Just five hours in May

What really happened to Madeleine Beth McCann?

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Jane Tanner

Member of the Tapas 7

Jane Michelle Tanner was interviewed three times by th PJ:

04-May-2007 “…When she went to the beach she saw GM and KH having a personal tennis lesson. No children were with them. Around 17h15 she saw KH pass the beach (7) “jogging”, she having waved. Russell, Matthew and David left the beach a little earlier to go to the tennis court (8), it was men's tennis evening. When the witness, together with her friends and children returned from the beach at about 18.20, they passed by the tennis courts and saw all the men, including Gerry on court. They stayed there talking to them until about 20.30 (sic). Gerald behaved normally. She thinks Kate was in the apartment (1) putting the children to bed. At about 19.00 they all went back to their own apartments with the children. The witness bathed her children, read them a story and put them to bed. Evie who was unwell and having trouble sleeping, stayed with her father, who had arrived in the meantime. The witness went for dinner at the Tapas restaurant at about 20.30.

When she arrived at the restaurant several members of the group were already there, without their children. They were all presumably sleeping. At about 21.00 her husband arrived at the restaurant, having got Evie to sleep. For this reason and because Fiona, David and Diane only arrived at about 21.00, the dinner, reserved for 20.30, only began after 21.00. Normally, every 15 minutes a member from each apartment would go and check the bedrooms of the respective children to see if everything was all right. During dinner everything went well. Everyone was in a good mood. She remembers that at about 21.10 Gerald left the restaurant (3) to go to the apartment to check on the children. Five minutes later, the witness left, to go to her apartment to see whether her daughters were OK. At this moment she saw Gerry talking to an Englishman called Jez whom they had got to know during the holidays. They played tennis with him. She passed by them knowing that Gerry had already been in the apartment (1) to check his children.

Meanwhile a man appeared carrying a child [A] , with a hurried walk, it being this detail together with the fact that the child dressed in pyjamas, without being wrapped up in a blanket, that caught her attention. She only managed to see him from the side, with the child in his arms. She noticed the individual's presence exactly when she had just passed by Gerry and Jez who were talking, having seen this person step off the pavement that borders on the apartment block where they were staying and rapidly cross the road. The entrance to the apartment building (1) is exactly at the place (street) where the individual appeared from.

After checking on her daughters, she returned to the restaurant. On her way back Gerry was no longer talking in the place where she had seen him. When she arrived at the restaurant Gerry was already there, accompanied by his wife, Kate. About 15-20 minutes later, her husband Russell and Matthew left to check on the children. As her daughter Evie was restless and crying, Russell stayed in the apartment. Meanwhile Matthew went to check his child and those of Kate and Gerry. According to what he said, he saw the twins but he did not see Madeleine. As there was no noise he supposed that all was well and returned to the restaurant. Matthew informed the witness that Russell had stayed in the apartment. After having quickly eaten her main course, the witness went to her apartment in order to take over from Russell, so that he could have his dinner. When she was in the apartment, at about 22.00- 22.15 she heard Kate and Fiona shouting and saying that Madeleine had disappeared. When asked, she says that she thinks it was Kate who discovered the girl to be missing, the witness is not sure due not being in the restaurant at that time…. ”

[A] “Personal description: Dark skinned individual, male sex, aged between 35-40, slim physical appearance, about 1.70m tall. Very dark, thick hair, longer at the back (she could only see him from behind). He was wearing linen type cloth trousers, beige to golden in colour, a “duffy” sic type jacket (but not that thick). His shoes were dark in colour, classic type. He had a hurried walk. He was carrying a child, who was lying on both his arms, in front of his chest. By the way he was dressed, he gave her the impression that he was not a tourist, because he was very “warmly dressed”. About the child whom appeared to be sleeping, she only saw her legs. The child appeared to be older than a baby. She was barefoot and was wearing what appeared to be cotton pyjamas of a light colour (possibly white or light pink). She is not certain, but has the impression a design on the pyjamas, possibly a floral pattern, but she is not certain. As regards these details, she does not know what Madeleine was wearing at the moment of her disappearance, because she did not talk to anyone about this. As she concerns the man she saw, she only spoke to Gerald about this, not entering into details, and to the police. When requested, she drew a sketch, which is joined to this statement. When asked, she says she would probably be able to identify the individual she saw, being able to identify him from the side and from his manner of walking.”

10-May-2007 “…. Since it was asked of her, she affirmed that she had no knowledge that the McCanns had left the patio sliding door open, suspecting, however, that they did because she saw, several times, the couple climb the steps at the rear of the apartment. She never entered apartments of other couples limiting herself only to listen for any noise, putting her ear to the children's bedroom window at the front of the apartment. ……She thinks that all the other couples entered by the front doors of the building/apartments, except for the McCanns. She is not sure if they always entered the apartment from the rear. Questioned, she relates that, from memory, she always saw the blinds of the McCann apartment totally closed, it being a place where she placed her ear to know if any of them were asleep.…..

In the tourist complex last Sunday, 30 April, she net a couple she knew from Exeter, Jim and C. G., with their son of 20 months, B.G. She knew they had travelled on the same day as her, on a different flight. Asked, she relates that they had a hired car, not knowing the brand, model or colour. He (Jim) liked to surf and that was why he had hired the car. Not untrusting, she never suspected that anyone might do harm to any of the children, never having observed any [such] behaviour by clients, workers or other people with [either] the group or children. Of the group only DP and FP knew/had been to her home at the above address in Exeter. None of the other group members had ever been to her home.

…As usual at 17:00, they were at the children's tea with Kate, the time at which they would go to find [pick up] the children. With Kate and Gerry she went to the tennis courts where the adults and children of the group played [seriously] and played [for fun], respectively, with each other. They were at the courts until 19h00. At that time the men of the group (though she was not sure if GM was there) stayed a while longer to play tennis, the women went to their respective apartments to get [the children] ready for bed. 20-30 minutes later the men arrived. They got themselves ready for dinner. At 20h35, as El didn't want to sleep, ROB went to the restaurant alone. Around 20h45, El fell asleep and the deponent also left for the restaurant. When she arrived everyone else was already there, except for Rachael who was feeling poorly and stayed in her apartment. Her husband, MO, was at the restaurant. She doesn't recall if DP and FP were already there. It is usual for them to always be last to arrive, since they were always late. About dinner, she relates that nothing abnormal happened regarding the checking of the bedrooms, it having been done in turns as usual. Questioned about an episode where she related that one of the twins, Sean, and MBM (both children of GM and KH), had cried in the night (the one prior to the events) she said she knew of that situation but only from the beginning of dinner on 3 May when KH commented at the table that MBM had, that morning, asked the reason why her parents had not come to the bedroom when she and her brother had cried (the previous night). Asked, she says that none of the adults were aware of that situation on the night that it supposedly occurred.

…..Around 17h15 she saw KH “jogging” on the beach, having waved [a hand]. Her husband ROB, MO and DP left the beach a little earlier they having gone to the tennis courts, it was the night of the men's tennis. When she, together with the friends and children, returned from the beach, at 18h20, they went to the tennis courts having seen that all the men, including GM, were on the court. They stayed to talk to them them for about 20/30 minutes. GM comported himself as usual. She thinks that KH was in the apartment getting the children ready for bed. Around 19h00 each one went to their apartment with the children. She bathed her daughters, she read them a story, she put them to bed. Ev was sick and had difficulty with sleeping stayed with her father, who had arrived in the meantime, (on the previous night the deponent stayed later in the bedroom because her daughter had difficulty in sleeping; on this night it was her husband's turn). She left the apartment and went to the Tapas, for dinner, around 20h30. When she arrived at the restaurant there were already some adult members of the group, namely the McCanns, without their children. They [the children] were supposedly sleeping. Around 21h00 her husband arrived at the restaurant, Ev, meanwhile, having fallen asleep. As usual, the Paynes and mother, were late. A few minutes to 21h00 MO left the restaurant and went to the apartment area, saying that he would 'hurry up' the couple that was already late enough. She related that MO, on the way, took the opportunity and looked in on the children's bedrooms. She relates that MO passed the Paynes and DW on the way, but, benefiting from them already being up and on their way [i.e. because he did not have to go all the way up to their apartment], he made a circuit to listen at the homes, detecting nothing abnormal.

They ordered dinner and waited for the starters when, about 21h10, GM left the restaurant having gone to the apartment to see his children. Five or ten minutes later the deponent left, having gone to her apartment to check that all was well with her girls. At that time she observed GM talking to an English citizen called Jez that they had met on these holidays. He played tennis with them. She doesn't know if they saw her giving the assurance that, on her part, she did not start a conversation with either of them. She passed them knowing that GM had already been in the apartment to see the children. She doesn't recall the position/orientation of either Jez or GM while they spoke to each other on the street, only having the perception that one was on the pavement and the other was in the road next to the other. Jez had a baby carriage, the deponent knowing that he had a small child. Prompted, she clarified that the reason she left, following GM only 5/10 minutes later, she relates that she did it because she knew that he would only go to his apartment, reiterating that she checked her daughters regularly. Questioned about the path she took on the way to her home, she relates that she left the reception at the entrance to the Tapas/pool area and went up the pavement to the corner, having entered the apartment by the front door, which was, as already stated, locked. The only access to the interior of the home is by that door, seeing that the windows and the sliding patio door to the lounge were locked from the inside, it being this way that they are only passable if they are opened, also from the inside.

Asked [about] the route of GM to his home when he went to check on his children, she relates that she does not know, but that she knows that he, at times, accessed the home by the glass lounge door which was only closed but not locked. She explains that this was the easiest and fastest way to enter the McCann apartment as they have a stairway up to the veranda which is next to the pavement, saving thereby half [the distance of] the route. Questioned, she relates that all the couples had to access their respective apartments by the front door, except the McCanns since they were the only ones who left the glass door unlocked. Prompted to say if she checked the state of the windows and external blinds of the McCann children's bedroom when she went to her house, she relates that no, she did not look in that direction, hence they might already have been open without her having noticed. After having gone to see the child she returned to the restaurant. On her return GM was no longer talking where she had seen him. When she arrived at the restaurant GM was already seated at the table accompanied by his wife KH and all the others. Between 15 to 20 minutes later her husband ROB and MO left, together, and went to see their respective children. As her daughter Ev was restless and crying ROB stayed in the bedroom. Meanwhile, MO went to check his children and those of GM and KH. According to what he said, he saw the twins but he did not see MBM probably because he did not enter the bedroom. As he heard no noise he left presupposing that all was well, returning to the restaurant. MO told her that ROB had stayed in the bedroom.

After having quickly eaten the main course she went to the apartment to take the place of her husband so that he could finish his meal. Her husband returned to the restaurant. Some time later, she doesn't know precisely how long, she looked through the lounge window towards the restaurant area, ascertaining, strangely, that there was no-one seated at the table it being that it was still very early for all of them to have already finished the meal. Later she heard voices of KH and FP who were in the corridor in front of the bedroom windows and who called, desperately, for Madeleine. When she saw her it was KH herself who told the deponent that Madeleine had disappeared, not clarifying in what circumstances, continuing her search. The deponent stayed in her apartment because her daughter, El, was asleep and the smallest, Ev, was still awake and complaining. As it was asked of her she relates that she did not go into the McCann apartment therefore she does not know the state of the bedroom nor any details of what happened that night. Now, already she had heard many versions or theories of what could have happened, but, for her part, she can only affirm that the man that she saw carrying the child was, in her belief, associated with the disappearance of MBM.

She was then confronted with the fact that when her husband ROB and MO went to check their respective children the window already might have been open and MBM probably no longer in her bed. She clarifies that she cannot answer for them but thinks that MO had not entered the McCann children's bedroom, limiting himself to hear that there was no crying and that the twins were in their beds. Asked if he couldn't have checked for noise at the bedroom window, as had been done many times, the deponent clarifies that MO had assured the parents that he would go to check the state of the children from inside the house. For this he went up the pavement to the main entrance of the apartments, entered [his] house and turned to leave, descended the pavement again to the rear entrance of the McCann flat, climbed the steps and accessed the lounge through the glass door (that was not locked). Anyway, a better understanding of these details can only be provided by MO himself.

Confronted with the information that the [tracker] dog teams had followed/followed the scent trails in which, purportedly, MBM had not passed the intersection where she indicated a man carried a child, she affirmed, immediately, that she was not lying, maintaining the honesty of her initial version. That, indeed, there had passed in front of her a man carrying, in his arms, a barefoot child. At the time she had not paid him much attention because it is common, at the OC, for children to pass in the arms of their parents between the cr?he and their respective homes, when they have collected them from the baby-sitting service. Only it was strange that the child had no cover (blanket) and the way the man walked, rapidly, and how he was dressed, the trousers were slightly wide their entire length, being straight. They (trousers) were as to colour, identical to “corticine” (a type of floor covering), “chino” [Chinese] style. As for the coat it was dark coloured, she was not able to specify what, seeming to be the same material as the trousers, it being a type of “anorak”. As for the footwear she relates that she cannot confirm with certainty but [they were] shoes with a light “heel”.

About the description of the child, she confirmed that it was being carried in his arms, with the legs in her direction and barefoot. She thought that it was a female child because the pyjamas were a light colour (seemingly pink to her). She never saw the hair of the child. She never saw it move nor make any sound, thinking that it was asleep. Subsequently, she had no doubts that it could have been MBM because, through conversations with FP in which [FP] described the pyjamas that MBM had worn that night, which coincided with those she had seen. Questioned why she had not commented to KH what she had seen that night, namely that she had seen a male individual who carried a child with pink pyjamas, she relates that she always avoided making this comment to the McCanns so as not to torture them more in their suffering. She swore “by everything most sacred” that what she said is true, namely that she saw an individual with a child in his arms. Confronted, she demonstrated the distance at which the man with the child had passed her, and that was gauged to be about 5 metres. She accepts that, at that moment, although the event had called her attention, she didn't lay any great stress on it for the reasons already explained.

Regarding the most and best information that might help the present investigation she said she remembered on one night (she thinks it was Tuesday, 1 May) there were two couples, supposedly English, that dined in the Tapas restaurant. After [their meal] they left, [JT] not knowing if they participated in the quiz game that Mark Warner put on during the meal. The game consisted of a MW worker asking questions about films, namely quotations with the objective of identifying the films. At the end the tables were given a questionnaire that gave the source and a result. The first prize was a jug of sangria, curiously won by the deponent's table. She remembered only [that] the agency lady commented on the the two couples who had left the game before the final result was known. She never saw those couples before nor since that day. She does not know if they were Mark Warner clients…..” 04-August-2007

J. Tanner is the originator of the so called Tanner Sighting.