Four months ago, a British couple, Kate and Gerry McCann, were holidaying with their four year-old daughter, Madeleine, and her two younger silblings in a resort in Portugal. One evening the McCanns were dining with friends in a tapas bar about a minute’s walk from their apartment. They checked on their children about every half hour. About 10 o’clock, to her horror, Kate McCann discovered her daughter missing and believed kidnapped.

Straightaway, the McCanns remained in Portugal and organized one of the biggest rescue campaigns in the history of child kidnappings. They held almost daily press conferences. They visited most of the countries in Europe and (the McCanns are both medical doctors and devout Catholics) in Rome they had a word with Pope Benedict who blessed a photograph of Madeleine. They promoted concerts featuring people like Elton John urging the return of their daughter. As a result their campaign to get Madeleine back was almost front page daily news in British papers and indeed  papers around the world including the Montreal Gazette.

Now, in a bizarre turn that beggars belief, the Portugese police have named Kate and Gerry McCann as the prime suspects in their daughter’s alleged death. Kate has retained a lawyer who predicts his client will be charged.

Apparently police base their suspicions on blood matching Madeleine’s found in a car the McCanns rented 25 days after she disappeared. The supposition is that the McCanns had returned to the apartment and were disposing of their daughter’s body. The police also believe that Kate may have been sedating Madeleine and accidentally gave her an overdose. Kate McCann’s relative’s allege the police have offered Kate a plea bargain. If she will plead guilty to accidentally killing her daughter, she will do two years or less of jail time.

The situation as it now stands raises some puzzling questions. If the McCanns killed their daughter, accidentally or otherwise why did they hand around Portugal for four months. Why didn’t they just return quietly to England until the whole tragic business blew over which it would have. Secondly there has been enormous pressure on the local police to solve this case and get Portugal out of the international press. In pointing to the mother, are they grasping at straws?

Call me naiive, but I find it enormously difficult to believe that highly educated parents would mount a bogus campaign to get their daughter back knowing all the while that they had killed her. What would be their motive in such a fraudulent exerise?

Are you surprised by the incredible turn this case is now taking?

Can you think of any explanation that makes sense?


  1. 1
    jeremy Says:

    Several times in life, I have watched missing children’s mothers and fathers begin the long « find » with press, radio and tv, only to find out that the parents were responsible for killing them.

    This happened many times in Florida over the years. So when a child disappears I always err on the side of the « parents did it » because you never know when someone is lying through their teeth… It is sad, yes, but true just as well.

    Just because they got massive air time and celebrity assistance, doesn’t exclude them from guilt! I just don’t get the why of this story?

    If mom did it, where did they dispose of the body?


  2. 2

    Jeremy – I think you’re quite right that parents are usually suspects when a child disappears or is murdered. However, in the case of the McCanns, the police questioned both parents extensively when the investigation started. At the time both were cleared. At that point why didn’t they return home to England instead of mounting a massive public campaign that may have been bogus. The suggestion is that Madeleine’s body was disposed of in the sea.

  3. 3
    oracle2world Says:

    The McCann’s are english and police questioning won’t reveal subtle information when translated into portuguese.

    The mom didn’t sedate madeleine quite enough, she reached for the cat cuddly, fell, died, and it was covered up.

    In america the mccann’s would be in jail for child neglect.

    The McCann’s go to england, the body is never found, end of case.

    They killed their own child … that is punishment enough.

  4. 4

    Oracle2world – but how can you be so sure? What was the reason for sedating her? In any event, thanks for weighing in.

  5. 5
    Barbara Says:

    It could be that they sedated the children in order to have an undisturbed meal by themselves. These are physicians and that is a solution that physicians might come up with.
    No one wants to believe attractive, intelligent and (Heavens above!) British parents would be capable of such a terrible mistake and massive cover-up, but it can be true. Not only would they have lost a precious child, but their medical careers would be at stake. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true.

  6. 6
    Josh DuPont Says:

    Barabara has said it all. The child was dead, and nothing could bring her back. All that was left was to protect the remnants of their picture-perfect Professional English appearance. And going to jail for Manslaughter or Kiddy Negligence wasn’t an option.

  7. 7
    Josh DuPont Says:


    It is their « highly educated » nature that is at play here. It is their « highly educated » nature that forced their hand, and made them take the course they did. They are smart, sophisticated English doctors, surrounded by, as they see it, a peasant Portuguese militia, whom they can lead a merry dance. Well look at them now…..

  8. 8

    Josh DuPont: –

    Do your really think that because of their superior intelligence they could hoodwink
    the peasant police in Portugal? And even if that were true, what in the world would have been their motive? Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

  9. 9
    Sallie Parker Says:

    The accusations against the McCanns are preposterous. There is no foundation for the suggestion that they sedated their daughter–that idea was simply conjured up out of thin air as a plausible scenario. I seriously wonder if their devout Catholicism and their meeting with the Pope is the real reason for the Portugese vendetta against the McCanns. Although there are presumably many nominal Catholics in Portugal, Portugese officialdom is traditionally very anti-Catholic. Perhaps some Freemason magistrates and gendarmerie found the McCanns’ God-bothering just a little too much.

  10. 10

    Sallie Parker: –

    Your suggestion of anti-Catholicism in the McCanns’ case is a new thought to me. I agree with you that the idea of the parents killing their daughter beggars belief. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  11. 11
    Natalie Says:

    I agree with Barbara. I wonder if they had money problems and that could have been the motive for the campaign they ran which raised millions, which they are now asking to be used for their legal defense. I read a quote that the father’s reaction to her disappearance was that he said he felt like he had gone to the bank to withdraw money only to find there was no money in his account (something to that effect). That to me, as a parent, is a really bizarre analogy. I would think you would compare it to having your heart ripped out or being punched in the gut, but a money comparison??
    I think they were very selfish to leave their children alone so they could go out to dinner. If they were wealthy, why wouldn’t they have a nanny with them on vacation to babysit? I know in some cultures it is acceptable to leave your children alone if they are asleep, and if the children were sedated (maybe one of them too much) they probably felt they would be fine. The parents are definitely guilty of neglect, at the very least.

  12. 12

    As you say the parents at the very least are guilty of neglect. Whatever legal steps are pursued I expectthe parents will be tormented about this for the rest of their natural lives. Thanks for your contribution.

  13. 13
    Hayleigh Says:

    To be honest i have thought from day 1 that the parents have something to do with this. i find it very hard to believe that « responisble,middle class doctors » could even consider leaving their children,especially of such a young age on their own. I dont think anyone would even do that in England let alone in an unknown foreign country. i also think its very odd how police can find no evidence of an ‘abductor’ in the apartment, no one saw a thing. Surely if someone had abducted her Madeline would have screamed, the twins would have been disturbed, someone must have heard something? I find it VERY strange how the McCanns never show any upset, no tears, nothing.If that was my child i would be distraught, the last thing id be interested in is swanning around europe and meeting famous people.Not once have i seen any of them cry. Don’t you also find it funny how the parents said they didnt use the hotels child care b/c they couldnt trust them, yet ever since madelines gone missing the twins have been placed there everyday while the parents go for their daily jogs and meetings?! Again if they were my children i wouldnt let them out of my sight.Also the fact that K&G said they would not leave Portugal until Maddie was found, and then when they are made suspects they vow to stay in Portugal to prove thier innocence only to find the next day they are back in England! I seem to think that others are involved some how, the McCanns are very clever people but where was the body between 3rd May and when police discovered DNA 3 weeks later??? What ar eyour thoughts on the whole story? please let me know.

  14. 14

    Hayleign: –
    You raise many interesting points that indeed point to the McCann as being complicit in the abduction and/or murder of Madeleine. I am still ambivalent. On the one hand I think it beggars the mind to believe the McCanns would murder their own child, then, as you say, go swanning around Europe ostensibly trying to get her back. On the other hand, as you so well point out there are many pointers to the McCanns. I expect the police investigation will continue. Thanks for your excellent comment.

  15. 15

    I think British people have a soft spot when they hear of such stories like the McCanns. And they quickly make judgements according to how people look, and what their profession is, people like Doctors would not Over dose any one yet Dctor Shipman killed 300 of his patients. My own opinion is they hung around in Portugal to get rid of the body. They hatched the plan of the obduction before dinner because Maddy had died in the afternoon, no one can account for Maddy from about 2.30 no can Kate account for her wearabouts, they got the Hire Car to move the body, why would some one move a spare wheel to move anything, and further more why would any one be moving rubbish out of a Hotel, they have cleaners, room service chamber maids, so I like the police don’t buy her story, and I am not easily fooled, nor am I naive, people who are distressed don’t go on public walk abouts collecting flowers while their kids are missing, or doing chat shows, their motive is to protect their Career and not to be struck off the Medical register, both would lose their Jobs.

  16. 16

    Daphne – There is much merit in what you say. Still you leave one phenomenon unexplained. If the parents killed Madeleine, why didn’t they just pack up quietly and return to England? Why, instead, did they roam around Europe (and the Vatican) ostensibly trying to get her back and eventually just drawing suspicion to themselves. Doesn’t make sense. Thanks for your comment.

    • 17
      Christine Says:

      (I am a little late to the party here) Only recently started looking at forums on this as they have been in the news yet again. I believe what Daphne says to be true and to answer your question Neil, why roam around Europe?! Well, if they’re presenting themselves as loving caring parents of a child who has gone missing then it would be highly suspicious to return promptly to England & not put forward a « rescue effort ». They have to be seen to be concerned for her & care to get her back, keep up appearances. Following the story since then they never really actively looked for her, nor did they the night she « disappeared ». All they have done is build or big up their image in the press & controlled the media by threatening lawsuits, etc. for libel and such. There are as guilty as sin.

  17. 18
    Hayleigh Says:

    in response to your comment Neil i think the McCanns have used maddies disappearance weather accidental or deliberate as a whole publicity stunt and to make money? No one else would act in this manner, surely the most important thing is to get their daughter back. Recently the news has said how Gerry now feels that the « abductor » was in the apartment when he went to check on the kids at 9 b/c the door which he left closed was slightly adjar suggesting that someone could possibly be hiding and would only take them a matter of minutes to leave with Maddie. He then claimed he thought he could have left patio door unlocked which would explain reason for no sign of forced entry. there are several things very dodgy about this theory, surely if u were confident enough to leave 3 very young children alone at night you would double check every door is locked, secondly if u realise a door looks different to how you left it you would be very suspicious??surely you’d have a look??there are things that just dont add up in this case, y did this happen in portugal? was it pre planned as the Mcanns knew the portugese police were not as « quick » or thougher as british police? i also agree very much with Daphne.

  18. 19

    Hayleigh –
    Isn’t it odd? As I read your interesting comment I could not help but feel that everything about this case is odd. If you conclude the McCanns did it, their motivebecomes problematic. Both high earners, they didn’t need money. If you concluded they didn’t do it, why has no credible suspect been charged?

  19. 20
    daphne Kenward Says:

    Dear Sir
    You stressed that you did not think my story fitted or made any sense, would you commit a crime and leave the body for some one to find and forensic Scientist to find and trace the drug the child over dosed on, they Houng around to dispose of the body properly. Thats is why they did not leave. The Car they Hired is what was used to dispose of the body Sir!.

    Daphne Kenward

  20. 21
    Ray Says:

    I agree with Daphne and Hayleigh on this, i believe they did it whether intentionally or not and are trying to cover it up. I think both make very sensible and commonsense reasoning.

    You have asked many times now why did they not return to the UK and hope it died down……….well the answer to that is in the question you ask….why would they not? Because thats exactly what they want everybody to think…….If they had done it they would return to the UK and keep thier heads down…….its a double bluff.

    They are guilty i think.

  21. 22
    daphne Kenward Says:

    The McCans have committed the perfect murder, with the help of the News Media. & their friends it’s a dam shame these two murders are allowed to get away with it. I am convinced that the British Police know they did it but the evidence, because they insist in searching for a missing person who is not missing but killed in an apartment. Comcocted a story to cover their track the moment the police was on their case they fled, back to the UK. It’s a Crime, but how do you prove it they have covered their tract, with a story of the missing kidnapped kid. And every body thinks it’s true it is a pack of lies. I would love nothing more than some evidence to come up to get the pair convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

  22. 23
    daphne Kenward Says:

    I think the McCans must be watched over the next few years, to see where they go. They will try to go back to where they buried the body of their child. It’s a shame what happend to poor Madeline, she was just 3, parents who prefer to have fun and forget their kids, dope them up to sleep so they can enjoy their life, Madeline had no chance to grow up and enjoy her’s.

  23. 24
    Benny Says:

    One of the most intriguing factors about this case has been the McCann’s consistent overdose of high-end publicity. From day one, there has been nothing but a conveyor belt of strong words, denials and obfuscations which have done pretty much everything BUT admit their own negligence.
    This entire case is a ‘construct’ – pandered to by a litigious-fearing press – in which we’ve also played our part by fearing negative opinion, or the after effect of such.
    This has also been bolstered by the defamation suits (paid for by donations sent to actually find Maddie) against the national tabloids. The effect of which has had a ‘chilling effect’ not only on media objectivity (which is debatable at best) but on public opinion in general.
    The McCanns-losing-their-daughter-is-punishment-enough-argument does not cut it for me, and I’ll tell you why – the same leeway would not be given to Debbie ‘n’ Billy in Toxteth who decided to have a half can of Stella and a pork pie with their mate’s next door. They would have lost their other children and received media crucifixion before the end of the week.
    Maybe it’s just me, but if I had been in-part responsible for my daughter’s abduction: I would be inconsolable – not jogging; irrational with the press – not hiring a campaign manager; turning a continental town upside down – not visiting the Pope; and using the goodwill donations of people to find my daughter – not paying for a mortgage and clearing my name in the media.
    All this adds up to something decisively more suspicious than just an abduction case. And, although I’ll concede that in such cases there really isn’t an ‘average’ to something so traumatic – the actions of these two warrant more attention than has been given.
    What with Murat’s and the McCann’s succession in legal circles, it appears the only loser in this has been that four-year-old.

  24. 25
    Luis Says:

    I´m from Portugal and i think the McCanns are guilty,the only reason why they arent in prison is because the English government decided to defend them and that was IT case closed.The portuguese police inspector has released a book called “Maddie – A Verdade da Mentira” for everyone who wants to know the truth about what really happened.

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