A Estrela de Madeleine
by Paulo Pereira Cristovão, Former PJ inspector, president of the Portuguese Missing Children Association [APCD]
Foreword from the Author
* this is not a summary, but a complete translation *
So much has been written and said about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, which happened on the 3rd of May 2007 at the Ocean Club Resort, in Aldeia da Luz near Portimão. Probably even too much. What is certain is that this is maybe one of the most media-exposed missing persons cases of our days, and therefore has raised in everyone a great anxiety and the desire to know the truth. The popular imagination has produced a thousand and one solutions for the case, but the natural lack of knowledge of the people about all the facts of the investigation, along with their common precipitation, induces them into obvious error. And the truth is that it is not yet known what happened to Madeleine.
Every writer should be aware of the people that he belongs for and for whom he writes for, of its sensibilities and its capacities. In this particular case, I must state, as an author, my trust in the famous 'popular wisdom' of this people, who has already passed through nine centuries of history, with its successive economical, identity or community crises, and which never quit being the "Portuguese people" in Europe: integrated but self-determined, orderly but not sheepish.
This book intends to launch a challenge to those who read it: to be able to distinguish what is fact from what is fiction. It is necessary and important to state, both legally and ethically, that there is no intention here of accusing or pointing at guilty people, but only to report a fact, or a set of facts, that are of public interest, as well as the contradictions that led to the formation of certain popular theories.
Due to legal issues, it cannot be me, the author, to tell you what the truth, the truth of the case, is; but I can assure you that you can find it here, among the lines of this book.
I do not intend to dwell over matters that are already widely known by the public. Everyone knows who Gerry and Kate McCann, Russell and Jane Tanner are; Matthew, Rachel and Diane Webster, Clarence Mitchell and Gordon Brown. Everyone knows where the Ocean Club is located, its layout, the location of the Tapas Bar, the church, the beach of Luz, the village with the same name, the Priest and the twins. In spite of this, there are not many who know what prompted the disappearance of this little girl, who was responsible for it, how and why.
We will skip a pure, hard chronology of the events, as it has been made public and analysed so often already. The steps forward and back in the formation of suspects; the hundreds of false leads... We consciently forget about the concept of 'personalization' of the acts that were carried out by the policemen. So much has been written about what has been happening in Faro, in Praia da Luz, in Portimão and in London.
This book represents the opportunity to say the things that have not been written yet, and, essentially, what nobody has thought yet, or did not have the courage to reveal. Hence the challenge that is proposed to you, that of finding what is real in between the absurd of true facts and of fiction.
The truth tends, sometimes, to loose its characteristical clarity and simplicity only to become, herself, a factor that is as doubtful and obscure as the society that it refers to. It is a paradox that, in so many investigations, the intense search for the desired truth, in order to succeed, has to walk paths that are distanced from the core point. It is necessary to go far, to reach for what is near.
The reader can imagine a library, where, after a hurricane has left all the books spread out on the floor, a person who cannot see is asked to place all the volumes back on the shelves. The person can fulfill the task using only the hands, but only an incredible luck would assure that the books are placed on the correct shelves.
This is how this mystery started out. Everything was out of place. Fiction and reality are so intertwined, that the most rational and objective being would feel completely lost.
Buying a book does not give us the power to "know" the truth, as if it was a chip that is implanted in us, right after we pass the checkout and pay for a heap of leaves and a binder. Buying a book means that we have the key to open the door into something that will make us think. After that, then, will come Knowledge.
Here and now. Please do think.
To the men and women at the Criminal Investigation Department in Portimão, at the Faro Directory and at the Central Directory for the Combat against Banditism of the Policia Judiciária. To those who carry on their shoulders the difficult mission of answering the questions of WHERE, WHEN, HOW, WHO, WHAT and WHY.
Paulo Pereira Cristóvão
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Join date: 2010-05-18