Kate McCann's deepest thoughts have been laid bare in a private journal
documenting her darkest days following the disappearance of daughter
Bleak thoughts of paedophiles, frustration at the Portuguese police and
the daily struggle to keep the rest of her family together are just some
of the frank and painful admissions, penned between April and July 2007.
The secret diary reveals for the first time the depth of personal
despair and heartbreak faced by Kate and Gerry - and the strength their
Catholic faith has given them.
At the height of the smear campaign against the McCanns, Portuguese
investigators made extracts from Kate's diary public, deliberately
selected in a bid to portray the couple as cold and dispassionate.
However, the full context of the journal has now been revealed in the
News of the World.
The diary starts while Madeleine is still with the family, detailing the
ordinary routine of family life.
On the day Madeliene disappeared the diary entry documents the
children's bedtime at the apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da
Luz - where the family were staying during their holiday.
Kate reveals how she gave her children milk and biscuits before reading
Madeleine a bedtime story.
It goes on to say: 'Kisses goodnight for M (Madeleine). Pulled the door
to as far as possible without shutting it. Silence. Dry hair. Put
make-up on. Glass of wine. Restaurant.'
Kate and Gerry then left the children alone and asleep to dine with
friends. Just hours later Madeleine was gone, believed to have been
snatched from the apartment.
On May 4 - the day after Madeleine's disappearance - Kate documents the
couple's first visit to the police station, after a frantic night of
She says: 'Nobody from the police introduced themselves. Nobody offered
us a drink or food. All the police dressed informally and smoking. No
sympathy was shown and far from inspiring.'
In the days after Madeleine's disappearance, Kate talks of the couple's
desperation and the struggle to remain strong for their two other
children, twins Sean and Amelie.
She also reveals how the couple put on a 'presentable and healthy' air
when facing the press - and how the family marked Madeleine's fourth
birthday on May 12 with a special mass at a church in Praia da Luz.
However on May 30, after nearly four weeks since their daughter went
missing, Kate's inner turmoil threatens to overwhelm her.
She says: 'Tomorrow it will be four weeks since Madeleine was taken.
Four weeks since we saw our special little girl. We are not certain we
will ever see her again, but know that we have to keep up our hope and
strength - for the others, at least. Exhausted. I love you so much
Madeleine. You must come back.'
Just two days later, her thoughts become darker.
On June 1 she writes: 'Can't stop thinking about Madeleine, about her
fear and pain.
'How can I go on knowing that her life could have ended like this? This
week I have been quite overtaken by black thoughts.
'Please God, bring her back.'
The month of June documents the McCanns' attempts to retain some element
of normal life for the sake of Sean and Amelie.
They go for the occasional jog, spend time playing with the twins - but
Madeleine is constantly in their thoughts.
Any feeling of joy - however small - is tinged with guilt and regret
that Madeleine is not there to share in it too.
'How can this end well now?'
Kate reveals how she wrote to JK Rowling for help in keeping Madeleine's
plight in the public eye and how thoughts of paedophiles made her want
to 'tear at my own skin'.
She tells how both Gordon Brown and Tony Blair - along with wife Cherie
- phoned the couple to offer their support.
This was also around the time that the McCanns were subjected to the
beginnings of a smear campaign by the Portuguese police, who claimed
fundamental evidence had been lost because the crime scene had been
contaminated by the McCanns themselves.
Throughout the diary, the depth of the McCann's Catholic faith is
evident and shows how it has given them strength.
Entries are littered with pleas to God and detailing their frequent
visits to mass.
Kate also reflects on the difficulties she had in conceiving Madeleine,
recalling the IVF treatment.
Her entries are scattered with signs that the couple are losing hope.
On June 23 she writes: 'Will we ever see her again? How can this end
well now? She's so precious. God, I need you to do something soon. I'm
so desperate and suffering so much.'
During that month Kate talks of how she received two books of messages
from the public.
While the majority of the messages were supportive she was shocked by
three horrible messages - one which simply said 'RIP Madeleine' and
another which was written by a former police officer.
As time goes on the diary becomes less about documenting the couple's
struggle and more of a tool to communicate with her daughter.
More and more messages to Madeleine appear in the entries and Kate also
talks of her difficulties maintaining relationships with friends from
home, with the exception of those directly involved in the case.
'Today I washed Cuddle Cat. I was hoping not to do until Madeleine
On July 12 Kate reveals her deep hatred for the person who took
Madeleine and the significant moment she had to wash the youngster's
favourite toy, Cuddle Cat, which still had on it the faint scent of her
She said: 'I hate the person who took my Madeleine - the same one who
has caused all this trouble, who made us feel worthless and mistrustful
and mainly who has frightened my beautiful Madeleine. I will never
forgive that person/those people for this. Never.
'Today I washed Cuddle Cat. I was hoping not to do it until Madeleine
returns, but it was now quite quite dirty and smelly, unfortunately
without the smell of Madeleine on it.'
That month the couple are also faced with the harsh reality that their
daughter might be dead when it is suggested that Madeleine is buried by
Kate continues to document the torment of losing Madeleine while trying
to keep a normal family life for Sean and Amelie.
In her last entry on July 31 before her diary was seized by the
Portuguese police she said: 'My sweetheart, my darling, my love, my
companion. I love you more than anything. I'm going to dream that I'm
lying by your side - moments I'll always cherish and I long to have