On 9 September, 2007 Gerry McCann was described by the Sunday Times
'Beneath his unflinching exterior, Gerry was in a state of turmoil and
fury. "We are being absolutely stitched up by the Portuguese police," he
had told a friend after his wife Kate had earlier been named a suspect
after hours of interrogation. "We are completely f*****, we should have
seen this coming weeks ago and gone back to Britain."'
Gerry McCann's confidence in his own predictive powers ("F*** off. I'm
not here to enjoy myself!") clearly took a knock on this occasion. The
sympathetic, or perhaps even inquisitive listener might wonder quite why
Gerry should have 'seen this coming' at all, given that the
disappearance of Madeleine McCann was ostensibly attributable to one or
more lurking paedophiles. What connection could the innocent parents
possibly have had with such deviants?
But let's not question this observation too closely. The McCanns are
clearly no less adept at 'picking up' on things than others might have
been. (Family friend Jon Corner is reported to have said in relation to
Madeleine, "So - God forgive me - maybe that's part of the problem. That
special quality. Some ******* picked up on that." (Vanity Fair,
Intuition comes to us all from time to time, but the McCanns seemingly
enjoyed more frequent visits than most.
It can only have been foresight, in the form of a shared vision perhaps,
that prompted Kate and Gerry McCann selectively to erase data from each
of their mobile phones prior to summoning police assistance in searching
for their missing daughter. They must have thought that by doing so they
were in some way lessening the investigators' burden. The same sort of
considerate attitude prevailed when they were subsequently resident in a
nearby villa and the police 'phoned to advise that they would be
arriving later to carry out some forensic work. Kate no doubt thought to
herself, 'I'll just pop these few items of clothing in the wash so
they'll be nice and clean for the inspectors.' Rather like straightening
out the furniture in 5A, so that their many visitors on the night of the
3rd May, 2007 could have easy access to the children's bedroom, and not
have to walk behind the sofa in order to avoid the crush.
The McCanns were adept at foresight without a doubt.
Olga Craig, writing for the Sunday Telegraph of 27 May, 2007, reported
an early interview with Kate McCann:
"She looked lovely," said Mrs McCann, recalling the moment Madeleine was
pictured with her father beside a swimming pool.
"She was wearing a new outfit, a pink smock. That picture sums up her
week. Every minute of every day she was enjoying herself. She went to
bed exhausted. I haven't been able to use the camera since I took
that last photograph of her."
That 'last photograph', so we are given to understand, was taken during
the early afternoon of 3 May, 2007, after which time Kate was 'unable to
use the camera.' (at least until the date of her interview with Olga
One might legitimately ask therefore how she was able to take
photographs of a Shearwater yacht at anchor in Lagos Marina a week or so
after Madeleine's disappearance?
As James Murray of the Sunday Express (8.8.2009) reported: "Kate went to
Lagos marina, a few miles along the coast from Praia da Luz where her
daughter vanished on May 3, 2007, and photographed the boat and the man
It would appear that Kate's actions on this occasion negated her own
claim to photographic incapacity. That in itself is potentially
significant, but the implication of her statement to Ms Craig is of
singular importance; so much so that we ought to view it in isolation:
"I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph
of her" (i.e., Madeleine).
Leaving aside the fact that this observation of Kate's is apparently
untrue, what does she say exactly? Specifically, that her inability to
use/unease with/loathing of the camera stems from the time she took the
so-called 'last photograph.' What she categorically does
not say is that she has
not found herself able to take photographs
since Madeleine disappeared,
but 'since she took the last photograph of her.' This means that
photophobia kicked in, not on May 4, 2007, but at precisely 14.29 (or
perhaps even 13.29) on the afternoon of the 3rd.
So, under no circumstances would Kate be taking any snaps in the
afternoon, at tea-time, bed-time, or even at the dinner table with her
friends (her camera was equipped with a flash). From the moment Kate
pictured Madeleine at the poolside with Gerry and her little brother, no
further photography would be entertained.
Why? What is it about this jolly family album snap that made it so
repulsive to the photographer as to dissuade her from capturing any
future moment during their holiday, which had two days to run? What did
Kate foresee on this occasion?
Various analyses of this particular image have been conducted since,
invoking the wonders of Photoshop, the almanac and whatever else, but
whether, or indeed to what degree, one considers the photograph to be a
composition on the part of others besides the photographer, the fact
remains that there is nothing visibly sinister about it at all. The only
thing that Kate could have been upset by was the timing, as she herself
The really important question therefore concerns, yet again, the
Why should Kate have been too upset to take any photographs after
mid-afternoon on May 3rd, (at which time, according to the photograph,
her daughter looked perfectly hale and hearty) when Madeleine would not
be 'taken' for a further six hours or more? What did Kate intuit about
that evening's events, well before 'what happened', happened?