the book launch a fresh piece of information may come to light and they may finally be able to find their missing daughter.

Kate and Gerry McCann 'overwhelmed' by support in Liverpool as hundreds gather at a Mass for missing Madeleine, 04 May 2011
Kate and Gerry McCann 'overwhelmed' by support in Liverpool as hundreds gather at a Mass for missing Madeleine Liverpool Echo

A special Mass for Madeleine, 03 May 2011

by Lyndsay Young, Liverpool Echo
May 4 2011

KATE McCANN and her husband Gerry said they were "overwhelmed" by support from the people of Liverpool on the fourth anniversary of their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance.

A special Mass was held for the missing little girl at Our Lady of the Annunciation, Bishop Eton, in Woolton Road, Childwall, last night.

Around 200 people joined Kate's parents Brian and Susan Healy at their parish church for the hour-long service.

Father Desmond Keegan, who led the Mass, read out words written by Kate and Gerry.

He read: "Four years have passed but Madeleine remains constantly in our hearts and minds. She is still missing and she needs us to find her. We appreciate that time moves on and lives are busy.

"In spite of these things we know that you care deeply about Madeleine and want her to be found.

"Every time we visit we are overwhelmed by the level of support for Madeleine and our family. Thank you for not forgetting Madeleine. Thank you for not giving up on Madeleine and thank you for your support and friendship."

At the entrance of the church yellow and green wristbands were available, appealing for people to keep up the fight to find Madeleine.

During the service Fr Keegan told how one parishioner had worn his wristband for four years.

He said: "He said he won't take it off until Madeleine comes home.

"That is the sort of empathy that we want to show Madeleine and all the family."

Each Sunday, the church, which is also where Kate and Gerry were married, holds a children's Mass at which Madeleine is remembered.

Fr Keegan talked about the "solidarity" of the church in its support for the family.

He said: "We come together still hoping that little Madeleine returns."

In a touching reference to the Royal Wedding he said he was moved at how Kate Middleton held on to her father's hand as he walked her safely down the aisle.

Fr Keegan said: "That's my prayer and my hope and my dream for Madeleine – that Jesus is holding her hand and is leading her home and that one day in God's good time, with Jesus by her side, Madeleine will be led home to her loved ones."

The family joined the congregation in taking Holy Communion after prayers were said for Madeleine.

After the Mass, her gran Susan told the ECHO: "I just think it was a lovely service. It's nice to see people that you haven't seen for ages.

"Father Desmond is wonderful. He's been a tremendous support to us.

"As my daughter says when you've got nothing else you've got prayer and that gives us hope.

"If you would have asked us four years ago, we couldn't have envisaged being full of hope.

"It's because of the good work of the people."

Messages from the McCanns to their supporters, 04 May 2011
Yesterday was an extremely difficult day... Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook entry, 04 May 2011

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 13:02

Thank you all for continuing to support us. Yesterday was an extremely difficult day--even more so than any other day without our daughter. The service was lovely and it was nice to meet some of you. Please try and keep your profile picture as Madeleine. We are trying to get as many peope as possible to change their picture and keep it up until the 12th of May, Madeleine's birthday. Thank you! xxx
Request for pictures and videos... Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook entry, 04 May 2011

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 17:18

Thank you to all that have changed your profile picture. If you have any pictures from events like balloon releases, lanterns etc.., we would love to have them for some new videos we are putting together. Please make sure if there are children in the pictures that you are the parent of that child or you have permission to send us the pictures. You can send pictures to us at Thanks! xxx
No police force actively looking... Official Find Madeleine Campaign - Facebook

Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook entry, 04 May 2011

Original message from supporter:

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 17:27

Dear you. Have you got any new tracks about the disappearance? I'm in Norway and it is not so much talk about this disappearance longer unfortunately.

Hope it goes well with the family ♥

Response from the McCanns:

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 17:32

Hanne, unfortunately, there is no police force actively looking for our daughter. We are hoping with the petition (link is to your left), we can get the UK government to put a police force on the search/investigation. Also, with our book coming out on the 12th, we are hoping someone will remember something and that vital clue can lead to Madeleine.

Another question:

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 19:52

What about the private investigator? Are they no longer looking?

Response from the McCanns:

Wednesday, 04 May 2011 at 20:04

Rhian, we still have our private investigators working on the case, but the vital piece to the puzzle is still missing. It's hard work going through thousands of tips. We have some of the best in their field looking for Madeleine, but we are also missing vital information that the Portuguese police have not handed over to our investigation team. The Portuguese police gave-up on Madeleine back in 2008; when they shelved the case. We are not kept up to date on any new information they may receive either. That's why it's important we have an independent review of everything in the files and any info that is missing is gathered and added to the puzzle to figure out where our daughter is.

The Madeleine McCann files, 08 May 2011
The Madeleine McCann files Sunday Express

Kate and Gerry McCann

By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday May 8,2011

FROM the moment he set eyes on her, Gerry McCann was mesmerised by Kate Healy's infectious smile and sense of humour. The attraction was obvious but any chance of a romance looked doomed from the start due to the ambitious Kate's work commitments.

They met as young doctors working in different departments at Glasgow's Western Infirmary in the early Nineties and there was an instant chemistry between them, friends remember.

In 1996 Kate moved to New Zealand to work and Gerry dropped the chance of a dream job in the US to follow her there. Kate was never in doubt about Gerry's intentions after he travelled the world to be with her and by the time they returned to settle in Glasgow in 1998 they were already planning to marry. Their wedding took place that December at Our Lady of the Annunciation in Catholic Kate's home city of Liverpool.

Both Kate and Gerry were ambitious with Glaswegian Gerry qualifying in cardiology (he is now a consultant) while Kate concentrated on anaesthetics and gynaecology. In 2000 they moved to Queniborough in Leicestershire when Gerry got a job at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, while Kate worked as a GP in Melton Mowbray.

Although driven by their careers the most important thing in their lives was becoming parents but, even though the rest of their lives were going well, their dream of a baby didn't seem to be coming true.

Kate, who suffers from inherited endometriosis (a uterine condition), recalled: "I wanted to be a mother. When we were trying for a baby and it wasn't happening, it was really hard. The longer it went on the harder it was.

"I saw my friends having children and I was delighted for them but it made me sad too. We tried unsuccessfully for several years to conceive. There came a point when we admitted we needed help. I was so desperate to have a child I'd try anything. I know IVF isn't everyone's choice but I wanted to try it."

Kate was devastated when initial treatment at a private fertility clinic failed but the couple remained united, strong and determined. When she finally fell pregnant with Madeleine in 2002 aged 35 she said:

"It didn't seem true. It was just fantastic. It was incredibly special because we had been waiting for a long time. I did a test at home so I could handle the result if it wasn't good.

"I was looking at it thinking: 'I don't believe that!' Then I went to the hospital and they checked it. I was really excited. It was a really uncomplicated pregnancy. I had no sickness, nothing."

Madeleine was born on May 12, 2003, at a Leicester hospital.

Recalling her miracle baby's birth Kate said: "There she was, perfect. She was lovely. She had the most beautiful face. I thought I was going to have a boy, just based on instinct. That actually made it even more special that she was a girl. She took us by surprise."

Kate and Gerry wanted a bigger family and after further IVF treatment in the Netherlands, where they were living after Gerry got a job there, Kate fell pregnant with twins in 2004.

The couple moved back to Britain and Sean and Amelie were born on February 1, 2005. Finally Kate and Gerry's life was complete. Madeleine was awestruck by her little brother and sister.

"She was amazing," said Kate. "She was only 20 months old, still a baby herself, but she handled it all so well. Madeleine came in to see them for the first time and, oh, her little face!

"It was lovely. She's got bags of character, that's for sure. She's very loving, caring, very funny, very chatty, very engaging, but she has her moments like all children do. I do think she's very special."

In May 2006, the McCanns moved to their ideal home; a £600,000 detached house in Rothley, Leicestershire, where they became part of village life.

Madeleine attended the Laurels Nursery; rugby-loving Gerry would visit the Woodmans Stroke pub to watch matches and he and Kate would go running regularly, or play sport with the children.

An important part of their lives was attending their church, the Sacred Heart, just a five-minute stroll from their home, for Sunday morning mass with the children. Kate often went to a Tuesday morning service too.

Their strong faith was to play a vital role in the events which followed.


'Madeleine has gone. Someone has taken her!' Sunday Express

Maddie dressed from top to toe in pink, her favourite colour

By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday May 8,2011

ON April 28, 2007, an excited Madeleine clambered up the steps to the plane, squealing with delight as she held on to another little girl's hand.

Dressed from top to toe in pink, her favourite colour, and carrying a Barbie backpack, the angel-faced three-year-old could barely contain herself.

Madeleine, her parents and younger siblings were going on holiday to the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia de Luz, Portugal, with a group of friends: Fiona Payne, her husband David, her mother Dianne Webster and their two young daughters Scarlet and Lily; Matthew Oldfield, his wife Rachael, and daughter Grace; Russell O’Brien, his partner Jane and their two girls Eva and Ellie.

They intended to stay for a week, planning to return on Saturday, May 5, seven days before Maddie's fourth birthday. The four families, nine adults and eight children, had rented apartments at the Ocean Club in Waterside Gardens Block 5. The McCanns' large flat, 5a, was on the ground floor on a street corner with a public road running next to it. Next to them in 5b were the Oldfields. Across the landing in 5d were Russell and his family. On the floor above in 5h were the Paynes and Fiona’s mother Dianne.

The families set into a regular routine. The McCanns had breakfast in their apartment as they found it difficult getting the little ones up and dressed and then taken to the resort's Millennium restaurant, especially as the twins were only just mastering walking.

In the evenings for the rest of their stay they gave the children tea early, playing with them for an hour then putting them to bed in their apartments. They would then go out to eat themselves. The resort had a tapas bar and restaurant which they felt was ideally located, within sight of their rooms and less than a minute's walk away. Rachael made a block booking for the rest of the week so everyone knew what was happening for the adult-only meals each evening.

The resort did not offer a baby-listening service but the adults took it in turns to check on the children. The Paynes had the added comfort of using their own baby device which they placed outside the children's bedroom. They were the only pair who had a good enough device to cover the distance between the apartment and the restaurant. Russell and Jane had a similar radio device but the reception was erratic and they could not rely on it. The other couple had no such listening devices but the general feeling among the parents was that they could barely imagine a more secure place for their children.

The families spent their days playing sports, with children at the resort's children's club. There was a group gathering for tea at about 5pm, before the children were put to bed and adult time began.

The only cloud on the horizon came over breakfast on the morning of Thursday, May 3. "Why didn't you come when me and Sean were crying last night?" Maddie grumbled.

Subconsciously Kate may have harked back to a strange premonition when in a phone call to a friend she confided a niggling doubt about going on the holiday, saying: "I don't know why; I just feel uneasy."

Kate and Gerry did talk about their daughter's remark. "Gerry and I spoke for a couple of minutes and agreed to keep a close watch over the children," Kate recalled. They decided to make more frequent checks on them from the tapas bar. On that Wednesday night when Maddie and Sean had been unsettled, Rachael had stayed in her apartment with a tummy bug but cannot recall hearing any crying from next door.

The day of May 3 passed happily, with lots of activities before Madeleine joined Sean and Amelie for tea with resort staff at 5.30pm. Kate put the children to bed; Madeleine in her favourite pink pyjamas with Eeyore from Winnie-The-Pooh on the front. At 7pm, Kate and Gerry relaxed in their apartment before going to the tapas bar at 8.30pm.

They left through the patio doors which remained unlocked, although they were shut tight. The front door was shut but Gerry cannot remember whether he put the double lock on or not. From the tapas bar they could see the rear of their apartment over some bushes but they could not see all of the patio doors because there was a wall in front. They could not see the children's room either as it was at the front of the apartment. "For us, it wasn't very much different from having dinner in your garden, in the proximity of the location. Thousands of people have either done exactly the same or say they would have done the same," Gerry said.

The diners (apart from Kate and Gerry, they were later nicknamed the Tapas Seven) chatted about the day and sipped wine. Kate and Gerry felt very comfortable with their holiday friends. There was lots of laughter and conversation over four bottles of wine but they were rarely all sitting down together: the meal was punctuated by parents leaving to check on children. Sometimes their paths crossed on the way to and from apartments.

At about 9.05pm it was Gerry's turn to check on his three. They were all asleep. Maddie was snuggled up with Cuddle Cat, her favourite toy. The blanket was pulled close to her head. "All's fine," Gerry thought as he closed the bedroom door and walked out through the patio doors.

On the way back to the bar, he chatted with Jeremy Wilkins, a holidaymaker he had met earlier at the resort's tennis courts. They were passed by Jane at about 9.15pm going to check on boyfriend Russell who was nursing their sick child. Gerry returned to the tapas bar 10 minutes later. Shortly after 9.30pm a concerned Russell went back to check his poorly child. He was accompanied by Matt, who had offered to save Kate the trouble by checking on her children as well as his.

Matt crept into the McCanns' apartment and found the children's door open. He had no idea that Gerry had partially closed it. He glanced through it, seeing Sean and Amelie asleep but during his quick check didn't set eyes on Madeleine, whose bed was slightly hidden behind the door. The room was silent and everything appeared fine. Both men rejoined the table before 10pm. Shortly afterwards, Kate decided to check herself.

Within less than a minute she was walking through the patio doors. She sensed something was wrong because the window was open. Then, to her horror, she discovered that Maddie was missing. She frantically searched the flat once, twice, three times and screamed "Madeleine, Madeleine!"

Cuddle Cat had been abandoned in the bedroom. Kate's screams echoed around the complex as she ran in blind panic back towards the tapas bar shouting: "Madeleine has gone. Someone has taken her!"


How Portuguese police let down poor Maddie Sunday Express

Amaral's team was getting nowhere and so the easy option was to look at the McCanns

James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday May 8,2011

AFTER they discovered that their daughter Madeleine was missing, the McCanns' nightmare began; one that was not helped by the reaction of the authorities in Portugal and in Britain. Gerry raced to apartment 5a as friends comforted his wife.

He rechecked everywhere Kate had looked and then dashed around the apartment block and asked fellow resort guest and Tapas Seven member Matthew to go to reception to call the police at about 10.15pm.

Gerry was impatient with the slow response and went to check 15 minutes later, breaking down in tears as the full horror began to sink in.

Back in the apartment Kate was overcome with shock and despair. She kicked and punched the walls, wailing: "We've let her down!"

Portuguese police failed to turn up until nearly an hour later. Two officers from the GNR, Portugal's military police, arrived but they couldn't speak English and needed a translator provided by a member of staff at the Ocean Club.Shortly before midnight the Policia Judiciária (PJ), which investigates serious crimes, were called in.

Along with Kate, Gerry, their friends, other holidaymakers and locals they scoured the area for two-and-a-half hours but scaled down the search at 3am, hoping the youngster would be found in daylight.

The day after the kidnap the McCanns and their seven friends were taken to the PJ headquarters in Portimao, a large town 20 miles away, to give statements. None of the police, who were dressed informally and smoking, introduced themselves. "No sympathy was shown and it was far from inspiring," Kate said later. At about 3pm Kate gave a statement, accompanied by her husband and a translator.

A photo police had forgotten to show them from CCTV was waved in front of them but it was not Madeleine. Kate and Gerry were devastated. The British Embassy issued a statement declaring Madeleine missing. Her parents were convinced that she had been kidnapped.

A distraught Kate and Gerry maintained their dignity to face the press after returning from the police station on May 4. Sniffer dogs searched the area but they had not picked up a clear scent of Madeleine. Searches of wasteland also produced nothing, adding to the alarm now sweeping the Algarve.

Leicestershire police sent a team of three liaison officers to help the family deal with the crisis but in, what appeared to be a major blunder, they chose not to send detectives trained in how to deal with kidnaps.

Guilhermino Encarnacao, director of the Judicial Police in the Faro region, said his officers were treating the case as a kidnapping and disclosed they had an artist's impression of a suspect, which later turned out to be a very poor drawing.

Another police blunder was not publicising a key piece of information. Jane Tanner, one of the Tapas Seven, recalled seeing a man walk away from the McCanns' apartment at about 9.15pm carrying a child in his arms. Detectives did not publicise this sighting for three weeks.

At that time, Encarnacao said police had received 30 calls which they were following up. Those calls should have been treated with the utmost care because they were the hot ones from people who had information which was fresh in their minds.

In such investigations it is vital for police to act quickly on what they believe is solid information but it will never be known if one of those calls could have provided a major clue which could have been followed up properly.

So what should have been done differently in the crucial days after May 3? The simple answer is that the Portuguese police did not throw enough support into the inquiry. There should have been hundreds of officers in Praia da Luz with experts from Lisbon drafted in to organise searches, commit information to computers and cross reference known paedophiles and those posing a risk to children.

Scotland Yard and Leicestershire police should have teamed up to send a team of at least 10 detectives to the scene to advise the PJ on what to do and interview those crucial witnesses who spoke English. They should have arrived with a police artist to create proper images of potential suspects.

Scotland Yard and PJ officers should have interviewed the McCanns and the Tapas Seven in English and then translated their notes into Portuguese.

On August 5, 2007, the focus of press interest centred on Robert Murat, a British man living close to the Mark Warner complex, who was named an "arguido", an official suspect in the case. He was innocent but his involvement was yet another blind alley the police were walking down because they did not feel they had anything else to go on.

As Kate spoke publicly, Gonçalo Amaral, the PJ officer in charge of the day-to-day running of the investigation was working to build a case against the McCanns. Kate and Gerry may have felt closer to the investigation but the reality was that Amaral was freezing them out, telling them very little while pursuing his own agenda.

There was a formality creeping in, an officious air about the meetings that raised concerns in the McCann campaign because the focus of the inquiry was shifting away from pursuing leads and trying to find her and instead moving towards the couple.

On September 6 Kate was dropped off at Portimao police station, 30 miles from Praia da Luz, by Gerry.

She would not emerge until nearly 1am the next day. Until then she was still being treated as a loving mother who had lost her child. Now she underwent forensic interviewing and was told a great deal about the lines of inquiry, how the sniffer dogs had apparently detected blood in the apartment and the smell of a corpse, how body fluid had been detected in the family's Renault Scenic hire car.

Before being taken to the police station, Kate told friends she thought she was being set up. One friend was quoted as saying: "Kate is terrified. This has been the worst week since Madeleine vanished. They fear they might be suspects."

Already in the Portuguese morning papers there had been a host of salacious leaks served up by the police to pile yet more pressure on the McCanns. What had begun with lunchtime prayers ended in the early hours with Kate feeling drained, hurt, bemused and preparing herself for further agonies.

On Friday, September 7, the couple visited the police station while Gerry prepared himself for his own interview. On arrival, through a crowd of several hundred, Kate was told by police that she was being made a suspect.

Police put 22 questions to her, each one hostile and aggressive and each one sending a shiver of pain through her. Gerry's sister Philomena gave ITV an account of the line of questioning she endured. "They were saying: 'Tell us what you did with her.' They tried to get Kate to confess to having killed Madeleine accidentally."

The line of questioning was Amaral's last throw of the dice. His team was getting nowhere and so the easy option was to look at the McCanns.

Using questionable DNA data he built up a theory but there was no real evidence that Madeleine had died in the apartment and there was no real evidence she had been put in the Renault hire car almost a month later.

Detectives in this country would never have questioned someone on such flimsy evidence. The information gleaned by forensics would have been classed as useful; it would have been used as a basis for further investigation, or it would have been put to one side while officers pursued more concrete clues.

When Kate emerged from the police station on September 8 she looked a different woman with a steeliness about her. It was as though the unpleasant confrontation with the Portuguese detectives had made up her mind.

She and Gerry would return to Britain, painful as it would be to leave the country from which her daughter had been kidnapped.

So on Saturday, September 9, with the media circus in full flow, they left their apartment and made their way to the airport, their every move captured on TV to an audience of millions, and 129 days after Madeleine vanished they set foot on British soil.

On the Tarmac Gerry read a statement, subdued and clearly angered by their treatment: "As parents we cannot give up on our daughter until we know what has happened. We have to keep doing everything we can to find her. We played no part in the disappearance of our lovely daughter Madeleine."


The McCann's shocking nightmare unfolds Sunday Express

THERE are many theories as to how Madeleine was taken

By James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday May 8,2011

THERE are many theories as to how Madeleine was taken. Did the kidnapper have a dry run the previous evening when Madeleine said she and Sean had been crying?

How did they get into apartment 5a? Through the patio doors which Gerry couldn't remember locking? Or did they have a duplicate key? Were the children sedated?

How did the kidnapper escape? If the man "Tapas 7" member Jane Tanner saw carrying a child as she returned to her apartment was carrying Madeleine our guess is that after walking along the road he would have crossed and turned left up an alleyway to avoid being seen.

Logic says the kidnapper would have a vehicle near. If so it would make sense to park up a very quiet road virtually opposite the alleyway and close to wasteland. If there was no car the man may have gone to the wasteland to rest as carrying a child would have made his arms ache.

Around 8pm a woman with long dark hair was seen under a street light opposite the apartment and at the top of the junction. An elderly British woman saw her staring at the flat which made her suspicious. She has never been found.

Staying at the wasteland for any length of time was now not an option. Without a vehicle, he would have been looking at how to flee. Walking along the main roads out of town in either direction would risk being seen by scores of drivers.

The only option left was to go to the remote areas of the beach in Praia da Luz where no one would search in the darkness of the night.

The kidnapper possibly walked down a seldom-used road running by the wasteland towards the seafront.

Irish holidaymaker Martin Smith saw a man carrying a child in his arms walking towards the sea as his family headed to their apartment after a night out. The clothing the stranger wore was similar to the description given by Jane.


McCanns will never give up search for Maddie Sunday Express

Kate and Gerry knew they had to keep Madeleine's face in people's minds

James Murray and Tracey Kandohla
Sunday May 8,2011

WHEN the McCanns arrived in Rothley, Leicestershire, their home was festooned with yellow ribbons; a sign that Madeleine would never be forgotten and a symbol of the family's fighting spirit.

Kate and Gerry knew they had to keep Madeleine's face in people's minds. In mid-September they decided on an £80,000 advertisement campaign.

Every evening Gerry would sit at the kitchen table and make calls to family, friends and influential supporters.

"They do not sit around banging the table and spitting out invective," said friend Jon Corner.

"They know they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance. They just want to find her."

The couple spent a great deal of time with their lawyers, Michael Caplan, QC, and Angus McBride, who both have vast experience of international law. They also hired a lawyer in Lisbon, Carlos Pinto de Abreu.

As part of the McCanns' fightback, several close friends gave interviews to the press supporting the family.

Linda McQueen and Nicky Gill, two of Kate's oldest friends, spoke warmly of the couple now under an intense spotlight: "The things that have been said are unfair and hurtful. It's frustrating for Kate and Gerry that anything is taking the focus away from Madeleine and the search for her.

"At the bottom of all this, Kate is a mother who has lost her daughter and she needs all the help she can get. Kate is a warm, loving, loyal friend. We will continue to support and help right to the end."

Kate McCann last night revealed that she and husband Gerry are still haunted with guilt over leaving their three children in the apartment while they ate at a nearby tapas bar.

Kate said: "People say 'why didn't you get a babysitter?' That didn't enter our minds either. Having a babysitter implied there was a risk situation and we just didn't see it like that. We didn't think it was necessary. It wasn't to save money."

Kate said she has become a sort of amateur detective when she returns to Luz to try and learn what happened to her daughter. She said: "I look at the apartment. I kind of step into that person's shoes and I think 'Where did you go?' I think it was someone who knew our movements. I don't think someone was passing by chance and took a child.

"I find it helpful trying to work things out. I just want to try to understand it. I'm probably wasting my time but I have this need to do it."

Nicky said the couple had gone into a cocoon in the days after because they were so traumatised but people were telling them to get Madeleine's face in the public domain so that is what they did.

Signing up former BBC reporter Clarence Mitchell as their spokesman, they knew that they had to have a top public relations operation in order to find their daughter and to stop hurtful and untrue stories from emerging.

On September 20 the Evening Standard in London led on a story with the headline What Kate Really Said. The words attributed to her were "Madeleine's gone". Such was the appetite for news on the story that two words constituted enough for a front-page story.

Among the revelations was the claim that a child spotted being carried away from the scene was not covered in a blanket as had been previously reported. The child was in fact reported to have been wearing pyjamas matched by Madeleine.

It was a startling claim and more worthy of a front-page story but there was precious other information to relate.

In the same month the McCanns said in another story that they believed their telephone calls were being bugged by the British Secret Service and their e-mails were being monitored. On September 22 there was another story claiming Gerry told police the abductor could have been in the room when he did his check. A further leaked story said that Madeleine had been seen in Morocco by a second witness. This was crucial because the proximity of the sightings and the fact that neither of the witnesses knew each other.

Norwegian holidaymaker Mari Pollard was convinced that the little girl she saw at a petrol station in Marrakech on May 9 was Madeleine. Unknown to her a British man on holiday at a nearby hotel reported seeing her near the hotel at about the same time. Coincidence? Mistaken identity? Who knows but the detail on the sightings was enough to keep Madeleine on the front pages.

Kate has written a book about her eldest daughter and the search for her, which will be launched on Thursday, Madeleine's eighth birthday.

Kate McCann thanks Liverpool people for support over daughter Madeleine's disappearance, 17 May 2011
Kate McCann thanks Liverpool people for support over daughter Madeleine's disappearance Liverpool Echo

Kate and Gerry McCann at Goodison

by Our Correspondent, Liverpool Echo
May 17 2011

As British detectives prepare to review Madeleine McCann's disappearance, her mother Kate tells the ECHO in her own words how the support of her hometown of Liverpool has helped in the search to find her daughter

FOUR years. Just saying it makes me shudder.

Sometimes it all feels as raw as yesterday and at others, a lifetime ago. We couldn't have made it this far on our own – of that I'm certain. The soothing and strengthening effect of human kindness should never be underestimated.

I haven't been 'home' as much as usual over the past nine months. My life feels as though it's been kind of hijacked while I've been writing my book. Even my mum commented that it felt like she'd lost her daughter as well as her granddaughter for a time.

When we have made it up to Liverpool however, it's always been a positive trip. Whether it's been a reassuring squeeze on the arm from a passer-by or a slap on the back at Goodison with a "Y'alright love?", the support and solidarity of my hometown has been obvious – and very appreciated.

Sunday morning mass at my mum and dad's local church (Bishop Eton) is very special. It is invariably packed with families and hordes of lovely children, and the sense of community is striking. Every week Madeleine and all missing children are remembered and prayed for.

We draw great comfort when we're there (and also when we're not) from knowing that our little girl is never forgotten. Father Des, the parish priest has to take a lot of credit for this. He's been a huge source of support and strength for my parents over the last four years and for that I'm very grateful.

I have no doubt that we won't be the only family sad to see him go when he heads up to his new parish in Edinburgh at the end of the month. Wherever he goes though, I know he'll take Madeleine with him.

In February we had one of three regional fundraisers, 'Bags of Hope for Madeleine' in the Crypt at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Many local businesses donated auction and raffle prizes, or contributed to the evening in different ways.

Such generosity, especially at a time of financial hardship speaks volumes for the city and its people. Even while we were unloading the car and setting up the venue, pensioners were coming up and slipping money into our hands for the fund.

Ricky Tomlinson and Love Potion kindly gave up their time to help Madeleine too and make the evening extra special. Several of the guests remarked, "Can't you just feel the love in this room tonight?" And we did.

As shattered as we were after the months which had gone before, we were totally buoyed up by this incredible show of support and ready once more to fight another week.

Ricky Tomlinson said to us that night: "You know what's wrong about this? You shouldn't have to be doing any of it!" But whilst there is no police force anywhere looking for Madeleine, we do have to keep doing it because who else and how else will we ever find her?

Thankfully however, there does seem to be some positive news on the horizon, following the government's announcement on Thursday about a proposed review of Madeleine's case.

A review is a widely-used and valuable investigative procedure which hasn't been undertaken at all in the past four years, a stone which is yet to be turned for Madeleine. We truly believe it could take us one step closer to finding her, hence our requests to the governments over the past two years.

We are encouraged by this latest development and grateful to our government and the Metropolitan Police for offering their expertise and assistance. We are looking forward to receiving clarification and further details shortly and expect to work closely with those involved. Nothing is more important to us than finding Madeleine.

Thank you to everyone supporting this campaign and for signing our petition. If you haven't signed so far, please do so now, as this will show your support for the proposed review. (Visit for details).

In the meantime, and regardless of any review, we do of course need to maintain an active search for Madeleine. As this is currently down to us and our small team, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for buying my book, the proceeds of which will enable us to continue our search.

In the words of Alan Pike, the counsellor who helped us during the aftermath of Madeleine’s abduction, "You have to be ready for Madeleine walking through that door." And he's right. It may be four years since we last saw Madeleine but that could change at any minute. She's still missing and she's still findable.

The support we've had from Liverpool has been tremendous. The warmth, humour and generosity that I've always associated with home have anything but lessened since Madeleine was taken.

I hope that one day I'll be able to finish without having to ask for something but for now that will have to wait.

Please continue to help us in our search for Madeleine. Please sign our petition. Please help us to bring Madeleine home.

Thank you for everything you've done, and still do, for Madeleine. With our united efforts, one day hopefully, she'll be able to thank you herself.

Readers can follow Kate and Gerry McCann on social media sites via the website

If you have any information which may be relevant to the investigation, please contact or call 0845 838 4699.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files


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