At around 10pm, the interviewee went to check on the children. She went into the apartment by the side door, which was closed but not locked, as she said before. She 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.
Kate McCann witness statement - Friday 4th May 2007
The children's bedroom door was completely open, the window was also open, the shutter raised and the curtains open, So said Kate McCann during her police interview on 4th May 2007. Confirmed by her husband's, Gerry McCann, witness statement taken on the same day, Friday 4th May 2007..
"At about 22.00 it was his wife Kate who went to check on the children. She entered the apartment by the door using the key and saw immediately that the door to the children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the blinds were raised and the curtains were drawn open.
Her daughter allegedly disappeared sometime between leaving the child at approximately 20:00H and her return to check on the children at approximately 22:00H, during which time Kate McCann and her husband, Gerry McCann, went to the nearby Tapas restaurant for dinner with their group of friends. That is their version of the truth and the version they were anxious to convey to the Portuguese police and the world at large.
So far so good. The parents of a three year old child who apparently just disappeared into the cold night air, traumatized and not thinking straight - who could blame them for being confused?
So the story begins. Despite later reports of prostration, supplication, wailing, roaring like a bull and total shut-down, proceedings on the night of Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th May 2007 were anything but broken by trauma. Events immediately turned into something akin to a military operation, with unimaginable precision. Still, perhaps it was the adrenaline kicking-in, rather than a contrived attempt to deceive.
After the alert was raised by Kate McCann at around 22:00H, rather than alert the complex management and request police presence, the McCanns and their group of friends opted for the production of a timeline, using the missing child's, Madeleine, sticker book cover as a scribbler. The crime scene, because that's precisely what is was, was compromised by the group and Ocean Club employees, trampling around and thus contaminating the scene - before the arrival of the Portuguese police. So moving on..
Total shut-down was but transient, within minutes Gerry and Kate McCann were calling friends and family back in the United Kingdom to convey their version of the truth, tales of open windows, forced shutter and fluttering curtains. Well, reportedly that's how Kate McCann found the children's bedroom, the crime scene, when she checked on the children at 22:00H, so quite understandable she would urge the point to family and friends. But is all as it would appear? .... No!
Beyond reasonable doubt, the family and friends back in the United Kingdom called upon by the media, only related what they had been told during the night early in the morning - tales of open windows, forced shutters and fluttering curtains, or variants on the same theme. Again, given the circumstances, it's quite understandable that family and friends might be a bit vague as to the story related to them concerning the disappearance of a much loved little three year old child. Though not so vague as to get it completely wrong - the open window, the forced/raised shutter and fluttering curtain.
As reported by the UK media following the frantic night of 3rd/4th May 2007..
Trish Cameron - Gerry McCann's sister
"When Kate checked, she came out screaming. Maddy had gone. The door was open and the window in the bedroom and shutters were jemmied open. Nothing had been touched and no valuables taken."
Jon Corner - friend of the McCanns
"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.
Jill Renwick - friend of the McCanns
"Poor Kate and Gerry don't know where to turn. She's obviously been taken as she couldn't have gone out on her own and the shutters had been forced open.
Philomena McCann - Gerry McCann's sister
"It is obvious that someone, with malicious intent, went through that window.
Brian Healy - Kate McCann's father
"Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone.
Without doubt, enough to confirm the story line told by Gerry and Kate McCann to their family and friends back in the UK, the story line that was swiftly adopted by the media even before they rushed hot-foot over to the Algarve to be first with the exclusive.
This is where it gets interesting.
The Portuguese police, despite having to contend with a contaminated crime scene, a prepared timeline and contradictory information portrayed by the McCanns and their group of friends, the one thing - a very important piece of forensic evidence, they did determine with hours of arriving on the scene .... there was no evidence of a break-in, the window was not open, the shutter had not been forced open thus - no fluttering curtains to contemplate.
Here is the report relative to the forensic examination of the crime scene, the children's bedroom, extracted from the PJ files dated 4th May 2007, the day following the alleged abduction of Madeleine McCann..
"Finally, there also proceeded the detailed analysis of the door and of the windows of the target apartment there not being detected the existence of any clues/traces of break-in/forced entry on them."
The story-line, the version of events, over a period of time was gradually diluted by the UK media until conveniently omitted from reportage or forgotten. Even the McCanns spokesman elect, Clarence Mitchell, had to feebly admit there was no evidence of forced entry. And so the version of events was temporarily juggled to a slightly more realistic scenario - the abductor/burglar entered through the unlocked patio door and left via the window in the children's bedroom. Illogical of course so it was quickly abandoned and forgotten.
Moving onto the crux of the matter -Kate McCann was reluctant to bury the evidenced version of events. Not only did she continue to relate the story of the open bedroom door, the raised shutter, the open window, the night breeze blowing the curtains, in the earlier days - she continued to relate the same story at every given opportunity. Every televised interview, every studio sofa, even down to the the Oprah Winfrey show two years later, in May 2009 - still she maintained the same story, flying in the face of documented evidence. Even down to the tenth anniversary of her daughters mysterious disappearance, still she related the same story of open windows, raised shutters and fluttering curtains.
She goes on and on and on and on and curiously no one tries to stop her, not even her husband who was sat beside her during every interview. All alone in her quest to convince the world that her three year old daughter, Madeleine, was spirited away from apartment 5a on the night of 3rd May 2007 by an anonymous predator.