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 1st Trip Home / The 'Last Photograph' *

MCCANN FILES HOME BACK TO GERRY MCCANNS BLOGS HOME PAGE PHOTOGRAPHS
NEWS REPORTS INDEX MCCANN PJ FILES NEWS MAY 2007
 

Gerry McCann visits a shrine in Madeleine's honour in their hometown of Rothley, Leicestershire

This page looks at Gerry McCanns flying-trip home to Rothley on 21 May 2007 and the release, on 24 May 2007, of the alleged 'last photograph' of Madeleine.

Alone, the father of Madeleine McCann began the saddest journey of his life, 20 May 2007
Alone, the father of Madeleine McCann began the saddest journey of his life Daily Mail (no longer available online)

20 May 2007

Seventeen days after his four-year-old daughter disappeared, Gerry McCann flew back to an empty house that is still fresh with her memory.

Her room is as she left it when the family set off on their holiday to Portugal last month. Her toys are still there on the bed, her clothes in the wardrobe.

But with remarkable fortitude, the 38-year-old consultant embarked on a heart-rending mission in his ceaseless campaign to find his little girl.

He will trawl through four years of family albums and videos to select new pictures of her for his 'Find Madeleine' website. Then he will prepare to return to the Algarve to continue the search.

The visit was the first time Mr McCann has been apart from his wife Kate and their two-year-old twins since Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3.

He volunteered to make the journey alone to spare Mrs McCann the ordeal.

Last week the 38-year-old GP said she "couldn't even consider" leaving Portugal while Madeleine was missing.

The prospect of returning without her daughter to the home where they shared so much happiness would have been "too painful to contemplate", according to a relative.

Madeleine's aunt, Philomena McCann revealed: "They're both finding it so incredibly difficult. They can't grieve but they can't be normal. They're just focused on finding Madeleine, because that's all that matters.

"Gerry wants to go through all the photographs and pick some to put on the website. The more images there are, the more she will be in people's minds."

Mr McCann who has been spearheading the Find Madeleine Internet and publicity campaign from an apartment in Praia da Luz, will meet lawyers and UK organisers during his brief stay in Rothley, Leicestershire, where he and Kate live.

The family's website www.findMadeleine.com has received 100million 'hits'.

A spokesman for the couple in Portugal said Mr McCann was returning to Britain "to do positive things".

"He's very focused," the spokesman added. "He is going out there for very practical reasons and he's going to get back here as quickly as he can."

The trip will also give him the chance to deal with the routine domestic matters that have been neglected during their extended stay abroad and allow the two doctors to make arrangements for staying away for the foreseeable future.

For the last 17 days they have been trying to keep some sort of routine in their life, on the advice of trauma counsellors and for the sake of their other children, Sean and Amelie.

When they are not working from their campaign 'nerve centre', or praying in church for their daughter's safety, the couple are steeling themselves to create little pockets of comparative normality.

At the weekend Mr McCann played tennis and the couple sat on the beach with the twins. Mrs McCann is trying to clear her mind by exercising and jogging against the clock.

And the couple have again sought solace at Mass in the tiny church in Praia da Luz - their third Sunday service since Madeleine disappeared.

During their walk they passed a poster apparently blaming them for the disappearance. Stuck in a shop window, it consists of four pictures of their child arranged around the words: "Mummy help me".

Workers in the car hire shop - Auto Rent III - refused to take it down.

Saleswoman Maria Rocio said: "Whose fault is it that the girl has gone missing? It's the family's. They should never have left the children on their own."

Evening Standard, 21 May 2007
From Evening Standard 21 May No online link 
 
Quoting friend Andrew Renwick, talking about Gerry's trip back to Rothley:

'Mr Renwick went on: "He felt he had to go back to do the practical things. There are bills that need to be paid. The family need more clothes and he wants to get more photographs of Madeleine to help in the search. He also wanted to meet organisers of the trust to go over documents."'

Madeleine's father returns to UK, 21 May 2007
Madeleine's father returns to UK BBC News
 
Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
 
The father of missing Madeleine McCann has flown back to the UK from Portugal to meet organisers of the campaign to find his daughter.
 
Gerry McCann is expected to spend just over 24 hours away from his wife Kate and two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.
 
He will also deal with personal matters during the family's first time apart since Madeleine's abduction on 3 May.
 
Madeleine's great-uncle, Brian Kennedy, said "astonishing" public support had kept them going through "bleak" times.
 
Mr McCann arrived at East Midlands Airport in the early hours of Monday morning.
 
In addition to meeting campaign organisers, it is thought his visit will also help arrange for the family to stay in Portugal for the foreseeable future.
 
Quick return
 
Mrs McCann remains at the family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz, where they continue to wait for news of the four-year-old.
 
Mr McCann will return to Portugal on Tuesday morning.
 
A spokeswoman for the family in the Algarve, said Mr McCann was returning "to deal with some personal matters and he will be talking to the people who are organising the fund".
 
She emphasised he was returning to Britain for "very practical reasons" and would return as quickly as he could.
 
Mr Kennedy said Madeleine's relatives were aware of Mr McCann's "brief, private visit home" which "was mainly regarding legal matters".
 
He said it was the great public support that was helping the family through the "bleak moments".
 
He told BBC News: "We have very low periods. The press conferences that have come from Portugal haven't really told us anything.
 
"We build our hopes up and then you find them dashed again and that is how it goes on. It is a roller coaster at present."

Maddie dad’s lightning visit home, 21 May 2007
Maddie dad’s lightning visit home Liverpool Echo
 
May 21 2007 By Kevin Core
 
MADELEINE McCann’s father was back in England today to meet organisers of the campaign to find his daughter, abducted from their holiday apartment in Portugal.
 
But Gerry McCann was expected to fly back to Portugal after less than 24 hours at his home in Leicestershire.
 
He was meeting family members leading the campaign in Liverpool, the home town of his wife Kate, and in Glasgow, where he was born.
 
The news came as British police denied officers investigating the disappearance were "searching" in England.
 
A source close to the investigation had claimed officers from the Policia Judiciaria were searching for evidence at the weekend.
 
Photographs of the couple smiling as they play with their two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie were released over the weekend to give an insight into how the family is coping.

Madeleine police appeal for holiday pictures
Madeleine police appeal for holiday pictures Timesonline

Adam Fresco
May 21, 2007


British holiday makers who were in Portugal at the time Madeleine McCann was snatched from her apartment are being asked to send their pictures to police in case they have caught the abductor on camera.

The authorities are hoping that facial recognition software they use to find people on websites will be able to spot Madeleine and give them valauble information about her movements in the hours after she was taken.

They hope that out of all the pictures taken by families abroad just one will be the "missing part of the jigsaw".

Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, said that the latest technology will allow them to "build a larger intelligence picture".

"The CEOP Centre has already applied facial recognition software in our wider work and now by taking in pictures from the public we can move the investigation forward – looking for people who might seem out of place or behaving strangely.

"No matter how small or insignificant the information may seem to you, it could be the missing part of the jigsaw so let us decide if it is important.

"We are looking for anyone who was at the Ocean Club Resort or surrounding area in the two weeks leading up to Madeleine disappearance on Thursday 3 May who have photographs that might help our work."

He said that he did not want scenery shots or family shots "but look at your prints and see if there are, for instance, people in the background of the picture that at first you may not have noticed.

"These are the pictures we want and we want you to upload them onto a new website.

"Alternatively if you are not sure then go into any photographic shop and ask them to help you upload them onto the site. You will also find a basic 'how to' guide on the site to help you.

"We will then assess those pictures – at a rate of 1,000 pictures per hour – so that over a quick period of time we will pass meaningful information to the Portuguese authorities."

The appeal was launched today by the UK law enforcement agencies assisting the Portuguese authorities – Leicestershire Constabulary, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), CEOP and the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA).

Anne Harrison, Detective Chief Superintendent from the NPIA said that it was possible Madeleine was still in Praia da Luz but was being hidden and appealed for anyone that knew where she was to come forward.

"We do not know the reason why she was taken but the Portuguese authorities have searched extensively around Praia da Luz and she has not been found. It is possible she is being hidden or concealed in some way and if you know where then by now you may have realised it is in everybody’s interest that she is returned to her family".

She also wanted anyone who took part in the initial search for Madeleine before the Portuguese police arrived to contact them on 0800 096 1233.

Earlier today, in Praia da Luz, holidaymakers, workers and shoppers joined Madeleine’s mother in observing "a minute of hope" at the Algarve town where she disappeared 18 days ago.

As the clock struck noon at the 16th century church of Nossa Senhora Da Luz, the town of Praia da Luz fell silent for one minute in a sign of the enormous public support and sympathy for the McCann family.

Kate McCann, a GP from Rothley, Leicestershire, had earlier spent almost an hour at the church praying in front of a photograph of her daughter surrounded by a red heart. She left at 11.50am to return to her two-year-old twins Sean and Amelie.

The "minute of hope" had been initiated by an anonymous chain e-mail circulated around Portugal at the weekend. It was given the blessing of the family who are spearheading a campaign to imprint Madeleine's image on the minds of people across Europe and North Africa in the hope that she will be found.

They are convinced that she is alive and well despite no news of her whereabouts for two-and-a-half weeks.

The silence comes ahead of a nationwide prayer initiative launched by Carmelite nuns in the north of the country who have sent out emails across Portugal, calling for people to pray for Madeleine at 10pm tomorrow.

Mrs McCann is apart from her husband, Gerry, for the first time since the abduction on May 3 as he is in the UK on a short visit.

Mr McCann will visit Rothley's war memorial this evening to see the yellow ribbons and messages of hope tied to its railings, a Foreign Office official said today.

"(Mr McCann) is here for a number of reasons - to attend to a few personal matters, to meet police and of course to thank everybody once again for the overwhelming support they have had from around the world," said the official.

At Praia da Luz's busy Baptista supermarket a loudspeaker announcement in both Portuguese and English signalled the start of the silence. Music was turned off, cash registers stopped and staff and customers stood silently.

Among them was local Portuguese woman Natalie Ferreira, 56. She said: "I was silent for the child, it is very important, for all the children, in Portugal children are sacred."

Madeleine's father returns to UK, 21 May 2007
Madeleine's father returns to UK Guardian
 
Staff and agencies
Monday May 21 2007
 
The father of Madeleine McCann, the four-year-old British girl who disappeared in southern Portugal more than two weeks ago, was back in the UK today for a brief visit aimed at finalising a campaign to lead the search for his daughter.
 
Gerry McCann, a consultant cardiologist, arrived back last night and was visiting the family home in Rothley, Leicestershire, before returning to Portugal, said his brother, John McCann. "I think he's flying back tonight," Mr McCann said.
 
It is the first time either of Madeleine's parents has left Portugal since she was apparently snatched from the family's holiday apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz 18 days ago.
 
Holidaymakers in the town and Portuguese people across the country stood silently today in solidarity with Madeleine's family.
 
The one-minute silence, initiated by an anonymous chain email circulated around Portugal at the weekend, was observed at midday. In Praia Da Luz shoppers and workers stood still to think of Madeleine.
 
The initiative was given the blessing of the family, who are spearheading a campaign to imprint Madeleine's image on the minds of people across Europe and north Africa in the hope that she will be found.
 
Madeleine's mother, Kate, who is apart from her husband for the first time since the abduction, observed the silence privately in her holiday apartment where she has remained with the couple's two-year-old twins, Sean and Amelie.
 
Despite the lack of a breakthrough in the police search for the girl, the McCanns have battled hard to keep their daughter's disappearance in the news, with a series of high-profile celebrity appeals for her return and a massive publicity campaign throughout Europe.
 
Madeleine's great uncle, Brian Kennedy, who is heading a fund launched last week to help find the girl, said today he did not know what Mr McCann would be doing in Britain.
 
"We were informed yesterday that Gerry intended to make a brief, private visit home but we were not told the reason, other than that it was mainly regarding legal matters. It is probably concerning the fund we have set up," he said.
 
"We have no information as to Gerry's present whereabouts and we are not sure whether we will see him before he returns to Portugal.
 
"I know his visit was planned to be very short. This is all I can say at present and we thank everyone for their continued support."
 
Despite criticism alleging media overkill of the Madeleine McCann story from commentators in Britain and Portugal in recent days, the family remains determined to keep coverage on the boil.
 
Their website, findmadeleine.com, has so far received more than 100m hits.
 
The press was allowed closer to the family over the weekend, as Mr McCann and his wife appeared to accept that a certain loss of privacy was a price worth paying to keep Madeleine's case in the public eye. A press photographer was allowed to take pictures of them playing with their twins.
 
Meanwhile, the self-styled Team McCann, made up mainly of a small but determined group of friends and relatives, continued to try to build a global campaign to find Madeleine.
 
The British government has provided a media relations expert to help the family. A new government media adviser is due to arrive this week.
 
Police followed up fresh leads over the weekend, including sending a diver down into a well by an abandoned farm on the outskirts of Praia da Luz.

Madeleine police plea for photos, 22 May 2007
Madeleine police plea for photos BBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK

Tourists who have visited the Algarve resort where Madeleine McCann was abducted are being asked to send their holiday photographs to British police.

They want anyone who was in the Praia da Luz area in the two weeks before the four-year-old disappeared on 3 May to send their photos to a new website.

Officers will cross-reference them with a database of UK paedophiles.

Madeleine's father Gerry has returned to Portugal to rejoin his wife and children after a brief trip to the UK.

Yellow tributes

Mr McCann arrived back in Praia Da Luz on Tuesday morning after his one-day visit home.

During his trip, Mr McCann visited the family's home village of Rothley, Leicestershire, where he saw the thousands of yellow ribbons, tributes, flowers and cuddly toys left by the public.

He spoke to some of the people who had gathered to show their support and tied his own yellow ribbon, which has become a symbol of hope for Madeleine.

As well as meeting organisers of the campaign to find her, it is believed his visit was also intended to enable the family to stay in Portugal for the foreseeable future.

Accompanied by aides carrying a suitcase and parcels, Mr McCann returned to be with his wife, Kate, who had remained at the family's Algarve holiday apartment.

'Jigsaw piece'

Making their appeal for photographs, UK police said they wanted pictures that included strangers in the background, but not family or empty scenic shots.

Photos can be uploaded via a website - www.madeleine.ceopupload.com.

The photographs will be cross-referenced against a database of pictures of UK paedophiles and other criminals, with police able to check 1,000 an hour.

Any relevant information will then be passed on to the Portuguese police.

Jim Gamble, of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, said: "No matter how small or insignificant the information may seem to you, it could be the missing part of the jigsaw, so let us decide if it is important.

"We are looking for anyone who was at the Ocean Club Resort or surrounding area in the two weeks leading up to Madeleine's disappearance on 3 May, who have photographs that might help our work."

Detective Chief Superintendent Anne Harrison, of the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), said it was possible Madeleine was still being hidden in Praia da Luz.

She also appealed for anyone who took a part in the initial search for her, before the Portuguese police arrived, to contact police on 0800 0961233.

Police have teamed up with a number of computer companies to deliver the technological power behind the website and the collection of photographs.

As well as uploading them, police say the public can take any photos they might think relevant to high street photography shop Jessops, which will convert traditional prints to digital images for free.

A number of UK law enforcement agencies are helping the Portuguese authorities, including Leicestershire Constabulary, the Association of Chief Police Officers, CEOP and the NPIA.

Portuguese police have also confirmed they are investigating claims of a possible sighting of Madeleine in Morocco.

Chief inspector Olegario Sousa said the clue was "being verified" and that the Moroccan authorities had been contacted.

One-minute silence

At noon on Monday a one-minute silence was held in Portugal to show solidarity with Madeleine's family.

The silence was initiated by an anonymous chain e-mail circulated around the country at the weekend and was observed by tourists and locals.

Madeleine's mother Kate McCann observed the silence privately at the family's holiday apartment.

Senior detectives in Portimao, who are investigating Madeleine's disappearance, also stopped for one minute.

The latest public display of support has come from the Liverpool football team, who were photographed on Monday with a banner asking for information of Madeleine's whereabouts.

They were pictured as they left the UK for their Champions League final in Athens on Wednesday.

Portuguese people have also been asked to pray for Madeleine on Tuesday night in a nationwide e-mail from Carmelite nuns.

The 'last photograph' of Madeleine

The 'last picture' of Madeleine McCann

The 'Last Photograph' of Madeleine, released 24 May 2007
It has been widely accepted, or at least reported, that the 'last photograph' of Madeleine - beside the kiddie's pool in the Ocean Club - was taken by Kate McCann, using her own digital camera.

It has also been reported that the picture was taken at 2.29pm on 03 May 2007. Kate's camera clock is said to have been one hour out, so the display reads 1.29pm. However, there are no versions of the picture, so far released, that are able to confirm this.

Although Portugal and the UK share the same time, it is reported that the camera clock was one hour out as Kate had not adjusted it after the change to British summer time on 25 March 2007.

Madeleine: Last Known Photo Released, 24 May 2007
Madeleine: Last Known Photo Released Sky News video

May 24, 2007

The family of Madeleine McCann have released their last photo of the girl before she vanished. It's now three weeks since she disappeared from the family's apartment in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz. Kay Burley has the details.

(00:01:52)



Last Photo Of Madeleine Is Released
Sky News

Updated:18:07, Thursday May 24, 2007

The family of missing Madeleine McCann have released the last known photograph of their daughter before her abduction three weeks ago.

The picture shows her smiling and dangling her feet into a swimming pool.

Madeleine, who has turned four since her abduction, is shown enjoying her holiday less than eight hours before she was snatched from her bed.

The picture was taken by Madeleine's mother Kate, 38, on her own camera.

Her daughter is shown smiling, wearing a pink smock top, white shorts and a sun hat as she cools her feet in the swimming pool.

The picture was taken at 2.29pm on May 3 - Mrs McCann's camera clock is one hour out so the display reads 1.29pm.

Less than eight hours later, before 10pm that night, Madeleine disappeared.

She had been sleeping in the family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, when she was abducted.

Police in the Algarve holiday resort have re-questioned two people over her disappearance.

But with no news on their daughter, the McCanns are now thought to be planning a European tour in a bid to spread Madeleine's image across the continent in the hope she will be spotted and rescued.

Backed by an army of friends and family in Portugal and Britain, the campaign has attracted the attention of at least 115 million web users.

On Wednesday, the McCanns were showered with kisses and hugs as they left Portugal's holiest site in the town of Fatima before praying privately for almost an hour in a separate chapel.

::
A large-scale projection on Marble Arch of a new yellow ribbon symbol was due to mark the rebranding of the Missing People charity, formerly the National Missing Persons Helpline.

The last family picture of Madeleine McCann, 24 May 2007
The last family picture of Madeleine McCann Timesonline

Steve Bird and David Brown in Praia da Luz and Adam Fresco
May 24, 2007


It is an ordinary picture of a family enjoying a holiday abroad together. A father sits next to his two daughters on the edge of a swimming pool, the children wearing hats to protect them from the sun.

But for Kate and Gerry McCann it is the last picture they have of their daughter Madeleine, who was snatched from her bed less than eight hours later.

The picture was taken by Madeleine's mother Kate, 38, on her own camera in the holiday resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, where they were staying.

It shows Madeleine's father smiling, wearing sunglasses and looking straight at the camera proudly sitting with his two young daughters by his side.

Next to him in an orange top is his two-year-old daughter Amelie who is a twin with brother Sean.

Beside her is her big sister Madeleine, who was then three but looking forward to her fourth birthday at the end of the family holiday.

Madeleine is shown smiling, wearing a pink smock top, white shorts and a sun hat.

The picture was taken at 2.29pm on May 3 - Mrs McCann’s camera clock is one hour out so the display reads 1.29pm.

Later that evening, before 10pm, Madeleine disappeared.

She had been sleeping in the family's holiday apartment next to the twins, when she was snatched.

Mr and Mrs McCann were just yards away at the time having dinner and her disappearance has been publicised around the world, but despite an extraordinary campaign to make her image known across Europe there has been no news of her whereabouts for three weeks.

Mr and Mrs McCann, backed by an army of friends and family, remain convinced that Madeleine is alive, 22 days after she disappeared, but they have revealed that they are growing increasingly frustrated with the failure of Portuguese police to find their daughter.

It is the first time that the parents have expressed concerns about the way detectives in the Algarve are handling the case.

A source close to the couple, both 38 and from Rothley in Leicestershire, said: "They are getting concerned and frustrated at the apparent slowness of the Portuguese investigation."

It is understood their main concern is that Portuguese police have to conduct their inquiries in secret, have abandoned the search and that detectives have not issued a high-profile appeal for help in tracing the girl.

Instead Mr and Mrs McCann have had to spearhead their own campaign to ensure the public is aware of the hunt for Madeleine, a campaign they plan to promote by visiting various European countries.

"Kate and Gerry are increasingly frustrated and they are considering how they can move things forward themselves," the source continued. "It's fair to say that they are frustrated with the Portuguese system and the many delays it causes. They want to do positive things in their search for Madeleine.

"They feel that some processes are taking a very long time and they are not being informed fully by the police of any developments."

It is thought that the couple have been irritated by discovering more about the investigation from newspapers and television rather than from senior detectives in the case.

"The British police have been great, but even they are not in the loop," he continued. "At every stage throughout this the couple have been putting their own questions and concerns to British police and in turn to Portuguese authorities.

"While they remain content with the overall thrust of the investigation they do at times hope that their questions and concerns are addressed more quickly.

"They fully comprehend the restrictions that the Portuguese legal system places on everyone involved in this but naturally as parents who want their little girl back some of the delays that are occurring are frustrating.

John McCann, Madeleine's uncle, said: "Obviously if Madeleine is still not back we are very disappointed. I will not go as far as to say frustrated, but disappointed.

"It is important that the authorities are going to explore more avenues and focus resources very much on sightings and other information that is reported.

"Our attitude remains exactly the same. We remain absolutely determined to explore all ways to get Madeleine back. That will focus on the criminal investigation but we have to, as a family, be open to other ways. We have to take advice from the professionals."

Meanwhile Manuel Neto Quintas, the Catholic bishop of the Algarve, had offered to become a go-between with any kidnapper. He offered to make himself available if Madeleine's abductor chose to contact him.

The parents also held an informal discussion today with John Buck, the British Ambassador to Portugal, consular officials and British police. Madeleine's disappearance is expected to form the centrepiece of events to mark International Missing Children's Day tomorrow.

Last Photo of Maddie released, 24 May 2007
Last photo of Maddie released The Sun

The 'last photograph' of Madeleine

From Virginia Wheeler and John Askill in Praia da Luz and ONLINE REPORTER
Published: 24 May 2007

THIS is a smiling and happy Madeleine McCann just hours before she was snatched from her bedroom three weeks ago.

Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate released the photo today of their missing four-year-old enjoying herself by the swimming pool at the holiday resort she was taken from on May 3.

The picture was taken by Kate on her own camera less than eight hours before she was snatched from her bed.

She is shown smiling, wearing a pink smock top, white shorts and a sun hat as she cools her feet in the swimming pool.

Yesterday a tearful Kate tenderly kissed a candle for her missing daughter during an emotion-packed visit to the famous shrine of Fatima.

Kate and Gerry, both 38, made a 250-mile pilgrimage to Portugal's holiest site - in search of a miracle.

They sat among more than 1,000 other pilgrims praying for the safe return of Maddie, four, who was abducted three weeks ago today during a family holiday in the Algarve.

Deeply religious Kate and Gerry quietly thanked the crowds of well-wishers from all over Europe who joined them at Fatima.

The shrine is the site of a series of visions of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children, including two young girls, in 1917.

Mrs McCann clutched a yellow rose and Madeleine's favourite Cuddle Cat soft toy, while her husband held a small Bible.

They were followed by a crowd of pilgrims, some holding candles up to 6ft long, who showered them with kisses and hugs as they arrived for Mass. Some held their babies aloft so the couple could kiss their heads.

Kate in Fatima

Kate clutched her husband's arm as ribbons, candles, yellow flowers and beads were laid at her feet

She then knelt for more than an hour to say a Catholic Rosary prayer in Fatima's tiny Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows.

As the couple emerged to stroll in front of the Basilica, hundreds of people broke into spontaneous applause. Others ran up clutching gifts and messages.

They then stood together in front of a jumble of hundreds of giant candles as they paused to reflect on the nightmare of recent weeks.

The couple passed a picture of Madeleine inside a green frame, left by a pilgrim earlier.

Mrs McCann wore yellow and green ribbons in her hair - yellow ribbons being an international symbol of missing people and green the colour of hope in Portugal.

She and Gerry sat together in the tiny Chapel of Apparitions as prayers were said for Madeleine. Mr McCann passed a chain of Rosary beads through his fingers as Monsignor Luciano Guerra led the prayers in Portuguese.

He asked the congregation: "Let us ask for the three little shepherds so that all the children away from their homes, especially little Madeleine, so that Our Lady can keep those children in her care."

And referring to the evil people who abuse and abduct kids, he added: "Let us pray so that those vultures can be enlightened."

The couple, both doctors from Rothley, Leics, have been sustained throughout their ordeal by their Catholic faith.

They set off early from Praia da Luz, the resort from where Maddie was snatched from her bed on May 3, for the four-hour drive to Fatima. They spent two hours at the shrine.

Among pilgrims present was Anne MacManus, 71, who flew to Portugal from Belfast to pray for Maddie's safe return. She said: "When you have children of your own, you understand what this pair are going through. My heart goes out to them and I pray here every day. Please let them find Maddie."

Kate and Gerry in Fatima

Retired cop John Ryan, 66, from Tuam, Co Galway, Republic of Ireland, said: "It would be wonderful if there was a miracle. Everybody has been praying for this little girl."

The McCann's spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Today has been profoundly moving for them. The support has been overwhelming and they wanted some quiet contemplation. They know the days ahead will be hard. Kate now is keen to get back to Praia da Luz. She doesn't like leaving there.

"She believes that is where the heart of the campaign is and feels close to Maddie there."

He added: "Every single prayer is important to them. They draw strength from every prayer in their search for Madeleine. They want everybody to continue praying."

The last picture of Madeleine: Just eight hours later she was gone, 25 May 2007
The last picture of Madeleine: Just eight hours later she was gone Daily Mail
 
By PAUL HARRIS and SAM GREENHILL
Last updated at 16:40pm on 25th May 2007
 
She must have been having so much fun.
 
Chuckling with delight, Madeleine McCann dangles her feet in a pool and poses for a holiday snapshot.
 
Less than eight hours after it was taken, Madeleine disappeared. So yesterday this became the last, poignant picture of the missing four-year-old - released by her grief-stricken parents in their desperate campaign to bring her home.
 
It shows Madeleine with her father Gerry and two-year-old sister Amelie, sitting beside the pool in their Algarve holiday apartment complex. Her mother Kate is behind the camera with Amelie's twin brother Sean.
 
It could hardly have captured her character more perfectly - a cheeky little Miss in a pink summer dress and floppy hat, stealing the limelight as usual with that trademark smile.
 
That was at 2.29pm on May 3, a few days after the family checked in to an apartment in Praia da Luz and just nine days before her fourth birthday.
 
And last night, another picture of Madeleine was projected onto London's iconic Marble Arch to bring her plight to the attention of the city.
 
During the day of her disappearance they had all gone for a walk, played tennis, and taken some more snapshots for the family album before relaxing by the pool.
 
Some time between 9.10pm and 10pm, an abductor is assumed to have snatched her from her bed while her parents dined nearby.
 
Three weeks on, there has been not a single trace of her whereabouts, no breakthrough in the investigation, and no clear indication that she is even still alive.
 
In the evening her parents gave her a bath, took out her trendy hair bead and washed her hair. Then they tucked her up alongside Sean and Amelie before kissing them all goodnight.
 
Mr and Dr McCann - he is a consultant cardiologist, she a GP - remain convinced she is alive, and have vowed that they cannot even consider going home to Leicestershire until they find her.
 
But yesterday, for the first time during the remarkable campaign they are running in parallel with the police operation, they made known their frustration at the investigation's lack of progress.
 
The 38-year-old couple met Portuguese police chiefs to express their concern at the "apparent slowness" of the hunt.
 
A source close to the family said: "At every stage throughout this they have been feeding their own questions and concerns back to the investigating authorities through British police and in turn the Portuguese authorities.
 
"While they remain content with the overall thrust of the investigation they do at times hope that their questions and concerns are addressed more quickly."
 
Yesterday the latest Portuguese initiative - a plea to the kidnapper from the Bishop of the Algarve - stalled almost immediately.
 
Bishop D. Manuel Neto Quintas appealed to Madeleine's abductor to phone him to arrange Madeleine's return - but he failed to supply a phone number.
 
In other developments, new leads have emerged from more than 300 holidaymakers' photographs that have been sent in to an appeal for pictures that might reveal the abductor.
 
Officers from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre had appealed to tourists who visited Praia da Luz in the two weeks prior to the kidnap to send in their holiday pictures.
 
Strangers in the background of pictures are being cross-referenced with an image of known paedophiles using facial recognition software.
 
A spokesman for CEOP would not comment on the detail of the new leads.
 
It also emerged that the McCanns have been offered the use of private jets to make trips around Europe in their continued campaign to find Madeleine.
 
Early discussions are under way with Warner Brothers cinemas to put posters in every cinema and to play an appeal video of Madeleine before every movie.

McCanns release last picture of Madeleine before she vanished, 25 May 2007
McCanns release last picture of Madeleine before she vanished Guardian

Giles Tremlett in Praia da Luz
Friday May 25 2007


Three weeks to the day after she went missing, the family of four-year-old Madeleine McCann released the last known picture of her yesterday, taken just eight hours before she disappeared from a holiday flat in Praia da Luz, southern Portugal.

Madeleine, then aged three, appears giggling as she dangles her feet into a swimming pool beside her younger sister Amelie and her father, Gerry.

The photograph was taken by her mother, Kate, as the family of five enjoyed their holiday at the Ocean Club complex in the tranquil Algarve resort.

Later that evening, the McCanns left the three children sleeping in their apartment while they ate at a tapas bar a few metres away.

On one of their half-hourly checks they discovered that Madeleine had disappeared, while two-year-old twins Amelie and Sean remained in their beds.

Despite reports of sightings from as far afield as Marrakesh in Morocco, and Crete, police admit that they have no idea where she may be. Believing that she may have been driven across the border into Spain and, from there, to anywhere in Europe, the McCanns are preparing to travel across the continent to spread the hunt for her, starting in Spain.

A British billionaire has offered the McCanns the use of a private jet, although the family are said to be wary of doing anything that makes them look like celebrities.

"We need to start finalising our plans for interviews in areas of Europe where the coverage of Madeleine's disappearance has been limited," Gerry McCann wrote yesterday on the website dedicated to finding his daughter.

As the family's ordeal enters its fourth week today, there have been suggestions from people close to the McCanns that they are concerned about the flow of information from the police to them.

"While they remain content with the overall thrust of the investigation they do at times hope that their questions and concerns are addressed more quickly," a source close to the McCanns told the Press Association news agency.

"They fully comprehend the restrictions that the Portuguese legal system places on everyone involved in this, but naturally as parents who want their little girl back some of the delays that are occurring are frustrating," he added.

Madeleine's uncle, John McCann, said the family remained determined to explore "all ways" of getting Madeleine back. "That will focus on the criminal investigation but we have to - as a family - be open to other ways."

First generation, high res copy of the 'last photo'
High res version of 'last photo'
Click to supersize

Technical details show:
 
'Create Date' of 24 May 2007, which is the date it was created for press release.
 
'Date Digitized' (Date taken) of 03 May 2007 at 13:29:51, which ties in with the time the McCanns' claim the picture was taken - however, it is relatively easy to alter this date, to give a false reading, by downloading a utility called ExifTool from the web.
 
Thanks to 'gestalt' from the3arguidos forum for tracking down this copy and 'BakedBean' for EXIF information
 
Full EXIF details:
 
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1 year, 13 days, 11 hours, 14 minutes, 33 seconds ago
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IPTC Application Record 243 Par1325555
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'Our children sleep with us now', 27 May 2007
'Our children sleep with us now' Sunday Telegraph

Olga Craig in Praia da Luz
Published: 12:01AM BST 27 May 2007


The mother of missing toddler Madeleine McCann is so traumatised by the kidnap of her daughter that she cannot bear to be parted from her two-year-old twins at night.

"Sean and Amelie sleep with us now, we have become totally protective parents," Kate McCann told The Sunday Telegraph yesterday. "They help us get through this."

As the hunt for the snatched four-year-old continued, Kate and Gerry McCann, both 38, took the twins to a playground in Lagos, near Praia da Luz where the family had been staying in a holiday apartment when Madeleine was abducted 24 days ago.

"Madeleine is such a huge personality, it is obvious when she is not there," said Mr McCann tearfully. "My first waking thought each morning is that the phone beside the bed hasn't rung and that means Madeleine hasn't been found."

Describing the moment she returned from dinner at the Mark Warner complex to discover Madeleine had gone, Mrs McCann said: "For a few seconds there was total disbelief, it was terrifying."

As she sat on a park bench clutching Madeleine's favourite Cuddle Cat toy, she added: "You just don't expect anything like that in a million years. We triple checked. We wanted to believe she was there. We had absolutely no doubt that she had been taken.

"In the first few days we fell into the deepest, darkest chasm. Then self-preservation kicked in. In the first 72 hours, the emotions that we had were awful. We wouldn't wish that on anyone. Then we had a spell when we were almost devoid of emotion and that bothers you too. The crying stops and you think you should be bashing your fists and wailing."

The McCanns described how they plan to use some of the £300,000 already raised by a special Madeleine fund to pay for trips to a series of European countries, including Spain and Germany. The visits are intended to keep up the high-profile of their daughter in the media.

Before they leave Portugal, however, a child psychologist from England will next week fly out to the Algarve to help the couple with the difficult task of telling their twins that Madeleine is not on holiday, as the toddlers currently believe.

"The twins are so young, they just get on with things," said Mrs McCann. "But obviously we don't want them to forget about Madeleine."

She described how, after taking the final photograph of Madeleine before she was snatched, she can no longer bear to use her camera.

"She looked lovely," said Mrs McCann, recalling the moment Madeleine was pictured with her father beside a swimming pool.

"She was wearing a new outfit, a pink smock. That picture sums up her week. Every minute of every day she was enjoying herself. She went to bed exhausted. I haven't been able to use the camera since I took that last photograph of her."

The couple also spoke of their hope that the sighting of a man carrying a child on the night of Madeleine's disappearance could provide a breakthrough.

"We feel sure that this sighting of the man with what appeared to be a child in his arms is both significant and relevant to Madeleine's abduction," said Mr McCann.

The man, aged between 35 and 40, dressed in a dark jacket and light-coloured trousers and carrying a bundle that could have been a sleeping child, was seen by a friend of the McCanns at 9.30pm on May 3.

Portuguese police have known about the sighting for three weeks but only released the information on Friday after the McCanns reportedly threatened legal action to ensure the details were made public and after a series of private conversations between the McCanns and Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who has pledged the Government's full support.

A source close to the McCann family said: "Within a day of the family speaking to Gordon Brown and expressing their frustration about certain things, the whole attitude of the Portuguese police changed and they found them much more open. The sequence of events suggests some influence was exerted from above."

News of the delay drew criticism. Mark Williams-Thomas, a former detective at Surrey police who has worked on many paedophile investigations, said: "It is quite amazing they didn't release this information."

Robert Murat, the only person so far named as a "formal suspect'' by police, was yesterday seen in public for the first time since he was questioned by officers earlier this month. Mr Murat has denied any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance.

Release Date
Photographs Released
03 May 2007
Madeleine is reported missing
04 May 2007

Madeleine McCann photo released 06 May 2007

Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

06 May 2007

Madeleine McCann

Picture taken at home in Rothley, date unknown

Madeleine McCann photo released 06 May 2007

Picture taken at home in Rothley, date unknown
Maddie with tennis balls
The Press Association have reported that this picture was taken in Praia da Luz on 'the family's current holiday'.

Madeleine McCann photo released 06 May 2007

Picture taken at home in Rothley, date unknown

10 May 2007
Gerry's police interview of 10 May 2007:
 
'Gerry clarifies that, regarding the photographs that he has already handed over to the authorities after the disappearance of his daughter MADELEINE, he has no more in his possession.'

21/22 May 2007
Gerry makes a flying visit to UK to collect photographs and then returns to PDL with Clarence Mitchell

Gerry returns to PDL with Clarence Mitchell

24 May 2007

Madeleine photograph released 24 May 2007

25 May 2007
Madeleine photograph released 25 May 2007
Madeleine McCann
27 May 2007

Madeleine photograph released 28 May 2007

28 May 2007
Mobile phone video of Madeleine boarding the plane to Faro

Madeleine on an airport shuttle bus

The two pictures above are still clips from mobile phone video showing Madeleine boarding steps to a plane and sitting on an airport shuttle bus.

Were these photographs of Madeleine McCann taken in Praia da Luz?
Madeleine McCann

Madeleine McCann

By Nigel Moore

These two pictures were amongst a group of three that were released by the family, to the Press Association, on 04 May 2007.

A fourth, photocopied picture, had already been produced by the holidaying group - on the night of Madeleine's reported disappearance - and distributed throughout Praia da Luz.

On 06 May 2007, during a Sky News broadcast, Ian Woods said: "The McCann family also released new photographs of Maddie to help jog the memories of anyone who may have seen her.

"They were taken just a few days ago during what should have been a relaxing family holiday.

"Two of them were taken inside the apartment from which she was abducted. She was wearing white pyjamas when she was last seen."

All the other pictures released in those first few days were clearly either taken outdoors or inside the McCanns' family home in Rothley. These are the only two photographs, released at that time, which do not have a readily identifiable background.

If Ian Woods, who is rumoured to be Gerry McCanns' favourite media reporter, was in receipt of such specific information then we can only presume that the information had come from the McCann family themselves or possibly one of their holidaying friends. After all, who else would know where the pictures had been taken?

Of course, one cannot dismiss the possibility that Ian Woods has jumped to an incorrect assumption. The fact that he refers to Madeleine wearing white pyjamas suggests either his information, at that time, was less than reliable or it could indicate his information was reliable but has been changed since.

The other point of interest in these photographs is that they are the only pictures in existence of Madeleine with wavy hair. This may be the result of plaiting damp hair overnight or 'crimping' using an electrical appliance - both of which could be achieved quickly and without leaving the hair permanently waved, as would occur with a perm. Madeleine also appears to have extensions, although this is difficult to confirm with certainty from these pictures.

These two photographs formed part of a group of three that were released on 04 May 2007; the third being of Madeleine, in Donegal, at Easter that year. This could suggest that these pictures were taken very recently to the holiday in Praia da Luz and, as suggested previously, possibly even during it.

With thanks to Nigel at McCann Files

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