For those of you joining Voices, past, present, and future, I want to bring to you the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann. This story has gripped headlines everywhere, and I bring it to you today.
Madeleine was born May 12, 2003; she has been missing for 14 years, 10 months and 20 days. Her parents: Gerry and Kate McCann.
Madeleine, her parents, her twin siblings, along with a group of family friends along with their children were on vacation from the United Kingdom. Madeleine and the twins had been left asleep in the ground-floor apartment while the rest of the group dined in a restaurant 180 ft away. The parents had checked on the children throughout the night until about an hour an a half later her mother Kate, discovered that Madeleine was missing.
A misinterpretation of DNA analysis over the following weeks led Portugal police to believe that Madeleine had died in an accident in the apartment and that her parents covered it up. Madeleine’s parents were given “suspect” status in September of 2007, which was lifted when the case was archived in July 2008 for lack of evidence by the Portugal attorney general.
Madeleine’s parents continued the investigation on their own using private detectives. Scotland Yard opened up its own investigation as well in 2011, Operation Grange. The senior investigating officer announced he was treating Madeleine’s disappearance as an act created by a criminal, most likely a planned abduction or a burglary that had gone wrong.
A man was seen carrying a child toward the beach on the night that Madeleine went missing and Scotland Yard released images of men that they wanted to track down, which shorly after, caused Portuguese authorities decided to reopen their case. This was in 2013.
Police in the German city, Braunschweig, in June of 2020, stated there was a new suspect in Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, a pedophile named Christian Bruckner. In October of 2021, German prosecutor, Hans Christian Wolters stated that he was convince this man abducted Madeleine and murdered her. The German prosecutors are hoping to be able to bring charges against this man this year, 2022.
What is horrifying to me, as a mother, besides having the heartache of my child being missing is that this family was subjected to some very intense scrutiny and allegations about their involvement in their child’s disappearance and death, especially in that of the tabloids and on Twitter. In 2008, the McCann family and their friends received damages and apologies from Express Newspapers, and then in 2011 the McCann’s testified before the Leveson Inquiry into the British press’ misconduct, lending support for some tighter press regulations. This story, much like that of Princess Diana’s death attracted international interest and saturated coverage in the UK.
In 2010, the Gamble report had examined how several upon several agencies had become involved in the case of Madeleine’s disappearance. Gamble criticized the lack of coordination. He said that everyone had wanted to help, and some had wanted to be seen to help which created a sense of chaos, competition hampering the inquiry and thus causing resentment among Portuguese police. Gamble recommended a renewed cooperation and that all relevant information be shared between the British and Portuguese authorities.
The Operation Grange team had tens of thousands documents translated, had released an age progression image of Madeleine, investigated over 8,000 potential sightings, and by 2015, they had taken over 1338 statements, collected 1,027 exhibits, and investigated 650 sex offenders and 60 persons of interest. They had to scale back the number of investigators in 2015 down to four. Home Security approved some additional funding in 2016 and again more money was funded in 2017 and again in 2019 bringing the total amount funded to 11.75 million dollars. In June of 2019, the British governement stated that it would fund Operation Grange until March of 2020.
In January and May of 2007 there had been a drastic increase in the number of local burglaries, including two that had taken place in the McCann’s block in the seventeen days prior to Madeleine’s disappearane. Inn 2017, just before the tenth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance, the burglary angle had been dismissed, but not entirely ruled out.
In 2013, when readin over the evidence, they concluded that it did appear to be a planned abduction. Several witnesses described men hanging around the apartment Madeleine and her family had been staying in just days before and on the day of her disappearance.
While regarded as highly unlikely, the police did have another theory, that Madeleine, almost four-years-old at the time, had left the apartment in search of her parents, and had been abducted by a passerby, or possibly fell into one of the construction sites that were nearby. According to Madeleine’s mother, she would have had to open the unlocked patio doors, close the curtains behind her, close the door again, open and close the child gate which was at the top of the stairs, and then open and close the gate that led to the street.
This is alot of work for a three almost four year-old-child to do, when if she was like any other child wanting her mother at night, she would have yelled out for her waking the other children. (Just my own thoughts)
The idea of this story struck home for me. My daughter and I were talking yesterday about the “date” she took my young grandson’s on, one of the stops being a recreation center, so that the boys could play on the playground. To her surprise, she was the only parent on that playground watching her children and the other children on that playground. In one instance, a little girl had fallen and gotten hurt and my daughter offered to clean her up. The young girls older sister, maybe only by a year or two, said no thank you. My daughter offered to help her find the mother and the girls replied that their mother was on the other side of the complex.
To each their own; I will not tell someone else how to parent, but in the case you cannot be with your child, is it not wise to make sure those kids are being watched by a security guard patrolling the area? (Just a thought) I would never want to be a parent of a missing child.
My heart goes out to the McCann family and Voices, past, present, and future, hope that this little girls disappearance gets solved soon and someone is brought to justice.
Thanks for joining me and if you have comments regarding todays post or any others, please, leave a comment in the comment section.