The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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The Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann™
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Madeleine McCann Documentaries

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Madeleine McCann Documentaries - Page 2 Empty Re: Madeleine McCann Documentaries

Post by Verdi 14.09.21 12:55



In 2017, Gerry and Kate McCann marked a grim anniversary. It had been 10 years since their daughter disappeared.

GERRY MCCANN [2017 interview]: On anniversaries and her birthday they are by far the hardest days, by far.

KATE MCCANN [2017 interview]: Whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, there is still hope we can find Madeleine.

GERRY MCCANN [2017 interview]: Certainly, from my point of view, somebody knows what happened.

Little did the McCanns know, more than 500 miles away in Braunschweig, Germany, police had received a game-changing new tip.

Hans Christian Wolters | German prosecutor: In 2017, a person contacted the German police and gave us the name of Christian B.

According to news reports, Brueckner – who German authorities refer to as Christian B. — allegedly made a drunken confession to a friend that he knew what had happened to Madeleine.

Germany's highest police agency conducted an investigation. And what they uncovered was that Brueckner had a long and disturbing background of crime spanning three decades.

Peter Van Sant: Who is Christian B.?

Mark Hofmann: Christian B. is a … criminal who committed a lot of financially motivated crimes like burglary or drug trafficking.

Mark Hofmann is a crime and intelligence analyst based in Germany who has studied Christian Brueckner.

Mark Hofmann: But he also has a darker side.

Authorities say he had a history of targeting little girls.

Mark Hofmann: He is very likely a psychopath with no empathy … and no deep feelings who is interested in feeling some sense of power over defenseless victims, especially young children. … So, he absolutely matches the profile of a person who could potentially abduct and or kill a little girl like Madeleine McCann.

Official documents obtained by "48 Hours" show that Brueckner's life of crime began when he was arrested for theft at the age of 15. Two years later, in 1994, he sexually abused a child in Germany. Brueckner fled to Portugal to escape serving his sentence.

Mark Hofmann: He moved from job to job. He moved from crime to crime.

Until 1999 when he was extradited to Germany to serve his sentence. But he would soon return to Portugal, where Brueckner lived out of a VW camper van before eventually moving to a house.

Mark Hofmann: He lived in a house right about one mile from the crime scene where Madeleine was … abducted.

While living in Praia da Luz, investigators say Brueckner had returned to a life of crime, often stealing from hotels and holiday apartments.

Mark Hofmann: He was known for burglary in hotel resorts and Maddie disappeared from around a hotel resort. So, it's possible … that this crime maybe started as a hotel burglary and it ended as the potential kidnapping and/or killing of Maddie McCann.

Jim Gamble says that theory is certainly possible.

Jim Gamble: The hypothesis that it was a burglar who responded in an opportunistic way is one that I've always thought is credible.

In fact, just one year before Madeleine disappeared, Brueckner was arrested in Portugal for theft. But it is unknown what the Portuguese police knew about his past sexual offense in Germany. "48 Hours" reached out to them to find out, but they did not respond.

But it is clear that Brueckner should have been looked at more closely by the Portuguese authorities from the beginning. German investigators now believe they have discovered a key piece of evidence. On May 3, 2007, a call was made to Brueckner's cellphone approximately one hour before Madeleine disappeared.

Peter Van Sant: The cellphone information that you received … do you believe that placed him around the resort area at the time that Maddie McCann disappeared?

Hans Christian Wolters: The phone number placed Christian to the Ocean Club, but we have to find out which person uses this phone at this time. Normally it was used by Christian B. But we don't know which person used it on the 3rd of May in 2007.

Gamble says this lead could have been pursued at the time if Portuguese police had only analyzed the cellphone data.

Jim Gamble: I believe the information that now ties the present suspect's phone to the area would have been available at that time if someone had looked for it.

And German investigators also learned that immediately after Madeleine went missing, Brueckner did something suspicious: he put his car in someone else's name.

Mark Hofmann: He deregistered his car one day after the disappearance.

Shortly after that, he quietly slipped out of Portugal and returned to Germany once again. Brueckner eventually settled in Braunschweig, and briefly ran a small general store by a school and kept a low profile.

Mark Hofmann: Pretty often these child molesters – this is like their dirty little secret. They don't talk about it to anyone … But they talk about their crimes and fantasies quite openly to other child molesters or other offenders.

As it turns out Wolters and his team learned Brueckner was still operating in the darkest shadows of society. In 2013 he posted in a pedophile chat room on Skype.

Mark Hofmann: This was a Skype chat where he openly discussed his fantasies of torturing little children and using them and raping them for a couple of days.

Although Brueckner's posts made no mention of Madeleine McCann, the search of an abandoned factory once owned by Brueckner would uncover photos and videos that would raise more questions.


As Wolters and his team continued their investigation into Christian Brueckner's past they learned that long before that alleged drunken confession in a bar, his name had been linked to Madeleine McCann's. In 2013, German police had received their first tip that Christian Brueckner could be involved in her disappearance.

Hans Christian Wolters: There was a first hint to our suspect in 2013. But the police contacted Christian B. … and there was nothing found to investigate it any longer.

While it didn't pan out, just one year later he was back on police radar. According to documents obtained by "48 Hours," in 2014, 391 photo files and 68 video files of child pornography were confiscated from Brueckner's home while he was living in Braunschweig. During this time, he was also charged with sexually abusing a 5-year-old. He was sentenced to 15 months in prison for committing both offenses.

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But before serving his sentence, he fled once again to Portugal.

Mark Hofmann: If I look at his life and criminal record, it seems a little bit like he was always fleeing and trying to escape law enforcement. So, whenever he committed a crime, whenever he was investigated in connection with some crimes, he left the country.

Brueckner would later be extradited to Germany once again to serve his sentence.

And then, if there is a house of horrors in this tragic mystery it may be a deserted factory deep in the woods of Saxony Anhalt, Germany, that Christian Brueckner once owned.

In 2016 investigators conducted multiple searches of this property. "48 Hours" has learned these searches were part of a broader investigation into child pornography. And what they found was troubling.

Mark Hofmann: Law enforcement confirmed that they found at least three girl's swimsuits in his camper van. So, of course, you need to ask the question, who do these swimsuits belong to?

Investigators have not revealed if they know the answer. But that's not all they found.

Mark Hofmann: On this property they found … USB drives containing … pictures and videos, including videos and pictures of child abuse. And also, videos which he produced himself. … And these USB drives were in a plastic bag buried under his dead dog in the ground.

It seems that Brueckner had a long fascination with recording his crimes. In 2018, a witness came forward saying they had seen a videotape from 2005 of Brueckner raping a 72-year-old American woman at her home in Portugal. Up until then, the attacker's identity had not been known.

Mark Hofmann: This was not just rape. This was the most brutal form of rape I ever heard of.

That assault had taken place close to the Ocean Club and 2 years before Madeleine McCann disappeared. Brueckner was charged and convicted for these crimes in 2019. His DNA matched DNA found at the scene.

Mark Hofmann: He is definitely a bad guy. He's definitely a psychopath. And he is definitely a full-time criminal. … But the question is … is he really guilty in the Maddie McCann case?

Wolters will not reveal details about his current investigation into Christian Brueckner, but he is adamant about one thing.

Hans Christian Wolters: We're sure that Christian B. murdered Madeleine McCann because of the evidence we have.

Peter Van Sant: And may I speculate that that evidence may include photographs or video of Maddie McCann?

Hans Christian Wolters: You may speculate. But I'm not allowed to tell you if you are right or if you are wrong.

But despite the evidence he says he has, Wolters admits he needs more of it in order to charge Brueckner.

Hans Christian Wolters: And in Germany, we … charge someone only if we are sure that he will be sentenced by the court. If there are doubts … we don't charge him.

Wolters says one key piece of evidence they need is to find the person who made that call to Brueckner's cellphone approximately one hour before Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007.

Mark Hofmann: This might be the only person who could confirm that indeed, Christian B. was holding his cellphone … in his hand that night. … And this would be proof that not just his cellphone was at the crime scene, but that he was at the crime scene.

Although investigators made an appeal to the public, they have been unable to identify the mystery caller.

Hans Christian Wolters: The phone which was used for the call to Christian B. was a prepaid phone. … So, we are not able to find this person in an easy way.

The McCanns have not commented on Christian Brueckner, but on their website they posted: "We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace."

Meanwhile, Brueckner has remained silent behind prison walls where he is serving a 7-year sentence for raping that 72-year-old American woman. Brueckner's lawyer spoke to 9 News Australia.

FRIEDRICH FULSCHER: He is innocent until proven guilty.

Wolters admits that without a body or forensic evidence this case will be hard to solve, but he is not backing down.

Peter Van Sant: And do you believe there are people out there, whether it be in Portugal or Germany, who have information about this case that is important?

Hans Christian Wolters: We think that there are people who can help us and we hope that these people will contact us or the police.

Jane Hill: I have spent many years hoping that there will be a resolution.

BBC News anchor Jane Hill, who covered Madeleine's story from the start, hopes this new investigation will finally provide answers—as painful as they may be—for the McCanns.

Jane Hill: I hope … that there can be closure in some way for a family that has spent 13-and-a-half years not knowing what happened to their little girl, not knowing what they can say to her younger brother and sister about where she's gone.

KATE MCCANN: Madeleine is a beautiful, bright, funny and caring little girl. She is so special. … We beg you to let Madeleine come home …


If anyone has information about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, please visit

Produced by Chris Young Ritzen, Josh Gelman, and Anthony Venditti. Anna Noryskiewicz and Paolo Marenghi are the field producers. Michael Loftus is the broadcast associate. Michael Baluzy, Gary Winter and Greg Kaplan are the editors. Lourdes Aguiar is the senior producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Judy Tygard is the executive producer.


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