Nancy Grace - CNN - 23.05.2007
Nancy Grace : Good evening. I'm Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us tonight. A parent's worst nightmare, children snatched, never seen again. Where are they? How do we find them ? And how do we stop their predators ?
First, a little girl stolen from a luxury resort while her parents had dinner. (1)
Voix (F) : Millions have joined the search for 4-year-old Madeleine McCann, missing now for two weeks from a luxury vacation with her family, Findmadeleine.com, set up by the McCann family to aid the search for Maddy, receiving over 65 million hits. Rewards offered by businessmen, famous athletes and ordinary individuals total more than $5 million. Maddy vanishes from a bedroom after her parents leave her alone with her 2-year- old twin siblings to go to dinner. Investigators focus on the area near the resort where Maddy went missing. Police Tuesday identified 33-year-old Robert Murat as a formal suspect, but said they did not have enough evidence to charge him. Maddy`s parents, Kate and Gerry, criticized for leaving the children alone.
NG : Imagine going on your family vacation. While you're having dinner, you go back to check on the kids and one is missing. That is just what happened to baby Maddy's parents.
Straight out to "America`s Most Wanted" Ed Miller. Ed, there are recent developments. What's the latest ?
Ed Miller, "America's most wanted" : Well, actually, you know, there's been a lot of confusion about this case. You know, way back on May 5, police said, We know who took Maddy. In reality, weeks later, they don't really who took Maddy. There's been a lot of suspects who they've said are suspects with a "s", not a capital S. They really don't have a whole lot more now than when she first disappeared. (2)
NG : Now, tell me the latest on the suspect, as he is being called. He's been released. I don't understand that.
EM : Well, because they simply don't have enough on Mr. Murat. You know, Mr. Murat originally was questioned because he was -- he volunteered in the investigation. He had volunteered to be a translator. He seemed to be asking an awful lot of questions and he seemed to be very, very interested in the case. And that's how they first started questioning him. He and a girlfriend and the girlfriend's ex-husband also seemed to match a description of three people that police originally were looking for. But again, there really is nothing concrete to link these three people or Mr. Murat specifically to the crime. As a matter of fact, some British investigators have said that Portugal police have really botched this case. They never really looked very hard for the child in the very beginning. And as you well know, with missing children, speed is most important. You need to get on top of it right away, and they did not. (3)
NG : Well, speaking of the botched investigation -- we`re talking about baby Maddy, her parents at a luxury resort when she goes missing from their rented room.
Out to you, Marc Klaas, president of Beyond Missing. Take a look at just some elementary things police failed to do -- did not secure the crime scene where the baby was kidnapped, did not issue a public appeal, did not release a suspect description, did not immediately go house-to-house within the luxury resort, Marc, did not search streets near the hotel, did not interview all the hotel guests, didn't check video of vehicles leaving the resort -- there are cameras that show who comes in and leaves the resort -- did not check motorway cams -- you know, those cameras that you often see at red lights, Marc Klaas -- did not notify border patrol -- you can cross that border in about two hours -- until 15 hours later, and actually ignored repeated tips that came in, Marc Klaas. (4)
Marc Klaas, Beyong Missing : Well, every one of those is a critical mistake, and every one of those could have allowed the kidnapper to get away with the child. And quite frankly, it looks exactly like that is exactly what happened. Unfortunately, Nancy, they don't have the sophisticated protocols in other countries that we have in the United States for the recovery of missing children. Although this is the most widely publicized case probably in history, and certainly has the largest reward in history, it just may be too late. (5) But I would caution the parents never to give up hope and to continue to look. It's going to be very hard to secret that little girl, and it's going to be very hard to keep that secret either publicly or privately. (6)
NG : Well, you know, interesting, Tom Shamsak, private investigator, the police there are sinking so many resources, almost all of their resources, into this one alleged suspect. If he's the wrong guy, they're screwed. Do you know what all they've been doing for this one suspect ? Soil samples, fingerprint samples, full search of DNA, you name it.
Tom Shamsak (private investigator) : Well, the response was inadequate and inexcusable. The -- they're right now isolated on this one individual. I think that the UK police officers need to be allowed to have access to the file and to start this investigation right from the beginning again. The failure to not control the crime scene, the failure to not control the borders are really egregious mistakes. This was botched right from the get-go. (7) D'où viennent ces rumeurs, sans l'ombre d'un fondement ? Qui a intérêt à alimenter le "fauve médiatique" de désinformation ?
NG : Take a listen to this.
Voix (F) : This is Robert Murat in the white shirt, filmed just days ago. He was reported to police after journalists became suspicious of his activities and his claim to be liaising between police, Madeleine's family and witnesses. (8)
Voix (M) : Police say they removed numerous items during their search of Robert Murat's home which remain part of the inquiry. Witnesses saw personal computers and mobile phones being taken. Decoding any saved information can take time. Videocassettes were also removed for analysis. Officers also took away clothes and samples of forensic material. It's unclear where they are now being examined. Police say they completely searched the villa, but detectives spent less than a full day collecting material and then allowed the family to return, leading some to question how thorough they actually were.
NG : Back to you, Ed Miller with "America's Most Wanted". Tell me about the scene. What happened when baby Maddy went missing that evening?
EM : Well, that evening, as said before, the parents went to dinner. And they felt they were doing the right thing because they could see -- according to them, they could see the front door of this luxury apartment. We should explain this is not a typical hotel, this is a luxury hotel with suites. And they were down in the restaurant and they said they could see the front door right from where they were, and all the doors and windows were locked. (9) And they went back, according to them, several times to check on the children to see if they were all right because it wasn't just Maddy there, there was the other two, as well. And then when they finally went back, when they finished dinner, lo and behold, the doors had been jimmied open and she was gone. The other two were there, but she was gone. (10) We should point out that as awful as it may seem to realize that in foreign countries, in some foreign countries, in particular, that blond children, little blond, angelic girls are possessions worth more than a pot of gold. And it's an awful thing to think about, but it is reality that police are working on that theory that this child may have been stolen simply because of the way she looked. Somebody must have been spying on her, looking at her, stalking her to know that she was there. (11)
NG : Take a listen to this.
Voix (M) : Police tape still marks the outer limits of his gardens and the driveway here, but police have been very clear they don't have enough evidence even to continue questioning Robert Murat, let alone arrest him. So at this stage, it is very difficult to know, really. Should we really regard Robert Murat as a suspect, or is he, as he says, a scapegoat?
Voix (F) : More than two weeks since she disappeared, the reality is that Madeleine could be anywhere. Her parents, of course, know this. (12) And so the Internet is a major tool in their campaign, a means of communication which can cross borders and reach millions of people.
Voix (M) : Findmadeleine.com is an Internet phenomenon. In 24 hours, it's become one of the world`s most visited Web sites, with hits from across the globe.
Voix (M) : If you haven't been approached by Nicky Gill and her team to help out in the Madeleine campaign yet, you probably will be soon. As best friend of Madeleine's mum, she's made it her mission to keep the family in the headlines. (13) Nicky and her friends concentrate on sending a message of hope, and by phone to Kate herself.
Voix (F) : Just so you know, it looks great, and you know, we'll keep it going now. This is her little place here.
NG : Out to the lines. Diane in California. Hi, Diane.
Diane : Hi. How are you ?
NG : I'm good, dear. What's your question ?
Diane : I was wondering if the parents could be charged with child neglect or child endangerment?
NG : Out to you, Renee Rockwell. They did leave the children alone. It was a group of eight parents, four couples. Every night, they would go to this tapas or appetizer restaurant about 100 yards, I believe - - between 50 and 100 yards -- of the condo that they were renting. They could see the door. They could only see one side of the condo, Renee. But they did leave the three children alone in there. And Renee, here's the kicker. For about $10 more a day, they could have hired a nanny or a babysitter to stay there, Renee.
Renee Rockwell (défense attorney) : And Nancy, and you know what ? They didn't want the children around strangers. Incredible. But what are you going to do to these parents now, charge them with a crime ? Their heart is broken. Nancy, don't discount the fact that this child could be a victim not of a sexual predator but of a human trafficking ring.
NG : What do you mean by that ?
RR : Well, it doesn't mean that somebody stole the child to molest the child. The child could have been sold on the black market not only for a sexual slavery type of a sale, but also maybe a person who wanted a blond-haired child, wanted this baby...
NG : OK, can I try to pin you down with a yes/no ? Please don't make me answer for you. Can the parents be charged with neglect ?
RR : They could, Nancy, but I don't see that happening.
NG : That could definitely happen. That's the legal answer to Diane in California's question. It hasn't happened yet, but yes, legally, they could be charged with neglect, just like every other case you hear, Diane, many that we cover here, when bad things happen to children, when parents leave them alone, no matter how good their intentions are.
NG : Out to Elizabeth in Arkansas. Hi, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth : Hi, Nancy. I'm a big fan of the show.
NG : Thank you, dear.
Elizabeth : A lot of the luxury resorts in the upscale places have cameras on the gates and in the halls and things like that. And the other thing that I wanted to know was if they have the footage and if they've explored the option of the little girl getting out on her own. Because I have a little girl, and let me tell you, if they wake up and Mommy and Daddy's not there...
NG : Ed Miller, back to you. Tell me the facts around that. I know it was heavily secured. I know that there are a lot of video cameras, but not specifically on this condo or this rental unit. Did they come in through a window or a door?
EM : Well, it's unclear because, again, the door had been jimmied, and also the window had been jimmied open. So it's unclear whether they came through a window, went out through the door, or one came through the front, one came through the window. Again, it's unclear. (14) But she's absolutely right. We should make this crystal clear. This is no fleabag place. This is a very lavish resort. So this could happen to any parent that -- anywhere, in this country or anywhere in the world, for that matter. They go on a luxury vacation. They think they're very safe. In reality, they're not safe at all. And that is what happened. There were -- to answer the question directly, there were video cameras, not specifically at this unit but in the area, in the hallway, you know, outside the restaurant, that sort of thing. So yes, there are video cameras. (15) They have not been able to, apparently, isolate one or two individuals from those cameras.
NG : The reality is, from my sources, Ed Miller, they haven`t even gone through all the video yet. Hello, guys! Check the video of cars coming in and leaving the premises. The border is only about two hours away. (16)
Out to Ernie Allen with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Ernie, give us some tips. What should parents do on vacation?
Ernie Allen (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) : They need to pay attention to their children. There's a tendency to feel that you're away from home, you're protected, there's plenty of security. You need to watch your kids. You need to make sure there's supervision for your kids. You need to check out the surroundings and the circumstances to make sure that your kids aren't vulnerable.
NG : And to you, Dr. Robi Ludwig. Question. What do we know about people -- the profile of people that abduct children for sex assault ?
Robi Ludwig (psychotherapist) : Well, you know, it`s a very dangerous thing. If you're looking at paedophiles, sometimes that's a sexual addiction. They can't help themselves. Although what's not clear in this case is if it's some type of ring, so you have some type of career criminals that are deliberately scoping out children to sell them or to make money off them. So that's something a little bit different than your run-of-the-mill paedophile who's looking actually to sexually assault a child.
NG : Why would parents think it's better to leave them alone than to hire a nanny or a babysitter provided by the hotel?
RL : Some people are very suspicious of, you know, babysitters that are hired through hotels. They don't know these people, and there might be concern. They might have felt they could have done a better job just observing them without anybody in the room. ( ) Si observer sans voir, ni entendre ni sentir était certainement un "better job" pour des gens soupçonneux, ça se saurait !
NG : We'll be back with the story on baby Maddy. Right now, there's a $5 million reward. Stay with us.
|Thomas Derrick - The Rumour|
(1) NG a une étrange notion du luxe. L'Ocean Club n'est pas un complexe luxueux et Madeleine serait sûrement offusquée qu'on l'appelle "bébé" et "Maddie" de surcroît, un diminutif abhorré, selon sa mère.
(2) En fait de confusion... La police n'a jamais dit qu'on savait qui avait pris Madeleine et il n'y a pas eu "plein de suspects", juste un contre qui aucune charge n'a été retenue.
(3) Qui sont ces enquêteurs britanniques ? Ont-ils été informés de la manière dont est menée l'enquête en dépit du secret de l'instruction ? Et si oui, en quel honneur ? Comment Ed Miller sait-il que les gendarmes n'ont pas cherché l'enfant promptement ?
(4) Scène de crime polluée par les parents avant l'arrivée de la police (appelée seulement 45 minutes après la découverte de la disparition) ; un appel à témoin a été lancé le 4 mai ; la description du suspect était un "oeuf chevelu", faute d'indications sur son visage ; l'enquête de voisinage a commencé le 4 mai ; des dizaines de personnes ont été interrogées dès le 4 mai ; les caméras de vidéo surveillance sont interdites dans l'espace public, au Portugal ; il n'y a pas de frontière (pas de contrôle d'identité au passage d'un pays dans un autre) dans l'espace Schengen. L'étonnant n'est pas que NG ne soit pas informée, mais qu'elle fasse semblant de l'être ou imagine l'être, ce qui est peut-être pire.
(5) Cette affaire, en dépit de la publicité et de la rançon inédites, est sans précédent au Portugal, alors que les kidnappings sont légion aux EU, expliquant les "protocoles sophistiqués".
(6) Que fait-on quand ce qu'on détient risque de vous faire pendre ?
(9) Ed Miller n'a pas l'air d'être allé à PDL. Les MC n'étaient ni dans un hôtel ni dans une suite, ni dans le luxe, mais dans un appartement loué par l'OC et extérieur complexe Tapas. Par ailleurs maints témoignages, certains venant même du groupe des neuf, il n'était pas possible de voir quelqu'un entrer par une porte que les MC avaient laissée légèrement ouverte. La visibilité nulle explique qu'ils se soient assis le dos à l'immeuble.
(10) Ce discours prouve que trois semaines après la disparition la rumeur des portes forcées avait encore tout à fait cours.
(11) Où on apprend que le blond est aussi irrésistible que l'or dans "certains pays étrangers".
(12) La question est de savoir si c'est cela qu'ils veulent faire savoir.
(13) La mission de maintenir la famille dans les gros titres pendant un an fut confiée à une entreprise spécialisée, Pottinger Group, pour 500 mille livres.
(14) Ce qui n'est pas clair c'est l'objectif derrière la divulgation de cette pure rumeur. Est-ce parce que la narration ainsi est plus croustillante ?
(15) Voir note 4