|6 years ago little
Madeleine McCann disappeared during a family holiday in
Portugal. Her parents have not given up hope of finding her
|The McCanns meet Annika
Gerry McCann: Hi, Gerry.
Annika Widebeck: I'm Annika, hi.
Gerry McCann: Nice to meet you.
Kate McCann: Hi, Kate.
|Gerry and Kate McCann
walking towards cafe
Gerry McCann [voice over]: I don't think you can give
up, even when we've been exhausted to the point of saying 'I just want
this to end', you go to bed, you get up the next day and you think,
'she's still missing and we still need to find her' and I think most
parents understand that.
Kate McCann [voice over]: I mean, I... I feel she's out
there. I feel that there's... there's more to come. I just need it to be
|Kate and Gerry McCann
Widebeck [voice over]:
How convinced are you that she is still alive then?
Well, I try to look at it as logically as possible. What we do know is
evidence, at all, to suggest that Madeleine's dead and that means
there's a good chance that she's alive, and as a parent I couldn't
accept that she was dead without irrefutable evidence that she is, so...
And I think we do know of so many cases now of children who have been
abducted and have, you know, been away for years and sometimes decades.
Like when you're walking in like a Swedish beautiful weather, do you
think about now, at this very second, she can be some place and wonder
I do... It's funny you mention about the weather because it's days like
this when I think 'oh, what a lovely day' and that's when I think 'but
this would be a lovelier day, if Madeleine was here', errm... (big sigh)
I do... I mean... I don't... I try not to speculate too much. I really
don't know where she is, all I hope for is that whoever's with her is
looking after her and that she's happy, and even that is... is, errm...
is sad because, you know, the thought of her being happy with somebody
else, when she should be with us, and being happy and, you know, there's
no doubt that a child's best place is with their family.
And she's soon turning 9, now right?
Yeah, she'll be 9 on the 12th of May... yeah.
So you think about how she could look like now?
We do, and, errr... you know, Amelie is only 20 months younger than
Madeleine, so we're seeing the twins go past the age that Madeleine was
taken at. We see her best friend at school and, errm... and you can't
help but think what she would look like and clearly the developmental
stages of the kids and their reading and writing and doing all the
things that you assume that you would have been doing with Madeleine. So
these... these aspects are hard, they're very hard.
Annika Widebeck to camera
You know, there was a very clear strategy at work that was, errr...
trying to convey to the world that, errr... there was strong evidence
that Madeleine was dead and we were involved and, in fact, thankfully
the prosecutor's final report makes it absolutely clear that, you know,
there is no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there's certainly no
evidence to link us, errr... to implicate us is any way. So...
The damage, errm... that was done with all the media reporting with the
lies and speculation and fabrication and being made arguido. I think the
damage was ongoing. We've had this in other countries, outside the UK
and Portugal. Unlike the UK and Portugal, where the story carried on,
some... in other countries it stopped, so it stopped at the dramatic,
'oh, the parents are involved' and then, you know, they moved on to
another story really, and all I can say to people is please, please read
What's... why is it
important for you that people here in Sweden then, errm... understand
more what happened?
I mean, I just think the more people that know Madeleine's missing and
the more people that are aware of her plight, the more eyes that are
looking, ears that are listening. Just the greater chance we have of
finding Madeleine, you know, people travel a lot as well these days, you
know, people communicate over the internet, and you just don't know
where that key bit of information is going to come from.
Madeleine could have easily been taken out of Portugal within the first
two hours and that's the problem. We have no idea where she is, we don't
know who's taken her and we don't know why, so unfortunately for us we
want as much awareness as possible that Madeleine's missing and
obviously with her looks she could (laughs) blend into Scandanavia
But it's... it's difficult because you... you have to still keep on
playing with the media that did so much bad to you.
It is... I mean, it's... I mean, it's hard but we still do need the
media to help find Madeleine and that... I hope that the media will...
will stop and think at some point and take responsibility really because
they're incredibly powerful and they can do so, so much good. I mean
we're talking about children, you know, and trying to find a child who's
been stolen from their family and, you know, use your power to good use,
you know. That's all I can say.
Annika Widebeck voice over
in Swedish, images from September 2007
I mean, it was awful. I mean, not only were we going through the pain
and the anxiety of not having Madeleine with us and not knowing where
she was, suddenly all these stories were appearing and for us the
biggest injustice in all that was the effect that would have on the
search for Madeleine because if people believed what was getting written
or getting given to the media, errm... suggesting that she was dead then
they wouldn't look at her or they wouldn't come forward with
You can understand that when people are fed information that parents are
in suspicious involve people will want to believe that because they'll
want to think that this will not happen to them and they'll want to
think that there actually... there isn't actually an abductor out there
and their children are not at risk but what happens on the ground is
very different. We know now that people in Portugal, and elsewhere,
people keep their children much closer to them, and...
Closer than... than in the UK?
I think certainly there's been remakably few child abductions since
Madeleine was taken and I think people are more aware, and one of the
things we've tried to do throughout the last 5 years is not look back
because you can't change what's happened. We're more interested in what
can still be done and... and at this minute, and following Kate's book
launched last year, the Metropolitan Police are now reviewing the case
and working with a... a new team in Portugal and that's much much more
important about discredited former officers.
Tell me how far away was this restaurant?
I mean it was incredibly close. I think if you had to draw a straight
line from the restaurant to the apartment it was 50 metres. It never
entered our head for a second that somebody would steal your child, it
was the furthest thing from your mind, so...
And still you hear this all the time why did you leave them... right?
I mean, there's only so many times we can answer the question and, you
know, I've had to.. you know, I've persecuted myself with that, you
know, obviously... (sigh) I can't change it, I know how much we love
Madeleine, you know, and at the end of the day the person who has taken
Madeleine is the one who has committed the crime and, errr... and that's
who we need to find.
So how do you see the future - will you ever put some sort of end of
I think until we find Madeleine, find out what's happened, then that
won't be possible and I... I don't think any parent could, you know,
it's not something that you can switch off from, it's not... it's your
child, you know, that bond is too strong. You don't know if it's because
you're the mother that you... you just want it so badly, that's why it
feels but I know there's nothing telling me to stop, you know, and I...
as I say I can talk to her like she's there, and she's coming back, and
I just want it to be soon.