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Maddie World Exclusive: First pictures and video in flat

Original Source:  NEWS OF THE WORLD: SUNDAY 11 MAY 2008
By Keith Gladdis & Dominic Herbert

How fiend could have kept out of sight

For the first time the News of the World takes you right INSIDE the holiday flat where Madeleine McCann was snatched one year ago.

There was room for the kidnapper to hide inside Maddie's fitted wardrobe. Outside t
he room, bloody footprints were found

We are the ONLY media organisation in the world to be invited in to take these exclusive pictures which reveal startling new evidence and insights into the crime mystery that has shocked millions.

Click here for first video from inside the kidnap apartment

Our detailed survey of the flat reveals a host of places Maddie’s abductor could have hidden when it’s most likely he was almost caught in the act by dad Gerry as he checked on her and twins, Sean and Amelie, at 9.05pm on May 3 last year.

MORE: McCann patio NOT visible from tapas bar

But our on-site reconstruction proves that if the kidnapper was already in the flat, as the McCanns fear, he had a full TEN SECONDS to conceal himself after hearing Gerry open the patio doors and enter the apartment.

And he had no fewer than FOUR boltholes to choose from—behind Madeleine’s BEDROOM DOOR, inside her roomy WARDROBE, in her parents’ nearby BEDROOM or in the family BATHROOM.

Our poignant picture at the top of the page also reveals the view into Madeleine’s bedroom that must haunt family friend Matthew Oldfield.

It highlights the tragic but innocent error he made when he checked on the children at 9.30pm while the McCanns were at the nearby tapas bar with the other adults in the party.

From the hall, where he looked into the room, our pictures show that Matthew could only see the bottom corner of Madeleine’s bed.

The twins’ travel cots were beyond on the floor in full view. Seeing them sleeping, he assumed—most probably wrongly—that all was well.

The telltale sign that the kidnapper could already have struck was the open bedroom door—for Gerry had closed it just 25 minutes earlier.


Our photos heartbreakingly spell out that if Matthew had only walked a few feet further into the room he could have raised the alarm 35 minutes earlier, giving the police a real chance of catching the culprit.

And our photograph of the room, above right, shows the scene that confronted mum Kate when she arrived at 10pm—her three-year-old daughter Madeleine gone and the rolldown window shutter OPEN.

Tellingly, she had found the bedroom door now closed, blown shut by the draught from the open window looking out on to the road below.

Standing on the very spot, it was not hard to imagine Kate’s shock as the horrible truth sank in after three seconds of disbelief.

The view of the wardrobe in Maddie’s room, right, shows the spot where controversial forensic “evidence” was found——a bloody footprint which was visible to the naked eye.

Inconclusive lab tests found there was a “moderate” chance the blood was Madeleine’s.

There was a report that this footprint matched another in the McCanns’ hire car—although there has never been any confirmation of this.

As we were led through the front door to apartment 5A at the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Praia da Luz on Portugal’s Algarve coast it was like turning back the clock.

Fiend's bolthole? The McCanns' bedroom

Holiday kitchen: Where Kate cooked for the kids

Lounge: Where Maddie and the twins played

The rooms are now eerily silent but it is easy to imagine the excited chatter and kiddies’ laughter that filled the flat right up until the night Maddie vanished last year.

If one year on, the News of the World found clues, surely the detectives could have established more AT THE TIME? Crucial DNA evidence could have been lost during those early hours.

The abductor must have touched windows, doors, shutters, particularly if he was disturbed and had to stay longer than he planned.

It is hard to accept that absolutely no telltale fibres or hairs were left behind.
The stillness and silence of the apartment now is just as it would have been after the McCanns left the children asleep in bed that fateful night.

And our team heard for themselves how much noise an intruder would have made— reinforcing the theory that this was not an opportunistic snatch but carefully planned.

When the bedroom shutter is opened by a pull-cord it makes a loud piercing creak that could easily have woken the youngsters or alerted Pam- ela Fenn, the woman living upstairs.

LITTLE Maddie’s bed, where she slept on holiday, is on the left in this photo—covered with a simple blue-check sheet. Only one bottom corner of it could be seen by the McCanns’ friend Matthew Oldfield as he glanced through the door. Next to Maddie, on the floor, the twins’ travel cots were placed in the empty space between the single beds. The bed below the window was empty. This window was originally thought to be the point of access where the abductor broke into the room while the three children were sleeping. Our evidence shows this was unlikely.

This is crucial evidence as it shows the difficulty of entering the property by the window and suggests the likelihood that the kidnapper gained access by the front door or even the rear patio doors.

It also underlines theories that the abductor probably had crucial inside knowledge of the apartment’s interior. Even walking across the ceramic tiled floors in the wrong sort of footwear could have raised the alarm.

After the police finished their investigations inside the bedroom,
the walls were painted white.

ERROR: Matthew Oldfield

They were said to have been spattered with small traces of blood, but police investigations into that,
as into so much else, came to nothing.

Now the rest of the flat has been redecorated and is ready to welcome more holidaying families to Portugal.
But it will take more than a lick of emulsion to remove the terrible images seared into every parent’s mind just one year ago.


Someone, somewhere has information about Madeleine that could be the breakthrough the family have been waiting for.

Anyone with information is urged to contact:

The family investigation hotline on +44 845 8384699
or email

PORTUGESE POLICE - 0035 1282 405 400
CRIMESTOPPERS - 0044 1883 731 336
NEWS OF THE WORLD - 0044 207 782 1001 or

Click here for more information about the reward

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