MCCANNS 'ARE HIDING A BIG
Sunday October 28 2007
By John Stalker
I have watched the investigation into the Madeleine
McCann case drag on for six months.
One thing above all worries me: Why have the McCanns
and the seven other members of their group - the
Tapas Nine - remained so silent? My gut instinct is
that some big secret is probably being covered up.
Unlike other high-profile cases I have worked on,
not one of them has been prepared to break ranks or
really come out and support each other. After all
this time and pressure, I cannot believe that nobody
wants to speak.
Their answer has always been no comment but there is
surely some division between them. So what are they
hiding? I have a real suspicion that we are not
being told the whole truth.
There is something else there, some issue that
members of the party are embarrassed about.
While they continue to refuse to talk it is unlikely
that we will find out what it is for a very long
time but one thing is certain - it will eventually
The sad fact is that we still have a missing girl
and I believe the investigation will be focusing on
the theory that she is dead.
The likeliest scenario is that her abductor panicked
when he realised the attention the case was creating
and killed her days after snatching her.
My fear now is that unless we find her body or her
killer strikes again we will never know what really
happened to that tiny child.
My instinct, based on years of policing similar
cases, is that we are looking at an abduction where
the child was targeted in the days before her
On the night she vanished it is likely that her
abductor simply spotted his opportunity and struck
while he could.
I have been horrified by the abject failure of the
Portuguese detectives to adhere to basic principles
The investigation does not seem to have taken a step
forward from where it was in the first week after
she went missing. I cannot believe that the
Portuguese only sent selected DNA samples to the
forensic science lab in Birmingham.
There is absolutely no sense in that whatsoever. To
fully evaluate poor-quality DNA traces, as we
believe these were, forensic experts need to see the
In the past, when I have dealt with traces of bodily
fluids, it is very difficult to establish how they
got to be where they were.
All DNA is highly transferable and that is the most
likely explanation for the alleged traces found in
the McCanns' hire car and on her mother's clothing.
Robert Murat, the other suspect, was seen close to
the apartment the day after Madeleine disappeared
and freely admits having helped police as a
If he was in that apartment, or anywhere near it,
ther is no doubt he would have transferred some of
Madeleine's or the twins' DNA on to his clothing.
I don't believe for one minute that Kate and Gerry
McCann or their friends are capable or guilty of
having murdered the four-year-old.
All the criticism of Kate and Gerry and their
friends has been completely out of order. They are
extremely intelligent and articulate people and,
just because they have never visibly cracked in
public to the extent that they are beaten, does not
mean that they are guilty of anything sinister.
Yes, they have had more doors opened for them than
other people would have in similar circumstances,
but their main aim is to discover what happened to
Madeleine. That should be the aim of all concerned.
But my gut instinct still forces me to wonder: What
is the secret that the Tapas Nine are so carefully
the McCanns are
hiding a secret