The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
The McCanns' Christmas appeal of 2007 included video clips of Madeleine opening her presents on Christmas Day 2006 -
but none of Madeleine talking.
The McCanns' Christmas appeal - 22 December 2007
McCanns Make Moving Festive Plea
Video of Madeleine McCann opening her presents last Christmas has been shown as part of a new festive appeal. Kate and
Gerry McCann made the renewed plea for information, saying they faced the 'hardest Christmas imaginable'.
By Nigel Moore
Gerry McCann: This special time of year is all about families coming together
with love and peace. Many people in nations all around the world will be spending time with their loved ones. People will
be reflecting on the year which has gone and the one which is about to come. It's usually a time of great joy, especially
for children. Clearly for us and the rest of our family it's going to be the hardest Christmas imaginable without our Madeleine
Kate McCann: For the past seven and a half months so many people
have been, errm... so kind and helpful. They've come forward with pieces of information. They've offered us help and support
in so many ways. We'd like to thank everybody who has shown us that compassion; to us and to Madeleine, and for all the help
they've given us. We'd also like to thank our friends in Portugal who have stayed with us and continued to support us since
those very early desperate and vulnerable days.
Gerry McCann: However, since Madeleine was taken from us on the 3rd of May,
someone knows what happened to her and may well know where she is now. That person has it within their power to show us the
compassion to end this terrible ordeal for us.
Kate McCann: If that person is you, we understand that you may be staying
silent because of fear for yourself or through misguided loyalty to other people. But you must understand that you hold the
key to ending all this despair and anguish, for both us and Madeleine. You can help an innocent 4-year-old little girl. At
this time of year, when so many families are coming together, we beg you to help us be reunited with Madeleine. Please do
the right thing and come forward.
Gerry McCann: Please, please, give us that information. Give it
to your local police or phone our confidential helpline number which is 00 34 902 300 213. If you can't do that please tell
a priest or another religious minister or someone else. Our beautiful daughter should be home with us at Christmas time. Please
do it. Please help Madeleine.
Kate McCann: Madeleine, it seems unlikely that you'll hear this but, just
in case, it's Mummy and Daddy here. Just know how much we love you, Madeleine. We all miss you so much. Sean and Amelie talk
about you all the time, every day. They really want you back with them. We're doing everything we can, Madeleine, to find
you and there are so many good and very kind people helping us. Be brave sweetheart. Our only Christmas wish is for you to
be back with us again and we're hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you Madeleine.
Gerry McCann: Love you.
Madeleine on Christmas Day 2006
Madeleine opens her presents, Christmas Day 2006
Madeleine removing the wrapping paper
Madeleine looks at her present
Madeleine holds her pink 'Princess' rucksack
Last Christmas ... Madeleine carries a present for her little brother Sean
McCanns' private detectives: 'We know who took Madeleine - and she'll
be home by Christmas', 14 December 2007
McCanns' private detectives: 'We know who took Madeleine - and she'll be home by Christmas' Daily Mail
By REBECCA CAMBER
Last updated at 10:16 14 December 2007
Madeleine McCann is alive and could be home with her parents by Christmas, the private investigator hunting
for her declared yesterday.
Francisco Marco made a series of
astonishing claims, saying he even knew who snatched the missing four-year- old and is close to reuniting her with Kate and
The director general of Metodo 3,
the private detective firm hired by the McCanns, confidently predicted Madeleine would be rescued from her kidnappers in North
Africa or the Iberian Peninsula.
Despite not knowing exactly where
Madeleine is being held, Mr Marco proclaimed to a Spanish newspaper that he was certain which group of paedophiles had taken
her and he was gathering proof so police could arrest them.
The claims come as police sources
revealed that the case against the McCanns appeared to be crumbling with fresh doubts being cast over evidence.
In his boldest statement of progress
to date, Francisco Marco said: "God willing, I hope she'll be back with her parents before Christmas."
Though he admitted to having no proof
that Madeleine is still alive, the private detective insisted he was confident that she was the day after she was kidnapped.
He told the Spanish free daily Metro:
"I have no proof Madeleine is alive. We have proof of her movements after her kidnap and we know she was alive the day after
"We are certain the kidnappers left
Portugal at a certain moment in time.
"I talk of certainties because we
know which group may have her or could have kidnapped her to sell her on to others."
He went on: "One of the things that
makes us believe Madeleine is alive is that every day she's worth more to them.
"In principle we're talking about
paedophiles. I don't think they're Spanish.
"It's obviously not a kidnap carried
out by professionals for economic reasons.
"The McCanns are a middle-class family, two
doctors, without vast financial resources.
"A professional kidnapper would have
done something with Madeleine by now. He would have given her back or left her."
Barcelona-based Metodo 3 has worked
for the McCanns since September on a £50,000-a-month contract - the equivalent of £2,000 per working day - from the Find Madeleine
The agency claims to have around
35 investigators working on the case in Britain, France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
But its controversial boss has previously
come under fire for grossly inflated claims of progress.
Metodo 3 has yet to find any concrete
evidence about where Madeleine could be, and Portuguese police have dismissed the agency as "small fry" and "irrelevant".
Yesterday police sources revealed that photographs
taken of the McCanns' holiday apartment, where specks of blood were found on the wall, may be inadmissible in any court case
against the parents.
A senior police source told Portuguese
newspaper 24 Horas that detectives took only digital photographs of the scene, which were handed to an outside photography
agency to print because police crime laboratory printers were broken.
Now police are said to fear that
the evidence will be called into question as the images could have been tampered with.
A high ranking officer in the case
told the paper: "Manipulation of digital photographs is the easiest thing in the world."
Yesterday a close friend of the McCanns'
raised concerns yesterday about the extraordinary claims of Mr Marco.
He said: "There are discussions about
whether we wish this level of certainty to go out.
"We do not want this said if it cannot
be proved to be true. But certainly we believe that Metodo 3 is making progress."
The McCanns' official spokesman Clarence
Mitchell said: "We remain absolutely confident in Metodo 3 and their operational capacity to find Madeleine."
The Barcelona-based Metodo 3 has
been working for the McCanns since September and Mr Marco has already travelled to Morocco to follow up a reported sighting
of a blonde girl with the same distinctive marking as Madeleine in her right eye.
However it is not the first time
the agency has made extremely optimistic, occasionally reckless, claims about the case's progress.
disappeared on 3 May from a holiday
apartment in Praia da Luz in the Algarve in Portugal, before Metodo 3's six-month contract runs out next March.
Madeleine McCann could be home by Christmas, claims detective, 14
The parents of Madeleine McCann thanked their supporters today as they prepared for
"an incredibly difficult" Christmas.
Gerry and Liverpool-born Kate McCann
revealed that they had been inundated with media inquiries about their plans for what is set to be a heart-rending time without
their missing four-year-old daughter.
In a brief statement issued through
their spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, they said: "We have had many inquiries as to our plans for the festive period. Christmas
2007 will be an incredibly difficult time for us if Madeleine is not found before then.
"We plan to have a very quiet, private
Christmas with family in the UK. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last seven months and ask you
to stay with us as the search for our daughter continues.
"If you have any information that
might be relevant please contact your local police or our private investigators on +34 912 300 213 if they have any information
which might be relevant."
The Leicestershire couple would not
comment on where they planned to be at Christmas but it is understood they will spend some of the festive period in their
home village of Rothley.
Mr and Mrs McCann, both Catholics,
plan to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve at which prayers for Madeleine will be said.
The couple would not comment on whether
anything else will be done, including the buying of presents, for their oldest child in her absence.
But it is understood Christmas trimmings,
including a tree, will adorn the McCann home so their other children, twins Sean and Amelie, can have as normal a Christmas
Mr Mitchell added: "I would ask that
the media now respect Kate and Gerry's request for a private Christmas."
Kate McCann's parent, Susan and Brian
Healy, live in Mossley Hill. It is not known where they will spend Christmas.
Madeleine: McCanns tell private detectives to put an end to 'wild' claims, 16
Madeleine: McCanns tell private detectives to put an end to 'wild' claims Daily Mail
Last updated at 17:26 16 December 2007
Furious Kate and Gerry McCann have told their private detectives to stop making wild claims about the recovery
of their daughter.
Francisco Marco, the head of Spanish
agency Metodo 3, claimed in his latest newspaper interview to know the missing toddler was being kept near North Africa and
that she would be home by Christmas.
A close friend of the family said:
"It's not helpful and we have told them that. They have been told not to do any more interviews."
Spanish newspaper Metro quoted 39-year-old
Mr Marco as claiming that he knew Madeleine's kidnapper and was close to reuniting the four-year-old with her parents.
He said: "I hope she'll be back with
her parents before Christmas."
The couple have now warned the controversial
detective firm that its £50,000-a-month contract is being reviewed, as the boasts could have jeopardised the investigation
into Madeleine's disappearance.
John Bateman, a former detective
who runs UK-based P&D Investigations, said: "This is crazy. You should never make this kind of announcement, firstly for
the security of the child and, secondly, you are alerting the offender."
Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs McCann thanked
their supporters yesterday, adding that they were preparing for an "incredibly difficult" Christmas.
McCann twins plea: 'Dear Santa, please bring our sister Madeleine home
for Christmas', 16 December 2007
McCann twins plea: 'Dear Santa, please bring our sister Madeleine home for Christmas' Daily Mail
By REBECCA CAMBER and DAVID WILKES
Last updated at 22:58 16 December 2007
The parents of Madeleine McCann told of their heartbreak yesterday after her two-year-old
siblings asked Father Christmas to bring the missing four-year-old home.
Kate and Gerry McCann fought to hold
back the tears when their twins, Sean and Amelie asked: "Will Santa bring her home for Christmas?"
The devastated couple also spoke
of their anguish as they face the first Christmas without Madeleine.
They said: "Celebrating is the last
thing we feel like doing, but we want Christmas to be as normal for Sean and Amelie as possible.
"They both seem to understand that
they will be getting presents from Santa, but have also asked if Santa will be bringing Madeleine home, which about broke
"Madeleine's return would obviously
be the ultimate present for all of us and would bring tremendous joy to people all around the world."
Yesterday Gerry's mother said the
family were dreading Christmas without their daughter, whom they have bought presents for in the hope she will be there on
Christmas Day to unwrap them.
Eileen McCann said: "They're devastated
right now. Christmas is coming up and there's still no Madeleine. It's very hard for them."
The 67-year-old from Glasgow, who
spent last week visiting the family in Rothley, Leicestershire, added: "They have two other children who want Christmas so
they'll do their best for them. But they don't feel much like celebrating."
Kate's mother Sue Healy, of Liverpool,
said: "We don't know what plans we've got for Christmas. Nobody knows who's going where, whether we are staying at home or
what we are doing.
"We just don't know that sort of
thing. I don't think it will be worked out until the very last minute.
"We just want Kate to do what she
wants to do. She certainly doesn't know at the moment. I think it's going to be very difficult wherever we are."
Kate's uncle Brian Kennedy, 68, a
retired headteacher, who lives in Rothley, revealed yesterday that the family has received hundreds of Christmas cards from
Last year Madeleine beamed with excitement
on her favourite day of the year as she played with her little brother and sister.
Madeleine's grandfather Brian Healy,
67, said: "Madeleine loves this time of year and on the big day her face lit up like a Christmas tree.
"I will never forget how happy the
whole family was last year as we watched the three children play so blissfully together. Now it just seems so far away and
we had no idea how much things would change."
Brian went on: "It was one of our
happiest Christmases ever. That's why we are determined to buy her presents just like we have always done.
"Madeleine loves Harry Potter and
Dr Who so we will buy her something that we know she will love."
Kate and Gerry have also made a fresh
plea to anyone with information about their daughter's disappearance to come forward.
Madeleine McCann: Family hope for Christmas miracle, 17 December
MADELEINE McCANN'S parents have spoken of her twin siblings' desperate hope Santa will
bring their big sister home for Christmas.
Kate and Gerry McCann face their
first Christmas without their oldest daughter, but have vowed to try and make the festivities as normal as possible for little
Sean and Amelie.
They revealed it broke their hearts
when the two-year-olds asked if Father Christmas will return Madeleine to them.
Speaking to a national newspaper,
the McCanns said they are still convinced Maddie is alive and are praying for a Christmas miracle.
They said: "Celebrating is the last
thing we feel like doing, but we want Christmas to be as normal for Sean and Amelie as possible.
"They both seem to understand they
will be getting presents from Santa, but have also asked if Santa will be bringing Madeleine home, which just about broke
"Madeleine's return would obviously
be the ultimate present for all of us, and would bring tremendous joy to people all over the world."
The coming weeks will be a testing
time for the two doctors, whose lives have been on hold since Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da
Luz, Portugal, on May 3, just days before her fourth birthday.
The McCanns revealed Sean and Amelie
have helped decorate the Christmas tree at the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
And the family have even bought presents
for Madeleine in the desperate hope she will be home to unwrap them on Christmas Day.
They have been placed next to Sean
and Amelie's gifts underneath the tree, and will be kept unopened for her.
The couple has still not decided
where to spend Christmas Day. They fear happy memories at the family home may prove to much and it is possible they will spend
it at a relatives.
Wherever they will be, they will
be supported by close family members, including Kate's Liverpool parents, Susan and Brian Healy.
Mr Healy spoke of his memories of
last Christmas. He said: "Madeleine loves this time of year and on the big day her face lit up like a Christmas tree.
"I will never forget how happy the
whole family was last year as we watched the three children play so blissfully together.
"Now it just seems so far away and
we had no idea how much things would change. It was one of our happiest Christmases ever.
"That's why we are determined to
buy her presents just like we have always done."
The family have appealed for anyone
with information about Maddie's disappearance to contact their team of private investigators on 0034 902 300 213.
Madeleine McCanns family cancel Christmas, 20 December 2007
Madeleine McCanns family
cancel Christmas Telegraph
By Kate Day and agencies
Last Updated: 1:39am GMT 20/12/07
Madeleine McCann's family will not be celebrating Christmas this year but her grandmother still has a present waiting
for the missing four-year-old.
Eileen McCann, 67, said she will leave a big pink teddy bear with a white heart on Madeleine's bed, as she has done with
similar gifts in recent years, and will be praying that her granddaughter returns home soon to receive it.
Mrs McCann told Hello! magazine: "Our big family Christmases were so special. This was my time of year with my family.
But I won’t celebrate this year. I don’t feel like it."
She added: "I pick out clothes and put money in a little envelope for each of them. This year I did the same for Maddie.
I'd never leave her out. As long as they don’t find her body, I'll never give up hope."
Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, are determined to give their two-year-old twins, Amelie and Sean, as normal a Christmas
as possible at the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
Kate's mother, Susan Healy, 61, and husband Brian, 67, told the magazine they were also dreading Christmas. Mrs Healy
said: "I don't know what we'll do. It's the most difficult period since she disappeared. Kate is really struggling. She doesn't
want it to be Christmas, but we have to do something for the twins."
It was revealed yesterday that Portuguese police are sending DNA samples to the UK from the apartment in the resort of
Praia da Luz where Madeleine disappeared on May 3.
The development follows claims by Jose Manuel Anes, the former head of the Portuguese police laboratory, that it is possible
that no one will be tried over Madeleine's disappearance because of mistakes made in the early days of the investigation.
McCanns inundated with Christmas presents for missing Madeleine, 21
McCanns inundated with Christmas presents for missing Madeleine Daily Mail
By Vanessa Allen
Last updated at 10:40 21 December 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann have been flooded with presents for their missing daughter Madeleine - which they pray
she will be home in time to open.
The couple are facing their 'hardest
Christmas imaginable' without their four-year-old daughter but continue to receive gifts, messages and cards from well-wishers
all over the world.
They are said to be 'immensely touched'
by the support they have received from well-wishers, who have sent Christmas presents for Madeleine and also for their two-year-old
twins, Sean and Amelie.
Hundreds of people across the world
have sent gifts as a gesture of support for the couple, who remain official suspects in their daughter's disappearance.
They plan to have a 'very quiet,
private Christmas with family' but have said they will give Sean and Amelie the gifts that have been sent for them.
Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said:
"Kate and Gerry are immensely touched by the continued support and sympathy they have been shown by people all over the world.
"Particularly at this time of year
as they face their hardest Christmas imaginable, the messages of support have been of immense comfort to them."
The couple were inundated with gifts
and messages in the months immediately after Madeleine's disappearance, and with donations to the Find Madeleine fund, which
raised almost £1.1million.
Donation rates have slowed since
they were named as suspects but a friend of the family said they continued to receive 'a steady stream of presents for Madeleine,
and for Sean and Amelie'.
He said: "Kate and Gerry are very
grateful that the messages of support show how the public are behind them. They know public opinion has been divided since
they have been made suspects.
"Now they can only pray that Madeleine
will be back with them in time to open her presents.
"The specific Christmas presents
that have been sent for the twins have been left under the tree for them to open on Christmas morning.
"If they are overwhelmed by presents
for Madeleine and the twins they will consider giving some to charity again."
More than 2,000 toys were left at
the war memorial in the McCanns' home village of Rothley, Leicestershire - which became a focus for the hopes and prayers
for Madeleine during the summer - and were given to the charity Samaritan's Purse.
They were washed, wrapped and shipped
to orphanages in the former Soviet Bloc country of Belarus by the charity to be given to children who had no toys of their
Each toy was individually tied with
green and yellow ribbons - a symbol of hope - and carried a tag with a small picture of Madeleine as a reminder of her plight.
ANGUISHED Kate and Gerry McCann have addressed their missing daughter in a heart-rending TV appeal.
The couple sat at home front of a
Christmas tree they have put up for the sake of their two-year-old twins.
Their video has been given to TV
stations around the world to be broadcast today.
Filming stopped several times as
Kate struggled to hold back her tears.
Finally she managed to get out her
"Madeleine it's Mummy and Daddy here.
Just know how much we love you, Madeleine. We all miss you so much. Sean and Amelie talk about you all the time every day.
"We're doing everything we can, Madeleine,
to find you and there are so many good and very kind people helping us. Be brave sweetheart.
"Our only Christmas wish is for
you to be back with us again and we're hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you Madeleine."
Gerry takes his turn in front of
the camera, saying: "This special time of year is all about families coming together with love and peace.
"Clearly for us and the rest of our
family it's going to be the hardest Christmas imaginable without Madeleine here. Since Madeleine was taken from us on May
3, someone knows what happened to her and may well know where she is now.
"That person has it within their
power to show us the compassion to end this terrible ordeal for us. Please, please give us that information.
"Give it to your local police or
phone our confidential helpline number which is 00 34 902 300 213. If you can't do that please tell a priest or another religious
minister." Clasping Gerry's hand, gaunt Kate continues:
"If that person is you, we understand
that you may be staying silent because of fear for yourself or through misguided loyalty to other people.
"But you must understand that you
hold the key to ending all this despair and anguish, for both us and Madeleine. At this time of year, when so many families
are coming together we beg you to help us be reunited with Madeleine. Please do the right thing and come forward."
The couple, both 39-year-old doctors,
were filmed at their house in Rothley, Leics.
The appeal includes touching,
previously unseen shots of excited Madeleine last Christmas, opening her gifts and playing with her siblings.
In one clip she proudly shows Gerry
a present with the tag 'To Sean From Madeleine' before running off to find her brother.
She is seen sitting at the kitchen
table, chatting about Christmas.
In another scene — still wearing
pyjamas where she rushed out of bed to see what Santa had brought — she giggles as she rips the wrapping paper off a
pink rucksack. She shows it off for the camera while the twins lark about in the background.
The next time the rucksack was filmed
was in holiday footage from Portugal five months later. Madeleine, then three, has it on her back as she stumbles on the plane
steps. She disappeared from the family's apartment in Praia da Luz and has not been seen since.
The appeal was filmed on Wednesday
A source said yesterday: "It was
an extremely emotional thing for them to do. Kate especially found it very difficult. She wrote the message herself but when
it came to filming it, the cameras had to be turned off a few times as she simply couldn't say it without crying.
"Watching the video of last year's
Christmas was also a very hard thing for them to do. It is going to be very tough for Kate and Gerry not to have her there
"They did the appeal because they
felt that Christmas IS a time for families and the abductor may find it in their heart to let Madeleine go at this
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell
said: "We are just hoping that someone, somewhere who knows something will see it and find it in their hearts to get in touch."
He said Kate and Gerry would have a "very quiet, family Christmas" trying to make it as normal as possible for Sean and Amelie.
Eight months on and still no answers - how will the McCanns cope with
their first Christmas without Madeleine?, 22 December 2007
Eight months on and still no answers - how will the McCanns cope with their first Christmas without Madeleine?
By PAUL BRACCHI
Last updated at 11:12 22 December 2007
Her bedroom is exactly the same as it was. The toys Madeleine played with before
going on holiday all those months ago are just where she left them.
The clothes Madeleine wore still
hang in the wardrobe. Nothing has been disturbed. "Everything is as it was and waiting for her to return," said a family friend.
It is here, in her daughter's
room, where the memories are so vivid and, of course, so painful, that Kate McCann says a prayer for Madeleine every night.
She is usually in tears.
It would be difficult to imagine
a mother who has suffered - is still suffering - more than Kate. Yet public opinion remains divided about her.
Distraught: Kate and Gerry McCann in the video released yesterday
Apart from everything else, she has been accused of being "cold" and "unemotional", but anyone who has seen her in Madeleine's
bedroom on these occasions, as only her closest family and friends have, would not recognise that person - especially now,
the most cruel time of the year for a parent who has lost a child.
As one friend points out, Kate has been physically transformed by grief: "Kate's back and shoulders, her hands, her mouth
have reshaped themselves into the angular manifestation of a silent scream." Could there be a more haunting description of
This time last year, Kate McCann was watching Madeleine open the wrapping on her pink Barbie Doll (pink is her favourite
colour), play "horseraces" by climbing on her dad's back and sing along to a karaoke machine with her cousins.
Now, the only exterior decorations are two yellow ribbons - a symbol of the search for Madeleine and the hope she will
be found safe - tied to two plants on either side of the front door of her home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
Kate, husband Gerry and everyone in the family would prefer it if Christmas did not exist this year, but they have their
two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie, to consider, which means presents have had to be bought. The youngsters have already
asked: "Will Santa be bringing Madeleine home?"
A tree has been put up in the living room. The children's gran and great aunt, not Kate, helped them decorate it. Staying
in Rothley, however, would be too painful for their first Christmas without Madeleine. Instead, the family is expected to
go to Liverpool early next week to be with Kate's parents.
Then, in January, the police investigation into Madeleine's disappearance on May 3 (which was nine days before her fourth
birthday) is likely to be wound down.
Could "investigation" even be the right word to describe an inquiry that has been undermined by incompetence, negligence,
errors of judgment and a campaign of disinformation which has resulted in Kate and Gerry McCann being publicly vilified and
declared "arguidos" or official suspects?
Christmas day 2006 and a happy Madeleine McCann unwraps her presents. A year on her parents have
issued another desperate appeal
Detectives who were so convinced
Madeleine died in the McCanns' holiday apartment in Praia da Luz now believe she was abducted after all, as Kate and Gerry
McCann have always maintained. If Madeleine were not still missing and her parents' reputation sullied by unfounded allegations,
it would be almost comical.
Even without the wretched Portuguese
police, the events of the past year would have probably destroyed many marriages.
Friends insist Kate and Gerry remain
"united" but admit they are trying to cope with what has happened in "very different ways". This has become much more apparent
since they returned from Portugal in September. Kate, almost reclusive; Gerry, more outgoing. Both trapped in their own private
Kate, 39, cannot face returning to
work as a GP and is rarely seen out. Twice a week, she does the nursery run (the twins spend two full days at a nursery school
in a nearby village) and she sometimes attends morning mass on Tuesdays at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, just a short
walk from her home.
When Kate does go out in the car,
she usually pulls down the sun blinds on the windows. She used to have her hair done at a salon in Rothley, now someone comes
to her house. "She finds it too difficult and doesn't want to be the focus of everyone's attention," says one stylist who
Nor has she been seen in Templars,
her favourite coffee shop. She used to go there with Madeleine for a hot chocolate topped with marshmallows and cream. "Kate
had an incredibly special bond with Madeleine," says one of her closest friends. "Without Madeleine, Kate's life has been
shattered and it is not yet possible for her to pick up the pieces."
Kate spends most of her time with
the twins at their £500,000 house in the village where panic buttons, linked to the local police station, have been fitted
after a number of threatening letters arrived in the post.
Gerry, on the other hand, plans to
go back to work full-time next month. He already works three days a week as a consultant cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital,
Leicester, but has limited contact with patients.
He plays golf at least once a week,
usually Mondays, at the Rothley Park club and pops into the Woodman's Stroke pub in the centre of the village. During the
Rugby World Cup, Gerry turned up at the bar in his Leicester Tigers green, red and white shirt to watch matches and has told
friends how "it has been good to get out and about in the village".
He is often seen playing with Sean
and Amelie. On one occasion, he was seen "having a great time" with them at a local park. Kate was not with them. "For a few
moments he looked like he didn't have a care in the world," said an onlooker.
Gerry McCann, like his wife, has
also faced criticisms for not "crying for the cameras". "Both Gerry and Kate were advised by the police not to show their
emotions in case Madeleine's kidnapper was watching," said the family's spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.
Mitchell revealed that when back
in September Kate was questioned for 13 hours by police and offered a two-year jail sentence if she confessed to killing Madeleine,
he received a call from a distraught Gerry at 4am. "He was in tears," he said. It was, Mitchell added, not the only time that
Gerry had broken down.
Mitchell, a former BBC correspondent,
has become an integral part of the McCanns' new life. He usually visits them at least twice a week, often having lunch and
supper with the couple, and they exchange late-night phonecalls and text messages.
The twins call him "Uncle Clarence".
Trying to maintain some semblance of normality for Sean and Amelie, in the face of the international maelstrom which continues
to engulf the family, has been one of the most difficult aspects of this tragedy.
In a recent posting on Madeleine's
official website, her father revealed: "When they [Sean and Amelie] are not in the garden they are desperate to watch Wallace
and Gromit or build dens in their bedroom - another new activity introduced by a very special friend."
Other more heartbreaking moments
have gone unreported. The twins still point to the many photographs of Madeleine around the house and ask: "When is Madeleine
But the door to their big sister's
bedroom remains closed. "Kate and Gerry don't want to shut the twins out but if the door remained open Sean and Amelie would
be running in and out all the time," their paternal grandmother Eileen McCann explains.
"They would be pulling open the drawers
and grabbing their sister's toys and clothes, and saying 'Madeleine's toy', 'Madeleine's dress'. They can't quite open the
door handle, so the door stays closed.
"Madeleine's room is just as it was
when she was last there. It's full of pretty things, mainly pink things, because that is Madeleine's favourite colour. Kate
says a prayer for Madeleine in her room every night.
"She went straight to Madeleine's
room two or three minutes after they returned home from Portugal. It was very traumatic for her. But she wanted and needed
to go in there. It was really, really sad for her."
Can there really be anyone who still
believes Kate McCann hasn't suffered enough for making one terrible mistake on holiday, a mistake which, if they're brutally
honest, other parents have also probably made?
Today, in the centre of Rothley there
are reminders of Maddy everywhere. A single candle draped with rosary beads burns night and day in the square for her. No
one is sure who replaces the candles when they go out.
Still pressed into the bark of an
overhanging tree are drawing pins which once held posters and letters - taken down months ago - pleading for Madeleine's return,
and yellow ribbons are still wrapped around the trunk.
Across the road is the coffee shop
where she drank hot chocolate with her mum. Nearby is the flower shop where the McCanns were regular customers.
"She is in the back of everyone's
minds," said florist Gwyneth Green. "Not a day goes by without her name coming up. Madeleine reminds people of some of the
sad things that have happened in their own lives, particularly at this time of year. It's a melancholy time."
Another resident, an 18-year-old
girl, admitted: "I still think about them. Christmas is going to be horrible for them."
Ever since she went missing, and
the weeks turned into months without her, Kate and Gerry have been dreading this time. They are believed to have decided not
to stay at home only within the past few days.
Whereve they go - and it is likely
to be with Kate's parents, Susan and Brian Healy, who live in Liverpool - they will attend midnight mass together and will
try to give Sean and Amelie as normal a Christmas as possible.
But as Gerry's sister Philomena,
Madeleine's aunt, says: "Nobody has been talking about Christmas, we just want it to pass. Even mentioning the word feels
"I'm sure Kate and Gerry will do
something special for the twins, Sean and Amelie, but we've agreed that none of the adults in the family are buying Christmas
presents for each other."
Sean and Amelie have "excitedly"
been making a Christmas card for Madeleine at nursery, well-wishers have sent hundreds of gifts from all over the UK and her
granny Eileen - Gerry's mother - has also bought her a present.
"I always pick out clothes and put
money in an envelope for each of the children," she explained. "This year I did the same for Madeleine. I'd never leave her
out. I have a huge pink teddy bear with a white heart on it I am going to put in her bedroom later."
Madeleine's bedroom, as family and
friends have revealed, "is as it was and waiting for her to return".
"Kate will never give up looking
for Madeleine and not a day goes by without her crying or praying for her daughter," a close friend said yesterday.
Of course, she - everyone - wants
Madeleine back. But if her prayers aren't answered, then Kate and Gerry McCann need to know what happened to Madeleine. That
is the very least they deserve.
- ADDITIONAL reporting
by Tracey Kandohla
Kate McCann's heartbreaking Christmas message to Madeleine: 'Be brave
sweetheart', 23 December 2007
Kate McCann's heartbreaking Christmas message to Madeleine: 'Be brave sweetheart' Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN in Praia da Luz
Last updated at 00:14 23 December 2007
Kate McCann sent her missing daughter a heart-rending Christmas message last night, telling her: "Be brave
"Our only Christmas wish is for you
to be back with us again and we're hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you Madeleine."
Her face lined with exhaustion and
despair, 39-year-old Mrs McCann also made an extraordinary appeal to any abductor holding the four-year-old girl, begging
them to end "all this despair and anguish".
She struggled to control her emotions
as she said: "You hold the key. At this time of year, when so many families are coming together, we beg you to help us be
reunited with Madeleine.
"Please do the right thing and come
The televised appeal came as Mrs
McCann and her husband Gerry, also 39, prepared for what they called "the hardest Christmas imaginable."
The couple must try to hide their
pain over Madeleine, who has now been missing for almost eight months, and make Christmas as joyful as possible for their
two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
Last night they released touching
new photographs and video footage of their daughter taken at Christmas last year.
In one, she carries her present to
her baby brother Sean. Another shows her standing on the family's kitchen table, excited by the celebrations. Poignantly,
a third photograph shows her opening a present - the pink bag she took with her on the Portuguese holiday from which she never
The contrast with this year's "very
quiet, private Christmas" could not be greater.
Speaking directly to her daughter
during the televised appeal, Mrs McCann said: "Madeleine, it's Mummy and Daddy here.
"Just know how much we love you,
Madeleine. We all miss you so much. Sean and Amelie talk about you all the time, every day.
"We're doing everything we can, Madeleine,
to find you and there are so many good and very kind people helping us. Be brave sweetheart.
"Our only Christmas wish is for you
to be back with us again and we're hoping and praying that that will happen. Love you Madeleine."
In his internet blog Mr McCann said
the twins had asked "if Santa will be bringing Madeleine home".
"It just about broke our hearts,"
The couple have given few public
interviews since they were named as official suspects in Madeleine's disappearance from their holiday apartment in Praia da
Luz in May. But they allowed a friend to film them at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
Surrounded by the trappings of the
season, including a tree and presents for the twins, they told of their heartbreak at facing Christmas without Madeleine.
Mr McCann said: "Clearly for us and
the rest of our family it's going to be the hardest Christmas imaginable without Madeleine here."
"Since Madeleine was taken from us
on May 3, someone knows what happened to her and may well know where she is now.
"That person has it within their
power to show us the compassion to end this terrible ordeal for us."
The couple said they cannot face
spending Christmas Day in the house where they celebrated with Madeleine last year, so they plan to visit relatives.
They have been deluged with gifts
for all three children from wellwishers across over the world.
The McCanns said they have been "immensely
touched" by the gestures of support.
The next stage in the couple's ordeal
will come in the New Year, when they begin the fight to end their status in Portugal as arguidos - official suspects.
They have both strenuously denied
any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance and insist she was abducted while they ate dinner with friends nearby.
But their lawyers have warned them
they could face a protracted battle through the Portuguese courts and might even have to go to the European Court of Human
Rights to clear their names. Friends say they fear privately that they could remain suspects "for ever".
- Portuguese police will wait
until after Christmas before asking British police to reinterview the McCanns and their holiday friends.
Maddie McCann: This Thing Must Stop, 23 December 2007
Strange or what? I now have to confess that my Christmas would get a real lift if little Maddie McCann suddenly turned
up alive in a sled drawn by six reindeer, with a happy smile on her face and the world’s TV cameras in attendance. If
that happened and there was a global fundraiser to buy the toddler a Ferrari Testarossa, a night of passion with David Beckham
(to be delivered not before 2020 of course!) and all the marshmallows she can eat I would cheerfully chip in a few euros.
And believe me: I’m not given to chipping in lightly.
Unfortunately I know with almost total certainty that I will be able to keep my money in my pocket and that my seasonal
joy will have to be drawn from the knowledge that Christmas is going to be over by Thursday and life will return to its normal
state. Yes, there's still the hurdle of New Year's Eve to overcome (why celebrate when, as every year before it, 2008 is going
to be the world's worst year ever?) but I'm already looking forward to the next eleven months and three weeks of ill will
to all men. In other words: I'm not a fan of the 'festive' season; that time of year when, ostrich-like, people put their
heads in the sage and onion stuffing, pretending that everything that seems bad is about to take a turn for the better, that
old hatreds can be forgotten and that a free meal of turkey slices, Brussels sprouts and cranberry compote will see the homeless
through to next December. Give me a choice between false, hyped-up cheer and genuine, comfortable gloom and I know what I'll
pick every time.
Funny thing is: I say this as a generally pretty contented person, with no major worries, a happy home life and a cold
six-pack in de fridge. So what I cannot for the life of me understand is why the parents of Maddie McCann are having a Christmas
at all. I would have thought that, to a family plunged into the darkest fear and despair, haunted day and night by unspeakable
images of what may have become of their darling little daughter, the very thought of Christmas trees, carol singing, angelic
messages of peace and joy - let alone intrusive, round the clock media attention - would be anathema. Yet here we are: expensive
detectives, retained with your money, having made no progress whatsoever (trust me on this!) suddenly start talking in terms
of Maddie's possible return home by Christmas. "We've got a pretty good idea who took her and where she is being held…..there
may be an arrest soon." Not now, you sucker. Not if she was taken by British paedophiles who read the papers.
And then came the McCanns themselves. Aware that they're spending your hard-earned dough as if tomorrow will never come
they felt it best to rein in the hired gumshoes a little, lest the inevitable public disappointment come Boxing Day might
lead to a reduction of the cash flow. But, since there was a lot of dosh in the kitty already, there seemed no harm in keeping
the public on their toes, interested and ready to invest in future wild goose chases, by means of a special Christmas video
appeal. And so, the "Be Brave My Sweetheart" tape was born. Oddly, it wasn't addressed to us, the general public, but to Maddie
herself. Consistent, of course, with the McCanns' campaign slogan "we believe, nay: we know she's alive" yet, even
if that were the case, the little girl would be unlikely to be given a chance by her captors to watch it. Tagged on to that
was an appeal to whoever might be holding Maddie to get in touch with their better selves and chuck the whole thing in.
So no: the McCanns weren't really talking to Maddie and they weren't really talking to anyone they think may be holding
the girl captive. They were, in fact, talking to us after all. Could we please help them keep the show on the road and the
circus going until she's back or buried? My answer is: no. What we need is closure. The thing must now be declared over and
done with and everyone, the McCanns first and foremost, must get on with their lives. If Maddie should, at some point, turn
up alive that would be both miraculous and - depending on the state she'd be in - marvelous. Until then there's only one sensible
position to take: she's dead. No need to throw more good money after bad.
Kate and Gerry McCann: We can't face giving each other Christmas presents, 24
Kate and Gerry McCann: We can't face giving each other Christmas presents Daily Mail
By DANIEL BOFFEY
Last updated at 00:23 24 December 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann will not be giving each other presents on Christmas Day.
They have agreed it would be inappropriate
to celebrate between themselves when they spend the day at Kate's parents in Liverpool.
They have told friends they cannot
face Christmas at home in Rothley, Leicestershire, although they have bought their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie gifts
and have decorated a tree in yellow tinsel, the colour of a safe homecoming.
Gerry's sister Philomena said: "Nobody
has been talking about Christmas. We just want it to pass. Even mentioning the word feels terrible.
"I'm sure Kate and Gerry will do
something special for the twins but we have agreed that none of the adults in the family are buying Christmas presents for
Kate's father Brian Healy, 67, added:
"Kate wishes it wasn't Christmas."
Gifts have been coming to the family
home from strangers all week. Cardiologist Gerry received a huge box of children's toys on Friday while at work at Glenfield
hospital in Leicester.
Some will be kept for Madeleine's
return, while others will be sent to an orphanage in Belarus.
Kate and Gerry have also issued a
video appeal for information, in which Kate tells Madeleine: "We all miss you so much. Be brave, sweetheart. Our only Christmas
wish is for you to be back with us again."
Meanwhile, a British paedophile is
under suspicion over Madeleine's abduction, according to UK police sources.
Soon after Madeleine vanished, Portuguese
detectives were sent details of 52 known sex offenders with links to the Algarve.
All but one have been eliminated
from the investigation - but the man's identity has not been revealed.
The information was supplied by the
Child Exploitation and On-line Protection Centre, whose specialist staff arrived in Portugal within days of Madeleine's disappearance.
'We'll NEVER give up looking for Maddie,' say McCanns after saying Christmas
Day prayers for her, 26 December 2007
'We'll NEVER give up looking for Maddie,' say McCanns after saying Christmas Day prayers for her Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN
Last updated at 00:42 26 December 2007
Kate and Gerry McCann will never give up hope of finding their missing daughter, their family vowed.
The couple and their two-year-old twins spent Christmas Day with relatives in North Yorkshire but their thoughts remained
They took Sean and Amelie to Mass at St Stephen's Church in Skipton where they said special prayers for their little
Special prayers: Gerry
McCann, with toys for the twins tucked in his pockets, with Kate, on Christmas Day, their first without missing daughter Madeleine
Writing on his internet diary, Mr McCann said:
"Madeleine should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family."
On Christmas Eve Mr and Mrs McCann,
both 39, made a video broadcast imploring any abductor to return their daughter.
Mr McCann said: "This was a desperate
attempt to get someone who knows what happened to Madeleine to come forward and end our misery and the dreadful situation
It has emerged that the appeal had brought in
347 calls to the McCanns's private detective agency Metodo 3 - lines of inquiry which are now being followed up.
Mr McCann said he and his wife had
been sent hundreds of Christmas cards at their home in Rothley, Leicestershire.
He said each one had helped renew
the family's determination to find Madeleine.
The McCanns wanted to try to give
their twins as normal a Christmas as possible.
They bought presents for the children
but Mr McCann's sister Philomena said none of the adults in the family was exchanging presents because they did not want to
celebrate without Madeleine.
Mrs McCann's aunt Janet Kennedy said
the entire family would never give up their search for Madeleine. Mrs Kennedy, 68, said: "The motto has changed. Rather than
not leaving any stone unturned, it is that we never, never give up hope.
"Eight months on we have become more
determined and resolute."
The family's prayers for Madeleine
were echoed in church services across Britain.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu,
said in his Christmas message that Madeleine's abduction from her parents' holiday apartment in Portugal was an example of
God being "violated and blasphemed".
In Praia da Luz, Anglican vicar Haynes
Hubbard led prayers for the child, who he called "our little sister". Speaking before the service, he said: "She is always
in the back of our minds and every day we think about her and pray that one day she will be reunited with her loving family."
Thousands of toys left for Madeleine
at a war memorial in Rothley during the summer were sent to orphanages in Belarus in October and given to children who had
no toys of their own.
More presents have been sent for
Madeleine and the twins since then and the family have said they will consider sending more gifts to charity.
Mrs Kennedy said: "Kate and Gerry
think it is tremendous. It helps the healing process by bringing joy to other children."
Spanish private detectives at Metodo
3 had said they hoped to find Madeleine in time for Christmas.
However, the agency - hired by the
Find Madeleine fund at a cost of £50,000 a month - has so far failed to uncover any concrete evidence about what happened
to her and its contract will be reviewed in the New Year.
The McCanns and British ex-pat Robert
Murat remain the only named suspects in the investigation.
They have all denied any involvement
in Madeleine's disappearance. Mr Murat, 34, spent Christmas in Praia da Luz with his elderly mother Jennifer.
Detectives follow new Maddie leads after hundreds of calls following
TV appeal, 26 December 2007
Detectives follow new Maddie leads after hundreds of calls following TV appeal Daily Mail
Last updated at 20:49 26 December 2007
Investigators are ploughing through leads with a "fine-tooth comb" from nearly 350 calls with information
following a television appeal by Kate and Gerry McCann, their spokesman said today.
Throughout Saturday and Sunday, 347
people phoned in with information relating to the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine.
The leads are being followed up by
the family's private detective agency Metodo 3 as Kate and Gerry, both 39, from Rothley, Leicestershire, stay with friends
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' family
spokesman, said: "We are pleased with the calls and they are continuing to come in. Every single call is much appreciated
and we are going through them with a fine-tooth comb. Any that need to be acted upon swiftly, are being acted upon swiftly."
He added: "We don't go into detail
because if there is any significant information, we need to act on it before we talk about it."
It is nearly eight months since Madeleine
disappeared from her parents' apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz.
Kate and Gerry McCann broadcast the
plea for information on Saturday, which was filmed at their home. The broadcast, which was screened around the world, included
previously unseen footage of an excited Madeleine opening her gifts last Christmas.
Writing in his internet diary, Mr
McCann said Madeleine "should not be spending Christmas away from her loving family".
He wrote: "The person who took Madeleine
has it in their power to end our suffering and will be able to appease their conscience that they have done the right thing
- especially at this time of year.
"Kate and I would like to thank everyone
who has taken the time at this busy time of year to write to us and let us know Madeleine and our family are still in their
thoughts and prayers.
"We still have at least one hundred
cards to open! As always, every single one will be opened and read and the support expressed helps renew our determination
to find Madeleine."
The number to contact for anyone
who sees or has any information on Madeleine is 0034 902 300 213.
Madeleine: Kate McCann wears badge of hope for missing daughter, 27
Madeleine: Kate McCann wears badge of hope for missing daughter Daily Mail
Last updated at 10:02 27 December 2007
Wearing a badge of hope bearing her daughter Madeleine's picture tormented Kate McCann went to mass on St Stephen's Day
at a church bearing the saint's name to pray for her youngster's safe return.
The Boxing Day church visit came just 24 hours after Kate, 39, and her husband Gerry, also 39, attended the same historic
St Stephen's Church with their two-year-old twins for Christmas Day mass.
Parish priest Peter Dawber, who celebrated
the Christmas mass, said: "Parishioner's hearts go out to the McCann's especially at this time of year.
"There was a prayer for Madeleine,
but the mass was a Christmas service.
"I knew from their cousin that there
was a chance that they may attend church." On her left lapel close to her heart Kate wore the badge featuring four-year-old
Madeleine's face with her distinctive iris and the message: 'Look into my eyes - help find Madeleine.'
Kate and a friend attended the midday
service in the chapel in the historic market town of Skipton, North, Yorkshire, where the McCann's are staying with cousin
Anne Marie Wright, 43.
An onlooker said: "Every mother wants
to cuddle her children at Christmas - it is heartbreaking that Kate has been denied that opportunity.
"The badge is a symbol of hope that
could help focus new eyes on the hunt for Madeleine.
"Kate looked much more anguished
than she had on Christmas Day - not having the twins with her must have given her the chance to show her true emotions.
"It is heartbreaking to see a mum
so anguished at this special family time of year."
Wearing black trousers and a beige
quilted coat Kate - still with a haunted look in her eyes - had done her best to make Christmas as normal as possible for
the twins, but the heartbreak of not having Madeleine made the festive break hard to bear.
Just days before the pair made an
impassioned plea for the safe return of their daughter, who has been missing since their family holiday in Portugal in May.
In the TV message that was transmitted
round the globe Kate said: "Our only Christmas wish is for you to be back with us again and we're hoping and praying that
that will happen. Love you Madeleine."
In the emotional TV plea Gerry urged
Madeleine's abductor to phone the family's confidential hotline on 0034 902 300 213 or call their local police station.
The couple are expected to return
to their home in Rothley, Leics, with the twins after the Christmas break.