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The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™   

Cat O' Nine Tales

Verdi | Published on the 06.07.19 0:45 | 1023 Views

A chance encounter you might say, or Kat meets Cat one spring morning at the sleepy coastal resort of the Ocean Club, Praia da Luz on the Portuguese Algarve in the year 2007.

A third Cat - capital C or small c it matters not, appears on the stage, a silent cat, a cat with no voice, a cat not with nine tales to tell but with nine lives to live.  A cat exploited beyond reason, a cat who must have seen and heard so much but unable to tell the tale.  A cuddle cat - a soft toy hawked around for effect by the mother of Madeleine McCann, photographed over and over again to garner sympathy and tell another version of the truth - a silent story by a stuffed toy mute cat.  A stage prop, seen dangling from various parts of Ms McCann's anatomy and accessories for many a month.

Ms Kate McCann, her husband Gerald and three very young children arrived at the Ocean Club holiday complex on the afternoon of Saturday 28th April 2007 for a short spring break, one week to be precise, with a group of friends and a lust for life's pleasures.

The decision was made by the couple to use the daytime childcare facilities on offer by the tour company Mark Warner, who pride themselves on their family friendly holiday services.  Nothing formal, just a place to leave the kids any morning and/or afternoon whilst the parents can go off to enjoy some well earned adult time and all the temptations on offer by the tour operator.

So, on the morning of Sunday 29th April, the day after arrival, the McCann parents enrolled their three children in the child daycare facilities, one location for their oldest daughter Madeleine and another for their two younger children.  Madeleine, who the reader will know was said to have mysteriously disappeared on the night of 3rd May 2007, she was signed-up at the daycare rooms in the care of a nanny by the name of Catriona 'Cat' Baker, an employee engaged for the busy summer season.

The child daycare services on offer by Mark Warner was an informal arrangement, only a place to entertain kids for a few minutes or hours a day as required by guests of staying at the complex.  Nothing too strict, just a place for the kids to hang-out with others of their own age group.  To have a bit of fun with their mates and enjoy the play organized by the childcare staff.

Ms Cat Baker had this to say of her first encounter with Gerry and Kate McCann, the parents of Madeleine McCann, in her official police witness statement taken on 6th May 2007..

'She states that she knows the McCann family since last Sunday, 29th April, 2007, when they enrolled their daughter in the “Minis” service. She replies that since that date and until Thursday, the 03rd of May, 2007, she was with Madeleine every day, but is unable to specify if she was present on the Sunday morning.'

So far so good.  How can anyone reasonably expect a busy nanny to remember a specific time and/or date with any accuracy - who can say they recall in any detail what they did last Sunday morning?  Kate McCann didn't however mention the meeting with her daughter Madeleine's carer during her official police interview on 4th May 2007 - the first and only formal interview until questioned as a suspect in September 2007.  Again, why should Ms McCann mention a person she had never met before Sunday 29th April, a nanny assigned to look after her child for only a few hours a day if required.

A brief encounter for no more than five days .... good morning .... see you later .... hello again .... bye, have a nice evening.  That would be the expected exchange between a child's parent or guardian and the nanny allotted to attend to the child for a few days here and there.  Hardly the basis of a blossoming friendship for the now or the future.

A busy popular summer holiday resort, people come and people go regularly, one or two weeks being the general arrangement for a family holiday.  No one could reasonably expect a resort employee to have intimate knowledge of any holidaymaker or their children.  Guests come and guests go, Jack and Jill today, Gavin and Stacey tomorrow, they are just a statistic in the steady flow of guests in any holiday destination.  It's folly to think that any guest and their family will stand out against the rest - unless there be a specific reason.

Gerry and Kate McCann, for reasons best known to themselves, elected to reject the night childcare services offered by the tour operator, Mark Warner, choosing instead to run their own child checking system whilst they were away eating and drinking.  If the groups story is to be believed, there is no reason to suggest any of the child carers employed by Mark Warner were involved with the McCann children, or any other of the group's children, at any time other than the day.

Ms Kate McCann had this to say about Catriona Baker, in her book published in May 2011..

'Madeleine’s nanny, Cat, I warmed to straight away, as did Madeleine. She was bubbly, smiley, kind and bursting with enthusiasm. It was obvious that she was doing the job because she loved children, not simply as a way of spending a few months in the sun.'

So far so good.  A natural enough reaction to first meeting a person who you will rely on to look after your precious daughter for a few hours a day for a notional six days.

Thereby lies the basic detail of when Kat met Cat back in April/May 2007.

Allegedly, Madeleine disappeared on the night of 3rd May 2007, between the regular checks of the children by the parents and/or their friends.  Again I stress, there is no reason to link the nanny Catriona Baker with Madeleine's disappearance as she was not attending the child at night - at least not according to documented evidence .

We'll leave Ms Catriona 'Cat' Baker there until October 2007, after the McCanns returned to the UK early September 2007 when they were named arguidos - or suspects.

Again for reasons best known to themselves, Gerry and Kate McCann presented to the UK authorities, a list of people they thought should be interviewed or re-interviewed by the UK police through the rogatory process. 

Curiously this list included the name of Catriona Baker, who the McCanns considered to be a 'key' witness.  A key witness even though Ms Baker allegedly had no contact with missing Madeleine at the time of her disappearance?  It could be argued that Ms Baker was only named by the McCanns to be interviewed as a character witness but again, how could she be a character witness when her only contact with the parents was when they dropped off and collected their daughter from the childcare rooms?

Curious indeed.

So the wheels were put in motion and Catriona Baker was re-interviewed by rogatory in April 2008, along with a number of other witnesses named by the McCanns.  Why Catriona Baker - what could she have to offer? 

As it happened, Ms Baker's memory recall improved considerably one year after the event, in fact she had so much more detail to offer which was noticeably absent from her formal witness statements taken in May 2007.  That is significant in itself, surely over a period of time memory fades, it doesn't generally improve unless prompted by auto-suggestion or scripted beforehand.  If you can't remember with any accuracy what you were doing Sunday morning a few days ago, how could you possibly remember what you were doing that same Sunday morning one year later? 

There is nothing to say with any certainty that Ms Baker was briefed beforehand to give a pre-rehearsed version of events in support of the McCanns and their group of friends.  There is nothing to say with any certainty that Ms Baker is being less than truthful with her account of events.  

However, significantly, it is on public record with photographic evidence to confirm, that Ms Catriona Baker was invited to the McCanns home in Rothley in November 2007 to 'see how they were getting on', an invitation that Ms Baker willingly accepted. This invitation could be easily excused as it was reported if you pay little attention to events before and after, which might explain the true reason for the invitation.

It all happened between October 2007 when the McCanns presented their list of persons to be interviewed or re-interviewed and April 2008, when the rogatory interviews were conducted by Leicestershire Constabulary.  The more attentive observer might be inclined to think the visit to the McCanns home by Ms Catriona Baker in November 2007, was in fact a briefing meeting in preparation for the rogatory interview early the following year, conducted by Leicestershire Constabulary.

Ms Baker would appear to have catapulted from a witness of no significance to the official PJ investigation back in May 2007, into a full blown key witness for the McCanns defence strategy in April 2008.

Tragedy brings people together - tragedy tears people apart.  In this case of unprecedented general abnormality, tragedy has brought together the most unlikely people and tragedy has stuck together the most unlikely people- strangely, it doesn't appear to have alienated many people in this case.

Makes you think.

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