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What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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On the 14th October 2013 the BBC Programme Crimewatch featured the Madeleine McCann investigation.

It can be seen here –> YouTube

Here is a transcript:


BBC Crimewatch 14th October 2013 – Madeleine McCann


Kirsty: There must be very few people who don’t know about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. She was just 3 years old when she went missing whilst she was on holidays with her family in Portugal. That was back in May 2007. She of course hasn’t been seen since and whoever took her, well they have yet to be brought to justice. There was widespread criticism of the initial Portuguese investigation and even at one point accusations that her own parents were to blame. Well along with Kate and Gerry McCann in the studio tonight are the Scotland Yard detectives who are leading this new investigation. We’ve been working closely with them for several months to reconstruct their latest findings and tonight we can reveal the major revelations that they’ve uncovered and the true significance of those crucial e-fits that you may have seen today if you’ve been watching the news. Now we ask you to cast your preconceptions aside to examine this new information and to do what you can to help find Madeleine McCann. Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The initial Portuguese Police inquiry lasted a year. Private Investigators have followed up sightings around the world and the media storm surrounding the story came up with numerous theories. But what actually happened to Madeleine McCann remains a mystery. In June this year, after reviewing the evidence, officers from the Metropolitan Police began a fresh investigation. Now for the first time the lead detective is ready to reveal what they have uncovered.

Some previews

Redwood: I would say it was a revelationary moment.

Reporter: And we speak to Gerry and Kate McCann about how they coped over the past 6 years.

Gerry: When it’s a special occasion, when you should be your happiest, err, and Madeleine is not there, that’s when it really hits home.

Reporter: Speculation will be cast aside and new leads revealed as we ask you to help police finally uncover the truth of what happened to Madeleine McCann.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kirsty: Gerry what are your first memories of Madeleine as a baby.

Gerry: She came out screaming. She was a McCann. There was no doubt about that but she came out almost perfectly formed. That was really, you know, she was instantly beautiful.

Kirsty: Because you had been through IVF to conceive, for her, it must have had an extra poignancy when she was born. Can you tell me …

Kate: Very overwhelming and it’s that sort of, that immediate love really and she did feel special. I mean it did feel like after all we’ve been through, wow.

Kirsty: I’ve looked through photographs of your family around about that time. I think not long after the twins were born. The thing that constantly strikes me, you have this sort of giant smile in every picture. It’s like, here we are. This is it, this is all that matters.

Kate: And it was, I mean it was all I kind of dreamed of really. And I can remember one morning err my mum and dad were there and we’d all piled into their bedroom and the three kids were climbing on top of me and I just remember mum was saying: look at you with your three kids you know and that was just was just great you know was just just perfect you know.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal is popular with families across the UK and the rest of Europe. But 6 years ago it became known for a very different reason. It was the place where 3 year old Madeleine McCann was abducted from her apartment. Since then the mystery of what happened to her has continued to make headlines. But amid the speculation what are the facts. Kate and Gerry McCann arrived at the Ocean Club complex with a group of friends. They brought their 3 children 2 year old twins Sean and Amelie and 3 y/o Madeleine.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kirsty: What did Madeleine think of the swimming pool, was she right in there?

Kate: Yeah she was, she was desperate to get in there. I mean it was the end of April we went out and it wasn’t that warm but she was (straight?) Mummy can we go in swimming and..

Gerry: She loved it, absolutely loved it, she really wanted to get in that water

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The McCanns got involved in activities provided by the Complex. There were Kids Clubs for the children. Kate and Gerry signed up for tennis lessons. There was also time for them to be together as a family.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kate: And then generally it’s about 6.30 and we’d all go back to our respective apartments and then it’d be sort of (?) bedtime routine really.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: In the evenings the adults would dine in the resort’s Tapas restaurant which was 50 metres form the McCann’s apartments. Five days into the holiday the group was settled into this routine.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kate: I think we all woke up around 7.30 and went through to have breakfast and it was at that point that Madeleine said Where were you when Sean and I cried last night. And it was one of those questions that kind of throws you.

Gerry: We just made a mental note of it and we said you know, actually we go out tonight and we just need to make sure we’re really checking. We don’t want .. we wouldn’t like to think they might wake up, be crying and looking for us.

Kate: The time we had by the pool and the play area that day was, it was a really fun time that day, it was particularly fun.

Gerry: She was sitting there in her little dress and her hat on and I was paddling my feet.

Kate: And it was sunny and that’s when we’ve got the erm photograph, the last photograph.

Gerry: We had a lesson booked for the two of us, a tennis lesson and then I stayed on and Kate went for a run. So at 5 o’clock I went over err to meet the kids and Kate came erm back from running.

Kate: Madeleine looked really tired. She was really pale and looked quite washed out.

Gerry: We decided to take her straight back to the apartment and just before 6 I then headed off back to play tennis and I left Kate to get them ready.

Kate: Again it’s kind of quite a nice memory really erm. Madeleine was sitting on my knee and Sean and Amelie erm were alongside and I read a story and Madeleine had asked if she could put my engagement ring on, which she did quite a bit. She had that on and yeah it was just a, a really nice err moment really. And then Gerry got back pretty prompt at 7. Gerry: They were sitting all on the couch together and ? their jammies on ready, had their milk.

Kate: We sat on Madeleine’s bed and we had a story and then Gerry came through and we kind of put the twins into the travel cots that they were sleeping in and say goodnight.

Gerry: We’re at groundfloor apartment and the window had a shutter on the outside that was right down and erm the window was closed then we had curtains right across, so it was nice and dark in the room.

Kate: And then, as always just close the door, not right over but just so it was open a little bit so the light from the living room would get through. And I have to say it was quiet within seconds. I think they were all just so tired and fell a sleep

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The McCanns left their apartment at 8.30. They were joined at the Tapas restaurant by their friends Matt and Rachel Oldfield and Jane Tanner and her partner Russell O’Brien. At about 9 o’clock Matt left to make sure his children were alright. Shortly after he’d gone the remaining 3 people (names NOT mentioned in the programme, added by me: David Payne, Fiona Payne, Dianne Webster) arrived.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Gerry: A few minutes after 9 I said to Kate, that’s half an hour, I’m gonna go up and as I walked in err I noticed err that their bedroom was open slightly wider than I had left it. So I actually went into the room and I stood, I could see the twins clearly in their cot and Madeleine was lying there sound asleep.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: On his way back Gerry stopped to have a chat with a fellow guest. At about the same time Jane Tanner went to check on her children. Her route took her past the McCann’s apartment. By the time the starters arrived everyone appeared settled for dinner.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kate: And then at 9.30 which was the time I thought right I need to check. I stood up and at the same time Matt stood up. Matt and Rachel were actually staying in the apartment next to us 5B. He said: I can pop in, so I said OK I’ll go next one.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: As Matt left the table, Jane’s partner Russell also went to check his children.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Gerry: Matt erm went checked and when he came back I said is everything allright and he said yes, it’s all quiet.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: Russell stayed behind as his daughter had become unwell. Jane went to relieve him once she’s finished her meal.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kate: So at 10 o’clock erm I got up to do the next check. I’d finished eating then so I headed back to the apartment the usual route. And I just stopped and listened in the living area for a bit and it was all quiet. But it just caught my eye that the children’s door was quite far open and at that point I thought it must have been when Matt checked and he’s left it open and as I was just drawing it over it, it was like it’d been caught by a draught and it was kind of slammed shut. It was only at that point really that I kind of as I opened it a bit I kind of looked into the room and I was, as I was looking at Madeleine’s bed and I couldn’t, couldn’t make her out. And then I realised actually she’s not in that bed. I thought oh I wonder if she’s woken up gone through to our bed. She wasn’t in our bed. And that was, that was the first time where I guess you know panic kicked in. And it was literally at that point the curtains that I say that were closed just kind of whoosh and then I could see that the window been pushed right over and the shutters were up. So erm sorry err so, so I kind of knew straightaway then that Madeleine had been taken.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: Within hours of Madeleine going missing the world’s media had descended on the resort. Searches of the local area were carried out while reported camped outside the apartment.

A day after she disappeared Gerry gave a statement to the press.

Gerry: Words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling...

Later Kate made an emotional speech after visiting the local church.

Kate: Please continue to pray for Madeleine. She’s lovely...

As the McCanns and their friends tried to piece together that night Jane Tanner remembered seeing something that was to become the main thread of the investigation. When she’d walked past the McCann’s apartment at about 9.15 she had seen a man. He was carrying a child. Her description helped create this artist’s impression. Was he the man that took Madeleine. A month after her disappearance the McCanns made an appeal on Crimewatch.

Old Crimewatch footage

Gerry: ??? this would be a good time now to review all information.

Kate: These are virtually identical to the pyjamas that Madeleine was wearing when she was taken.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: By now Madeleine’s abduction was a major news story all over the world. But not all the publicity was welcome.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kirsty: The day that you yourselves were named as being suspects, tell me about that day.

Kate: ? Gerry was scared because he knew that we were in a system that we didn’t know and I, I think I just lost it actually. I was, I was upset, I was angry, and I was, I just thought, you know, that this is just crazy, you know, it’s unjust we’re never gonna find Madeleine.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: In July 2008, more than a year after she disappeared the Portuguese investigation was closed and all suspects, including Kate and Gerry were formally cleared. The McCanns continued to campaign for the Police to reopen the case of their missing daughter.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kirsty: Do you always feel conscious that there’s a, there’s a, there’s a Madeleine shaped hole there.

Gerry: When it’s a special occasion, when you should be your happiest erm and Madeleine is not there that’s when it really hits home. Obviously Madeleine’s birthday goes without saying, but when you’re really getting

Kate: Yeah, it’s only ? the big family occasions really. That’s, I mean that’s basically a family occasion and you haven’t got your complete family.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: In 2011 the McCanns made a direct appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron for help in the search for Madeleine. In an unprecedented move a team from the Metropolitan Police was given the go-ahead to review the massive evidence that had come from Praia da Luz. Would the UK’s top detectives be able to crack a case that had baffled the world. DCI Andy Redwood is leading the investigation.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: Primarily what we sought to do from the beginning is trying to ? everything back to zero if you like. Try and sort of take everything back to the beginning and then re-analyse and reassess everything, accepting nothing.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The work of detectives in reassessing thousands of documents, paid off when they were finally given the green light to launch a full-blown inquiry. What follows is the result of this painstaking new investigation by Scotland Yard’s elite detectives. The truest account yet of what really happened that night.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Reporter: Tell me now about the crime scene itself.

Redwood: Yes, I mean the family with their 3 children were in apartment G5A. This was on the edge of a sort of contained area which was known as the Ocean Club within which there was a Tapas Bar and swimming pools and tennis court. The actual apartment where they were staying was, was outside that perimeter area and it was effectively from front and back accessible to the public. The front door was accessed via a car park. And then the rear entrance was aside (?) to the steps that led up and into a rear balcony area that go in and ?? through patio doors. Madeleine and her siblings Sean and Amelie were staying in the front bedroom which looked out onto the front car park. Erm Madeleine was in her bed and the two children were in travel cots between, between Madeleine’s bed and the bed that was nearest to the window. The careful and critical analysis of the timeline has been absolutely key. Primarily we’re focussed on the area between 8.30 and 10. We know that at 8.30, that was the time that Mr and Mrs McCann went down to the Tapas area for their dinner and we know that around 10 pm that was when Mrs McCann found that Madeleine was missing.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: One of the most pivotal events on the timeline was Jane Tanner’s sighting of a man carrying a child. He was walking in this spot just metres from where Madeleine had been sleeping. This man was widely thought to be Madeleine’s abductor, but the team was taking nothing for granted.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: One of the things that we picked up very quickly was the fact that there was a night crèche that was operating from the main Ocean Club reception and 8 families left 11 children in there. And one particular family we spoke to gave us information that was really interesting and exciting. In fact I would say it was a revelationary moment when having discussed with them what they were doing on the night. They themselves believed that they could be the Tanner sighting.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: The British father had collected his 2 year old daughter from the creche. He had been walking near the McCann’s apartment. This is the actual photograph taken by Metropolitan Police officers of the man dressed in the kind of clothes he wore on holiday. This image was compared to the artist’s impression.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: It is uncannily similar and we know that the pyjamas that their child was wearing, that it is again uncannily striking the similarities.

Reporter: So, what you’re saying is that the time line that everyone was working on for years in this case, was wrong.

Redwood: We’re almost certain now that this sighting is not the abductor. But very importantly what it says is that from 9.15 we’re able to allow the clock to continue to move forward and in doing so things that have not been quite as significant or received quite the same degree of attention are now the centre of our focus.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: This was an enormous discovery for the team. An innocent explanation for the suspect who’d been at the centre of the case for 6 years. Their attention quickly turned to another sighting which could now be the key to the entire mystery. It was here that at 10pm that an Irish family witnessed another man carrying a child. They saw him come down the hill from the Ocean Club heading that way towards the beach. Could this have been Madeleine and her abductor.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: He was a white man with brown hair and the child that he had in his arms was described as being about 3 to 4 years of age with blonde hair, possibly wearing pyjamas. A description very close to that of Madeleine McCann.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: Two of the witnesses helped create E-fits of the man they saw. Today for the first time we can reveal the true significance of these images.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: This could be the man that took Madeleine but very importantly there could be an innocent explanation. The e-fits are clear and I ask the public to look very carefully at them and if they know who this person is please come forward.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: As part of their exhaustive investigation the detectives are particularly interested in a number of blonde haired men who were seen near the McCann’s apartment. Do they hold the answer to her disappearance? One witness saw a fair haired man near the McCann’s apartment twice. On the first occasion she saw him standing on the path that runs behind the block. The second time near the entrance of the Tapas restaurant looking towards apartment G5a. On the day Madeleine disappeared 2 men were seen on the balcony of a nearby empty apartment believed to be 5C two doors down from the McCanns. A man was also seen in the same area two hours later. At 6pm a man was seen in the stairwell in the McCann’s apartment block. And an hour after Madeleine was reported missing 2 men were seen speaking with raised voices. When they saw the witness they walked away talking in hushed tones.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Reporter: How important are these sightings do you think?

Redwood: Madeleine McCann’s disappearance does on one reading of the evidence have the hallmarks of a pre-planned abduction. That would undoubtedly have involved reconnaissance and so we’re really keen to understand who these people were. They may all be separate. So it’s really important this evening to say to the public that if you recognise yourself then please have the courage to come forward because it’s really important for us to eliminate any sightings that are innocent and nothing to do with Madeleine’s disappearance.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: As well as that line of enquiry and the sighting by the Irish family of a man carrying a child the police are also looking at a third important strand of their investigation.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: We have noticed that there was between January and the time Madeleine went missing a four-fold increase in the number of burglaries that were taking place in the vicinity.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: In the 3 weeks prior to her disappearance 2 incidents took place in the very block where Madeleine slept. In both windows were used to gain access.

Reporter interview with Redwood (not live)

Redwood: Possibly there is a scenario where Madeleine could have possibly disturbed somebody trying to commit a burglary.

Crimewatch clip

Reporter: To date nobody has been caught for these crimes.

Kirsty interview with McCanns (not live)

Kirsty: You’ve said in the past that there can be nobody who knows your story, who can look back on that night as much as you yourself have looked back on it and said what could we have done, what should we have done. How do you deal with those feelings now?

Gerry: Maybe I’ll say it first because I think I realised really early on that you could, guilt, ifs, buts, maybes, could just eat away at you and it doesn’t change what happened. Erm, it’s always been a mantra for me is to look forward and always look forward at what can still be done.

Kate: I think it took me longer to get to that point and you know I did persecute myself over our decision to eat at the Tapas restaurant for weeks, months, years I’d say.

Kirsty: For years, did you?

Kate: Yeah, you know ? why did we think that was Ok. You know obviously the with hindsight but then as Gerry said it doesn’t help, doesn’t help us, doesn’t help Madeleine and ultimately it’s not us that committed this crime, it’s the person who’s gone into that apartment and taken a little girl away from her family.

Studio live

Kirsty: That’s what they’ve done, they’ve taken a little girl away from her family. Let’s speak now live to DCI Andy Redwood who, as you’ve seen, is leading this big investigation, has taken the time to join us here tonight. In front of you and your team has been a massive task. You genuinely feel that you are making significant advances here do you?

Redwood: Yes, we do. We are making good progress. There is still much to do but our revision of the timeline and our re-emphasis on events beyond 9.15 means we are bringing new information this evening to the public.

Kirsty: OK, tell me about that then. Let’s focus on 10 pm, let’s focus on this sighting and you tell me what’s important and what people watching need to concentrate on tonight.

Redwood: Well, at 10pm we can see a man walking down towards the sea, a white man in his thirties with brown hair and in his arms is a child 3 to 4 years of age, blonde hair, wearing pyjamas, very close description to that of Madeleine McCann. Two e-fits that have never been in the public domain of this one individual. Really important for us to understand who he is.

Kirsty: Andy, another aspect that seems to me very important are all these different sightings of wha might be this same fair haired man, might be a different fair haired man. Give us a bit more detail on those.

Redwood: Well there is a number of incidents on either, on both the day that Madeleine went missing and days leading up to her disappearance where one man or two were seen lurking around the apartments. Now there may be a completely innocent explanation for that but we really need the public to help us to identify who these men are.

Kirsty: OK, you said to Matthew there was this spike, this four-fold increase in burglaries around about the time that Madeleine was taken. And also there was a rash of, we are calling them charity collections, who knows if that is what they were. You think both of these things also might be something that has an important aspect in terms of the investigation.

Redwood: Yes, on the afternoon that Madeleine disappeared between 3.30 and 5.30 there were 4 charity collector events where 2 men went to residential apartments in streets very close to her apartment. And certainly on one of those events at 4 pm there’s an e-fit that the public can look at now. A man with black hair.

Kirsty: Right

Redwood: Erm that we really need to understand more about and identify who this person is.

Kirsty: And just it was around about a week before there was another significant again, let’s call it a charity collection sighting. Tell me about this.

Redwood: Yes, and this was actually the week before Madeleine disappeared. In the apartment where she was staying, a man, and the e-fit is in front of the public now, again with black hair, went up the rear steps and approached a gentleman on the balcony. And again there are certain elements of both that event and the event on the 4pm on the day with the e-fit we’ve shown prior to this that have resonance between each other. Really important for us to identify who these individuals are.

Kirsty: That’s for sure. DCI Andy Redwood, for now thanks very much for taking the time for talking to us erm. So let’s then join Madeleine’s parents. Let’s talk to Kate and Gerry McCann. You saw there. For us they were reliving that entire traumatic day and erm nice to see you again. I’m sure it can’t have been easy. Err Gerry, if I can come to you first. You said that the first time you made a public statement that words cannot describe the anguish and despair that we are feeling. I wondered tonight, having come all the way that you have and having fought as hard as you have for this investigation, hearing the new information, what are you feeling tonight?

Gerry: I think we’re feeling hopeful and optimistic. All along we’ve said that a review needed done and I think the Metropolitan Police have done a great job and piecing things together and bring information in, really identifying new pieces of information that really are taking us further forward.

Kirsty: Kate, I was entirely conscious as I was speaking to you and Gerry when we were err, when I was interviewing you, that of course I was asking you about the most traumatic and awful day of your life. Of course there is a reason for doing that. People watching tonight might say, well you know what Kate it’s 6 years on. What do you think is gonna come out of this. You’re putting yourself through all this heartache, what on earth can happen next? What would you say to them?

Kate: It doesn’t matter how much heartache we put ourselves through as long as you know, we get the result that we need. You know, as Gerry said the Met has made huge progress and that’s given us great hope that we can find Madeleine and that we can find out what’s happened and bring us some answers.

Gerry: As well as all other cases for the last few years of children that have been found after been taken for a long time. You know, these cases can get solved and I think that’s what the public need to think about tonight, the new information and really wrack their brains and come forward really.

Kirsty: I was really conscious when I spoke to you actually you said something to me, but you didn’t say it during the interview, but you said it later on when we were chatting off camera and you said to me Kirsty you know, the younger that a child is abducted the greater chance statistically there is that that child will be found alive. Now obviously you had to become experts in this but I very much got that feeling that for both of you there is hope there still.

Gerry: I think that, absolutely, we don’t know what’s happened to Madeleine erm, we don’t know who’s taken her. Probably our best chance of finding her is identifying that person and that’s why the e-fits, and sketches and the new information tonight are so important to us err because that’s probably the best chance we’ve got of finding Madeleine.

Kirsty: Can I just ask you briefly Kate, for anybody watching tonight who thinks I know something, I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s worth phoning in, what would you say to them personally tonight if they’re watching?

Kate: Please, please have the courage and confidence to come forward now and share that information with us and we can unlock this whole case, so please, I mean the general public have been fantastic, please stay with us and come forward.

Kirsty: We wish you and we wish the twins the very best and thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us this evening.

Gerry: Thank you

Kate: Thank you

Kirsty: Right, there you have it. Now it’s your turn. If you recognise the man that we’ve shown you tonight in these e-fits, there he is again, or if you have any single scrap of information, could be about the sightings of the fair haired men, could be about burglaries in the area I would urge you please to do the right thing and call our studio now. You know the number. It’s 0500 600 600. You can also call the incident room if you prefer. Let me give you the number for that. That’s 0800 0961011.

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