Madeleine McCann: revisiting an unsettling case (Part II)

10 mins read
Madeleine McCann

Part I can be found here.

Criminal profilers reject the abduction theory

As time went by, a number of criminal profilers started questioning the parents’ version of events. Pat Brown, is amongst those that rather than analysing the situation emotionally, looked at the evidence and the evidence alone.

In a TV interview granted to an Australian newsroom, U.S based profiler Pat Brown re-emphasised the fact that “not a shred of evidence” could be found to support an abduction theory and that the only evidence available points towards a tragic accident occurring at the McCanns’ flat. She stated that it wasn’t about “feeling bad” for the McCanns but rather about maintaining investigative standards. The criminal profiler also recalled how the crime scene was contaminated, as if the parents allowed the contamination to occur rather than try and preserve the crime scene (as suggested by Goncalo Amaral as well).

Pat Brown also criticised the U.K review (Operation Grange) which she described as having a flawed and biased logic, in reference to the guidance issued prior to the start of the review, which took as a fundamental basis that only the abduction lead can be pursued. Essentially, starting the review by a supposition without taking into consideration the evidence available.

The bedroom window

A key element we forgot to include in Part I, was highlighted by Goncalo Amaral throughout the investigation.

The bedroom’s window that was wide open turned out to be one of those windows that can’t possibly be forced open from the outside. Its locking mechanism could not be tricked open with a card for example. Goncalo Amaral went on to state that only a key or the complete extraction of the lock’s cylinder (barrel) can allow the window to be opened from the outside.

The window did not show signs of forced entry either, as a matter of fact, the only fingerprints found on the window were those of Kate McCann herself. Goncalo Amaral also found through his investigation that “it’s impossible to leave through the window whilst carrying a child, without using the bed as support“.

Another conclusion of Goncalo Amaral, was that the children could have been drugged by the parents, as investigators had found it extremely odd that the two other children could not wake up in the midst of all the circus going on in the flat.

The McCanns flee Portugal

After being officially named “Arguidos” (Portuguese for when formally made suspect), the parents did not wait long before heading towards the closest airplane they could find. They were fearing getting arrested by the Portuguese authority. This followed a particularly tense interrogation of Kate McCann where she refused to answer all 48 questions that were asked by the Portuguese investigators, here are all of them:

1. On May 3, 2007, around 22:00, when you entered the apartment, what did you see? What did you do? Where did you look? What did you touch?

2. Did you search inside the master bedroom wardrobe?

3. (Shown two photographs of her bedroom wardrobe) Can you describe its contents?

4. Why was the curtain by the sofa near the side window tampered with? Did someone go behind the sofa?

5. How long did your search of the apartment take after you detected Madeleine’s disappearance?

6. Why did you say Madeleine had been abducted?

7. Assuming Madeleine was abducted, why did you leave the twins to go to the ‘Tapas’ and raise the alarm? The supposed abductor could still be in the apartment.

8. Why didn’t you ask the twins then what happened to their sister or why didn’t you ask them later on?

9. When you raised the alarm at the ‘Tapas’ what exactly did you say – what were your exact words?

10. What happened after you raised the alarm there?

11. Why did you go and warn your friends instead of shouting from the verandah?

12. Who contacted the authorities?

13. Who took place in the searches?

14. Did anyone outside the group learn of her disappearance in those following minutes?

15. Did any neighbour offer you help?

16. What does “we let her down” mean?

17. Did Jane Tanner tell you that night she’d seen a man with a child?

18. How were the authorities contacted and which police force was alerted?

19. During the searches, with the police there, where did you search for Maddie, how and in what way?

20. Why did the twins not wake up during that search or when they were taken upstairs?

21. Who did you phone after the occurrence?

22. Did you call Sky News?

23. Did you know the danger of calling the media, because it could influence the abductor?

24. Did you ask for a priest?

25. By what means did you divulge Madeleine’s features, by photographs or by any other means?

26. Is it true that during the searches you remained seated on Maddie’s bed without moving?

27. What was your behaviour that night?

28. Did you manage to sleep?

29. Before travelling to Portugal, did you make any comment about a foreboding or a bad feeling?

30. What was Madeleine’s behaviour like?

31. Did Maddie suffer from any illness or take any medication?

32. What was Madeleine’s relationship like with her brother and sister?

33. What was Madeleine’s relationship like with her brother and sister, friends and school mates?

34. As for your professional life, in how many and which hospitals have you worked?

35. What is your medical speciality?

36. Have you ever done shift work in any emergency services or other services?

37. Did you work every day?

38. At a certain point you stopped working. Why?

39. Are the twins difficult to get to sleep? Are they restless and does that cause you uneasiness?

40. Is it true sometimes you despaired at your children’s behaviour and it left you feeling very uneasy?

41. Is it true that in England you even considered handing over Madeleine’s custody to a relative?

42. In England, did you medicate your children? What type of medication?

43. In the case files, you were shown canine forensic testing films. After watching them, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

44. When the sniffer dog also marked human blood behind the sofa, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

45. When the sniffer dog marked the scent of corpse coming from the vehicle you hired a month after the disappearance, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

46. When human blood was marked in the boot of the vehicle, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

47. When confronted with the results of Maddie’s DNA, carried out in a British lab, collected from behind the sofa and the boot of the vehicle, did you say you couldn’t explain any more than you already had?

48. Did you have any responsibility or intervention in your daughter’s disappearance?

According to the investigators, Kate was a offered a plea deal: confess and serve only 2 years or face a much longer sentence. Seeing the seriousness of the situation, the McCanns decided to flee the country.

Back in England, Gordon Brown made it a priority to clear their names, pressuring the highest figures of the Portuguese leadership into abandoning the investigation and clearing their names, according to the Portuguese investigators who took part in the investigation.

The British authorities then launched the investigative unit “Operation Grange“, which to this day has not yielded much progress.


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