The purpose of
this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog
Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs
from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to
anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many
Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If
you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use
the contact/email details
A look at the 'creepy man' reportedly seen by Paul Gordon
and Gail Cooper, a week before the McCanns arrived, which resulted in the infamous 'George Harrison' sketch and the
'police-style' press conference in London.
Portuguese police dismissed the sketch as having "no credibility"
and officers accused the McCanns of diverting attention away from themselves. Carlos Anjos, president of the Judicial Police
Inspectors Union, said: "All sense has been completely lost."
Another police source said the picture
was based on information "without any consistency", which shows a man who could be one of "hundreds of people"
and is "another diversionary manoeuvre".
New witness was worried by the creeps lurking near apartment.. just 5 days later
Maddie had vanished, 06 January 2008
New witness was worried by the creeps lurking near apartment.. just
5 days later Maddie had vanished The People
By David Jeffs And Rene Butler January 6 2008
EXCLUSIVE BRIT STAYED IN McCANN
A brit who stayed in the same holiday flat as Madeleine McCann has told how he spotted creepy strangers
lurking nearby BEFORE she vanished.
Paul Gordon said he was worried the dodgy-looking people had no business to
be at the Portuguese complex.
His shock evidence could mean child-snatchers had been staking out the complex before
four-year-old Maddie's family even arrived there.
Brewery executive Paul, 34, and his family rented the Ocean
Club flat in Praia da Luz for a fortnight last April.
The McCanns took it over from them and Maddie went missing
five days later on May 3 - sparking a global hunt.
Dad-of-two Paul confided his kidnap fears to Scotland Yard after
returning home to Fareham, Hants.
The sales executive, whose kids are one and three, also revealed his concerns
One said: "Paul is very safety-conscious when it comes to his children.
"He saw people
loitering who he thought had no business to be in the complex.
"He's talked to the police but wants to
keep the details confidential. He doesn't want to be seen to be pointing the finger at anyone."
added: "Being a father himself Paul just wants Madeleine found and is willing to help the police in any way possible.
"He believes potential childsnatchers may have been watching for days. If he can identify any faces it could
be a massive breakthrough."
Paul later agreed he had spoken to police but refused to discuss details.
Meanwhile, Portuguese cops claim they are close to charging Maddie's 39-year-old parents Kate and Gerry.
believe the couple, from Rothley, Leics, accidentally killed their daughter then moved her body in a hire car 25 days later.
Gp Kate and cardiologist Gerry deny any involvement.
Their spokesman Clarence Mitchell last night confirmed
Paul had spoken to police.
He added said: "We have talked to him but that's all we can say at the moment."
But a Yard spokesman said: "We're not prepared to discuss the matter."
Madeleine: New witness confronted man lurking near apartment days before she disappeared,
06 January 2008
Madeleine: New witness confronted man lurking near apartment days before
she disappeared Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN Last updated at 16:11 07 January 2008 (first published approx 18:00 06 January 2008)
A father confronted a man lurking outside the McCanns' holiday apartment just days before Madeleine vanished, it was
British holiday-maker Paul Gordon told police he spotted the man outside
the two-bedroom flat's patio doors while his own two children were sleeping inside.
and Gerry McCann believe their daughter's abductor crept into the apartment through the same patio doors, which they left
unlocked so they and their friends could check on their sleeping children during their now infamous dinner at a nearby tapas
Mr Gordon, 34, contacted British police about his suspicions in May, as soon
as he heard that Madeleine had gone missing. He and his family stayed in the apartment immediately before the McCanns.
He told how he confronted the man when he saw him outside the glass patio doors, which are at
the back of the apartment, away from the front door and concealed from the main road by a high hedge.
The man claimed to be collecting money for an orphanage in the mountains and Mr Gordon told detectives he left him alone
near the doors while he went to find money to give him.
In those few minutes the stranger
could have studied the lay-out of the apartment and even checked on locks and security arrangements inside, police fear.
The private detectives hired by the McCanns, Metodo 3, have investigated a series of sightings
of people hanging around the apartment, including a report of two people claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses who tried
to get inside, and now Mr Gordon's sighting of the suspicious charity collector.
3 believe some of the people could have been 'spotters' who identified Madeleine as a potential victim for a paedophile
network, then monitored her family's movements and struck when the McCanns, of Rothley, Leicestershire, left their three
children alone to go and have dinner.
Mr Gordon was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives
and Metodo 3, and was asked if he believed the charity collector could have been trying to target his own children, aged one
He said his family rented the Ocean Club flat in Praia da Luz for a fortnight last
April, and left only hours before the McCanns arrived on April 28.
Mr Gordon, a sales executive
for Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, yesterday refused to comment about his statement to the police.
Speaking outside his house in Fareham, Hampshire, he said: "I've given a statement and want it to remain private.
I hope the information may help in the search for Madeleine."
McCann family spokesman
Clarence Mitchell denied claims that Mr Gordon had warned Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, about the sighting.
He said: "Mr Gordon has spoken to the police about his time in the apartment and our investigative team
has also spoken with him.
"He said somebody came round to the apartment 5A asking for
a charity donation and said it was suspicious. Gerry and Kate have never met Mr Gordon himself."
Mr Gordon is the latest in a series of witnesses who have come forward since Madeleine's disappearance to say they saw
suspicious characters lurking around the apartment.
A baby-sitter told how she saw a man
hiding in bushes outside the flat in late 2006, and a British nanny said she saw a man 'identical' to suspect Robert
Murat trying to lift the shutters on the ground floor window of the apartment in December, while she was looking after a six-year-old
Then last March, only six weeks before the McCanns arrived in Praia da Luz, British
mother Karen Sixsmith said a woman who looked like Mr Murat's girlfriend Michaela Walczuch, 34, came to the door with
a man, saying they were Jehovah's Witnesses.
Mrs Sixsmith, of Bowden, Cheshire, said
the man seemed anxious to get inside the flat, where she was staying with her husband and young daughter, who is blonde with
blue eyes, like Madeleine, and was so concerned she called police immediately.
Then an Ocean
Club worker said he saw a British tourist "hiding" in a stairwell outside the apartment at 6pm on the night Madeleine
vanished, just 12 metres from the flat.
I saw 'stalker' by Maddy apartment, 07 January 2008
stalker was seen lurking outside Madeleine McCann's holiday flat just five days before she vanished, it was confirmed
British holidaymaker Paul Gordon has told detectives he spotted a "dodgy looking" male at
the patio doors.
When confronted, the "non British"- looking man claimed he was collecting money for
charity before vanishing.
The new information renews fears that paedophiles may have stalked the McCanns for days
at the Ocean Club complex, in Praia da Luz on the Portuguese Algarve.
Yesterday, speaking publicly for the first
time, brewery executive Paul said: "I've given a statement and hope the information may help find Madeleine.
"I told police all I know. I was in the apartment before the McCanns but I've never met them."
34, arrived at his home in Fareham, Hants, concealing his face with a hoodie and walked with his back facing the street at
He and his family rented the Praia flat for a fortnight at the end of April before Kate and Gerry McCann,
both 39, took it over.
After Madeleine disappeared on May 3, Paul contacted Scotland Yard.
He told detectives
how he spotted the mystery man outside the flat's patio doors as his own children, aged one and two, slept inside.
The stranger claimed he was collecting donations for an orphanage.
But he roused suspicions as the patio
doors are at the rear of the house and concealed by a high hedge.
Paul went inside to get some money and the man
At first, Paul feared he was casing the flat to plan a burglary. Then Madeleine disappeared and
he realised the incidents may be linked.
Paul said the man did not look British and was outside the apartment long
enough to work out its layout.
The patio doors were unlocked the night Madeleine, four, vanished.
was interviewed several times and has given a sworn statement.
He has also volunteered to give DNA and fingerprint
One of his friends said earlier: "He's very safety-conscious when it comes to his children."
McCann spokesman Clarence Mitchell confirmed Paul had come forward.
He said: "Mr Gordon has spoken to police
and to our investigators. Gerry and Kate have never met him."
A friend of suspect Robert Murat, 34, falsely
told police the Brit expat was drunk in a cafe the night Madeleine vanished.
Murat insists he was at home with
his mother Jenny, 71. A source told newspaper 24 Horas: "The friend guaranteed Murat was in a coffee shop about five
kilometres from the Ocean Club. He said he left drunk."
Murat's lawyer Francisco Pagarete, said: "He
tried to defend Robert and ended up prejudicing him. We can prove Murat was with his mother."
claim they have enough evidence to prosecute the McCanns who are also official suspects.
Detectives still plan
to travel to the UK to interview the couple and the seven holiday friends they were dining with when Madeleine went missing.
GP Kate and cardiologist Gerry have always denied any involvement.
By Will Payne and Ryan Parry in Praia da Luz 8/01/2008
A second British tourist has reported seeing a mystery man hanging around Madeleine McCann's holiday flat just days
before she vanished.
Gail Cooper, 50, said she was confronted by the "creepy" stranger at her holiday
villa in Portugal.
He claimed he was collecting for an orphanage in the next village of Espiche.
spotted him again two days later on Praia Da Luz beach. Gail, from Newark, Notts, said yesterday: "He was a horrible-looking
man, really creepy, unkempt and dirty.
"He definitely wasn't Portuguese. He scared me."
Gail's sighting came after the Mirror revealed yesterday that tourist Paul Gordon also spotted a mystery stalker skulking
around the holiday complex. Brewery executive Paul confronted the man and was told the same story about the orphanage.
Gail reported the man to police after she arrived home and read about Madeleine's disappearance.
took a statement from her but Gail added: "I didn't hear anything back, but I'm so sure this man had something
to do with Madeleine's disappearance."
Last night, the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said both
reports were being investigated.
News of the World, online banner, 19 January 2008
Witness reveals chilling clues about Maddie suspect, 20 January
20/01/2008 (although currently shows 05/08/2008 online)
This is the man suspected of snatching four-year-old Maddie McCann.
It is the FIRST detailed likeness of a stalker thought to have kidnapped the toddler. And it's based on sensational new
clues unearthed by the News of the World.
If you have any information about the man in this new picture contact the confidential phone line 0034 902 300 213 based
in Spain now
As a massive new manhunt began last night a McCann family source said: "This is a stunning breakthrough.
A British woman who came face to face with the suspected Maddie McCann kidnapper revealed last night: "He made my blood
run cold and gave me the creeps."
Granny Gail Cooper, 50, was staying just 600 YARDS from the McCann family's Portuguese holiday flat when she had THREE
separate chilling encounters with the moustachioed mystery man.
After the News of the World probed her evidence further, McCann investigators analysed her detailed description.
It tied in uncannily with descriptions by family friend Jane Tanner of a man seen carrying a child in pink pyjamas from
the resort of Praia da Luz the night Maddie vanished.
Based on Mrs Cooper's evidence an FBI-trained police artist produced the the FIRST detailed likenesses of the stalker—pictured
And last night, armed with the new pictures, detectives in Portugal and Britain were joined by Interpol in a desperate
race to trace the suspect.
The man is 38 to 45, with sallow skin, lank dark hair, distinctive droopy moustache, large teeth and speaks broken English.
As the dramatic development raised the McCann family's hopes a source at the heart of the probe admitted: "This is a
stunning breakthrough. We now have a manhunt. Where is this man now? We need to find him as soon as possible."
Over the last seven days Spanish private eyes Metodo 3 and the Find Madeleine campaign worked round the clock after the
News of the World conducted a detailed review of the case. We studied all material in the public domain homing in on witness
reports we felt had been overlooked.
When we spoke to Mrs Cooper at length it soon became clear vital clues were buried in her account of a "creepy man" loitering
at the resort.
Two of her sightings were also witnessed by her husband. And we can also reveal that a NEW witness, a 12-year-old girl,
has come forward to back up her story.
Mrs Cooper first spotted the man on the beach at Praia da Luz on April 20 at about 1pm when she went for lunch with friends
at the Paraiso Restaurant.
She said: "He was wandering about on the beach alone even though it was pouring down with rain. There wasn't another
soul about. I watched him for a few minutes before I went back to chatting to my friends."
Later that day, at around 4pm, Mrs Cooper was startled to find the stranger knocking on the front door of her holiday
She said: "He must have seen my husband leaving because the bell rang only seconds later.
"He flashed what he said was an identity card but it could have been anything.
"He seemed really strange. It was a warm afternoon but he was wearing khaki trousers or joggers, a T-shirt and a bomber
jacket. He said he was collecting for an orphanage in nearby Espiche that was caring for three children whose parents had
recently been killed in an accident on the main coast road.
"It just didn't add up. Everyone would have known if there had been a tragedy like that.
"The man was rambling and becoming agitated. He really unnerved me even though my two grown-up daughters and two grandchildren
were with me.
"I thought he was a conman trying to pull a fast one."
Mrs Cooper also said her eight-year-old grand-daughter had been playing on her own in the pool near the villa and was
clearly visible from the road.
She added: "This man was very unpleasant and creepy. I'd put his age at 38 to 45. He was very scruffy and had a 70s-style
black Mexican moustache.
"He wasn't Portuguese—I think he was North African, either Tunisian or Moroccan."
Mrs Cooper, a community healthcare co-ordinator from Newark, Notts, added: "In my job I have to assess people and make
"My judgement is that this man was very suspicious and could have been the kidnapper everyone is searching for.
"I'd recognise him immediately if I saw him. His appearance has really stuck in my mind."
We can confirm the orphanage does NOT exist and that there is no evidence of the fatal car crash. Mrs Cooper saw the
man a third time, two days later on April 22, as she lunched with her husband Jonathan at Bar Habana on the beach.
There was a children's outing there from the Mark Warner Ocean Club at the same time. The man was again alone and standing
near the group of youngsters. Mrs Cooper said: "He looked odd and out of place."
When Madeleine arrived at the resort just a week later, the youngster went to the beach three days in a row with the
children's club, including May 3, the day of her disappearance.
Although Mrs Cooper rang police on May 7 and gave a statement at her home on May 21 she heard no more. But it is now
clear how important her account—and the facial likeness built from it—may be. On the night Madeleine vanished
from the apartment while parents Kate and Gerry—both Leicestershire doctors—were dining at a nearby tapas restaurant,
family friend Jane Tanner saw a man carrying a child away from the apartment on foot at 9.10pm.
Jane has now told the McCanns: "The man in the new suspect picture strongly resembles the person I saw on May 3rd."
The sketch by qualified police artist Melissa Little, bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier picture, based on Jane
Last night the McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said the new image had been passed to officers from the Leicestershire
Constabulary, Portuguese police and Interpol. They hope the hunt will also be joined by forces in Spain and Morocco.
Metodo 3 believe the kidnapper may have had accomplices in Praia da Luz who helped spirit Madeleine away to the Moroccan
If you have any information about the man in the new picture contact the confidential phone line 0034 902 300 213 based
in Spain now. A specially-trained team will take your call in any language.
Mr Mitchell said: "We urgently need to know who this man is and where he is.
"For Madeleine's sake, we urge anyone with any information about him to come forward right away."
Clarence Mitchell's press conference in London, 20 January 2008
The artist impression's of Gail Cooper's 'Creepy man'
More like the police than the police - new tactics in hunt for Madeleine,
21 January 2008
More like the police than the police - new tactics in hunt for Madeleine
Published Date: 21 January 2008
Source: The Scotsman
By MARTYN McLAUGHLIN
McCanns employ rhetoric and methodology of authorities as they unveil drawing of suspect, writes Martyn
It had all the features of an official police press conference: a solemn appeal for sightings, delivered
with detective-speak phrases such as "eliminating suspects in the investigation".
However, the man standing behind
the lectern was not a senior policeman but a PR consultant hired by a family determined to find answers even if it means going
Eight months on from the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, the private-investigation team sanctioned by
her parents is increasingly employing the rhetoric and methodology of the police.
Yesterday, in what Kate and Gerry
McCann hope will spark a breakthrough, the couple's official spokesman released, for the first time, an image of a suspect
to the media and public.
The distribution of the artist's impression, created by Melissa Little, an FBI-accredited
police artist hired by the McCann team, spoke volumes not only about the family's resolve, but their frustration with the
The language of Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns' public face, was unequivocal as he addressed
the media from a lectern in a London hotel. "Who is he? Where is he? What, if any, is his connection to Madeleine's disappearance?"
he said. "If he is innocent, we want him to come forward for his own sake so he can be ruled out. We believe this man could
be linked to Madeleine's disappearance."
One former senior officer with Strathclyde Police suggested the family's approach
was designed to keep public interest in the case buoyant, but said they may still have to rely on the resources of the police.
said: "The language and the presentation that are being used imitate the police thanks to their PR people. They know that's
a good way to catch the public's eye. It's an authoritative approach and it captures people's attention. I don't think there's
any real policing expertise, though.
"I'd say it's highly unlikely they have anywhere near the resources of an active
policing force. The parents don't know how to conduct an investigation and they're dependent on people they are hiring, who,
in some cases, may not be best suited for the job. I think, as time goes on, it's unlikely they will find any new information
on their own, outside of the chance someone will respond to this kind of public appeal."
In any case, it appears Mr
Mitchell's tactics yesterday were borne largely out of dissatisfaction at the apparent impotency and silence of the Portuguese
police, though he was careful not to cast aspersions: "We're not going to criticise the police in any form – they have
got a difficult enough job. It seems drawings of this sort are not done as a matter of course in Portugal."
the private investigation now appears to be regarded by the McCanns as their best hope of tracing their daughter. Having secured
the image of the suspect, their team has now drawn up an action plan for how they want the investigation to proceed.
they want a worldwide search, co-ordinated by a central phone number manned by their private-detective agency to identify
and locate the man in the sketches. All information would be passed on to the Portuguese police.
Secondly, they want
a full review of all police records and witness statements, including one taken from a 12-year-old girl who reported sightings
of a strange man in the Portuguese resort in May last year.
Thirdly, Mr Mitchell called for complete cooperation between
the Portuguese police, Interpol and the authorities in Spain, Morocco and Britain.
With tension between the McCanns
and the Portuguese police still evident, the latter demand may not be straightforward. Worse still, they appear to be getting
little return on the £50,000 a month being paid out to Metodo 3, the Barcelona-based private-detective agency.
'Disturbing' man is new suspect
The new suspect in the case of Madeleine McCann's disappearance was spotted by a holidaymaker three
times walking around the complex where the four-year-old was last seen.
The sketch was based on an interview with Gail
Cooper, a grandmother from Nottinghamshire, who originally gave a statement to police in May last year.
described seeing an olive-skinned man with collar-length scraggly hair acting suspiciously on a number of occasions.
20 April, Mrs Cooper said, she saw the man walking by himself in heavy rain on the deserted beach at Praia da Luz. Later the
same afternoon, Mrs Cooper said she received a visit from the same man, whom she described as "disturbing".
later, Mrs Cooper saw the same man hanging around a children's outing to the beach organised by the Mark Warner resort.
The full article contains 805 words and appears in The Scotsman newspaper.
Last Updated: 21 January 2008 12:03 AM
Madeleine: Four witnesses say they saw suspect pictured in new poster campaign, 22
Madeleine: Four witnesses say they saw suspect pictured in new poster campaign Daily Mail
By VANESSA ALLEN in Praia da Luz Last updated at 10:26 22 January 2008
Four key witnesses in the Madeleine McCann investigation could have seen the man shown in a new sketch of a potential
suspect, it emerged yesterday.
Portuguese police have dismissed the portrait of the long-haired man as "a
diversion tactic" by Kate and Gerry McCann.
But four witnesses may have seen the unidentified man - first
on the night the three-year-old went missing, then later with named suspect Robert Murat, and finally in Morocco.
Jane Tanner, who told police she saw a man carrying a child away from the McCanns' apartment, said she was "80
per cent sure" he was the one depicted in the artist's impression.
Isabel Gonzalez, who said she saw Madeleine
with a Berber woman in Morocco, said the sketch looked "very similar" to a man she saw immediately after the sighting.
Amanda Mills, 34, from Basildon, Essex, claimed to have spotted a man trying to break into a bedroom window at the
Ocean Club in Praia da Luz a week before Madeleine disappeared from the complex.
Last night she said there are
"strong similarities" between the man she saw and the new sketch.
Nanny Charlotte Pennington's description
of a person she saw with Mr Murat also matches the man shown in the artist's impression.
The sketch - released
on Sunday - is based on a description given by British tourist Gail Cooper, 50.
She saw the man lurking around
Praia da Luz three times in the days before Madeleine went missing last May 3.
An FBI-trained forensic artist sketched
her description and a million posters of it are now being distributed around Portugal, Spain and North Africa.
Comment: 'Four witnesses say they saw suspect pictured in new poster campaign'
Comment: 'Four witnesses say they saw suspect pictured in new poster campaign'
The headline to the Daily Mail's report of 22 January, reproduced above, is unequivocal: Four people say they
saw the 'suspect' described by Gail Cooper. But did they? If we read further we find nothing to substantiate such a headline:
'Four key witnesses in the Madeleine McCann investigation could have
seen the man shown in a new sketch of a potential suspect, it emerged yesterday.' and,
'...four witnesses may have seen the unidentified man - first on the night the
three-year-old went missing, then later with named suspect Robert Murat, and finally in Morocco.'
So, rather less convincing than the headline suggests. But what do these four witnesses actually say?
1) Jane Tanner is quoted as saying that she was "80
per cent sure" that the man depicted in this new artist's impression was the same man she saw carrying a child away
from the McCanns' apartment.
"80 per cent" is a rather surprising figure to conjure
up when we look back at the artist's impression of the man Tanner claims to have seen, who doesn't even have
In November 2007, she admitted: "I simply don't know if I could identify
again the man I saw that night." and "He had his face turned away from me, sort of sideways and it was very
dark. I just didn't see it properly, I wish to God I had."
So, what are we left with? The clothes and
the height of the man.
Tanner's man was smartly dressed and has been variously described as between 5'
7" and 5' 10". Gail Cooper's man 'very scruffy' and 6' tall.
meant the sketches were "80 per cent" alike, which, given they were both drawn by the same artist, Melissa
Little, is perhaps unsurprising.
Gonzalez said she saw Madeleine with a Berber woman in Morocco, and the sketch looked "very similar"
to a man she saw immediately after the sighting.
Ms Gonzalez has never previously mentioned
anyone resembling this description. She has detailed "an older woman in a Muslim headscarf" and a "European-looking"
couple, who looked "completely out of place" in a small Portuguese town (later attempts were made to imply this
was Murat and his girlfriend). But absolutely no description anywhere of a long haired, swarthy looking man with a very distinctive
3) Amanda Mills, 34, from Basildon,
Essex, claims to have spotted a man trying to break into a bedroom window at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz a week before
Madeleine disappeared from the complex. She is reported to have said there are "strong similarities" between
the man she saw and the new sketch.
And, like Isabel Gonzalez, those "strong similarities" remain
It is worth recording that, on 08 May 2007, Amanda Mills's account to the UK press was
rather less threatening, describing simply a man trying to steal a pushchair, who ran off when she shouted at him. It was
not until November 2007, after the McCanns had been made arguidos, that her story gained an additional chapter: "He
seemed interested in the windows. He was looking at and through them." To The Sun newspaper, this became 'tampering',
although there is no evidence in Ms Mill's words that he ever physically approached a window.
The fact that Ms Mills describes seeing a ''scruffy, unshaven'' man and Gail Cooper's man
sports a considerable and distinctive moustache would also appear to rule her sighting out.
4) Charlotte Pennington - The report says 'Her description
of a person she saw with Mr Murat also matches the man shown in the artist's impression.'
No quote from Ms Pennington so we must asume the newspaper is making the connection for her. It should also be remembered
that Pennington did not describe a scruffy or unkempt man, nor did she describe a distinctive moustache and she
placed his age at 27-35 years, whereas Mrs Cooper ages her man at 38-45 years.
What are the doubts that surround Gail Cooper's story?
1) The report claims that Gail Cooper spotted the man 3 times, which she apparently did, but 2 of those
times were on the same day.
2) The sightings took place on 20 and 22 April 2007 - six days
before the McCanns arrived.
3) Would a 'predator' announce himself in such a public
way, by walking on the beach in the rain, knocking on doors and hanging around children on the beach?
4) Would such a 'predator' book himself in at a small holiday resort for two weeks, knowing he would almost certainly
be seen on a fairly regular basis?
5) If this man was the 'predator', then
why did he wait two weeks to abduct a child?
6) In contrast to the News of the World headline
- which indicated that Mrs Cooper's blood ran cold when she saw him: "He made my blood run cold and gave me
the creeps." - the Nottingham Evening Post quotes Mrs Cooper as saying that her
"blood ran cold" when she realised the mystery man could have been involved in Maddie's disappearance.
"It was quite a bit later. Even when I heard the news about a little girl going missing I still didn't draw the
connection until I got talking to friends who had been with us," she told the Evening Post.
penny finally dropped my blood ran cold."
So, are we to assume that the News of the
World used the phrase to sensationalise and dramatise their story, when the man didn't actually make her blood run cold
at the time - only when she thought he might be connected to Madeleine's disappearance?
7) In a live, local news interview at the Rothley War Memorial, on 21 January 2008, the reporter asked Mrs
Cooper what this man had done to make her so suspicious.
She responded: 'Well, nothing
Police say Cooper's 'Creepyman' is a local pig farmer
Joaquim Jose Marques/'Creepyman'
Daily Mail, 24 January 2008
Original text of article:
The man in the new image released by Kate and Gerry McCann as a possible suspect in Madeleine's disappearance has been
found and is a local pig farmer who has now been ruled out of the case.
The man, who has been named as Joaquim Jose
Marques, was discovered living five miles from the holiday resort in the Algarve but police say he is not connected to the
The discovery rules out reports that there was also an accomplice involved.
The farmer was originally
contacted by Portugal's criminal investigation department 20 days after Madeleine vanished aged three. After the image was
released this week, they got in touch with him again.
He was interviewed yesterday by Portuguese police and was ruled
out of the hunt for Madeleine McCann's abductor.
The dishevelled looking worker lives close to a village called Pedragosa,
which is about five miles from the resort of Praia da Luz.
Revised text following contact with Clarence Mitchell:
Officers hunting for missing Madeleine McCann believe they have tracked down a straggly-haired man depicted in an artist's
drawing as a possible suspect - and ruled him out of the inquiry.
However the McCanns today claimed the pig farmer is NOT the man detectives are looking for and vowed the hunt would go
The man, who was today named as Joaquim Jose Marques, was discovered living five miles from the holiday resort in the
Algarve but police say he is not connected to the case.
The discovery rules out reports that there was also an accomplice involved.
The farmer was originally contacted by Portugal's criminal investigation department 20 days after Madeleine vanished.
After the image was released this week, they got in touch with him again and he was interviewed by police and ruled out
of the inquiry.
The dishevelled looking worker lives close to a village called Pedragosa, which is about five miles from the resort of
Praia da Luz.
The McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, said: "Our investigators have not been informed that the man we are seeking
has been ruled out.
"We have no reason to believe he has been ruled out and our search for the man in our image is very much continuing.
"Our understanding is that the man reported to be linked to our image bears no resemblance. For instance, he has dreadlocks
and Gail Cooper most definitely would have spotted those."
Note: The article was later re-written a third time to reveal that Marques had raped a British
girl in Praia da Luz, in 1995:
Revealed: 'Madeleine photofit man was jailed for raping British girl' Daily Mail
Last updated at 15:34 25 January 2008
The man in the sketch of Madeleine McCann's alleged abductor has been identified as a pig farmer who raped a British
tourist in the town where the three-year-old disappeared.
Joaquim Jose Marques raped his teenage victim while an accomplice targeted her friend, the Portuguese daily newspaper
Diario de Noticias reported today.
Marques, who has a daughter of Madeleine's age, was sentenced to five years in jail in 1996 after being found guilty
of the 1995 attack in Praia da Luz.
Just three weeks into the Madeleine investigation, which started in May last year, investigators ruled him out of any
involvement in her disappearance.
Joaquim Jose Marques is the man in the sketch released by the McCanns - he was interviewed
immediately after Maddy went missing and interviewed again yesterday before being ruled out of their enquiries
His unnamed accomplice was also convicted of rape in 1995, the Portuguese paper added.
girls, both British and aged 17 and 18, were said to have been staying with a relative at the time.
Dreadlocked Marques, nicknamed Quim Ze, was also a known gun-runner and drug trafficker, the paper claimed.
He was linked to Madeleine's disappearance earlier this week after being identified from a new sketch of
a man suspected of snatching her from her family's holiday flat in May last year.
interviewed him for a second time earlier this week after Kate and Gerry released an artist's sketch of the scruffy stranger
seen by a British tourist in and around Praia da Luz in the days before the abduction.
police ruled him out of the abduction but the McCanns spokesman Clarence Mitchell said they did not believe the right man
had been found and said the hunt for the man in the drawing continued.
The Daily Mail yesterday
tracked Mr Marques to his ramshackle farm in Pedragosa, four miles from the Algarve resort where Madeleine disappeared.
He refused to speak about the international hunt for the man shown in the posters - which have
been sent to Interpol and to Portugal, Spain and North Africa.
He screamed obscenities at
callers to the isolated farm and then returned brandishing an ancient-looking rifle.
among his pigs and surrounded by feral dogs, Mr Marques shouted: "Leave me alone, leave me alone... look at this face,
is this the face in the picture?"
Mr and Mrs McCann, both 39, believe the sketch could
show the man who took their daughter from their holiday apartment in Praia da Luz.
drawn by an FBI trained forensic artist based on descriptions by British tourist Gail Cooper, who told police how a "creepy
man" came to her villa in Praia da Luz, asking for donations for a nearby orphanage, only days before Madeleine went
Mrs Cooper, 50, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said she saw the man three times, once
when he was hanging around a children's beach outing.
Portuguese police have dismissed
her sightings and the e-fit as having "no credibility" and say the McCanns are using them as a "diversion tactic".
They remain convinced Madeleine died last May 3 and that her parents were involved in her disappearance.
Mr and Mrs McCann, of Rothley, are still official suspects in the case.
But the couple's
private investigation agency Metodo 3 believe the sketch could show the abductor. Their hotline has received dozens of calls
from those who think they have seen the man in the sketch.
A police source told the Portuguese
newspaper Correio da Manha the image "could apply to many, many people," and said Mr Marques was not a suspect.
He said: "Contact with the individual was not in any shape or form an interrogation. It
was just an informal contact to clear up any suspicions."
Neighbours described Mr Marques
as a reclusive character who had moved to the isolated farm last year to live quietly with his British-born girlfriend and
their daughter, who is three or four.
MADDIE: WE FIND WEIRDO SUSPECT – He comes out packing a gun,
25 January 2008
Marques brandishes an air rifle to keep reporters off his land
MADDIE: WE FIND WEIRDO SUSPECT – He comes
out packing a gun Daily Star (article no longer available online) EXCLUSIVE
The weirdo whose image is on a million posters in the Madeleine McCann hunt was traced
by the Daily Star – and threatened to shoot our man with his rifle
The "creepy" prowler fingered in the hunt for Madeleine McCann was last night revealed as a penniless
pig farmer ... with a gun.
Police are certain Joaquim
Jose Marques is the suspicious stranger spotted lurking in Praia da Luz a fortnight before Madeleine vanished.
But when the Daily Star tracked him down yesterday at his crumbling
farmhouse three miles from the Portuguese resort, he unleashed
a pack of ferocious dogs.
Then he emerged
with a rifle, screaming threats that he would open fire.
Marques became the centre of a global manhunt after Brit holidaymaker Gail Cooper described the character that made
her "blood run cold" to an ex-FBI sketch artist who produced a vivid drawing of the man.
Maddie's parents Gerry and Kate, both 39, distributed a million posters of the image in a bid to trace
him, so he could be quizzed over their daughter’s disappearance while they were on holiday at the resort.
But yesterday it was revealed that detectives had tracked him down
just 20 days after the four-year-old vanished last May and found he had an alibi.
Police officers went back to see Marques this week after the McCanns issued their poster.
They also quizzed his British hairdresser girlfriend – with
whom he has a three-year-old daughter – to check out his story. When the Daily Star went to his tumbledown hillside
farm, it was apparent why police were quick to include him in their first round-up of suspects.
Marques flew into a rage at being linked to the Madeleine disappearance and set loose his dogs. Then, brandishing
a garden hoe menacingly, he screamed abuse when asked to explain the police visit.
"Leave me alone, leave me alone," he yelled. "You are destroying my life. I have had the police
here and they know it is not me. I want you off my land right now."
The swarthy farmer disappeared into an abandoned outbuilding and emerged toting a rifle above his head, screaming
threats that he was about to shoot.
While his long
hair, facial colouring and age – in his 30s – match the man in the drawing, he does not share his moustache or
Holidaymaker Gail, 50, had told
how she saw the mysterious man three times in Praia da Luz the week before the McCanns arrived, and he gave her the "creeps".
Last night the McCanns' private detectives from
the Barcelona-based Metodo 3 agency were still trying to track down Marques to question him about the poster.
The couple's family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "As
far as we are concerned the hunt for the man in the sketch continues.
"We are very grateful to anyone who comes forward with information and, even if it is not the man we are
looking for, it enables us to rule individuals out."
But Portuguese police said Marques was not a suspect in the case, had not been arrested and has been eliminated from their
A police source said: "At the time
of the disappearance an individual who had been fingered as a suspect by a tourist in Luz was contacted.
"Immediately he was acquitted of any suspicions.
"This week another English citizen pointed to the individual.
"But after the man was once again contacted,
it was quite clear he had no connection to the case."
Portuguese worker resembling Madeleine poster photofit questioned by
RGP officers, 26 January 2008
gibfocus - 26th January 2008 (2008-01-26 14:25:00 )
A Portuguese construction worker in Gibraltar was questioned by Royal Gibraltar Police on Thursday after he was reported
to resemble the photofit of a man seen in the area of Praia da Luz before Madeleine McCann disappeared last year.
police have been in contact with Portuguese police according to local media reports.
The man was not arrested and was
released on the same day.
Madeleine McCann suspect spotted 'spying on little boys', 26 January
Madeleine McCann suspect spotted 'spying on little boys'
Ryan Parry In Altura, Portugal
A creepy stranger suspected of kidnapping Madeleine McCann was spotted speaking to two small boys on a beach days after
stalking two women.
Five women holidaymakers - three British and two German - have seen the "strange and disturbed" man in Altura, close
to the Portuguese-Spanish border, in the past two weeks.
One of the British witnesses noticed him on the beach on January 21 bending down to talk to the boys, aged about four
Clearly worried, one of the youngsters started shaking his head mid-conversation. Then a woman ran out of a nearby villa,
shouting in alarm. She scooped the children up and hurried them away.
Another of the British women told how she was followed round a supermarket by the prowler on January 16. The tourist,
who is in her 30s and refused to be named, said: "I noticed he was following me.
''I thought I might be imagining it, so kept stopping. But he kept shadowing me. I was so nervous. It frightened the
heck out of me.
"Eventually an assistant saw what was happening and shooed him away.
"But outside I saw him again, walking down towards the beach. I ran down a side street to avoid him but when I got to
my hotel he was there again, hanging around. It made me really nervous."
The holidaymaker was horrified when an apparent sketch of the man appeared on TV and in the press. She said: "The likeness
between him and the drawing is amazing. I'm sure it's the same man."
The following day the holidaymaker was walking with another British woman who opened a paper, saw the sketch and shouted:
"I've seen him!
He was following me." She claimed that days earlier the stranger stalked her as she strolled along the beach.
Both women immediately told an English First Choice holiday rep about the sightings. The incident involving the boys
The first woman said: "I started speaking to other people about it and came across two German women who said they'd seen
this man on the beach as well, and had spoken to him.
"They said he spoke a bit of German and seemed very strange and disturbed."
The sketch was drawn up after Gail Cooper, 50, of Newark, Notts, gave a description of a man she saw acting strangely
in Praia da Luz shortly before Madeleine, then three, went missing on May 3.
A Europe-wide hunt for the suspect was launched last week. The First Choice rep told police about the latest sightings
when she returned to Britain.
A pig farmer quizzed over the sketch is a convicted rapist who attacked a teenage British tourist in Praia da Luz, it
Joaquim Marques was jailed for five years after the 1995 attack, the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias reported.
An accomplice raped the victim's friend. The girls were aged 17 and 18.
Dreadlocked Marques - believed to be in his 30s - is also a gun-runner and drug trafficker, it was claimed.
But, shown his picture, Gail Cooper said: "That's not the man I saw."
Exclusive: Astonishing lookalike found in hunt for missing Maddie
By Chris Tate & Neville Thurlbeck
A mystery loner who admits he bears an uncanny resemblance to an artist's drawing of a "creepy" suspect in the Maddie
McCann kidnap hunt said : "It's not me in the picture."
But when eyewitness Gail Coop, who helped create the sketches, saw the scruffy man's photo she gasped: "Oh my God, that's
so like him.
"He's the spitting image of the man I saw three times at the resort where Madeleine vanished.
"It's deeply shocking to see my drawing come to life. His cold, emotionless eyes sent a chill right through me."
The 50-year-old granny added: "I thought there'd be no doubt in my mind if I saw him again."
But when we tracked down the mystery man in our photo, Joaquim Agostinho, 42, who lives a 90-minute drive from the resort,
said: "I did not kill Madeleine and I've never been to Praia da Luz.
"I cannot even drive. I accept that the drawing looks like me. All my friends have been laughing about it during the week
saying how much it looks like me."
Astonishingly, despite the amazing resemblance, he revealed that police haven't bothered to question him.
He said: "No, the police haven't spoken to me. But people have been following me and taking pictures of me today and I
didn't know what it was all about.
"As I say, I don't drive a car so I couldn't possibly have done what people think. I did own a motorbike once but I lost
it couple of years ago."
Agostinho lives alone in a small flat in Altura, 87 miles east of Praia, where Madeleine was kidnapped on May 3 last year.
He added: "I have no money. I earn a little bit by delivering newspapers to people and for that they pay me with a drink
As our snap of Agostinho shows, he has a droopy moustache, long, dark hair and prominent teeth, just like the man in the
Heathcare worker Gail helped an FBI-trained illustrator make a detailed image of the suspicious man she saw in the resort
where she was staying — close to the McCanns' holiday apartment and at the time Maddie disappeared.
After the drawings sped around the globe, we photographed a man described as a "weird loner" in his home town, just an
hour and a half's drive from Praia da Luz before talking to him.
On Saturday we found Aghostinho touring around the bars of his hometown. Unkempt and unshaven in a brown leather jacket
and camouflage trousers, the six-footer drank a lunchtime coffee in one bar before moving on to a succession of others.
Later, laughing nervously and looking bewildered in front of Portuguese TV cameras, he held a press conference outside
his favourite bar, the Snack Bar Aliha at 5pm.
Our investigations in the small seaside town revealed the man, in his mid-fifties, is a college dropout and one-time fisherman
who now drifts aimlessly around its narrow streets.
One local told the News of the World: "He is single and lives alone somewhere in the warren of little streets near the
"At one time he was a very bright student, but had emotional problems and dropped out of education.
"Now he just wanders from bar to bar. Most people know him, he's not known as being any trouble."
The town is a popular tourist spot with Brits and Germans, just 20 minutes across an open border to the Spanish town of
Heulva, where five-year-old girl Mari Luz Cortes vanished two weeks ago while on her way to buy crisps from a shop.
Although there is no evidence that Aghostinho has any connection with either disappearance, Gail urged Portuguese cops
to question him.
Detectives have claimed pig farmer Joaquim Jose Marques, who wears his hair in dreadlocks, is the subject of her drawing
and that he has already been eliminated from their search.
But last night Gail insisted: "I know with all my heart that Marques definitely was NOT the guy I saw three times in Praia
"That man was not the guy in my drawing. But this new man is so much like him.
"I'm amazed the man in the photo is so similar to him. I'm sure the one with the dreadlocks is NOT him. This new man must
be interviewed, if only because they need to rule him out of inquiries—and he might even be a vital new witness."
Gail saw the suspect she described three times wandering around the resort. He called at the villa where her grandchildren
were playing in a pool, visible from the road, claiming he was collecting for an orphanage.
She said: "He didn't do anything, but I felt intimidated by his manner.
"I didn't give him any money and he went off on foot, but he must have had a vehicle somewhere."
Meanwhile, there was a bizarre new "sighting" of Madeleine reported last night—in Chile, South America.
An air-conditioning technician in Santiago told police he saw two adults with a young child at a museum in Vicuna five
He told officers: "I saw a child with a pair of adults, one of whom closely resembles the police portrait of the possible
kidnapper recently released by private detectives hired by the McCanns.''
A Donegal woman, who holidayed in Portugal last summer, says she saw the man believed to have abducted Maddie McCann.
The woman, who did not want to be named, was struck by the haunting picture that has appeared in the international media
over the past week.
She says she recalls seeing a man matching the exact description while she was in the Club Alvorferias resort, in Alvor,
close to Praia da Luz, where tot Maddie was snatched.
The woman has contacted the McCann family with the latest information. She said: "I e-mailed the Madeleine family helpline.
I just wanted to give whatever information I had relating to what I had seen. I am not sure if it will be relevant or not
but I suppose every bit helps."
The woman was on holiday with another adult and two children at the Club Alvorferias Apartments, Alvor, during the week
from July 28 to August 4 last year.
She said: "On the Monday or Tuesday of July 30 to 3 of our stay at around lunchtime a man knocked at our door claiming
to be collecting for an Aids Orphanage in Portugal. He resembled the man in the photofit picture in colouring, height and
''However, his facial appearance was slightly different. His hair was a bit shorter and he did not have a heavy moustache.
He had a goatee beard. His clothes were similar to that of the photofit and he was a bit dishevelled. He spoke good English
with a heavy accent.''
She added: ''He carried a clipboard. He showed me ID which was attached to the clipboard, but told me not to look too
closely as 'God did not give him a beautiful face'.
''I would have to agree with the lady who initially reported the matter in saying that there was definitely something
about him which made me feel very uncomfortable and I gave him some money and got rid of him as quickly as possible.
''I did not see him around the area again for the remainder of our stay. I hope this is of use to you.''
Last Updated: 28 January 2008 3:33 PM
And then, 2 years later...
Madeleine McCann exclusive: No1 suspect is on video, 02 May 2010
Madeleine McCann Exclusive: Gail Cooper heads to Praia da LuzSunday Express
Sunday May 2 2010
THE prime suspect in the Madeleine McCann abduction was secretly filmed working at a market in Portugal.
Moving images were covertly shot of the man and shown to key witness Gail Cooper by an investigator working for Kate
and Gerry McCann two years ago.
The man was filmed unloading what looked like linen from a clean white van at an
"inland" travelling market.
Mrs Cooper, 53, today tells the Sunday Express the man captured on film was
the same person she saw three times in Praia da Luz on the Algarve, just days before Madeleine was snatched.
Cooper is the key witness in the case because she had a tense 15-minute conversation with the suspect before Madeleine vanished
from the Mark Warner Ocean Club in Luz on May 3, 2007.
Today, Mrs Cooper calls on the McCanns to put the sensational
footage on their website findmadeleine.com so he can be traced by detectives.
"I believe the man I saw was
the same person who abducted Madeleine McCann," said Mrs Cooper, who was flown back to Luz last week by the Sunday Express
in an attempt to unlock the mystery.
"More people need to see this footage to discover where he is."
Mrs Cooper is the woman who created, with an FBI-trained police artist working for the McCanns, a haunting sketch
of the man with a distinctive handlebar moustache and protruding front teeth.
That powerful image was used in high-profile
press campaigns by the McCanns in an effort to locate him.
He bears an uncanny resemblance to the man the McCanns'
friend Jane Tanner saw carrying a small child in his arms and walking away from the holiday apartment on the night Madeleine
Mrs Cooper, from Newark, Notts, said in the summer of 2008 she was asked to look at footage of the suspect
shot over several days in Portugal.
"He was unloading his market stall from a white van," said Mrs Cooper.
"His hair was lighter and he had shaved off the moustache but to my mind it was the same man. For me the giveaway
was his protruding teeth, which were exactly the same as the man I had met in Luz.
"I was shown the footage
by a person working for the McCanns' investigators who took notes of everything I said and then left but I haven't
heard anything since. I asked where the film was shot but he would only say it was shot 'inland' in Portugal."
Last week the McCanns, from Rothley, Leics, appeared on GMTV calling for a review of all the evidence.
specialist Mr McCann, 41, said: "I don't think it's right that, as parents, we have to drive the search."
GAIL COOPER will never forget the day she stared into the "dead eyes" of the man she believes abducted
Madeleine McCann three years ago tomorrow.
"There was just nothing in his eyes, no soul, no
life, nothing," she said, drawing on a cigarette to calm her nerves as she relives the close encounter she had in Praia
Home care coordinator Gail had hired a £2million villa in April 2007 to celebrate her 50th birthday
with friends and family.
The party of 14 flew to Portugal on April 18 and Gail had a lovely first four days enjoying
time with her two grandchildren in the villa's pool and at the nearby beach.
As the villa slept only nine,
two couples and a boy of two stayed in the nearby Mark Warner complex – directly above apartment 5A where the McCanns
stayed the next week.
On April 20 the group went to the Paraiso cafe on the beach for lunch. As they enjoyed their
meal it began to rain and they noticed a scruffy man standing on the beach getting drenched in the downpour.
Missing Madeleine McCann
They drove back to the villa, where the children played in the pool and the sun shone again.
4 and 5pm there was a ring on the door at the villa, which is situated in a quiet street some 20 minutes walk from the beach.
To Gail's astonishment it was the man she had seen a few hours earlier getting soaked on the beach. He was aged
between 40 and 45 and about six feet tall with an olive complexion. He appeared Mediterranean but not Portuguese and spoke
fairly good English, and was clean shaven apart from his moustache.
He wore a heavy cotton khaki jacket and a green
or blue t-shirt and khaki combat trousers. Around his waist was a black leather bum bag.
He told Gail that he was
collecting money for an orphanage in the nearby village of Espiche.
Moving from foot to foot and waving what appeared
to be ID documents, he said an English couple had been killed in a motorway smash nearby and their three children were being
looked after at the orphanage.
"He was very pushy and intimidating," said Gail. "He was waving his
hands and came out with this story, which I didn't believe, to get me to hand over some cash. He kept staring right at
me, virtually imploring me to give money, but I wouldn't.
"He spoke good English but it wasn't really
with a Portuguese accent. My grandchildren were in the pool and my husband had gone out and I just wanted him to go away.
"I've been to Portugal many times and I've never had anyone come to the door asking for money before.
His clothing and hair still looked wet from the rain. The whole situation was odd and made me uncomfortable. After 10 minutes
or so he suddenly stopped talking and just walked off."
Gail believes the man may have followed the group
from the beach and could have been looking over the villa wall at her grandchildren in the pool.
Two days later
on April 22, Gail and the group saw the man again, standing near a group of children who were being taken to the beach by
Mark Warner childminders.
She said: "At first it looked like he was with the children and I remember thinking
maybe he was raising money for an orphanage. Then my daughter pointed out that the children weren't orphans, they were
from the Mark Warner complex.
"Although he was walking near the children it was clear that he wasn't with
them and I recall thinking that it all seemed a little bit odd. But I thought nothing much more of it and we carried on enjoying
After returning home and hearing of Madeleine's abduction a week later, Gail contacted the
On May 21 she gave a statement to a detective from the Leicestershire force which was liaising with Portuguese
In January 2008 she was contacted by the McCanns' investigators and agreed to sit for 10 hours with
an artist to create the first full facial image of the suspect. "I was happy to do anything I could to help," she
In July she was shown film of the man working at a market and later an investigator working for the McCanns
flew over to show her images of five men, none of whom she recognised.
"I have a very clear image in my mind
of the man I saw and I think it will stay with me for the rest of my life," she said. "At first I just thought he
was a conman but now I believe he could be much more dangerous. I will never forget his dark, dead eyes and the way he threw
his arms about in a very jerky way.
"He was very agitated at the front door of the villa and he looked quite
disturbed when he was wandering around on the beach in the rain. The sooner he is found the better."
said her memories of what was a fantastic 50th birthday celebration have been marred by the kidnapping of Madeline.
Seldom a day passes when she doesn't think of the mysterious man.
She said: "In the early days after
hearing about the kidnapping, I just had this horrible empty feeling in the pit of my stomach.
get the image of the man out of my head and I was racking my brains trying to remember everything he said and every detail
"Had he followed the members of our group, including a boy of two, who was staying at the ocean
"I am left with a strong sense of frustration because this is still unresolved."
By Nigel Moore
James Murray (voice over): The Sunday Express has brought Gail Cooper back to Praia da Luz to tell
her story of her strange encounter with a man she believes went on to kidnap Madeleine McCann three years ago.
(to Gail Cooper): Gail, it was on April the 20th 2007, you were down here with members of your family.
Cooper: That's right, yeah.
JM: It was raining.
JM: You were having afternoon tea in that restaurant over there.
Yes, we were, yeah.
JM: Tell me what you saw then.
GC: There was this
guy, corner of our eye, sort of crossing our vision, walking out towards the sea. Just stood, looking out across the beach.
It was absolutely sheeting down with rain, really sheeting down. Then he just turned, headed off in that direction towards
the [unable to hear where due to poor quality recording]
JM: And was he absolutely drenched?
JM (voice over): Gail and her friends were staying at
this luxury, two million pound villa twenty minutes walk away from the beach. It was in the afternoon and there was a knock
at the door, three hours after they had left the beach.
GC: We came back to the villa. Late afternoon
my husband and son-in-law went out and grandchildren were in the pool. I was sat by the pool with my eldest daughter. Door
bell rang. I answered the door thinking it was my husband had left his wallet behind as he tends to do. Opened the door to
find a complete stranger there and he ran into a spiel about collecting for an orphanage in the next village and in Portugal
he was only allowed to collect one day of the year which was April the 20th and it was the same day every year, which I doubted
at the time because I always come out in April.
JM (voice over): Just a few minutes walk away
from the apartment where they were staying other members of the group were staying at the Mark Warner complex.
Five members of our group were staying at the Ocean Club including a two-year-old boy. We called in at the apartment once
to, errm... make arrangements for the evening and I must say whilst we were there we didn't see any sign of the man
I'd seen at the villa.
JM (voice over): Two days after the first sightings the group went
back to the beach. JM (to Gail Cooper): And this is
the image here, isn't it, of the man that you saw twice on the beach here and once at your holiday villa?
That is right, yes.
JM (voice over): Just a few days before Madeleine disappeared. On the third
sighting down at the beach the man seemed to be shadowing a group of children coming down to the beach from the Mark Warner
complex. Again, he was acting oddly.
GC: It's been three years since Madeleine went missing.
There needs to be renewed police action to bring this case to conclusion. Please read the full story in the Sunday Express.
DETECTIVES have been handed a photograph showing a man
behaving oddly in the days before Madeleine McCann was kidnapped.
A British holidaymaker accidentally
captured him in the background of a family snap taken at the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in April 2007, days before
Madeleine, then three, disappeared.
It was passed to detectives from Leicestershire who are assisting the police
in Portugal. Last week we published Gail Cooper's account of her encounter with the strange man when he later came to
her holiday villa in the resort, asking for money for an orphanage.
Today we reveal that one of Mrs Cooper's
friends, Leanda Hodson-Mackey, took a snap of her husband Stephen, 34, and son, then aged two, and the man appeared in the
background, walking along the beach during a downpour.
Although his features cannot be clearly made out, there
is a rough image which could be enhanced with FBI picture improvement techniques.
Mrs Cooper, 53, from Newark,
Nottinghamshire, told the Sunday Express last week she believes the same man went on to kidnap Madeleine McCann.
She had flown to Luz with a party of 13 family and friends in the week before Madeleine was taken, to celebrate her 50th
birthday. Mrs Hodson-Mackey, 34, and her family spent four days at an apartment in the Mark Warner complex with Leanda's
mother Trudy Dawkins, 49, and her husband Lee, 40.
The apartment was directly above apartment 5a, where the McCanns
would stay the following week.
Last night Mrs Dawkins, also from Newark, said: "When we were back home it
was on the news that Madeleine had disappeared and we all racked our brains to see if there was anything we could remember
which would help the investigation.
"We all remembered this man walking along the beach in the rain, then
Gail recalled he later went to her villa.
"Leanda had a throwaway camera. She went through the pictures she
had taken and realised the man was in the background in one. Detectives took a statement from her and took away the picture,
but we don't know what happened after that.
Tomorrow Madeleine's mother Kate, 42, from Rothley, Leicestershire,
will meet Prince Charles at Westminster Abbey during a service to remember young victims of violence. She will be among 1,000
guests marking the anniversary of teenager Jimmy Mizen's murder in 2008, during a fight in a bakery shop in Lee, south-east
The families of Damilola Taylor and Ben Kinsella will also be at the "Building a Legacy of Peace"
THIS is the sensational picture of a suspicious
man on the beach which could lead to a breakthrough in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
inadvertently in the background of a holiday photo, the mysterious man strolls along after a rain shower, staring out to sea
at Praia da Luz.
The picture was taken at the Portuguese resort days before Madeleine, then three, vanished during
the evening of May 3, 2007.
Briton Gail Cooper was having lunch with family and friends in a beachside cafe and
taking photos when she saw him wandering along the beach, apparently in a world of his own.
"It was odd to
see him walking around the beach alone in showery, cold weather." she said.
Mrs Cooper, 53, added that a few
hours after the snap was taken, the same man visited her at her rented villa 20 minutes' walk from the beach. The £2million
holiday property was in a quiet road near the Mark Warner complex where Madeleine and her family were staying.
a tense conversation on the doorstep, the man sought cash with what she called "an obviously made-up story" that
he was collecting money for an orphanage in a nearby town, where the children of Britons killed in a car crash were being
Just under a week after the unnerving encounter, when Mrs Cooper had returned home to Britain, Madeleine
was taken from her holiday apartment.
Alarmed, Mrs Cooper contacted British detectives because of her concerns
about the man on the beach and handed over the photograph, taken by a member of her holiday party.
later private investigators working for Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann asked Mrs Cooper to work with an FBI-trained
artist to create a drawing of the man she had seen at the beach and villa.
She described him as having protruding
teeth, a handlebar moustache and wind-blown dark hair. In the photo the man is turning slightly towards the sea, so it
is not possible to tell whether he has a moustache.
However, he does appear to bear a resemblance to a man the
McCanns' friend, Jane Tanner, saw walking with a child in his arms at about the time Madeleine disappeared.
Tanner saw him crossing a road yards from the McCanns' apartment and it is widely believed that he was the man who abducted
She also worked with an artist to create a drawing of the man she saw. It did not include facial
features as she did not see his face.
The man Ms Tanner saw, walking in the glare of an orange street light,
was wearing light coloured trousers and a dark top and appears to have slightly hunched shoulders.
The man in the
photo was also wearing light coloured trousers, a dark top and appears to have slightly rounded shoulders.
Cooper, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said last night: "I am 98 per cent certain the man in the photo was the same man
who made the strange visit to our holiday villa. His hair looks neater in the photo, but he is quite far in the background."
The picture was given to detectives in Leicestershire who are liaising with detectives in Portugal, but Mrs Cooper said
she was never told whether the man had been identified.
"I believe it would be useful for the investigation
if he was to come forward," she added. Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, are hoping that new Tory Home
Secretary Theresa May will call for a review of all the evidence in the case.
you can identify the man in the photograph please call the Sunday Express on 0208 612 7073 or contact the website Findmadeleine.com.
The montage above shows the Jane Tanner
sketch beside the photograph that Gail Cooper has provided - as evidence of the 'creepy man' she claims to have seen
- and a straightened version of the same photograph.
It appears clear that the photographic image supplied by Mrs
Cooper has been manipulated by the Sunday Express in order to provide a mirror image of the Jane Tanner inspired sketch. By
mimicking the gait of the alleged 'abductor' a subliminal message is being sent that the two are connected, when,
in reality, there is nothing to connect them.
The image that appears on the front page of the Sunday Express, paper
edition, does not exhibit such an unnatural walking position - suggesting that is the original image before manipulation.
Behind the man in the photograph we can see the stacked sun loungers and parasol poles, which can be seen clearer
in the photographs below.
The "Creepy Man" that time
forgot... but never The Sun, 18 November 2013
The "Creepy Man" that time forgot...
but never The Sun McCann Files
"Creepy Man" by Melissa Little
Guy, Guy, Guy, Stick him up on high. Hang him
on a lamp post And leave him there to die.
By Nigel Moore 18 November
2013 The Sun newspaper, never ones to let sleeping corpses lie, especially when there's a subscription
bob in it, turned their spades once again at the weekend to an old favourite in the Madeleine McCann case: "Creepy Man".
Last week it was reported that a Brit woman, who doesn't wish to be named, was harassed by a 'drugged
up Portuguese man' in Vilamoura - 30 miles from Praia da Luz - a month before Madeleine disappeared. The man was described
as being 'scruffy and long-haired'.
Cue an accompanying sketch of scruffy, long-haired "Creepy Man"
and it's off to print we go.
Yesterday, it was the turn of 'Irish ma', Shauna Duncan, to describe how
a man on a motorbike tried to snatch her daughter in Praia da Luz weeks before Madeleine disappeared. He looked like the suspect
who The Sun 'revealed' last week.
Cue the same accompanying sketch of scruffy, long-haired "Creepy
Man" and it's off to print we go.
Is there anymore to say?
Well, actually, there is, because
the story of "Creepy Man" needs to be told in its entirety. For those unfamiliar with the background, it's a
story that may surprise and even shock you. "Creepy Man"
News of the World, 20 January 2008
Known more affectionately in some quarters as the "George Harrison
lookalike" - but more profitably by the Wapping ghouls as 'Maddie's Kidnapper - Beast who took McCanns'
little girl' - "Creepy Man" first shot to fame on 20 January 2008, when he was honoured with his very own
At a London hotel, the McCanns' spokesperson Clarence Mitchell took to the lectern to
deliver his infamous 'more like the police than the police' appeal for information to the gathered members of the
"Who is he? Where is he? What, if any, is his connection to Madeleine's disappearance?" Mr
Mitchell solemnly intoned.
"If he is innocent, we want him to come forward for his own sake so he can be ruled
out. We believe this man could be linked to Madeleine's disappearance."
This at a time, remember, when
the Portuguese investigation was still active and the McCanns were yet to be released from their arguido (suspects) status.
Clarence Mitchell: 'more like the police than the police'
During the press conference, two artists impressions of the
man seen by Mrs Gail Cooper, a grandmother from Nottinghamshire, were released. These were not produced by the police, as
stated in The Sun, but were created in conjunction with Mrs Cooper by an artist hired by the McCanns themselves.
The accompanying PowerPoint presentation claimed Jane Tanner had viewed the sketches and was so taken with them that she
believed there was 'an 80% likelihood' that this was the same man she saw 'carrying away the child, believed to
This was an extraordinary claim, given Ms Tanner took part in a covert police operation, shortly
after Madeleine's disappearance, and positively identified the man she claimed to have seen as Robert Murat - the first
arguido in the case.
"She identified him through his way of walking, and she was peremptory about it being
Robert Murat," said Gonçalo Amaral, the former Portuguese Judiciary Police co-ordinator, speaking to the website
www.mccannfiles.com in May 2011.
And there was something strangely familiar about the full length sketch of "Creepy
Man". Something about his gait that was very reminiscent of "Bundle Man", the man sketched from the description
of Ms Tanner herself. But, of course, that was hardly surprising given that both sketches had been produced by the same artist,
In fact, for three days, the official Find Madeleine website ran the two sketches of "Creepy
Man" with the annotation: 'Drawings of the man described by Jane Tanner'. Not so much a subliminal association,
more surgically joined at the dislocated hips.
Furthermore, during their traditional round of 'Missing
Maddie' anniversary interviews, in 2008, the McCanns produced a flyer which placed the face of "Creepy
Man" beside the full body sketch of "Bundle Man". The same image appeared in the Portuguese press.
Although the difference between the two was explained during an interview with RTP, there remained no reason why the
two sketches should appear side-by-side, and the McCanns assertion that there were similarities between the two could
do nothing but muddy the waters further.
The McCanns with "Creepy Man"/"Bundle Man" flyer, 02 May 2008
RTP interview, 02 May 2008
Sandra Felgueiras: And you say that you regularly was checking her... were checking
on the children every 15 minutes. So do you still maintain that, errr... this is the person that you believe has abducted
Madeleine. [SF holds up a newspaper, with the 'Creepy Man' sketch beside the 'Bundle Man' sketch]
Do you still believe that this is the man?
Gerry McCann: We... we have never said that
that is the man who abducted Madeleine. We said that it's someone, who multiple witnesses... had a description similar
to this man. [GM holds up a flyer showing the same two sketches]
to 'Jane Tanner' sketch, on right] We believe this is the man...
The man that Jane Tanner saw?
Kate McCann: Yeah.
Gerry McCann: Yeah.
Kate McCann:[points to 'Creepy Man' sketch, on left] Now, this is the man who has...
who has obviously been flagged up by certain people acting strangely and he's not that dissimilar to this man but we don't
know. Basically, it'll... we almost wanted to eliminate him.
But why did "Creepy Man" warrant his very own press
conference in the first place? And why did the McCanns consign him to the compost heap after their round of interviews in
May 2008? The charity collector always knocks twice (at least)
Gail Cooper made her
first statement to Leicestershire police on 21 May 2007. In it, she described how, on the afternoon of April 20th, a man knocked
on the door of her villa claiming that he was collecting donations for a local orphanage in Espiche.
said the man was quite insistent and she described him as 'intimidating' but 'not threatening'. After 10-15
minutes he left empty handed as Mrs Cooper had no money in the villa.
On Monday 7th January 2008, the Daily Mirror
ran a report that British holidaymaker Paul Gordon had also seen a 'stranger (who) claimed he was collecting donations
for an orphanage'. Mr Gordon and his family had stayed in Apartment 5A the week immediately prior to the McCanns.
As a result of that article, Mrs Cooper's daughter contacted the Daily Mirror. Like looking in a
E-fit of man seen by Paul Gordon
Later that day the Mirror contacted Mrs Cooper and this led
to an article, published the following day, in which she said: "He was a horrible-looking man, really creepy, unkempt
"He definitely wasn't Portuguese. He scared me."
Mrs Cooper further described
the man as 6ft 0in to 6ft 2in tall, with a distinctive 'Mexican looking moustache', who 'definitely wasn't
Portuguese' and 'smelt of onions or garlic which appeared to be on his clothing'.
Mr Gordon however,
described the man as 5ft 7in to 5ft 10in tall, with 'no facial hair', 'Portuguese looking' and was 'quite
So, about as similar as Tweety Pie and Yosemite Sam. More sightings
At the same time as the Mirror contacted Mrs Cooper, her mother reminded her of 'two further potential sightings'
of the same man. This prompted Mrs Cooper to make a second police statement on 16th January 2008.
In this further
statement, details are given of those two other sightings: One on 22nd April, in which a man was walking on the beach 'not
really doing anything' and previously on 20th April, 'just before the man came to the villa later on that day',
when a man was observed walking alone on the beach in the rain – which Mrs Cooper observed was 'strange because
of the weather'.
Following Mrs Cooper's further statement to the police, and the press conference four
days later, a further sighting was reported by a Donegal woman, who did not wish to be named.
She said she saw
a man fitting the description given by Mrs Cooper, around the end of July 2007, who claimed to be collecting for an Aids orphanage
in Portugal. "I e-mailed the Madeleine family helpline," she said.
"I just wanted to give whatever
information I had relating to what I had seen. I am not sure if it will be relevant or not but I suppose every bit helps." A shock breakthrough in the hunt, errr… 'two years ago'
the shock breakthrough in the hunt was to come in May 2010 when the Sunday Express exclusively revealed that "Creepy
Man" had been covertly filmed by an investigator working for Kate and Gerry McCann 'two years ago'.
i.e. in 2008.
Mrs Cooper told the Sunday Express that the man, who was captured on film unloading goods from a
white van, was the same person she saw three times in Praia da Luz in the days before Madeleine disappeared.
believe the man I saw was the same person who abducted Madeleine McCann," stated Mrs Cooper unequivocally. "I was
shown the footage by a person working for the McCanns' investigators who took notes of everything I said and then left
but I haven't heard anything since."
She called on the McCanns to put the 'sensational footage'
on their website findmadeleine.com so that he could be traced by detectives. "More people need to see this footage to
discover where he is," she said.
The following week, the Sunday Express further revealed that at the time
the holidaying group were on the beach, on 22nd April 2007, one of Mrs Cooper's friends, Leanda Hodson-Mackey, had taken
a photograph of her husband.
Remarkably she had captured "Creepy Man" in the background as he walked
alone on the beach during a downpour. The image was said to have been passed to Leicestershire police.
week the Express published the image of the man.
"Bundle Man" and "Creepy Man" together again - Express image (l) and straightened version (r)
Mrs Cooper, said: "I am 98 per cent certain the man in
the photo was the same man who made the strange visit to our holiday villa. His hair looks neater in the photo, but he
is quite far in the background."
The picture was given to detectives in Leicestershire who were reported to
have liaised with detectives in Portugal, but Mrs Cooper said she was never told whether the man had been identified. The Silence of the McCanns
So, as far back as 2008, the McCanns, through their private
detectives, were in receipt of video footage showing the man - who had been positively identified by Mrs Cooper.
Yet no effort was made then, or since, to place the footage, or stills from it, on their official website - the sole purpose
of which is to 'Find Madeleine'.
Again, in May 2010, the McCanns were urged by Mrs Cooper to place the
video footage on their website in order that detectives trace the man. The plea fell on deaf ears.
If there had
been an initial reluctance, in 2008, to jeopardise a possible investigation, that must have evaporated by 2010.
Man" does not appear in the list of suspects that appendix Kate McCann's book madeleine, nor does he appear
as a person of interest on the official website.
So, we are left with two conclusions:
1) The man
was identified and eliminated from the inquiry in 2008, after the public appeal - either by the McCanns private detectives
or by those from Leicestershire Police or the PJ.
In which case, why were the press never informed and why
has the information never been made public on the McCanns' £37,000pa 'Find Madeleine' website (figure as
at 2008)? Not to mention informing Mrs Cooper, both out of common courtesy and to prevent the release of further misleading
articles which can only damage the search for Madeleine.
2) The man has never been identified
and, for reasons we can only guess at, the McCanns have no interest in pursuing identification of him.
after Madeleine's disappearance Gerry McCann pleaded that "we will leave no stone unturned in the search for
our daughter, Madeleine". When taken in conjunction with the behaviour of the McCanns over the Smith family e-fits, which
were suppressed for five years, neutral observers may conclude that the stones of which Gerry spoke were multi-purpose - equally
adept at concealing as they ever were at revealing.
And so, "Creepy Man" continues to get wheeled out,
like some sad and dishevelled Guy Fawkes dummy.
If you spend £1 you can get access to all The Sun online
reports but, personally, I wouldn't give you a penny for this guy.