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    

C4 Cutting Edge: 'Madeleine Was Here' *

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Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, will be broadcast on Channel 4, Thursday, May 7, at 9.00pm
 
Further reports will appear in due course.

Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here

Madeleine Was Here, 07 May 2009
Madeleine Was Here Channel4.com
 
How do the McCanns deal with the pain of not knowing what has happened to their daughter? And how do they try to create a normal life for the sake of Madeleine's brother and sister, four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie?
 
With the search now shelved by the Portuguese police - and no officers in Portugal or the UK dedicated to the case - the investigators (former police officers from the UK) speak about their interest in a series of important sightings in and around the Ocean Club complex, Praia da Luz, in the days leading up to May 3rd 2007.
 
For the first time, Gerry McCann returns to Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club complex, where he last saw his daughter. Also returning to Portugal are Jane Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, two friends from the group known as the 'Tapas 7', who were on holiday with the McCanns at the time.
 
The documentary reconstructs events surrounding Madeleine's disappearance using actors and based on testimony given to the Portuguese police as part of their investigations.
 
On TV
 
NEXT ON
 
Thursday 07 May 2009 21:00 Channel 4
Sunday 10 May 2009 22:00 More4
Monday 11 May 2009 01:50 More4
Monday 11 May 2009 23:05 Channel 4

Madeleine Was Here - Reconstruction

Reconstruction - 1
 
Reconstruction of a man allegedly seen watching the McCanns' apartment

Madeleine Was Here - Reconstruction

Reconstruction - 2
 
Reconstruction of a man carrying a child on night of May 3rd, 2007 from Jane Tanner's witness statement

The changing street lamps of Praia da Luz, 23 April 2009
The changing street lamps of Praia da Luz
 
By Nigel Moore
23 April 2009
Thanks to 'Jeanne d'Arc' for photographs of Praia da Luz and 'albym' for locating Sky News clip
 
One of the enduring and much documented concerns with Jane Tanner's 'abductor' sighting, is how she can recount such fine detail from an incident that occured in seconds, at night, in dim, artificial light.
 
One aspect that has not previously been highlighted is the fact that the street lamps outside the Ocean Club complex were changed sometime shortly after Madeleine's 'disappearance'. This was done almost certainly as a result of the events of May 3rd 2007 and almost certainly in order to improve the quality of lighting in the area.
 
After all, it would have been an astonishing decision to replace the street lamps in order to reduce the quality of the lighting. So, we can safely assume that the lighting in the whole area around the Ocean Club is now considerably improved - in terms of brightness and visibility - to that which was in place when Jane Tanner claims to have seen a 'person' carrying a 'child'.
 
This is worth bearing in mind when the McCanns reconstruction of this scene is eventually broadcast.

Looking down toward the Ocean Club entrance

The photograph, above, looks down toward the Ocean Club entrance with the McCanns' apartment, hidden by the trees, on the right.
 
Tanner's 'abductor' is claimed to have walked from right to left across this stretch of road, toward the street lamp on the left, and eventually out of sight. Perhaps significantly, heading in the direction of the home of Robert Murat.
 
Note that the street lamp is an inverted-cone style and appears to produce a very good quality of light.

Looking up toward Apartment 5A at the top of the incline

The photograph, above, looks up toward the position from which the first photograph was taken, with the Ocean Club entrance clearly visible to the left.
 
The McCanns' apartment is at the top of this hill, on the left.
 
Tanner's 'abductor' is claimed to have walked from left to right across the top of this road, toward the street lamp on the right, and eventually out of sight.

The original streetlamp, seen on 15/16 May 2007

The screenshot, above, is taken from a video report by Ian Woods for Sky News, around 15/16 May 2007. It can be seen very clearly that the street lamp which we have observed previously to be an inverted-cone style was actually a round-ball style at the time of Madeleine's 'disappearance'.
 
It doesn't seem unreasonable to presume that the quality of light from this lamp was significantly poorer than that which is in place now. And that would appear to cast even further doubt on the reliability of Tanner's sighting, which, like the lamps themselves, has improved with age.
 
The Sky News video can be viewed here

Madeleine McCann: parents relive pain of daughter's abduction two years on, 02 May 2009
Madeleine McCann: parents relive pain of daughter's abduction two years on Telegraph
 
Kate and Gerry McCann, parents of missing youngster Madeleine McCann, have told of their agony and hope on the second anniversary of their daughters disappearance.
 
By David Harrison
Last Updated: 8:31PM BST 02 May 2009
 
It is a moment of unbearable poignancy. A distraught Gerry McCann stands at the door of the bedroom where he last saw his daughter Madeleine two years ago today.
 
As the pain of the last 24 months washes over him, Mr McCann pauses for a moment and then steps in to look around the bedroom in Apartment 5a of the Ocean Club in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz.
 
It is the first time he has been here since Maddy went missing.
 
The room is silent and bare but Mr McCann can see his daughter's toys and hear the laughter that echoed around the apartment in the days before May 3, 2007 when Maddy was abducted while her parents ate with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.
 
Mr McCann emerges from the apartment and solemnly retraces his steps to the tapas bar, a short but agonising journey, his mind racked with "what ifs" and "if onlys".
 
"We are a family and we're a happy family but we're not a complete family," he says, and goes on to use an image appropriate for a hospital doctor. "There's still a scar, a deep, deep scar that's kind of knitted at the minute, but you still think it might break or the stitches will come loose."
 
Mr McCann was back in Praia da Luz to take part in a reconstruction of the events of that fateful night in the hope of jogging somebody's memory and helping detectives find his daughter who would now be days away from her sixth birthday.
 
The reconstruction was filmed for a Channel 4 documentary that will be broadcast on Thursday.
 
The parents, both doctors from Rothley in Leicestershire, believe Maddy is still alive. Mrs McCann says: "I think we're far from normality. We need to get out there she's alive, she's out there, she's findable… She might look different, she could be speaking a different language, she might have her hair different, she might have different interests, but you know she's still our daughter."
 
Maddy's disappearance sparked an international search and endless heartbreaking "sightings" that proved to be no such thing. The young girl with the fair hair and distinctive marking on her right eye has not been seen since.
 
Her appearance will have changed in the intervening two years and that was why the McCanns commissioned an "age-progression image", released on Friday, to show how Maddy might look if she is still alive.
 
In the documentary, two former British police detectives investigating Madeleine's disappearance say they have found important new leads in the 30,000 case files released by Portuguese police last summer and now translated into English, at a cost of 100,000 to the Madeleine Fund.
 
Dave Edgar, a retired detective inspector, and his colleague Arthur Cowley, a former detective sergeant, who have more than 60 years' experience between them, say they are interested in a series of important sightings in and around the Ocean Club in the days before Maddy was abducted.
 
One key statement appears to corroborate a sighting by Jane Tanner, the McCanns' friend, who told police about a man she saw carrying a small girl near the apartment on May 3 at around 9.10pm.
 
Shortly afterwards on the same night, another family had also seen a man carrying a small blonde child nearby and gave descriptions similar to Mrs Tanner's.
 
The search team has also found a number of statements from tourists who all noticed a suspicious-looking man loitering around near the McCanns' apartment.
 
Statements from the files suggest that the McCanns may have been watched in the days before Madeleine was abducted.
 
Mr Edgar, who worked for Cheshire police and the RUC, says: "There's someone local, lives locally, has the answer to this, and not much wider than 10, 15 kilometres from Praia da Luz. So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France, or even Lisbon.
 
"This offence happened in Praia da Luz, it's a very self-contained resort, and that's where we've started and that's where I think the answer is."
 
Mr Edgar adds: "We're not speculating on anything or theories, it's evidence that we've got from the file.
 
"In my experience random just doesn't happen, someone just doesn't go in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it.
 
"These things are planned. So someone will have been in the vicinity of apartment 5a, the Ocean Club. They may even have been watching the apartment for a week or more."
 
Mrs Tanner and Matthew Oldfield, both friends from the group known as the "Tapas 7", who were on holiday with the McCanns at the time, also returned to Portugal for the reconstruction.
 
The "age-progression image" of Maddy was done by a forensic imaging artist from the United States' National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.
 
It was unveiled on Oprah Winfrey's Fridays Live show ahead of the broadcast of an interview with the McCanns on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the US tomorrow and in the UK on Tuesday.
 
The image shows Maddy as slightly thinner-faced and with darker hair and will be used on posters as part of a new effort to find Madeleine, although Mrs McCann says in the interview: "I only remember Madeleine when she was four."
 
Ms Winfrey asks: "Do you let yourself go to the worst?"
 
Mrs McCann replies: "I think it's natural. I know people mean well when they say don't let yourself go there, but as a mum, inevitably there are times when I do. And they're the times that I kind of dip down."
 
Asked about their marriage, Mr McCann says: "Child abduction, I think, could destroy any family. It's one of the most devastating things. But we've been supported tremendously well and I think that's helped us stay strong and stay together.
 
"We're really united in our goal and our love of Madeleine and Sean and Amelie."
 
Mrs McCann said she keeps Madeleine's room ready for her return and that she goes in there about twice a day "just to say hello, really, just to tell her we're still going to do everything we can to find her".
 
Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, Channel 4, Thursday, May 7, 9pm.

Lone kidnapper clue as British cops join the hunt for Madeleine McCann, 02 May 2009
Lone kidnapper clue as British cops join the hunt for Madeleine McCann Daily Mirror
 
EXCLUSIVE by Simon Wright & Justin Penrose
2/05/2009
 
Madeleine McCann was snatched by a lone kidnapper who had stalked the family for days, according to British detectives hired by her parents Kate and Gerry.
 
The theory is based on information extracted from 30,000 Portuguese police files translated into English at a cost of 100,000.
 
The files have been painstakingly examined by two former British detectives – Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley – hired by the Find Madeleine Fund two years after she vanished.
 
Mr Edgar, a retired Detective Inspector with 30 years experience, believes the case can still be solved and is convinced that the crucial evidence remains in Praia Da Luz.
 
He says: "In my experience random just doesn't happen. A passer-by just doesn't go in, pick up a child and take it. These things are planned. So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or even Lisbon. This happened in Praia da Luz – and that's where the answer is."
 
Crucially, the files include a previously-undisclosed statement which supports the claim made by Jane Tanner – one of the so-called Tapas 7 – that she saw a man carrying a child close to the apartments the night Madeleine vanished exactly two years ago.
 
The new report tells of a man carrying a small blonde child nearby with an almost identical description on the same night.
 
The files also contain a number of statements from tourists, all claiming to have seen a suspicious-looking man hanging around the McCanns' apartment in the days leading up to the disappearance.
 
Ms Tanner always maintained she saw a man walking briskly across the road, away from the apartments.
 
She described him as swarthy, about 5ft 7ins, between 35 and 40 and with dark, curly hair, wearing beige trousers and black shoes. She says a little girl wrapped in a blanket hung limply from his arms, but all she saw of her was her bare feet and pink pyjamas.
 
She said at the time: "That's not unusual in a family holiday resort. There is a creche nearby. I thought he might be a father picking up his child." She was unaware at the time that Madeleine had been put to bed wearing similar pyjamas.
 
Investigators also staged a reconstruction of her possible abduction as part of a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary Madeleine Was Here to be screened on Thursday. It is hoped it might jog the memory of anyone who was there at the time.
 
In the film, Gerry McCann is seen travelling back to Portugal and entering the bedroom of the family's apartment for the first time since since Madeleine vanished.
 
Also in the documentary, Kate and Gerry, both 41, talk about the family's life two years on. Kate says: "I think we're far from normality…but she's alive, she's out there, she's findable."
 
A computer-generated photo of how Madeleine might look today aged six has been released as part of the renewed efforts to find her.
 
Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here is on Channel 4 on Thursday at 9pm.

McCanns: we have adapted, not healed, 03 May 2009
McCanns: we have adapted, not healed Timesonline
 
Maurice Chittenden
May 3, 2009 (appeared online May 2, 2009)
 
THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann have spoken of their mixed emotions in keeping alive the hunt for their daughter while providing a happy family life for their other two children.
 
Twins Sean and Amelie, toddlers at the time of the abduction in Portugal, are now four, just a little older than their sister when she went missing in the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz two years ago today.
 
They talk about their sister every day and include her in their games. Amelie wears her sister's shoes, telling her mother that Madeleine's feet will have grown "when she comes back".
 
Kate McCann said: "I honestly believe they're expecting her to come back home one day soon. They're very much 'well, when Madeleine comes back, we'll share our toys'."
 
Experts at the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia, have produced a computer image of what Madeleine would look like now.
 
In an article in today's News Review, Emma Loach, the producer of a Channel 4 documentary to be screened this week, describes the dilemma facing the McCanns whom she first got to know while making a programme to mark the first anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance.
 
"The further away they get from the shock of finding Madeleine had gone, the more they find themselves able to function," she writes.
 
"In some ways this disgusts them. In some ways they feel they should still be incapable of operating in this bizarre, horrifying new world where Madeleine has been taken from them. But this is not an option, they have to keep going for the sake of all their children. The twins deserve a happy childhood. And if they don't keep looking for Madeleine, who will?"
 
Gerry McCann describes how they have adjusted to this new world. "Healed is a bit difficult, adapted is probably the right word," he said. "There's still a scar, a deep, deep scar that's kind of knitted at the minute but you still think it might break." He added: "We are a happy family, but we're not a complete family."
 
Kate McCann says in the documentary: "I think we're far from normality." She said she recognised the importance of spending time thinking about Madeleine, however painful.
 
Loach reveals that far from slowing down, the family's hunt for Madeleine has speeded up since Portuguese authorities released 30,000 pages from their files on the case. Kate McCann spent six months reading every document after they had been translated at a cost of 100,000. As a result the family's investigation, aided by two retired policemen, has thrown up a new suspect.
 
Several tourists had told Portuguese detectives that they had seen a suspicious-looking short-haired man in his twenties hanging around outside the family's apartment block. He is different from the long-haired man spotted carrying a small girl dressed in pink pyjamas away from the block on the night Madeleine disappeared. It has prompted the programme makers to carry out a Crimewatch-style reconstruction that will be seen in the documentary.
 
Dave Edgar, the retired detective inspector leading the search, said: "Someone local has the answer to this and not much wider than 10 kilometres away from Praia da Luz. So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or even Lisbon. This offence happened in Praia da Luz. It's a very self-contained resort and that's where I think the answer is."
 
Until the fresh image was released last week the McCanns were still receiving hundreds of letters each month from people who thought they had spotted a much younger Madeleine.
 
Gerry McCann said he felt sick reading the witness statements suggesting the family were being watched in the days before the abduction.
 
"The thought that we were having a nice time and I was oblivious – didn't notice anything out of sorts – it's pretty gut-wrenching," he said.

Seeking a different Madeleine, 03 May 2009
Seeking a different Madeleine Timesonline
 
Today, on the second anniversary of her disappearance, Madeleine McCann's parents tell Emma Loach how a new image of their daughter fuels their hopes of seeing her again
 
May 3, 2009 (appeared online May 2, 2009)
 
I became friends with Kate and Gerry McCann last year while filming an ITV documentary for the first anniversary of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance. We have stayed in touch ever since — our children are of similar ages. I've seen them adapt to finding themselves a family of four, without forgetting the missing fifth member for one second. Kate and Gerry have become stronger — more able to live this new life without Madeleine and, crucially, more able to continue the search for her.
 
Gerry describes how they have adjusted to this new world: "'Healed' is a bit difficult; 'adapted' is probably the right word. There's still a scar, a deep, deep scar that's kind of knitted at the minute but you still think it might break."
 
Thoughts about Madeleine are never far away even if Kate and Gerry do try to focus only on the facts they know rather than speculation. Kate explains, "I mean, there's no point in speculating, you know, because that's daft. I'm not saying it's not normal occasionally to speculate but that doesn't help, you know. At the end of the day it's speculation. It's not fact. And it makes you upset."
 
Kate recognises the importance of spending time thinking about Madeleine, however painful it can sometimes be, "when I remember her and all the things I like about her and how she is with Sean and Amelie and what she means to us. And that's the hardest thing. And then remembering little phrases that she'd say and little facial expressions — that's hard and that's what makes me sad, because I miss Madeleine and nothing can stop the pain of missing her".
 
As a family they are strong and are managing to live a happy life. The twins Sean and Amelie, toddlers at the time of the abduction, are now four years old and give their parents huge joy. Still, as Gerry says: "We are a happy family, but we're not a complete family . . ."
 
Alongside the growing strength is the inevitable accompanying guilt that they manage to live a life, go to work and enjoy the twins when the dreadful situation has not changed: Madeleine is still missing. Nothing has changed since 10pm on Thursday, May 3, 2007. But the further away they get from the shock of finding Madeleine had gone, the more they find themselves able to function.
 
In some ways this disgusts them. In some ways they feel they should still be incapable of operating in this bizarre, horrifying new world where Madeleine has been taken from them. But this is not an option. They have to keep going for the sake of all their children. The twins deserve a happy childhood. And if they don't keep looking for Madeleine, who will?
 
The twins are growing up and demand happiness from everyone around them. They are now older than Madeleine was when she was taken and are bursting with energy and love — for each other, for their mum and dad and for their older sister. They talk about her every day and include her in all their games.
 
Amelie now wears her sister's shoes, explaining to Kate that Madeleine's feet will have grown when she comes back so they'll have to buy her new shoes anyway. Kate says: "I honestly believe they're expecting her to come home one day soon. They're very much, 'Well, when Madeleine comes back, we'll share our toys'."
 
They do not doubt for a second that Madeleine will come back; that she is alive and waiting to be found. There is no evidence to say she is not. Do you give up on your child just because nobody can prove she's still alive, just because the "story" hasn't moved on recently?
 
This is a life sentence for them. They will never be able to stop looking for their daughter. They will never be able to move on — the deep scar will not heal — until they have an answer: either Madeleine comes home or they know what happened to her. Their belief that she is still alive is not just the wishful thinking of two desperate parents.
 
Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Washington, who has advised them, says: "There is hope. Just because your child has been missing for two or five years, or even 10 years, there are still scenarios under which your child is recoverable."
 
The fact is we don't know who took Madeleine and we don't know who has her now. Even after discussing her abduction for two years, trying to think of every possible scenario, we may not have come up with the reason she was taken.
 
Eight weeks ago Kate and Gerry asked me to make another film. This time, it would be for the second anniversary of their daughter's disappearance, which falls today.
 
They never open their doors to film crews or media easily — even friendly ones — and I knew they would have specific reasons to ask me. Whenever they think about doing any publicity, they always ask themselves one question: will this help find Madeleine? So I waited to hear their reasons for letting the cameras in again.
 
The reasons seemed good. On May 12, Madeleine will be six. Kate and Gerry needed to show people a new image of her, one that reflects who she is today, two years older than when she disappeared.
 
When Kate and Gerry first told me they were planning to ask the NCMEC to produce an "age progression image" of Madeleine, I was worried. The whole world knows what she looked like before she was taken. Would producing a new image of her confuse people?
 
It is a risk her parents had to take. Until this image was released we were all looking for a three-year-old girl. Kate and Gerry still receive hundreds of letters each month from people who think they've spotted Madeleine. Some of them even manage to take a photo of the little girl they think is her. But what is striking is how young these girls are — proof that people are looking for a Madeleine who no longer exists. Frozen in age.
 
Allen explains the power of age-progressed images: "When we started this 10 years ago, the goal was to use technology to keep these cases alive, to provide new hope for parents and new leads for law enforcement, and we said at the time, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could actually find one of these kids?' And we did: we found 900 of them. And in every one of these 900 cases the child had been missing for at least two years."
 
This age-progression image is not for Kate and Gerry. It's for the people who see Madeleine every day but don't realise who she is. It may even be for Madeleine herself.
 
Allen has told Kate and Gerry that Madeleine might not even know she is being looked for. She might not know she is with the "wrong" family.
 
"It's not inconceivable that she's in a classroom somewhere, that she's in somebody's neighbourhood, living next door to some family, or someone may see her in a store or an airport," he says.
 
He told of a case where a five-year-old child in Texas saw an age-progressed image and told her mother: "That boy's in my class." For days the mother ignored her but her daughter would not give up.
 
"This five-year-old was so tenacious and so committed that to shut her up the mother called the school principal, who called us. The child had been abducted in Michigan, had his name changed and, after a period of time, enrolled in kindergarten, under the new name, in Texas. That child was recovered and reunited with his family because of the tenacity of one five-year-old."
 
When Kate and Gerry first saw the age-progressed image of Madeleine, they were upset. It was not their daughter. But then they looked closer, recognised her features, saw their little girl in the six-year-old. Making this new image was a hard thing to do. But it would be a travesty if Madeleine were not found simply because we were all looking for a little girl who had now grown up.
 
The McCanns show no sign of slowing down. If anything, their search is gathering speed and momentum. Ever since 30,000 pages of Portuguese files were released, when the inquiry was shelved in July last year, they have been able to take control of the search for their daughter. After months of waiting for other people to act, they could be proactive. This has been hugely significant — the feelings of helplessness have receded slightly.
 
Kate spent six months reading every document in the files, which first had to be translated at a cost of 100,000: "I don't believe anybody has got the motivation that I have and I was desperate to go through this myself because I knew that I would be going through it with a fine-tooth comb. I have spent months and months and months going through it — evenings, weekends." Now, with their new search team — two retired British senior policemen — they are able to take stock of what has already been done and move the investigation forward.
 
There were many interesting finds within the files and what was missing was just as significant. The lack of Portuguese witnesses was striking.
 
The dearth of local information was especially important once the search team and Kate found a number of statements from tourists, all noticing a suspicious-looking man hanging around the McCanns' apartment. A disturbing and chilling picture was building up: that the McCanns had been watched in the days before Madeleine was abducted.
 
Gerry describes reading the statements: "I started to feel quite sick. The thought that we were having a nice time and I was oblivious — didn't notice anything out of sorts — it's pretty gut-wrenching."
 
There was another important statement that seems to corroborate a sighting by the McCanns' friend, Jane Tanner. On the night Madeleine went missing, Tanner told police about a man she'd seen carrying a small girl away from the apartment at about 9.10pm. It was a chilly evening but there was no blanket covering the child. Her feet were bare beneath her pyjamas.
 
At the time, Tanner's thoughts had been very much on her own family. She had broken away from dinner at the tapas bar to head back to her apartment because one of her children had not been feeling well. It was only later, when it was discovered that Madeleine was missing, that Tanner remembered the man with the child. The pyjamas were pink, like Madeleine's.
 
For a long time this was the only information about Madeleine's disappearance that Kate and Gerry had to go on. Then, among the Portuguese files, they found a statement that told of a large family who had been returning to their holiday apartment after an evening out. At about 9.50pm they walked past a man carrying a small blonde child. Their descriptions were very similar to Tanner's.
 
Kate says: "It does beg the question: I mean, how many people carry their children on a cold night not covered, nothing on their arms or feet, no blanket. Now either there's been two people carrying children in that way who haven't come forward to eliminate themselves or potentially they are related."
 
This, along with the witness statements telling of a suspicious man, seemed like a breakthrough. The search team felt they had enough information to organise a meaningful reconstruction to be filmed in Praia da Luz with actors and to be put on to their website www.findmadeleine.com . Kate and Gerry wanted to show these reconstructions within a documentary in case they triggered someone's memory.
 
They want to ask all the tourists who were in Praia da Luz in April or May 2007 and all the residents to think again, to try to remember if they saw anything suspicious.
 
Dave Edgar, who leads the search team, is a former detective inspector with more than 30 years' experience in Cheshire and the RUC. He says that "someone local . . . has the answer to this.
 
"You don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France, or even Lisbon. This offence happened in Praia da Luz. It's a very self-contained resort and that's where we've started and that's where I think the answer is.
 
"I don't think it was someone random. In my experience, random just doesn't happen. Someone just doesn't go in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it. These things are planned. They may even have been watching the apartment for a week or more."
 
Arthur Cowley, more than 30 years a detective sergeant in the northwest of England, agrees: "The answer still lies in Praia da Luz and it's important that we focus on Praia da Luz and the surrounding area."
 
So on this anniversary, like last year, the McCanns are asking for our help — they need the locals and tourists in Praia da Luz to watch the reconstructions and they need all of us to commit to memory the new image of Madeleine as a six-year-old and to keep looking, not to give up on their daughter.
 
Someone knows something. Kate and Gerry McCann need only one someone to come forward for this whole mystery to unravel.
 
Emma Loach is the director-producer of Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here, to be shown on Thursday on Channel 4

Tunnels beneath resort may be clue to mystery, 03 May 2009
Tunnels beneath resort may be clue to mystery Sunday Express

Sunday Express, 03 May 2009

By James Murray
Sunday May 3, 2009
 
Secret tunnels beneath the Portuguese seaside town where Madeleine McCann vanished two years ago today may hold the key to her disappearance.
 
The tunnels, dating back to Roman times, have never been thoroughly searched, despite repeated requests.
 
Documents in Portuguese police files, published today for the first time, suggest a vital line of inquiry was ignored and have led to fresh calls for a proper investigation into the tunnels.
 
A British woman wrote to UK detectives saying: "There are six to eight tunnels under Praia da Luz that the PJ [Portuguese police] have not searched. There is a tunnel under the church, there are tunnels under Estrela da Luz apartments. These have not been searched.
 
"The archaeologist involved with these tunnels was arrested as an abuser in the Casa Pia case but later released [this was a notorious child abuse scandal centring on orphanages in Lisbon].
 
"Does this not send alarm bells ringing? Something not right in Portugal. Why are the PJ not searching these tunnels and the church?"
 
Asked to send more details to Detective Constable John Hughes of Leicestershire Police, she told him the Ocean Club resort in Praia da Luz, where the McCanns stayed, was built around Roman ruins that were part of a small fishing settlement in the third to fifth centuries.
 
There is also a Roman burial site and ruins include an aqueduct, wells, fish salting tanks, the remains of a Roman bathhouse and at least eight tunnels.
 
The woman, who declined to be named, told the Sunday Express last night: "I raised these issues a while ago because I thought they were relevant and I know the British detectives passed the information on to the Portuguese detectives but I never discovered what happened.
 
"As a matter of urgency there must be a proper and thorough examination of all these tunnels . It is possible the abductor may have left clues."
 
Her call comes as two private investigators working for Kate and Gerry McCann say they are ­convinced that someone living in or near Praia da Luz, where Madeleine vanished on May 3, 2007, knows what happened to her.
 
Retired Detective Inspector Dave Edgar, who leads the McCanns' search team, said: "There is someone local, who lives locally, who has the answer to this, and not, you know, much further than 10, 15 kilometres away from Praia da Luz.
 
"So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France, or even Lisbon."
 
Mr Edgar and former Detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley say one key statement appears to corroborate the account the McCanns' friend Jane Tanner gave to police of a man she saw carrying a small girl near the McCanns' apartment on May 3 at around 9.10pm.
 
Shortly afterwards on the same night, another family also saw a man carrying a small blonde child nearby. Their descriptions of the pair were very similar to Jane Tanner's.
 
The McCanns' team has also found a number of statements from tourists who noticed a suspicious-looking man hanging around near the McCanns' apartment at the Ocean Club complex.
 
Mr Edgar told a Channel 4 documentary featuring a reconstruction of the fateful night: "In my experience, random just doesn't happen. Someone just doesn't go in, a passer-by, and pick up a child and take it, these things are planned.
 
"So someone will have been in the vicinity of apartment 5a [the McCanns' apartment], the Ocean Club, they may even have been ­watching the apartment for a week or more."
 
In the Channel 4 programme, the McCanns talk about the impact of the abduction of their daughter shortly before her fourth birthday.
 
"We are a family and we are a happy family but we’re not a complete ­family," says Gerry.
 
"There's still a scar, a deep, deep scar that's kind of knitted at the minute but you still think it might break."
 
Kate adds: "I think we're far from normality. She's alive, she's out there, she's findable…she might look ­different, she could be speaking a ­different language, she might have her hair different, she might have ­different interests but you know she's still our daughter."
 
The McCanns hope there will be a significant response to the publication of an image of how Madeleine may look now.
 
Private detectives and telephone hotline staff are primed to receive fresh leads from a picture unveiled on ­Friday by US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
 
It has been computer-­enhanced to show Madeleine at the age of six (her sixth birthday is on May 12).
 
The picture is featured on posters being distributed globally and the couple believe it could be "crucial".
 
In a statement the McCanns said: "It is two long years since Madeleine was taken. It is two years since we were a happy family of five.
 
"The pain and anxiety does not lessen but our determination to find our beautiful daughter remains steadfast.
 
"We are no longer looking for a four-year-old little girl – but a six-year-old one. This is crucial.
 
"We are hoping that the new, age-progressed image of Madeleine aged six, produced by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington, will help people to see what Madeleine may look like today."
 
Cutting Edge: Madeleine Was Here will be shown on Channel 4 this Thursday at 9pm.

Kate and Gerry McCann hire British murder detective to help find Madeleine, 03 May 2009
Kate and Gerry McCann hire British murder detective to help find Madeleine Mail On Sunday
 
By MAIL ON SUNDAY REPORTER
Last updated at 1:42 AM on 03rd May 2009
 
Kate and Gerry McCann have hired a senior murder detective to help them search for their daughter Madeleine, who went missing two years ago today.
 
David Edgar replaces the private detective agencies hired by the couple to chase up sightings of the missing toddler.
 
The 52-year-old worked largely on murders in Cheshire until his retirement in November last year.
 
He is being assisted by ex-Detective Sergeant Arthur Cowley, 57, from Merseyside police, who was involved in solving the Jamie Bulger case.
 
The men are conducting a cold case review to shed light on the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance from Praia da Luz.
 
As sightings and tip-offs have dried up in recent months, the detectives are now focusing their efforts on the Portuguese holiday resort.
 
Mr Edgar said: 'Someone local has the answer to this. So you don't start an investigation in Morocco or Spain or France, or even Lisbon. This offence happened in Praia da Luz and that's where I think the answer is.'
 
The McCanns are also hoping that the release of a computer-generated picture showing how Madeleine could look today will generate new leads.
 
However, Mrs McCann admitted on the Oprah Show that even she could not recognise the image of the little girl.
 
A source said: 'On the way back, Kate was in tears. She cried the whole way home and just kept on saying "I want it all to be over".'
 
To mark the anniversary, Madeleine's family, from Rothley in Leicestershire, have spoken of their torment over the past two years.
 
Mr McCann admitted that they had struggled to move on with their lives, saying: 'We're a happy family but we're not a complete family. There's still a scar.'
 
His wife added: 'I think we're far from normality. We need to get out there that she's alive, she's out there, she's findable.'
 
Mr Edgar and Mr Cowley have been instrumental in organising a televised reconstruction of the night that Madeleine disappeared.
 
It will be shown this Thursday as part of a Channel 4 Cutting Edge programme.
 
They believe there is evidence that Madeleine and her family were watched in the days leading up to her disappearance.
 
Mr Edgar said: 'In my experience random just doesn't happen, someone just doesn't go in - a passer-by - and pick up the child and take it.
 
These things are planned.'
 
Mr Cowley also insisted: 'The answer still lies in Praia da Luz.'

The moment Gerry walked into kidnap flat... after 2 years, 03 May 2009
The moment Gerry walked into kidnap flat... after 2 years  The People
 
Sarah Jellema
3 May 2009
 
This is the moment Gerry McCann stepped back into the last place he saw his daughter - to reconstruct the nightmare of the evening she was snatched.
 
Standing outside the bedroom where he had left three-year-old Madeleine asleep, he looked anguished as he relived the events of exactly two years ago.
 
Gerry, 40, walked into Apartment 5a at the Ocean Club complex in Praia da Luz and said: "We are a family and we are a happy family - but we are not a complete family.
 
"There is still a scar - a deep, deep scar - that is kind of knitted at the minute.
 
"But you still think the stitches of it might break or come loose." Meanwhile, Maddie's mum Kate, 41 - who did not return to the Portuguese holiday flat - said: "I think we are far from normality.
 
"We need to get out there - she is alive, she is out there, she is findable.
 
"She might look different, she could be speaking a different language, she might have her hair different, she might have different interests. But she's still our daughter."
 
As brave Gerry and Kate today to mark the second anniversary of Maddie's disappearance, Channel 4 is preparing to air a TV documentary reconstructing the disappearance and spelling out how a team of British investigators have already uncovered new leads they believe will help find her captor.
 
More than 30,000 files released by Portuguese police after they shelved the hunt for Maddie last summer contain key witness statements about a suspicious man loitering near the McCanns' apartment.
 
Answer
 
The Cutting Edge documentary - to be screened at 9pm on Thursday - reveals vital sightings around the Ocean Club complex in the days leading up to May 3, 2007.
 
Search leader Dave Edgar believes the key to the mystery lies within 10 miles of the Algarve resort.
 
The retired detective inspector, who has more than 30 years police experience, says: "Someone local has the answer to this.
 
"This offence happened in Praia de Luz. It's a very self-contained resort and that's where we've started - and that's where I think the answer is."
 
The Portuguese files - which cost the McCanns 100,000 to translate into English - include a statement that seems to corroborate a sighting by Jane Tanner, one of the pals holidaying with the McCanns when their daughter went missing.
 
She told police she saw a man carrying a small girl near the apartment at about 9.10pm on May 3 - minutes after Gerry had last checked on Maddie.
 
The British investigators have now found the files show another family reported a similar sighting shortly afterwards.
 
The search team also uncovered statements from tourists who had spotted a suspicious-looking man near the McCanns' apartment on several dates BEFORE she went missing.
 
Investigators believe the reports suggest the family may have been staked out for days in the run-up to Madeleine's abduction.
 
Mr Edgar - who worked with witnesses and the McCanns to make the reconstruction for Cutting Edge - says: "In my experience random just doesn't happen.
 
"Someone - a passer-by - doesn't go in and pick up a child and take it. These things are planned.
 
"So someone will have been in the vicinity of Apartment 5A.
 
"They may even have been watching the apartment for a week - or more." GP Kate and brain specialist Gerry, of Rothley, Leicestershire, reported Madeleine missing at 10pm on the evening she vanished.
 
They had been eating at a nearby restaurant with a group of pals - the so-called Tapas Seven - after putting Maddie and their two-year-old twins Amelie and Sean to bed.
 
The devastated couple have always insisted their daughter is still alive.
 
And they have toured the world in their desperate search for some clue to her whereabouts. Last week they appeared on Oprah Winfrey's top-rated American TV chat-show.
 
They are also publicising a digitallyenhanced pictue to show what Maddie might look like now - as she approaches her sixth birthday. Launching the image and backing the TV reconstruction, Gerry and Kate said in a statement: "It is two long years since Madeleine was taken.
 
"It is two years since we were a happy family of five.
 
"The pain does not lessen but our determination to find our beautiful daughter remains steadfast.
 
"It is our hope the reconstructed scenes will trigger somebody's memory and prompt them to come forward, giving us the key piece of the jigsaw we - and Madeleine especially - so desperately need.
 
"Madeleine is still missing. She has the right to be back with her family. We have a responsibility to keep looking for her. We urge you - please do not give up on Madeleine."
 
But their tireless crusade has been blighted by disgraced former police chief Goncalo Amaral.
 
Amaral was appointed head of the Portuguese hunt when Maddie first went missing.
 
Sleuths
 
But he was unceremoniously sacked after accusing British cops of being "too close" to her parents - who were later branded official suspects in the case.
 
Now Amaral plans to launch a private investigation into the disappearance - with the help of sleuths from across Europe, including the UK.
 
He has vowed to send the results of his probe to Portugal's judicial chiefs and demand the case is reopened. Amaral, who claims Maddie died in a "tragic accident" in the flat, said: "This investigation is not aimed at finding evidence against Gerry or Kate McCann or persecuting anyone.
 
"We want to make sure the truth comes out and justice is done."
 
Meanwhile, the McCanns are due to mark today's traumatic anniversary joining in prayers for Maddie at their local Catholic church, the Sacred Heart.
 
The front gates outside the couple's home are draped with green and yellow ribbons of hope.
 
And posters in windows throughout Rothley bear the words: "Still missing, still missed."

Two years on... hope never dies, 04 May 2009
Two years on... hope never dies Daily Mirror
 
By Rod Chaytor
4/5/2009
 
Madeleine's brother and sister still expect her to return home one day
 
No One in the McCann family has ever given up on missing Madeleine - and that includes twins Sean and Amelie.
 
Little Amelie, four, has lately taken to wearing her big sister's shoes.
 
She patiently explains to mum Kate that Maddy's feet will have grown when she comes back - so they'll have to get her a new pair anyway.
 
Kate, 41, told director Emma Loach, who was making a new TV documentary: "I honestly believe Sean and Amelie are expecting her to come home one day soon.
 
"They are very much, 'Well, when Madeleine comes back we'll share our toys'." Kate's mum, Susan Healy, revealed how the past two weeks have taken a heavy toll on her daughter.
 
The hunt has been rekindled with the release of a new digitally age-progressed picture of Maddy at six. And just before yesterday's second anniversary of the youngster's disappearance, Kate and husband Gerry flew to the US to be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey.
 
Susan said at the family's home in Rothley, Leics: "They are exhausted. Kate is very tired after coming home from America.
 
"She has had a hectic couple of weeks and really needs to recharge her batteries, but I don't think she has thought about stopping.
 
"Not for a minute. I don't think either of them can stop - that's the awful thing. They are just stuck in a situation where they don't have a lot of control. The only control they have is to remind people that Madeleine is still missing. That is why they do it. You have to understand that everything Kate does - and I mean everything - is done because she wants her daughter back.
 
"That's the only question they can ever ask themselves: Will this help us find Madeleine? Nothing else is of any importance.
 
"If Kate ever gets to the end of the line - I mean to the stage where they thought there was nothing more they could do - then that would be very difficult.
 
"But it would appear that they haven't reached that stage.
 
"Madeleine is their daughter and they've simply got to carry on.
 
"I don't know whether they would call it optimism or not, but they have to keep hoping. If they shrugged their shoulders and said, 'OK, she's not alive any more,' they would be letting her down."
 
The hunt continues with the help of director Emma - daughter of film-maker Ken Loach. Her Cutting Edge programme, Madeleine Was Here, is to be shown on Thursday.
 
The programme follows two retired British detectives - Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley - as they went to Praia da Luz in Portugal to stage a reconstruction of her disappearance.
 
The two ex-cops are convinced the key to the mystery lies within a 10 to 15 kilometre radius of the resort.
 
Edgar, 52, who has more than 30 years' experience in Cheshire and the RUC, said: "There's someone local who has the answer to this.
 
"This offence happened in Praia da Luz. That's where we've started and that's where I think the answer is."
 
He and former DS Cowley, 57, hope the documentary and a reconstruction filmed with Gerry McCann will jog the memories of locals and tourists who were in the area at the time Madeleine vanished.
 
Age snaps help find 900 kids
 
Missing-child expert Ernie Allen says he has helped find 900 children using age-updated images similar to the one of Madeleine McCann.
 
And every single one of these children had been missing for more than two years - just like Maddy.
 
Allen is advising the McCanns in his capacity as president of the Washingtonbased National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US.
 
He says using updated images of missing children is an incredibly successful way of finding them.
 
And he holds out hope for the couple in the future by insisting that children missing for even five or 10 years are still "recoverable". He explained: "When we started this 10 years ago, the goal was to use technology to keep these cases alive, to provide new hope for parents and new leads for law enforcement.
 
"We said at the time, 'Wouldn't it be great if we could actually find one of these kids?
 
"And we did, we found 900 of them."

Friend says Kate and Gerry McCann's hunt for missing Madeline will never end - Exclusive, 04 May 2009
Friend says Kate and Gerry McCann's hunt for missing Madeline will never end - Exclusive Daily Mirror
 
By Rod Chaytor
4/5/2009
 
Kate and Gerry McCann are doomed to spend a lifetime hunting for their missing daughter Madeleine, a friend revealed yesterday.
 
Film director Emma Loach, who spent eight weeks with the couple for a new TV documentary, says they will never give up.
 
As the McCanns quietly spent the second anniversary of Maddy's disappearance at church with friends yesterday, Emma said: "This is a life sentence for them.
 
"They will never be able to move on and the deep scar will not heal until they have an answer... either Maddy comes home or they know what happened to her."
 
No one in the McCann family has ever given up on missing Madeleine – and that includes twins Sean and Amelie.
 
(...)
 
Article then continues as per previous article 'Two years on... hope never dies'

If Maddie is alive she may not answer to that name or remember who she was, 04 May 2009
If Maddie is alive she may not answer to that name or remember who she was The Sun
 
By ANTONELLA LAZZERI
Published: Today (04 May 2009)
 
MISSING Madeleine McCann may not even remember who she is, experts warned last night on the second anniversary of her disappearance.
 
They said Maddie, only three when she vanished, could have a new identity and speak a different language.
 
It came as prayers were said for the tot's safe return.
 
Britain's top criminologist Professor David Canter believes Maddie has erased her former life with parents Kate and Gerry after being stolen by child traffickers and sold to strangers.
 
He said: "You could call out Madeleine to her and she wouldn't respond. She doesn't remember being that child.
 
"Maddie could be anywhere in the world, speaking a different language and looking completely different to how we know her.
 
"Children have what is called infantile amnesia, which means that before the age of four they don't really remember anything from their childhood."
 
Maddie, who would now be nearly six, was snatched during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007.
 
Despite worldwide publicity, her fate remains a mystery.
 
Prof Canter was backed by Ernie Allen, of America's National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington.
 
He helped the McCanns create the startling age progression picture of Maddie as she would look now, which appeared on the front page of Saturday's Sun.
 
Mr Allen said: "The life she has now is what she considers normal. She won't even remember being Madeleine."
 
He believes the computerised photo holds the best hope of Maddie being found.
 
Such pictures have led to 900 youngsters turning up more than two years after they disappeared.
 
Traffickers
 
Mr Allen told of a five-year-old in Texas who saw an age progressed photo and told her mum: "That boy is in my class."
 
The boy had been abducted in Michigan and given a new name.
 
Mr Allen appears in a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary called Madeleine Was Here on Thursday.
 
He has assured Kate and Gerry: "There is hope."
 
He added: "It's not inconceivable that Madeleine is in a classroom somewhere, or living next door to some family."
 
After studying the case closely, Prof Canter, director of The Centre for Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool, concluded Maddie was taken by a gang of traffickers.
 
She had been left in the family holiday apartment with her twin brother and sister Sean and Amelie while her parents went to dinner with friends.
 
The professor said: "Child traffickers are very quick at hiding a child's identity. In one case they managed to drug a girl, dye her hair and dress her as a boy within an hour of taking her.
 
"She was quickly found in the arms of an abductor but her parents barely recognised her.
 
"I believe Maddie was skilfully targeted. It is very unlikely that someone would break into the apartment on the off-chance.
 
"I don't believe it was a lone paedophile. They're very unlikely to carry out a crime like this.
 
"Child trafficking is a growing, very profitable industry. There is a good chance Maddie is alive."
 
Prayers were said for Maddie's return yesterday at the McCann family's local church, The Sacred Heart in Rothley, Leics.
 
Candles were lit for her. And the congregation wore Find Madeleine badges and sang a hymn with the line: "Does a mother forget her baby?"
 
Kate, 41, and Gerry, 40, spent the day with relatives.
 
Spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "It is a very emotional day, they wanted to be away somewhere private. They will pray as always for their daughter."
 
Mr Mitchell added: "The conviction that Madeleine is out there and will be found is strong as ever. We're waiting for that piece of information that leads us to her."
 
The captains of Sunderland and Everton held up a banner before yesterday's Premier League match urging fans to keep hunting Maddie.
 
Dean Whitehead and Phil Neville posed in "Don't Give Up On Me" T-shirts alongside referee Martin Atkinson and mascots before the Blues' 2-0 away win.
 
Supporters at Sunderland's Stadium of Light passed round a banner and wore badges bearing the motto and photos of the missing girl.
 
Mum Kate is a "fanatical" Everton supporter.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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