Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

Chapitres 1-4 (1)

The book has been expertly written from the perspective of a retired Police Superintendent detective, PeterMac, who served for twenty eight years with Nottinghamshire Police variously in uniform, CID, training, and latterly as the Operations Commander of a large Division overseeing enquiries and investigations of all types. He has no insider knowledge of this case but has merely used the material that was released to the public on DVD in August 2008 by the Polícia Judiciária when the investigation was shelved.
Put yourself in the mind of a detective and work it out for yourself.

Or put yourself in the place of a parent, and ask “If you had let your child go on holiday with the McCanns and they lost her, would you accept their version ?

These articles contain factual evidence and statements from the official files. It is quite possible that this ‘public but hidden’ evidential material will amaze and worry you.

This e-book is a compilation of some documents relating to specific parts of the continuing saga of the quest for the truth about the reported disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann.

It is doubtful whether anyone in the literate civilised world does not know that Madeleine was reported missing by her mother about 10 pm on 3rd May 2007, from an apartment in Praia de Luz, on the Algarve in Portugal.

The parents, both doctors, immediately claimed that their daughter was abducted from her bed in the apartment in a block outside the holiday complex, whilst the parents dined at a Tapas bar on the other side of the pool within the complex. They use an alleged sighting of a man carrying a child along the road adjacent to the apartment within minutes of Gerry McCann’s last check as evidence of this abduction. They have refused to consider any other possibility, and have sued for libel people who have put forward alternative theories.

They further insist that Madeleine was taken by a predatory paedophile, but then curiously insist that there is no evidence that she has come to harm.

The local and then the national police attended, statements were taken and the matter was investigated by a dedicated team. The police found themselves somewhat hampered by significant changes and major inconsistencies in the stories given by the parents and the main witnesses, and the Senior Investigating Officer began to suspect that they had not been told the whole truth for a particular reason.

British police officers assisted, and on the advice of one co-ordinator two highly specialised search dogs were taken from the the UK to Portugal. These dogs alerted to blood and human cadaverine in the apartment and on clothing and other items associated with Madeleine, but to no other locations or items.

The McCanns sought legal assistance from one firm of lawyers who specialise in defamation, and from another who specialise in extradition. Those choices in themselves have raised eyebrows.

They also very quickly set up a Limited Company and people were invited to make contributions to “Help the Search” for Madeleine. As part of this purported search they spent a large amount of money on a firm of private detectives in Barcelona, which has since closed with the arrest of the principal; a further large amount on a man who was subsequently extradited to the USA where he was wanted for fraud; and finally on two retired police officers who set up a small company in a cottage in Wales, some time after it had been announced that the firm had been contracted.

None has produced anything of value.

Almost all the facts have been the subject of claim and counterclaim, of conflict of evidence, and above all of the crushing financial and legal might of the best libel lawyers in the world bearing down on anyone who dares to express a view different from the official one put out by the McCanns and their spokesperson. The amount attributable to legal fees already substantially outweighs the amount paid to the various firms of private detectives.

It is important to note however, that nothing which has been said or written has ever been proved to be libellous in a Court of Law, after proper examination. Everything has been settled out of court, or by undertakings.

Readers may decide for themselves if the official story is physically possible, or bears a proper relation to the observable facts.

One other test which may be applied when examining the evidence it to look at any incongruence between what was said, and what was observed.

For example, this is what was said - about the 8th day of the “search”; the 8th day of the investigation into the disappearance; 12th May 2007, Madeleine’s 4th birthday

”We ate mostly in silence, concentrating on the kids. I couldn’t eat much, and alcohol was completely off my agenda. Fiona recalls that Gerry and I were completely shut down that day, barely able to talk, and although our friends tried to remain cheerful and behave normally to get us through it, they all felt awkward about being at this lovely villa, in the sunshine, in these circumstances. There was no cake. Gerry did attempt a toast but he was visibly upset and couldn’t manage much more than ‘I can’t even say happy birthday to my daughter . . .’ before choking up. The physical loss was more intense than ever. I ached for Madeleine." from the book “madeleine”, by Kate McCann - p. 128

This is what was observed as they emerged from a solemn church service that morning.

In preparing the various chapters I have tried to rely on what witnesses and the parents themselves said in their statements.

The statements have not been interpreted, but the obvious inconsistencies and frequent changes of story have been left in and highlighted for readers to make up their own minds.

The structure of the e-book is that each chapter is in the form of a self contained monograph, with its own list of references. For ease of research the original source material has also been appended in full where possible.

Although that makes it slightly cumbersome it gives the reader instant access to the source material, so that any mistake or wrong interpretation can be immediately identified.

If there are mistakes they are entirely mine. If anything has been taken out of context this is my misunderstanding If I have quoted anything without giving a reference or acknowledgement, I apologise.

There is much more to be said about this case, about the Limited Company, about the Private detectives, and the way in which the media have been manipulated, but this is just a brief dip into the evidence for people who thought they knew the story.

There are those who argue that this matter is one which should now be laid to rest, or that the McCann’s version, or versions, should be accepted in its entirety.

To them I would say we should always bear in mind the following:
Madeleine Beth McCann is missing It is not know what happened to her Her whereabouts are unknown.The search for her, or for her mortal remains must continue The search for the truth about what happened must continue. No one should seek to prevent or to hinder either of those.
And in support of those ends - No one with a valid theory or hypothesis should be crushed before the theory or hypotheses can be tested. No one with a differing point of view should be silenced, except by defeat in logical debate, or by production of evidence. Bullying, victimisation, name-calling, “trolling” and other techniques have no place in the search for the truth. Nor in the search for a missing child
It is not known why the McCanns do not publicly distance themselves from the foul language and vile insults, threats and abuse directed by several blog sites against people who are seeking the truth. Nor why they allowed evidence obtained by criminal activity to be adduced in support of their case.
Changing the initial version of events, especially concerning a report of a missing child, is a classic ‘red flag’ warning to police investigators to query both, or all, versions of events in great detail. Indeed when presented with changes the Police may begin to focus on that aspect, to the exclusion of the original report.

First reports
In the 24 hours following the report of Madeleine’s disappearance the following family members and close friends reported almost identical stories to the press. They are of course hearsay as to the state of the shutters and window, but they are direct evidence of what they were told by the McCanns. That is a crucial difference.

Trish Cameron, Gerry McCanns sister, said 
she received a telephone call from her 39-year-old brother, a consultant cardiologist, who was "hysterical and crying his eyes out". She said: "They last checked at half past nine and they were all sound asleep, sleeping, windows shut, shutters shut. Kate went back at 10 o'clock to check. The front door was lying open, the window had been tampered with, the shutters had been jemmied open or whatever you call it and Madeleine was missing... [1]
Brian Healy - Madeleine's maternal grandfather, told the Guardian 
his son-in-law had phoned him shortly after returning "Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone," said Mr Healy. "She'd been taken from the chalet. The door was open. [2]
Jon Corner - a close friend of Kate McCann and godparent of the twins, said 
she phoned him in the middle of the night distraught. He said: "She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed. Madeleine was missing It looks as though someone had gone straight past the twins to get to her. [3]
Jill (or Gill) Renwick - a family friend told GMTV 
the McCanns were certain that Madeleine has been abducted. "They were just watching the hotel room and going back every half-hour and the shutters had been broken open and they had gone into the room and taken Madeleine," she said. [4]
1 In all four cases it is reported that the shutters were broken open, smashed, or jemmied.
2 Three of the reports include that the door was open, or hanging open.
As one commentator, Antony Sharples writing under the name John Blacksmith, percipiently noted:
What must be appreciated, at this point, is that these comments, from closest family and friends - the first to be contacted, are not Chinese whispers. It is not a case that the McCanns rang one person, who got the message wrong, and this got passed on to everyone else. These are four people who received independent telephone calls from Gerry or Kate, in the hours following the 'abduction', and made independent statements. Yet, the statements all recount the same story. The McCanns' apartment was locked, so the 'abductor' must have gained access via the jemmied shutters and left via the front door. [5]
First change of story
This change relates to the shutters’ being damaged
The first police statements were taken during the morning of 4th May 2007, by which time the story had already changed in regard to the shutters having been damaged. Now they are merely “raised”.
It is also notable that all reference to the door being open, or hanging open has been quietly dropped.

Gerald McCann, statement, 4 May 2007: 11:15 a.m.
. . . Thus, at 9.05 pm, the deponent entered the club, using his key, the door being locked, and went to the children's bedroom and noted that the twins and Madeleine were in perfect condition. . .
. . . At 10pm, his wife Kate went to check on the children. She went into the apartment through the door using her key and saw right away that the children’s bedroom door was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains drawn open. The side door that opens into the living room, which as said earlier, was never locked, was closed. [6]
Kate McCann, statement, 4 May 2007 2:15 p.m.
. . . At around 10pm, the witness came to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed, but unlocked, as already said, and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did. [7]
1 The door is now ignored
2 The McCanns and two of their friends were taken from Praia da Luz at around 10 am for the statements to be taken. [8]
Gerry was first. He was interviewed alone. When his statement was completed Kate followed.
Unusually Gerry was permitted to remain in the interview room, whilst Kate was interviewed and her statement was taken. [9]
He was permitted to sit behind her and she states that from time to time he “would place a hand on my shoulder or give me a reassuring squeeze”. [10]
Further observation
3 Physical contact of this sort may be reassuring. It can also be a very effective method of communication.
During the same morning, whilst those two statements were being taken the PJ started the forensic examination of the apartment, including of the shutters, and took photos.
It is clear that the shutters had not been broken, smashed, or jemmied open. [11]
Meanwhile other people with a knowledge of the resort were giving evidence.
John Hill said that despite the report by a family friend that the shutters to the couple's apartment were broken, there was no sign that anyone had forced their way in while the McCanns ate at the tapas restaurant 200 yards away. [12]
"It's still questionable as to whether it's abduction," [13]
Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa, spokesman for the investigation, later confided in British former Chief Inspector Albert Kirby that neither the windows nor their shutters had been tampered with.
Mr Kirby told The Mail on Sunday: "
I had a very interesting chat with the officer in charge. The window shutters are not an issue. Their mechanism makes them almost impossible to open. The door was left unlocked. They did that every night.” [14]
Photos exist of the forensic scientist from the PJ examining the shutters. It is clear that the shutters are in perfect condition. [15]
A short video clip of an attempt to open the shutters from outside may also be seen on YouTube. In this it is clear that the shutters jam into the housing above the window, and do not remain in the raised position once released. [16]

Second change of story
This concerns the point of entry of Gerry and Kate into the apartment
In the second statement, made on 10 May, Dr Gerald McCann changed his story for a second time, this time in relation to his point of entry.
He is certain that, before leaving home, the children's bedroom was totally dark, with the window closed, but he does not know it was locked, the shutters closed but with some slats open, and the curtains also drawn closed. Asked, he mentions that during the night the artificial light coming in from the outside is very weak, therefore, without a light being lit in the living room or in the kitchen, the visibility inside the bedroom is much reduced. Despite what he said in his previous statements, he states now and with certainty, that he left with KATE through the back door which he consequently closed but did not lock, given that that is only possible from the inside. Concerning the front door, although he is certain that it was closed, it is unlikely that it was locked, because they left through the back door. [17]
This brings his version into line with that of Kate’s statement of 4th May, and incidentally makes it more compatible with the first version given by Dr Matthew Oldfield.
“ That the door through which he entered the apartment was closed but not locked. That he doesn't know if it is usual for Madeleine's parents to leave the door closed but not locked in so far as that door is visible from the restaurant.” [18]
It also brings it in line with the statement by John Hill [supra, 14]

Third Change of story
This concerns the first acceptance that the window was not the point of entry.
On 18 October 2007 the Dispatches programme aired “Searching for Madeleine”. In that programme it was effectively proved that there was no way anybody could break into the apartment and leave no forensic trace or damage to the lightweight aluminium shutters, which are covered with a fine coating of polyurethane paint which marks extremely easily.
David Barclay (Former Head of Physical Evidence UK National Crime and Operations Faculty)
“We must be very careful that we're not saying this is actually staging, but it is difficult to see how anybody could have interfered with those shutters from the outside without leaving some trace. In fact, having looked at them, I think it's almost impossible.” [19]

Important Note: The statements detailed above were not made available for examination and comparison until the case was shelved in July 2008. What follows is therefore a significant announcement, as it was placed into the public domain BEFORE the public at large were made aware of the previous contradictions and changes in stance.
During the week following the Dispatches programme the McCanns’ official spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, announced that the McCanns now reversed their previous stance on the break-in story. The spokesman for the family of Madeleine McCann has reversed a statement made in the early days of the search for the missing child. . . However, in the early part of the hunt, friends and family members told journalists that the shutter on the apartment where the McCanns were staying had been broken. . . 
There was no evidence of a break-in. I'm not going into the detail, but I can say that Kate and Gerry are firmly of the view that somebody got into the apartment and took Madeleine out the window as their means of escape, and to do that they did not necessarily have to tamper with anything. They got out of the window fairly easily. [20]
David Barclay repeated this view on “Madeleine McCann - The Mystery,” by Sky News 24.12.07 when he said,
I think it is impossible for someone to get in and out of that window without leaving a forensic trace . . . [21]
The McCanns’ change of view was reinforced 18 months later by the McCanns themselves, on their “Find Madeleine” web site, where they admit the force of some arguments.
Lisbon 14th January 2010
There are few points which have been raised in the last few days which I would like to address specifically:
Abduction theory: For us, there is only the abduction theory possible because we were not involved in Madeleine's disappearance and we know Madeleine did not wander off by herself. It is obvious and right that the police should consider other theories initially.
The window: I described to the police officers exactly what I found that night, as it was and is highly relevant and I knew that every little detail could be helpful in finding my daughter which is our only aim. The window which is a ground floor window was completely open and is large enough for a person to easily climb through it. Whether it had been opened for this purpose remains unknown. It could of course have been opened by the perpetrator when inside the apartment as a potential escape route or left open as a 'red herring'. [22]
1 Kate refers to the “abduction” as a theory. Not as a proven fact.
2 Kate described in her statement an open window and wide open curtains. She described in interviews and in the ‘truthful’ book an open window and completely closed curtains.

Kate McCann - statement 4th May 2007 [1]

The group immediately headed to the club, and set about searching in all the buildings, swimming pool, tennis courts etc. as well as in the apartment with the help of employees.

Gerry McCann - statement 4th May 2007 [2]

Immediately, the group headed for the club and searched across all the facilities, swimming pool, tennis etc., as well as in the apartment, with the help of Ocean Club employees, while at the same time they contacted the authorities, that would later appear.
Gerry McCann - statement 10th May 2007 [3]
They continued with searches outside, around the various apartment blocks, the deponent having asked MATTHEW to go to the secondary reception in order to communicate the fact to the local police, since he had no doubt that his daughter had been abducted.

Gerry McCann statement as Arguido 7th September 2007. [4]

When asked why instead of scouring the land next to the complex they remained inside the apartment, he replies that it did not happen that way. While the guests and resort workers were searching, he went to the main reception to check whether they had called the Police, and told Kate to wait inside the apartment. After returning from the reception he went back into the apartment where he stayed in the living room and in their bedroom.


1 It is evident from the context in the first two statements that “the group” means the rest of the group, and does not include the McCanns themselves.

2 There is a clear contradiction between the 10 May statement where it is stated that Gerry sent Matthew to the reception, and the 7th September statement, where he states that he himself went, before returning to the apartment.

3 Matthew Oldfield’s statements of 4th and 10th May, are silent on this point. Neither statement goes into details of any search.

4 Matthew Oldfield’s rogatory interview a year later states that both he and Gerry went to Reception, apparently independently. [5]

A fortnight after Gerry’s second statement, on 25th May 2007, the McCanns were interviewed by Jane Hill of the BBC.[6]
Transcript -
Jane Hill: I met people who didn't go to work for more than a week because everyday they were down on the beach, searching the streets. Did you, as a mother Kate, just sometimes think 'I've got to go and be out there with them. I want to go and just physically look as well.

Kate: (Pause) I mean, I did. Errm... (Long Pause) Errm, we'd been working really hard really. Apart... I mean, the first 48 hours, as Gerry said, are incredibly difficult and we were almost non-functioning, I'd say, errm, but after that you get strength from somewhere. We've certainly had loads of support and that's given us strength and its been able to make us focus really so we have actually, in our own way, it might not be physically searching but we've been working really hard and doing absolutely everything we can, really, to get Madeleine back.

Gerry made no reply.

1 The parents are being given every opportunity to say publicly what searches they had done. They have the opportunity to emphasise, for example, that Kate had remained to look after the twins and that Gerry had searched extensively. They have the opportunity to explain in great detail what they had done.

2 They remain silent.
3 They do not mention anything which appears in the following extract from
the book, “madeleine”, by Kate McCann, published in 2011.

p. 73 Gerry, David, Russell and Matt split into pairs and dashed around the adjacent apartment blocks, meeting back at our flat within a couple of minutes.

p. 80 On my insistence, Gerry and Dave went out again to look for some sign of Madeleine. They went up and down the beach in the dark, running, shouting, desperate to find something;
p. 81 I walked briskly up and down Rua Dr Agostinho da Silva, sometimes breaking into a jog, clinging to the hope that I’d spot something in the dark.
p. 81 Back in the apartment the cold, black night enveloped us all for what seemed like an eternity. Dianne and I sat there just staring at each other, still as statues. ‘It’s so dark,’ she said again and again. ‘I want the light to come.’ I felt exactly the same way. Gerry was stretched out on a camp bed with Amelie asleep on his chest. He kept saying, ‘Kate, we need to rest.’ He managed to drift off but only briefly, certainly for less than an hour. I didn’t even try. I couldn’t have allowed myself to entertain sleep. I felt Madeleine’s terror, and I had to keep vigil with her. I needed to be doing something, but I didn’t know where to put myself. I wandered restlessly in and out of the room and on to the balcony.
At long last, dawn broke.

p. 83 Friday 4 May. Our first day without Madeleine. As soon as it was light Gerry and I resumed our search. We went up and down roads we’d never seen before, having barely left the Ocean Club complex all week. We jumped over walls and raked through undergrowth. We looked in ditches and holes. All was quiet apart from the sound of barking dogs, which added to the eeriness of the atmosphere. I remember opening a big dumpster-type bin and saying to myself, please God, don’t let her be in here. The most striking and horrific thing about all this was that we were completely alone. Nobody else, it seemed, was out looking for Madeleine. Just us, her parents.
We must have been out for at least an hour before returning to David and Fiona’s apartment . . .


1 This is the first occasion on which we are told that the parents searched.

2 None of these details were included in any statement, nor in any interview prior to publication.

3 If we add the total time spent by the parents in searching, we find “a couple of minutes,” plus a “run up and down the beach”, plus “a brisk walk up and down the road”, plus “at least an hour”.

Total search time, it seems, no longer than 1 hour 45 min.

4 It is entirely unclear why Kate would need to insist that Gerry went out to search.

5 Matthew Oldfield’s rogatory interview does not say that he and Gerry were searching together. In the rogatory interview there is an ambiguous passage which may indicate that he and Gerry were together on the beach. [7]

6 It is also made clear that both parents spent the latter part of the night either sleeping (Gerry), or “keeping vigil” (Kate)

7 The use of the word “resumed” on p.83 is therefore questionable.

We examine Kate's claim that the door slammed, and when she went in the curtains “Whooshed” open.
In 2008 Kate McCann gave an interview in which she described graphically what happened when she entered the apartment for her check, and discovered Madeleine to be missing.

I did my check about ten o’clock and went in through the sliding patio doors, and I just stood actually, and I thought, uh, all quiet. And to be honest, I might have been tempted to turn round then, but I just noticed that the door, the bedroom door where the three children were sleeping, was open much further than we’d left it.

I went to close it to about here, and then as I got to here, it suddenly . . . slammed, and as I opened it, it was then, that I just thought I’ll just look at the children.

I see Sean and Amelie in the cot . . . .

I was looking at Madeleine’s bed which is here, and it was dark and I was looking and I was thinking is that, is that Madeleine or is that the bedding and I couldn't quite make her out, and it sounds really stupid now, but at the time I was just thinking I didn’t want to put the light on because I didn't want to wake them, and literally as I went back in, the curtains of the bedroom which were drawn, [demonstrates with both forearms together] that were closed, “wheesh’ like a gust of wind kind of blew them open.

And cuddle cat was still there, and the pink blanket was still there. I knew straight away that, err, she’d been . . . taken, yer know.[1]

We notice a number of significant points in this interview

• We are told that the door was open “further than we had left it”, but on the video it is clear and demonstrated that this did not mean fully open.

• We are told that the curtains were fully closed, and this is demonstrated on the video by the forearms being held vertically in front of the body and together

• We are told that the curtains blew into the room.

There are problems with this version of events.

If the curtains had blown up in the manner described they would have fallen back onto the bed, and have been lying across the bedclothes and across the chair

The photos taken by the PJ show clearly that the curtains are hanging down, and held firmly, one trapped down the side of the bed against the wall, and the other behind the wicker chair. The folds in each curtain are clearly flattened against the wall by the furniture.

The bed is unmade. It is alleged that Kate had slept in this bed the night before.

The photos show the windows closed. They are of the type that lock together automatically when closed, and require a finger inserted into the black mechanism in the centre to release the catch. They also show the shutters in the almost closed position [2]

And the photos also show the curtains half closed, the left curtain slightly more closed than the right one. [3]


From Kate’s police statement, dated 4th May we learn,
At around 10pm, the witness came to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed, but unlocked, as already said, and immediately noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did.[4]

Gerry’s statement of 4th May does contain hearsay evidence, but as husband and wife they have obviously spoken between themselves, and the statement can be taken at face value.

At 10pm, his wife Kate went to check on the children. She went into the apartment through the door using her key and saw right away that the children’s bedroom door was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains drawn open. The side door that opens into the living room, which as said earlier, was never locked, was closed. [5]

In Gerry’s 10th May statement we find

The deponent ran into the apartment accompanied by the rest of the group who, at the time, were seated at the table. When he arrived at the bedroom he first noticed that the door was completely open, the window was also open to one side, the shutters almost fully raised, the curtains drawn back, MADELEINE’s bed was empty but the twins continued sleeping in their cots. He clarifies that according to what KATE told him, that was the scenario that she found when she entered the apartment.

Then he closed the shutters, made his way to the outside and tried to open them, which he managed to do, much to his surprise given that he thought that that was only possible from the inside. [6]

Kate made the first half of a statement on 6th September, but it was adjourned late at night, to be resumed the following day. It was at this point that the events of late evening of 3rd May were about to to be discussed.

The following day Kate immediately exercised her right to remain silent as arguida and said nothing more of evidential interest. The more detailed analysis of her story was therefore never undertaken.


• in the original statements the curtains were drawn back, or fully open.

• in the police photos they are half drawn.

• In the subsequent explanation they are fully closed

In addition the windows are sliding, so only one half can be open, that pane moving in front of the other. A gust of wind would therefore disturb only one curtain.
But now let us examine the story around the children’s bedroom door.
In her police statement of 4th May, which was then confirmed, albeit in hearsay form in both of Gerry’s statements, she says, explicitly, 
. . .the children’s bedroom door was completely open. 
The same form of words is used by Gerry. 
The door was completely open. 
and he clarifies that this is what he was told by Kate.
But months later the story of the slamming door, and the door left open a bit more than we had left it, is told to journalists as in the video [q.v.], and it is this version which appears in the book.

p. 71 Then I noticed that the door to the children’s bedroom was open quite wide, not how we had left it. At first I assumed that Matt must have moved it. I walked over and gently began to pull it to. Suddenly it slammed shut, as if caught by a draught. [7]

Leaving aside for a moment the clear indication in that passage, and in the video, [see transcript] that Kate had no intention of looking in at the children, this is clearly at odds with all the police statements so far given, which emphasise and repeat that the door was “completely open”

What are the possible ways of understanding this paradox ?

The first option is that Kate immediately started rearranging the room, but in this case did not make the bed, which was still unmade from the previous night.
It is of interest to note that she had not even pulled the bed straight when she got up, or when she made Madeleine's bed, which is neat and tidy in the photos, with the corner neatly turned down, giving at least the appearance that no one had slept in it. [8]

But she must have tucked the curtains back down the crack between the bed and the wall, certainly having to move the bed out to do so, and made sure they were hanging properly, before pushing it back against the wall before the police arrived.
She must also have done this before returning to the Tapas bar to give the alert, as none of the friends mention any such activity.
Again she must also have partially closed the curtains, since both statements insist that the curtains were “open”, “drawn open” or “drawn back”. and in the photos they are not.

The second option is that the curtains did not "whoosh".
And if the curtains did not "Whoosh" then the door did not slam.

It is important to remember that it was not reported in either of Gerry’s statements, nor in Kate’s statement that the curtains blew open or that the door slammed. This detail was only reported by Kate to journalists several months later.
The weather that night was mild, with a light breeze,. In Faro it was recorded as reaching only Force 3. At 10pm only 14.4kph. This is the bottom end of Force 3. [9]

Beaufort Force 3 Gentle breeze 12–19 km/h (3–5 m/s)
Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended. [10]

Might that be enough to slam a door ? Or to whoosh a curtain trapped behind a bed ?

Neither Kate nor Gerry mentions closing the window.

In her statement Kate does not mention Gerry’s closing and opening the shutters.

In view of the evidence of the above, one is surely entitled to question the “official account” or indeed any of them, in that they seem unsupported by evidence.

for the Abduction of Madeleine Beth McCann
In this study we shall assume that what the McCanns and other witnesses said was correct.
From time to time it is of course necessary to ‘interpret”, as when one witness gives more than one version of an event, or when two or more witnesses give inconsistent testimony. Such points will be identified.
In the early stages of the publicity around the mystery of the disappearance of Madeleine Beth McCann it was widely suggested and reported in the Press that the abductor might have had nearly an hour between Gerry McCann’s last visit and Kate’s discovery of Madeleine’s disappearance to prepare for and then to commit the crime. Alternatively that he may have had half that time, after Gerry’s visit but before Matthew Oldfield’s visit, or possibly after Oldfield’s visit and before Kate’s.

On subsequent analysis of the main statements, and taking into account the McCann’s very early insistence that Jane Tanner’s sighting was of the abductor with Madeleine, that could no longer be sustained. This fact had been recognised by Gerry McCann as early as 1:00am on 4th May. [1]

The McCanns themselves clearly both accept that the “Window of Opportunity” for an abduction was small. During one interview Kate McCann said - in a high pitched and emotional voice - “Yyyeeah, yeah you’re right. It was a very small window of opportunity but they saw it and then *click*!!!!!! Here Kate makes a clicking sound with her tongue and a simultaneous downward chopping motion with her right hand. [2]

On 10th May 2007 Gerry McCann made a statement in which he confirmed this, although at that time he seemed equivocal about the Jane Tanner sighting.

The passage bears repeating in full, for the avoidance of doubt.

The deponent had had the wrong idea that MATTHEW had seen the bedroom shutters closed when he was there at 21H30, and therefore he thought the disappearance would have taken place between 21h30 and 22h00, but presently he is fully convinced that the abduction took place during the period of time between his check at 21h05 and MATTHEW's visit at 21H30. It was not until about 01h00 on 4 May 2007 that he learned through RUSSELL that his partner, JANE, at around 21h10, saw a man crossing the top of the road with a child in his arms, that may or may not have been his daughter MADELEINE. [3]

Quite how small was that window and the consequences that follow are examined here.

From their Police statements we learn the following :-
• The McCanns left the apartment to go for dinner around 8:30pm [4]

• Gerry McCann left the Tapas restaurant at 9:04 pm, walked back and re-entered the apartment. He did a physical check on the children. He saw all three. [5]

From the absence of any further comment in any of his statements it must be assumed that the front door, the patio door, the garden gate and the security gate, and the windows and shutters and curtains in the children’s bedroom, were all in order.

It takes one minute to walk at a normal speed from the Tapas bar to the small gate at the bottom of the outside stairs. It would take around a further 20 seconds to open the gate, climb the stairs, open the patio doors quietly, enter the apartment and reach the children’s bedroom. [6 ]

• He remained in the apartment for a little time, two or three minutes [7] recording that he stood in the children’s room “and thought to himself, She’s so beautiful.” and took the opportunity to use the bathroom. He then left the apartment through the patio doors, and went down the outside stairs, through the gate and out onto the street. There he met Jeremy (referred to throughout as Jez ) Wilkins. The two men spoke for a short time, estimated at between 3 and 4, or 3 to 5 minutes. [8] [9 ] or “only a few minutes” [10]

• Jane Tanner left the Tapas bar at between 9:05 and 9:10 pm. Significantly she times her own departure at five minutes after Gerry’s [11] She walked past the men whilst they were talking. She reports seeing the two men [12] although the men state they did not see her. [13]

• Immediately after passing the two men Jane Tanner states that she saw a man carrying a child along the road across the top of the street, from left to right. The child was being carried flat, across the forearms, and Jane Tanner saw its feet, which were towards her. She then continued to her own apartment. [14]

• Gerry McCann then returned to the dining table in the Tapas bar. This time is given as between 9:10 and 9:15 pm [15]

Working purely from the statements of Gerry McCann, Jeremy Wilkins, and Jane Tanner, and adding the time as we proceed we can estimate the following -

Gerry McCann left the Tapas bar 9:05 pm

Arrived at gate at bottom of stairs 9:06

Climbed stairs, entered apartment and went to bedroom 9:06.30s

Looked at children and had “proud father” moment 9:07

Used toilet 9:08

Left apartment, closing doors, went down stairs, met Jez Wilkins 9:09

Talked to Jez Wilkins 9:09 - 9:13 pm

Jane Tanner left Tapas bar 9:10 pm

JT arrived bottom of stairs, saw and passed the two men 9:11

JT saw abductor carrying child across top of road 9:11.05s

There is therefore, on their own timings, just two minutes and five seconds for the intruder to get in, seize Madeleine, get out again, and make his way round to the top of the road. To walk from the front door or window of the apartment to the left behind the low wall, then across the car park, then right to the corner of the street takes around 45 seconds, and a further 5 seconds to cross the street. [16]

He has therefore around one minute and twenty seconds to enter, commit the crime, and exit.

This is an important point for the understanding of what happened.

Let it be stated once again.

If the man seen by Jane Tanner was the “abductor’ and was carrying Madeleine, as the McCanns insist, he had available to him the time from Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment to the sighting by Jane Tanner. And no more.

In this time the intruder has to
• Enter the apartment

• Sedate all three children - in the dark

• Select Madeleine as the victim - in the dark

• Open the shutters and window - if he used the front door to enter

• Pick Madeleine out of her bed - in the dark

• Turn her round so that her head is now to his left, rather than to his right, which is the way he would have approached her in the bed.

• Exit the apartment, either through the opened window and shutters, or through the front door, which he must then close silently behind him.

• Walk to the left along the path in front of the apartment, walk straight ahead across the car park, and then walk to the right along the road, and cross the street in front of Jane Tanner, the father of the very child he had just abducted, and another man who has his own child in a buggy.

Taking into account the travelling time, he has around one minute and twenty seconds in which to achieve the first seven items on the list.

Clearly he could not enter through the patio door within this time frame, since Gerry was standing either at the bottom of the steps, or on the other side of the road, depending whether we follow the statement of Gerry McCann, Jez Wilson, [17] [18] or Jane Tanner. (During the televised “documentary reconstruction” Gerry McCann’s version took precedence, and viewers were treated to the sight of Jane Tanner being reduced to tears as her detailed recollection was publicly destroyed.) [19]

For our purposes this important contradiction is, for the moment, irrelevant.

As Kate has observed, “What may be important is that all three of them were there.” [20]

It is indeed a very important point, as it fixes forever Jane Tanner’s sighting relative to Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment, in a way which cannot be altered by debate or legal argument.

It could only be altered by admission of error, but Jane Tanner has several times then and since publicly insisted that she was telling the truth. [21] [22]

Possible scenarios.

One scenario is therefore that immediately on Gerry McCann’s leaving the apartment, the intruder entered though the front door by means unknown, or, having forced up the shutters, propped or jammed them in a high position, forced open the window, and climbed in. This is not supported by examination of the operation of the shutters, or the locking mechanism of the windows. No implement to support the shutters was found, and no forensic traces were seen on the window sill, or on the windows.

A second scenario has more recently been put forward to the effect that the intruder may have already been in the apartment as Gerry McCann entered. This would allow him a few more seconds or fractions of a minute in which to complete his crime. And in fact we find that this was raised as a possibility by Dr Gerry McCann himself some time later. [23]

But the apartment is largely open-plan, and this theory leads to some vague stories being suggested about where the intruder might have been secreted. None are persuasive. “Behind the door”, or “in the cupboard,” have been offered. Examination of the photos of the bedroom, and indeed of the entire apartment may lead a researcher to question this. [24]

Gerry McCann recounts seeing all the children, and having the “proud father” moment, and of looking down at Madeleine. In none of his three statements does he report the smell of anaesthetic gas or the presence of any other anaesthetic paraphernalia, and we conclude that this procedure must therefore have been performed after he left.

Kate was initially sure that the children had been sedated. [25]

As the almost infinitely small window of opportunity contracts till further, other possibilities have been put forward.

• The intruder had been watching the apartment [26]

• The intruder had been watching the family and taking notes. This was mentioned two years later in the Vanity Fair interview [27]

It is notable that the more details are provided for this scenario, the more difficult it becomes. Adding the sedation, for example, or the opened window and shutters purely as a “red herring”, as Kate did nearly two years later, [28] cuts down still further the time available to perform the actus reus

Another even more strange possibility put forward by Kate was not only that the intruder had been ‘making notes’, but later still there was even a suggestion that he might have done a preliminary reconnoitre, a “dummy run”, during one of the previous nights.

This is a consequence of the ‘curious incident of the children crying in the night time’, reported at some length and on a number of occasions by Kate. [ 29] [30]

Whether it is remotely credible to think that an intruder would not complete the crime, but would instead choose to repeat the actions on a subsequent evening, when the crying alert given by the children might have been heeded by the parents, is something the critical reader may wish to consider.

I started this piece by attempting to build up a picture of what might have happened during the admitted small window of opportunity.

Gradually, and at each step, the story becomes ever more difficult to follow, and the time available for any action by anyone becomes ever smaller, to the point where one must be permitted to ask if there is anything left which is even remotely possible.

It must surely also be permitted to ask the people who steadfastly proselytise the theory of sedation followed by abduction within the tiny window of opportunity, to give at least some details of how they imagine it might have been carried out.

“Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sherlock Holmes. a.k.a. Sir A Conan Doyle


There are at least three important objections to what has been written above.
The first objection is that the times given by the various people in their statements were not necessarily accurate. A combination of stress and confusion on the night, and trying to fit the story together within a few hours after the event would have made the times approximate at best.

(In fact one of Clarence Mitchell’s more notorious outright falsehoods was to the effect that none of the group had watches or mobile phones with them, and that therefore the exact times were not to be taken as wholly accurate. [31]

Unfortunately for him he said this nearly a year after the Tapas7 group had drawn up two separate and detailed time lines on the night, and a third mutually agreed amalgamation of both, [32] but also the statements of the Tapas 7, of Gerry McCann “When asked at what time he went to check on the children the night Madeleine disappeared, he recalls that this was around 21:04 according to his watch”, [33], and subsequently Kate McCann in her book “by his watch”. [34] , all contradict his assertion.

He backtracked six weeks later. [35] Quite why Mitchell invented, or was asked to tell this particular lie is difficult to understand.)

But the first objection is a valid one, and it is accepted.

It is however entirely irrelevant whether the events described took place exactly between 9:05 pm and 9:15 pm, or five minutes later, or five minutes earlier.

The time is not important. It is the timing, and the statements of the three main people involved which define the “very small window of opportunity”, and that remains unchanged regardless of the exact start or finish time of that window.

To recap, in case this is not understood or fully appreciated

Any abduction, and all ancillary matters necessary for an abduction, must have been carried outbetween the time Gerry McCann left the apartment having seen the children and the time Jane Tanner passed him and saw the abductor carrying Madeleine whilst he was talking to Jez Wilkins in the street outside.

And that time is measured in only a very few minutes and seconds.

The second objection is that the timings for climbing the stairs and opening the patio doors, for example, or the 45 seconds allowed for walking from the apartment across the car park and then to the right and across the street might be inaccurate, as they would depend on the individual person’s walking speed.

This is again fully accepted. This objection however is dealing in seconds, or small fractions of a minute. It does not go the heart of the issue, and could not for example get near to doubling the time available for the preparation and execution of the crime.

The third objection is that of considering median times. In other words if it is supposed that Gerry McCann’s talk with Jeremy Wilkins was 5 minutes, and that Jane Tanner passed them at the very end of their conversation, so that Gerry returned to the Tapas bar immediately she had passed, then the total apartment time for the abductor might be extended to nearly four minutes.

This is of course accepted, but it still remains to be explained how the first six items on the list of necessary procedures could be carried out, even in this time, undetected and unremarked by two fathers, speaking quietly together in an almost silent street just yards from the locum delicti.

And we must remember that Jeremy Wilkins had his own child in a buggy, and that it was a cold night. This is attested to by Jane Tanner “it was quite a cold night” “It was actually quite cold”: [36] and by Kate McCann “It was so cold and windy”. [37] The actual length of the conversation between the two men, who profess to be only passing acquaintances and one of whom was returning to his interrupted dinner, must be judged against those facts.

Summary and Comments

All the above is based on the assumption that the witnesses have told the truth.
It is difficult to understand how Madeleine Beth McCann could conceivably have been abducted from the apartment in the time available.
The PJ wished the McCanns and their friends to return and to take part in a reconstruction. All refused.
Gerry McCann and Jane Tanner did return to take part in a documentary, in which a partial reconstruction was to take place. The reality was that this was effectively “directed” by Gerry McCann himself, one of only three persons officially named as a suspect, and no important points were explored or challenged. The issue of the “window of opportunity” seems to have been totally ignored. [38]
The bald statement in the book, “I knew”, then repeated in italic, thus - “I knew”, - falls, with respect, somewhat short of the burden required in a court of law for proof that a most serious crime has been committed [39] [40]
Madeleine Beth Mccann remains missing.
Her whereabouts and her fate are still unknown.

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