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 Thanks, Pamalam

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 campaign@findmadeleine.com    

Gerry's USA Trip *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 
Gerry McCann takes the campaign to America 

Gerry talks with Ernie Allen, director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Gerry talks with Ernie Allen, director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

USA, 22 July 2007 - 25 July 2007

Date
Brief overview of events
22 July 2007
Gerry spends the whole day travelling from the Algarve to Washington, USA with their Campaign Manager. They take a Virgin plane with the tickets donated by Richard Branson.
 
Gerry is upset by a headline in a British newspaper suggesting that they face prosecution for leaving their children unattended.
23 July 2007
Gerry, and Justine McGuinness, spend most of the day at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). They meet US Attorney General Gonzales at the Justice Department.
 
Gerry finishes the day off with an interview for America's Most Wanted programme, which boasts 12 million viewers.
24 July 2007
Gerry starts interviews at 6.15am for the five major US TV networks.
 
Late morning Gerry, and Justine McGuinness, visit the White House where they meet with the First Lady's deputy chief of staff Sarah Armstrong.
 
After lunch they move on to Capitol Hill for meetings with politicians.
 
In the evening Gerry manages to meet up with a friend from Glasgow, who is also a cardiologist, and working in the Washington area for a 'bite to eat'.
25 July 2007
Gerry manages an early morning run around Washington.
 
After a round of meetings during the day and a visit to the British Embassy, Gerry takes an evening flight from Washington as he heads back to Portugal.
26 July 2007
Gerry spends most of the day travelling and gets back to Praia da Luz late afternoon.

Video Gallery: Gerry McCann Visits Washington D.C., 23 July 2007
Video Gallery: Gerry McCann Visits Washington D.C. America's Most Wanted
 
On Monday, July 23, Gerry McCann, the father of missing 4-year-old Madeleine McCann, came to Washington, D.C. in the quest to help find his daughter. Gerry received a tour of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where he learned about some of the latest techniques in tracking missing kids. Gerry also had an opportunity to talk to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and sat down with AMW to talk about Madeleine's case and its impact on him and his family.
 
Note: The link above contains a number of videos related to Gerry's trip to the USA. There are no individual links to the videos and the website does allow the videos to be embedded on other sites.
 

Madeleine's Father To Head For America, 23 July 2007
Madeleine's Father To Head For America Sky News
 
5:51am UK, Monday July 23, 2007
 
The father of missing Madeleine McCann is flying to Washington where he may meet First Lady Laura Bush.
 
Gerry McCann will visit the US to talk to American politicians and child abduction experts.
 
But he is also reportedly hoping to meet President Bush's wife during his three-day trip.
 
The Daily Mirror said Mrs Bush had read about the family's plight and wanted to lend her personal support to the family.
 
A source told the newspaper: "Plans are still being finalised, but it is hoped Gerry and Laura will meet at some point during the trip."
 
Mr McCann will visit the National Centre For Missing & Exploited Children to learn about techniques that might help find his daughter.
 
"We want to to work closely with the police and child welfare agencies in maintaining the profile of Madeleine's disappearance and other children's disappearances," the source said.
 
The NCMEC was set up in 1984 following the murder of six-year-old Adam Walsh.
 
Adam was abducted from a Florida shopping centre.
 
Madeleine was snatched from her hotel room in the resort of Praia da Luz in Portugal 11 weeks ago.

US First Lady To Help Madeleine Case, 24 July 2007
US First Lady To Help Madeleine Case Sky News
 
7:15am UK, Tuesday July 24, 2007
 
Madeleine McCann's father is continuing his visit to the United States with a series of meetings with politicians.

First Lady's aide to meet father
First Lady's aide to meet father

Gerry McCann is on a four-day fact-finding visit with the family's campaigner Justine McGuinness.
 
He is meeting a senior member of First Lady Laura Bush's staff as well as senators and congressmen in Washington DC.
 
Mr McCann has already discussed efforts to tackle child abduction with US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
 
The meetings are part of a visit to the US to learn about the work of specialist agencies in preventing child trafficking and sexual abuse.
 
Mr McCann and his wife Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, have mounted a vigorous campaign to find four-year-old Madeleine since her disappearance.
 
The youngster was snatched from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3 and there has been no sign of her since.
 
Mr McCann told reporters: "Obviously my focus just now is on trying to get our daughter back. That's the key thing.
 
"But I think there is a lot of goodwill out there at the minute, that we might be able to leave something tangible for all children."
 
Mrs McCann remains in Portugal with the couple's two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.
 
Posters of Madeleine are being displayed at booksellers in more than 200 countries around the world.
 
This is due to Harry Potter author JK Rowling, whose final instalment of the boy wizard's adventures was published on Saturday.

Horrors give hope to Gerry McCann, 24 July 2007
Horrors give hope to Gerry McCann Daily Mirror
 
Anton Antonowicz US Correspondent, In Washington
24/07/2007
 
Madeleine Dad's Mission To U.S.
 
IT was 81 days, an ocean and continent away from the place where his daughter was abducted but Gerry McCann found a strange reassurance here yesterday.
 
The consultant cardiologist began a three-day trip to America by visiting a state-of-the-art support centre, set up to help parents find their missing children.
 
The International Centre For Missing And Exploited Children lies in the dormitory town of Alexandria, a 20-minute drive from downtown Washington. It is a quiet place of shuttered homes and historic landmarks.
 
But behind the facade of the centre's 1920s building, lie pitiful, shocking stories of mass paedophilia, of children disappeared. And yet, there are also stories of patient optimism, built on so much success at recovering missing kids.
 
And it was the latter which seemed to give Gerry McCann refreshed hope.
 
He heard of girls taken as toddlers and traced after 20 years; of boys who vanished at two and discovered at 18 years old as a result of the centre's computer image-ageing techniques. And he heard that the vast majority are not taken to be killed.
 
"Myself and my wife Kate have been in contact with the centre almost since the day Madeleine was abducted," said Gerry.
 
"It's important that I came on this trip to understand better the work being carried out across the world to reduce child abductions. Of course, it helps maintain the profile of my daughter's disappearance but I hope it also draws greater public attention to what is often something which captures people's attention for only a few days."
 
The centre was established in 1984, following the murder of youngster Adam Walsh, who was abducted from a Florida shopping mall. After the killing, Adam's father John Walsh - who presents the TV show America's Most Wanted - vowed to do all he could to prevent another parent suffering as he had. And most recently, the Adam Walsh Child Protection And Safety Act was signed by President Bush.
 
It created a national database of convicted child molesters and increased penalties for sexual offences against children. But perhaps most importantly it demanded that police file reports on missing children within two hours of their disappearance.
 
"Before then the presumption was always that the kid had run away and the parents were told to come back in 72 hours," the centre's chief executive Ernie Allen told Gerry.
 
"You could immediately enter information about stolen cars but not about stolen children - and the key moments in any abduction are the early ones."
 
THEN he paused. "I don't mean we haven't had success finding children months or even years later. But the message must be that police don't waste those first, precious hours.
 
"After all, the attempt to find a missing child is only as strong as the officer who turns up."
 
Gerry nodded, saying nothing. Then Mr Allen added: "But most people take kids not to kill. Of those who do, 74 per cent are murdered within three hours." Gerry looked to the floor, hands folded as if in silent prayer for his daughter, who was abducted in Portugal in May.
 
Later, he saw the pictures of youngsters who had been recovered. Many had been taken by an estranged parent or relative. But there were scores of kids marked "abducted by a non-family member".
 
Children such as Sara EghbalBrin, who disappeared in France aged three, to be discovered five years later in Canada, because of image-ageing photos and a sharp-eyed traffic cop. The centre here receives 300 calls each day - from worried parents and people with information. The centre also posts pictures of lost kids to 85million homes a week.
 
"As you know, Gerry," Mr Allen said, "somebody knows. Somebody can tell us what happened to your daughter. There's a somebody for every one of those missing youngsters."
 
He talked of a child stolen in California and found in Puerto Rico seven years later. Gerry told him: "Believe me, we've had calls from all over the world. One even came from Guatemala. And you have to take them all seriously." Mr Allen reassured him: "There's hope, real hope. Children aren't taken for murder in the vast number of cases. Children just go. They are obedient. They do what they're told."
 
But the global web of paedophilia highlights the risk our most vulnerable face. The centre recently exposed an internet network involving 77 countries. In the UK alone there are more than 100,000 child porn sites. As a business it is, as Gerry said: "Easy, cheap, very profitable and with little risk."
 
"It's the sheer scale of the problem," he added. "These are the things to take back with me to the police and child welfare agencies involved in Madeleine's case.
 
"This visit strengthens me and my resolve. With dedicated people like this here - people who have found 115,000 children since 1985 - there's always hope. And I'll be taking it back to Portugal."
 
After his visit to the centre, Gerry spent time with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who has been at the forefront of US child protection reform.
 
"What I've seen on this brief visit is that they are light years ahead of Europe in uniting the strands governing how we protect kids," said Gerry."And we can certainly learn from it."
 
So it will soon be back to Portugal for Gerry - and more waiting and hoping.
 
"It has been a long time now and we just have to take each day as it comes. But Madeleine knows we love her very much and that we won't stop searching."
 
The early hours are crucial.. but we've also found kids after many years

On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Aired 24 July 2007
On The Record with Greta Van Susteren, Aired 24 July 2007
 
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," July 24, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

JEANINE PIRRO, GUEST HOST: Little Madeleine McCann — she has been missing for more than two-and-a-half months. Police say the four-year-old British toddler was kidnapped in Portugal on May 3rd.

Her parents are waging an international campaign to find Madeleine and to stop child trafficking. Madeleine's father, Dr. Gerry McCann, is in the United States now. And yesterday he went On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Welcome to the United States. I wish you were coming under different circumstances.

DR. GERRY MCCANN, FATHER OF MISSING CHILD: Thank you.

VAN SUSTEREN: When did you arrive?

MCCANN: I just got in late last night. So it's a short visit. I will be here until Wednesday evening, and then flying back to Portugal.

VAN SUSTEREN: I suppose we should tell the viewers where we are.

MCCANN: Yes. We are at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children here in Alexandria, just in Virginia. The main reason for my visit was to come and see what is regarded as, I would say, the world leading center for missing and exploited children.

VAN SUSTEREN: It is not exactly what you did your study in cardiology for, is it?

MCCANN: No, no. But with what's happened to us, we are trying to make the most of it, and do everything possible to try to get our daughter back. And both for my wife and I, our lives are on hold, at the minute, until we find out and, hopefully, get her back.

VAN SUSTEREN: And obviously you are here at this organization. Anyone else you will be talking to in our government?

MCCANN: I'm very pleased to say that the Attorney General took time out of his incredibly busy schedule to meet with us today. And we had a 40 minute meeting, and we talked about these very issues, about how we can advance legislation.

And, I think importantly, Madeleine's disappearance has already created some discussion at the G-8 summit recently. So it's becoming more topical. At least the public will know consider the issues, and that's something that we need to capitalize. There is a window of opportunity here to affect change for the better.

And, of course, Kate and I are both hopeful that the publicity surrounding this and our tie-ins with the National Center and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children keep Madeleine's profile high and increases the chances of us finding her.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did the Attorney General Gonzales, did you get the sense that he knew about your daughter's disappearance before the meeting was set up?

MCCANN: Yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: He knew about it.

MCCANN: He is, obviously, at the very least been briefed prior to the meeting, but he certainly gave the impression that he knew about Madeleine's disappearance.

And we know that the publicity around Madeleine really has been global. It has touched almost every parent who has seen it in the news. And Kate and I have had tremendous empathy from all over the world.

Everyone knows that feeling, that when you think your child is missing, even if it's for a few seconds, a few minutes.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you believe she is still alive, or is that just the survival mechanism in you, in a sense, that you want to believe she is?

MCCANN: Of course we want to believe it, but I will not accept that Madeleine is dead until I get concrete evidence that assures us that she is dead. There is no evidence of serious harm, and there has been a very extensive ground search from quite a large radius around Praia da Luz, from where she was abducted.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but, actually, I think she is probably more likely to be alive than dead. We truly believe that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Meeting with the Pope, did that help bring some sort of comfort to you?

MCCANN: Yes. I mean that meeting was incredibly important to Kate and I for two reasons. Spiritually, and that was the reason we were there, and it was organized through the Archbishop of Westminster.

Despite the publicity we have had, he has assured us that the would have organized a meeting like that for anyone in our situation. So, spiritually, it was very, very important. He blessed Madeleine. It was nice to know that many people in the Vatican and the world order are praying for Madeleine.

And, of course, it did generate a huge amount of awareness of Madeleine's disappearance, which has had an knock on effect. And I hope that we can use the goodwill that has come from thousands, and, probably, hundreds-of- thousands of people in response to one very bad act, and use that in a positive way to help other missing children and make the world a little bit safer for all kids if possible.

VAN SUSTEREN: Any theory why Madeleine's case got publicity? You are very unfortunate that your child is missing, but fortunate that at least some of the spotlight might help.

MCCANN: There has obviously been a mixture of circumstances for us. I don't doubt that Madeleine's image itself is playing a huge part in that.

VAN SUSTEREN: She is cute, very cute. But all these missing children are all adorable. We want to help them all.

MCCANN: The circumstances of having a foreign child abducted in another country when you are on holiday — I think most people want to go on holiday and relax, and that's created a lot of empathy as well.

We have had huge numbers of support, and the Media supported us. Everyone wants to find her. And we just want to continue now.

VAN SUSTEREN: We certainly hope we can find her. We hope we can find every child.

Good luck, sir. Thank you. Welcome to the United States.

Madeleine's father quizzed over decision to leave her on her own, 25 July 2007
Madeleine's father quizzed over decision to leave her on her own Daily Mail
 
By JULIE MOULT
Last updated at 10:56 25 July 2007
 
The father of missing Madeleine McCann was yesterday forced to defend his decision to leave his daughter alone on the night she was snatched.
 
Gerry McCann was grilled by American TV networks about why he and his wife Kate did not hire a babysitter to watch their three children as they dined with friends.
 
Gerry, 39, is in the States on a fact-finding mission to see how they deal with the issue of child abduction and exploitation - as well as publicise Madeleine's case.

Gerry McCann appeared on US daytime TV programme Good Morning America

Gerry McCann has appeared on US daytime TV programme Good Morning America as part of his search for Madeleine
 
Madeliene was abducted 83 days ago as she slept in her bed at the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, Portugal. Yesterday her father conducted a string of TV interviews with ABC, CNN and CBS.
 
Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, the heart consultant said: "We were dining 50 yards away and we could see the apartment from where we were. It's like we were sat in our back garden, all be it at the end of our garden.

Gerry McCann leaves the White House after his visit to publicise Madeleine's disappearance

Gerry McCann leaves the White House after his visit to publicise Madeleine's disappearance
 
"The kids were sound asleep and they were being checked regularly. We didn't think we needed a babysitter. "We are good parents and what we did felt perfectly reasonable at the time.
 
"Hindsight is an incredible thing. Clearly we couldn't have predicted what was to happen."
 
He was also quizzed about the possibility he and GP Kate, also 39, could be prosecuted for leaving Madeleine and two year old twins Sean and Amelie alone in the apartment that night.
 
He told CNN: "We have been assured by the authorities that what we did fell well within the boundaries of good parenting.
 
"Madeleine was targeted by a predator and we shouldn't have to be worrying about people getting into our homes and gardens and playgrounds. That is the real criminal act here."
 
Gerry visited the White House on Tuesday to meet with senior staff of First Lady Laura Bush.
 
Mrs Bush has taken a personal interest in Madeleine's case but was unable to meet Gerry because of prior commitments.
 
Gerry has already met US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in Washington to discuss efforts to tackle child abduction.
 
He also met experts from the National and International Centres for Missing and Exploited Children.
 
He said: "Obviously my focus just now is on trying to get our daughter back. That's the key thing.
 
"But I think there is a lot of goodwill out there at the minute, that we might be able to leave something tangible for all children, and I think most people agree that these sorts of crimes should not happen and the perpetrators have to be pursued wherever these crimes are performed."
 
Mr McCann is on four-day fact-finding visit to the US to find out about America's "more advanced systems" to track down missing children.
 
"She knows very much that we love her and we won't stop searching for her."
 
Gerry McCann has taken his search for Madeleine from US daytime TV all the way to the White House.
 
He is said to be convinced that the high-profile campaign to find his daughter Madeleine could also help other missing children
 
The 39-year-old heart specialist is in America on his global crusade publicising the four-year-old's disappearance from a holiday apartment in Portugal at the beginning of May.
 
He has already met US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in Washington to discuss efforts to tackle child abduction.

Gerry McCann with Madeleine poster

Gerry McCann is on fact-finding visit to find out about America's 'more advanced systems' to track down missing children
 
He also met experts from the National and International Centres for Missing and Exploited Children.
 
"Obviously my focus just now is on trying to get our daughter back. That's the key thing.
 
"But I think there is a lot of goodwill out there at the minute, that we might be able to leave something tangible for all children, and I think most people agree that these sorts of crimes should not happen and the perpetrators have to be pursued wherever these crimes are performed."
 
Mr McCann is on four-day fact-finding visit to the US to find out about America's "more advanced systems" to track down missing children.

Gerry meets with US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in Washington

Madeleine's father met US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in Washington to discuss efforts to tackle child abduction
 
He and his wife, Kate, have mounted a vigorous campaign to find Madeleine since she disappeared from the apartment in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz.
 
"She knows very much that we love her and we won't stop searching for her."
 
Madeleine McCann has been missing since May 3.
 
The National and International Centres for Missing and Exploited Children were established in 1984 and 1998 respectively after six-year-old Adam Walsh was murdered after being snatched from a department store in Florida in 1981.
 
The case led to a major review of child abduction cases in the US and legislation passed last year - the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act - was named in his honour.
 
The Act significantly strengthens America's nationwide sex offender registration system and introduces harsher penalties for child sex offenders.

Madeleine's Dad Speaks Of 'Hope' In US, 25 July 2007
Madeleine's Dad Speaks Of Hope In US
 
Jul 25, 2007
 
The father of four-year-old Madeleine McCann - who's been missing since May - has visited the US to meet with the Attorney General and experts on child abduction. During his trip, he took time out to talk to Sky News about the continued investigation.
 
(00:03:54)

After three long months without their daughter, what now for the McCanns?, 28 July 2007
After three long months without their daughter, what now for the McCanns? Daily Mail
 
By DAVID JONES
Last updated at 09:10 28 July 2007
 
It's three months since Maddy vanished and her parents are grieving in very different ways. He's thinking about moving back to Britain and starting to rebuild their lives. She's still lost in despair and cannot bear to leave Portugal
 
On Wednesday evening, Gerry McCann flew back to Portugal after a hectic three day trip to Washington DC - the latest and farthest-flung staging post on his mission to champion the cause of abducted children and maximise publicity for his missing daughter, Madeleine.
 
Settling into his sleeper bed in Virgin Upper Class (mindful of the sniping about the 946,000 fund for Madeleine, of which 67,000 has been spent, he bought an economy ticket, but was given a complimentary upgrade), the 39-year-old heart consultant was exhausted.

Gerry McCann outside the Whitehouse

Fighting on: Gerry McCann has taken the search for his daughter all the way to the Whitehouse
 
But onlookers remarked that he appeared buoyant for the first time in the three months since his four-year-old daughter was taken.
 
Ultimately, of course, the McCanns will measure success and failure solely on whether Madeleine is returned safely.
 
However, according to Justine McGuinness, a Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate who was recently appointed the Find Madeleine campaign manager, Mr McCann felt the venture had gone "extremely well".
 
This is despite the fact Mr McCann had encountered some unexpectedly hostile questions, notably from Chris Cuomo, the Good Morning America breakfast show anchor.
 
"Your story is pretty puzzling - it's tough to understand why you and your wife came to leave your children to go to dinner," Cuomo asserted, remarking that no American parent would "leave their kids in that way".
 
And yet, besides highlighting Madeleine's abduction on all four networked TV channels (ABC prefaced its coverage with clips of Britsofthe-moment J. K. Rowling and David Beckham making appeals for information, there were many other pluses.
 
Mr McCann visited a world-renowned centre for missing children, where he received advice and consoled himself with uplifting stories about abductions which ended fortuitously.
 
He lobbied senior statesmen on Capitol Hill, including U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who pledged to do all he could. He even met close aides to First Lady Laura Bush.
 
"Just about to go into the White House!" he texted his older sister, Philomena, 43.

Kate is struggling to cope without her daughter

Distraught: Kate is struggling to cope without her daughter
 
Later, he told relatives how he received a sloppy, wet "kiss" from Mrs Bush's Scottish terrier, Miss Beazley.
 
"She must have known I was a fellow Scot," he joked.
 
For those who have followed the relentlessly miserable story of Madeleine's disappearance, Gerry McCann's lightening of mood this week - though probably brief - was heartening.
 
That said, however, watching him assume his unwanted ambassadorial role with such purpose and vigour, it was impossible to avoid contrasting his demeanour with that of his wife, Kate, who waited - forlorn, as ever - in the blisteringly hot Algarve.
 
For Madeleine's mother, the only white house that matters is the secluded villa in Praia da Luz, which has become the family's refuge since they escaped from Apartment 5A at the Ocean Club resort complex, a place of dark memories now occupied by other British holidaymakers.
 
Each morning, Kate returns to the scene of Madeleine's abduction to drop off her two-year-old twins, Shaun and Amelie, at the creche.
 
On Thursday, after she had settled them in, I happened upon her, walking down to the shore.
 
There she sat alone on the rocks, clutching Madeleine's pink Cuddle Cat toy as always, and gazing out at the Atlantic.
 
Later, she stopped briefly to pray at St Vincent's church, where the yellow ribbons tied to the door are fading.
 
Then she wandered back up the hill to the villa, a wraith among the throngs of cheerful tourists.
 
If her husband had manufactured a veneer of durability for the U.S. TV cameras, Mrs McCann's emotions were laid bare.
 
Thinner than ever, she has developed a stoop, as though the emotional burden she carries is strapped across her shoulders.
 
How was she bearing up, I asked tentatively, shaking her limp hand and wishing her well.
 
She forced a faint smile. "Yeah...well...thanks," were the only words she could summon.
 
Mr McCann's mother, Eileen, confirms the impression that 86 days after this highly publicised child abduction, Madeleine's parents are reacting in markedly different ways to their loss.
 
"Kate is really down; not one bit better than she was (when Madeleine was taken).
 
"I think she's actually going backwards," the 67-year-old widow told me from her home in Glasgow, where she has just returned after a fortnight at the Portuguese villa.
 
"All she keeps saying is: 'I need Madeleine back'."
 
"But Gerry is a lot better. He's thinking in terms of missing children.
 
"Madeleine is a missing child and so that's what he's focusing on. Everything he can do now is to help missing children, especially Madeleine."
 
When Mr McCann flew to Washington via London last Sunday night, his wife hugged him so tightly at the airport that it seemed she couldn't bear to let him go.
 
Reportedly, he phoned constantly from the U.S. to reassure her.
 
"She's a wee bit lost," said Eileen.
 
"I know Gerry misses Madeleine terribly and he would be over the moon if he got her back.
 
"But Kate, very much so. I just think it's a mother's instinct, isn't it? I just feel she needs a wee bit longer."
 
Eileen revealed that the couple suffered periodic feelings of guilt over the circumstances leading to Madeleine being snatched, but do not blame each other.
 
"How many people have stayed in their back gardens and put their children to bed?" she said.
 
"I think Kate is thinking along the same lines as me: that the person planned it carefully and watched what went on.
 
"They were just the unfortunate ones - Madeleine was picked out. All the family think that."
 
The McCanns believes the chief suspect, Robert Murat, still has a lot of questions to answer.
 
According to a Portuguese magazine yesterday, he has changed his alibi for the night Madeleine disappeared.
 
When first questioned, he is said to have told the police he was with his German girlfriend, but later said he'd spent the night at his mother's house.
 
While the investigation continues, the McCanns are in limbo.
 
Gerry, who is on unpaid leave from Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, has spoken about returning to Britain.
 
But his 39-year-old wife, who is on leave from the GP practice where she worked two days a week, refuses even to countenance leaving Praia da Luz.
 
Whenever the subject is broached, her response is always the same. "I'm not going home without Madeleine."
 
According to Philomena McCann, neither her brother nor sister-in-law enjoys being in the public eye.
 
But Kate feels particularly uneasy and will put herself forward only if she believes it is essential to further her cause.
 
However, as Gerry is accustomed to addressing audiences at medical conferences, he is far more comfortable in the spotlight.
 
He has become the public face of the campaign (including receiving calls of support from Gordon Brown) while his wife remains in the background.
 
"I'm incredibly proud of my brother when I see how he's handling this. But what people see is Gerry being really strong in front of the cameras," said Philomena.
 
"They don't see the really awful times, and nobody is going to let them see that."
 
For 12 weeks, Kate has been supported by a rota of visiting relatives.
 
Her sister-in-law Tricia Cameron, a redoubtable nurse who cooks wholesome meals and raises her spirits, has left her only once for a brief visit to Cambridge to see her son, Paul, graduate in medicine.
 
Any day now, though, even Mrs Cameron and her teacher husband, Sandy, must say goodbye. But Kate has arranged for replacements to fly in.
 
Should anyone suggest gently that she could be more easily supported at home in Leicestershire, she explains that she "must be at the scene of the police investigation the very second news breaks".
 
"I suppose any mother would feel like that," says her mother-in-law.
 
"But she's got to go home some time. We are hoping that over the next few weeks, Kate will start thinking about it in the longer term.
 
"But I know for definite that she won't come back at the moment."
 
So, this could turn out to be a watershed week for the McCanns, with Gerry making strides towards a deliverance of sorts through campaigning work, while Kate retreats further into the depths of her anguish.
 
Perhaps not entirely coincidentally, this shift comes at the time when, in some quarters at least, the tide of goodwill for the couple is beginning to take a disquieting turn.
 
From the moment Madeleine went missing, a small section of the public criticised the McCanns for dining in a tapas bar 50 yards from the room where their children slept.
 
They checked up on them every half-hour rather than make use of the Ocean Club's baby-sitting service.
 
This week, however, what began as reproach became open hostility.
 
It appears to have been whipped up by a series of dubious 'investigative' articles in the new Portuguese weekly newspaper Sol, which have found their way on to the internet.
 
Cruelly, and with scant substantiation, the paper portrays the McCann holiday party as more interested in playing tennis, and wining and dining, than looking after their children.
 
It also accuses the group of maintaining a pact of silence about the events on the evening of May 3, and purports to have uncovered a link between Robert Murat and one of the couples holidaying with the McCanns - they come from Exeter, where Murat had visited his sister a few days before the abduction.
 
As the Portuguese police investigation has been widely criticised, these salacious articles may have been motivated by misplaced nationalistic revenge.
 
But it seems someone at the heart of the inquiry was involved - they contain names and details not previously published.
 
Whatever the truth, understandably the McCanns are wounded, particularly Kate, whose mistrust of the media has been bitterly confirmed.
 
They have been stung, too, by other accusations which are so callous that their local paper, the Leicester Mercury, was compelled on Wednesday to block its on-line message facility for the couple.
 
There have been calls for them to be prosecuted for neglect.
 
Madeleine's case is also said to have been given unwarranted attention because her parents are middle class and have run a slick PR campaign.
 
Some even suggest they stand to gain from the money donated by the public.
 
All of these slurs are as preposterous as they are disgraceful.
 
This week, however, when I spoke to Philomena, she felt compelled to defend her brother and sister-in-law.
 
"People talk about Team McCann - they think it's orchestrated. That's nonsense. It's bits and pieces, and pals pulling together," she said.
 
"There hasn't been any kind of cynical campaign. It's just an amazing coming together. We've winged it and learned as we've gone along."
 
She cited the Find Madeleine website, with its haunting footage, Gerry's daily blog, an on-line store selling yellow bracelets for a 2 donation and a diary of forthcoming events, all set to the Bryan Adams song (Everything I Do) I Do It For You.
 
Remarkably professional looking, it was created by 19-year-old Callum McCrae, one of Philomena's former pupils.
 
Then there was the Look Into My Eyes poster, inviting people to memorise the distinctive 'flash' in Madeleine's right eye.
 
That was devised by Jon Corner, a friend who runs a media company in Liverpool.
 
Another friend, Michael Wright, a businessman from Skipton, uses his network of contacts to get funding, and Gerry's brother, pharmaceutical company rep John McCann, helps with strategy.
 
Madeleine's face is instantly recognisable in dozens of countries, and the reward for information leading to her return stands at 3.2 million.
 
"It needs only one greedy, unscrupulous character to come forward," said Philomena McCann.
 
"So the campaign will go on, whatever anyone says. Those who say we just want to appear on telly should get a life. Can you imagine stopping looking for your daughter?"
 
Already plans are in place for the next big showpiece event, to mark the 100th day of Madeleine's disappearance on August 11.
 
Assuming she has not been found by then, 100 Scottish pipers will play a tune penned for her at the world pipeband championship in Glasgow.
 
Well-intended as such efforts are, of course, one danger is that compassion fatigue will set in.
 
Indeed, judging by the turn of events this week, that may already have happened.
 
Alex Woolfall, a public relations expert who represents Ocean Club's owners, Mark Warner, and maintains contact with the McCanns, says he warned them about this from the beginning, but adds: "Who are we to judge? We haven't been in their position."
 
However, according to Ray Wyre, an expert on paedophilia who advised detectives on the Fred and Rose West murder investigation, the decision to keep Madeleine at the top of the news agenda could have serious ramifications.
 
"There are two potential scenarios," he told me. "If you are Madeleine's parents, it is understandable to want publicity because it might bring information.
 
"And it means you are not dealing with bereavement; you are dealing with a lost child.
 
"On the other hand, if Madeleine is in captivity, a high-profile campaign could make her position even worse.
 
"Her captor may feel it necessary to shut her away for longer periods to avoid her being recognised.
 
"There's also the possibility that the abductor - or killer - may be watching the McCanns and getting kicks out of what they are doing.
 
"If you are dealing with a sadist, publicity can become part of the problem. As awful as these possibilities are, they should be assessed carefully."
 
Since the McCanns are receiving psychological help, these risks must have been taken into account.
 
Mr Wyre also expressed a concern that, as in so many cases of family trauma, the strain of losing Madeleine might adversely affect the twins and cause cracks in the McCanns' relationship.
 
Happily, in this regard at least, Gerry McCann's mother has no fears.
 
"I know a lot of people split up in situations like theirs, but no way," she said.
 
"Gerry adores Kate, and she adores him. They were very much in love before, and they still are. I can see in their manner towards each other that it's still there.
 
"They are saying that all that matters is the twins until they get Madeleine back.
 
"They spend more time with them than ever. Kate is there at bath-time, lunch-time, dinner-time and bed-time. At the beginning, she wasn't able to do that."
 
Though the family are careful to avoid saying anything distressing relating to Madeleine, she is discussed as normally as possible in front of Shaun and Amelie.
 
"Every night, before going to sleep, they always say the same thing: Good night, Shaun. Good night, Amelie - and good night, Madeleine,'" said Eileen.
 
This touching family ritual is something the hate campaigners would do well to remember as they turn on Gerry and Kate McCann - a devoted father and mother, each struggling to survive through every parent's worst nightmare in their own, very individual way.

 
Gerry's blogs
22 Jul 2007 

Spent the whole day travelling from the Algarve to Washington where I will be visiting the National and International Centers for Missing and Exploited Children and meeting politicians involved in recent legislation on missing children. The flights for our campaign manager and myself were kindly donated by an airline.
 
There is a very upsetting story on the front page of a British National Newspaper today. The headline suggests that Kate and I face prosecution for neglecting our children by dining 50 yards away and checking on them regularly. We know that there has been criticism in some quarters of our actions but at the time, we felt our actions were responsible. We were essentially performing our own baby listening service although we have talked of the guilt we felt at now being there at the moment Madeleine was taken.
 
We have been advised that legally our behaviour was well within the bounds of responsible parenting and subsequently been assured that no action will be taken. These types of criticism, particularly at this stage, as well as being hurtful are extremely unhelpful in the search for Madeleine. From the moment we discovered Madeleine missing Kate and I have done everything in our power to try and help get her back.
 
Our opinion now is completely clouded by what has happened to us and of course has sent shock waves through thousands of families. The real issue is that we should not have a constant fear of abduction of our children from their bedrooms, gardens or streets for that matter. What Kate and I did was at worst nave and no one should forget that the real criminal is the predator who has taken a completely innocent child in such a premeditated fashion. It is this act that has wreaked havoc on our family and affected millions of other people.
23 Jul 2007 

Very busy day and I was almost asleep by the time I got back to the hotel so apologies for not posting the blog earlier. We started off by spending the morning at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). We had a tour of the NCMEC led by President Ernie Allen who has been there for 23 years and there is little he does not about missing children.
 
The work done at NCMEC is extremely impressive. It coordinates information for all missing children and it was the center that pushed for the implementation of the early warning missing child (AMBER) alert throughout the USA. The center was also instrumental along with the founder, John Walsh, in getting the Adam Walsh bill passed on the 25th anniversary of the young boys murder.
 
NCMEC officials organised a meeting with the US attorney general Gonzales at the justice department. He was already aware of Madeleine’s disappearance and has made child protection a major concern for him. I explained in a little more detail regarding Madeleine’s case and the fact that she is still missing after 81 days. He was very supportive of the campaign to keep Madeleines profile high and of the work that we are doing with NCMEC and its International division (ICMEC).
 
We went back to NCMEC in the afternoon and I had detailed discussions with some of the experts there regarding Madeleines disappearance. We also had a board meeting with ICMEC regarding working together on other developments in raising the profile of missing children particularly using internet resources.
 
Finished the day off with an interview for Americas Most Wanted who have been following Madeleines abduction almost since the beginning. The programme is actually hosted by John Walsh and has massive viewing figures of around 12 million.
24 Jul 2007 

Another busy day in Washington. Started early on at NCMEC with interviews from 6.15am for the five major US TV networks morning news shows. A very serious issues programme 20-20 was also recording our visit to the America, as they will also be producing a piece on the search to find Madeleine.
 
Late morning we had a visit to the White House to meet with the First Lady's deputy chief of staff Sarah Armstrong. This visit was facilitated by Lady Catherine Meyer, founder of the British charity PACT, which is an affiliate of ICMEC and has done so much to raise awareness of missing children in the UK. Mrs Bush is a strong supporter of child welfare issues and is in fact an Honorary Board member of ICMEC. They were already aware of Madeleines disappearance and I took the opportunity to fill them in on my visit to Washington, particularly the work we are doing with ICMEC and the meeting we had with the attorney general. We finished with a very quick tour of the public areas in the White House which is a very impressive building and we also met one of the Presidents Scottish terriers! Immediately following the visit I did a few interviews for the British Media in front of the White House.
 
After a very brief lunch it was on to Capitol Hill for meetings with politicians who have been instrumental in getting the Adam Walsh BIll and others passed. We met with Democrat congressman Nick Lampson and Republican Senator Robert Shelby who both know the board members of NCMEC very well. They were both very keen to do what they could to help find Madeleine and the support during the visit we have received has been tremendous.
 
I spoke to Kate and the kids, whose telephone skills are developing very quickly which is nice for me when I am away like this. Kate has stayed on in Portugal and has been keeping in touch with the police but there are no major developments to report. In the evening I managed to meet up with a friend from Glasgow who is also a cardiologist and working in the Washington area. We went for a bite to eat and it was good to sit down quietly with a familiar face for an hour or two.
25 Jul 2007 

Up early this morning catching up with e-mails and phone calls as well as updating the blog. Managed another early morning run, round Washington centre this time, which is quite beautiful with grand buildings and monuments separated by wide grassy areas.
 
I had another meeting with another congressman Mike Rogers who is an ex-FBI agent and we distributed wristbands to Nick Lampson and some of his colleagues as well as members of NCMEC
 
This afternoon we had a meeting with the British Ambassador at his residence to update him on our meetings. The Embassy itself is a stunning building almost rivalling the Whitehouse
 
Flying back to Portugal this evening to get back to the family. I have no doubt that this visit to Washington has been extremely productive and will really help to maintain Madeleines profile. We will continue to work closely with ICMEC who have incredible experience and energy in dealing with missing children.

 
Kate's diary
21 Jul 2007 

I continue to feel very low. I miss Madeleine so much. It's as if a ray of light has disappeared from my life. There's no doubt that Madeleine is that ray and I miss her more than words can say.

 

We just wrote our blogs/diaries. Once again those dark thoughts returned, linked with feelings of anxiety, fear and worry. How much longer will we have to cope with this pain?

 

My poor, poor Madeleine. Why, Lord? My heart aches with so much love for you, Madeleine. I just hate being without you.

 

(Kate then relives the last time they saw Madeleine in the Ocean Club apartment.)

 

If I could go back in time, I would. I have clear recollections of that night. You were so tired. After your baths, you sat on my knee and put my wedding ring on your finger. We (me, you, Sean and Amelie) read "Mog" in the living area and then "if you're happy and you know it". We all sat down on your bed.

 

Then you counted the squares on the last page. You were always counting things on pages...always laying your head on your pillow at the same time every night. Madeleine you make me so happy. I just want you home. I love you so much. XXXXXXX

23 Jul 2007 

I got up at 7.00 and went running. I was surrounded by a pack of dogs (more or less 12)—it really wasn't a nice experience. I went to the flat, high part of the cliff as I felt really alone and a little frightened. Please God, don't let Madeleine be buried here. Please God, make sure she's alive. Please God, bring her back quickly to us.

 

I took S and A to the Kids' Club at 9.45 then I went to church to pray a little on my own.

 

Every single moment of happiness with Sean and Amelie, who are both so delightful, is mixed with deep sadness. All I want is Madeleine to be safe and happy again.

 

Baths, stories and some bedtime chaos from Sean and Amelie before I finally put them to bed at 21.15.

 

I spent some time on the internet reading about Sarah Payne (Roy Whiting), Eliz. Smart (Brian Mitchell) and the Peter Voisey case (he abducted a six-year-old girl from the bath in North Tyneside). Really horrible.

 

Night, night sweetheart. I'm trying to be positive. I need to be because I need to believe that you’re going to come back to me, so I can go back to being truly happy. I love you XXX.

24 Jul 2007 

Sean and Amelie had lots of fun in the Jacuzzi—laughter galore! Carrot sticks and crisps were had by all at teatime.

 

Oh, darling Madeleine. It pains me to think of you—it causes me such sorrow and I have no idea how you feel. I pray to God that you are well, that you are not hurt. I pray that God keeps you safe and sound and that you're not afraid, nor in pain.

 

Please God, answer my prayers and please, please, please bring Madeleine back to us very soon, for our own happiness. Please God.

 

Madeleine, sweetheart, I love you so much. I can’t stop saying it. Night, night darling. We will keep hoping and having faith in God. XXXXXXX.

25 Jul 2007 

I received some bad news last night. A friend has breast cancer and has just received her first dose of chemotherapy following surgery. Horrible. I will include her in my prayers.

 

At around 15.30 I went for a run. I had begun to feel restless and worried about Madeleine. It was hot and hard work, but I felt better for having gone.

 

We returned at around 18.15—the children's dinner and baths, our dinner.

 

(and the children's once again!).

 

Madeleine, sweetheart, you are the most important thing, the only thing that matters. Words cannot describe how I feel about you nor how restless, tormented, alone, sad and incomplete I feel.

 

I will continue to hope and pray that you come back to us soon but I don't want to think about how good it would be to feel something like that—not yet, at least.

 

I love you so, so much darling. I remember sitting watching you through the glass window when you were having your swimming lessons on a Saturday morning. There you were with your yellow swimsuit, ever so pretty and you were smiling and waving at me, and the tears rolled down my face!

 

I was and am still so proud of you, Madeleine, and my love for you is never-ending. I can’t stop saying how much I love you dearly. I'm going to try and stay strong for you and you have to do the same. You know we love you and we are going to keep going until we find you again.

 

All my love, Madeleine. Night, night. Sleep well. May God protect you. XXXXX.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

TO HELP KEEP THIS SITE ON LINE PLEASE CONSIDER

Site Policy Sitemap

Contact details

Website created by Pamalam