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What really happened
to Madeleine McCann?
10 key reasons which suggest
that she was not abducted
Madeleine McCann was reported missing by her mother, Dr Kate McCann, at 10pm on Thursday 3rd May, 2007. Since then, Madeleine, who was then nearly four, has become the best-known ‘missing child’ in the world. The McCanns claimed she was abducted, by an abductor who has never been traced. They said they were wining and dining in a Tapas bar 100 yards away from where they had left their three young children in their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, on the beautiful Algarve coast.
The Portuguese police believed the McCanns were involved in the disappearance of Madeleine. They were made official suspects on 7 September 2007 - and remained so until July 2008. Then, the Portuguese Attorney-General announced that there was insufficient evidence for any person to be charged in connection with Madeleine’s ‘disappearance’, though he added that there was evidence that Madeleine was dead. The McCanns’ spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, who used to head the 40-strong British government public relations unit, claimed the McCanns had been ‘cleared’.
In October 2007, the senior detective in charge of the investigation, Goncalo Amaral, was replaced, amidst claims of British government pressure. He was best known for solving another ‘missing child’ case - that of 8-year-old Joana Cipriano. Due to Amaral’s detective work, her mother and uncle are behind bars for long periods for her murder. They covered up her murder, claiming she was abducted. He then wrote a book, ‘The Truth About A Lie’, demonstrating that the evidence showed that Madeleine had died in her parents’ apartment.
This leaflet gives 10 key reasons which suggest that Madeleine McCann was not abducted. There are a great many others. It is a shortened version of a 64-page booklet published in Britain in December 2008, titled: “What Really happened to Madeleine McCann? - 60 Reasons which suggest she was not abducted”. Information on how to obtain this booklet is on the back of our leaflet.
Reason 1: Statistics show that the vast majority of young children reported abducted from their homes are already dead
Time after time, when young children die or are killed in their own homes, parents claim their child has really been abducted. The death may be from an accident, negligence, neglect or deliberate act. We can simply say: young children are almost never kidnapped from inside their own homes. The Portuguese police were bound to be suspicious of the parents’ claims that Madeleine had been abducted. But these statistics, though very persuasive, do not prove anything. So let us look at nine other reasons which suggest that she was not abducted.
Reason 2: The world-renowned British sniffer dogs, Eddie and Keela, detected the scent of a corpse in 10 places which strongly suggested Madeleine died in the McCanns’ holiday apartment
Here are the main facts about the findings of the two British springer spaniels, Eddie and Keela:
1. they were trained by expert dog-handler Martin Grime and are internationally famed for being able to detect the presence of a corpse (Eddie) or blood (Keela)
2. Grime said that Eddie had never ever given a ‘false alert’ in 200 previous outings
3. Eddie alerts only to human cadaverine - the scent of a human corpse. This is usually only produced in a corpse when the body has been dead for over 2 hours
4. Eddie alerted to the scent of a corpse in the following places: the living room, the McCanns’ bedroom, the veranda and the garden of their holiday apartment, on two of Dr Kate McCann’s clothes, on a T-shirt belonging to Madeleine or brother Sean, and on the pink soft toy, ‘Cuddle Cat’ (despite the fact that Dr Kate McCann had already washed Cuddle Cat at least once)
5. Eddie also detected the smell of death in the McCanns’ hired Renault Scenic car
6. Keela found blood at some of the same locations
7. Eddie and Keela were taken to many other apartments and cars in Praia da Luz, but did not alert anywhere else
8. checks were made by the Portuguese police as to whether anyone else had died in the McCanns’ apartment or in their car. No-one had
9. a neighbour made a witness statement saying that for weeks she saw the McCanns’ hired car with its boot open all night long.
The dogs’ evidence was therefore very clear: a corpse had been in all those 10 locations, and it could only have been the corpse of Madeleine McCann.
Reason 3: The strange reactions of the McCanns when they became aware of the sniffer dogs’ findings
The McCanns initially reacted by desperately inventing possible explanations for the dogs’ findings. Family members claimed the death smell on Dr Kate McCann’s clothes was due to having attended six corpses at work during the fortnight before her holiday. She even claimed that the death smell on ‘Cuddle Cat’ was because she took Madeleine’s toy to work. Then they claimed the smell of death and body fluids found in the car could have come from ‘rotting meat’ and ‘dirty nappies’ in the boot. Finally, they fell back on claiming the dogs’ findings were ‘unreliable’ and ‘valueless’. These explanations were offered only to the media, not to the police.
Reason 4: The sheer impossibility of the abduction scenario
The McCanns have claimed that the abductor entered through an unlocked patio door, found Madeleine in the dark, then decided to open curtains, window and shutter of the children’s bedroom and climb through a window 3 feet above the ground and barely 2 feet wide. He is supposed to have done this without waking any of the three children. According to the McCanns and their friends, he must have done this within the space of 2-3 minutes, in the dark, without being seen or heard, nor leaving any forensic traces like fingerprints, hair, fibres, skin fragments, shoe prints, or glove marks, nor any trace of abrasion marks on or around the window and window-sill. This scenario is so unlikely that we can simply say: this did not happen. When the window-frame was examined, only Dr Kate McCann’s fingerprints were found on it.
Reason 5: The refusal of the McCanns and their friends to help the police
in September 2007, the police asked Dr Kate McCann 48 questions about Madeleine’s disappearance. She only answered this one: “Are you aware that in not answering the questions, you are jeopardising the investigation, which seeks to discover what happened to your daughter?” She answered: “Yes, if that’s what the investigation thinks".
the McCanns deleted mobile ’phone records, and refused to allow the Portuguese police to examine any of their medical or financial records including credit card records.
the McCanns publicly offered to take a lie detector test, then changed their minds
the McCanns and their ‘Tapas 7’ friends also refused to attend a proposed police reconstruction of the events the night Madeleine was reported missing. Yet they travelled to Portugal for a Channel 4 film which reconstructed their own version of what happened the night Madeleine was reported missing
a Portuguese newspaper, Sol, tried to talk to one of the McCanns’ friends, Dr David Payne, about what had happened. He refused to talk, saying: “This is our matter. We have a pact”. He added that all requests for quotes and interviews must go through Dr Gerald McCann. Why would the group need to have what has been called a ‘Pact of Silence’ about the circumstances surrounding Madeleine’s ‘disappearance’?
Reason 6: Changes of story by the McCanns and their friends
There have been many changes of story by the McCanns and their friends, and many contradictions within their versions of events - far too many to list here. For example:
initially, the McCanns claimed that an abductor forced entry to the apartment by ‘jemmying open the shutters’. The police and Mark Warners’ staff examined the shutters, proving this was untrue. The McCanns quickly changed their story to say the abductor must have come in via the open patio door and exited through a small bedroom window
the description of an abductor by McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner changed several times
until very recently, the McCanns’ website described a moustachioed man, over 6ft tall, as ‘the probable abductor’, when there was no evidence connecting this man, seen by a tourist days before Madeleine was reported missing, to the events the night Madeleine went missing. Further, he looks nothing like the 5’ 7” man described by Jane Tanner.
Reason 7: The McCanns’ rush to appoint lawyers and PR experts
Immediately Madeleine was reported missing, the McCanns appointed many lawyers and public relations experts to help them, including extradition lawyers. What use would lawyers and PR experts be in finding their daughter? Maybe the McCanns knew from the outset that they would need lawyers and PR folk to defend them?
Reason 8: The strange reactions of the McCanns and their friends after she claimed to have found Madeleine missing
What is one to make of these reactions of Dr Kate McCann on finding Madeleine missing and stating she noticed the shutter and window open?
1. she searched the apartment ‘for 10 minutes’, despite on her own evidence the probability that she was not there
2. she left the twins in her apartment whilst she ran to the ‘Tapas Bar’ to raise the alarm
3. she failed to check on the twins’ well-being. The first thought through most mothers’ minds would have been whether they could also have been interfered with.
in the days after Madeleine went missing, the McCanns were apparently happy to leave the twins in the crèche whilst they courted the media. If they were genuinely distraught by losing one child, would they not stay protectively close to the two they had left?
the McCanns admit they never physically searched for Madeleine
despite the claim of Jane Tanner that she had seen a man walking with a child in a certain direction, the McCanns and their friends failed to organise a concerted search in along the route he might have taken.
Reason 9: Making long-term plans to mark Madeleine’s alleged abduction - whilst claiming she was alive and could still be found
From the early days, the McCanns made plans for events to mark the day Madeleine went missing - a sign they didn’t expect to find her:
1. just a month after she ‘disappeared’, Dr Gerald McCann said: “We want a big event to raise awareness that she is still missing. It won’t be a one-year anniversary, it will be sooner than that”
2. then, on 28 June 2007, he said: “I have no doubt we will be able to sustain a high profile for Madeleine’s disappearance in the long-term”
3. the McCanns trade-marked the name ‘Madeleine’s Fund’ and highlighted Madeleine’s eye defect - the coloboma - boasting that her eye defect was ‘a valuable marketing ploy’. This was against the advice of the Portuguese police. You can view where Dr Gerald McCann says this at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvdnzIGtf50
Why make long-term plans if Madeleine could be found at any time? Strangely, Madeleine’s eye defect doesn't figure in ‘Missing Person’ descriptions of her on the Portuguese police or Interpol websites. In March 2009, before a Parliamentary Committee, Dr McCann claimed British media made Madeleine ‘a commodity'. Yet just a fortnight after Madeleine went missing, he and his advisors set up a website, a private company to raise money (note: not a charity), and produced goods for sale.
Reason 10: Dr Kate McCann washing the toy ‘Cuddle Cat’
The McCanns claimed Madeleine always took her favourite soft toy, ‘Cuddle Cat’, with her. They then said the abductor had handled ‘Cuddle Cat’, placing it on ‘a high shelf or ledge’. The abductor could have left valuable forensic traces on the toy. So why did Dr Kate McCann decide to thoroughly wash it, something most mothers say they could never do to the soft toy of their missing child. Later, despite Dr Kate McCann washing Cuddle Cat, cadaver dog Eddie detected the smell of death on it. The smell of death remains on items long after they have been thoroughly cleaned.
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